Anime is a type of Japanese animation that is used for TV shows, graphic novels (called manga) and movies. It has some very recognizable features in its art. There are a plethora of stories out there that are made in the anime style. There are even some mainstream TV shows and movies like Avatar: The Last Airbender and Howl's Moving Castle.
Some Arapahoe Libraries staff members are big fans of anime. They have great recommendations for any age if you want to explore anime for the first time or if you're looking for a deep cut to add to your favorites.
Natsume's Book of Friends is such a touching tale about an orphan who can see yokai and his journey to connect with humanity. Such a comfort show! -Grace B.
The Secret World of Arrietty is a favorite in our household. It's based on the 1952 novel, The Borrowers by Mary Norton, and is animated by Studio Ghibli. Miniatures are a hit with my family and we love the perspective it provides of the world from the viewpoint of four inches tall. The artwork, animation, and music work perfectly together to make a pleasant family film. And bonus, the English dubbed version features the voices of Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, and Carol Burnett! -Heather L.
For younger audiences like kids and teens I would recommend Mob Psycho 100 (young boy learns to live a normal life with psychic powers) and Haikyuu!! (high school volleyball team and the wonderful lessons they learn along the way). -Maria D.
[Animal Crossing: New Horizons] manga is so funny and especially relatable if you've played the game. -Sky C.
Hamtaro! Tiny hamsters big adventures?! Wholesome, cute, adorable and the power of friendship always prevails! - Jordan G.
Cozy manga for all ages- Hakumei and Mikochi: Tiny Little Life in the Woods by Takuto Kashiki. Hakumei is a carpenter and Mikochi is a healer and maker. Both are teeny tiny humans (imagine: a single blueberry is two full armfuls of fruit) who live in the woods, take care of each other, make friends, and have adventures. Very slice of life-y and sweet, will not stress you out. -Elena C.
Tokyo GodFathers. One Christmas season, 3 unhoused individuals, a child prostitute, an alcoholic father and a transwoman find a small abandoned infant. When they try to find the baby's family they slowly begin to realize family take many forms. I cried when I watched it and adored it. It's a truly wholesome Christmas movie. -Jordan G.
Tokyo GodFathers is one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies! - Elena C.
Teen/Adult: Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Ruroni Kenshin, Outlaw Star, Gurren Lagan. Code Geass, and Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Yu Yu Hakusho, Inuyasha...I need to stop there or else I will just keep going. Cowboy Bebop is an almost perfect single season scifi anime that focuses on a rag tag group of intergalactic bounty hunters aboard a spaceship called the Bebop. Each member of the crew has their own checkered past that they are trying to escape from (even the dog) but the plot mostly centers around the quirky kung fu space cowboy Spike Spegal and his traumatic past inevitably catching up with him. It's a compelling story that has an underlying theme of existentialism and finding one's purpose in life. An upbeat jazz soundtrack fuels the action packed episodes but also matches the slow paced drama during many scenes as well. 10/10. -Aaron F.
Demon Slayer and Jujutsu Kaisen! Both are very action-packed and have beautifully fleshed out characters! Both cover the ongoing battle between good and evil, but also take a deep look into the villains' backstories to fully understand why they became so hateful and evil. -Koby A.
I like quite a few shows but my two favorites are Vampire Hunter D and Ghost in the Shell. ❤ For a more modern show: Samurai Champloo. -Sarah D.
(Boku No) My Hero Academia has been making me smile as big as All Might all summer long. -Josiah C.
Too many to name, but I'm watching Spy x Family right now. One that I am embarrassed to say that I enjoy is Highschool DxD. -Chris P.
I just started rewatching Food Wars! [Naruto is a] classic, classic coming of age story with ninja battles. [In Komi Can't Communicate], Komi has social anxiety wants to make 100 friends! Cute, quirky, funny characters. (The manga is great too, but I love the sound effects in the anime). [Some biographies and memoirs are] My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness can get pretty heavy and intense [and] The Girl That Can't Get a Girlfriend [has a] lighter mood. -Sky C.
The movie Your Name. Its for teens maybe tweens and it makes me cry every time in the best way. The two main characters wake up one day to realize they have switched bodies. Once they go back to sleep they never know who they will be the next day. They don't know each other and what at first seems like a crazy dream, turns into a mysterious romance as they try to leave each other clues and find one another. There's a major twist and even just writing this I need to go and watch it again. -Olivia D.
One of my all time favorites is Millennium Actress. It's such a beautifully done anime movie about a legendary actress. It's done in the style of a documentary with an interview and camera crew interviewing an elder legendary actress. As she tells her story, the anime switches between her past and the present. It's gorgeous, made in 2001. -Amanda C.
Chobits! - Hilarious! Full of fun, romance, and a bit of mystery. -Mariann G.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Truly one of the best pieces of TV I've ever seen in my life. Excellent writing, beautiful animation and scoring, talented voice acting: FMAB has it all! Good for teens and adults, possibly pre-teens depending on their comfort level with gore/body horror. -Laura R.
I really enjoyed reading through the Claymore series by Norihiro Yagi. Giant monsters that can disguise themselves as human (called Yoma) are destroying communities. A mysterious group known only as The Organization creates an all female team of human-Yoma hybrid warriors called Claymores (after the giant claymore swords they wield) to kill Yoma for a price. The journey toward figuring out who The Organization is and what they are after is filled with social commentary, fierce friendships, betrayal, and a whole lot of giant monster fights! The manga is 27 volumes and there is also an anime adaptation. -Elena C.
What are you favorite anime TV shows, movies or manga? Let us know in the comments!