EMN Programming Guide – Anime (#-M)

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# – M | N – Z

Amagi Brilliant Park
Year: 2014
Synopsis: A strange girl invites a boy from her class to become the new manager of a rundown amusement park, once populated with magical beings.
EMN Notes: This show is so charming, and funny, and fun! Mandy loves amusement parks, which probably influenced their decision to add this, but honestly it’s such an entertainingly offbeat series that it took us a single episode to fall in love. A huge reason is that Isuzu, the main heroine, has a hilarious deadpan speaking style that plays well with some great visual gags. It’s the exact kind of whimsical slice-of-life that works perfectly on the channel.

Angel Links
Year: 1999
Synopsis: A spinoff of Outlaw Star starring android CEO Mei-fon Li and her ragtag bunch of mercenaries-for-hire.
EMN Notes: Outlaw Star is lovely, and for them to basically make what amounts to a second season that skews slightly older and slightly raunchier made this an easy addition. Meifon Li is actually a really likable protagonist, too, and her crew features a giant dinosaur lizard alien so there’s a lot to love here. It’s a little more exaggerated than Outlaw Star, but the style is there in spades, and the opening is also a real banger.

Azumanga Daioh
Year: 2002
Synopsis: Funny high school girls doing funny high school girl things with a heavy dash of the surreal.
EMN Notes: A strong nostalgic favorite, Azumanga Daioh is one of the first off-the-beaten-path anime series’ I encountered growing up. It has such a strong and memorable cast of characters and some great jokes, and something about the music, colors, and old school ADV dub all come together to make me feel warm and always make me smile. We also stan Yukari and Nyamo in this house. The older I get the more I relate to them.

Year: 2007
Synopsis: Non-linear story about immortal mafia members, the roaring 20s, and a train robbery.
EMN Notes: My favorite show of all time. I binged it the moment I set my eyes on it and I’ll binge it again. There’s something about the madcap nature of the show, the way it shifts and changes with each new perspective presented in each episode until it all comes to a close by the end. It can be gory – disturbingly so, at points – but always has an air of lightness to it while taking itself seriously. Isaac & Miria are two of the finest characters to grace the screen, and the dub is one of the best I’ve ever heard.

Year: 2019
Synopsis: Mystery/Romance/Drama featuring a cast of anthropomorphic animals in a high school. Following the slaughter of a classmate, a timid wolf falls in love with an outgoing rabbit, and things only get hairier from there.
EMN Notes: One of the more recent anime standouts, Beastars is a surprisingly interesting and deep series with smart use of allegory, a gripping overarching plot, and well-written main characters. It shies away from most obvious pitfalls of using animal dynamics to tell human stories (hi, Zootopia) and has a killer opening theme to boot.

Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad
Year: 2004
Synopsis: A bunch of kids in a garage form a band and aim to rocket towards superstardom and make a hit in America.
EMN Notes: Harold Sakuishi has a strikingly original art style and storytelling method that I really can’t get enough of. There’s something about this show’s use of lighting and music (naturally) combined with the mixed media in the opening that just transfixes me. It’s a show best watched late at night when a random episode hits and you let the music and slow slice-of-life pacing take you away.

Blood Blockade Battlefront
Year: 2015
Synopsis: Following the apocalypse, a young man enters a dystopian city and is recruited to fight monsters and a crime syndicate as part of a team with bizarre supernatural powers.
EMN Notes: This is a series by Yasuhiro Nightow, creator of Trigun, and as much as it seems like a generic shonen on the surface, Nightow’s sheer style and inventiveness with his worldbuilding and powers makes it a blast to watch. There’s style oozing from this series, from the characters and how they move and fight to the score. There’s also a fun dance number at the end of every episode, and who doesn’t like dance numbers? This show is just kind of mindless fun, and that’s A-OK.

Cardcaptor Sakura
Year: 1998
Synopsis: A girl accidentally scatters cards that will bring calamity to the world and now she has to retrieve them before it’s too late.
EMN Notes: Despite the…well, quite frankly dreadful initial Nelvana retooling of the show, I’ve always been fond of Cardcaptors. When we learned that they made an unedited and re-dubbed version similar to Sailor Moon I knew we had to get it. The aesthetic just hits right. I like this new trend of re-dubbing certain series’ that didn’t really get the chance they deserved for one reason or another, though I hope this doesn’t become a trend for those that did or have their own flavor.

