Cowboy Bebop (カウボーイビバップ)
An oldie but a goodie, Cowboy Bebop is set in the far future of 2071. Roughly sixty years after an incident with a hyperspace gateway making Earth uninhabitable. Humanity has since colonised most of the rocky moons and planets of the Solar System. With a rise in crime across the Solar System, registered bounty hunters chase down criminals and haul them in for a reward. The story follows Spike Spiegel, the protagonist, and his partner, Jet Black as they hunt down criminals across the Solar System. Spike has some bad history with an ex-partner called Vicious and ends up faking his own death to escape. During the series, Spike gains a couple of comrades and they embark on galactic adventures to thrill and delight with heaps of action. With twenty-six episodes, Cowboy Bebop isn’t too long, but can be a little bit hard to watch all in one go.
Fullmetal Alchemist (鋼の錬金術師)
FMA follows two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric who are State Alchemists working for the government. Alchemy is used in this world as a power to create and destroy. However, all Alchemy must follow the Law of Equivalent Exchange whereby something can only be created if the correct amount of matter is present to do so. Transmutation of anything is possible, but trying to create a human using Alchemy is prohibited. The Alphonse brothers try to bring their Mother back to life with Alchemy and pay an horrific price for it. Fullmetal Alchemist has two different Anime series. Fullmetal Alchemist having been released in 2003 roughly follows the events that happen in the original Manga, but Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, released in 2009, follows everything 1:1, so it’s a truer experience. Either way, it’s interesting to watch both series to get the full immersion of it’s goodness and learn as much as you can from it.
Wolf Children (おおかみこどもの雨と雪)
This incredibly beautiful, heartwarming and heartbreaking Anime film is another masterpiece from Mamoru Hosoda. In it a man, Ookami, and a woman, Hana, fall in love. This man soon reveals to her that he can transform into a wolf. Looking beyond this affliction, they continue their relationship and eventually have children. To no one’s surprise, the children can also transform into wolves but have trouble controlling when they do it. The story of Wolf Children follows Hana and Ookami as they get to grips with living with a secret and the trials and tribulations that come with it. It is such a beautiful story, but you will cry. However you’ll laugh too! This is a good film to watch, snuggled up beside your significant other with a mug of hot chocolate.
Summer Wars (サマーウォーズ)
OZ, a virtual world connected to the internet is a place where people can engage in a large variety of activities such as playing games or shopping using avatars created and customised by the user. OZ has very powerful security, ensuring the personal data of those using it stays as safe as possible. Kenji Koiso, a seventeen year old maths whiz is invited by his crush, Natsuki Shinohara on a Summer trip. However, unbeknownst to him, he is to pretend to be her fiancé in front of her whole family. During this stay Kenji receives a coded message on his phone from an unknown sender, challenging him to solve it. Being a maths genius, Kenji solves it easily, but what happens next puts the Earth in grave danger. Summer Wars has an awesome storyline and the characters are incredibly charming! I particularly love the animation used inside of OZ and seeing all of the avatars everyone has come up with. Being written with a Summery theme, this film is particularly great to watch during a hot Summer’s day, or even a cold Winter’s day to try and warm up!