Friday Favorites: Supernatural/Horror Anime

new Friday fave

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 at length, depending on my mood 😉


My appreciation of animated films and anime is no secret to anyone who frequents the blog. However, it is very rare that I discuss the major genres of supernatural and horror in anime, as I know it does not appeal to a large portion of my audience. But today. I have decided to give some of my favorites their much deserved praise.

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My Favorite Supernatural/Horror Anime

deathparadeDeath Parade

My Rating: 10/10

MAL Synopsis: After death, there is no heaven or hell, only a bar that stands between reincarnation and oblivion. There the attendant will, one after another, challenge pairs of the recently deceased to a random game in which their fate of either ascending into reincarnation or falling into the void will be wagered. Whether it’s bowling, darts, air hockey, or anything in between, each person’s true nature will be revealed in a ghastly parade of death and memories, dancing to the whims of the bar’s master. Welcome to Quindecim, where Decim, arbiter of the afterlife, awaits!

deadmanwonderlandDeadman Wonderland

My Rating: 9/10

MAL Synopsis: It looked like it would be a normal day for Ganta Igarashi and his classmates—they were preparing to go on a class field trip to a certain prison amusement park called Deadman Wonderland, where the convicts perform dangerous acts for the onlookers’ amusement. However, Ganta’s life is quickly turned upside down when his whole class gets massacred by a mysterious man in red. Framed for the incident and sentenced to death, Ganta is sent to the very jail he was supposed to visit.

But Ganta’s nightmare is only just beginning.

The young protagonist is thrown into a world of sadistic inmates and enigmatic powers, to live in constant fear of the lethal collar placed around his neck that is slowed only by winning in the prison’s deathly games. Ganta must bet his life to survive in a ruthless place where it isn’t always easy to tell friend from foe, all while trying to find the mysterious “Red Man” and clear his name, in Deadman Wonderland.

hellsingultimateHellsing Ultimate

My Rating: 10/10

MAL Synopsis: There exist creatures of darkness and evil that plague the night, devouring any human unfortunate enough to be caught in their grasp. On the other side is Hellsing, an organization dedicated to destroying these supernatural forces that threaten the very existence of humanity. At its head is Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, who commands a powerful military and spends her life fighting the undead.

Integra’s vast army, however, pales in comparison with her ultimate weapon: the vampire Alucard, who works against his own kind as an exterminator for Hellsing. With his new vampire servant, Seras Victoria, at his side, Alucard must battle not only monsters but all those who stand to oppose Hellsing, be they in the guise of good or evil.

In a battle for mankind’s survival, Hellsing Ultimate proves that appearances are not all they may seem, and sometimes the greatest weapon can come in the form of one’s worst nightmare.

yamishibaiYami Shibai

My Rating: 8/10

MAL Synopsis: The mysterious, yellow-masked Storyteller is a man whose true name and origin are both unknown. He appears at dusk where children gather and recites sinister tales based on Japanese urban legends, to which his young audience eerily intakes. However, the Storyteller is no ordinary teller of tales. He incorporates a kamishibai, a traditional paper-scrolling device, to add visuals to his already demented narration.

A series of short horror stories, Yami Shibai begins with a bachelor who, after moving into a new apartment, immediately starts sensing a malevolent glare being pressed into him. A single talisman rests on his ceiling, but he has no way of knowing it is one of the few safeguards that separate him from a bottomless pit of suffering. Each story is more terrifying, more appalling, and more sickening than the last as the Storyteller’s audience find themselves being sucked into the vicious world of his words.

lost village 3The Lost Village

My Rating: 8/10

MAL Synopsis: A bus full of eccentric individuals is headed towards the urban legend known as Nanaki Village, a place where one can supposedly start over and live a perfect life. While many have different ideas of why the village cannot be found on any map, or why even the police cannot pinpoint its location, they each look forward to their new lives and just what awaits them once they reach their destination.

After a few mishaps, they successfully arrive at Nanaki Village only to find it completely abandoned. Judging from the state of disrepair, it has been vacant for at least a year. However, secrets are soon revealed as some of the group begin to go missing while exploring the village and amidst the confusion, they find bloody claw marks in a forest. As mistrust and in-fighting break out, will they ever be able to figure out the truth behind this lost village?

highschoolofthedeadHighschool of the Dead

My Rating: 7/10

MAL Synopsis: It happened suddenly: The dead began to rise and Japan was thrown into total chaos. As these monsters begin terrorizing a high school, Takashi Kimuro is forced to kill his best friend when he gets bitten and joins the ranks of the walking dead. Vowing to protect Rei Miyamoto, the girlfriend of the man he just executed, they narrowly escape their death trap of a school, only to be greeted with a society that has already fallen.

