A Place Further Than the Universe Leads Tokyo Anime Awards Fan Vote

Tokyo Anime Award Festival 2019 (TAAF) revealed the preliminary results for this year’s fan-voted Animation of the Year: Anime Fan Award. Leading the pack is A Place Further Than the Universe, a coming-of-age story about four teenage girls who sign up to go on an expedition to Antarctica. The series was recently recognized by The New York Times in its list of Best International TV Shows of 2018.

The plucky girls aren’t leading by a large margin; they could still be surpassed Banana Fish. Set in New York City, the crime drama follows the beautiful yet deadly Ash Lynx and his unlikely companion Eiji Okamura as they navigate the darkest underbelly of New York’s crime families.

In third place is Laid-Back Camp, the cozy series that invigorated Japan’s winter camping scene with a new influx of fans. The anime follows Rin Shima who had always enjoyed camping alone but expands her horizons when she meets newbie camper Nadeshiko Kagamihara.

The results are updated daily until the poll closes on December 24. The top 20 series and top 10 films are listed below.

Television Anime

  1. A Place Further Than the Universe
  2. BANANA FISH
  3. Laid-Back Camp
  4. Cells at Work!
  5. IDOLiSH7
  6. Zombie Land Saga
  7. SSSS.GRIDMAN
  8. Land of the Lustrous
  9. Bloom Into You
  10. Pop Team Epic
  11. Violet Evergarden
  12. Overlord (seasons II and III)
  13. Dream Festival! R
  14. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind
  15. Uma Musume Pretty Derby
  16. Asobi Asobase -workshop of fun-
  17. Girls’ Last Tour
  18. Attack on Titan Season 3
  19. Goblin Slayer
  20. Revue Starlight

Anime Films

  1. Detective Conan: Zero the Enforcer
  2. Girls und Panzer das Finale
  3. Liz and the Blue Bird
  4. Natsume Yujin-cho the Movie: Ephemeral Bond
  5. Gochūmon wa Usagi Desu ka?? Dear My Sister
  6. My Hero Academia: Two Heroes
  7. Non Non Biyori Vacation
  8. Okko’s Inn
  9. Bungo Stray Dogs: Dead Apple
  10. Pokémon the Movie: The Power of Us

The poll also decides works that will be eligible for the Theatrical Animation Division and Television Animation Division awards, as well as the individual awards for anime staff members. An anime series or film had to air between October 15, 2017 to October 13, 2018 to qualify for a spot. This cut-off isn’t limited to a show’s debut date. For instance, Land of the Lustrous premiered on October 7, 2017 but is still considered applicable to the poll because its episodes aired beyond the cut-off. This is also why last year saw Yuri!!! on Ice take the top spotin both 2016 and 2017 awards.

Voting can be done only once per person with up to three TV and movies choices each.

Source: Tokyo Anime Festival’s Best 100 site via Yara-on!

 

 

 

 

The 5 Most Promising Premieres for the Fall 2015 Anime Season

The fall anime season is here and each new show has shown their wares. Which new anime have impressed most with their opening episodes?

opening impressions intro image

The new anime season is here. But what should you be watching? Some people abide by the 3 episode rule where each anime is given 3 episodes to prove themselves before making a judgement whether they should continue watching. However considering there are over 25 new anime each season, that would mean you would be spending over 25 hours of your life just to decide what to watch, and you are undoubtedly a cool and attractive person who has lots of other important things you should be doing. So instead you should let other people watch everything for you and let them sort the gems from the trash. People like me! So here are the 5 most promising anime from the opening weeks of the fall 2015 anime season.


Owarimonogatari


opening impressions Owarimonogatari
opening impressions owarimonogatari 2

While the Monogatari franchise may be a known property by this stage, what’s so encouraging about the early episodes of Owarimonogatari is that the general upward trajectory of the franchise looks to be continuing. The imagery appears to be getting even more surreal with the time-stopped classroom floating in a windows media player screensaver. Ougi is a fantastically evil addition to the cast. The lewd angles and ogling camera shots that have hovered over this franchise unpleasantly since the start are only noticeable by their absence so far. Plus everything that made the series great is still here. The roundabout dialogue, obsession over exact terminology, and wonderful turns of phrase the characters come up with to express their emotions continue. There has never been a better time to get into the Monogatari franchise! Well, except you first have to watch Bakemonogatari. Then you have to watch Nisemonogatari, followed by Second Season, then Nekomonogatari. Actually no-you should watch Nekomonogatari before Bakemonogatari…and then there’s the prequel Kizumonogatari movies, which have been split into three and are coming out soon and-okay, maybe it is a bad time to get into the Monogatari franchise. But it’s still a goddamn good cartoon!


Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans


opening impressions Iron Blooded Orphans
opening impressions iron blooded orphans 2

It’s been a while since one has been able to recommend a Gundam series to completely new fans. Unicorn and Origin are both set in the original UC timeline, Build Fighters recommendations required the double caveat of being a kids show and full of fan-service-y references to older series for the long time fan, and neither Age nor Reconguista were particularly good. Thankfully now we have Iron Blooded Orphans, the serious mecha anime about orphans living on Mars acting as bodyguards in a battle for planetary independence. It’s not perfect, as any anime with the line “boobs are soft and warm, not cold and hard like this cockpit” deserves to be mocked, but it has incredibly strong characterisation and an interesting political minefield of a storyline being set up. It also has a guy called Biscuit with two younger sisters called Cookie and Cracker, which is always a plus. If you’ve never watched a Gundam series before, here is as good a place to start as any.


Osomatsu-san


opening impressions Osomatsu-san
opening impressions osomatsu san

Who on earth saw this coming? An adaptation of a manga older than your parents that first got an anime in 1966 gets a sequel in 2015 and it turns out to be genuinely one of the funniest of the season? Something was clearly off though when the first episode started in black and white, randomly turned into an idol anime, and then swiftly launched into one of the most on-point parodies of otome game reverse harems anime has ever made. There were a metric ton of parodies and references as the characters desperately try to find what it is that makes a modern anime popular and saw a Love Live and Haikyuu characters take out a titan by launching plungers at its face. The second episode hinted more at what the rest of the series plans to play out like. A more traditional gag-comedy style which is a bit more hit-or-miss with its jokes. However for the sheer shock of that first episode alone it deserves a lot of credit.


Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider


opening impressions The Perfect Insider
opening impressions perfect insider

It’s strange to call series like Nodame Cantabile or Paradise Kiss “throwback”, but The Perfect Insider feels like a throwback to the earlier Noitamina anime. The timeslot became successful in its early incarnation for hosting more mature josei anime aimed at an audience outside the usual anime demographic of teenage boys, something the timeslot rather abandoned in more recent years with anime like Punchline and Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend. The mystery series is an excellent example of well-written dialogue where what is not said is more important than what is actually said when it comes to figuring out these characters. It’s classic showing rather than telling, illustrating little character quirks by them acting them out rather than someone narrating over events and pointing out everything that’s happening. It’s perhaps a little too dry for some people, but don’t mistake that for humourless as there’s a genuine charm to people like Moe, our main character. It also has easily the best OP of the season, showing other anime just what you can achieve when you decide to do something a little more creative than Every Anime Opening Ever Made Ever.


One Punch Man


opening impressions wanpanman
opening impressions one punch man 2

Given the popularity of the original manga, it was clear that the One Punch Man anime adaptation had the greatest capacity for failure. The fact that even the most notoriously picky and unforgiving manga fans have been praising this adaptation is a testament to how good it has been. Admittedly with a plot as simple as One Punch Man has (it’s about a superhero who can beat everything with one punch and now he’s bored) it’s difficult to mess that up too much. But what Madhouse have done is added a layer of polish with some of the most jaw-dropping animation in any TV anime this year. When you can sense that the creators are having a fun time making the anime, that really shines through in the final product. It’s heaps of fun where every villain’s overly elaborate backstory will have you grinning like a maniac as you wait for the inevitable single and final blow given to them by a bored looking bald guy wearing a pair of red rubber gloves.

Vending Machines in Japan: They Just Keep Getting Better and Better!

Ah, vending machines. A nice way to indulge and an easy way to purchase snacks and refreshments. They seem to be everywhere in America, but those are nothing compared to the ones in Japan. Let’s take a look at what makes Japanese vending machines so out of the box!

vending machine ultraman
Even Ultraman gets thirsty!

Who in their lifetime hasn’t seen a vending machine? They are everywhere. Anyone who lives in America is accustomed to the simple pleasures of vending machines. If you’re feeling hungry, and want to indulge a little, all you have to do is stop by a vending machine for some refreshments. These days, it seems that vending machines are hidden in every nook and cranny imaginable. Every office, school, train station, recreation center, and more, has a vending machine on stand by. Considering how much technology has advanced, it’s amazing how vending machines in America haven’t evolved into more convenient, and easier to use, systems. In Japan, that’s not the case. Let’s take a look at what vending machines in Japan have to offer.

toaru kagaku no railgun anime vending machine
There are so many choices… Misaka from Toaru Kagaku no Railgun and Arisa from Love Live! are having trouble deciding what to buy!

hot snacks vending machinenine colors oden canvending machine oden hello kitty

Chips, chocolate, candies and sodas. These items are your typical vending machines selections in America. Wow, do we have some catching up to do! Japan has vending machines that will distribute anything from soft drinks, to canned goods. They are like miniature grocery stores! In some vending machines you can find: canned meals, flower bouquets, umbrellas, toys, fried goods, heated frozen foods, sandwiches, fresh eggs, coffee, chips, alcoholic beverages, batteries, and cigarettes. There are even some notorious underwear vending machines, offering women’s bras and panties. I mean, um, used women’s panties. Ew. Japanese vending machines serve both American foods (like Pringles chips,) but also a wide selection of Japanese foods. For example, onigiri, which is a Japanese rice ball. Another is natto, which is Japanese fermented soybeans, served on top of rice. Some Japanese vending machines also provide a live stream of newly-made beverages. Others are designated Wi-Fi hotspots.

vending machine touch panel
vending machine
Check out this super hi-tech vending machine!

As I mentioned before, vending machines in Japan are highly technologically advanced. A large portion of them now have a ‘touch screen’ system, to allow a wide variety of drink selections using a touch screen. Payment can be made using cash, credit or debit cards, or through a smartphone, using NFC technology. A small portion of these machines have a sensor, determining the age and gender of the customer. This allows the machine to make personalized item recommendations. Pretty cool eh? Finally, the machines are hooked up with different sponsor’s television channels. When no one is making a purchase, it is able to advertise different messages and promotional videos. Of course, there are still the classic vending machines in Japan. These machines take only coins or cash (occasionally a debit card) and customers must punch in their desired items number into a keypad. This is similar to American vending machines. Talk about going back to the stone age, am I right?

mirai nikki vending machine
Yuno and Yukki from Mirai Nikki are goofing off in front of an old-fashioned vending machine!

