Achieving Enlightenment the Otaku Way

Osu!  Greetings, shokun!  Cross-shishou here.  Last time I brought you some precautionary lessons on How to Piss Off Anime & Manga Fans.  I hope with all my heart that you weren’t foolish enough to try any of them.  Today will be a little different from the usual lessons.  I will be providing you with a recommendations list of 10 must-see anime &  manga series that I guarantee will inspire you to chase after your dreams.  I assume that most of you are already on your holiday break and have time to watch some or all of these series, in time to motivate you to chase after your dreams as your New Year Resolution.  Shall we start?  Here we go.  Osu!

10 Inspiring Must-See Anime/Manga Series for Chasing Your Dreams

10. Saiunkoku Monogatari (彩雲国物語)
I highly recommend this for all reverse harem fans.  It has an intelligent yet romantic story.  In the anime, the dream-chasing won’t be apparent until season 2 when Shuurei becomes the first woman to attempt to take the government exam and ultimately become the first woman in history to hold a government position.  As a female, watching this part of the anime feels empowering.  It reminds me that gender should not be a hindrance to our ambitions in life.

Recommended Post:  6 Must-Watch Reverse Harem Anime with Beautiful & Meaningful Stories

saiunkoku monogatari

9. Haikyuu!! (ハイキュー!!)
One of my favourite sports anime.  This series rocks!  It’s so funny, yet inspiring at the same time.  Shōyō’s dream is to follow the footsteps of the legendary “Little Giant” and become a strong and reliable ace despite his short stature.  I’m not a very tall person, so I can relate to Shōyō’s complex about his height.  I think that this series demonstrates that greatness isn’t achieved by what you are born with alone, but on the skills and knowledge you gain as you chase towards your dreams.

haikyuu poster

8. Hajime no Ippo (はじめの一歩)
One of the staples of my childhood anime life.   As a Filipino myself, I know how obsessed Filipinos are with boxing so this series greatly appeals to me.  Ippo’s dream is very vague:  to learn the true meaning of what it is to be strong.  He starts out as a weak coward, but through hard work, intense training, and passion for boxing, he successfully becomes a champion.  The realization of his rivalry with Miyata can be seen as an extension to his dream.  The manga is still ongoing and perhaps it’ll only reach the final conclusion when Ippo & Miyata fight for the last time.  Anyway, this series is action-packed but watching the growth of Ippo through hard work and effort is guaranteed to be inspiring.

hajime no ippo

7. Naruto (ナルト)
There is not a moment in both the anime and manga where you forget Naruto’s ultimate dream:  to become a Hokage.  It’s this dream that guides him to overcome the discrimination he faced growing up by being the “cursed” jinchuuriki of the Nine-Tails.  He’s clumsy and unimpressive compared to his genius rival Sasuke, but he always does his best to improve as a ninja in order to reach a step closer to his dream of becoming Hokage.  As you already know, the anime is still ongoing but the manga is already finished.  And YES, Naruto indeed achieves his dream and becomes a Hokage.

naruto poster

6. ONE PIECE (ワンピース)
Yay!  My #1 favourite series ever!  I’m sure you already know what a huuuuuuuuuge ONE PIECE fan I am simply by looking at the amount of posts I write about this awesome series.  Wohoo!!!  I love a LOT of things about this series but when it comes to chasing after dreams, Luffy and his crew will open the gates of hell itself in order to realize their dreams.  What I love about it is that everyone in the Straw Hat crew has a clear goal that they’re chasing after.  I’m severely biased towards this show, but so what?  All of their adventures and fights bring them a step closer to their final dreams.  I can’t wait to witness that moment.  Luffy’s going to be the Pirate King!  (squeals)

one piece-new world1

5. Glass Mask (ガラスの仮面 / Garasu no Kamen)
This anime is like watching a live action TV drama but in anime!  It’s a really absorbing, deep, and serious drama anime for those who want to watch something different from the plethora of similarly clichéd shoujo series out there.  Maya’s dream is to become a great actress in order to qualify for her dream lead role for the legendary stage play Kurenai Tennyo (Crimson Goddess).  At the beginning, she already has the raw talent for acting but through passionate training to polish her acting skills and learning under the mentorship of legendary actress Tsukikage, she blossoms into a celebrated actress.  I highly recommend this anime because it explores emotions, ambitions, and desires at a deep level atypical of common shoujo series.

glass mask

4. Baby Steps (ベイビーステップ)
l personally like Haikyuu!! more than I like Baby Steps, but this series is higher in this list because its portrayal of chasing dreams is more “realistic” than the volleyball series.  Eiichirou or Eichan as he’s affectionately called by others is not the most impressive protagonist.  He’s not a natural-born tennis player; in fact, he only started playing tennis at the beginning of the series.  He starts from scratch, training his mind and body, and learning the rules of tennis.  In time, through his analytical mind and obsessive training, he gradually wins matches after matches.  He slowly earns the respect of other players and build meaningful rivalries with most of them.  What I love about this series is that Eichan is very relatable to the average anime watcher.  Many of us ask how can we achieve greatness in a field that we have absolutely no talent of.  Eichan helps answer that question in a very realistic way:  by sheer hard work, constant training, single-mindedness for one’s ultimate goal, and the refusal to give up when things get rough.

baby steps

3. Sore ga Seiyuu! (それが声優! / Seiyu’s Life)
For all seiyuu fans, this anime is a must-watch.  Despite the chibi-kawaii-moe art style, it features realistic struggles many seiyuu face as they fight to survive in this super-competitive industry.  It follows the journey of three beginning voice actresses:  Futaba, Ichigo & Rin.  The series feature them supplementing their meager income as beginning seiyuu with part-time jobs, and in the case of Rin, balancing the working life of a voice actress with the hectic life of a Japanese high school student.  It’s a very short anime with only 13 episodes but it effectively shows that working as a seiyuu, especially as an idol seiyuu, is not as glamorous as we first thought.  You will face many disappointments and you’re always worrying whether you’re going to land your next job or not.  For such a hierarchical society like Japan, the seiyuu industry is no exception.  You have to start at the very bottom and work your way up. . .if you can.

