I like anime. That’s my dirty little secret… and I used to be really embarassed about it but now I’m going to let my freak flag fly free. The truth is that there is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s just like watching any other TV show and sometimes even better. The animations are beautiful, the humor is more adventurous than the one in mainstream media and whenever I watch a show I feel like I’m entering a new world. It might seem like a contradiction, the fact that it’s animated should make me feel disconnected or it might seem like the stories are childish and simple, but they’re thrilling, complex and I would dare to say more risk taking than most shows. So I’m gonna go all in, I will publicly share my favorite animes (that I also believe have good female representation) in the hopes that other people will shake their preconceived ideas (that it’s weird or for kids) and take a chance on this format.
Please play this song while reading:
- Ouran Host Club: This is the funniest show I have EVER seen. It centers around Haruhi, a high school student who wins a scholarship to attend one of the most prestigious schools in Japan. She is very bright, but rather lonely and because her family doesn’t have a lot of money she wears rather odd clothes that make everyone think she is a boy. One day she accidentally stumbles into an empty classroom and breaks a ridiculously expensive vase that turns out was being auctioned by the Host Club. In order to pay her debt, Haruhi must pose as a boy and work as a host. But what is a host you ask? Well it’s an exclusive club were the most popular boys in her high school work accompanying the girls in tea drinking dates.
Now Ouran Host Club is technically a shoujo which is genre of anime that targets young girls and usually revolves around love. But this anime is so much more than that, for starters it’s self aware so they constantly break the fourth wall to make fun of themselves. It’s a show that doesn’t take itself seriously and that is so rare nowadays. So for being self deprecating, I give Ouran Host Club two very enthusiastic thumbs up.
- Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood: Oh my. I don’t even know where to start with this one… FMA Brotherhood tells the story of Edward and Alphonse Elric, two brothers who practice alchemy, the science of being able to break down matter and reconstruct it in any form they choose. After losing their mother at a very young age they try bringing her back using alchemy but fail in a traumatic event where Alphonse loses his body and Edward one arm and a leg. Motivated in regaining their bodies back they become soldiers of the military in their country to research on the subject, but in the mean time they encounter a complot that has been in the making for thousands of years that endangers the life of all of the population. I can’t talk more about the plot without spoiling it, but it’s absolutely perfect. The design is so beautiful and the story is the perfect combination of action and drama. It also has some amazing, brave, smart, kind and strong female characters, my favorite are Izumi Curtis (an alchemist master) and Olivier Mira Armstrong (a Major General with a commanding presence that I wish to achieve one day).
- Vampire Knight: I feel kind of silly recommending this one because it’s a love vampire story and after Twilight I think we all filled our quota of ridiculous romance, but I did enjoy it and for the sake of being honest I will tell you why. Yuki Cross works as a Guardian for Cross Academy, she aids her stepfather (the headmaster) in protecting the day class from the night class (vampires who have promised not to attack humans and learn to coexist with them), things however take a turn for the worst when Zero, her best friend and her adopted brother, turns out to be a vampire but refuses to drink blood and is now dying because of it. With Zero unstable and dangerous, Kaname, the leader of the vampires steps in to protect Yuki who begins to discover her blocked memories from childhood. Needless to say, both Zero and Kaname love her.
Despite the fact that it sounds pretty Twilight-y I think it’s closer to Dracula: scary, with a mystery to be uncovered and kind of creepy. So if you were into the vampire phenomenon and are willing to give it another chance, Vampire Knight might just be for you.
- Cardcaptor Sakura: Oh you know, just MY FAVORITE THING EVER. The first thing you need to know about this show is that it’s perfect. The animation is beautiful, the dress and character design is delicate and detailed, the plot is interesting, it has drama, love, magic and action. And despite the fact that it was made over 15 years ago it has one the best female and queer representation I have ever seen in a show. Seriously, over four characters are openly queer.
CCS tells the story of Sakura, a young girl who discovers an old book in her basement that when opened accidentally releases magical cards into the world. Now Sakura must become master of cards and catch them all to protect the natural order of magic. To do so she has her best friend Tomoyo and her assistant, a plushie-like creature named Kero. The show is able to weave into the plot amazing ideals about friendship, family and bravery. And despite the fact that Sakura can be clumsy and be easily scared she always rises to the occasion, making a her a wonderful heroine to admire.
I hope I persuaded you into watching one of these. Let me know below what “weird” shows do you enjoy?