15 Notable Anime of Recent Times that Took Unusual Twists


Anime never cease to amaze us. There are anime that just make cooking, *coughs* more interesting. Sometimes, there are ones which are plain crazy when there are stories that either made gambling part of the school curriculum or an all-out battle royale in the middle of the city. And you are right, anime really like to twist some of these tropes.

The experience of watching several weird and unique anime series is a roller coaster ride. So, there’s no doubt that there are just some notable anime that do have some unusual turns to the usual tropes. And we are more than happy to introduce them to you.

 

1. Overlord

This anime has a pretty unique take of the isekai genre. Unlike other isekai protagonists who transported to the other world to save it from evil. Here, the protagonist is the evil overlord himself. Sometimes, the ambiguity of the concept of evil is pretty interesting itself.

The story is about a virtual reality gamer, Momonga, who stayed until the final hours of his most beloved game, Yggdrassil. To his surprise, he found himself transported to another world along with his guild’s loyal NPC’s. And what’s more, he retained his undead avatar and the NPC’s turn into sentient beings loyal to no one except to himself.

meme by: Angelo Lorilla / AnimeWorld

Momonga then commands his faithful servants to spread across the land to gain knowledge about the new world and prepare to conquer it for the name of the guild. With the hopes of figuring out the cause of this absurdity, he is willing to take down anyone that impedes his path from total world domination.

 

2. Re: Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

So, are you pretty sick with overpowered isekai characters that got themselves a bunch of waifus months after they arrived on another world? Worry no more, because Re:Zero is here to make you love the genre again.

Re:Zero’s story revolves around Subaru Natsuki, an otaku who found himself transported to a fantasy world. There, he meets a half-elf teenage girl and tags along with her on a fantasy city, until both of them were brutally murdered that night. However, Subaru found himself resurrected back in time where he first arrives on the city. From there, he has to figure out a way to save both himself and her from the eventual bloody demise.

 

This anime, with a visual novel take of the story having save points when the MC got a dead end, exploded exponentially in popularity. And even today, you’ll see lots of merchandises related to Re:Zero. It’s like KonoSuba with the bonus sufferings courtesy of Steins;Gate. Hence, it made the isekai-genre great again.

meme by: Angelo Lorilla / AnimeWorld

We also shouldn’t forget the saltiness rivaling the salinity of the Dead Sea after Rem got rejected. Thus, proving once again, that most anime best girls are members of the Rejection Squad.

3. Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakeri

If you love the isekai genre with the usual harem stuff, I prefer to go to one of the best stuff out there. And yes, I am talking about the anime Gate, just the right amount of isekai harem, magic and otaku wet dreams with the side dishes of ugly politics and “freedom sprinkles” made from lead. Hence, this is the right wing upgrade of Outbreak Company.

meme by: Angelo Lorilla / AnimeWorld

Youji Itami, an off duty JSDF officer and a selfish otaku, found himself in a sudden onslaught of fantasy beings and warriors clad in medieval armors raiding the city of Ginza. Being a soldier himself, he managed to get everything control and saving countless lives. Little he did know, he will be pulled out from his peaceful life and sent to the world beyond the gate. There, he will meet fateful encounters that will not only change his life, but also the two worlds on each side of the gate.

4. No Game No Life

What’s more fun for us youngsters and even young at hearts than playing games? And if you are that type of person who just want to play games all day long, No Game No Life is the anime for you. I mean, isn’t it wonderful to be in a world with nothing but games?

No Game No Life is about two NEET siblings, Sora and Shiro, who beat the god of games, Tet, in a chess match. Amused by their innate talent, the god decided to transport them into his otherworldly realm. And in this new land, only the victors of games will have their voice heard. And it is up to these siblings to climb their way up on this world playing high-stake games.

 

This anime has tons of fan service and otaku reference that will either make you squeal or cringe. But honestly, the whole premise of gaming-is-everything makes the series unique compared to other isekai series.

meme by: Angelo Lorilla / AnimeWorld

5. Re:CREATORS

Obviously, there are lots of isekai series nowadays. Just look, I mentioned four of them already. But our next one will be a different one, a reverse isekai. You heard it right, a reverse isekai anime. Instead of having people teleport to a fantasy world, it’s totally the other way around. And if I am not mistaken, this is the first real reverse isekai anime ever made.

Souta, a gloomy teenager, is watching a newly released anime series on his bedroom when suddenly something unexpected happened. The line between reality and fiction blurred and merged as the heroine from the anime he is watching appeared right in front of him. After several days, chaos become inevitable as every anime, manga, and gaming characters appeared out of nowhere.

meme by: Angelo Lorilla / AnimeWorld

What makes Re:CREATORS unique, aside from its initial premise, is the idea of these fictional characters meeting their authors. You thought it is a good thing? If you created stories like Mitsuboshi Colors, K-On and other heartwarming ones, the meeting is a good one. But if you wrote something like Berserk and Higurashi, good luck. They might kill you, thanks to you for messing up their lives.

