A Noob’s Guide to Anime: The Top 5 Must-See Series

If you’ve ever loved “Avatar: The Last Airbender” or “Pokemon,” then anime might be for you. Even if you didn’t enjoy those particular ones, there’s so many different genres of anime that might catch your attention.

For instance, the style of manga known as “shonen” targets an audience which is mostly men/boys, whereas “shojo” style manga targets an audience of girls/women. Of course, that doesn’t mean if you’re a girl you can’t watch a shonen and vice versa. A good example of shonen is “Naruto,” Cowboy BeBop,” “Gundam,” “Death Note,” and “Dragon Ball Z.”  Shojo would include animes such as “Ouran High School Host Club,” “Your Lie in April,” “Your Name,” and “Fruits Basket.”

For those of you who want to get into the popular ones, but find yourselves lost in the world of anime, I recommend checking out “Attack on Titan,” “Tokyo Ghoul,” “Sailor Moon,” “Death Note,” “My Hero Academia,” and “Soul Eater.” However, if you’d like to check out the kind of animes I genuinely love, then read on for my list. Fair warning though! I like the slice-of-life animes/tear jerkers, as well as fantasy ones, so get ready for an emotional rollercoaster:

 1. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki Kun

Initially written by Izumi Tsubaki, this story begins with Chiyo Sakura falling in love with Umetarou Nozaki. After declaring her love for him, she’s handed his autograph. She’s left frustrated and confused, until she finds out he’s actually a famous manga artist! Due to many misunderstandings, Chiyo ends up as his assistant. This anime is a hilarious comedy that involves Chiyo’s numerous attempts to catch Nozaki’s attention.

2. Ouran High School Host Club

After breaking a valuable vase, Haruhi is forced to help an eccentric group of people called “The Host Club” to repay her debt. This 26-episode show will have you laughing, crying, and emotional in the best of ways. If you’re looking for a show that’s got an amazing character development, then this is for you!

3. Akatsuki no Yona aka Yona of the Dawn

Princess Yona’s life is best described as both extravagant and sheltered. The sudden death of her father, the king, by her childhood favorite cousin, Su-won puts Yona’s life in danger. She escapes with her childhood best friend and bodyguard, Son Hak. If you don’t mind slow character development and enjoy amazing plot twists, then this is for you! Fair warning:  it might take a little while to get into it, and this isn’t always everyone’s cup of tea.

4. Clannad

Before you watch “Clannad”, grab a box of tissues and keep it by you while you watch. It’s a good show about Tomoya Okazaki, a student delinquent who skips school with his friend. He meets a perky girl who he later finds out is named Nagisa. When he finally decides to be friends with her, he realizes she’s been through more than she lets on. As he gets to know her and some of the other students, he realizes that life isn’t as dull as he thought it would be.

5. Little Witch Academia

“A believing heart is your magic!” are the words Akko hears her idol, Shiny Chariot, declare at a magic show when she was a kid. Ever since, Shiny Chariot has been her role model. It’s to the point where, despite not being able to fly a broom, Akko insists on enrolling in Luna Nova Academy. Fans of “Harry Potter” will love this anime, and it’s something even adults will find captivating.


Overall, there’s a long list of anime and a variety of genres to pick from. I recommend finding the genre that will be mesmerizing to you. It’s okay if anime isn’t for you, but, as I mentioned earlier, if you ever loved watching “Pokemon” or “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” then anime might spark an interest you never even realized was there.

Author’s note: many of these shows can be watched on YouTube or Crunchyroll.