Case Closed
Year: 1996
Synopsis: A teenage detective gets transformed into a kid and uses his unassuming looks and genius intellect to solve murder mysteries.
EMN Notes: A classic mystery show featuring a full localization courtesy of Toonami and later Adult Swim. It’s a fun show with a great, recognizable style and some fun mysteries, and while it may lack a lot of the madcap classic nature of something like Lupin it still has an unmatched atmosphere, especially with the unique music in the dub. It makes me smile, and despite my not watching it growing up, it still manages to evoke those same warm feelings of nostalgia while still holding up in its own right.

Cowboy Bebop
Year: 1998
Synopsis: Far into the future, a group of tired bounty hunters aimlessly lounge about their spaceship crawling the galaxy and searching for jobs.
EMN Notes: In many ways, this is the show that made me create EMN. It’s the ultimate late-night show, a beautiful episodic piece of gorgeous retro-future visuals accompanied by smooth jazz. Shortly after buying my first CRT, I was watching a stream of old Toonami shows and the episode Hard Luck Woman came on and in that dark room past midnight I was driven to tears by the beauty of it all. That emotion, that atmosphere, that feeling…that is what EMN is all about.

Coyote Ragtime Show
Year: 2006
Synopsis: Two cops, a high-security prisoner, and a crime syndicate of vampire robot maids all clash on a prison planet inhabited by giant worms.
EMN Notes: There’s nothing more special than stumbling into something just so utterly off-the-rails you can’t help but pump your fist in the air. This is one part Tremors, one part Dirty Pair, and one part ‘just throw in whatever and let’s hit the road’. I was unable to tear my eyes away from the screen for the whole first episode, not least of which because the main woman is absurdly attractive. This is just a grindy, schlocky mess of a show and I think we need more of that in our lives.

Cromartie High School
Year: 2003
Synopsis: Funny high school delinquent boys doing funny high school delinquent boy things with a heavy dash of the surreal.
EMN Notes: I struggle to think of a show that makes me laugh out loud with more regularity than this one. My own sense of humor skews heavily to the absurd but in a deadpan manner, and the utmost seriousness in which this show takes itself and the dedication to the bit just cracks me up. Freddie Mercury is a recurring character in this show and it is excellent. The ADV dub shines, too, just like Azumanga Daioh did, giving it an old school, almost punk feeling which suits the subject matter to a T. Also, let’s be honest, the opening is a jam.

Death Parade
Year: 2015
Synopsis: A bartender running the afterlife subjects souls to play games to determine whether or not they’re worthy of reincarnation.
EMN Notes: This show is the reason I bought a tablet of my own, because I borrowed my dad’s iPad and binged the entire show on it. It feels like a show that would hit Adult Swim and change the lives of a handful of people who were lucky enough to watch it. It has a killer theme song, fantastic atmosphere and a great plot, and while it doesn’t quite keep the momentum it starts with it still makes for a somber and memorable time, and adds a splash of horror and drama to the channel.

Devilman Crybaby
Year: 2018
Synopsis: Akira Fudo learns from a friend that to defeat demons, he must become part-demon himself.
EMN Notes: Masaaki Yuasa’s animation combined with heartrending tragedy and queerness make this an immediately-memorable show. Mandy loves it, as do other friends of ours, and it took me about five minutes of watching to know I wanted it on this channel. It’s a perfect midnight program, something unexpectedly-heavy when you need it, which is so important to the atmosphere of the channel.

Digimon: Digital Monsters
Year: 1999
Synopsis: A group of kids are transported into the world inside your computer – the Digital World – where they learn they are destined to save it with the help of their cute virtual pets.
EMN Notes: The Fox Kids classic and along with Pokemon and Sailor Moon, many’s introduction to anime (which was The Genre at the time). I grew up eagerly awaiting new episodes of season 1 and saw the movie in theaters when it dropped. It felt more mature than Pokemon did at the time, though I enjoyed both, and there’s something about the unique joke-laden script that instantly takes me back to watching the anime blocks on Fox Kids and Kids WB.

