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Episode Count: 50
Saya Otonashi has been living the life of an anemic and amnesiac with her adoptive family, but otherwise ordinary schoolgirl. Her way of life changes when she is attacked by a chiropteran which are bat-like creatures that live by feeding on human blood, and generally possess extraordinary speed, strength, and supernatural healing abilities. She quickly learns that she is the only one who can defeat them. Wielding a special katana, she can cut her finger with the blade, allowing it to absorb her blood, giving it the power to eradicate chiropterans. Armed with her katana, Saya embarks on a journey with her family, allies, and her chevalier, Haji, to rid the world of chiropterans and rediscover her lost memories. The course of the journey reveals the background history of the chiropterans and Saya’s very deep past, which extends into the mid-19th century.
The show is initially set in Okinawa City on Okinawa Island, however, Saya travels around the world slaying chiropterans wherever needed. Throughout the series, Chiropterans are shown surviving heavy gunfire, long falls, being buried under buildings, and small explosions. Chiropterans are created from the blood of one of the two queens. In this respect, the queens blood are poisonous to each other, such that introduction of another queen’s blood into a chiropteran’s bloodstream begets a deadly chain-reaction, wherein the chriopteran’s blood crystallizes.
There are some pretty cool fight scenes wherein Saya grows more powerful, as do her opponents. Without spoiling too much, you should just watch the show for yourself and discover Saya’s mysterious past.
Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou
Episode Count: 12
Also known as Demon King Daimao, this show is set in a furutistic and magical year 3000. Despite it’s 12 episodes, this series is filled with action. The main character, Sai Akuto, is a young man who wants to become part of his country’s highest order of magicians and contribute to society. He is enrolled in a magic school to further his education. On his way to the school, he meets a young woman named Junko Hattori and they become friends. On the day he is admitted to the Constant Magical Academy, he takes an aptitude test. Much like the Sorting Hat from the Harry Potter series, students stand in front of a little bird and he will tell you what your future occupation is. When Sai stands before the bird, his future occupation is “Demon Lord”.
This causes great commotion and people start freaking out as Yata-Garasu, the artificial spirit bird, has never made an incorrect prediction. One hundred years ago, a war threw the world into fear and chaos as the previous demon lord attempted to destroy the world using an army of demons. All of the students now fear Sai and his friend Junko is angry with him. He meets a young man named Hiroshi Miwa, a self described minion to Sai. Despite Sai’s disapproval of having a ‘minion’, they become friends. His future occupation was predicted as “Hero”. This of course foreshadows a lot.
Now the most known person in school, and probably the world, Sai just wants to go to school and ignores the prediction, claiming he will be who he wants to be. Without revealing too much about the show, it is pretty good as the plot unravels. You can watch it at Crunchyroll.
Episode Count: 167 + (26 in The Final Act)
Whether or not you have seen InuYasha, it is likely that you have heard of it, and for good reason. InuYasha is a pretty popular show with powerful demons, magic, sweet fighting scenes, and romance. Kagome Higarashi was living a normal life as a junior high student in Tokyo. She lives at an ancient shrine with her mother, younger brother, and grandfather. One day her cat Buyo wanders into the enshrined Bone Eaters Well. Kagome enters the well house to retrieve her cat when the demon Mistress Centipede bursts from the well and drags Kagome into it.
She emerges in a strange land unaware that she has just traveled back in time to the feudal era of Japan. The only recognizable landmarks are the well and Goshinboku, an ancient tree. As she wanders around the forest, she discovers a sleeping man with silvery-white hair and dog ears sealed to tree with an arrow. As she attempts to remove the arrow, it disintegrates and the man wakes up. He is Inuyasha, a half demon who was sealed to the tree 50 years ago by the powerful priestess Kikyo.
Kagome is frequently mistaken for Kikyo as she resembles her so much. Later, in the nearby town, Lady Kaede, Kikyo’s younger sister, explains that Kagome must be Kikyo’s reincarnation. Kagome learns of the Shikon Jewel which grants immense power to any demon who weilds it, and that demons have sought the jewel ever since it’s creation, Inuyasha included. When a demon crow takes posession of the jewel, it transforms and begins to fly off with the jewel. Inuyasha chases after it with Kagome and tells her if she really is Kikyo’s reincarnation, then she should be able to shoot the bird with an arrow, as Kikyo was an expert marksman. Unable to take the bird down, she ties it’s claw to an arrow and fires. As the claw wishes to return to it’s body to regenerate, the arrow is precisely guided to the crow and when the arrow makes contact, the jewel is shattered into thousands of pieces. Even a single shard of the Shikon Jewel will grant great power, Kagome’s journey to gather all of the shards and protect the jewel as Kikyo did has begun. She sets off with Inuyasha to restore the jewel to its complete state.
