There appears to be an almost constant flow of critically acclaimed anime being produced, far more than anyone interested in the art form will have time to consume. Some achieve almost universal popularity. Naruto’s pop culture saturation, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood or Neon Genesis Evangelion’s classic status, or My Hero Academia’s current widespread appreciation are some examples that have engaged a large population of fans.
However, not every good anime gets its due. There will be some gems that slip through the cracks with so many being produced and broadcast all the time, competing for viewers. If you’re looking for some underappreciated titles to read, why not start with something on this list?
1. Soul Eater
Death City is home to the renowned Death Weapon Meister Academy, a technical academy led by Lord Death himself, the Shinigami. Its mission: to create “Death Scythes” for the Shinigami to use in combating the many evils of their fantastical world. These Death Scythes, on the other hand, are not made from physical weapons; rather, they are born from human hybrids with the ability to transform their bodies into Demon Weapons after devouring the souls of 99 evil beings and one witch’s soul.
Soul Eater Evans, a Demon Scythe who appears to care only about what’s cool, aspires to become a Death Scythe with the assistance of his straight-laced wielder, or meister, Maka Albarn. The contrasting pair work and study alongside the hotheaded BlackStar and his caring weapon Tsubaki, as well as Death the Kid, the Shinigami’s own son, an obsessive-compulsive dual wielder of twin pistols Patty and Liz.
Soul Eater follows these Shibusen students as they embark on missions to collect souls and protect the city from the world’s threats, all while working together to become healthier in mind, body, and soul.
2. Nodame Cantabile
Shinichi Chiaki is a first-rate musician whose ambition is to perform among Europe’s elite. He comes from a distinguished family and is an infamous perfectionist—not only is he harsh on himself, but also on others. Shinichi’s only impediment to travelling to Europe is his fear of flying. As a result, he is currently stranded in Japan.
Shinichi meets Megumi Noda, or Nodame as she refers to herself, during his fourth year at Japan’s top music university. On the surface, she appears to be an unruly young lady with no direction in life. When Shinichi hears Nodame play the piano for the first time, he is blown away by the music she creates. Nonetheless, Shinichi is surprised to learn that Nodame is his neighbour, and worse, she falls head over heels in love with him.
3. Afro Samurai
When Afro was a child, he witnessed his father being killed in a duel by a man only known as Justice. After murdering Afro’s father, Justice discarded his Number Two headband in favour of the Number One, claiming its godly powers as his own.
Years later, having obtained the Number Two headband, which allows him to challenge the Number One, Afro continues his hunt for vengeance on the man who murdered his father.Only one thing stands in his way: everyone else in the world! Though only the Number Two can challenge the Number One, the Number Two can be challenged by anyone. As his enemies gather to vie for the title of Number Two, Afro must overcome a slew of foes and obstacles if he is to become Number One and claim vengeance once and for all.
4. Yona of the Dawn
The kingdom of Kouka is blessed with a lovely princess whose childlike innocence enchants all who meet her. Yona, her name, has grown up in the royal palace, safe from any danger that might come her way. All good things, however, must come to an end.
Yona’s perfect world comes crashing down when a heinous act of treason threatens to erase all that she holds dear, including her birthright as the princess of Kouka. She is forced to flee the palace because she has no one to trust but her childhood friend and loyal bodyguard Son Hak. Yona realises that her kingdom is no longer the safe haven it once was when she is faced with the perils of surviving in the wild with a target on her back.
Yona vows to do everything in her power to become strong enough to crush her enemies now that she is free of the shackles of naivety. With Hak by her side, she must piece together the fragments of an ancient legend that may hold the key to reclaiming her kingdom from those who plotted to steal it from her.
Koyomi Araragi, a third-year high school student, survives a vampire attack thanks to the assistance of Meme Oshino, a strange man who lives in an abandoned building. Despite being freed from vampirism and reborn as a human, several side effects such as superhuman healing abilities and enhanced vision remain. Regardless, Araragi attempts to live a normal student’s life with the help of his friend and class president, Tsubasa Hanekawa.
When Hitagi Senjougahara, a fellow classmate, falls down the stairs and is caught by Araragi, the boy realises that the girl is unnaturally light. Despite Senjougahara’s protests, Araragi insists on assisting her, deciding to enlist the assistance of Oshino, the very man who had previously assisted him in his own predicament.
Bakemonogatari follows Araragi as he attempts to help those suffering from supernatural maladies through a series of stories involving demons and gods.
Toyohisa Shimazu is the rearguard for his retreating troops during the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, and he is critically wounded when he finds himself in a modern, gleaming white hallway. Faced with nothing but a stoic man named Murasaki and hundreds of doors on both sides, Toyohisa is drawn into the nearest door and into a world unlike his own.
The strange land is inhabited by all manner of fantastical creatures, as well as warriors thought to be dead from various eras of Toyohisa’s world. Toyohisa quickly befriends the infamous warlord Nobunaga Oda and the ancient archer Yoichi Suketaka Nasu, and learns of the continent’s political unrest.
Furthermore, they have been summoned as “Drifters” to fight the “Ends,” people who are responsible for the Orte Empire’s creation and are attempting to exterminate the Drifters. As the Ends become more powerful, the Empire’s persecution of elves and other demihumans intensifies. It is up to Toyohisa and his band of outlandish heroes to fight in a brand-new world war to aid the Empire’s subjects while also defending the land they have claimed for themselves and challenging the Ends.
7. anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Jinta Yadomi lives quietly as a recluse, avoiding school and instead spending his days at home playing video games. Meiko “Menma” Honma, his childhood friend, appears one hot summer day and begs him to grant a forgotten wish. He ignores her, which irritates her, but he doesn’t care. After all, Menma died many years ago.
Jinta initially believes he is hallucinating due to the summer heat, but he is later convinced that what he sees is the ghost of Menma. Jinta and his childhood friends grew apart after Menma’s untimely death, but they are brought back together as they try to put Menma’s spirit to rest. Will they be able to find the strength to help not only Menma, but themselves, move on after reliving their pain and guilt?
