Monthly Recommendations – Like a Flower

When I think May, a few things come to mind… of course, my wife’s birthday is first on that list. But other than that, May is when the city actually starts to look presentable after an all-too long Winter. Plants start to grow, the world becomes a bit greener, the sun shines a little brighter, and the rain starts to clean all the grime from the streets. This is the start of my favourite time of the year to just look around and enjoy.

So, in honour of that, here are some great shows and games to just sit back and take a good, long look at. Here are the most beautiful you’ll find. Sit back, unwind, and enjoy the view. Because it’s going to be good.

Flower

Yuki Yuna is a Hero

The first anime I’d like to recommend is Yuki Yuna is a Hero. While the subject matter isn’t always the most pleasant, the imagery certainly is. Of course the characters and their battle costumes are adorable… but that’s not what I’m recommending this one for.

The reason this gets a recommendation is the Forestized world. When a monster shows up, they get a ‘Forestize warning’ and this eerie yet gorgeous floral forest replaces the real world. It is one of the most unique views anime has to offer, and it is worthy of simply taking time to sit and just appreciate the beauty.

Yuki Yuna is a Hero

Flower

ThatGameCompany makes beautiful games… we have pretty much established this as fact at this point. And, although Journey is my favourite of their games, nothing quite says ‘May’ like Flower. This subtle, peaceful, simple game is about bringing life to wilderness.

Playing as the wind, you help bring flowers to full bloom across a variety of landscapes. There are few experiences as beautiful and charming as Flower, and even fewer games offer the same type of opportunity that Flower does to enjoy the beauty held within.

 

It’s time for our second week of titles in this scenic batch of spring recommendations!

Atelier Shallie

Atelier Shallie won’t win any awards for its graphics… but as the final entry in the series that was #1 on my list of Best JRPG Art styles for #JRPGMonth this year you can bet it has some pretty views in store for you. My favourite sights in this game are the backgrounds – which are simply amazing.

AtelierShalle-Scenery

Celestial Method

Celestial Method is a slice of life show with some incredible visuals – both mundane and mysterious. A field of sunflowers may not be exactly an otherworldly view, it certainly is pretty, especially with the petals flowing in the air.

But the winner is clearly the saucer, which is almost the star of the show in a way, which floats above an overgrown observatory providing a rather amazing contrast. It’s multi-coloured hue is gorgeous enough on its own… but at certain points in the series it displays a light show of unequaled beauty.

CM - Flowers

 

Nagi no Asukara

Nagi no Asukara, or Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea, is a simple little slice of life anime about a world in which humanity first came from the Ocean. We’re not talking mermaids, but rather people with a thin outer skin called Ena that lets them live underwater. Over time, civilizations on land have grown from people who chose to give up their Ena to live outside the oceans. This is relevant, because the show does a better job of portraying water and the beauty of what lies beneath than any other anime I’ve ever seen.

I won’t try to pretend this is the best show I’ve ever seen, but it is certainly worth a watch if you’re looking for a touching slice of life show – or if you just want some pretty sights. There are some pretty fantastic moments in this show, with the festival halfway through the series being the highlight.

Transistor

Now I know the general theme of this is ‘summery pretties’ but when talking about amazing looking games, it’s hard for me to not think Transistor. Transistor was gorgeous, and had such an incredible minimalistic art-style that played up its best assets so well.

There are few games as visually striking and impressive as it, and even though it isn’t exactly flowery, it surpassed that by being a both visual and auditory feast that few games have managed to rival. It is a spectacle, and if you haven’t played it you really should fix that soon.

As promised… this week we go from fantastic games to a unique religious tale. Here are the final May Flowers recommendations!

No Game No Life

No Game No Life is absolutely gorgeous. The art style is among the most unique you’ll find, with incredibly vibrant pastel colours and detailed and defined character models. This very unique colour scheme makes an otherwise standard fantasy world suddenly become fascinating.

It is also a perfect choice to use for this recommendation list, because the colour palette makes the show seem so alive.

No Game No Life

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron

As the final recommendation for the month, we have a game you’ve probably never heard of. El Shaddai is a very artistic take on the religious Book of Enoch. Now I know, hearing the word ‘religious’ and ‘game’ in the same paragraph is probably a scary thought… but trust me, it is fairly safe to say this story is not canon.

And it is also safe to say that this game’s visuals are not like any you’ll see elsewhere. Or rather, each of the game’s sections visuals draw clear inspiration from a completely different source and mesh them together to create one of the most varied and incredibly visual experiences you’ll find anywhere.

El Shaddai

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