Top 10 Anime for Newbies [Best Recommendations]

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Just because you love anime and your friends don't doesn't mean that you can't help convert them into otaku or at least, casual viewers. When your friends enjoy the same hobbies as you do, you can have a fun time conversing about it rather than hiding that particular part about yourself. While there's no shame in watching it, it isn't quite as fun as when you have someone to talk to about anime, right? Well, cut down on the non-believers and spread the magic!

Of course, trying to spread the love just isn't easy. Not everyone loves the same things. Just because you like something doesn't mean someone else does. So what should you recommend? Taking into consideration what genres are popular, let me show you my list of Top 10 Anime for Newbies.

10. Space Dandy

space dandy dvd
  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: anuary 2014 - March 2014

Space Dandy is a dandy guy in space! Join Space Dandy as he ventures through the galaxy looking for the unknown with his sidekicks a robot named QT and a cat-like alien named Meow. Watch as he battles alien monsters, finds undiscovered life, and occasionally stops for a break at the local breastaurant, Boobies.

A sci-fi comedy like no other, Space Dandy really offers the best of Eastern and Western humor. It is the perfect anime to help ease into anime comedy as it has that out of the world humor that westerners love. It's also a somewhat tamer representation of ecchi comedy as well, so if you think your friend may be into ecchi, try showing them Space Dandy first before diving into an anime like Queen's Blade.

It doesn’t have quite as much nudity as a lot of ecchi series out there, but it's devoid of it either. Space Dandy will definitely capture its audience with its comedy, bit of slice of life, and sci-fi action. Oh, and of course, Boobies.

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9. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal (Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: Crystal)

sailor moon crystal dvd
  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: July 2014 - July 2015

Tsukino Usagi is your average 14 year old girl. Actually, she's more or less a child because she's whiny, ditzy, and an all around cry baby. Her family is constantly scolding her for her behavior and her test scores are terrible. She doesn't have any redeeming qualities. That is, until one day, Usagi meets a black cat who makes her a defender of justice as Sailor Moon! Don't worry. She's got some other sailor soldiers coming to help her!

Magical girl is a very popular genre of anime. There are so many out there, but how do you get someone accustomed to magical girl anime? Sailor Moon consists of romance, magical girl, comedy, and school life making it a great anime to start with. It will help newbies become accustomed with the shoujo and magical genre that may seem like a foreign concept. You can't help but fall in love with the characters while becoming enthralled by the plot and action.

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8. Lucky Star

lucky star dvd
  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: April 2007 - September 2007

Going to school, eating lunch, playing video games, and hanging out; Lucky Star is a story about Izumi Konata and her friends just doing what students do and enjoying their lives. These girls are your average high school girls living their average lives.

Lucky Star is a complete slice of life and school life anime. It parodies life and although the characters are discussing things that you and I would normally talk about or do the same things, you or your friends will not get bored. It acts as a great slice of life while still remaining silly and lighthearted. Lucky Star will do the job of converting newbies to slice of life.

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7. Elfen Lied

elfen lied dvd
  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: July 2004 - October 2004

The government has been hiding Diclonius beings for a long time. They are like other humans except for the existence of two horns on their heads and their vectors that they can use to do many things from domestic tasks to creating total carnage. Lucy, a young Diclonius, escapes from her laboratory only to be shot as she escapes. When she comes to, she meets two teens, Kouta and Yuka, but now, Lucy no longer remembers who she is and cannot say anything other than "Nyuu." Everyone's lives are about to change and they don't even know it.

For fans of psychological, supernatural or horror genres, Elfen Lied will do a good job at introducing them to that particular genre of anime. It is notorious for its opening sequence which will have squeamish people cringing. For you newbies out there, this will definitely wet your appetite for horror anime, but also open you up to psychological anime and supernatural elements.


6. Samurai Champloo

samurai champloo DVD
  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: May 2004 - March 2005

Mugen is a troublemaking womanizer with a sword while Jin is a rounin. They cross paths one day as they are about to be executed, but Fuu, a young girl in a kimono with a dream, saves their lives and enlists them to help her seek out the samurai who smells of sunflowers. They are in for one insane adventure.

While Samurai Champloo is not quite as well known for a shounen anime, it will do the genre justice. Believe me. It is a humorous story of adventure and samurai action. It is short enough to get your feet wet in the world of shounen and action and long enough to tell a good story. Newbies will be begging for more after watching Samurai Champloo.

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5. Shuffle!

shuffle dvd
  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: July 2005 - January 2006

Gods and Demons are coexisting with humans after the door to the other world has been opened. Tsuchimi Rin is your average high school boy attending school peacefully with his childhood friend Kaede. One day, the King of the Gods and the King of the Demons and their families move next to Rin. The daughters are both in love with Rin. As they seek out his affection, RIn is in for a crazy ride. His normal high school days are over!

There are few harems like Shuffle! That's for sure. While I cannot say the anime is all that ecchi, it will introduce newbies out there to harem anime but it is not so outrageous to make people think that harems don't have plots or anything outside of fanservice, which isn’t always a bad thing. Shuffle! features dark undertones and drama, and breaks through what is typical of many harem anime. Although it is labeled as ecchi, it isn't as ecchi as some other harem out there, but that's not saying you won't enjoy checking out the girls.