8. School Rumble
Everything changes with the words “I love you”—such are the bittersweet trials of high school romance. Tenma Tsukamoto, a second-year student, is on a quest to confess her feelings to the boy she is in love with. Kenji Harima, a notorious delinquent, is in a similar situation, unable to properly express his feelings to the one he loves. With school, friends, rivalries, and hobbies, these two will discover that high school romance is not for the faint of heart, especially as misunderstandings complicate their situation.
Tenma and Kenji both try to win the hearts of those they desire in School Rumble, a high-octane romantic comedy full of relatable situations.
9. Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata
For years, otaku Tomoya Aki has been obsessed with collecting anime and light novels, becoming attached to various series with captivating stories and characters. Now, he wants to have a chance to provide the same experience for others by creating his own game, but Tomoya is unable to do so on his own.
While directing, he successfully recruits childhood friend Eriri Spencer Sawamura to illustrate and literary elitist Utaha Kasumigaoka to write the script. Now that he has a super-group, Tomoya only needs an inspiration to base his project on, and he meets the lovely, docile Megumi Katou, after whom he models his main character.
Tomoya creates a new doujin circle with the hope of touching the hearts of those who play their game. What he doesn’t realise is that in order to elicit these emotions, the creators had to go through similar experiences in their own lives.
10. Eden of The East
On November 22, 2010, Japan was hit by missile strikes, a terrorist act that fortunately did not result in any casualties, and the day became known as “Careless Monday.” Society quickly forgets and goes about its business as usual.
Three months later, during her graduation trip to America, friendly college student Saki Morimi’s life is forever changed when she is saved from unexpected trouble by Akira Takizawa. Takizawa is upbeat, but odd in many ways—he is naked and has amnesia, believing himself to be a terrorist. He also has a strange cell phone that is loaded with 8.2 billion yen in digital cash.
Despite Takizawa’s suspicious characteristics, Saki quickly becomes friends with the enigmatic young man. However, she has no idea that this is the start of a thrilling death game involving money, cell phones, and the salvation of the world. Higashi no Eden follows Saki’s quest to uncover the mysteries surrounding her saviour, while Takizawa battles other people armed with similar cell phones and recalling memories that reveal his possible connection to the event from months ago.
Houtarou Oreki, a high school freshman, has only one goal: to live a grey life while conserving as much energy as possible. His peaceful days are cut short when his older sister, Tomoe, forces him to save the memberless Classics Club from disbandment.
Fortunately, Oreki’s predicament appears to be over when he enters the clubroom and discovers that his fellow first-year, Eru Chitanda, has already joined. Despite the fact that his obligation has been fulfilled, Oreki becomes entangled by Chitanda’s inquisitive and bubbly personality, and soon joins the club on his own volition.
Hyouka follows the four members of the Classics Club, including Oreki’s friends Satoshi Fukube and Mayaka Ibara, as they solve the trivial yet intriguing mysteries that pervade the city, inspired by Chitanda’s insatiable curiosity.
Dr. Kenzou Tenma, an elite neurosurgeon who recently married the daughter of his hospital’s director, is well on his way to the top of the hospital’s hierarchy. That is, until one night when a seemingly insignificant event alters Dr. Tenma’s life forever. While preparing to operate on a patient, he receives a call from the hospital director instructing him to switch patients and instead perform life-saving brain surgery on a famous performer. His colleagues, fiancée, and the hospital director applaud his achievement; however, as a result of the switch, a poor immigrant worker dies, causing Dr. Tenma to have a moral crisis.
When a similar situation arises, Dr. Tenma stands firm and chooses to operate on the young boy Johan Liebert rather than the town’s mayor. Unfortunately, Dr. Tenma’s decision has serious consequences, including the loss of his social standing. Dr. Tenma’s position is restored as a result of the mysterious deaths of the director and two other doctors. He is released because there is no evidence to convict him, and he goes on to become the hospital director.
Dr. Tenma’s past comes back to haunt him nine years later when he saves the life of a criminal—once again, he comes face to face with the monster he operated on. He must now embark on a quest of pursuit to atone for the devastation caused by the one he saved.
13. Gugure! Kokkuri-san
Gugure! Kokkuri-san is an eccentric comedy centred on Kohina Ichimatsu, a self-proclaimed doll. Her mundane existence is turned upside down when she summons a fox spirit known as Kokkuri-san. But, contrary to popular belief, he is no longer the omniscient, answer-giving spirit of legend. He is powerless in modern society due to the loss of believers.
When Kokkuri-san meets the strange girl who summoned him, he is astounded to learn that Kohina not only lives alone, but survives on only one cup of ramen! Concerned for the young girl, he takes it upon himself to ensure that Kohina receives proper nutrition and leads a decent life. Thus begins Kokkuri-less-than-hopeful san’s endeavours, as well as their odd life together.
14. Welcome to the N.H.K.
Tatsuhiro Satou, a twenty-two-year-old college dropout, has been a hikikomori for nearly four years. In his isolation, he has come to believe in many obscure conspiracy theories, but one in particular holds unshakable faith in: the theory that the evil conspirator behind his shut-in NEET (Not in Employment, Education, or Training) status is the Nihon Hikikomori Kyokai (NHK), an evil and secret organisation dedicated to the spread of hikikomori culture.
NHK ni Youkoso! is a psychological dramedy that follows Tatsuhiro as he tries to escape the NHK’s evil machinations and the disease of self-induced isolation, all while struggling to leave his apartment and find work. Tatsuhiro’s unexpected encounter with the mysterious Misaki Nakahara may signal a turn of events, but with this meeting comes the unavoidable cost of having to confront his greatest fear—society.
15. Angels of Death
Rachel Gardner’s eyes are lifeless and dead, and she wishes to die. She wakes up in a building’s basement with no idea how or why she got there. She comes across a bandaged murderer named Zack who is attempting to flee. Rachel and Zack set out to ascend through the building floor by floor until they escape, with Zack promising to kill her as soon as he is free.