6. Fate Series

Fate Series is undeniably one of the most popular franchises nowadays, spawning several games and anime adaptations. Well. What makes it popular? The top answer is waifus. Kidding aside, this series relives the notable heroes and historical figures of the distant past. And what’s more, they got magical powers based on their folk lores. Thus, making learning history more fun than it was.

The whole premise of the series is about several masters and their servants, the heroic spirits, who fight until a lone victor remains. The winning pair is then granted by the Holy Grail a single wish each.

meme by: Angelo Lorilla / AnimeWorld

I know after you watch this, you’ll have a different view of these historical characters. For example, they have a loli Jack the Ripper and a genderbending King Arthur and Leonardo da Vinci.

7. Library Wars

Librarians as we see are pretty much like the old folks that got their jobs, obviously, with books. But you won’t see them like you did before if you give this anime a shot. How to make librarians more interesting? Of course, arm them with guns!

meme by: Angelo Lorilla / AnimeWorld

Library Wars follows the story of Iku Kasahara and her comrades as they fight for the freedom of print media against the oppressive Media Enhancement Law Commission. And in order to protect themselves and their beliefs, they armed themselves and trained physically warding off hostilities. Hence, they became the last hope of the people from the tyrannical censorship of media.

8. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

 

Most of the time fantasy themed series are far from reality because it is motivated by escapism. But it is surprising for me that a series of this genre discusses economy and religious reformation like a piece of cake. And that’s what makes Maoyuu a good anime with an interesting plot on top of that.

Set on a magical fantasy world, a young hero set a journey, leaving his comrades and heading towards the demon castle alone. There, he meets the Demon King who was actually a woman. He then tries to kill her, only to stopped and listened to her side of the story.

At first, he argued that the demons started the war but she rebuts it. She eventually made a proposal to end the war, not only making a peace between the warring factions but to the whole world itself. The hero eventually agreed and vows to stay with her to make that dream into a reality.

9. Fullmetal Alchemist

 

FMA is one of the classics when it comes to anime. A solid story, good and relatable characters, awesome visuals and soundtrack, I guess this series takes it all. So it is a shame if you miss this masterpiece.

After paying a high price after trying to resurrect their dead mother, the two brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric ventured on a quest to find the philosopher’s stone. Right after they got into the military and Edward became state alchemist, they headed on several locations tracing the bloody trails of the fabled stone.

Alchemy’s fundamental law is the law of equivalent exchange: one needs to sacrifice something of equal value to get results. And as the brothers steps closer to the truth, the darker the battles they have to fight to.


source: @BigEvilCamillo 

Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the unique otherworldly anime out there. Why? The most glaring contrast it has compared to “similar” anime is the “heavy use” of science instead of magic. Historically, alchemy do existed on our world, but as a pseudo-science. And as far as I remember, no anime ever made the same and successful premise as FMA.

10. Hisone to Maso-tan

You thought Girls and Punzers and Strike Witches are the only memorable cute military moe anime out here? You are indeed missing something out if you haven’t tried watching Hisone to Maso-tan, a.k.a. How To Train Your Dragon: The Anime!

The story revolves around Hisone Amakasu, an Air Self-Defense Force rookie, whose innocent and harsh words tend to hurt people around her. Hence, this is the reason why she chose to become a soldier, to distant herself from people as much as possible. To her surprise, her choices led her to become one of the force’s dragon pilots. With her fateful encounter with the dragon Maso-tan, her life will be changed forever.

Despite having a simplistic character designs itself, the story so far is pretty good and interesting. Though the dragons here are a tier less cuter than Kana, the idea of these creatures turning into modern military aircraft will simply blow your mind! If you just want to sit back, relax, and watch a light anime, this one is for you.

meme by: Angelo Lorilla / AnimeWorld

11. Kantai Collection

Before we got horse girls, hot spring girls, gun girls and tank girls, we first got ship girls. You heard it right, this anime is one of the reasons why we got tons of anthropomorphic waifus now. It is up to you to either thank it or sneer on it.

