Anime Popularity Overseas and in Japan: What Makes an Anime Popular?

There are hundreds, if not thousands of anime series out there. With so many titles, it’s really easy for some to be overshadowed in different areas. Let’s take a look at popularity differences in Japan and overseas!

doraemon

Anime is a very successful source of entertainment. It has tons of fans in both Japan and overseas. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that quite a few anime fans live on the other side of the ocean. We may think we’ve seen it all, but there are plenty of anime series that are virtually unheard of overseas, and at the same time, are almost all anyone is talking about in Japan! I know, I know, it’s a big shocker isn’t it? Let’s take a look at some of the series that are almost non-existent overseas, and why that might be.


Popular in Japan


Sazae-San

Sazae san

Ever heard of Sazae-San? Maybe? No? Sazae-San, what the heck are you talking about? Well, Sazae-San is a show exploring the daily life of Sazae, a young woman living with her husband, children, siblings, and parents. It has been airing since 1969. You could classify it as a member of the ‘slice of life’ genre. But wait! There are tons of slice of life anime out there that are amazingly popular overseas, like Clannad. What makes this Sazae-San show so different? Well, Sazae-San is one of those shows that explores ‘daily misadventures’ like getting lost at the mall, shopping, your car breaking down, whatever. It doesn’t have as deep a plot, or characters development and back story as Clannad. People in Japan love this series, because it is a perfect, family friendly, show. It does not contain violence, swearing, or sexual content. However, this doesn’t seem to attract audiences who live in other countries. Why? Because all countries across the ocean already have their own examples of family friendly, slice of life shows. Unfortunately, this makes Sazae-San seem boring to most overseas viewers. At the same time, it is a nostalgia classic for viewers in Japan.


Doraemon

doraemon

Doraemon is another show that ran into the same fate as Sazae-San. Including comedy, adventure, and time travel, Doraemon is another show aimed at children and families. It didn’t have a fighting chance overseas. It was weighted down compared to all the similar shows that children and families overseas already had access to. Just take a look at SpongeBob SquarePants. However, fate also had a role in the unpopularity of Doraemon. The show has not been preserved well, and after an accidental fire, very little footage of the original series still remains. Now, even in Japan, it is almost impossible for viewers to access full episodes with uninterrupted audio and visuals. Although, newer more recent versions have been made, they have still not been deemed popular overseas for previous reasons.


Detective Conan and Urusei Yatsura

detective conan

Case Closed (Detective Conan) and Urusei Yatsura are two anime series that are a bit of a step up in popularity from Sazae-San and Doraemon. In fact, I am positive that some of you have watched, or at least heard of, these titles. Unlike the last two shows, these anime series contain deeper themes, more ‘intense’ moments, consistent plots, developing characters and even some sexual content. Yet, these shows are not all that popular overseas. Why? Well, part of it is the era when they first premiered. Both shows were stuck in the shadow of other series. Urusei Yatsura came out in the 80’s, a time when everyone was distracted by Dragonball, and Dragonball Z (especially in the West.) Not to mention, everyone was super excited about the rising director, Hayao Miyazaki. Detective Conan came out around the same time as Neon Genesis Evangelion. It just didn’t stand a chance. Not to mention, by this point, the anime industry had not yet become steadfast in other locations other than Japan. The people who were watching anime were too busy with shows like Evangelion. If Detective Conan and Urusei Yatsura had come out in different times, and gotten a little more exposure, there is a small chance that they would’ve had a larger fan base overseas.

urusei yatsura


Popular Overseas


cowboy bebop

With all that being said, there are some scenarios where certain anime are more popular overseas than in Japan. You should all know about Cowboy Bebop. Cowboy Bebop is one of the most popular and influential anime series ever. Some people even consider it to be a crime to have not seen it! It is one of those shows that is worth watching, even for non anime fans. You’d think it would be just as popular, if not even more popular, in Japan. Well, think again. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely has lots of hype in Japan. People do love it. It is an extremely successful series, throughout the entire world. It sold immensely in Japan, but now people just kind of have this ‘been there, done that’ sort of attitude towards it. Although it is still a huge inspiration behind most anime series to this date, people in Japan are just ‘moving on’ from it.

one piece

The long running shounen series, One Piece, is the exact opposite. Let’s be honest, all members of the anime community have at least heard the name One Piece. People love it, and it is considered one of the best, if not the best, long running series out there. People overseas love it, but the hype is nothing compared to praise it is given in Japan. In America casual greetings include sayings like: “Hi, how are you today? The weather sure is nice, wouldn’t you agree?”. In Japan, this also applies, but it’s also like: “Hey, have you seen the new episode of One Piece, or read the latest manga chapter? What episode of One Piece are you on?” Okay, okay, that was an exaggeration. But honestly, Japan loves One Piece much, much more then places overseas in comparison. So if you’re a One Piece fan, I highly recommend you spend some time in Japan.


Competition


shingeki no kyojin

Businesses are always competing with each other, and the anime industry is no different. Different series are always competing with each other for the attention of the target audience. Countries overseas (especially the West,) already have their classics, like ‘The Simpsons’ or ‘Modern Family’ so when it comes to target audiences, the anime industry is trying to sell shows like Clannad, Elfen Lied, Your Lie in April and Attack on Titan. Or, the shows that people overseas don’t already have. Those are the anime series most people across the ocean want to watch. That means shows like Sazae-San aren’t able to hold their own overseas They become beloved in Japan, but unheard of anywhere else. Anime has been able to weave itself into pop culture, as with Cowboy Bebop, or Attack on Titan. Countries overseas doesn’t need shows like Sazae-San when they already have shows like ‘The Partridge Family.’


Exposure


Naruto

Anime is still growing overseas and not many people have had a very rich exposure to it. The ‘hard core’ fans watch shows like Evangelion. But, some people who live somewhere other then Japan are not as lucky to be exposed to the same kind of series. Everyone overseas (especially in North America) knows what Pokémon is, and from there, they are introduced to different mainstream shows like, Dragonball Z, One Piece, Naruto, Fairy Tail, or even just Death Note. Therefore, they aren’t able to have a deep and rich experience as an anime fan. This is not a bad thing. These shows are great. It is just a shame because other shows, like Detective Conan, are not receiving all of the credit and recognition they deserve. This is another reason why some anime series are so unnoticed overseas.

Dragonball


There are so many incredible anime series out there, making it impossible to watch them all. This means that different respective shows are going to be more popular than others. This is simply a fact. However, that doesn’t stop us from getting introduced to more and more anime series! Do research, listen to others opinions, make recommendations. Help the anime community grow. It will only further your knowledge and experience as an anime fan. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover an amazing, unheard of series, show it to your friends, and have bragging rights for being the first to find it… one of the best feelings in the world!

Sazae san rock paper scissors

Top 18 Funny Dragon Ball Z Memes

Boys and girls, grab some senzu beans and prepare your eyes for the awesomeness that awaits you. That’s right, it’s time for some funny Dragon Ball Z memes. You can expect five minute long transformation scenes, training montages and insane power levels. Also, at some point… Krillin will die.


Dragon Ball Z memes can make any day better!


Do you like watching bare-chested gods fight monsters of nearly unlimited power? Do you enjoy seeing a negligent father with the IQ of a fifth grader become the savior of the world? Do you like seeing a short bald man get killed over and over again? Or how about watching four minutes of fighting in a half hour long episode in a show that is solely about fighting? Do you like blondes? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then this show is for you. Few shows make men feel more like men then Dragon Ball Z.

Dragon Ball Z Frieza meme

Between the shouting, muscle flexing, flashbacks, and more shouting, is a non-subtle tale about the last remnants of an alien race of super soldiers saving planet earth again, again, and again. Those alien warriors also get some lackluster help from some humans: a baseball player, an old pervert, a short bald guy, and a cyclops looking dude. There is also a pig, a fat samurai, a pale child with bright red cheeks, and a green man who is constantly wondering why he puts up with all the nonsense. Instead of Dragon Ball Z this show could just as easily be called The Saiyans and some people who provide fight commentary.

Dragon Ball z Goku Vegeta meme

Few anime have affected global culture as much as Dragon Ball Z. If you never tried to fire a kamehameha or turn Super Saiyan when you were growing up, then I’m sorry for your horrible childhood. Realizing that I could never turn into a Super Saiyan had a bigger effect on my childhood hopes and dreams than finding out some fat guy in a red suit didn’t live in the North Pole. Now let’s begin the nostalgia.