If you think America is filled to the brim with vending machines, then you’ve clearly never been to Japan. In Japan, vending machines have pretty much become a part of the scenery. They are literally everywhere. Of course they are located in the usual places, like train stations and offices, but there are also some locations that you would never expect to run into a vending machine, even in your wildest dreams. If you ever climb to the top of Mount Fuji, you will not only be rewarded with the gorgeous view, but also with some nice refreshments. That’s right. You can find Japanese vending machines on the top of mountains. If you’re on the road, you are more than likely to spot a few roadside vending machines. Isn’t that crazy?

vending machine on t. fuji
It’s no small task climbing up Mount Fuji. If only there were refreshments close by… !?!?

clannad canned bread

With Japan being the home of anime, it is basically guaranteed that there are some anime themed vending machines out there. Surprisingly, there are not as many anime-themed vending machines as you might expect. Some machines are ‘themed,’ decorated with different anime and manga characters. They feature anime themed products as well, such as sodas. The most popular anime themed products from vending machines are… well… canned bread! This product became popular in Japan thanks to the drama, romance anime, Clannad. The main female character Nagisa’s parents are bakers. So, Clannad-themed vending machines sell canned bread. It has become so popular that other companies compete by selling canned bread.

“I’m baking bread. Love will begin for all of the Dango.” – Nagisa Furukawa

It really is interesting, how Japan can be so creative when it comes to food. I mean, just look at some of the awesome cafés they have! It is no real surprise that Japan is able to impress and amaze the entire world, with something as simple as vending machines. If you ever find yourself in Japan, be sure to keep an eye out for these wacky machines. Maybe you’ll get to snack on chips on top of Mount Fuji. Maybe you’ll eat bread, presented in a can with Nagisa’s face on it. Or, maybe you’ll even find the infamous panty vending machine! It is all just another reason to visit this one of a kind country.

vending machine Toradora!
In Toradora!, vending machines are a way of life!

20 Humorous Toradora! Quotes Between Taiga Aisaka and Ryuji Takasu

Toradora! is an anime about Ryuuji and Taiga helping each other get closer to their secret crushes. But the heart of the story is about finding love without pretending to be someone else. Here are 20 quotes that highlight the honest, yet hilarious interactions between the two main characters.

“Now that my secret is out, I can no longer live.”-Taiga Aisaka

Toradora! Taiga Secret Quote


“You won’t die with a smack on the head with this thing.”-Taiga Aisaka

Toradora! Taiga Smack on Head Quote


“What is this stench?!”-Ryuji Takasu (walking into Taiga’s house for the first time)

Toradora! Ryuuji Stench Quote


“Aisaka! Let me…please let me clean your kitchen!”-Ryuji Takasu

Toradora! Ryuuji Clean Kitchen Quote


“Trespassing. And imposed cleaning. This better not be your attempt to mark your territory, stupid dog.”-Taiga Aisaka

Toradora! Taiga Territory Quote


“Stop ogling her, you sick mutt”-Taiga Aisaka

Toradora! Taiga Oogling Quote


“You need to stop making assumptions. ‘I’m the only one who can understand her’. That crap. It just makes you creepier”-Taiga Aisaka

Toradora! Taiga Creepier Quote


Taiga Aisaka :“Did you get it?”

Ryuuji Takasu : “Get What?”

Taiga Aisaka : “A picture of him going ‘morning’ of course!”

Ryuuji Takasu :“He came out from nowhere. How was I supposed to take a picture?”

Toradora! Taiga and Ryuuji Morning Quote


“Armpit Carnival…”-Taiga Aisaka

Toradora! Taiga Armpit Quote


Ryuuji Takasu :“Hey, you’re drooling over everything!”

Taiga Aisaka :“Kitamura-kun everywhere. Kitamura Carnival…”

Toradora! Ryuuji and Taiga Drooling Quote


“What? I got rid of the skin didn’t I?”-Taiga Aisaka

Toradora! Taiga Potato Quote


Ryuuji Takasu :“You need a few more inches to wear that…”

Taiga Aisaka :“I was talking about this bag! The bag!”

Toradora! Ryuuji and Taiga Bag Quote


“What if we tried child-sized?”-Ryuji Takasu

Toradora! Ryuuji Child Size Quote


“Stop sexually harassing my mother!”-Ryuji Takasu

Toradora! Ryuuji Harassment Quote


“Naturally, I left the photography club awash in blood.”-Taiga Aisaka

Toradora! Taiga Awash in Blood Quote


“I’ll make it so you can stand in front of Kitamura…with your chest puffed out.”-Ryuji Takasu

Toradora! Ryuuji Make It So Quote


“I had a terrible dream…you were a dog, my husband was a dog…Worst dream ever”-Taiga Aisaka

Toradora! Taiga Dog Dream Quote


“Mosquito on your face!”-Taiga Aisaka

Toradora! Taiga Mosquito Quote


Taiga Aisaka :“You stupid, idiotic, blockhead, mongrel. Or that’s what I’d normally say.”

Ryuuji Takasu :“You just did.”

Toradora Taiga and Ryuuji Just Did


“The lovely angel of romance, Taiga, will lend you her aid.”-Taiga Aisaka

Toradora! Taiga Angel Quote


Toradora! has many great moments in the anime, but the real magic comes from the conversations between Taiga and Ryuuji, especially when they are in private. The fact that they are honest with each other about who they are and deal with each others’ insecurities and flaws allows them to form a deep bond. They don’t have to pretend to be anyone other than themselves when they are alone, leaving their relationship quirky, somewhat violent and hilariously honest.

Traditional Japanese Games in Anime

Some of the most common cultural references in anime pertain to traditional Japanese games. The competitive scenes of Go and other games is a great setting for rivalries and passions to play out in. Let’s talk about four of the most popular Japanese games and the shows that they inspired!

Anime based on games is nothing new. Shows like Overlord and Sword Art Online have ushered in a subgenre of “trapped in the video game” shows, while Yu☆Gi☆Oh! and Pokémon revolve around competitive collection games. But traditional Japanese board and card games have a place in anime culture as well. The three games explored here take minutes to learn, but dedicated players devote their entire lives to professional play. Small wonder that they’d appear in anime one day!


Go


Traditional Japanese Games in Anime Go

The oldest game on this list, and one of the oldest games in recorded history. Go—called weiqi in its native China—has been played for at least 2,500 years, and became popular in Japan around the 7th century. Go was mostly confined to east Asia throughout its history, but gained widespread popularity in the West during the 20th century. Nowadays the International Go Federation maintains the worldwide Go scene, organizing tournaments and distributing information to more than 40 million players in 74 countries.

Go is a two-player game on a 19×19 grid of intersecting lines. Each player takes turns placing white and black stones on the intersections, with the object being to surround and thus control as much territory as possible. To strip Go down to its bare essentials, there are really only two rules. First, you must place a stone on a space with at least one empty spot next to it, called a “liberty”. Second, you cannot place a stone in a way that would create an infinite loop of moves (yes, it is possible). Those rules dictate the etiquette and strategy of taking territory—which is done by surrounding empty areas of the board—and capturing pieces, which is done by completely boxing in an opponent’s stones. The game ends when both players decide that there are no more good moves to be made, and points are tallied based on pieces captured and territory controlled.

The Go community is as tightly knit and organized as the chess community, with strong emphasis placed on rank. Extensive rules exist for the amount of handicap stones a weaker player is allowed to place first, depending on the skill differential between him and his opponent. Professional players dedicate thousands of hours to memorizing and understanding joseki, or patterns of movement similar to chess strategies, and the most powerful among them have whole games memorized. Some famous Go games have entertaining names based on the players’ reactions, such as the “Ear-Reddening Game” or the “Blood-Vomiting Game.”

Anime Example: Hikaru no Go

Traditional Japanese Games in Anime Hikaru no Go

Elementary school student Hikaru Shindou finds an ancient Go board in his grandfather’s attic, haunted by the ghost of a Go master named Fujiwara no Sai. Desperate to play Go again after centuries of imprisonment, Sai possesses Hikaru and encourages him to get into the game. Sai’s ultimate goal is to one day make what is known as a “divine move”, or “hand of God”—a clutch play that completely and unexpectedly reverses a losing game. This is a real Go term, and is essentially a thought experiment that encourages Go players to carefully consider all situations, even seemingly impossibly ones. Think of this show as Yu-Gi-Oh with board games and a much greater emphasis on skill and study.

Though his instructions breeze an initially disinterested Hikaru through his first few opponents, Sai teaches Hikaru to research and understand the moves he’s having the boy make. As the anime follows Hikaru into his teenage years and through a blossoming Go career, it traces the development of his skill and passion in a way that promotes the game to viewers. Each episode even finishes with a brief educational clip starring Go master Yukari Umezawa, in which she teaches viewers a lesson applied in the episode they just saw. The manga and anime, both of which ended in 2003, were responsible for a surge in Go’s popularity among young players on both sides of the Pacific.

Other Anime Examples

Traditional Japanese Games in Anime Durarara!!

Though not a pure example of Go gameplay, Durarara!! references it with the character of Izaya Orihara, who passes the time playing a hideously complicated game of his own invention that combines chess, shogi, and Othello pieces on a Go board. Evangeline A.K. McDowell of Mahou Sensei Negima! is part of the school Go club, and the game is used to develop her relationship with other characters. Both Go and shogi are often used to denote intelligence in the same way as chess in many Western media.


Shogi


Traditional Japanese Games in Anime Shogi

Also known as Japanese chess. Shogi is descended from chaturanga, the same Indian game that spawned Western chess and xiangqi (Chinese chess). The history of shogi is complex and difficult to trace, but the game was in Japan as early as the 11th century. It went through a long series of variations and rule changes, but was codified in today’s familiar format sometime in the 1500s. Notably, it was the first chess-like game to introduce a “drop rule”, whereby captured pieces could be returned to the board in certain situations.

The object and setup are broadly similar to Western chess, with several important differences; black moves first, for instance. Black and white start on opposite sides of the board, and each player takes turns maneuvering their pieces until the enemy king is checkmated. When a piece is captured, a player keeps it and may place it on his side of the board instead of making a move. Like chess, shogi has a king, pawns, rooks, knights, and bishops, but also lances, silver generals, and gold generals. As the most complicated of all the chess-like games, it was the last for which a computer program capable of beating grand masters was developed, in 2010.

Shogi survived attempted bans during the post-World War II American occupation, part of an attempt to purge perceived “feudal” aspects of Japanese culture. Today it flourishes under the Japan Shogi Association and its sister governing body, the Ladies Professional Shogi-players’ Association of Japan. Though it enjoys great popularity in Japan and China, shogi is not widely played outside of Asia.

