Four Animes worth a watch on Netflix

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The mecha genre has been a staple of anime since its inception, in which, giant mechanical war machines piloted by young soldiers fight against an opposing faction. If this premise intrigues you, I highly recommend watching Aldnoah.Zero on Netflix. Set in an alternate 2014, humans have discovered alien technology on Mars that has facilitated the rapid growth of technological innovation. This innovation has led to a great schism between classes and eventually, a fraction of humanity is able to secede from Earth to live outside the atmosphere. A difference of values and political ties leads to a great interplanetary war between these classes. Aldnoah.Zero is not only a fast-paced action series, but also a fantastic drama with palpable tension as the narrative twists and turns several times before rewarding the audience with an epic conclusion. Aldnoah.Zero mimics the themes that have made the expansive Gundam Wing franchise popular and has adapted them into an easily digestible 24 episode series that does not require any previous knowledge before delving into. Aldnoah.Zero's otherworldly plot, fused with stunning animation and music, makes it something that anime newcomers and veterans should not miss.

Madoka Magica
Is there a wish you yearn for so dearly that you would lock yourself into a lifetime of fighting witches to make it a reality? That is the premise of Madoka Magica. One day, Madoka Kaname and her closest friend encounter a strange creature who offers the two contracts, to become magical girls and will in exchange, grant them each a single wish. The eternal task of a magical girl is to fight witches, which cause despair, suicidal tendencies to individuals and natural disasters in their wake. Though the thought of becoming a magical girl seems promising and valiant for Madoka, she soon finds herself being continuously warned not to accept such a contract if she values the life she currently lives. The saying “do not trust a book by its cover” couldn't resonate more true when it comes to Madoka Magica. Gen Urobuchi's original written piece explores some dark and psychological themes, treading through unknown waters when it comes to the traditional structure of the magical girl genre. The uncanny art design will also leave the audience with an eerie feeling and a desire to delve deeper into the world of Madoka Magica. With its fresh take on the magical girl genre and great and suspenseful story telling, this 12-episode series is quite a gem among Netflix's anime repertoire.

Gurren Lagann
Gurren Lagann is another mecha series in a saturated genre; however, it is able to distinguish itself with its more lighthearted tone, loveable characters and bombastic themes. Gurren Lagann, at its core, is about brotherhood and comradery in the face of oppression. The story begins in the subterranean Jiha Village, in which, the human race lives in fear of the surface world. Life is miserable, dark and desolate in these catacombs, leading our main characters to venture upwards and combat the mechanical predators above. The events of the series are constantly being escaladed beyond what anyone in the audience would believe is logical. It is this progressive insanity that will keep audiences on their toes, excited to see how the narrative will continue to execute on increasingly crazy ideas. The show also manages to fl ip seamlessly between very comedic moments and others that are surprisingly emotional. This 27 episode series allows the audience to turn their brains off and enjoy the ridiculousness that is shown on screen. Gurren Lagann is also the perfect follow up for those who have enjoyed mainstream shonen classics like Naruto and One Piece, as it is truly ‘the king of shonen anime'.

In the world of the Fate series, mages summon historic figures from both the past and future as servants to compete in a Holy Grail War. In this death tournament, similar to movies like Hunger Games, the servants must duel against one-another until one team is left standing. The victorious team is set to receive The Holy Grail, an object rumoured to hold the power to grant wishes. What makes this anime interesting is the interpretations chosen for these characters. For example, legendary British leader King Arthur is interpreted as a woman with a calm and collective attitude who is extremely skilled in swordsmanship. Incorporated into this rendition of the Fate series is a vast array of ideological clashes and philosophical monologues, which questions purpose and the concept of personal happiness. With beautifully animated and action-packed fight scenes, combined with an assortment of ideals diverging from each character, Fate/Zero is a memorable watch that will keep the audience entranced until the epic conclusion.