Please log in
An in-depth look at anime, a recommended read for anime-fans and those new to anime. From educational information like history and modern developments, to fun stuff like classic anime tropes, anime genres explained, and events to visit, you can find them all in this article. Expect plenty of anime title mentions and recommendations, plus a list of must-watch legendary anime.
Table of Contents
Anime (アニメ) means animation in Japanese. In Japan, anime refers to all types of animation, even American cartoons. To the rest of the world, anime refers specifically to Japanese animation, more specifically animation from Japan in a specific style.
Outside Japan, anime is characterized by beautifully drawn characters with large eyes. Compared to cartoons, characters are more well defined and “realistic” looking and the plot is usually more complex with character development and story progression rather than random episodes. Though there are anime that do not fit this stereotype.
Image Credit: ©AnimeJapan 2022
When exactly did anime first start?
Japanese animation has been around for a long time, as far back as 1917 when the first Japanese anime “Namakura Gatana (なまくら刀)” was released. The short film is only 4 minutes long, black and white, and has no sound. You can watch the digitally restored version here as provided by the National Film Archive of Japan.
※ National Film Archive of Japan, “なまくら刀[デジタル復元・最長版][白黒ポジ染色版]”
However, the image of modern anime only took shape in the 1960s with great thanks to legendary figure, Tezuka Osamu (手塚 治虫) with the release of anime series Astro Boy in 1963. The first of its kind, the anime adaptation of Astro Boy would be broadcasted once a week at 30 minutes length per episode pitched Tezuka Osamu to his production team. Many were aghast and thought the feat impossible, yet this is now the norm for anime broadcasts in Japan.
Photo Credit: ©TEZUKA PRODUCTIONS
Tezuka Osamu, renowned as the most influential creator in manga followed by anime, originally hailed from Osaka. Well on his way to becoming a doctor, even obtaining a physician’s license, he chose to change his life’s course to chase after his true passion of becoming a manga artist. A decision that changed the entire manga and anime industry as we know it.
Image Credit: © Tezuka Productions Co., Ltd. / Mushi Production
Tezuka Osamu’s most famous works aside from Astro Boy include Buddha, Dororo, Kimba the White Lion, Phoenix, and Black Jack. He achieved great success with introducing his works to overseas readers and audiences, paving the way for international interest and reception in anime and manga works.
Photo Credit: ©TEZUKA PRODUCTIONS
Located in Hyogo Prefecture, in the city of Takarazuka where Tezuka Osamu grew up is the Tezuka Osamu Manga Museum. The museum is also featured in Google Arts and Culture with a lengthy history about Tezuka Osamu’s life and the museum’s exhibitions. For fans of Tezuka Osamu, visiting the museum is a great experience.
※ Encyclopedia Britannica, “anime”
Following in Tezuka Osamu’s footsteps, many great anime titles were produced:
Gegege no Kitarou (1968), (1971)
Moomin (1969), (1972 remake)
Ashita no Joe (1970), (1980 Season 2)
Lupin III (1971), (1977)
Alps no Shoujo Heidi (1974)
Mobile Suit Gundam (1979)
Astro Boy (1980)
Urusei Yatsura (1981): Same creator of Ranma ½ and Inuyasha
Ninja Hattori-kun (1981)
Captain Tsubasa (1983)
※ MyAnimeList, “Seasonal Anime Archive”
Photo Credit: © 2005-2022 STUDIO GHIBLI Inc.
However, it wasn’t till 1984 following the release of anime movie “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (風の谷のナウシカ)” by Studio Ghibli did anime once again take the world by storm. Following the movie’s huge success in Japan, plans were made to bring it to an overseas audience. The movie received an English dub but also went through a thorough and heavy editing localization process involving changing character names, cutting scenes, and changing the title to “Warriors of the Wind”.
Whether the original “Warriors of the Wind” was a good anime movie we’ll leave it to movie critics and anime fans to decide.
An uncut re-dubbed version of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind was released in 2005 that retained the movie’s full originality. This was done under Walt Disney Studios who received world distribution rights for Studio Ghibli films in 1996.
