Friday Favorites is a post where I incorporate more of what I love into the blog. This includes films, anime, manga, music, you name it. Anything goes. It will be an opportunity to share some of the things I love and discuss them briefly or in length, depending on my mood 😉
I can instantly drum up a list of 50 series I would recommend. Favorites such as Death Note immediately rush to the forefront and then the list continues to grow. So I have decided to break my favorite anime recommendations down into more digestible chunks. Today I am sharing 10 series that scored a 9 or higher on my MAL list (feel free to add me) that incorporate elements of fantasy.
10 Recommendations for Fantasy Fans
- The first on my list is an absolute favorite. Pandora Hearts is not only a completely engaging and well executed anime series, but an equally rewarding manga. So you can expect to see it again in the future when I tackle that list. Classified as shōnen, this 25 episode long series combines the supernatural and fantasy to provide a story that is likely to appeal to fans of Wonderland and the eccentric. It boasts a rich plot full of depth and rewarding messages. Add it on MAL.
2. Black Butler is another favorite that I am also enjoying and will soon feature on a manga list. It is one of the few series I have collected on Blu-Ray and find easy to rewatch from time to time. Also pairing fantasy with the supernatural, it explores the story of young Ciel Phantomhive (who works for the Queen in Victorian England) and his unusual contract/relationship with a demonic butler, Sebastian. I am constantly drawn back to this odd but somehow endearing relationship, and the unique cast of characters. Add it on MAL.
3. Fate/Zero features one of my all time favorite characters; Saber. So it is no surprise it makes this list. Depicting a war centered around the Holy Grail, there is no shortage of action as opponents go to battle with the aid of there familiars. This series honestly touches on all aspects of fantasy that I have come to love. It is worth continuing on with Fate/stay night if you find yourself enjoying it. Add it on MAL.
4. Mushishi is an incredible, episodic series & manga that follows Ginko, a mushishi who studies and researches mushi (the oldest living life forms). Each episode is a new story and encounter where Ginko seeks out new cases and assist villagers affected by them. This is a series I easily recommend to long time fans and as an introduction to anime. It is not necessary to watch these stories in order. Add it on MAL.
5. My obsession with Sailor Moon is no secret to those who know me. I admittedly own an entire Funko collection and decent amount of manga. I cannot get enough. Following a 14-year-old Usagi and her unique cat Luna, she and her peers are tasked with saving the world from the Dark Kingdom. Now I admit, Usagi is incredibly whiny and often overly dramatic with the most questionable of tactics, but somehow that is part of her charm. Also, I find I am constantly drawn to the show’s villains. Queen Beryl is a nostalgic throwback that I cannot get enough of. If you enjoyed 80s and 90s cartoons, this one is fun! Add it on MAL.
6. Mononoke, and for once, I do not mean the princess. This is another series that also boasts a heavy element of the supernatural. It follows a “medicine seller” who travels in search of the occult and slays evil spirits called Mononoke. Consisting of 12 brief episodes, I really enjoy this one. Add in MAL.
7. Gate is likely to appeal to fans of fantasy and gaming for good reason. Following the appearance of a mysterious portal that opens to unleash medieval warriors and fantastical creatures in Tokyo with devastating consequences, Youji is charged with leading a special branch of the JSDF (Japan Self-Defense Forces) that must travel through the Gate into the unknown in search of answers and resolution. The result is nonstop fun and action. Add it on MAL.
8. The Ancient Magus Bride is stunning and endearing. Currently airing, it is the story of 15-year-old Chise who has been abandoned and then purchased by a magus as an apprentice. This is a hard one to summarize and do justice. While I have heard tale that the story line eventually falters, I am not convinced. I find each episode to be a beautiful adventure filled with new magic and fantastical creatures. The relationships and growth in this one are complex and rewarding. I will be picking up the manga. Add it on MAL.
9. Fullmetal Alchemist is a classic that I am sure most anime and manga fans have explored. The Elric brothers try to resurrect their mother through a forbidden alchemy practice, human transmutation. When they fail, Edward the older brother accidentally traps his younger brother Alphonse’s soul in a suit of armor. Now they are in search of the Philosopher’s Stone in hopes of restoring Alphonse to his body and setting things right. Add it on MAL.
10. Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World explores various countries and lands through the travels of 15-year-old Kino and her talking motorcycle Hermes. Each episode is a new encounter in a new world with various rules, people and obstacles that eventually lead the two down a wonderful path of self discovery that is executed elegantly. Add it on MAL.
Do you watch anime? What are some of your favorite fantasy based series? Would you or have you watched any of the above? I would love to hear your thoughts!