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Canis Minor's Top Ten Strangest Anime




Anyone who watches anime regularly can tell you that most of the shows are pretty good. But the fact of the matter is that it's just a form of TV show. There's crummy anime and more importantly, there's weird anime. Here are my top ten picks for the weirdest anime ever. Please keep in mind that this list is purely subjective, so if one or more of your picks didn't make it, feel free to make a friendly comment, but try to avoid ranting.


Without further ado...


10. Chrono Crusade

Kicking off the list is ‘Chrono Crusade’, an anime I discovered only recently thanks to the SciFy channel’s anime featuring. In short, it’s a show about a group of nuns who fight off demonic threats to the earth. Is it weird? You bet, but it’s pulled off nicely, which puts it at number 10 on this list. While it’s a strange concept, that’s about where the weirdness ends. Aside from the fact that, apparently, nuns are a deadly supernatural fighting force, the anime is a fairly normal “future-apocalypse†type anime show. It’s not particularly one of my favorites, but it merits mentioning if for no other reason than it’s difficult to describe.


9. School Rumble

High school drama anime are a dime a dozen. There’s a million variations on the theme and every one of them is different. What sets ‘School Rumble’ apart is the sheer absurdity of it. First off, from the outside it looks like your average shoujo (girls’ anime). But upon further inspection, I’ve decided that it could go either way. There are elements of shoujo, to be certain, but for the most part, these only come out to play when the plot’s focus is on the female protagonist, Tenma. When the story focuses on the male protagonist, Harima, the style shifts to a much more shonen (boys’ anime) style. This provides for a strange, albeit entertaining, viewing experience. All in all, ‘School Rumble’ is a fun little anime. There are times when it gets pretty mushy, but for all intents and purposes, it’s entertaining.


8. Inuyasha

One of the most recognizable anime on this list, some may be asking, “and what, exactly, is it about ‘Inuyasha’ that merits its place on this list?†Well, let’s think about this for a moment. It’s a show about a teenage girl who falls down a well and is transported back in time to feudal Japan where she meets a half-demon with dog-ears. They go on many adventures with their various friends and meet many strange and insidious creatures. Obviously there’s more to it than that, but by the (I think) fifth episode, they fight a girl who uses her hair as a weapon. Now admittedly, Japanese myths, fables, and folklore are going to be a bit hard for American audiences to follow. ‘Inuyasha’ pulls the transition off pretty well, but from where I’m standing, it’s still weird. On a side note, my mom watches this show. Seriously. She’s a bigger fan of it than I am, but that’s not to say I don’t enjoy it. Albeit, I’m still dealing with the fact that my mother watches anime.


7. Nyan Koi!

As a sufferer of severe allergies to dogs, I can tell you that they’re (I can’t believe I’m actually going to say this) nothing to sneeze at. But in all seriousness, I can relate to the main character Junpei’s troubles. Allergies suck. So when the plot of ‘Nyan Koi!’ develops and reveals that he becomes cursed to not only have the ability to talk to cats, the very thing which he is allergic to, but to have to help them with whatever problems they might have, well, I felt for the guy. ‘Nyan Koi!’ is strange, but it’s interesting because the story is frequently seen from the cats’ point of view. ‘Nyan Koi’ is pretty funny. The story can get pretty strange, but hey, it’s a show about a guy who talks to cats.


6. Samurai Pizza Cats

The world of ‘Samurai Pizza Cats’ is inhabited entirely by talking animals which also happen to be cyborgs. Seriously. The main story takes place in a city called Little Tokyo. Little Tokyo is constantly threatened by the villainous Big Cheese (a rat), his partner-in-crime Geri Atrick (a crow), and their army of evil birds. The only defense against these guys are the Samurai Pizza Cats: Speedy, Guido, and Polly. That pretty much sums up the entire show. Every episode has the Big Cheese attacking and the Pizza Cats fighting back… and it’s awesome. ‘Samurai Pizza Cats’ is one of the stupidest anime ever created, and I’ve loved every second that I’ve seen. Weird? You bet. Silly? Absolutely. Fun? No question. But if you want the full experience, go eat a pizza pie.


5. Yu-Gi-Oh

Without a doubt, this is the single most recognizable anime on this list. Even people, who barely know what anime is, know what ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’ is. Some people have accused it of being a Pokemon rip-off. It’s hard to say, since they were released at about the same time. Let’s cut to the chase. Admit it, ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’ is weird. Almost everyone plays the card game, it claims that the Egyptian gods were real, and some of the characters are supposed to be reincarnated. Interesting concept, I suppose. Nevertheless, ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’ can’t seem to shake its own strangeness. It tries to be serious, but usually ends up just looking even sillier. Admittedly, I don’t much care for this show, but LittleKuriboh’s “Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Seriesâ€, which pretty much started the abridging anime craze is worth checking out.