Memes in general are a fans way of saying Thank You to their favorite anime series. You can’t help but feel the love in some of these “creative” masterpieces. Dragon Ball Z memes have some especially memorable creations. But gathering those may be harder than collecting all the Dragon Balls, right? Wrong! This article will explore the best of the best Dragon Ball Z memes, sure to make Dragon Ball critics and fans alike laugh out loud.
So, grab onto your dragon balls because here come the funniest Dragon Ball Z memes ever!


18 Funniest Dragon Ball Z Memes


Life is not fair.


Dragon Ball z memes are hilarious!

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Who’s Yamcha again?


Dragon Ball z memes yamcha

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This is one of those Dragon Ball Z memes that reminds you that Yamcha and Krillin are literally the strongest humans ever.


Every time it’s a cloudy day, I think Krillin must have died again.


Dragon Ball z Krillin Goku meme

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To be fair, Mysterion could probably beat Krillin.


Father of the Year


Dragon Ball Z Goku meme

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Narration: “Can Goku prove in court that he’s a responsible parent? Will he prevent Child Protective Services from reaching it’s final form? Find out in the next episode of Dragon Ball Z.


Yamcha aka Mr. Punching Bag


Dragon Ball Z memes are hilarious!

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Who knew Dragon Ball Z memes could make you cry. Poor Yamcha.


“….Next time on Dragon Ball Z” NOOOO!!!!!


Dragon Ball Z memes are hilarious!

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Pacing? What’s that?” – Toei Animation

Dragon Ball Z memes tell the ugly truth of the anime industry.


Vegeta understands how Taylor Swift feels.


Dragon Ball z memes kenye west

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Welcome to Dragon Ball Z, where power rankings are changed as often as underpants.


PSA: Dragon Ball Z’s Child Endangerment Policy


Dragon Ball Z memes are hilarious!
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Gohan is literally one of the most abused kids in all of anime. Think about it.

Dragon Ball Z Vegeta Gohan meme


Goku is a man who thinks with his stomach more than his brain.


Dragon Ball Z memes are hilarious!

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This is a breakfast joint’s worst nightmare: a Saiyan with an appetite.


God bless Mr. Satan. I mean he defeated Cell after all.


Dragon Ball Z memes are hilarious!

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Somebody call Vince McMahon, because Mr. Satan needs to appear on RAW.


Vegeta not only kills Yamcha, but takes his girl too? That’s cold.


Dragon Ball Z memes are hilarious!

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I get scared for some reason when Vegeta uses puns… especially in Dragon Ball Z memes.


I feel like gyms need to give Toei Animation some money for inspiring a whole generation of anime fans to workout.


Dragon Ball Z memes are hilarious!

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Vegeta always find a way to get pumped.


Don’t ever call Piccolo any names.


Dragon Ball Z memes are hilarious!

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At first I thought he was gonna yell at me for not dodging well enough.


The ultimate tiger mom


Dragon Ball Z memes are hilarious!

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Chichi the unintended helper of all Dragon Ball Z villains.


This man needs no introduction.


Dragon Ball Z memes are hilarious!

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Gohan is the coolest.


Saiyan Logic


Dragon Ball Z memes are hilarious!

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Would really stink if the fight was no less then twelve episodes.


No cheating Vegeta!


Dragon Ball z memes vegeta and peter from family guy

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Well there you have it. We hope you enjoyed this collection of hilarious Dragon Ball Z memes.

Anime Stand-Up: 20 Dragon Ball Z Jokes

Get yourselves ready for anime stand-up time. The featured show is none other than Dragon Ball Z, where voice actors scream till their blood vessels pop and every villain has at least three forms of transformation. Oh yeah baby! Let’s play ball with 20 of the funniest Dragon Ball Z jokes available!

Dragon Ball Z Gohan Goku

Warning: The following article was written by an immature talking primate of the homo-sapien species, who has obsessively watched all things Dragon Ball Z. Side-effects from reading this article may include: a lack of empathy, horrible taste in anime, lower IQ, and reducing one to a drooling vegetable state while viewing the 4+ hour Goku-Frieza fight on YouTube. Reader Discretion is advised.


Dragon Ball Z Creator Akira Toriyama

Oh Akira Toriyama, you are the monster who opened anime’s Pandora’s box for the western world. This man is single-handily responsible for countless failed exams, quadrupling the price of blond hair dye, and inspiring damn right creepy fan-fiction (Vegeta is not an overtly sensitive emo with secret homoerotic feelings for Goku! He’s the Saiyan Prince and don’t forget it, you aspiring fanfic writers!) Akira Toriyama you have more in common with Doctor Frankenstein then you do with Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Don’t let his well-mannered and kind demeanor deceive you. This man is responsible for lowering so many estrogen levels it’s sickening. To be frank, I have no idea how Toriyama can walk around carrying such a massive pair of dragon balls. Like they say, in order to understand something, you should ignorantly make fun of it and laugh at Yamcha’s expense. So grab some hair gel and spike that hairdo, because here come some of the corniest Dragon Ball jokes out there!


Dragon Ball GT


Dragon Ball GT

…that’s the punchline.


Why is Chichi so paranoid about bad influences on Gohan?


Dragon Ball ZDragon Ball Z

Nevermind.


Vegeta: “I’m so sick and tired of all the ‘OVER 9000!’ jokes.”

Goku: “How many times have you heard them Vegeta?”


Dragon Ball Z Vegeta
(Source)


Goku: “Hey Vegeta want to hear a joke?”

Vegeta: “Sure”

Goku: “Super Saiyan 3”

Vegeta “I don’t get it?”


Dragon Ball Z
Goku: “Exactly”


How many Super Saiyans does it take to change a light bulb?


Dragon Ball Z Goten and Trunks

Just one, but it will take him six episodes.


Your mother is so fat, that when she wished to become thinner, Shenron said…


Dragon Ball Z Shenron

“Your wish is far beyond my power.”


Gohan: “I was a hipster before it was cool…


Dragon Ball Super Gohan Videl

…because being a Super Saiyan was too mainstream.”


Nappa: “If I were a Super Saiyan…


Dragon Ball Z Nappa

… I would look exactly the same.”


Dragon Ball Z is a lot like math.


Dragon Ball Z Frieza

Add some shouting, subtract three dimensional villains, divide Frieza into pieces, and the episodes multiply.


Vegeta: “Yamcha laughed at my pink shirt.”


Dragon Ball Z Vegeta

Vegeta: “I laughed as I stole his girlfriend.”


What did Frieza say to the Namekian?


Frieza Nails Dragon Ball Z

I think I just broke a nail.


King Kai: “Better to be pretty old than ugly old.”


Dragon Ball Z Gohan Chichi


King Kai: “My uncle is so large that when he sits around the house, he really sits around the house!”


Dragon Ball Z


Tien: ” You can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish!”


Dragon Ball Z


King Kai: “Why don’t skeletons fight each other?…Because they don’t have any guts!”


Dragon Ball Z Kai

King Kai’s sense of humor is dumbfounding.


Mr. Satan decides to watch Dragon Ball Evolution.


Mr Satan Dragon Ball Z

He hasn’t regained his eyesight since.


How would you describe the fight between Yamcha and the Saibamen?


Dragon Ball Z Yamcha

Explosive.


“Knock, knock.”

“Who’s there?”

“Buu”

“Buu who?”


Dragon Ball Z Buu

“Awww don’t cry!”


Cell: “Vegeta, do you have a sewing machine?”


Dragon Ball Z Trunks

“Because you have hole in your trunks.”


Cell: “Are you 18?”


Dragon Ball Z Cell

“Because I want you inside of me.”

Top 15 Eyecatch Clips and Pics in Anime

What happens when an anime goes on break? An eyecatch appears! Studios have produced these short clips not only to help transition into commercials, but also to provide you with special entertainment or important info. And without further ado, here are 15 of the most interesting anime eyecatches!

There have always been a lot of distinctive moments in anime, but how about in anime episodes? Many great things can take place, and that includes the animation that happens when the show goes into commercials — that’s an eyecatch.

