Madman’s streaming service AnimeLab is only a little over a year old but it sports a catalogue of series that is not only filled with titles currently airing in Japan but also a plethora of hidden gems of the past.
While the current ongoing seasons of anime are always very exciting, sometimes there are some lesser known or previously overlooked series that are shining brightly waiting for you to discover them. These are a few of the special hidden gems streaming on AnimeLab:
From the team behind hit series Steins;Gate (which is also available on AnimeLab), Robotics;Notes follows a group of friends as they attempt to build a robot. It’s a simple premise that is underpinned by a complex government conspiracy plot involving a precised solar flare induced apocalyptic cataclysm, not unlike Steins;Gate’s deeper story beneath its intriguing time travel premise.
While Steins;Gate is highly regarded and considered by many a modern classic, Robotics;Notes didn’t quite receive the same fanfare for reasons I cannot begin to fathom. Robotics;Notes is a delightful science adventure in the vein of Steins;Gate and a true hidden gem well worth the watch.
Summer is for lovers, that’s what I believe. No series represents the romanticism of summer better than this one. Waiting in the Summer is part slice-of-life and part sci-fi rom-com.
A group of friends aim to make a movie over the summer however the introduction of a beautiful alien girl into their circle throws off the balance of love and friendship as emotions reach boiling point while the summer sun beats down upon this quaint countryside town.
Waiting in the Summer is a great exploration of youth, friendship and the summertime romance.
Visually unlike anything else in anime, Ping Pong is counter-culture sports anime defined. While most sports anime aim for that lucrative teenage girl market with a cast of cute boys sharing bromantic moments over the sports they love, Ping Pong is anything but cute.
Ping Pong is a sports anime about one thing: passion. These guys love Ping Pong and wage highly detailed animated war on the table for ultimate supremacy. It is quirky and downright infectious in its enthusiasm for the sport and just about different in nearly every way to the standard sports anime fare. A breath of fresh air, Ping Pong is painfully underrated.
Not many anime can make me genuinely laugh out loud by The Devil is a Part Timer does so multiple times each episode. Not only is it a hilarious parody of the fast food industry, it also serves as a brilliant fish out of water tale that isn’t afraid of putting jokes aside for an epic battle or two.
Blending action and comedy to superb effect The Devil is a Part Timer follows the Devil himself as he is transported to Earth and removed of all of his demonic powers, leaving him trying to struggle through daily life on a minimum wage job at MgRonalds. It’s a hidden gem of anime comedy that is brutally under appreciated. If you need a laugh why not stop in at MgRonalds and have some fun with Maou and his demon pals?
Madhouse studios has done a lot of great work over the years and one of their most innovative and forward thinking series was a little known anime called Rideback.
The series takes place in a not too distant future where a new type of vehicle known as ‘ridebacks’ have been invented. A former ballet dancer winds up driving one of these motorcycle hybrids and discovers she is a natural with a rideback. It is an interesting premise and is beautifully animated by Madhouse using some groundbreaking CG animation techniques.
Where Rideback becomes truly great is its exploration of an oppressive government and the spirit of rebellion that lies in the hearts of us all. That desire to rage against the machine is what makes Rideback such a thrill to ride along with.
These are just a few of the many titles tucked away in AnimeLab’s immense catalogue, take a gander for yourself over at AnimeLab.com and enjoy some of these awesome anime series.