18 Anime You Need to Watch  - Exhibit Tech Anime
AnimeTV Series

18 Anime You Need to Watch 

Writer’s note: In my years of watching anime and learning about filmmaking, I become more and more impressed with the creativity and process of animation. Animation provides endless possibilities from colours to storytelling. The impressive visuals leave us in awe and Japan is leading the animation industry. Anime is one of the best entertainment media in the world and now is the best time to get into it. 

One Piece (1999 – ongoing)

One Piece might be daunting as it’s currently at 1100 episodes and still ongoing. But this series is guaranteed to be one of the best experiences of your life. Following the 17-year-old Luffy, his one dream is to be the Pirate King and find the mysterious titular treasure of the previous Pirate King, the “One Piece”. He finds crewmates along the way and the adventures are hilarious but while this series looks lighthearted on the outside, it’s a direct mirror of our morally corrupt world and the journey is not easy. It deals with serious topics such as racism, abuse of power, slavery, morally corrupt governments, and so on. 

Haikyu!! (2014 – 2020)

Haikyu!! is a sports anime that not only creatively represents volleyball but also teaches the viewer about friendship and compromise. The series follows the team, Karasuno, and the two protagonists, Hinata and Kageyama, as they learn to work together after a bitter encounter but realise their playstyles are compatible. You meet other characters and their dynamics and learn so much about friendship, and how beautiful it can be but how ugly it can get. The anime series has ended but two upcoming movies will wrap up the finale of the manga. 

Death Note (2006 – 2007) 

A much shorter but impact watch of 37 episodes, Death Note is a classic you cannot miss. It’s arguably one of the best suspense thriller TV series in media and amongst the best in anime history. It is an unforgettable story with unique characters and grave rules that they must follow. The stakes are high for rivals, Light Yagami and L, who constantly try to outsmart one another. 

Your Lie in April (2014 – 2015) 

Maybe the most devastating anime out there, Your Lie in April is a beautiful romantic series about two teenage musicians who learn freedom and love through their performances together. It’s a short 22-episode anime that will leave you in tears but the story and music will awe you. 

Spy x Family (2022 – ongoing) 

Spy x Family is a much more recent anime series that took the internet by storm. With a unique plot and clever writing, Spy x Family is a lighthearted watch with memorable characters–Anya, Loid and Yor. The three have strange jobs and abilities–Anya has telepathic powers, Loid is a spy and Yor is an assassin and they are all pretending to be a family due to Loid’s current mission. It’s a recipe for chaos and a wholesome anime. 

Jujutsu Kaisen (2020 – ongoing) 

There is no doubt that Jujutsu Kaisen has entered the anime world as one of the biggest in the industry. Their iconic characters like Gojo Satoru, Nanami Kento, Geto Suguru, and many more have stolen the hearts of anime fans. The plot and rules of Jujutsu Kaisen might be confusing and dark but the animation style and quirky personalities make it a great watch. 

Gintama (2005 – 2021) 

Gintama is an extensive watch with 367 episodes but the absurdity and randomness of the plot is worthwhile. The premise is interesting enough but the chaos takes the cake. The characters, especially the main character, Gintoki Sakata, are constantly doing random acts that will catch you off guard but in a funny way. It’s an easy watch that makes you want to binge it. 

Bungo Stray Dogs (2016 – ongoing) 

Bungo Stray Dogs has a very unique concept and premise. The characters are all based on literary figures in history, be it Japanese, American, British, you name it. More than that, these characters have superpowers based on their real-life counterparts’ works of literature. For example, the famous character, Osamu Dazai, has a power called No Longer Human, based on the book of the same name by the same author. However, what draws you in is the depiction of morality and the value of human life that the anime explores. 

Monster (2004 – 2005) 

Pretty much on par with Death Note, Monster is a suspense thriller but with one of the most iconic, well-written villains in anime. While the villain’s backstory is pitiful, it is meant to make you even more terrified of his potential for evil. The protagonist, Dr Kenzo Tenma, takes responsibility for putting a stop to the villain, Johan Liebert and we meet several characters affected by his Tenma’s kindness and Liebert’s evil. 

Attack on Titan (2013 – 2023) 

This is an anime that will mess with your mind. A story about war, loyalty, politics, and morality, Attack on Titan has cemented itself as one of the best anime in history. The plot’s twists and turns will leave you indecisive about which side is right and wrong (the answer is probably neither). The nuances behind every decision are well-written and while the plot is complicated, it also has the best anime characters in history. 

My New Boss is Goofy (2023) 

My New Boss is Goofy is a short and sweet anime of 12 episodes that will hopefully be renewed for a second season. The anime explores mental health, friendship, office dynamics and power harassment in the Japanese workplace. It’s another easy watch but more importantly, the characters are incredibly kindhearted people, especially the boss in the title, Yuusei Shirosaki. His kindness and clumsiness are the main attraction of the anime but it’s seriously underrated how healing this anime is.

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. (2016 – 2018) 

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. has an absurd format. Some of the episodes are compilation episodes, cut into 5-minute episodes so while the total is over 100, the anime is actually around 26 episodes. Saiki K. has telepathic abilities and his inner thoughts about the events around him are straightforward and humorous. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is yet another lighthearted anime with a funny plot and even funnier characters but the overall story is incredibly wholesome. 

Death Parade (2015) 

A twisted anime about your fate after death, Death Parade is a thought-provoking anime. People who die are sent to a mysterious bar named Quindecim, run by the lone bartender Decim and his assistant. They are forced to play Death Games to figure out why they ended up there and the result will determine if their souls reincarnate or are lost forever. The anime points out that nobody is truly angelic or truly evil. 

Hunter x Hunter (2011 – 2014) 

Acclaimed as one of the greatest anime ever, Hunter x Hunter follows the protagonist, Gon Freecss, who learns his “deceased” father is alive and a world-renowned Hunter (who can trace beasts, treasures and rare creatures). Gon aspires to become a Hunter like his father. The main highlight that makes this anime one of the greatest is the character-driven storyline rather than the plot just fitting the characters in. 

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (2019 – ongoing) 

Demon Slayer is an anime with a massive growth in popularity since 2019. The characters are interesting, the story is thrilling and the animation is top-notch. It’s colourful, fluid and a spectacle to watch. It’s especially known for its amazing fight sequences and some funny moments that balance out the anime’s intensity. The series is complicated but easy to get into. 

Nana (2006 – 2007) 

Nana has a devastating take on the intricacies of human relationships. It’s an important binge-watch for people who want a realistic anime. Named after the two protagonists, Nana Osaki and Nana Komatsu, it follows the lives of the roommates who grow close, despite being polar opposites. Their relationship gets more complicated when adult life and decisions get in the way. 

Terror in Resonance (2014) 

Terror in Resonance or Zankyou no Teroru is a complex anime. While the main criticism lies in the structure of the show, the character designs, music, and the thrill of the chase are amongst the best. It handles moral ambiguity and anti-heroism with a grace never seen before. The duo of Twelve and Nine are iconic for their strong personalities and well-written backstories. 

Cowboy Bebop (1998 – 1999) 

A classic amongst legends of anime, Cowboy Bebop is a neo-noir space Western anime. It’s a cool, intelligent series with witty dialogue and thrilling action sequences. The jazz and other cultural references make it even richer. It’s also one of those rare anime series where the English dubbing is impressive and can be watched without losing immersion. 

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