Some anime only grow in our love and all they mean to us as the years go rushing by, and so it is for all of these anime turning ten this year. Some of these series are personal favourites, some might count among yours, but we think anyone’s certain to find a shiny new treasure among these anime from the archives. Let us introduce them to you.
Spice & Wolf
In his life as a merchant, working hard to earn money to start his own shop, Kraft Lawrence’s only companion is a 600-year-old wolf-girl goddess named Holo. Together they travel, her wisdom bringing him closer to his wish, and his company easing the loneliness of a denigrated harvest deity.
The underbelly of showbiz is a slithering mass of nobodies trampling over others on their way to the top. So Kyoko Mogami learns when she realises her childhood sweetheart, Sho Fuwa, has only kept her around as his maid and money maker while he weasels his way to stardom. But she’ll hit him right where it hurts – by becoming an even brighter star!
Mamoru Endou’s grandfather was the first goalkeeper and captain for Raimon Middle School’s soccer club, back when the team was in its prime. But now the Inazuma Eleven are on the inside of disbandment, an embarrassing run of losses more than any of its players can bear. Except for Mamoru, of course, determined to make his team top of the league. Can his love of the game be enough to return his team to greatness?
The young weapons and weapon meisters at Death Weapon Meister Academy have more than their own teenage demons to tackle while making their grades. As they find and bind those human souls which have turned to darkness, an old madness is amassing its power, soon to be unleashed. Good thing these kids are more than capable of fighting through their own soul hurts and bringing peace to the world.
Natsume’s Book of Friends
The pages of Takashi Natsume’s Book of Friends is full of the spirit beings he’s always been able to see. He inherited both his power and the book from his grandmother, Reiko, who first ‘catalogued’ the spirits entrapped by its bindings. Knowing how it feels to be the other throughout his lonely childhood, Natsume sees fit to release the book’s prisoners back into the world. And so, through his goodness and compassion, he earns the trust and protection of many powerful friends.
Aliens have invaded Earth right in the middle of World War II, and our only heroes are…witches? This strange storm with the Neuroi at its nexus sees Yoshika Miyafuji enlist to investigate her father’s death, and slay some ET rear on the way. She joins a squad of high flying Witches based on famous historical pilots, but in giving them animal ears and tails, this is perhaps one more for the fantasy crowd than the history buffs (unless you’re both, then all the better).
This is the story of two unlikely friends. Ryuji Takasu is gentle boy with unfortunate features that tar him as a delinquent. Taiga Asaka is little girl with a big roar and a katana that gets her point across. They meet quite by accident, but with a generous sprinkling of good luck. Balancing out their shortcomings, they’re by far the best people to help with one another’s unrequited loves.
Ciel Phantomhive, heir to the family line tasked with guarding queen and country from London’s underworld, disappeared when his parents were killed and his home burned to the ground. But he’s back, and in tow a crow black butler whose unearthly talents rouse a hell of a lot of suspicion. Bound together by curse and contract, Ciel lives only to avenge his family, while his handyman Sebastian Michaelis exists to serve and protect his master.
ef: A Tale of Melodies
Once or twice in a lifetime or so, you’ll meet someone who forces you to face yourself at your worst, so you’ll truly become your best. Amamiya Yuko, a girl who seems to know Otowa Academy’s prize student Himura Yuu even though they’ve never met, reminds him of darkness in his past he’d rather remained in shadow. Years on from this meeting, Hayama Mizuki tries to open the heart of serial loner Kuze Shūichi after hearing the grace of his violin concerto. These past and present lives come to be intertwined in past and future tragedy.
Michiko and Hatchin
Convicted criminal Michiko has broken out of prison, and first on her freedom list is reclaiming the life she lost. Her old love Hiroshi Morenos may be presumed dead, but she is certain he is still out there somewhere. When she liberates his daughter Hana from abusive foster parents, nicknaming her Hatchin, she takes the girl on the back of her bike as an accomplice in her escape. Ever on the run, and as opposite as they come, the two nonetheless find their freedom together in chasing their broken family bonds.
Happy 10th birthday to every single one of these fantastic series. We hope they will all continue to be celebrated as they deserve. Which titles are your favourites, perhaps with their own special memories? Will you be adding any of these to your watch lists?