Undead, armor-plated mutants! Socially-awkward psychics! Public defenders moonlighting as crime-scene detectives! These are some of the fun characters awaiting anybody who’d like a break from whatever usual stuff American TV’s offering this summer. So much anime is right there for the streaming, right at this very moment. Trust us, though. We know. There’s just so much to sift through. You really need a good friend to point out what’s truly worth diving into.
Well, we at Geek & Sundry like to think we’re your friends–your best friends, in fact. So, we hope you’ll trust our recs. Anybody up for a quick anime jaunt should get some nice jollies from these recent titles. We guarantee.
Mob Psycho 100
The latest anime springing from the twisted imagination of ONE, the mangaka who dreamed up last year’s surprise blockbuster, One Punch Man. “Quirky” and “unconventional” don’t even begin to describe this oddball, off-kilter odyssey about an amateur exorcist whom a high school’s unpopular “Psychic Club” is desperately trying to recruit. Though, much like Saitama, “Mob” is as powerful as he is unmotivated. His interest casually drifts to the school’s Body Building Club instead. Somehow, that eventually gets him ensconced with an “LOL” cult devoted to “finding smiles,” and things get exponentially stranger from there. This anime looks and feels like an early 90s Nick Toon (think Rocko’s Modern Life or Ah! Real Monsters), which is honestly quite refreshing for anime.
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
This half-length season concluded recently, but its half-life has hardly deteriorated. In fact, at twelve tight episodes, it makes for a perfect Sunday binge watch. Fans of the Blade flicks might recall that the original plot for movie #3 was to involve the Daywalker resisting vampires to the bitter end in a future where the bloodsuckers had actually conquered Earth. Obviously, the producers didn’t go with that; but this show handily offers a steampunk execution of a similar premise.
Here, the last vestiges of humanity hide in metal cities, and their only hope to ward off the legions of the ghouls roaming outside may actually lie in a man who’s half-undead. Kabaneri has all the flash of a Hollywood blockbuster, but none of the limits studios usually impose. It’s a gory, full-tilt thrill ride, from the first frame to the last.
For those who haven’t played any of Capcom’s games: imagine the most over-the-top and fantastical Law & Order spin-off. The show’s a legal procedural where photos of lake monsters and “spirit channeling rituals” serve as key pieces of evidence. The ever-earnest and sharply-coifed lawyer, Phoenix Wright, continually fights to clear the names of the wrongly-accused in multi-part arcs devoted to entire trials. No TV attorney has ever shouted “Objection!” with as much bombastic conviction, but what’s neat is that this show still grounds itself in a more-or-less accurate courtroom process. For all the shouting and speedlines, it’s actually quite accessible and character-focused, and is already looking to be a great “stepping stone show” for newbies to approach anime through.
What titles are pushing your buttons this season? Drop your recs in the talkback. We’d love to check ’em out, and maybe feature them here.
Image Credits: Bones, Wit Studio, Capcom
Featured Image Credit: Capcom