Digimon Tamers
Year: 2001
Synopsis: The third season of Digimon, more serious in tone, seeing another group of kids destined to live with Digimon and defeat existential threats.
EMN Notes: Digimon Tamers is interesting because it’s a season I’m somehow less familiar with than 1, 2, or 4. That said, that’s part of why it was added – I wanted More Digimon and there’s nothing more exciting to me than when something feels familiar, yet new. This series also has a markedly different atmosphere than Digital Monsters, with memorable designs and bright colors contrasted with higher stakes and a whole new world. Very cool.

Dirty Pair
Year: 1987
Synopsis: Two women in a sci-fi future are contracted to take care of trouble – and cause plenty of it in their wake.
EMN Notes: This one is all about the vibe. This series is fresh, funny, and sexy, with that excellent late-80s anime aesthetic. Visually it’s incredibly fun to see the exaggerated motions of each character and story-wise you never really know what each episode is going to serve up. The two protagonists are troublemakers and trouble-solvers, and sometimes they get roped into a wrestling match. It happens to the best of us. Anyway, I struggle to think of an anime more “anime 80s” than this. It still holds up today.

Year: 2020
Synopsis: In a grimy parallel world called the Hole, a man with a lizard head and his buff restaurant-owning friend fight to survive in a slum filled with magic users and demons.
EMN Notes: This show makes me feel indescribable feelings but I’ll do my best to sum them up. There’s such a layer of grit and grime that permeates every element of this show, from the dialogue, to the world, to the neon nightmare of the intro and ending animatics. It’s a stunningly gorgeous 3DCG anime that doesn’t feel 3D at times, and it’s fascinating how that’s juxtaposed by the filth of the world and the gore. It’s almost sexual in its grindhouse-like violence, stirring a deep feeling of peering into something you’re not sure you should be watching.

Dragon Ball Kai
Year: 2009
Synopsis: The streamlined adventures of Goku and the Z-Warriors as they battle intergalactic threats, power up, and scream a lot.
EMN Notes: For the longest time we fought not to include Dragonball content on EMN, both because it felt so basic and Toonami Flashback-esque and then because we eventually made a fantastic Dragonball-only marathon channel and didn’t want to detract from that. However, the allure of Goku was just too strong. This show is comfort food, from the bright colors to the cheerful dialogue to the attractive Toriyama art style. Being the first season of Kai we get all the best arcs with little filler and in the end it’s just nice to have around. The marathon channel has tons of exclusive content, anyway, so this is more like a taster.

Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End
Year: 2023
Synopsis: The elf healer of a group of fantasy world adventurers outlives her companions after they succeed in defeating the dark lord.
EMN Notes: This show bowled me over from the first episode, being a modern anime that actually felt like it was taking its time and slowly telling a mature story with a sly sense of humor and a healthy heaping of melancholy. I really love the entire concept of this party of adventurers that have outlived their quest, and Frieren’s quest to continue to live and find meaning in her world as a being that ages so much more slowly than humans do is moving and poignant. These kinds of shows are important to EMN.

FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Year: 2009
Synopsis: A gifted alchemist and his disembodied younger brother are recruited by the state to participate in a web of magic and politics.
EMN Notes: Sometimes some things on EMN end up on there because they’re just that good and this is one of them. I actually have more nostalgia for the original FMA anime and the manga as I’d steal my brother’s volumes and read them at school, but Brotherhood is just such an excellent show. Seeing these characters in any context just makes me happy, and with so many excellent moments and great stories that are told, how could you blame me?

Year: 1994
Synopsis: A hot-blooded Japanese mech pilot enters a world tournament to prove his country’s worth and along the way learns of the evils of nationalism.
EMN Notes: G-Gundam and Gundam Wing are my favorite Gundam series’. This gets me a lot of ridicule from the Gundam fanbase, but I truly do not care. I grew up with these, and by playing Gundam Battle Assault 2. I found the stories of the characters in G-Gundam deeply affecting, and I was engrossed week-to-week by the story of the Gundam Fight. Plus, it just radiates cool. I get so pumped up just hearing the announcer do his spiel at the start of every episode.

