Many people mistake anime as being cartoonish or childish, whereas the opposite is true. Anime is a stylistic choice and it caters to every kind of person. If you are one of the skeptical ones, just watch an Anime from the list below, I guarantee you will be hooked. The reason why anime is so captivating is because anime can show bizarre, horrifying, or surreal story lines easily. It is more versatile than traditional film mediums because of the ability to exaggerate, and pronounce certain elements of the story line. Here are my favourites:
#10 Black Cat
Uploaded by: blice heart
“Completing every job with ruthless accuracy, Train Heartnet is an infamous assassin with no regard for human life. Donning the moniker “Black Cat” in the underground world, the elite killer works for the powerful secret organization known only as Chronos.
One gloomy night, the blasé gunman stumbles upon Saya Minatsuki, an enigmatic bounty hunter, and soon develops an odd friendship with her. Influenced by Saya’s positive outlook on life, Train begins to rethink his life. Deciding to abandon his role as the Black Cat, he instead opts to head down a virtuous path as an honest bounty hunter. However, Chronos—and particularly Creed Diskenth, Train’s possessive underling—is not impressed with Train’s sudden change of heart and vows to resort to extreme measures in order to bring back the emissary of bad luck. This assassin turned “stray cat” can only wander so far before the deafening sound of gunfire rings out.”
Okay, so this anime is also a shonen. The anime “Black Cat” is a very intriguing and intricate anime. The overall tone is dark and gritty, and the characters are all multifaceted and fascinating.
The anime is executed very well and is one that has a unique storyline. It does not focus mainly on the hero, but also shifts to other elements, making it more interesting to watch. Despite its dark overtones and style the anime is not too angst-y or emo, but focuses more on the action rather than the drama.
However the reason this is at the bottom is that the second half of the anime is not quite as good as the first half. It is still one of my favourites though; because I love the characters a lot.
#9 Angel Beats
Uploaded by: 8xMaix8
“Otonashi awakens only to learn he is dead. A rifle-toting girl named Yuri explains that they are in the afterlife, and Otonashi realizes the only thing he can remember about himself is his name. Yuri tells him that she leads the Shinda Sekai Sensen (Afterlife Battlefront) and wages war against a girl named Tenshi. Unable to believe Yuri’s claims that Tenshi is evil, Otonashi attempts to speak with her, but the encounter doesn’t go as he intended.
Otonashi decides to join the SSS and battle Tenshi, but he finds himself oddly drawn to her. While trying to regain his memories and understand Tenshi, he gradually unravels the mysteries of the afterlife.”
Okay to be honest this is so far down not because it is not a superb anime but because it made me sob like a little baby. If you are gonna watch this, prepare to be sad. I typically do not enjoy watching shows that make me sad, but this one is so wonderfully done that I could not help but love it.
The cast is amazing and very interesting with fully fleshed characters, emotions, and relationships. The storyline is completely unique and very multifarious. Angel Beats is a show that keeps me guessing, and consistently tugs at strings I didn’t know existed until they were pulled. The show combines great comedy with excellent melodrama and the ending leaves you deeply moved. Definitely not one to miss.
#8 12 Kingdoms
Uploaded by: Miriam RainChild
“Youko Nakajima has only ever wanted to be normal. She does what she is asked, gets good grades, is the class president, and even helps her classmates whenever she can—but because of her red hair, she has never fit in. With her pushover attitude, Youko lets classmates take advantage of her, so she has nobody she can really call a friend.
But on an otherwise ordinary day, a man who claims to be from another world barges into Youko’s classroom and bows before her. This elegant blond-haired man, Keiki, claims that Youko is his master and belongs on the throne of his kingdom. However, their first meeting is cut short as Keiki has been followed by otherworldly beasts called youma. He is able to escape with Youko into his own realm, but two other classmates—Ikuya Asano and Yuka Sugimoto—are caught up in the madness as well. Unfortunately, their troubles have only just begun, as the youma attack leaves them separated from Keiki. Alone in this strange new land, these ordinary students must learn to fend for themselves or die.”
