10 Anime Shows You Should Watch

There is an endless amount of anime shows that stretch across Crunchyroll, to Hulu+, to countless other sources. Here are 10+ you should check out. 

Let us start with some honorable mentions before looking at the primary 10 (in no particular order) as is the point of this article, though keep in mind that this list in no way represents the best shows and is simply a list combining some of our favorites and some of the most respected and beloved franchises around. New or old, there is definitely something here for you to enjoy, assuming you are an anime fan, that is.  

Honorable Mentions:

Berserk, Bleach, One Piece, Psycho Pass, Kill la Kill, Gundam Wing+Mobile Suit, Soul Eater, Death Note, Ghost in the Shell, Full Metal Alchemist

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10 Anime Shows You Should Check Out

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Rurouni Kenshin

RK

Plot

After his work against the Japanese Military, Hitokiri Battosai (“The Man-Slayer”) disappears to become Kenshin Himura, a wandering samurai who protects the people of Japan with a vow of never to take another life. 

Why You Should Watch

Easily making our list, Kenshin is one of the most beloved characters in all of anime. Maybe it is his style of fighting, using his Reverse Blade Sword (one side is sharp enough to cut through steel like butter, and the other side is dull and used to knock enemies on the flat of their backs) to defeat enemies without killing them, or his struggle to avoid becoming the Man-Slayer of legend he once was, Kenshin’s love and admiration for his friends and peers makes him a unique warrior with humility and a sense of humor unlike anyone else in the show. 

Sword Art Online (I+II)

SAO

Plot

Kirito is a young gamer, with an obsession for Virtual Reality-based MMOs. The latest, Sword Art Online (SAO), promises an immersive experience with the Nerve Gear, a VR helmet that links all of the human sense into the game, creating a sense of realism like you are literally present in the setting of the VR world. 

During the day of launch, the “Log Out” option mysteriously vanishes from within the game, trapping thousands of players inside. SAO’s creator, Akihiko Kayaba appears telling players that the only means of escape is to see the game through to the end and beat it, or die in-game, which kills the player in real life. The news creates widespread panic, causing friends and family to remove the Nerve Gear of those trapped inside, thus killing players instantly. The players have no choice but to stay in the game and abide by the rules, which leads to many developing in-game lives while leaving them trapped for months, and even years. 

Why You Should Watch

Kirito is an interesting character to be sure, having been one of the games testers allowing him many in-game advantages over other players. Coined with the term “Beater”, Kirito’s development with other players constantly puts him at odds, with many feeling like he is a cheater and only out for himself. The means in which he develops relationships and plays the game is perhaps the most intriguing aspect of SAO, as he is left to his wits and trust-building to get anywhere, despite usually being a “Solo Player”. With treachery, romance, epic fights, and lots of reference to present day games, SAO fits the bill for any anime lover, especially if you are an anime-gamer hybrid like us. 

Naruto Shippūden

Nartuo S

Plot

Naruto Uzumaki, an adolescent ninja who constantly searches for recognition and dreams to become the Hokage, the ninja in his village who is acknowledged as the leader and the strongest of all.

Why You Should Watch

Naruto and its sequel series Naruto Shippūden are constantly on the top ranked anime series and manga series of all time. If that is not enough, the franchise has become a household name with many awards showcasing the epic fight sequences, the likability of the wide-array of characters, and the excellent music that supports the action taking place on-screen. Regardless of whether you like anime, ninjas, or both, Naruto is a must-watch series for any who are wondering what to add next on their list of shows to watch, though we bet if you are reading this, you have already seen the entire list of available episodes on stream.

 

Hunter x Hunter

HxH

Plot

A young boy named Gon Freecss, who discovers that his father, who he was told was dead, is actually alive and a world-renowned Hunter, a licensed profession for those who specialize in fantastic pursuits such as locating rare or unidentified animal species, treasure hunting, surveying unexplored enclaves, or hunting down lawless individuals. Despite being abandoned by him, Gon departs upon a journey to follow in his footsteps, pass the rigorous Hunter Examination, and eventually find his father. Along the way, Gon meets various other Hunters and also encounters the paranormal.

