Welcome to Anime Rants! Holidays can be extremely stressful. Most of the December Holidays are past by now, and I think everyone deserves to relax after all the chaos. So how about kicking back and watching an anime that’s positive and uplifting? What follows are seven such series, randomly selected from MyAnimeList. Entries are in alphabetical order rather than ranked. Enjoy!
1. Carole and Tuesday
Set in a sci-fi future Mars, Carole and Tuesday is about the experiences and careers of two promising young musicians. The supporting characters are delightful too. It’s a progressive anime with some LGBT characters. There is drama along the way, but it’s beautiful to see Carole and Tuesday grow and shine. Several of the songs are moving, catchy, or calming. This is a good one to watch if you like seeing characters come together and succeed, particularly with music.
2. Fruits Basket
Fruits Basket is a popular and beloved manga series which was adapted into one season of anime in 2001. A remake of the first season aired in 2019, and I think it’s a bit better in terms of being emotionally stirring. (The new version also has a second season, with a third in the works.) The story is about Tohru, a humble and sweet girl who has lost her mother, as she starts living with the mysterious Sohma family. There is a secret to this family that Tohru is fated to discover. Fruits Basket is uplifting because of how all the characters grow and mature, beginning to heal from their hurts. There are many sad moments, but the overall message is positive.
Hyouka is about a boy named Oreki as he joins his highschool’s literature club and solves school mysteries with them. By nature, Oreki is quiet, deadpan, and lacking in energy and interests. But after he meets Eru Chitanda– an extremely bright and curious club member– his world begins to change. This anime felt heartening and inspiring mostly because of the endless energy of Eru and the progress that Oreki makes in enjoying life.
4. Isshukan Friends (One-Week Friends)
Isshuukan Friends is a cute and sometimes emotionally moving series about a girl (Fujimiya) who loses her memories at the end of each week. She doesn’t believe she can ever make friends due to this psychological handicap. Enter the protagonist (Hase), a boy who begins to slowly open Fujimiya’s heart. Friendship develops between the amnesiac and the boy, as well as with other quirky companions. The series is uplifting due to the progress of Fujimiya as she improves and heals psychologically and socially.
5. Love Stage
One of the better yaoi shows available, Love Stage focuses on the romance between two young men: Izumi and Ryouma. While there are a few tropes or problematic elements, most of these are actually discussed in the story. Furthermore, compared to most yaoi anime, Love Stage is more progressive and positive. The love that grows between the boys as well as Izumi’s journey to confidence in himself are examples of what makes Love Stage so uplifting.
6. My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia is one of the most popular anime series worldwide. In my honest opinion, it really doesn’t deserve the fame, but that’s not to say that it’s bad. It’s a light-hearted shounen super-power anime that has such themes as altruism, loyalty, friendship, and overcoming obstacles. In the first season especially, it’s uplifting to watch main character Midoriya rise from a powerless civilian child to a young hero in training. I recommend checking out the first season, since it’s only 12 episodes.
7. Yona of The Dawn
One of my personal favorite shoujo anime, Yona of The Dawn shows the inspiring journey of the titular character and her companions. Yona starts as a delicate and sheltered princess but over the course of the show, she becomes a strong woman warrior. This is a pretty awesome anime all-around, and if it sounds interesting then you read more in my Series Review. Yona of The Dawn is a stirring, positive anime that isn’t easy to forget.
That concludes my list for this week’s Sunday Select. If you find one of these shows interesting enough to watch, you will likely feel encouraged and uplifted. Good job getting through most of the Holidays, everyone. Thank you so much reading, and I’ll see you next time!