Gintama, Sket Dance Crossover

Eyecatches are blurbs when an anime goes into and then comes back from commercials. A lot of them are more inventive than others, as they could be the characters doing fourth wall stuff, a wall of information, or creative movements.


Death Note

MAL Rated 8.75, Ranked #32 | Aired Fall 2006 | Produced by Madhouse


Death Note, Anime Eyecatch

A good example of an eyecatch that features that wall of information is Death Note. Obviously well known for its battle between Light Yagami and L, another neat thing that people noted was the Death Note information feature that would be shown at every commercial break. While not paying attention to it won’t affect the actual enjoyment of the anime, it is neat to see it since it can provide a bit more information or reinforce what the episode’s crucial moments are with information that was taken from the manga.


Mawaru Penguindrum

MAL Rated 8.13, Ranked #377 | Aired Summer 2011 | Produced by Brains Base


Train line, Mawaru Penguindrum

The 1995 Sarin Gas attack is one very big theme in the ridiculously exciting Mawaru Penguindrum, and while we go through every episode watching how Shoma, Kanba, and the Penguindrum crew try and fight their fates, when it’s break time, we get an eyecatch of… a penguin on a train. Specifically, this is good reinforcement of A) how complicated the train systems in Japan are and B) Where the show’s aiming to get us to go. Yes, this is one eyecatch that takes place before and after the commercial that gives you an idea of where everyone’s trying to go.


One Piece

MAL Rated 8.61, Ranked #61 | Aired Fall 1999 | Produced by Toei Animation


One Piece, anime eyecatch

Eichiiro Oda’s One Piece continues to be of the most important franchises for both manga and anime, and since the anime’s start, eyecatches have been pretty prevalent in it, whether it’s for the whole crew, or for just one. You can be mostly sure it fits the theme of the character.


Dragon Ball

MAL Rated 8.17, Ranked #327 | Aired Winter 1986 | Produced by Toei Animation


Dragon Ball Z, anime eyecatch

The Dragon Ball franchise may not be quite as famous as One Piece is recently, but it still has a huge fanbase, especially overseas. But this popularity is mostly directed towards the Dragon Ball Z series, which actually featured quite a few interesting eyecatches in its run. However the cute eyecatch shown above is from the original Dragon Ball anime and shows Goku as a kid teaching his teacher Roshi a important lesson in life – always treat your opponent with respect… or else!


Yuu☆Yuu☆Hakusho

MAL Rated 8.46, Ranked #122 | Aired Fall 1992 | Produced by Studio Pierrot


Yuu Yuu Hakusho

If you’ve seen, or even heard about, Yoshihiro Togashi’s Yuu☆Yuu☆Hakusho then you probably know it has some tough guys and gals, lots of fighting, and not a lot of detective work. Just Yusuke Urameshi and his crew kicking ass and taking names. But in the commercial breaks, their antics are chibi-fied and they are reduced to being just plain adorable. The gap between the eyecatch and the anime itself is what makes the clip so great!


Digimon Tamers

MAL Rated 7.64, Ranked #1130 | Aired Spring 2001 | Produced by Toei Animation


Yuu Yuu Hakusho

The 3rd entry in the Digimon series had a lot to follow up on, and one way it did that was by taking what was established and turning it into a card game. Yes, in this case it was a good thing, since it still involved bringing children together and having them fight to save their world. No, they did not save the world with toy figures like in this eyecatch, though the Digimon involved in said eyecatch may have been involved in doing some saving…


Ranma 1/2

MAL Rated 7.89, Ranked #685 | Aired Spring 1989 | Produced by Studio Deen


Ranma 1/2

One of Rumiko Takahashi’s most famous series, Ranma 1/2 featured a boy that could turn into a girl, other girls that may or may not have wanted the main character’s attention, and a Panda named Mr. Panda.

It’s not an ordinary rom-com series, in case you haven’t noticed, and this “unique” eyecatch backs that fact up!


Sonic X

MAL Rated 6.55, Ranked #4868 | Aired Spring 2003 | Produced by TMS Entertainment


Sonic, Sonic X, Anime Eyecatch

In case you didn’t know, Sonic X in Japan was drastically different than the one that aired overseas (thanks a lot 4Kids), with several eyecatches included, though they mostly just provided viewers with information by highlighting the profiles of characters.


Princess Tutu

MAL Rated 8.24, Ranked #265 | Aired Summer 2002 | Produced by Hal Film Maker


Princess Tutu, Nutcracker

Created in 2002 by Ikuko Itoh, Princess Tutu takes some cues from one of the more famous magical girl series, Sailor Moon, and turns it into a ballerina battle that’s prevalent in all of its 26 episodes. It also can be set to certain themes, and that may or may not involve a nutcracker and music.


Sailor Moon

MAL Rated 7.70, Ranked #1010 | Aired Spring 1992 | Produced by Toei Animation


Sailor Moon

Speaking of Sailor Moon, Ikuko Itoh was a member of the staff of the series. Like some titles on this list, Sailor Moon was a huge hit, not only in Japan, but also overseas (unfortunately, eyecatches were not included when first released outside of Japan). The eyecatch shown above is from the Japanese version of the series and features two clips, with a very small difference in the two. It’s not much, but it’s there. Did you notice it?


Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

MAL Rated 9.25, Ranked #1 | Aired Spring 2009 | Produced by Bones


Lust, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, Anime Eyecatch

Brotherhood essentially was more like the manga than the first anime series, which meant new characters, new arcs, and the right conclusion. Along the way, we got to see character images before and after commercials in each anime eyecatch. Like Lust.


Eyeshield 21

MAL Rated 8.10, Ranked #408 | Aired Spring 2005 | Produced by Artland


Mamoru and Bat, Eyeshield 21, Anime Eyecatch

Eyeshield 21 is exactly the type of sports anime that would not do as well overseas as in Japan, as it is based a lot around football. It was of course super popular in Japan, but as football is not a famous sport over there, it had to explain some aspects of the game. So here’s an eyecatch that’s more of a lesson about the rules than anything else.


Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Gurren Lagann)

MAL Rated 8.81, Ranked #25 | Aired Spring 2007 | Produced by Gainax


Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Gurren Lagann is one anime involving drilling that turns out to be way more than just that, and it’s popularity, even today, is significant. It also has some nicely animated eyecatches, as you can see in the clip above.


Gundam SEED

MAL Rated 7.96, Ranked #577 | Aired Fall 2002 | Produced by Sunrise


Lacus, Kira, Athrun, Gundam SEED
Most Gundam anime have eyecatch clips, and they’re all fairly interesting. Gundam SEED, in particular, had a few great ones, including this lovely eyecatch involving the main characters in the anime dancing around and blowing bubbles.


Pokemon

MAL Rated 7.42, Ranked #1819 | Aired Spring 1997 | Produced by Oriental Light and Magic


Pokemon

This eyecatch might be the most famous of this entire list, more so to those born overseas than in Japan. After all, when we grew up, the first thing some of us watched was Pokemon, featuring some loser kid who got an electric yellow rodent and then declared that he wanted to be a Pokemon Master. How cool must that have been? What was even cooler was when the “Who’s that Pokemon?!” eyecatch took place. It kept us guessing and was a neat thing that introduced Pokemon in a playful manner. The nostalgia of this famous anime eyecatch is definitely something that you can’t compare to anything else.


Eyecatch clips and pics in anime are definitely dying down compared to the past, especially as the cost of making anime goes up. That’s why if you see a new one, note it, then file it to memory as you keep them in mind down the road.

5 Reasons Why People Love Anime: Interview with Industry Professionals

Anime is one of the most popular forms of animation in the world. But why do the tons of anime fans worldwide like anime so much? Here are 5 reasons – from the perspectives of several people from the anime industry – that could explain this neverending conundrum.


Why do people love anime? What makes it so special?


Chihaya, Saitama, Kiba, why we love anime

Astro Boy aired in Japan in 1963. Since then, anime has exploded in popularity around the world, and evolved in every area — story, visuals, sound — since. But why do people like anime? Well, with information from industry professionals and writers alike, here are 5 good reasons.


