Everybody in the anime community cringes when they see one of these guides. I understand it, “good” shows are so subjective that it is kind of stomach turning to see the same mega-popular titles vomited it up in a million different ways.
Yet, everyone was new to anime at some point, and mega-popular shows got that way because there is obviously something that a lot of people like about them. If you want the largest chance of converting the outside world, you have to lead with your best foot forward, as they say.
That being said, we at Recommend Me Anime have already put a lot of time into creating and putting up resources for those new to anime already. So hopefully any of these articles can help you:
- 15 Places to Legally Stream Anime Around the World
- 9 Things You Can Actually Learn from Watching Anime
- “Why the Main Character Always Sits By The Window?” and Other Pressing Anime Questions
- Anime Recommendations Based On Your Favorite Non-Anime Fandom
- Anime Fundamentals – 13 Classic Anime Series That Every Fan Should Have Under Their Belt
- Horror Anime Master List: What is the Scariest Anime?
How to Get Into Anime?
Whether you caught the tail end of an episode one night or your friend keeps insisting you watch one of their shows, the only way to get into anime is to watch something. The trouble is that some people watch something stupid like Cat Planet Cuties or Glasslip and they never want to watch another show again. They think it is all lewdness or terrible plot progression.
My advice is to not waste your time. Watch three to six episodes of a series, and if you aren’t hooked, look for another series that sounds interesting. It is the storyteller’s job to get you interested and just because it is animated, doesn’t mean that anime doesn’t tell some Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, Star Wars-level stories. You just need to find a series that is for you, then come back here and find recommendations for more like it.
As for what to watch first, I highly recommend starting with an interesting series from our anime fundamentals list or the valid recommendations based on your favorite non-anime fandoms. If nothing else, you can cruise our site and pick one based on whichever has the most appealing looking picture.
Converting Friends to Anime
If you are already established as an anime fan, then at some point someone is going to show interest in what you are watching. If you want to convert some normies, you have to be pretty careful about it or they will walk away with an impression of anime for a lifetime and spread it around so that we all have to answer questions like “why are you watching porn?” No one wants that.
When converting non-anime friends, consider the following:
- Avoid Ecchi/Sexual Shows – There will be a time for ecchi, but the first time is not one of them. Avoid anything with more than one or two perverted jokes.
- Try to Think About Other Interests – Are they super into soccer? Do they really love Farscape or some other space show? Have they always recommended disaster movies each time you go to the theater? Use it, for every normal hobby and genre, there is probably an anime series for it.
- Don’t be Overeager – Let them watch at their own pace. If they want to watch by themselves, don’t be a pest. If you are watching together, engage them if they engage you, but don’t insist that they focus.
Cartoons Versus Anime
It is the age-old question from beginners that can be quite triggering to a long time anime fan. Calling something like Avatar: The Last Airbender an anime or Fullmetal Alchemist a cartoon can be like setting off a bomb inside many fans, but what is the difference?
The answer to that is complicated and of great debate, especially when it comes to shows like RWBY or Netflix’s Castlevania. Those two shows are very much in the anime style, but not anime because it was not made in Japan, thus not Japanese animation. Some consider anime an art style, which in that case would indeed make them both anime series. However, others consider anime to be more of a culturally-specific thing.
One universally agreed upon thing that defines anime when compared to cartoons is that it has a plot that it consistently follows, deep themes, and occasionally mature content.
To Japanese, “anime” is a shortened term used to cover all animation. To westerners, “anime” refers to specifically Japanese animation while other shows like Adventure Time are cartoons and shows like Rick and Morty are Adult Animation.
In the strictest sense, we believe that anime comes from Japan, is made in the Japanese language, and produced from (wildly underpayed) Japanese animators. However, everyone has a different opinion of this so any time it is brought up, get ready to argue.