A lot of people dislike this anime, and while the plot is kind of generic the execution and world building are unique. I love the world in this anime. It is so engrossing and fascinating to that it makes this list solely because of this. I like the main character and I enjoy the fact the anime does not shy away from giving the characters more power. But the best part is definitely the world building.
Uploaded by: KAZÉ Deutschland
“When a shapeshifting demon with a thirst for human flesh, known as “youma,” arrives in Raki’s village, a lone woman with silver eyes walks into town with only a sword upon her back. She is a “Claymore,” a being manufactured as half-human and half-youma, for the express purpose of exterminating these monsters. After Raki’s family is killed, the Claymore saves his life, but he is subsequently banished from his home. With nowhere else to go, Raki finds the Claymore, known as Clare, and decides to follow her on her journeys.
As the pair travel from town to town, defeating youma along the way, more about Clare’s organization and her fellow warriors comes to light. With every town cleansed and every demon destroyed, they come closer to the youma on which Clare has sought vengeance ever since she chose to become a Claymore.”
This show has a very dark and thought-provoking plot that grabs the watcher’s attention. The mysteries surrounding the Claymores are well portrayed and the character development is excellent.
From the beginning the story is very easy to follow. The fight sequences are just amazing and are helped by the superb animation quality. The gore and bloody violence are very well animated and the storyline steadily gets more complex as we go on. I do not like the main support character Raki but everything else is great.
#6 Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles
Uploaded by: Kiozuky
“During an excavation at the mysterious ruins in Clow Country, Syaoran discovers his childhood friend Princess Sakura appear on the site with wings that disperse into many feathers. As the feather’s disappear to different dimensions, so does Sakura’s memory. In attempts to save Sakura’s life and restore her memory, Syaoran travels through to another world to find a solution. There’s only one thing left he can do. Travel through to different dimensions to collect Sakura’s feathers. Helping out with the quest is Kurogane, an exiled ninja from Japan Country who wishes to return to his world, the runaway magician, Fay, who desires to jump between each world never to return to his own and the white meat-bun shaped creature, Mokona.”
This is one of Clamps masterpieces and a very under-rated anime in my opinion. It has a grandiose storyline and some of the most poignant romance ever. The mismatched cast starts out with each one having their own goals and slowly forms a great bond over their journey. The themes of the anime are deep and though-provoking and the setting is absolutely marvelous. I loved this anime for the art and style as well.
The characters are very interesting and the villain is intriguing. The fun thing about this show is how many different worlds the cast visits and how the subplots are all masterfully linked together.
#5 Ouran High School Host Club
Uploaded by: AnimeLab
“Haruhi Fujioka is a bright scholarship candidate with no rank or title to speak of—a rare species at Ouran High School, an elite academy for students of high pedigree. When she opens the door to Music Room #3 hoping to find a quiet place to study, Haruhi unexpectedly stumbles upon the Host Club. Led by the princely Tamaki, the club—whose other members include the “Shadow King” Kyouya, the mischievous Hitachiin twins, and the childlike Haninozuka “Honey” and his strong protector Mori—is where handsome boys with too much time on their hands entertain the girls in the academy.
In a frantic attempt to remove herself from the hosts, Haruhi ends up breaking a vase worth eight million yen and is forced into becoming the eccentric group’s general errand boy to repay her enormous debt. However, thanks to her convincingly masculine appearance, her naturally genial disposition toward girls, and fascinating commoner status, she is soon promoted to full-time male host and plunged headlong into a glitzy whirlwind of elaborate cosplays, rich food, and exciting shenanigans that only the immensely wealthy Ouran Host Club can pull off.’
This is a show that makes you laugh and fall in love at the same time. The show does not take itself too seriously and it is a cute and engaging ride throughout. The protagonist contrasts the host club members superbly, setting off their ostentatious absurdness with her down to earth practicality. The characters are all lovable (and slightly insane). They make you feel like laughing with them and having fun as you go. Despite embracing their tropes they all actually have deeper personalities and emotions.
Overall this is one of the best romantic comedies in anime and if you like that sort of thing you eill love this.