Image Credit: © 2005-2022 STUDIO GHIBLI Inc.
After Nausicaä, many other of Studio Ghibli’s films also received English dubbing and international distribution. Beloved Studio Ghibli titles like Laputa Castle in the Sky, My Neighbour Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service followed by many others. After Disney’s acquisition of distribution rights, all titles were subsequently redubbed. And history is as you know it, Studio Ghibli’s fame continued to grow with adoring fans in all corners of the world.
Image Credit: © 2001-2022 Museo d'Arte Ghibli
Located in the Mitaka City of Tokyo, nearby Inokashira Park, is the Ghibli Museum. The museum was set-up by Miyazaki Hayao (宮崎 駿), co-founder of Studio Ghibli and celebrated director of many of Ghibli’s greatest films. A visit to the Ghibli Museum is not just all fun and excitement at seeing scenes and characters in movies come to life, it is also an educational experience to uncover how these works of art were created.
※ The New York Times, “Disney in Pact for Films of the Top Animator in Japan”
Let’s have a look at Japanese anime culture and how it has influenced the lives of people in Japan and around the world.
Japanese anime and manga styles have become widespread, crossing over to other forms of media and influencing other countries’ animation and comic styles. Here are some examples:
Image Credit: ©Netflix Japan
Produced by Nickelodeon, animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel The Legend of Korra are heavily influenced by anime. Avatar is considered a masterpiece that blends Western cartoons, anime style, and Asian culture; in Korra, this further extends to the unique relationship between traditional culture and the modern world.
A sure sign of the growing influence of anime style is the increase of animated series from outside Japan in anime style. This is especially so in recent years and particularly for Chinese anime. The reach of influence also extends to games, comics and novel illustrations. Some series even go as far as to create an authentic Japanese anime release.
※ Image Credit: ©bilibili
Some Popular Titles include:
Heaven’s Official Blessing (天官賜福 tiān guān cì fú)
Cosplay is a huge part of anime culture and pop culture in Japan. The term cosplay (コスプレ) stands for costume play, and just as it sounds, it involves dressing up in a costume and playing a role. Compared to dressing-up like for Halloween and parties, cosplay is taken a little more seriously with cosplayers paying careful attention to costume details and perfecting their role. Though there are some people who just do it for fun.
【お知らせ】— 麗華 (REIKA) (@reika2011) July 6, 2022
I will return to Malaysia for the first time in a while!🇲🇾💕
I'm really looking forward to seeing you all!💕💕
See you in Kuala Lumpur!😘 pic.twitter.com/WSZabxvOpU
Not just anime characters, cosplayers also cosplay game characters and even original characters. Most people do it as a hobby but there are some that cosplay as a career - professional photography, selling photo books, fanmeets, entering competitions, event guests, etc. Practically celebrities in their own field.
On the same page, anime events and anime conventions are the highlight of the year for many otakus. The biggest event in Japan is no doubt Comiket, which is held twice a year in summer and winter. Though primarily a doujinshi event, anime and manga fans alike find themselves gathering at Comiket. After all, doujinshis are also a part of the whole culture that is anime and manga.
There are plenty of other anime-related events in Tokyo, across Japan, and also overseas. Things you can expect at these events include official merchandise booths, doujinshi & fanmade goods booths, cosplayers & cosplay events, performances, and long queues.
Anime tourism is a relatively new yet growing popular mode of travel. Solo travel or joining a tour, visit anime-related places in Japan. It can be anything from exploring an entire town that was the setting for an anime, visiting a cafe, or trying food and drinks out.
In Japanese, anime tourism is called「聖地巡礼 seichi junrei」which translates to “pilgrimage of sacred places”. There is even an Anime Tourism Association that was established to help tourists find “anime sacred spots” across Japan.
By the way, we’ve also done our own sport of anime tourism:
It was quite fun, like a treasure hunt.
Manga and light novels are mainly what anime are based on. Whether a piece of work receives an anime adaptation depends on its popularity. Sometimes anime adaptations are also done just to promote the original contents sales, in which case fans may disappointingly find that the anime won’t be continued. Or at times, the anime did not receive good audience response and viewership, resulting in a non-continuation.
