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Beginner Anime

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Beginner Anime

Noah Conley, Niamh Clarke, Zahara Latson, Reporters

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  Anime has been becoming more and more mainstream in recent years, so a lot more people have been hearing about it and wish to get in to the anime fandom. So, in order to help these people,  we have provided a list of good ‘starter’ anime and why they are good. And for the anime fans wondering why certain shows aren’t on the list, our criteria for ‘starter anime’ includes easy availability, and whether or not something would be considered too ‘weird’ by someone who hasn’t watched anime for a while. And with that, let’s dive right into the list.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood follows Edward and Alphonse Elric, brothers who attempted to bring their mother back using alchemy. However,  something went catastrophically wrong during the ritual; Edward lost an arm and a leg, and Alphonse lost his entire body, his soul now sealed in a suit of armor. Now, Edward and Alphonse are searching for a way to restore their bodies.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is one of the best anime ever. It has stellar world-building, relatable protagonists, a menacing cast of villains, and one of the coolest magic (okay, technically ‘science’) systems in a work of fiction.  It has things to say about politics, war, and dealing with loss for those of you who like deep themes in your fiction. It also has several fantasy tropes that should help those of you who enjoy fantasy ease into the world.

-Noah Conley

My Hero Academia

The protagonist of My Hero Academia is Izuku Midoriya, a boy born with no superpowers in a world where 80% of the population has some kind of power called a ‘Quirk’. But despite that, Midoriya manages to get into U.A High School, the best superhero academy in the world. Now, Midoriya has to prove his worth in order to become the No.1 Hero in the world.

You can feel the creator’s love of both Japanese and American comics in My Hero Academia, creating a unique fusion of long-form Dragon Ball-esque storytelling with American superhero tropes. There’s also a massive supporting cast in My Hero Academia, mostly made up of Midoriya’s classmates, that are all very well written.  My Hero Academia has amazing fight scenes, character designs, writing and story structure, and serves as a great introduction to what is commonly called ‘battle anime’.

-Noah Conley

Mob Psycho 100

Shigeo Kageyama, who goes by the nickname Mob, is a powerful esper with the destructive potential of a high yield nuclear weapon. He has known about this since he was little, but he doesn’t think that his powers make his life any easier. Instead, all Mob wants is to get fit, become popular, and impress his crush Tsubomi, all while working for the supposedly psychic Reigen Arataka at the Spirits and Such Consultation Office. Despite this, Mob still finds himself entangled with poltergeists, rival espers, and secret organizations.

Mob Psycho 100 is a fairly recent anime, with the second season still airing as of the writing of this article, but it has built a loyal fanbase. It has some of the best writing and animation I’ve seen in a show, although the art style might put some people off.The show should feel familiar to those that have struggled with fitting in and feel like they have to hide parts of themselves, and it explores it’s themes about inborn talent, elitism, and self-improvement in a comedic and relatable way despite how off-the-wall the show can be with it’s plots and characters.

-Noah Conley

Basically Every Studio Ghibli Movie

Studio Ghibli is one of the best animation studios in the industry, and that’s entirely due to Hayao Miyazaki. He’s one of the greatest animation directors ever, and almost every movie he has made is gold. While Ghibli certainly isn’t as active as they once were, their catalog is filled with incredible movies, mainly focused on themes like the relationship between humans and nature, self-discovery, and the mundane suddenly clashing with the fantastic, or vice versa. For more Disney-flavored fare from the studio, check out Howl’s Moving Castle or Ponyo. For a much more mature audience, Princess Mononoke will be sure to astonish and amaze.

-Noah Conley

Death Note

Everyone loves a good, dark anime, and if you are trying to decide whether to add this show to your must-watch list let me say. Death Note is definitely worth your time.

Death Note fills every moment with electrifying tension, filling your mind with implications and doubt, and leaving you desperate to see what happens next. Tsugumi Ohba, the creator of this masterpiece, creates an incredible storyline based around a high school boy who comes across a notebook which has the ability to kill anyone whose name is written inside it. And although this series is short, only 37 episodes, every character, every word that comes out of their mouth, is significant.

My favorite thing about Death Note is its ability to make me root for the bad guy. The subtle changes inside all the characters keep you addicted to the chaos and the ever-changing story. And although you may not agree with what the characters stand for, watching a bored, high school student slowly evolve into a sociopath is, as IGN calls it, “terrifying delight”.

I highly recommend his anime to anyone who looking for an addictive new show. Watch the first episode, I guarantee you’ll be hooked.

-Niamh Clarke

Violet Evergarden

I can’t even describe how absolutely stunning this anime is. The 2D animation is incredible detailed and makes watching this show a truly breathtaking experience.

The story revolves around Violet Evergarden, a young girl formerly known as “the weapon,” and her struggle to leave the raging battlefield to start a new life a Postal Service. There, she is deeply moved by the work of “Auto Memories Dolls,” and how they interpret people’s thoughts and words to create beautiful letters. And so, she beings her journey for normal life with these Auto Memories Dolls and attempts to understand the various emotions felt by people and what it means to love.

The way Kana Akatsuki develops the history of Violet’s world through the episodes creates a sense of mystery and leaves you deeply invested in the touching story.  And best of all, it’s easy to understand! The pace is somewhat slow compared to most animes, leaving time for you to really get attached to Violet and her story and allowing the audience to pick up on some small storylines hidden inside the main story.

I could not recommend this enough to a newbie in the anime community. It’ll make you laugh. It’ll make you cry. It’ll make you long for more. And best of all, Violet’s story is not yet finished. So, hurry and watch this anime so you can join its thousands of fans eagerly awaiting season 2.

-Niamh Clarke

Hunter x Hunter

Hunter x Hunter is one of my favorite anime’s, from the story line straight down to the enemies and the battles.

On this adventure you follow a boy named Gon on his journey to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Hunter. Gon is a very lovable character and no one is a match for his power and determination. This is what I believe what makes this story so great, even though he is a little kid he has these remarkable powers and smarts that make you really wanna cheer for him on this journey.

The simplistic art style allows for a lot of creative leeway in the creation of some characters.They really use this with the powers of the rivals and enemies and even his friends Killua, Kurapika, and Leorio. As the story develops you start to see the darkness of the real world and how he begins to mature over time. I strongly recommend you watch it as a an anime amateur.

-Zahara Latson

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