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35 Anime Series That Are Perfect If You've Never Watched Anime

All you need is that one series to get you hooked.

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We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to give us recommendations for the best anime for a first-timer. Here are their suggestions:

1. Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Aniplex

Fullmetal Alchemist all the way. Amazing plot, amazing characters, and just overall amazing.

emofishermen

My go-to recommendation is always Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and it looks like many agree!

nerdistheword

My mom used to be completely against anime until she watched Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood with me and absolutely LOVED it.

alixb40fa4db5f

2. Hunter x Hunter

Funimation

Hunter x Hunter is definitely a great one because it's funny, full of friendship and trust, and never gets boring.

neuvi88

Hunter x Hunter. It's your quintessential shounen anime but without all the fluffy filler episodes. It's got everything I want in an anime: a compelling story, the most pure and good friendship in ANY anime, and badass fight scenes.

zerocute

3. Durarara!!

Aniplex

It's sort of like shopping for a new pet. You're in the "pet store" (on the internet) and you're looking around, and wow that fish is sorta nice and wow that doggie in the window might be good, BUT THEN YOU SEE THE ONE. THAT CAT, STARING RIGHT AT YOU, AND YOU KNOW SHE'S THE ONE AND YOUR LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN. For me, that cat was Durarara!! and I am ruined.

briannah4bd5a2e0a

4. Yu Yu Hakusho

Funimation

YU YU HAKUSHO IS HANDS-DOWN THE BEST ANIME EVER. It was the first one I ever watched and I have re-watched the series more than five times. It's about a boy who dies but has a chance to come back to life by completing missions in the spirit world. I highly suggest you watch it!

marissssssss

7. Ore Monogatari!! (My Love Story!!)

Madhouse

Ore Monogatari!! (My Love Story!!). It's essentially about the shyest, oddest, cutest couple falling in love. If you want to see a stereotypical unpopular jock-like boy fall head-over-heels for the cutest shyest girl this is what you need to be watching. It's absolutely precious.

kareng34

8. Spice and Wolf

Funimation

My boyfriend lent me Spice and Wolf to watch, which I absolutely adored. It's about this wolf goddess who can turn into a human and the traveling merchant who finds her and vows to take her back to her homeland. It's a subtle romance but the economics behind it surprised me the most. It definitely went beyond the typical anime but still had such a charming feel about it.

fromers

9. Inuyasha

Viz Media

Inuyasha! If you want to hook them, put on a lighthearted episode that isn't vital to the plot. My first Inuyasha episode was a sort of fun one about a paper demon, and it made me want to go deeper into the series.

megandelaneyj

11. Usagi Drop

Fuji TV

For people who just want a nice, feel-good anime I'd probably recommend Usagi Drop. Who doesn't want to watch a bachelor adopt a little girl and slowly discover the joys of parenthood and finally having something to live for?

britwurst

12. Clannad

Sentai FIlmworks

I would recommend them something like Clannad, which involves family bonding time and shows people why it's so important to love those around you and to never forget the things that changed you for the better. Clannad is about how you can turn something bad into something good and how after meeting one person, no matter who, they may end up inspiring you and helping you realize just how important it is to feel loved and happy.

lilchickchick1143

13. Erased

Aniplex

If you're into mystery, I'd say Erased is amazing.

harah2

Erased. It starts out nicely paced and becomes intriguing as a murder is trying to be solved/prevented in the past. It can get emotional too. I was able to get my parents to watch it, which was surprising since my dad hates anime and calls it "cartoons!" Afterwards, they couldn't get enough of the show and had to pace themselves so they didn't finish it in one night. It doesn't have weird humor or overly sexualized moments like most anime, so people who have never watched anime before won't be weirded out.

constellations

14. Paranoia Agent

Geneon Entertainment

Paranoia Agent. Imagine if David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock collaborated with Satoshi Kon and made an anime, that's what Paranoia Agent is. Suspenseful, eerie and entertaining all the way through. I highly recommend this one and it's only 13 episodes, so they go by fast.

