Longtime anime fans and complete newcomers have never had more options when it comes to this expressive animated storytelling medium. There’s a staggering amount of anime to keep up with, and it’s an overwhelming prospect to check out every single new series. Eclectic animation studios and a bevy of unique genres help give anime a level of freedom that frequently feels limitless.
There’s enough groundbreaking anime content that continues to come out that it’s not a good idea to ignore new and upcoming series. That being said, there are also plenty of go-to classics that are hard to not consistently watch on a loop because they’re such satisfying, comforting anime experiences.
10/10 Gintama Effortlessly Engages In Comedy & Serialization After Hundreds Of Episodes
Gintama begins in a surprisingly unassuming manner considering that it quickly becomes one of the funniest and most consistent anime series of all time. Gintama has an action-centric foundation that puts the planet in peril from an extraterrestrial threat, but these dramatic stakes are typically set dressing for an uproarious and unpredictable sense of humor.
There are more than 350 episodes in Gintama, and it feels as if the anime could go on for twice this length without showing signs of compromise. There are satisfying callbacks, self-aware subversions, and episodes that use all sorts of atypical tools to tell their stories.
9/10 Space Dandy Defies Convention With Its Fearless & Creative Storytelling
Space Dandy covers an overwhelming amount in only 26 episodes, all of which creatively subvert genre, structure, and animation. Dandy and the rest of his misfit crew of bounty hunters find themselves in wonderfully diverse situations as they search for targets across the galaxy.
Dandy and his team initially feel a bit like caricatures, but these broad strokes are in service of the series’ chameleon-like nature where daring genre and storytelling experiments occur. Space Dandy transforms into a zombie story, a drag race, a dance competition, and everything in between. Audiences will notice something new in Space Dandy every time they watch it.
8/10 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Applies An Unconventional Generational Approach To Its Storytelling
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Hirohiko Araki’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has worked hard to keep his audience entertained for nearly four decades, a feat that he’s only been able to accomplish by not being afraid to mix things up. The general theme where members of the Joestar bloodline battle evil remains the same, but each installment radically shifts characters, settings, and even genres in some cases.
The anime’s ambitious approach guarantees that the material feels fresh instead of endlessly repetitive. This strategy also makes it that much easier to rewatch since it can feel like multiple shows within one.
7/10 Cowboy Bebop Is A Masterclass In Unique World-Building & Blending Genre
Shinichiro Watanabe’s Cowboy Bebop is absolutely worthy of the endless praise that it receives. Spike Spiegel and the rest of his team travel through space, but there’s such original world-building involving an assortment of sensibilities that makes Cowboy Bebop appeal to fans of all genres, not just the sci-fi crowd.
While largely episodic in nature, a serialized narrative about Spike’s tortured past slowly comes together and reaches an explosive head in the series finale. With only 26 episodes, there isn’t a single misfire in Cowboy Bebop and repeated rewatches only make it easier to appreciate its brilliance.
6/10 Attack On Titan’s Endless Twists & Foreshadowing Play Better On Rewatches
Attack On Titan
Hajime Isayama’s Attack on Titan has become one of the manga and anime industries’ greatest talking points over the past decade. A vicious story between man and monster continually broadens its scope in enlightening ways that reflect the horrors of war and the complexities of humanity.
Admittedly, Attack on Titan tells a highly intense story that’s full of loss, betrayal, and tragedy, which don’t necessarily make it the most fun material to revisit. However, the callous nature of the series’ events softens through repeated viewings, and it becomes easier to objectively view plotting without getting clouded by emotion.
5/10 Yu Yu Hakusho Is Streamlined Battle Shonen Storytelling
Yu Yu Hakusho
Yu Yu Hakusho is an action shonen series from the 1990s that doesn’t receive the same attention as Dragon Ball, One Piece, or Naruto, but it’s just as impressive when it comes to compelling anime storytelling. Yusuke Urameshi experiences a premature tragedy that causes him to shed his juvenile delinquent roots and ascend into one of the spirit realm’s greatest defenders.
Yu Yu Hakusho falls into a comfortable rhythm of heightened tournament battles between creative demons. At only 112 episodes it’s not a daunting slog to get through. Even better, it’s a series by famed Hunter x Hunter mangaka Yoshihiro Togashi.
4/10 Kill La Kill Is A Colorful Delight For The Senses That Benefits From Repeated Viewing
Kill La Kill
There are plenty of anime that are empty cases of style over substance, but this isn’t always a negative when there’s creative artistry and innovation on display. Studio TRIGGER has made a name for itself as an ambitious animation studio that prides itself on heightened visuals, characters, and explosions of color.
Kill la Kill is one of TRIGGER’s major calling cards and the exaggerated seinen series combines high school drama, alien invasions, magical girl transformations, and Shakespearean tragedy into something truly special. Kill la Kill is a testament to the extreme heights that can only be accomplished in anime.
3/10 Dragon Ball Is A Nostalgic Classic That’s The Perfect Comfort Food Rewatch
There are more than 500 episodes and nearly two-dozen feature films between the various installments in Akira Toriyama’s beloved Dragon Ball series and yet the fandom’s appetite for this universe is hungrier than ever. There’s so much material to explore in Dragon Ball that it’s going to take audiences time before they can properly begin a rewatch.
But for many fans, Dragon Ball is also the ultimate guilty pleasure and comfort food experience. It’s very easy to just have Dragon Ball on in the background and still not miss anything crucial. It’s an effective palette cleanser between new series.
2/10 Neon Genesis Evangelion’s Rich Themes & Complex Ideas Take Time To Sink In
The 26 episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion and the concluding End of Evangelion wrap-up film remain a totemic triumph in anime. Evangelion masquerades as a flashy mecha series where giant robots prevent the planet’s apocalypse by fighting against monstrous Angels.
Evangelion brilliantly uses this accessible framework to engage in an existential and surreal story about depression, identity, and purpose. Evangelion features a unique collection of elements that feel unbelievable and will linger with the audience long after “Fly Me to the Moon” has stopped playing.
1/10 Demon Slayer Has Thrilling Visuals That Rival Its Intense Combat
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba only has two seasons finished, but the anime’s first feature film broke box office records in Japan and helped solidify its status as the next big hit. Tanjiro’s journey to hone his demon slaying skills is fueled by the emotional stakes of his afflicted sister, Nezuko.
Demon Slayer has only become more confident in its storytelling, but the work that Ufotable does with the animation and battle choreography elevates the series to a whole other level. Tanjiro’s triumphs are truly glorious sights to behold, and the anime is still short enough that steady rewatches aren’t hard to accomplish.
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