Starting in 2008 and reaching its peak in recent years (2010 onwards), Noitamina is a programming block that airs late night on Fuji TV. Dedicated to the promotion of anime to the common masses, it had seen a steady increase in viewership over the years and gaining more awareness as well as garnering more attention from a broad age group of viewers rather than the always targeted young demographics.
The coined name, Noitamina, is simply Animation spelt backwards because the creator wanted to revolutionize the showcasing of anime titles. In present times, Noitamina is known for showcasing high quality animes despite the programming block being placed late in the night (usually between the hours of 24:00 - 26:00).
Today, we count the top 10 programmes that were aired by Noitamina and you, the readers will see for yourself the quality that Noitamina sets for its programmes. Most of the titles will be familiar to you as these are hyped animes or animes that did very well in their respective airing time.
10. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: Jul 2009 - Sep 2009
This is a realistic scenario of the occurrence of a jishin (earthquake) in Japan. The setting for this story is based on a true hypothesis of what will become of Japan should an earthquake occur in the next few years or so. The series follows the Onozawa siblings - Mirai and her younger brother, Yuuki as they become separated from their parents during the earthquake and have to return home by foot. Along the way, the after effects of the earthquake can be seen with many suffering and struggling to live.
The anime itself is a realistic representation of the hardships as well as the psychological effects of experiencing a precarious situation such an earthquake and that is the reason for its popularity - for it reminds us that anime is not just fun and games and that there are life lessons to be imparted as well.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 - Trailer [HD]
9. Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 2012 - Jun 2012
This is a story about how an Honours student, Nishimi Kaoru meets a delinquent, Kawabuchi Sentarou. Both have a passion for playing music. Together with the class president, Mukae Ritsuko, the trio embark on a musical journey into the world of jazz and Kaoru will finally see the world differently as he indulges in jazz music.
This is a josei anime which is typically targeted at older women and is also an example of how Noitamina expands their horizon by broadcasting a whole array of anime titles that suits the general populace. The anime itself is well-received and the josei category is often enjoyed by older working women who only have time for television late at night. I would say that this is a smart move by Noitamina in attracting a specific group to its content and then exposing them to other genres that are similar.
Kids On The Slope Trailer
8. Nodame Cantabile
- Episodes: 23
- Aired: Jan 2007 - Jun 2007
The music genre in anime is not that popular, but when there is outstanding title on the market, it leaves a lingering feeling of satisfaction.
Nodame is a classic anime and a classic example of what a music anime should be - beautifully presented with a roster of lovable characters. Noda Megumi, an unorthodox pianist who simply do not follow the music sheets meets Shinichi Chiaki a technical pianist upholding the value of perfection and fulfils the heavy demands from the master composers of the past. What happens in the anime is a mismatch of style and personality but as they all say, 'opposites attract' which gives this anime its romance tag.
Light hearted and heart warming, it is suited for all age groups and Noitamina made a good choice in picking this title for their programming.
Nodame Cantabile Opening
7. Honey and Clover
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Apr 2005 - Sep 2005
This is a simple story about 3 young males: Yuta, Takumi and Shinobu. They live in a compact house and enjoy the small things in life. Life is well and they are contented but a fourth character is introduced - Hagumi, the talented and innocent girl. She is considered a prodigy and is admired by all. This simple tale is about to turn just a tad bit complicated as a love triangle forms between them. What will happen to their simple life and their simple tale?
This is yet another hot favourite amongst anime fans and also a top show of its time. Noitamina does not feature sub-quality titles, and that is the reason for its exponential growth over the years. Honey and Clover is a classic anime and it is meant to be enjoyed just the way it is - a never changing original style that is much beloved.
Honey and Clover Trailer
6. Gin No Saji (Silver Spoon)
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: Jul 2013 - Sep 2013
You don't need an exaggerated presentation of action and super powers to leave viewers in awe.
Gin No Saji is a simple tale of a young boy, Hachiken Yugo undergoing his education in agriculture. The story presents a brief overview of what it is like to be a student in the agriculture industry on a daily basis. The story is amazingly simple and down to earth and while it takes a while for the story to pick up, it is well worth the wait.
It's simplicity is comparable to that of Barakamon (for those who have watched it) and it is due to this simplicity that allows viewers to inject their personal feels and touches into it which is why it is a beloved favourite amongst many, contributing further to the popularity of Noitamina. Gin No Saji is an anime that is simple but yet leaves you feeling utterly satisfied.
TV Anime "Silver Spoon" Trailer (English Subbed)
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: Jul 2010 - Dec 2010
Shiki is a unique blend of the horror genre and the psychological genre. It presents a comprehensive view into the supposed antagonists and their motives which is atypical of a horror anime. It is set in a small village with the villagers slowly turning against each other as they fight for their survival. It is an all out battle between vampires and humans with the vampires having ever-present human traits. The psychological factor comes in when the vampires start questioning the humankind. What defines humankind? By maintaining their sanity and having human traits, does it not qualify them to be humans?