Soon, Takashi and Rei band together with other students on a journey to find their family members and uncover what caused this overwhelming pandemic. Joining them is Saeko Busujima, the beautiful president of the Kendo Club; Kouta Hirano, an otaku with a fetish for firearms; Saya Takagi, the daughter of an influential politician; and Shizuka Marikawa, their hot school nurse. But will the combined strength of these individuals be enough to conquer this undead apocalypse?

parasytemaximParasyte -The Maxim-

My Rating: 10/10

MAL Synopsis: All of a sudden, they arrived: parasitic aliens that descended upon Earth and quickly infiltrated humanity by burrowing into the brains of vulnerable targets. These insatiable beings acquire full control of their host and are able to morph into a variety of forms in order to feed on unsuspecting prey.

Sixteen-year-old high school student Shinichi Izumi falls victim to one of these parasites, but it fails to take over his brain, ending up in his right hand instead. Unable to relocate, the parasite, now named Migi, has no choice but to rely on Shinichi in order to stay alive. Thus, the pair is forced into an uneasy coexistence and must defend themselves from hostile parasites that hope to eradicate this new threat to their species.

tokyoghoulTokyo Ghoul

My Rating: 9/10

MAL Synopsis: Tokyo has become a cruel and merciless city—a place where vicious creatures called “ghouls” exist alongside humans. The citizens of this once great metropolis live in constant fear of these bloodthirsty savages and their thirst for human flesh. However, the greatest threat these ghouls pose is their dangerous ability to masquerade as humans and blend in with society.

Based on the best-selling supernatural horror manga by Sui Ishida, Tokyo Ghoul follows Ken Kaneki, a shy, bookish college student, who is instantly drawn to Rize Kamishiro, an avid reader like himself. However, Rize is not exactly who she seems, and this unfortunate meeting pushes Kaneki into the dark depths of the ghouls’ inhuman world. In a twist of fate, Kaneki is saved by the enigmatic waitress Touka Kirishima, and thus begins his new, secret life as a half-ghoul/half-human who must find a way to integrate into both societies.

anotherAnother

My Rating: 8/10

MAL Syopsis: In 1972, a popular student in Yomiyama North Middle School’s class 3-3 named Misaki passed away during the school year. Since then, the town of Yomiyama has been shrouded by a fearful atmosphere, from the dark secrets hidden deep within.

Twenty-six years later, 15-year-old Kouichi Sakakibara transfers into class 3-3 of Yomiyama North and soon after discovers that a strange, gloomy mood seems to hang over all the students. He also finds himself drawn to the mysterious, eyepatch-wearing student Mei Misaki; however, the rest of the class and the teachers seem to treat her like she doesn’t exist. Paying no heed to warnings from everyone including Mei herself, Kouichi begins to get closer not only to her, but also to the truth behind the gruesome phenomenon plaguing class 3-3 of Yomiyama North.

Another follows Kouichi, Mei, and their classmates as they are pulled into the enigma surrounding a series of inevitable, tragic events—but unraveling the horror of Yomiyama may just cost them the ultimate price.

BlackButlerBlack Butler

My Rating: 10/10

MAL Synopsis: Young Ciel Phantomhive is known as “the Queen’s Guard Dog,” taking care of the many unsettling events that occur in Victorian England for Her Majesty. Aided by Sebastian Michaelis, his loyal butler with seemingly inhuman abilities, Ciel uses whatever means necessary to get the job done. But is there more to this black-clad butler than meets the eye?

In Ciel’s past lies a secret tragedy that enveloped him in perennial darkness—during one of his bleakest moments, he formed a contract with Sebastian, a demon, bargaining his soul in exchange for vengeance upon those who wronged him. Today, not only is Sebastian one hell of a butler, but he is also the perfect servant to carry out his master’s orders—all the while anticipating the delicious meal he will eventually make of Ciel’s soul. As the two work to unravel the mystery behind Ciel’s chain of misfortunes, a bond forms between them that neither heaven nor hell can tear apart.


Do you enjoy darker anime or films? If so, have you watched the above or do you have any favorites to recommend?

Happy Friday!

Danielle ❤

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Friday Favorites: Anime Series with Fantasy Elements

Friday Favorites

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 😉


 

Anime
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

  1. The first on my list is an absolute favorite. Pandora Hearts is not only a completely pandoraengaging 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.bbutler 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 itfatezero 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.

mushishi

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 sailor moonentire 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.

mononoke6. 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 thegate 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

the-ancient-magus-bride-8591-18. 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 fullmetal-alchemistexplored. 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.

Kino10. 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!