Ghost Stories
Year: 2000
Synopsis: A young girl and her friends try to decipher a diary of haunted happenings left by her deceased mother. ADV dubbing made it a comedy.
EMN Notes: My beloved problematic fave. I can’t help it, the whole thing is an anomaly, a piece of work I can’t believe is real. Imagine an anime company telling you “Yeah, just do whatever you want, this show sucks anyway”. Wild. Anyway, plenty of the jokes have aged like milk, slurs abound, and off-the-cuff edginess and pop culture references permeate this show, and yet it somehow works to make the scary parts actually fairly creepy, and the quotes you can glean from this can be absolutely hilarious. This thing is an enigma, and I’m so, so happy it exists.

Gundam Build Fighters/Try
Year: 2013/2014
Synopsis: In a world where Gundam is a media franchise, teams of children build models and have Gunpla battles.
EMN Notes: In Japanese, this show is a fairly decent little shonen, no different from something like Yu-Gi-Oh GX, and a fun way to see a bunch of Gundams fight. In English, this show is completely off the rails. Apparently, the dub of both seasons (featuring different casts) was done by a company from Singapore and approved by Sunrise for worldwide distribution. Neither of us knew this until after we added it because again the Japanese version is a cute enough show. But holy moley, I actually cannot believe a dub like this exists. Names are pronounced phonetically. Half of the characters have strange put-on accents or verbal quirks. The dialogue is so clunky. It’s good background noise because it’s a nothing show and then suddenly one character will have the deepest possible voice. It’s great.

Gundam Wing
Year: 1996
Synopsis: A group of teenage soldiers are enlisted to fight in an endless war between the United Earth Federation and the space colonies it controls.
EMN Notes: I can’t help it – I love this show. The opening is one of my favorite anime themes and I was invested in the plights of the cast both as a child and in high school. It introduced me to so much, not just mecha anime in general but also to things like fanfics where writers would kill off important characters they saw as “in the way” of their ships. The voice acting, the characters, the art style, all of it takes me back to when I was sitting alone in high school, checking the DVDs out from the library and binging the series that way. I’ll be the first to admit it’s overall a fairly weak series that goes all over the place, but damn if I don’t adore everything about it still. Also, I’m sorry, but every Duo Maxwell fangirl is right and they should say it.

Gunsmith Cats
Year: 1995
Synopsis: Two under-the-counter arms dealers get involved in a mission way, way out of their league.
EMN Notes: First things first, this is a three-episode OVA. Three episodes! It’s honestly criminal! This is such a cool, high-quality series, with killer action, amazing protagonists, and an art style to die for. And the music! Ugh. Gone too soon. This is one of those shows that just captures the feeling of grabbing a VHS from your local comic shop not knowing what was to come and being blown away by something that hits exactly right.

Gurren Lagann
Year: 2007
Synopsis: Me and a bunch of stupid assholes are going to start a community in the middle of the desert to either die or prove a very important point.
EMN Notes: In some regards, the 00s were the final years anime was being discovered and consumed via the old ways. Torrenting and eventually streaming was about to become more viable and eventually the new wave, but you could still turn on the TV and find something you had never seen before that just blew you away. This happened with Mandy turning on Sci-Fi as a youth and finding a heavily stylized, exaggerated action mecha series unlike anything they had seen before. I love that.

Hellsing Ultimate
Year: 2006
Synopsis: Catholic vampire hunters, aided by Dracula, are about to face their toughest challenge yet: Neo-Nazis.
EMN Notes: I love this show. It’s absolutely bonkers. It’s almost funny that I only recently started considering myself a horror fan despite always loving this anime, because now that I am I can tell that Hellsing as a whole was clearly inspired by the classic Hammer Dracula films. It’s a splattery, gory, super stylish mess of a show, with absolutely beautiful colors and lighting and a wonderfully gothic atmosphere and aesthetic. It also helps that it is absolutely packed with gorgeous character designs. It is one hell of a B-Movie, and Crispin Freeman as Alucard is unmatched.

Hunter X Hunter
Year: 2011
Synopsis: A group of children train to become Hunters, an elite group of pathfinders, treasure hunters, and contractors. They soon learn it’s more dangerous than they could have ever imagined.
EMN Notes: By the creator of Yu Yu Hakusho, there’s something charming and engaging about Hunter X Hunter. Perhaps it’s the cast being mostly made up of younger kids and treated as such without it feeling kid-ish. It’s an easy watch, but not in the way that’s lazy or bland. The main cast is charming, and there’s a palpable sense of adventure that permeates the series. It’s exciting, takes serious twists and turns, is heartbreaking at times and shocking at others, and all in all makes for a strong shonen that adds a lot of tonal variety to the channel.

