If you’re into anime, you’ve probably already seen all these.
if you aren’t… you MUST try it! Anime is NOT like your regular
cartoons. These stories are unique, chock full of intense characters,
and beautiful animation.
Action, drama, sci-fi, psychological,
horror, apocalyptic, comedic, what it means to be human, humans merging
with machines, the meaning of life. Anime’s got it all!
have seen Pokémon or Sailor Moon. There’s many more complex storylines
and characters than that. Much of anime is a reflection of Japanese and
modern society’s reaction to globalization and technological changes of
the 21st century. So don’t be surprised to find intense themes in these
stories. It might even be a bit difficult to completely digest the
meaning of some of these anime.
So… there’s my pitch. By the
way, I have only recently gotten into anime, so feel free to suggest
other great anime in the comments below!
11. Tokyo Ghoul
Length: 12 episodes
Genre: Action / Drama / Horror / Psychological / Dark Fantasy
Kaneki gets into an accident and receives organ transplants from a
ghoul. He struggles to maintain his humanity while living as a
half-ghoul who must eat human flesh to survive.
development and symbolism included! There is a postmodern feel you can
see in Kaneki’s hopelessness. The story criticizes modern society’s
excessive consumption and discrimination.
Length: 25 episodes
Genre: Sports / Drama
Plot: Hinata has wanted to play
volleyball since junior high. He finally gets the chance in high school.
This is a story of teamwork and motivation between friends.
learn a lot about volleyball from this anime. It is a fun, light story.
If you’re looking for something not too dark but with fun characters,
this is the story for you!
9. Death Note
Length: 37 episodes
Genre: Psychological / Drama / Detective
Plot: Light Yagami is
a genius high school student who one day picks up a Death Note. He
discovers its power to kill humans and constructs a crazy elaborate plan
to rule to world and eliminate corruption through strategic murders.
gets pretty intense and complex. The number of crazy plot twists in
this story will keep you on your toes. This story looks into
institutional corruption. But the most interesting part is how Light
keeps coming up with such intricate plans that somehow work every time.
8. Attack on Titan
Length: 25 episodes
Genre: Dark Fantasy / Post-Apocalyptic
Plot: Eren Jaeger lives
in a peaceful town walled off from man-eating titans. But after a
colossal titan breaks through the outer wall, chaos ensues. Eren joins
the military in order to fight against the titans.
brings to light the pain of losing innocence and the illusion of peace.
It presents issues of the current state of Japan’s military, calling for
forces to be at the ready1.
7. Blood: The Last Vampire
Length: 45 minutes
Genre: Action / Horror
Plot: Saya is a vampire who kills other
vampires aka chiropterans. She goes undercover as a student on a US
military base in Japan to destroy the threats. Her reasons for doing so?
Unknown. Where she comes from? Unknown.
Saya is an interesting
character. She’s super hardcore and cool. Besides the action, this story
is also a reflection of Japanese and American relations.
6. Steins Gate
Length: 24 episodes
Genre: SciFi / Mystery / Romance / Drama
Plot: Okabe is your
average guy with an intense interest in time travel. He stumbles upon a
conspiracy involving the use of human subjects in time travel
experiments. Okabe and friends must use their wits and determination to
prevent the world from descending into an authoritarian dystopia.
travel makes this story a bit confusing, but once you get past the
first few episodes, things begin to make sense. The best part about this
story is the deep and meaningful relationships between characters.
5. Spirited Away
Length: 124 minutes
Genre: Fantasy / Miyazaki
Plot: Chihiro is moving to a new
home with her parents. They stumble upon a spirit world and her parents
are transformed into pigs after eating the spirit food. Chihiro faces
many challenges in order to save her parents.
This is a coming of
age story that incorporates deep themes about disappearing traditions,
environmental degradation, optimism1, and courage.
4. Grave of the Fireflies
Length: 89 minutes
Genre: Drama / Anti-war / Historical Fiction
Plot: Seita and
Setsuko become orphans as a result of the war. They struggle to take
care of each other and survive in desperate times.
This story talks about WWII in an incredibly humanistic way. It is intensely sad.
3. Ouran High School Host Club
Length: 26 episodes
Genre: Romantic Comedy / Drama
Plot: Haruhi gets accepted to
the prestigious Ouran High School on scholarship. She befriends the host
club members and shares many hilarious adventures with them.
of the other stories I listed were intense and deep, but this one is
just funny. It rates so high on my list because I’ve seriously never
seen anything this funny before.
2. Ghost in the Shell
Length: 82 minutes
Genre: SciFi / Cyberpunk
Plot: Kusanagi is a cyborg woman
working for public security agency Section 9. Their mission is to find a
hacker known as the Puppet Master who has been taking control of
people’s minds and making them commit crimes.
This story explores
technology’s potential for enhancing or degrading the human race. It
addresses philosophical and social ideas about what it means to be
1. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
Length: 64 episodes
Genre: Adventure / SciFi / Action / Drama
Plot: Edward and
Alphonse Elric learn alchemy at a young age. In an attempt to bring
their mom back from the dead, Al loses his entire body and Ed loses his
arm and leg. The two brothers travel the world searching for a way to
regain what they have lost.
This story has everything. Adventure,
drama, hope, courage, inspiration, a good soundtrack. Ed and Al’s story
is motivating as they face hardship after hardship with strength and a
genuine belief in the good of mankind.