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So You Want to Watch Anime? Here Are Ten Shows to Help You Get Started

This list is designed in part to present you with a variety of genres, so you could watch these shows in order to have a better place to start from when looking for additional material – based on what you like and don’t like.

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Black-Helghast1124d ago

LOL Neon Genesis Evangelion for a start anime? I'm pretty sure new anime comers will hate NGE.

Thunder_God1124d ago (Edited 1124d ago )

Thankfully, the first comment on the piece raises the very same concern, and a pretty long response is provided:

First, this list is aimed at people who want to watch anime, not to be handed to people to convince them to watch anime, so I suspect they might have watched a couple of series and/or movies.
Second, I know plenty of cases where Tappan’s argument is factually incorrect – NGE is probably between the first and third anime series I’ve watched, though I’ve watched films beforehand, simply because at the time to watch a show I had to buy it, though you could watch movies at anime conventions. I actually know a number of other people for whom NGE had been one of the first shows they’ve watched, without it turning them off of anime at all.

Now, that doesn’t mean you’re not right – the Ghost in the Shell movie was one of the first movies we’ve encountered in the west as our introduction to anime, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good introductory show, right?

And that brings us back to NGE, the show is hyper-dense, but it’s not “anime-dense”, it’s dense in the same way that a Cronenberg film can be dense. It’s not that you need to get used to anime to appreciate the show, but that you need to get used to complicated media works to appreciate it. That it’s an anime in this sense is almost accidental.

I stand by my choices of NGE, TTGL and Madoka, assuming you’ve watched a series or two, or several movies beforehand, but these need to be watched. NGE above all else just influenced shows too much for it to not be watched, and if you keep holding it off, it just languishes there. What is the moment when one is “ready to watch NGE?” – Would someone understand everything they watch when they watch NGE? No, but a large part of it is true even if it’s the 200th show you watch. You watch it early, let it rattle in your brain and shape your future watching, then you go back to it a few years later and glean more from it, and also see other shows in it in retrospect.

It helps that NGE is a very solid story, with a deep psychological aspect, and where character relations aren’t just a sub-theme, but a major aspect, thematically as well.

blitzburns41123d ago

What you said is the exact thing that happened to me. I finally took the plunge and, I got to say, it's pretty freakin' amazing. I don't know what all the nay-sayers are thinking.

I watched it subbed, though. So I'm not sure if the dub sucks or not.

Thunder_God1123d ago

I dunno if they "suck", but they're different. Some scenes I watched both dubbed and subbed to try and get a better picture of what was meant, but that's assuming the dub writers somehow gleaned information from Anno's mind.

pompombrum1123d ago (Edited 1123d ago )

I remember watching NGE back in my earlier days of being an anime fan and tbh, I can't say I enjoyed it all that much.. not in the same way as I can enjoy anime now anyway.

Personally I've only seen a few on that list but overall didn't care much for it. I mean Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica? That's not going to convert many into anime fans and would turn off 99.9% of the western audiences and emotionally scar the other 0.01%. Code Geass is a good recommendation though.

For first time anime fans, I'd recommend going with Death Note or if they are sci fi fans, try the Ghost in the Shell series.

yaz2881123d ago (Edited 1123d ago )

oh yeah, but they will like Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica better? steins gate, masterpiece but had a boring start, wouldn't advise it for newcomers.

seriously, I think NGE is good choice. but imo, death note is where everybody should start. show your friend that anime is cool and is not for kids. ( one ep I tell you! that is enough )

pompombrum1123d ago

I did this approach with my friend, he's 25 and really got into Death Note.

Thunder_God1124d ago (Edited 1124d ago )

Edit: -Wrong place, would delete if possible-

DEATHxTHExKIDx1124d ago

I started my friend on Yu Yu hakusho, Soul eater, Code Geass, and FMA:B. Code Geass is either his favorite or tied with FMA:B.

wishingW3L1124d ago

the list was epic until the final 2 (9 & 10) extremely generic anime. Like seriously, Baka to Test? That's the kind of low quality anime you'd watch when you have way too much free time and you simply do not know what else to do with your precious life. Especially when there are much superior comedy animes around like Haruhi Suzumiya.

But an anime that never fails for people that want to start watching anime is Berserk.

ExCest1123d ago

Dude. Baka to Test was awesome.

And Haruhi as THE comedy? *nerd scoff*

Thunder_God1123d ago

Question, have you actually /seen/ Shigofumi? Like Planetes, it's a good way to showcase what anime can do, it's short, and it's deeply emotional. You can also watch an episode at a time due to its vignette-like nature. Mushishi could be a possible replacement of that.

Also, as the entries note, comedy is deeply personal, and it's hard to pick something for everyone, so picked a charming little number. Also, it serves as a good way to introduce people to cliches and tropes, better when it's in a comedy and the show is laughing at them than when they're delivered straight.

As for Haruhi, someone asked me when I was working on the draft, and here's the answer I gave them:

Haruhi - well, I don't really find myself suggesting it to people, and I don't really see people suggesting it, it did give us "Kyon", Yuki is actually a clone of Rei. Most of what it gave us was, well, KyoAni as we know them today, and that's entirely subsumed by K-On!, heck,when Haruhi 2 came out people complained it'd been K-onified. Haruhi was, honestly, a fad. I like Haruhi, don't get me wrong, and there's ways to suggest it, but it's no longer really influential or a clear recommendation in any form. Also, not going to talk about KyoAni influence here, it's recent, and it's chicken and egg, I think KyoAni didn't create moe, but are the mascot carried by it.

Back to you, wishingW3L, I actually thought about Haruhi as a comedy, but realized I don't even know what genre to categorize it as. It'll probably be featured in a future entry.

Neckbear1124d ago

I think of Planetes more as an anime for people who hate anime. It doesn't stick to anime conventions, it has really good writing and character interaction, and the characters themselves act like real human beings instead of tired archetypes sticking to their role. That's what makes it so great, but once you watch Planetes and see what the medium is capable of, you'll start looking for similar things. And there's not much like it.

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