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7 Adventures on the High Seas

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Before man ventured into space, he wondered about what lay out beyond the horizon in the vast open sea. Maps were adorned with monsters; sea serpents and boat-wrecking squid. Mermaids (or were they manatees?) flicked their tails near the hulls of ships. The riches of sunken merchant boats an d abandoned caches of notorious pirates were the stuff of legends. There's still a sense of adventure that can only be enticed by a sail full of wind and the sound of lapping waves.

7. Tide-Line Blue Tide-Line Blue is an oft overlooked anime series thanks to limited English availability and unattractive character designs. There's also a slapstick ostrich character whose name literally translates to "eyebrows." Those criticisms aside, there is an interesting story to be salvaged from the series. Keel is a 14-year-old orphaned twin raised by New United Nations Secretary-General Aoi while his brother Tean is serving in the military for an opposing ideological side. The Earth itself is mostly submerged in water and the majority of humanity is dead, leading to the two sides' attempts to pick up the pieces. When Keel's town is under attack, he, his pregnant 16-year-old neighbor and crush, and of course the ostrich, end up aboard a nuclear submarine with Tean, his commander, and crew. The commander Gould is determined to reach peace through military might and has no intention of returning the new crew members.

6. Blue Submarine No. 6 In this alternate future, the flooding of Earth isn't credited to irresponsible environmental use but instead manufactured by the evil scientist Zorndyke. After killing much of population, Zorndyke deployed his Dr. Moreau-style army of animal-human hybrids. The scientist is hoping for replacing mankind with his mermaid-like "children," meanwhile the survivors find the only way to combat the threat is taking up arms in submarines. The story follows submarine pilot Tetsu, Mayami, No.6's captain, and one outcast aquatic-human Mutio as they fight to stop Zorndyke's plot.

5. Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet If One Piece is high-flying adventure, Gargantia is its more mellow cousin with a part-time job, amnesia, and hidden sci-fi drama. Ledo was a soldier engineered to fight terrifying squid aliens in space before he ended up in his own alternate Land of the Lost scenario. After falling through a wormhole, Ledo and his mecha Chamber are recovered by a salvage crew aboard a floating colony of large ships. He meets the locals, learns more about their society and even faces off against threatening pirates. Ledo starts getting comfortable in his new job of piloting Chamber to recover debris on the ocean floor when he discovers that this unknown world has its own squid and they look eerily similar to the space version he fought before.

4. Kantai Collection -Kan Colle- DMM's hit mobile game that led to multiple "things as girls/boys" got an anime twist earlier this year. Certain details were adjusted, like Fubuki taking the lead role. The girls were no longer anthropomorphous World War II-era ships, but girls reincarnated with the "spirits" of these vessels. They gear-up in battle outfits to fight the abyssal fleet, dangerous-looking girls who have taken over the oceans. It's possible to describe both the plot of Kan Colle and Arpeggio of Blue Steel without mentioning some obvious similarities. Arpeggio pre-dates the Kan Colle game by almost four years but which one you prefer is going rely heavily on which you're exposed to first.

3. Arpeggio of Blue Steel The world has flooded and out of the darkness is a mysterious fleet of warships determined to crush what remains of humanity. Trade routes are lost completely when Gunzō Chihaya is approached by one of these vessels. As it turns out, the Fleet of Fog is comprised of AI-controlled vessels with "Mental Models" that take on humanoid forms. I-401, or Iona, is a submarine that agrees to serve under Gunzō. Together with a crew, the two embark on a quest to defeat the Fleet of Fog once and for all while recruiting any other defecting ships. Like Kantai Collection, the ships in Arpeggio are borrowed from historical vessels used in World War II. Their purpose is, interestingly enough, reversed in some respect with a major plot involving Gunzō and Iona attempting to deliver weapon plans to the United States in order to defeat the fleet made up of WWII-era warships.

2. One Piece The anime based on Eiichiro Oda's series about a ragtag group of super-powered pirates seeking the one true treasure is approaching 16 years old and over 700 episodes. The series is such a cornerstone of anime fandom that merely the mention of the word "pirates" brings up images of Luffy, Nami, Zoro, and Sanji. It's a series whose beloved status is only dampened some by the seemingly insurmountable content to wade through for newcomers. The Straw Hat Pirates traverse through many unique locales and face off against enemies both bizarre and scary during their adventures to realize their individual dreams and, of course, finding the "One Piece."

1. Nadia - The Secret of Blue Water After taking notes from early adventure writer Jules Verne, pals Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi set off to create Nadia - The Secret of Blue Water. The series takes place in 1889 and pairs an inquisitive French boy named Jean with the mysterious Nadia, who possesses an amulet of unknown origin. The two are pursued by a trio of thieves set on claiming Nadia's necklace. While the kids are escaping from their pursuers, they are rescued by none other that Verne's Captain Nemo and his submarine, the Nautilus. The quest to discover who Nadia really is and the nature of blue amulet bring the crew face to face with a long-lost civilization determined to stage a takeover of Earth.

The new poll: Which female anime character is the scariest when she's mad?

The old poll: Who's your favorite vampire hunter?

  1. Alucard (Hellsing) 31.8%
  2. D (Vampire Hunter D) 9.0%
  3. Saya Otonashi (Blood+) 5.5%
  4. Zero Kiryuu (Vampire Knight) 5.3%
  5. Oshino Meme (Monogatari Series) 5.3%
  6. Abel Nightroad (Trinity Blood) 4.9%
  7. Jonathan Joestar (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure) 4.8%
  8. Shinoa Hīragi (Seraph of the End) 4.4%
  9. Blitz T. Abrams "Lucky Abrams" (Blood Blockade Battlefront) 3.7%
  10. Yūichirō Hyakuya (Seraph of the End) 2.8%
  11. Ciel (Tsukihime) 2.5%
  12. Guren Ichinose (Seraph of the End) 2.2%
  13. The Belmonts (Castlevania) 1.9%
  14. Saya Kisaragi (Blood-C) 1.8%
  15. Alexander Anderson (Hellsing) 1.5%
  16. Seras Victoria (Hellsing) 1.5%

When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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