1) Identity


fullmetal alchemist: brotherhood 5 Reasons Why People Love Anime

On the surface, it may have been a cartoon, but it had deeper themes that I could relate to. It was like none of the media that had been offered to me before. And at that time in my life where I didn’t know where I belonged, I found my belonging there.” – Lauren Orsini

From films to sports, once we like something, we really like it. While anime has grown in popularity, there was a time where it wasn’t, and for Lauren Orsini, whose writings you’ll find at Forbes, ANN, and Otaku Journalist, she had trouble connecting to the TV shows and cartoons shown while she grew up in California, which meant it was hard connecting with kids her age. But once she discovered anime, things changed — she found something she could connect with, whether it was the characters, the story, or the visuals.

FUNimation’s Senior Manager of Social Strategy and Development, Justin Rojas, believes that’s what anime does. “I believe anime is a medium that brings people together. While the content can be extremely diverse, the emotional connection people feel with anime allows them to bond with others through these shared sentiments and experiences.

Though,” as he adds, “anime also creates a sense of uniqueness and individuality at the same time.


2) Escapism


Koizumi and Kumeno, Tabi Machi Late Show 5 Reasons Why People Love Anime

“Personally, I watch anime as a way to relax after a stressful day and a way to peep into an adventure/story that our world wouldn’t be able to make possible.” – Katy Castillo

Anime is entertainment, as Yatta-Tachi founder Katy Castillo reminds us. If we happen to work long hours at an intense marketing firm or just work as a cashier, there’s gotta be something that’ll let us escape for a while. Whether it’s a show like Death Parade, Tamayura, or even Tabi Machi Late Show, we have something to take our mind off of the real world.


3) Visuals


Oreki and Chitanda, Hyouka

“Anime draws you in aesthetically – it’s visually stunning and much more pleasing to the eye than American animation, so for me personally, that was the initial hook.” – Michele Sontag

For FUNimation Graphic Designer Michele Sontag, who’s done BD/DVD designs for Danganronpa and Free! Eternal Summer, the visuals immediately caught her attention. When technical feasts such as Hyouka or Kyosou Giga appear, it looks fresh and vibrant. While we may notice a model that’s off or something unfinished, we can also find ourselves catching our breath when watching JP get in his TransAM20000 car in Redline and go as fast as he can in it, and, compared to regular cartoons, it’s, as voice actress Erica Mendez (Ryuuko in Kill la Kill, Nico in Love Live!) said, “a breath of fresh air for animation enthusiasts.


4) Characters


Nico Yazawa, Love Live!

We connect ourselves to the characters and become incredibly invested. For example, I can’t think of one person that calls Marge Simpson their waifu…” – Michele Sontag

Michele’s point is simple: what other medium, aside from video games, is as intense with its fan-fiction, cosplays, fanart, and connection to characters? Not too many, especially if we love that character enough to spend months creating a dress or pants while going to work or school.

There are many characters that, for one reason or another, grab our hearts to the point where we care about them. Whether it’s some goofy, spiky haired kid from Dragon Ball with only a pole and a 4 star ball left by his dead grandpa, or a young girl from Sora Naegino with enough passion to fly to the United States from Japan to fulfill her childhood dream, sometimes we get attached to them — and they influence us in ways most mediums can’t do.


5) Story


boku dake ga inai machi 5 Reasons Why People Love Anime

I think really it’s about story. Anime tackles stories with deeper emotional and psychological themes that you don’t typically see in other types of animation. There’s so much variety that it’s easy to find something that tickles your fancy.” – Finni Chang

Ok, sure, there’s High School of the Dead and Demon King Daimao, which aren’t always in it for its story, but they find an audience out there. Then there’s something like Hunter x Hunter, where we think we’re following a kid named Gon as he searches for his dad, but his journey leads us to new stories about other characters, good and evil. Or there’s something like Attack on Titan. Or even this season’s current hit, Boku dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED).

As Finni Chang, who created art for Gaia Online and works for places like Fanime and Glu Mobile, mentioned above, there are so many anime with different stories, that you’ll likely find another anime set in high school — but, maybe it stars some girl who’s extremely anti-social, or a kid who’s not really a delinquent but is put in a class full of them, or you have a former delinquent that happened to be one of the leaders of a gang who’s now teaching high school kids… The list is endless.

But, as PR manager of JRPG publisher Ghostlight Games, Ross Brierley, points out, there are stories for everyone. “I first got introduced to anime through my interest in science fiction & fantasy. At the time while there were quite a few high quality western live action science fiction series, the options for fantasy were somewhat more limited. So when a friend at university introduced me to series such as Macross, Fullmetal Alchemist and Cowboy Bebop, this was what I’d been looking for: good science fiction & fantasy series.

From there, his anime taste broadened to new things.

So, no, we won’t like everything, but we’ll find something worth watching, because anime gives us countless reasons to watch each and every year.

50 Anime References You May Have Missed

Were you ever caught off guard by an anime reference – big or small – in another series? There are actually more anime easter eggs to uncover than you may have imagined. Here are 50 anime references your may have missed.


1. Osomatsu-san Lampoons Shingeki no Kyojin


Osomatsu-san Shingeki no Kyojin

Episode one of the 2015 Osomatsu-san revival featured an onslaught of anime references – and was removed from the Japanese home media release because of it – but the most stand out parody was easily the sextuplets’ take on Shingeki no Kyojin.


2. Holo Cutout in Durarara!!


Durarara!! Ookami to Koushinryou

Light novel readers will get a kick out of the cardboard cutout of Holo from Ookami to Koushinryou in Durarara!! (and maybe wish they had one of their own).


3. Neo Genesis Evangelion-Themed Twister in GJ-bu


GJ-bu Evangelion

In the second episode of the school club comedy GJ-bu, the likeness of Asuka, Rei, and Mari from
Neon Genesis Evangelion is seen on the cover for Twister.


4. Mako Swimming in Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de


Inou-Battle Kill la Kill

With Kill la Kill studio Trigger animating the anime adaptation of Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de, it was only natural to expect a cameo or two, such as the above picture of Mako Mankanshoku swimming.


5. Kirino, Kyosuke, Ruri, and Saori in Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai


Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai

In the 11th episode of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, we see the main cast of Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai present at Comiket.


6. Angel Beats! References Studio Ghibli


Angel Beats Studio Ghibli

These blurred out anime references to some of Studio Ghibli’s most famous films – Tenkuu no Shiro Laputa and Howl no Ugoku Shiro – can be seen in the anime series Angel Beats!


7. Kyubey Sign in Nisemonogatari


Nisemonogatari Kyubey

Similar to Trigger’s anime references, Shaft producing Nisemonogatari and Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica allows them to sneak in a Kyubey cameo in the former.


8. Yuyushiki Magazine in Kiniro Mosaic


Kiniro Mosaic Yuyushiki

Both series original featured in Manga Time Kirara and its sister publication Manga Time Kirara Max, the three oddball stars of Yuyushiki grace a magazine cover in Kiniro Mosaic.


9. Gundam Models in Keroro Gunsou


Keroro Gunsou Gundam

The space frog Keroro from Keroro Gunsou spends his time watching anime, reading manga, and building various Gundam figurines from the plastic model kit.


10. Goku Visits the World of Dr. Slump


Dragon Ball Dr Slump

Sharing the same author and illustrator – Akira Toriyama – the Dragon Ball anime takes a brief detour to the gag manga Dr. Slump during the Red Ribbon Army Saga.


11. Lupin III Homage in FLCL


Lupin III FLCL

The fifth episode in the sureal comedy FLCL features a playful tripute to the opening montage of Lupin III: Part II; boxing glove and all.


12. Excel Becomes Sailor Moon


Excel Saga Sailor Moon

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon is far from the only series parodied in Heppoko Jikken Animation Excel Saga, but this anime reference stands out because the female leads from both series are voiced by Japanese voice actress Kotono Mitsuishi.


13. Naruto Headband in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu


Assassination Classroom Naruto

During the first season of Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, the strange tentacle mosnter known as Koro-sensei sports a familar looking headband from the Naruto series.


14. The Fridge from Cowboy Bebop Lands in Space Dandy


Cowboy Bebop Space Dandy

There’s numerous evidence that suggest Cowboy Bebop and Space Dandy take place in the same universe – and both series were directed by Shinichirō Watanabe – but the strongest one was the infamous alien-infested fridge from the former winding up in the latter.


