The best thing about anime as a genre is that it really does have something for everyone. From slice-of-life to straight-up horror, you can always find something to watch, so the odds are that you have missed something extraordinary. That’s because the downside of having such a broad genre is that there are almost too many options sometimes and even just keeping up with the popular anime can be a major time sink. So if you’ve been busy working your way through thousand episodes of One Piece (yes, really A THOUSAND), then you might have missed some awesome anime that hit Funimation in recent years.
Dragon Goes House-Hunting (2021)
Our first Funimation anime is Dragon Goes House-Hunting and it’s precisely what the title suggests, HGTV for a fantasy world. Letty is a young red dragon who is a little different from the rest of his brethren. Instead of being a fire-breathing tyrant, Letty is kind and timid. After his carefree attitude gets him kicked from his family nest, the young dragon must carve out a place of his own in the dangerous world. As luck would have it, real estate for monsters is relatively easy to come by as long as you know the right people. This anime is a great pallet cleanser between more serious series or when you need something that isn’t too heavy on fan service.
Watch Dragon Goes House-Hunting here!
Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle (2020)
Next we have Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle which also takes place in a fun fantasy world. When the Demon King kidnaps a princess from a neighboring human kingdom, he gets a lot more than he bargained for. Each episode plays out like a video game chapter following the Sleepy Princess in her quest for the perfect night’s sleep, complete with mission objectives, sound effects, and respawns. This anime is SO CUTE.
The characters are all hilarious, the world is interesting and diverse and the opening credit song is a total pop. I could never make myself skip it. This one has a lot of dry humor, especially from Princess Syalis, who spends the season swinging between being the helpless captive and antagonist for the monsters of the demon fortress. There have been some hints that this one might be getting a second season in the latter half of 2022, which I sincerely hope is true. Even if it doesn’t, it is still well worth a watch!
Watch Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle here!
My Dress-Up Darling (2022)
My Dress-Up Darling is fan service incarnated. Now that isn’t always a bad thing; I happen to like a good, goofy romance every once in a while. This one is a cute, fast-paced slice-of-life anime that follows the story of Gojo, a high school freshman, and his budding friendship with his gorgeous classmate Kitagawa. The story is still ongoing, but so far, the main focus is on Gojo’s struggle with being relentlessly teased growing up for being a hina doll maker.
Gojo is large, lanky, shy, and a little socially inept at times, which contrasts eccentric, loud, cosplaying Kitagawa. So far, their relationship and personalities are reminiscent of Legoshi and Haru’s from Beastars to me. Their friendship *cough cough* starts when Kitagawa finds out Gojo can sew her costumes for her and the rest goes from there. He’s got the skills and she’s got the bod, but will that be enough to keep them together? We shall see as this series is currently airing as I write this.
Watch My Dress-Up Darling here!
Mieruko-Chan is a horror anime that is heavy on fan service. One morning high-school student Miko wakes up suddenly aware of ghosts. At first, she’s convinced that she is just going crazy since no one else reacts to them around her but eventually accepts her “gift” is real. The imagery in this anime is truly horrifying and grotesque, so I suggest starting it with caution. I also really enjoy how upbeat the intro is in comparison to the disturbing content of the rest of the show. Caution viewing the outro also; its jump scared me a few times. This one is still on weekly uploads, so I don’t know how it ends, but I’m dying to find out!
Watch Mieruko-Chan here!
Kakuriyo- Bed & Breakfast for Spirits (2018)
Kakuriyo- Bed & Breakfast for Spirits is your more typical “girl sees ghosts” fair. Well, not ghosts as much as just spirits, really. Aoi Tsubaki is just trying to make it through college and survive while sidestepping these Ayakashi spirits all around her. Most are friendly, but some are downright dangerous, like the Ogre spirit that drags her into the spirit world to be his wife. Once there, Aoi’s presented with the options of marrying the handsome ogre lord, Odanna, or being devoured by him. Not one to back down from a challenge, Aoi carves out her own place in the spirit realm by opening a restaurant to sell food from her realm to pay off her debt and get home. This one is a sweet, slow-burn romance woven around unlikely friendships and insurmountable odds.
Watch Kakuriyo- Bed & Breakfast for Spirits here!
The Case Study of Vanitas (2021)
Funimation’s The Case Study of Vanitas is described as the themes and vampires of Hellsing meet the setting, humor and character design of Black Butler. It’s a stunning mashup of vampires and steampunk that’s set in early 19th century France. The Case Study of Vanitas does a fantastic job of juggling both of its main characters Vanitas, a grimoire toting vampire, and his sidekick Noé Archiviste on their quest to heal vampire kind. It’s heavy on slapstick humor that’s balanced with action and sex appeal. This one definitely pulls its weight to earn a spot on your watch list.
Watch The Case Study of Vanitas here!
Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina (2020)
Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina is a fantasy adventure anime that is a dream come true for Kiki’s Delivery Service fans. If you can only get to one show on this list, I hope it is this one. Each episode takes place months apart and tracks the progress of wanna-be witch Elaina. After growing up with stories of magic and wanderlust, Elaina is set on becoming a witch to travel the world.
She yearns for a life of freedom and adventure, so as soon as she graduates witch school, she starts her travels. It is light-hearted fun with an enchanting setting and captivating soundtrack for the most part. I say most because one episode is very intense and gore field with very little warning. Gore doesn’t bother me much, but it did feel out of character for the rest of the series, so keep that in mind. Finally, don’t forget to turn the sound up on the intro and outros!
Watch Wandering Watch: The Journey of Elaina here!
Sabikui Bisco (2022)
Funimation’s Sabikui Bisco is a post-apocalyptic action-adventure sci-fi set in a mushroom-ravaged Japan. This one reminds me of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind with the setting, but the characters feel inspired by The Seven Deadly Sins. This makes it a unique blend of setting, conflict and brash characters. Following the stories of wanted criminal Akaboshi “The Man-Eater” Bisco and Milo, AKA Dr. Panda, can be a little tricky as the story is often told out of order with no warning of the time shifts. You get used to it quickly as it serves to ramp up the tension without bogging you down with backstory. By not frontloading the front of the anime with exposition, it’s able to really suck you in with the action. If you are a fan of unique settings and tons of action, this one is for you.
Watch Sabikui Bisco here!
My Roommate is a Cat (2019)
Our final Funimation anime is My Roommate is a Cat, a slice-of-life anime that I truly need more people to watch. Struggling novelist Subaru Mikazuki ends up with an unlikely roommate when he takes in a stray cat. Luckily the odd little kitten turned out to be just the inspiration he needed to finally have a breakthrough on his writing. The anime is split between the perspectives of the novelist and the cat, which makes it a really unique, quirky watch. This is great to start between more extended series to give you something light to enjoy.
Watch My Roommate is a Cat here!
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