5 Gateway Anime for New Viewers to Try | CBR

New to anime, but interested in diving into the world of these weird-looking Japanese cartoons with big, round eyes? Search no further: here are five of the most ideal anime for newcomers to delve into. These four shows and one movie are highly accessible, easy to get into without too much prior knowledge of Japanese culture and, most important of all, universally beloved. All of these anime are different from one another, so pick out whatever sounds most appealing to your personal tastes to try.

Death Note is a 37 episode psychological thriller following Light Yagami, a psychopathic Japanese high school student who gets posession of a Death Note, a notebook that kills anyone who’s name is written in it. If you’re familiar with the horrendous Netflix adaptation, rest assured the anime is far superior to that film. The anime is thoroughly engaging, suspenseful and brilliant, centering around the compelling rivalry between Light and and the detective L.

Death Note is brimming with mind games, elaborate schemes and insane mental counter-attacking, but is never hard to understand. The show is smart but incredibly easy to follow, taking viewers on a mind-bending journey as the two main characters play 4D chess with each other in this excellently executed thriller.

RELATED: Do Death Note’s Creators Regret Killing THAT Major Character?

There are two anime adaptations based on the amazing manga by Hiromu Arakawa; the Brotherhood version is more faithful to the source material. The world of Fullmetal Alchemist is one of alchemy, adventures and ominous secrets. It tells the tale of Edward and Alphonse Elric, two brothers who try to resurrect their deceased mother through alchemy only to end up facing grave consequences.

This 64 episode anime starts with the two boys setting out to find the Philosopher’s Stone in order to regain their lost body parts. They soon find themselves tangled up in a deeper conspiracy involving the king of their nation. The anime excellently shifts between lighthearted, dark, serious and bittersweet. The quality of storytelling and character development should win over anime skeptics.

RELATED: Fullmetal Alchemist Vs. Brotherhood: What’s the Difference?

Looking for a mature anime with more adult themes? Cowboy Bebop may just be the one to pick up. “The work which becomes  a new genre in itself” is a space Western about a ragtag group of bounty hunters, each trying to move forward while still being pulled backwards by their traumatic pasts.

Cowboy Bebop is an anime about carrying the burdens of life and trying to live with them, among many other themes. It also has some of the most interesting, cool and downright likeable characters in anime. Clocking in at 26 episodes, this science fiction classic anime is one you should not miss out on.

Attack on Titan thrives in its mysteries and revelations. The anime is set in a dystopian world where the last of humanity is fearfully sheltered within the confines of a great wall. The rest of the Earth is seemingly overrun by terrifying man-eating giants called Titans. One day, the protagonist Eren’s hometown of Shiganshina is attacked by a mysterious Colossal Titan, breaking the walls and letting the Titans into their haven.

This action-packed anime is still ongoing; its fourth and final season is set to air this Fall. You’ll want to catch up on this immensely popular series in time to witness the sure-to-be-epic finale of this gripping dark fantasy tale of struggle, freedom and conflict. Though the series improves in later seasons, the first few episodes are still some of the best and most intriguing in recent memory.

RELATED: Attack on Titan: The Truth of Its World Is Crazy – and Brilliant

Your Name, known as Kimi no Na wa in Japan, was a worldwide hit. This romantic drama, incorporating some supernatural aspects of Japanese folklore, tells a story of a boy and a girl with very different lives who mysterious switch bodies and learn about each other and the world around them.

The film, releasing in 2016, immediately garnered widespread praise and acclaim, from mainstream audiences and anime nerds alike. For those unsure about diving into a full-length series that might take days to complete, this highly lauded anime film by director Makoto Shinkai might be the better choice. Be warned, though: you are in for an emotional ride.

Next: Anime Perfect for the Quarantine Blues

New to anime, but interested in diving into the world of these weird-looking Japanese cartoons with big, round eyes? We recommend these to watch.

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