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Taking the plunge into anime for the very first time can feel overwhelming given the sheer amount of content out there.

With new series constantly coming out alongside established classics, how do you even begin deciding where to start?

Picking the right introductory title is crucial to get hooked on anime’s creative storytelling and unique aesthetic.

By considering your interests, doing research, and evaluating accessibility, you can zero in on an incredible first anime that makes you eager to watch more.

Reflect on Genres and Themes You Already Enjoy

A great strategy is choosing an anime that aligns with genres, themes, or settings you already find appealing in other fictional works.

Are you into fantasy epics? Try the adventure and magic of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Love spies and psychological thrillers? Opt for the mind games of Death Note. If romantic comedies are your go-to, check out the hilarious hijinks of students falling in love in Toradora!

Lean on familiar territory to provide an entry point into appreciating anime’s storytelling style. The fantastical elements or cultural differences won’t feel as drastic when the overall premise resonates. 

Don’t overlook anime’s capacity for slice-of-life either – series like My Love Story depict high school life and dating in a relatable way. Consider your favorite movies, books, and shows then look for an anime that captures similar vibes.

Ask for Specific Recommendations from Anime Fans

Don’t be shy about asking anime-watching friends for their must-see beginner suggestions! 

True enthusiasts love introducing new people to their favorite series. Explain what fictional works you enjoy and ask them to recommend a suitable anime counterpart. Not only will they suggest titles you’re more primed to appreciate, they’ll likely be thrilled to have someone new to discuss shows with!

You can also turn to anime forums and communities online for recommendations. Share the topics and genres that appeal to you and ask experienced fans to point you to the ideal starter anime. People who have been in your shoes are sure to offer spot-on guidance.

Research Classic and Seminal Anime Works

For many veteran anime fans, their journey began with viewing acclaimed, seminal works that left a lasting impression. 

Studying landmark, critically praised anime films and shows provides a shortlist of historically significant titles to consider. Series like Cowboy BebopNeon Genesis EvangelionDragon Ball Z, and the films of Studio Ghibli have established anime’s storytelling prowess for decades.

Don’t just take fans’ words for it either – look into professional reviews and all-time lists compiling the most influential anime to identify respected classics worth watching as intro works. Their iconic status means these anime have wide appeal.

Evaluate Accessibility for Total Beginners

While diving right into a complex, niche anime can work for some, starting with universally accessible stories eases you in gently. 

Select mainstream anime with straightforward plots, broad themes like friendship and heroism, and English dubs available. My Hero Academia is a perfect example of an anime with mass appeal even for those unfamiliar with the shonen battle genre.

Avoid series relying heavily on cultural knowledge or anime tropes upfront. Go for anime taking place in settings reminiscent of the real world to make immersing yourself easier. Anime with familiar settings and character dynamics are welcoming entry points.

Consider the Length and Commitment Required

Some anime series span hundreds of episodes accumulated over many years. 

While appealing to established fans, this lengthy commitment can be intimidating for novices still evaluating if anime is for them. Prioritize anime contained in compact seasons so you can finish in a reasonable timeframe. Shorter 12-13 episode anime like Death Parade or Haikyuu!! allow you to experience complete stories without monopolizing your schedule.

Feature films like those from Studio Ghibli also make ideal first anime options at just around two hours long. The limited commitment lets you easily dip your toes in the water first.

Don’t Judge An Entire Medium Based on One Experience

Not every anime will perfectly resonate with every person. If your first selection disappoints you, don’t write off anime entirely! 

Consider it one data point and try another reputable title completely different in tone, genre, and style before deciding if anime as a whole is for you. 

Our preferences are diverse, so be open to finding the specific kinds of stories and aesthetics that enthrall you.

Branch Out Gradually From Your Entry Point

Once you’ve found an anime you enjoy, let it guide you organically to related series that progress your exploration. 

Did you like Attack on Titan for the apocalyptic struggle? Check out Demon Slayer next for similar supernatural action. Enjoy the competitive vibes and team dynamics of sports anime like Haikyuu!!? Try Ace of the Diamond next to continue the sports anime immersion.

