Funny thing happened while I was researching for my Persona 5 anime review. I was surprised by the fact that the show was streaming on All4 rather than Funimation, who had the rights to stream the dub in the US, so I started looking through the streaming service to see what else they had on offer and was pleasantly surprised. Turns out, the offering of anime on All4 is surprisingly robust.
In addition to great western animation like Samurai Jack and Venture Brothers (which you should absolutely check out if you haven’t) they have a number of shows that are worth binging. I’ve picked a few of my favourites to get stuck into. Best part? Its all free to stream!
Anime on All4: Our Recommendations
No list of anime is ever complete without paying tribute to Cowboy Bebop. This classic is one of the most stylish takes on the space western genre. The show follows Spike Spiegel, a bounty hunter aboard the space ship Bebop, as he travels across the stars in search of his next paycheque. Along with the coolest man in space, Jet Black, and everyone’s first anime crush, Faye Valentine, Spike takes on space monkeys, super intelligent corgis, and that thing that got left in the fridge too long.
Inuyasha is another anime that introduced a lot of people the medium. Following Kagome as she falls into a well and ends up in feudal Japan, this show is one that stirs up a lot of nostalgia for a lot of people. It hits a lot of tropes, from the perverted monk to sibling rivalries to the villain who won’t stop showing up when they aren’t wanted, but, with the sequel series set to hit the airways next month, this is the perfect time to rewatch this anime on All4.
Kill La Kill
Kill La Kill is a classic revenge story. Ryuko is hunting for her father’s killer and will stop at nothing to uncover their identity. Her means of fighting those who get in her way? Turning her school uniform into outlandish and hilarious weapons because anime is just like that sometimes. The show was the first outing by studio Trigger, who are known as one of the best at over-the-top visuals and stylish animation, so its worth checking out for the visuals alone.
Do you love a mecha anime? Of course you do, because you have a pulse and excellent taste. Gurren Lagann is a mecha anime that follows two young teens who find themselves leading the fight to save humanity from the Spiral King. Growing up in one of the underground villages that humans have been driven to, Simon and Kamina become symbols of hope for the people who remain on the surface. If you watched The Hunger Games and wished it had more giant fighting robots, this is the show for you.
Hey, you ever go on a terrible date before? We all have, but I’m pretty sure Ken Kaneki had it worse than most of us. After all, his date turned out to be a ghoul and tried to eat him. The encounter left him with some super powers and a need to eat human flesh to survive. Tokyo Ghoul is a bit on the dark side of things, but it is still a gorgeous show with an interesting concept and solid character designs. Of all the anime on All4, this is one of the most grown up.
Sword Art Online: Alicization
Sword Art Online has been one of those massive shows that was impossible to escape. Between the video games (which is a touch meta, if you ask me) to the movies to the sheer number of Kirito cosplayers I have seen over the years, this is a show that has impacted the anime industry in a big way. And while I think it peaked halfway through the first season, there are still solid episodes in the twelve episodes on offer from All4. If you saw the Ordinal Scale film and want more from the Sword Art Online story, this is your chance.
There are more shows available for free on the All4 streaming service, so its worth checking out for those of us in the UK who have a few shows to catch up on. What are your favourite picks from the service? What are you going to watch first? Let us know on the usual channels below!