Anime represents one of the most popular and growing mediums today, but it feels daunting for some people. After all, decades upon decades and thousands upon thousands of anime exist across numerous genres. Fortunately, these particular series offer the best newcomer anime experience for those new to the genre.
The best newcomer anime TV series offer a broader experience, foyurir the most part. They may appeal to a wide audience or offer that mainstream experience. They excel in a mix of story, action, romance, comedy, visuals, and the like, where newcomers become invested.
1. Fruits Basket (2019-2021)
This remake of the beloved romantic comedy manga stands out as one of the most masterful anime series of all time with its tale of a girl named Tohru who goes to live with the complicated and animal transformation-centric Soma family.
It has near-flawless writing, characterization, and romance. Just be careful, as it may make other rom-com anime look bland in comparison.
2. Attack on Titan (2013-2023)
This beast of a post-apocalyptic fantasy series starts with the young boy Eren and his friends seeing the gigantic humanoid-like titans invading their city and killing everyone they love. It holds nothing back in its gruesome action, disturbing imagery, and heartbreaking plot. For all its darkness, it still ranks as one of the best newcomer anime series viewers can watch–and one of the most heart-pounding.
3. Dragon Ball Z (1989-1996)
Newcomers looking for an older TV series that still holds up today should check out Dragon Ball Z. This absolute classic follows Goku and the other Z Warriors as they try to defend Earth from alien invaders, androids, and more. Its animation still looks fantastic through the Kai remaster and its timeless action sequences.
4. Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (2007-2009)
Anyone looking for a solid mech story as a newcomer anime should check out Gundam 00. It has none of the baggage and weight of the core Gundam franchise, and it has the best standalone story and cast of characters in the series. It deals with relevant and surprising real-world themes among the massive mech battles, such as religion, war, politics, and more.
5. Future Diary (2011-2012)
Those who like battle royale-centric pieces like Squid Game and The Hunger Games should check out Future Diary. It follows two teens who find themselves in a battle for survival against other users with powerful smartphones. The memorable characters and gut-wrenching twists make it great newcomer anime, and one of the best battle royales of all time.
6. Sword Art Online (2012-Present)
Kirito turns on a VR headset and enters the game Sword Art Online in hopes of having a good time. He finds out he’s trapped there and his death in the game means death in real life. This gripping premise carries the series across multiple video games and to the masterful Season 3, where the world-building and characters reach their peak.
7. Death Parade (2015)
Those who like dramas that will shock viewers every single episode and have them in tears should check out this masterpiece from Madhouse. Without spoiling too much, it follows a pair who judges two people in each episode who died at the same time and determine if they go to heaven or elsewhere.
8. Hunter x Hunter (2011-2014)
Pure action and fights stand at the heart of this beloved all-ages series, and a great newcomer anime. It follows Gon and his friends as he tries to find his father and become a Hunter, someone who goes out on missions. The fantastic villains and story arcs make this stand out amongst the crowded action anime genre.
9. Violet Evergarden (2018-2020)
Kyoto Animation makes some of the most beautiful anime of all time, and Violet Evergarden also fits the bill for newcomer anime. This gorgeous and reflective series about a girl with a mechanical arm deals with trauma, moving on, and harsh themes with such nuance and intelligence.
10. Pokémon (1997-Present)
The original Pokémon anime series stands out as one of the longest-running anime of all time. That said, newcomer anime fans don’t have to watch all 1,000+ episodes if they don’t want to. Stick with the initial season or jump into a later excellent one like X&Y to experience cute monsters, hilarious moments, and solid action scenes for everyone.
11. Tokyo Ghoul (2014-2018)
Tokyo Ghoul has a simple but engrossing premise. Kaneki Ken wants nothing more than love until his date turns him into a human flesh-eating ghoul. This story explores the sinister trauma of the main character and his new life as someone stuck between the human and ghoul worlds. It may not be perfect, but it starts and ends so well with a story of how love triumphs over hate.
