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Top 5 Must-Watch Anime For Beginners!

how to find the perfect starter anime

Tanjiro Kamado from Demon Slayer and Eren Yeager from Attack on Titan, two popular anime characters!
Tanjiro Kamado from Demon Slayer and Eren Yeager from Attack on Titan, two popular anime characters!

Have you ever sat on the couch searching endlessly on Netflix for something to watch? I know the exact same situation has happened to me. This was me until a friend recommended me anime. There’s just one problem. Where to start? 

Picking the perfect starter anime

Anime is widely accessible with streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu. For anime superfans, you can watch it on Crunchyroll, a streaming platform specifically for anime. There are a wide variety of different genres of shows to pick from, and choosing one can be difficult.

Remote searching through anime selection on Crunchyroll

Credit: Billboard

Anime has a stigma of being weird and uncool. But, recently, it's been breaking out of the stigma and becoming more mainstream. There are some great stories and stellar animation which help make these stories come to life in your own home. To fully engage and captivate someone new, anime needs to have three qualities: Short, Compelling, and Quality. The story should be short and sweet, but keeps the audience engaged while delivering a high quality produced show through animation, voice acting, etc.

#5 Fullmetal alchemist brotherhood

Poster of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood anime

Credit: Crunchyroll

The obvious choice here is Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, one of the highest rated anime, a great reputation. And, the best part, it tells a cohesive story all in 64 episodes. It’s extremely friendly to newcomers into the anime world with a fun but intriguing story. It follows two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, on a quest to try and regain Alphonse's body after a horrible alchemy experiment went wrong.

It ends up evolving into a much bigger and immersive story which resonates with viewers. The characters are likable, and the plot flows well. However, I personally think it’s a little overhyped, which is a controversial opinion. It’s great, but not as great as other shows I’ve seen. It would be better suited as an anime to watch later, partly due to its sometimes-complex power system (alchemy) which is confusing at times.

status: series completed
rating: 8.9/10

#4 Demon slayer

Poster of Demon Slayer anime

Credit: Crunchyroll

One of the newest and prettiest anime is Demon Slayer. With its beautiful animation and art direction, there is no wrong way to go here. It just won multiple awards at the 2024 Crunchyroll Anime Awards, including best animation for its latest season. Its simplicity really lets the other factors of this anime shine. The animation is one of the best in the game. The story follows Tanjiro Kamado’s journey to avenge his family after they were killed by demons and to help his sister, Nezuko Kamado. Nezuko  was turned into a demon, and Tanjiro promises to change her into a human again. 

The simple-to-follow story allows the other aspects of the story to come to the forefront. These elements involve the characters, fights, and backstories. Demon Slayer has some of the absolute best backstories and fights in anime today including likable and relatable characters.

Now, I do hate to admit this, because Demon Slayer is one of my personal favorites. The story is simple and, at times, lack luster. Sometimes the fights are too prominent over the course of a season. And, sometimes characters, typically Zenitsu and Inosuke, can be annoying, but also funny. This one can either be a big hit or a big miss. If you enjoy high intensity action mixed with emotional weight, powered by jaw-dropping animation, this one may be worth a try!


status: Series Ongoing
Rating: 9.1/10

#3 Jujutsu Kaisen

Poster of  Jujutsu Kaisen anime

Credit: Crunchyroll

Jujutsu Kaisen is a fantastic anime and also won several awards at the 2024 Crunchyroll Anime Awards, including Anime of the Year. The story follows Yuji Itadori and his introduction into the world of jujutsu sorcery and cursed energy. I would definitely recommend Season 1 as a first anime to watch. It has likable characters, an engaging plot, and a story to keep you engaged with its fairly lighthearted demeanor and intense fights.

However, with the introduction of the Shibuya Incident Arc in Season 2, Jujutsu Kaisen goes full diving into the deep end here with extremely dark story elements. I don’t mind the darker elements at all, because these new factors in the story give these characters more conviction than the start of the series, especially for the protagonist, Yuji Itadori. A major con to the series is its power system of cursed energy. It can be confusing how it works. And, while it is exceptionally written and developed, this could be a negative for someone trying to dive into anime as a medium.

status: series Ongoing
RATING: 9.5/10

#2 attack on titan

Poster of Attack on Titan anime

Credit: Crunchyroll

Attack on Titan is one of the best pieces of storytelling I have ever experienced. The story follows Eren Yeager and his journey to kill all of the titans after they destroy one of the 50-meter (approx. 165 ft) walls protecting the last of humanity. 

This story is extremely well written with great but dark story elements. Expect to sit in your chair for five minutes after an episode asking what, how, why, when, and where. This begins on Episode 1, so it won’t be too surprising. Then, by some of the last few story arcs, we see different themes and plot threads, which I won’t spoil here. This is a great starter anime, because it doesn’t feel like an anime. It feels like you’re watching something which just so happened to be animated. Watch the first episode, and you’ll be hooked. 

status: Series completed
RATING: 9.9/10

#1 my hero academia

Poster of My Hero Academia anime

Credit: Crunchyroll

One anime in particular sticks out as the best option: My Hero Academia. It's perhaps not the clearest choice, but let me tell you why. It was actually my first anime, and it still does a great job of keeping me captivated in the story. This story follows Izuku Midoriya, a boy who wants to be a hero but can’t because he lacks a quirk, or a superpower. He then becomes a hero and continues to achieve his goal of becoming a hero true to himself.

My Hero Academia does a fantastic job because it takes a concept most people are familiar with: superheroes. While it's a little different than what we see Marvel do, it feels similar. Unlike Marvel, the villains are compelling and have motivation for their actions. The widely recognized concept, helps bring a level of familiarity in this anime. There are lots of bland Marvel villains, but the villains are refreshing in this series because they all have different and invested goals driving them. 

Most people are going to gravitate towards My Hero Academia because it’s more familiar and welcoming to them with the concept of heroes, villains, and quirks. The characters are pretty likable with prominent ones being All Might and Katsuki Bakugo. The growth these characters undergo in this story is nothing short of masterful writing which makes you care and relate to these characters. 

status: Series Ongoing
RATING: 10/10

Finding the right anime to watch and enjoy is difficult. After you try one and get started, you'll be shocked by how engaging it really is. I encourage you to give it a try - you won't regret it!

What was your first anime? 


The Roguest Chicken on the Block
The Roguest Chicken on the Block
Apr 01

My Hero Academia is what got me started on anime!


Matthew Beasley
Matthew Beasley
Mar 29

Great picks Rylan! My Hero Academia is a great choice for number 1! It’s also on Netflix now!

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