As more and more of us are stuck inside to ride out the recent pandemic, many are looking to finally making progress through their endless backlog of shows and games but what about revisiting some old gold medals? Our team of anime writers has come up with our own anime re-watch list to help pass the time.
However, rather than listing our favorite shows in a laundry list, we’ve picked our favorite anime seasons and story-arcs. The picks are based on their high re-watch value.
Whether its traveling back in time to the classics, or re-watching a season from newer anime, this list has some grade-A anime re-watch suggestions.
My Hero Academia Season Three: Forest Training Camp Arc
In truth, any of My Hero Academia’s endlessly entertaining arcs would qualify here, but I’m going with my personal favorite. The Forest Training Camp embodies everything sublime about the show – beginning with lighthearted school antics and concluding with a villain-stuffed showdown.
The character moments elevate this arc. From Deku’s frantic brawl with Muscular (and its emotional finale), to Kendo and Tetsutetsu battling Mustard’s sleep-inducing gas, to Tokoyami losing control of Dark Shadow – the list could go on. It’s an all killer-no filler epic spectacle, and a suitably superpower-y distraction from current affairs.
Again, any of My Hero Academia’s arcs tick the ‘easy to rewatch’ box, but the Forest Training Camp arc encapsulates the myriad of superb tones and qualities the series is renowned for (and in just a handful of episodes to boot). It’s short, sweet, and super duper sensational! (Harry Morris)
Hunter x Hunter
The Yorknew City arc is my favorite arc in Hunter X Hunter because it introduces the most badass villain squad of all time, the Phantom Troupe. While they had been mentioned several times previously in the series, the Yorknew City arc is the first time the viewer actually meets the Phantom Troupe, learns about the unique powers its members have, and sees the full extent of their badassery in action.
One great point about the Phantom Troupe is how their presentation subverts several common anime tropes. No members in the Troupe are just window dressing; each one has a unique backstory and a unique personality that sets them apart from the others. They all also have super cool and unique nen abilities, including Pakunpda’s clairvoyance and memory manipulation, Chrollo’s ability to steal nen abilities, and Shizuku’s vacuum cleaners that can suck anything except living matter. Lastly, the way the Phantom Troupe members genuinely care for their own subverts the traditional amoral and uncaring villain trope.
The Yorknew City arc also goes way more in-depth about the workings of nen—the psychic ability the main characters use. Togashi has a knack for creating these closed logical systems of rules and then figuring out ways for the characters to find loopholes and break out of them. The construction of nen allows Togashi to get extremely creative with the individual character’s powers. The Yorknew City arc is when you start to see characters with extremely unique nen abilities, like Neon Nostrade’s fortune-telling nen-ability or Basho’s living haiku nen-ability. (Alex Bolano)
One Punch Man: Season One
There have to be a dozen solid reasons that One Punch Man’s first season is so endlessly rewatchable. Key among them, though, is the show’s knack for prescient satire of the shonen genre. For example, in the first episode alone, two different villains approach Saitama and unfold their entire absurd backstories before they’ve even engaged him in battle. If that’s not top-notch stuff, I don’t know what is.
Add to this charm how ridiculous these villains are (a car hobbyist who made himself into a car, a seafood enthusiast who has turned into a crab) and you get a knack for how One Punch Man became a smash hit within its first few episodes. Centered around Saitama, the titular One Punch Man, this anime adaptation of ONE and Yusuke Murata’s knockout manga series focuses on a hero who’s already the best of the best and is struggling with the ennui and boredom that surrounds his achievements.
Populated with a hilarious extended cast of heroes and villains, One Punch Man is easily one of the funniest and most lovable anime in the history of the medium. While the second season didn’t make quite the impact that the first did, it’s also well worth your time, particularly if you fall in love with this goofy world as much as I have. (Mike Worby)
Naruto: Chunin Exams Arc
My top pick for an anime re-watch arc has to be the original Naruto chunin exams.
One pro to revisiting this Naruto arc is that it’s easy to jump into. This is just the second major storyline of Naruto, following the Land of Waves arc. Thus, there’s little need to refresh your memory for context.
Another benefit is that the chunin exams arc is massive, spanning 60 episodes. The arc is broken up into several smaller story arcs. These sub-sections provide many first introductions to fan-favorite characters, building up the vast ensemble cast that glues the series together later on. Some are light-hearted (Rock Lee trying to win Sakura’s affection), some are terrifying (Team 8 watching Gaara’s frightening displays of power), and many set up enduring rivalries (too many to count). The characters interact with and play off of each other, helping each other grow and get the viewer emotionally invested.
Finally, after many trials and tribulations for team 7 and the rest of the gang, the show zooms out, culminating with the epic attack on the hidden leaf village. There’s so much content to dive into, and the Naruto chunin exams manage to keep the pace full-throttle, always entertaining until the very end. (Katharine Booth)