For a show that largely revolves around the magic powers of a penguin shaped hat, Mawaru Penguindrum actually leaves you with a lot to think about. It has a strange mix of fantasy and reality, wrapped up in a visually stunning package that is thematically complex and full of symbolism. Whilst not without some pretty major flaws, this is an ambitious show that for the most part is great fun to watch.
When it comes to anime shows about large robots fighting, you won’t be looking around the genre long before you come across Code Geass. In fact, if you’re looking for recommendations in general then this is a name you’re likely to hear even before someone tells you to watch Death Note or Fullmetal Alchemist. Code Geass is already a classic, and it’s one you probably won’t want to miss.
Tatsuhiro Satou isn’t your ordinary protagonist. In fact, Welcome to the N.H.K isn’t your ordinary anime. It’s firmly based in reality, a crushing reality where things don’t work out and people are unhappy. It’s still a fun, charming and likeable show, but its characters have some serious problems and when they try and overcome them it isn’t easy. I’m not sure if there’s an opposite to Deus Ex Machina, but if there was then this would be it. Welcome to the N.H.K.
I think we can all agree that, on occasion, we might rely on our mobile phones a little too much. I’d probably rely on mine slightly more if it had access to ¥10, and Juiz; the concierge who can fulfil any request, for a price. Eden of The East is, at its best, a digital fable that ambitiously tries to mix science and romance, and it might have succeeded if it wasn’t for a few major flaws.
Another is a horror anime that descends into slasher territory, starting slow and ending with murderous violence. I was drawn in by an appealing mix of suspense and atmosphere, but as the mystery turns into chaos it’s clear to see that it leaves a lot to be desired in its execution.
Gankutsuou is a modern retelling of a classic story. Adapted from Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, Gonzo’s 24 episode anime takes some fantastic source material and turns much of it on its head, whilst retaining most of the brilliance found in the French novel. The result is a visually spectacular anime with the thematic complexities of one of the greatest revenge stories ever told.