The line between fiction and reality is blurrier today than ever before, as we spend a lot of time of our lives immersed in books, movies, and TV series. These fictional experiences often shape the way we think and affect our lives significantly.
This just goes to show that anything, no matter how small, can impact or change your life - be it a book, a movie, or even anime - if their impact is significant enough to change your views, that story will stay with you forever.
While few anime will actually have a noticeable impact on its viewers, the ones that do are unforgettable masterpieces. So with that said, let's take a look at ten anime that have the power to change your life forever!
- Number of seasons: 1
- Year: 2016
- Watch it here: Crunchyroll
ReLife follows 27-year-old Arata Kaizaki, a hopeless man who bounces around from one job to another after quitting his first company. His unremarkable existence takes a sharp turn when he meets Ryou Yoake, the ReLife Research Institute member. The latter offers Arata an opportunity to change his life for the better with the help of a mysterious pill.
After taking it, Arata awakens the next day to find that his appearance has reverted to that of a 17-year-old. Now part of a unique experiment, he must attend high school as a transfer student for one year. While Arata initially believes it will be a cinch due to his life experience, he is proven horribly wrong as he can't keep up with the new school policies that have cropped up in recent years.
ReLIFE follows Arata's struggle to adjust to his hectic new lifestyle and avoid repeating his past mistakes. This anime will genuinely change your life, as it will make you realize how important it is to cherish relationships. It also shows you different perspectives in life and how second chances should not be squandered.
Psycho-Pass takes place in the 22nd century in Japan, where a technologically advanced system called Sibyl is used to determine threats towards the country. It does so by examining each citizen's mental state for signs of criminal intent and allowing inspectors to subjugate any that harbor ill-will.
As Akane Tsunemori, a young and honest woman, enters the work field alongside veteran Enforcer Shinya Kougami, the Sibyl System's judgments are finally questioned.
Psycho-Pass does in two seasons what has never been done before, at least not in such a unique way. Akane's struggle with figuring out the true nature of justice and questioning its enforcement through the use of a system that may already be corrupt draws many parallels with reality.
Watching Psycho-Pass will change your relationship with morality and teach you how to define your own terms for it.
Berserk is a legendary anime that is set in a medieval world of strife. The story follows Guts, a young mercenary who embraces the battlefield as his only means of survival. He puts his life on the line just to make enough to get by as he moves from one bloodshed to the next.
After a run-in with the Band of the Hawk, a formidable troop of mercenaries, he is recruited by their charismatic leader Griffith. Guts quickly climbs the ranks, becomes the head of the offensive faction, and takes Midland by storm. However, he slowly realizes that the world is not as black-and-white as he once assumed during this time.
This gritty tale follows one man's struggle to find his own path while supporting another's lust for power and the unimaginable tragedy that unravels. The anime brims with violent battles and head-to-head confrontations, resulting in a lot of gore and action. The world of Guts is full of evil and brutality, and definitely not for the faint of heart.
Berserk is a brilliant series that makes one realize the importance of following one's ambitions in life and making the most out of them.
7. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas
- Number of Seasons: 1 (movie)
- Year: 2018
- Watch it here: Netflix
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is an anime that highlights the cruelty and unpredictability of life. Sakura Yamauchi is determined to live her life to the fullest until the day she finally passes away, and now, she has finally found one more person to share her secret. With the aloof boy who does not show any sympathy for her plight as a company, this pair of opposites affect each other in a way never seen before.
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is a beautiful love story about an anti-social boy who falls in love with his jovial classmate. The tragedy lies in the fact that the girl has pancreatic cancer and does not have long to live. The juxtaposition between a girl who is dying but living her best life and a boy who has long to live but seems dead inside is jarring.
This poignant series about first love, the uncertainty of life, and death is sure to leave your emotions in absolute shambles. I Want to Eat Your Pancreas will change your life forever, as you will truly learn to live every moment of your life as if it's the last.
6. The Tatami Galaxy
The smallest of events can indeed change the course of your life, and that is precisely what The Tatami Galaxy is all about.
The story follows an unnamed third-year university student in Kyoto, Japan, and his many lives and misfortunes. Each episode starts with him pursuing something inane as his friend, Ozu, manages to screw everything up. Along the protagonist's trip across the Tatami Galaxy, the viewers are introduced to many different people, and in each life, a different story unfolds. While each story is unrelated to the other at first glance, there is a pattern revealed by the end.
The Tatami Galaxy sets the stage with brilliant characters and visuals and brings hilarious moments with meaningful messages. In just 11 episodes, the anime manages to make us laugh and think with its incredibly unique storytelling.