However, as they progress upward, they meet more twisted people, all of whom appear to be acquainted with Rachel. What is her relationship to the building, and why was she assigned to it? With a new boss on each floor, will Rachel and Zack be able to fulfil their wishes?
16. Kids on the Slope
Kaoru Nishimi, an introverted classical pianist and top student, has just arrived in Kyushu for his first year of high school. He’s been moving from place to place since he was a child, and he’s given up hope of ever fitting in, preparing himself for another lonely, meaningless year. That is, until he meets Sentarou Kawabuchi, a notorious delinquent.
Sentarou’s undying love for jazz music inspires Kaoru to learn more about it, and as a result, he gradually begins to break out of his shell, making his first friend. Kaoru starts playing the piano at after-school jazz sessions held in the basement of fellow student Ritsuko Mukae’s family-owned record store. As he discovers the immense joy of using his musical talents to bring enjoyment to himself and others, Kaoru’s summer may just turn out to be one he remembers for the rest of his life.
Sakamichi no Apollon is a touching story of friendship, music, and love that follows three distinct individuals who are brought together by their mutual love of jazz.
17. Death Parade
Most people will either go to Heaven or Hell after they die. Death, on the other hand, brings a select few to Quindecim—a bar where only pairs of people who die at the same time can enter. Decim, an enigmatic figure who also serves as the arbiter, is present at the bar. He judges those who end up at Quindecim by challenging them to a life-or-death game. These games determine whether or not the patron’s soul will be reincarnated into a new life or be sent into the void, never to be seen again.
From darts and bowling to fighting games, each patron’s true nature slowly emerges as they wager their souls. Though his methods remain the same, the sudden appearance of a black-haired amnesiac forces Decim to reconsider his own decisions.
18. Paranoia Agent
Musashino City’s residents are being terrorised by the infamous Shounen Bat (Lil’ Slugger). The assailant appears impossible to catch—much less understand—while flying around on rollerblades and beating people down with a golden baseball bat. Tsukiko Sagi, a well-known but shy character designer, is suspected of orchestrating the attacks. Tsukiko, who is only believed by her anthropomorphic pink stuffed animal, Maromi, is just one of Shounen Bat’s many victims.
As Shounen Bat continues his relentless attack on the town, detectives Keiichi Ikari and Mitsuhiro Maniwa begin to look into the attacker’s identity. However, as more people fall victim to the infamous golden bat, word of the assailant spreads throughout the town. As terrifying rumours spread among adults and children alike, paranoia begins to set in.
Will the two detectives be able to uncover the truth behind Shounen Bat, or will paranoia get the better of them?
Ryouta Sakamoto is unemployed and lives with his mother; his only real accomplishment is that he is Japan’s best player of the popular online video game Btooom! His peaceful life is about to change when he finds himself stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere, clutching a small green crystal in his left hand and having no memory of how he got there. To his surprise, someone has decided to recreate the game he enjoys in real life, with the stakes being life or death.
The players are tasked with killing seven of their fellow participants and stealing their green crystals in order to return home, armed with a bag full of unique bombs known as “BIM.” Despite his initial opposition to any form of violence, Ryouta is forced to fight when he realises that many of the other players are not as friendly as they appear. Together with Himiko, a fellow Btooom! player, they attempt to escape the island, getting closer and closer to the truth behind this death match.
Moritaka Mashiro aspired to be a mangaka as a child, just like his childhood hero and uncle, Tarou Kawaguchi, creator of a popular gag manga. However, when tragedy strikes, he abandons his dream and spends his middle school days studying, hoping to become a salaryman instead.
Akito Takagi, the school’s top student and aspiring writer, notices the detailed drawings in Moritaka’s notebook one day. Akito approaches Moritaka, proposing that they become mangaka together, seeing the vast potential of his artistic talent. Moritaka realises, after much persuasion, that if he can create a popular manga series, he might be able to convince the girl he has a crush on, Miho Azuki, to participate in the anime adaptation as a voice actor. As a result, the pair begins creating manga under the pen name Muto Ashirogi, hoping to become Japan’s greatest mangaka, the likes of which have never been seen before.
21. Baby Steps
Eiichirou Maruo, a diligent and methodical honour student, decides to exercise more during his limited free time because he is concerned about his health. As a result, he joins the Southern Tennis Club at the start of his freshman year after seeing a flyer.
During his free trial at the club, he meets Natsu Takasaki, a first-year student who is determined to become a professional tennis player because of her passion for the sport. Eiichirou’s study-oriented life, on the other hand, exists because he believes it is what he must do, not because he enjoys it. His monotonous days, however, come to an end as the more he plays tennis, the more enamoured he becomes with it.
Baby Steps tells the story of a young boy who uses his hardworking and perfectionist nature to develop his own distinct playing style. Eiichirou’s skills gradually improve, and he aspires to be on equal footing with the best tennis players.
22. Tokyo Ravens
Onmyoudou magic was once a powerful technique used by the Japanese during WWII to gain an advantage and establish their nation as a formidable force. However, Japan was quickly defeated after the revered onmyouji Yakou Tsuchimikado caused the “Great Spiritual Disaster,” which continues to plague Tokyo today. As a result of this blunder, the Onmyou Agency was formed in order to exorcise future spiritual disasters and combat the demons that would enter the world.
Onmyoudou has now evolved into something far more modern, simplified, and refined for use in a wide range of applications such as medicine and technology. However, not everyone can use the magic, as Harutora, a member of the Tsuchimikado branch family, can. Despite an old promise to protect Natsume, the heir of the Tsuchimikado’s main family and Yakou’s alleged reincarnation, as her familiar, Harutora lacks talent and prefers to live a normal life. However, when a prominent member of the Onmyou Agency attempts to recreate the same experiment that led to Japan’s demise, he decides to keep his word and fight alongside Natsume.
