Last updated on August 8th, 2015
ARTICLE INFO: This article was made by request from a friend. It lists several different genres and gives and a brief description for each one. It also gives various tips on what to watch, what not to watch, and it gives a list of recommended anime shows and where you can find them.
What is Anime?
Anime is a type of Animation usually from Japan. They have their own style and it can show that in strange and wonderful ways. Anime also has its own sense of comedy and has a unique way of thinking. It can get really deep and serious, or it can become the silliest and craziest thing you have ever seen. Anime is also related to manga, which is similar to the super hero comics, well, in the way that its presented. Most Anime shows are based off of popular mangas, they just put a little more life into them. Anime is special to many people for several different things and newcomers to anime need find out what certain types of anime shows interest them in order for them to enjoy it more.
There are several different types of anime out there, some can be funny and some can have a deep touching story. Just like books and movies anime can be separated into different genres or themes. When looking for a new anime to watch you should first try to figure out what genres fit your own personal style and what you are in the mood to watch. Below I will list a variety of genres related to anime and I will put a brief description by each. It is also important to know that anime has certain types of genres that you would not normally see in movies and books.
|Action||Fight scenes, battles, etc.||Music||The show involves a lot of music. Can be the main theme or usually means the main characters are in a band.|
|Adventure||Going on quests, exploring usually doesn’t let the anime stay in one location for too long||Mystery||The characters are constantly solving complicated problems and tests. Usually involves murder cases.|
|Bishounen||This is usually means good looking guy, and romance this genre is aimed mostly at girl viewers||Police||Rare genre tag to see. Pretty much involves the life of the police usually deal with murder cases|
|Comedy||Funny stuff, jokes, etc.||Psychological||Deals with how a person thinks. This is usually a complicated anime genre and can involve murder or can just people how people think about life.|
|Demons (akuma)||Doesn’t always mean the anime will get super religious just means there may be some monsters or demon like creatures in it. Can be serious monsters or fun cute monsters.||Samurai||Involves swords (mostly katanas) can be historical. Usually has a lot of action|
|Drama||Emotional scenes. Can get really sad and deep. The anime can still end in a happy ending.||School||Main characters are usually in school or involved with it (which is most animes)|
|Ecchi||Usually light hearted anime with few if any super deep emotions. Lots of fan service meaning boobs and butts. Can get really sexual it won’t hit porn lvls but can get borderline close.||Sci-fi||Usually involves either something related to the future or space stuff|
|Fantasy||Magical, super powers, and sometimes monsters||Seinen||Anime aimed at adult males (18-40) Can be violent and is usually more mature|
|Harem||Several girls in love with one guy.||Shoujo||anime aimed at girls (ages 7-18) Usually strong focus on romance|
|Reverse Harem||Several guys in love with one girl||Shoujo-ai||Lesbian romance (girl in love with another girl)|
|Hentai||X rated stuff enough said||Shounen||Anime aimed at boys (ages 7-18) Usually strong focus on fighting|
|Historical||Deals with the history of Japan. Can deal with other Countries’ histories but that is rare.||Shounen-AI||Gay romance (boy in love with boy)|
|Horror||Scary stuff and usually implies very bloody and involves mutilation (means body parts being cut off like an arm being torn off by a monster)||Slice of Life||Anime involving everyday life.|
|Kids||Made for little kids popular exapmles are pokemon anime and digimon.||Space||Set in outer space|
|Josei||Aimed at adult women (18-40) usually involves life as a woman. Mature and realistic||Sports||Anime involving the character playing a sport. Can be a common sport can be an uncommon one. Does not have to be a physical one just needs to be a competitive one|
|Romance||Falling in love and romantic relationships||Super Power||Characters have special power not always magic related powers|
|Magic||Super powers and magical things||Supernatural||Usually the undead world demons spirits etc.|
|Martial Arts||Fighting styles. Some examples are Judo and kung fu||Vampire||Has vampires in it. Not always the main character.|
|Mecha||Robots. Usually has the main characters piloting them. Also usually involves some kind of war and action scenes||Yaoi||Gay love (boy loves boy) a more sexual form of Shounen-AI|
|Military||Involves a soldier’s life style and the battlefield.||Yuri||Lesbian love(girl love girl) a more sexual form of Shoujo-ai|
|Thriller||Suspenseful will keep you on your toes.||Parody|
An imitation of a popular move or anime that’s exaggerated usually for comical effect.