The Tatami Galaxy will change your life forever by helping you come to terms with your decisions in life.
5. A Place Further Than the Universe
- Number of seasons: 1
- Year: 2008
- Watch it here: Netflix
A Place Further Than the Universe is a beautiful anime that follows the captivating journey of four girls in search of something great. With grand dreams and ambitions of their own, Mari, Hinata, and Yuzuki are spurred on by Shirase's desire to search for her mother in a place further than the universe itself 一 Antarctica.
The sense of adventure in the show is something that is rarely experienced in anime. From the beginning to the end, it is absolutely beautiful to see the girls face problems and overcome them while also learning from their hardships. The characters constantly experience something new and memorable that will profoundly affect them in the future.
Personally, this anime has truly changed my life since I've been taking a lot more risks since watching it. A Place Further Than the Universe really inspired me to make the most of my youth and stop waiting around for adventure to find me instead.
4. Angel Beats
Angel Beats is an anime that will make you laugh and cry uncontrollably at the same time. The story follows Otonashi, a boy who wakes up in the “afterlife''. Immediately, he comes across a rifle-toting girl named Yuri that leads the Shinda Sekai Sensen (Afterlife Battlefront). The goal of this group is to wage war against Tenshi, a white-haired girl that they believe to be the final boss.
Unable to believe Yuri's claims and attempts at initiating him into their group, Otonashi attempts to speak with Tenshi, except the encounter doesn't go exactly as he intended. Soon, he decides to join the SSS but finds himself oddly drawn to their enemy. While trying to regain his memories and understand the mysterious Tenshi, Otonashi gradually unravels the mysteries of the afterlife.
Angel Beats has a unique supernatural premise where a group of dead teenagers refuses to move on to the next life. In just one season, each character's backstory is beautifully explored, and by the end, everyone manages to find some sort of peace with the world and themselves.
Despite leaving them emotionally devastated, Angel Beats makes one realize how lucky they are to be alive. It truly is a series that can change your life forever, as it depicts how harsh goodbyes are, even if you are ready for them. It makes people want to cherish the friends and memories they’ve made throughout their life.
- Number of seasons: 1
- Year: 2003
- Watch it here: VVVVID
The story of Planetes takes place in 2075, a time when space travel is no longer just a dream. Colonization of the moon, commercialization of outer space, and the formation of large space corporations have all become a reality.
Enter Ai Tanabe, an upbeat woman whose interests lie in the cosmos. After joining Technora Corporation as a member of their Debris Section, she soon discovers how unappreciated her job is. Despite being laughed at and being forced to use a dilapidated spaceship for debris retrieval. Undeterred, Ai perseveres and gradually becomes acquainted with Hachirouta Hoshino, a man who dreams for a spaceship to call his own.
Planetes is the perfect addition to this list as it truly changes your life forever. The series emphasizes that even though the dream might seem impossible, through hard work and the power of relationships, anything can be achieved. I'm pretty sure it motivated me to keep trying new and exciting things in life regardless of age.
2. A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice is one of the defining anime movies of 2016 alongside Your Name. The story begins with an elementary school student, Shouya Ishida, bullying a deaf girl, Shoko Nishimiya. As the bullying goes too far and the girl’s mother interferes, the class turns its back on Ishida, turning him into a social outcast.
Now alone and depressed, Shouya is still plagued by his actions and decides to set out on a journey of redemption. As he meets Shoko, their friendship slowly blooms, with both trying to deal with the struggles of adolescence.
Despite being a coming-of-age story, A Silent Voice talks about the consequences of bullying and the scars they leave on the victims. The anime will change your life forever, as it teaches that though you have wronged in your life, it's never too late to change and make amends, as happiness might just be around the corner.
Gintama takes place in a quasi-historical Edo that has been invaded by the Amanto, aliens from outer space. Unfortunately, the nation's strongest warriors are no match for the alien technology, and in an effort to prevent another uprising, humans have been banned from carrying swords.
Enter Sakata Gintoki, a former samurai with silver hair who runs Yorozuya (odd jobs) from his rented second-floor apartment—accompanying Gintoki in his jack-of-all-trades line of work, Shinpachi Shimura, a boy with glasses as his identity, and Kagura, a member of the strongest race in the world. With frequent run-ins with the police, joui rebels, and masochistic assassins, Gintama will never fail to make you laugh, cry, and everything in between.
Despite being a comedy series, Gintama has genuinely changed my life. Through its characters, it has taught me the true meaning of relationships. Accepting each other's flaws and sticking together even at our lowest is what true friendship is all about.