by Alex Daud Briggs
For years Digimon has been accused of being a knock-off of Pokémon and yet the 1st Digimon Anime: Digimon Adventure far exceeds any of Pokémon’s animated attempts. The story is simple; seven kids in summer camp are transported to an alternate world inhabited by strange creatures called Digimon. Each child gets a partner Digimon and must fulfil a prophecy in order to save both the digital and the human world.
What separates Digimon from most other childrens’ shows is its character development and darker tone. The series is filled with exciting fights with well-designed monsters, but it ultimately serves to help the children grow into better people. Alongside the fantasy action, the show deals with real world issues like parents getting divorced, adoption, living up to expectations and eventually death and loss, as not all the Digimon end up making it out alive. These are things that real world children have to deal with and Digimon presents them in a way that is understandable and appropriate for children, yet still is suited for older audiences too.
Digimon is still a light-hearted adventure anime but its darker edge and more nuanced character development elevate it to a truly heartfelt adventure. Certainly, above Pokémon at least.
by Scarlet Charles
I first watched Haikyuu!! in 2015, and have since watched hundreds of other anime, but it remains one of my all time favourites. Haikyuu!! follows the story of a teenage boy, Hinata Shoyō who, after seeing a volleyball game on television, falls in love with the sport and goes to Karasuno High School to follow his passion.
What’s interesting about Haikyuu!! is that it does not only follow Hinata or Karasuno’s journey to nationals, but every other team involved as well. The show has us rooting for the ‘enemies’, for Karasuno’s rivals, because of how strong and interesting their characterisation is.
Originally a manga, then adapted to an anime in 2014, Haikyuu!! has a bit of something for everyone. Even though it’s a sports anime, I relate to it more than a lot of other anime, as it features teenagers chasing their goals, facing struggles, and working hard.
I also think Haikyuu!! is a great starter anime: its story isn’t complicated enough to confuse people, the characters are all loveable, and the storyline just brings you in. Overall, for many, many reasons, Haikyuu!! is one of my favourite animes, and it deserves its popularity.
by Soyal Khedkar
Violet Evergarden is a 2018 Japanese Anime series, written by Reiko Yoshida. The story is about Violet, an orphaned emotionally detached soldier who is trying to settle into post war life. Violet receives prosthetic arms and is almost always lost in thought, wondering what her commander’s final words mean.
She embarks on this journey to explore what they possibly meant by becoming ‘Auto Memories Doll’– a ghostwriter who writes letters on behalf of others– for a postal company. Due to her emotionally detached personality, Violet’s letters were rather emotionless. Through the story, Violet travels from place to place, writing letters after letters to become one of the best ‘Auto Memories Doll’ in town.
This series has stunning animation, soothing music and a touching storyline. Does Violet find her commander’s final words’ meaning by the end? That is for you to find out by binging this brilliant series.