There are countless great anime series out there, but here’s a few that any fan should make sure they get a chance to see. These are the anime that you must absolutely watch if you’re a fan of any. Here are 50 anime series to watch before you die.
This 11 episode anime has a complex narrative with plenty of twists and turns, requiring its viewers to really pay attention. In the wake of a mysterious terrorist attack on Japan with no deaths, twelve individuals are given a strange phone and ¥10 billion in digital money to help “save” Japan. These individuals, which include one of the main characters Akira Takizawa, are given the name “Seleção.” The series culminates with two different feature length films.
Ten years ago a spatial anomaly known as Heaven’s Gate appeared in South Africa, followed by a “Hell’s Gate” in Tokyo. After the real stars disappear in the sky they’re replaced by fake stars, and people with supernatural powers appear called “Contractors.” Darker Than Black’s story might take a bit to make sense, but once its multiple plot lines come together it builds an incredibly strong narrative.
Hellsing is named after the Royal Order of Protestant Knights, originally led by Abraham Van Hellsing, who hunt down and destroy supernatural and undead forces. Alucard is a part of the order, and a vampire himself. Hellsing has some incredible action scenes, coupled with plenty of blood and violence to fit its themes. Mix in a neo-Nazi group and conflicts started in World War II, and you have an anime filled with huge battles and gothic themes.
Sword Art Online started a bit of a trend in anime, with storylines about people being trapped in a virtual reality MMO. The first half of Sword Art has some great emotional stories packed into the 12 episodes. Unfortunately, the second half loses a lot of the potential and feeling the show setup. Regardless, Sword Art Online has good central characters and its interesting to see the difference between the two halves of the show.
Welcome to the N.H.K. tells a story about the lives of several young adults living around Tokyo. The show focuses on its main character being whats known as a hikikomori, a shut in who experiences extreme bouts of depression and loneliness. NHK shows some impressive character development, and manages to tackle some tough themes while remaining entertaining and funny.
Samurai 7 takes the classic film by Akira Kurosawa, Seven Samurai, and puts a unique sci-fi spin on it. The anime combines elements of mecha, with feudal age Japan. Each of the seven samurai have a distinct personality and role to play when they’re hired by a village to defend it from bandits. Samurai 7 has crisp animation and a fresh spin on a classic story.
Death Note has an interesting premise, one that is decidedly dark right from the beginning. Light Yagami is a genius high schooler who discovers a notebook called the “Death Note,” which kills anyone who’s name is written inside of it. Light become’s known to the public as “Kira,” and his actions gain the attention of Interpol and the detective “L.” A dark and twisted story of death and morality plays out from there.