A is for Anime #AtoZChallenge

April 1, 2016 , In: Geek, Random Reviews , With: 29 Comments

Hello and welcome to my first post for the 2016 Blogging from A-Z Challenge! To see other blogs participating in the challenge, click here or the banner on the right side of the page.

To see what my theme for this year is all about (All Things Geek), check out my 2016 theme reveal post.


Anime. What do you think of when you hear that word? Do you cringe, thinking of that one show you glanced at when flipping through the channels that definitely wasn’t up your alley? Or do you think of it fondly, holding to your hearts 5 or 6 favorite shows that will always be there for you when you need them? You may have guessed it already, but I love anime. Ok, so I am fairly particular

Madoka speaks the truth.

Madoka speaks the truth.

about which anime shows I watch. And I also can’t seem to watch shows that I loved from a long time ago. They aren’t the same to me anymore! I used to love Rouroni Kenshin with all my heart, but now when I try to re-watch it after years of watching newer shows…I can’t! It’s not the same! I still hold it close to me, but I think I’ll leave it alone so I can enjoy the memory I have of it. Do you have a show that you used to love, but can’t watch anymore?

However, I have a few new favorites I’d like to share. Lately, I only see shows if they are on Netflix. This holds true for animated shows and not! I honestly do not have time to commit to shows on regular TV and we don’t have a DVR or cable. Netflix it is! There are actually a lot of great anime shows on there. I was told by a few people that sometimes Netflix sometimes only has the second season of shows on there (like Mushishi apparently?!), so I may have to actually buy a few shows if I really like what I see so far.

Ok, enough of me rambling on and on! Here are a few of my new Netflix favorites. I could go on for hours, so I’ll limit myself to the three I watched last.

Your Lie in April

Synopsis: Piano prodigy Kōsei Arima dominated the competition and has become famous among child musicians. After his mother, who was also his instructor, died, he had a mental breakdown while performing at a piano recital at the age of eleven. As a result, he is no longer able to hear the sound of his piano even though his hearing is perfectly fine. Two years later, Kōsei hasn’t touched the piano and views the world in monochrome, without any flair or color. He has resigned himself to living out his life with his good friends, Tsubaki and Watari, until, one day, a girl changes everything. Kaori Miyazono, a fourteen-year old audacious, free-spirited violinist whose playing style reflects her manic personality, helps Kōsei return to the music world and shows that it should be free and mold breaking unlike the structured and rigid style Kōsei was used to.

Thoughts: I believe this one is fairly new to Netflix. It’s one season long, but wraps up nicely in my opinion. Here is a link to the wikipedia article about both the manga and the anime. I have not read the manga yet (sigh…money), but I definitely want to after watching the show.

The plot was fast-paced, heart-wrenching, with some great light-hearted moments.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Synopsis: In the fictional city of Mitakihara, Japan, a middle school student named Madoka Kaname and her friend Sayaka Miki encounter a small, cat-like creature named Kyubey. It offers a contract in which a girl may have any wish granted in exchange for obtaining magical powers and being tasked with fighting against witches. Meanwhile, a transfer student and magical girl named Homura Akemi tries to stop Madoka from making the contract with Kyubey at all costs. Madoka and Sayaka then meet Mami Tomoe, an upperclassman at the same school who is also a magical girl and offers to bring them along on her witch hunts so that they may learn of the responsibilities that come with being a magical girl. Wikipedia article.

Thoughts: This one has been on Netflix for awhile, along with a few of the movies. I thought this was was really well done. I was a little wary at first because the style of animation is so cutesy. But the cute characters definitely work to counter the dark feel of this anime in the best sorts of ways. This one is a bit graphic in times in terms of violence, if that bothers you. I haven’t seen the movies yet because I felt the anime finished in a satisfying way. I may change my mind and try them sometime.

