Topical Tuesday: Top Ten Anime

Happy October everyone! It’s getting closer and closer to the end of the year as we speak. With NaNoWriMo around the corner, I’ve been writing more than reading, so I thought instead I’d share my favorite anime instead of manga. Coming up with this list was pretty hard to be honest, but I promise to explain why I like them all, so at least you’ll get an idea of what goes on in my mind, right? Anyway, let’s get started with my number one favorite!

Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle
Phi Brain is a story surrounding puzzles, as the name implies. But the puzzles in Phi Brain aren’t simple- no, they’re quite dangerous in fact. In Phi Brain, Kaito the puzzle-solving genius is brought into the world of Philosopher’s Puzzles, puzzles that are large scale and can mean death if you fail to complete the puzzle or complete it in time. Meanwhile, he meets more geniuses, and they all end up working together to solve some of the toughest puzzles there are. A thing I really like besides the puzzles is the naming system: a lot of characters are named after mind games and puzzles, and the geniuses are given titles that are actual influential people in history, such as Kaito’s title of Einstein or Ana’s title of Da Vinci. Using two unique naming patterns was quite interesting to me.

Natsume’s Book of Friends
If you prefer modern fantasy over what’s essentially science fiction to me, I highly recommend Natsume Yuujinchou, otherwise known as Natsume’s Book of Friends. It has all the classic elements of a modern fantasy anime: and by that I just mean it has a lot of yokai. See, Natsume can see them while most people cannot, and the story involves him dealing with yokai in a variety of ways. He makes some great friends in the process, while definitely having some enemies, including human ones. Natsume Yuujinchou proves you can have a life both in the human world and the yokai world, and love them both evenly in the end.

Humanity Has Declined
This one is a total mind fuck, guys. Don’t mind my wording- it’s true. As the title has made clear, Humanity is no longer the dominant intelligent creature in the world- now, creepy, always smiling ‘fairies’ outnumber the humans by far. Our heroine, whose name is never revealed might I add, goes through all sorts of bizarre hijinks to better understand the fairies and to help bring them and the human population closer. I found it really interesting they kept certain names private the entire time- for example, the heroine and her unusual family situation. One person is literally named assistant. And with scenes like skinned chicken running a factory and a time loop involving banana peels, I think it’s pretty obvious… This anime is just out there.

Eden of the East
If you want another totally bizarre story, I vote you check out Eden of the East. Not to spoil it for you, but there’s a lot of fighting, death and weirdness in this show. I mean, it starts with the hero butt naked with nothing but a gun and a phone. And that’s just mildly mind-fucking compared to the rest of the series. I thought the bizarre storyline was really impressive and interesting. I also just really liked the ending theme video- it was done with paper art and… You just gotta see it, okay? Unless you’re sensitive to topics like terrorism, serial killers and things like that… then don’t, because they all have a spot in the show.

Acchi Kocchi
Acchi Kocchi, otherwise known as Here and There, is a gag comedy with adorably weird characters and even weirder, silly plots. From a genius making chocolates with frog parts in them for valentines day, or the heroine struggling to greet her crush early in the morning on the way to school, this anime is made of pure cute and silly behavior. Warning, there’s a lot of blood if you count the nosebleeds people get after Io says anything.

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san
Yep, I’m back to a crazy antics anime, but this one has a neat twist. You see, Nyaruko is actually short for something: Nyarlathotep. You know, one of Lovecraft’s creepy creatures in his famous works? The show even explains the fact that the names are the same because the creatures are based on aliens Lovecraft met, such as the Nyarlathotep people. Add in a hero who’s oddly good at attracting aliens and throwing forks, Nyaruko’s childhood rival and various other bizarre characters, and you get this comedic love story. Comedic sci-fi at its best.

Inu x Boku SS
Taking a quick break from total insanity and instead bringing you a somewhat more serious anime, Inu x Boku follows the lives of people with yokai blood living in a special high-class apartment building. Each tenant has a secret service specialist, each of whom also has yokai blood. Put all these people with unique bloodlines together, and you get a heartwarming coming of age story that’s not quite human, yet as human as it can get.

Kill Me Baby
Okay, enough of the serious for now. Now we’re going back to gag comedies. Kill Me Baby focuses on a somewhat stupid girl and her classmate who just happens to be a professional assassin. This setup isn’t actually that uncommon as I found later in other manga, but this particular anime is just really enjoyable to me. The friendship that blossoms is quite nice, too.

Mushishi
Mushishi is a very serious anime, in my opinion. It focuses on Ginko, a man who can see ‘mushi’, which are creatures that are hard to describe, but can often cause unseen havoc for humans. This anime is very episodic, meaning you can watch any episode at a given time and you probably won’t have to look back much to understand what’s going on. Ginko’s travels are vast and interesting- I really like the unusual phenomenon the mushi cause, as well as Ginko, who is very standoffish, but understandably so once you get to know him.

Working!!
The last one I have to share with you is Working!! Working!! is about the daily lives of the staff at a family restaurant. Each of the characters has a notable quirk, ranging from a height complex to a complex of loving small things, especially children. Though it’s mostly a gag comedy, it also has a few romantic plotlines involved. The shenanigans are a hoot, and the characters are so quirky they go together perfectly. It makes me want to eat at the shop just to watch them in person! (Too bad it’s an anime, huh?)

So those are my ten recommendations. I have a lot of anime I love, but these were stand out ones on my long list of things I’ve seen. What about you guys? Do you have a favorite anime? Do any of the ones I talked about today intrigue you? Let me know in the comments- I love getting to know you guys better! Why else would I ask you all these questions?

