With more than 10,000 anime series in existence, it can be daunting for the uninitiated to pick and choose what anime to start with. It gets worse when you consider that some anime series can stretch up to a few hundred episodes. With so many anime to watch, how can one go about choosing what they like and which direction to pursue?
Here at Honey’s Anime, we attempt to provide a list of anime that covers a large variety of anime genres that will eventually let any viewer decide what style of anime suits them the most. This can include genres like action, comedy or even psychological thrillers.
The anime in the list are limited to entry level anime that are easier for new viewers to digest, limiting the length of the anime to 2 seasons at the most and making sure that they represent their genre well. With that said, it’s time to begin the list.
(Note: This list isn’t arranged in any particular order.)
10. One Punch Man
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2015 – December 2015
Despite appearing to be a loser on the surface, Saitama has the biggest unintentional secret of all; he can defeat everything and anything in a single punch. Despite being what could possibly be considered the strongest hero in history, our main character is instead extremely displeased as after all the training he has done, he has become too powerful to be even remotely challenged by any creature he comes across. He begins to have an existential crisis regarding his super power until a cyborg named Genos comes along and changes his life forever.
One Punch Man is a simple action and comedy anime that has one premise, he can defeat anything in one punch. There is no overarching plot that is difficult for viewers to follow nor does it provide complex fight scenes to follow. Every joke is surprising yet easy to understand and the fight scenes are fluid and exciting to watch as well. One Punch Man is an excellent anime for newcomers to anime as well as long-time fans.
9. Non Non Biyori
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2013 – December 2013
Residing in the town of Asahigaoka live four children that are very special. What makes them special you ask? They’re special as they are the only children who seem to exist in the town at all. Due to the non-existent children population, the four attend the same class together, leave class together and hang out together. The cast includes first grader Renge Miyauchi, the twins Suguru and Komari, and the seventh grader Natsumi.
This anime is even simpler than One Punch Man. With One Punch Man, there are still some clever quips to satire the action genre in general that can be hilarious to those used to the tropes presented. Non Non Biyori (as you should have guessed from the name already) is extremely simple to the point that it has an almost calming effect on anyone who watches it. The full package of sound, animation and pacing provides such a high level of a simple slice of life anime that all your troubles will just melt away. This anime is a must watch for long time veterans and newcomers.
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: October 2012 – March 2013
In a dystopian society, everyone seems to live in a seemingly safe society that appears to be a paradise on the surface level. However, it hides a darker secret. Every single human being living in the society is being monitored 24/7 by something called the Sybil System on their criminal coefficient, which is their likelihood to cause a crime. Unfortunately, the coefficient can be based on things like stress, causing a victim to be labelled as a criminal as well. This is the story of Akane Tsunemori and her journey to discover the truth behind the criminal system.
This list has just dipped into the more serious territory. There is nothing funny about Psycho-Pass. It is gritty, dark and gory at times. With its single season length, expect them to be liberal with character deaths and not provide anyone with plot armour. In exploring the moralities of the Sybil System in judging the rights of humanity as a whole, the show touches on many philosophical concepts that are sure to provide the viewers with plenty to discuss about. Good watch for anyone who can stomach gore here and there and won’t get a headache from long monologues.
7. Angel Beats!
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2010 – June 2010
The main character of the series, Otonashi, finds himself in the campus of a high school and is told be a girl holding a rifle that he is in the afterlife. She claims to lead the Afterlife Battlefront with the sole duty of battling a girl named Tenshi, who doesn’t seem that harmful to him. Deciding that he shouldn’t listen to weird girls holding rifles, he approaches Tenshi only to get stabbed to death. He awakens moments later to find that he cannot die in the afterlife. Reluctantly, he joins the Afterlife Battlefront and gets into hijinks with them over time.
Angel Beats provides a very deceptive premise. It sounds almost like it’s a slice of life anime mixed with a little comedy from the fact that characters can’t seem to die, providing the perfect setting for tons of slapstick humor. And in a way, that is true, there are moments where the anime can be truly hilarious. However, there exists an underlying tone that shows that each and every character in the series has a backstory that is so tragic that caused them all to end up in the same place in the afterlife. You’ll be crying your heart out from start to finish. Perfect for anyone who has a box of tissues handy.
6. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April)
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: October 2014 – March 2015
After the death of his mother, Kousei Arima can no longer hear the notes that he plays on the piano. Despite being so good at piano to the point that he is known as the Human Metronome, Arima can no longer play due to the crippling depression that seems to overwhelm his soul. Leaving his piano behind, he starts to live a bland and monochrome life in high school, trying to forget the pain he experienced. Everything changes when he meets the wild and beautiful Kaori Miyazono, a violinist who begins to colour his life once more.