23. Devilman: Crybaby
Without a living host, demons cannot take shape. However, if a person’s will is strong enough, they can defeat the demon and take its power for themselves, becoming a Devilman.
Akira Fudou, despite his frailty and unassuming demeanour, has always had a bleeding heart. So when his childhood friend Ryou Asuka asks for his assistance in locating devils, Akira gladly accepts.
To Akira’s surprise, the destination is Sabbath: an immoral party of debauchery and degeneracy. In the midst of bloodshed and death, demons possess the revellers, transforming their bodies into grotesque monsters and wreaking havoc. Akira unwittingly merges with the devil Amon and becomes a Devilman, gaining the power to defeat the remaining demons in his reckless attempt to save his best friend.
Despite the fact that it gives him great power, this new alliance awakens an insatiable and primal part of Akira. Akira, who has the body of a devil but the crybaby heart of a child, works alongside Ryou to destroy those who harm humanity and his loved ones.
Souta Takanashi, a childlike Popura Taneshima, cannot refuse Souta Takanashi’s offer to work for Wagnaria, a family restaurant in Hokkaido, because of his love for small, cute things. Takanashi takes special pleasure in adoring the older Popura, which only adds to her self-consciousness about how young she appears. When he meets the rest of his coworkers, he quickly realises he must stay alert, including the katana-wielding floor chief Yachiyo Todoroki, the intimidating head chef Jun Satou, the dangerously well-informed and subtly sadistic sous chef Hiroomi Souma, the obstinately lazy manager Kyouko Shirafuji, and the waitress Mahiru Inami, who has a “painful”
Working!! is a unique workplace comedy powered by an eccentric cast that follows the never-dull happenings within the walls of Wagnaria as Takanashi and his co-workers’ quirky personalities combine to create non-stop antics, shenanigans, and hilarity.
Nichijou is primarily concerned with the daily antics of a trio of childhood friends—high school girls Mio Naganohara, Yuuko Aioi, and Mai Minakami—whose stories soon intersect with the young genius Hakase Shinonome, her robot caretaker Nano, and their talking cat Sakamoto. Every day, the lives of these six and the many people around them experience both the calms of normal life and the insanity of the absurd. Walking to school, being bitten by a talking crow, hanging out with friends, and watching the principal suplex a deer are all part of the extraordinary daily lives of those in Nichijou.
26. Kokoro Connect
When five Yamaboshi Academy students realise there are no clubs where they can fit in, they form the Student Cultural Society, or “StuCS” for short. Taichi Yaegashi, a die-hard wrestling fan; Iori Nagase, an unsure optimist; Himeko Inaba, a cool computer genius; Yui Kiriyama, a petite karate practitioner; and Yoshifumi Aoki, the class clown, make up the club.
Aoki and Yui have a strange incident one day when, without warning, they switch bodies for a short period of time. As this supernatural occurrence continues to occur at random among the five friends, they realise it is more than just a game. They soon discover each other’s hidden secrets and emotional scars, which could end up tearing the StuCS and their friendship apart.
27. Daily Lives of High School Boys
Three close comrades roam the halls of the all-boys Sanada North High School: the eccentric ringleader with a hyperactive imagination Hidenori, the passionate Yoshitake, and the rational and prudent Tadakuni. Their lives are filled with giant robots, true love, and intense drama… at least in their vivid imaginations. In reality, they are just three ordinary guys passing the time, but who said ordinary life couldn’t be interesting? Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou is filled with bizarre yet hilariously relatable situations that are anything but mundane, whether it’s an intricate RPG reenactment or an unexpected romantic encounter on the riverbank at sunset.
28. Seitokai Yakuindomo
Takatoshi Tsuda is called out for his untidy uniform on his first day of high school at the formerly all-girls Ousai Private Academy by student council president Shino Amakusa. Shino offers Takatoshi the position of vice president of the student council in exchange for apologising for delaying Takatoshi’s first class and stating that the group needs a male point of view to accommodate the arrival of boys at the school. Despite his displeasure, Takatoshi is appointed as the newest member of the student council despite having yet to enter the school building.
Takatoshi quickly realises that the other members of the student council are more than a little strange: President Shino, who appears studious and serious, but is actually a huge pervert obsessed with the erotic and constantly making lewd jokes; secretary Aria Shichijou, who appears to be a typical sheltered rich girl, but is just as risque, if not more, than the president; and finally, treasurer Suzu Hagimura, who appears to be fairly normal, but has the body of an elementary school student and is extremely self-conscious of it. Surrounded by these colourful characters, the new vice president is now subjected to an onslaught of sexual humour and insanity.
29. School Babysitters
Ryuuichi Kashima, a teenager, must adjust to his new life as the guardian of his younger brother Kotarou after losing both parents in a fatal plane crash. Although Ryuuichi can maintain a friendly and kind demeanour, Kotarou is a reserved toddler who is still too young to comprehend the gravity of the situation. They are approached at their parents’ funeral by Youko Morinomiya, the stern chairman of an elite academy, who decides to take them under her care.
However, in exchange for a roof over their heads and enrollment in the school, Ryuuichi must fulfil one condition: he must become the school’s babysitter. In order to support the academy’s female teachers, a babysitter’s club was formed to care for their infant children; however, the club is severely understaffed, so Ryuuichi is now responsible for not only his younger brother, but also a handful of toddlers with dynamic personalities.
30. Tamako Market
The Usagiyama Shopping District is home to a quirky but close-knit community of business owners. Tamako Kitashirakawa, a clumsy but endearing adolescent girl, comes from a family of mochi bakers who own a small shop called Tama-ya. Tamako comes across a talking bird who introduces himself as royalty from a distant land one day. Dera Mochimazzi, as he refers to himself, claims to be looking for a bride for his country’s prince. Dera follows Tamako home and develops a mochi addiction, becoming painfully overweight and unable to fly back to his homeland; thus, he takes up residence with Tamako’s family and becomes the community’s beloved mascot.