15. Urusei Yatsura Ending Reference in Kill la Kill


Urusei Yatsura Kill la Kill

The second ending theme for Kill la Kill called “Shinsekai Koukyougaku” is a direct reference to the first opening theme of Urusei Yatsura named “Lum no Love Song.”


16. Titan Sandcastle in Nisekoi


Nisekoi Shingeki no Kyoji

Viewers of the harem comedy Nisekoi were treated to a sly Shingeki no Kyojin reference of the monstrous Titan peeping its head out of this sand castle.


17. Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World Light Novel in Toaru Kagaku no Railgun


Kino no Tabi Toaru Kagaku no Railgun

Ruiko Saten from Toaru Kagaku no Railgun is found briefly reading Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World in its light novel form.


18. Gaming References in No Game No Life


No Game No Life, Persona

Akiba’s Trip, Steins;Gate, and Persona 4 are among the gaming references made in the No Game No Life; the last two receiving anime adaptations.


19. K-ON Castanet Dance in Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!


K-On Watamote

The socially inept Kuroki Tomoko from Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! is seen here doing Yui Hirasawa’s castanet dance in K-ON!


20. Light Stops By Death Parade


Death Note Death Parade

The Unmade Death Man in Death Parade bears a strong resembles to Death Note protagonist Light Yagami, and considering both series are animated by Madhouse, it’s likely not a coincidence.



21. Sword Art Online Figurines in Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata


SAO Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata

For a series about a high school otaku trying to support his BD buying habits, Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata having anime references like these figurines from Sword Art Online, Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai., and more are expected.


22. Dirty Pair Cameo in City Hunter


City Hunter Dirty Pair

The 1987 anime City Hunter featured cameos of the leading ladies from Dirty Pair in its 39th episode, although it’s just their colorful hairs in the background.


23. Haru and Shizuka in Hoozuki no Reitetsu


Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun Hoozuki no Reitetsu

Haru Yoshida and Shizuku Mizutani from Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun make an appearance as demons in the supernatural comedy Hoozuki no Reitetsu.


24. Kamehameha in Blood Lad


Blood Lad

One of the many inside jokes in Blood Lad involved the vampiric otaku Staz Charlie Blood performing a Kamehameha from Dragon Ball Z.


25. Anime Posters in Outbreak Company


Outbreak Company Anime Posters

There’s a ton of anime references in the 2013 series Outbreak Company, such as the second episode featuring altered anime posters of Hataraku Maou-sama!, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san..


26. Shingeki no Kyojin Uniform in Servant X Service


Shingeki no Kyojin Servant X Service

Outfit maker Megumi Chihaya from Servant X Service is seen in the 12th episode with a few of her cosplay creations from series like Shingeki no Kyojin, Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai., Bakemonogatari, and Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya.


27. Death Note Reference in Binbougami ga!


Binbougami ga! Death Note

The likeness of L, Misa Amane, Light and more from the Shonen Jump thriller Death Note can bee seen in the 2012 comedy Binbougami ga!.


28. Miku Hatsune in Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei


Miku Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

Miku Hatsune and the other Crypton Vocaloids are seen auditioning for the role of Meru Meru in the anime Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.


29. Eva Reference in Paniponi Dash!


Eva Paniponi Dash!

The gag anime Paniponi Dash! pays tribute to the iconic Neon Genesis Evangelion scene of Evangelion Unit-01 holding Kaworu Nagisa.


30. D-Frag! Cameo in Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen


The World God Only Knows D-Frag

During the second season of (Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen, Takao from D-Frag! shows up in a PS Vita-ish game.


31. Shin-chan Toy in Sailor Moon


Sailor Moon Shin Chan

In Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon a toy based on Shinnosuke Nohara from Crayon Shin-chan is seen; owned by a boy named Shinnosuke who shares the same troubling characteristics to the character.


32. JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken in Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku


JoJo's Bizzare Adventure Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku has Hayama Hayato mimicing Giorno Giovanna’s “I have a dream!” pose in JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken.


33. Grand Line Reference in Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru


One Piece Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru

Himeka Akishino from Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru shows off her chuunibyo skills by referencing the Grand Line from One Piece.


34. Gundams in Shirobako


Gundam Shirobako.

While these blurred out images might be hard to make out, these are indeed Gundams appearing in Shirobako: an anime about the Japanese animation industry .


35. Yuru Yuri References in Sabagebu!


Yuru Yuri Sabagebu

Former Yuru Yuri anime director Masahiko Oota managed to sneak in some subtle and not-so-subtle references to the series in Sabagebu, including the scene where Akari Akaza rolls off a cliff in a drum barell.


36. Light Novels in Haiyore! Nyaruko-san


Haiyore! Nyaruko-san Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, the romantic comedy based on the H. P. Lovecraft Cthulhu mythos, teased the light novel release of Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru.


37. Joshiraku Addresses the Anime Industry


Joshiraku Anime

The hilarious comedy Joshiraku got very real when it addressed the anime industry’s unhealthy fixation on the latest craze, citing the copycats of Neon Genesis Evangelion, K-ON!, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, and Sword Art Online.


38. Yui and Kyon in Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!


Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Yui Kyon

The likeness of Yui Hirasawa from K-ON! and Kyon from Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu can be seen in Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!: Kirameki no… Slapstick Noel; all three shows produced by Kyoto Animation.


39. Akira Motorcycle Scene in Michiko to Hatchin


Michiko to Hatchin Akira

The 22-episode series Michiko to Hatchin referenced the iconic motorcycle animation scene from the 1988 theatrical film Akira.


40. Fullmetal Alchemist Reference in Seitokai no Ichizon


Seitokai no Ichizon Fullmetal Alchemist

The student council anime Seitokai no Ichizon includes several anime references; one of which is the famous equivalent exchange dialogue from Fullmetal Alchemist.


41. Lil’ Slugger in Psycho-Pass


Mousou Dairinin Psycho-Pass

Lil’ Slugger’s infamous Golden Bat from the Satoshi Kon-directed series Mousou Dairinin is seen in the equally psychological anime series Psycho-Pass.


42. Nice Boat Shout Out in Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de


School Days Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de

The harem comedy Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de referenced the meme-favorite “Nice Boat” scene from School Days, where a gruesome scene in the final episode was edited out with a live action clip of a boat.


43. Mashiro in Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken


Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken Mikakunin de Shinkoukei

Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken, the slice-of-life anime about marriage and otaku life, depicts Mashiro Mitsumine from Mikakunin de Shinkoukei as the husband character’s “waifu.”


44. DBZ Parody in Gintama


DBZ Gintama

Anime references are abundant in the action/comedy Gintama, but the series pays special tribute to the popular Shonen Jump series Dragon Ball Z.


45. Rei and Asuka in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann


Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Eva

Two girls dressed as Playboy bunnies in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann look awfully like Asuka Langley Soryu and Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion.


46. Soul Eater and Fullmetal Alchemist in Barakamon

FMA Soul Eater Barakamon

Manga volumes of Soul Eater and Fullmetal Alchemist – two series made by Bones – appear in the 2014 summer anime Barakamon.


47. Haruhi Cosplay in Lucky Star


Lucky Star Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu

Kyoto Animation made plenty of references to its previous Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu in Lucky Star, but the most notable was the Haruhi Suzumiya cosplay worn by Konata Izumi.


48. Vegeta and Trunks in Seto no Hanayome


Seto no Hanayome DBZ

Two students who share a strong resemblance to Vegeta and Trunks from Dragon Ball Z appear in mermaid-inspired romantic series Seto no Hanayome.


49. Akira, Gundam, and more in Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai


Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi Anime

The surreal fantasy parody Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai made numerous anime references during its 13 episode run, including Gundam, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Akira.


50. Saint Seiya Transformation in Arakawa Under the Bridge


Arakawa Under the Bridge Saint Seiya

Last but not least, the charming romantic series Arakawa Under the Bridge featured a hilarious parody of the over-the-top transformation sequences in Saint Seiya.

8 Anime Technology Seen in Real Life

Anime tends to contain a lot of amazing technology we could only dream of having, but there’s actually quite a lot of this impressive technology in development in our real world! Lets discover the amazing technology and the anime series with similar technology!

Psycho-Pass Avatar Hologram

Artificial intelligence, androids, and holograms are just a few of the amazing futuristic technology that have been a part of anime series for a long time. Thanks to the genius of humankind, new discoveries and inventions are created every day, which includes real developments of this amazing technology!