Shigatsu provides a romance story that is very relatable yet subtle. It doesn’t bang your face with all the romance tropes hoping that you’ll understand that so and so love each other. Everything happens so naturally that the romance just clicks for the viewer at some point. That’s because the show focuses on the development of its two main characters instead and how this brings them together bit by bit in the end. With an excellent use of music to convey emotions, Shigatsu is suitable for anyone who likes dark chocolate. (Bittersweet Stories)
5. Nichijou (My Ordinary Life)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2011 – September 2011
NIchijou is the story of three high schoolers, Mio, Yuuko and Mai who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. It also follows the story of the young prodigy Hakase and her robotic caretaker Nano. Each day of their lives have the usual daily occurrences of going to school, buying groceries from the store and watching salmon fall from the sky…what? Nothing about these characters are normal at all, so join them in their everyday lives.
Nothing about Nichijou makes sense. The pacing is off, there is no underlying plot and the characters all behave in such nonsensical ways that you know no one could possibly act like that in real life. And that’s what makes it work. With a high level of animation as well as a good sense of timing, Nichijou manages to create extremely funny scenes mostly based on slapstick humour that will have everyone laughing themselves to death. Recommended for anyone who still has a sense of humour.
4. Sword Art Online
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: July 2012 – December 2012
In a distant future, virtual reality is invented and used by the gaming industry to transport the minds of players into a virtual world where they can play the game Sword Art Online as if they were really there. At launch, 10,000 players managed to log in to begin playing. However, soon after everyone logs in, they find that they cannot log out as they have been trapped within the game by the creator. The only way for them to leave is to clear all 100 floors of the game. The catch? Anyone who dies in the game dies in real life as well.
Sword Art Online is based on a light novel and is one of the few that begun to popularise light novel adaptations till they seem to receive a genre of their own. Out of all the light novel adaptations, Sword Art Online is one of the best for an introduction to the genre due to the relatively simple premise and its general lack of tension throughout the series, allowing viewers to just sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Recommended for any gaming fans who like anime.
3. Shokugeki no Souma (Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: April 2015 – September 2015
Souma has helped his father run their family eatery since he was a kid by working as a chef. His lifelong dream is to surpass his father and gain the title of head chef in their kitchen. However, one day his father closes the store and goes on a trip around the world, enrolling Souma in a cooking school in the process. At first Souma is reluctant, until he learns that the school has only a 10% pass rate due to how strict they are to their students. Thus begins his adventure into the world of cooking.
Shokugeki no Souma is one of those animes that can take a very mundane task like cooking and turn it into something very exciting to watch through clever visual tricks, camera angles and emphasis on certain actions. It’s like watching a cooking competition like Master Chef, except on steroids. If you enjoy eating food with umami and excitement, this is the anime for you.
2. Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2013 – June 2013
Kaoru Nishimi is a piano player who moves to a new town because of his father’s job. Sentaro Kawabuchi is a thug of a student with a bad boy attitude. Before meeting each other, Kaoru tended to keep to himself. After being influenced by Sentaro’s love of jazz, Kaoru begins to explore the genre as well as the joy that he can provide others through his music.
Sakamichi no Apollon is a simple enough anime with its fair share of hardship for its characters throughout the series. It invokes emotions well through the clever usage of jazz music, something that has not really been done to a great extent before. Instead of having characters follow the pattern of falling into love triangles or squares, Sakamichi focuses more on the friendship aspect of the show. Suggested for anyone who likes friends and jazz.
1. Death Parade
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2015 – March 2015
Between life and death lies limbo where souls go before proceeding to heaven or hell. In Death Parade, limbo is a bar manned by a suave bartender. Every person who passes through the bar is judged before being sent to their destination after a series of trials. Through these trials, each person’s true nature is revealed before being sent to their destination, all at the whims of the bartender.
It’s hard to talk about Death Parade without giving away any spoilers, because part of its brilliance lies in how it surprises you. Through the use of perspectives and visual trickery, the anime manages to fool the viewers into believing one thing and blowing their minds in the very next moment. Recommended for anyone who wants to see a screwed up version of the anime Bartender.
Whether you like action, romance or even slice of life, anime has everything and anything for anyone of all ages. It’s hard to definitively say what anyone would enjoy for anime as each person interacts with anime differently. It is our hope that with this list, any teens or in fact anyone will have a good starting point to exploring the many aspects of anime in general and can proceed to become otakus from there.