Top 3 anime series that will change your life
As winter comes steadily along, it is once again the season to stay at home, have a nice cuppa and relax with a good show. Besides the usual fare you get on telly, or a movie on Netflix, maybe it’s time to try something new like anime. For those who don’t know, anime is Japanese animation and it’s not just for kids – good anime series often tell stories with lessons about life, love, family and friendship. In fact, the most epic anime series may just change your view on life. Sceptical? I’ve listed the top three of epic, life-changing anime series so you can go and verify my claim…
Neon Genesis Evangelion
If you’ve watched Pacific Rim then you’ll be familiar with the mecha genre, science fiction fantasy that centres on the control of machines by humans. Set in an apocalyptic Tokyo, giant bio-machines called Evangelion are piloted by humans whose nervous systems are synchronised to the control mechanism, in order to defeat ‘Angels’, giant monsters who can wipe out humanity. NGE follows teenage pilot, Shinji, exploring his interactions with other pilots and their emotions as they try to prevent another catastrophe. Heavy with religious undertones and references to characters’ psychological problems, this is a dark humanistic series that will definitely kick you out of your comfort zone.
It would be unjust to not include the bestselling manga of all time in this list. One Piece is highly successful and popular worldwide, and its anime adaption is not lacking either. As the leader of the pirate genre in manga, One Piece is all about chasing your dreams, trusting in your comrades, and epic music scores. Its characters are quirky and all have crazy dreams such as being the Pirate King, the greatest swordsman, drawing a map of the entire world, etc. But when one chases dreams, one grows – and you’ll feel yourselves growing along with these loveable (okay, maybe not all) characters as the series goes on.
Gintama is a mixture of sci-fi, pseudo-historical and comedy, which is set in an alien-invaded Edo (nowadays Tokyo). The main character is a nose-picking, good-for-nothing freelancer, who used to be one of the strongest samurai rebels against the alien invasion and the subsequent surrender of the government. His partners in mischief are his apprentice in samurai-ness and a teenage girl from one of the strongest alien clans in space. Gintama has no straightforward plot, with samurai being relics of the past, the main characters go about their daily lives usually in poverty, but occasionally pick up jobs that result in epic stories to save a prefecture or even the Shogun (Japanese Emperor). With jokes about character designs and the usual toilet humour, it is sometimes difficult to take Gintama seriously. But in fact, this is what Gintama’s message is – despite the serious arcs and how dark the past or present or future is – you’ve just got to laugh at life.
The Bottom Line: Watch NGE for understanding complex human interaction, One Piece for how to live out your dreams and Gintama for how to live on even after your dreams have been broken. If you’re still sceptical about how life-changing anime can be, take a leap of faith this winter and see for yourself.