Our staff’s favorite anime picks


With Japanese anime becoming more and more popular among people in the US, many people have discovered this new storytelling medium, finding shows that they love. However, this begs the question: what do we find enjoyable about watching anime? What do we look for?


Unique Plot/Premise:

There are so many ideas that have been overdone in television, especially in anime. For example, the “isekai” (isekai is when the main character gets transported to another world) subgenre, many shows under this category follow the same generic script and feel unoriginal and forced, making the shows unenjoyable to watch. This is why a unique plot or premise is so important, to create something that makes people feel interested in what’s going on in the show. Take “RE:Zero” for example, this show starts off as a typical isekai anime; your average, hikikomori (adolescents and young adults who become recluses in their parents’ homes, unable to work or go to school for months or years) protagonist is suddenly transported to another world. However, there’s a twist; he is very weak and his only saving grace is his ability to return by death to a certain point (respawn), granted to him by the witch of envy. These changes have been the catalyst for the show’s great success and bring with them a sense of desperation and mystery. 


Well-Written Characters:

It’s undeniable that characters hold great power in anime; a well written character can inspire some of the most powerful human emotions: love, hate and disgust. Characters in anime have the power to pull all these feelings out of thin air. For example, Gintoki Sakata, from the anime “Gintama,” is one of the most relatable, multi-dimensional characters I’ve come across while watching anime. He is goofy, and often listless, but he is also driven and reliable when it counts. His character feels real because he constantly contradicts himself and lives by his own code. Of course, there are many other well-written characters in “Gintama” and you should definitely give it a watch.



High quality animation is an integral part of any good anime. Take a show with a good plot, writing and characters, but give it poor animation quality, and very few will sit down to watch the show. “Demon Slayer” is a prime example of how high animation quality can bring a show great success. “Demon Slayer” was praised for its beautiful art, winning animation of the year at the tokyo anime awards. Fans across the globe fell in love with this show, not only because of the plot or characters, but, in part, due to its wonderfully animated fight scenes.


Here are some of the Echo Staff’s favorite anime: (all summaries sourced from Wikipedia, IMDB and MyAnimeList unless indicated otherwise).




Neon Genesis Evangelion

“Neon Genesis Evangelion” is set fifteen years after a worldwide cataclysm, particularly in the futuristic fortified city of Tokyo-3. The protagonist is Shinji, a teenage boy who was recruited by his father Gendo to the shadowy organization Nerv to pilot a giant bio-machine mecha named “Evangelion” into combat against beings known as “Angels.” The series explores the experiences and emotions of Evangelion pilots and members of Nerv as they try to prevent Angels from causing more cataclysms. In the process, they are called upon to understand the ultimate causes of events and the motives for human action.


Violet Evergarden

“Violet Evergarden” revolves around Auto Memory Dolls, people who are hired to write for others. The story follows Violet Evergarden, an Auto Memory Doll, on her journey to reintegrating back into society after the war is over and her search for her life’s purpose, now that she is no longer a soldier in order to understand the last words her mentor and guardian, Major Gilbert, had told her: “I love you.”



“Nichijou” follows the everyday lives of various people in the town of Tokisadame, centering on the energetic Yūko Aioi, the bright and cheerful Mio Naganohara, the quiet and deadpan Mai Minakami, the anxious android Nano Shinonome, her young creator the Professor, and a talking cat named Sakamoto, along with an ensemble cast of characters.



Ryuji Takasu, a high-school student with a gentle and compassionate personality, lives a frustrating existence, as people around him tend to avoid him due to his intimidating appearance. His frustrations increase when he begins to quarrel with Taiga Aisaka, a girl at his school who possesses a violent and fiery temperament despite her petite and innocent appearance. However, when the two discover that they both have crushes on each other’s best friend, they decide to work together to charm and win over their individual crushes, thus starting an unlikely friendship. 


Cowboy Bebop

In a post-apocalyptic world where Earth has become largely uninhabitable, this story follows a ragtag group of bounty hunters, led by the main character, Spike, known as cowboys, aboard the spaceship “Bebop.” As they traverse planets and moons in search of wanted fugitives, each cowboy contends with shadows from the past they can’t outrun. (Written by Noah)





A samurai and his quirky band of friends take odd-jobs in an alternate version of feudal Japan that has been conquered by aliens.


To Your Eternity:

The story is about an immortal being, Fushi, who takes on multiple forms, including that of an abandoned white-haired village boy and his white wolf in order to stimulate itself as it learns what it is to be truly human.



The story follows a ronin named Hyakkimaru whose limbs and sensory organs were taken by demons at birth. Outfitted with primitive prosthetics, he hunts and kills demons in order to regain his missing body parts. He is accompanied by a troublesome orphan thief named Dororo, during his travels. The duo roam around various countries, fighting ghouls and demons.



Subaru Natsuki is a NEET who is suddenly summoned to a fantasy-like world. Just after arriving, he is killed while trying to help a young half-elf he befriends, Emilia, only to revive some hours in the past. After dying some times, Subaru realizes that he has the power to turn back time after his death. After successfully helping Emilia, Subaru begins living in a mansion belonging to a man named Roswaal Mathers. Subaru makes use of his newfound ability to protect Emilia and help fulfill her ambition to be successfully appointed as the next queen. 



