8 best anime for beginners

Aparna Ukil
Stills from Naruto, Hunter X Hunter and Mob Psycho 100

Numerous anime shows and movies hit the screens annually, but for beginners seeking guidance on where to start, we’ve got you covered. This list features some of the best anime series, tailored perfectly for those new to the anime world.

Be it action, horror, supernatural, or romance, the anime industry has it all. In fact, there is no denying that the world-building in anime is better than the live-action. That’s one of many reasons why anime has gotten so popular outside of Japan.

From top-notch animation to an intriguing storyline, the below titles feature everything. In fact, some of the anime shows that we have picked up will make you acquainted with incredibly talented animators and mangakas from Japan.

So, without any further ado, let’s discuss some legendary anime series that’ll help you step into the massive industry.

1. Death Note

GenreSeasonsWhere to watch
Ryuk and Light from Death Note

A beginner list for anime is incomplete if it doesn’t involve Death Note. The anime serves as a starter series for millions of enthusiasts as it changes the perception of all those who believe that Japanese anime shows/films and cartoons are the same thing. It makes us see how dark an animated series can be.

Death Note is considered one of the best thriller anime series to date, as it comes with several spine-tingling twists and brutal murder sequences. Not only this, we also get introduced to one of the badass main protagonists, who in no manner is a hero; in fact, he is the story’s main villain.

The 37-episode series gives you every reason to be excited from the first episode. Interestingly, the Death Note manga also received a live-action film, but it couldn’t live up to the expectations of fans who had already watched the anime version.

2. Naruto

GenreSeasonsWhere to watch
An image of Naruto after time skip

Naruto can be the perfect anime to start with because it follows an old-school theme. Even though it has 220 episodes, once you connect to the characters, there is no looking back.

The series brings some of the most lovable characters in anime. Of course, you’ll love the good guys, but it can make you fall in love even with the antagonists. Besides that, you will get the chance to witness some of the most incredible world-building in an animated series.

The plot follows a kid named Naruto who aims to become the Hokage of his village. The series is divided into two parts, and as it tells the story of the boy’s struggle to achieve his biggest dream, you must have the patience to truly get hooked on it.

3. Mob Psycho 100

GenreSeasonsWhere to watch
Mob from Mob Psycho 100

Mob Psycho 100 is famous among fans who love everything horror. However, this series not only comes with supernatural elements but also makes you laugh with superb comedy.

The anime revolves around Mob, who has some great psychic powers that he needs to control. However, he can’t avoid getting into trouble because of those abilities. One day, he decides to work under a con man (a spirit medium) as his assistant to live an everyday life.

Mob Psycho 100 is a series that always holds your interest. Besides that, fantastic character development puts emotional depth into the story.

4. Spy X Family

GenreSeasonsWhere to watch
Mystery/Action2Crunchyroll & Netflix
Yor, Anya and Loid in Spy x Family

Spy X Family is a perfect anime show for newcomers. Despite being an action-themed anime, it gives us several chances to giggle during adorable family moments, as well as being awestruck.

It revolves around a fake family that involves Loid (a detective), Yor (an assassin), and Anya (the cutest telepath). The trio not only hides their identities from the public, but they also hide their true selves from each other. Together, they are seen overcoming deadly challenges.

Season 1 of Spy X Family aired in 2022, and due to the incredible animation by WIT Studio, the series didn’t take much time to become a fan-favorite show. That’s one of the primary reasons it got renewed for a second season, which is currently ongoing.

5. Demon Slayer

GenreSeasonsWhere to watch
Action3Crunchyroll & Netflix
Tanjiro from Demon Slayer

Demon Slayer is one of the most colorful and action-packed anime. Also, it is one of the best-suited anime series for beginners.

The premise follows Tanjiro Kamado, whose family gets slaughtered by a demon one day while he is out for work. After returning home, he encounters the corpses of his loved ones and witnesses one of his sisters, Nezuko, getting transformed into a demon. He then decides to kill every demon by joining the Demon Slayer Corps organization.

The series comes with a spectacular animation and several heartwarming backstories of the characters. So, if you are planning to watch Demon Slayer, be ready to shed some tears.

6. Hunter X Hunter

GenreSeasonsWhere to watch
Gon and Killua from Hunter x Hunter

Hunter X Hunter comes from the genius author who blessed the anime community with Yu Yu Hakusho. The series brings a straightforward narrative from the beginning, making it worth watching for every beginner.

From the start, the story features a protagonist with a singular aim, and to achieve that, he embarks on a dangerous journey. On his way, he comes across several allies and enemies.

Unlike other anime projects, HxH does not rush things. Instead, it gives the audience the time to adjust and get hold of the premise. Moreover, the story has several twists, but as the series follows a stable pace, it will definitely be manageable for you.

7. Dragon Ball

GenreSeasonsWhere to watch
Action/Adventure6Hulu, Crunchyroll & Funimation
Goku from Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball is the series that has popularized the anime category; people who are unaware of the anime industry are still familiar with the franchise. Those born in the ’90s have grown up watching the powerhouse anime. So, if this isn’t the perfect starter for a newcomer, what else could be?

Since the day Dragon Ball manga was released, it has become popular amongst youngsters, especially the ones in the West. The power level of the character, the old-school animation, the funny elements, everything stole the hearts of the fanbase.

Moreover, the series has left an enormous impact on the writers and directors. On top of everything, several people still get into fitness after seeing the physique of the main protagonist, Goku.

8. One-Punch Man

GenreSeasonsWhere to watch
Saitama from One-Punch Man

If you are an avid watcher who loves action and comedy, One-Punch Man is waiting for you. This series will introduce you to someone who wasn’t born with superpowers but has unknowingly become the strongest being in the universe.

One-Punch Man sees Saitama in the lead role, whose single punch is enough to defeat most enemies. He had to go through a lot of training to reach this level – and putting everything aside, it’s worth mentioning that he lost his hair during the period.

For now, the anime has two seasons, but it has already been renewed for Season 3, and we can expect it to be released sometime in 2024.

How to watch Crunchyroll from outside your location in 2023

Crunchyroll is the world’s best hub for streaming anime, whether it’s One PieceAttack on Titan, or Jujutsu Kaisen. And thanks to ExpressVPN, you can access the platform’s full library even if you’re outside the US.

If you’re abroad, here’s what you need to do to access Crunchyroll’s full selection – and it really is this simple:

  1. Sign up for ExpressVPN, which has ultra-fast servers and offers a secure, private connection wherever you are in the world
  2.  Connect to a location anywhere in the US. Express VPN allows you to choose from 24 different spots, from New Jersey to Santa Monica
  3.  Visit Crunchyroll online and start streaming all of your favorite animes – and perhaps some you’ve never watched

Accessing Crunchyroll’s US roster makes a difference. For example, Hong Kong users only have access to less than 100 titles, while the US has nearly 1,000 movies and TV shows.

You can also stream anime on Crunchyroll for free with an ad-supported plan. Or you can pay for a subscription. There’s even a 14-day free trial if you can’t quite make up your mind.

You can check out a few of our other lists below and our other anime coverage here:

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