so I'm going to make a post with actually good anime in it for once, here are the few anime out there worth watching
Queen dork Chihaya loves extremely dorky card game Karuta (it involves classical Japanese poetry) and will do anything to become the best Karuta player ever. Combines sports with romance and each makes the other better. Chihaya's other talent is friendzoning. One character is a giant nerd and is known for being strangely protective of his desk and his name is "desk-kun".
For it's extreme love of everything dorky I name Chihayafuru the official anime of dorknet.
Watch it on Crunchyroll. Note that the first episode of the first season is hidden, you have to find it by expanding a triangle thing at the bottom.
Ping Pong The Animation
Masaaki Yuasa is the best animation director basically forever and here he adapts an amazing manga about high school table tennis players being the best. Peco is a flamboyant and cocky and gets hilariously depressed when he loses, Smile is sullen but hugely talented but unmotivated, China is from China (and voiced in authentic Mandarin!) and wants to go back but isn't good enough to.
Everything by Yuasa is gold (includes the Adventure Time episode "Food Chain"!) but Ping Pong is his easiest work to get into and most immediately and deeply satisfying. The Tatami Galaxy is also amazing (characters talk really quick though, so it takes multiple watches to catch everything) as is the freaky but awesome (and triggered as hell be warned) Kemonozume and Mind Game.
Watch it on Youtube!
Chill as hell series about nature spirits called Mushi and a guy who wanders around solving the problems caused when humans and mushi meet. Most episodes are self contained and deal with issues ranging from suicide and family life, with both grace and depth.
First series came out like a decade ago and it's super good, but out of nowhere it comes back and not only is it like it never went away it's better than it's ever been.
The first season was licensed by Funimation and is up on Hulu. The second season that's currently airing is on crunchyroll and also hulu a week later.
Time of Eve
Asimov-inspired series about a coffee shop where you aren't allowed to differentiate between people and androids. Uses these hypothetical issues to explore themes of exploitation and discrimination. A labor of love for the studio, with lots of really cool touches.
Originally released as six, 15 minute episodes, it was eventually also made into a movie. It doesn't exactly work as one, but it's still the best way to see it because it's in full resolution and you just got to remember how was originally released when they go off on an unrelated tangent for a while (they eventually bring it all together!).
The official English site has the details!
The studio behind Time of Eve went on to make the movie Patema Inverted. It's a little bit clunkier than ToE, but it looks gorgeous and it pulls a neat directional trick where by the end of the movie you are able to read a scene no matter which way up the camera faces. Definitely worth seeking out!
Turns the story of a modern day single mother into a celebratory myth. Hana falls in love and has kids with a man who is a werewolf, and after his tragic death ends up with two children she must raise on her own. She has no idea how to raise kids who are also dogs, and has no one to ask, but she commits to letting them decide if they'll join the human or animal world.
It uses it's mythological premise to take real life misunderstandings and fears between parents and children and turns them into something both glorious and heartbreaking. I've seen it like five times and each time wrecked me, it's some pretty brilliant stuff.
This is the movie that got people calling it's director, Mamoru Hosoda, the successor to Miyazaki, but I like this movie a lot better than even Miyazaki's best work. Even in his lower key movies before this (Summer Wars, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, fucking Digimon Adventure) Hosoda is just far better at letting people act like people. It's been a couple years since Wolf Children, during the production of which he formed his own studio, and I know he's working on something else there and I'm fucking pumped to eventually get to see it!!!
You can grab it for $10 on iTunes.
okay that's enough of that