This is just a tamer ecchi than what many may be used to. Perfect for beginners. With all of these aspects combined, Shuffle! is a great example of anime drama and the potential of harems.

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4. Asura Cryin'

asura cryin dvd
  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: April 2009 - June 2009

Natsume Tomoharu is your normal high school student with a secret: the ghost of his best friend is following him around! Yet, he is still determined to live a normal life so when he moves into his older brother's former home, he is surprised to find a briefcase has been left behind for him. Although he doesn't know how to open it and resigns to putting it in storage, his home is soon invaded by several groups at war with one another. Soon Natsume will learn how his brother, these invaders, and the briefcase are all linked together.

Mecha is a very interesting concept that is prevalent in Japanese animation, but not as much in other cultures. Yes, we have the Transformers and many of us are familiar with the Gundam series even just a little, but we don't really have mecha as a genre. Asura Cryin' is a great anime to get you familiar with the genre then. It features some mecha in it but not so much so that you are overwhelmed by all of the technology.

It also features supernatural entities and action so that it is not solely focused on the mecha aspect. This may be a good way to gage how much you like the presence of mecha in your anime before diving into something more heavy duty like the Gundam series.

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3. K-On!

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: April 2009 - June 2009

Hirasawa Yui is determined to join the Light Music Club when she sees a poster for it. Excited, she rushes to the club to join. At the club are Tsumugi, Ritsu, and Mio who need more members to keep the club going, so they eagerly allow her to join with open arms. The only problem? Yui can't play an instrument! Now, Yui has to learn how to play an instrument as the Light Music Club works to balance concerts, school, and life!

If you are not too keen on starting off with an idol anime like Idolmaster or Love Live! School Idol Project, K-On! is a great anime to start with for those who may like musical-themed plotlines because it isn't too heavy on the performances. It combines the characteristics of idol anime, comedy, and school life making it a very easy anime to watch for the casual viewer.

You will have the time to really get to know the characters and what makes them tick, as well as how the music plays a role in their lives. This is the perfect anime to ease into any school life or idol anime.

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2. Ouran High School Host Club (Ouran Koukou Host Club)

Ouran High School-DVD
  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: April 2006 - September 2006

The lives of the students of Ouran High School are mundane. The rich students fill their spare hours with various activities. The young scholarship student, Haruhi, is merely seeking a place to study until one day, Haruhi stumbles upon the Host club. After breaking an expensive vase worth millions, Haruhi is forced to work as a dog until the debt is paid. When Tamaki, the leader, discovers Haruhi's true worth, Haruhi is transformed into a handsome young host. The only problem? Haruhi's a girl! Watch as Haruhi enchants the hearts of many young women while posing as a male. Can she pay off her debt?

While the anime scene is filled with harems to appeal to the guys out there, Ouran High School Host Club is just the opposite: a reverse harem to appeal to girls! OHSHC is not like some of the other reverse harems out there. The focus is more on the crazy antics of these entitled boys and their carefree lives in contrast to the main character's hard working and more down to earth personality. It's actually a reverse harem for both genders.

There's a great contrast between the characters, good flow, and so much funny banter. It's not your typical reverse harem, but it won't scare off those shy types either. Try this one out before diving into the harder stuff!

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1. Ao no Exorcist (Blue Exorcist)

blue exorcist DVD
  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: April 2011 - October 2011

Demons cannot walk the earth without possessing a living vessel and while some demons do not have an issue finding a vessel, Satan cannot find a proper human to possess. Instead, his son Rin Okumura is sent to Earth. Rin has a hard time holding a job and keeping out of trouble, but when he finds out he is the son of Satan, he is determined to become an exorcist and eradicate his father once and for all.

There are so many anime out there that like to delve into the supernatural, especially when it comes to demons, but it's not for everyone. Ao no Exorcist is a good anime to test the supernatural waters first. It features a great blend of comedy, action, light drama, and fantasy. It's a shounen anime that will definitely wet your appetite for more. Maybe you like themes about demons and gods. Who knows? Try out Ao no Exorcist and find out.


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There are so many different anime out there in many genres that many may be unfamiliar with. You think your shows feature too much nudity? Watch an ecchi anime. That'll surprise you. Have any fantasies? I'm sure they've come to life in one anime or another. I thought it over very carefully in this list for the best anime to just test the waters for viewers out there. I didn't want to scare off viewers.

The anime are generally shorter so that you do not have to invest yourself into the series before deciding you don't like the genre. I wasn't talking about what series got me into anime. Just the anime that may capture your interest in different genres. I hope you enjoyed this list.

Now, please let me know what you would suggest for the newbies out there!



Author: Jenangelx3

California based workaholic. Current mottos are “I don’t care” and “I’ll try almost anything once”. Interests include traveling, eating, video games, and weightlifting. Currently living life to the fullest, pursuing my happiness, and conquering my fears. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

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