I've been trying to find time to watch at least a couple anime series each week (as opposed to Smudge, who just devours almost everything...), and have been meaning to spread around a few recommendations.

First off, after four episodes, Girls und Panzer is being a lot of fun. Lots of classic girl's high school and sports tropes thrown in and played straight-faced over-the-top in a silly world.

The main thing I've been following for the last half-year is Space Brothers. Set in 2025, it follows two brothers who have dreamed of being astronauts since they were children. At the start of the series, the younger brother is in the space program, and the older has ended up in the auto industry. The series follows Mutta (the older brother) as he rediscovers his dreams, and does an excellent job showing the space program from selection and training to actual operations. The best of the all-too-few hard SF anime titles out there. (Added bonus, episode 30 has the second best launch sequence in anime ever.) Really, really, highly recommended.










Kids on the Slope is set in 1966. Insular high school student Kaoru Nishimi has to stay with his uncle for a while, and is going to a new school. He is drawn out of his shell by a notorious troublemaker, love, and jazz. Lots of jazz.

I'm still watching this, though it finished some time ago (12 episodes). It's a fairly quiet drama, with a lot of slice-of-life to it. Does a great job with '60s Japan. Highly recommended.







I started off not watching Sword Art Online, but it quickly became one of the shows Smudge looked forward to each week. I've ended up watching much of the end of first season, and am watching second season. I'll be catching up on the rest of it as soon as I'm done with Kids on the Slope.

In 2022, a new virtual reality MMORPG, Sword Art Online, goes live to the usual first-day flurry of activity. However, it is soon discovered that people can't log out—the option isn't there. The creator of the game declares that the only way out is by fighting though the entire game, and beating the final boss at the end of it all. The story both centers on the efforts to progress through the game, and two people finding each other in the middle of this (their interactions is what started drawing me into the series). Recommended.

An interesting note: this is an adaptation of a series of light novels. Each major story arc is done in two books, the first of which covers the main story, and the second of which is is bunch of short stories set during the first book. The anime, thankfully, integrates the short stories into the main plot.