The Best Anime To Binge-Watch Over The New Year

The Christmas and New Year holidays are for binge-watching anime. It's what you're probably going to do anyway between family meals and sleeping, so let's just be honest with ourselves.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Binge-watching isn't for the faint of heart. Tearing through 12 episodes of Madoka Magica does not constitute a binge. Rapid-firing 700 episodes of Naruto in a few weeks is also not a binge — that's a bender and there may be a helpline for that. What you need is a classic anime with a few solid arcs and enough intrigue to hold your attention for a few weeks. I've got you.

Below are the three best anime to binge over the holidays. I know this because of, er, research I did in university. Add yours in the comments:

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Two brothers use illegal alchemy in hopes of bringing their mother back, and in the process, sacrifice a large part of themselves. The anime follows their quest to understand alchemy's moral and physical limits. In the process, they uncover a mind-bending government conspiracy involving monsterish incarnations of the seven deadly sins.

FMA: Brotherhood has everything: Politics, gripping fight scenes, drama, fantasy and suspense. After watching, you'll spend the rest of your day wondering about the next episode. It's also 64 episodes long, which is a respectable length for a binge-watch. And, in the process, you'll navigate questions like "Is resurrection moral?" and "When does a job become a way of life?" that, if you're crafty enough, your philosophy tutor might give you credit for.

"Why not the original?" 12 of you ask in the comments. It's because the original is repetitive. Brotherhood is closer to the manga and I like it better.

Nana

I have never seen an anime drama better than Nana. Probably, it does not exist. Nana follows two women named Nana who, after a fortuitous encounter on a train to Tokyo, end up living together. One is a rebellious punk with a soft underbelly. The other is naive and boy-crazy. One wants to be a rock star, the other, a housewife. As time passes, and new people are introduced into their lives, they realise that living a dream is more complicated than dreaming it.

Nana's protagonists are real people, with contradictions and irrational impulses and relatable whimsies. Their relationship develops organically with a special tenderness as they pick up each other's mannerisms and ways of thinking. And the character arcs will keep you going through 47 episodes.

Samurai Champloo

In Samurai Champloo, a woman named Fuu hunts down the mysterious "samurai who smells of sunflowers" with two samurai who hate each other. One is an impulsive jerk and the other is straight-laced and arrogant. They are both perfect. There's a great scene at a barbecue eel stand. There's another great scene with a geisha and an underground criminal enterprise.

It isn't the plot or the characters that will compel you through this anime as much as the mindset it puts you in. A remarkable hip hop soundtrack booms in the background of each episode. The fight scenes feature break-dancing. There's a ton of absurdist humour, but also, relaxing moments with beautiful scenery. The show has rhythm. It will take you out of your parents' house and into its world. Also, it's directed by the same guy as Cowboy Bebop. So, there's that.


Comments

    No Cowboy Bebop, Psycho Pass, GiTS:Sac, Steins;Gate, Monogatari series?

    to be fair, Cowboy Bebop, Psycho Pass and GiTS:Sac episodes are mostly stand alone with an overall story tie in. yes it probably makes sense to watch them all back to back just so you don't forget what happens in ep2 referenced in ep 12 kind of situation but you can apply the same logic to 99% of the anime out there.

    Monogatari series... is a whole different ball game that I'm not sure many people would get into... it's unique I guess in both humor and general wtf is happening feel. I need to rewatch Stein:Gate (there's a new series next year)

    if people are into mecha I'll put Macross and Gundam into the binge category, although the newer Gundam is kind of meh (e.g. Reconguista)

      Very true that most of what I mentioned are more stand alone. But then again, the article title is about watching some good anime. I honestly think that Psycho Pass should be on the list. Steins;Gate is a must for all anime fans and even non anime watchers. A big emphasis on moral decisions and the ripple effect on those choices you make. If you could do something, should you do it because you can?

      And yes, the Monogatari series is quite something in its own right. It is very true that it is very hard to get into. I believe it to be something like, you either love it or hate it, kinda thing.

      Gundam is kinda niche I'd say. A lot of politics, faction wars, justice and beliefs kinda thing. I don't mind the new Iron-Blooded Orphans, a bit more straight forward.

      Last edited 30/12/16 2:00 am

    There's a gigantic list of much better anime people should binge watch. Just get a Crunchyroll account or Netflix account and start looking.

    "Hey here's some long anime series that are at least half a decade old and a you've probably already seen"

    Full Metal Alchemist definitely, but I'd Also put Steins:Gate, Death Note and Code Geass in there. Very bingeable Animes all with excellent writing.

    On a side note, I've started binge watching Zoids Chaotic Century again. Great show but unfortunately no anime streaming services have it from what I've seen. Had to dig out the old VHS tapes.

    Also, Tekkaman Blade. Another great one that I doubt you'll find anywhere.

    Last edited 30/12/16 9:48 am

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now