Topical Tuesday: Top Ten Manga

Hihi! How’s it going guys? Today, I’m shaking things up a bit by doing a book meme for blogs: Top Ten Tuesday. If you’ve been following my Alien Irony Redux Blog, you’ll know I’ve started doing these every so often to spread my wings a bit. Topical Tuesday is still just that: a topic. And this is my topic for today.

So, what is Top Ten Tuesday as a book meme? Well, it’s a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, we’re meant to share our top ten favorite books of our favorite genre. I know manga have genres, but it’s so hard to choose one genre in it I love… So I’m going to share a variety, telling you things about each one, and hoping maybe you’ll love them too! (Please note, there’s no real hierarchy here. I just wrote it in the way I thought fit best!)

Alive The Final Evolution

This manga, which deals with the concepts of life and death quite uniquely, has to be my favorite manga hands down. I’ve read it at least six times now- and every time, I’ve been enthralled by the characters and the powers they grow to possess. This manga is not for those with weak hearts. There’s a lot of suicide, murder and gore. Honestly, I don’t know how I managed to read it so often. With major twists and turns and an unbelievable fate for the world, this manga is definitely number one in my eyes. Happy Sugar Life

Happy Sugar Life

Don’t let the title fool you- this manga is a psychological horror that cuts deep and displays the danger of pure obsession. The heroine will do anything to keep a young child she adores by her side- kidnapping, murder, literally anything. She wants to maintain her ‘happy sugar life’ with her beloved, even if there were many wrongs going on about it. This story took a lot of confusing turns to me, but they lead me to feel far more inspired and intrigued than I thought they would. The tension, the strong emotional ties- it’s all so… Moving. I almost wanted to cheer on the crazy heroine!

Mushi to Medama to Teddy Bear

Mushi to Medama to Teddy Bear starts off with a sweet but illegal couple being cute- that is, until there’s a surprise attack on the young teenager by another girl. Appearing to be murdered with her eyes gouged out, only to be alive with more blood loss than she should be able to bare. This manga brings a whole new idea to the story of Adam and Eve… and it’s simply amazing, if I’m being honest.

King’s Game: Origin

King’s Game is a well known horror manga… But if you want a really good death game of sorts, King’s Game: Origin, the prequel, is where it’s at to me. Someone called the king leaves a note, and if you don’t obey… Well, bye bye. You’re gonna die in whatever way the note says, whether you like it or not! This prequel really gives you some interesting twists, and shows how stress can lead to insanity and impulsive actions that are dangerous to yourself and around you. It’s just… Amazing. Literally bloody amazing.Dolls Code

Dolls Code

This manga, another psychological horror, focuses on juvenile criminals that have committed some form of a crime. In this detention, however, they have one of their body parts taken from them when they enter the school- for the hero, that happens to be his memories. Supposedly, the part relates to the crime they’ve performed- but that’s not all. The parts were used to create a humanoid doll! With a doll in their midst, the teens must partake in puzzles and games that will test their wits, sanity and more- all to escape from this prison school alive.High Rise Invasion

High Rise Invasion

High Rise Invasion is up there with Alive for me. This piece of speculative fiction follows a young teenager who finds herself waking up in a strange world where only tall buildings exist and the only way you’re allowed to go to the ground is by jumping to your death. Add the people wearing masks that will try to scare you into jumping or kill you if you refuse to try, and you’ve got the weirdest idea of a way to create a new god that might ever exist. The characters are strong, there’s more mystery than I can explain in a short blurb, and it really makes you wonder what you’d do in that sort of situation. Would you have the strength to fight the masks?

The Bride Was A Boy

Finally, the list is taking an uplifting turn! No more horror in here! The Bride Was A Boy, which started out as a comic blog at first, is a true story of how the author, Chii, came out as transgender and began to live her life as the woman she was meant to be. She covers everything from coming out, dating, and even getting her sex changed to marry her beloved husband. It’s educational and adorable! I can’t push it enough!

Tabi no Michizure

Okay, I might have lied a little bit. To some, this might very well be a horrifying concept: a girl gets off a train and finds herself in a town that repeats the same day, every day… and the roads eat people lacking the right marking to pass through. I really love this one so far- the mystery of why only things used by Tabi disappear during the reset is an interesting add on. It also makes me wonder… How would I react being one of the few that realizes the groundhog day effect?

Nukoduke

If you like cuteness and constant fluff, Nukoduke is the manga for you. It follows a lackadaisical young man who one day finds a pair of nukos- tiny cats with partially human bodies and the ability to speak. He unthinkingly brings them home, and so starts their lives together. The characters are all kind of focused on one major personality aspect, but it’s full of interesting growth in the connections between nuko and people, and it is just constantly sweet as pie. Expect insanity, sweet moments and good times!

Yandere Kanojo

Do you like slapstick comedy? Do you like couples that seem unexpected based on cliques? If you’re a fan of such things, you might like Yandere Kanojo, a gag manga on all accounts. The manga follows a gang leader and her boyfriend, an average guy who, to others, has no real redeeming qualities. The manga slowly but surely expands its cast to have a wide variety of kooky characters- a masochistic little sister, a teacher afraid of groups and people that looks scary when he’s teaching class, and so much more. The relationships grow well, and there’s a lot of fun to be had. Give it a go- even in short bursts, I promise you’ll find a reason to smile laugh!

And that’s all for me today. What manga would be on your top ten? Which of these do you love or hate? Tell me all about your manga tastes in the comments- I might just find new ones to love!