Making our friends understand why we love what we love is sometimes hard. Whenever we try to describe our passion, we can come out as obsessive freaks or end up scaring people out.
Over my years as an anime watcher, I have had to deal with people who gave me weird looks for watching “Japanese cartoons” and told me how anime was “childish” or “weird”. Anime watchers know that that is not the case. After all, anime is a medium, not a genre. We have selected 3 animes that are perfect for getting your friends into watching anime: they’re short, they’re original and they can appeal to all audiences.
1. Death Note
Death Note was the second anime I ever watched. I had heard a lot about it and about the great detective ‘L’ so I decided to check out the first episode out of curiosity… the day before I had an exam. BIG MISTAKE. I ended up getting obsessed and I didn’t study anymore that night. The next day I recommended it to a friend of mine and guess what, same thing happened to her.
Death Note is addictive because it has an original premise and it is full of very deep and interesting characters that have the viewer questioning themselves, their morals and the criminal system (in this case, the Japanese criminal system). Lots of mystery, brilliant deductions and a particular scene that will have you punching the screen. Despite being already quite old (2006), Death Note will always be a classic.
Considered by many as ‘the Game of Thrones of anime’, Attack on Titan was also one of the first animes that got me into this world. I checked it out because I remembered seeing some creepy manga panels. I asked my anime-savvy brother about them and he totally recommended me to watch it. Same thing happened: I watched the whole series under 10 days. And so did my friend.
Do we even have to discuss what’s so great about Attack on Titan at this point? The series has managed to be highly successful in Western countries, something that not many animes can achieve. The reasons why is because it has an overall feel of epicness that has the ability to make us feel part of the story and immerse ourselves into this world. There are no barriers due to the series being Japanese: the story takes place somewhere on Earth and the ones fighting for survival are human beings. The story and its animation will have viewers sitting on the edges of their chairs and gasping at every turn of events.
3. Ao Haru Ride
Weird selection in contrast to the other two but I wanted to add a bit of everything. Death Note and Attack on Titan fall under the genre of shonen so it was only fair to add some shoujo as well. And, to me, Ao Haru Ride is one of the most unique recent shoujos.
The reason why is because this series is realistic. It’s not the perfect love story that appears in every other shoujo. Ao Haru Ride talks about life, growing up, external circumstances and (re)finding the right person… at the wrong time. Aside from having a beautiful animation and OST, Ao Haru Ride feels like a journey through the sensations of falling in love and missing the times in which you were a kid and everything was easier. Just like the other two, this anime can appeal to people from all ages and genres.