Why You Should Watch

Truth be told, the original run of the series in 2000 was not met with as much popularity as the manga, however the reboot of the series, which is only in Japanese, that was released in 2011 was met with critical acclaim and widespread praise among viewers and fans alike. One of the more popular evaluations of the series comes from the varying themes in the series, such as the tone and meaning behind the characters and what they represent, such as the most common theme, asking what it feels like to be human and against odds in the face of diversity. This series is the only one on the list that we have yet to experience ourselves, however it is easy to place on this list from what fans and critics have said about it; incredible.

 

Attack on Titan

aot

Plot

The story is set in a world where humanity lives inside cities surrounded by enormous walls as a defense against the Titans, gigantic humanoid creatures that eat humans seemingly without reason. The story initially centers on Eren Yeager, his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and childhood friend Armin Arlert, who joins the military to fight the Titans after their home town is invaded and Eren’s mother is eaten. However, as the story progresses and the truths about the Titans are slowly revealed to the reader, the main narrative shifts to center more around Historia Reiss, one of the top soldiers from the Survey Corps.

Why You Should Watch

Perhaps one of the most recognized anime franchises over the past couple of years, Attack on Titan stands on its own for being a massively successful manga, anime series, and live-action movie series (coming to NA in September 2015). 

The emotions and pain of constant loss the characters go through put this anime series on par with the struggles of popular shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. Characters die, emotions are stirred, and viewers are left with their jaws agape while wondering what type of world would it be to live in where you could watch your loved ones bitten in half by giant flesh-eating humanoids. 

The series is graphic, and at times hard to watch, but that only comes from the sheer horror of watching people devoured without mercy. The Japanese version with English subtitles leaves nothing to be desired, with the music and scenes left in their original horrific glory. The English version cuts out some of the violence, but still makes it worthy to watch if you do not want to read the dialogue of the subs. 

Dragon Ball (Z+S)

DBZRF

Plot

From Dragon Ball, to Dragon Ball Z, to the non-canon Dragon Ball GT, then to the new and currently ongoing series, Dragon Ball Super, if you do not know the story or plot, you may be reading the wrong list. 

A show that has been around since the 80s with countless video game adaptations, fan fiction, and quite possibly one of the reasons why anime is so popular in western culture, the DB story can be credited with inspiring a lot of other franchises on and off of this list. 

The story itself was inspired by Journey to the West with the Monkey King being the main inspiration for Goku (Son Goku), Dragon Ball’s main character. Finding out you are an unusual boy with unfathomable power, able to transform into an ape the size of a skyscraper at the sight of the full moon, and coming to the understanding you are from a distant planet of super warriors is no easy thing to do. And when enemies from across the galaxy constantly threaten earth and challenge you to be the one stop them is even more daunting. 

Why You Should Watch

Goku has been pinned up against the Man of Steel in a seemingly endless debate over who is stronger in battle (yes, Superman won both times in Death Battle, still debatable to an extent), which in and of itself shows that if Superman, arguably the most recognized hero, symbol, comic character, fictional character of ALL time is your main rival in fiction, then you are likely to be an iconic character yourself. The series is complete with epic fight scenes that trump nearly every other battle on this list, with unforgettable characters with powers and abilities that would crush the majority of comic book and animated heroes in the blink of an eye, Dragon Ball and its two canon expansions should be number one on your list to watch if you have not already seen it through to the end a dozen times over. But do yourself a favor and steer clear of GT. You were warned. 

Samurai Champloo

SC

Plot

Set in an alternate version of Edo-era Japan with an anachronistic, predominantly hip-hop, setting, Samurai Champloo  follows Mugen, an impudent and freedom-loving vagrant swordsman and Jin, a composed and stoic ronin. Together with Fuu, a brave girl who asks them to accompany her in her quest across Japan to find the “samurai who smells of sunflowers”, the three would-be heroes are at odds with constantly having to battle enemies and warriors who get in between them and their goals of finding the Sunflower Samurai while fighting among themselves with constant stubborn behavior.

Why You Should Watch

The tone of SC is anything but boring, but the hip-hop music put the series on a unique level all its own. Quick swordsmanship and witty banter make the show worth the watch, if the awards, accolades, and critical acclaim were not enough. 