Aside from manga and light novels, there are also original anime that aren’t adaptations, and anime based on games, novels, and in recent times webtoons and foreign content.
Below are examples for each:
Image Credit: ©サイコパス製作委員会
「PSYCHO-PASS」(sci-fi, psychology, thriller, mystery, crime)
「コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュ」| Code Geass Hangyaku no Lelouch | Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (mecha, fantasy, sci-fi, drama)
「キルラキル」| Kill La Kill (action, comedy)
「魔法少女まどか☆マギカ」| Maho Shoujo Madoka Magika | Puella Magi Madoka Magica (dark fantasy, magical girl, drama, psychology)
「デス・パレード」| Death Parade (supernatural, psychology)
Image Credit: © 尾田栄一郎／集英社
「One Piece」(adventure, action, fantasy)
「鬼滅の刃」| Kimetsu no Yaiba | Demon Slayer (dark fantasy, adventure)
「カードキャプターさくら」| Cardcaptor Sakura (fantasy, magical girl)
「ナルト」| Naruto (fantasy, adventure)
「フルーツバスケット」| Fruits Basket (romcom, supernatural)
Image Credit: Amazon／©川原 礫／アスキー・メディアワークス／SAO Project
「ソードアート・オンライン」| Sword Art Online (sci-fi, adventure, harem)
「ゴブリンスレイヤー」| Goblin Slayer (dark fantasy)
「とらドラ!」| Toradora (romcom, slice of life)
「無職転生 〜異世界行ったら本気だす〜」| Mushoku Tensei ~Isekai Ittara Honkidasu~ | Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation (fantasy, isekai, harem)
「盾の勇者の成り上がり」Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari | The Rising of the Shield Hero (dark fantasy, isekai, adventure)
「Clannad」(visual novel - romance, drama)
「FATE」(visual novel, mobile game - action)
「Steins;Gate」(visual novel - sci-fi)
「Persona」(RPG - supernatural, fantasy, action)
「POKEMON」(RPG - adventure, action, fantasy)
Image Credit: ©1997-2022 Kodansha Ltd.
「すべてがFになる」| Subete ga F ni naru | The Perfect Insider (mystery, psychology, thriller)
「N・H・Kにようこそ!」| N.H.K he youkoso! | Welcome to the N.H.K. (slice of life, dark comedy, psychology)
「氷菓」| Hyouka (mystery, slice of life)
「魔女の宅急便」| Majo no Takkyubin | Kiki’s Delivery Service (adventure, coming-of-age)
「パーフェクトブルー」| Perfect Blue (drama, thriller, psychology, horror, avant-garde)
Image Credit: © LINE Digital Frontier Corporation
「ワンパンマン」| One Punch Man (comedy, superhero)
「ももくり」| Momokuri (romcom)
「ヲタクに恋は難しい」| Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii | Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku (romcom)
「リライフ」| ReLIFE (slice of life, romance, drama)
「ミイラの飼い方」| Miira no Kaikata | How to Keep a Mummy (slice of life, comedy, supernatural)
Image Credit: goodreads／Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
「ハウルの動く城」| Howl no Ugoku Shiro | Howl’s Moving Castle (English Novel - fantasy, adventure)
「Tower of God」(Korean Webtoon - adventure, drama, fantasy)
「The God of Highschool」(Korean Webtoon - martial arts, supernatural)
「冬のソナタ」| Fuyu no Sonata | Winter Sonata (Korean Drama - drama, romance)
「魔道祖师」| mó dào zǔ shī | Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation (Chinese Novel - historical, fantasy, adventure, supernatural )
There are many ways to categorize anime, and depending on what type of anime you are looking for a certain way of categorization may make your search easier.
The typical ways to categorize anime are by year, genre, and demographic.
The dictionary definition of “demographic” is a certain sector of a population. That’s quite hard to understand so let’s just say that anime demographics refers to the anime’s target audience, by age group. These demographics also apply to manga.
The five main anime demographics are:
Anime targeted at those aged 12 and below, young children and elementary school students.
