During quarantine back in March, I had finally caved in and started to watch anime. I know by now, anime has gotten extremely popular, and I would assume that at least one of you reading this watches anime as well. I feel a lot of the old stereotypes about it have faded because of its growth in popularity. There are so many anime references in music and pop culture nowadays too. If you grew up watching Pokemon, Naruto, or Dragon Ball, you may not have even realized it was anime.
I admit I had refused to give it a chance for a long time. All throughout high school, I was told to watch it, but it wasn’t until recently I finally caved. What I found was well-created storylines, intricate characters and very unique worlds I would love to be sucked into (besides Attack on Titan). I believe that everyone should give anime a chance because it’s genuinely super interesting, and to me, the characters are a lot more likable than in regular shows. The worlds are so fascinating, and many animes touch on morals and other ideologies in their shows. I’m still pretty new to anime, so I still haven’t seen quite a lot of popular ones. However, since I still am new, I feel I could recommend some anime that would be good to get people interested!
- Mob Psycho 100
This extremely vivid and colorful world sucked me in immediately. The main character, nicknamed Mob, is an esper and an extremely powerful one at that. Wholesome and caring, Mob is one of the most likable main characters of any type of show I have ever seen. The show is animated very cartoony but in such a way that you would enjoy it. The plot is episodic, with more overarching problems towards the middle and end of the seasons. That just makes it even more enjoyable because you can watch many episodes and get an idea of the world without being lost in the show. Not only is the opening theme for both seasons absolutely incredible, but the way the powers, fights and colors are animated is beyond amazing. There is so much detail, ideologies and characters in this world that I wish I could touch upon, but I leave that for you to see if you watch it!
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
I’m currently watching this show right now, but there’s never a dull moment. A tale of two brothers who have the ability to use alchemy, their power system in the world, Edward and Alphonse Elric trying to retrieve their normal bodies. After attempting human transmutation as children to bring back their mother, one of their bodies and several limbs were taken from them. You get to follow them as they grow up and try to find a way to get back to normal. Beneath the main storyline, the issues of geopolitical warfare, genocide, human morals and racism are explored in depth. It somehow mixes the balance of humor and tragedy you can’t help but fall in love with it. You want to make sure you watch the Brotherhood one, and not the original Fullmetal Alchemist because this one is a lot better and more faithful to the manga it was adapted from.
- My Hero Academia
This show is probably one of the most popular animes as of right now. Centered around Izuku Midoriya, also called Deku by his frenemy, a boy who is born without a “quirk” or superpower in a world where everyone has one. That is until his idol and the most popular hero, All Might, comes into the picture. You get to follow his journey at his superhero school and see him fight to become the number 1 hero. With so many different quirks introduced in the show, there’s not only unique heroes but unique villains as well that will have you debating who you like more. It’s four seasons currently, but I finished it pretty quickly because it kept me interested the entire way. It’s definitely an easy show to get into because of the setting, but it’s such a good show you can’t ignore it.
- Death Note
If you are into a darker show thematically, then you might enjoy Death Note. I’m also currently watching this one, and I love it so far. It’s focused on student Light Yagami who finds a “Death Note” where if you write someone's name down in the book, they will die. The sudden rise of murders in Japan brings law enforcement, including L, the enigmatic detective trying to take down Light. The show is fascinating in terms of philosophies and moral beliefs about people’s lives. Only 37 episodes, this show is one of the most popular anime since it’s come out. It’s too iconic to not watch. I know people who are very casual anime watchers and like this show.
This is one of my favorite animes so far that I’ve seen. The art and animation are so incredibly beautiful in this show. Set in old Japan, but with the inclusion of demons roaming the earth, Tanjiro is a young boy whose entire family is murdered by demons except for his younger sister, who becomes a demon. He decided to join the demonslayer corps in hopes of finding a way to turn his sister back into a human. This was the show that made me want to watch more anime. I just loved everything about this show from the characters, the fights and the animation. Tanjiro is also one of the most likable protagonists I’ve seen. He’s compassionate even to the demons who once used to be human. I highly recommend this show for starters in anime because it’s also one season and just a very entertaining show overall.
I could go on about more shows, but I know these are good starter shows for people who want to at least give anime a shot. I know the whole belief that it’s weird or cringey exists, but you never know. Give it a chance, and you might find yourself wanting to watch more. Take it from me because I sure did!