Five Excellent Non-Shounen Anime

Five Excellent Non-Shounen Anime

My friend Ochan30 and Twwk (indirectly) encouraged me to pick five, excellent, non-shounen anime titles. As I poured though what I consider to be really good, non-shounen titles, I found that they were all seinen titles. 😂

Note: Although Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki (OVA) is a seinen anime series and my favorite anime of all time, I have chosen not to include it here.

Ai Yori Aoshi

HANABISHI Kaoru was the heir to the Hanabishi Zaibatsu. As such, as a child, he is arranged to be married to SAKURABA Aoi, the only child of the owner of the large Sakuraba Department Store. Years later, Kaoru rejects his family for what he feels is evil behavior. As such, the arranged marriage is canceled. Aoi, who’s been raised to be Kaoru’s wife, leaves to seek out Kaoru, who’s now in college. Aoi’s mother reluctantly allows Kaoru and Aoi to live together in a Sakuraba Western mansion, with Aoi’s caretaker Miyabi as chaperone.

I love harem titles. But what made Ai Yori Aoshi so unique for the time is that it had the male protagonist make his choice early on. Because Kaoru and Aoi have to keep their relationship secret, other girls who move into the mansion as renters fall for Kaoru. Thus there is a harem, but all of these other girls have no clue they have no chance. As such, it makes a typical harem title more interesting. Sadly, the anime does not finish the manga story.


Azumanga Daioh

MIHAMA Chiyo-chan is a child genius who is allowed to skip 5th through 9th grades in order to be a first year high school student. Despite her youth, she forms deep friendships with several girls in her grade. There’s Sasaki-san, a quite, athletic girl who loves animals. Transfer student “Osaka” has a unique way of seeing things. Yomi is smart, but always worried about her weight. Then there’s Tomo, who’s Yomi’s hyper, childhood friend.

I’ve talked about Azumanga Daioh before. It really is a classic anime title, adapted from a 4-koma comic strip manga series. The series covers all three years of their high school life, together with two of their female teachers, Yukari and Nyamo, who are best friends from their school days. What makes this anime a treat is this wonderful cast of characters and the slice of life tales, such as having hiccups.


Chobits

Chii Sumomo

MOTOSUWA Hideki is ronin, who moves to Tokyo in order to attend a prep school so he can finally pass his college entrance exams. He takes a job at a nearby pub to pay the bills. One evening, he stumbles upon a beautiful female persocom, an android that has replaced the PC, abandoned in the trash. He takes the persocom home, only to find it can only say “chii” when activated. Hideki names the persocom Chii, which pleases her. However, Hideki comes to discover that the innocent, fast learning Chii may have a dark secret attached to her.

While the Chobits manga from CLAMP is far superior to the anime adaptation, I do have a fond spot for the anime. It does pick up on all of CLAMP’s themes regarding love, which on one hand is “anything goes” (literally). But on the other hand, true love might require a great sacrifice. The anime does not do a good job at explaining what made Chii so special and dangerous, so you may as well pick up the manga too.


Full Metal Panic

Full Metal Panic

SAGARA Sousuke is an older teen male, working for the private, anti-terrorist, military organization known as Mithril. Sousuke is assigned to be the covert bodyguard of a Japanese high school girl named CHIDORI Kaname, after Mithril determines she may be the subject of a kidnapping plot. Because Sousuke has no experience at being a normal student, he overreacts to many things, angering Kaname. However, when terrorist attempt to kidnap Kaname, she learns of Sousuke’s mission. Thus a an interesting relationship forms between the two.

The Full Metal Panic anime franchise adapts the various light novels fairly successfully. The first anime series attempts to blend the comedic short stories of Gatoh-sensei with the serious stories of the light novels. Eventually, additional comedy stories were adapted in the Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu! anime. I found the comedy stories to often be very funny indeed. However, they don’t really jive well with the main story, which becomes darker and darker over time.

Due to Xebec going out of business, the anime adaptation ends on a cliffhanger for the final series Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory. I believe Xebec had originally planned to finish out the main story from the light novels. Unfortunately, Production I.G, whom I believe acquired Xebec’s assets, has shown no signs of finishing off the franchise. Nevertheless, it is stuff a fun and very enjoyable mecha series.


Sweetness and Lightning

Sweetness and Lightning 06

INUZUKA Kouhei is a widower high school teacher, raising his young daughter, Tsumugi. One evening at a hanabi, Kouhei and Tsumugi encounter a high school girl who’s crying, not because her mom couldn’t come view the flowers, but because the food she’s eating is that good. The girl invites father and daughter to come to her mom’s restaurant, which they do. Kouhei is surprised to discover the girl is IIDA Kotori, one of his students. Kotori begins teaching Kouhei how to make proper meals. In the process, Kotori becomes close friends with her teacher and his daughter.

I really enjoy Sweetness and Lightning. It is part cooking anime, part slice-of-life, with a hint of romance on the side. Normally, I might be a bit leery of a romantic story between a high school teacher and his female student. However, the story here is so wholesome, I found myself really wanting the story to go in that direction. Also, I often wanted to try the foods featured in the series.

Sadly, the only way to view Sweetness and Lightning is to catch it on Crunchyroll, assuming they still have it. But there’s always the manga from Kodansha, which tells the complete story the anime does not. (Which reminds me, I need to finish reading the manga.)

 

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2 Responses to “Five Excellent Non-Shounen Anime”

  1. NullApostle says:

    Interesting list. I’ve watched one show of them (Azumangah Daioh), and I read the Chobits manga. Don’t really care about the rest.

    If I had to put up a list myself:
    – Nichijou
    – Non Non Biyori
    – Hinamatsuri
    – Girls’ Last Tour
    – Nodame Cantabile

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I’ve read Non Non Biyori, but never watched the anime. The other titles I’m aware of, but again, never watched.

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