Thursday, 30 January 2014

Anime to begin with...

As of the past two weeks or so I've had about eight (I know! Social interaction!) or so people ask me to recommend them some anime to watch/start off with. Those of you that know me in real life will know that I'm an avid anime and manga fan and I will be more than happy to discuss my favourites with you. If you are already a fan and want something else to watch, check out my anime list here

I'm sure not too many people will be interested in this post, but for those of you that are.. let the obsession begin. This is just a very short list of the anime I like to recommend to people who may not really like anime or that want to start watching anime but have no idea where to begin. I hope some of you anime fans out there will agree with me. I've not included any films in this list, but if you are interested, I can make that list for another day. I've also included my thoughts on the dubbed (english) versions, if there are any.

(I will also warn you that this is basically me babbling on about plotlines and bad subs/dubs and most of this post is just my thoughts and excitement poured onto this webpage)

1. Fullmetal Alchemist & Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

One of my all time favourite anime. I'll be really surprised if you haven't at least heard of Fullmetal Alchemist before I've made this post. I know it's kind of cheating as this is technically two series, but I think we can all let things slide a little for this master piece. For those of you who don't know, Fullmetal Alchemist was a series that began when the manga was still being published. The first 25 episodes or so are an almost exact replica of the manga, but from episode 25 onwards (where they caught up to the manga) the story differs greatly. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an EXACT replica of the manga. This makes the first 10 episodes of Brotherhood nearly exactly the same as the first 25 episodes of the first series. I figured I should let ya'll know this before any of you get confused.

I would recommend watching Fullmetal Alchemist first as it was made first, so starting with it makes things a little more authentic. Most people tend to enjoy Brotherhood a little more (I sure did) because of it's manga like qualities so I would save that for last so you're not too bored with the original anime. To be honest, I hated the subbed version of Brotherhood. Go ahead and watch the Japanese version for the original anime (it's pretty awesome!) but please watch Brotherhood in English! I believe the subbed version was pretty terrible because they mixed and swapped voice actors around that they used for the original anime, making it incredibly confusing if you've watched the subbed version of the first series. And we all know how amazing FMA is in english. I would even say it's my favourite dub of all time.

The basic plot line for both of the series follow the story of Edward Elric (voiced by Romi Park and Vic Mignogna) and his younger brother Alphonse Elric (voiced by Rie Kugimiya, Aaron Dismuke and later Maxey Whitehead). Edward and Alphonse live in the country of Amestris (that suspiciously resembles Germany) where Alchemy is used on an every day basis. After an accident when they were children, which left Edward with an auto mail arm and leg, and left Alphonse's soul in a suit of armour, they are travelling to find the mysterious Philosophers stone to repair and retrieve Edwards body parts and Aplhonse's body. As their story progresses Edward joins the military as a state Alchemist so he can gain access to more information of the Philosophers stone. I don't want to say too much else without spoiling it for you, so just go ahead and watch it, seriously. I almost forgot to mention that there is some of the most wonderfully bad-ass and beautiful female characters in both Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, so if you're a feminist such as myself, you'll surely love them!

2. Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)

I'm sure you've all heard of this. I was lucky enough to jump on the Attack on Titan (often referred to as SnK) band-wagon just before the anime started airing back on the 6th of April 2013. I'm so pleased that I got to watch as every episode aired, watching the fandom grow with each episode. As I introduced this anime to a few friends, I was very glad to see they all enjoyed it as much as I hoped they would. This anime can only be watched subbed as it hasn't been dubbed yet (though I'm feeling very skeptical about any dub that is attempted).

Basically, the story is set in medieval times and we follow the life of Eren Yaeger, his adopted sister Mikasa Ackermen and their child-hood friend Armin Arlert. 100 years prior to the beginning of the story, giant human-like creatures called Titans nearly wiped out the human population. The remaining humans now live inside three huge concrete walls that surround their country. The humans have lived in peace within these walls for the past 100 years. That is until the titans returned. We follow Eren on his journey through this horrible time of famine and death. The first five minutes of the first episode will give you a general idea of what the following 23 episodes will be like, and you will love every minute of it. 

3. Soul Eater

Ahhh Soul Eater. Again, one of my all time favourites. This anime features a range of colourful and crazy characters (including a creepy laughing sun and moon) that get you pumped for any challenges or obstacles the protagonists are facing next. This anime adaption defers greatly from the manga, so if you really enjoy it, I would recommend reading the manga as well! I personally really enjoyed the dubbed version of Soul Eater, though I know many fans of the subbed version did not like it at all. In comparison to the subbed version, there are some characters in the dub that are honestly terribly done but overall, I think the range of different voices Funimation has used for this anime worked incredibly well. 

The story takes place at Death Weapon Meister Academy (the DWMA for short) which is located in Death city.  The school is run by none other than Death himself (shinigami) and he trains humans that have the ability to transform into weapons or those who have the ability to wield those weapons. We follow the story of Maka Albarn who wields her scythe partner Soul Eater Evans, Black Star- a self proclaimed assassin who wields his multi-function weapon Tsubaki Nakatsukasa and none other then Death's offspring himself, Death the Kid who wields two weapons- sisters that transform into pistols- Liz and Patty.  These teenagers are as skilled as they come at the DWMA and will continue to surprise you with their skills and action sequences. Now if that introduction to the main characters doesn't interest you, I don't know what will.