The two gain allies along the way such as a demon fox, Shippo, a perverted monk, Miroku, and a demon hunter, Sango. Without going too much further into the story, the stories of each character run pretty deep and the show is pretty awesome. Check it out.
The show ended in 2004 and pissed a lot of people off because the manga continued. Finally after 5 years, they continued the anime and finished the story for good in InuYasha: The Final Act.
Episode Count: 220
I am sure you have heard of this epic show, and if you haven’t, you are either very new to anime or you live under a rock. Naruto is a show about ninjas with some crazy powers. Naruto has 220 episodes before they do a time skip of a couple of years and the new series is named Naruto Shippuden. The show is about a kid named Naruto Uzumaki who is basically the town pariah of the Hidden Leaf village. He is a complete goof with virtually no power who goes around causing mischief. His foolish behavior is the result of being hated, all he wants is to be noticed, unfortunately, his actions naturally cause more grief toward him. In their world, a ninja is classified as a Genin, Chunin, or a Jounin depending on their skill and ability. When a ninja graduates the Genin training school, they are put into a team of 3 Genin and a Jounin captain where they are deployed on missions, also ranked based on difficulty.
A ninja molds Chakra with hand signs to perform Ninjutsu, basically special abilities, Genjutsu, surreal hypnosis, or Taijutsu, hand to hand combat. Depending on their clan or ancestory, they may inherit abilities unique to their clan. For example the members of the Uchiha clan have a special ocular jutsu known as the Sharingan, which grants them the ability to pretty much see anything that is happening, no matter how fast. Later in the show the Sharingan actually has intense abilities and power. There are other bloodline traits inherited that are pretty awesome.
Naruto is put on Team 7 with Sakura Haruno, Sasuke Uchiha, their sensei Kakashi Hatake. Needless to say Sasuke and Sakura pretty much hate Naruto. Throughout their missions Naruto proves himself to be a very interesting and strong kid. As it turns out, he is a Jinchuuriki, someone who has a demon sealed inside of them which grants him insane power. His demon gives him some of his chakra when his life is in danger. This demon is known as the Kyuubi, a nine-tailed fox with limitless chakra that once nearly destroyed the Hidden Leaf. Few people know of this event, and those that do are sworn to secrecy and are charged with treason should they speak of it.
If you plan on watching this show, prepare yourself for some fillers, because it’s full of them. But aside from those, there are several movies and an amazing storyline.
Episode Count: 200… ongoing
After the time skip, Naruto returns to town after having trained with one of the legendary Sannin, Jiraiya, for several years. There are 3 Sannin in the world of Naruto who were granted this title after surviving an arduous battle with Hanzo of the Salamander, the leader of the Hidden Rain village during the last Ninja World War. Naruto meets Konohamaru, the third Hokage’s grandson, shortly after returning to the village.
Upon meeting, they begin to show each other what they have learned since they last met. Konahamaru performs his version of Naruto’s Harem Jutsu and turns himself into a sexy naked girl. Sakura is pissed as she watches. Naruto scoffs and tells him he has a lot to learn. Sakura is impressed thinking that Naruto has grown up some until he busts out his new Harem Jutsu. She punches him in the face.
After his meet and greet with all of his friends. He learns that Gaara, a former enemy of the leaf and fellow Jinchuuriki, has become the Kazekage of the Hidden Sand village. After Naruto defeated him during the Chunin Exam saga, they became friends. Gaara has been kidnapped by a group of rogue ninja known as the Akatsuki. Naruto heads out to rescue him with some of his fellow ninja from the training school.
There is no question that Naruto has become much more powerful since he has been training with Jiraiya. Their main goal was for him to learn how to control the Kyuubi’s chakra.
The show is pretty far along so if you haven’t watched it yet, you will have a lot of insane fight scenes and an awesome in-depth story to follow as Naruto continues to grow more powerful and saves the village from sheer destruction. Very strong rivals appear and threaten the world leaving Naruto to become a hero and save the world. And like Naruto, Shippuden has some fillers as well, so prepare yourself.
