Fantasy books are the best, but sometimes I like to give my weary eyes a rest and go do something else for a short while. However, I still love my fantasy genre and often look for fantasy stories in the other mediums that I go to. As such, I thought it might be nice to compile a list of great fantasy works outside books that some of you haven’t checked out yet. Please keep in mind that this isn’t a best-of list, I just am trying to draw attention to some fantasy outlets that you have likely heard of and not tried, or haven’t heard of at all. I am skipping things like the Lord of the Rings, Miyazaki, and Harry Potter movies because you have likely already seen them.
Non-Book Reading Material
Saga – At this point I am pretty sure Saga is at 100% comic reader market saturation and I am just wasting my time preaching to the choir. If you have somehow not read Saga yet, please for your own good do. The comics follow the story of a couple from warring races as they try to survive the hatred of their people in a sci-fi/fantasy world that wants them dead. The humor is incredible, the story is beautiful, the characters fantastic, the art gorgeous, and it’s like 10 dollars per volume which is insanely cheap for a comic. Please read it.
One Piece – Yes the extremely popular shonen manga One Piece is on my list. If you are unfamiliar with One Piece, it follows the story of a pirate crew through a fantasy world where eating magical fruit can give you god like powers in exchange for the loss of the ability to swim. It’s a ridiculous concept done extremely well, which is a nice succinct summary of the show. I love One Piece because it can never fail to innovate on its fantasy elements and find new and inventive ways to make rubber cool. The world is fascinating despite its ridiculous manner, and while reading it I want to know more about everything always (a good sign of very solid worldbuilding). On top of this it makes me laugh constantly which is always a plus.
Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea – The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea are two movies by an Irish animation studio that to begin with are gorgeous. The Secret of Kells tells a fantasy version of the creation of Ireland’s great treasure, the Book of Kells, and Song of the Sea tells the story of a Selkie (sort of like an Irish mermaid?) trying to get home. They both are gorgeous, heartwarming, and fun movies that tell a great fantasy narrative. After watching both films I am prepared to recommend anything this guys make for the foreseeable future.
Snowpiercer – A science fiction pick, but still wholly worth your time. Snowpiercer is a sci-fi action movie about a train that circles the Earth keeping the last humans alive in the frozen wasteland that is the planet. It is also about class struggles as the main character, played by Chris Evans, leads a revolt of the poor against the rich. This movie sounds ridiculous but the acting is on point, the concepts are fantastic despite being outlandish, and the set pieces are awesome and memorable. It is really worth a few hours of your time to give this a shot.
Golden Sun – With the current pokemon craze, someone recently asked me if I consider pokemon fantasy. I told them no, but only because Golden Sun exists and makes pokemon seems like something else. Golden Sun is an older fantasy rpg for the game boy advance that tells the story of four adepts of the four elements, and their attempt to restore balance to the world. Whilst doing so, the adepts collect various elemental sprites (like pokemon) to give themselves strength. It is kinda like Avatar: The Last Airbender meets pokemon with incredible storytelling. While “elemental mages save the world” is not the most original of plots, it is written extremely well in game and I found myself not only enjoying the game play but needing to know what happened next.
Divinity: Original Sin – this is a game I stumbled across purely by accident and I cannot sing its praises loudly enough. The story again follows typical video game plot fanfare, two source hunters (warriors), must save the world from a universe eating dragon (that is currently imprisoned) and a mad witch who wants to set it free. However, with Divinity the devil is in the details. Each pixel of the game is bursting with dialogue, interaction, humor, wit, and fantasy storytelling to the point where it is probably the single most immersive fantasy experience I have had. I highly recommend you check it out, if you are a fan of fantasy you will not be disappointed.