Anime That Will Enrich Your Life

A form of entertainment which I greatly enjoy is Japanese animation. I do not claim to be the hugest fan of anime, nor do I say that I am well-versed. I've only seen a small number of anime movies and shows. But, I do greatly enjoy them. Before I started watching anime, I was under the impression that it was "bad." I guess I had once been told that a certain anime was not worth watching, so I assumed that all anime was bad. Silly, I know. But I stayed away from anime, not realizing the beauty that I was missing out on. Little did I know that some anime shows would enrich my life!

When I was 16 or 17, I began watching anime, and on this page, I would like to share brief, non-spoiler recommendations for different anime movies and series that I have seen. I'm going to keep adding more as I find the time to update the list. If you've never tried anime, I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and give it a try. Who knows? You may find something that you absolutely love! Much of the anime which I've seen has enriched my life on many levels, and I hope that it will enrich your life, as well!

Clannad & Clannad After Story: I love this show. There is such a beautiful underlying Catholic understanding of the communion that we are called to. When I asked a friend (before watching this show) what is was about, he said, "high schoolers." Yes, at face value, this show is about a bunch of high school students. But it goes so much deeper. This show is about young people who are all suffering in different ways, and they try to find family, community, and love with each other. Clannad is the first show, and it builds up a strong foundation of the major characters and their interactions. Each major character has his or her own "arc," so you'll spend three (or however many) episodes focused on each character. THEN, you get to  Clannad After Story, where everything intensifies. And it may possibly make you cry. Because of some heavy issues dealt with, I recommend this show for middle school on up.

Steins;Gate: This anime show is about time travel. It follows Rintaru Okabe and his friends as they try to defeat an evil group by using time travel. I love how this show depicts how our actions always have consequences--and even a good-intentioned action can have an unfortunate consequence. Throughout the show, we see Rintaru Okabe and his friends continually grow in what it means to sacrificially love his friends, and put others before himself. This show is multi-layered, very deep, and my sparse words here really cannot do it justice. I recommend this show for older teens and adults, since there is a bit of inappropriate content (Hashida and Okabe are quite perverted in words at times). Overall, this show is quite excellent, and the music is fantastic, too.

The Cat Returns: Do you love The Princess Bride? If so, you need to watch this Studio Ghibli film with the English dubbing (don't worry, SG does English dubs really well, and it's well worth watching the movies in English). What does this movie have to do with The Princess Bride? Cary Elwes, who plays Westley in that film, happens to be the voice of Baron in The Cat Returns. Baron is a completely amazing cat figurine who comes to life. This movie is appropriate for all ages, and it is simply delightful. It follows Haru, a teenage girl, as everything goes wrong one day. But, in the midst of all irritating events, she takes the time to do a good deed. This good deed changes the course of her life (and the movie).

Grave of the Fireflies: I love WWII books and movies, and Grave of the Fireflies is no different. You might want to have tissues handy as you watch the story of two young Japanese children (Seita and Setsuko) during the WWII bombings unfold. We see a brother's devotion for his sister as he tries to protect her during the harsh circumstances of war. We see lives destroyed, families broken apart, and death. But we also see hope in this young brother-sister duo. No matter what happens, their love for each other, and perseverance to fight for their lives, will endure.


  1. Now try Hyouka, if you haven't already. An unconventional mystery story in a high school setting. It seems it might align with your interests, though it's a bit off the beaten track.

    1. Ooh, that sounds intriguing. Thanks for the recommendation, Kevin! I'll definitely look into it, especially since I've been in a mystery-story phase for a couple months :)