This list of recommendations is purely based on my opinions, and although there may be better anime in these genres, I chose these as I feel they don’t get enough love from the community. These are my personal recommendations and you’re more then welcome to disagree, but this isn’t a ranked list and the order of the chosen anime doesn’t really matter. I’ve seen a lot of anime and even though you may recommend another series over one I’ve chosen here, the fact is, I wanted to make a recommendation list of series that I don’t see as often in other lists. The list is sepperated into Genres that way there is some nice variety in the titles chosen. Some genres will have two recommendations, a primary and a runner up. Not because one series was better then the other, but I felt that the other series was worth recommending as well. I won’t go too deep into explaining everything about the series as these are recommendations and not reviews.
To start the list, we’ll start with a genre that I find myself watching more often then most other genres. Personally, I’m a sucker for Romance Anime, the more emotional the series, the better. I’ve come to realize over the years that I’m a bit of an emotional masochist. So if a series can bring me to the brink of an emotional breakdown, I’ll love it.
Tada Never Falls in Love
The series that I’ll be starting with is Tada Never Falls In Love.
Now, this series is a pretty cut and dry Rom Com, but some of the little things they included in the story left a very impactful impression on me. The inclusion of Phtography being one of them, (I was a phtography major in college so this hits home). The comedy was light hearted and added to the growth between the characters, it wasn’t meant to distract like in some other series. The chemistry between Tada and Teresa was wholesome and left you rooting for them throughout the series. It wasn’t a perfect series, but even with some of it’s cliches, I still consider it one of my favorites in the Genre.
The Runner Up in this genre would be Just Because, another Romance anime that also has some focus on Photography….I swear I’m not biased,….. ok, maybe a little. This one is a little more predictable when it comes to Romance anime, but still a great series with a bit more focus on Drama rather then Comedy. As mentioned before, this anime succeded in pulling on my heart strings, so it left a lasting impression on me that warrents a recommendation. Anywho, I can highly recommend both of these if you’re looking for a good Romance anime that has the potential of ripping your heart out and leaving you broken for about 3 to 5 business days.
Slice of Life
Bunny Drop/Usagi Drop
Oh boy, this series, I mentioned I’m an Emotional Masochist right?
I loved every episode of this series and wanted so badly for it to get another season. Considering it’s been 8 years now though, that’ll probably never happen. The series follows a bachelor named Daikichi, and his recently passed 79 year old father’s 6 year old daughter named Rin (the daughter being the result of his old man having a mistress). He takes her in to raise after the family can’t decide what to do with her. From there the story follows the two and the struggles of being a single parent. This series hit me emotionally more times than I’m willing to admit.
There’s nothing special about Gj-bu, it’s just one of those fun series that you can put on and forget about life for a while. Similar to something like Lucky Star, I find series like these are great palet cleansers if you’ve been binging more serious anime for a while. The story isn’t anything amazing to write home about, but the comedy itself is solid enough and the relationship between the students is pretty adorable. Can recommend if you need a good chuckle.
Heaven’s Memo Pad
This series certainly went some places, and wrecked me with the last few episodes. Throughout the series I got some serious Durarara vibes which is another series I absolutely loved. It covered things like drug use, human trafficing, and attempted suicide. I wouldn’t go as far to say it needs a trigger warning or anything, but it utilized those plot devices really well. I enjoyed the development between the Main Character and the rest of the cast, and there was enough development between them to make the story compelling enough for me to binge in an afternoon.
Darker Than Black
This is one of my all time favorites, The story was excellent, great fight scenes and had a great mystery factor behind the main plotline. I’m not gonna say much about this one because it’s just one you need to watch. Sadly Funimation let the license expire for both season 1 and 2 so finding a way to watch it is pretty difficult, but if you have the opprotunity, then take it.
Negima – Either Series
This show definitely isn’t for everyone, neither the original nor the remake by Shaft was met with appraisal, I still found it enjoyable. That may be because I’m a fan of Ken Akamatsu who created Love Hina, but similar to Gj-Bu, it’s one I can put on, not think about anything for a while and have a good laugh. The story Follows Negi, a 10 year old Wizard in training, and his adventures with his all female class of middle school girls. The series definitely falls under the Harem genre, but, I view it more as a comedy. This series was also the inspiration behind my username, since Negi’s father was called the Thousand Master. I’m also just really lazy and can’t come up with anything better….
