Ah, beginner anime.
I remember my first beer…wait what? That’s not right. Ahem…I remember my first anime. The gateway show that drove me into the depths of anime Hell and back. Yes, I remember it well. *Gives Sailor Moon the up and down* Yeah…I’m looking at you Usagi. With your cute meatball head and that flailing piece of toast in your mouth as you run off to school because you’re late ONCE again. Tsk tsk.
Buuut we all have to start somewhere! Sailor Moon wasn’t my only love when I was a wee tater-tot though. I also have to give credit to Digimon, Pokemon, CardCaptor Sakura, Monster Rancher, Zoids, and even Hamtaro. All very formidable shows for their times!
Some of you may know (but for those who don’t follow me…which you should be and I don’t know what you are waiting for *cough cough*) I posted a poll on my Twitter a few days ago asking if I should create this list…and with a whooping 14 votes…you all voted yes! So here we are! Me creating a rousing starter guide of beginners anime for those who are new to the scene or who are just non-otaku lame-o’s and need to join the dark side…tehehe 😉
I then went on to ask some of your guys favorite starter anime and I was pleasantly surprised by some of the recommendations! Some of the shows mentioned will now be listed down below….soooo you better keep on reading my pandas 😀
1. Cowboy Bebop
Cowboy Bebop has become an iconic show in the anime community. It is something I feel like everyone can enjoy. While it is classified as 17+ and built for a more mature audience, I still think it has the grounds to be appreciated by a wide range of people including a more “normal” audience. Of course, I probably wouldn’t let small children watch this but I think this is a great anime for young adults to get started with. It has action, adventure, romance, comedy (which is pure gold), and drama. A perfect blend of all the genres mixed together to create a sensational Sci-Fi masterpiece.
2. Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume’s Book of Friends)
With a hilarious comedic duo, Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume’s Book of Friends) encompasses the ideal Slice of Life meets Fantasy meets Drama meets unlikely Friendship anime. It has everything a show could ever want or need. The emotional roller coaster that this show takes you on is thought-provoking, and nothing short of incredible. You’ll feel pity, anger, sorrow, astonishment, happiness, and absolute elation when you watch this 13 episode series. And the best part about this show? Nyanko-sensei of course! ❤
3. Little Witch Academia
I’m sure most of us who have seen this show already know that Little Witch Academia is basically a rip-off of Harry Potter…buuut that doesn’t stop me from loving it any less! Yes! This show is a big hit if you are emotionally invested in the Harry Potter franchise or if you just like magical fantasy that involves cute witches. This 25 episode series, along with two feature length films is great if you’re craving a little wizardry in your life. While Akko as the main protagonist is hilarious in her own right, my favorite witchy witch in this series is Sucy. Sucy is pretty much my spirit animal XD
4. One Punch Man
One Punch Man. The Goat of comedy anime. Yes, I said it. One Punch Man is LITERALLY THE MOTHERFUCKING GOAT of comedy anime. Don’t make me repeat myself! This anime series is also rated 17+ but this list isn’t intended for children anyways. This is for the adults who need to share their love of anime with their normie friends. Honestly this show doesn’t even need an explanation. It is literal PERFECTION and just needs to be shared with everyone as much a possible. So…SHARE ON MY FRIENDS!
5. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun)
Girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, boy is too dense to notice girl is in love with him. Yup! That pretty much sums up Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun) quite well. Personally, I don’t think you can go wrong with a rom-com anime. They are pretty light-hearted with a little drama and misunderstanding thrown into the mix. Sometimes they can even be pretty close to real life experiences and other times they are just off the wall insane (but we’ll pretend those moments didn’t happen for the sake of our sanity). If you wanna see some hilarious moments ensue throughout a young girls first romance then I highly suggest checking this show out!