Anime Example: Shion no Ou

Traditional Japanese Games in Anime Shion no Ou

Shogi is prominently featured in this mystery anime like Go is in Hikaru no Go, but in a much darker context. At the beginning of the show, a murderer kills 5-year-old Shion Yasuoka’s parents and challenges her to a game of shogi. The incident renders Shion mute, and she develops an obsession with the game that turns into a quest to find her family’s killer. She enters the realm of female professional shogi at the age of 13, guided by a family friend who is also a professional. A 22-episode anime series ran from 2007 to 2008, finishing a few months before the end of the manga.

The show revolves largely around Shion’s development as a shogi player, as well as the creation of an integrated shogi tournament to discover the murderer’s identity. The gender segregation in the sport—the JSA and LPSA are cooperating but separate organizations, and not considered equal—is toyed with in the show. In particular, one character disguises himself as a girl for a faster route into professional shogi because the female league has looser standards for qualification.

Other Anime Examples

Traditional Japanese Games in Anime Shogi Asuma Sarutobi Shikamaru Nara

Asuma Sarutobi of Naruto: Shippuden is an avid shogi player, always up for a game with his teammate Shikamaru, and uses this game and others to assess his opponents’ skill and strategy. Shogi also appears in Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, in which the shogi club of Suzaku High School orchestrates a coup against the student council for their own purposes. The Fullmetal Alchemist manga introduces Warrant Officer Vato Falman as he explains the rules of the game.


Karuta (Uta-garuta)


Traditional Japanese Games in Anime Karuta

Karuta refers to Japanese card games, which came into vogue after the Portuguese brought playing cards to Japan in the 1500s. It can also refer to a specific genre of pattern-matching card game. Many decks are based on European designs and made for fishing or trick-taking games. Other karuta games descend from Eawase, a game played among medieval Japanese nobility in which participants engaged in speed painting according to a theme.

Eawase (literally, “painting contest”) games revolve around matching words and phrases, such as proverbs and poems. Any phrase pattern or theme can be converted into a karuta deck for this purpose. Karuta games test memorization and agility, requiring one to quickly snatch matching cards from a scattered deck as corresponding phrases are read. The most famous karuta decks are inspired by traditional Japanese waka, or poetry, and are used in the small but dedicated competitive karuta community. The All Japan Karuta Association holds annual tournaments at the Omi Shrine in Otsu.

The Eawase decks most commonly used in competitive Karuta are “uta-garuta”, in which players listen to the first three lines of a five-line waka and find the card with the last two lines. These poems are from the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, an anthology of 100 poems from 100 poets throughout Japan’s history. Exceptional players know the poems by heart and can identify them by the first few syllables alone.

Anime Example: Chihayafuru

Traditional Japanese Games in Anime Chihayafuru

Chihayafuru introduces us to Chihaya Ayase, a bored high school girl who turns to karuta to escape her discouraging family life. She forms powerful bonds with other student outcasts, and aims to become a “queen,” or top-ranked karuta player. Two anime series ran from 2011-2013, and the manga has been serialized in Be Love magazine since 2007. A live action film was announced in April. Like Hikaru no Go, this show caused a spike in the popularity of competitive karuta; though the anime was generally well received, the game failed to gain traction in the West.

Chihayafuru and its protagonist take their names from a poem in the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu. These poems are the ones used in competitive karuta—both in real life and in the show—and are memorized word for word by strong players so that they can act on hearing the first couple of syllables. The mental fortitude and dedication required to excel at the game embodies a major theme of the series: according to creator Yuki Suetsugu, high school is a time when “you can dedicate the most genuine part of yourself to something.” Karuta begins as a form of escape for Chihaya, and becomes a passion as well as a way to reunite with a beloved childhood friend.

Other Anime Examples

Traditional Japanese Games in Anime Kill la Kill

An Ogura Hyakunin Isshu club appears briefly in Kill la Kill, one of many student organizations that challenges Ryuko Matoi for influence on the student council. The iroha-garuta variant appears in the game Kirby Super Star Ultra, in which the player picks matching cards featuring monsters and characters from the series; the English localization calls it “Kirby Card Swipe.” Protagonist Mikumo Osamu of World Trigger uses the game for agility training, only to lose to a young boy and his pet capybara.


Hanafuda (Koi-koi)


Traditional Japanese Games in Anime Hanafuda

Hanafuda, or “flower cards”, are another type of Japanese playing cards with a long history in Japanese culture. After the ban on Western playing cards in the early 1600s, new decks were developed based on Chinese art. They were a dominant gambling medium throughout the Tokugawa period, and the gambling community created new decks as fast as popular ones were outlawed. Hanafuda survived centuries of censorship into the modern day; Nintendo began as a playing card company in 1889 and still makes them, mostly themed after its video games.

Unlike Western four-suit decks, hanafuda have twelve suits of four cards each. The cards’ designs can be based on any theme, from mythology to pop culture. As the cards have pictures instead of numbers, points are scored in hanafuda games are based on picture combinations rather than numerical card values. Though hanafuda are used in many games throughout Japan, South Korea, and Hawaii, the common objective of these games is to score more points than your opponent. A series of cards is placed face up in the center of the table, and players take turns matching cards in their hands with cards on the table.

The koi-koi variant, one of the most popular hanafuda games, calls these combinations yaku. In koi-koi, a player may either bank his points from a match or call koi-koi, extending the round. If his opponent is able to score first during this period, she gets the points instead. The last person to score wins the round. Two yaku instantly win you the round: being dealt four cards of the same suit or four pairs.

Anime Example: Summer Wars

Traditional Japanese Games in Anime Summer Wars

Summer Wars is a science fiction film about a rogue AI playing elaborate games that threaten to destroy the world—essentially, Japan’s answer to War Games. Despite the futuristic setting, in which main character Kenji Koiso is a mod for OZ, a massively multiplayer game linked to all of Earth’s major technologies, the soul of the film lies in the centuries-old game of koi-koi. The family of Kenji’s crush Natsuki has a history with the game, and Natsuki’s great-grandmother introduces Kenji to the game as a test of his fitness as a match for Natsuki.

Koi-koi returns in the film’s climax, in which Natsuki challenges the malevolent AI Love Machine to an online koi-koi match, with the accounts of fellow OZ players as the wager. The game is a diversion for the competition-obsessed AI as well as a way to weaken its influence on OZ and thus the world; in concert with Kenji’s efforts to shut it down through some skillful hacking, it’s also the culmination of centuries of family history and of Kenji and Natsuki’s compatibility. The Blu-Ray release shipped with a deck of hanafuda cards themed after the film.

Other Anime Examples

Traditional Japanese Games in Anime Ino Yamanaka Shikamaru Nara Choji Akimichi

Hanafuda and koi-koi are well known enough in Japan for certain yaku to appear as naming devices and themes in many media. Three characters from Naruto—Ino Yamanaka, Shikamaru Nara, and Choji Akimichi—practice a battle formation named after the Inoshikacho combination, also known as “boar, deer, and butterflies”. Inoshikacho is a common name for three-man teams or other groups of three; Dragon Ball features a boar/deer/butterfly monster called InoShikaCho, and Chojiro Tokumatsu of Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V plays with a hanafuda-themed deck whose chimera-like monsters refer to various yaku.


And Many More…


Games are a common narrative device in any form of media. They test dedication, knowledge, and ingenuity, as becoming a skilled player revolves around studying and understanding strategy and chance. Skills and play styles are often used as shorthand for personality types, and clashes between strategies on a board reflect struggles between the characters that use them. A set of rules is a great test of a character’s creativity: once you understand them, the next step is to use them to your advantage. Any character’s success depends on playing the best he can with the pieces he’s given.

Top 20 Cute Couples in Anime

Imagine anime without any romance. Boring, right? The cute expressions boys get on their faces when alone with their loving girlfriends. The warm signs of affection girls show to their caring boyfriends. Love is in the air! Come fall in love with 20 of the most adorable couples in anime history.

People watch anime for so many reasons. It may be exciting, look amazing, transport you to places you’d never thought you could go… or sometimes all of the above. However, there’s one thing that keeps you on the corner of your seat crossing your fingers and smiling like a baby with candy. Yes everyone, cute anime couples! Love makes everything seem okay, and the harder each character fights to reach that happiness, the more we can’t help but root them on. Go! Fight! Love!


Kaori and Kousei from Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April)

Member Favorites: 4109 and 1402

shigatsu wa kimi no uso

These two adorable kids have brought about an ocean of emotions in the hearts of fans worldwide. Both Kao-chan and Kousei have extremely complicated pasts that come with loads of “baggage”. They start out as a couple of naive adolescents, trying to find their way in life. Alone, they are hopeless. But together. The sounds of hope, joy, and love that these two serenade throughout the series is truly music to the ears!


Gennosuke and Oboro from Basilisk: Kouga Ninpou Chou (Basilisk: The Kouga Ninja Scrolls)

Member Favorites: 167 and 80

Basilisk: Kouga Ninpou Chou

Remember Romeo and Juliet? Just imagine how much more tragic this story would be if Juliet was told to kill Romeo. Basilisk is one of the most realistic and devastating anime ever. The romance between these two is both beautiful and heartbreaking. Love is never easy, but for this couple, it is a matter of life and death.


Kyou and Tooru from Fruits Basket

Member Favorites: 3768 and 2091

fruits basket

Every girl has a “badboy phase”. What sixteen year old could resist a hot-headed troublemaker like Kyou? He’s handsome, strong, and… can transform into a pretty kitty cat? Well, there goes the badboy element! But that doesn’t stop Tooru from experiencing a waterfall of emotions as she explores the curse of the Sohma clan, as well as her feelings for her new roommates.


Mikasa and Eren from Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)

Member Favorites: 10972 and 4991

shingeki no kyojin

Attack on Titan is an epic series that has had a huge impact on the anime industry, as well as the world of entertainment in general. It is only fitting that its main characters are equally as iconic. Take Mikasa, a young girl who has trouble expressing her feelings, and Eren, a young boy who can’t seem to keep his mouth shut! The gap between them is probably what makes these two such an adorable pair. Their relationship is more like parent and child than girlfriend and boyfriend. However, throughout the series, viewers are able to see the passionate emotions that they both share for each other. What’s more romantic than being saved from being eaten alive by a titan?


Eureka and Renton from Eureka Seven

Member Favorites: 1441 and 912

Eureka and Renton Eureka Seven

Eureka is a mysterious young lady, who never seems to feel much emotion. Renton, upon meeting her, is shocked at how cool she can be in such frightening situations. As the story progresses though, Eureka must face an array of devastating situations that cause this ice queen’s barrier to melt away, little by little. Although Renton began the series as an innocent little boy, he evolves into a strong young man that will risk his life to protect the love of his life and save the world that they both call home sweet home.