What newcomers should avoid
Before you start randomly searching on the web for an anime to watch there are somethings you should be aware of. These are areas that aren’t recommended to newcomers, later on once your more used comfortable with anime you can do whatever you want, but for newcomers its recommended to stay away from these areas until you have a better understanding about anime and its sometimes strange ways. It is also recommended that you should stay away from some of the really old animes since the old style and older voice styles can put newcomers off. In the following I shall tell you about certain genres and why they should be avoided.
Comedy and Parody
This regards the types of anime shows that are just straight up comedies and little else. Its recommended that newcomers should avoid these anime shows mostly because they won’t get the jokes as well. Japan has its own sense of unique style when it comes to jokes and if you have never experienced it before it can seem very strange and unusual to you. Especially when this regards the chibi stuff. Chibi stuff is basically when suddenly everything becomes cute and the animation suddenly changes. Anime does this in order to add more humor to certain moments or to make something super cute. Shows that are heavy with parodies are also things that should be avoided. This is because anime will parody things that are common to japan or other anime shows. So unless you already know a ton about anime and Japan you won’t understand the jokes.
Ecchi and Harem
These are Anime shows that should be avoided and for good reasons. Animes heavy in the ecchi genre should be avoided for a variety of reasons. One reason is that most of the show is just boobs and butt, or basically fan service shoots. This can be entertaining to a point but it usually takes away from the story. Its hard to take any of the characters seriously if all you see is their butt or breasts throughout the entire series. Also the stories themselves are usually boring and not clever. Some anime use ecchi just to add in dumb jokes but this is still an area that should be avoided unless everything else in the show is really good and you are used to all the fan service. Harem should also be avoided they are usually full of ecchi stuff and their stories go no where. I have seen some where the story actually goes somewhere cool but usually they all end in the same way with every girl still in love with the same guy and nothing really changing at all. These animes are annoying at times and are kinda unrealistic with multiple people in love with the same person, and somehow all of these people are still friends.
Slice of life
This genre isn’t as bad for newcomers as the previously mentioned ones but it should still be noted. As stated in the genre list these animes are about everyday life with nothing really eventful or different happening to the characters, its just stuff that could happen in anyone’s life. The problem with these kinds of animes is the fact that its mostly about life in Japan, and if you don’t understand what its like to live in Japan or what its culture is like you may get confused by what going on. Another reason for this being avoided is for the fact that some animes in this genre get really boring and annoying.
What newcomers should know and try out
Now that you know what should be avoided you can now learn about the things you should know before starting an anime. It is recommended that newcomers start with english dubs/voice overs (or whatever your main language is). Its easier for newcomers to watch anime this way for a couple reasons one being “to focus on the anime more” another being “some subtitles go by super fast and newcomers will have a hard time keeping up”. It is also recommended that newcomers start with anime movies, its usually shorter than watching a whole series and can be just as good. A great anime studio that produces some of the best anime movies ever is studio ghibli they produce all kinds of anime and usually have a great feeling to them. As stated there are a ton of anime out there and chances are if you are not familiar with anime or its style your probably gonna hit a bad anime that you don’t like or understand. Below are some basic rules that newcomers should follow in order to find the perfect anime for them.
- Figure out what genre you are in the mood to watch. Several sites let you find anime biased on the genre you like for instance crunchyroll lets you select your favorite genres and then narrows down the anime list based on your choices.
- If the site you are using has user ratings then you should pick a high ranking one to start with. These animes are given good ratings for a reason.
- Read the description of the anime before starting it. If its a story that you think sounds dumb you should probably stay away from that anime (though some animes can surprise so try not to be too picky)
- Use the 3 episode rule. Some animes take a little time to build up their shows so its a good idea to give an anime a slight chance by sticking around for the first 3 episodes. If after the first 3 episodes the anime seems boring or dull too you the chances are the rest of the series will not impress you and you should drop that show. There is no need to feel compelled to finish an anime, I myself have drop over 50 animes because they were just plain bad.
- THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE OF ALL you must read my reviews or I WILL EAT YOU RAWWRRRR ok I’m kidding you don’t have too, I myself only read/watch reviews when I’m really bored and have no idea what to watch. If you are truly on the fence about something then feel free to look at some reviews. Heck there are a lot of great reviewers out there, and most are better then me.
