30 Best Drama Anime Series & Movies Of All Time Page 3
10. Ping Pong
This drama anime is about “The hero comes. The hero comes. The hero comes. Chant these words in your mind, and I’ll surely come to you…” This mantra is what Makoto Tsukimoto repeats as a source of motivation when he fights through the stress of not only grueling ping pong matches, but also in situations of his life.
Makoto doesn’t fight alone; he and his friend, Yukata Hoshino, nicknamed Smile and Peco respectively, are two boys who have grown up playing ping pong together nearly every day.
Peco, brimming with confidence, aims to be the best table tennis player in the world; Smile, on the other hand, shows little ambition. Nevertheless, the two have always stuck together, with a bond built upon their mutual love for this sport.
Every year, students from all across Japan gather for the inter-high table tennis competition to achieve national and international stardom. Through intense training and competition, only the very best persevere.
From the avant-garde director of Tatami Galaxy, Masaaki Yuasa, Ping Pong The Animation serves a tale of ambition with its fair share of bumps along the way. Whatever the odds, Peco and Smile will face them together.
9. Whisper of the Heart
This drama anime is about Shizuku Tsukishima is a free-spirited and cheerful 14-year-old girl who is currently enjoying her summer vacation. She loves spending her free time at the local library where she notices that the books she reads are often checked out by a boy named Seiji Amasawa. One day while riding the local train, Shizuku notices a strange cat sitting near her.
Why would an ordinary cat ride a train? Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it can also seriously harm a young girl. Shizuku decides to follow the mysterious cat to see where it goes, and soon stumbles upon an antique shop run by a violin maker named Nishi, the grandfather of the mystery boy who shares her taste in literature.
Seiji and Shizuku soon become friends and while Seiji is sure of his dreams and how to follow them, Shizuku is still unsure of her own talents. However, when she sees a strange cat statuette, “The Baron,” in the shop, it seems as if that statuette whispers something to her, tugging at her heart and giving her the inspiration she so desperately needed.
One voice pushes Shizuku further than she could have ever imagined, changing her life forever.
This drama anime is about Tomoya Okazaki is a delinquent who finds life dull and believes he’ll never amount to anything. Along with his friend Sunohara, he skips school and plans to waste his high school days away. One day while walking to school, Tomoya passes a young girl muttering quietly to herself. Without warning she exclaims “Anpan!” (a popular Japanese food) which catches Tomoya’s attention.
He soon discovers the girl’s name is Nagisa Furukawa and that she exclaims things she likes in order to motivate herself. Nagisa claims they are now friends, but Tomoya walks away passing the encounter off as nothing. However, Tomoya finds he is noticing Nagisa more and more around school.
Eventually he concedes and befriends her. Tomoya learns Nagisa has been held back a year due to a severe illness and that her dream is to revive the school’s drama club. Claiming he has nothing better to do, he decides to help her achieve this goal along with the help of four other girls.
As Tomoya spends more time with the girls, he learns more about them and their problems. As he attempts to help each girl overcome her respective obstacle, he begins to realize life isn’t as dull as he once thought.
This drama anime is about Nana Komatsu is a helpless, naïve 20-year-old who easily falls in love and becomes dependent and clingy to those around her. Even though she nurses ambitious dreams of removing herself from her provincial roots and finding her true calling, she ends up traveling to Tokyo with the humble reason of chasing her current boyfriend Shouji Endo.
Nana Osaki, on the other hand, is a proud, enigmatic punk rock vocalist from a similarly rural background, who nurtures the desire to become a professional singer. Putting her career with a fairly popular band (and her passionate romance with one of its former members) firmly behind her, she boards the same train to Tokyo as Nana Komatsu.
Through a fateful encounter in their journey toward the metropolis, the young women with the same given name are brought together, sparking a chain of events which eventually result in them sharing an apartment.
As their friendship deepens, the two attempt to support each other through thick and thin, their deeply intertwined lives filled with romance, music, challenges, and heartbreaks that will ultimately test their seemingly unbreakable bond.
This drama anime is about Ryuuji Takasu is a gentle high school student with a love for housework; but in contrast to his kind nature, he has an intimidating face that often gets him labeled as a delinquent. On the other hand is Taiga Aisaka, a small, doll-like student, who is anything but a cute and fragile girl.
Equipped with a wooden katana and feisty personality, Taiga is known throughout the school as the “Palmtop Tiger.” One day, an embarrassing mistake causes the two students to cross paths.
Ryuuji discovers that Taiga actually has a sweet side: she has a crush on the popular vice president, Yuusaku Kitamura, who happens to be his best friend. But things only get crazier when Ryuuji reveals that he has a crush on Minori Kushieda—Taiga’s best friend!
