With all the Asian TV shows I watch it is time to go ahead and admit that I am an Asian TV show junkie. For me, it all started in high school with MXC, the best competition show ever and inspiration for America's Wipe Out. Now, there are tons of Asian shows that I am either watching or have watched/loved/watched again and again and again. Whether you have your own love of Asian TV shows, or this whole genre is new to you, these are a few Asian TV shows that I would highly recommend giving a look-see. If you like high school shows, mystery, drama, comedy, or fantasy, you are sure to like at least one of these!
This is one of the most recent Asian TV shows that I have watched. Boys Over Flowers was originally a manga, then it became a major South Korean tv show, and now there is an adaptation in the works for the US. This show follows Jan-di, a middle-class girl who gets a scholarship to the number one private school in the country. Jan-di does not follow the usual school bully system and drama ensues. This show also has Korean heart throb and regular on this list, Lee Min-ho. Swoon.
Attack on Titan has swept the Japanese and US market. Honestly, I would be a bit surprised if anyone has not heard of or watched this show. This is a Japanese anime that is subtitled in English and follows a group of friends who live in walled off cities to keep them safe from the Titans (the most freaky, man-eating giants ever). After a pretty horrible attack that leaves a third of the outer city in ruin, Eren, Mikasa, and Armin train to join the Scout Corps and defend the rest of civilization. Action happens, giants are killed, and (unlike Lost) questions are answered.
This one is an anime classic. It seems like animes cover two genres quite well, the post-apocalyptic and high school drama. This one falls into the post-apocalyptic category; but, unlike most post-apocalyptic action series, this one is a bit of a comedy. Trigun is about a man named "Vash the Stampede" and the two ladies from the Bernardelli Insurance Society who are hired to follow him and limit the damage he causes. Of course, Vash is quickly shown as a lighthearted good guy who defends the little man and has a comical aversion to violence. This one will have you hooked in no time!
This is an anime that fits into the high school drama and fantasy category. Like other animes, Fruits Basket was first an extremely successful manga. This story follows Toru Honda, a sweet orphan who is taken in by Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure Sohma. What Toru quickly realizes is that twelve members of the Sohma family are each possessed by one of the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac. This series will teach you a ton about the Chinese zodiac and is extremely light-hearted and entertaining at the same time. If you are still interested after watching the 26 episodes, take a look at the Manga. I just finished it and absolutely loved it!
This is another South Korean show that covers (pretty much) the same premise as Boys Over Flowers and stars Lee Min-ho as well. Although the ending to this one (and Lee Min-ho's hair) are not quite as great as Boys Over Flowers, I liked the show and the actors quite a bit more. Plus, this one ends after one season! The cast of The Heirs includes K-Pop stars, models, and some of the most current Korean actors. This is a great show if you love love triangles, the usual tropes, comedy, and some drama.
Princess Jellyfish is an anime that breaks the mold. This show is not about high schoolers and is not set in the future. It follows Tsukimi (pronounces like "zucchini" but with an "m"), a nerdy twenty-something girl who moved to Tokyo to become an illustrator. Tsukimi and her four friends live in the Amamizukan apartments where no boys or stylish girls are allowed. That is, until Tsukimi meets a cross-dressing, stylish boy.
This is the only anime on the list that was an anime before being a manga. Cowboy Bebop is one of the most well known animes in both Japan and the US. It follows the bounty hunter crew of the Bebop in the year 2071 where post-apocalyptic bounty hunting has become similar to the old west with bounty hunters often being called cowboys. Cowboy Bebop is an anime with more adult themes and content and even had its share of controversy when released. The anime is one that any person interested in Asian shows must watch.
Goodness, there are so many great Asian TV shows that these seven, are really, only the tip of the iceberg. These would have to be my current favorites along with some classics that almost anyone would love. What are some of your favorite Asian TV shows?
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