Beginner’s Guide to Anime

There are so many different fandoms out there and sometimes you don’t even know where to start. One of those fandoms for me is anime which I have just started to dive deeper into. So I reached out to fellow geeky bloggers to share their advice on getting into the wonderful world of Japanese animation.

Log-Horizon-Season-3

Log Horizon

“My tip is don’t give up too quickly. Anime episodes can be very short, around 25 minutes each, and it’s not unusual for it to take two or three episodes for a series to settle down. To put it a different way, episode one can be a very different tone from the rest of the series.

My newbie recommendation is the series Log Horizon. It’s a now common scenario; gamers waking up in a game world and therefore is mostly fantasy but with some familiar elements in it.”

Andrew at Geek Native

mylovestory

My Love Story!!

“When it comes to finding your first anime, I always suggest sticking to themes and categories that you already love. If that’s romance or comedy or thriller or horror, there’s an anime to match. For example: if you love rom-com, My Love Story!! could be a good choice for you. If you like romance and a good cry, Plastic Memories could be exactly what you’re looking for. If you love action, Ghost in the Shell might tickle your fancy. If you like thrillers, Death Note should be on your watch list.

Along those same lines, you can also pick anime based off hobbies and activities that you love. For gamers, you can start with Sword Art Online. If you love food or love to cook, Food Wars has both! If you love Marvel or DC, One Punch Man is the hero you didn’t know you needed.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with starting with some of the most popular anime. You may have to be a bit forgiving with the art style and animation depending upon the time period the anime is from. There’s also nothing wrong with picking an anime that you find aesthetically pleasing if you like the theme or category that it’s in as well. I mean, that’s usually how I pick books! Some ‘old but gold’ anime includes Sailor Moon (rom-com with magical girls who kick ass), Dragon Ball Z (superhero show that is equal parts fantasy and Sci-Fi), Naruto (ninjas… enough said), InuYasha (action, romance and a bit comedy set in feudal-era Japan for the most part), and Cowboy Bebop (a fantastic space western).”

Megan at A Geeky Gal

deathnote

Death Note

“I’ve been a fan of anime for a long time. Being half Japanese meant it was pretty hard to avoid it growing up. So naturally, I wanted to share this interest with my friends, but repeatedly came up against this wall… anime can be long! Shows like One Piece are some of my favourites, but convincing someone to sit down for 900+ episodes (and counting) is a tall order.

So, my advice is to find shorter animes that are complete. There are many shows that tell the full story in 13 episodes, so they are often a good starting point. Then focus on themes and characters, plot in anime isn’t always the fastest so it’s important to look beyond it (particularly when just starting out).

Recommended Newbie Show: Death Note. By Episode 2, you will know whether or not you want to continue.”

Michael at Michael Merlino

food-wars

Food Wars

“When Parasite’s writer and director, Bong Joon Ho, collected the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, he said: “Once you overcome the barriers of subtitles, just that one-inch barrier, you will be introduced to so many more interesting films” – and he’s right.

Instead of simply reading the subtitles whenever they’re on screen, I’ve taught myself to read them quickly and remember them so I can move my eyes back up to the main action as soon as possible. Then, I imagine those words being said in the same way as the line is being delivered. That sounds complicated but the more subtitled media I’ve watched the simpler it’s become. It’s not something I can teach, it’s just how it works for me – just as you will find your own way in time.

If you’re interested in how to start watching anime, you’ve probably already heard of several. My entry into it was 進撃の巨人 Attack on Titan. Which is not to say that 進撃の巨人 Attack on Titan is a “typical” anime – but then, I wouldn’t necessarily say there is such a thing as “typical anime”. In Japanese, the word anime just means animation. The only thing that’s similar about them is the art style.

Really, anime is worth getting-into because, if you can adapt to the form (which won’t be as challenging as you might expect), you’ll discover more great stories and characters than you know what to do with.”

Alex at Alexander Sigsworth

AoT

Attack on Titan

“My tip from a still beginner is to have someone to watch it with. My introduction to anime was from having it screen shared between a friend and me because he was already a fan. We would watch it together this way, so he was my guide essentially. This anime was Attack on Titan, which is a horror-action anime that can be a lot for first time viewers, especially if you are sensitive to gore. However, I do recommend it because the story is very compelling and as you progress and start to figure things out, it is a fantastic story. It also isn’t as long as some other anime and will be having its final season soon.”

Michelle at A Geek Girl’s Guide

Have an anime suggestion yourself? Share them in the comments!

*responses have been edited for length and clarity