Sword Art Online

Synopsis: In 2022, a Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG) called Sword Art Online (SAO) is released. With the NerveGear, a helmet that stimulates the user’s five senses via their brain, players can experience and control their in-game characters with their minds. On November 6, 10,000 players log into the SAO’s mainframe cyberspace for the first time and discover that they are unable to log-out. They quickly discover from Akihiko Kayaba, the creator of SAO and NerveGear, they must reach the 100th floor of the game’s castle and defeat the final boss if they wish to be free. Those who suffer in-game destruction or remove the NerveGear out-of-game will result in their real-life deaths. Wikipedia article about SAO.

Thoughts: I’ve now watched this one at least twice. There are two seasons in the first SAO and then another in SAO 2. The first season is definitely the best and they probably could’ve stopped there. The second one gets a liiiiitttle weird with the sister/cousin relationships, but (spoiler!) nothing happens. You’ll see what I mean. PHEW. But the first season is awesome. Kirito is a sword-slinging badass who is one of the best players in SAO. He works to help beat level after level, because no one can escape the game until they beat the final boss. Definitely one of my favorites!

Do YOU have any Netflix favorites I could try? I’m always looking for new ones. Tune in tomorrow for the letter B in the A-Z challenge!

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    • Amy Morris-Jones
    • April 1, 2016

    This is a beautiful blog in general, and this post is a great start to the A-Z Challenge! Admittedly, I know nothing about anime, but whenever I see it, I’m curious. Do you have an absolute favorite must-see?

    • Reply

      Thank you so much! Brand new blog design was launched in March and I love it too!
      Hmm…what genres of other shows do you like? Anime has many different genres, just like that. Some of the ones in this post might be a good start!

      • Reply

        I’m not much of a horror or sci-fi fan, but I watch most everything else. It all depends on the day! 🙂

  1. Reply

    I’ll admit, I know nothing more about anime other than ‘they’re cute’. My boyfriend, on the other hand, likes to watch anime late at night. Should I be concerned?

    • Reply

      Anime is a great late-night thing to binge watch! NOT to be confused with Hentai, which is…more x rated I guess I’ll say. So, maybe it depends what type of anime he’s watching. Whether to be concerned or not it all up to you! <3

  2. Reply

    YES! I’m in and I’ve subscribed. I can already tell I will like it here. : )

  3. Reply

    Thank you for checking out my blog! I remember my son, who is in his mid 20’s, used to watch anime on – the Cartoon Network? I wish I could remember for sure. I love the stylized art but I don’t seek it out – I am not that much of a Netflix or cable person. Would rather read blogs! I’ll be subscribing!

    • Reply

      Glad to have you here! There still is anime on Cartoon Network. Usually late at night if I remember. I don’t have cable tv, so it’s hard to say. I love reading all the blogs in the challenge. So much fun!

  4. Reply

    I don’t have any recommendations, but Katy, I have to tell you that your blog is beautiful! Such a great design. Maybe you could PM me the designer info? Or did you do it yourself?


    • Reply

      Yvonne, thank you for visiting! I’ll PM you.

  5. Reply

    I admit I’ve never read or watched Anime, but you make me want to! Great first post!

    • Reply

      It’s great. 🙂 Thank you for visiting my little blog!

  6. Reply

    I don’t watch Anime except when my son is watching and I happen to pay attention.
    Beyond thinking the characters are cute, I don’t observe much more. :/

    • Reply

      You should check it out! Most of the anime I watch is definitely not for kids. Madoka and SAO in my post above both have people dying in them and intense action. It’s great! (I wouldn’t let my kiddos watch though)

    • Ipsita Banerjee
    • April 1, 2016

    I’ve never watched anime either, except in passing when the TV is on and the girls are watching, but this sounds like fun! 🙂

    • Reply

      Yea! Check it out! These shows I posted about are definitely not for kids. Anime has as many genres as regular TV shows. 😀

