High Five: The best of anime

Graphic by Amanda Araujo

Anime has been part of pop culture for several years, but it has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic. From sports to dark fantasy, the numerous genres make it easy for any type of viewer to find something to enjoy.

Anime produces a nostalgia impossible to find on live-action television shows with actors. Once the show ends, the actors move on to other projects, but when an anime series ends, the characters live on through the impact they’ve had on their audience.

The ability to generate new viewers of all ages shows the lasting impact of this style. Here are some of the most popular anime series including classics and newer series.

—Compiled by Anthony Hernandez

ATTACK ON TITAN

“Attack on Titan” is arguably the best anime series of all time. Currently airing its final season, this beloved anime has been breaking records ever since its release in 2013. Three episodes have appeared on IMDB’s top-rated episodes.

The plot centers around Eren Yeager, who lives in a world that has been divided by three walls in order to prevent humanity from being wiped out of existence. Yeager tries to uncover the dark truth of the human-eating Titans beyond the walls, until he discovers that there’s just as much danger inside the walls.

What makes an anime memorable? For me it’s the characters, the plot and the soundtrack. “Attack on Titan” is that one anime that perfectly balances all those aspects in order to tell the story.

EPISODES: 75

WATCH ON CRUNCHYROLL and HULU

COWBOY BEBOP

“Cowboy Bebop” is a classic anime series from the 1990s set in a cyberpunk world full of bounty hunters. The protagonist, Spike Spiegel, and his partner, Jet Black, jump between worlds hunting for criminals to bring in for a reward.

The series’ vintage animation from the late 90s and its iconic soundtrack are some of the standout aspects of this classic anime. The music subtly sets the atmosphere.

Whether you’re a fan of a gritty slugfest or everything sci-fi, “Cowboy Bebop” is the perfect mix. It is an anime well ahead of its time. All of its characters are fleshed out, and it is well deserving of its legendary legacy.

EPISODES: 26

WATCH ON HULU and FUNIMATION

HUNTER X HUNTER

In this adventure anime, we are introduced to Gon Freecss who is in search of his father. After discovering his father is a world-famous Hunter, Freecss decides to take the Hunter exam too in hopes of finding him. Freecss meets his best friend, Killua Zoldyck, along the way.

In addition to being a beautiful message about friendship, “Hunter X Hunter” is one of the few animes that truly demonstrates the power of abstraction through the characters. In a way, we can claim them as extensions to our lives and grow with them.

EPISODES: 148

WATCH ON CRUNCHYROLL, NETFLIX and HULU

HAIKYU!!

“Haikyu!!” is the pinnacle of sports anime where we follow a group of student athletes trying to make their school proud. Karasuno High School once dominated the volleyball court, but now the team has lost their reputation and are known as the “wingless crows.”

First-year students and former rivals Shoyo Hinata and Tobio Kageyama form an unlikely setter-spiker partnership on the volleyball court and lead the team in an extraordinary season run with hopes of making it to nationals.

EPISODES: 85

WATCH ON CRUNCHYROLL, NETFLIX and HULU

NARUTO

“Naruto” tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, a boy feared by his village and who dreams of one day becoming the village’s leader, known as the Hokage. “Naruto” and its sequel series, “Naruto Shippuden,” give us one of anime’s most well-known protagonists.

As the story progresses, Naruto goes from being a social outcast to the hero of the Hidden Leaf Village. “Naruto” had a 15-year televised run and is the series that started it all for many advanced anime watchers.

EPISODES: 220

WATCH “NARUTO” ON CRUNCHYROLL, NETFLIX and HULU

EPISODES: 500

WATCH “NARUTO SHIPPUDEN” ON CRUNCHYROLL and HULU

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