5 Underrated Anime

 

Overview

This post is part of The  ❄️ 12 Days of Christmas ❄️

For this list I am looking at 5 shows that don’t seem to get a lot of love. Though some of these shows are held in high regard by those who have seen them, more people than not have yet to see them.

All entries on this list are titles that I have watched to completion and enjoyed. If an anime is missing from this list, I probably just haven’t watched it yet. I own 100’s of anime and it takes me time to even watch a fraction of it. Remember, this list is just my opinion and is meant to shed some light on some less watched shows.

1. Princess Tutu

51phcnvnvxl-_sx940_Episode Count:  26 (2 seasons)

Language:  Sub or English

Genre:  Magical Girl

Before all you guys out there give this one a pass based on its looks, take a moment to read this. Princess Tutu is a clever retelling of The Swan Princess that ranges from silly to dark. The show offers a fairly serious story with action and depth. Whether magical girl series are typically your thing or not, you’d be making a mistake by glancing this one over.

The story had me captivated from start to finish and was very fun to watch. I particularly enjoyed that most of the combat is done through dance, which is fairly unique. However, some combat is done with weapons and is more traditional. Seriously, give this one a watch, it’s well worth your time.

2. Noein:  To Your Other Self

013138507297Episode Count:  24

Language:  Sub or English

Genre:  Sci-fi/Action/Drama

Noein feels like an action version of Steins;Gate before Steins;Gate was even a thing. Now this isn’t a bad thing, it’s actually good. While Noein lacks the polish that Steins;Gate has, it’s more than excellent for a 2005 series.

The story manages to handle the concept of time travel and other complex quantum theories without loosing its audience. While the story can be a bit slow to start, once it gets going it’s sure to suck you in. The story follows a group of middle-school aged kids and a group from the future, called the Dragon Calvary.

While being a bit dated, the show has a good balance of action, mystery, and thought to entertain most audiences. I wouldn’t recommend this show for somebody’s first anime, but it’s perfect for those looking for something different from the mainstream.

3. Colorful (Film)

29497Episode Count:  1 (Film)

Language:  Sub or English

Genre: Supernatural/Slice-of-life

This film, not to be confused with the anime series of the same title, was a real surprise for me. I only recently watched this and decided it had to go on the list over the original pick (another time :p).

The story follows a person who has died but since offered a second chance at life. The catch is that they are now somebody else, and must figure out what they did in their past life in order to make up for what horrible deed they did in their past life. The premise may sound a bit odd, but it had me immediately interested.

Colorful came out of nowhere for me and was something I found by complete chance and picked up about a year ago. Why I waited to watch this film for so long is beyond me, it was great. If you have a spare 2 hours or so, give this one a watch, it’s beautiful in both visuals and message.

4. Ga-Rei:  Zero

ga-rei-zero-full-1042990Episode Count:  12

Language:  Sub or English

Genre: Supernatural/Action/Thriller

There are only a few things I strongly dislike in anime, one of which being “read the manga” type shows. Often, these shows suck you in and then trick you into wanting to read a manga to find out what happens with the rest of the story. However, there are a few shows that are exempt from me hating them for this, and Ga-Rei:  Zero is one of them.

Meant to be a prequel to the manga, Ga-Rei:  Zero is the definition of a “read the manga” type show, but it manages to tell a complete and compelling story that keeps the manga optional.

The series cold opens with quite a lot of action going on. This episode is pretty awesome and had a lot of people watching early on when it originally aired in 2008. However, many people dropped it soon after in episode 2 as a result of a time jump and shift in tone.

Don’t let this fool you though, the show is full of action and is quite tragic. It’s an excellent ride and one of the only times you’ll hear me recommending a series meant to promote a manga.

5. Mawaru Penguindrum

gg_mawaru_penguindrum_-_07_2611b13c-mkv_snapshot_18-05_2012-01-01_02-14-48Episode Count:  24

Language:  Sub or English

Genre: Comedy/Drama/Supernatural

Mawaru Penguindrum or Penguindrum for short, is an incredible series. The story is original and not based off of any existing works, this isn’t to say it’s not uninspired from anything, but the fact that the story is original is pretty rare (especially since it’s good).

Directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara, director of Utena, it’s no surprise that Penguindrum is a well written original story that offers provocative thought through the use of symbolism. The visual design for this series, along with its soundtrack, is fantastic on top of the already great story.

Originally, I had this show recommended for me by chance as a “funny comedy” and the premise had me interested. The story is about a girl and her two brothers. The girl is ill and eventually dies, however, upon her death they place a penguin hat on her head. This in turn brings her magically back to life, but it comes with a cost. Now the two brothers must find the “Penguindrum” before time runs out, or face loosing their sister forever.

I don’t really want to say much more about this show, because it’s one of the series that is best left to discover on your own. I will say that the series was excellently presented and completely exceeded all expectations when I went into it.

Closing Thoughts

From this list, I hope that you were able to find at least 1 show that sounds interesting to you. I personally enjoyed each and everyone of these stories and would recommend them to almost anybody. If you enjoyed one of these shows or think I left a great title out, let myself and others know in the comments below.

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