Bionic Limbs


Fullmetal Alchemist Automail

Fullmetal Alchemist is a very well-known series and the most important technology for the protagonist, Edward Elric, is that of the Automail which is right arm and left leg. Automail can be used for simple everyday tasks, but also for combat situations as shown within the series when Edward transmutes his Automail to use in fights.

Amazingly enough, humans have achieved success in creating prosthetic limbs such as with the ‘Terminator’ arm that are precise enough as to allow a person using a bionic hand to type on a keyboard. Another miraculous example of real life bionics is Hugh Herr’s bionic limbs, which let the user run and even dance.

Terminator arm prosthetic

Hugh Herr bionic arm


Androids


Dragon Ball Android 18

Androids are robots with human-like appearances. This may include having a human face, or simply having a humanlike body shape. A well-known android from the animated world is that of Android 18 from the Dragon Ball series. Android 18 was once human, and is the twin sister of Android 17.

top humanoid robots usa japan

For a long time now humans have been working on human-like robots. There are many videos and articles online about these amazing creations. Above is a video created last year, about the 5 most advanced humanoid robots from USA and Japan. Another amazing humanoid robot is “Pepper the Robot”, created by Aldebaran Robotics and SoftBank Mobile. Pepper is able to analyze the expressions and the vocal tones a person is using to read their emotions.

Pepper the robot softbank


Virtual Reality


Sword Art Online NerveGear
Many of you would have at least heard of the popular series Sword Art Online and about how it is based mainly within virtual reality games. The protagonist Kirito and many other players decide to play a new virtual reality game named Sword Art Online which then they all realize they’re now trapped in a virtual world where death threatens them constantly. NerveGear is the technology within this series which allow the player to dive into the virtual world of Sword Art Online.

Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift is technology which has existed for some time now, and it is a virtual reality headset which enables it’s wearer to play virtual reality games. Of course, it is nowhere near as advanced as the NerveGear shown within Sword Art Online, but it’s constantly evolving and becoming more advanced. There are many amazing virtual reality games in development around the world, including several Sword Art Online games. One of the more popular SAO games that has a lot of news going around the internet currently is Sword Art Online – The Beginning.

SAO Alpha test


Synthetic Food


Loups=Garous Ayumi

In the world of Loups=Garous, in order to avoid contracting the deadly virus that has spread throughout the world, people have to eat synthetic food made from sunflower seeds. Synthetic food is essential to surviving in this world.

In vitro meat

There has been a lot of discussion lately of in-vitro meat, also called cultured meat or synthetic meat. Unlike the traditional way humans have always obtained meat from killing animals, this synthetic meat has never been part of any living animal and has been created in laboratories.


Giant robots


Mobile Suit Gundam

Many anime series contain large robots which humans are able to control, but one of the most known animated series containing large pilot-able combat robots is that of Mobile Suit Gundam.

Last year a Japanese company named Suidobashi Heavy Industry unveiled a large Gundam-like robot which is able to be piloted by a human inside of it, but can also be controlled outside by a mobile phone.

Gundam robot


Holograms


Psycho-Pass Tsunemori Holographic Clothing

Throughout Psycho-Pass, holograms are used as an extremely important part of every day life. Customizing the visual appearance of a living room, advertisements, informational signs and vehicle appearance are just a few of the many ways holographic projections are used throughout this series. Another interesting way holographic technology is used is to change the appearance of the clothing, when an image is placed over that of the clothes being currently worn.

Gatebox is the amazing Japanese startup of holographic technology by Vinclu Inc. Have you ever wanted to have a holographic character you can communicate with and who you can ask to switch on your TV for you? Then Gatebox is something you’d be very interested in. The current holographic robot that’s part of the Gatebox is Azuma Hikari, and she can connect to any device in your home that is connected to your internet. Here’s a video to show you how amazing this startup is!

Gatebox demo


Artificial Intelligence (AI)


Digimon Adventure

The thought of giving machines or software the ability to learn and think for themselves has always been a tricky subject. Several movies have existed where the AIs have tried to enslave or slaughter the humans to take over the world, such as the famous Matrix movie series.
Did you know that Digimon (Digital Monsters) are actually AI? They are digital monsters that exist in the Digital world and are capable of learning, thinking, feeling emotions, and many more parts of intelligent behavior.

Siri

Pepper, the humanoid robot discussed briefly in the Android section, is an amazing invention, as something such as understanding emotions and how to communicate with humans is viewed as a very important challenge for AI. When it comes to real life, there are many kinds of AIs currently in existence or development, although they aren’t conscious or able to develop “common sense” that we humans have. Siri, a software that is constantly learning, is the intelligent personal assistant that is part of the OS (Operating System) in many of Apple’s devices, such as iPhones or iPads. Now, Siri may not be anything like Digimon or the technology in the Matrix, but the more information Siri is given, the better she is able to figure out problems or answers to questions. The same goes for the Google Search engine. They both may not be the all-mighty AI systems we are excited and terrified about one day existing, but they are still a type of AI.


Medical treatment


Overlord Minor Healing Potion

In many games, anime, manga, movies, TV series, and other work of fiction there have always existed different forms of healing technology, such as the simple healing potions from Overlord and Pokemon.
An example of amazing medical treatment technology that currently exists right now is that of spray on skin. Spray on skin was developed by the scientist Marie Stoner and plastic surgeon Dr Fiona Wood as a way to decrease the time it takes for skin to build over burn wounds.
Here is a video of Dr Fiona Wood talking about spray on skin.

Spray on skin


It’s very interesting to learn about new technology, whether from anime or from real life. I’m really excited to see what technology the future holds for us in both of these worlds!

The 8 Cutest Outfits, Shoes, and Dresses Inspired by Anime

Dig the kicks from your favorite anime? Think you’d totally rock it in your favorite character’s getup? These clothing lines make anime-themed clothes that’ll make an awesome addition to anyone’s waredrobe.

Some days you want to pull out the cosplay gear and strut that stuff. But most other days, you might not want to dress exactly like Sailor Moon. Thanks to the brands below, you can still pay homage to your favorite show, while looking great. The cute outfits, shoes, and dresses below were inspired by anime, and walk the fine line between fashion and fangirl.


K-On! outfits by Earth Music&Ecology


K-On Earth Music&Ecology
Source: Earth Music&Ecology

Earth Music&Ecology has done a number of anime collabs, but the K-On wins for its super stylish but comfy-looking getup. Each outfit also manages to capture the personality of the K-On characters, which means you can find a look that suits you.


Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica (Puella Magi Madoka Magica) sneakers and pumps by Super Groupies


Madoka Magica Shoes Super GroupiesMadoka Magica Shoes Super Groupies
Source: Super Groupies

Super Groupies has quite a collection of anime and game themed accessories, but it’s the shoes that really strike the perfect balance between being functional and looking great. There have been two shoe lines released, high-top sneakers for kicking butt all day, and pumps for a flash of elegance during night-time nightmare battles.


Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon) outfits by Tralala, Honey Bunch, Secret Honey, and Riccimie Premiere Salon


Sailor Moon Clothes
Sources: Tralala, Honey Bunch, Secret Honey, and Riccimie Premiere Salon

Of course there have been a ton of Sailor Moon inspired outfits. Were you expecting anything less? The above are just a handful of the best, which mix sweet design with some small touches as a nod to the beloved series. Each clothing line brings a different feel with it, from playful to a bit more sophisticated. It’s also worth noting that Secret Honey has collaborated with Disney on a line of Frozen clothing. That’s a whole different kind of magical girl.


Love Live! School Idol Project outfits and dresses by Honey Bunch and Earth Music&Ecology


Love Live! Honey BunchLove Live! Earth Music&Ecology
Source: Earth Music&Ecology, and Honey Bunch via ANN

Another series that gets plenty of fashion love is the idol anime Love Live!. The idols have inspired super-cute everyday clothing that you can wear practically anywhere.


Rose of Versailles dresses by Felissimo


Rose of Versailles clothes
Source: Felissimo
The Rose of Versailles anime is a 1979 anime set in 1755 Europe, and the dresses by Felissimo reflect that. They’re elegant and vintage without looking outdated, perfect for a nice day out or the French revolution, whichever.


