A big cast of human characters, a relatable situation, feelsy music and a closed door in case your parents or roomate catch you crying over some Chinese cartoons. These are the wonderful ingredients for drama, tearjerker and coming of age anime: If all drama anime were a bit more like Nana and a bit less like Ano Hana, it would definitely be my favourite genre ever. Unfortunately, the consumers and producers care more about moeblobs crying monsters than shows that dare to colour out of the lines. Here are my picks for the créme de la créme (Of the shows that I have seen, mind you) of drama anime. Agree to disagree. Cheers.
Yes, Nana has been on all my´Top Whatever´ lists up till now and I must promote it as much as possible. The show isn´t my all time favourite anime and manga for no reason, yo. As basically everything in this ah-mazing series, Nana hold the crown in sophistication and being able to do things right. Do yourself a favourite and cry a river over Nana. Trust me, it´ll be worth it, and the best thing is that you can almost always relate, because the Nana characters aren´t archetypes, they are people.
2. Sakurasou No Pet Na Kanojo
I didn´t feel the need to justify my love for Nana earlier, I mean, the show is just amazing and everybody knows that already, but with Sakurasou No Pet Na Kanojo I feel like an explanation is neccessary, I mean, just looking at it one could say it´s nothing more but an obnoxious ecchi series adapted from just another Light Novel, right? Well, you´re wrong – not entirely wrong, but still wrong.
Because while Sakurasou definitely has some painfully melodramatic moments and unecessary pantyshots, honestly, the show is also a lot more than that: It´s a coming of age story through and through, it tells us about friendship, love and growing up, it talks about the hardships of achieving your dreams and it actually left me crying in some episodes when it focused on that because, damn, those episodes were so real. Apart from that, it also has some satisfying romance to boot, oh, and Shiro, man, Shiro!
3. Gankutsuou, Count Of Monte Cristo
For me, watching Gankutsuou was like reading a very long book, which is weird – seeing that Gankutsou relies a lot on visuals to transcend words. It also took me very long to finish the show – which is also weird because I absolutely adored it, even though the robots were a bit weird.
If you hear anyone talk about this show, it´s probably them singing it praises, and I personally would agree with them, because Gankutsuou is a very good human drama with a touch of mystery and controversy to give it an unique identity -and not just because of the colourful animation – If I were to talk about the drama I´d be walking on spoiler grounds, so I´ll just drop this title here and tell you that you should definitely watch it if you want something refreshing.
Here´s to a lesser known Madhouse production: Rainbow. This series is definitely good, but it was unfortunately overshadowed by it´s season peers to become more known, Rainbow is also very black and white, by that I mean that the characters are either saintly good or hellishly bad, there is no inbetween and the villains are cheap. Granted, the main characters themselves aren´t all that either – but it works, somehow. Rainbow is a shonen-nakama anime that´s also grimm and saddening, it´s definitely different, if anything.
While the first half is a lot more shocking than the latter, Rainbow made me feel victorious, sad and angry all in the same episode, I think that this is a trait only the best can do.
5. Angel Beats
You might call me hypocritical for putting this one my list, and you´d be in your right to do so, because the drama in Angel Beats was awfully cheap. I know it was, but it still worked, and it still had me crying, and I still laughed, and I still loved it, and I´d definitely re-watch it if I had the time. I don´t even need to explain, right? We all know Angel Beats, and we either love it, or love to hate it. I´m in the former category, what about you?