Shinichiro Watanabe is heralded as a celebrity director in the anime industry, not only has he produced multiple Oscar-worthy series, but he is also one of the few responsible for the major industry changes that anime has gone through, when it came to attitudes toward the integration of western themes.
Combine this with the latest news of a new anime named Lazarus. What is it? find out here. Here are the Top 5 Shinichiro Watanabe Anime to watch right now before Lazarus hits the streaming sites. If you would rather not stay the entire day to hear us sing Watanabe’s praises any longer, go ahead to the bottom of this article!
1. Samurai Champloo
- Studio – Manglobe
- Episodes – 26 (Season 1)
Arguably the best work of Watanabe to date, Samurai Champloo is a masterclass in cultural fusion. A seamless mesh between the premise of traditional Japanese Edo and the style of contemporary hip-hop culture, Samurai Champloo is the cream of the crop when it comes to sheer attention to detail.
Boasting some of the best fight sakuga animations in the industry along with a timeless soundtrack that perfectly embodies the tone of the anime at any given time.
2. Cowboy Bebop
- Studio – Sunrise
- Episodes – 26 (Season 1), 1 (Movie)
What is there left to say about Cowboy Bebop that has not been said already? Having birthed arguably the best anime opening of all time “TANK!” and boasting cinematic visuals that most modern anime still fail to capture.
Bebop is a beautiful love child between your classic westerns and space operas, and the feel of the anime itself is like a perfect drink, you may never wonder how it would turn out without that perfect mix.
- Studio – Bones
- Episodes – 13 (Season 1), 13 (Season 2)
Space Dandy is the result of Watanabe capitalizing on the gold that is the space cowboy premise of Cowboy Bebop and creating yet another masterpiece with it, Dandy is a perfect comedy that never gets old.
Not only does it boast some of the most expressive animations in the modern anime industry by far, but it is also a visual carnival of colors that will either leave your eyes in the ecstasy of bliss or permanently impair you with an epileptic seizure. But don’t let us decide for you, go try it for yourself.
4. Terror in Resonance
- Japanese Name – Zankyou no Terror
- Studio – MAPPA
- Episode – 11 (Season 1)
Easily the darkest anime in Watanabe’s catalogue, Terror in Resonance is a social commentary on the situational hysteria that people can find themselves in when confronted. It is a psychological experiment that plays with the perception of the viewer and makes them question their sense of morality and rationality.
The psychological aspects of the anime are well carried by the subtle undertones in the animation, like the expressive body movements and the overlayed blue hue effect. It is a show best experienced by your lonesome, because only then will you gain the clarity it desires for you to have.
5. Kids on the Slope
- Japanese Name – Sakamichi no Apollon
- Studio – Tezuka Productions, MAPPA
- Episodes – 12 (Season 1)
Set in ’60s Kyushu, Kids on the Slope revolves around a trio of friends all connected through their shared love for Jazz music and their struggles with growing up, it is a beautiful tale crafted around the simple premise of maturity and passion.
Having been blessed with characters that feel emotionally tangible, a premise that feels nostalgic, and music that reaches the soul. The anime has just about everything it needs to craft a subtle but masterful story, and it capitalizes on that fact perfectly.
A new series ‘LAZARUS’ is in the works from Shinichirō Watanabe.
The series follows a neuroscientist who develops a drug — a cure-all that has the unexpected side-effect of causing death 3 years later. pic.twitter.com/VWOQFt2b8G
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) July 20, 2023
With such an extensive background, It’s no wonder that Watanabe is as celebrated as he is, and due to this, we have no reason to not believe in his vision for the recently announced “Lazarus” that is going to be spearheaded by him. All in all the legacy of Shinichiro Watanabe is as bombastic as the shows he puts out (truly spectacular that is).