Meanwhile, Tamako’s friend, Mochizou Ooji, keeps his true feelings for her hidden. Their fathers are fierce mochi rivals, but will it be enough to sever Tamako and Mochizou’s bond? And what will become of Dera’s mission to find his prince’s destined bride?
31. Himouto! Umaru-chan
People are not always what they seem to be, as is the case with Umaru Doma, the perfect high school girl—until she gets home! The real fun begins when the front door is shut. When she puts on her hamster hoodie, she transforms from a refined, overachieving student to a slacker, junk food-eating otaku, leaving all housework to her responsible older brother Taihei. Umaru knows how to have a good time, whether she’s hanging out with her friends Nana Ebina and Kirie Motoba or competing with her self-proclaimed “rival” Sylphinford Tachibana.
Himouto! Umaru-chan is a cute story that follows Umaru and Taihei’s daily adventures as they take care of—and put up with—each other to the best of their abilities, as well as the unbreakable bonds between friends and siblings.
Seishuu Handa is a rising calligrapher who is young, handsome, talented, and, sadly, a narcissist. When a veteran calls his award-winning piece “unoriginal,” Seishuu loses his cool and suffers severe consequences.
Seishuu’s father exiles him to the Goto Islands, far from the comfortable Tokyo lifestyle the temperamental artist is accustomed to, as punishment and also to aid him in self-reflection. Seishuu must now try to find new inspiration and develop his own unique art style in a rural setting—that is, if boisterous children (led by the rambunctious Naru Kotoishi), fujoshi middle schoolers, and energetic old men stop barging into his house!The newest member of the small and eccentric Goto community just wants to get some work done, but the islands are far from the peaceful countryside he expected. The arrogant calligrapher learns far more than he could have imagined thanks to his eccentric neighbours who are completely incapable of minding their own business.
Many kingdoms rose and fell during China’s Warring States period, which saw a raging dragon raze the land for 500 years, paving the way for the next generation of kings and generals to fight for supremacy. From the never-ending cycle of warfare emerged seven powerful states.
In the kingdom of Qin, Xin, a war orphaned slave, trains hard with his fellow slave and best friend, Piao, who shares his proud dream of becoming a Great General of the Heavens. However, the two are forced to part ways when Piao is hired by a retainer of the King to work in the royal palace.
After a bloody coup, Piao returns to Xin, half-dead, with a mission that will lead him to a meeting with China’s young King, Ying Zheng, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Piao. Kingdom follows Xin as he embarks on his first journey into the blood-soaked pages of Chinese history. On his long journey to become a Great General of the historic Seven Warring States, he must forge his own path to glory.
34. Terror in Resonance
The word “VON” in red is all that remains after a terrorist attack on a nuclear facility in Japan. The government is shattered by its inability to act, and the police are frantically looking for ways to crack down on the perpetrators. The general public is unaware—until, six months later, a strange video appears on the internet. In it, two teenage boys known only as “Sphinx” openly challenge the police, threatening to cause destruction and mayhem throughout Tokyo.
The police struggle to act effectively against these terrorists, unable to stop the widespread panic that is spreading throughout the city and desperate for any leads in their investigation, with Detective Kenjirou Shibazaki caught in the middle of it all.
The story of Nine and Twelve, the two boys behind the masked figures of Sphinx, is told in Zankyou no Terror. They should not exist, yet they persist in a world of deception and secrets, causing the city to crumble around them in the hopes of burying their own tragic truth.
35. Flowers of Evil
Kasuga Takao is a young boy who enjoys reading, particularly Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal. Saeki Nanako, a girl at his school, is his muse and Venus, and he admires her from afar. He leaves his copy of Les Fleurs du Mal in the classroom one day and returns alone to retrieve it. He discovers not only his book, but also Saeki’s gym uniform in the classroom. He steals it out of the blue.
Everyone now knows that “some pervert” stole Saeki’s uniform, and Kasuga is dying of shame and guilt. Furthermore, the strange, creepy, and friendless girl in the class, Nakamura, witnessed him putting on the uniform. Rather than revealing who he is, she recognises his kindred deviant spirit and uses her knowledge to take control of his life. Will Kasuga be able to get closer to Saeki despite Nakamura’s interference and his dark secret? What exactly is Nakamura’s plan for him?
36. Clean Freak! Aoyama-kun
He’s charming, cool, athletic, and a great cook, but most importantly, he’s a neat freak. Everyone idolises and respects Aoyama, but due to his mysophobia, they can only admire him from afar. Despite this, he participates in soccer, a rather filthy sport!
Aoyama, the playmaker for Fujimi High School’s soccer club, avoids physical contact at all costs and dribbles cleanly to victory. The road to Nationals, however, will not be easy for Fujimi’s underdog team. But, alongside striker Kaoru Zaizen, Aoyama will demonstrate to everyone that, even as a clean freak, there are some things for which he is willing to get dirty.
Chihaya Ayase had only one dream as a child: to see her older sister Chitose become Japan’s most successful model. However, after defending her ostracised classmate Arata Wataya from his bully—childhood Chihaya’s friend Taichi Mashima—she discovers the world of competitive karuta and quickly falls in love with it.
This card game based on the Ogura Hundred Poets anthology necessitates excellent memory, agility, and tremendous endurance from the players. Chihaya joins the Shiranami Society, along with the newly reconciled Arata and Taichi, to embark on an exciting journey for the title of Queen of Karuta, which is awarded to the top-ranked female player.
Chihaya had grown estranged from a dispassionate Taichi and from Arata since middle school. Chihaya, on the other hand, decides to start a karuta club at her high school in order to improve her skills. Chihaya’s new-founded Mizusawa Karuta Club hopes to win the Omi Shrine’s national championship with the help of Taichi, another veteran player, and a few spirited newcomers.
38. Bottom-Tier Character Tomozaki
Fumiya Tomozaki is the best player in Japan in the online game Attack Families, also known as “Tackfam.” Despite having such a prestigious title, his lack of social skills and amiability causes him to fall short in his daily high school life. He blames the convoluted mechanics and unfair rules of life for his lack of friends, forcing him to give up and declare himself a bottom-tier character in this “game.”
