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Anime isn’t just ninjas, robots and schoolgirls. Well, maybe it is, but the Japanese sure know how to take that core premise and make life-changing storylines. Many might look down on Anime because of misconceptions, such as how odd some fans can be, but there’s no denying that storytelling in Anime can be just as good, if not better than Western television programming.

Your Lie In April

The feels train rolls through pretty often here.  The classical music of Beethoven, Chopin, and more are brought to life not only by the 2 main characters Kosei Arima and Kaori Miyazono but also the side characters in the competitions with them.  The art style and animation masterfully depict their emotions as they play with everything they have to be the best.  “Your Lie In April” does an amazing job of making you feel exactly what the characters feel through their inner monologues as they perform famous classical pieces that fit perfectly with each character’s emotional state, really drawing you further in, until you find yourself cheering for all of them. Though the music is an appealing part of “Your Lie In April”, that’s not the only thing the show has going for it.  What would any show set in Highschool be without a little romance?  This side of the story can easily end up riddled with cringe-worthy scenes, killing the other half of the show, yet somehow, they managed to take you along on this journey of self-discovery mixed with a budding romance, and do it almost cringe-free. Most definitely a better love story than “Twilight”

Angel Beats

Angel Beats is a roller coaster of emotion. The anime takes place in a high school in purgatory. That’s an odd concept, I know, but the storytelling uses that to manipulate our feelings. These kids sit in the school while they wait to be reincarnated. The depressing part of this is, the reason they’re all kids is, that’s when they died. Whether it was by some kind of trauma or accident, each of them had a pretty troubling reason for being in that world in the first place. If they end up content with what happened with them, they end up disappearing and reincarnated for a second chance at life. This is just the recipe for tugging at the heart strings, which is exactly what Angel Beats does.

Clannad

Clannad revolves around Tomoya Okazaki and his life with the main girl, Nagisa Furukawa, and his army of female friends. This is an anime after all. Clannad is broken down into two series, Clannad and Clannad After Story, and also includes two OAVs. Tomoya must not tackle his own demons and struggles with life, he must help all his friends overcome the problems in their own lives as well. If Angel Beats was a roller coaster of emotion, then prepare for Clannad make Angel Beats look like a kiddie coaster, as Clannad dwarfs it as a rollercoaster with all the emotional twist and turns you would expect Kyoto Animation anime that stands with giants such as Haruhi Suzumiya and Kanon.

All the anime listed here really makes you rethink your life. Ending each anime will make you sit there and wonder if you’ve done enough for yourself, your friends, and your family. What is an anime that makes you rethink your life?

B Michael Logan

B Michael Logan is a certified healthcare professional secretly moonlighting as a comedy writer. He can be found around the web at @bmichaellogan
B Michael Logan