Anime is a popular form of entertainment that has captivated audiences around the world with its imaginative storytelling, beautiful animation, and complex characters. While many anime series have become widely popular and well-known, there are many that are often overlooked and underrated. Here is a list of the top underrated anime of all time until 2023.
Full Metal Panic!
“Full Metal Panic!” is a military science fiction anime that follows the adventures of high school student Sousuke Sagara as he tries to protect his classmate, Kaname Chidori, from a secret organization while also completing missions for his own organization, Mithril. The series blends action, comedy, and drama to create a unique and engaging story.
“Genshiken” is a comedy anime that follows a group of college students who are part of a club called the Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture, also known as the Genshiken. The club members are all otaku and the anime explores their interests, relationships, and struggles as they navigate the world of anime, manga, and video games. The series provides a lighthearted and humorous look at otaku culture and the joys and challenges of being a fan.
“Haibane Renmei” is a slice-of-life anime that takes place in a mysterious town where the inhabitants are all born as Haibane, beings with halos and wings. The story follows the life of a young Haibane named Rakka as she adjusts to life in this town and learns about the mysteries surrounding her existence. The series is known for its beautiful art, thought-provoking themes, and emotional storytelling, making it a standout among other slice-of-life anime.
Last Dungeon Boonies
“Last Dungeon Boonies” is a fantasy anime set in a world where magic and monsters exist. The story follows a group of young people who are sent to a remote village to become adventurers. The villagers are in desperate need of help as their crops have failed and monsters have been appearing more frequently. The anime follows the characters as they train, grow, and work together to overcome the challenges they face and save the village. The series is a mix of comedy, action, and adventure, and is known for its charming characters and exciting storylines.
Madlax is a 26-episode anime television series produced by the animation studio Bee Train. It is a mix of action, mystery, and drama, set in the fictional country of Gazth-Sonika and featuring two main characters: Madlax, a highly skilled mercenary, and Margaret Burton, a schoolgirl with amnesia. The series explores themes of identity, memory, and the intersection of politics and personal history.
Trigun is a 26-episode anime series set in a distant future, following a gunslinger named Vash the Stampede who is wanted for causing destruction on a massive scale. Despite his reputation, Vash is a pacifist who only uses his guns as a last resort. The series explores themes of morality, humanity, and the consequences of violence as Vash travels through a dangerous and unpredictable world, pursued by a group of insurance agents. Don’t forget to check out the reboot of this anime Trigun: Stampede coming out this year
Texhnolyze is a 22-episode anime series set in a dystopian city called Lux, where humans have technologically enhanced their bodies. The series follows a man named Ichise, who after losing his arm and leg, becomes a fighter in the city’s underground battles. The series explores themes of humanity, identity, and the consequences of unchecked technological advancement as Ichise becomes embroiled in a power struggle between various factions vying for control of Lux.
Gokudo is a 26-episode anime series following the adventures of Gokudo, a selfish, greedy, and clueless bandit who finds himself transported to a parallel world filled with magic and mythical creatures. Along the way, Gokudo teams up with a cast of colorful characters as they navigate their way through a series of dangerous and comical situations, all while Gokudo tries to find a way back to his own world and make a profit along the way. The series is a comedic take on classic fantasy and adventure stories.
Kino’s Journey is a 13-episode anime series following the travels of a traveler named Kino and their talking motorcycle Hermes as they visit different countries with unique cultures and technologies. Each episode features a self-contained story as Kino observes and reflects on the customs and ways of life in each country, exploring philosophical and existential themes such as war, love, death, and the meaning of life. The series is known for its thought-provoking storytelling and breathtaking landscapes.
Saikano is a 13-episode anime series following the story of Shuichi and Chise, two high school students who fall in love just as Chise discovers she is the ultimate weapon, capable of destroying entire cities. The series explores themes of love, war, and the sacrifices one must make for the ones one cares about as Chise grapples with the reality of her powers and Shuichi struggles to hold onto their love in the face of a rapidly deteriorating world. Saikano is a heart-wrenching story of love and loss set against the backdrop of a brutal war.
Serial Experiments Lain
Serial Experiments Lain is a 13-episode anime series exploring the relationship between reality, technology, and the human psyche. The series follows the story of Lain Iwakura, a teenage girl who becomes immersed in the virtual world of Wired, a global network where consciousness can be uploaded. As Lain navigates the Wired, she uncovers conspiracies and begins to question her own identity and reality. The series is a thought-provoking examination of the impact of technology on humanity and the nature of existence.
FLCL is a 6-episode anime series produced by Gainax and directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki. The series follows the story of Naota, a 12-year-old boy who becomes embroiled in a series of bizarre events after being hit on the head by a woman on a Vespa. The series is a mix of action, comedy, and surrealism, featuring elements of coming-of-age stories and critiques of Japanese society. FLCL is known for its fast-paced and unpredictable narrative, eclectic soundtrack, and unique visual style.
NieA_7 is a 13-episode anime series set in a future where aliens have taken up residence on Earth. The series follows the story of Mayuko, a college student, and NieA, an underclass alien who becomes her housemate. The series is a comedic slice-of-life story, depicting the day-to-day struggles of living with an alien, while also exploring larger themes of poverty, discrimination, and the nature of humanity. NieA_7 is known for its unique blend of humor and introspection.
