A list of 5 must-watch series for budding otakus and anyone who likes watching animated content.

Samurai 7

Samurai 7 banner

Samurai 7 (2004) on IMDb

Samurai 7 was one of the first high budget anime series to be produced, with each episode’s cost going up to as much as USD 300,000. With that kind of a budget the series boasts some of the best in class artwork and character design.

The anime is a sort of Mecha-Samurai adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s most popular film, 7 Samurai. In spite of an existing plot that was a hit and the high budget, the series lacks the tight storytelling which can keep a viewer engaged throughout. This has to do with how most of the characters, though designed well, don’t have any characteristics which set them apart from mainstream anime characters. The only exception to this is the villain.Introduced as a spoilt brat, playboy son of a greedy merchant, Ukyo’s true colors are revealed as the series progresses. Ukyo slowly evolves from a cowardly kid to a cunning and ruthless leader towards the end of the series, making him the key character that holds the story together.

Samurai 7 is a must watch for the extravagant visuals and the villain, Ukyo.

<Watch Samurai 7>

Afro Samurai

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Afro Samurai (2007) on IMDb

The couple of stylish fight sequences the series starts with will engage anyone to sit and binge-watch the entire five episodes back to back. The unique artwork and elaborate fight sequences coupled with a hip hop soundtrack by RZA and Wu-Tang Clan made Afro Samurai a never before seen masterpiece that blew away everyone’s mind.

The best part was the voice over given to the main character by the iconic Samuel L Jackson. The series releasing at the peak of his career added more never-before-seen-blow-your-mind-away-awesomeness to this masterpiece. People who actually had their minds blown away promptly awarded its art director, Shigemi Ikeda, an Emmy award for ‘Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation’ for his work on the sequel, ‘Afro Samurai: Resurrection’.

<Watch Afro Samurai>

Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo (2004) on IMDb

Samurai Champloo is a kickass anime directed by the legendary Shinichiro Watanabe, who also directed the hit anime, Cowboy Bebop. While Cowboy Bebop featured a Jazz soundtrack, Watanabe chose hip hop for Samurai Champloo.

The series recounts the adventures of Mugen, Jin and Fuu as they embark on a journey to find the ‘Samurai who smells like Sunflowers’. Most of the series has episodic stories with the three protagonists’ past revealed in bits and pieces as the series progresses.

Similar to Afro Samurai, the series features some of the most stylish fight sequences with both Mugen and Jin having different forms of fighting.

<Watch Samurai Champloo>

Furi Kuri

FLCL

FLCL (2000) on IMDb

‘Furi Kuri’ otherwise called FLCL is a 6 episode anime that is like no other anime ever made. Ultra-fast paced and packed with so much randomness, watching this series is like a long roller coaster ride which will get your adrenaline pumped up to insane levels and leave you gasping for more at the end. There is yet an anime to emerge that can match the energy levels of Furi Kuri. And, in spite of all the randomness, the 6 episodes manage to tell a story fit for a standard 26 episode anime.

The soundtrack featuring songs from the legendary J-rock band ‘The Pillows’ makes the series even more fun to watch. Feast yourself to their addictive song, ‘Hybrid Rainbow’

 

Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan (2013) on IMDb

The 4 anime series mentioned till now were released between 2000 to 2007 – the golden era when the whole world was going gaga over anime. The years that followed didn’t see a release of any notable series that could pull non anime viewers to the genre. Mainstream anime and new releases thrived because of the already existing Otaku population.

After ages, in 2013, came the monster of an anime that left such an impact that it took the anime fan base to an entirely new level. Otaku defectors returned exclaiming “At last, an awesome anime” while new fans went bonkers “Whoa! Is anime this awesome?”

Packed with breathtaking visuals, awesome action sequences, cosplay worthy characters and a sunspenseful storyline, “Attack on Titan” is the perfect series to lure any animation fan to get addicted to the genre.

With the 2nd season being made right now, Attack on Titan is not technically a mini series, but given the gap between seasons we can consider it as one.

The customary live action adaptation of the movie is slated to be released on 1st August 2015 and it looks like it’s going to be a spectacular one.

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A list of 5 must-watch series for budding otakus and anyone who likes watching animated content. Samurai 7 // Samurai 7 was one of the first high budget anime series to be produced, with each episode's cost going up to as much as USD 300,000. With that kind of a budget...