Saturday, 13 December 2014

Revisiting anime classics

If you regularly read this blog you'll know that I've spent the past six or so weeks recovering from spinal surgery and naturally, I decided to spend that time re-watching a bunch of 'older' anime. I know a lot of people that read my anime & manga posts have only recently started watching anime or want to start watching anime, so I thought I would make a bog post featuring some of my favourite anime 'classics'. Just a note, these series are what I would personally call an anime classic, so series that are a little older, that continue to be popular today, that are generally enjoyable and they're a great way to be introduced to anime! I also won't be including films in this list, I can make a post about that another time if anyone's interested. Be sure to check out my anime and manga lists if you're looking for something new to watch!

1. Cardcaptor Sakura (Manga: 1996-2000 // Anime: 1998-2000)

If you watch anime, you've probably watched Cardcaptor Sakura and even if you don't watch anime, you've probably already watched this as a kid. Cardcaptor Sakura is arguably CLAMP's most popular and successful series to date, and it's pretty obvious why. The art is amazing, the story is interesting, the characters are loveable, the development of both the plot and characters is spectacular, the music is fantastic... you get the idea. I've already mentioned this series on the blog before (you can read that particular post here) and that's where this brief summary is from: "Sakura Kinomoto is your average ten year old elementary school student- she hates maths but loves her friends, sports and food. Everything in Sakura's simple life get's a lot more dangerous and exciting when she accidentally awakens a set of magical cards known as the Clow cards. Each Clow card has been named and created by the powerful sorcerer Clow Reed (any CLAMP fan will easily recognise this name!) When activated, each card takes it's own form and has it's very own abilities. Sakura and her friends Tomoyo Daidouji and Syaoran Li must capture and defeat all the cards before they wreck havoc on their fictional city, Tomoeda". If you're wanting to re-live your childhood by watching Cardcaptor Sakura, I urge you to watch the series in Japanese and if you've watched the seriously horrible English dub before- you know why. Trust me when I say that Cardcaptor Sakura is not just for kids, it's enjoyed by people of all different ages and provides a timeless story that will surely find a special place in your heart. 

2. Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (Manga: 1991-1997 // Original anime: 1992-1997 // ONA:  2014-)

I have so much love for Sailor Moon and I obviously wasn't going to be writing this list without it. I could honestly go on for hours and hours about how much I love both the manga and original anime but I'm sure you guys would grow sick and tired of that very quickly. The Sailor Moon franchise boasts a beautiful, well-loved manga series, an original anime, three films, fantastic original soundtracks, 31 musicals (consisting of over 800 performances), a wide range of merchandise, an original net animation (Sailor Moon Crystal) and millions of fans from all over the world. Sailor Moon is undoubtedly one of the most popular anime series of all time and definitely the most popular within the magical girl (mahou-shoujo) genre to date. This is another series that people are a little hesitant to watch (if they've never watched it before or only watched as a child) because it's considered a "kids series".  Sure, the original anime can be a little childish  (especially when watched in the original english dub) but once you get past the first season everything gets that much more darker and a lot more interesting. I encourage everyone to read the Sailor Moon manga as that really wasn't intended for children and is the best place to begin your Sailor Moon journey.

3. Cowboy Bebop (Manga: 1997-1998 // Anime: 1998-1999 // Manga: 1998-2000)

I've only recently watched Cowboy Bebop and I'm so sad I didn't bother watching it until now. This series really is all it's cracked up to be. We're first introduced to the very popular protagonist, Spike Segal, a former hitman for the criminal Red Dragon Sydicate along with his partner, Jet Black- a retired ISSP officer who lost his arm during a mob hit. Spike and Jet travel around the galaxy together on Jet's spaceship, Bebop and throughout the series the two are eventually accompanied by three new characters; Ein- a genetically engineered and incredibly intelligent Welsh Corgi, Faye Valentine- a con artist who suffers from amnesia and Edward- a pre-teen female who just so happens to be a very skilled computer hacker. The story focuses on the various shenanigans and adventures that the crew manages to get involved in, along with a whole bunch of bounty-hunter quests. This series will seriously be enjoyed by anyone, anime fan or not, and I highly recommend it! 

5. Revolutionary Girl Utena (Manga: 1996-1997 // Anime: 1997-1997)

Revolutionary Girl Utena is probably most famous for it's feminist protagonist and story line. I'm actually currently watching it and I can see why it's considered a classic by so many anime fans. The director, Kinihiko Ikuhara is actually well known for his work on Sailor Moon, along with Revolutionary Girl Utena and his more recent works including Mawaru Penguindrum (another favourite of mine). We follow the story of Utena Tenjou, a teenage girl who, despite her gender, strives to become a prince because she was so fascinated by a kind prince from her childhood (this is represented in the way she chooses to dress, along with her personality). She attends the prestigious Ohtori Academy where she encounters the mysterious and shy, Anthy Himemiya, who is unfortunately involved in an abusive relationship with another student. Naturally, Utena fights to protect Anthy and comes face to face with members of the student council, which is where the real story begins. Revolutionary Girl Utena is a very symbolic, theoretical and psychological series that explores misogyny and strives to defy gender norms and expectations. This series is truly amazing and I'm sure a lot of you will enjoy this as much as I am!

5. Neon Genesis Evangelion (Anime- 1995-1996 // 2007-)

There was no way an anime classics list was going to be written without featuring Neon Genesis Evangelion. Whilst Neon Genesis Evangelion is not one of my favourites, it's definitely a classic anime that should be recommended for it's interesting story line and characters. The series consists of the original 26 episode anime,  two films to accompany the anime (Death & Rebirth- 1997 and The End of Evangelion- 1997) and three recent films under the name Rebuild of Evangelion, which is basically a reboot of the original series into three separate films; Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance and Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo. It's all very confusing but if you watch everything in the order you're supposed to, you'll be fine. I'm not going to write a short synopsis for this series as anything would contain a bunch of spoilers and it's pretty difficult to do so without confusing you all so all I can do is recommend that you go and watch this enthralling series!

I haven't written an anime or manga post for such a long time, I'm glad I finally got back into the swing of things to write one! What other anime/manga related posts were you interested in seeing on the blog? Please comment below!

Thank you for reading, love Maddie xo

Image Credit:   1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5


  1. You know, mentioning that Utena is feminist is gonna make people not want to watch it. Not everyone is a feminist, we don't all hate men.

    1. You have got be kidding me. As a feminist, I think feminism within anime is very important ('m actually planning to write an entire post about it) and you clearly don't understand what feminism is if you think we all hate men. I think you need to be educated on feminism and what it does for all genders, not just women.