Posted on December 24, 2012 AT 05:00pm
Anime fans and Xbox 360 owners got themselves an early Christmas (or late Hanukkah, depending on your religious affiliation) present last week when the free Crunchyroll app was launched, just under five months after PS3 owners were given their own. Just as when the PS3 version was launched, I offer up five new suggestions to check out once you download the app:
Have you ever watched an anime comedy series and said to yourself, Sure this is great, but where are all the dick and fart jokes? Wonder no more, as Gintama as plenty of them, and then some! Taking place in an alternate Edo period — where 21st century technology thrives and the nation of Japan is filled with strange and wacky aliens — this series follows the misadventures of three odd-jobs who seek to earn whatever the heck they can in the easiest way possible. However, in a usual twist, almost every job they choose to do involves criminal activity, insane tactics, and sometimes a weird guy who dresses up like a giant duck/bird thing. Gintama can be considered Japan’s answer to South Park, not just because the show isn’t afraid to push boundaries, but also because it has the tendency to generate controversy of its own. Some of the Japanese jokes may go over your head — and the more serious episodes may crawl at a slow pace — but roughly 87% of the time you can easily find something in Gintama that will easily make you keel over from laughing. You might find yourself marathoning a few episodes before you know it!
H2O: Footprints in the Sand
Usually I’m not a fan of dating-sim based anime series, but there’s something about H2O: Footprints in the Sand that makes it a big exception. The story follows Takuma, a blind student who arrives in town with his uncle soon after the death of his mother. One day he meets Otoha, a young spirit that only Takuma can communicate with, and gives him the gift of sight. Soon he grows a steady friendship with those around him, but gets close to the village outsider Hayami, whose family has been shunned by the entire community. H2O has its light moments, but it’s when it treads down a darker path where the series gets more enticing, especially when it gets to the treatment of Hayami by the town elders. Keep a box Kleenex handy for this one, as there are some tragic moments that may warrant them.
It’s somewhat rare when an anime trudges into college life, but when it does it usually strikes gold. Moyashimon takes place at an agricultural college, where new student Tadayasu arrives with a special talent: he can see microbes. Along with his childhood friend Kei, his new comrades Takuma and Kaoru, and the aid of Professor Itsuki, Takumi lives the highs and lows of college life, with the adorable microbes adding in their funny commentary as the show’s events unfold. Moyashimon is also that untypical anime that not only makes you laugh, but is somewhat educational when it comes to learning about the different types of bacteria that the students come across. Fortunately the learning aspect of the show won’t have you looking at your watch, as the appearance of the microbes doing its natural duty is one of the show’s biggest highlights. Those who are looking to find a job in the farming industry may find plenty of tidbits that will help in their line of work, but those looking for one amazingly entertaining series will find that here in Moyashimon, especially when it comes to watching the schemes pulled by Kaoru and Takuma.
All you need to see is that CLAMP is involved, and that gives you a large reason to watch this series. The creators of Cardcaptor Sakura and Chobits hit one out of the ballpark again with this comedic drama about a young girl with the task of collecting and healing the broken hearts of any friend of stranger who greatly needs it. Of course she gets some aid in the form of Ioryogi, a short-tempered spirit trapped in a plush dog with the tendency to set poor Kobato on fire with his rage. Kobato. is the sort of anime that has it all: huge laughs, heartfelt romances, great storylines, and some very great characters. It also gives CLAMP fans the chance to see the characters from Wish fully animated (and yes, I am also still scratching my head as to why they didn’t appear in Tsubasa Chronicles).
If Sam Raimi took his Evil Dead talents to anime, this is just about what you’d get. When young Maya is forced to take over for her father’s academy, she soon discovers much to her disinterest that it is full of the things that go bump in the night. However when a time-traveller from the future named Fumiaki appears and tells her the world will soon end if they do nothing, it’s up to them to find out which of the anomalies that make their way into the school halls and put a stop to armageddon. The spooks don’t reach true frightening levels, but the entertaining aspect of Occult Academy is seeing how they’re going to be captured (that and the hilarious bickering between Maya and Fumiaki). Fans of the Boomstick King and Buffy The Vampire Slayer will find much to love in this series.
To check out these and other anime series, be sure to check out the Crunchyroll Xbox 360 app (as well as the PS3 one if you have that one). For more information, visit the official Crunchyroll website!
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