As I’m sure anyone who has gone through it can tell you, puberty is not fun. It’s a confusing transitional period. If you’ve never experienced the joys of puberty then you’re either too old or too young and this post likely won’t appeal to you. If you are on the cusp of puberty or suffering through it as we speak then this is for you. I intend to plot a course through this period in your life, year by year with the use of TV, Movies and Books all from my own experiences starting at the age of 13. That means that this isn’t a comprehensive list, nor do I claim to be an expert on this topic.
When you’re 13, you’ve probably seen things like Pokemon, Yugioh, Power Rangers and similarly action-oriented children’s shows, Naruto is like that if you ramped it up a degree. Magic Ninjas fighting each other. Most of the characters are 12/13 and occasionally the violence will escalate to epic degrees.
As for the story, Naruto is about the orphaned and ostracised Naruto Uzumaki and his journey and determination to become the Hokage, the most powerful ninja in his village. The story follows Naruto as he makes friends that he thought he never could and is about those bonds. Naruto will teach you about perseverance as you watch the young ninja struggle to get stronger and stronger will also dealing with the everyday pressures of being a teenager. The story is great from the beginning and up until its 28th volume or the 135th episode, after that the story becomes a lot more inconsistent and starts becoming a lot more about who can be the strongest physically.
14. Mob Psycho 100
Naruto was a badass, violent, wish-fulfillment fantasy for many, one that happened to provide a great story. Mob Pyscho 100, on the other hand, is about power and your responsibilities when you have it. The story follows 14-year-old Shigeo Kageyama also know as Mob. He is an incredibly powerful psychic with repressed emotions. He has trouble making friends and connecting with people. When his emotions reach “100%”, his power explodes. The messages at the heart of Mob Pyscho 100 are that even if you have power or psychic abilities that doesn’t make you better than everyone else and that all the talent and success in the world doesn’t count for shit, if you can’t impress the girl you like.
Mob Psycho 100 is a gorgeously animated piece of work with action and comedy to boot. Many will come for the action and the comedy, but then they will stay for the impactful lessons learned along the way.
15. Ready Player One
Admittedly, this entry will likely have less of an impact on you as a person, but I do feel that it is one of the best young-adult novels I have read. Ready Player One is a dystopian science-fiction. It is about people called “Gunters” who are hunting for an easter egg in a virtual reality system that is both an MMORPG and as a virtual society. I don’t want to spoil the story as it truly is engaging but I will say this. Ready Player One has bits of everything, it has comedy, actions, story, characters and even romance. If you liked things such as Sword Art Online, Westworld and Log-Horizon you’ll definitely enjoy this. Ready Player One is my favourite book of all time and it even has a critically acclaimed audiobook read by Will Wheaton.
You’re 16 now. If you’re anything like me than you are easily set off into fits of anger. You get angry at yourself, your parents, occasionally your friends. That is where Daria comes in. Daria is about the titular character, a deadpan, sarcastic misanthrope who is often times smarter than everyone around her. The series chronicles her journey through high school. It uses the setting of an exaggerated suburban town as a backdrop to explore the sheer stupidity of most people in the real world. Daria is a cathartic experience for the cynical. If in a bad mood, I will often throw on a random episode and be calmed down and reassured by watching someone else struggle with the same things I did.
17. That 70s Show
Daria is a comedy, don’t get me wrong but That 70s Show is something else. That 70s Show is hands down my favourite sitcom of all time. It’s a teen sitcom framed as a period piece. That 70s Show creates likeable and realistic characters that are easy to empathise and sympathise with. It is especially relatable for teenagers as the characters are all 14-18. If nothing else it is an interesting look back that start of the careers of Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and other now famous actors. The setting is the boring do-nothing town of Point Place Wisconsin in 1976. The show pokes fun at yet sympathises with people in their teen aged years along with the trials and tribulations that come with it. This show parodies many of the attitudes and fads of the 70s.
You’re an adult now. No longer shackled by the constraints of pubescence and childhood. Time for college! Community provides a window into this life for you. Its mix of high and low-brow humor shows an eclectic mix of creatively crafted characters from a wide range backgrounds. If you’re somewhat closed minded like some teenagers are, Community will help you to break down that barrier. The comedy is not limited to one genre either, from Jeff’s wit to Troy & Abed’s goofy antics. The show pokes fun at a variety of different subjects and no one on the cast is safe from ridicule. Community is one of my personal favourite sitcoms for its smart humour.