The 30 Most Popular Anime Series for Beginners to Watch

Most Popular Anime Series
Most Popular Anime Series

30 Most Popular Anime Series: Anime has soared to international acclaim, establishing itself as a leading force in the world of animation. With intricate narratives, jaw-dropping animation, and immersive world-building, anime offers a world where a short attention span is no hindrance.

With such a rich array of anime series available for beginners, there's no shortage of captivating worlds and intriguing stories to explore. Whether you're into action-packed battles, thought-provoking themes, or heartwarming character development, the anime world has something to offer for every taste.

So, if you're new to anime or looking for the perfect series to introduce a friend to this exciting medium, consider starting with one of these top-rated shows. From classics to modern masterpieces, there's a world of anime waiting to be discovered, and these series are excellent starting points for your anime journey. Enjoy the adventure!

"Vinland Saga" (2019 ) 

Transport yourself to the Viking Age with "Vinland Saga," where we follow Thorfinn's journey from a vengeful warrior to a pacifist. Alongside Thorfinn's transformation, we witness the rise of King Canute, a menacing force with far-reaching consequences. This anime's historical backdrop offers rich character development, Viking lore, and thrilling battles. However, it may be too niche in terms of historical context for some newcomers.

"Shaman King" (2001–2005) 

Join the laid-back Yoh Asakura as he embarks on a quest to become the next Shaman King, communicating with spirits and navigating perilous challenges. "Shaman King" combines mysticism and action, making it a great choice for both anime novices and seasoned fans.

"Code Geass" (2006–2008) 

In the world of "Code Geass," the black prince Lelouch seeks to reshape reality using the enigmatic power of Geass. He defies the oppressive Holy Britannian Empire, leading a double life as a brilliant student and a masked rebel known as Zero. This series is a rollercoaster of politics, mech battles, and moral ambiguity, which may not be everyone's cup of tea.

"Neon Genesis Evangelion" (1995 - 1996) 

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, "Neon Genesis Evangelion" follows Shinji Ikari's journey as he pilots giant mechs to combat otherworldly beings called Angels. This series deconstructs the mecha genre, blending surreal dream sequences and philosophical monologues. While celebrated, it may be too heavy and abstract for anime newcomers, particularly its controversial ending.

"Yuri!!! On Ice" (2016) 

For those interested in sports anime, "Yuri!!! On Ice" explores the world of competitive figure skating. Japanese skater Yuuri Katsuki teams up with Russian coach Viktor Nikiforov, leading to an endearing bond. This blend of figure skating and romance is a perfect choice for those intrigued by the sport.

"Kakegurui" (2017–2019) 

"Kakegurui" centers on Yumeko Jabami, a student with a gambling addiction who attends the prestigious Hyakkaou Private Academy. Students must excel in gambling to advance socially, and Yumeko challenges the top gamblers with fearless intensity. This unique premise offers intense psychological mind games and suspense, although it may not suit everyone's taste.

"Digimon: Digital Monsters" (1999–2007) 

"Digimon" transports viewers to another world where a group of children befriend digital creatures called Digimon. Together, they battle evil forces threatening both worlds. Beyond the action-packed battles, "Digimon" delves into the friendships forged along the way, making it an excellent starting point for anime newcomers.

"The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya" (2006–2009) 

This immensely popular series follows the adventures of Kyon, an ordinary high school student, and Haruhi Suzumiya, an eccentric girl fascinated by the supernatural. Together, they form the "SOS Brigade" and investigate paranormal events. As the series unfolds, it takes unexpected twists that are best experienced firsthand.

"Inuyasha" (2000–2004) 

Kagome Higurashi's life takes a dramatic turn when she's transported to feudal Japan and meets Inuyasha, a half-demon with a penchant for danger. Their quest to retrieve the Shikon Jewel leads to a captivating blend of romance and action, making "Inuyasha" a beloved classic.

"Cyberpunk: Edgerunners" (2022) 

Set in the world of "Cyberpunk 2077," this series follows David, a talented "edgerunner" immersed in the life of a black-market mercenary. While it offers a dystopian cyberpunk setting and emotionally charged storytelling, be prepared for its hard-hitting themes and moments.

"Bleach" (2004 - 2012) 

"Bleach" follows Ichigo Kurasaki, an angsty teenager who inherits the powers of a Soul Reaper and must use them for good. Filled with sword fights, humor, and heavy themes, "Bleach" maintains a unique tone throughout its lengthy run.

"Castlevania" (2017 - 2021) 

Based on Konami's iconic video game franchise, "Castlevania" takes place in medieval Europe and follows Trevor Belmont's quest to defend Eastern Europe from extinction at the hands of Dracula. This series combines horror, fantasy, and themes of family and faith, making it accessible to anime beginners.

"Pokémon" (1997) 

A timeless favorite, "Pokémon" introduces us to Ash Ketchum's journey to become a Pokémon Master alongside his trusty Pikachu. The vast world of Pokémon, filled with unique creatures and adventures, captivates audiences. While the classic seasons shine, beware of the declining quality in newer entries.

