Out of all the forms of entertainment in the world, anime is one that has been growing more and more popular. Not only are there tons to choose from, but many people have a really hard time getting into it because they don’t know where to start. Anime can belong, with some episodes being over 1000 episodes! So as an easy way for newbies to enter this fantastic universe, we compiled a list of “beginner anime” you can use to cajole your victims into becoming one of us.
If you stumbled here on your own because you want to start your journey into anime: good job!
For convenience, we have categorized our list into genres of anime to make it easy for you to promulgate our dark religion.
Content Navigation (TL:DR)
- Best Anime Films For Beginners
- Best Slice of Life Series For Beginners
- Best Comedy Series For Beginners
- Best Isekai Series For Beginners
- Best Sports Series For Beginners
- Horror, Thriller, Suspense, and Psychological anime
- Best Sci-Fi and Mecha Series For Beginners
- Best 90s Series For Beginners
Best Anime Films For Beginners
From the action-packed battles of Cowboy Bebop to the epic romance in Your Name, anime has something for everyone. Below are the best weapons to convince your film-loving normie friends.
Princess Mononoke is a 1997 Japanese animated film that was released in the number one spot at the domestic box office and has been revered worldwide as one of Japan’s top films. Director Hayao Miyazaki spent two decades building up this plot to make it into an anime movie, with his dedication paying off when he won international acclaim for Princess Mononoke. Ashitaka, the last prince of a people called the Enishi, gets cursed while fighting a demon and sets out on an adventure to find an answer. In his journey, he meets Princess Mononoke, who has sided with animals in their fight against humans. Ashitaka soon finds himself caught up in this battle as well but then learns that there is more at stake.
My Neighbor Totoro
Studio Ghibli has a knack for producing excellent fantasy stories with amazing animation qualities, and this one is no different: it was directed by famed director Hayao Miyazaki. This film features fantastical creatures from Japanese folklore, such as tanuki, kappa or bakeneko, that bring about an enjoyable experience to all viewers! The setting of My Neighbor Totoro is a magical rural village in Saitama Prefecture, Japan. An elementary schooler named Satsuki moves there with her young sister Mei and their father Tatsuo to help care for the family’s mother, who stays at the hospital nearby. One day they meet three mystifying creatures called totoros that have mysterious powers!
Howl’s Moving Castle
The story of Howl’s Moving Castle is based on a novel written by Diana Wynne Jones. It follows Sophie, who has been turned into an old woman through her encounter with the witch’s curse and enters adventure trying to break this spell while meeting new characters such as magical creatures along the way.
When 10-year old Chihiro is faced with the curse of her parents being turned into pigs, she must work hard to find a way for them to return from their pig form. She ends up at Yubaba’s bathhouse, where there are many interesting characters like Haku, who assists in meeting Zeniba and kaonashi, which means “No Face”. From Studio Ghibli’s Hisaki Furukawa, Makiko Futaki, with the music of Joe Hisaishi, this anime is has earned a spot on every anime fans’ collection.
Your Name, an animated film created by Makoto Shinkai in 2016, is a revolutionary and awe-inspiring story. The heartwarming movie was aired all over the world between 2018 to 2020, achieving major success at home and abroad! This is the story of two people with different lives who have never met before being involuntarily switched together. The real-life locations in Tokyo and Takayama are what encouraged many fans to explore them as well; Makoto Shinkai’s beautiful animation representations encourage people from all around Japan or even outside!
Best Slice of Life Series For Beginners
In Slice of Life anime, you will be able to see the protagonist’s point-of-view and thoughts on life. You’ll also learn more about their feelings as well! It moves at a slow pace and focuses on how the likable characters live their everyday lives, perfect to become a gateway anime for those seeking a chill experience.
The comedy often involves jokes about Christianity, Buddhism and all things related. We follow the daily lives of Gautama Buddha and Jesus Christ as they live together in a Tokyo apartment. They try to hide their identities as they learn more from this new perspective of modern society that exists in Japan today.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon)
Kobayashi’s day starts off with a surprise when she finds a dragon waiting outside of the door. Upon closer inspection, it turns out that this is not an ordinary house guest but one who can transform into a human form! Kobayashi takes pity on Tooru and decides to take care of her until they find where else she belongs while still retaining some semblance of order in their home.
Mushi are mystical creatures that can only be seen by a select few people. They inhabit the vibrant world of Mushishi, and there is one person who has devoted their life to understanding these mysterious beings called Ginko. What do they look like? From rainbows to plants and disease – Mushi exist everywhere! But how does this relate back to our natural environment? The answer lies in detailing information on Mushi themselves because humans don’t understand them at all.
