What We're Watching: Time Travel and Anime

by IMDb-Editors | created - 1 month ago | updated - 3 weeks ago | Public

IMDb is made for fans, by fans. RPG videogame addict, lover of all things sci-fi and fantasy, and IMDb editor Vanessa shares the time travel and anime titles she's been watching recently.

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1. Solo Leveling (2024– )

TV-MA | Animation, Action, Adventure

In a world of gifted hunters and monsters, a weak hunter Sung Jinwoo gains extraordinary powers through a mysterious program, leading him to become one of the strongest hunters and conquering even the strongest dungeons.

Stars: Taito Ban, Aleks Le, Min Seung-woo, Haruna Mikawa

Votes: 20,183

As an avid RPG player, half the fun of watching "Solo Leveling" is following Sung Jinwoo's stats progression as he grows from "worst hunter ever" to a one-man monster-slayer while contemplating how I'd re-spec myself if I too could level-up like a videogame. (Definitely wouldn't throw all my points into strength like Jinwoo!) But you don't have to be into role-playing games to enjoy "Solo Leveling." This is a solid fast-paced action-fantasy series with a string of supernatural mysteries (and cliffhangers) that will keep you pressing the "next episode" button. The first season is streaming on Crunchyroll, but as it's based on a 12-part Korean light-novel series, this will be going for awhile. You'll know if you're into it or not after the first two (23-minute) episodes.

2. Dark (2017–2020)

TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A family saga with a supernatural twist, set in a German town where the disappearance of two young children exposes the relationships among four families.

Stars: Louis Hofmann, Karoline Eichhorn, Lisa Vicari, Maja Schöne

Votes: 444,212

Armed with a cheat sheet of headshots of who's-who per era, I've finally gotten around to tackling the twisty time-travel series. Although the mind-bending mystery of it all has kept me watching, after 2-seasons my enthusiasm is starting to wane. I think I'm suffering from unanswered-mystery fatigue as the questions continue to add up and I worry if there will be enough time to bring everything to a satisfying close. If done well, a series built on expanding questions can propel a story forward (see: "Attack on Titan") but at the moment, "Dark" seems to be collapsing under it's own weight. I've got seven episodes left in the series and I've been told it does stick the landing, so I'm in it until the end.

3. The Lazarus Project (2022–2023)

TV-MA | 45 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

Is a top secret organization dedicated to preventing mass extinction events and with the ability to make time go backwards.

Stars: Paapa Essiedu, Anjli Mohindra, Rudi Dharmalingam, Caroline Quentin

Votes: 8,333

On the opposite end of the time-travel genre is "The Lazarus Project" a series that everyone seems to have slept on and just might be my favorite take on time-travel to date. Don't be fooled by the premise of a "secret organization using time travel to undo mass extinction events," this is a story about a bunch of dysfunctional coworkers who use time travel to their benefit at the drop of a hat. Pretty much every episode ended with me with my head in my hands, or yelling "Don't do this!" at the screen while everyone made world-destroying life choices. Quality viewing.

4. Attack on Titan (2013–2023)

TV-MA | 24 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

After his hometown is destroyed and is traumatized, young Eren Jaeger vows to cleanse the earth of the giant humanoid Titans that have brought humanity to the brink of extinction.

Stars: Jessie James Grelle, Bryce Papenbrook, Trina Nishimura, Yûki Kaji

Votes: 510,994

At its core "Attack on Titan" is a mystery series that expands its scope and escalates the stakes over its first three seasons, and then instead of ending when the answers come to light, boldly spends the final season dealing with the ramifications of finding out the truth. The risk of stories that hold onto the mysteries for so long is that the answers won't live up to what you've speculated along the way, but the reveals in "Attack on Titan" have been surprising, thought-provoking, and pretty sobering. With about 25 episodes left in Season 4, my progression has slowed as each step closer to the end gets more stressful, and the fates of the characters I've grown very attached to become more uncertain.

5. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners (2022)

TV-MA | 24 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

A Street Kid trying to survive in a technology and body modification-obsessed city of the future. Having everything to lose, he chooses to stay alive by becoming an Edgerunner, a Mercenary outlaw also known as a Cyberpunk.

Stars: Zach Aguilar, Kenichiro Ohashi, Kagga Jayson, Emi Lo

Votes: 78,698

Cyberpunk has never been a hugely popular genre, so it's always a good day when something new gets added to the catalog, and "Edgerunners" is a stellar addition. Set in the neon and metal dystopian world of Night City (created by RPG legend Mike Pondsmith and CD Projekt Red), "Edgerunners" is a 10-episode glimpse into the chaotic life of David Martinez, a low-level street punk who rebuilds himself with military-grade tech and strives to become something more. Leave all hope at the door with this one. This was also the rare series where I sat through the opening credits for all 10 episodes. With Franz Ferdinand's "This Fffire" as the opening theme it was kind of hard not to.

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