While I am a huge anime binge-watcher at the best of times, being in lockdown at my parents’ house for a month has had me watching even more anime than usual.
Crunchyroll, of course, is the easiest place to binge-watch anime as, even without a premium account, you still have access to most series.
With a massive number to choose from though, there are still six Crunchyroll anime series you should be binge-watching first before you start watching anything else.
Especially because they will make your own lockdown so much more fun. Even if you are trapped in a house with your family.
Usagi Drop (aka Bunny Drop)
One of my absolute favorite slice of life anime series of all-time, Usagi Drop (aka Bunny Drop) has gorgeous artwork, superb voice acting, some of the most lovable characters in anime and a touching story.
Usagi Drop tells the story of 30-year-old Daikichi who goes back to his hometown for his grandfather’s funeral. When he gets there he sees six-year-old Rin in the garden. When he asks his mother who the child is, he is told Rin is his grandfather’s illegitimate child.
As the funeral ends, Daikichi discovers Rin’s mother has disappeared and nobody else in the family wants to take care of her. Rather than allow the child to be sent to an orphanage, Daikichi volunteers to take her home with him and take care of her himself.
Thus begins the story of Daikichi and Rin — a man suddenly forced to be a father, and a child whose real father has just died.
It is a story of a man realizing how difficult taking care of a child is, but doing the best for her anyway while eventually coming to love her like she is his own daughter.
And it is a story of a child who has been abandoned twice in her very short life. Once by her mother who left, and once by her elderly father who died and left her alone.
Rin now has to learn to trust and Daikichi is the man that can help her do that.
Related reading: 8 anime series that will just make you happy
Usagi Drop is one of the best slice of life anime series in the last 10 years. It is as funny as it is touching, as sweet as it is powerful, and a Crunchyroll anime series you should most definitely be binge-watching.
The Rising of the Shield Hero
If you are into isekai and have not yet watched The Rising of the Shield Hero, this anime series should be at the top of your list to binge-watch.
Naofumi is an otaku who heads off to the library one day where he finds a book called The Records of the Four Cardinal Weapons. As he begins to read the book, it suddenly transports him into another world.
Here he is brought before the king, along with three other men who have been brought there from their worlds, and all of them are told they are the legendary Four Cardinal Heroes.
Naofumi himself is named the Shield Hero.
The king then informs them they must each form their own parties and head out to help save the world.
The problem is, the king hates Naofumi, the king’s daughter cheats him of all his money and then accuses him of sexual assault, and soon he is an outcast. By himself — a party of one.
Related reading: The Rising of the Shield Hero ending theme is superb
It is then the Shield Hero comes across a slave trader who sells him a demi-human girl named Raphtalia and an egg that soon hatches to become a strange bird he ultimately calls Filo.
And now he is leading a party of three. Three that, as they become stronger the more they fight, are soon kicking some major ass.
You can binge-watch all 25 fabulous episodes of The Rising of the Shield Hero on Crunchyroll. And start off with the first episode above.
While there was an uproar online about Goblin Slayer and its supposed demeaning of women, especially by the same group of prudes that seem to think there should be no sexual content in anime at all, I just sat down and binge-watched all 12 episodes of this superb series in six hours straight.
And loved every solitary second of it, I must add.
Because Goblin Slayer is dark, gritty and disturbing but with beautifully written characters that have depth and substance and that make you care about them right from their first few minutes on the screen.
The art style is gorgeous, the story is captivating and the adaptation stays quite faithful to its manga origins.
If you don’t mind a rape scene, nudity, a heckuva lot of quite brutal (for an anime) violence and a protagonist that is ruthless, and you love old school anime and want something completely different than what you have been watching in recent years, then Goblin Slayer is for you.
For me, this was one of my Top 5 anime of the year when it was released. I’ve rewatched it twice since and, yep, it’s still right up there with the best.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Office worker Miss Kobayashi gets drunk one night and heads out to the mountains where she comes across a dragon. She saves the dragon’s life, stumbles back home and doesn’t remember much about it once she wakes up and is sober.
