Lately I’d say the anime has reached the point where it can be considered a big, big industry. Just look at the number of shows we get every season, even the most niche titles or the most generic ones would undoubtedly find themselves being some fans’ crown treasure in the midst of the pack season. So it’s only natural that some standouts would inevitably find themselves lost in the shuffle. So on this article, we’re going to go through an anime series list, which I feel were quite overlooked and didn’t become popular enough for what they deserved. Specifically series, which I haven’t talked about much on this blog. Let’s get started.
10. Kekkai Sensen (Genres: Action, Comedy, Super Power, Fantasy)
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the urban fantasy genre featuring super power Teens. You guys might be familiar with this genre thanks to some nice anime like the Index, Fate, and a bit more recently Bungo Stray Dogs and Noragami. In the midst of all the great shows in the spring 2015 season is Blood Blockade Battlefront. Considering that this is the season, it’s Soma, Hachiman and Bell made their debuts. Nisekoi Waifu Wars were in full swing and UBW finished off with a bang. It’s not too hard to get lost in the shuffle. Not helping things is that despite being a show with a colorful cast, blessed with interesting abilities. This series revolving around Leonardo watch and his extraordinary experiences in hell Salem’s lot, ends up being mostly episodic mishmash of adventures. I still think that show is quite nifty and definitely no slouch in terms of style.
The episodic feel might not be for everyone, but I didn’t feel bored watching it and eagerly look forward to the next episode when it was airing. In the end though, I think that despite some people’s opinions of Blood Blockade Battlefront being a style over substance show thanks to its episodic nature. It ultimately holds up and is a fun way to get yourself lost in some good old anime fun. The characters are fun and the art and the action are all enjoyable enough for the show to be one of the better popcorn series right around the middle of the decade. This is my number 10 in this anime series list.
09. Golden Kamuy (Genres: Action, Adventure, Historical, Seinen)
Next in line at number nine is Golden Kamuy. Before trailers or anything like that, I didn’t really know what to expect out of Golden Kamuy. I certainly did get my first major exposure to it thanks to the memes and clips of the hilariously bad CGI bear, but that’s not really a good way to know what it shows about now, is it? So I decided to give it a shot and I tell you what, I don’t regret it one bit. Golden Kamuy, at first it seemed more like a gritty adventure series about survival. With a premise revolving around the Russo-Japanese war and the subsequent gold rush, I figured that the show will weave bits of history into an adventure narrative starring a war veteran and his partner Ainu girl. Turns out that I got more than what I bargained for in a way and came out of this rather unique series with a more complete understanding of Japan and the world back then. That’s not to say that the actions lacking, but I certainly felt the historical aspects of the show could be considered the main focus. Is it a bait and switch? Well decide for yourself. Overall Golden Kamuy really needs more love. It’s a nice notable subversion of the historical fiction genre where the action takes a backseat, to more documentary-like moments that center around Ainu culture. I know that this kind of storytelling might not be for everyone, but I certainly think that it’s at least worth a shot.
08. Rage of Bahamut (Genres: Action, Adventure, Demons, Fantasy)
Cygames fans, especially those keeping their wallets thin and testing the never ending gamble of the Gacha with Granblue fantasy in Shadowverse, might recognize a lot of familiar faces in this anime series. Cygames have this habit of somewhat remaking and reorienting characters in their IP with their various franchises, which explains the sense of deja VU brought about by their first crack at an animated tie into one of their mobile games. Before hitting big internationally with GBF and Shadowverse, the Cygames had this mobile game called Rage of Bahamut. And it’s animated tie in is probably one of the more overlooked titles out there as far as Cygames series are concerned. I feel that the series got overlooked at first, because it didn’t seem to be anything too special. A medieval world of gods and demons has always been a tried and tested trend, but the fact that it’s a tie into a game might have raised some red flags to someone back in 2014. I mean, I love the weird cross Anime of most card game shows, but let’s face it, most tie in series just don’t break a lot of new ground unless they’re already tied to a big franchise from the get go.