Dialogue in these anime is usually slow and uses simple words. Kids anime make for great study content for beginner Japanese learners.
「PUI PUI モルカー」| Pui Pui Molcar (comedy, anthropomorphic)
「アンパンマン」| Anpanman (anthropomorphic, comedy, fantasy)
「リラックマとカオルさん」| Rilakkuma and Kaoru-san (slice of life)
「とっとこハム太郎」| Tottoko Hamutarou | Hamtaro (slice of life, anthropomorphic)
「一休さん」| Ikkyu-san (historical, slice of life, comedy)
Anime targeted at boys aged 12 to 18, tween and teenage boys.
Typical genres include action, adventure, coming-of-age, and comedy themes.
「銀魂」| Gintama (comedy, sci-fi, parody, action, gag humour)
「僕のヒーローアカデミア」| Boku no Hero Academia | My Hero Academia (action)
「 進撃の巨人」| Shingeki no Kyojin | Attack on Titan (action, drama, gore, survival)
「呪術廻戦」| Jujutsu Kaisen (supernatural, action)
The female equivalent of Shounen. Anime are targeted at girls aged 12 to 18, tween and teenage girls.
Typical genres include romance, romantic comedy, coming-of-age, slice of life and drama themes.
「美少女戦士セーラームーン」| Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon | Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (magical girl, romance)
「夏目友人帳」| Natsume Yuujinchou | Natsume’s Book of Friends (supernatural, slice of life, drama)
「会長はメイド様!」| Kaichou wa Maid-sama! (romcom)
「薔薇王の葬列」| Baraou no Souretsu | Requiem of the Rose King (historical, drama, supernatural, action)
「神様はじめました」| Kamisama Hajimemashita | Kamisama Kiss (romcom, supernatural, drama)
Anime targeted at adult men aged 18 and above.
Compared to shounen content, seinen anime can be more heavy and dive deeper into darker topics like psychology and adult relationships. When featuring action and fighting, scenes are more violent and can be gorey. Or they can just feature content more suitable for an older audience like college life, work life, drinking, etc.
Before starting a seinen anime, it’s safer to check the tags first so you don’t get caught by surprise or worse.
「かぐや様は告らせたい」| Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai | Kaguya-sama: Love is War (romcom, psychology)
「モンスター」| Monster (mystery, psychology, thriller)
「ヴィンランド・サガ」| Vinland Saga (historical, adventure, drama)
「ぐらんぶる」| Grand Blue (comedy)
「僕だけがいない街」| Boku dake ga inai Machi | Erased (mystery, psychology)
Female equivalent of Seinen. Anime targeted at adult women aged 18 and above.
Just like Seinen anime, Josei anime are also darker and heavier with more dramatic drama and sometimes explicit scenes. Typical Josei romances are more realistic than naive pure love relationships in Shoujo anime, but there are also Josei titles that dive into the more gritty and toxic sides of relationships as well.
Better check up on tags first too to not get burnt.
「ハチミツとクローバー」| Hachimitsu to Clover | Honey and Clover (romcom, drama, slice of life)
「Paradise Kiss」(drama, romance)
「ギヴン」| Given (BL, drama, romance, psychology)
「ちはやふる」| Chihayafuru (drama, slice of life, romance, game)
「うさぎドロップ」| Usagi Drop (slice of life)
In Japan, anime are usually advertised for release and released according to the seasons. For example, spring, summer, autumn and winter anime. These are called seasonal releases and is another way to find anime, by year plus season of release.
Not just by year, a common way of finding anime is by decades of release. For example, “most popular anime of 2010s”, “best 90s anime”, and so on. Whether you’re searching on Youtube or Google Search, you can surely find plenty of results to give you an idea of what to watch.
There are also plenty of anime rankings by year, “best anime rankings of 2022” for example.
Last but not least, let’s have a look at some of the major anime genres and 5 examples for each!
Romance genre animes are super popular with a wide range of stories. Most common settings are school life but there is also workplace romance. There are standalone romance genre animes but also plenty of titles that crossover to other genres like fantasy, adventure, isekai, and comedy (forming popular romcom genre).
