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10 Most Underrated Anime That Deserve Attention

by Shannan Reyes

It’s likely you’ve heard roars of fandom still clamoring for masterpieces like Naruto, One Piece, or Bleach. True, these are all brilliant anime, but they are by no definition the most underrated anime that deserve attention. Rather, they form the big three of anime.

These are a drop of water in the ocean of the vast and glorious anime empire. And such a vast empire is bound to have numerous hidden treasures in the nooks and crannies people seldom visit. Mainstream anime are the entrées, best for newcomers. But the most underrated anime that deserve attention in this list are the main course.

What is Anime?

Anime is a brilliant storytelling medium that you cannot succinctly define because anime is a lot of things. Anime falls into 5 broad genres based on the audience they target:

• Shonen (Action/Adventure)
• Seinen (Mystery/Psychological Thrillers)
• Shoujo (For Young Girls)
• Josei (For Adult Women)
• Kodomomuke (For Kids)

What are the Most Underrated Anime That Deserve Attention?

Now that you’ve had a quick intro, it’s time we dig a little deeper into the anime world. Because there are several anime that you haven’t heard but shouldn’t miss. Here are some undiscovered gems of entertainment.

1. Steins; Gate

Steins; Gate

Image source: Pinterest

The concept of time as moving in a straight direction from past to future is too rudimentary. In reality, there are multiple timelines or rather worldlines.

When you go back in time to change the past, you aren’t changing the future of that timeline. Instead, you end up moving to a different timeline where the new reality matches the alterations you made to the past. And when this happens, nobody remembers the old past.

Nobody aside from Okabe Rintarou who prefers to go by his mad scientist moniker “Hououin Kyouma.” He is the only one who can retain memories across worldlines.

One day, he’s at a time travel forum that ends abruptly because of a satellite crash. As he’s leaving, he notices the dead body of a girl, Makise Kurisu. He sends a message to himself detailing her death; this message ends up traveling to the past and changing the worldline he is in. One where the satellite did not crash and Makise is alive, but nobody else believes him when he says these things happened.

Together, he and his friend set up a realistic time machine that allows you to send text messages to your past self.

2. Parasyte


Image source: Pinterest

The world is a normal place until a fleet of tiny worms show up out of nowhere and invade people’s bodies. These worms typically invade the brains of the humans they inhabit, gaining complete control over them.

But in the case of a high-school student, Shinichi Izumi, the parasyte ended up latching onto his hand. This only gave the parasyte partial control over Shinichi’s body.

At first, he tries his hardest to remove the parasyte, but as they get talking, his parasyte chooses to comply with his pacifism. The other parasytes, however, have a different plan.

3. Another


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Another follows the story of a transfer student named Kouichi who transfers to class 3-3 of the Yomiyama Middle School. He notices a cute, eye-patch-wearing girl named Mei Misaki who seems to be sitting by herself and drawing pictures.

But for some odd reason, the entire class including the teacher pretends she doesn’t exist. Kouichi learns that, 26 years ago, there was another student named Misaki who was loved and popular but passed away. Her class couldn’t get to terms with her death, so they decided to pretend she was alive for the remainder of the graduation.

However, doing so placed a death curse on the class students. Now, as dark and gruesome events start happening, Kouichi must unearth the mysteries of Yomiyama.

4. Assassination Classroom

Assassination Classroom

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Koro-sensei, at first glance, is a cheerful, deeply caring, and inspiring class teacher. But he is also an invincible octopus-like monster that can travel up to the inhuman speed of Mach 20. He has threatened to destroy the world unless he is assassinated within a year.

The anime follows his daily life as a homeroom teacher, but what does he teach? Math, science, home economics, sports, and most importantly, assassination techniques. He’s teaching his students how to become better assassins so that they may one day stop him from destroying the Earth.

The students, fully knowing the scale of their teacher’s threat to the world, still develop an emotional bond with him. They open up to him and share their most intimate secrets, while he uses his superpowered brain and high emotional intelligence to counsel and nurture their personal growth. It’s a confusing yet beautiful relationship with a surprising twist at the end.