However, the ever escalating stakes, the brilliant characters and the nice art and world designed completely surpassed my expectations. Rage of Bahamut, The Genesis might seem like your typical high fantasy, but it’s one show that will surely catch anyone’s low expectations off guard and create an anime to remember. Cygames and studio MAPPA managed to take a card game world and make an absolute winner out of it.
07. Moribito – Guardian of the Spirit (Genres: Action, Adventure, Historical, Fantasy)
Coming out at the same time as Gurren Lagann, Lucky Star, Darker than Black, Hayate The Combat Butler and a new Nanoha isn’t easy. It’s not hard to see why Moribito, Guardian of the Spirit, often gets overlooked or underappreciated when looking at anime in 2007. While anime fans were caught up with a grand adventure toward freedom or chilling with Konata and friends. Production IG, were doing a pretty neat job at adapting some Japanese fantasy novels. Enter Moribito, Guardian of the Spirit. The anime adaptation of the first book in the Moribito series that tells the story of the wandering warrior Balsa. In the anime series, Balsa is tasked with protecting Chagum. Together the two go on a journey across a great land that has obvious influences owing to Indoor China. Sounds familiar.?Well, it should do. In spite of the seemingly standard premise, Moribito more than makes up for it in terms of execution and character development. The art also an extremely strong suit, with pallets resembling those you’d often see in theatrical productions. If you enjoy stuff like sword of the stranger or Rurouni Kenshin, Moribito might beat to your liking. It may have been overlooked for over a decade, but I think the Moribito is a prime example of gems that you can find if you just dig hard enough.
06. The Garden of Sinners (Genres: Action, Mystery, Supernatural, Thriller)
You know the joke about how Atlas fans only know about Persona, specifically the game from three onwards. The same thing also applies to the Type Moon Fanbase with most of them supposedly only named Fate stay night and the billion spin-offs, prequels and games that feature Saber, Rin, Gilgamesh and some of stay night and granddaughter’s iconic characters. To be fair, I’m not surprised that compared to the numerous Fate carnations, the Garden of sinners gets much less love and popularity. While the action mystery in the anime series of movies holds up, it’s by no means an easy watch compared to the straightforward storytelling of fate and the Iliadshows. in the first place, watching the movie straight up would leave some viewers confused, because the story wasn’t told in chronological order. That’s to say that the beauty of The Garden of sinner strongly lies in its rewatch potential. The movie series is quite philosophical and the cryptic dialogue that requires multiple watches and some deep thinking might take awhile to get used to. Get over those hurdles and you’ll find yourself in a unique experience that rebels in tackling mature issues, violence and a dark, captivating mystery that looks as good as it can get in anime cinema.
05. Yona of the Dawn (Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Romance)
Now I think like The Garden of Sinners before Akatsuki No Yona is a title that most casual watchers have a brief familiarity with. You might’ve heard of the name before, or you might have seen some pictures of it with its signature art style and character designs. Akatsuki No Yona known as Yona of the Dawn, can be described as princess Yona’s coming of age story. Born as the sole heir to the throne, her sheltered life of luxury, quickly takes a downturn at the murder of her father. Barely escaping with her childhood friend, Yona’s life turns upside down as she sees firsthand the real state of the kingdom. Her request to reclaim the throne won’t be easy, but it’ll certainly be a dramatic and grand eye-opener. In a vacuum, I don’t think the anime series is really overlooked or underappreciated. It does have a fan base and was quite a Niche back in 2014. But you have to remember that 2014 was also the year of Your Lie in April, Parasyte, Tokyo Ghoul, Nisekoi and No Game No Life. However, I certainly didn’t see a lot of people talking about Yona relative to what I actually think it deserves. Visually stunning with an extremely engaging plot, Akatsuki No Yona in my opinion is one of the benchmark action anime series to watch for that decade, that everyone deserves to at least sit down and take a look at.
04. Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (Genres: Action, Drama, Military, Sci-fi, Space)
This is a really curious case in my opinion. Battleship Yamato 2199 is one of the most enduring series with a legacy to speak of. To give you a bit of context, it’s a anime series that revolutionized the space opera genre in anime. And some people have called it the mediums equivalent of star Trek. That’s why when the remakes started coming in a couple of years back, I wasn’t surprised when it was one of the key recipients of the remake treatment. Nonetheless at this time it sits in the thousands in mal popularity, and not a lot of people really talked about it back in 2012. I guess it was the medium of distribution to blame back then. After all, instead of giving us the remake in a full anime series to watch, it had quite an erratic schedule that caused it to start in 2012, and finished in late 2013. And that is a shame really, because I think mostly that the remake of Battleship Yamato 2199 is one of the better ones out there. The transition of the series from the 70’s to the modern era was done seamlessly and masterfully. It’s a remake that does justice to the legendary anime that helped bring about the rise of the Sci-Fi genre in it’s time. And if you’re itching to watch a remake of some oldies, make sure you don’t give this title a pass.
03. 91 Days (Genre: Action, Drama, Historical)
The prohibition era is probably one of the most popular areas in American history. set in an era of lawlessness, 91 days is a story revolving around Angelo Lagoosa and his quest for revenge against the Vanetti family. It sounds like one of those classic literature titles you’ve probably come across while in school. Right? In terms of aesthetics, I’d say that it reminded me of Baccano. The story ends up being a slow burn with tension slowly increasing and erupting in a big culmination in the climax. Revenge in crime drama stories aren’t a dime a dozen in the anime world, so I sort of anticipated the show’s fate when it comes to connecting with the typical viewer. Nevertheless, I don’t regret picking this show up one bit as at its peak, it’s a gripping dramatic story that encapsulates what you’d expect out of a dark thriller featuring this sort of setting. I barely heard anyone talking about the anime series when it was airing, and I definitely don’t think I heard anyone talking about it after it finished either. And that is a shame in my opinion, because I think that this series deserves to get a lot more love than that.
02. Hinamatsuri (Genre: Comedy, Sci-fi, Seinen, Slice of Life)
2018 was a year of hard hitters and among the series introduced during that year, Hinamatsuri is by far one of the funniest ones out there. The story of Nita’s misadventures with Hina got quite a bit of traction when it aired a couple of years back, but I think the popularity it got was a bit less than what it actually deserved. Given how funny the show is and how witty it is as a comedy, I think the Hinamatsuri is a show that would be great to recommend to anyone who craves some quick laughs. The show is extremely strong in terms of writing its characters in their quirks. The jokes come out of left field and would leave anyone in stitches for hours on end. Comedy, character reactions, directions and timing all come together to make this one of the best comedies of the year. I think that the show deserves more love than it got from the general community, and actually now that I think about it, it was probably one of my favorite non sequel animators of 2018. If you love comedy anime, please do yourself a favor and watch it. It will be the best decision of your life.
01. Rainbow (Genre: Drama, Historical, Seinen, Thriller)
Now, where do we start with Rainbow? Not a lot of shows deal with the dark side of justice and the system of the world. And among them, I think the Rainbow is one of the more cynical and downright realistic ones in terms of showing how messed up the world can be. The gritty tale of survival featuring prison inmates has carved out a reasonable niche for itself back then, but then not a lot of people still remember it compared to its contemporaries. Given the subject matter and the sheer graphic nature, it’s not surprising that the show would be underappreciated compared to a lot of stuff that deals with similar topics in its time. With that being said though, I really vouch for this series because it’s not afraid to go down and dirty and it’s depictions of social injustice and the nature of criminal justice. Rainbow is a grim and dark tale of survival. That’s one of the most serious stories that I’ve ever, ever seen in an anime. Prepare your tissues for the rainbow is a series that will take you on a wild ride in a whirlwind of emotions. It’s a truly depressing series that shows some grim, dark realities and I think that it deserves more love for the sheer boldness it took, especially considering the medium of anime as a whole. This is a anime series to watch.