Romance anime are heavily associated by fans with the shoujo demographic but that is not always the case.
「五等分の花嫁」| Gotoubun no Hanayome | The Quintessential Quintuplets (harem, comedy)
「とらドラ!」| Toradora (comedy, drama, slice of life)
「ニセコイ」| Nisekoi (comedy, harem)
「彼女、お借りします」| Kanojo, Okarishimasu | Rent-A-Girlfriend (harem, comedy)
Image Credit: ©涼川りん・白泉社／「あそびあそばせ」製作委員会
Another hugely popular anime genre, comedy is great and has a huge range of plots to get you laughing.
「銀魂」| Gintama (sci-fi, parody, historical, action, gag humour)
「ヒナまつり」| Hinamatsuri (supernatural)
「あそびあそばせ」| Asobi Asobase (gag humour, school life)
「男子高校生の日常」| Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou | Daily Lives of Highschool Boys (gag humuor, school life)
「ぐらんぶる」| Grand Blue (university life)
Image Credit: ©YORIMOI PARTNERS
Adventure are「冒険 bouken」-like stories with main characters traversing across lands or around the world with a goal in mind. Not to be confused with the action genre which does not have adventure, only fighting and violence. Anime with both adventure and action genres means there’ll be some fighting and violence along the journey.
「One Piece」(sea adventure, action, fantasy)
「POKEMON」(Pokemon world adventure, action, fantasy)
「不滅のあなたへ」| Fumetsu no Anata e | To Your Eternity (world, adventure, drama, supernatural)
「少女終末旅行」| Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryoukou | Girl’s Last Tour (wasteland adventure, slice of life, sci-fi, mystery)
「宇宙よりも遠い場所」| Sora yori mo Tooi Basho | A Place Further than the Universe (Antartica adventure, drama)--
Image Credit: ©荒川弘／鋼の錬金術師製作委員会
Compare it with “Adventure” titles that have no action themes. Action anime contains fighting and violence.
「呪術廻戦」| Jujutsu Kaisen (supernatural)
「東京リベンジャーズ」| Tokyo Revengers (supernatural, drama)
「モブサイコ100 」| Mob Psycho 100 (supernatural, comedy)
「鋼の錬金術師」| Hagane no Renkinjutsushi | Fullmetal Alchemist (adventure, drama, fantasy)
「 文豪ストレイドッグス」| Bungou Stray Dogs (supernatural, drama, myster)
Image Credit: ©古舘春一／集英社・「ハイキュー!!」製作委員会・MBS
Sports anime have always been popular with old-time beloved titles like Slam Dunk and Captain Tsubasa. However, in the past years, sports anime’s popularity has climbed to greater heights bringing many other forms of sports into the genre. There’s even ballroom dancing, archery and figure skating now.
「ユーリ!!! on ICE」| Yuri!!! On Ice (figure skating)
「ツルネ」| Tsurune (Kyudo - Japanese archery)
「テニスの王子様」| Tennis no Ouji-sama | Prince of Tennis (tennis)
「ハイキュー!!」| Haikyuu!! (volleyball)
「はじめの一歩」| Hajime no Ippo (boxing)
Image Credit: ©Kyoto Animation Co.,Ltd.
Slice of life anime are focused on the everyday mundane lives of characters. Some slice of life do have a central plot with the slice of life being only a subgenre to the plot, but there are also slice of life focused anime with no driving plot and each anime episode being just a snippet of life.
「しろくまカフェ」| Shirokuma Cafe | Polar Bear Cafe (cafe, everyday life)
「ゆるキャン△」| Yuru Camp (camping, school life)
「宇宙兄弟」| Uchuu Kyoudai | Space Brothers (everyday life, space, sci-fi)
「小林さんちのメイドラゴン」| Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon | Miss Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon (everyday life, fantasy)
「K-On!」(school life, music)
Image Credit: © YOMIURI TELECASTING CORPORATION
Mystery anime are just that, anime focused on uncovering mysteries. Mystery anime can be puzzling until the final reveal, sometimes quite late into the anime or at the end of an episode. Common themes associated with mystery anime are crime, detective, thriller and suspense and even supernatural.
