Every one of us has a stubborn friend who adamantly refuses to watch anime, despite our numerous attempts. This happens because anime is one of the most misunderstood forms of media.
Despite just being a term for all Japanese animations, anime is misrepresented by childish shows or the more extreme perverted ones. It is considered an outlet for the socially inept, and due to this, many prefer to watch their "real life" shows rather than some series that they think contain magical girls or sexy maids.
While there are niche anime that fuel those assumptions, it is only a small part of the whole. Just like American mainstream media, multiple shows cater to different audiences, and depending on what one chooses, the experience is entirely different.
Unfortunately, badgering someone averse to animations or an "anime-hater" to watch them isn't going to be of much help. Instead, direct them to these ten brilliant anime that will interest everyone! From gritty and psychological shows to thrilling action series, the shows on this list are sure to convert anime haters to lovers!
10. Jujutsu Kaisen
Despite being extremely recent, Jujutsu Kaisen has seen immense popularity in the anime community. Many people have started watching anime after being introduced to the series, and a lot of fans have even deemed it one of the best shows.
The story follows Yuuji Itadori, a young boy who spends his days at either the clubroom or with his bedridden grandfather at the hospital. However, after encountering a cursed item, he finds himself suddenly thrust into the world of Curses. Even worse, after swallowing a finger belonging to the demon Sukuna Ryoumen, the "King of Curses," Yuuji's life is constantly threatened.
Determined to lessen the suffering of the people troubled with Curses, Itadori enters the Tokyo Metropolitan Jujutsu Technical High School and begins to walk down the path of a Jujutsu sorcerer.
This show is the perfect anime to convert anime haters to lovers because, unlike their original assumptions, Jujutsu Kaisen has a dark and engaging storyline with beautiful animation. There's no dull moment, and almost every episode will leave one wanting more.
9. One Punch Man
One Punch Man is a funny gag anime that never gets boring. The story follows Saitama, a seemingly ordinary man with a unique hobby: being a hero. After hellishly training to pursue his childhood dream, he is now incredibly powerful. At the simple cost of his hair, no enemy's been able to survive one punch from Saitama.
This has led to an unexpected problem—he can no longer enjoy the thrill of battling and has become quite bored. However, with the arrival of Genos, a 19-year-old cyborg, who wishes to be Saitama’s disciple, the duo’s adventures start.
One Punch Man is an anime that will captivate the audience with its spectacularly animated fight scenes. Even the dialogues will leave one entertained and laughing like never before. Additionally, unlike other shows, OPM has few cliche tropes that might turn off the new viewers, and it is the perfect anime to convert anime haters to lovers!
Steins;Gate is an absolute gem that will definitely be to everyone's liking. Without any fanservice or unnecessary cliche tropes, it manages to capture the audience's attention completely.
Steins;Gate tells the story of Okabe Rintaro, a self-proclaimed mad scientist, and his colleagues at the Future Gadget Laboratory, Hashida Itaru, and Shiina Mayuri. Okabe spends his days indulging in his habit of inventing prospective "future gadgets," the strangest of which is a "Phone Microwave" — a device that does nothing more than turn bananas into a green, jelly-like substance.
At least, that is what the trio thinks until they are spurred into action by a string of mysterious happenings. Their saving grace? The Phone Microwave can send emails to the past, altering the flow of history.
Steins;Gate takes Okabe through the depths of scientific theory and practicality. Now forced across the past and present, he must shoulder the burdens that come with holding the key to the realm of time.
Steins;Gate is a very entertaining series that focuses the better part of its energy on the characters and story, making it one of the best science fiction anime to appear in the last few years. Steins;Gate separates itself from the generic series out there and is sure to appeal to people who hate anime.
7. Angel Beats
Angel Beats is the anime that converted me from an anime hater to a lover. After all, what's better than an anime that will make you laugh and cry uncontrollably at the same time to have as your first show.
The story follows Otonashi, a boy who wakes up in the “afterlife.” Immediately, he comes across a rifle-toting girl named Yuri that leads the Shinda Sekai Sensen (Afterlife Battlefront). The goal of this group is to wage war against Tenshi, a white-haired girl that they believe to be the final boss.
Unable to believe Yuri’s claims and attempts at initiating him into their group, Otonashi attempts to speak with Tenshi, except the encounter doesn’t go exactly as he intended. Soon, he decides to join the SSS but finds himself oddly drawn to their enemy. While trying to regain his memories and understand the mysterious Tenshi, Otonashi gradually unravels the mysteries of the afterlife.
Angel Beats has a unique supernatural premise where a group of dead teenagers refuses to move on to the next life. The anime is interesting enough to hook in viewers and engaging enough to make them stay!
