Anime is simply another medium of storytelling.
So you don’t like anime, eh? Or maybe you know someone who doesn’t like it or at the very least has never given it a proper chance. There are a lot of reasons people don’t buy into it, but I find that most of the time this is because they haven’t found an anime that is right for them. A lot of the reasons people have for disliking anime are usually superficial reasons.
Don’t misunderstand me here, I’m not saying that they’re invalid reasons. I have a lot of friends who tell me they don’t like anime and that’s perfectly fine! I’m not trying to say their dislike for it is invalid or wrong but I usually find that it’s a superficial reason that is easily overlooked when they start watching the right show. So without further ado, here are three great anime that most people will enjoy regardless of whether or not they like anime.
My Hero Academia
In a world currently soaked in superhero pop-culture, this one, to me, seems like an obvious choice. Most people will have already heard or seen something about this series as it’s quite popular not only in Japan but also in the West. The first couple of episodes will usually have most people hooked. It’s based in a world where at least 80 percent of people have some unnatural quirk or ability. Our main character, Izuku Midoria, is someone who is part of the 20 percent of people that unfortunately don’t have a quirk.
(Minor spoilers ahead)
Midoria is our classic underdog to begin with as all of the people around him are quick to dismiss his dream which is, you guessed it, to be a hero. After a series of events that occur in the first couple of episodes he comes face-to-face with his idol and the greatest hero of all time; All-Might. This chance encounter changes his life as he starts the journey to become a hero.
The reason most people will really enjoy this show at the start is the underdog element to it. It’s easy to root for our main character as he defies all the odds in order to make his dream a reality. As the show progresses it’s world-building and lore elements begin to move to the forefront and the characters become fleshed out and alive. There are moments where it will make you laugh and moments where you’ll be holding back the tears.
In terms of storytelling, it’s hard to fault as all the elements used in each episode are done right. The soundtrack is one of the best in a long-running anime and hits each emotional note when it has to, successfully delivering a heavy impact in the scenes that need to hit hard. It’s not just the soundtrack that hits hard though, the action sequences are all tastefully done and really show off what a superhuman society would look like. Some of the best sequences are carefully choreographed and the impact of the hits you’ll feel in your chest.
Overall, this is a fantastic show that most people will enjoy regardless of their complaints about anime. The show isn’t without it’s faults but it’s definitely something my ‘non-anime’ friends have watched and enjoyed.
It’s available in an English dub with four seasons already out and a fifth one on the way.
Erased is such a fantastic show that it really requires no familiarity with any of the standard anime tropes/cliches to find yourself sucked in from episode one.
The story centres around a young man named Satoru who has a mysterious ability called “Revival” which throws him back in time to a few moments prior to deadly event occurring. Satoru can’t pick when it happens, it just happens and it’s usually only a few minutes back, but it allows him to take preventative measures to save people from death.
One day he walks into his apartment to find the dead body of his mother on the floor, which triggers his ability to send him back 18 years to when he’s just a boy in elementary school. Now in the past he has the opportunity not to save just his mother but another three of his classmates who went missing following a kidnapping.
Our main characters are all complex and very well written. There are moments in this show that will rip your heart out but only because you understand the backstory of the characters and how deep some of their experiences are.
Erased is a fantastic murder mystery anime that had me glued to my tv from the moment it started. Each episode will leave you guessing and asking questions. It’s particularly fun to watch with others as you’ll generally find that everyone is trying to piece together all the clues each episode has to offer.
I cannot recommend this show enough and think anyone can easily enjoy without any prior anime experience.
It’s available in an English dub and is only one season.
Toradora is arguably the best romance anime to date. If you were to google “Top Romance Animes,” this would certainly appear on every list. Now whilst it does have a few classic anime tropes and cliches that can be difficult to enjoy if you are uninitiated with anime (especially romance anime), it’s still easily, overall, an amazing watch for pretty much all audiences.
Toradora centres around Ryuuji (the mean looking guy with blue hair) and Taiga (the short one with a temper.) Both characters have a crush on the other’s best friend and because of this they both agree to help the other to try and achieve romantic success with their best friends respectively.
When I first started the series, it was the two main characters that really had me sucked into the narrative as I felt like the supporting characters were a bit weaker in terms of depth. However, as the show progresses, it becomes clear that all the characters have individual aspirations, motives and desires that change and evolve as the show progresses. We find that as our two main characters hatch various schemes to help the other they slowly and organically begin to fall for each other.
The pacing for this show is second to none, particularly when it comes to the romance between our two protagonists. It’s laugh-out-loud funny at times but won’t pull any punches when it comes to the feels either. This for me is definitely my all time favourite romance and anyone who enjoys the romance genre (even if they don’t like anime) will most likely love this show.
Toradora has an English dub and one season.
Without going into too much detail, let me list some more titles that would be easy to watch for most people!
- Attack On Titan (I’d recommend this only to an older audience)
- Your Name (This is a movie but absolutely amazing!)
- AnoHana (If you’re an emotionally stable human, you won’t be after this.)
- Steins Gate
- Violet Evergarden
- Weathering With You (Another movie that will blow your socks off!)
- One Punch Man
And that’s it! I hope you now have something you can recommend to all your friends. Do you agree with my choices? I’d love to hear from you!