4. Ranma 1/2 & Kampfer

Before you say anything: it’s my list and I can put two different shows at one position if I want to.

What do these shows have in common? They both involve the main protagonist randomly changing from a male to a female.

‘Ranma ½’ is a fairly popular anime, but I’ll explain anyway. It’s about a martial artist named Ranma Saotome who falls into a magic pond and is cursed to change into a girl whenever he comes into contact with cold water. He changes back when exposed to hot water. There are a few other characters who have suffered similar fates, most relevantly his dad, who changes into a panda (oddly enough, he spends most of the show in this form) and Ranma’s rival, Ryoga who changes into a pig.

‘Kampher’ centers around a guy who acquires a bracelet which causes him to become a ‘kampher’, a female warrior fated to do battle with other kamphers. Most of the other kamphers are girls naturally, so he’s pretty much the only one who changes gender, though most of the others go through physical and/or mental changes.

Another thing these anime have in common is that they present some interesting romantic storylines. Ranma has several girls who want to marry his male self and at least one male who wants to marry his female self. ‘Kampher’s’ main protagonist, Natsuru, is in love with a girl who is interested in his female self. Both are complicated shows and both are pretty fun anime.


3. Hell Girl

This one is really a piece of work. ‘Hell Girl’ is about a group of supernatural beings who run a service that allows humans to send other humans straight to Hell, in exchange for their souls, or something to that extent. The thing that confuses me the most about ‘Hell Girl’ is the imagery. I imagine that most of it is symbolic or something, but it’s very hard to follow. The first time I watched it, I went away feeling emotionally drained, but I’m not sure why. In all honesty, I’m not entirely certain how this anime is supposed to make you feel. It is one seriously messed up show. I wish I could say more, but thinking about this show makes me want to go sit in dark room and mumble to myself.


2. Rave Master

On a lighter note, we’re nearing the end of the list with ‘Rave Master’. This is another one that’s hard to follow, but it’s about a trio of heroes who try to destroy some sort of evil stones. Honestly, I think if you spent an hour playing the last five or six ‘Final Fantasy’ games while on an acid trip, it would look pretty similar to ‘Rave Master’. The show is wacky on purpose, but while it’s usually fairly tame, there are times when you have to sit back and say, “OK… what just happened?†It’s that weird. Admittedly, most of the time it’s a fairly normal ‘swords-and-sorcery’ anime in the vein of ‘Slayers’ and ‘Full Metal Alchemist’. What pushes it over the edge is the indescribable weirdness that permeates the series. Don’t take my word for it. Go check it out. You’ll never think the same way again.


1. Requiem from the Darkness

What happens when you take a series of Japanese horror novels and turn them into an anime series? You get ‘Requiem from the Darkness’, and in my opinion, a lot of confusion. The show is apparently about an author who wants to write a book of 100 ghost stories, so he travels from town to town looking for ideas. Well, as it turns out most of the stories he hears are more than stories. Now, the concept is sane enough, there have been weirder ideas presented. But the actual product is just…

“Beyond description†is the term I’m looking for. The same thing that caused ‘Hell Girl’s’ weirdness causes its weirdness: the imagery. Interestingly enough, ‘Requiem’ never had a manga as a base. The entire thing is an original anime. It’s dark, gritty, and all-out strange. The visuals look like some sort of modern art at times. ‘Requiem from the Darkness’ is hard to follow, but I’d recommend checking it out. It’s fun to watch in a weird sort of way.


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Believe it or not, I used to watch Samurai Pizza Cats fairly regularly.I was in university and a housemate of mine was into anime. It started with Legend of the Overfiend, but thankfully we dropped down a notch to Fist of the North Star and then eventually just sat around watching Sailor Moon and Samurai Pizza Cats. Now, these were the Americanized versions because none of us were really fans enough to bother reading subtitles. I wouldn't even say I was a fan - even then I recognized how ridiculous they were - but there was something alarmingly hilarious about watching them in a room full of smart guys (most of whom went on to be university profs) commenting on their absurdity. I went from mockery to enjoyment, but I couldn't tell if the enjoyment came from the show or the mockery, if you catch my meaning.Anyhow, that lasted for about 3 or 4 months and then we just didn't bother. First season Conan O'Brien was on, and we went there for our TV masochism. I remember very little about the show except that the theme song was annoying and catchy and stuck in my brain forever.

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