5 Anime That Will Convert the Agnostic
5 series that will change your mind about anime.
Still unsure about anime after all those unabating recommendations from your anime-loving friends? Does finally giving the genre a chance seem far too daunting due to its substantial catalogue? If the answer to these questions is yes, then I have the perfect thing for you. Here's a list of five anime the agnostic should watch before dismissing the genre completely.
For a person that has never watched anime, it’s easy to assume that most anime is centred on some overpowered superhero or otherworldly protagonist with extraordinary abilities. And given that many of us have stumbled upon social media posts about popular anime such as Dragon Ball Z, Naruto and One Piece, it’s not difficult to see why. Hence, when an anime as refreshing and unique as Oddtaxi comes along, it would be remiss of an anime aficionado like myself not to take the opportunity to introduce those unfamiliar with the genre to something that proves its multifariousness. Oddtaxi written by Kazuya Konomoto, is one of the most brilliantly scripted anime presently available to stream. It follows the story of protagonist Odokawa, a 41-year-old anti-social walrus taxi driver, as he becomes entwined in the search for a missing girl. The 13-episode series features well-written and quick-witted dialogue, several fascinating character arcs, and a number of supremely executed plot twists that will surely keep the viewer on the edge of their seat until the final episode’s conclusion.
4. Made in Abyss
Akihito Tsukushi’s Made in Abyss tells the story of 12-year-old Riko and her robot friend, Reg, descending into the Abyss - a colossal chasm located right below Riko’s hometown of Orth - to embark on a wondrous and equally gruelling journey to find Riko’s missing mother, Lyza, the great White Whistle Cave Raider. Upon initial inspection, it would be easy to mistake Made in Abyss for an anime aimed at younger audiences, given its child protagonist and seemingly harmless subject matter. However, after a few episodes of the beautifully crafted series, viewers will quickly realise that, not only does the anime feature one of the most deeply affecting storylines, but also addresses themes, such as love and power, with such adroitness, it’s impossible not to become emotionally invested in Riko and Reg’s journey deeper into the Abyss.
3. Vinland Saga
Who would have thought an anime loosely based on historical events, and a war between Denmark and England, would turn out to be one of the most captivating animated series in an already vast catalogue of great anime? Vinland Saga follows the journey of Thorfinn, the son of one of the Viking’s greatest warriors, in his pursuit for revenge on the man that took his father’s life, and how, in the process, he finds himself caught in the middle of a war for the crown of England. In addition to being a sight to behold due to its glorious animation style (brought to us by the same studio behind the first three seasons of Attack on Titan), Vinland Saga also features one of the most enthralling antagonists in all of anime in the Viking mercenary, Askelaad. Due to this, throughout the series 24-episode run, viewers will find themselves equally invested in Askelaad’s incredibly complex backstory, as they are the protagonist’s, Thorfinn.
2. Demon Slayer
Koyoharu Gotouge’s Demon Slayer has rapidly become one of the world’s most popular anime, with its first ever feature length film Demon Slayer: Mugen Train grossing over $500 million worldwide in 2020, making it the highest grossing film of the year, and the second highest grossing anime film in the U.S after 1998’s Pokemon: The First Movie. If these incredible figures aren’t telling enough of Demon Slayer’s far-reaching appeal, then perhaps the story behind the anime’s loveable protagonist, Tanjiro, fighting to restore his sister, Nezuko’s, humanity will be. Demon Slayer follows the aforementioned, Tanjiro, as he embarks on a journey to destroy the demon responsible for slaughtering his family and turning its only surviving member, his little sister, Nezuko, into a demon. Demon Slayer is as much a story of love and platonic relationships as it is a teenager’s quest for vengeance. Now in its second series, Demon Slayer continues to impress with remarkable storytelling, incredibly investing character arcs, and some of the very best animated fight scenes in any existing anime.
1. Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan, the critically acclaimed anime from creator, Hajime Isayame, is considered by many to be the greatest anime ever made. The series, which is currently in its fourth season, tells the story of the human race on the brink of extinction after very nearly being wiped out by a race of man-eating giants, better known as Titans. The genius, Isayame, praised for his exceptionally layered and elaborate storytelling, has set the bar incredibly high for what an anime can be when its story takes precedence over everything else. Rather than employ the typically jarring components of other widely popular anime, such as "fan service" or superfluous comedy, Isayame wisely invests his efforts into developing the magnificent world and complex characters he has created. As a result, viewers are treated to one of the most detailed, compelling, and thought-provoking series in the anime catalogue.
About the author
Spoken word artist, screenwriter, writer, aspiring filmmaker and visionary from south London! Founder of poetry-based company Just Rhyme; list writer for Comic Book Resources on all things anime.