Recommended Post:  There Are No Shortcuts to Your Dreams in “Sore ga Seiyuu!”

sore ga seiyuu poster

2. Major (メジャー)
Oh my gosh.  This sports anime is epic. . .awesomely EPIC!!!  With an anime series spanning six seasons plus various OVA’s and films, this is one of the rare sports series that documents the development of an athlete from childhood to veteran player.  I love Major so much!  Unlike Eichan (Baby Steps), Gorō is an extremely talented and charismatic player.  But of course he still needed to train hard and hone his already impressive skills.  He breathes baseball.  Both his fathers, biological and adoptive, were professional baseball athletes and his goal is to surpass both of them on the world level.  I think that Major is my most favourite sports anime.  It’s inspiring in a general sort of way for me because it didn’t really make me play baseball, but it successfully made me interested in the sports.  It’s also a surprisingly emotional series.  I highly recommend this series, especially for sports anime fans like myself!

major anime

1. Bakuman. (バクマン。)
If not for ONE PIECE, Bakuman would be my #1 favourite series ever.  As a writer, this series is perfect for me.  It’s so inspiring and “realistic”, but still feels like a shounen series, if you know what I mean.  Whenever my creative juices are not working properly, I just re-watch this anime and it never fails to inspire and motivate me every time.  Bakuman is created by the genius creators of Death Note:  Ōba Tsugumi (大場 つぐみ) and Obata Takeshi (小畑 健).  You can’t help but speculate that they based the dual protagonists of the series, Mashiro Moritaka and Takagi Akito, from themselves.  In short, this series is about two people making manga.  Sounds unimpressive, but it’s totally worth more than watching.  It’s worth re-watching over and over again!  If you consider yourself as a writer, an artist, or even just a general dreamer, I highly recommend that you watch Bakuman.  I guarantee that it’ll inspire you to work towards achieving your dreams—not tomorrow, not someday, but RIGHT NOW!


Recommended Post:  Bakuman: Inspiration For All Writers, Artists, And Dreamers

And that’s it for my list of  10 must-see anime &  manga series that I guarantee will inspire you to chase after your dreams.  I hope that by watching the series I compiled in this list, you will be inspired and motivated to start working hard towards achieving your dreams in life.  Enjoy!  Osu!

Founder of Fujinsei Kempo

Baby Steps at NHK (Japanese)
Bakuman Anime Website at NHK (Japanese)
Glass Mask 2005 Anime Website at TV Tokyo (Japanese)
Haikyuu!! Website (Japanese)
Hajime no Ippo Manga Website (Japanese)
Major Anime Website at NHK (Japanese)
Naruto Website (Japanese)
ONE PIECE Portal (Japanese)
Saiunkoku Monogatari Anime at NHK (Japanese)
Sore ga Seiyuu! Website (Japanese)

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Published by Arria Cross

Blogger at fujinsei.com since 2014. Currently a webnovelist. Check out my work "His Genius is a Superstar".

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    1. If not for ONE PIECE, Bakuman will be my favourite ever. It’s awesome. It’s created by the same creators as Death Note so you can really see the quality of the story. Thanks for dropping by, brother.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I think my friend did too. I could imagine the stress. You have to have reliable team and be able to make deadlines. If everything works out, you could try turning your manga into an anime.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Great post, love how it starts with the “We versus Me-only, Forget them” mentality which is necessary for success….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I’m glad you like it. Well, there are different necessities to achieve success and the meaning of “success” is different for each person. But yes, being single-minded and focused on your goal is necessary to achieve the success that you want.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice list! I feel the sports anime love. I would also add Space Brothers- it is a fantastic anime about brothers who dream of going to space as children, and then conquer their dream in adulthood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Oh wow. I didn’t notice until you pointed it out that I have a lot of sports anime in this list. Perhaps it’s because I’m a sports anime fan and most of them are just inspiring.

      I haven’t watched “Space Brothers” yet and I only included the titles that I personally watched in this list. But thanks for the recommendation! It’s actually been recommended to me before, but I still haven’t checked it out. Sounds like an interesting anime. Will watch it. . .one of these days. Thanks! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha thanks! I also love sports anime and I agree- it is often the best form of chasing drams haha! And i put space brothers off for so long, then when I finally watched it, I was so bummed out that I waited so long! It has heightened my standard for anime tremendously 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hmmmm. Now I’m curious. But we’ll see. I’m a moody kind of watcher, and I watch series based on my mood. Let’s see if my mood will take me to watch “Space Brothers”. Thanks again for the recommendation. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Saiunkoku Monogatari I am currently reading the manga at the moment only on vol one no clue there was an anime for it YAY !!!
    I love your list of course Naruto has to be on here 🙂 One interested me which was glass mask I remember passing over def add that to my anime list 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh. Yes! There’s an anime for “Saiunkoku Monogatari”. Watch it when you have the time. It’s really good. And thank you. Yes, check out “Glass Mask”. Not sure if you’ll like it. It has more of a TV drama feel than an anime, if you know what I mean. I think there’s already a live action adaptation, not sure. But it’s a really good anime, very serious. Thanks for dropping by, Lita. Happy holidays. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

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