As of today, Wolf Children is my all-time favorite anime “movie” (feature length, stand-alone film). I must’ve watched it 20 times or more by now. If you love Studio Ghibli films, you’ve got to check out Wolf Children. It’s not a Ghibli film, but it feels like it should be one. It has the same things that make Ghibli films so endearing. A heart warming tale of a family and a coming of age story, which in the end has an important message or two to leave with the viewer.
Do you love Studio Ghibli films? Summer Days with Coo is not a Ghibli film, but it reminded me a lot of one. It’s a great family-friendly feature length anime that kids and adults can enjoy together.
It has a lot of cute characters and a heartwarming story. It’s pretty obscure with only 2,300ish “watched” on myanimelist and 600 watched on anime planet. Hopefully if you haven’t heard of it yet, this review will inspire you to check it out for yourself.
Title: Summer Days With Coo
Erased is pretty much THE anime of 2016. I’m sure you have probably at least heard of it, if not watched it yourself even. I really enjoyed this anime despite it being so predictable that I knew who the killer was by the 2nd or 3rd episode. — Don’t worry I won’t spoil it for those of you who haven’t seen it yet (or haven’t figured it out themselves).
Erased has awesome music and a neat time-travel theme. Are you sad that Erased is over? I highly recommend that you check out Re:Zero – a currently running anime with a very similar time travel concept.
Title: Lovely Complex (Also commonly referred to as Love*Com)
Release Date: 2007
Based on: Manga by Aya Nakahara – There’s also a live action movie but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re a die hard fan of this series – definitely read the manga or watch the anime first at least. The movie tries to fit 24 episodes into an hour or 2 hour format. It just doesn’t work. Too much has to be cut. It kinda just felt like watching a recap or highlight reel. There’s also a videogame but to my knowledge it has not been translated. The manga also has a sequel focusing on Risa’s little brother.
Title: My Dream Girlfriend
Genre: Anime Dressup Game with Dating Sim and Stat Raising Elements
Get it on IOS here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dream-girlfriend/id997701066?mt=8
Get it on Android here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.ne.ambition.googleplay_nizikano2d_glb&hl=en
Overall: 60/80 75% C “Good Game for Girls”
Concept: 10/10 This game utilizes Live 2D, a new technology to bring 2d characters to life. Perfect for anime style games. You can get mega rare animated outfits. The picture here is of my character in the game. When you start the game you get one animated outfit for free. This card captor sakura-ish outfit is adorable and it was what I got for free. The other gacha items sometimes (most of the time) will not be animated. These animated outfits are very rare and set this game apart from Moe Can Change and Ambition’s other apps like My Animal Boyfriend which I reviewed here.
Title: Twelve Months
Release Date: 1978
This was a joint production with a Russian studio and is based on a Russian Fairy Tale. – The only one I could find online was dubbed in Russian and had English subtitles. There are also Japanese and English voiced versions. The Russian one is not terrible though since the anime is “Set in Russia” and the characters themselves are supposed to be Russian.
Story: 10/10 I enjoyed the story immensely despite the age of the film and having watched it in Russian language. I think it’s an under rated and obscure anime. It is older than me, and probably older than most of my readers.
Title: Only Yesterday
Genre: Slice of Life, Romance
Release Date: 1991
Studio: Studio Ghibli
Overall: 23/35 66% D “Average Anime For Girls”
Story: 5/10 A young woman goes to spend a summer on her aunt’s farm. While helping out on the farm and around the house she is reminded of her childhood. She also meets a young man working on the farm and must reconcile her feelings of her childhood in order to become a woman.
The story is told through numerous flash backs that take place 17 years prior to the current events. The flashbacks are of other people, friends, family members, former romances, etc that she has encountered thus far in her life and how they’ve shaped her outlook on life and her experiences.
Title: Plastic Memories
Genre: Slice of Life, Romance, Scifi, Comedy
Release Date: 2015
Studio: Doga Kobo
Length: 13 Episodes
Overall: 32/35 91% A- “Excellent Anime For Girls”
Story: 10/10 Plastic Memories is a 2015 anime series about a futuristic society aided by companion android like creations known as Giftia. The giftia live together with humans, and often as an integral role of their family. More often than not, they serve as children for couples unable to conceive on their own, or taking the place of children who died.
Alternate Title: Child’s Toy
Genre: Romantic Comedy / Slice of Life / Drama
Length: 102 Episodes
Release Date: 1996
Based Upon: “Kodomo no Omocha” manga by Miho Obana
Where to Buy: Amazon.com/Kodocha.. – This is a pretty old and rare / obscure series. At time of writing, there’s only 2 copies of the Kodocha Season 1 DVD box set available – for about $45. I’d encourage you to snap them up now, rather than later, as it will become harder and harder to find as time goes on. The Season 2 Kodocha DVD boxset is even more rare, with only 1 copy for $135 at time of this review.
Title: Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka?!! (So I’m a zombie?!!)
Length: 22 Episodes
Genre: Comedy, Parody, Action, Romance, Harem
Overall: 28/35 80% Very Good Anime For Girls
Story: 9/10 Kore Wa Zombie is a fun series that pokes fun at both itself and several other anime tropes. For example, the main character becomes a magical girl who fights with a giant chainsaw while wearing a pink uniform and hairstyle very similar to Card Captor Sakura. He finds himself in the middle of a harem with a house full of beautiful, but strange other worldly girls, including a Necromancer, Magical Girl, Ninja, and more. One episode even parodies and pokes fun at the idol culture in Japan.
Genre: Shoujo, Sci-Fi, Slice of Life, Romance
Length: 26 Episodes
Release Date: 2002
Story: 10/10 Hideki is a young, poor college student from the country who moves into a new apartment in the city. There, one night he finds a Persocom that someone has thrown away in the garbage. Persocom is short for Personal Computer, and since this series takes place in the future; computers have evolved to take on nearly human like forms and can be customized by their owners. Persocoms are very useful; they can go to work to earn money for their owners, connect to the internet for research, or run simple errands, like going to the grocery store etc.
While sick last week, I marathoned my way through the first season of the anime version of Nodame Cantabile, a cute shoujo romantic-comedy anime about a young man (Chiaki) who wants to become a conductor. He encounters a girl who plays the piano with so much energy that it sounds as if she is singing. Her nickname is Nodame. Hence we get the title, Nodame Cantabile. A Cantabile is a musical term to describe instrumental music which emulates the sound of human voices singing. It literally means “to play (an instrument) as if singing”.
While not technically an anime, per say, since it is not from Japan, Yobi the Five Tailed Fox is an excellent family film that has a similar style to that of Studio Ghibli. The story of Yobi the Five Tailed Fox tells us a Korean folk tale legend about Kitsune like creatures who could become human if they stole a human’s soul. Because of that belief, that the foxes could steal souls, they became hunted almost to extinction.
Except for Yobi, the “young” (if 100 years old is young) fox who lives in the forest with her farting alien family who are trying to repair their spaceship to return home. One of her family members wanders into a summer camp for humans near the forest one day and Yobi goes to the camp in her human form to try to convince the alien to return back home.
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll
Overall: 31/35 89% B+ Very Good Anime for Girls
Number of Episodes: 26
Overview: Nagi No Asukara is an anime about a race of merfolk whose school closing forces them to attend school on the land with human children. Their elders worry about preserving the merfolk culture, heritage, traditions, and are distrusting of the humans. The children are both sad about their school closing, as well as excited to be able to attend school on the land.