"My Hero Academia" (2016) 

"My Hero Academia" immerses viewers in a world where superpowers are the norm. Izuku Midoriya, born without powers, aspires to become a hero and inherits the legacy of All Might. This series combines fantastic animation with lovable characters and explores themes of duty, power, and legacy.

"Jojo's Bizarre Adventure" (2012)

Prepare for a wild ride with the Joestar family, who combat evil forces using inherited powers. "Jojo's Bizarre Adventure" delivers jaw-dropping fights, quirky humor, and a unique narrative that spans generations. From campy fashion to theatrical villains, this series is a mesmerizing experience.

"Jujutsu Kaisen" (2020) 

Despite its recent release, "Jujutsu Kaisen" has already left its mark in the anime world. It follows a young sorcerer's journey to exorcise a demon he consumed while exploring the link between the soul and the body. With stunning animation, compelling characters, and intense fight scenes, it's a great entry point for modern anime.

"Yu Yu Hakusho" (1992 - 1994) 

"Yu Yu Hakusho" centers on Yusuke Urameshi, a teenage delinquent turned "Spirit Detective" tasked with facing terrifying ghosts and demons. The show balances supernatural elements with lighthearted moments, making it a beloved classic.

"Fruits Basket" (2001) 

"Fruits Basket" tells the heartwarming story of Tohru Honda, who finds herself living with the Sohma family, cursed to transform into the animals of the Chinese zodiac. As Tohru helps the family members heal their wounds and overcome their curses, the series explores themes of acceptance and personal growth. With its heartfelt storyline and romantic subplot, "Fruits Basket" is a standout in the genre and a great choice for newcomers seeking emotional depth.

"Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba" (2019) 

"Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba" burst onto the scene and quickly became a modern classic. It follows Tanjiro Kamado's quest to avenge his family and find a cure for his demon-turned-sister. With stunning visuals and captivating sword choreography, this series is a must-watch for anime enthusiasts.

"One Punch Man" (2015 - 2019) 

"One Punch Man" introduces us to Saitama, a superhero who can defeat any opponent with a single punch. While battling evil, Saitama struggles with the lack of challenge in his fights. This series humorously deconstructs superhero clichés, offering a unique take on the genre.

"Steins; Gate" (2011) 

Perfect for science fiction fans, "Steins Gate" is a mind-bending adventure centered on time travel. It explores the consequences of altering the past, set in Akihabara, Japan, where friends send text messages into the past to change their fates. With intricate storytelling, it keeps viewers engaged and thinking.

"Naruto: Shippuden" (2007 - 2017) 

For those ready for a long-term commitment, "Naruto: Shippuden" is part of the Big Three Shonen and spans 500 episodes. It follows Naruto's journey from a young ninja to the leader of his village. Beyond its action-packed scenes, the series offers character growth and iconic hand-to-hand combat animation.

"Dragon Ball Z" (1989 - 1996) 

A cornerstone of shonen anime, "Dragon Ball Z" takes place after the original series and follows Goku's battles against powerful villains who threaten Earth. Known for character development, iconic introductions, and intense battles, "Dragon Ball Z" continues to attract fans with its timeless appeal.

"Cowboy Bebop" (1998 - 1999) 

"Cowboy Bebop" remains one of the highest-rated anime series of all time. It follows a group of bounty hunters traveling the Solar System on the ship Bebop, exploring existentialism and the search for belonging. Combining elements of sci-fi, cyberpunk, Western, and neo-noir, this series offers unexpected and exciting narratives.

"One Piece" (1997) 

Join Luffy and his crew of Straw Hats as they sail the seas in search of the ultimate treasure. "One Piece" stands out for its consistent world-building, immersive settings, and well-defined rules. Despite its extensive episode count, it remains a compelling choice for beginners.

"Death Note" (2006 - 2007) 

A classic that put anime on the global map, "Death Note" is a gripping crime thriller. Light Yagami comes into possession of a Death Note, a book that can cause death when someone's name is written in it. This series explores themes of morality, justice, and power in a mind-bending cat-and-mouse game.

"Attack on Titan" (2013 - 2023) 

"Attack on Titan" delves into darker themes, depicting a dystopian world where humanity battles colossal, flesh-eating Titans. With its gritty and heart-stopping narrative, it challenges viewers emotionally and visually. The series offers a unique and immersive experience, making it a modern classic.

"Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" (2009 - 2010) 

"Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" is a dark fantasy series exploring grief, war, and moral ethics. Brothers Ed and Alphonse venture into forbidden alchemy, leading to tragic consequences. This series captivates with its intricate storytelling and powerful brotherly bond.

"Hunter x Hunter" (2011 - 2014) 

"Hunter x Hunter" follows Gon Freecss on his journey to become a Hunter, encountering intriguing characters like Killua and Netero along the way. With stunning animation and emotional storytelling, it's a captivating series that appeals to both newcomers and experienced anime fans.

"Avatar: The Last Airbender" (2005 - 2008) 

"Avatar: The Last Airbender" is a legendary series set in a world where bending the elements is a spiritual power. Aang, the titular Avatar, embarks on a mission to restore balance to the world. This series is renowned for its animation, world-building, character development, and exploration of complex themes. It transcends age groups, making it a perfect choice for beginners and a live-action adaptation in the works.

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