Fumiya is shocked to learn the true identity of another top-tier Tackfam player after a chance meeting—Aoi Hinami, a popular, smart, and sociable classmate who is the polar opposite of himself. Aoi, surprised at how inept Fumiya is at everything except Tackfam, decides to help him succeed in what she refers to as the greatest game of all. Fumiya begins to advance tiers in the glorious game of life through the gruelling ordeals of social interactions and relationships.
39. Sirius the Jaeger
Vampires have infiltrated Tokyo in the year 1930, feasting on its unsuspecting citizens. As the number of victims grows, the city’s authorities decide to hire the Jaegers—a strange, diverse group of people tasked by the V Shipping Company with tracking down vampires all over the world. The Jaegers battle the vampires with the same ruthlessness as their adversaries, carrying musical instrument cases to disguise their identity.
Yuliy, the Jaeger’s most skilled warrior, is the only survivor of a vampire raid on his hometown. He works with his team to assist Tokyo’s law enforcement with the city’s vampire problem, utilising the strength granted by his werewolf blood. Under the guise of assisting the police, the Jaegers are actually fighting the vampires for control of the mystical Ark of Sirius. Yuliy and his friends must locate the artefact before the vampires can use it to achieve their destructive goals, as it has the power to change the fate of the world.
“Kings” are people who have been given incredible supernatural powers and the ability to recruit others into their clans. The Kings’ duties include safeguarding the lives and honour of their clansmen. Yashiro Isana, an unassuming student, is charged with homicide after a video depicting the heinous murder of a Red Clansman goes viral. A manhunt for his head is now underway, bringing him into contact with the infamous “Black Dog” Kurou Yatogami—a skilled swordsman and martial artist determined to carry out the wishes of his late master, the Seventh King.
Meanwhile, the current Red King, Mikoto Suou, faces his own demise as the hunt for Yashiro intensifies. However, a larger conspiracy is unfolding behind the scenes as Yashiro struggles to prove his innocence; clouds begin to appear in his memory, and close friends begin to question his very existence. What began as a simple murder is now escalating into a full-fledged war between Kings, with the fate of the entire world at stake.
41. 5 Centimeters Per Second
What happens when two people fall in love but aren’t meant to be together? Takaki Toono and Akari Shinohara were childhood friends who were torn apart by circumstances beyond their control. They promise to keep in touch, and while the passage of time widens the gap between them, the chain of memories remains ever-present.
Byousoku 5 Centimeter is a romantic comedy about the mundane and harsh reality of long-distance relationships. Takaki and Akari, trapped in the past and unable to create new memories, cling to the hope of seeing each other again. They go about their daily lives half-heartedly, causing harm to both themselves and those around them.
42. Golden Time
Banri Tada suffers from amnesia as a result of a tragic accident, erasing his memories of his hometown and past. However, after meeting Mitsuo Yanagisawa, he decides to leave and start a new life at law school in Tokyo. But, just as he’s settling into college life, the stunning Kouko Kaga unexpectedly enters Banri’s life, and their chance meeting marks the start of an unforgettable year.
Banri discovers that he is in a new place and a new world after experiencing college life—a place where he can be reborn, make new friends, fall in love, make mistakes, and grow. And as he begins to realise who he is, the path he has chosen leads him to a blindingly bright life that he will never forget.
43. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun
Chiyo Sakura is a cheerful high school girl who is head over heels in love with the oblivious Umetarou Nozaki. When Chiyo confesses to her beloved Nozaki, he hands her an unfamiliar autograph, much to her surprise. As it turns out, the stoic adolescent is a well-known shoujo mangaka who goes by the pen name Sakiko Yumeno! Chiyo becomes one of Nozaki’s manga assistants as a result of a series of misunderstandings.
Throughout the hilarious events that follow, she befriends many of her eccentric classmates, including her seemingly shameless fellow assistant, Mikoto Mikoshiba, and the “Prince of the School,” Yuu Kashima. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun follows Chiyo as she works to assist Nozaki with his manga, hoping that he will eventually notice her feelings.
44. Plastic Memories
Tsukasa Mizugaki, eighteen, has failed his college entrance exams, but after pulling some strings, he lands a job at the Sion Artificial Intelligence Corporation. SAI Corp is responsible for the development of “Giftias,” which are highly advanced androids that are nearly indistinguishable from normal humans. Giftias, on the other hand, have a maximum lifespan of 81,920 hours, or approximately nine years and four months. Tsukasa’s station, Terminal Service One, is in charge of collecting Giftias that have reached their expiration date before they lose their memories and become hostile.
Tsukasa is quickly partnered with a lovely Giftia named Isla after joining Terminal Service One. Despite her petite stature and calm demeanour, she is a Terminal Service veteran and considered the best in Giftia retrievals. However, time is of the essence, and Tsukasa must confront his feelings for Isla before her time runs out. Nothing lasts forever, no matter how much someone desires it.
45. Chivalry of a Failed Knight
There are only a few humans in the world who can manipulate their souls to create powerful weapons. These people, dubbed “Blazers,” study and train at the prestigious Hagun Academy to become Mage-Knights; among them is so-called failure Ikki Kurogane, the only F-rated Blazer. When the academy’s worst student sees Stella Vermillion, an A-ranked Blazer who also happens to be a princess, naked, she challenges him to a duel with dire consequences—the loser becomes the slave of the winner. Stella couldn’t possibly lose, right?
Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry follows Ikki as he tries to prove his strength to a world that believes he is the weakest, all the while making new friends and gaining wisdom.
46. Haganai: I don’t have many friends
When Kodaka Hasegawa learns that he will be transferring to a new school, he is determined to make a good impression and possibly make some new friends. However, Kodaka quickly discovers that he is out of luck when he is labelled as a violent delinquent due to his blond hair and intimidating demeanour. Despite the passage of a month, Kodaka remains alone due to his infamous reputation. However, his life begins to change when he discovers fellow loner Yozora Mikazuki in an empty classroom talking to her imaginary friend.