Ichigo and Rukia from Bleach

Member Favorites: 15977 and 4915

bleach

This cute anime couple have a special bond that far surpasses that of a normal couple. Ichigo and Rukia constantly face tremendous hardships which pull them apart, but in the end, they always find their way back to each other. If this isn’t destiny then I don’t know what is.


Usagi and Misaki from Junjou Romantica

Member Favorites: 1541 and 848

junjou romantica

Boys will be boys. And some boys will love boys. Welcome to the world of Boy’s Love, more commonly known as “yaoi” – a famous genre where romantic relationships (usually sexual ones) are formed between male characters. Junjou Romantica is an anime adapted from a popular yaoi manga, with different sections of the series based on different couples.

The most famous couple of all is Usagi and Misaki. Usagi is a free-spirited yaoi writer who finds inspiration in a not-so-open Misaki. The theme of the anime may be something quite sexual, but the love that grows between these cute young men is something that tons of fans worldwide find absolutely beautiful.


Naruto and Hinata from Naruto / Naruto Shippuuden

Member Favorites: 17710 and 4982

naruto

Just because Naruto is in the shounen anime genre doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its ups and downs. For all the dumb jokes and silly filler episodes, there are just as many tragic scenes filled with unforgettable dialogue. The bonds that the shinobi share are hardened by these painful moments. However, somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue.

Cute little Naruto and Hinata grew up together, training and fighting for the same cause. However, their relationship was at most friendly. Although Hinata experienced love at first sight, Naruto’s clueless nature made it impossible for anything other than friendship to bloom. But thankfully, Hinata isn’t as timid as she may seem. This girl’s got serious guts, which is one of the reasons why fans worldwide can’t help but root for this lovely sweetheart!


Holo and Lawrence from Ookami to Koushinryou (Spice and Wolf)

Member Favorites: 13883 and 1050

Spice Wolf - Holo and Lawrence

Holo is no ordinary girl- she is a wolf deity, and even in her human form has fox-like ears and a big, bushy tail. When she finds herself no longer needed in her native village, she joins up with Lawrence, who is a traveling merchant and a genius at business. Right from the beginning, you can feel the romance growing between the two of them. Holo flirts all the time, making Lawrence- who isn’t very good around women- feel nervous. Bit by bit, their relationship grows, and they begin to respect and trust each other more and more. But of course nothing in life is easy, and they both have to make some pretty big choices. Holo’s god-like status makes their lives complicated, as does Lawrence thinking about nothing other than business. But with an anime couple this adorable, who wouldn’t want to keep watching them to find out more?


Taiga and Ryuuji from Toradora!

Member Favorites: 14921 and 2951

Toradora!

There’s nothing cuter than this anime couple. Taiga is short-tempered and small, and keeps getting angry at people without much reason. She’s from a rich family, but she used to constantly fight with her parents, leading her to move out and live on her own, not liking or trusting many people. But when she falls in love with Ryuuji’s best friend, it turns out that Ryuuji likes her best friend, too- and then they confide in each other and become, at first, just very good friends. This is only the beginning of the anime, though, and with all the emotions going on here, any first-time watchers are in for a bumpy ride. The best thing about Toradora is that Taiga, although quick-tempered, has many more emotions as well, and becomes an interesting, lively character instead of the always-angry characters that anime often has.


Risa and Otani from Lovely★Complex

Member Favorites: 1733 and 1473

Lovely★Complex

This is another wonderful friends-to-lovers storyline, with an added musical twist! Risa and Otani were famous in their school for squabbling all the time. Risa is very tall, and Otani is especially short, and their insecurities about their own heights coupled with their jokester personalities made them the ultimate manzai (Japanese comedy) duo. They first started bonding over their favorite hip-hop group, Umibouzu, and from there, they blossomed into an unusual, but perfectly compatible, cute anime couple. Watch these two mature as people and as lovers in this adorable series!


Takeo and Yamato from Ore Monogatari!! (My Love Story!!)

Member Favorites: 644 and 276

Oremonogatari - Takeo and Yamato

Takeo is a very different male character from most anime protagonists. For one thing, he is described as being big, muscular and intimidating, with a face that tends to scare people. Most people think he’s much older than he is, and whenever he has a crush on somebody, they like his best friend Suna instead. But contrast to his appearence, Takeo is one of the most kindhearted and helpful characters in anime, always putting others first. And then he meets Yamato!

Takeo rescues Yamato from being assaulted on the train, and she is very grateful. The small, sweet and friendly girl likes him immediately, much to his surprise. She looks past his scary face and huge body, and sees that he is a wonderful person. With the help of Suna, they get together and become a perfect, very happy couple. They love each other deeply, and their huge size difference is very cute!


Haruhi and Tamaki from Ouran High School Host Club

Member Favorites: 3950 and 6578

Ouran Koukou Host Club

Haruhi is a clever, studious, down-to-earth girl who gains entrance to the illustrious Ouran High School, even though she’s much poorer than most of the students there. Even though she was a pretty, feminine girl during middle school, she cuts her hair and wears baggy clothes, giving herself a very tomboyish look at high school.
At first, the loud and quite self-obsessed Tamaki assumes that Haruhi is a boy who is interested in other boys, but when he sees her ID, he realizes the truth. At first, he thinks that his feelings for her are only of a protective sort, but in reality, he is rapidly falling in love with her.
And before you know it, these characters fall into a whirlwind of misunderstandings and differences, with Tamaki convinced he isn’t in love and Haruhi seeing Tamaki as nothing but an annoying, self-obsessed idiot.
When the two of them finally realized the truth – that they love each other – it’s clear that they are a perfect and wonderful match. With Haruhi as a sensible, self-sufficient girl to balance out Tamaki’s overconfidence, they really are such a cute couple.

These two are the best!


Tomoya and Nagisa from Clannad / Clannad After Story

Member Favorites: 8392 and 6876

Clannad

Clannad is a classic anime, making us cry and laugh at the same time. Sometimes sad things are the best, and it’s certainly true with this wonderful series. People who only like happy storylines should probably find themselves another anime, but this one is truly beautiful.
Nagisa hasn’t had the best life so far. She’s been ill for a long time, and almost died as a child. With her sweet perseverance and her eternal optimism, she tries hard to please people and make them happy even though she’s ill so often herself.
Tomoya, on the other hand, is seen by others, especially his teachers, as being a bad influence and a delinquent. He’s had some terrible experiences in his life, and doesn’t like to share the deep, meaningful thoughts that he has, preferring to keep them inside. Bad-mouthed and sarcastic, he’s not the nicest guy around. It’s gentle Nagisa who makes his life change for the better, and he learns a lot about what makes life worth living. She realizes that the bad-boy act is just that – and act – and that really, he is a kind and sensitive soul.
These two teach us such a lot about the ups and downs of life, and the reasons why friends and family are so important. Their relationship isn’t perfect, but it feels real, and this very special love story could bring a lump to anyone’s throat.

Look at those loving eyes!


Misaki Ayuzawa & Takumi Usui from Kaichou wa Maid-Sama

Member Favorites: 3940 and 10031

Misaki and Takumi - Kaichou wa Maid-Sama

Misaki is a smart and strong girl who has a strong dislike for boys, as she had bad experiences with her father. He left her family, making her decide that nearly all boys are badly mannered, dirty and cruel.
Her family is poor, and so she has to go to a former boy’s school with lower fees. There are so few girls there that they feel scared. But Misaki is a powerful girl, and starts to reform the rough and dirty school in no time, making it a safer place for girls. She even becomes the first female president of the student council!
However, she has a secret, and this is where the love story begins. Because her family is so poor, she works as a maid in a café in her spare time. She’s desperate to keep her strong, boy-scaring image, and so she tries hard to hide her job from the boys at school.
Her popular classmate Takumi finds out, and swears not to tell anybody. Soon, you can feel the tension between them as Misaki tries hard to keep hating Takumi, but begins to fail as he proves himself trustworthy. She even starts to realize that boys aren’t all bad, and it’s not fair to let girls make all the choices!
Can Takumi win the heart of a strong girl who hates all boys and has made it her goal to make them behave? It takes a long, cute, funny storyline to find out.

These two are so cute!


Inuyasha and Kagome from Inuyasha

Member Favorites: 4121 and 1463

InuYasha

Inuyasha, a mistrustful half-demon, finds it hard to trust anybody or open his heart to them after having his heart broken by somebody he loved. When he joins Kagome in searching for the missing pieces of jewel that they need to find, he thinks at first that she is the person who broke his heart (Kikyo), not knowing that she is in fact Kikyo’s reincarnation.
He behaves fearfully and cynically, torn constantly between being angry and wanting to attack people, and wanting to protect those close to him. He builds himself a mask of sarcasm to hide his true, gentler feelings.
But Kikyo had treated him with kindness and compassion, leading him to trust her bit by bit and leave his hard, uncaring characteristics behind. They became friends, and then a romance began to blossom. So now, with Kikyo gone and Kagome on the scene, he faces a difficult choice: does he become attached to Kagome, even though Kikyo was his first love? If you’ve watched the anime, you’ll know how tortuous this complex relationship gets as poor Inuyasha is constantly torn between the illusion of having Kikyo back and falling in love with Kagome.
It’s hard not to laugh when Inuyasha hurts or annoys Kagome and she shouts ‘Sit, boy!’ Eventually, this becomes one of those romances that teach us about what it means to truly care for somebody, and want to protect them at all costs.

What an amazing couple!


Winry and Edward from Fullmetal Alchemist

Member Favorites: 1597 and 24956

Fullmetal Alchemist

Winry and Edward have been friends since early childhood, and they have a powerful bond. They also both have strong personalities, leading to them arguing almost constantly in stubbornness. When Ed had a terrible accident as a child, it was Winry, only a child herself, who built him new mechanic limbs to replace the arm and the leg he lost, even though she was only eleven years old!
Winry’s role as Edward’s constant and steady supporter doesn’t them from arguing a lot, and even though she realized fairly soon that she is falling for him, it takes him a long, long time.
But his overprotective manner and his embarrassment at any mention of love make it clear that, whatever happens, these best friends are meant for each other!
If you want to watch a couple who will teach you that a strong and loving relationship is possible even when you argue all the time, then this is the one!


Ran and Shinichi from Detective Conan

Member Favorites: 287 and 2839

Detective Conan

This couple’s relationship is as funny as it is sweet. Ran has loved Shinichi from early childhood but never quite got round to telling him that. After Shinichi ‘disappears’, she is distraught.
When martial arts expert Ran meets Conan and her fathers takes him into their household, she has no idea that he is in fact Shinichi stuck in the body of a little boy! So she pours her heart out to him, telling him that she has loved Shinichi for a long time, and probably since they first met.
Shinichi, disguised as Conan, blushes hard. He soon realizes that he loves her too, but his cases get in the way of him actually being able to act on it. Instead, he protects her wherever he can, even fighting off other boys to protect Ran from them.
This unusual form of romance is very entertaining and certainly very cute!