Not until Tohru the dragon appears on her doorstep dressed as a French maid. Complete with horns and a long tail.
She asks Miss Kobayashi if she can live with her as her maid, as she must do something to repay her for saving her life.
Not long after Miss Kobayashi moves in, a young dragon called Kanna comes looking for Tohru. Soon both dragons are living with Miss Kobayashi and Kanna is getting ready to start school.
More reading and listening: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid opening theme is wildly upbeat, fun and adorable
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is a comedic slice of life with the sweetest, coolest characters (Kanna is adorable!), a gorgeous art style, an absolutely satisfying story and is a moe lover’s dream.
It is also a Kyoto Animation series. One that was directed by Yasuhiro Takemoto — the Japanese director that was sadly killed in the Kyoto Animation arson attack last year.
All 14 episodes of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid are now streaming on Crunchyroll, and are so binge-watch worthy, I have now seen the whole series three times.
You can start watching episode 1 in the video above.
Your Lie in April
If you like anime series that tug at your heart strings while still making you laugh through half of it, Your Lie in April is a must binge-watch on Crunchyroll.
Kousei was a child prodigy — a pianist with an abusive mother who insisted he practice piano eight hours a day so that he could eventually play the concerts in Europe she was never able to do.
When his mother dies suddenly, however, Kousei soon discovers he is no longer able to play the piano after he has a breakdown during a concert when he is unable to hear himself play.
Three years later, Kousei meets a wild and crazy violinist called Kaori who forces him to become her accompanist during a violin competition.
Kousei has a panic attack mid-way through the performance, however, and causes Kaori to lose the competition. Kaori being Kaori though isn’t remotely concerned about that.
Instead, she is concerned about making people remember her and her music, and in helping Kousei overcome his anxiety so he can once again go back to the piano he is so gifted at playing.
Your Lie in April is a romance drama that often shows up on Top 10 lists of anime critics. It has been on mine since my first binge-watch of the anime series.
Watch it on Crunchyroll, and it is very likely to become one of yours.
KONOSUBA — God’s Blessings on This Wonderful World
Absolutely the best comedic isekai anime series released in the last 10 years, KONOSUBA follows otaku and shut-in Kazuma who is sent to heaven after he dies trying to save a girl being hit by a truck (Spoiler, she didn’t need saving!).
Once there, he is met by the goddess Aqua who, after making fun of the way he died, tells Kazuma if he agrees to be reincarnated in a fantasy world as a warrior whose goal is to kill the Devil King, he can take one special and very powerful item with him.
Angry that Aqua seems to be nothing more than an annoying pain in his rear, Kazuma decides to play a trick on her. That’s why, instead of choosing one of the overpowered weapons she offers to allow him to take, Kazuma chooses Aqua.
Soon, the pair are reincarnated in a new world with the goal of putting together a party so they can get on with annihilating the Devil King and all his followers.
Problems begin, however, when Kazuma realizes bringing Aqua was a terrible decision. After all, she is absolutely useless.
KONOSUBA — God’s Blessing’s on This Wonderful World has two series on Crunchyroll along with the just-released follow-up movie Legend of Crimson, which is so funny my mother actually appeared in my bedroom to find out what I was screaming laughing at.
These are just six Crunchyroll anime series you should be binge-watching right now. Get started, and I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with more.
- Listen to Charly Bliss’s ‘Heaven’ from Dickinson, Season 2, Episode 10, “You cannot put a fire out” - February 27, 2021
- Listen to Bazzi’s ‘Mine’ from Riverdale, Season 5, Episode 6, “Chapter Eighty-Two: Back to School” - February 25, 2021
- Listen to Joy Oladokun’s ‘if you got a problem’ from Good Trouble, Season 3, Episode 2 - February 25, 2021