(Protect the Wall t-shirt on sale at the NeatoShop)
Every few months, I make anime viewing recommmendations and invite Neatorama readers to suggest their own and discuss any anime topics they want. Let's do it again!
The last time that I made anime recommendations, Aldnoah Zero rested at the top of the post. You know what? It does again! It's an extraordinary, soaring drama of love, war, courage, and treachery. Slaine Troyard--the man in the red coat--is the most fascinating character I've encountered in anime. After 24 episodes, the series is now complete and is now easily one of my three favorites.
Mushi-Shi, like many anime series, began as a manga that was turned into an anime that aired from 2005-2006. I never saw it, but I recently watched the sequel, Mushi-Shi: The Next Passage. I have watched only this second series and was not the least bit confused by having not watched the first. It's set in an old Japan in which humans must live with tiny, mystical, non-intelligent creatures called mushi. They're invisible to most people and often parasitic. Only shamanistic doctors called mushi-shi can see them. Humans need mushi-shi when mushi become dangerous and infect them.
Mushi-Shi: The Next Passage is an episodic show that, despite its slow pace, is not the least bit boring. The main character is Ginko, a mushi-shi who wanders through Japan, helping people who have mushi infections. His patients are richly developed characters facing problems that are truly original. Mushi-Shi: The Next Passage is unlike any other anime that I've seen. Sometimes anime plotlines can become predictable, but that's not at all a problem in this show.
Maria the Virgin Witch is set in France during the Hundred Years' War. Maria is a witch who lives in the forest. Local villagers often consult her for medicinal cures. But Maria regards her primary task as stopping war. She despises fighting, so she interrupts warring English and French armies whenever possible and tries to break up their battles. French peasants who are conscripted into military service appreciate this, but nobles, mercenary bands, and local Church officials resent it deeply. Maria is interfering in their plans, so they decide to put an end to her. It's a fun, usually light-hearted show in an unconventional setting.
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon? is a currently airing show, of which I have seen the first 2 episodes. Fans of Dungeons & Dragons and similar role-playing games will appreciate it. In such games, players play characters who are professional adventurers. These adventurers often go on "dungeon crawls"--underground explorations for killing monsters and getting loot.
In Is It Wrong to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon? this happens very directly. Adventuring is an everyday profession and there's an immense underground dungeon maintained for the economic livelihood of adventurers. Characters develop stats, gain skills, and level up. They are completely conscious of this because their character sheet information is literally written on their backs.
All of which makes this a promising show!
Food Wars is another currently-airing show. It's a comedy set in an elite cooking school. Only the finest chefs survive this school, which has a 10% graduation rate. These chefs are so good that people lose control of themselves when they eat food prepared by them. These culinary students battle in absurd, visual effects-laden scenes reminiscent of anime martial arts/magical combat scenes. I've seen 2 episodes so far, and they've been fun!
What anime have you enjoyed? Would you like to make recommendations to us?