Asuna and Kirito from Sword Art Online

Member Favorites: 10823 and 17659

Sword Art Online

In this fascinating anime, reality is twisted into something like never before as the main protagonists find themselves sucked into a huge computer game. Kirito is an excellent gamer and certain that he can beat the game, thinking of nothing else.
But Asuna becomes dear to his heart after they meet a few times. Both of them know secrets about each other that nobody else does, and in this strange, terrifying alternate reality, they become each other’s rock. They go from thinking only about themselves and how to survive the game to thinking only about each other and how to protect the one they love.
Even Kirito, determined as he is to beat the game, changes his mind completely and just wants her to be safe.
This is not only a cute couple but a really interesting one as well. They fall in love despite the huge odds stacked against them, and learn to think about more than just their own success.


Sawako and Shouta from Kimi ni Todoke

Member Favorites: 3752 and 1676

Kimini Todoke - Sawako and Shota

Shouta is an insanely popular, handsome boy who a lot of girls love. He’s very outgoing and cheerful, although he can be a little selfish sometimes. When he sees Sawako for the first time, he’s immediately attracted to her smile, but thinks she doesn’t like him. He is constantly jealous, like when his friend saves her from being hit by a ball and he wishes he had done it. Even when people tell him to stop liking Sawako, he carries on because he doesn’t want to give up. But as it turns out, Sawako likes him too and is just far too shy to say anything or give him chocolates on Valentine’s Day. He’s so happy when they finally confess to each other!


What do you think?


Aren’t these anime couples just so cute? Their wonderful relationships make anime such an amazing thing, and I’ve really loved watching them grow and fall in love with each other.
But of course, these are only my personal favorites. What do you think? Who would you say are the cutest anime couples around?

Top 15 Cute and Fiery Anime Girls with Red Hair

It’s time to review the cute red-haired characters we love so much! Red hair is usually associated with fiery personalities, but is that true for these girls? Let’s take a moment to look over some of the popular red haired girls in anime.

One of the first things I look for when watching an anime is the red-haired girl. She’s usually the one going on a passionate rampage about some belief or other they have. Other times, they have a fierce emotional loyalty to a person or place, and must let the other characters understand how deep that loyalty runs. How do these red haired anime girls have people going crazy for them? And what has made them an integral part of the anime world? Is it their fiery passion and headstrong personalities? Or is it because of their unexpected soft sides? Exploring some of the common traits throughout some anime series might help us determine their appeal.

The following data was taken from the Character Ranking Page on MAL on the date of publication and is based on the amount of times each character is added to a user’s “Character Favorites” section.


Shana from Shakugan no Shana

Member Favorites: 7,200


Shakugan no Shana redhead

Let’s kick things off with one of MAL’s all-time favorite red-heads! She usually masquerades as a black haired high school student, but her true form is a fierce, red-headed, sword-swinging Flame Haze! Her hair suits her personality as she is sassy and opinionated. Like all tsundere, however, she has a sweet side (or sweet tooth-she loves melon bread)!


Kushina Uzumaki from Naruto: Shippuuden

Member Favorites: 575


Uzumaki Kushina Naruto redhead

The mother of our favorite ninja, Kushina is no plain Jane herself! Like the other redheads, she is brash, and quickly angered, often punching things out of frustration. Her husband, Minato Namikaze, fell in love with her for her beautiful red hair, which everyone else used to mock. We think that it’s pretty damn gorgeous too!


Maki Nishikino from Love Live! School Idol Project

Member Favorites: 1,814


Love Live! School Idol Project: Maki Nishikino
Maki Nishikino is a red haired high school idol! This simple fact cannot be the only reason anime fans worldwide have fallen for her. She uses her tsundere behavior to push people away, but sometimes can’t help but let her sweet side show. So, does this mean that red haired anime girls are all tsundere? Although it’s true in the case of Maki Nishikino, it’s certainly not true of all red haired anime characters.


Ranma Saotome from Ranma ½

Member Favorites: 1,073


Saotome Ranma Ranma 1/2

If you had the choice between being a man or a woman, which would you choose? Well, in Ranma ½ the main character Ranma is actually a guy, but has the ability to turn into a redheaded woman. His feminine side is stubborn and sly, but she retains her high energy and brash attitude. Ranma isn’t afraid to use his feminine form to his advantage, getting guys around him hot under the collar. Is it the thrill gender benders that attract us to this red-head, or is it her coy attitude? There are multiple reasons why people have fallen for Ranma, one of them being her charismatic regard for life and its many challenges.


Chiyo Sakura from Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

Member Favorites: 1383


Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun Chiyo Sakura

Red can also stand for love, and Chiyo certainly has a lot of it! Her one-sided crush on secret manga artist Umetaro Nozaki leads her to become his assistant! Chiyo’s bright personality means that she gets along well with the other characters!


Miia from Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou

Member Favorites: 423


Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou: Miia

Monster Musume no Iru Nichijou stars our beloved Miia, a Lamia, a half-human half-serpent species. This girl has the stereotypical fiery passion and seductive personality of a “true red-head”-all she wants to do is get hot and heavy with the man of her dreams! Rarely is this serpent calm, and oftentimes her obsession of her guardian Kimihito overcomes her. Although when she is calm, she’s caring and minds those around her. With her headstrong and overwhelming passions, who wouldn’t admire this creature?


Yoko Littner from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Member Favorites: 3901


Yoko Littner Tengen Toppa Gurren

What top red-head list would be complete without Yoko? Yoko’s beauty, personality, and skimpy outfit make for a great combination! The flames on her bikini top as well as her long red ponytail complement her fiery, trigger-happy (literally) character!


Lisara Restall from Dakara Boku wa H ga Dekinai. (So I Can’t Play H!)

Member Favorites: 431


Dakara Boku ha H ga Dekinai Lisara Restall

Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai (So I Can’t Play H!), focuses on Lisara, a red-headed grim reaper who’s full of energy, or rather, soul energy. She’s a hard shell to crack, but steely personality has its vulnerabilities, which she has only shown to her partner, Ryosuke Kaga. Her tough mentality is one to be reckoned with, and she’s not one to back down from anything, be it an enemy or her ultimate goal. Of course, having red hair might have something to do with these tough qualities, or it could also be the fact that her world is filled with grim reaper magic and revolves around a lustful partner.


Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail

Member Favorites: 9,823


Fairy Tail Redhead Erza Scarlet

Even her name is red! Erza is yet another fierce, brave fighter in our roster of red-heads. She is famous for possessing dozens of sets of armor which grant her various powers! Whatever armor she wears, you know she won’t go down without a fight!


Stephanie Dora from No Game No Life

Member Favorites: 303


No Game No Life: Stephanie Dola
Stephanie Dora from No Game No Life is the type of red haired girl who couldn’t cheat or lie even if she tried.
She’s emotionally expressive and has an air of innocence that gives way to her naive perspective regarding Imanity, the human kingdom on the world Disboard. Her passion and loyalty to her kingdom and grandfather are fierce, and it’s plain to see that her passions reach out to those around her. Despite, or maybe because of her hot-headedness, she is often teased by her companions. Is this behavior stereotypical of red haired girls? No, but her generous nature and innocence throughout the series has captured the hearts of viewers throughout the world.


Lilith Asami from Trinity Seven

Member Favorites: 202


Trinity Seven: Lilith Asami
Let’s meet the renowned ice queen Lilith of Trinity Seven. Lilith Asami, a teacher in Biblica Academy, displays a formal by-the-book attitude as a teacher. Although she’s strict, her moments of compassion oftentimes lead her to neglect her own safety. In other words, this tsundere-like behavior of showing her caring side only in danger might be part of the ever growing list of red haired characteristics, and provides the magnetism to draw us into her world.


Akane Sakurada from Joukamachi no Dandelion

Member Favorites: 136


Joukamachi no Dandelion Akane Sakurada
In Joukamachi no Dandelion (Castle Town Dandelion), Akane Sakurada represents the opposite trend of headstrong and high-spirited traits attributed to red haired characters. Her introverted and timid nature creates obstacles throughout the series. With this, her lack of awareness leads her to become tangled up in embarrassing situations. However, Akane’s never-give-up attitude doesn’t allow her timid side to stand in her way. These traits are different to the usual attributes given to red headed anime girls, but her never-back-down attitude is what makes her part of the list of popular red-heads.


Cthuko from Haiyore! Nyaruko-san

Member Favorites: 397


Haiyore! Nyaruko-san: Cthuko Kuuko

It’s time to tango with aliens in Haiyore! Nyaruko-san. Cthuko (Kuuko) is a slim girl that possesses a fiery spirit-literally, because she has the ability to control fire. She has an affinity for anything that involves video games or otaku culture. She will do anything for her love, Nyaruko. It’s no coincidence that she would possess a strong will like others with red hair, and stand up for what she believes in. Maybe having the ability to control fire has something to do with having red hair, or maybe it’s just her passionate spirit. Whichever the case, it’s easy to see that her spirit is as fiery as her hair.


Shirayuki from Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

Member Favorites: 631


Akagami no Shirayuki-hime Shirayuki
The red head anime character list obviously has to contain herbalist Shirayuki from Akagami no Shirayuki-hime (Snow White with the Red Hair). She’s a headstrong character who isn’t afraid to follow her own path in life. Her approach to life and tough obstacles is to tackle them head-on. Shirayuki has a fresh honesty about her, especially when dealing with the politics of a kingdom. She’s determined to use her own strength to advance her status in life, and refuses help from her friend, prince Zen. Her diligent work ethic and focus towards her goal only adds to her charm. Her red hair is a focal point of the anime and compliments her straight-as-an-arrow personality.


Rias Gremory from High School DxD

Member Favorites: 5,210


High School DxD: Rias Gremory

Rias Gremory, also known as the “Crimson-Haired Ruin Princess”, is a devil from the Gremory Clan in High School DxD. She’s an affectionate and passionate person, but has moments of burning-hot rage. Her displays of loyalty and concern for her companions touches those around her. Issei is her pawn, and she brims with confidence in her position as a devil. Her confidence and straight forward manner are characteristics commonly associated with red-haired anime girls.


Final Thought


After examining the quirks that go along with red-haired anime girls, do you think there’s a connection? Not all of them match up, but some of the girls do share similar traits. Of course, this could be said of any anime character, but as people we try to attribute meaning to similarities. As mentioned above, many of the red haired girls are stereotyped into the headstrong, no-one-will-defy-me type of girl, which is part of their charm. Having fresh takes on red haired girls, such as giving them a shy personality, makes the anime and that character, all the more exciting.