Cardcaptor Sakura dresses by Sukiyaki


Cardcaptor Sakura clothes
Source: Super Groupies

These dresses were inspired by the various battle outfits in Cardcaptor Sakura, but you won’t need any magical powers to make them look fantastic.


Dragon Ball Z sneakers by Heredita Clothing


Dragon Ball Z Sneakers
Source: Heredita Clothing

Mexican designers Heredita Clothing have some awesome looking anime items, but these Dragon Ball Z kicks are the most eye-catching. They’re brightly decked out in the show’s signature colors, but are minimalistic enough to not be glaringly obvious.


Baby clothes by Bandai and Rody Horse


Bandai anime baby clothesRody Horse Evangelion baby clothes
Source: Bandai and Rody Horse

Did you think only girls got to dress up in anime-inspired fashion? Bandai’s here to make sure no one gets left out of the fandom, no matter how old. These absolutely adorable baby clothes will turn your little one into a tiny otaku, and feature designs from Doraemon, Dragon Ball, and a few other pop and anime references.

If that’s not enough cute overdose for you, the makers of baby toy Rody Horse have created these ridiculous mashups of Neon Genesis Evangelion and cute horses. Because nothing says “brink of destruction” like horsey onsies.

Nakama and the Cheesy, Yet Wholesome, Friendships in Anime

“The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” Anime, especially shounen anime, reaffirms this proverb time after time. Comrades who battle together develop strong, almost unbreakable bonds—becoming more like family than mere friends. Let’s explore why this trope is so popular.


Why Nakama?


Nakama One Piece DefinitionImage Source

Nakama is a Japanese word for “companion”, “comrade”, “friend”, or “mate”. However, for fans of shounen anime such as One Piece, nakama has come to mean something like “friends who are closer than family”. Although the word does not seem to have that meaning in its original Japanese, it has come to take on that meaning for the English-speaking anime fandom. You can read more about its history here.

One of the reasons for its popularity is that anime, and shounen anime in particular, seems to put a great significance on the bonds created between otherwise unrelated people who share a common goal, or destiny, if you will. From the close bonds of Luffy’s crew in One Piece, to the teacher-student-teammate relationships of Naruto, to the antagonistic but probably-more-realistic crew of Cowboy Bebop, it’s clear that non-familial relationships can be just as important, or even more important, than familial relationships in anime.


The Appeal


Naruto ShippuudenImage Source

It’s very easy to find more examples of nakama-centric anime: Fairy Tail, Bleach, Claymore, Attack on Titan, Dragon Ball and its sequels, Yuu☆Yuu☆Hakusho, Gintama, Outlaw Star, and Samurai Champloo all feature characters who, through various circumstances, form eclectic, family-like groups. No matter how much they claim to dislike each other, they are still willing to die for their nakama. Such bonds seem even deeper and more influential than the bonds between family members. In fact, in many of the above examples, the characters have no family of their own. That’s why, when they finally come together to form makeshift families with their nakama, they prize those bonds so intensely.

Of course, due to the nature of shows about fighting, the characters’ bonds are strong out of necessity — you have to be able to trust your nakama to protect you in literally life-or-death situations. As a plot device, it’s incredibly convenient — a character chooses to sacrifice his or her life for another character, even though they don’t seem particularly close? It’s because they’re nakama! A character refuses to renounce his or her bond with another character, even though they are now enemies? It’s because they’re nakama! A character chooses to go on a harebrained, dangerous quest with another character, even though they really don’t know each other that well? It’s because they’re nakama!

Someone has killed a character’s nakama? That character will inevitably power-up from his or her grief and anger, and defeat their nakama’s killer—all through the power of friendship. No wonder this trope is so popular with shounen anime creators!


The Case For Making Your Own Family


Nakama Real LifeImage Source

The concept of nakama is popular with fans for other reasons. One theory I have is that we anime fans often fantasize about finding our own nakama. When we see the amazingly close bonds that are formed between characters in anime, we want that for ourselves, and that’s why we care so much about the characters and their relationships. Maybe, in real life, we don’t have the greatest families, or our families don’t support us, or there’s a lot of pressure within the family to live a certain way. In anime, nakama are brought together, not by the water of the womb, but rather by the blood of the covenant—by choice and commonality—and thus, the bond is special in a way family relationships can never be.

Even if initially forced together by circumstance, nakama choose to stay together, no matter what. That’s a very powerful manifestation of one of the key desires of all humans—we all want to fit in, be understood, be supported. We want to be included in a group where our most important people also view us as their most important people.

Nakama, in anime, not only replace the traditional nuclear family in terms of support and love, but also go one step further because they are unconditional relationships. Families inherently have a power dynamic involved, wherein children seek their parents’ approval, and parents either give or withhold it. With nakama, however, you don’t have to worry about that—your nakama will always have your back. That’s why the term nakama has taken on such a special meaning for anime fans, regardless of how it is used in the original Japanese.

One Piece Nakama Crew Celebration

It’s no coincidence that so many anime characters are so…well, weird. The way they look, the way they act, the nature of their most important relationships—they’re freaks, you might say. Misfits. Outcasts. Yet, within the special group of people that form their nakama, they are completely accepted for being themselves. They don’t have to change to fit in. For anime fans in particular, who are often ridiculed for having interests that are outside the societal norm, it’s heartwarming to see that characters who are so abnormal/deviant/atypical can still come together and form such strong bonds, with people who truly understand and accept them.

Anime may be ridiculous at times. It may be clichéd, badly written, or even just plain stupid. But still, we keep following our favorite characters’ odd adventures because we care about them, and about the friendships they form along the way. When they profess their love for their nakama, when they say they would do anything for their nakama, even die for their nakama — we believe them. We feel touched by the strength of their bonds. We laugh, we cry, and in the end, our worlds are a little bit brighter, a little bit more hopeful, for the idea that our nakama are out there, somewhere, waiting for us. These powerful words from Jaguar D. Saul, from One Piece, say it all:

“You might be alone at the moment, but someday, you’ll definitely find nakama! …The sea is vast. Someday, without any doubt, nakama who will protect you will appear! No one is born in this world being completely alone! …Go meet the nakama that are certainly waiting for you somewhere on the sea!”

Nakama One Piece Crew

Top 25 Best Adventure Anime

Are you into anime shows in which the characters embark on an exciting journey (who isn’t)? If the answer is yes, then check out these 25 amazing adventure anime and prepare for being part of the experience yourself!

Bakemono no KoeSource: Bakemono no Ko

Exploring new places, meeting new people, learning about yourself and eventually coming to terms with your own fears is something that many people yearn for. Therefore it is no wonder that the theme of adventure is thoroughly explored in the anime world. Watching these anime also makes us feel like we’re a part of the journey, and that’s another thing that’s great about this genre.

It’s also interesting how a lot of the most popular and iconic anime in history are part of the adventure genre. Maybe we all have a little adventurous spirit in us? So with all the formalities out of the way, in this article we are going to take a look at some of the best titles this genre has to offer – fasten your seat belts!

For more of our most highly rated Adventure Anime, as well as an overview of all the genre has to offer, check out our Adventure genre page on MAL.


Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

MAL Rated 9.26, Ranked #2 | Aired Spring 2009 | Produced by Bones


Fullmetal AlchemistFullmetal Alchemist
Edward Elric and his younger brother Alphonse go on an epic journey in order to find the secrets of alchemy; and perhaps even find the truth about themselves as well. Packed with lots of action and amazing character development, FMA is one of the most praised adventure anime shows ever.


Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic

MAL Rated 8.25, Ranked #252 | Aired Fall 2012 | Produced by A-1 Pictures


Magi: The Labyrinth of MagicMagi: The Labyrinth of Magic
Loosely based on and inspired by One Thousand and One Nights, can you imagine a more adventure-based series? Filled with various supernatural beings and a dangerous quest for mythical dungeons and treasures, this anime is the epitome of adventure.


One Piece

MAL Rated 8.60, Ranked #64 | Aired Fall 1999 | Produced by Toei Animation


One PieceOne Piece
The captain of the Straw Hat Pirates, Luffy Monkey D., is always looking for adventure, new places and people. His ultimate goal is the biggest treasure of all which only somebody worthy enough would be able to find – One Piece.