4. Fairy Tail

This isn't what you think it is. I've recommended this to so many people over the years and most of the time their reaction usually includes some exclamation about fairies and stories that we all heard to many times as kids. Which really has nothing to do with it. Fairy Tail is set in a land that is populated by humans, celestial spirits, dragons, exceeds, magical beings and giant beasts (if it's magical, you'll be sure to find it there). Whilst I love majority of the english casting for the dub, the voice of one of the main characters, Lucy Heartfilia (Cherami Leigh), was a little too much for me. Don't get me wrong, I love Cherami Leigh in many other things such as Patty in Soul Eater, but Lucy in Fairy Tail was a little too unbearable for me.

We begin with Lucy who is a seventeen year old celestial wizard who runs away from home to join Fairy Tail, a famous magical guild that is known for it's destructive, powerful and loud wizards. One her travels she meets a boy named Natsu Dragneel and his flying blue cat named Happy. Natsu and Happy are planning to travel to the land of Fiore together to search for Natsu's foster parent, who disappeared many years earlier. Now this is kind of a spoiler, but once Lucy has joined Fairy Tail we get to meet an incredibly amount of amazing wizards, all with different powers or specialities. The story continues following Lucy and Natsu on their travels, continuously facing battles with a large range of antagonists. 

5. Ouran High School Host Club (OHSHC)

I thought I better add some shoujo anime to this list of mostly shounen anime. I'm sure many boys right now (I don't even know if many boys read our blog) will be quite skeptical at this point. Ouran seems like a typical girly anime full of fan-service to please the ladies. I'm not going to lie. This anime is full of anything and everything to get female viewers to laugh and giggle, but I assure you, boys will also enjoy this hilarious anime. Just try not to take anything seriously. I'll admit that the first time I watched this anime I was very skeptical. It didn't seem like the kind of anime I'm generally interested in, especially considering it's comedic aspects. But really? A reverse harem anime? I can't even remember what made me watch Ouran in the first place (I think it was possibly the promise of Vic Mignogna as the leading male), but I'm so glad I did. If you are considering watching Ouran, I would recommend the dub. As with everything on this list that has a dub, I've watched both the sub and dub. Whilst I enjoyed Ouran subbed, I think the hilarity of the Funimation voice actors present in the dub make it a tiny bit more enjoyable.

Haruhi Fujioka is a commoner who receives a scholarship to the prestigious Ouran Academy. One afternoon, Haruhi is looking for a quiet place to study when she stumbles across the seemingly abandoned third music room. Once inside the music room she discovers the Ouran Host Club. The Host club is a group of six male students that gather to entertain female "clients" (don't worry it's just tea serving and cake). Haruhi accidentally knocks of a vase which is worth $80,000 (8 million yen) and she must repay the Host Club with services to the club. Because of her appearance, Haruhi is mistaken for a male student by the members of the host club and they quickly agree that she would make a fine host, hence becoming the newest member of the host club. 

And that's about it for my top 5 recommended starter anime. I would also like to make an honourable mention to Death Note, though I figured most people have seen or at least heard of Death Note by now. Please let me know of any other anime/manga related posts you want to see in the future (or if you think I shouldn't do them)

Thank you for reading everyone! Love from Maddie xx


  1. Ohhhh I love this!!!! I've never really go into anime because it's so overwhelming, and there's so many!!!! Thank you! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. You've watched a lot of anime! Thanks for this, not I can actually watch something other than Avatar the last airbender!

    1. I like to think I've watched a fair few :') No problem anonymous!

  3. Such an amazing post!! I've watched SNK, Ouran and Soul Eater but I think now, after reading your post, I'm giving a chance for FMA (I'd like to watch Fairy Tail too but I guess I'm too lazy, I heard that it has a lot of episodes, right?). I don't know if you watched Code Geass, Durarara and Another but I think they would be great options for begginers too! Love your blog <3

    1. Thanks Anonymous! Fairy Tail has a fair few, but if you catch up now I'm sure it wouldn't be an issue! I've watched and loved Code Geass, Durarara and Another! I would have to agree with you on that! Thank you so much!

  4. YAY MADDIE YAY! Omgeee this post made me so happy! I went to the link of your other anime list and we've watched so many of the same ones! Eeee I wish we could have a binge watching party and stay up for like a week straight watching them all together. ;) Wahaha that would be so fun. I guess that's one of my favorite parts of being out of college and having (for the first time in ten years) a break from working full time --- I can stay up until like 5AM watching anime if I want! HEH HEH. I am currently watching Fairy Tail for the first time and I love it! I just finished going through Clannad and Clannad After Story again. UGH the soundtrack is so beautiful. <3 <3 <3 Josh and I are watching Case Closed right now too, but we are nowhere near finishing!

    Ah anyways, lovely post as always! Hehe I hope your letter comes soon so I can write you back! YAY! :)

    1. YAY I'M SO GLAD IT MADE YOU HAPPY JENNY! OOh that's so exciting! I know! That would actually be so amazing! Gotta love having an anime binge hahaha. I'm so glad you love it too! Oh gosh Clannad and Clannad After Story always get the water works going don't they!? I've never watched Case Closed *adds onto the 'to watch' list*. Thank you so much for always being active and supportive of our blog! I hope it arrives soon too! Stephanie received hers so hopefully yours isn't too far away! xx