If you just can’t get enough of these funky anime hair colors, please feel free to check out the following articles:
Girls with Blue Hair
Girls with Black Hair
Girls with Pink Hair
Girls with Green Hair
Girls with Silver Hair
Girls with Purple Hair
Girls with Blonde Hair
Girls with Brown Hair

Strange Creatures From Japanese Folklore

Like any culture, Japan has an extensive collection of legendary and mythical monsters. Some are helpful, some are harmful, and others are downright strange. Let’s talk about some monsters from that third category, as well as the mark they’ve made on Japanese entertainment.

Japanese mythology and folklore is full of strange monsters, ghosts, and other supernatural beings. Many of these have roots in Shinto, an ancient Japanese folk religion. Shinto is polytheistic—meaning it has many gods—and tradition holds that all objects and concepts have an associated spirit or god of some type. You may be familiar with the onryo, a long-haired spirit of vengeance that inspired the Ringu and Ju-On films. But did you know that household objects have their own spirits? Here are a few of the odder things you’ll find in your journey through Japan’s supernatural stories.


Kasa-obake


Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Kasa-Obake

We’re hitting the ground running with a living umbrella. You see, Japanese mythology deals heavily in youkai—”ghosts” or “phantoms” in English. These creatures can be anything from anthropomorphic animals to tsukumogami, or objects that have survived long enough to develop intelligence. From this we get the kasa-obake: a (usually) one-legged, one-eyed, animate umbrella.

Unlike many of the creatures on this list, there are no stories of personal encounters with kasa-obake. Mostly they appear in haunted houses or other supernatural places, as symptoms or minions of a more powerful magical presence. Buddhist fables influenced the development of the kasa-obake legend, portraying these umbrella monsters as one of many spirits of discarded tools. Discard an umbrella needlessly, and it might come back to menace you with a long tongue and a single unblinking eye. Kasa-obake are common in media concerning the supernatural, such as Rosario+Vampire and even Azumanga Daioh.

Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Kozo Rosario+Vampire

Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Osaka Azumanga Daioh!

Top: Kozo, a kasa-obake from Rosario+Vampire
Bottom: Azumanga Daioh’s Osaka dressed in a kasa-obake costume


Kappa


Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Kappa

The kappa is an odd, turtle-like creature that lives in rivers. In most appearances they are antagonistic toward humans, playing pranks at best and eating or kidnapping children at worst. A kappa‘s most distinctive feature is the bowl-shaped area on the top of its head; the kappa must keep this filled with water or be paralyzed or killed, depending on the legend. Luckily, kappa are notoriously polite and can easily be tricked into bowing and spilling their water. Though the kappa can be mischievous or dangerous, refilling a dry kappa‘s bowl will make it loyal to you—and a captured kappa is a hard worker. You can also persuade one to go away if you give it a cucumber with your name carved in it…for some reason.
Kappa in Gintama
An Amanto, or alien from the series Gintama, that happens to look like a kappa

Kappa have been portrayed as horse thieves, vampires, and sexual predators, and they are often used to warn children away from playing near rivers. They are common in anime, but are usually less violent pranksters compared to their historically carnivorous identity. The Pokémon Ludicolo is based on the kappa, one of many Pokémon inspired by Japanese mythology. An anime film, Summer Days with Coo, has a benevolent kappa as a child’s pet. Arakawa Under the Bridge also has a kappa character—or at least a man dressed as one.

Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Chief Arakawa Under the Bridge

Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Coo Summer Days with Coo

Top: The village chief from Arakawa Under the Bridge, dressed as a kappa
Bottom: The friendly kappa from Summer Days with Coo


Shirime


Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Shirime

There’s not a lot of literature out there on this guy, but if you find yourself researching strange Japanese creatures, you’re guaranteed to read about him at some point. Why? Here’s a hint: literally translated, its name means “buttocks eye.”

The only surviving legend about the shirime tells of a lone samurai walking to Kyoto late one evening. Depending on who’s telling the story, a voice calls to the samurai from the bushes or a man approaches him. When the samurai asks what the stranger wants, it turns around and moons him—revealing a massive eye where its anus should be.

Nobody knows for sure who invented the shirime, but it’s generally considered to be a rather crass variant of the noppera-bo—a type of youkai that gets your attention and then reveals that it has no face, just for fun. For obvious reasons, the shirime is rare in mainstream media, but it can be found. Perhaps its most notable appearance is during the ghost parade scene in Studio Ghibli’s Pom Poko, in which a mischievous shirime turns up in a garbage can.

Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Pom Poko

A rare shirime in Pom Poko


Rokurokubi


Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Rokurokubi

Rokurokubi are youkai that can manipulate their heads independently of their bodies. There are two types: those whose heads can detach and fly around, and those whose necks can extend. The former type was the first to appear, and generally flew around at night to drink blood and prey on humans. The neck-extending type dates from later, Edo-era legends in the 1600s, and were briefly fodder for freak shows and quack science revolving around people with unusually long necks.

Decapitation-type rokurokubi originate from China and appear in folklore throughout eastern and southeastern Asia. These are primarily mischievous or malevolent demons, though tales from China’s Three Kingdoms era also tell of foreign tribes of rokurokubi, similar to Western European legends of primitive races with odd anatomies. They are common in Japanese media dealing with youkai, notably in the Pokémon-esque Youkai Watch and in Pom Poko. Certain characters also demonstrate powers consistent with extending-type rokurokubi, generally inhuman villains such as Orochimaru of Naruto.

Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Youkai Watch Rokurokubi

Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Orochimaru Naruto

Top: A rokurokubi and a kasa-obake from Youkai Watch

Bottom: Orochimaru’s Slithering Snake Mode


Zashiki warashi


Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Zashiki Warashi

Zashiki warashi is a portmanteau of old words for “sitting room” and “child”. It is the ghost of a child in traditional Japanese dress, visible only to the owners of the house it haunts. It is a harmless being, content to play pranks like flipping pillows and making noise. Much like a human child, caring for the zashiki warashi is generally encouraged; it is a luck spirit that brings fortune to the houses that welcome it. Neglect it or drive it away, and your fortunes will fall into ruin.

Zashiki warashi are benevolent if treated well, teaching children songs and games and keeping childless adults company. Their legends have given rise to folk superstitions about building and moving into new houses, including putting coins and food out for the ghost children. They have been depicted traditionally in anime, such as the nameless ghost girl in xxxHOLIC, but their nature can vary. The zashiki warashi of Mononoke are the ghosts of prostitutes’ children that were slaughtered in a brothel.

Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Zashiki Warashi Mononoke

Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Zashiki Warashi xxxHolic

Top: A zashiki warashi in Mononoke

Bottom: The zashiki warashi from xxxHOLIC


Kamaitachi


Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Kamaitachi

Kamaitachi is Japanese for “sickle weasel”, and it sounds like a Pokémon designed by Satan. It is a weasel that lives in a dust devil, riding the wind and using razor-sharp blades to cut any who draw too near. There is no consensus on what these creatures do or are meant to represent. In some regions they are the spirits of cold whirlwinds; in others, they are another form of tsukumogami, the vengeful revenants of discarded sickles. The most entertaining story is that they travel in threes: one to knock travelers down, another to cut them up, and a third to immediately heal the victim. This all happens in the time it takes to trip, fall, and get back up again. Though tales of wind-riding spirits are not uncommon in Japan, the kamaitachi has slowly become conflated with all of them.

temari kamaitachi Naruto
Temari’s kamaitachi from Naruto

Kamaitachi are one of the rarer creatures outside of Japan, but they do appear in anime. A pink guardian spirit patterned after classical depictions appeared in Shaman King, and a pair of kamaitachi in Ushio to Tora are cast as angry youkai tired of being forced to move by human construction. Naruto‘s Temari can summon a kamaitachi spirit to aide her in battle.

Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Kamaitachi Shaman King

Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Juro Ushio to Tora

Top: Shaman King’s kamaitachi
Bottom: Juro, a kamaitachi from Ushio to Tora


Bake-kujira


Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Bake-kujira

Bake-kujira means “ghost whale,” and that’s exactly what it is. It comes from a regional legend in Shimane Prefecture in western Japan, which tells of a mysterious whale skeleton that swam close to shore one day. Even stranger, the bake-kujira was surrounded by countless otherworldly birds and fish. A fisherman tried to harpoon it, and predictably failed—have you tried harpooning a skeleton lately? Before anyone could try again, the bake-kujira swam away—devoid of flesh, but apparently alive and unharmed.

There isn’t much else to say about the bake-kujira; the centuries-old story is all we have of it, and it appears almost nowhere else in Japanese mythology. The significance of whales in the lore of Japanese fishing villages is undeniable, however; whales were known to travel among large groups of marine life, and the whales themselves are known to have saved starving villages with their massive, tasty bodies. Their reputation as benevolent, aloof deities is well documented.

A popular depiction of the bake-kujira comes from Shigeru Mizuki’s GeGeGe no Kitarou; the popular manga and the six anime series it inspired are largely responsible for modern conceptions of youkai and other monsters. A brief media circus also flared up about 30 years ago around the discovery of a whale skeleton floating in shallow waters; imagine a sighting of the Loch Ness Monster and you have the rough equivalent.

Strange Creatures from Japanese Folklore Bake-kujira Great Death

The bake-kujira as depicted in the Eastern-themed card game Legend of the Five Rings


And Many More…


These are just a few of the weird monsters that inhabit Japan’s supernatural world. Many of them are legendary creatures that represent powerful emotions or natural phenomena, such as the bake-kujira. Others are metaphorical explanations of various aspects of human culture, such as the kasa-obake. As the mythologies developed and merged, new monsters and stories emerged to create an internal consistency to the spirit realm, rather than to explain everyday occurrences. The hikeshibaba, for instance, is an old woman’s ghost that exists solely to blow out lanterns. Youkai often work better in the dark, after all. Regardless of their purpose, a culture’s monsters and myths are stories its people tell to contextualize their experiences. Though they can eventually take on lives of their own, even the strangest creatures can speak volumes about those who create them.

Top 15 Best Horror Anime: Are you Afraid of the Dark?

Let’s take a look at some of the best horror anime ever, featuring all the scary elements a horror story should have – death, zombies, ghosts, gore, tragedy, the paranormal, and more! So clear your schedule, call over some friends, switch off the lights, grab the popcorn and prepare to be terrified!

We all know there’s no dearth of options for people who’re into horror and scary movies, but when it comes to anime, horror becomes a somewhat elusive genre. As hard as it may seem to get your hands on, there’s no turning back once you step inside the world of scary anime! Let’s take a look at some of the scariest horror anime out there!