Hunter x Hunter (2011)

MAL Rated 9.14, Ranked #5 | Aired Fall 2011 | Produced by Madhouse


Hunter x Hunter (2011)Hunter x Hunter (2011)
Set in a world in which people tasked to perform dangerous deeds are called Hunters, a young boy Gon learns that his supposedly deceased father is not only alive, but has become a world-famous Hunter. He sets out on an adventure to become a Hunter himself and find his father.


Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away)

MAL Rated 8.93, Ranked #13 | Premiered: Jul 20, 2001 | Produced by Studio Ghibli


Sen to Chihiro no KamikakushiSen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi
One of the most beloved anime films ever, Spirited Away takes us to a magical and forbidden place of spiritual and ancient beings, with our protagonist – as they usually are in Ghibli films – being the young girl Chihiro who accidentally stumbles into this scary new world.


InuYasha

MAL Rated 7.89, Ranked #683 | Aired Fall 2000 | Produced by Sunrise


InuYashaInuyasha
InuYasha is a certifiable classic adventure anime that is set in both modern Japan and the Sengoku period filled with dangerous youkai. It follows the adventures of a modern girl Kagome and Inuyasha, a half-dog demon.


Akatsuki no Yona (Yona of the Dawn)

MAL Rated 8.25, Ranked #245 | Aired Fall 2014 | Produced by Studio Pierrot


Akatsuki no YonaAkatsuki no Yona
The banished princess Yona goes on a journey with her bodyguard Hak in order to find her place in the world and reclaim her lost kingdom. It is a road that’s full of danger and supernatural beings.


Digimon Adventure

MAL Rated 7.88, Ranked #700 | Aired Spring 1999 | Produced by Toei Animation


Digimon AdventureDigimon Adventure
A group of destined school kids find the Digital World, a place where strange creatures called Digimons exist and can be controlled with special devices. These creatures will become their best friends and take them on a journey of a lifetime.


Ookami to Koushinryou (Spice and Wolf)

MAL Rated 8.38, Ranked #167 | Aired Winter 2008 | Produced by Imagin


Ookami to KoushinryouOokami to Koushinryou
Holo is a long-forgotten wolf deity who meets a local merchant named Kraft Lawrence and becomes his business partner. They go on a journey together not realizing that not everything will go as smoothly as they plan.


Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka (Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?)

MAL Rated 7.92, Ranked #637 | Aired Spring 2015 | Produced by J.C.Staff


Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou kaDungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka
An adventurer Bell Cranel meets a clumsy but attractive goddess Hestia and they decide to join forces. His dream is to explore dangerous dungeons while she just wants more followers (and of course, Bell to notice her).


Fairy Tail

MAL Rated 8.27, Ranked #230 | Aired Fall 2009 | Produced by Satelight & A-1 Pictues


Fairy TailFairy Tail
Fairy Tale is the name of a famous wizarding guild, in which its members earn points for using their magical powers and fulfilling various quests. An extremely long running adventure series which is often mentioned in the same breath as other giants, such as Naruto, One Piece, or Bleach.


Cowboy Bebop

MAL Rated 8.83, Ranked #22 | Aired Spring 1998 | Produced by Sunrise


Cowboy BebopCowboy Bebop
The spaceship Cowboy Bebop is a home to peculiar characters and their dark pasts. Each one of them has a reason for drifting through space and going from venture to venture.


Howl no Ugoku Shiro (Howl’s Moving Castle)

MAL Rated 8.74, Ranked #33 | Premiered: Nov 20, 2004 | Produced by Studio Ghibli


Howl no Ugoku Shiroimage tags here
Sophie, a simple shop worker, gets her life upside down when she gets turned into an old woman by magic and meets a mysterious wizard Howl.


Samurai Champloo

MAL Rated 8.50, Ranked #100 | Aired Spring 2004 | Produced by Manglobe


Samurai ChamplooSamurai Champloo
Two samurai with opposite personalities and fighting techniques – Mugen and Jin, get asked by a waitress Fuu to go on a journey with her and help her find a mysterious person she’s been looking for her whole life.


Katanagatari (Sword Story)

MAL Rated 8.50, Ranked #95 | Aired Winter 2010 | Produced by White Fox


KatanagatariKatanagatari
Shichika Yasuri and the strategist Togame set out on a journey to collect the unique “Deviant Blades” and meet various swordsmen and dangerous people along the way.


Mushishi

MAL Rated 8.78, Ranked #28 | Aired Fall 2005 | Produced by Artland


MushishiMushishi
A slow-paced and whimsical adventure anime that is filled with beautiful visuals and even more beautiful tales about people, their inner desires and life stories. Ginko is the main protagonist, a traveler and researcher of strange beings called mushi; he goes from one place to another in search of their origin.


Majo no Takkyuubin (Kiki’s Delivery Service)

MAL Rated 8.27, Ranked #235 | Premiered: Jul 29, 1989 | Produced by Studio Ghibli & Studio Hibari


Majo no TakkyuubinMajo no Takkyuubin
In order to become a full-fledged witch like everyone else, Kiki must leave the safety of home and venture out on her own. She needs to find a place that she can call her own and struggles with finding a talent she can exploit to make it in a new city . Soon, she not only finds a new place, and talent, but also new people that she can call friends. An adventure which is a perfect marriage of mundane human drama and fantasy.


Pokemon

MAL Rated 7.43, Ranked #1796 | Aired Spring 1997 | Produced by OLM, Inc.


PokemonPokemon
Pokemons are strange and powerful creatures that live inside Pokeballs and can be summoned by their master. The more pokemon you get, the stronger you are, and so Satoshi embarks on an adventure to catch them all.


Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World

MAL Rated 8.47, Ranked #113 | Aired Spring 2003 | Produced by A.C.G.T.


Kino no TabiKino no Tabi
This adventurous anime follows Kino and her unusual talking motorcycle Hermes as they travel the world and learn more about themselves in the process. Kino no Tabi will take you on a journey of self-discovery and beautiful imagery that will definitely leave you breathless.


Soul Eater

MAL Rated 8.10, Ranked #407 | Aired Spring 2008 | Produced by Bones


Soul EaterSoul Eater
Soul Eater follows the adventures of students of Death Weapon Meister Academy. There are two types of students; ones that turn into weapons, and ones that use these weapons (called meisters). These meisters aim to collect the souls of 99 evil humans and 1 witch so that their human weapons can become ‘death scythes’.


Claymore

MAL Rated 7.93, Ranked #623 | Aired Spring 2007 | Produced by Madhouse


ClaymoreClaymore
In a world in which demons called Yoma attack and eat people, there is an organization which trains Claymore – half-women, half-Yoma warriors whose main purpose is to slay those monsters. One boy forges an unlikely friendship with one Claymore and realizes that she is perhaps not the monster she is made out to be.


Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

MAL Rated 8.79, Ranked #26 | Aired Spring 2007 | Produced by Gainax


Tengen Toppa Gurren LagannTengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
This mecha anime is about Simon and Kamina, two friends who stumble upon an ancient artifact called Lagann. They soon realize that this is a powerful weapon and they decide to use it to their advantage, changing their fate as they do so.


Sword Art Online

MAL Rated 7.93, Ranked #631 | Aired Summer 2012 | Produced by A-1 Pictures


Sword Art Onlinesword art online
An online role-playing game called Sword Art Online (SAO) has gained a huge fanbase and people all over the world are dying to play it. When all of a sudden they realize that they cannot log out and that this is their new reality, the adventure really begins.


Dragon Ball

MAL Rated 8.17, Ranked #328 | Aired Winter 1986 | Produced by Toei Animation


Dragon BallDragon Ball
The mystical Dragonballs are said to be able to grant you any wish, and that is why Bulma and young Goku go on a journey to collect as many Dragonballs as possible.


Nanatsu no Taizai (The Seven Deadly Sins)

MAL Rated 8.47, Ranked #114 | Aired Fall 2014 | Produced by A-1 Pictures


Nanatsu no TaizaiNanatsu no Taizai
This adventure anime follows the adventures of Elizabeth, who is the third princess of the Kingdom of Liones, and her search for the Seven Deadly Sins, an evil group in the Holy Knights that betrayed their comrades and staged a coup in her kingdom. With the help of her friends, they manage to overcome dangerous obstacles in their way.


All ranking information was taken on the date of publication.