Picking eight out of the field of anime series is a Herculean task. Still, there are some works that you should have heard of at least once. Alone, because otherwise, you will lose one or the other allusion in the vastness of the Internet. And an appeal to all the remaining skeptics out there: Don’t let the strange original stories scare you off, because they often include great characters and great actions.
The 8 most important anime series you should know
The pirate epic by Eiichiro Oda marks the beginning of our list. The manga series has been running since 1997 and at the end of 2013, it achieved the status of the best-selling manga in history. The story of Monkey D. Luffy and his legendary straw hat also works as an anime, although it, unfortunately, cannot sail around the typical disease called the “filler episode” (episodes whose content does not advance the overall plot). Nevertheless, now more than 700 episodes have an undeniable entertainment value, which results from a mixture of tragic fates, silly jokes, and gripping battles. The showpiece, however, is the fascinating world that Oda created with “One Piece”.
Numerous allusions to real seafarers convey a historical feeling that is pleasantly loosened up by technological peculiarities such as the telescopic screw. The greatest specialty, however, is the devil fruits, which give their consumer special abilities, whereby he can turn his body into smoke or stretch his skin like rubber. This applies to Monkey D. Luffy, the hero of the series whose greatest dream is to become the pirate king and who is desperate to find the One Piece. This is a legendary treasure of the former pirate king Gol D. Roger and since the search for it holds some dangers in store, Luffy gathers a crew that consists of a variety of characters.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
This anime series is considered by many fans to be the best of its kind and, with 64 episodes for an anime, is relatively friendly for beginners. The plot revolves around the two brothers Edward and Alphonse, who grow up in a fictional world. In this, alchemy plays an important role, with which matter can be transformed at will. The two brothers want to use this to reanimate their dead mother, for which they are even ready to sacrifice parts of their bodies.
“Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” doesn’t shy away from serious topics and also deals with religion, social differences, or life in a military dictatorship. Despite the dramatic moments, the humor is not left out and the fast-paced action sequences also provide variety. All 5 seasons are currently available on Netflix. Alternatively, you can get the complete series on DVD from Amazon.
Dragon Ball Z
One of the most famous anime series is the classic “Dragon Ball Z”, which continues the adventures of the fighter Son Goku and his friends. Even the prehistory “Dragon Ball” had increasingly impressive fights to offer, but only in the continuation, which shows Son Goku as an adult, the fate of the earth, and later even the universe is regularly at stake in the battles. Inspired by the will to be stronger than everyone else, the kind-hearted Saiyajin regularly measures himself against new challengers.
In the course of the series, the fights took on an almost ridiculous length, but this was a decisive factor in that “Dragon Ball Z” achieved cult status. Always new fighting techniques, transformations, and new twists made for an entertaining arms race between the heroes and their opponents, which was satirized in the final Boo saga itself. With all the excessive violence, the friendship between the characters, which forms the emotional backbone of the anime series, is never neglected.
A true prime example of how morally complex anime can be is provided by “Death Note”. The protagonist Light Yagami is disgusted by the depravity of the world around him and therefore wants to hunt down criminals as a lawyer. A much simpler method, however, opens up when a black notebook, the Death Note, falls into his hands. As soon as Light enters a person’s name in it and imagines his face, that person dies.
The light then uses the Death Note to kill criminals and thus sets an example, which however turns the law against himself. An exciting game of cat and mouse begins between him and the police, in which the mysterious detective L also interferes. “Death Note” shines above all with its serious tone and the atmosphere of a thriller, not to mention Ryuk, a kind of Japanese grim reaper that only Light can see and who accompanies him on his “mission”.
Attack on Titan
There is only one season for “Attack on Titan” and it was only released in 2013. That the anime series is already one of the most popular of its kind should say enough about the quality of “Attack on Titan”. The anime tells the story of a dystopian world in which the remnants of mankind had to hide behind huge walls in a city. They are threatened by gigantic titans who repeatedly attack the city and want to devour the people.
At the center of the events is the young Eren Hunter, who has a special ability that could prove to be a means to victory in the fight against the titans. The series impresses on the one hand with its coming-of-age approach, but also with its mysterious world, which the viewer has to fathom together with the characters. Besides, “Attack on Titan” addresses life in a militarily organized society and the constant threat of terrorism, as well as the powerlessness that goes with it.
The continuation of the anime series “Naturo” is criticized by some just like its predecessor, but has also secured a loyal and not exactly small number of fans due to its advantages. It tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, who desperately wants to become the head of his home village. This is set in a fictional world that is populated by ninjas who compete against each other using a variety of fighting techniques. The fights are varied, which would be a reason to give the series a chance.
But she also has a serious approach that is supported by complex characters and moral questions. Even many opponents have their say and are allowed to justify their actions, which can also persuade some to change sides. This creates a varied story that is shaped by topics such as friendship, betrayal, and the will to sacrifice. There are currently twelve seasons on MyVideo; alternatively, you can buy “ Naruto Shippuden” on DVD from Amazon.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
“Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” is considered to be one of the pioneers of serious anime. The series falls into the science fiction genre and deals with a world where people have increasingly replaced parts of their bodies. Some cyborgs only have a human brain, which begs the question of how human they can be as a cyborg. With this in mind, “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” focuses on a group of investigators who solve various criminal cases.
The police officers also have to deal with an old case that they could not solve at the time and come across a plot that extends to the highest levels of government. “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” was particularly praised for its philosophical depth, as the series deals intensively with humanity in the face of pervasive technology.
Our list of anime series concludes with “Steins; Gate ”, which deals intensively with the possibility of time travel. At the center of the plot is the self-proclaimed scientist Rintarou Okabe, who by chance develops a time machine with which he can send messages into the past. However, Rintarou quickly discovered that the changes in the past did not leave the present untouched.
His actions have serious repercussions and Rintarou’s actions have even worse consequences for him when the seedy organization SERN becomes aware of him. Since he has to fear for his own life, he then flees underground. The series has made a name for itself primarily through its concept and its handling of the problems of time travel, especially since the story itself is also one of the strengths of “Steins; Gate “heard.