By Sean Aitchison
Have you ever had a watch list full of new shows to check out? Have you ever completely ignored said watch list in order to rewatch a show you’ve already seen at least three times? Hey, we get it—sometimes the allure of a show you already love is more appealing than the risk of starting a new series!
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No judgment here. Rewatching your favorite drama anime is a great way to find new things to love, share the series with someone who hasn’t seen it, or catch things you missed in previous watch-throughs! It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Taking into account things like length, unique elements, hidden details and overall quality, here are the five most rewatchable anime in Funimation’s drama catalog!
Mongolian Chop Squad
Drama is a broad category, so we wanted to include a few different types, starting with a slice of life in the form of Mongolian Chop Squad. A music-driven narrative, this series follows Koyuki, an average and rather unremarkable kid who finds himself by discovering a love of music, all sparked by meeting slacker guitarist Ryusuke Minami.
As the series unfolds, Koyuki and Ryuske form a band and work their way up through the music industry with plenty of obstacles in their way!
On first watch, Mongolian Chop Squad is incredibly alluring—you want to see Koyuki and the band succeed on their journey. And thanks to the music, characters, and a manageably short episode count, it has tons of rewatch value. Hearing the music is reason enough alone to throw on Mongolian Chop Squad for a third or fourth time, and in doing so you’ll definitely fall in love with the band all over again!
Stars Align has quickly proven itself to not only be one of the best drama anime in recent memory, but also one of the most progressive. The basic setup of this anime follows Toma Shinjo as he attempts to save his school’s dying soft tennis club, and with this simple story, Stars Align explores territory that very few other anime tread. And it does so with finesse, sensitivity and depth.
This is, of course, referring to the exploration of queer identity via the inclusion of two trans characters (and their discovery of these identities and acceptance of them by friends) in the series—one saying they might be non-binary, and the other as a trans man—as well as other positive and informed explorations of territory that anime isn’t significantly known for. This includes adoption, body positivity, abuse and oppression. For these groundbreaking representations alone, Stars Align is worth not only a first watch, but a a slot in your re-watch catalog.
Unfortunately, Stars Align was only able to run for a portion of its original 24-episode order, so while the end is currently unknown, fans have even more reason to rewatch the episodes that we do have.
If you want a short anime with tons of rewatch value, you definitely need to check out ERASED. The series follows Satoru Fujinuma, a 29-year-old with a time-traveling ability that involuntarily sends him back to a point just before a life-threatening event, giving him the chance to stop it from happening and right the ship.
Normally this is a short-term change, but one day this power sends Satoru back to his elementary school days, where he has to prevent the abduction and death of a childhood classmate.
Though incredibly dark, this drama-thriller series is a strong rewatch candidate both because of its short and to-the-point duration and because it feels like a great suspenseful movie, one that you’ll want to show to everyone so you can share the twists, turns and drama throughout.
In fact, it’s the shareability that makes ERASED such a digestible series. You want to turn it on again because you want others to see how well-done, unique and compelling it is.
Next up we have Angel Beats!, a fantasy drama series that takes place in a high school-like afterlife and follows Otonashi, one of many deceased spirits who must get over trauma from their life in order to fully pass on.
Otonashi is recruited into the Afterlife Battlefront, which aims to fight an unjust deity controlling this world beyond. We won’t spoil the rest, but let’s just say this series takes a series of dramatic twists and turns and ends with a tearjerker. We’re still crying.
These twists and turns are what make Angel Beats! both a great first watch and a great series to watch over and over again—the series shifts tones and focuses in a unique and compelling way, creating a dramatic masterpiece that stands as one of many anime lovers’ favorites. For this reason and much, much more, Angel Beats! belongs on your drama anime rewatch list.
Last, and certainly never least, Steins;Gate is easily one of the most rewatchable drama anime of all time. Based on a game of the same name, this series follows Rintaro Okabe, a scientist who runs the Future Gadget Laboratory, a group that sort of accidentally manages to create a time machine allowing them to send text messages to the past.
With this device, the laboratory changes the timeline over and over, which they then have to undo in order to save everyone and everything!
Steins;Gate is a bit of sci-fi, a bit of workplace drama and a whole lot of suspense. It’s packed with twists and turns and some fascinating time travel theory. And since it’s a time travel narrative, it has rewatch value built into it—specifically, to catch everything you missed before and connect all the pieces of the puzzle.
Beyond this, watching the series’ revelations play out is all just as good the second, third or even fourth time around. So if you’re looking for something to rewatch, why not put yourself in a time loop and throw Steins;Gate on again!
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