After sharing stories about their lonely high school lives, Kodaka and Yozora decide to start the Neighbor’s Club to overcome the difficulties of making friends together. Daily activities for people who don’t have friends include learning social skills and how to fit in, which will hopefully allow them to make friends. With the help of the eroge-loving Sena Kashiwazaki and other eccentric outcasts, Kodaka may have finally found people he can call friends in this club full of hilarious oddballs.
47. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Makoto Konno is in her senior year of high school and is unsure of what she wants to do with her life. Makoto’s life abruptly changes when she accidentally discovers that she is capable of literally leaping through time, in between enduring the pressures of her teachers and killing time with her best friends.
Toki no Kakeru Shoujo follows Makoto as she experiments with her newly discovered power. However, she quickly discovers the hard way that every choice has a consequence, and time is far more complicated than it appears.
48. Accel World
Haruyuki Arita is an overweight, bullied middle schooler who escapes through online gaming. But his life is turned upside down one day when he discovers that all of his high marks have been surpassed by Kuroyukihime, the popular vice president of the student council. She then invites him to the student lounge and introduces him to “Brain Burst,” a programme that allows users to speed up their brain waves to the point where time appears to stand still. Brain Burst also functions as an augmented reality fighting game, with users needing to win duels against other players in order to gain more points to accelerate. However, if a user loses all of their points, they will no longer be able to use Brain Burst.
Kuroyukihime explains that she chose to show the programme to Haruyuki because she needs his assistance. She wants to meet the creator of Brain Burst and learn why it was created, but that’s easier said than done; to do so, she must defeat the game’s “Six Kings of Pure Color,” powerful faction leaders, and reach level 10, the highest level attainable. After the girl assists Haruyuki in overcoming the bullies who torment him, he vows to assist her in achieving her goal, and thus the duo’s fight to the top begins.
Katsuhira Agata is a quiet and reserved adolescent whose sense of pain has almost completely vanished. Chidori Takashiro, his friend, can only vaguely recall the days before Katsuhira underwent this profound transformation. Katsuhira’s muffled and complacent demeanour has now made him a constant target for bullies, who exploit him for exorbitant sums of money. Their fists, however, only manage to make him blink, as even emotions are beyond his grasp.
Katsuhira, Chidori, and four other teenagers are kidnapped and forced to join the Kizuna System as official “Kiznaivers” one day. Those taking part are linked by pain: if one member is injured, the others will suffer in equal measure. These people must become the guinea pigs and scapegoats of a flawed system designed with global peace in mind. With their fates literally intertwined, the Kiznaivers must reveal their true selves to one another or risk failing much more than the Kizuna System.
50. The Asterisk War
An unprecedented disaster known as the Invertia reshaped the world in the previous century. Existing nations’ powers dwindled significantly, paving the way for the Integrated Empire Foundation to seize control. But, more importantly, the Invertia resulted in the emergence of a new species of human, the Genestella, who are born with extraordinary physical abilities. Its elite are hand-picked from all over the world to attend the top six schools, and they compete in entertainment battles known as Festas.
Ayato Amagiri is a scholarship transfer student at the prestigious Seidoukan Academy, which has recently been plagued by poor performance. He accidentally sees the popular Witch of Resplendent Flames, Julis-Alexia von Riessfeld, half-dressed as a result of a series of events! Julis, enraged, challenges him to a duel for invading her privacy. After the student council president cancels the duel, Ayato reveals that he has no interest in Festas. Instead, he has enrolled in the academy to find out what happened to his missing older sister. When a more nefarious plot emerges, Ayato sets out to win despite being surrounded by some of the most talented Genestella on the planet.
Chihiro Furuya, a zombie-obsessed child, has desired an undead girlfriend since he was a child. Soon after, his fascination with zombies comes in handy when his cat Baabu is run over, prompting Chihiro to attempt to create a resurrection potion and bring him back to life. Every day, he sees a rich girl named Rea Sanka yelling into an old well about her oppressive life. After meeting and bonding with her, Chihiro is persuaded by Rea to continue his efforts to save Baabu. He eventually succeeds, thanks to the poisonous hydrangea flowers from Rea’s family garden.
Rea drinks the resurrection potion, oblivious to the potion’s success and seeking to escape the burdens of her life, believing she will die. Though it does not kill her, the effects linger, and her death in a fatal accident causes her to reincarnate as a zombie. Rea tries to adjust to her new—albeit undead—life with the help of Chihiro.
This situation would appear to be a dream come true for a boy who wants a zombie girlfriend. But in Sankarea, Chihiro’s life becomes even stranger as he deals with Rea’s strange new cravings and the unanticipated consequences of her transformation.
52. Lovely Complex
Love is unusual for Risa Koizumi and Atsushi Ootani, who are both in high school and looking for their ideal partner—172 cm tall. Koizumi is much taller than the average girl, and Ootani, at 156 cm, is much shorter than the average guy. To make matters worse, their crushes fall in love with each other, leaving Koizumi and Ootani amused and heartbroken. To make matters worse, their homeroom teacher refers to them as a comedy duo because of their personalities and the stark difference in their heights, and their classmates regard their arguments as sketches.
LovelyComplex follows Koizumi and Ootani as they support each other in their search for love and become close friends. Aside from their ridiculous antics, they quickly discover an unexpected similarity in their music and fashion tastes. Maybe they have an undiscovered chemistry, but can love blossom between the mismatched couple?
Shichika Yasuri practises Kyotouryuu, a technique in which the user’s own body is wielded as a blade, in an Edo-era Japan rich with sword-fighting styles. Shichika, the enigmatic seventh head of the Kyotouryuu school, lives quietly in exile with his sister Nanami until the wildly ambitious strategist Togame barges into their lives one day.
