Past tense: underrated; past participle: underrated
–underestimate the extent, value, or importance of (someone or something).–
Thought I would throw in a little vocabulary lesson for you guys today. I am sure you all know what underrated means, but when it comes to anime “underrated” simply means finding a gem hidden amongst all the garbage. It is like finding the holy grail of shows in a pile full of rubble and bones.
It is not very often that we get anime that blows us fans out of the water. While most of us have our favorites and other times we just join the hype train (because everyone else is doing it and that makes you a cool kid), but other times you have to forge your own path in order to find gem-worthy anime.
I wanted to offer you guys some of those treasure like anime. I wanted to be a “sharing is caring” type of person and allow you to partake in my finds. Just remember that these are anime that I enjoy and relish and feel like they are underrated. You may have seen these already or if you haven’t then I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. It’s always a great feeling knowing you found an anime that really leaves you with a lasting impression. Those are the best kind ❤
1. Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Seasons 1 & 2
This anime right here is a fucking MASTERPIECE! I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING YOU. I don’t call an anime a masterpiece unless I truly truly mean it. This anime ranks at #2 on my top 10 anime list. It shares the slot with Natsuyuki Rendezvous (because this anime has my heart as well so I can’t decide which is better….I know…I suck at making decisions but that’s besides the point). Anywho…here is the synopsis for the show:
“Yotarou is a former yakuza member fresh out of prison and fixated on just one thing: rather than return to a life of crime, the young man aspires to take to the stage of Rakugo, a traditional Japanese form of comedic storytelling. Inspired during his incarceration by the performance of distinguished practitioner Yakumo Yuurakutei, he sets his mind on meeting the man who changed his life. After hearing Yotarou’s desperate appeal for his mentorship, Yakumo is left with no choice but to accept his very first apprentice.
As he eagerly begins his training, Yotarou meets Konatsu, an abrasive young woman who has been under Yakumo’s care ever since her beloved father Sukeroku Yuurakutei, another prolific Rakugo performer, passed away. Through her hidden passion, Yotarou is drawn to Sukeroku’s unique style of Rakugo despite learning under contrasting techniques. Upon seeing this, old memories and feelings return to Yakumo who reminisces about a much earlier time when he made a promise with his greatest rival.
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu is a story set in both the past and present, depicting the art of Rakugo, the relationships it creates, and the lives and hearts of those dedicated to keeping the unique form of storytelling alive.”
Everything about this anime is superb. From the story-line, to the characters and their development, to the progression of the show, everything will just blow you out of the water. If you do decide to watch this show the very first episode is 40 mins long so be prepared for that. Also this anime isn’t action packed and sits on the slower side of the anime scale but it is all worth it in the end. I love slow-burner stories. They are good for the soul.
2. Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (Grimgar of Fantasy & Ash)
With its watercolor animation and deeply profound characters, Grimgar is another anime that tends to get overlooked by views. This anime is also a tad slower but the feelings you get from this anime make up for that. This anime is one that makes you “feel all the feels.” You get so invested in these characters that you can’t help but feel for them. I personally love sad anime and ones that make me cry. Grimgar is one that should be watched by everyone.
“Fear, survival, instinct. Thrown into a foreign land with nothing but hazy memories and the knowledge of their name, they can feel only these three emotions resonating deep within their souls. A group of strangers is given no other choice than to accept the only paying job in this game-like world—the role of a soldier in the Reserve Army—and eliminate anything that threatens the peace in their new world, Grimgar.
When all of the stronger candidates join together, those left behind must create a party together to survive: Manato, a charismatic leader and priest; Haruhiro, a nervous thief; Yume, a cheerful hunter; Shihoru, a shy mage; Mogzo, a kind warrior; and Ranta, a rowdy dark knight. Despite its resemblance to one, this is no game—there are no redos or respawns; it is kill or be killed.
It is now up to this ragtag group of unlikely fighters to survive together in a world where life and death are separated only by a fine line.”
3. Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance)
If you want a thriller with a little bit of action and a lot of psychological warfare then Zankyou no Terror is right up your alley. I love this anime because it plays with your emotions so well. You’re essentially rooting for the bad guys but you so want them to be good. In a way they are but it all unfolds quite dramatically. It will keep you on your toes.
“Painted in red, the word “VON” is all that is left behind after a terrorist attack on a nuclear facility in Japan. The government is shattered by their inability to act, and the police are left frantically searching for ways to crack down the perpetrators. The public are clueless—until, six months later, a strange video makes its way onto the internet. In it, two teenage boys who identify themselves only as “Sphinx” directly challenge the police, threatening to cause destruction and mayhem across Tokyo. Unable to stop the mass panic quickly spreading through the city and desperate for any leads in their investigation, the police struggle to act effectively against these terrorists, with Detective Kenjirou Shibazaki caught in the middle of it all.
Zankyou no Terror tells the story of Nine and Twelve, the two boys behind the masked figures of Sphinx. They should not exist, yet they stand strong in a world of deception and secrets while they make the city fall around them, all in the hopes of burying their own tragic truth.”
4. Speed Grapher
Speed Grapher is one of those anime that is a little odd and creepy but keeps you wanting more. It has a supernatural element with slight gore and action. I love Speed Grapher because it is a little off the wall. It doesn’t follow the same norms as every other anime out there and I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much. The same could be said of Darker than Black. I tend to watch dark themed anime with elements of fucked up shit happening to the characters. I live for that shit.
“Ten years after the Bubble War, the dichotomy between the rich and the poor in the world becomes more prominent and Japan is no exception. The rich seek to satisfy their desires and derive pleasure for themselves, and Tokyo has materialized into such a city as a result. Saiga, once a war photographer, works for Hibara Ginza in the capitalist state of Tokyo. He infiltrates the Roppongi Club, a secretive base located in the red light district of the city, to collect information about them. However, he was caught in the process and brought forward to a girl called Kagura who was in the midst of a ritual. His contact with Kagura awakens his special ability: the power to make things explode when photographed. In order to unravel the mystery behind the Roppongi Club and Kagura, Saiga begins his solitary battle.”
Mushi-shi is an anime that takes you on a journey of fantasy and supernatural. I love Mushi-shi because we got a new story every episode. Ginko is the MC but we hear about so many other people’s tales. It was like being around a campfire and everyone took turns telling their ghost story. I am a sucker for people telling me stories about their past. In a way that’s how Mushi-shi works.
“Mushi”: the most basic forms of life in the world. They exist without any goals or purposes aside from simply “being.” They are beyond the shackles of the words “good” and “evil.” Mushi can exist in countless forms and are capable of mimicking things from the natural world such as plants, diseases, and even phenomena like rainbows.
This is, however, just a vague definition of these entities that inhabit the vibrant world of Mushishi, as to even call them a form of life would be an oversimplification. Detailed information on Mushi is scarce because the majority of humans are unaware of their existence.
So what are Mushi and why do they exist? This is the question that a “Mushishi,” Ginko, ponders constantly. Mushishi are those who research Mushi in hopes of understanding their place in the world’s hierarchy of life.
Ginko chases rumors of occurrences that could be tied to Mushi, all for the sake of finding an answer.
It could, after all, lead to the meaning of life itself.”
Unbreakable Machine Dolls
RIN–Daughters of Mnemosyne
What anime(s) do you think deserve some more love and attention? Which ones are your favorites? I am always looking for hidden gem anime so feel free to leave some suggestions in the comments!
Disclaimer: All imagery and photos come from searching for them on the internet. I have no claim or right to them. If I find any links I will always post them (this usually entails fan art or any other work affiliated with an artist).