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Orange’s story is both simple and heartbreaking- but that doesn’t mean it can’t be saved from a grim fate. Naho Takamiya was living her normal life when she starts receiving letters from herself telling her to save the new kid at school; she takes them seriously. She bonds with him more often than not, learns about his troubled home life in greater detail as well as how they might be related; it turns out if things don’t change now, then an even grimmer future awaits! But will changing anything affect what happens to everyone else?
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! (Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!)
This slice-of life comedy features the extraordinary delusions of a chuunii, as well as those trying to recover! It may seem like these human beings are coming from other realms or having some supernatural powers – which would give them bragging rights if true. But alas, we can’t forget that all living things must go through struggles in order for progress to occur. Yuuta Togashi was living a life of peace.
He moved to high school where nobody would recognize him, and he could live out his youth in anonymity. Unfortunately for Yuuto, Rikka Takanashi crash lands into this idea like an asteroid hitting Earth. She is a self-declared vessel of the “Wicked Eye,” who bluntly tells Yuutta that she had been looking forward to meeting the Dark Flame Master from middle school days long past – not realizing her childhood friend has become one with said dark flame master!
Best Comedy Series For Beginners
Comedy is a diverse genre that changes depending on the style. From satire to wittiness, comedy can be found in adventure and fantasy anime, as well as other genres like drama and romance. It only takes one or two episodes on any comedy anime for viewers to fall head over heels laughing offers a lot of gateway anime titles!
The Way of The House Husband
No one can make a better bowl of rice than Mr. Tatsu; his culinary skills are second-to-none. He’s also got an impeccable knack for running errands and keeping everything tidy around the house. The famed “Immortal Dragon” Tatsu, who is best known for his skirmishes against rival gangs in the past, now spends his days as a modest househusband. He has apparently given up being yakuza and can be seen wearing an apron.
Hoozuki is at the top of his game when it comes to micromanagement. He’s got an unrivalled skill for task management – and business has never run smoother than ever thanks to this demonic efficiency. This anime series follows sadistic Hoozuki as he spends his daily life troubleshooting hell with help from a team that includes Jirocho (known in Japanese folklore for being one tough cookie) but also offers up some humorous commentary on modern-day corporate culture.
One Punch Man
One Punch Man is a comedy series parody of superhero stories. The protagonist, Saitama, has easily defeated all the villains with his normal punch, but he doesn’t like being called “the strongest.” He wants to be recognized as a legitimate hero! This funny anime treats all the shounen anime tropes as jokes. Superpowered fight scenes usually lead to absurd situations – it features an interesting cast of characters in the form of powerful espers, overpowered cyborgs, strange martial artists or just plain ordinary people such as License-less Rider.
Check Out: 10 Must Watch Anime Like One Punch Man
Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto
This is a story of an ordinary guy with impeccable skills. Despite not being perfect in every way (cough), he always seems to have the right answer at any given moment – no matter what situation life throws him into! The humour comes from how ridiculously flawless our protagonist appears even though he’s living his average everyday life.
Tonari no Seki-Kun: The Master of Killing Time
Seki-Kun is a genius when it comes to passing the time. He creates games whenever he comes upon a boring moment on his desk. He creates his entertainment by playing dominos with erasers with a pyrotechnic display finale or a shogi battle complete with sinister betrayals, traps, drama and self-sacrifice. Sitting next to Seki is Yokoi; she gets distracted and equally immersed in all of Seki’s antics and annoyed that she can’t pay attention in class because of this.
Best Isekai Series For Beginners
One of the most popular anime and manga today is about a person who gets transported to another dimension. They are usually very adventurous, curious people from our world that get caught up in an otherworldly plot.
The 90’s classic anime is one of the first shows to introduce the genre. The show transports two female characters into a world based on Chinese mythology and tasks them with missions as priestesses on opposing sides. There are no truck-kuns transporting them across dimensions in this story; rather, there are books that transport Miaka and Yui out of their normal lives into another dimension within its pages.
Gate follows the adventures of Japan’s Self-Defense Force at war against an invading kingdom from a parallel world. In addition to forging friendly relations with the inhabitants of this new world, they also battle a variety of fantasy creatures, including dragons and other fantastic beasts. The series does an amazing job blending both modern-day and fantastical elements giving it popular reception amongst fans.
Check Out: 10 Of The Best Anime Like Gate
Saga Of Tanya The Evil
Tanya Degurechaff is a Japanese salaryman who was reborn into the body of Tanya in this new world. Armed with knowledge from her past life and innate magical talent, she rises through the ranks to become an elite military officer while being threatened by Being X’s attempts to turn her devout follower. With such ruthless cunning strategies, viewers can’t help but love and cheer for Tana!
KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World is an anime that both entertains and teaches. Unlike most other Isekai titles, the show focuses mainly on Kazuma Satou getting into ridiculous situations for laughs as well as excitement to watch. The cast of characters includes Megumin, who has only one obsession- explosion magic; Darkness, who is surprisingly masochistic yet still a knight in shining armor; Aqua, who, despite her title being goddess, seems useless and without any sense.
