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Easing into anime: five shows you should watch

Anime as a form of entertainment can been traced to the early 20th century, with the earliest films using artistic styles from 1917. In the 1940s, anime animated films were used in World War II as propaganda for the Japanese. In the 1980s, anime became mainstream and has slowly spread around the world.

This past decade has seen an explosion of popularity in the west for anime. Conventions, merchandise and streaming sales have garnered more attention than ever before in the United States. No longer are just shows like Dragon Ball Z and Pokemon taking the center stage.

If you are curious about anime but unsure of what you should watch, here are some suggestions that are great for anyone.

A young Satoru Fujinuma (left) guarding Kayo Hinazuki (right) as his mother Sachiko (bottom right) is in the corner. Courtesy of IMDb.

“Erased (The City Where Only I am missing)”

12 episodes

“Erased” tells the story of a 29-year-old man working a dead-end job at a pizza place. Satoru Fujinuma feels like he has wasted his whole life by never taking any chances, especially in pursuing his dream of becoming a manga artist. He is a regular guy, minus the fact that he has an ability to go back in time to prevent deadly accidents around him from happening. One night, his mother is murdered and it’s up to him to travel back in time and unravel the mystery of his mother’s death.

Your lie in april.jpg
From left to right: Tsubaki Sawabe, Kaori Miyazono, Kosei Arima and Ryota Watari all posing for the poster for Your Lie in April.

“Your Lie in April”

22 episodes

If you’re looking for a romantic drama, “Your Life in April” is just the one. Kosei Arima is a former piano prodigy who has lost both his joy the ability to hear the piano in the wake of his mother’s death. This all changes when he meets Kaori Miyazono, a talented violinist. Her love and passion for music, as well as signing Kosei up to be her accompanist, helps them both grow as people. Mix in a little romantic drama with Kaori and Kosei’s best friend and you have a show worthy of any anime beginner.

devil Is a part timer.jpg
The Demon Lord (right), Chiho Sasaki and the Hero Emilia are posing for a poster for the show.
Courtesy of Crunchyroll.

“The Devil is a Part-Timer!”

13 episodes

Comedy has long been a staple of anime and few shows do it better than the “The Devil is a Part-Timer!” Sadao Maou is a powerful Demon Lord in the world of Ente Isla. Thanks to the great hero Emilia, she vanquishes Sadao and transports him to modern-day Japan with his General Shiro Ashiya as regular humans. Given the circumstances, they are forced to take on everyday life and even have to find jobs to survive. Tremble as the evil Demon Lord asks you if you would like fries with your meal!

Mob Psycho.jpg
Showing of the trippy and bizarre world of Mob Psycho 100. Couresty of Crunchyroll.

“Mob Psycho 100”

Episodes 25

Picking manga artist ONE’s more popular series, “One Punch Man” would have been easier, but that series doesn’t need more attention than it’s already received. Equally as great is his series “Mob Psycho 100.” It follows an eighth-grader named Mob who is an “Esper,” someone with deep psychic power. Despite his otherworldly gifts, he is a shy, socially awkward boy with a bad bowl-cut. He doesn’t want to use his powers and wishes to overcome his flaws. This show teaches you no matter how great you are there are always ways to improve.

“Demon Slayer”

Demon Slayer.jpg
Tanjiro and members of the Demon Slayer Corps in the forefront. While Muzan the first demon is in the background.
Courtesy of Crunchyroll.

Currently airing and on episode 26

The most popular anime on this list has taken the anime community by storm. Popular former Twitch streamer Ninja tweeted: “Demon slayer might be my favorite anime of all time.” The series focuses on Tanjiro Kamoda, a boy who lives in the mountains with his family. One day, he goes into town and when he returns home he finds his entire family has been killed by a demon. His younger sister Nezuko, has turned into a demon, but unlike other demons wishes no harm to humans. They now travel the land as a team fighting off demons in the hopes of changing Nezuko back.

Ricardo Tovar can be reached at @rtovarg13 on Twitter.

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