Inferno Cop
Year: 2012
Synopsis: A flaming skeleton cop brings the hammer down to deliver justice.
EMN Notes: This show wouldn’t have been out of place as a short on Adult Swim, and it is so strange and unchained that it goes here too. It’s a wild slideshow of explosions, gunshot sounds, clashing art styles and off-kilter jokes, and I love to see it breaking up programming like it does. Fun fact, our friend Gian’s Steam display name is still Inferno Cop.

Kaguya-sama: Love Is War
Year: 2019
Synopsis: Members of the student council in a high-class school play mindgames in an attempt to get the other to confess to them.
EMN Notes: One of my favorite types of comedy is one that takes the mundane and treats it like the most serious thing in the world. The intensity between Kaguya and Miyuki is absurd and funny as hell, and really puts the entire idea of social norms relating to romance on blast as the two perform mental gymnastics in an attempt to keep up appearances and not be the one that breaks. It’s just funny, cute, and rather romantic at the end of it, and I appreciate that the dub is really unique too mostly thanks to the fantastic work done by the narrator. It’s refreshing!

Year: 2017
Synopsis: Yumeko Jabami enters a private school populated by ultra-rich high-status women who love nothing more than to gamble with their money and their lives.
EMN Notes: This show is absolutely unhinged and Mandy and I are exactly the kind of queers who love this stuff. It’s relentlessly horny, gloriously over-the-top, and I absolutely adore the art style. It’s on EMN for the same reason as something like Dorohedoro is – it has an undeniable sense of grime that shakes hands with visceral thrills. It’s enthralling, stupid, and furiously energetic. What a good time.

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!
Year: 2020
Synopsis: Three girls with big dreams start a movie club at their school hoping to produce an anime short.
EMN Notes: Another brilliant anime by Masaaki Yuasa, this is one of the shows that absolutely blew my mind when first watching it. It’s a frenetic, furious ode to creativity, art, and joy, and it has lovable characters and spectacular sequences that play so well with the sketchy, exaggerated style of the main cast. It was a burst of adrenaline when we needed it the most, a loud exclamation of anime originality, and the theme song will get stuck in your head forever. It recently got a dub, which is what we added for aesthetic reasons, and they actually picked really interesting voices for the main cast, so we’ll see if it manages to keep the same magic in this new context.

Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple
Year: 2006
Synopsis: A meek boy is rescued from his bullies by a new girl who turns out to be part of a family of skilled martial artists.
EMN Notes: This anime feels like the kind of show that every parent thought anime was back in the early-00s. It’s fanservice-heavy, features ridiculous martial arts and over-the-top action, it’s about a kid who trains to become The Best, the supporting cast is all exaggerated and bizarre-looking, and I can’t help but love every second of it. It’s just dumb, dumb fun. It’s so weirdly charming, the characters are attractive, and it all somehow works even though it could have been an anime created in the MediaBlasters basement specifically to turn into a trailer to slap on the start of their DVDs.

Kino’s Journey
Year: 2003
Synopsis: After the end, a young traveler and his talking motorcycle travel the Earth to learn the stories of those who remain.
EMN Notes: A stunningly beautiful and contemplative series. Another perfect show for late nights or early mornings when there’s no one but you and the hum of the television. Part of the beauty of EMN is when something on TV transports your head and your heart to somewhere you’ve never been, and that happens with this show every time.

KonoSuba: God’s Blessing On This Wonderful World!
Year: 2016
Synopsis: It’s an isekai but if the party was a realistically incompetent (and stupid) D&D party.
EMN Notes: This show is stupid. It’s crude, it’s packed full of garbage anime tropes, it makes you raise an eyebrow every minute, and I can’t help it, it’s a guilty pleasure. I find all the characters and their banter genuinely hilarious, and each stupid isekai situation they’re put in (that usually ends in the protagonist dying) just makes me laugh. Each character is honestly kind of awful, ranging from incompetent to reprehensible, and it’s all tied together with bizarrely excellent animation and effects and an English dub with impeccable comic timing. Sometimes, you just want to eat junk food.

