Anime for Beginners II

Anime for Beginners II

Introduction

Today I’m bringing back Anime for Beginners due to popular demand. This is the (now) series in which I list five anime I think are suited for those just starting off on their anime watching journey. To find out what the first five series I recommended are, go check out the original post.

So, before we begin, what counts as an anime suited for beginners? For the sake of these posts, I define these as anime which can be viewed, enjoyed, and understood with little to no prior knowledge of anime. They also cover fairly general interest genres so they can appeal to a wide audience.

As with the original list, I’ll again be skipping the long-running shounen series like Naruto and One Piece, because I don’t really think they need any introduction. However, the original list was still full of shounen anime, so this time around I’ll be including more variety (although shounen is pretty general interest and easy to understand).

1. Little Witch Academia

Little Witch Academia anime series poster
Little Witch Academia

First up we have Little Witch Academia, which is an original anime created by Studio Trigger. If you’re not familiar with the name Trigger, then now’s the time to get acquainted. All you really need to know about Trigger is that they’re constantly saving the medium of anime (or so the meme goes).

But, while I won’t say that all anime by Trigger are beginner anime, the great thing about them is that they tend to only reference past Trigger and Gainax series. And, since Little Witch Academia isn’t their bread and butter, the mecha genre, it comes with less references than some of their other work.

In fact, the only reference in Little Witch Academia I can think of off the top of my head is to Gurren Lagann, which you should be familiar with from my first Anime for Beginners post. But, studios and references aside, what is Little Witch Academia?

It’s a fantasy series which is basically like if you made an anime version of Harry Potter and then turned it into a comedy. This series follows the misadventures of “muggle”-born Akko Kagari and her roommates, Sucy and Lotte, as they attend a prestigious academy for witches.

And, one of the great things about Little Witch Academia for anime beginners is that it’s found on Netflix, which it seems most people have access too. There’s also a movie, Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade, for anyone looking for more content after finishing the 25 episodes currently available.

Unfortunately, I’m not convinced the series will ever be finished due to the death of the screenwriter, but we can hope.

2. Sailor Moon Crystal

Sailor Moon Crystal anime series cover art
Sailor Moon Crystal

Next up we have another female-led anime in the form of the legendary Sailor Moon. Specifically, I’ve chosen Sailor Moon Crystal because it’s a new reboot of the series which follows the manga more closely than previous adaptions, which means it looks nice and has no filler.

While Sailor Moon wasn’t the first anime in the magical girl genre, it essentially redefined the genre in its image. But, don’t let the fact that it’s a shoujo anime about magical girls turn you off from watching it. Sailor Moon is one of the defining series of the entire anime medium.

And, what’s really great about Sailor Moon is that it doesn’t really make references to other series, but is instead the series everything else references. You can find Sailor Moon references in anime across all genres, and even in a lot of Western media as well, and that’s one of the biggest reasons to watch the series.

However, unlike some of the other defining anime which are constantly referenced, like Neon Genesis Evangelion or JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Sailor Moon has a much lower barrier to entry. While those series are targeted towards people already in the anime community, Sailor Moon is much more of a general interest series.

Also, I should mention that there are currently three seasons of Sailor Moon Crystal, and while the first is mainly episodic, the second and third seasons really go all in on the plot. The third season specifically is one of my favorite pieces of anime ever.

There’s a reason Sailor Moon is considered a timeless classic, and it’s not just because it’s about the power of friendship.

3. One Punch Man

One Punch Man anime series cover art
One Punch Man

The first action anime of this list is One Punch Man, a superhero parody series with a second season coming out soon. Basically, if you’re a fan of superheroes, whether they be from Marvel/DC or My Hero Academia, I think you’ll probably like seeing One Punch Man’s take on the genre.

The series follows a regular guy named Saitama who gets bored with his mundane everyday life and decides to become a superhero because it was his childhood dream. However, after training, it turns out that he’s become too powerful and is able to defeat any enemy in just one punch.