Shiki goes beyond the conventional horror setting by introducing a psychological element to it. It gives a fresh new perspective of the horror genre and many are still loyal to the series. This series appeals to a vast age group and Noitamina did good by featuring this series.
Shiki Trailer Summer 2010 [ENG SUB]
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: Oct 2012 - Mar 2013
"Fast paced action, compelling mysteries and plot twists that leave you in doubt, awe and craving for more". This is a description of the hit series of recent years - Psycho-Pass. In a somewhat dystopian future, the tendency for an individual to commit crime can be measured by the Sibyl System. This calculation is known as the Crime Coefficient and everybody is judged by the omnipotent Sibyl System. No system is perfect however and as the series progresses, the flaws of the system are exposed and the individuals who exploit these loopholes emerge from the shadows to cause anarchy.
Psycho-Pass never leaves you bored and each episode makes you yearn for more as truths are unravelled and secrets are exposed. A dark anime by nature, the mystery and suspense it holds is what made it popular and convert viewers into diehard fans. A wise pick by Noitamina if I say so myself.
Psycho-Pass Season 1 Trailer
3. AnoHana (The Flower we saw that day)
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: Apr 2011 - Jun 2011
After the devastating loss of a friend, 5 childhood friends became estranged until they are visited from a ghost from the past. Will this driving force reconcile their friendship, or will it drive them further apart? AnoHana is an alluring tale about friendship, communicating the idea that even the strongest bond forged will not falter through the passage of time. A tearjerker and a masterpiece, it is undoubtedly one of the best original masterpiece of the anime industry.
It is through these values that are depicted such that we are able to empathize and pour our own emotions into it which make certain series particularly poignant to us. AnoHana has reached the hearts of many viewers and certainly it does not take a layman to understand the mutual bond and understanding of friendship and that is why this is a good series to include in the Noitamina programme list.
AnoHana Trailer Anime Series HD (The Flower We Saw That Day)
2. Usagi Drop
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: Jul 2011 - Sep 2011
What does it take to raise a child? This moving series will show you the pains and effort that one will take to care for a child. Children after all, represent the innocence of humankind. When we age, we are tainted by the world and we often have bleak outlooks on our lives. Therefore the purity that children possess, reminds us of what we once used to be.
While attending his grandfather's funeral, Daikichi realised that his grandfather had an illegitimate daughter. While others cast their eyes down upon her for fear of the obligation and responsibility that she will bring, Daikichi did the unthinkable as a bachelor - he decides to adopt her as his own and is putting his all into raising her. It is no easy feat, for both of them as they proceed through the trials and tribulations of their respective lives.
Usagi Drop was adapted from a highly acclaimed manga. The animators did not put forward a shoddy animation and the series remains a popular favourite today even though this is a dated anime. It is a truly moving masterpiece of the current generation of anime being only second to the next masterpiece and the final one for our countdown.
Bunny drop - Official Trailer
1. Shigatsu Wa Kimi no Uso (The Lie you told in April)
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: Oct 2014 - Mar 2015
"Music not only transcends the spoken language, it transcends all boundaries of human emotion."
Shigatsu is perhaps one of the most beautifully crafted masterpiece of 2015 if not, for the past decade in fact. This anime combines stunning visuals, music that complements the emotions and feel of the show and outstanding character development in one whole package. This anime truly gives meaning to the phrase "music is the universal language of mankind" because more often or not, it is the script which makes you understand the character, but the music is what makes you empathize and feel with them.
Piano prodigy Arima Kousei has lost his touch with the piano after his mother died. This was not to be and he was fated to meet the violinist, Kaori Miyazono, whom revitalizes his piano career and brought the brilliance of music back to his world. To him, she is not only his guide and mentor; Kaori is Kousei's whole world.
I will note that not only has it made it to the top of this list, but it also topped the charts even till date and I highly, highly recommend it to anyone who has yet to watch it. Noitamina did not cause a gross injustice to the anime world by featuring this anime on their programming block for this anime prove that masterpieces can still be created and classic animes are not a thing of the past. There will always be a new anime to revolutionize the industry again.
Your lie in April Trailer
Eden of the East
Let's open this for discussion; do you think Noitamina has fulfilled its role of promoting anime to the common masses? It is even better if you're one of those who became an anime lover after Noitamina programming block; do share with us how it had impacted your journey.
Do you agree with this list? Since most of these titles are hit series in the first place, would these titles be some of which you will recommend to your friends? Have other titles that MUST be included in the list? Don't be stingy; share your love of anime with the whole world!