Toradora! is a romantic comedy that follows this odd duo as they embark on a quest to help each other with their respective crushes, forming an unlikely alliance in the process.
5. Aku no Hana
This drama anime is about Kasuga Takao is a boy who loves reading books, particularly Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal. A girl at his school, Saeki Nanako, is his muse and his Venus, and he admires her from a distance. One day, he forgets his copy of Les Fleurs du Mal in the classroom and runs back alone to pick it up.
In the classroom, he finds not only his book, but Saeki’s gym uniform. On a mad impulse, he steals it. Now everyone knows “some pervert” stole Saeki’s uniform, and Kasuga is dying with shame and guilt. Furthermore, the weird, creepy, and friendless girl of the class, Nakamura, saw him take the uniform.
Instead of revealing it was him, she recognizes his kindred deviant spirit and uses her knowledge to take control of his life. Will it be possible for Kasuga to get closer to Saeki, despite Nakamura’s meddling and his dark secret? What exactly does Nakamura intend to do with him?
This drama anime is about Dr. Kenzou Tenma is a renowned brain surgeon of Japanese descent working in Europe. Highly lauded by his peers as one of the great young minds that will revolutionize the field, he is blessed with a beautiful fiancée and is on the cusp of a big promotion in the hospital he works at.
But all of that is about to change with a grave dilemma that Kenzou faces one night—whether to save the life of a small boy or that of the town’s mayor.
Despite being pressured by his superiors to perform surgery on the mayor, his morals force him to perform the surgery on the other critical patient, saving his life and forfeiting the mayor’s. A doctor is taught to believe that all life is equal.
However, when a series of murders occur in the surgeon’s vicinity, all of the evidence pointing to the boy he saved, Kenzou’s beliefs are shaken. Along his journey to unravel the true identity of his little patient, Kenzou discovers that the fate of the world may be intertwined with the mysterious child.
3. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
This drama anime is about Yotarou is a former yakuza member fresh out of prison and fixated on just one thing: rather than return to a life of crime, the young man aspires to take to the stage of Rakugo, a traditional Japanese form of comedic storytelling. Inspired during his incarceration by the performance of distinguished practitioner Yakumo Yuurakutei, he sets his mind on meeting the man who changed his life.
After hearing Yotarou’s desperate appeal for his mentorship, Yakumo is left with no choice but to accept his very first apprentice. As he eagerly begins his training, Yotarou meets Konatsu, an abrasive young woman who has been under Yakumo’s care ever since her beloved father Sukeroku Yuurakutei, another prolific Rakugo performer, passed away.
Through her hidden passion, Yotarou is drawn to Sukeroku’s unique style of Rakugo despite learning under contrasting techniques. Upon seeing this, old memories and feelings return to Yakumo who reminisces about a much earlier time when he made a promise with his greatest rival.
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu is a story set in both the past and present, depicting the art of Rakugo, the relationships it creates, and the lives and hearts of those dedicated to keeping the unique form of storytelling alive.
2. Grave of the Fireflies
This drama anime starts from World War II reaches its conclusion in 1945, Japan faces widespread destruction in the form of American bombings, devastating city after city. Hotaru no Haka, also known as Grave of the Fireflies, is the story of Seita and his sister Setsuko, two Japanese children whose lives are ravaged by the brutal war.
They have lost their mother, their father, their home, and the prospect of a bright future—all tragic consequences of the war. Now orphaned and homeless, Seita and Setsuko have no choice but to drift across the countryside, beset by starvation and disease.
Met with the apathy of adults along the way, they find that desperate circumstances can turn even the kindest of people cruel yet their youthful hope shines brightly in the face of unrelenting hardship, preventing the siblings from swiftly succumbing to an inevitable fate.
1. Legend of the Galactic Heroes
This drama anime starts from 150-year-long stalemate between the two interstellar superpowers, the Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance, comes to an end when a new generation of leaders arises: the idealistic military genius Reinhard von Lohengramm, and the FPA’s reserved historian, Yang Wenli.
While Reinhard climbs the ranks of the Empire with the aid of his childhood friend, Siegfried Kircheis, he must fight not only the war, but also the remnants of the crumbling Goldenbaum Dynasty in order to free his sister from the Kaiser and unify humanity under one genuine ruler.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the galaxy, Yang—a strong supporter of democratic ideals—has to stand firm in his beliefs, despite the struggles of the FPA, and show his pupil, Julian Mintz, that autocracy is not the solution.
As ideologies clash amidst the war’s many casualties, the two strategic masterminds must ask themselves what the real reason behind their battle is.
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