12. Spy x Family (2022-Present)
Those who want a feel-good anime for the entire family should check this one out. A family made up of a spy, assassin, and orphan girl with psychic powers come together for a fake family. It deals with the various daily antics they get into as they grow together.
13. Yuri on Ice (2016)
Sports and romance fans need to check out Yuri on Ice as a newcomer anime. It follows a down-and-out ice skater, Yuri, who finds a new coach. Their relationship blossoms together amidst a stunning soundtrack and phenomenal ice skating animation.
14. Guilty Crown (2011-2012)
This series follows a teen boy who gets caught up in a quarantined part of Tokyo. He starts out as a regular guy but soon becomes the center of an organization fighting back for survival. Its intense mix of action and romance looks stunning. Plus, it offers some of the finest twists in anime.
15. Kaguya-sama: Love Is War (2019-Present)
This romantic comedy series has one of the lowest barriers to entry for newcomers. It follows two members of the high school student council, Kaguya and Shirogane, who know they like each other, but they refuse to admit it. It offers the funniest anime of all time but also heartwarming moments at times.
16. Steins;Gate (2011)
Fans should check out this unforgettable science-themed anime series without knowing anything. It starts out as a hilarious examination of the psyche of its mad scientist main character, Okabe. But just know it gets pretty serious and in some shocking ways.
17. My Hero Academia (2016-Present)
Any newcomer to anime who likes Marvel should make My Hero Academia their first series to watch. It takes place in a world full of superheroes and follows a boy named Deku, who has no powers but wants to be the number one hero in the world. Its powerful characters and immense action hold nothing back, even as a show for the whole family.
18. Erased (2016)
Erased doesn’t feel like an anime. It has a moodier and darker tone with a more serial drama style. It follows a man who travels back in time out of nowhere and gets caught up in a chance to save a girl from his past from dying if he finds the truth. The intense mystery grips the viewer from start to finish, making it a great newcomer anime destined for binging.
19. Angel Beats! (2010)
Newcomers to anime should check out anything from creator Jun Maeda, such as this series, Clannad, and Charlotte. His series involves some of the best writing in all anime and terrific twists. But Angel Beats, in particular, has some of the best characters with its tale of teens in the afterlife and their various tear-jerker stories.
20. Golden Time (2013-2014)
One of the best romantic comedy anime of all time remains this gut-wrenching series. It follows Banri, a boy who lost his memories a few years back. He goes to university and becomes stuck between his new love interest and the girl his previous self adored. The fantastic cast elevates the already emotional premise.
21. Fairy Tail (2009-2019)
Part of why some people love certain TV series and movies comes from feeling part of a family. Fairy Tail captures this idea of a family better than any other anime in existence. It follows a guild of magical wizards as they go on adventures and save the world from evil in some surprising ways.
22. Darker than Black (2007-2010)
If viewers want a mature, dark, and more intelligent newcomer anime, they should check out Darker than Black. It follows a group of emotionless but powerful contractors who go out on missions in each episode. The anthology-style series gives it some Black Mirror vibes with each excellent story but culminates in an overarching plot, which somehow ends up being the best part.
23. March Comes in Like a Lion (2016-2018)
While some anime feel a bit shallow at times in its characters, this series goes deep into the trauma, depression, and anxiety of its main character.
It may seem like a sports series with its emphasis on the character’s chess-like shogi pursuits, but the real draw comes from its troubled, orphaned main character, whom fans want to see grow and find a family.
24. Oshi no Ko (2023-Present)
Oshi no Ko came out in 2023 and became an instant success as a modern masterpiece in anime. It has the unique status of one of the highest-rated anime of all time. Its premiere episode alone has the bold status of a near movie-length runtime, and it shows in the confident and tremendous writing.
Oshi no Ko follows a girl named Hoshino Ai, a teen pop idol in Japan who becomes pregnant. Fans have no idea where the story will go, though, and they should go into it only knowing that information. Its blend of amazing music and fantastic visuals elevates its extraordinary writing.