By Kaleigh Grace
1. Demon Slayer: The thrilling Shonen series follows Tanjiro Kamado, a young boy who seeks to become a demon slayer after his family is slaughtered and his younger sister Nezuko is turned into a demon. The show somehow manages to imbue a well-used setting with new life and produced some of the most dynamic and engaging fight sequences in animation today. Tanjiro, in particular, is a truly likable character, the kind of pure-hearted boy you wouldn’t expect in a largely unforgiving series. The entire anime is eye candy from the opening sequence to the final moments. The first movie in the series will release Friday, Apr. 23.
2. Horimiya: Horimiya is a long-anticipated Shojo series with a touching approach to romance. This anime is more than worth watching simply for its visuals and character art. The series does a phenomenal job, in both sub and dub, of perfectly emphasizing moments of quiet intimacy, loneliness and self-doubt. Horimiya follows an isolated and intense young man, Izumi Miyamura, whose life changes in a chance encounter with his popular classmate Kyoko Hori outside of school. Despite the producers having one season to tell the tale of the characters, the series does an excellent job of building the connection between our Izumi and Kyoko. Overall, Horimiya is a refreshing and naturalistic love story that will leave you longing for more.
3. My Hero: My Hero Academia is an unabashedly earnest series that essentially is an anime take on the X-Men. In a world where most humans have superpowers, referred to as quirks, the plot follows a group of highschool kids training to be the next generation of heroes. My Hero is considered to be one of the best shonen anime in production and Season 5 is currently being released.
4. The Promised Neverland: A thrilling and dark anime, The Promised Neverland centers around a group of children in their plan to escape from their orphanage after learning the sinister truth behind their existence. Don’t let the innocent-looking child characters fool you, The Promised Neverland takes a number of horrifying twists and turns that will leave you on the edge of your seat. The intricate plot and numerous surprises from season one leave the newly released season two with much to live up to, but I have high hopes that it will exceed our expectations.
5. Beastars: The name itself might simply conjure up thoughts of furries, and if that is your thing, you probably already love this anime. If not, consider giving Beastars a chance. Set in a world where beasts coexist, a wolf awakens to his own predatory urges as his school deals with murder in its midst. With an intro that dominated my Spotify playlist for 2020 and a group of characters that transcend their animal appearance, Beastars is a striking and snappy anime with a season two on the horizon for July 2021.
6. Neon Genesis: Neon Genesis is a widely known cult classic anime which originally released in the late ’90s and has another film slated to launch later in 2021. The series is so monumental and so influential in the history of Japanese culture, that it’s worth watching no matter what. Set fifteen years after a worldwide cataclysm, particularly in the futuristic and fortified city of Tokyo-3, the anime centers around Shinji, a teenage boy recruited into the shadowy organization Nerv to pilot a giant bio-machine mecha named “Evangelion” into combat against beings called “Angels”. The truly iconic work explores a number of themes through biblical imagery and psychoanalysis.
7. Fruits Basket: The final season in the reboot of Fruits Basket is set to air later this year, after the shocking ending of Season 2. Fruits Basket tells the story of Tohru Honda, an orphan girl who meets the Soma family, a group of individuals that are possessed by the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. With many poignant moments and romantic undertones, this anime is fun and heartfelt and is a great take on the original, which aired in 2001. Usually, it’s difficult to surpass the OG content, but so far Fruits Basket has managed to outdo it in many respects.
8. Sk8 the Infintiy: In Okinawa, a group of hardcore skaters participate in a secret, no-holds-barred competition after midnight known as “S”, racing each other on skateboards down a winding road carved out of an abandoned mine. Like the best sports anime, Sk8 the Infinity builds interesting rapport between competitors and allies alike, surprisingly interwoven with heartfelt and emotional moments.
9. High Rise Invasion: High schooler Yuri finds herself atop a skyscraper in a strange world, where she must survive against masked assailants bent on killing their prey in a competition for god. The Netflix anime, at face value, might sound similar to the plotline of other great series, like The Future Diaries, but the show holds a lot of unique intrigue in its own right. Through unexpected relationships and a deeper-than-surface plot, High Rise Invasion is a new release that is a pleasant surprise.
10. Bleach: Another cult classic anime, Bleach is set to see its final season later this year, nearly 10 years after its last release. The season will complete the final arc of the series, The Thousand-Year Blood War, some news which fans — who used to stay up late watching Adult Swim — will revel at. The previous ending left much to be desired for many and we hope that the final season will shed light on a few questions.