By Breanna Sak
Anime has held an unfavorable stigma about it that has made many feel deterred from seeing what it has to offer. However, I am here to help make the jump into anime feel more approachable by showing a close up view of what you can expect. Having been a part of the anime community for almost 8 years, I know which animes are sure to get your heart pounding with anticipation. I am also pairing each of the shows with another, so if you enjoy one of them, there is a strong probability you will also like its counterpart. While this anime recommendation series is intended for newcomers, it also embeds sneaky ploys to keep even long term anime fans interested.
There will be minor spoilers throughout, however they will be kept to a minimum so that the full journey is left for you to discover and explore on your own.
My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia has become one of the leading animes of this decade, superseding it’s shonen predecesores with quality animation and incredible pacing to keep an emotional investment built
up; that is sure to obliterate any lackluster expectations. While this show may start with a cliche setup — a boy without powers looking for a way to be a hero in a superhuman society — it breaks away from tradition by exemplifying its messages of tenacity, thrilling and engaging battles and a well rounded cast of characters to follow and love.
In My Hero Academia, MHA for short, the power system is derived from genetics, where a mutation occurred that created an assortment of powers, now known as quirks. Those quirks slowly embed themselves into society over time, mixing with others to create brand new quirks. However, there are still occurrences that leave some people without a quirk, and they often become subjects of ridicule.
From the get go, we see Izuku Midoriya being constantly bullied by his classmates and told that he has no place in the hero society for this reason. However, it does not put a damper on his fighting spirit. Because Izuku still chases his dreams despite all of this, he has a chance encounter that drastically changes his and the world’s future. Izuku Midoriya becomes the living embodiment of being a devout follower of improvement, by finding what a true hero means to him and bringing his ideals to life through dedication. His purpose of being a hero is to help others and to contribute to the peace and stability of society.
Demon Slayer begins with a strong-willed and lovable character, Tanjiro Kamado, experiencing the absolute worst moment of his life. After seeing the massacre of his family, he is forced to turn
into a warrior, seeking a cure for his last remaining relative, his sister Nezuko, who was turned into a demon. The two have an encounter with a member of the Demon Slayer Corps, where he is encouraged to fight alongside them in order to avenge his family’s death and cure his sister.
During Tanjiro’s journey, he finds himself partnered with two other Demon Slayers, Zenitsu and Inosuke, who will experience significant growth and challenging hardships together. The team’s natural chemistry and sense of humor helps to balance out some of the more melodramatic moments, making each scene very enjoyable to watch.
While the group goes through the usual hurdles of training and battles, Demon Slayer puts a lot of emphasis on unifying the heroes and the villains. It humanizes its villains by showing who the demons were before their corruption, how they got like this and what they sacrificed as a result. This level of empathy is carried throughout the show, making Tanjiro pause and consider how some of these demons are just as innocent or in need of redemption as his sister, Nezuko. It’s a thoughtful detail that adds a certain pain to each of Tanjiro’s victories. It’s a refreshing perspective that helps ground these characters amidst all of the typical shonen action.