Recovery of an MMO Junkie
A fun and relatable series, it follows a socially awkward women who quits her job and shuts herself in playing an MMO to avoid the real world. She starts her new MMO life playing as a male character and quickly befriends a cute female healer class who just so happens to be played by a man. Thanks to a chance encounter they bump into one another in the real world, with no clue as to who the other is. Their relationship develops both in game and in the real world, all without knowing the others secret identity. This series was honestly so good that I ordered the Blu-ray almost immediately after binging it.
Beck (no not that Beck)
Beck or Mongolian Chop Squad, is a kind of coming of age story about 14 year old named Koyuki who feels disconnected from life, through some chance opprotunities, he meets Ryuusuke who is the guitarist in a band called Beck. It then follows the ups and downs of Koyuki and the rest of the band members, as well as his developing relationship with Ryuusuke’s younger sister and the obsticals of being young and in love.
Love Hina was the first Harem anime that I watched to completion, I loved the comedy and the characters. When I watched it, I hadn’t watched many anime in this genre, so everything was still fresh and fun. If you’ve seen your fair share of Harem anime but haven’t seen this one yet, then it probably won’t suprise you with the things it does. But since it was one of my first it holds a special spot on my list. It’s still a fun series to go back through or even go through for the first time.
I never thought a sports anime would grab my attention like YowaPeda did, maybe it’s because it came out around the same time I was really getting into Cycling, or maybe it’s the over the top nature of Sports anime. Either way, YowaPeda remains near the top of my favorite anime. In terms of a shounen anime, like most sports related shounen, the battles revlove around each character having a special move. I loved the creativity with the different riders from all the schools. The rivelries between the different schools and it’s students is intense, and the races are always a blast to watch. The series always left me waiting impatiently for the next episode, (beyond impatiantly waiting for a new season right now). Although the series is kind of niche in subject matter, it’s still an amazing shounen anime, and if you like sports anime, then it has plenty of over the top action to satisfy your cravings.
Say “I Love You”
This series may be labeled as more of a Romance anime, but it is a Shoujo at heart and I feel that the romance isn’t exactly the primary focus. And to be frank, there are better love stories out there. But this series shines at showing how two emotionally broken people can grow, and find a better future and learn from their past rather then dwelling on it. It covers something that seems like a very obvious thing, that being the fact that all of us have been through something in our lives that made us the way we are. The story goes through the hurdles we have to get over to move on from our past, and how those hurdles make us stronger in the process. I recommend going through this series, not viewing it as a romance, but as a theraputic experience. Like I said, there are better love stories out there.
Higurashi When They Cry
You want Horror? How about dying in some horrific way every four or so episodes? Then I give you When They Cry, an anime based on a long running series of Visual Novels. This anime takes it’s mature rating seriously. Some of the scenes are still burned into my memory, even though I watched the first season all the way back in 2010. This series isn’t for those with a weak stomach, but, if you’re into watching characters die in pretty brutal ways, then this is the series for you. This is another one you’ll just have to watch because anything I say will give too much away. Definite trigger warning for this series though, you’ve been warned.
If you haven’t seen School Live or had the story ruined for you, you may be asking “why is this cutsey slice of life looking anime under the horror genre?” Then I’d have to say go experience it for yourself, and find out why I wept like a child during the last couple episodes…..and the days following.
Kurokami is a series from the golden days of Bandai Visual, when they were still licensing anime for the US under that name. I first watched this show back in 2010, I stumbled across it when browsing through crunchyroll’s catalogue, started the first episode and fell in love. In my opinion, it’s an extremely underrated series. Granted, the story isn’t ground breaking compared to series we’ve had over the past decade or so, but it’s still a fantastic series for the fight scenes and the underlying plot which brings our two main characters together. I still find it unique enough that it can stand on it’s own, even with the other great action fantasy anime that are out there. A definite recommend from me. On a side note, if anyone know’s where I can get my hands on the bandai releases of chapters 4, 5, and 6 of the Blu-ray HMU….I need to complete my collection.