Happy Friday,

Danielle ❤

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Friday Favorites: Studio Ghibli & Hayao Miyazaki

Friday Favorites

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 😉

 ❤ Studio Ghibli ❤

It is no secret that I adore all things animation and sequential arts. I relish in the chance to savor a good story accompanied with beautiful illustration. This is something I will never outgrow, holding a deep appreciation and respect for the amount of time and work that is devoted to the amazing end results. The experience is rewarding and often magical. And as an adult and family, I find that something worth hanging onto.

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This week I am sharing a list of several of my favorite works of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli because I feel they truly embody that magic I mention above. For this post, I am looking only at the films.

jiji-clipart-33   A Few FavoritesFlying_totoro

 

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The Wind Rises
Written & Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Why: Following the life and career of Jiro Horikoshi, who designs Japanese fighter planes during WWII, The Wind Rises is a more subtle experience that still successfully tackles life, conflicts and dreams. And it does so beautifully through a perspective many of us might find hard to imagine. I cry almost every time.

princessmononoke

Princess Mononoke
Director by Hayao Miyazaki
Written by Hayao MiyazakiNeil Gaiman (English Adaptation)

Why: On a journey to find the cure for an inflicted curse, the young warrior Ashitaka soon discovers himself in the middle of a battle being waged between man and the forest. His struggle to understand both sides and seek resolution ends up causing him to be viewed as a potential enemy to both the forest and man. This is an incredible look at the never-ending conflict between man and nature that is portrayed through stunning animation and musical score. It really sort of just touches your soul.

spiritedawaySpirited Away 
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki & Kirk Wise
Written by Hayao Miyazaki

Why: Because this is why I love fantasy! 10-year-old Chihiro finds herself on the adventure of a lifetime after her parents make a wrong turn and decide to stop at an abandoned amusement park. After they consume a meal that Chihiro refuses, she learns from a boy named Haku that they are in terrible danger. She returns to discover they have been transformed into pigs and the amusement park is actually a town inhabited by demons and strange creatures. Now she finds herself relying on Haku in an effort to save her family and return home. This one is riddled with enchantment and magic as Chihiro discovers her own strengths and faces her fears. Saying anymore would spoil the fun!

Ponyo-5Ponyo
Written & Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Why: Sosuke is a 5-year-old boy who rescues a trapped goldfish and names her Ponyo. However, she is actually the daughter of a sea goddess and wizard. When she begins to fall for the young boy, she uses their powers to transform herself into a girl. But when her father sends the angry ocean after her, she embarks on an incredible adventure with Sosuke to save the world and hopefully her own dreams. Ponyo is full of heart! There is something to be said for its stunning simplicity and charm.

kikis-delivery-serviceKiki’s Delivery Service
Written & Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Why: Kiki is a young witch who has turned 13 and must now choose a new home and learn to thrive independently with her cat JiJi. She takes up residency above a bakery in a seaside village and begins her new life. This is a charming story that feels a bit more personal in comparison to others, as it follows Kiki and her daily life during her journey to discover herself.

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My Neighbor Totoro 
Written & Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Why:  Satsuki and her younger sister Mei, move to the country with their father to be closer to their mother who is ill in a nearby hospital. Upon moving, they discover the local forest is inhabited by Totoro (magical spirits). Perhaps the most magical aspect of My Neighbor Totoro is the mixed elements of two very viable young girls and the incredibly imaginative, non-vocal spirits. Forgoing the traditional songs and villains, this is a truly unique film that embraces you in the best of ways and tugs at your inner child.

howls

Howl’s Moving Castle
Written & Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Why: Because this a rewarding love story unlike any you will ever encounter. 18-year-old Sophie finds herself transformed into an old woman at the curse of a witch. She learns the her only chance of lifting the spell lies within an arrogant magician named Howl and his walking castle. Notably one of Miyazaki’s more eccentric films, it offers a captivating story of love and friendship wrapped in the utterly fantastical! I won’t spoil it for you.


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About Studio Ghibli
(Taken from Wiki)

Studio Ghibli, Inc. is a Japanese animation film studiobased in Koganei, Tokyo, Japan. The studio is best known for its anime feature films, and has also produced several short films, television commercials, and one television film. It was founded on 15 June 1985, after the success of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind(1984), with funding by Tokuma Shoten.  Read more.

Older but fun article: 23 Facts About Studio Ghibli That Will Change The Way You Watch The Movies

IMDb Official Numbered List of Studio Ghibli DvDs


I plan to feature more favorite anime series/films outside of Studio Ghibli in the near feature, but for today I wanted to look specifically at this incredibly film company.

Are you a fan of Studio Ghibli or Hayao Miyazaki? What have been some of your favorites films?

Lets Chat!

Danielle ❤

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