This anime is about Fubuki, a young destroyer ship girl, who was recently assigned on a naval base. Here she meets several ship girls, who are all reincarnations of Japanese WW2 ships. These ship girls carry the burden of protecting humanity from the impending threat of the Abyssal Fleet.

credits: My Girlfriend is a Warship

Kantai Collection become an instant hit in Japan. It is too popular that in two years after its release as a game, an anime adaptation is made. As a player of KanColle, you better play the game itself or watch the movie instead. The anime itself is not that good. Though without this anime, a whole new possibility of waifus migh

12. Megalo Box

You ever missed the good anime of the 90’s like Cowboy Bebop? Well, I got good news for you, comrade. This season, we are blessed with the spiritual successor of Ashita no Joe, Megalo Box. Just imagine Cowboy Bebop upgrade of Ashita no Joe mashed up together with Samurai Champloo soundtrack and we will get this. Coz punching someone’s face isn’t “deadly” enough that you have to put cybernetic limbs to improve power. Sounds safe.

meme by: Angelo Lorilla / AnimeWorld

Megalo Box revolutionized boxing by equipping boxers with mechanical limbs known as Gear. Hence, this makes every match more thrilling and deadly at the same time. Junk Dog, an underground fighter of Megalo Box, is forced to live a life where he has to throw matches to earn a living. Everything changed when he met the Megalo Box champion Yuri and eventually fighting him and beating our protagonist.

But Junk Dog doesn’t want to end it there. Fortunately, he got some backing from a criminal syndicate and takes the name Joe and fought on a Megalo Box world tournament. With an unusual duo on his back, a retired and gambling addict coach and a homeless orphan, he eventually rose on the ranks and became the legendary “Gearless Joe”.

13. Aggressive Retsuko

Sanrio is well known for its cute characters like Hello Kitty and Cinnamon Roll. But what if I told you that they made an anime geared to adults? Of course it is not X-rated, you pervert. It’s basically “The Office – The Anime”.

This series is about Retsuko, a 25-year-old red panda, who find herself on turmoil because of her misogynistic boss and lofty co-workers. Despite being one of the company’s hard workers, her modest demeanor and petite appearance makes her easily exploited. But deep inside, she’s insanely irritated. And she let off some steam by screaming her lungs out to voice out her frustration in her work life through a death metal karaoke. You heard it right, Sanrio just ventured into death metal.

The anime has 100 minute-long episodes. Though it is that short, I bet you people out there in the working force can relate to her woes.

meme by: Angelo Lorilla / AnimeWorld

14. Gakkougurashi

Several years ago mark the sudden popularity of the zombie apocalypse trope in the Hollywood. And over a couple of decades ago, the popularity of moe all throughout the anime fandom became evident. Well, how to milk these tropes? Mash them together and we have Gakkougurashi. That’s Japan for you.

meme by: Angelo Lorilla / AnimeWorld

 

Gakkougurashi is about a giggly childish high school girl, Yuki Takeya, who leads a carefree life. She is a member of the school’s unique club, the School Living Club. And basically the members of this club literally live at their own school. However, it is eventually revealed that Yuki suffers from delusion to protect herself from the morbid reality she and her club mates have to face.

Living in a post-apocalyptic world plagued with the wandering undead, the members of the School Living Club are forced to adapt and survive. With their sweet high school days came to an abrupt end, will they be resilient enough to keep themselves alive and the crumbling sanity of Yuki?

With the right amount of edge, without being an edgy anime wannabe, and sprinkles of moe, the contrast makes this anime pretty good. I mean, watching an edgy anime that tackles PTSD and survivor’s guilt will be more bearable when we see some cute stuffs, right?

15. Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica

Who dares not to know Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica. Whether you like it or not, if you are a true anime enthusiast, maybe once or twice, you came across this anime classic. This anime original is one of the most revolutionizing series that ever made recently. And it paved way to the dark mahou shoujo genre spawning series like Yuki Yuna is a Hero, Magical Girl Raising Project, and this year’s Mahou Shoujo Site. Ah! What a great time to be alive!!

This anime is about middle schoolers Madoka Kaname and Sayaka Miki whose regular lives are changed when they meet Kyuubey, a cat-like magical familiar. After being saved from the hands of the magical girl Homura Akemi, Kyuubey offers the two to a chance to grant any of their own wishes. But first, they have to become magical girls themselves and fight the evil witches. And as the story progresses, it’s too late to realize the price they have to pay.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica proves that it doesn’t need to have a great quality character design to become successful. And nor the stereotypical fan service will do. What it takes to become a successful series is a great unique story that no one ever

So what’s your say, comrades? Will you give these anime a chance. What’s on your to be watch list? What’s on your trash list? No matter what, just remember. Keep enjoying anime and be awesome.


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Gelo

I am a casual anime enthusiast, and a contributor on a certain KanColle fan page. Thanks to the aforementioned franchise and a long time of playing the game, I became interested on stuff about WW2 and started watching and reading materials, including anime, related to it. Hence, I am now slowly becoming a gunji otaku. During my free time, sometimes I write short stories but I never managed to finish anyone of them. :V