Togame boldly asks Shichika to assist her in her mission to collect twelve unique swords known as the “Deviant Blades” for the shogunate. Shichika accepts, more concerned with the girl herself than with petty politics, and thus embarks on a journey. The fierce wielders of these legendary weapons, as well as other power-hungry entities seeking to thwart Togame’s goal, stand in their way. To triumph over their adversaries, the duo must become an unbreakable team as they forge ahead on a perilous path.
54. Absolute Duo
Individuals who can manifest weapons from their soul are known as “Blazers,” and they attend Kouryou Academy High School to hone their skills. Each student is required to form a partnership with another in the hopes that one day the pair will be able to achieve the power of Absolute Duo.
Tooru Kokonoe wishes to attend this academy in order to gain power after his sister and friends were murdered by an unknown man. During the opening ceremony, however, he is forced to duel the person sitting next to him, with the loser being expelled. As Tooru prepares to give his all in the match, his soul manifests a shield rather than a weapon, an anomaly that catches the attention of a foreign student named Julie Sigtuna.
55. Shakugan no Shana
The world has become a slaughterhouse for the Crimson Denizens, mysterious beings from a parallel universe that feed on human life energy. These merciless murderers only leave behind scant remnants of souls known as “Torches,” which are merely residues that will be destroyed, along with the victims’ very existence from the minds of the living. Warriors known as Flame Hazes fight these monsters relentlessly in an ambitious effort to put an end to this invisible, hungry massacre.
Yuuji Sakai ceases to be a regular high schooler one fateful day when he becomes trapped in a rift of time and is suddenly attacked by a Denizen. A nameless hunter, who appears to be no different from an ordinary young girl except for her blazing eyes and burning crimson hair, comes to his rescue just in time. However, before Yuuji can learn more about his situation, he discovers that he has already been reduced to a Torch—a sliver of memory waiting to be extinguished.
Eita Kidou’s parents’ infidelity not only caused his family to fall apart, but also made him sceptical of love. Eita, who has no desire to pursue romance, devotes his entire high school career to his studies in order to become a doctor.
It didn’t take long for the lovely and well-liked Masuzu Natsukawa to notice Eita’s apathy. Tired of being the object of other people’s affection, she asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend, as she, too, is repulsed by the concept of love. Eita, on the other hand, refuses—but Masuzu has one more trick up her sleeve: stealing Eita’s journal and threatening to publish the embarrassing content online if he does not comply.
Eita’s life has been turned upside down by her involvement in a phoney romance with the most desired girl at school. Whether he is envied by his peers or receives a confession, he must deal with his newfound relationship and all of its complications.
Kazuya Kujou is a foreign student at Saint Marguerite Academy, an opulent boarding school in the French province of Sauville. His jet-black hair and dark brown eyes, which he inherited from Japan, cause his peers to shun him and earn him the moniker “Black Reaper,” based on a popular urban legend about a traveller who brings death in the spring.
On a typical day, Kujou visits the school’s lavish library in search of ghost stories. His attention is drawn to a golden strand of hair on the stairs, which piques his interest. The steps lead him to a large garden and a beautiful doll-like girl named Victorique de Blois, whose complex and imaginative foresight allows her to predict their now-intertwined futures.
With new mysteries emerging, such as the appearance of a ghost ship and an alchemist with the power of transmutation, Victorique and Kujou, bound by fate and their unique skills, have no choice but to rely on one another.
58. Tsuki ga Kirei
With a new school year comes a new set of classmates, and aspiring writer Kotarou Azumi and track team member Akane Mizuno end up in the same class for their final year of junior high. Despite the fact that they were initially strangers, a few chance encounters sparked an innocent desire in their hearts. The hallmarks of young love—a yearning gaze, a fluttering heart—infiltrate their lives as fate brings their paths together.
However, despite the fact that love is patient and kind, Kotarou and Akane discover that it is not always simple. Despite the solace they find in each other’s company, heartbreak and anxiety accompany their pursuit of the feelings in their hearts. The road ahead is hazy due to the uncertainty of how the other truly feels, as well as the competing affections of those around them. Nonetheless, under the bright light of a full moon, Kotarou summons the courage to ask Akane a single question that will forever alter their quiet relationship.
59. Inu x Boku SS
Ririchiyo Shirakiin is the well-protected daughter of a prominent family. Ririchiyo has spent her entire life as a protected and dependent girl due to her petite build and wealthy status, but she has decided to change all of that. However, there is one problem: the young girl has an uncontrollable sharp tongue and poor communication skills.
Ririchiyo moves in with the help of a childhood friend to Maison de Ayakashi, a secluded high-security apartment complex that, as the unsociable 15-year-old soon discovers, is home to a slew of strange people. Furthermore, their eccentric personalities aren’t the only odd thing about them: each inhabitant of the Maison de Ayakashi, including Ririchiyo, is half-human, half-youkai.
But Ririchiyo’s problems are just getting started. She must be accompanied by a Secret Service agent in order to stay in her new home. Soushi Miketsukami, Ririchiyo’s new partner, is handsome and quiet… but ridiculously clingy and creepily submissive. Ririchiyo appears to have a difficult path ahead of her with Soushi, her new supernatural neighbours, and the start of high school.
Can love remain the same when computers begin to resemble humans?
Hideki Motosuwa is a young country boy who is working hard in order to get into college. Coming from a low-income family, he can barely afford the necessities, let alone the latest craze: Persocoms, personal computers that look exactly like humans. On his way home one evening, he comes across an abandoned Persocom.
She appears to be defective after being taken home and activated, as she can only say one word, “Chii,” which eventually becomes her name. Chii, unlike other Persocoms, is unable to download information onto her hard drive, so Hideki decides to teach her about the world the old-fashioned way, while also studying for his college entrance exams.
Hideki and his friends try to solve the mystery of Chii, who may be a “Chobit,” an urban legend about special units with real human emotions and thoughts, as well as love for their owner. But is it possible for a Persocom and a human to fall in love?