Ya Boy Kongming!

Ya Boy Kongming! follows a reverse isekai twist where renowned Chinese military tactician Zhuge Liang (courtesy name: Kongming) is whisked away in his youthful form to modern Japan. There, he meets aspiring singer Eiko, whose powerful vocals and indomitable spirit inspire him to take on the role of her manager and lead her to popstar success. Fans of the Three Kingdoms period (220–280) will be sure to pick up on references to actual tactics used by the strategist himself. And if you don’t, no matter, you’ll still be blown away by the outcome. The positive moments come mostly from the bonds between characters, whether that’s Kongming and Eiko’s mentor-mentee relationship or the way all of the side characters can’t help but cheer Eiko on.  

Ouran High School Host Club

This old-but-gold anime revolves around Haruhi, a scholarship student attending the elite Ouran Academy. She accidentally breaks an antique vase belonging to the academy’s student-run host club, and is then forced to work off her debt as a club host by entertaining her female classmates. The catch? Only the host club members know that she’s a girl. The anime in its entirety is very much a parody of host clubs and the harem anime genre. It also has solid humor to boot. Some of the silliest yet most wholesome moments come from the ultra-rich boys of the club exploring ‘commoner culture’ in a bid to better understand Haruhi. Though they often end up insulting her instead.  

Kotaro Lives Alone

With a somewhat simplistic art style and a 4-year-old main character who constantly speaks in a feudal lord accent, Kotaro Lives Alone is definitely one of the more unique anime out there. The series has a simple plot that focuses on Kotaro’s day-to-day life as he lives independently in a rundown apartment unit. Despite his oddness, he has a rare knack for bringing people together and the other tenants can’t help but want to look out for him. Interspersed between these feel-good moments are hints of Kotaro’s dark past of abuse and neglect by his birth parents. Little by little, viewers will come to understand why Kotaro is the way he is, quirks and all. Through both laughter and tears, the show demonstrates that family can take many shapes and forms. 

Food Wars

What happens when you create a hyper-elite culinary school, introduce a hot-headed, talented main character and then throw in some foodgasm scenes? You get the deliciously action-packed Shokugeki no Soma, also known as Food Wars. Soma has the humble dream of inheriting his father’s izakaya, until one day he’s forced to enroll at Totsuki Culinary Academy, battling haute cuisine tutors and his classically trained cohort along the way. Somehow, Soma, through his infectious positivity and passion for good food at heart, manages to outsmart even the most meticulous master of food, against his own cheap and effective means. While the tempo of some episodes can be a bit chaotic, it’s hard to deny the warmness you feel seeing all of these characters celebrate food in their own special way. Consider yourself warned. And make sure to have food at hand when watching. 

Kaguya-sama: Love is War

Do you remember the butterflies and nervousness you once felt when you had a school crush? Kaguya-sama: Love is War encapsulates that exact feeling. Except it also dials it up to 100 due to the characters on the show with extreme personalities. Both Kaguya and Miyuki are a match made in heaven, being the top students, vice president and president of their school council respectively. They are overall well-liked by their peers. While they both like each other, their pride pushes them to execute every trick in the book in order to get the other to confess their love first. It’s a great setup for some funny and wholesome moments as each episode sees them getting closer and closer to admitting their feelings. Comedy aside, this anime also touches upon social issues such as class and the breaking away of traditional family expectations. With a lovable cast of main and side characters, you’ll be rooting for them to get together.