When They Cry (Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni)

MAL Rated 8.24, Ranked #258 | Aired Spring 2006 | Produced by Studio Deen


Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Satoko gore scary anime horror anime

Top of the list is Higurashi: When They Cry (Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni), which is an adaptation of the game series with the same name, and the original one of the ‘When They Cry’ series.

It’s June 1983 and the place is a fictional quiet rural village known as Hinamizawa. The protagonist Keiichi Maebara decides to leave his hometown for Hinamizawa after having witnessed several unfortunate events in his hometown. He spends most of his time in the company of his school friends, leading a carefree life and playing games with them. However, Hinamizawa, like most sleepy towns, has a dark secret. Appearances can be deceiving here. Keiichi stumbles upon the news of a murder in Hinamizawa one day, which is then followed by a number of mysterious events. He discovers that his good friends at school may not be all that good after all. As different events start unfolding in different situations, the story takes a horrifically gory turn. There is nothing more scary than a group of friendly whack jobs who just won’t leave you alone!

You’d love this terrifying horror anime if you’re fond of:

Mystery, gore, short arcs, little girls, mental torture, thrillers, horror, anime OPs and EDs


Another

MAL Rated 7.95, Ranked #582 | Aired Winter 2012 | Produced by P.A. Works


Another supernatural scary anime horror anime

Sitting on the second spot in this list is Another, one of the most terrifying horror anime in existence. Featuring 12 episodes full of creepy and mysterious murders, this one has the word scary written all over it (in blood, of course). Yomijama North Middle School’s Class 3-3 made a bad name for itself after a student died there in the year 1972, followed by everyone pretending as if nothing had happened. Because of a curse, all its teachers, students, and their family members are at the risk of dying horrible deaths in a plot akin to the movie Final Destination.

Kouichi is a new transfer student to class 3-3. He soon starts noticing a girl named Mei that no one else can see. The curse starts to claim lives once again. The survivors must somehow find a way to stop these terrifying deaths and get to the root of the problem. The mystery of the story keeps playing with the viewers’ expectations right till the very end. You see new mysterious elements getting thrown in regularly, some simply introduced to send you down the wrong path. Hence, you shouldn’t try to predict anything. Its intrigue and unpredictability are scary enough to help you breeze (or run screaming) past its twelve episodes.

You’d love this terrifying horror anime if you’re fond of:

School settings, plenty of blood, creative deaths, creepy girls, mystery, horror, Final Destination, and short series


Corpse Party – Tortured Souls (Bougyakusareta Tamashii no Jukyou)

MAL Rated 7.25, Ranked #2351 | Released Summer 2013 | Produced by Asread


Corpse Party Tortured Souls gore scary anime horror anime

Third on this list is another excellent scary anime, Corpse Party – Tortured Souls, an ultra-short scary anime series with only 4 episodes-4 horror-filled terrifying episodes, to be precise! Its story takes place inside Heavenly Host, an elementary school which is destroyed because of the recurring disappearances and murders of its students and staff members. As time passes by, another school named Kisaragi Academy is built at the former site of the mysterious Heavenly Host School.

One fine night, a group of Kisaragi Academy students decide to tell scary ghost stories. When they do, a sudden earthquake rocks the place and these students are transported into a dimension where the Heavenly Host School still exists. What’s troubling is that the school is haunted by the scary ghosts of murdered students who used to study there.

You’d love this terrifying horror anime if you’re fond of:

Ghosts, little girls, school settings, dismemberment, horror, dark settings, friends getting torn apart, screams, graphic violence and slasher films


Hellsing

MAL Rated 7.66, Ranked #1080 | Aired Fall 2001 | Produced by Gonzo


Hellsing Alucard vampire scary anime horror anime
Belonging more to the fantasy genre of horror anime, Hellsing is a fairly short anime series that has won millions of hearts with its depiction of classic fantasy creatures, vampires and action. We all know of Van Helsing, the popular vampire Hunter of the Dracula legend, who slays oddities even after his demise. This one is heavily inspired from his scary story. It follows the adventures of a vampire named Alucard and his partner Seras Victoria, who’s a police agent-turned-vampire. They work for a vampire extermination organization named Hellsing in England.

Alucard’s main task is to seek and destroy any threat from the supernatural and undead forces that are after the life of England’s Queen and the country itself. You can see Alucard, Seras and their comrades fighting off evil vampires in terrifyingly scary situations. It is one of those anime that you can watch to get into its manga version, but without any spoilers.

You’d love this terrifying horror anime if you’re fond of:

Van Helsing, alternate stories, horror, shows set in England, good music, Seinen, short series, vampires and antiheroes


Tokyo Ghoul

MAL Rated 8.11, Ranked #402 | Aired Summer 2014 | Produced by Studio Pierrot


Tokyo Ghoul horror cannibal anime scary anime horror anime

A boy named Ken Kaneki is the protagonist of the series. He meets a cute bookworm going by the name Rize, who’s actually a ghoul. Ghouls are way above the average zombies as they look exactly like humans and can easily blend into the society. How they’re different from humans is that while humans eat everything apart from humans, ghouls can only eat humans. What’s more, they have special powers to hunt their victims!

Rize ends up inside Kaneki’s body but is unable to eat his flesh, and gets killed in the process, bringing Ken quite close to death too. Her organs are transplanted into Ken, to save his life, turning him into a hybrid. Now, even though Ken has the morals of an average human being, his powers and needs are almost the same as other ghouls. This horror anime is a perfect mix of terror, mystery and tragedy!

You’d love this terrifying horror anime if you’re fond of:

Supernatural, dark fantasy, city settings, short series, horror, mysteries, thrillers, cannibalism, Seinen, ghouls and crazy people


Elfen Lied

MAL Rated 7.93, Ranked #611 | Aired Summer 2004 | Produced by Arms


Elfen Lied scary horror anime gore scary anime horror anime

A classic horror anime, Elfen Lied has enough cruelty and bloodshed to appeal to all horror movie lovers. Elfen Lied features human-like mutants with horns, referred to as Diclonius, who have strong telekinetic powers among many other abilities. They’re all locked up and isolated from society inside a research center, run by the government. Their strongest member escapes from the facility, killing all the guards in the process. She gets shot in her head and winds up on a beach with a couple of teenage cousins. The boys take the naked and crazy girl home, oblivious of her true identity and not realizing the kind of impact their actions will have on their lives. Although Elfen Lied perfectly delivers on the horror front, it manages to keep things light by tackling multiple themes.

You’d love this terrifying horror anime if you’re fond of:

Supernatural powers, blood, horror, sad pasts, experiments, naked girls, some extra gore and Seinen


Parasyte (Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu)

MAL Rated 8.64, Ranked #55 | Aired Fall 2014 | Produced by Madhouse


Parasyte scary anime horror anime

What’s a horror movie or horror anime list if it doesn’t have some aliens and body horror based titles in it?! Parasyte comfortably assumes the seventh position on this list, being full of body horror, alien invasions and pseudo-cannibalism. The main character of the series is a 17-year-old boy named Shinichi Izumi who lives in a quiet Tokyo neighborhood, along with his parents. The entire neighborhood becomes the central point of a horror fest when it is invaded by worm-like aliens, who enter humans via their noses or ears, turning them into monsters.

Shinichi also encounters one such alien who fails to enter his body, and rather ends up digging into his arm. Shinichi somehow manages to prevent it from infecting any other part of his body. It turns him into a sort of hybrid with both entities (human and the alien arm) retaining their personality and intellect. Although it’s a remake of an old manga that ran from 1988 to 1995, its visuals are all contemporary. Despite being overloaded with cannibalism and blood, Parasyte is a horror anime that also explores several profound morality-related questions about life.

You’d love this terrifying horror anime if you’re fond of:

Body horror, aliens, morality issues, zombies, cannibalism, lots of blood, and cool visuals


When They Cry (Umineko No Naku Koro Ni)

MAL Rated 7.40, Ranked #1874 | Aired Summer 2009 | Produced by Studio Deen


Umineko no Naku Koro Ni scary anime horror anime

Also referred to as When They Cry 3, this is the third television anime series adapted from the game. It features an alternate setting of the first series, Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni.

A kind of spiritual sequel to the Higurashi series, Umineko is focused on Battler Ushiromiya, one of the sons of the super-rich Ushiromiya family. The entire family holds a gathering on an otherwise uninhabited island to decide who will get what after the passing of the head of the family. A string of inexplicable events occur, leading to the killing of everyone on the island. The person responsible is a witch who engages Battler in a game wherein she reverses all the events and urges him to solve the murders. The plot is similar to other typical horror anime, but the backstories and growth of the diverse and horrific cast helps add to the mystery and terror of the story.

You’d love this terrifying horror anime if you’re fond of:

Alternate settings, supernatural, a huge cast, mystery, fantasy, horror, islands, animals and good music


Ghost stories (Gakkou no Kaidan)

MAL Rated 7.76, Ranked #903 | Aired Fall 2000 | Produced by Studio Pierrot


Ghost Stories scary anime horror anime

Also known as Ghosts at School, this series tells the story of Satsuki Miyanoshita who moves with her family to her deceased mother’s hometown, after her death. On the first day of her school, Satsuki’s little brother, her neighbor and a couple of other friends from the school decide to hop into an abandoned school building next to their school complex, only to discover that it is haunted.

After facing multiple encounters with the ghosts of the school, Satsuki discovers that it was no one else but her mother only who had sealed all the ghosts in the school building, as they were haunting the school as well as the town. Her mom had also left her a book on exorcism and spells, full of instructions on exorcising the ghosts once and for all. Satsuki takes up the task of ridding the town of these ghosts and gets to kick some ghost ass in the process!

You’d love this terrifying horror anime if you’re fond of:

Supernatural, mysteries, ghosts, horror, kids going on adventures, and good dubs.


Mononoke

MAL Rated 8.52, Ranked #94 | Aired Summer 2007 | Produced by Toei Animation


Mononoke scary anime horror anime

Mononoke follows the character of Medicine Seller who encounters several supernatural dangers. The stories occur during the Edo era of Japan when there is a four-class system with merchants (including the Medicine Seller) forming the lowest class and samurais belonging to the highest. The Medicine Seller doesn’t mind engaging the unnatural spirits (Mononoke) into tough fights, sometimes destructing them completely. Furthermore, he effectively uses his knowledge of the supernatural entities to fend off the spirits, until he learns about the truth of their reason of existence and shape. He can’t exorcise them until he’s aware of all these facts.

You’d love this terrifying horror anime if you’re fond of:

Vintage horror, spirits, combats, exorcism, music, demons, supernatural, fantasy, mystery and of course, bloodshed!


