Amazon Video stirred controversy when it announced its anime subscription service Anime Strike in early 2017. It meant that anime offerings would be stretched out between even more subscription services as each sought their own exclusives. Although Anime Strike would eventually fold, Amazon Video continues to host anime and to get exclusives every season without the extra cost that came with Anime Strike. It can be hard to go with a subscription service like Amazon Video, which doesn’t exclusively focus on anime, but we can assure you that there are a few hidden gems worth going out of your way to see on Amazon Video.
Honey’s Anime found three Hidden Anime Gems on Amazon Video that carried one significant similarity: they’re all aimed at mature viewers. Despite their shared demographic, they all present unique worlds with a diverse principal cast. One focuses on a family and their efforts to protect each other in an indifferent environment, another is about an old man still hoping to put a little good in the world despite mistreatment from everyone around him, and the third centers on a group of girls who are students by day and spies by night. Although the darker tone is present in each series, you’ll be sure to find a unique story on every front.
Juri Yukawa lives with her employed mother, unemployed father, retired grandfather, NEET brother, single-parent sister, and her nephew. One day, after desperately looking for a new job so she can start living on her own, her brother and nephew are kidnapped and held for a ransom her family has no way of paying. Her grandfather reveals a mysterious stone to Juri and her father Takafumi that stops time and may be the only key to saving them. Unfortunately, their attempt to save their family is interrupted when another group of people able to move through the stalled time gets in their way.
Kokkoku is an anime that grips you from the very first episode by turning up the stakes to eleven and leaving you with a million questions unanswered. It’s hard not to root for a main character who is struggling to change her fate in a world unwilling to give her a break. These two features make for a show that’ll have you genuinely caring about what’ll happen next. This show also gets bonus points for having two strong female characters overcoming the challenges the Yukawa family faces.
Inuyashiki (Inuyashiki: Last Hero)
The only thing in the world that comforts Ichirou Inuyashiki is his dog Hanako. Everyone has seemingly forsaken Ichirou. His wife, children, and coworkers are all indifferent to his existence, almost spiteful. The world throws one last stone at him when he discovers that he has stomach cancer. While having a mental breakdown because everything happening to him has become too much for him to handle, he’s caught in an explosion that turns him into a cyborg. Ichirou chooses to take hold of his life and use his new abilities for the greater good.
It’s not often you’ll find an action anime starring an old man, so Inuyashiki automatically stands out in that regard. Like Kokkoku, Inuyashiki is a seinen with a dark and mysterious story. Although he’s nearly a senior, Ichirou is your classic hero; he’s lived a hard life and feels alone. While he could use his powers to make up for his misery, he tries to make the world a better place. He’s well contrasted by a younger character who has suffered similarly but opts to take vengeance on the world instead.
A great wall separates the Kingdom of Albion in two: the Commonwealth of Albion and the Kingdom. The two sides are engaged in a silent war where attacks on the other are done through espionage. A group of girls with unique gifts and personalities operate from the prestigious Queen’s Mayfair school to take down the old Kingdom in favor of the Commonwealth.
Princess Principal is a unique anime set in an alternative London and centered around a group of varied and capable girls who are students by day and spies by night. Although there’s a main arc throughout the series, it tends to be episodic with a case of the week taking center stage every episode. Princess Principal combines steampunk and the world of espionage to create a world that’ll remain memorable, and its mature rating will provide a unique tone from other anime that star school girls.
Princess Principal Trailer
Amazon Video seems to fill a niche with great exclusives that aim towards mature audiences. As these hidden gems show, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a show starring a group of girls, an old man, or a downtrodden family. Are there any Amazon Video exclusives you think deserve a mention? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments down below.