Students provide anime recommendations for new watchers

Simply Signal Recipes will be sharing how to make onigiri, Japanese strawberry shortcake and chicken ramen. Photo by Isa Cardona | The Signal

Anime, hand-drawn and computer animations originating from Japan, have increasingly gained popularity in the U.S. as they’ve become more accessible through streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu. Audiences have more watching options as they can enjoy anime with multilingual dubs and subs. 

Many Western celebrities and influencers like Billie Eilish, Lil Uzi Vert and Megan Thee Stallion openly showcased their love for the animation style. For students interested in learning more about anime and what shows to start with, members of the Georgia State community and the Georgia State Anime club provided recommendations for various genres. 

Senior Alex Ngo is a longtime member of the Georgia State Anime Club for his entire college career and is currently on the executive board. 

“I just find [anime] different from a lot of other American media. It just has a certain charm to it that I like,” Ngo said. “They’re able to show more maturity or more deep thought.”

Since middle school, he’s been an anime fan and is particularly interested in the comedy and romance genres. Ngo enjoys laughing at the light-hearted and comedic scenes and the warm feeling he gets from seeing a romance blossom on screen. 

Ngo would recommend “Ore Monogatari” as a comedy romance anime that most people would enjoy. It doesn’t follow the typical trend of a conventionally attractive couple falling for each other. 

“[One of the main characters] is a bigger but really strong guy, but it’s his heart and his personality that the girl likes,” he said. “They find a great bond together, and I just think that their dynamic works well together to make it both funny and roman[tic].”

Senior Pauline Vaughn is another executive of the Georgia State Anime Club who explored anime very early in her life. She’s a fan of various genres but especially loves dramas and shoujo

One of Vaughn’s favorite anime is called “Banana Fish,” and it’s also her drama recommendation for newcomers. This anime takes place in a crime-noir setting that deals with teenage gangs. It’s well known for its ending, which sparked a Tik-Tok trend of people sharing their reactions.  

For sports anime, she suggests the boxing anime “Megalo Box.” The anime is action-packed, with characters utilizing robotic enhancers called gear to fight. The main character named “Gearless Joe” doesn’t use this gear, which creates an underdog storyline. 

“It’ll make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it’ll make you jump up in the air and scream and cheer for the guy because it is so engaging,” Vaugh said.    

As for a shoujo recommendation, Vaughn highly suggests that newer anime watchers check out “Nana” and “Toradora!” The anime “Nana” is one of the most acclaimed in the genre, as it’s emotional and deals with real issues through a uniquely feminine lens. For those wanting something more light-hearted and funny, “Toradora!” would be the way to go. 

“[‘Toradora!’] is one of my favorite romance anime of all time,” she said. “The whole premise is that these two neighbors both have crushes on the other person’s best friend. The entire anime is built around the two of them trying to match up the other with their friend, but they end up developing a romantic relationship along the way.” 

Mickaela Walker is a sophomore who’s particular about the anime she chooses to watch; she likes shounen, fantasy and dark animes. 

Walker would recommend “Fullmetal Alchemist” as a shounen anime because of its storyline and action scenes. Walker advises that newer fans start slow and try not to feel overwhelmed by the number of animes available.  

“I think what discouraged me from watching [for a while] was trying to watch anime with hundreds of episodes,” she said. “If you start slow and go into shows with a little bit more episode count each time you finish one, it’ll be easier to take on.”

Simply Signal Recipes: Japanese and Aesthetically Pleasing Anime Foods Edition

Anime is well known for its aesthetically pleasing animation style, and one element of that is how the food looks in these shows. Often the food is so visually appealing and delicious-looking that you just want to reach through the screen and take a bite. This edition of the column will share how to make some of the iconic Japanese cuisine seen in anime.

Chicken Ramen:

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Marinating Time: 8 hours

Cook Time: 40 minutes


Marinade for the chicken:

  • 2 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 4 pieces of chicken thigh boneless, skin off or on

Glaze for the chicken:

  • 2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon dark soy sauce 

Classic Ramen:

  • 4 to 5 cups of good quality chicken stock, preferably low sodium
  • 4 stalks of spring onions trimmed and cut in half
  • 4 to 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 4 red chilis or 1 1/2 tablespoon dried chili flakes or crushed red pepper 
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 6 to 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms stems, trimmed and sliced, or cut in half
  • 12 to 13 oz dried ramen noodles or four portions of fresh ramen noodles

Regular soft boiled eggs:

  • 4 large eggs

Steamed Greens:

  • 2 bunches of spinach or 4 Shanghai bok choy 
  • Soy sauce (to taste)
  • Sesame oil (to taste)
  • 2 cloves  garlic

Ramen toppings:

  • 4 stalks of spring onions, sliced finely
  • Sliced radishes or bean sprouts
  • Ramen eggs marinated or plain
  • Chili garlic oil (to taste)


Caramelized Soy Chicken

  1. In a large bowl, place all the ingredients for the chicken marinade and mix well to coat the chicken.
  2. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, and place an oven rack in the top third of your oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Place the chicken pieces on the baking sheet, skin side down (or smooth side down), evenly spaced apart. Then place the baking sheet in the preheated oven.
  5. Let the chicken roast for 15 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, mix the brown sugar and dark soy sauce for the glaze, and start making the ramen.
  6. After 15 minutes, flip the chicken pieces over and spoon the glaze over them. Let the chicken cook for a further 10 to15 minutes. Then remove from the oven and let them cool down.
  7. Slice the chicken and set it aside.


  1. While the caramelized soy chicken is cooking in the oven, make the ramen base.
  2. Place two saucepans on the stove. 
  3. As an optional step, you can chop the garlic and ginger. Or you can add them whole or sliced and strain the ramen stock to remove the large pieces of garlic and ginger later. 
  4. In one saucepan (Pot 1), place the stock, ginger, garlic, spring onions, chili, soy sauce and mirin. Stir and cover the pot. Let it come to a boil at medium-high to high heat. Then lower the heat to medium and let it simmer for 25 minutes. Taste the base and add more soy sauce if needed. 
  5. While Pot 1 is simmering, add water to the second pot (Pot 2), and bring it to a boil. Add the dried noodles to the boiling water, and cook according to package directions. Drain the noodles and divide them into four bowls, and set them aside. 
  6. When the ramen base in Pot 1 has cooked for  20 to 25 minutes, strain and remove the garlic, ginger, chili and spring onions. Add the strained stock back into the pot and add the mushrooms, and let it cook for a further 5 minutes until the mushrooms have softened. The ramen base is now ready. 

Unseasoned soft boiled egg

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Lower 4 large eggs carefully into the water and cook the eggs for 6 to 6 1/2 minutes.
  2. Immediately place the eggs in cool running water or an ice bath for a few minutes. Peel and set aside until ready to serve. 

(Recipe from The Flavor Bender)