Updated: Sep 22
The obscurity and beauty of anime is one the main draws to the medium for me. I love going into media unaware of the structure, style and approach is that the artist is going to take. Don't get me wrong, I do love watching sitcom and Marvel/Disney movies as a background and fun, but when I actually want to sit down and enjoy some quality storytelling, the suspenseful and unpredictability of anime is a must.
With this said, not to many adults actually take anime seriously and it is still seen in the west as a children/teenage medium. I can understand why on a surface level, but if you're considering delving into the wild world of anime, don't be discouraged by this external perspective. It's not all dressing up, geeking out and going to conventions such as Avcon and Comicon (although these are fun). Anime is just great storytelling for all ages, and above all it is incredible and beautiful art with powerful life lessons. It will make you feel, think, and explore your own bias, beliefs and perspectives.
If you're an adult and new to the world of anime, here are five incredible series (in no particular order) to get you started which are pretty easy to watch. They are all available to stream on AnimeLab in Australia.
5. Dr Stone
This 2020 series follows the story of Senku as he attempts to rebuild society after humanity is transformed to stone by a mysterious light wave. The entire plant earth is petrified in stone and after several millennia, Senku wakes up and begins to rebuild using tools of science and a vision of bringing everyone he can back to life. He is slowly joined by others as they are awaken from the petrifaction using a acidic formula which Senku crafted, but as more survivors become freed, conflict in how the new world should be results in tensions and fractions.
4. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
Brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric search for the Philsopher's Stone, hoping to restore their bodies, which were lost when they attempted to use their alchemy skills to resurrect their deceased mother. Edward, who lost only limbs, joins the State Military, which gives him the freedom to continue the search as he tries to restore his brother, whose soul is tethered to earth by a suit of armor. However, Edward and Alphonse are not the only ones seeking the powerful stone. And as they search, they learn of a plot to transmute the entire country for reasons they cannot comprehend.
Editors note: This was a hard choice but I truly believe this should be here. Yes, it's a bit obscure and advanced for a beginner but it showcases the intensity and epic-ness Anime has to offer.
Please note; This description is pulled straight from Wikipedia. I didn't write it.
3. Darwin's Game
After accepting an in-app invitation by a friend to play a mobile game called Darwin's Game, 17-year old Kaname Sudō is thrust into a world involving real world murders, gangs and violence. While players are rewarded with extraordinary wealth and technology for their wins, them who have accepted the invitation are putting their lives on the line in every fight... and game over means game over for real. After realising there is no way out besides finishing it, Kaname seeks to kill the Game Master and put an end to the murderous world of Darwin's Game.
2. The Promised Neverland
The story begins in what appears to be a perfect orphanage in the middle of a remote countryside village; full of trees and space for children to play and embrace country living. The children of the orphanage are well educated and appear to be very well looked after - such as they seem well feed and socialised. However, one day the smarter and older children of the orphanage (aged between 10 and 11) uncover the dark motives behind the facade when they pass over a forbidden small fence surrounding the orphanage's main grounds. Bit-by-bit the children uncover more truths about their home, recruiting the other (younger) children into the know-how as they begin to craft an escape plan to save all of them from the realities of their setting.
1. How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?
In this hilarious anime, a young high school student named Hibiki Sakura embarks on a journey of health and fitness. Satiring our social obsession with calorie intake, Sakura's voracious appetite leads to her gaining weight and once this is brought to her attention, she reluctantly thinks about joining the Silverman Gym - clearly a pariody of Gold's Gym. With her classmate, Akemi Soryuin, Sakura becomes obsessed with her trainer Naruzo Machio, who motivates her to get fit and lose weight. With funny workout instructions and self-aware gags, this anime is a joy to watch.