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The Devil Is A Part-Timer!
The Devil Is a Part-Timer! is an anime that is some sort of reverse isekai. Instead of a person from our world transported to a world of sword and magic, we find Satan himself transported to modern-day Japan working for a fast-food chain to make ends meet.
Best Sports Series For Beginners
Sports anime is an exciting genre of Japanese animation that features high-octane action and competitive sports. For some reason or another, these programs never fail to provide the viewer with an adrenaline rush as our heroes overcome challenges both on and off the field! The perfect anime style for your sports-minded victim… err… friend.
Check Out: 30 Of The Best Sports Anime Of All Time
Eiichirō is a young man with an identity crisis. In order to break free from the mundane details of his life, he has decided that it’s time for him to make some changes and live up to what people expect more out of him. He meets this need by training hard at tennis like he always intended but was never able, and learns new skills necessary in becoming successful!
Free! Iwatobi Swim Club
Free! was an anime that managed to please both fan service lovers and sports fans. It’s hard not to be charmed by this beloved anime, whether you’re a boy or girl, as it will make any swimmer want to jump in alongside these boys with their glittering water. Five swimmers meet new friends, rivals and teammates while navigating the waters of middle school life that are both challenging and exhilarating.
Tetsuya Kuroko is a Seirin High School basketball player who excels in the game by using his lack of presence and passing skills to confuse opponents. He’s known as the “phantom sixth man” on the court, but he isn’t just tricking them with moves they can’t understand-he has some great natural talent too!
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Hajime No Ippo
This boxing anime features a lot of character development and intense fights that show the audience strategies and tactics often used in the sport, except Takamura’s overuse of theatrics, that’s for professional wrestling! Ippo Makunouchi is a young, gentle high school student who gets meets an old boxing champion named Takamura Mamoru, and they teach him the art of fighting back. The more Ippo trains, the more he realizes that it’s not all about winning but also getting up when you’re knocked down. It doesn’t matter what your goals are in life as long as you keep pushing forward, no matter how much pain or suffering there may be on the way, even if it involves a bear!
Karasuno High School and its two new recruits are the keys to a newly revived volleyball team in Japan with many obstacles that will test their skills and friendship. We follow them break through all of those tall walls and challenges as a team. The anime focuses on individual characters from time to time to show the audience the struggles, the importance, and the contributions of each member.
Check Out: 11 Of The Best Sports Anime Like Haikyuu
Horror, Thriller, Suspense, and Psychological anime
From bloody stories, psychological horror, ghost stories, or zombies, anime has all that. And if your “friend” loves that kind of entertainment, why?
Tenma is a young prominent, brain surgeon. That fateful night, Tenma faced an impossible decision: save the life of one boy or another mayor with high social standing. The doctor chose to save the first child who came in – and soon after, mysterious murders began happening around him related to that same child whom he saved.
Another follows bizarre deaths surrounding students who can’t seem to die under normal circumstances. One inquisitive transfer student sets out on his own journey to figure out why these horrible things keep happening– there are many victims here and none aware they’re being targeted by ghosts. This series has one of the most unexpected ways to die in all of Japanese anime.
The Promised Neverland
“Mom” is the head of Grace Field House, and she’s strict with a side order of mean. She makes sure that all orphans stay on lockdown for their own good—but it doesn’t stop her from being one herself! The children are not unhappy, I assure you (why would they be?). What lies beyond the gate? Oh, nothing but a gaggle of demons who gobble up orphans for breakfast. That’s right: “Grace Field is just an all-you-can-eat buffet where humans and their emotions can be served to various appetites.”
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The Flowers of Evil
Takao Kasuga is a high school student who loves to read Charles Baudelaire and hang out with his classmate Nanako Saeki. He feels like an outsider in many ways, but Saeki has been the only bright light in his life until he meets Sawa Nakamura. When Takao finds himself caught taking her gym clothes by Nakamura, it throws him for a loop that leaves him both shaken and thrilled at their interactions; from there on out, she’s unlike anyone else!
Chihiro Furuya is a high school student who has an obsession with zombies, and he wants to be able to have one as his girlfriend. This might seem weird for some people, but it’s what Chihiro likes and really wants, so that doesn’t make him any different from anyone else in the world! He obsesses on creating a zombie potion to bring back his dead cat. He works with rea to bring back Babu the cat, but one day, Rea dies in an accident, and he has no choice but to use his zombie potion on Rea. And he finally gets his zombie girlfriend.
Best Sci-Fi and Mecha Series For Beginners
The anime industry also touches on science fiction and giant robots. Intense action and compelling characters on top of scientific theories and robotics in action fantasy settings. Something your scientific bookworm pals would appreciate.
