It might be said that Gintama is the most original of all the popular shonen anime. The protagonists of this tale are the samurai Sakata Gintoki and the other members of the Yorozuya, a group of people who perform odd activities for cash. However, on a global scale, aliens rule the Earth, and the main draw of the show is likely the plot arcs involving the aliens.
Regardless, there is a lot more to like in this anime. In contrast to standard shonen, it features comedic depictions that are out of the ordinary. As befits the fast-paced nature of the show, there are numerous references, several instances of the fourth wall being broken, numerous running gags, and a cast of characters with their unique quirks.
In addition to being the name of the anime series, “Monogatari” is a Japanese term meaning “story,” therefore the name fits well, as the Monogatari series is a collection of stories spanning numerous seasons, with titles that correspond to the plots of those seasons. Studioshaft took care of all seasons, and they performed a fantastic job of capturing the show’s special brilliance.
Both the animation and the dialogue in the Monogatari series are incredibly fast-paced and unique. The frames are continually shifting between settings, and the text is typically broken up into little chunks with no characters in the backdrop. But the show’s true strength lies in the heart of its compelling narrative, which will hold the attention of virtually anybody who comes across it.
For those unfamiliar, Kakeguiri is a gambling-themed school anime. More specifically, though, it’s an anime set in a high school and it’s about abnormally high-stakes gambling. The series centers on the students at Hyakkaou Private Academy. They are always betting on things that could either ruin their finances or make them fully dependent on another person.
The personality of the anime’s characters is another strange facet. One example is Yumeko Jabami, the protagonist, who is so hooked on high-stakes betting that even watching one gives her a rush. There are, of course, other characters, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is a fascinating and exciting anime.
Studio Orange followed up 2017’s critically acclaimed Land of the Lustrous with 2019’s Beastars, another entirely CGI animated series. This anime takes place in a universe where herbivores and carnivores coexist together, with every aspect of their lives fleshed out.
The story follows Legoshi, a young, frightened wolf, as he learns what it means to be a carnivore in his culture. His quiet demeanour is tested by numerous significant experiences, which ultimately enrich his character.
5. Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
Panty and Stocking are two ex-angels that had a lot of experiences in this novel. Both stocking and Panty are outgoing blondes, but Stocking is a sugar-crazed goth-lolita with questionable sex preferences. As punishment for their sins, the two were banished from heaven and given the responsibility of tracking down and killing ghosts to earn their way back there.
Despite how incredible it sounds, this is the second Studio Gainax anime on his list. Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt is an anime that took a lot of inspiration from western adult cartoons and went on to have one of the most well-known dubs in the history of the medium. As a result, it features incredibly obscene comedy, a wide variety of artistic styles, and serialized narratives.
6. Odd Taxi
Despite the anthropomorphic style of the anime, the characters in Odd Taxi are so realistic that it’s impossible not to care about what happens to them. The plot follows Odokawa, a somewhat unremarkable taxi driver, as he becomes embroiled in an incident that draws in the police and the yakuza.
This anime’s strange quality originates from the way it depicts characters with human and animal traits coexisting. The characters’ emotional and cognitive traits are unmistakably human, despite their animal appearances. At the end of the day, it’s a great show that most viewers agree is up there with the finest anime of 2021.
The second film directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara on this list is titled Sarazanmai, and like the first, it features an absurdist presentation and an even more improbable story. Three young boys are selected by a deposed Kappa prince to deal with the sudden appearance of Kapa-zombies, otherworldly monsters with the capacity to wreak havoc.
When it’s time to do battle, the Kappa prince transforms the boys into Kappa so that they can stand a chance against such formidable foes.
In an even more out-there twist, they can only defeat the Kapa-zombies by removing a shirikodama, a ball-shaped device, from their rear ends. There are a lot of offbeat elements in the act, such as dancing police officers with unknown objectives and a transformation sequence that contains some emotionally charged images.
As the title suggests, Penguindrum is the tale of three orphaned siblings and their never-ending battle against the odds. The story of the anime officially begins when Kanba and Shouma, two brothers, accompany their sick younger sister, Himari, to an aquarium, where she promptly collapses and becomes possessed by an entity that claims to be keeping her alive. However, in exchange for helping them, this entity has one request: the twins must find and bring back a mysterious item known as the Penguin Drum.
What sets this anime apart is its presentation and visuals. The unknown being occupying Himari’s body performs an over the top theatrical summoning ritual, while the background people are largely represented by white stick figures that only the siblings can see.
Studio Gainax, one of the anime’s co-producers along with Production I.G, isn’t one to shy away from adapting works with experimental elements, and that’s exactly what they did here. Naota Mandaba, the show’s young protagonist, is at the centre of this multifaceted coming-of-age tale.
The quirky Vespa rider Haruhara Haruko sets the tone early in the series when she accidentally runs over Naota, performs CPR on him, and then sends him flying with her guitar. This clip is a wonderful representation of the dynamics of many of the relationships on the programme. The plot and characters’ actions seem to lack coherence at times, but they are nevertheless cleverly staged. Besides being extremely fast-paced, it also features innovative animation and sound design for its period.
10. Asobi Asobase: Workshop of Fun
Asobi Asobase is a comedy about three out-of-the-ordinary female high school students. After getting to know each other for a short time, they quickly band together to form the Pastimers Club, which is, as the name implies, a group devoted to recreational activities.
The girls in question, however, do not partake in typical recreational activities. They engage in games that are both ridiculous and touching, which is unusual for the genre. In addition, the show’s focus is not solely on the club’s activities; the characters are also frequently involved in a wide variety of other high jinks. As a whole, the bizarre animation, over-the-top facial expressions, out-of-the-ordinary characters, and copious allusions add up to an entertaining and one-of-a-kind adventure.
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