Lost Universe
Year: 1998
Synopsis: A contractor, an ex-detective, and a ship AI team up to traverse the galaxy.
EMN Notes: This show is powerfully nostalgic to me. By the creator of Slayers, this was one of the shows my brother had a random DVD of that he got from a comic shop, because back then you took what you could get. I fell for this show, this weird little sci-fi adventure with a cape-clad hothead with a lightsaber and his overeager friend who only ever wanted to be the greatest detective in the universe, and even if in many ways it’s a somewhat generic late-90s comedy-adventure it still sparks immense joy.

Lupin III
Year: 1977/2015/2018
Synopsis: The world’s greatest gentleman thief teams up with the world’s greatest swordsman, the world’s greatest gunman, and the world’s greatest spy to steal Earth’s finest treasures.
EMN Notes: There is nothing I don’t love about Lupin III. Each season brings something familiar yet fresh, and it’s a joy to see the Lupin crew go to all corners of the Earth in pulpy, ridiculous adventures. Sometimes they steal the Jesus statue from Brazil. Sometimes they get invited to a cruise and targeted by an assassin. There’s an old school sense of wit and charm, of delightful debauchery, and the excellent English voice cast nails it with playful banter and exaggerated performances that match the style of the show. It’s a creature comfort, a show that makes the world feel like it’s full of light and adventure around every corner.

Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine
Year: 2012
Synopsis: A starkly-serious prequel to Lupin III detailing the rise of Lupin’s rival, partner, and world’s greatest spy, Fujiko Mine.
EMN Notes: This show is by the incredible Sayo Yamamoto, creator of Yuri on Ice and Michiko & Hatchin, and it’s just stunning. It’s the darkest Lupin III media out there, brimming with passion and sexuality as it tells the tale of Fujiko at the center of a dangerous cult. The art is gorgeous, with strong dark lines giving the whole thing the look of an ink sketch come to life, and it dives deep into the psyche of Fujiko like nothing else before. It all culminates in a powerful and affecting ending that never fails to take my breath away. The haunting violin in the soundtrack is wonderful. This whole show is wonderful. Once again, it’s all about cultivating the atmosphere of surprise, and this show is full of surprises.

Maison Ikkoku
Year: 1986
Synopsis: A guy moves into a chateau full of women – whatever will happen next?! A romantic-comedy by Rumiko Takahashi.
EMN Notes: Rumiko Takahashi has been knocking it out of the park for a long time. We both knew we wanted some of her work on EMN, but weren’t really sure what to go with. Ranma 1/2 is the classic, with Urusei Yatsura being a great little comedy, but the laid-back slow burn style of Maison Ikkoku along with the charming English dub made this one the winner. I love Takahashi’s comedic timing and raunchy antics, and I love seeing a little bit of her art and style featured on EMN.

Mawaru Penguindrum
Year: 2011
Synopsis: A dying girl is mysteriously saved by a penguin-shaped hat, and in return her two brothers must team up with a group of penguins to find the titular Penguin Drum.
EMN Notes: It’s artistic, it’s meaningful, it shifts genres and styles rapidly, and it really is a unique experience. It’s also packed with penguins, so what’s not to like? As with a lot of shows, when considering the overall aesthetic of EMN I try and think about what would be interesting to watch while sleep-deprived on a lonely night or after a long day at a hotel. How would turning the TV on and seeing this show make you feel? What would you glean from it? Would it entice you, repel you, or excite you? That’s the benefit on Penguindrum on EMN.

Michiko & Hatchin
Year: 2008
Synopsis: On the streets of Brazil, a woman on the run takes in an escaped child and the two search for freedom together.
EMN Notes: This show has style. It is another excellent piece by Sayo Yamamoto and combines rockin’ salsa music with deeply moving and affecting stories of love and life and marries it together with killer action. It’s very Cowboy Bebop-esque in a lot of ways, even down the the ending to-be-continued cards, but it’s spectacular on its own. Michiko and Hatchin are both absolutely wonderful characters and all in all it’s a deeply-affecting show that’s a treat for the eyes and ears.