6. Death Parade
- Number of seasons: 1
- Year: 2015
- Watch it here: Netflix, Crunchyroll, Funimation, Amazon Prime Video, AnimeLab
Death Parade is a psychological anime that provides one answer to the question of what happens after we die. Despite what religions may tell us, in this anime, the dead go to a bar and play games. Depending on the results, they might be rewarded with reincarnation or banished to oblivion. Who's the judge, you may ask? Well, Decim, the bartender, will act as the agent of death for these souls and test the morality of both the players and also the spectators.
Death Parade takes a rather unique approach in how it unfolds the story and sets itself apart from other anime by placing an extraordinary emphasis on the concept of death. While every episode looks at different people, by expanding it into the format of a game, all aspects of a player are laid bare to the audience.
Death Parade is a dark thought-provoking anime that will captivate anyone that hits play!
5. Cowboy Bebop
Cowboy Bebop is set in 2071, when the space is full of bandits, people with dreams of a brighter future, and treasure seekers. With such people venturing into space, the Bebop crew is a bounty crew that enforces the law. Spike Spiegel, one of the Bebop members, works alongside his partner, Jet Black, to take down bounties. However, Spike's past haunts him and inches closer than ever.
Cowboy Bebop beautifully explores mature themes such as loneliness, despair, greed, and redemption. While the series starts with action and a healthy dose of goofiness, tension is constantly built up. As a result, the anime ends with a chilling and beautiful resolution that many fans think back to even today.
While these points are enough to make it a must-watch, Cowboy Bebop has one of the best English language dubs ever, making it easier for a new viewer to get into it!
4. Death Note
Death Note is undoubtedly one of those shows that everyone loves, regardless of their interests. After all, who doesn't like a gritty cat and mouse game played by brilliant protagonists?
The premise of Death Note is quite unique. A notebook capable of killing anyone who writes a name in it drops from the sky. Of course, this book ends up in the hands of Light Yagami, a high school student who is bored and sick of this world. After obtaining the power to kill, he decides to use Death Note to create a utopia without criminals.
With a genius and secretive detective, L, trying to detain him, Light is forced to play a gripping game of cat and mouse. With supernatural Shinigamis in the mix, Death Note will fascinate its viewers and leave them begging for more episodes!
The mature themes in Death Note, such as morality and justice, and its strong character building are the perfect way to convert anime haters to lovers!
3. Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan has been considered one of the best anime of all time, especially now that its manga has concluded. The story has an interesting premise: 100 years before the start of the anime story, humanity was on the bridge of extinction due to monstrous humanoids called Titans that devoured humans. These giants are truly terrifying because their taste for human flesh is not born out of hunger but pleasure.
Now, in the present, the remaining small population of humanity lives confined within three “heavenly” walls, resulting in 100 years without a single titan encounter. However, that calm is soon shattered when a titan manages to breach the outer wall and initiates a massacre.
During this tragedy, our main character, Eren Yeager, witnesses his mother’s horrific death and vows to exterminate all titans one day. To do so, he enlists into the Survey Corps, an elite military unit that combats the titans outside the protection of the walls. Along with his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and his childhood friend Armin Arlert, they join the brutal war against the titans and race to discover a way of defeating them before the last walls are breached.
Attack on Titan is the perfect anime to convert anime haters to lovers because it is unlike any other generic anime and has an expansive story, epic fights, and gore. It is truly a show that reaches perfection and entertains the audience thoroughly.
Psycho-Pass is high on this list due to its darker tones, which push the idea that anime isn't really for kids. It's a cyberpunk action anime that comments on society and raises essential questions on morality and its implementation of justice.
The series takes place in Japan during the 22nd century, where a technologically advanced Sibyl System is used to determine threats towards the country. It does so by examining each citizen’s psycho pass (aka mental state) and allowing inspectors to subjugate any that harbor ill-will. As Akane Tsunemori, a young and determined woman, enters the work field alongside veteran Enforcer Shinya Kougami, the Sibyl System’s judgments are finally questioned.
Psycho-Pass beautifully interweaves morality with action so that the viewer gets to ponder over the show’s psychological and philosophical aspects as well as experience blood-pumping fights. The anime also boasts a rich story that draws many parallels with reality. Psycho-Pass will definitely convert anime haters to lovers in just one season!
1. Grave of the Fireflies
What better way to convert anime haters to lovers than by making them sob convulsively?
Grave of the Fireflies occurs during World War II, just when the atomic bombs fall on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. The devastating consequences of war are beautifully displayed through the struggles of Seita and his younger sister, Setsuko. As the siblings separate from their parents, their heartbreaking tale of survival starts.
The realistic portrayal of war and the ugliness of human nature it brings out is unflinchingly shown to the viewers. Grave of the Fireflies is designed to leave its viewers weeping and in shock. It is an anime that will impact anyone, no matter whether they like animations or not.
This anime is completely different from the tropes the media is mischaracterized by and will spike viewers' interest. Furthermore, since it's a movie, Grave of the Fireflies is easier to watch, making it the best gateway to anime.