Your friend is not an anime lover? With this list, he can change his/her mind!
Every time we really like something in general, we want to share it with someone that is close to us. In this list you can find some suggestion for the “anime beginners”.
The problem with anime is this: if you are not used to the drawings (eyes and mouth bigger, the stereotypes exaggeration, etc.…) it is very difficult to identify yourself with the anime characters.
Another problem: usually you can find most of the anime in the original language with subtitles and usually it is difficult for the “anime beginner” to empathize with a language that is so different.
To summarize: the “anime beginner” feels and empathizes less in general compared to someone that is used to watch anime. This is the reason why the advises are anime that are dubbed in English and with characters that have a more realistic drawing and personality.
The list could be very long but instead, I prefer to suggest only a bunch of anime that, in my opinion, could give the biggest impact.
- Death Note
Directed by: Tetsuro Araki
Episodes: 37 (completed)
Genre: Occult detective, psychological thriller
The brilliant high school student Light Yagami finds a weird notebook in the garden of the school. He will discover that this strange object has the power to kill.
If you did not watch this anime series, seriously, you need to run home and watch it immediately because it really is a masterpiece.
I recommend this anime also to parents, grandparents and all the relatives. This is because it is almost impossible to do not like it even though you do not like the thriller genre very much, even though you are an “anime hater” (is this category exists??).
A problem with this anime: I saw people that after watching Death Note they could not find any other anime that was “so good”: I suggest to continue to watch the anime in this list and see if there is something that really deserves your attention again!
- Ghost in the Shell
Directed by: Momory Oshii
Running time: 82’
Genre: Sci-Fi Action, Thriller, Mistery
The story takes place in a cyberpunk future where computer technology has advanced to the point that many members of the public possess cyberbrains and various level of prostheses. The main character is Major Motoko Kusanagi, a member of Public Security Section 9 called simply “Section 9”. The high level of cyberization opens the way to an important hacker attack that allows to hack a person through the brain.
I personally cried after watching this. It is a movie so, in this case, it is effortless for the “anime beginner” to start watching it compared to start an anime series.
I think this movie really deserves attention. Everything is perfect: the drawings have so many details, the music gives goose bumps, the story is very well-constructed even though it is mazy.
It is impossible to do not fall in love if you like Shi-Fi movie in general.
If you liked it there is also a sequel, Ghost in the Shell Innocence, and if you like this sort of Sci-Fi, I really recommend Ergo Proxy (this is instead an anime series).
- Laputa – Castle in the Sky
Directed by:Hayao Miyazaki
Running time: 126’
Genre: adventure, sentimental
Sheeta is girl who lives in a little village up to the mountains. One day she is abducted by Muska, a secret agent working for the government, and he takes her into his airplane. During the flight, they are attacked by Captain Dola and her air pirate sons who are in search of Sheeta’s crystal amulet. In this attack, Sheeta falls from the airplane but her amulet saves her from the death and she is discovered by a boy named Pazu. Pazu will help Sheeta in escaping from pirates and from the government. They will finally discover why all people want her amulet so desperately: it is the key to arrive to Laputa, the ancient castle in sky.
I could not resist in suggesting a Studio Ghibli’s film. This is my favorite so far.
Many people would suggest Spirited Away but I think that this wonderful-piece-of-art is better for who wants to approach at the anime world because it is more simple in my opinion.
The music, the story, the drawings and the sceneries are poetic.
You can easily touch the love for flying and being free that Myazaki has.
This movie is for romantic dreamers and you can watch it with every single kind of person (your nanny would like it for sure!). This is for adults (men and women), children, great-grandparents, literally everyone. The enjoyment is guarantee!
If you watch it and you like it I really recommend all the other Ghibli’s films!
- Samurai Champloo
Directed by: Shinichiro Watanabe
Episodes: 26 (completed)
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Splatter, Action (Chanbara)
The story takes place in an alternative version of the Edo-era (1603-1868). Fuu is a waitress of a shop and one day she is abused by a samurai band. She is saved from Mugen and Jin (two swordsmen with completely different fighting style) and after various circumstances Fuu returns the favor by saving Mugen and Jin. From that moment, they decide to travel together to find “the samurai who smells of sunflowers”.
This anime is funny, creative, absurd, bloody but light. So: another masterpiece.
I really recommend this to people that do not want to pay a lot of attention to their first anime but just have fun with it. You can easily watch it with a group of friends or when you are having breakfast with your family on Sunday morning. At the same time, the story is very original and the characterization of the protagonists will really intrigue you. For example, one of the protagonist has a combat style that recalls capoeira movement style: if you are practicing Capoeira or you like martial art in general, this anime is practically perfect for you.
If you really enjoyed watching this and you are looking for something similar, I can suggest another anime that was always directed by Watanabe: Cowboy Bebop.
- Paradise Kiss
Directed by: Osamu Kobayashi
Episodes: 12 (completed)
Genre: sentimental, scholastic
The beautiful high school student Yukari Hayasaka needs to study a lot to finish her prestigious school but her life is completed changed when Arashi Nagase, an high school student of the Art Institute, stopped her in the middle of the street because he thinks she is the perfect model for the Parakiss atelier, a place where a group of students is working hard to the new dress collection. One of those students is George…
I did the litmus test with my mother and it works! She watched all the episodes in one day and I can say she was addicted to this show.
I think this anime is more for girls/women because of the genre but I really suggest it because of the drawing and the characterization of the protagonists which is different, in my opinion, from the other shojo anime. I can say that this construction is more “European”: the personalities are closer to the western culture compared to other sentimental/scholastic anime.
This is a characteristic that I found also in the other anime of the same author Ai Yazawa: Nana (if you liked Paradise Kiss you can also watch this!).
I hope this article is useful for you! And you? Do you remember the anime that introduced you to this world?