Monthly Archives: November 2016

Anime Recommendations

I promised some people to remind them about some anime recommendations I made, so I figure I may as well make these recommendations to everyone. Some of these are classics, some are new. I’ve added (legal) links to some of these telling you where you can buy it or watch it.

I started this list in April and still haven’t finished fleshing it out. Maybe I will at some point, but for now, I think the titles may stand on their own for further research.

Outlaw Star

Some people have said that Joss Whedon drew inspiration from Outlaw Star when writing Firefly but I’ve not seen any real sources on the matter. That should tell you something about the anime though: a group of ragtag outlaws on a ship trying to make enough money to keep going while making a name for themselves who find themselves on a quest to find the Celestial Leyline. Throw in some ancient magic and ships fighting with arms instead of guns and I was sold. I originally bought this on eBay from China when I was at university and I’ve been hooked ever since – I don’t know how many times I’ve watched it and I can’t describe how it feels to find someone else who’s seen it as they appear to be somewhat rare. You can get it on Amazon.

Cowboy Bebop

Much like Outlaw Star, Cowboy Bebop centers around a group of people taking on what jobs they can to make enough money to feed themselves and refuel the ship. I think Cowboy Bebop is actually closer to Firefly than Outlaw Star is in a lot of ways, and it’s certainly more of a cult classic than Outlaw Star is. The focus of Cowboy Bebop is around chasing bounties and the character arcs tend to give people the feels. Too soon. You can get it on Amazon (and can currently watch it on Netflix).


Okay, so I’m a Gundam head – I like most Gundam shows I’ve watched and I now watch them religiously as new seasons come out (for the most part). My favourites (in no particular order) are noted below, but you can find some of these on YouTube for free on the official GundamInfo channel.

Gundam 00

Written in a similar vein to Gundam Wing, Gundam 00 centers around Celestial Being, an organisation dedicated to eradicating war. They’ve been preparing for two centuries, building the Gundams in secret and now they’ve announced themselves to the world in a series of interventions. The Gundams, beyond any mobile suit the warring super-nations have produced, are meant to help unify the world and eradicate war. Obviously things don’t always go to plan and there are a series of upsets as things go awry. It’s an excellent series that I much prefer to Wing at least in part due to Setsuna being less annoying than Heero.

Gundam Build Fighters

Written by the same writer as Gundam 00, Gundam Build Fighters is obviously a technique to sell more Gunpla[1] but the plot is strong and engaging – as is the action. In some ways, Gundam Build Fighters is an avenue for people to ask “which would win in a fight? Wing Gundam or Strike Gundam?” It’s been described as “Gundam Valhalla” due to the number of “cameos” where characters in GBF bear a striking familiarity to those in other Gundam shows. The basic premise is that a company called PPSE has developed a particle that can be used to move the plastic that Gunpla are made from and have then further developed this to create battle systems that allow people to fight with the custom Gunpla they’ve built. The series covers the journey of Sei Iori and Reiji as they go from local tournaments all the way to the world stage. You can watch it for free on YouTube.


Humanity colonised Mars then there were a bunch of wars between nations and a group now known as Gjallarhorn created the Gundams and other technological advantages to enforce peace and stabilise space. Many year later, the Gundams have been mothballed and Gjallarhorn has become corrupt. The story follows a group of Martian orphans who have been implanted with Alaya-Vijnana technology allowing them to operate mobile weapons as if they were their own body – this is what gets them employment and allows them to keep eating. They take over the group, rename it, and strike out on their own with not much more than the old Gundam suit they used to use as a power generator and tank-like mobile weapons. As they travel to Earth escorting Kudelia Aina Bernstein, they start making a name for themselves and stirring change for the better. You can watch it for free on Daisuki.

Gundam SEED

Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny, its sequel series are the classic Gundam story. The Gundam series has many universes but the one that seems most classic to me is the Cosmic Era[2]. You have the Earth Alliance on one side (most Earth nations under one banner) and ZAFT on the other (an alliance of space colonies). The colonies are largely populated by Coordinators (humans with enhanced abilities), while Earth is largely baseline human – this forms one of the core conflicts between the two. The story follows Kira Yamato, a Coordinator who ends up fighting with the Earth Alliance while trying to find a path to peace without killing. There are Gundams on both sides of the conflict (though what GUNDAM stands for does depend on who made the suit[3]). SEED Destiny changes the primary characters but has similar arcs and continues the story as a whole. You can get it on Amazon.

Other Gundam series

I’m not going to go other all of these in depth as they’re not so much on my favourites lists and I’ve already talked about a lot of Gundam stuff at length so here’s some short stuff:

  • Gundam Wing: The first Gundam series I saw (on Toonami of all places), it’s what got me hooked. I’d still recommend people watch it, and I still love the Deathscythe, but it’s been displaced from my favourites.
  • Gundam Unicorn: An OVA in the Universal Century timeline, it’s an interesting take on Gundams and how they should be used. You can watch it for free on Daisuki.
  • Gundam AGE: Featuring an evolving Gundam, I liked watching Gundam AGE but I find I don’t care to rewatch it as much. I especially like the second arc of the story which tells the story of three generations of Gundam pilots.
  • Gundam Build Fighters Try: The sequel series to Gundam Build Fighters follows a team of students competing in a similar tournament. I like it, but I don’t rewatch it as much as I do GBF. You can watch it for free on YouTube.

The Asterisk War

Humanity has evolved and people are now capable of harnessing prana to do magic/magic-like effects often channeled through weapons known as Lux. There are six major schools dedicated to teaching people to use their abilities, and they regularly host tournaments between each other. The winner of the tournament gets to ask for whatever they most desire as a prize. It’s a pretty typical shonen anime in that there’s one male protagonist who has a bunch of pretty girls fawning over him, but it’s got a good story and some nice swordfighting. Found it by accident on Daisuki and the first season is mid-release at time of writing. You can join me in watching it for free at Daisuki.

Cross Ange

People have discovered the ability to manipulate mana to enhance their lives and technology. It’s become an everyday part of life, and those who can’t use it (and in fact destroy it when they touch it) are considered vile inhuman people and are taken away as soon as they’re discovered. The assumption was that they were killed, but they’re actually taken to a remote island as Princess Angelika discovers when it becomes apparent that she (unknown to herself) is one of them. On the island, they’re trained to use jet-bikes that can turn into mecha and fight dragons from an alternate reality while dressed in the most revealing flight suits imaginable. It’s pretty amazing.

Full Metal Alchemist

The Seven Deadly Sins

Currently on Netflix.

Fairy Tail

Currently on Netflix.

Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic

Currently on Netflix.

Code Geass

Currently on Netflix.

Death Note

Currently on Netflix.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Gundam plastic model kits
2. The actual classic timeline is Universal Century, and Cosmic Era is noted for its similarities
3. Technically in CE, GUNDAM refers to the operating system used to control the suit and most of the advanced features of the suits could be applied to other mobile suits if they could be easily mass-produced or controlled – hence the need for an advanced and specialised OS