Shinichirō Watanabe directed the series after the massive success and popularity of his previous project, Cowboy Bebop. 

Trigun

trigun

Plot

Trigun revolves around a man known as “Vash the Stampede” and two Bernardelli Insurance Society employees, Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson, who follow him around in order to minimize the damages inevitably caused by his appearance. Most of the damage attributed to Vash is actually caused by bounty hunters in pursuit of the sixty billion double dollars bounty on Vash’s head for the destruction of the city of July. However, he cannot remember the incident due to retrograde amnesia, being able to recall only fragments of the destroyed city and memories of his childhood past. Throughout his travels, Vash tries to save lives using non-lethal force. He is occasionally joined by a priest, Nicholas D. Wolfwood, who, like Vash, is a superb gunfighter with a mysterious past. As the series progresses, more about Vash’s past and the history of human civilization on the planet Gunsmoke is revealed.

Why You Should Watch

Vash is one of our favorite anime characters of all time, particularly through the excellent English voice work of actor Johnny Yong Bosch (Adam Park, Black Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger). The actor brings the character to life with quips and style that make Vash extremely likable and silly, while also being serious and dangerous to the point where its a miracle he does not kill more people with his massive hand cannon. 

That said, much like Kenshin Himura, Vash is the best at what he does and proves it by never really killing a soul, despite using one of the most dangerous weapons in the show, himself. 

Cowboy Bebop

CB

Plot

The story follow the adventures of a bounty hunter crew traveling on their spaceship, the Bebop, in search for criminals and those with a price on their heads they can profit from. With one thing leading to another, and it usually being the wrong move, Spike and his crew do whatever they can to survive day-by-day while dealing the mysteries of each others past. 

Why You Should Watch

Cowboy Bebop is easily one of the greatest anime shows of all time, but don’t just take our word for it. The series has been featured in dozens of magazines, web articles, and lists more authoritative on the subject of what is “the best” than us. The Anime News Network for example, gave the series an ‘A’ rating for the subbed version, and an unprecedented ‘A+’ rating for the dubbed version adding that Cowboy Bebop is “one of the most popular and respected anime titles in history.”

The English dub of the series was something series director Shinichirō Watanabe stated was better than the original, something you do not hear all that often in the realm of anime. 

YuYu Hakusho

yuyu

Plot

After being hit by a car, middle school punk,  Yusuke Urameshi is killed and sent to the after life before being brought back to life as the Spirit Detective of earth. Now, with the awareness of the spiritual realm and the supernatural, Yusuke must join together with a crew of miscreants to keep our realm safe from demons and various other undead demonic bad guys while learning about his own heritage, and his unique link to the Spirit World.

Why You Should Watch

This show is without a doubt the author’s favorite. The English dub is every bit as good as the Japanese with a well-rounded group of characters that expands beyond the typical anime arch-type by going so far in-depth with character development while maintaining a strong sense of danger and excitement. The sagas in the series are unique on their own, never making the audience think that it is just a rehash of the previous, with demonic powers and characters that can be the shows worst enemy before joining forces and becoming the best of friends. 

The humor in the show is what makes this so unique, in that it feels fresh and accents the fighting sequences perfectly. The English cast from FUNimation deliver such a good time with the series that you can not help but shed a tear when it ends, though it does so on a somewhat of a high-note making viewers realize that while you can have too much of a good thing, this is one series that you want to keep on going. 

Hard-headed stubborn characters like Hiei the Swordsman, and the brilliant Kurama play to each others strengths and add to the humor in some of the best ways anime can. If there is one series you are going to watch next, this would be it. Just be sure to give it a chance and stick with it as the first 7 or so episodes start off sort of slow and do not allude to what the rest of the series has to offer. 

So there you have it, our list of shows you should give a try. Keep in mind, the list is a compilation of shows we enjoy that we feel you should check out, but in no way is this a representation of the Top anime shows of all time, though many of you may agree that this list is pretty strong, perhaps even having several on your own Top 10 List.

Don’t see your favorite(s) on the list? That’s okay! Feel free to recommend your favorites down below!

source

Marchttps://youtube.com/marcanine
I prefer Crocs for their style over their comfort.

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