Episode Count: 26
Samurai Champloo is a show about samurais in the Edo Period of Japan. The series actually blends with modern references which makes it pretty awesome. There is a hip-hop element, gangsters, rappers, beat-boxers, etc… One episode is actually about a group of taggers who go around doing graffiti and such, but I digress.
Fuu, a young woman, is working in a tea shop when she is harassed by some samurai. A mysterious samurai with a short temper and barbaric personality enters the shop. Mugen offers to get rid of the samurai in exchange for some food but instigates a brawl instead. During this scrap, Jin, a young ronin enters the shop. He ends up in a fight with Mugen and they both ignore the fact that the shop is on fire. They pass out due to smoke inhalation and when they wake up, they have been arrested for murdering a man during their battle.
With no other options, they accept the aid of Fuu, who helps them in a flashy escape right before they are executed. In exchange for saving their lives, the manages to force them to help her look for “the samurai who smells of sunflowers” who she can give very little description of. In addition to their task of accompanying her, they promise not to fight each other until they find this mysterious samurai.
As I mentioned before, the hip-hop culture makes the show pretty sweet and funny at times. There is a lot of action, blood, and gore. Definitely one of my favorites.
Episode Count: 26
s-CRY-ed takes place in Japan, no surprise there… in the future with advanced technology and mysteries powers. There was an uprising in the Earth known as “The Great Uprising” in the Kanagawa Prefecture where the earth shot up out of the ground creating a massive plateau. This strange phenomenon caused 1% of newborns in this region to be born with special powers and they are known as “Alter” users; though, this number rises as the series progresses.
Basically, they break down matter around them and use it to activate their unique abilities. An Alter user is classified based on their level of power. Naturally, with the arrival of these new beings, the government stepped in to control them. There are Native Alters, and HOLY, a group of Alters who work for the government of the Mainland’s on the Lost Ground as a subgroup of HOLD, the super police force. HOLY is used for special operations as the combat the Native Alters when they cause trouble.
The main character of the series is named Kazuma, a man who lives as a Native Alter who doesn’t really have a purpose other than to counter HOLD and HOLY as they unjustly treat Natives. His rival is Ryuhou, who works for HOLY. They constantly find themselves fighting each other and have opposite personalities.
Kazuma’s alter transforms his right arm into this mechanical looking claw which he calls the “Shell Bullet”. Like a gun, it has ‘ammo’ so to speak, which has 3 shots. It is like an intense punch with great power. Ryuhou’s alter summons this being he calls “Zetsuei” which has great speed and fighting strength. It uses flexible ribbons to attack and defend. Both of their alters progress to more powerful states throughout the show. Their bitter rivalry drives the plot.
During one of their encounters, as their insane powers clash, they blast open a gateway to a parallel universe, which is the source of all alter powers. This event causes another uprising and attracts a lot of attention from the Mainland’s government. As a result, they send an agent, Kyouji Mujo, to the Lost Ground in an attempt to exploit this parallel universe for economic gain.
The plot is aweome, the fight scenes are awesome, every character is awesome, in some way; to sum it all up, s-CRY-ed is awesome. If you haven’t seen it, please watch it, it’s worth your time. I might even rewatch it after writing this recommendation.
Episode Count: 26
Trigun is an interesting show set in the distant future blended with the old west. This space western scene is simply amazing. When Earth’s civilization has used up all of her resources, they are forced to find a new inhabitable planet. The entire population leaves in massive space ships on this grand journey. Each ship has a crew which operate the ship while the rest of the citizens are in cryostasis. Somehow, there was a mass system failure and most of the population was lost, however, some were saved when they crash landed on a desert planet. Due to this horrible ‘accident’, the people are forced to colonize this planet and their technological advancements are set back to the times of the old west. This is where the story begins.
A man kown as Vash The Stampede is the main character if this series. He is an insane marksman with a bounty of $$60,000,000,000, (thats, sixty billion double dollars) on his head. Accompanying him are two members of the Bernardelli Insurance Society and occasionally a priest named Nicholas D. Wolfwood, another extreme gunfighter with a mysterious past.
While Vash may be the most wanted man in the world, the bounty on his head totally does not reflect his personality or nature. He is a hilariously goofy man with the heart of a gold. All he wants it to save lives with non-lethal force. He never shoots to kill and never misses his mark. The show follows him as he traverses planet Gunsmoke helping those in need and trying to uncover his mysterious past. While his personality leaves him to be the comic relief character, Vash has a serious side. His ridiculous gunfighting skills make this show amazing. A strange group shows up and causes problems for Vash along the way. The plot is pretty awesome too.