Come with me now, on an adventure through time, space and the second dimension to answer the big questions - what even is life and how do we human?
25 Sep 2015 - 11:17 AM  UPDATED 25 Sep 2015 - 11:21 AM

Whether it's an essay that's due or you're just trying to come to terms with the human condition, you'd be forgiven for thinking that watching anime will not get you closer to your goal. (I won't forgive you though because I'm a cat and we're notoriously petty and vindictive).

Anime, my dear friend, is not only THE answer to everything but it can also contain the answer TO everything.

Never fear, anime will tell us why it is so!

7. Kill La Kill

Fear is freedom! Subjugation is liberation! Contradiction is truth! Those are the facts of this world! And you will all surrender to them, you pigs in human clothing!”

The Goku uniform is key to the strength of the students at Honnōji Academy. The more stars on the uniform, the stronger the student and higher their status and individuality. For 'no stars', conformity is the only hope of survival.

Then.... A transfer student arrives. 

This series highlights the desire of humans to be counted as individuals, rather than faceless masses.

Also there's a lot of fight scenes, so you might enjoy that too.

6. Attack On Titan

To endure becoming a monster you have to discard your humanity”

Attack On Titan is more than just 3D Manoeuvre devices, carnivorous giants and Levi cleaning things. It digs deep and asks about the measure of life if it is only lived within a cage. It's about what people will endure, in order to release themselves and others from a shackled existence...

I think it also gives us the message to run like no one will ever make a gif of us.


(I'm terribly sorry. I just cannot write anything about Attack On Titan without including him).


5. Assassination Classroom


The fact that I am targeted by everyone....Is proof that I'm powerful after all”

The class of 3-E has been given the task of killing their teacher, before he destroys the world. Without spoiling anything for you (as it is going to be on SBS 2 for the Pop Weekend), this series is a lot like the students of 3-E and Korosensei, there is much more than what you see on the surface.

Assisination Classroom is screening on SBS 2 as part of Pop! Weekend: all Asian Entertainment all weekend! Check out the show times here

4. Tokyo Ghoul

“The bird fights it's way out of the egg. The egg is the world. Who would be born, must first destroy a world”

Kaneki was just an average student, who liked good books and coffee. Life was simple. Ghouls were evil. The 'Doves' (the police force who track and kill ghouls) were the white knights who defend humans.

When he finds himself straddling the divide between humans and ghouls, life gets more complicated.

Could it all be as Yoshimura says?

“We're always trying to justify our actions with ideals. But ideals cannot give grounds for killing another person. The act of taking a life will always be considered... evil."


3. Ghost In The Shell


Can you offer me proof of your existence? How can you, when neither modern science nor philosophy can explain what life is?”

While the 2005 Ghost In The Shell is my favourite, the question of “what makes us human?” is a reoccurring theme throughout the entire franchise. Is there really much difference between data and memories if they're all made the same way? Are we all just fleshy machines?


2. Blood C

"What do you think people are made of?"

Before I go any further, this is one of the most violent series I've ever seen.....It also involves coffee...

Saya Kisagari is a naïve highschool student, who floats through the day being all kinds of sweetness and light. At night she engages in brutal combat with monsters that eat people (I'm starting to see a pattern here....). As she fights, the truth of her situation is revealed to her. The viewer must ask themselves whether who we are is who we've become, or who we have always been.....


1. Xam'd: The Lost Memory


The words of wise men illuminate our lives like the sun. Please listen closely”

Akiyuki gains the ability to transform into a deadly weapon known as Xamd. The price he pays for this amazing power, is himself. Each time he becomes Xamd, he loses a piece of his memory.

Without his memories of why he is fighting, is Akiyuki anything more than a weapon?

That's before you even get into the lectures on 'the enemy' that crop up from time to time. By defining the enemy, we define ourself.

Anime can be fun to watch without thinking too deeply about it. But, it's also fun to see the layers of complexity in the stories that anime tells and what that can tell us about ourselves.

After all that heavy thinking... here's Chi being Chi.


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