The Japanese anime industry is truly enormous now, and anime fans around the world are all familiar with mega-hit titles like My Hero Academia, Sailor Moon, and Attack on Titan. In fact, Pokemon is a household name, and other anime aren’t far behind. But while everyone’s watching these top-billing anime series, many other titles go unnoticed.
A long list of perfectly fine or even great anime series attract very few fans and don’t get much attention for all kinds of reasons. These under-watched anime might be difficult for Western fans to find a streaming platform or DVD set for, or these anime are short and got lost in the shuffle while everyone else watched the more popular titles instead.
10 Silver Spoon Is A Rural High School Anime Series
Author Hiromu Arakawa is best known for her smash-hit shonen series Fullmetal Alchemist, but she’s got more to offer, even if most anime fans don’t realize it. Silver Spoon is a slice-of-life shonen anime starring Yugo Hachiken, who travels to a rural high school to study.
Silver Spoon may be yet another high school anime series, sort of like high school anime series like Komi Can’t Communicate and Toradora!. But this time, it’s all about agriculture and a more hands-on approach to a proper education instead of having yet another Tokyo setting. This anime is also a reflection of Hiromu Arakawa’s rural upbringing and her fondness for cows.
9 Eden Of The East Is A Tense Game For Survival
Eden of the East is an overlooked but fascinating anime series starring the college student Saki Morimi and her memory-deprived new friend Akira Takizaka, whom she met in Washington, D.C. They soon obtain a special cell phone loaded with billions of digital yen, but there is a huge catch.
Saki, Akira, and several other people must spend that money to somehow save Japan after a bloodless terrorist attack took place there, and failure to comply may lead to disaster. Action, mayhem, and mystery will ensue as the innocent Saki finds herself plunged into a deadly game of fortunes, action, and the fate of Japan.
8 Angels Of Death Is Like A Horror Game
Angels of Death is inspired not by a manga series, but by a horror video game of the same name. The young heroine Rachel Gardner, also going by Ray, awakens inside a large horror house with extensive dungeons. She also meets a scythe-wielding young man named Zach.
Rachel and Zack form an odd and tense pair, barely cooperating so they can find a way out of this bizarre place while the intercom’s sinister voice guides them along. Rachel is also hiding some dark secrets from Zack, and the truth about her family may change everything.
7 ReLIFE Is The Anime Version Of 17 Again
The slice-of-life anime ReLIFE is like the 2009 movie 17 Again, featuring a grown man who gets a chance to relive his high school life with the benefit of an adult’s maturity and knowledge. Protagonist Arata Kaizaki feels lost in his adult life, but going back to high school might fix that.
Arata hopes that reliving his teen years will help him find happiness and a purpose in life, but he must keep his true nature a secret. He will soon befriend his classmates, but some of them have secrets too, and they might already be privy to Aratra’s own secret about his age.
6 Senryu Girl Is Ideal For Komi Can’t Communicate Fans
While Komi Can’t Communicate is a widely popular series that most rom-com fans have heard of, anime fans might have overlooked its more obscure cousin, Senryu Girl. The premise is roughly similar, starring a lovely deredere girl named Nanako who only communicates with handwriting.
Nanako soon makes a friend in a good-hearted ex-punk named Eiji Busujima, and they have fun living their ordinary daily lives together. It’s no Fruits Basket, but Komi anime fans looking for more can dig up this charming little anime and give it a try.
5 Mahou Sensei Negima! Is The Anime Preview Of The Excellent Manga
The Mahou Sensei Negima! franchise is an example of “the book was better,” but anime-only fans may still enjoy it, and other fans may use the anime as an on-ramp to the original manga. Anyone who finishes this fairly short anime can dive into the 38-volume manga and witness the adventure to the very end.
Negima! is many things at once — harem, school life, magical adventure, isekai, and sometimes rom-com, too. It all centers around the boy wizard Negi Springfield, a Welsh kid who visits Japan to teach at an all-girls school while trying to hide his wizard status. One by one, though, his classmates will find out, and some will become Negi’s battle partners, too.
4 Trapped In A Dating Sim Is A Sorely Underrated Isekai Title
It’s true the isekai subgenre is highly saturated by now, but even discerning fans ought to give Trapped in a Dating Sim a try. This anime came out in 2022, a highly competitive year for anime, and it helped prove that isekai can be fairly formulaic but still highly entertaining.
The antihero Leon Bartfort got isekai’d into a wacky otome game world that blended high school romance with giant robots, and it’s truly a woman’s world. Leon is a total underdog as a thirdborn son, but he’ll try his best to survive and help the dandere Olivia realize her destiny as a magical girl in the making.
3 Tokyo 24th Ward Is Classic Cyberpunk Action
Sci-fi anime fans who enjoyed Ghost in the Shell and Studio Trigger’s Cyberpunk: Edgerunners are encouraged to try Tokyo 24th Ward next. This sci-fi anime fits a lot of classic cyberpunk themes into just 12 episods, from state surveillance and “fight the power” to hackers and graffiti.
Tokyo’s high-tech 24th ward is mired in controversy over the use of state surveillance systems for security’s sake, and protagonist Aoi Shuta isn’t sure which side to take. Then he and his two friends get visions of the future from a dead girl, leading to tense, action-packed adventures that will finally lead to the tragic truth.
2 Aria: The Masterpiece Is An Iyashikei Gondola Ride On Mars
Aria: the Masterpiece may have an exotic and lofty premise, but it actually has iyashikei qualities to it, a relaxing and charming anime anyone can enjoy. A few centuries into the future, Mars was terraformed and renamed Aqua, complete with a replica Venice, Neo-Venezia, and a gondola industry.
Protagonist Akari Mizunashi is a total deredere who enjoys her new rustic life on a new planet, and she will make many friends while also learning to row gondolas as a career. The anime is generally overlooked, as is the 2000s-era source manga, but it’s a rewarding watch for anyone who stumbles upon it.
1 Grand Blue Is An Underrated College Comedy Anime
Grand Blue is a short, obscure seinen comedy anime based on the ongoing manga Grand Blue Dreaming. This wacky anime stars the relatable but punkish Iori Kitahara, who just moved to Japan’s coast for college. He soon joins the Peekaboo SCUBA diving club and gets in over his head.
Iori’s new life is a whirlwind of exotic fish, drunken ragers, cheating on exams, outrageous pranks, and trying to figure out his love life for once. He and the dandere Aina Yoshiwara might be a couple in the making, but not if they’re too drunk to realize it.
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