back to top

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

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

Posted on

1. Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood


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


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


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



2. Hunter x Hunter


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


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.


3. Durarara!!


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.


4. Yu Yu Hakusho


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!



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


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.


8. Spice and Wolf


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.



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.


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?



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.


13. Erased


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


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.


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.



15. Gintama


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


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.


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!!


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*



18. Ouran High School Host Club


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.


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.


19. Yuri!! On Ice


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!


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.


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


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



21. Cowboy Bebop


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.


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?


22. Mushishi


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.


23. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust


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.



25. My Hero Academia


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.


26. Puella Magi Madoka Magica


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.



27. Darker Than Black


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.


28. No. 6


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!



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.


32. Samurai Champloo


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.



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.


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

Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!