alissafrost

15. Gintama

Aniplex

Anime newcomers, please give Gintama a try. You can't go wrong. It has it all but takes a few episodes to get into the stride of things so please don't give up. Trust me, you won't regret it. #foreverYoruzuya

jujubeebee15

Gintama. It's a hilarious, epic piece of art that got me into anime. Probably the greatest shounen (directed at teenage boys though I am woman so...) anime (and manga) ever made. It's mostly comedy and occasionally quite random, so I think it's one of those love it or hate it type of series, but 100% worth checking out.

liisakartano

16. Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai

Sentai Filmworks

Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai. First one I watched, and a friend recommended it to me. It's adorable, combining all the things I love about anime to this day — it's a school drama, but they have imaginary weapon fights, and the theme song is the best I've ever heard. SO CATCHY!!

evelynspencer02

17. Saint Young Men

A-1 Pictures

Definitely Saint Young Men (Saint Oniisan)! It follows the adorable and funny story of Jesus and Buddha, best friends, taking a vacation in Japan from the heavens. It's a quirky look at religion and culture with beautiful artwork. Not overwhelming for a noob because of its charm, yet more than satisfying for a seasoned anime watcher. Plus the way Jesus says "Buddha" is too freaking cute. *squee*

mcksmoke

18. Ouran High School Host Club

Funimation

Ouran High School Host Club was the first anime I watched back in middle school and it got me HOOKED. Super funny, great characters and stunning animation.

calikelsi

Ok people let's get real for a second here. The best option by far is Ouran High School Host Club. And here's why:

Ouran is a light, short anime that can hook you from the first episode. It's a comedy so nothing too heavy to digest there, the characters are lovable and the situations hilarious. Not to mention the music could get anyone in the best mood. Also the references are precious.

So put your feelings away and be objective. Ouran is the best option for a newcomer to the anime world. Period.

citlaliromeror

19. Yuri!! On Ice

Funimation

I've never been a fan of anime. I had tried watching some series but could never find the interest to continue after the first few episodes until my friend got me to watch Yuri!!! On Ice It's about Japanese figure skater Yuri Katsuki, whose life is changed when his idol, multiple-time champion Victor Nikiforov, arrives at his parents' hot springs resort and announces he will be his new coach. I was hooked from the start and have watched it three times so far. It's beautifully written, the soundtrack is amazing, the characters are diverse and well-developed, and it combines sports and romance perfectly. It has also made anime history with its representation of LGBTTQIA characters. Even real-life figure skaters are in love with it!

alexrarez

Yuri!!! on Ice is the best anime I've ever seen, and I've been watching anime continuously for years. It celebrates diversity in sexuality, in countries, in love, and in passion. It's so open-minded, and it is worth so much more than your typical sports anime. The animation and plot are to die for (as well as my hardcore shipping), but the celebration of diversity is a-maze-ing.

vonsteele

20. Free! Iwatobi Swim Club and Free! Eternal Summer

Crunchyroll

Want some good ol' male fanservice? Watch Free! Iwatobi Swim Club and Free! Eternal Summer. Pretty much just really, really hot guys swimming.

abahinipaty22

21. Cowboy Bebop

Funimation

Forever and always, Cowboy Bebop. It's very accessible for any newcomer, if not for the constant references of American cinema, then for the wonderfully fleshed out sci-fi setting. Also, the best soundtrack in all of anime.

tangledlover

So cliched, but I always, always recommend Cowboy Bebop to people new to the genre. It's the ultimate anime classic, the English dub is phenomenal, and it's about bounty hunters in space! What's not to love?