Identify what story elements drew you in then seek out other anime that echo those selling points. Trace the map that anime naturally forms to determine adjacent series to try.

Don’t Rush the Experience

Take your time soaking in your first anime rather than treating it as a mundane box to check off. Let the story breathe, get invested in the characters, and appreciate the awe-inspiring visuals. Anime rewards patience and immersion – let the medium wrap it’s magic around you.

Starting an anime journey is exciting but requires thoughtful strategy. Consider your tastes, leverage veteran fans’ wisdom, research influential classics, evaluate accessibility, stay open to misfires, and immerse yourself in the anime that clicks with you. Follow your intuition to find “the one” that cracks open anime possibilities. Then enjoy entering a spectacular new world!

Make Anime Watching a Social Experience

Everything is more fun with friends! Having people to share and discuss anime with greatly enhances the experience. Organize watch parties, chat about favorite moments and characters, cosplay together, and attend conventions as a group.

The internet also connects you with anime communities globally. Follow anime hashtags, join Discord servers of fellow fans, and sound off in forums. Socializing over anime forges new friendships while amplifying the enjoyment.

Travel to Anime Locations and Events

Take your anime fandom into the real world by attending conventions where you can dress up, shop for merchandise, meet industry icons, and bond over your shared passion for anime. Also, consider pilgrimages to real-life locations in Japan featured in your favorite series!

Feed your inner otaku by shopping in the anime wonderland of Akihabara, visit Kyoto and Nara sites referenced in classics like Rurouni Kenshin, or seek out the rural island that inspired Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away. Fulfill the anime travel bug!

The journey into anime fandom is an adventure. Let your first anime experience open the floodgates to imagined worlds, endless excitement, and friendships forged through the power of anime!

Final Thoughts

Picking your first anime to watch is an exciting step into a new world of storytelling.

Consider your tastes, get recommendations from anime fans, research acclaimed titles, and evaluate accessibility. Select a short, beginner-friendly anime aligned with your interests to gently introduce yourself to anime’s creativity.

Then continue exploring new series, embracing anime techniques and culture. Choosing the right starter anime can spark a rewarding lifelong fandom.

FAQsHow to Pick Your First Anime to Watch

Which anime should I start watching first?

Some great beginner anime to start with include Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Death Note, Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, Cowboy Bebop, and various Studio Ghibli films like Spirited Away. Pick an accessible, short series in a genre you enjoy.

How do I find good anime to watch?

Ask anime fans online for recommendations tailored to your tastes. Research popular and influential anime series. Check review sites like IMDb and MyAnimeList. Consider starter anime lists on sites like CBR. Browse streaming platforms for highly rated titles.

What anime should I watch as a girl?

Popular anime for girls include Fruits Basket, Sailor Moon, Your Lie in April, Ouran High School Host Club, Violet Evergarden, Nana, and Princess Jellyfish. Shoujo romantic dramas and slice-of-life titles often appeal.

What is the most common first anime?

Some of the most popular first anime for people include Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Death Note, Attack on Titan, Naruto, Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Dragon Ball Z, and various Studio Ghibli films.

What is the easiest anime to understand?

Some very accessible anime for beginners are Death Note, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, My Hero Academia, Haikyu!!, Toradora!, One Punch Man, Violet Evergarden, and slice-of-life series like K-On! and Fruits Basket.

Is it too late to start watching anime?

It’s never too late to start watching anime! Veteran fans are excited to provide recommendations. Look for beginner guides online. Choose an accessible, stand-alone anime rather than a long-running franchise at first. Anime fandom is welcoming and enjoys introducing new fans.

Tom Velasco

Tom Velasco

I'm just a regular guy who loves hobbies. I'm also the creator of Hobbyist To Riches, where I've spent the last 15 years trying out all kinds of hobbies that make life happier and financially rewarding. My adventures have taken me around the world to immerse in different cultures and their diverse pastimes. I love sharing this journey of discovering new passions!

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