While nowhere in Australia has called an actual stay-at-home lockdown yet, the smart thing to do these next few weeks to avoid catching COVID-19 is to stay at home and keep yourself away from others where possible. For some, gaming has been the answer. For others, it may be the desire to check out the various anime streaming platforms and see what there is to watch. But with hundreds of series across platforms, including Funimation, HIDIVE and CrunchyRoll, how does anyone know where to start?
While what makes a good anime very subjective and differs from person to person, here are just five of my recommendations of shows available to watch now in Australia! So if you don’t feel like browsing through the catalogue of each platform (which is my advice, as it would match your preferred genres and there are so many hidden gems on each platform), scroll down to see my picks.
Links to each of the services listed below are as follows. Please ensure you check the library for each service (or enjoy their respective free subscriptions) to ensure you can get what you want to watch on it: Funimation (Fmrl. AnimeLab), CrunchyRoll, HIDIVE, Netflix. Due to region locking, watching some shows may require the use of a VPN or transportation to another country.
5 The Extra Long Shows
While I am envious of those who have the luxury of time to watch any of these series, there are several shows spanning hundreds of episodes available to stream in their entirety. On the shonen anime side, you have many options, including On the shounen anime side, you have many options, including Naruto, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Fairy Tail, Inuyasha, Bleach (US/CA Region Required), Attack on Titan and more.
There is a smaller but still decent number of options on the shoujo side, including Cardcaptor Sakura, Sailor Moon, and Shugo Chara!. While there may be fewer extended options in this category, there are more shoujo anime on the standard 12-26 episode side of things.
Have an active Netflix subscription? You can take advantage of classic shows such as the entire Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! anime monoliths.
4 Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni
Do you like murder mysteries? Yes? Do you like your murder mysteries to involve time loops and sleepy villages plagued by deaths? Based on the original sound novel series from 07th Expansion, we have Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni, also available in western markets under the title Higurashi: When They Cry.
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni begins following Keiichi Maebara, a new resident and student in the rural Japanese village of Hinamizawa. Settling in with a good group of friends, life appears to be good, until a string of events commence surrounding the annual Watanagashi Festival – with the legend of one villager dying and the other villager going missing each year. Who is responsible for this? Broken into Question Arcs and Answer Arcs, see if you can work out the story behind what is happening.
Although I would argue the anime is not as good an experience as the original sound novels, which are available in English through MangaGamer, they still make for very satisfying watches. Plus, the anime is expanded through exclusive chapters and arcs, with the final two seasons being entirely anime-exclusive content.
Spread across four seasons, the original and Kai chapters (Consisting of 26 and 24 episodes, respectively) along with the Rei OVAs are available to stream via HIDIVE (VPN Required). The newer Gou and Sotsu chapters can now be watched via Funimation with English or Japanese audio options.
3 Log Horizon
Nowadays, there are so many Isekai anime on the market that choosing one over the other can be pretty tricky. There are options such as Sword Art Online, which are mainstream and long-running options with incredible production quality. However, I would recommend checking out Log Horizon instead – a series spanning three seasons that achieves a good balance between “Help, I am trapped in an MMORPG!” and “We are in an MMORPG; let’s adapt to our life while we discover a solution”.
Log Horizon takes place in an online game known as Elder Tales. However, with the release of its twelfth expansion pack, 30,000 players find themselves trapped inside the game’s universe. Although with NPCs gaining sentience, real-world mechanics finding their way into the game and other surprises rearing its head, viewers follow Shiroe and his friends as they adapt to their new world and find a way home.
While the first two seasons were licensed and published by Sentai in North America, the third season was localised and published by Funimation Entertainment. While this may differ between regions, as Madman Entertainment holds the show’s license in Australia, and was merged into Funimation, Australians and New Zealanders can watch all three seasons on Funimation.
Want to fill your day with dozens of episodes revolving around time travel, otaku culture, and conspiracies that may not be too far off the mark? Many of 5pb’s Science Adventure visual novels have been adapted into anime over the past decade, and arguably none more prolific than Steins;Gate and its alternate timeline sequel Steins;Gate 0. With a gripping and enticing narrative, theme songs that will be earworms soon enough, and flawed characters ready for redemption – Steins;Gate will offer a wild ride.
Also known by his alter ego Hououin Kyouma, Rintaro Okabe is a university student who fancies himself as a mad scientist. Running the Future Gadget Laboratory along with his friends Itaru “Daru” Hashida and Mayuri Shiina, they spend their days creating all sorts of weird and wonderful gadgets until they discover a system that allows them to send messages into the future. Aligning himself with various personalities, from a local shrine maiden to a prodigy from the United States, he begins testing this new discovery. However, the more he changes the timeline, the more he catches unwelcome attention… no less from the nefarious organisation known as SERN.
Steins;Gate and Steins;Gate 0 are both available to stream via Funimation in Australia, in addition to the anime-exclusive feature film which branches off into a different path than Steins;Gate 0. You can begin streaming episodes HERE, with paid subscribers given access to English and Japanese audio options.
1 KEY Anime Adaptations
KEY specialises in visual novels revolving around a group of high school students living their lives, combining moments of heart warming character development and tear jerkers that will leave even some of the thicker-skined people weeping. Over the years, many of their projects including CLANNAD, Kanon, Air and Little Busters! have been adapted into anime series, complementing their direct-to-anime projects including Angel Beats!, Charlotte and The Day I Became a God. Most of these, whether via streaming or home video release, have been made available in western markets at some point. Top of my list would be CLANNAD, Kanon and Little Busters!, with Little Busters! being my top pick, but any of these series you can get via your chosen streaming service is worth checking out.
Below is a list of where you can find each of the KEY anime adaptations to officially stream: