In recent years, anime, a genre of Japanese animation, has grown immensely in popularity. What was once a nerdy and lame interest of a few has now blossomed into one of the most popular TV show and movie genres. With this genre’s new claim to fame, many people have dived in and adopted anime into their entertainment world, but many don’t know where to start. I remember being in such a place and so today, I am offering up five of the first animes I watched that I believe are great starts for beginners who want to start watching anime, but don’t know where to begin. Although some of these series may be more popular and cliché, I believe they help transition people into the deeper world of anime. So, let’s take a look at my five anime recommendations.
1. My Hero Academia
Seasons and Episodes: 4 seasons and 88 episodes (ongoing)
My Hero Academia is one of the most popular animes and one of the ones most often seen in mainstream media. The series takes place in a world where 80% of people possess a superpower known as a quirk. The main character is Izuku Midoriya, a quirkless boy who dreams of becoming a hero. The show follows Izuku’s journey with his fellow classmates as he follows his dream and the challenges he faces along the way with all kinds of villains. If you are a big fan of Marvel or DC movies, My Hero is right up your alley.
2. Demon Slayer
Seasons and Episodes: 1 season and 26 episodes (ongoing)
Demon Slayer is a newer anime that is exponentially rising in popularity. In the world of this series, demons run rampant all around and are only defeated by members of the Demon Slayer Corps. The main character is Tanjiro Kamado who becomes a Demon Slayer to help his sister, Nezuko, who has been turned into a demon. The show follows Tanjiro, Nezuko, and other Demon Slayers as they fight against demons and search for the leader of all the demons, Muzan Kibutsugi, to bring him down. The action and fight scenes in this anime are amazing and the animation style is one of my favorites.
3. Your Lie in April
Seasons and Episodes: 1 season and 22 episodes (finished)
Taking a break from action animes, Your Lie in April is a romance and coming of age anime that might possibly bring you to tears, as it did myself, so have some tissues ready. The main character of the show is Kousei Arima, a child piano prodigy who hasn’t played the piano since his mother’s death two years ago. Things change when the violinist Kaori Miyazono comes into his life and changes everything. The series follows the two along with their friends as they take a journey through music while conquering hardships throughout their life. If you want to see some awe-inspiring animation accompanied by beautiful music, this series brings both.
4. Death Note
Seasons and Episodes: 1 season and 37 episodes (finished)
Moving back to some darker animes, Death Note is a psychological thriller that keeps you guessing the entire time. The main character is Light Yagami, a genius high schooler who one day finds the “Death Note”, a notebook from an alternate world that brings death to anyone whose name is written in it. The notebook originally belonged to Ryuk, a “Shinigami” (closely related to a god of death), who dropped the notebook into the human world to have some fun. Light does not pass the opportunity up and spirals down a rabbit hole of ridding the world of evil people through the Death Note. The series has many twists and interesting psychological aspects that will have you wondering who is really the bad guy.
5. Tokyo Ghoul
Seasons and Episodes: 4 seasons and 48 episodes (finished)
The last anime I watched as a beginner was Tokyo Ghoul, which is one of my favorite shows to date. This series adds elements of horror, action, and psychological thriller into one amazing show. In the world of the series, ghouls are creatures that can only survive by eating human flesh and they live among the human population. The main character is Ken Kaneki, a human who gets turned into a ghoul after a fateful accident. Now, he must orient himself to the new world he is living in and we get an inside look at the dynamic between humans and ghouls. Throughout the series, the question of who is truly evil, ghouls or humans, is brought to light and Kaneki works towards uniting them both.
Anime is an amazing genre of series and movies and a fun and interesting way to learn about Japanese culture! Whatever anime you decide to watch first, just go for it! Don’t be scared or intimidated by a new form of entertainment because in the end, you could love it!