We are nearly to the halfway point of this year’s summer anime season. With there being well over 40 different series being aired, it can be quite daunting deciding what to watch. These are my top 10 anime recommendations for what you should be watching.
10) Dog & Scissors
Dog & Scissors follows the hardcore bookworm Harumi Kazuhito as he is killed during a robbery attempt. However, his diehard love of books, particularly a series of books written by the mysterious author Akiyama Shinobu, allows Kazuhito to reincarnate as a dachshund. In his newly found canine form, Kazuhito is subsequently adopted by a scissor wielding sadist named Natsuno Kirihime. Kirihime, it turns out, is in actuality Akiyama Shinobu, and she is the only person on Earth who can hear Kazuhito’s thoughts. This series is a shining example of when an anime series doesn’t take anything serious, with its over the top humor and a cast full of quite literally insane people.
9) Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club
Free! follows Nanase Haruka, an excellent swimmer in his childhood, living a boring high school life. That is until Haruka and his childhood swim club friends, Tachibana Makoto, Matsuoka Rin, and Hazuki Nagisa reunite in high school and they form a new swim club. This series is a pretty good sports anime with some interesting visuals and of course plenty of eye candy for the ladies.
8) Genshiken Second Season
Despite the name of the anime, this is actually the third overall season in the Genshiken anime adaptation. This season the manga artist Ogiue Chika is the president of the titular otaku club. Unlike previous seasons, this time around the cast is mostly made up of women, all of whom are yaoi fangirls, making the tone and style of this season different from before. Ultimately, despite the changes, it is still new episodes of what is without a doubt the quintessential anime series any high school or college anime club worth their salt has aired at least once before, and that is never a bad thing.
7) Attack on Titan
What was far and away the most popular anime series to debut in the spring 2013 season, Attack on Titan continues through its run. In this dark and almost completely hopeless anime, we follow the trio of characters, Eren Jaeger, Mikasa Akerman, and Armin Arlet, as they try to survive in a world where humanity has been pushed back into a singular fortified city by Titans, giant beasts of unknown nature that devour humans with ease. With solid writing and a unique visual style, Attack on Titan continues to stand out from the pack. Though that is not to say the quality of the show hasn’t dipped. It has taken a slight hit from the fact that each episodes wastes time at the beginning to recap previous events, and this show also had an entire episode dedicated to recapping the story of the first half of the season.
6) Silver Spoon
Silver Spoon is the latest series from Hiromu Arakawa, the creator of the much loved by both critics and fans Fullmetal Alchemist series. Unlike Fullmetal Alchemist, Silver Spoon is a slice of life series that takes place at a rural agricultural school in Hokkaido. The series follows Hachiken Yuugo, a kid from the city who decided to attend the school simply because it was a boarding school and that would allow him to escape his family. However, Yuugo is in for quite a culture shock at having to deal with hard working days, early mornings, and handling animals.
5) Servant x Service
Servant x Service is another slice of life series that takes place in Hokkaido, but this time it follows the employees of a health and welfare office. The series primarily follows Yamagami Lucy who only decided to work there to track down and get revenge on the lazy government employee who allowed Lucy’s parents to name her literally every name people suggested to name her. There is very little story so far, but the show’s great cast of characters more than make up for it.
4) Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3
Stella Women’s Academy follows an introverted girl named Yamato Yura as she is accepted into her dream high school. Yura hoped that going to high school would allow her to come out her shell, but on her first day things are more of the same for her. That is, until she gets to her dorm room and finds a Desert Eagle airsoft gun under her pillow. It turns out her roommate is the president of the school’s survival games club, which is a club where they play games by shooting at each other with airsoft guns. Yura is wrangled into joining the club and she quickly takes to enjoying her new found experiences.
3) Danganronpa: The Animation
Danganronpa is about 15 high school kids who get trapped in their high school by a demonic stuffed animal-looking bear named Monokuma. Monokuma makes the kids play a life or death game. They can’t escape the school unless they can kill another one of the kids and not get caught in the ensuing group trial. If they are caught, Monokuma will execute them in a twisted manner fitting for them. The catch with the trial is, should the other kids find the wrong person guilty, everyone except for the true culprit is executed instead. It has a great murder mystery feel to it, and no character seems safe.
2) Sunday Without God
Sunday Without God is set in a world where God admits his failure and leaves, taking the ability for humans to give birth and die with him. The series proper begins 15 years after this event and follows Ai, a little girl who is a Gravekeeper, a member of a race of mysterious people who appeared in the wake of God’s departure. You see, when people would die from wounds or old age or sickness, they would come back as a member of the Deceased. They’ll still be able to move and talk like normal, but over time they would decay and their sanity would begin to erode as well. Dealing a mortal wound to a Deceased only immobilizes them, being buried by a Gravekeeper is the only thing that puts a member of the Deceased down for good. Ai’s world gets rocked when one day a man named Hampnie Hambart arrives in the village she watches over and kills everyone in it. With nowhere else to go, Ai follows Hampnie on his journey to look for a woman named Anna. This series has beautiful visuals, and a great story that when you really think about it is a really unique take on a zombie apocalypse.
1) WATAMOTE ~No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys Fault I’m Not Popular
Watamote follows Kuroki Tomoko, a teenage girl who thinks she’ll be super popular in high school. The problem is that Tomoko is in actuality a delusional and introverted girl who based her image of high school on the countless dating sim games she plays. After months of being in high school and not making any friends, Tomoko decides to change herself. Unfortunately for Tomoko, everything she tries ends up backfiring spectacularly on her in hilariously awkward fashion. This is one of the funniest anime series I have seen by far and gets my highest recommendation.
And there you have it, my viewing recommendations for this season, based on what episodes have aired so far.