0paronomasia0

22. Mushishi

Funimation

I would recommend something classic, that doesn't get a lot of recognition in the western world. My go-to is definitely Mushishi. It's simple, beautiful, and mellow. The artwork is like none I've ever seen before and the same goes for the story.

gracieg123

23. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

Madhouse

For your friend who's really into ART, I recommend Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. It is so, so pretty you guys, and brooding, with a lovely sense of melancholy and decay interspersed with the kind of intense action that is all I want out of the Dark Tower adaptation coming out. Since it's a movie, this does not overstay its welcome. Every cell of animation could be hung up on your wall as a poster and it wouldn't look out of place.

killemalla

24. Attack on Titan

Funimation

The only anime show I watch is Attack on Titan and I absolutely love it! I want to watch another anime but there are so many, it's hard to decide what else to watch.

musicstruck17

25. My Hero Academia

Funimation

My Hero Academia. It's about superheroes and high school. It has the perfect blend of funny and serious along with crazy visuals and fight scenes. The story is also very compelling. The first season is dubbed and season 1 and part of season 2 has subtitles on Hulu.

qwertyciaken

26. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Aniplex

My friends got me into watching anime via Puella Magi Madoka Magica. It was really interesting to watch, and though at first it looked cheesy, it was pleasantly surprising. It is not your typical magical girl anime, and I think it's a must for any first-time viewer of the genre.

ivyspotato

27. Darker Than Black

Aniplex

If you want an action series with drama, subtle romance, great characters, and an enjoyable story, then I recommend Darker Than Black. It has a dark tone to it with some small amounts of lighthearted humor and entertaining action and even the animation is decent! There's a reason why people call Hei (the main character) "Asian Batman." The story involves people with supernatural powers that are committing horrible crimes and how their powers were gained from a mysterious portal called "Heaven's Gate" and how anyone, literally anyone who passes it are given powers at random. Hei, the main character, is part of a secret organization that had been created in order to stop chaos from erupting as those with powers destroy their town.

lilchickchick1143

28. No. 6

Aniplex

No. 6! It's not really well known like some other anime, but I really loved it, so I absolutely recommend this!

It's an adaptation of the nine novels by Atsuko Asano and it's an adventurous and totally engaging sci-fi story.

It takes place in a dystopian city called No. 6 where Shion, a very intelligent but naive boy, meets a mysterious guy with a dark past, Nezumi. From their encounter Shion's life will completely change and this will lead the two of them to discover the dark secret behind the city of No. 6. There's also a sweet love story between the two protagonists!

o0yun0o

30. Death Note

Viz Media

Death Note. It was the anime that got me into anime so I have a bit of a soft spot for it. It's a little bit similar to some western shows so it's good for a first-time viewer who's never experienced anime. The show's intense and it keeps you entertained. The dub is really good for those who want to watch without subtitles. And it's available on Netflix so there's easy streaming access for most people.

kwaters2017

31. Basically every Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli movie

Studio Ghibli

All the Miyazaki movies. Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Valley of the Wind, and Howl's Moving Castle are my faves.

jamieg43f7a4152

32. Samurai Champloo

Funimation

I'd recommend Samurai Champloo, it's my favorite anime. It mixes genres, it's both hilarious and emotionally gut wrenching, it has really likable and entertaining leads interacting with all sorts of great characters, and the music is phenomenal.

c493be083a

34. Food Wars!

Sentai Filmworks

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma. It's a cooking-themed anime. The story focuses around a cocky teenage boy named Yukihira Soma who runs a diner with his father. One day, his father enrolls Soma in a cooking school that runs like a university, filled with hundreds of other young cooks (including Soma of course) who are capable of making dishes so good they would make Gordon Ramsay have an orgasm. The main goal is to reach the top of the class and officially become a master chef.

djb415f2b1d2

35. "The Classics"

Funimation

Man, just go with the old classics: '90s Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Gundam Wing, Yu Yu Hakusho, Tenchi Muyo, things like that. Google "anime early Toonami lineup," you'll be fine.

starsandauras

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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