It’s summer. Time to kick back, relax, and perhaps indulge in a solid bit of escapism to get away from the tumultuous times we find ourselves in. What better way is there to get away from it all than in a good anime? After all, the animated medium allows artists to express things they would not normally be able to convey in more traditional media.
Whether you enjoy the subtle beauty of a well-drawn sunset or the hyper-stylized action and fight choreography often used in action scenes, anime genuinely has it all. If you’re an anime fan, you’ll be glad to know that you can do more than buy great tech on Amazon. Prime Video features some of the best modern and classic anime around. Let’s have a look at some of the best anime Prime Video has to offer in August 2022.
If you’ve ever wondered how it would go if a bunch of the anime, manga, and video game characters you grew up with suddenly materialized in the real world and engaged in a full-fledged battle right before your eyes, then Re:Creators is for you. While there’s nothing particularly deep happening in Re:Creators, the anime has fun with a variety of tropes (in particular, flipping the isekai genre on its head), character archetypes, and genres.
If you’re an anime fan who’s looking for a fun action, sci-fi, fantasy adventure with more fan service than you can shake a stick at, Re:Creators should be on your watch list this August.
Grand Blue Dreaming
Grand Blue Dreaming is a comedy show about a young man, Iori, starting college and adapting to his new surroundings, rules, and lifestyle while working at his uncle’s surf shop near the ocean. While he tries to keep to his school work, Iori can’t seem to keep his head out of trouble and ends up getting swept up in the antics of the college dive club. Iori’s comedic seaside misadventures with the dive club frequently involve alcohol, attractive classmates, and raucous laughter on the part of the audience.
If you missed this classic fantasy shonen when it first aired, this is your chance to catch up on an iconic piece of anime history. Yo-Gi-Oh! is set in a fantasy world where duelists use a card game to summon unique monsters and use magic to compete in epic battles and tournaments—aside from solving the off conflict with a bit of gambling. The main character, Yugi, is possessed by an ancient Egyptian spirit that has no memory of his own past life.
while Yu-Gi-Oh features a few nuanced concepts, it is ultimately a fairly simple—albeit well-executed—shonen anime that features some hidden character development throughout the story. As you follow Yugi and his band of merry misfits, you start to see Yugi, who is at first a small, shy boy, learn to stand up for himself and fight for what he believes in and wants.
Made in Abyss
Made in Abyss is an action-adventure anime that follows the young, orphaned Riko as she embarks on a journey into the terrifying abyss to find her mother. As she descends into the darkness, Riko encounters an odd humanoid robot that has no recollection of his past or how he came to be. Riko comes to call her new companion Reg, and together they descend the abyss and face unknown threats that have already claimed some of the greatest warriors and explorers known to the surface, including Riko’s mother, Lyza the Annihilator.
Made in Abyss features visual elements and storytelling tropes more commonly found in horror anime than adventure series, but the world is excellently crafted, and the story is masterfully told.
Land of the Lustrous
Land of the Lustrous stands out as one of the few anime series to employ CGI flawlessly, and it deserves a watch for that alone. The beautifully animated anime subtly deals with social acceptance, identity, and loss by presenting us with a world completely devoid of humans.
The show follows Phosphophyllite, the stubborn, fragile member of a small group of sentient, genderless, humanoid gemstones charged with protecting the Earth from attacking Lunarians that seek to kidnap the gems to use as jewelry. One of the most interesting aspects of the series is the detailed characterization of the gems.
Each gem has its own personality based on its physical properties and duty in the team, with Phosphophyllite standing out as being the most fragile, clumsy, and out of place amongst its peers. Their fish-out-of-water nature makes Phosphophyllite a good audience stand-in as we get to know this alien yet familiar world the gems are tasked with protecting.
Toradora! is the perfect combination of comedy, romance, drama, and slice-of-life. A classic in romance anime, Toradora! follows the soft-hearted, stone-faced Ryuji, Taiga, and their small group of friends as they navigate the intricacies of being teenagers and unexpectedly falling in love in high school. Toradora! stands out as having well-written characters, each with their own unique motivations and personalities—even the supporting cast—making the world and the characters feel like real people instead of drawings on a screen.
If you’re the type to typically shy away from romantic comedy anime because of the plentiful tropes and clichés, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Toradora!. Although many of its ideas aren’t as unique as they were when the show first aired, the characters and plot are as amusing as they are heart-warming.
Drawing inspiration from movies like Blade Runner, Psycho Pass is a unique psychological thriller set in a futuristic, somewhat sytopian cyberpunk world. Based on the calculations made by a biomechatronic computer system, citizens of Japan are investigated and punished based on the likelihood that they’ll commit a crime.
The show follows members of an investigative unit made up of trained officials, called inspectorsand enforcers—members of the public labeled as latent criminals who pose some sort of threat to society but are not severe enough to punish—as they go about investigating the criminal undertakings of several individuals.
Psycho Pass was overall well-received by critics and the anime community for its portrayal of its characters and society, as well as for its detailed world-building, though the show’s inconsistent use of technology leaves many viewers with questions.
Amazon Prime Video and Netflix are perfect streaming companions
One of anime’s greatest strengths is the flexibility it affords creators to effectively portray a wide variety of narratives, themes, genres, and aesthetics. Still, sometimes the animated medium fails to express human emotion in a way that’s believable and relatable. Netflix also has some great original series if you’re after something a little more grounded.
Amazon Prime Video is just one of the benefits available to Prime members. If you’re looking to save a little money, a top-notch streaming device and a few streaming subscriptions are far less expensive than a monthly cable bill.