Now you might be wondering to yourself what the heck is a “sleeper” anime? Well my pandas…Ayano-senpai is here to tell you! A “sleeper” anime is a word I coined for an anime series that might not necessarily get a lot of hype or might be one that not a lot of people are watching at the time of its premier date. It kinda derives from the “sleep on” slang definition which is:
“To ignore, overlook, or to forget something. Used as a verb: to sleep on something. Overlooking something that is deemed good or tight.”
Like “don’t sleep on this anime cause you might be missing out on something good” type of thingy. Yeah, we’ll go with that! Hence me shorting it down to a “sleeper anime.” Over the last few years I have noticed a trend in anime that are superb in terms of story-line complexity, character development, plot progression, and overall conclusion not getting the necessary hype they deserve. This actually happens with a lot of anime that typically fly under the otaku radar. While in most cases said “sleeper” anime usually finds momentum within a small group of the community, the vast majority of anime watchers tend to miss out on these shows.
It isn’t until the anime is out for quite sometime before people start to take notice of it. Titles such as ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, and Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii desu ka? are all perfect examples of this situation. While on the other hand if you are a pretty big seasonal anime watcher like myself you probably either got to watch these titles right out of the gate or within a reasonable amount of time. But I also know some people in the otaku community would rather binge watch a whole series instead of waiting each week for a new episode to arrive. These are typically the people who miss out on “sleeper” anime.
While watching over-hyped anime isn’t necessarily a bad thing, these types of shows tend to overshadow lesser known series that might be good if not better. Granted, I love jumping on the bandwagon when it comes to shows like Boku no Hero Academia, Yuri on Ice, Shingeki no Kyojin, Nanatsu no Taizai, Overlord, so on and so forth but sometimes I just want to watch something that is a bit more low-key. Something that isn’t typically done with the over-hyped anime crowd. I loooove picking a show at random and falling in love with it based on principal alone. Not because of the hype, or because of everyone else’s opinions, or because you can see it plastered on every billboard advertisement in Japan, but because it was something I chose to watch on my own accord. That is the quintessential ideal of what it means to be an anime fan.
“Sleeper” type anime keep the otaku community fresh, and invigorating, and hopeful. I don’t mind seeing the same plot points or character types, but sometimes anime series can feel a little played out. It’s shows like Shoukoku no Altair (Altair: A Record of Battles), Tsuki ga Kirei, Sora yori mo Tooi Basho, and Uma Musume: Pretty Derby that keep me wanting more. Hell! I even heard that Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens and Hinamatsuri are good as well and they weren’t on my radar in the first place. I think I might have to check these out sometime in the near future.
Honestly, I recommend picking an anime you normally wouldn’t watch and trying it out for a change. My two favorite shows I picked at random were Nagi no Asukara and Natsuyuki Rendezvous. Granted, a lot of people dislike these shows for obvious reasons but to me these two shows will always have a special place in my heart. I mean…I wouldn’t have bought them on DVD if I thought otherwise. Pick a show that you have seen floating around from time to time and watch it without going too much into detail about it. Have fun with your anime choices! Not every show has to be picture perfect or have the most immaculate story-line. It can have flaws, it can be fundamentally the same as another anime series, it can have okay characters/character development and it can still be good! As I have stated on my Twitter before as long as something within that anime show resonates with you then that show has done its job.
Do what makes YOU happy my pandas! If that means liking an anime that not everyone else might or watching a “sleeper” anime you ordinarily wouldn’t pick for yourself I say go for it! You do you boo boo. Not everyone is going to like the same things and that is the beauty of having a difference of opinions. It makes us all different and unique and special. Keep on keeping on my pandas.
P.S. if you are interested in watching any of the anime series I listed above I highly recommend either Shoukoku no Altair (Altair: A Record of Battles) or ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka. Both are incredible and need more love! ❤
Disclaimer: All imagery and photos come from searching for them on the internet. I have no claim or right to them.