7 Best Anime for Beginners

List of Popular Anime that Beginners should Watch First

One-Punch Man

Are you becoming interested in Anime and wondering what is a good starter anime for you?

Anime has increased in popularity worldwide lately as more anime series and movies with multilingual subtitles and dubs are distributed to all over the world through lots of video streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, etc.

Many international people watch anime for just enjoying the entertainment contents , learning Japanese and other various reasons.

It is a little difficult to find out what to watch for those who have not watched an anime or liked a few family anime including Pokemon, Doraemon and Sailor Moon when they are children.

Here, I picked out some of the very best anime for beginners, which are popular among both Japanese and international anime fans. Check the selected starter anime list!

1. One Punch Man

One Punch Man (ワンパンマン), one of the most popular anime especially among foreign anime fans, is perfect for anime newcomers. The action and comedy anime is based on the manga which started to be published from 2009 and serialized with over 20 volumes. The main character superhero named Saitama who never looks cool beat any enemy with a single punch. However strong the monsters and villains are, he defeats them with only one punch. What is funny is that he obtains the power by just training hard. Not only Saitama but other cool and unique characters including his disciple Genos and the expert martial artist Bang are featured on One Punch Man. Enjoy the mixture of Japanese comedy with the American superhero’s essence.

2. Naruto

Naruto (ナルト), the famous anime with theme of Ninja, is sometimes looked on as one of the best anime of all time worldwide and best for beginners. Naruto was originally made as a manga that were published from 1999 and completed in 2014 with the 72nd volume. The anime series also came to the end in 2017, which consists of the first half Naruto (NARUTO -ナルト-) and the second half Naruto: Shippuden (NARUTO -ナルト- 疾風伝). The story is really simple since the main character Naruto grows up with various Ninja including his fellows, teachers and even opposites. There are powerful battle scenes with the Ninja unique techniques.

3. Cowboy Bebop

As one of the most popular anime that are loved by foreign people, you cannot miss Cowboy Bebop (カウボーイビバップ). The action sci-fi anime with just one season (26 episodes) is easy to watch until the end. The setting of the anime is the space in 2071, where the bounty hunters including Spike Spiegel and Jet Black combat against criminals. It consists of a variety of genres such as action, suspense, comedy, cyberpunk, etc. and entertaining background musics including jazz, blues, rock and so on.

4. Dragon Ball

For the legendary action anime in Japan Dragon Ball (ドラゴンボール), many anime fans agree with the one you should start to watch anime with. It was famous as a Weekly Shonen Jump manga written by Akira Toriyama at first, but the anime adaption has got popular since the late 1980s.  The worldly famous anime is divided into some parts with different titles: Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Super, and so on. The 2nd part Dragon Ball Z is the most popular all over the world, where the story starts when the main character Goku has grown up. Goku and many unique characters fight powerful battles using their techniques like Kamehameha.

5. Pokémon

Pokémon, which is known as Pocket Monster (ポケットモンスター) in Japan, is now one of the most popular anime among both kids and adults around the world. It has been loved in Japan since the first video game of Pokémon was released in 1996, and the anime adaption started to be aired in 1997. The young boy Satoshi travels all over the world with the adorable Pikachu and other his Pokemons. You can enjoy not only the intense battle scenes but also drama between humans and Pokemon.

6. Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online (ソードアート・オンライン), which is abbreviated to SAO, is one of the symbols of the modern Japanese anime. The science fiction and adventure anime is based on the popular light novel written by Reki Kawahara. There are three major seasons in Sword Art Online, and what you should do first is watching the first part with the 14 episodes. The setting is 2022 when the advanced VR online game called Sword Art Online is invented, and all 10,000 players including the main character Kirito log in the game. However, the players notice it is impossible to log out and get back to the real world. If a player dies in the MMORPG world, he/she also dies in the real world.

7. One Piece

There is no reason why anime fans don’t recommend for you to watch One Piece (ワンピース) as a starter except its too long story, which is a positive thing for the fans who hope it will not come to the end forever. One Piece, based on the manga series with 96 volumes (as of April, 2020) is looked on as best of the best anime and manga all over the world of all time by many anime fans. This is the story of pirates, which unfolds with the adventures of the main character Monkey D. Luffy and his crews. He sails around globe in search of the ultimate treasure called “One Piece”, battling with powerful opposites. There are Devil Fruits in the world of One Piece, which grant a superpower to those who eat one while the fruits unable them to swim. In addition to the fight scenes, it represents human drama such as strong bonds with friends and family, their negative pasts and social issues in the real world.

On top of those anime recommended for beginners, there are a large number of anime to watch. It is famous that everyone can enjoy viewing the Studio Ghibli movies and the anime directed by Makoto Shinkai including Your Name and Weathering with You.

Furthermore, you will find your favorite anime on this bucket list with 30 best anime and another list filled with 30 greatest anime movies.

If you subscribe Netflix, this anime list is also recommended to you!

Great anime make you want to watch any further, and check those lists if you wonder what to watch next. For more info about anime and Japanese pop cultures, check these articles below, too!

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