In November I didn’t watch nearly as much anime as other months however I completed everything on this list and shows like hajime no ippo are really long!
Hajime No Ippo
This series is the best sports anime I’ve ever seen and deserves a lot of praise for getting me interested in a sport I had absolutely no interest in and would never say I liked. The motivation and determination from the main characters as well as the stakes for everyone involved are brilliantly tense and hyper, creating a brilliant watching experience.
Contrasting most action shounen shows, every punch, movement and injury feels real and has a distinctive impact that shows every single action has consequences for the characters. The way Ippo and the rest of the cast are injured is brutal and feels human giving them a relatability which makes you just have to root for them. In most shounens the pain the characters feel isn’t expressed in a realistic way and they are able to get back up and give it their full strength. In Ippo this isn’t done, most of the struggle is to overcome their own pain in an attempt to knock the other guy down.
It’s not really the most realistic, with over the top sound effects, massive muscles in feather weight boxing and punches which should knock the opponent down straight away.
But it’s comedy, characters, action and time outside of the fighting is also brilliantly entertaining to watch and something I definitely recommend.
This film is all about Okabe being removed from the steins gate time line and the rest of the cast trying to help him return. The cast are just as lovable as ever and it’s a really nice cool movie which has an entertaining plot whilst also providing a back story for a lot of Okabe’s nature, making the film feel like a worthwhile experience instead of a simple ad-on.
Spice and Wolf
Do you remember ages ago when I talked about subs vs dubs? Well that rule has an exception. The thing to know about spice and wolf is that there’s a lot of dialogue which means a lot of reading, a lot of reading about mythical foxes and medieval economics as well as characters who I’m not yet invested in. Whilst the dub voice acting isn’t great, it’s easier to read and I was able to do other things whilst watching. The plot of the episodes really got me interested and I started paying my full attention to the great plot lines. A thing that I remembered through the process of watching a dub for the first time in ages is that you slowly get used to the unnatural voices and start to not mind as much. The Japanese voice acting in the show is very normal for anime and pretty toned down yet the extreme strangeness of the voice actors carried me through the series. But I tell you what never again.
The appeal of this show is a mix between a character romance and medieval economics, which are two things I never thought would be good mixed together, but they really are! The silver coin scheme fascinated me to the extent that I wrote a massive post discussing its nature and implications, as well as this it’s great to watch the two main characters who feel like they’re made for each other. I guess that this is a ship, but it’s very strongly suggested and we’re not plagues with a “will they won’t they” situation which mean all the economics and scheming can thrive.
The characters in this show are called arbiters and deal with deciding where people will go after they die through exposing a human’s true nature. If you like the idea of this premise then you’ll enjoy the show overall however I felt that many of its aspects were lacking.
The games that the characters played were very dull in my opinion. They were incredibly simple and after reading the manga for Kaiji I was quite underwhelmed by the strategy at play, especially when you consider that the arbiters used unnatural means to create a tense scenario instead of involving a game which creates it naturally. The problem is that we don’t spend enough time with each game to see strategy develop and allow us to think about a games finer complexities, mostly because in this show they weren’t there.
This is just a case where my interests don’t match up with most of the audience, and I did enjoy it overall so I would still recommend it!
Thank you for reading these recommendations, there wasn’t a lot this time since Ippo took up most of my time! The winner for the best anime I watched in November is without a Doubt Hajime No Ippo. Here is the scoreboard so far this year:
January 2017 – Kaiji
March 2017 – B Gata H Kei
April 2017 – Berserk 1997
May 2017 – The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K
June 2017 – Golden Boy
July 2017 – New GTO
August – Inari Konkon Koi Iroha.
November – Hajime No Ippo