Who would have thought we’d be hanging out with Cardcaptor Sakura again, after all this time? It’s a special feeling to be reunited with a show and characters that meant so much to so many of us in our younger otaku years. The trouble is, this ecstatic return has opened our hearts to mourning the many anime series we’d welcome back in a heartbeat. Here are the five holding spots at the top of our ‘come back to us’ wishlist.
One of our favourite experiments with the amnesia trope, Angel Beats! let us cry through the fear of something that eventually comes to us all. Yuzuru Otonashi awakens in the afterlife and has to relearn what life means in this world of eternal war against God. His uncertainty on the other side is the same as ours in coming to terms with death, and the potential for exploring this theme is as infinite as the soul itself. It would take great care to do a sequel justice, but we keep the faith.
Behind the boundless bright colour of Disboard and overwhelming love between Sora and Shiro, this show’s flaws didn’t seem to matter so much. The creepy suggestions of incest were only ever an empty hook to keep scandalised eyes on its bonkers story, which becomes much more. It’s a multi-levelled tale of escapism shared by a brother and sister, who leave the real world that weakens them to become masters of the realm of games. We adored their escape, and we’ll be ready to dive right back in if it ever returns.
In Clare, the demon-slaying Claymore, we were given a character reborn into a classic sword-and-board fantasy world to personify a sharp criticism of the genre’s rife misogyny. This show’s world is spectacular, gothic, and monstrous to all like Clare, a deadly asexual beauty, who don’t fit the human blueprint. This series that fought through such a woman’s alienation was starting to hit its stride when it came to an end. It felt like we were just beginning to see Clare and her fellow Claymores’ true battle strength, combat undercut by lacklustre animation that’s still crying out for a whetstone and resurrection over a decade later.
When Nana Osaki and Nana Komatsu move in together and reach for their dreams, reality sets in and the two come up against hopelessness, anxiety, depression, drug addiction and unplanned pregnancy. For all that, this series could still find time to inspire and raise a smile with the kinds of stories that grow up with us, inspiring us to push through our struggles to better days. The music ended too soon, in both the anime and the manga. If Ai Yazawa ever feels well enough to continue NANA, we hope the anime won’t be too far behind.
Tanaka-kun is Always Listless
Taking a leaf out of Tanaka-kun’s book is a lesson everyone should learn, though very few do in their whole lifetimes. Meanwhile, our listless friend has got the art of zen down in high school. In a fast world of stress over doing something more, or something meaningful, or just something, Tanaka tells us to let it go and allow life’s flow to bring peace and clarity. But still, this life goes on wanting to drive us faster. We need more of this show’s sleepy wisdom to let us laugh, and breathe.
Honourable mention: Cowboy Bebop
Look, we just want to know what happened to Spike. Maybe it’s best that we don’t… But hey, worst case scenario, this show could always pull a Black Butler II.
But that’s just our list of scraping the barrel of anime that deserve a comeback, and we’re sure you have a mountain more of your own. Which series leave a sequel-shaped hole in your heart? Commiserate with us in the comments below.