Have you ever fought a pirate crew, saved a kingdom and then won a volleyball game, all on the same day? The past year may have had us stuck at home, but our minds can still live vicariously through the adventures of the on-screen characters. After many quarantine nights spent eating Safeway’s legendary cookies and cream-flavored ice cream and binging the same old shows, I had a chance to discover the magical world of animated shows. And while a live-action film is always great, the characters, art and fantasy aspects of anime know no comparison. We at the Clog are going to be power ranking some of the best and most popular animes on Netflix (and giving you some amazing recommendations for your next watch at the same time)!
“The Seven Deadly Sins”: 3/5
“The Seven Deadly Sins” is an anime starring a team of seven magical fighters titled the “Seven Deadly Sins” — a broad group that features all sorts of creatures from a lion to a doll. The story begins following the adventures of the captain of the band as the group undergoes a journey to find all seven Sins to help save the kingdom of Liones from villainy. “The Seven Deadly Sins” is an exquisite anime with beautiful art and great character design. The plot is exciting and action-packed, with each episode filled with twists, turns and cliffhangers. The characters, even the minor ones, are interesting; each one has an intricate backstory that ties into a shocking plot point.
“Avatar: The Last Airbender”/”Legend Of Korra”: 4/5
The series “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is an animated 2000s kids show that resurfaced after #AvatarTikTok. Although traditionally a kids’ show, “Avatar: The Last Airbender” has underlying themes for older audiences such as spirituality, grief, war, genocide, friendship and death. Though touching on poignant subjects, this show portrays them through the wholesome lens of children and teenagers, making it an enjoyable and emotional watch.
The 2012 spinoff show about the next avatar, titled “The Legend Of Korra,” is more mature and unmistakably intended for an older audience. The themes have a political and societal undertone, and the villains seem to represent real-world figures who symbolize anarchism, communism or fascism. The show also has great representation and diversity.
I strongly recommend both shows to anyone looking for a wholesome but meaningful watch. I missed out on this iconic educational experience in my childhood. I would’ve given it five stars, if not for the simpler animation and storyline compared to newer animes.
“Hunter x Hunter”: 4/5
“Hunter x Hunter” is set in a fantasy world of both ordinary people and elite fighters called “Hunters,” or powerful magic-wielders who seek sacred treasures, mystical places, powerful beasts or even individuals. The anime revolves around Gon, who sets his heart on becoming a Hunter in order to reunite with his father, and the anime begins as he leaves his precious home to take the Hunter Exam. As a true shonen anime, the plot is filled with adventure and fantasy, but the funny dialogue, friendships and relationships between the characters are what really make you keep clicking the “next episode” button.
“Fairy Tail”: 4/5
“Fairy Tail” is a fantasy-adventure anime about a wizard guild called “Fairy Tail” and its many quests to fight evil together. “Fairy Tail” transports the audience into a magical world of teenage wizards with unique powers and fantastical objects, ranging from celestial keys to swords to dragons. The story initially begins by following Lucy Heartfilia, a young wizard and fangirl who aspires to join the renowned Fairy Tail guild. If you’re a sucker for the “found family” trope you’ll love this anime. The highlight of this show, however, is the brilliant character development and the heart-wrenching, emotional backstories of each character.
Haikyuu is a sports anime centered around a high school boys’ volleyball team and its victories, adventures, trials and tribulations. It follows main character Hinata, an underdog with a fiery passion whose unfortunate lack of height always leaves him one step behind the other players despite his big dreams. The anime showcases themes of the power of determination and ambition through the perseverance and strong will of the volleyball players. This is an amazing anime, even if you don’t know anything about volleyball or sports. If you do know and love the sport of volleyball, it’ll just be even better. The anime was written and drawn by a volleyball player, so the animations are extremely realistic, and the descriptions and gameplay are accurate.
“One Piece”: 5/5
“One Piece” is a fantasy-adventure anime, set in an era in which thousands of pirates roam the seas, seeking out treasure and glory. The plot features the young, up-and-coming pirate Monkey D. Luffy and his quest to become the King of the Pirates by finding the “One Piece,” a legendary treasure rumored to be hidden in the most dangerous part of the sea. The plot follows Luffy and his crew and their many adventures as Luffy sails toward his dream, both saving cities and finding members for his pirate crew on the way. This is arguably one of the world’s most popular animes and definitely one of my favorites due to world-building and characterization. The constantly moving pirate ship environment is entertaining, giving the audience a glimpse into a variety of different cities, societies, families and perspectives at each port. The plot is suspenseful, leaving you hanging on the edge of your seat and wanting more by the end of the episode, and the characters are unique and funny.
So there you have it! Let us know if you agree or disagree (in this case, let’s agree to disagree)!