ByErling Rangnes, writer at
I might be a literary genius, but I tend to get so distracted by important things that I forget to ... oh, cookies!
Erling Rangnes

"I've seen more 'cop and unconventional sidekick' shows than I like to admit". "Horror movies looks more and more like the same thing, with different names and makeup". "Comedies are all situational, rowdy, or too easy to figure out". "Don't even get me started on dramas and action flicks". Whenever I feel this way, I go watch anime. Not the mindnumbingly stupid stuff. That's kind of what I'm running away from. When I watch anime, I go read the descriptions and search for anything I can't believe could possibly be interesting. I don't care if it's a 26 episode show about fashion design, or street racing in old-ish cars far away from the city, or baking bread. If they've bothered animating it despite descriptions promising a snoozefest, I'll watch it.

Kill la Kill

This show is all about fashion. Well, not exactly. It's a weird battle-oriented anime where fighting power depends on the clothing you wear. Made partially by "living fiber", the school uniforms of Honnouji Academy grants its wearer superpowers. The only way to get one though, is through the tyrannical president of the student council. Into this school comes Ryuko Matoi, a girl intent on finding the wielder of she other half of a pair of scissors (they're BIG scissors) used to kill her father. She forms a bond with an unauthorised piece of clothing made from "living fibers", that helps her on the quest for revenge. With her are also the family of a classmate, and her teacher, both with their own peculiarities. The style reminds me of cold war Sovjet propaganda posters, mixed with surrealism and art deco. So as far as anime goes, this one is... different. I've heard rumors that the character design for the protagonist was made to mess with cosplayers. I have no reason to believe otherwise.

Initial D

Cars interests me in much the same way grey wallpaper does. I describe cars I see by their colors, and I've decided that when and if I'm getting one, I might go for a purple. So when I say one of the most interesting animes I've ever seen is about a guy driving very fast downhill in a Trueno 86 (don't know what that means, but apparently it's a Toyota with coloring that remind me of pandas) somewhere in a remote village in Japan, that's probably an indicator of how good this show is. Its first seasons makes this a bit of an oldie, going as far back as 1998. However, new material keeps getting published and animated. The latest addition went live as a four episode serial this year, and there's a movie on the way.

Yakitate!! Japan

That's a Samurai baker to the bottomright corner!
That's a Samurai baker to the bottomright corner!

France has croissants, Italy has ciabatta, India has nan and the UK has crumpets. the US (of course) has the frybread, but Japan is sadly without a true bread to call its own. That's where the protagonist comes into play. He wants to make the ULTIMATE Japanese bread. To do this, he must first become the ULTIMATE baker in Japan (yes, the caps are necessary), requiring him to enter competitions, working alongside rivals in small bakeries and improvising clever solutions when rival bakers throws a wrench in his... oven.


The duo behind Death Note made another manga hit for Shonen Jump starting in 2008 until its conclusion in 2012. Death Note as we know, is a story about a teenage genius serial killer who kills by writing the names of his victims in his notebook, and the investigator of similar mindset and age hunting him down. Their second major series, Bakuman, is... not like that. At all. It's a series about two teenagers teaming up to become the new superduo of a fictional version of Shounen Jump. It's a long road of rejected scripts, trial and error, learning, editors of varying degrees of enthusiasm and skill, and rivals. Lots and lots of rivals. And it's bloody brilliant! The anime ended after three 25 episode seasons.

Hikaru no Go

I can't play Go to save my life. Playing chess is easy by comparison (although I won't be challenging Magnus Carlsen anytime soon), but this show made me want to learn, and I wasn't the only one either. The show is credited as the reason for a huge boom in popularity for the game. Somewhat on account of the professional Go player Yukari Umezawa giving tips on how to play at the end of each episode. This anime has a connection with Death Note, as the original manga was drawn by the same artist, but like Bakuman, Hikaru no Go is a long shot from similar to either one. Hikaru is a pretty regular kid who becomes haunted by the ghost of a Go-teacher of the Heian era of Japan. It features a diverse cast of Go players, including up and coming professionals intent on taking the five champion titles of Japan, old masters intent on keeping them, and young players like Hikaru and his friends, on their rise through the ranks.

To end it off, I would normally have posted a poll here asking which of these sounds more interesting. But to be honest, I'd much rather you'd describe your most surprising anime experience in the comments below.


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