  7. Reply

    As a pre-school child, my favourite cartoon was Marine Boy – which I found out was one of the first anime cartoons dubbed into English and shown during the early 1970s here in the U.K. I think if I was to watch it now it would spoil the golden memories I have of it as a child. I always wanted to be the mermaid character in it but my bossy neighbour age 5 always took that part so I had to be Marine Boy and my little toddler brother was Splasher the dolphin – oh happy days 🙂 Looking forward to reading more of your posts throughout the challenge.
    A Stormy’s Sidekick
    Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

    • Reply

      That’s so true that watching it again would probably ruin the magic. I’ve watched a few other childhood favorites as an adult and it’s not the same at all!
      I think that’s so funny that you chose characters to be. My siblings and I used to do that too! Especially with Fantasia.

  8. Reply

    I love the stylised drawings and have watched a couple of the films. I’ll never be as large a fan as my niece & nephew, but I will alway enjoy watching the best examples as I do with other films. Looking forward to seeing more of your blog during the month.

    Debs Carey

    • Reply

      Thank you for visiting! 🙂 I’ll check out your page as well.

  9. Reply

    I am a huge fan of anime! I’m also a bit selective and I miss my crunchyroll subscription, but I have a lot of other writerly and creative things that need doing and anime (sadly) has gone to the wayside…for now. Some of my favorites are: Full Metal Alchemist, Full Metal Panic, Hunter x Hunter, Lovely Complex, Avatar the Last Airbender (I consider this anime too even though it isn’t from Japan), Rurouni Kenshin, and the list goes on. I’ve also watched Sword Art Online and really enjoyed it! I’m so glad I found your posts through Google+!

    Ink & Stitches: http://blog.jhwinter.com

    • Reply

      I haven’t watched a couple of those, so I will definitely check them out. I consider Avatar anime as well! So great. Thanks for visiting me. I’ll be sure to check out your page!

  10. Reply

    I don’t think I know anything about anime. I always assumed anime was an animated series that originated in Japan – or that Japan has a very particular style of animation (aka anime), so any form of art with that style is considered anime. As a kid Sailor Moon was one of my favorite shows, I also liked Pokémon and Dragon Ball. I think that’s it, I haven’t watched any of them in years other than a clip here or there. I don’t know if watching them now would ruin the memories for me, I kinda think so, at least for Sailor Moon it probably would. The ones you mentioned in your post all sound interesting, I think I would like SAO the best. 

    • Reply

      I agree about Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball. If I watched them today, I doubt they would be as good! I hope you try out some newer ones too. They are an awesome storytelling medium.
      Thank you for visiting!

        • steph
        • April 3, 2016

        Sorry about the double post.. Was an accident. & I’m thinking I will give SAO a try at some point, thanks to you. Have a good day/night.

    • steph
    • April 3, 2016

    I don’t think I know anything about anime. I always assumed anime was an animated series that originated in Japan – or that Japan has a very particular style of animation (aka anime), so any form of art with that style is considered anime. As a kid Sailor Moon was one of my favorite shows, I also liked Pokémon and Dragon Ball. I think that’s it, I haven’t watched any of them in years other than a clip here or there. I don’t know if watching them now would ruin the memories for me, I kinda think so, at least for Sailor Moon it probably would. The ones you mentioned in your post all sound interesting, In think I would like SAO the best. 

    • Sarah
    • April 5, 2016

    I started watching anime a couple of years ago – I am definitely into the cuter ones that have a good dose of humor. So far my favorites have been Soul Eater, Fairy Tail, the Devil is a Part Timer, and Noragami. I also really enjoyed Gurren Lagan, Aldnoah.Zero, and the Black Butler but those were a bit heavier. 🙂

    • Reply

      I love Soul Eater, Noragami, and The Devil is a Part Timer! You should try Blue Exorcist (on Netflix!). It’s sort of that same amount of humor vs. serious moments. I haven’t watched more than an episode of Fairy Tale (a little cheesy for me), but I know I should give it another chance. Black Butler is another fave and I almost wrote about it for this post!

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