Witch Hunter Robin is a detective drama with a twist: Witches. Beginning with shorter cases before moving on to a longer arc that ends the series, it follows a team from the STN-J who attempt to prevent and stop harmful uses of witchcraft.
In Witch Hunter Robin, the use of witchcraft is based on genetics. Should someone’s powers “awaken,” it usually leads to death and destruction, and so the STN-J is called in to investigate.
The art-style is great. The OST fits perfectly. Both the Japanese voice acting and the English dub are wonderful. Sunrise did a fantastic job with Witch Hunter Robin, and I dream of a day where we see a reboot that doesn’t end, but continues as a serial detective drama. The early-2000s digital animation combined with the darker aesthetic (reminiscent of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) really works for Witch Hunter Robin.
I implore everyone that reads this to go check it out.
Non Non Biyori is the comfiest anime ever. It’s healing. It will absolve you of your sins.
This is the story of four school girls, a first grade, a fifth grader, a seventh grader, and an eighth grader, that all live out in the Japanese countryside. Due to the small size of the community, the four of them, along with a ninth-grade male, share a single classroom at school. The nearest stores are miles away. Most adults spend their days out in the fields. Wild animals are a common sight. Non Non Biyori is the comfy story of this life in the boonies.
Starts off a tad cliché, but develops as one of the cutest short romance anime that I’ve seen. It’s a harem anime, but it lets you know early on who’s really in charge. I can’t really say more than that without just telling the plot of the show.
It’s 13 episodes and the last episode is the lowest point of the series, but it’s fine otherwise. There is a manga, which I believe covers the same as the anime, but it is originally a light novel series.
My single favorite episode of anime is episode 19 of Cowboy Bebop, “Wild Horses”
It combines everything I love inside of one of my favorite anime. Amazing showcase of late ’90s Sunrise animation? Yes. Great anime desert shots (that Sunrise did spectacularly between this and Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory)? Yes. Great music placement? It’s Cowboy Bebop, what did you expect. Everything about this episode is so clean. It doesn’t overburden us with too much information. It perfectly portrays the crew of the Bebop as a family, albeit somewhat dysfunctional.
I love it so much, that I recently bought it on VHS (which also includes episode 20, the fan favorite “Pierrot le Fou”).
Golden Boy is one of the most fun anime ever produced. For 6 episodes, Kintaro Oe travels across Japan in search of work, knowledge, and women. Each episode follows Kintaro tackling his new job and fumbling his way to winning the heart of the episode’s heroine. The last episode, an anime original episode, concludes with him running away, afraid that he had messed up the job. But, he didn’t mess it up. The episode concludes with the series’ heroines, whose hearts he did (somehow) win, trying to chase him down.
Loss is one of the worst emotions to experience. It’s almost as bad when someone else is experiencing it, and you must watch it happen. I will try to not spoil anything, even though one of these scenes is 20 years old and the other 14.
The first scene, that I would not have expected to make me sad if I were told about it before hand, is from the last episode of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – 2nd GIG. I would not have expected it to have brought tears to my eyes, but it did. Truly a sign of how great the series is.
The second is one is from Trigun. Specifically, the episode “Paradise.” What makes this worse, is that Toonami showed this episode specifically when it was brought back for April Fool’s Day in 2012, so all of the people that hadn’t seen the series received an unpleasant surprise. I was astonished that it was the episode chosen, but it is rather iconic.
It’s hard to pick, so I’ll be dividing it up between English and Japanese, and actors and actresses.
Favorite English Voice Actress:
TIE: Tiffany Grant (voices include Neon Genesis Evangelion‘s Asuka Langley Soryu & Infinite Stratos’ Laura Bodewig) and Wendee Lee (voices include Cowboy Bebop‘s Faye Valentine, Outlaw Star‘s Twilight Suzuka, & Lucky Star‘s Konata Izumi)
Favorite English Voice Actor:
TIE: Steven Blum (voices include Cowboy Bebop‘s Spike Spiegel, The Big O‘s Roger Smith, & Samurai Champloo‘s Mugen) and Kirk Thornton (voices include Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory‘s Anavel Gato, Rurouni Kenshin‘s Hajime Saito, & Samurai Champloo‘s Jin)
Favorite Japanese Voice Actress:
Shizuka Itō (voices include High School DxD‘s Akeno Himejima, Psycho-Pass‘ Yayoi Kunizuka, & Fate/stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works‘ Luviagelita Edelfelt)
Favorite Japanese Voice Actor:
Kiyoshi Kobayashi (voices include Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory‘s Aiguille Delaz & almost 50 years as Lupin III‘s Daisuke Jigen, from the very first pilot film in 1969 to today)