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 â€˜Chrono Crusadeâ€™, an anime I discovered only recently thanks to the SciFy channelâ€™s anime featuring. In short, itâ€™s a show about a group of nuns who fight off demonic threats to the earth. Is it weird? You bet, but itâ€™s pulled off nicely, which puts it at number 10 on this list. While itâ€™s a strange concept, thatâ€™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 â€œfuture-apocalypseâ€ type anime show. Itâ€™s not particularly one of my favorites, but it merits mentioning if for no other reason than itâ€™s difficult to describe.
High school drama anime are a dime a dozen. Thereâ€™s a million variations on the theme and every one of them is different. What sets â€˜School Rumbleâ€™ apart is the sheer absurdity of it. First off, from the outside it looks like your average shoujo (girlsâ€™ anime). But upon further inspection, Iâ€™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 plotâ€™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 (boysâ€™ anime) style. This provides for a strange, albeit entertaining, viewing experience. All in all, â€˜School Rumbleâ€™ is a fun little anime. There are times when it gets pretty mushy, but for all intents and purposes, itâ€™s entertaining.
One of the most recognizable anime on this list, some may be asking, â€œand what, exactly, is it about â€˜Inuyashaâ€™ that merits its place on this list?â€ Well, letâ€™s think about this for a moment. Itâ€™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 thereâ€™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. â€˜Inuyashaâ€™ pulls the transition off pretty well, but from where Iâ€™m standing, itâ€™s still weird. On a side note, my mom watches this show. Seriously. Sheâ€™s a bigger fan of it than I am, but thatâ€™s not to say I donâ€™t enjoy it. Albeit, Iâ€™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 theyâ€™re (I canâ€™t believe Iâ€™m actually going to say this) nothing to sneeze at. But in all seriousness, I can relate to the main character Junpeiâ€™s troubles. Allergies suck. So when the plot of â€˜Nyan Koi!â€™ 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. â€˜Nyan Koi!â€™ is strange, but itâ€™s interesting because the story is frequently seen from the catsâ€™ point of view. â€˜Nyan Koiâ€™ is pretty funny. The story can get pretty strange, but hey, itâ€™s a show about a guy who talks to cats.
The world of â€˜Samurai Pizza Catsâ€™ 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 backâ€¦ and itâ€™s awesome. â€˜Samurai Pizza Catsâ€™ is one of the stupidest anime ever created, and Iâ€™ve loved every second that Iâ€™ve seen. Weird? You bet. Silly? Absolutely. Fun? No question. But if you want the full experience, go eat a pizza pie.
Without a doubt, this is the single most recognizable anime on this list. Even people, who barely know what anime is, know what â€˜Yu-Gi-Ohâ€™ is. Some people have accused it of being a Pokemon rip-off. Itâ€™s hard to say, since they were released at about the same time. Letâ€™s cut to the chase. Admit it, â€˜Yu-Gi-Ohâ€™ 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, â€˜Yu-Gi-Ohâ€™ canâ€™t seem to shake its own strangeness. It tries to be serious, but usually ends up just looking even sillier. Admittedly, I donâ€™t much care for this show, but LittleKuribohâ€™s â€œYu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Seriesâ€, which pretty much started the abridging anime craze is worth checking out.
Before you say anything: itâ€™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.
â€˜Ranma Â½â€™ is a fairly popular anime, but Iâ€™ll explain anyway. Itâ€™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 Ranmaâ€™s rival, Ryoga who changes into a pig.
â€˜Kampherâ€™ centers around a guy who acquires a bracelet which causes him to become a â€˜kampherâ€™, a female warrior fated to do battle with other kamphers. Most of the other kamphers are girls naturally, so heâ€™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. â€˜Kampherâ€™sâ€™ 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. â€˜Hell Girlâ€™ 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 â€˜Hell Girlâ€™ is the imagery. I imagine that most of it is symbolic or something, but itâ€™s very hard to follow. The first time I watched it, I went away feeling emotionally drained, but Iâ€™m not sure why. In all honesty, Iâ€™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, weâ€™re nearing the end of the list with â€˜Rave Masterâ€™. This is another one thatâ€™s hard to follow, but itâ€™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 â€˜Final Fantasyâ€™ games while on an acid trip, it would look pretty similar to â€˜Rave Masterâ€™. The show is wacky on purpose, but while itâ€™s usually fairly tame, there are times when you have to sit back and say, â€œOKâ€¦ what just happened?â€ Itâ€™s that weird. Admittedly, most of the time itâ€™s a fairly normal â€˜swords-and-sorceryâ€™ anime in the vein of â€˜Slayersâ€™ and â€˜Full Metal Alchemistâ€™. What pushes it over the edge is the indescribable weirdness that permeates the series. Donâ€™t take my word for it. Go check it out. Youâ€™ll never think the same way again.
What happens when you take a series of Japanese horror novels and turn them into an anime series? You get â€˜Requiem from the Darknessâ€™, 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 justâ€¦
â€œBeyond descriptionâ€ is the term Iâ€™m looking for. The same thing that caused â€˜Hell Girlâ€™sâ€™ weirdness causes its weirdness: the imagery. Interestingly enough, â€˜Requiemâ€™ never had a manga as a base. The entire thing is an original anime. Itâ€™s dark, gritty, and all-out strange. The visuals look like some sort of modern art at times. â€˜Requiem from the Darknessâ€™ is hard to follow, but Iâ€™d recommend checking it out. Itâ€™s fun to watch in a weird sort of way.