Set in an alternate timeline, it follows an exiled prince, Lelouch vi Britannia, who obtains the “power of absolute obedience” from a mysterious woman named C.C. Using this supernatural power, known as Geass, he leads a rebellion against the rule of the Holy Britannian Empire, hoping to exact revenge upon his father, the king.




Death Note:

When highschool genius Light Yagami acquires the Death Note, a notebook that gives the user the ability to kill anyone just by writing their name in it, he uses his newfound power to kill off the world’s criminals and impose his extreme ideology on the world. The worlds’ governments hire the world’s best detective, L, to take down Light. (Written by Lucas)



“Bleach” follows the adventures of the hotheaded teenager Ichigo Kurosaki, who inherits his parents’ destiny after he obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper—a death personification similar to the Grim Reaper—from another Soul Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki. His new-found powers force him to take on the duties of defending humans from evil spirits and guiding departed souls to the afterlife, and set him on journeys to various ghostly realms of existence.


Cowboy Bebop:

-See above


Soul Eater:

Set at the “Death Weapon Meister Academy”, the series revolves around three teams, each consisting of a weapon meister and (at least one) weapon that can transform into a humanoid. Trying to make the latter a “death scythe” and thus fit for use by the academy’s headmaster Shinigami, the personification of death, they must collect the souls of 99 evil humans and one witch, in that order; otherwise, they will have to start all over again.


FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood:

Two alchemist brothers search for a magical Philosopher’s Stone after an attempt to revive their deceased mother goes wrong and leaves them in damaged physical forms. Edward, who lost his arm and leg, and Alphonse, who lost his entire body, join the military in order to research a way to restore their bodies. However, they are not the only ones seeking the powerful stone. And as they search, they learn of a sinister plot far greater than the alchemists could have ever imagined. (Written by Lucas)




Attack on Titan

100 years ago, man-eating giants called Titans appeared and nearly destroyed humanity. The few survivors built three massive concentric walls to protect themselves from the Titan onslaught. But one day, a colossal titan destroyed the gates of the outermost wall, leaving the unsuspecting humans at the mercy of the Titans. (Written by Lucas)


Death Note:

-See above


FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

-See above



In a world run by ninjas with magical powers, a giant nine tailed fox appeared and threatened to destroy the Leaf Village. The Hokage, who is the village leader and its strongest ninja, sealed the demon inside newborn Naruto Uzumaki. As Naruto grows up and becomes a young ninja, he seeks recognition from his peers and dreams of becoming the next Hokage. But the world of ninjas is far more frightening and cruel than Naruto could have imagined. (Written by Lucas)


Vinland Saga

“Vinland Saga” combines a dramatization of King Cnut the Great’s historical rise to power with a revenge plot centered on the historical explorer Thorfinn, the son of a murdered ex-warrior, who serves under the group of mercenaries responsible for the killing his father.



Demon Slayer

“Demon Slayer” follows teenage Tanjiro Kamado, who strives to become a demon slayer after his family was slaughtered and his younger sister Nezuko turned into a demon


Cowboy Bebop

-See above


ID Invaded

“ID: Invaded” takes place in a world where investigators have the power to tap into a killer’s unconscious and see fragmented parts of their psyche. It  follows the investigations of Narihisago, a renowned detective now in prison, who is tasked with diving into the id wells of various serial killers.


Elfen Lied

Elfen Lied revolves around the interactions, views, emotions, and differences between human beings and the Diclonii, a mutant species similar to humans in build but distinguishable by two horns on their heads and “vectors”, transparent telekinetically controlled arms that have the power to manipulate and cut objects within their reach.



Parasyte details the life of Shinichi Izumi, a high school student, who has been possessed by a parasite named Migi within his right arm. Izumi’s case is different from the rest: his brain has not been taken over, giving him the ability to hunt down other parasites that want to destroy the human population by consuming them!





-See above


Attack on Titan 

-See above


Supreme Demon 

A foolish Prince Consort abruptly Transforms into a demon emperor, dual cultivating the demonic secret art and primeval secret art. He strives to become a Supreme Demon in order to protect his wife From the other royal families as they try to eradicate him and his family. This dynamic Power struggle will keep you reading chapter after chapter. 


Soul Eater  

-See above


Toklyo Ghoul 

Tokyo Ghoul is set in an alternate reality where ghouls, creatures that look like normal people but can only survive by eating human flesh, live among the human population in secrecy, hiding their true nature in order to evade pursuit from the authorities. The story follows Ken Kaneki, a student who barely survives a deadly encounter with Rize Kamishiro, his date who reveals herself as a ghoul and tries to eat him. He is taken to the hospital in critical condition. After recovering, Kaneki discovers that he underwent a surgery that transformed him into a half-ghoul.





-See above


One Piece

“One Piece” follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a boy whose body gained the properties of rubber after unintentionally eating a Devil Fruit. With his pirate crew, the Straw Hat Pirates, Luffy explores the Grand Line in search of the world’s ultimate treasure known as the “One Piece” in order to become the next King of the Pirates.


Jujutsu Kaisen

The story follows high school student Yuji Itadori as he joins a secret organization of Jujutsu Sorcerers in order to kill a powerful Curse named Ryomen Sukuna, of whom Yuji becomes the host.


Scissor Seven (technically a Chinese anime)

The clumsy and broke Seven fails a crash course in professional killing and opens a barber shop as a disguise. He then decides to become an assassin, and gets stuck in a power struggle between two rivaling factions while he tries to recover his lost memories.


Attack on Titan

-See above