Greetings and happy new year to everyone. I hope your holidays were fun or at least bearable. It’s been about a month since I updated Anime Rants, so I think it’s appropriate to give some information and blog thoughts before going on to the main part of this post.
Without sharing too much personal detail, I’m trying to improve my life and start building up strength to enter the job market in spring. This is tough with the US as it is, in addition to my various and sundry mental health issues. Unfortunately, blog updates may be sparse in the next few weeks to months. Then again, I do have some spare time, so if the inspiration hits and I can tear myself away from Minecraft, I may write quite a bit. Let me share a few post ideas that are in the works. They’re currently gathering dust in my drafts tab, but I’ll get to them eventually.
-Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Akio Ohtori Saga (Analysis)
-The Hit-or-Miss Nature of Anime and Personal Taste (Rant)
-Personality and Character Journey of Louis from Beastars (Analysis)
-More posts with favorite characters by hair color
Keep an eye out and you might see some of these posts in the near future. Sorry that I can’t promise for sure. Anyway, let’s move on to the main part of this post.
Most anime fans have at some point felt inspired by series they like. For today’s post, I present seven series that made me feel in some way inspired. They are listed in alphabetical order. It was difficult for me to leave out most of my top favorite anime, since they do often have inspiring themes; but I left them out to prevent being too repetitive with the shows I mention. (A good example would be Psycho Pass.) I also tried to select some more recent series into the mix. Another disclaimer: my list does not contain shounen action anime since that’s not a favorite genre for me personally. With all that out of the way, let’s look at my selections.
1) Carole and Tuesday (2019)
This cheerful music-themed anime is about two girls in the future in a world where humanity has developed Mars as a habitable second planet. The independent, bold Carole is a poor refugee from Earth who teams up with runaway Mars aristocrat girl Tuesday to make original songs. Carole and Tuesday was inspiring for me as I watched the unlikely pair make it big in the music world of Mars without losing their integrity or quirky charm. Several supporting characters also had uplifting stories. Watch this show to the end to see an especially strong and inspiring case of musicians coming together to support each other and their fellow humans.
2) Dr. Stone (2019-2021)
Ok, so this may actually count as an action shounen anime, contradicting my disclaimer earlier. However, Dr. Stone is noteworthy to me not because of its classic shounen elements, but because of its positive and informative view on science. Yes, it’s a fantasy show and yes, it’s more of a kid-ish anime for slightly younger audiences. Despite that, the anime presents an accurate depiction of the scientific method, a healthy respect for historic innovation, and a refreshingly upbeat take on humanity’s potential. Dr. Stone was inspiring to me especially as someone surrounded by a culture of pseudoscience, rampant ignorance, and outright anti-scientific sentiment. This show restored a small amount of my hope in people at large.
3) Kill la Kill (2014)
Kill la Kill is a violent, funny, sexy, and inspiring anime spanning across many genres and packed full of different types of content. It’s just a crazy show. Punk girl Ryuko is on a quest to find her father’s killer and avenge him, when she is pounced on by a talking sailor uniform with a will of its own. This sassy piece of cloth is called Senketsu, and in return for some of Ryuko’s blood, he can grant her incredible fighting power and superhuman physical abilities. For many fans, Kill la Kill has become a classic. But how exactly is it inspiring? Well, personally, I felt deeply inspired by the personality and character journey of an important character called Satsuki. She overcomes so much over the course of the show. The same can be said of the spunky main character Ryuko.
4) Made in Abyss (2017)
Although Made in Abyss has problematic elements for me, such as loli/shouta romance, I still consider it a great anime. That’s because it’s so inspiring to me. It makes me want to go for an adventure! The anime is about two kids, Riko and Reg, who are exploring the Abyss, a gigantic hole in the earth rife with danger, mysterious relics, and fantastical creatures. During the last 2 or 3 episodes of season one, we also see the story of a character named Nanichi. Even though her life has been full of tragedy and suffering, she still finds peace and starts over with her new friends on a new adventure. Now that is inspiring!
5) The Ancient Magus’ Bride (2017-2018)
Magic and wonder abound in this anime about an orphan girl who becomes a magic apprentice and potential future bride of an nonhuman mage named Elias. The girl, Chise, is quiet and melancholy, but over these episodes, she slowly opens up, finds the will to live, and even falls in love. The adventures of Chise and Elias and their enchanting friends are often intense, emotional, and just wonderful in so many ways. This anime helps inspire me to keep up my will to see the good and the wonder in the world and others, even when it seems dark at first.
6) The Pet Girl of Sakurasou (2012)
In The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, we have a group of main characters sharing a dorm house and attending a school that specializes in art and creative pursuits. Everyone in this dorm, which is called Sakurasou, is creative and has high hopes for the future. They are also all a little weird. But the weirdest one of all is Mashiro, an autistic girl who has transferred from England to learn manga drawing. Even though she’s a great artist, she can’t take care of herself, and is always getting in trouble– thus, the others have to care for her and get along with her and each other. The Pet Girl of Sakurasou is inspiring because the cast is so ambitious and fun; you can’t help but root for their success in creating art and other content.
7) Violet Evergarden (2018)
Violet is a mysterious girl who survived a war and had her arms and hands replaced by metallic prosthetics. She uses her mechanical digits to write letters with a typewriter at a certain office specializing in sending meaningful letters to customers’ loved ones. If you’ve heard of Violet Evergarden, you know it’s a visually beautiful anime with a highly emotional story. Most of the time, the stories are uplifting, but they can also be a bit sad. When it comes time for Violet’s own emotional character arc at the last few episodes, the anime is strikingly sad and intense. However, it’s still inspiring because Violet continues to survive as she learns how to grieve and process heavy emotions.
Snow White with Red Hair (2015)
I wanted to include Snow White with Red Hair since I found it very personally uplifting, charming, and pretty. It’s inspiring because the main character is a very independent young woman who must start a life in a new kingdom and stay true to herself and her dreams as a wise, capable herbalist. Note: This isn’t a retelling of the Snow White story, but the main character’s name is Shirayuki, meaning Snow White. Shirayuki flees her home country rather than become a concubine for the selfish prince. In the next country over, she has a chance encounter with the much kinder, down-to-earth Prince Zen. Thanks to knowing Zen, Shirayuki is able to start working as a royal gardener and herbalist at the castle. It’s pretty inspiring to watch her journey.
With that, we’ve completed my list of seven inspiring anime series. Thanks so much for reading! I hope your new year is going great. Stay safe and awesome, until next time!