Animes to start on So if you tried all of the rules but are still unsure of what to watch as a newcomer or you are simply too lazy to do all that stuff (which I wouldn’t blame you I can be pretty lazy too) then heres a list of anime that are recommended for newcomers. Some of these do not have an english dub so I would recommend watching the ones with dub first if you plan to try to watch the whole list. Some possible places for legal streaming anime are Funimation.com , Fnimation’s youtube channel, Crunchyroll.com , Netflix, and Hulu. Note that Crunchyroll is english sub only.
- Kotoura san (english sub; Fantasy, Romance, Comedy available on Crunchyroll.)
- Okamisan and Seven Companions (english sub and dub; Comedy, romance, Parody; available on Netflix and Funimation’s youtube channel.)
- Cowboy Bebop (english sub and dub; Action, Comedy, Adventure, Drama, Sci-fi,Space; was not able to find it on a legal steaming site, but was able to find it on youtube but not sure how long it will stay on there since anime gets copyrighted on youtube all the time.)
- Steins;Gate (english dub and sub; Sci-fi, thriller; available on Funimation’s site and its youtube channel)
- FLCL (english sub and dub; Action, Comedy, Mecha, Parody, Sci-fi; available on Funimation’s site and its youtube channel, but to watch the english dub version you need a subscription to the site. )
- Death Note (english sub and dub; Fantasy, Drama, Thriller, Mystery; available on Hulu but I can only find it subbed.)
- Tengen Toppa Guren Lagann (english sub and dub; Mecha, Action, Comedy, Drama, Sci-fi; available subbed on crunchyroll.com.)
- Tsubasa Chronicles (english sub and dub; Romance, Mystery, Drama,Fantasy,Shounen,Supernatural; was not able to find it on a legal steaming site, but was able to find it on youtube but not sure how long it will stay on there since anime gets copyrighted on youtube all the time.
- Pandora Hearts (english sub and dub; Fantasy, Shounen, Adventure, Supernatural, available on Crunchyroll but need to be a premium member and that’s only in sub version.)
- Black Butler (english sub and dub; Shounen, Mystery, Action,Drama; available on Funimation’s site and youtube channel, can also be found on netflix.)
- Fullmetal Alchemist (english sub and dub; Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Magic, Shounen, Military; Available on FUnimation’s site and youtube channel, also available on netflix.)
- Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood (english sub and dub; Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Magic, Shounen, Military; available on netflix.)
- Code Geass (english sub and dub; Action, Mecha, School, Super power, Military; unable to find legal streaming site.)
- Attack on Titan (english sub; Action, Drama, Horror, Fantasy, Shounen; available on Crunchyroll and Netflix.)
- Trigun (englsih sub and dub; Action, Adventure, Sci-fi, Comedy; available on Netflix, funimation’s site and youtube channel.)
- Toradora! (english sub and dub; Comedy,Romance, Slice of life, Shojo; available on Netflix, and crunchyroll but need to a premium member in order to watch it on crunchyroll.)
- One Piece ( english sub and some dub; Action, Comedy, Shounen; some episodes are available on crunchyroll but not all.)
- Bleach (english sub and dub; Action, Comedy, Shounen; available on cruncyroll.)
- Fairy Tail (english sub and dub; Action, Comedy, Magic, Shounen, first season available on Netflix.)
- Cencoroll (Movie; english sub and dub; Action, Comedy, ecchi, romance, Shounen, Supernatural, Slice of life, Sci-fi; unable to find legal streaming site.
- Akira (Movie; english sub and dub; Fantasy, Sci-fi, Drama; was not able to find it on a legal steaming site, but was able to find it on youtube but not sure how long it will stay on there since anime gets copyrighted on youtube all the time.)
- Summer Wars (Movie; english sub; Comedy, Drama, Sci-fi, unable to find legal streaming site)
- Most studio ghibli Movies (there were a bunch of these recommended so its just easier to say if you find a ghibli movie its probably going to be good.)
Special Thanks: I’d like to thank all the people that gave me ideas for this article. Thank you forum members Cas, Reaperfan, and Twilightwarwolf. I would also like to thank my offline friends Mark, Alli, Chris, and Jeremy/Dead46
Now that this is finally done I’m gonna play some video games. If you have any questions or just want to talk about anime feel free to pm me.