Mob Psycho 100
Year: 2016
Synopsis: A young boy’s psychic powers manifest as he teams up with a conman to capture ghosts and struggle with teenage life.
EMN Notes: By the creator of One Punch Man, Mob Psycho 100 is one of Mandy’s favorite shows. For good reason, too – it retains a lot of humor that OPM brings to the table but combines it with stunning and inventive animation and storytelling. The story of Mob and his powers and the struggles he goes through with them as he tries to grow up is deceptively deep, packed with symbolism and bizarre imagery that eventually explodes into a mess of color and sound and meaning. Highly artistic despite seeming wholly slapstick on the surface. One of the few shows we have on here subbed, because the English dub was…lacking, to say the least.

Mobile Suit Gundam
Year: 1979
Synopsis: A classic tale of the evils of war, told through the lens of young mech pilot Amuro Ray.
EMN Notes: The original Gundam series, and still fantastic, this show manages to nail so much of what I love about EMN. It has a classic vibe, it’s a genuinely great show with episodes that when you watch them shine on their own or as part of a whole. It’s really interesting to see Gundam’s roots like this, and even in disconnected pieces you grow to understand the core of the series and conflict. It’s a cool sci-fi with atmosphere to boot and still a hard-hitting show that focuses on the human cost in a large-scale conflict.

Year: 2004
Synopsis: A promising young doctor loses his career by choosing the life of a child over the life of a politician, only to learn years later that the child has become evil incarnate.
EMN Notes: Naoki Urasawa is my favorite manga creator. Monster is a philosphical and contemplative thriller, an engaging show that asks you to grapple with the concept of right and wrong and the impact one human can make on another. The show perfectly mimics Urasawa’s art style, and that combined with the German setting makes it really stand out. It’s honestly a miracle that this show exists – it was allowed time and room to breathe, the entire story was told, the music and art are on point and atmospheric, and it even got a complete dub. It’s one of the shows Mandy fell in love with when it aired on the Sci-Fi channel, and I found it through Urasawa’s other works. It made me cry one day when it came on EMN during a time where I needed something deep and emotional. It’s something special.

Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun
Year: 2014
Synopsis: A young girl’s life is thrown into turmoil when she learns that her favorite shoujo manga artist and the boy she has a huge crush on are one and the same!!
EMN Notes: This show is a spoonful of sugar. It’s silly, it’s cute, it has a wonderful cast, and absolutely none of the characters know how to communicate about love at all. Everyone is crushing on everyone and no one is talking to anyone. I really just wanted another fun little shoujo comedy to add to the lineup, and this is a show that makes me laugh even if I’m begging the characters to end up together already. It loves to play with shoujo cliches as well, and yet respects the beauty and romance and fantasy of it all. Just a whole bunch of fun.

My Love Story!!
Year: 2015
Synopsis: A large high school student, usually unlucky in love, finds himself in a wonderful relationship after saving a girl from a groper on a train.
EMN Notes: This show is a spoonful of sugar. It’s silly, it’s cute, it has a wonderful cast, and- Wait, I’m getting some deja vu here… But seriously, this show is adorable and it sets itself apart by actually being about the two protagonists’ relationship as well as their interactions with all their friends. They’re such a cute couple, and Takeo is just the biggest, sweetest guy and Yamato is so sweet but they’re both as dumb and as funny as each other. It brings me just as much joy now as it did way back when.

My Next Life As A Villainess: All Roads Lead To Doom!
Year: 2020
Synopsis: An otome game fanatic wakes up one day to find that she’s reincarnated inside the world of her favorite game – as the doomed villainess.
EMN Notes: One of the anime standouts of 2020 and a show that quickly rose to the top of my favorites list. It’s a fantastically sweet and funny show set in a beautiful little fantasy world. Katarina is such a charming character, because what she lacks in brains she more than makes up for in pure good-hearted spirit. It’s so refreshing to see a show where the hero immediately decides to just start helping people, even if initially it’s because she knows she’s going to die in the end. It’s so funny to see all these otome game archetypes interact and evolve, and it’s also fun that it sprinkles in some magic, some beach episode comedy, and even a strong splash of gay. It’s just a truly heartwarming show that’s focused on resolving conflict rather than creating it.