6. Death Note
Is this the dark side? Nope! It’s just Death Note. While Death Note does run a bit more on the darker side of the spectrum, it is an anime that cannot be reviled. It is unique, it is harrowing, it is the embodiment of human nature at its very core. Death Note is considered more of a “famous” or “popular” anime in the otaku community, but there is no denying that this show is a masterpiece. I know some people dislike the second half of this series because of the long drawn out cat-and-mouse game, but I have to say I enjoy the series in its entirety. This series actually gives the viewer a “pay off” experience, while keeping you on the edge of your seat the entire time you watch it. If you like psychological thrillers as much as I do, then grab your tea ladies and gents because this one is coming in HOT.
IT’S A BIRD…no…IT’S A PLANE…no…It’s cat face Yato! The Delivery God is here to grant your wish of supernatural comedy with a splash of action and adventure. No really, if you want your wish granted you probably should see someone other than Yato. The God of Calamity doesn’t do very well with wishes…well he does pretty okay sometimes. Noragami is another one of those anime series that you can’t help but just love. You don’t really need a reason to love it…you kinda just do. That’s how I feel about this show. I love Noragami because (mainly because of Yato’s cat face but that’s besides the point) it’s relatable, has well-written characters, and is coupled with an interesting story filled with action and comedy. I would call this a tri-blend anime. With just a little of this and a little of that with a pinch of other.
8. Plastic Memories
I didn’t want to go full bore sadness with Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April), so I am opting for Plastic Memories instead. While I love and adore Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April), I feel like Plastic Memories is often overlooked in terms of comparison. Plastic Memories also does incredibly well in the drama/romance department. It tugs at the heartstrings of the viewer, while also opening up the mind to what it means to love something that isn’t completely human. A lot of reviews are hard on this anime because it flashes tones of slice of life while adding in drama, but I felt like these moments are needed in order to get the viewer to relate to Tsukasa’s personal feelings. You need to have character reliability in order to have a driving force in a show. Plastic Memories is a show that is precisely what the title says it is…about making memories with those you cherish. I say people should still give this show a shot! I know I cried like a baby at the end.
9. Bungou Stray Dogs
If seeing Dazai’s cute face doesn’t sell you on this show, then I don’t know what else will. Oh wait! That’s right! This show is actually so good it’s terrifying. It is another one of those tri-blend anime series. It has comedy, action, mystery, supernatural elements, and even a little seinen (geared more towards a male audience but I think everyone can enjoy this type of genre). Bungou Stray Dogs has climbed the ranks of my own personal favorites list ever since it aired back in 2016. I just loooovvvveeee this show so much! I highly recommend this show to any of my friends who are looking for something new to watch (and to people who haven’t seen it yet). Fun fact! All of the characters are named after famous authors and their powers are named after book titles. For example, Osamu Dazai’s power of negating other people’s powers is called No Longer Human, the last completed work of Osamu Dazai.
10. Uma Musume: Pretty Derby
Y’all didn’t think I was gonna put Uma Musume: Pretty Derby on here did you? Well I am! And for good reason too! This show was a standout series for me this spring anime season. I can’t believe how much I fell in love with this show. The premise behind Uma Musume: Pretty Derby seemed pretty corny at first, but now that the show is over I am blown away with P.A. Works and their creation. They really put a lot of thought and effort into making this show and I applaud them for it. This show also has some real life inspiration worked into it. The girls in the show are all named after famous racehorses. Most of them were from Japan but other bloodlines from other countries were mixed in as well. I wrote a Top Ten Tuesday post about this show at the beginning of May. If you want to check that out all you have to do is click here: https://kawaiipaperpandas.wordpress.com/2018/05/01/ttt-top-ten-tuesday-ten-reasons-why-im-loving-uma-musume-pretty-derby-pssst-its-mainly-because-the-girls-are-super-pretty/.
Whew! We made it to the end! How did I do guys? Do you think this list is fitting for anime beginners? Do you think others should be added? I can always do a second part to this list if you like. I also purposefully left off anime films because I feel like they are in a league of their own. I can also do a roundup of movies as well! Let me know your thoughts and feelings in the comments section below. Thank you so much for joining me this lovely Tuesday. I’ll catch you guys in my next post. Jaa ne!
Disclaimer: All imagery and photos come from searching for them on the internet. I have no claim or right to them.