The story of Senku, who wakes up from being petrified for centuries in this new mysterious world where humans have been turned into stone statues by some unknown force over 3000 years ago. As a genius, Senku relies on the power of science to survive and builds his Kingdom of Science with friends Taiju and Yuzuriha. They take human society back to its glorious scientific heights while rebuilding it from scratch.
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Renton loved to indulge in fantasies of riding the Trapar particle waves and joining Gekkostate. His life changed suddenly when Eureka came into town on her search for LFO repairs! As an amateur, Renton was recruited by the Gekkostate for “showing big potential.” Little did he know that this would only be a start to his long adventure where everything took unexpected turns.
The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic Japan where the GHQ controls everything and rebels fight back. Ouma Shu is a high school student who has been thrust into the conflict of post-apocalyptic Japan. When he meets Inori, his life changes forever as she drags him across town to meet Funeral Parlor and take part in their rebellion against GHQ. There, Ouma learns that with some power comes great responsibility but also finds himself saddled with the Right Hand of King, which just might be too much for one young man to handle!
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED is a show that focuses on how those in power are able to control society. The Cosmic Era divides humanity between regular people and those who have been genetically altered, known as Coordinators. Kira Yamato is just an ordinary college student until ZAFT attacks the colony Heliopolis while trying to steal five state-of-the-art military mobile suits called Gundams from his dad‘s company. The Strike Gundam is the last of its kind, but Kira is piloting it to victory. The Archangel offers him a much-needed respite from war and death for a while–but soon, she’ll be back in battle with his friends right beside him!
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is a chaotic mecha series that deal with a world in turmoil. The story follows Simon and Kamina, from the most humble beginnings to an epic end! One day while excavating Earth, Simon stumbles upon the mysterious object which turns out to be key for an ancient artifact of war – when they turn it on, its head is revealed as their newest weapon: “Lagann”. Using this new power and supported by Yoko Littner’s gun-wielding antics, our heroes fend off a surprise attack from surface dwellers.
Best 90s Series For Beginners
And, of course, you can’t go wrong with a classic 90s anime series. Be it for convincing the older folks or reintroducing a fallen comrade to the anime community, the classics is a sure-fire way to give them a dose of nostalgia and get them hooked.
Check Out: Best 90’s Anime You Should Watch Today
Hell Teacher Nube
It’s about a teacher who also does exorcisms and has a demonic hand. Nube is an easy-going, kind guy with one exception! He wears white gloves on his left arm to hide the fact that he has this monstrous appendage under there – but it turns out he can use said beastie for good as well. His Exorcist abilities are matched by his ghost hunting skills, too; so long as you’re not evil or dead, then Mr. Ghostbuster will protect your students from any danger lurking in their school building hallways at night time!
Slayers is a pure-hearted fantasy that you can immerse yourself into, and it’s no surprise as the characters are really human. Yes, even the half-demon feller! This show proves to be realistic because they’re not on some moral pedestal striving to defeat an all-powerful God King; instead of being superheroes who never have any downtime or faults, these people mess around as normal adults do—with alcohol often involved too (including their infamously lethal party juice). The slapstick humor in Slayers has been great so far, with excellent fight scenes where more attention was dedicated to animating spells.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Shinji is a 14-year old boy who has been summoned by his estranged father to pilot an enormous robot named Evangelion – all the while defending mankind from extinction. His father’s first words are that Shinji will be fighting against these immense creatures called Angels, which seem invincible and have only minimal effect on them with traditional weaponry.
Hailed by many to be the best show to have ever come out of the genre, and also being musically blessed by Yoko Kanno, you can see why it’s remained popular for so long. Cowboy Bebop is set in a futuristic world where there’s always some sort of action happening every time we look over our shoulders. And I think that one thing that really makes this anime stand out from its competition are those engaging character stories; they’re just too good!
One of the most popular manga series in Japan, Berserk, is a dark and intense story about one man’s struggle to find his own path. Following Guts from childhood through adulthood, it tells the story of how he becomes an unstoppable warrior who can cut down hordes with nothing but his sword while travelling alongside Griffith–the strongest warlord on Earth. The violence in the action scenes was intense at times (especially when we got our first glimpse into what being turned into a demon feels like), but I’m not sure if any other anime adaptation could have done justice to such a lofty saga as this. The most thrilling 25 episodes in anime history!
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We hope you’ve learnt a lot about the best gateway anime to subdue your victims, friends, family and that passing stranger and introduce people into this wonderful world of otakudom. It may be difficult at first, but keep trying and never give up! Remember that we’re always here for you with any queries or questions you might have. Leave us a comment below if you need anything else from us or just want to chat – we love talking about all things anime related, so don’t hesitate to get in touch! Now, go out there and spread the good word, you sweet otaku missionary! Thanks for reading, until next time.