TV

So You Want to Get into Anime: The Best Gateway Anime Series to Indoctrinate Normies

Start your journey to become the King of the Weebs.

Shueisha

Even though anime has made its way into the mainstream over the past few years, negative notions about the medium persist.

With the exception of a few mature animated comedies (some of which are fantastic and thematically complex, like Bojack Horseman), animation in the US is still typically viewed as a medium for children. The idea that cartoons are kid sh*t, while perhaps understandable for someone who has only ever been exposed to Western media, is ignorant of the broad range of animation in other cultures.

In a similar vein, a lot of people insist that they just can't get into anime, or they stigmatize all of it because they don't like the "schoolgirl stuff." But it's important to remember that anime isn't a genre–It's a medium. Individual anime series fall into every genre under the sun, just like movies and live-action TV shows. Saying you don't like anime because of the schoolgirl stuff (which is a very valid thing to dislike) is kind of like saying you don't like movies because of slasher films. You're writing off an entire medium of art over a genre that you can easily avoid.

So let's say you are open to watching anime, but aren't quite sure where to start. Or, more likely, maybe you already love anime and you're trying to find a series to convince your SO that the $200 action figure in your room was a totally reasonable thing to buy (it was, and your life choices are perfect). Just check out any of these gateway anime series that serve as perfect entry points into the medium's diverse offerings.


Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)

Kodansha

Few series have ever come close to crafting a narrative as perfect as Attack on Titan. The premise is high-concept: The last surviving humans live in a walled off city surrounded by giant, humanoid, man-eating monsters called Titans. One day the walls are breached, and three surviving children—Eren, Mikasa, and Armin—set their sights on joining the military in order to fight back for the sake of humanity. But what could have been a simple, straight-forward action-horror show, turned out to be so much more. Nothing is ever as it seems in Attack on Titan, and the plot continually twists to turn everything you thought you knew on its head. Attack on Titan is thrilling, terrifying, tragic, and emotionally resonant, oftentimes all at once. It's a show about the horrors of war and the lengths humans will go to protect the things they hold dear to them. If you only watch one anime ever, make sure it's Attack on Titan.

With the constant onslaught of complicated news that 2020 has brought, sometimes you just want to be able to shut off your brain, relax, and feel happy.

Enter comfort films. These are the feel-good movies that feel like a warm hug when you finish them, the ones that allow you to escape for a short while. We often turn to these types of films in times of trouble or extreme stress, and when we're not sure what films of this nature we should watch, we turn to the Internet for options.

Keep Reading Show less
TV

Why Funimation Removed "Interspecies Reviewers" (an Anime About Rating Monster Girl Prostitutes)

Did Funimation actually acquire a series that they didn't know anything about?

Passione

Funimation holds an awkward, complicated position within the larger anime fandom.

Best known for licensing and dubbing the Dragon Ball franchise in the US, Funimation is a powerhouse entertainment company that played a large part in changing the American anime market from an uber-niche medium into something close to mainstream. They continue to license, dub, and simulcast (airing subtitled episodes of current anime series at the same time that they air in Japan) popular series like My Hero Academia and Attack on Titan, all of which are available through their massive anime streaming service. The vast majority of anime fans, especially the heathens who prefer dubs over subs, will inevitably interact with Funimation.

Considering how vocal the anime community tends to be, that also means Funimation seems to be under constant scrutiny. Some faction of fans are always angry at Funimation for one reason or another, be it a poor translation, a botched merchandise release, or their failure to understand that their favorite voice actor was fired because he actually did make women feel uncomfortable, regardless of whether or not he realized what he was doing, and his countersuit failed in a court of law. Point being, people are always looking for a reason to jump on Funimation, and most of that criticism is undeserved.

But when it comes to Interspecies Reviewers, well, there's kind of no excuse.

www.youtube.com

Interspecies Reviewers is a new anime series that asks the question: What if there was an entire show centered around a group of men who have sex with giant-tiddy monster girl prostitutes in the red light district of a fantasy world...and then post their reviews of the sex?

So yeah, that's the show, and each episode is pretty much exactly what you'd expect. The main characters go to a different monster prostitute, have sex, and then review the experience.

Technically, Interspecies Reviewers isn't hentai. While the monster girls' boobs are drawn in full detail, genitals are never explicitly shown. Categorically, it's billed as shonen (manga for boys) with a strong ecchi (anime with sexual overtones) bend, meaning its main draw is fan service. But let's be clear here: It's closer to hentai than a lot of hentai.

Not that there's anything wrong with liking that. We're not here to kink-shame, and people are welcome to enjoy whatever gets them off (presuming it's consensual and doesn't hurt anybody, of course). But Funimation is not an adult content streaming service, and while they do have a good number of ecchi shows, none of it comes close to Interspecies Reviewers––again, a show that is explicitly about men reviewing monster prostitutes.

Interspecies Reviewers Passione


Funimation's decision to not only license and simulcast the first three episodes, but to actually dub the first episode in English, was a little bit jarring. Then, after three episodes, they pulled the show, stating:

"After careful consideration, we determined that this series falls outside of our standards. We have the utmost respect for our creators so rather than substantially alter the content, we felt taking it down was the most respectful choice."

The title of this article is a bit of a misnomer. The real question isn't why Funimation removed Interspecies Reviewers,but why Funimation acquired Interspecies Reviewers in the first place when it so obviously "falls outside of [their] standards."

We're not talking about a show that buries the lead. The very first episode revolves around the two main characters, a human man and an elf-man, ragging on each other for having sex with older women of the opposite species. The human man has sex with a 500-year-old elf who looks like a 20-year-old, and the elf man has sex with a 60-year-old human woman. Both think their partner is hotter and a better lay, and they proceed to debate the women's qualities.

This is the episode that Funimation dubbed. They brought voice actors into a studio to say lines like, "If you think of them like plump orc girls, older humans are pretty damn sexy, plus they're way softer than orcs, which is a big time boner bonus."

Oh, and there's also a manga which is significantly further along than the anime, and if anyone at Funimation did any vetting, they would have realized that yeah, it only gets worse. A lot worse.

All of this begs the question: Did Funimation actually acquire a series that they didn't know anything about?

On one hand, it's understandable that Funimation might be scrambling for content. They have more competition than ever before, with Crunchyroll still standing as the most prominent anime streaming platform and Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu setting their sights on anime audiences, too. But if they're going to claim they have standards, they really should have someone at least reading a series' description blurb before acquiring it.