Shiki

MAL Rated 8.05, Ranked #464 | Aired Summer 2010 | Produced by Daume


Shiki scary anime horror anime

Although Shiki may seem meandering on certain occasions, underneath the cheerful voice overs, amazing animation and colourful appearances, you’ll find something very sinister at play. The story follows 15-year-old Megumi Shimizu who dies unexpectedly in the quiet village of Sotoba, resulting in a ferocious epidemic and plenty of blood and terror. Then enters Toshio Ozaki, a young doctor who in search of truth decides to abandon his humanity. Natsuno Yuuki who is very disturbed by the untimely death of his friend Megumi, pairs up with Toshio, in an effort to save Sotoba from turning into a town of vampires.

You’d love this terrifying horror anime if you’re fond of:

Supernatural thrillers, horror anime, vampires, Japanese countryside, close cast of characters and mystery


Jigoku Shoujo (Hell Girl)

MAL Rated 7.83, Ranked #769 | Aired Fall 2005 | Produced by Studio Deen


Jigoku Shoujo scary horror

Did you know? There’s a website online that you can only visit at midnight. It’s called the Hotline to Hell, and all it has is a black background a sentence saying: “I will exact your vengeance.” If you type a name into the box, you can choose to enter into a contract that curses your target to hell immediately-as long as you too follow when you die. Enma Ai, the Hell Girl, is the middleman who creates the contracts and sets them in action. This anime is not the most gory, but it explores the horrors of the human heart. No one is pure evil, and no one is innocent.

You’d love this terrifying horror anime if you’re fond of:

Japanese mythology, creepily silent girls, revenge stories, urban legends, morality


Ghost Hunt

MAL Rated 8.01, Ranked #493 | Aired Fall 2006 | Produced by J.C.Staff


Ghost Hunt Mai Taniyama scary anime horror anime

Spooky scary ghosts are a common basis for many horror movies and anime. Sixteen year old Mai is dragged into helping an organization named Shibuya Psychic Research after she accidentally breaks some of their equipment. (Sounds like the horror version of Ouran High School Host Club’s premise so far…) There’s priests, exorcists, and spirit mediums abound in this show, including a Catholic priest from Australia. Each “hunt” is two to three episodes long, so if you like shorter arcs, this supernatural anime is for you.

You’d love this terrifying horror anime if you’re fond of:

Ghostbusters, exorcists, defeating ghosts with the power of religion, ESP, lighthearted scenes


Yami Shibai

MAL Rated 7.21, Ranked #2521 | Aired Summer 2013 | Produced by ILCA


Yamishibai scary psychological scary anime horror anime

This is one interesting anime you won’t want to miss! Animated in a style made to look like traditional paper puppets, each episode of Yami Shibai tells the story of a different Japanese urban legend or creepy myth.

You’d love this terrifying horror anime if you’re fond of:

Japanese-style horror movies, unique animation style, creepy ghosts watching you from windows*


Monster

MAL Rated 8.75, Ranked #33 | Aired Spring 2004 | Produced by Madhouse


Monster Psychological anime scary anime horror anime

Sometimes the scariest things in horror anime aren’t supernatural monsters or ghosts, but human beings. At the beginning of Monster, Kenzou Tenma, a surgeon, is presented with a difficult choice: the life of the mayor, or the life of a child? He has to live with the consequences of his choices for the rest of the show.

You’d love this terrifying horror anime if you’re fond of:

Psychopaths, humanity, European settings, corrupted societies


These were some of the scariest horror anime titles you cannot afford to miss if you’re a lover of horror or anime in general. These horror anime are scary in their own unique ways-while some scare you with supernatural creatures such as vampires, others will give you nightmares about dead children! So, if horror’s on your mind, give these shows a try!

Top 20 Cute Anime Cats

2/22 is Cat Day in Japan because two (ni) sounds like the Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound cats make! Instead of meowing, they go “nya nya!” In celebration, here’s our collection of cute cats and cat-like creatures in anime!

Man, cats are adorable! I mean, what’s not to love about them? As if they weren’t cute enough in real life, anime also has a wide variety of adorable (not to mention iconic) cats. For example, the ones who follow young magical girls around, giving them advice. Or the ones that follow pink haired dragon slayers around, saying “aye sir!” and other cute lines. Come on, you know what cats I’m talking about. I bet just thinking about them puts a smile on your face. Well, prepare to squeal with delight as you read this list honoring the top 20 cutest cats in anime!


Chi from Chi’s Sweet Home


Chi's Sweet Home cat Chi Yamada

Cat lovers will love Chi’s Sweet Home– I mean it’s literally all about little Chi’s antics at home and outside in the big scary world! Her human family loves her, but she loves to get herself into trouble. But all she wants is to play and be petted! Chi’s also one of the few “normal” cats on our list- she doesn’t talk (she sure tries though!), have magical powers, and doesn’t have any unusual markings either. But that doesn’t make her any less special in our hearts!


Happy and Carla from Fairy Tail


Happy and Carla (Charles) from Fairy Tail cats

Happy is very different from Chi. He can dance, talk, fly, do magic-oh yeah, and he’s blue. Technically speaking, Happy and fellow Fairy Tail character Carla (Charles) are not anime cats, but magical beings called Exceed, but we thing their furry features are certainly feline enough to count.


Madara from Natsume’s Book of Friends


Madara Natsume Yuujinchou cat

Also known as Nyangoro, Nyankichi, Nyanko-sensei, or Ponta, he’s Madara of the many nicknames. While he appears to be a lazy, fat cat, he’s actually a powerful youkai that protects Natsume. Not without ulterior motives, however-Madara is set on getting his furry paws on Natsume’s Book of Friends (Demons). Despite being a demon, Madara has many catlike behaviors. He likes to play with toys (or small animals), and eats until he’s a giant lump of furry flab! Sound like a cat you know?


Sakamoto from Nichijou


Sakamoto Nichijou cat

This cutie with a red kerchief used to just your run-of-the-mill stray until kid genius Hakase gave him the power of speech. Now he spends his time trying to assert his authority as the oldest (he’s twenty in cat years, okay?) over the household consisting of a pint-sized evil scientist and a robot high school girl.


Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service


Kiki's Delivery Service Majo no takkyuubin Jiji Cat

No witch is complete without her feline familiar! People probably like Jiji for different reasons: in Japan, he’s a sweet, helpful companion to Kiki, while in the US dub, he’s more of a cheeky buddy who can’t resist a good wisecrack or two. Either way, he’s one of the most lovable cats we know!


Luna and Artemis from Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon


Luna Artemis Cat Bishoujo Senshi

Luna is probably one of the most famous cats in anime ever. She and her counterpart Artemis are in charge of guiding the Sailor Scouts in their quest to find and protect the princess, granting them magical gadgets to help them along. They’re smart and cute, not to mention easily identifiable by the crescent moons on their foreheads! Plus, who doesn’t want a furry, cuddly alarm clock?


Jibanyan from YouKai Watch


Youkai Watch Jibanyan Cat

Again, not really a cat. Technically, Jibanyan is the ghost of a cat that got squished by a truck, and now vows vengeance on all things large and wheeled. Good luck with that, Jibanyan. While he may not win against trucks, he’s definitely won our hearts!


Kuro from Ao no Exorcist (Blue Exorcist)


Kuro Ao no Exorcist Blue Exorcist

Kuro is Rin Okumura’s partner familiar. Like Jibanyan, Kuro is a spirit cat modeled after the mythological Japanese nekomata. You can recognize them by their split or double tails! Don’t make this cat angry-his true form is humongous!


Tama from Sazae-San


tama sazae san cat

The oldest kitty on our list, Tama is no less cute for it! From the beloved Sazae-san comic strips hailing from the post-WWII era, Tama and the rest of the Sazae-san cast are too important to not be mentioned in “Top” lists! Also, in an idiosyncratic twist, Tama hates mice.


Kamineko from Azumanga Daioh


Kamineko Azumanga Daioh Sakaki Cat

Maybe this cat is better admired from afar. That doesn’t stop Sakaki, a cool beauty whose love for cats knows no bounds. Kamineko is a sneaky one, though. He’ll nap or look at you innocently, just inviting headpats, until you approach tentatively. That’s when he strikes. Even though you don’t want to be on the receiving end, his bitey nature is what makes him charming!


Arthur from Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch


Arthur Cat Code Geass

Suzaku has a soft spot for this kitty, even if all he ever does is swat at him. Fun fact: in the radio drama, they contemplate naming him “Lelouch the Second” before deciding on “Arthur”!


Poyo from Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki


PoyoPoyo Kansatsu Nikki poyo cat

You may not have seen this anime about this cuddly looking, literal furball, but its hard to deny Poyo’s cuteness! Oddly enough, every other cat in this show is drawn slightly more realistically. I have to admit, I prefer Poyo’s marshmallow-y roundness!


Buyo from Inuyasha


Inuyasha Buyo fat cat

Fat kitty Buyo is either the world’s best matchmaker or a dumb ol’ troublemaker-he’s the whole reason his owner Kagome got stuck in feudal Japan! But it’s thanks to this lazy cutie that our main characters fall in a love that crosses the centuries. Plus his cat-and-dog interactions with Inuyasha aren’t to be missed!


Kuroneko-sama from Trigun


Kuroneko Trigun black cat

Not to be confused with the gothic lolita girl in Oreimo, this black cat is a famous photo-bomber, popping in with a “Nyaa” when you least expect it!


Takkun from FLCL


FLCL Fooly Cooly Cat Takkun Mamimi

Not to be confused with the similar-looking cat from Trigun (heh), Takkun is a cute lil’ kitten that Mamimi takes in. Although he’s only present for half of the six-episode series, Takkun has a permanent place in our hearts.


President Aria Pokoteng from Aria the Animation


Aria the Animation President Aria

President Aria is the namesake for the Aria water-guide company, and therefore the namesake for the entire series! This cat may look a little silly, but his big head might be because he’s very smart and can actually understand human speech! His tubby body, on the other hand, is just because he’s spoiled.


Nekobasu from Tonari no Totoro


Nekobasu Catbus Tonari no Totoro

So maybe he isn’t the most traditionally cute cat on our list. But how many other furry, many-legged buses that run on powerlines do you know? Although he is frequently overshadowed by his buddy Totoro, in our eyes, Catbus is meowvelous!


All of Nekotalia from Hetalia: World Series


Nekotalia cats Hetalia: World Series Hetalia the World Twinkle

Okay, they’re not actually cats. They’re not humans either-our beloved characters are the personifications of countries! Episodes featuring Nekotalia have quickly become fan favorites since their first appearance in the fourth season of the show, because who doesn’t enjoy lots of cute cats doing silly things?


The world of anime is filled with a variety of amazing animals: some cute, some majestic, and all loyal to either their master or their cause. If you enjoyed this article, why not come visit our “anime zoo” filled with all kinds of wonderful anime animals!

Anime Dogs
Anime Horses
Anime Wolves
Anime Pets