For many people, anime is a genre that we love and cherish. We get sucked into a world where we can escape from our everyday lives and find peace in the storytelling and artwork of whatever we are watching. Like anything good, people naturally want to share what they like, which is where this topic comes in.
With people new to anime, what should you recommend? What should they avoid? I’ll try to briefly give some tips to answer some of these questions.
First, I feel it’s important to stress that just because you like a certain anime, doesn’t mean the other person will, so being open to criticism is key. It’s important because you can use their feedback of an anime to pick one that would better fit their interests.
Second, use an anime database like MyAnimeList. MAL is a great tool to use when looking for anime to recommend or discover. With its library and ranking system of how enjoyable a series was, you can use it and compare your own experience to determine if a show will be good to watch. There are also reviews from people who already watched the shows and gave their own take on them. It’s a trusty source to have at your disposal if you’re drawing a blank on what to watch.
Third, be open to all genres when getting someone to start with anime. Sometimes watching a series you’ve never experienced can be a great way to bond over it. It keeps both the anticipation and enjoyment of the series to a higher degree since you both don’t know what you are in for. Also, even if you both don’t enjoy that series, you can use that experience to chose another series and have a better gauge at what they might enjoy.
Everyone hates being told what they “need” to do and if you force it, the result won’t be good. It’s kinda like when you go to clean your room without being asked. You don’t have a problem doing it, but the second your mother yells at you to clean your room, the task is delayed. (I’m guilty of doing that, and you are too. Don’t lie to yourself.) That being said, dogging someone to watch an anime over and over again proves less likely that that person is going to watch it and might even shut them off to anime in general.
Second, spoilers. They are the worst things to hear when you’re getting into a show or movie. The anticipation and build up of hype, only to be ruined without even watching the show, is the worst. Showing clips of a show is fine, but don’t show so much that it gives away the plot. Be careful.
Third, avoid the cult classic that you know are hard to get into. For example, JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure, as good as it is, can be rough for people to get into with how many arcs there are and how the pacing for part one is. To clarify, JoJo is a great series and it gets better the further you get into the series, but it’s a show you want to present to people who are more acclimated to anime, not brand new.
These are brief tips to help you make anime enjoyable for the person you are trying to get into anime. There are a whole lot of other things that could fit on this list. If I tried to fit them all, this would look more like a book than an article.
For people new to anime I’ll pick three different series from different genres to bring some variety in the mix with a brief description to help you choose.
Sword Art Online: Episodes 1-12
Gamer Kirito logs in to the worlds first VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game). During day one, players learn that they cannot leave the game. They’re told by the game creator that the only way to exit the game is to beat all 100 levels. If you die in the game, you die in real life.
SAO, in my opinion, is probably one of the better series to watch if you’re just getting into anime. It delivers a story that is easy to follow with a decent plot line and good action scenes. If you want the best experience of the series, I recommend the first twelve episodes.
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Game
Kaguya-sama: Love is War
Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya are the envy of their school. Miyuki is the student council president and number one student in the nation. Kaguya is the oldest daughter of a wealthy family and skilled at nearly everything. The two are the perfect couple. The catch is that though both of them realize that they have feelings for each other. Due to their pride, they figure that the first to confess loses and will be the lesser one in the relationship. A battle of wits to get the other to confess ensues.
This series is honestly such a good one to watch. I’ve laughed till I cried and fell in love with the characters and there wacky plans to get the other to confess. If you’re fan of romance and comedy this one is definitely up your alley.
Genre: Romance, Comedy, School
A Silent Voice
Shoya Ishida is a kid who hates anything boring and he will do anything to be entertained. During his time in elementary, he had his own group friends who also thought the same way as him. Whether it be getting into fights or jumping off bridges into rivers. All that was on their mind was fun.
Enter Shoko Nishimiya a transfer student who is deaf. She tries her best to get along, but the rest of the class sees her as upsetting the social norm. Shoya and his classmates begin to bully her. It gets so bad that she moves schools and the principle is notified of the bullying. Shoya is blamed as the bully and his whole class turns on him. Thus, he becomes the bullied and ostracized following him all the way to high school. Full of guilt and anxiety he accepts his punishment and tries to atone for his past.
A Silent Voice is one of the very best anime movies to be released. It ranked #10 in the MAL database and has been compared to Your Name, another popular movie that came out the same year. Rotten Tomatoes gave it an approval rating of 93% and said: “as beautifully crafted as it is powerfully written, A Silent Voice looks at teen bullying from a soberingly hard-hitting perspective that’s uncommon for the animated medium”. You normally don’t see teenage bullying as powerful as it is in much anime which makes it refreshing and highly relatable.
Genre: Romance, Drama, Teen
Just Have Fun
All in all, anime is created for the audience to enjoy, and I hope that this article was enough to help convince your friends to get into them too. Some of my choices may not be for everyone, but hopefully, it’s enough for you to get their foot in the door. It may even lead to discovering a new series yourself that you can come to love.
Have you gotten anyone else into anime? How did you get into anime? Let us know in the comments or on social media!