Recently I’ve been asked to recommend anime series to watch for someone who’s never watched anime outside of Pokemon. I gladly gave him a list of 10 shows I know someone like him would like, especially since most were some that he could watch with his kids. So that brought me to this…if you are trying to get someone into anime for the first time and they think they are too old/smart for cartoons, show them this list. I’m going to do 5 in this post and the rest in another.
Yes, the first anime series is Digimon. I know it was considered a Pokemon copy but hear me out. Unlike Pokemon, Digimon has character development and an actual plot (outside of trying to be the very best). These children are tossed into another world with strange creatures and pretty much have to learn how to survive AND deal with child/adult problems with people they don’t fully know. The characters experience loss, love, and severe emotional change. Is it silly at times? Yes. But underneath the silliness, you will see the character grow and mature. You won’t find that kind of range in Pokemon. Digimon has a plethora of series to choose from so I suggest trying Digimon Tamers if you want to start with something serious and somewhat more “adult” first.
9. Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion is a complicated series. There’s the original, 26-episode run, then there’s two companion films, and now there’s a four-part series reboot that’s due to wrap up this year. The original series, which is what we’re specifically recommending here, is cut from the fairly simple “giant robot” template: a humble boy stumbles into a role in which the fate of the world rests on his shoulders—through the cockpit of a giant, mysteriously powerful mecha. After finishing about a quarter of the series, however, the show becomes a larger commentary on depression, faith, self-doubt, parent-child relationships, and a slew of complex social interactions. With the series’ being so enigmatic—what, with all the ambiguous psuedo-science and religious iconography—it’s easy to see why a single run through of the series is going to leave viewers with more questions than answers. Unlike any other series, it’s given me plenty to speculate, dissect, and enjoy regardless of its occasionally perplexing nature. —Gregory Babcock (Explained better than I could)
8. Full Metal Alchemist
If you are looking for something well rounded with a bevy of characters with a hint of political turmoil and slight racism, this is the anime to start with. This is not for kids to watch with you. I take that back, you can have kids watch it but they won’t understand some of the dialogue but they will still enjoy. This story follows two brothers, Ed and Alphonse who attempt to revive their deceased mother through the art of alchemy. This goes horribly wrong and cost Ed his arm and foot while Al loses his body and his spirit is confined to a suit of armor. They then set out to become State Alchemist which leads them down a path of violence and political intrigue. I highly recommend this series to start someone off of. Actually, a better one would be the series closer to the manga Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. It’s shorter and has a lot more dialogue.
Warning: This anime is bloody as hell. Seriously, it’s violent and ever so wonderful. This anime follows a soldier named Guts (appropriate right?) who basically kills his way to becoming the leader of a mercenary group. At times the story moves very slow but its in a way that the newbie shouldn’t mind. Basically think Game of Thrones animated.
6. One Punch Man
One Punch Man is the hero we deserve. Saitama is a plain-looking guy who just so happens to be so incredibly strong that he can defeat any enemy in a single punch. Being that strong sounds like it would be great, but as we learn it can actually be pretty boring. This is honestly a funny anime that is beautifully drawn. There is a plot (somewhere) so it should catch the newbies attention. It’s perfect for someone just looking for a getaway mentally and doesn’t need much sense to be made at the time.
That’s it for the first 5 beginner anime (IMO). I will compile part 2 later this week and post it. Tell your newbie friend to take a gander at some of these series and see how they like them. Remember, I have another list coming so if this doesn’t bait them, the next one may. If you have any honorable mentions to add for anyone else looking to get into anime, post them! I would love see them and recommend them to other friends. Until next time. Nerd Out!