Uploaded by: 1990kyra
“Based on the Shogakukan award-winning manga of the same name, InuYasha follows Kagome Higurashi, a fifteen-year-old girl whose normal life ends when a demon drags her into a cursed well on the grounds of her family’s Shinto shrine. Instead of hitting the bottom of the well, Kagome ends up 500 years in the past during Japan’s violent Sengoku period with the demon’s true target, a wish-granting jewel called the Shikon Jewel, reborn inside of her.
After a battle with a revived demon accidentally causes the sacred jewel to shatter, Kagome enlists the help of a young hybrid dog-demon/human named Inuyasha to help her collect the shards and prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. Joining Kagome and Inuyasha on their quest are the orphan fox-demon Shippo, the intelligent monk Miroku, and the lethal demon slayer Sango. Together, they must set aside their differences and work together to find the power granting shards spread across feudal Japan and deal with the threats that arise.”
Inuyasha is a classic and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. For me, it is a childhood favourite and I love the plot of the anime. This anime is one that takes characters through a journey, both metaphorically and actually. The characters all start off as unlikeable but as you watch you learn to love them more and more.
The protagonist starts as a whiny schoolgirl and ends as a responsible, mature and kindhearted person. The world is a very interesting and extremely violent setting. In fact, despite Inuyasha’s lighthearted tone the show deals with a lot of heavy subtext and mature content. But you have to be looking for it to notice it much. The entire ensemble cast is well developed and engaging and the villains are great.
#3 The Vision of Escaflowne
Uploaded by: animevillage
“Hitomi Kanzaki is just an ordinary 15-year-old schoolgirl with an interest in tarot cards and fortune telling, but one night, a boy named Van Fanel suddenly appears from the sky along with a vicious dragon. Thanks to a premonition from Hitomi, Van successfully kills the dragon, but a pillar of light appears and envelopes them both. As a result, Hitomi finds herself transported to the world of Gaea, a mysterious land where the Earth hangs in the sky.
In this new land, Hitomi soon discovers that Van is a prince of the Kingdom of Fanelia, which soon falls under attack by the evil empire of Zaibach. In an attempt to fight them off, Van boards his family’s ancient guymelef Escaflowne—a mechanized battle suit—but fails to defeat them, and Fanelia ends up destroyed. Now on the run, Hitomi and Van encounter a handsome Asturian knight named Allen Schezar, whom Hitomi is shocked to find looks exactly like her crush from Earth. With some new allies on their side, Van and Hitomi fight back against the forces of Zaibach as the empire strives to revive an ancient power.”
This story is a mishmash of genres from, mecha, to shonen, to shoujo and back again. The contrasting themes do not take away from the story, instead they add to it. This handling of the storyline makes what is a rather typical and sort of bland premise a lot more interesting and unique.
I loved this anime because of how well it plays on the tropes of classic shojos and shonens but inverts them and manages to create a unique experience. The heroine is not pretty at all, but instead the watcher learns to love her on her own merits. The romance is an important part of the plot, but is handled tastefully and we end up loving the pairing. The action sequences are interesting and well executed and the subplots add to the main plot.
The characters start out as being typical bland tropes, but as we progress we see more and more of their o=personalities emerge through great character development. This is one of those stories where the characters fell like they have earned their endings, whether happy or sad.
Gaea in general is built extremely well as a world; just about every aspect you could think of is given thought and explained in ways that don’t make you feel like you’re being hit over the head with the exposition hammer all that much.
The villain is not particularly complex or interesting, but then again in this storyline they do not have to be. This does not take from the story too much in my opinion.
#2 Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Uploaded by: akibastore
“In order for something to be obtained, something of equal value must be lost.”
Alchemy is bound by this Law of Equivalent Exchange—something the young brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric only realize after attempting human transmutation: the one forbidden act of alchemy. They pay a terrible price for their transgression—Edward loses his left leg, Alphonse his physical body. It is only by the desperate sacrifice of Edward’s right arm that he is able to affix Alphonse’s soul to a suit of armor. Devastated and alone, it is the hope that they would both eventually return to their original bodies, which gives Edward the inspiration to obtain metal limbs called “automail” and become a state alchemist, the Fullmetal Alchemist.
