by Fareeha Umair @DastaanWorld
Let’s get one thing straight – Anime are NOT cartoons! Period! Would you let your 5 year old sit through shows that can scar them for life?
Don’t believe me? Let me ease you into it with these 10 anime shows every beginner should watch. Dive into these and feel your perspectives change:
1. Death Note
A boy finds a diary that can kill people. Sounds simple enough right? Wrong! Add a badass Shinigami hovering over a kid with a god complex, and you get an anime that will make you question your own morality and conscience.
Add a dessert-loving, emo, teen detective who is hot on their trail, and you have the makings of a great anime.
Get ready to get on the feels train with this one. Seriously, you will need a whole box of tissues for this. Toradora is a sweet but tragic tale of a pint sized, high school girl who has a mean temper and her classmate, a gentle guy who unfortunately looks like a Yakuza member.
Watch as they try to understand one another, and struggle through complex emotions all without killing each other. Add a love triangle and you have the makings of a slapstick, heart-rending rom-com.
3. Full Metal Alchemist
Ok this one is a bit tricky. You can watch either the first season of Full Metal Alchemist (a director’s cut of sorts) or the second one (FMA Brotherhood) which follows the manga. But no matter which one you choose, prepare to feel your heart break episode by episode.
Story is simple enough. Two brothers try to resurrect their mother through alchemy, fail miserably, literally lose an arm, a leg and a brother and then train as state alchemists to search for the Philosopher’s Stone.
4. Sword Art Online
If you love playing Word of Warcraft, anime RPGs or any MMORPG, this anime is for you. SAO is about a VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) *gasps for breath* and the gamers trapped in it.
As the name implies, unlike your traditional MMORPGs, this one is virtual which means players can transfer their conscious into the game and play as their avatars in ‘real time.’ Pretty much a gamer’s wet dream which quickly turns into a nightmare when said gamers get trapped in the game for 3 years while their bodies remain in the real world. Follow the protagonist Kirito and his sweet Asuna as they try to make it out of the game alive.
5. Attack on Titan
Jack’s giant has nothing on these carnivorous behemoths! This anime is for you if you love a bit of gore and a great storyline that backs it up. Attack on Titan follows Eren Yeager whose hometown is destroyed by giants called Titans who happen to love the taste of human flesh.
It doesn’t end there. After seeing his mother being eaten by one, Eren vows to eradicate the lot with help from a special force of Titan exterminators. This ‘bone crunching’ anime will have you gripping your seat and eyes glued to the TV because you really don’t want to miss any of the action.
6. Violet Evergarden
What is most striking about anime is not just the complex storylines and characters – the animation can also leave you speechless. Violet Evergarden pays homage to both aspects and couples them with a gripping storyline.
Violet Evergarden is a young girl who was trained for the battlefield as a secret weapon. However, after the war ends, she loses her purpose in life. Join her as she rediscovers what it means to be human through heartbreak, new friends and old acquaintances.
7. Angel Beats
Don’t let the high school theme fool you. Angel Beats may feature teenagers but all of them happen to be very dead and living in a limbo-esque boarding school. All of them are awaiting reincarnation as is the protagonist, Otonashi.
When the recently deceased Otonashi arrives in this world, he quickly discovers that it is more than just a purgatory for passing souls. It’s a warzone where students are embroiled in a battle with the ‘Angel’ who also happens to be the student body president. The anime switches between slapstick comedy and devastating themes which will leave you shook.
8. Food Wars
If you love indulging in the culinary arts or just love food in general, you will binge Food Wars. After his father suddenly decides to quit the family restaurant he started, he enrolls his son, Soma into the elite Tootsuki Culinary Academy.
The anime explores all aspects of the food industry through the eyes of the protagonist Yukihira Soma and a ragtag bunch of students all who are enrolled in the prestigious culinary academy. The school is famous for its ‘Shokugeki’ or food wars where students face off in cooking showdowns. Join Soma and the gang as they expand their cooking skills and learn more about themselves.
9. Assassination Classroom
It’s just as the title says. Assassination Classroom is literally a bunch of students trying to off their teacher, Koro sensei. But the teacher also happens to be a powerful octopus-like being that not only trains them to kill him, but also avoids their attacks with ease.
Why do they want to kill him? Their sensei promised that he would destroy the Earth in a year’s time unless they killed him. So why did he become their homeroom teacher? Find out by watching the complete series!
10. Welcome to the Ballroom
Welcome to the Ballroom is a gorgeous and incredibly realistic exploration of competitive ballroom dancing. It follows the journey of a middle school kid, Tatara who signs up to a dance studio after the owner, professional dancer Sengoku rescues him from bullies. There he meets his crush, Shizuku Hanaoka who happens to be a talented competitive dancer as well.
A complete novice, Tatara learns the ropes from the professionals. Driven by his passion to dance with his crush and go toe to toe with his rival/hero/teacher, he overcomes personal challenges and encourages his peers to do the same.
These are just SOME of the titles that anime lovers swear by. Which one made you a believer?