5. Monster


Image source: Instagram

Dr. Kenzou Tenma is a prodigious neurosurgeon who operates on a network of highly powerful, elite, and connected individuals. His life is perfect and he’s set to marry a rich and beautiful girl.

All this changes when he passes up on saving the Major to save an ordinary child Johan Liebert who was in critical condition. This mistake costs him respect, standing, and his marriage.

Skip 9 years ahead, he manages to regain all that was lost and even gets promoted to being the hospital director. However, the child he saved all those years ago turns into a criminal terrorist.

In the throes of guilt, he embarks on a quest to make amends for the destruction the boy he once saved has caused.

6. Baki


Image source: Instagram

Do you like raw, uncensored action and dialogue? If so, Baki is criminally underrated for all 3.

Baki Hanma is no ordinary high-school student. He is the son of Yujiro Hanma, the strongest man in the world. With superior genetics, Baki’s talent for fighting outclasses even the best martial artists of his generations. Japan has been known as a hub for such talent.

The story begins when 5 of the self-proclaimed strongest fighters in the world are drawn to Japan to meet Japan’s best 5.

However, they’re not here to win. Rather, they want to taste defeat and in a fight without any rules or limitations. The fights are dirty, use unconventional weapons and tactics, but above all, they never seem to have a fixed outcome.

7. The Erased


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Satoru Fujinuma is a 29-year-old pizza delivery boy, working hard to become a manga artist, but things don’t seem to be going his way. One day, a mysterious man appears and stabs his mother in the back. When Saturo returns from work and stumbles onto his mother’s corpse, he ends up becoming a prime suspect in her murder.

However, Satoru possesses a mysterious ability called revival that allows him to travel back in time to change things. In doing so, he discovers that the disappearance of a particular girl back in his school days is actually connected with his mother’s murder. Now, he must solve the mystery of the school girl’s disappearance to change the future.

8. Soul Eater

Soul Eater

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In the Soul Eater universe, human beings exist alongside supernatural and mythical creatures such as witches and demons.

The anime follows the story of a group of students from the famous Death Weapon Meister Academy. The academy is spearheaded by the shinigami, or Death himself, and he teaches his students to become “weapon meisters” to fight the evil souls of the world.

However, before his students can transform their bodies into demon weapons or “death scythes,” they need to collect 99 impure souls and defeat 1 witch. The impure souls need to go.

Otherwise, impure souls have the potential to consume innocent souls and turn into demons.

9. Afro Samurai

Afro Samurai

Image source: Pinterest

Afro Samurai is an astute swordsman. When he was a child, he had to watch his father being executed. His father was in possession of a special headband called “Headband 1” that is known to bestow godlike powers onto its wearer.

The only person who could defeat the holder of the “Headband 1” was the owner of “Headband 2” — Justice. Justice killed Afros’ father to acquire “Headband 1.”

“Headband 2” only allows you to challenge “Headband 1” but it doesn’t protect you from others. Committed, Afro searches for Headband 2 so he can take on Justice and avenge his father.

10. Gintama


Image source: Pinterest

An alien race from outer space called the Amanto has invaded Earth and taken over Japan. As the samurai are the only ones capable of standing up to them, Amanto banned sword ownership to disregard them.

However, Gintama, an eccentric but hysterical samurai, is unphased by this and continues to live his life working odd jobs to pay the rent. His rent and bills are his highest priority even amidst the most dangerous situations.

The series follows him and his two companions, Shinpachi and Kagura, desperately trying to make ends meet with their hilarious shenanigans.

A Few Parting Words

Not all anime is created equal, but they are all created unique and deserve to be explored. There are so many more interesting anime that didn’t make this list. Honorable mentions include Hyouka, Usagi Doroppu, Welcome to the N.H.K, Kids on the Slope, Serial Experiments Lain, and Mushishi. Don’t let the most underrated anime that deserve attention sit on your waiting list forever.

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