While this may seem great from an outside perspective, the issue is that since every fight is so easy, it’s no fun. And, what’s the point of being a superhero if you can’t even have fun while doing it?

As someone who hates needlessly overpowered protagonists as well as the superhero genre in general, I can safely say that I still found One Punch Man immensely enjoyable. The fact that it’s a parody series does wonders, much like how the best isekai anime is KonoSuba, a parody of isekai anime.

Also, the fact that this series is ranked #45 and is the fifth most popular anime on MAL should hint towards the fact that it’s loved by a lot of people. I don’t really think you can get much more general interest than an action/comedy show about superheroes right now.

4. Laid-Back Camp

Laid-Back Camp anime series cover art
Laid-Back Camp

Laid-Back Camp is the most recent anime on this list, only coming out at the beginning of 2018. There’s a subgenre of anime colloquially referred to as “cute girls doing cute things,” and Laid-Back Camp would be a branch of that subgenre, “cute girls do comfy things.”

There were a lot of really good anime to come out during the Winter 2018 season, but if I had to pick one that anime beginners should watch, it would be Laid-Back Camp. Since it’s a slice of life series, there’s not really an overarching plot, and so it’s not something you have to get all that invested in in order to enjoy.

The series mainly follows two girls, Nadeshiko, the standard female protagonist, and Rin, the best girl and queen of “comf.” Together, and also separate, they enjoy camping outdoors in the Winter, when the campsites are nice and quiet.

But for a series about girls outside in the cold, it’s surprisingly warm. The character designs, mixture of cool and warm colors, and generous amounts of hot food, all work together to make this one of the coziest anime you’ll ever watch.

If you like cute girls, and you like seeing those cute girls doing comfy things, then you’ll like this anime. That’s all there is to it. So bundle up and stay indoors, because you can now go outside vicariously through Nadeshiko and Rin.

5. Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop anime series cover art
Cowboy Bebop

The final entry on this list had to be Cowboy Bebop. Honestly, I’m kind of surprised I didn’t add this into the first post on Anime for Beginners, but it’s here now so that doesn’t matter anymore.

In the West, there are few anime which are as beloved as Cowboy Bebop. And, while I don’t think it’s quite as amazing as people like to make it out to be, there’s no doubt that it’s a good anime that plays into what Western audiences love, space and cowboys (because this is the 1960s).

But, while the subject matter may be what draws a lot of viewers in at first, it’s really the characters that make them stick around. As a mostly episodic series, Cowboy Bebop has to have good characters in order to stay interesting, and boy does it deliver.

And, if you’re a dub kind of person, which many anime beginners are, then you’ll be glad to know that the English dub of Cowboy Bebop is actually considered better than the original Japanese version. I’ve only watched it in Japanese, so I wouldn’t know, but that seems to be the general consensus.

As far as dubs go for the other four series on this list, I’m not sure if any of them are dubbed except maybe Little Witch Academia, but all five series from my first Anime for Beginners post are dubbed.

If you were to pick one series from this list to watch first, my suggestion would be Cowboy Bebop. It’s 26 episodes long, but since it’s mainly episodic you can take as many breaks between episodes as you want and watch at your own pace. However, it’s also easy to binge if that’s your thing.

Conclusion

And, there you have it, five more anime recommendations for beginners. If I ever end up making an Anime for Beginners III, it’ll be in the far future. Instead, I think I want to make Intermediate Anime and Anime for Experts lists first, which would build on the series and subjects covered in these beginner posts.

So, your homework is to watch all 10 series featured across both my Anime for Beginners posts before my Intermediate Anime post comes out, because I’ll be assuming you have. And, as always, just because I’ve labeled these series as for “beginners” doesn’t mean more “advanced” anime viewers should skip over them.

If you enjoyed today’s post, then let me know by clicking the like button ❤ down below. And, if you’re looking for any more anime recommendations, you can always tweet @DoubleSama and I’ll be happy to answer (especially if you’re following me).

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about becoming a supporter and the benefits you get, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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