BY Oliver Shedden

If you’re anything like me, during this uncertain time you are constantly consuming content like a never-ending buffet of your favourite meals. That being said, it can be hard to sift through the good and the bad especially with streaming services like Netflix juicing the amount of variety they have on their platform. Whilst I am sitting at home going quietly insane, I like a bit of escapism in between my assessments and online tutorials and what better escape from reality is there than the weird and eclectic world of anime?

Since the mid 90’s anime has grown exponentially in both genre and popularity around the world, especially with series such as Naruto and Dragon Ball Z breaking into the western market. So, while you sit at home maybe give anime a shot, who knows you might find your next favourite series lying in wait? Let me guide you through a list of great anime to binge during this uncertain time. Let me preface, for this list the entries will be Shonen/action adventure genre.

1.     My Hero Academia

In a world where 90% of the population harbour superpowers named Quirks, our protagonist, Izuku Midoriya, does not exhibit any such power. Without a Quirk and desperate to be a hero Midoriya or as he is come to be known as, Deku tries valiantly to help the people around him. And on viewing one such act of blind heroism, the world’s number one hero, All Might decides to imbue his power onto Deku, thus allowing him to become a hero in training at Japan’s number one hero school, UA High. Thus, starts Deku’s journey on his way to becoming the number one hero just like his mentor. My Hero Academia is fast becoming one of if not the most popular contemporary anime. Its kaleidoscope of characters and interesting world building will keep any great superhero fan invested plus the power mechanics and larger than life action sequences will keep you hooked. If you love DC comics or the MCU, I would highly recommend giving this anime a try. Unfortunately, My Hero Academia is currently not on any non-anime specific streaming service at this time, so it may be a bit tricky to watch it, but trust me it is worth the struggle.

2.     Haikyuu!

Haikyuu! Is possibly the most popular and critically acclaimed sports anime of all time. The story follows Shoyo Hinata, an undersized first year as he and his high school volleyball team, the Karasuno High Crows, attempt to retain former glory to the school by winning the Spring Nationals High School Volleyball Tournament in Tokyo. Whilst it may seem quirky on the face of it, Haikyuu! Is one of the most endearing and well written anime I have ever watched. Its massive cast of completely different and unique characters allow for the show to explore different avenues and aspects of the human experience plus all of these characters. Whether they be rivals or enemies of our heroes, all seem to be likeable all in different ways. Some of the training and development arcs in the series may seem drawn out at first but when they are actually playing nail biting games you are rewarded for your patience. I strongly urge to give this anime a chance. Even if you know absolutely nothing about volleyball, you catch on quick. Luckily, the first two seasons of Haikyuu! Are streaming right now on Netflix.

3.     The Seven Deadly Sins

Much like Haikyuu! You have probably seen this anime pop up on your “popular” catalogue on Netflix. In terms of Genre, The Seven Deadly Sins is a perfect blend of the fantasy of Deltora Quest and the power scope of Dragon Ball Z. The story follows princess Elizabeth as she attempts to find the legendary warriors known as the Seven Deadly Sins in order to stop the Kingdom’s military, the “Holy Knights” from seizing the throne by force. This series is really easy to watch, and moves at a fast pace that keeps you invested. Its story arcs don’t drag along at all, which is a common complaint for Shonen anime. The characters are easily likeable and the comedy, whilst sometimes a little inappropriate, hits its mark. But what makes this anime so good is its absurd power system and action set pieces that are the hallmark of a good Shonen anime, as well as the vast array of magic and unique abilities of its characters. Three seasons of The Seven Deadly Sins, as well as a feature film, are all streaming on Netflix now.

4.     Full Metal Alchemist

The oldest anime on this list, Full Metal Alchemist and its retelling, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood are still regarded as all-time Shonen classics, mainly for their intricate and compelling story lines, as well as their thoroughly thought out and complex power system. Unfortunately, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood was taken off of the Australian Netflix rotation but it’s predecessor, Full Metal Alchemist took its place. The story revolves around the two Elric brothers, Alphonse and Edward, who have tampered with transmutation in an attempt to bring their mother back to life. This turns out to be a horrible mistake that leaves Alphonse without a body and Edward without his left leg and right arm. They then replace their deformities with prosthetic limbs, and become Full Metal Alchemists as they seek out the legendary Philosopher's Stone to heal themselves. Whilst it has a relatively short run of episodes the story feels full and complete. Additionally this the ending is very much worth the time you invest into watching the whole story unfold. The entirety of Full Metal Alchemist is available to stream on Netflix.

Whilst all these anime are Shonen anime which focus on fantasy, sci fi and action, there are so many different options when it comes to anime as it is such a diverse and widespread medium. These anime are just a great place to start and all are easily accessible on Netflix (accept for My Hero Academia). With that being said I hope there was a little something for most within this list, and happy binging!

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