I love anime as a way to combat the stress of work and grad school applications. Over the last few months I've watched a couple series that have really stood out.
only 11 episodes long Kuragehime is about a group of reclusive geeky women who must band together with a young cross-dresser to save their apartment building from being torn down. Fashion and jellyfish play a key roll in the over all plot.
Kuragehime has an adorable sense of whimsy from beginning to end. It's tone is light, gentle, and comical, the art is beautiful. There a lot of playing on what things 'seem' to be, but mostly this is just a cute feel good show.
I have a weakness for anime about cooking. I just really like watching shows that revolved around peoples' love of food. I really enjoyed the show Antique Bakery which was in fact about a bakery so I thought I'd like this show which was recommended for fans of Antique Bakery, and I was right.
Ristorante Paradiso is the story of a young woman who comes to Rome in search of her biological mother who she hasn't seen since she was a child and finds a new life, family and job in the process. It's a very gentle, slowly told story about the people who work at a small Italian restaurant. It's also a love story that unfolds so gently and naturally that (even though it's not BL) I couldn't help but love it. The art style is also smoking and beautiful.
InuYasha is one of those classics of shounen anime, like Naruto or Rurouni Kenshin. It just so happens that I am a huge fan of shounen anime, I like the adventure and combat elements, I often like watching the characters as they struggle to come of age. InuYasha is both enjoyable and intruging to me because it combines all of the things I love about shounen anime with an historical setting, much like Rurouni Kenshin at least in the manga. Unlike the anime version of RK the anime version of InuYasha does not make me want to bang my head against the nearest wall until I pass out. It's fun not painful to watching, exciting and fast paced, I love the whole theme of demons and the different kinds of demons in the series. I love the character of InuYasha as well, simply adore him, which helps. In fact I don't hate any of the main characters which makes is a very pleasant experience. The art is very typical of 1990s anime everyone has too big eyes and pointy, pointy noses but when you get over that the backgrounds for the scenes are really quite beautiful, and detailed.
I will also say I'm not even close to done with the series either. Unlike like the other two series on this list each of which only had 11 episodes therefore made it fairly easy to get through, InuYasha has a 167 episodes in all so I figure I will be enjoying this series for a long time to come yet.