“Boogiepop Phantom” is a Japanese anime series based on the light novel of the same name. It follows a group of high school students who are caught up in supernatural events caused by a mysterious entity known as Boogiepop. The series explores themes of personal identity, the meaning of life, and the darker aspects of human nature. With its unique visual style and surreal atmosphere, “Boogiepop Phantom” is considered a cult classic among anime fans.
“Kare Kano” is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masami Tsuda. It follows the lives of two high school students, Yukino Miyazawa and Soichiro Arima, as they navigate through their personal and romantic struggles. The series is known for its realistic portrayal of teenage relationships, focusing on topics such as communication, trust, and self-discovery. “Kare Kano” is considered a classic of the shojo manga genre, praised for its complex characters and relatable themes.
“Ergo Proxy” is a Japanese cyberpunk anime series that explores themes of identity, consciousness, and existentialism. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the story follows the journey of Re-l Mayer, an inspector tasked with investigating mysterious incidents involving sentient robots called “proxies.” Along the way, she uncovers a larger conspiracy that leads her to question the nature of reality itself. With its complex plot, memorable characters, and thought-provoking themes, “Ergo Proxy” is considered a classic of the sci-fi genre.
“Tatami Galaxy” is a Japanese anime series directed by Masaaki Yuasa. The story follows a college student named Owashika as he becomes trapped in a time loop, reliving the same year at university over and over again. With each iteration, he explores different paths and makes different choices in the hopes of finding happiness and fulfillment. The series is known for its visually stunning animation style, quirky humor, and philosophical themes, making it a cult classic among anime fans.
“Soul Eater” is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Atsushi Ōkubo. The story takes place in a supernatural academy where students known as Meisters aim to turn their weapons, which are human-demon hybrids, into death scythes. The main characters, Maka, Black Star, and Death the Kid, must work together to collect the souls of evil humans in order to stop an evil plan from coming to fruition. “Soul Eater” is a popular shonen manga known for its unique art style, quirky characters, and imaginative world-building.
“Black Lagoon” is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Rei Hiroe. The story follows a Japanese salaryman named Rokuro Okajima who is kidnapped by a group of mercenaries known as the “Black Lagoon Company.” The series is set in the criminal underworld of Southeast Asia and is known for its intense action scenes, charismatic characters, and mature themes. “Black Lagoon” is a classic of the seinen manga genre, praised for its well-developed world and adrenaline-fueled storytelling.
The Place Promised in Our Early Days
“The Place Promised in Our Early Days” is a Japanese animated film directed by Makoto Shinkai. Set in a post-World War II alternate timeline, the story follows the journey of three childhood friends as they try to uncover the truth behind a mysterious tower that reaches the skies and the disappearance of their mutual friend. The film is known for its breathtaking animation, hauntingly beautiful soundtrack, and themes of friendship, loss, and the human connection to the past and future.
“Death Note” is a Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. The story follows a high school student named Light Yagami who discovers a supernatural notebook that can kill anyone whose name is written in it. The light uses the notebook to create a world free of crime, but his actions attract the attention of a mysterious detective named L who is determined to stop him. “Death Note” is a popular shonen manga known for its thrilling plot, complex characters, and thought-provoking themes of justice and morality.
“Bokurano” is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Mohiro Kitoh. The story follows a group of middle school students who discover a mysterious machine and are chosen to pilot giant robots to protect the Earth from alien invasions. As they continue to fight, they must confront the harsh reality of their actions and the true cost of their heroism. “Bokurano” is a thought-provoking series known for its mature themes of sacrifice, the meaning of life, and the consequences of power.
“Eureka Seven” is a Japanese anime series directed by Tomoki Kyoda. The story follows a young boy named Renton Thurston who joins a group of rebels called Gekkostate, who pilot giant robots known as LFOs, as they fight against military forces. Along the way, Renton becomes romantically involved with the mysterious pilot Eureka and discovers the truth behind the conflict and the world he lives in. “Eureka Seven” is a classic of the mecha genre, known for its memorable characters, epic action scenes, and touching love story.
Grave of the Fireflies
“Grave of the Fireflies” is a Japanese animated film directed by Isao Takahata. The film is a heart-wrenching story about the struggles of two young siblings, Seita and Setsuko, as they try to survive in Japan during the aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima in World War II. The film is a poignant commentary on the human cost of war and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of tragedy. “Grave of the Fireflies” is considered a masterpiece of Japanese animation and a powerful anti-war film.
“Mawaru Penguindrum” is a Japanese anime series directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara. The story follows the three Takakura siblings as they search for a mysterious item called the “Penguindrum” in order to save their terminally ill sister. Along the way, they encounter strange supernatural events and peculiar characters, leading to a complex web of relationships and a journey into the depths of the human psyche. “Mawaru Penguindrum” is known for its surreal imagery, thought-provoking themes, and intricate storytelling, making it a beloved classic among anime fans.
These 25 underrated anime are just a few examples of the many hidden gems in the world of anime. From heart-wrenching dramas to hilarious comedies, these anime offer something for everyone and are definitely worth checking out. Whether you are a fan of action, romance, or simply unique storytelling, these 25 underrated anime are sure to deliver. So if you’re looking for something new to watch, be sure to give these anime a chance.
Follow Doms2Cents for more updates.