Three years of searching later, the brothers seek the Philosopher’s Stone, a mythical relic that allows an alchemist to overcome the Law of Equivalent Exchange. Even with military allies Colonel Roy Mustang, Lieutenant Riza Hawkeye, and Lieutenant Colonel Maes Hughes on their side, the brothers find themselves caught up in a nationwide conspiracy that leads them not only to the true nature of the elusive Philosopher’s Stone, but their country’s murky history as well. In between finding a serial killer and racing against time, Edward and Alphonse must ask themselves if what they are doing will make them human again… or take away their humanity.
Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the best anime ever made, period. What should I talk about first, the wonderful storyline, the complex world-building, interesting and sympathetic heroes, or the dastardly villains?
The truth is that this anime has it all. It has an engrossing plot that just gets bigger as it goes on. The characters are some of the most interesting and unique. The heroes make you sympathize and root for them, throughout. One of the best things about the characters I can say here is that each one has tangible strengths and weaknesses and we are able to watch our heroes grow (both figuratively and literally) and overcome their weaknesses.
The setting of the anime is one of the most rich and detailed and the set rules of the world make it far more captivating to watch. The heroes have to fight based on these rules and they a tion sequences never disappoint.
I could go on and on, but I’m gonna stop here, suffice it to say that I recommend this anime to everyone.
#1 Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
Uploaded by: akibastore
“In the year 2010, the Holy Empire of Britannia is establishing itself as a dominant military nation, starting with the conquest of Japan. Renamed to Area 11 after its swift defeat, Japan has seen significant resistance against these tyrants in an attempt to regain independence.
Lelouch Lamperouge, exiled prince of Britannia, unfortunately finds himself caught in a crossfire between the two nations’ armed forces. He is able to escape, however, thanks to the timely appearance of a mysterious girl named C.C., who bestows upon him Geass, the “Power of Kings.” Realizing the vast potential of his newfound “power of absolute obedience,” Lelouch embarks upon a perilous journey as the masked vigilante known as Zero, leading a merciless onslaught against Britannia in order to get revenge once and for all.”
Code Geass is supposedly a shonen anime (that means it is aimed towards young boys and men). But to me it doesn’t really fall into any one genre, it’s is not gender-centric and you can appreciate it no matter your age. Sorry, one revision, this is not suitable for children below the age of12 in my opinion. This is due to the gore and questionable morals portrayed in the show.
This is one anime I recommend to anyone and everyone. (GO watch it NOW!!) Anyway, this anime is a masterpiece and in my humble opinion, the best anime of all time. To me, this anime appeals due to its classic story and its interesting premise. The storyline is nothing unique or new, evil empire vs underdog rebellion, however, the true appeal of this anime lies in the execution.
The hero is a true anti-hero and you are often faced with the immorality of what he does. The complexity and depth of his character, as well as his intense intelligence, hooks you into the anime from the start. Not only is the hero complex, but so are the villain, and the side characters are not shabby either. Everyone is portrayed with a sense of reality to their actions and personality; this grounds you to the anime and prevents the story from being too surreal.
Code Geass is a show which does not shy away from discussing heavy questions of morality and addressing sensitive topics. The show does this in a way that causes the viewer to deliberate and contemplate, yet does not take away from the enjoyment of the watcher. The show also has it’s lighter moments of fun and humor in a school setting. Gode Geass contains some undertones of romance, however romance is never the focus of the plot.
People have compared Code Geass to Death Note, and I guess they do have some slight similarities, but on the whole Code Geass is the much better show. I don’t hat Death Not, in fact I quite enjoyed it until about halfway through the plot, but, trust me it has nothing on Code Geass. This show is so amazing at not only characterization, but also world building with a set of consistent rules. The writers know exactly when to limit a character’s abilities and this makes it a better show overall.
That’s It Folks!
In the end I’ d like to give honourable mentions to Hanasakeru Seishounen, and Yumeiro Patissiere. Both superb anime that I was not able to include in my list.
All the descriptions were taken from myanimelist.com.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the above mentioned anime.