「僕だけがいない街」| Boku dake ga inai Machi | Erased (psychology, crime)
「氷菓」| Hyouka (slice of life)
「すべてがFになる」| Subete ga F ni naru | The Perfect Insider (crime, psychology, thriller)
「 憂国のモリアーティ」| Yuukoku no Moriarty | Moriarty the Patriot (historical, suspense)
「名探偵コナン」| Meitantei Conan | Detective Conan (adventure, comedy, crime, detective)
Image Credit: © 2005-2022 STUDIO GHIBLI Inc.
It can be difficult to distinguish between supernatural and fantasy anime as both involve unusual and unnatural settings. The distinguishment between both can be quite subjective as well, some people choose to separate by creepiness - supernatural by yokai and ghostly specters that invoke fear, fantasy by magic and dragons that invoke amazement; whilst some choose to separate by the acceptance of characters of the setting - supernatural meaning something outside the norm in the world, fantasy is a prevalent setting in the world.
「千と千尋の神隠し」| Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi | Spirited Away (adventure)
「蟲師」| Mushishi (yokai)
「物語」| Monogatari Series (yokai)
「青春ブタ野郎はバニーガール先輩の夢を見ない」| Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai | Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai (romcom)
「斉木楠雄のΨ難」| Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan | The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. (superpower, comedy, slice of life)
「Re：ゼロから始める異世界生活」| Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu | Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- (isekai, romance, drama)
「狼と香辛料」| Ookami to Koushinryou | Spice and Wolf (romance, drama)
「転生したらスライムだった件」| Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken | That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (isekai, adventure)
「オーバーロード」| Overlord (isekai, adventure)
Growing in popularity for a while now, there have been quite a number of anime releases for boys love (BL) and girls love (GL) genres in the past few years. A great sign for BL and GL fans. As the name suggests, BL and GL involve homosexual relationships as the focus of the story - BL for relationships between boys or men, and GL for relationships between girls or women.
At the moment there are more BL titles than GL but as the GL fan base grows, we can expect more anime releases to meet expectations.
「ギヴン」| Given (music, psychology, drama)
「佐々木と宮野」| Sasaki to Miyano (slice of life)
「同級生」| Doukyuusei | Classmates (slice of life)
「純情ロマンチカ」| Junjou Romantica (comedy, drama)
「ひとりじめマイヒーロー」| Hitorijime My Hero (drama, slice of life)
「やがて君になる」| Yagate Kimi ni Naru | Bloom Into You (drama)
「マリア様がみてる」| Maria-sama ga Miteru | Maria Watches Over Us (slice of life)
「安達としまむら」| Adachi to Shimamura (slice of life)
「ゆるゆり」| Yuru Yuri (comedy, slice of life)
「ゆるゆり」| Konohana Kitan (slice of life, fantasy)
Lastly, here’s a list of 10 of some of the all time best anime to get you started. We chose 5 for shounen demographic and 5 for shoujo. Considering how famous these are, you’ve probably already watched them all but here we go.
「鋼の錬金術師」| Hagane no Renkinjutsushi | Fullmetal Alchemist
「グレート・ティーチャー・オニヅカ」| Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO)
「デスノート」| Death Note
「らんま 1/2」| Ranma 1/2
「あの日見た花の名前を僕達はまだ知らない。」| Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai | Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
「フルーツバスケット」| Fruits Basket
「エンジェル ビーツ」| Angel Beats
There are actually a whole lot more titles we can recommend but we will leave that for another article!
Japan may be famous for its traditional culture but its modern culture is just as popular. In this article, we explore what Japanese pop culture includes. Not just common ones frequently featured in s...
High quality music is one of the qualities that characterises anime. Anime songs include not just opening and ending songs, there’s also soundtrack and more which we will cover in this article. ...
K-pop idols have become a global phenomenon, but how about Japanese idols who have been around for just as long if not longer? We take a look at J-idols, what the idol and fandom culture is like, as w...
Washoku is traditional Japanese food, a crucial part of Japanese culture. In this article, we explain the characteristics of washoku and introduce several classic washoku dishes. Every meal should end...