Anime and Manga Recommendations for Beginners

New to anime or just looking for something light and easy to get into? You might have heard that anime can be pretty weird, even if you don’t follow it regularly. There are some shows with very adult themes, others that rely on strange logic, and plenty of pandering. But there are also a lot of series that everyone can enjoy. The trick is finding the right one for your tastes as a new viewer. This list has recommendations for people who have maybe seen a few episodes of anime here and there but aren’t sure where to go from there. These shows are all easy to get into, not weird or pandering, and accessible even if you don’t know much about Japanese culture. Each entry also has links to related articles where you can find more recommendations from the same genre or similar difficulties. If you’re new to the world of anime, these are the best shows for beginners.

Just for Fun

You can’t go wrong with these two classics, both of which have the added benefit of being short. This leaves you plenty of time to check out a few other series if you want to expand your choices. While both Dragon Ball and One Piece have a bit of a different appeal for more dedicated fans, they’re both great entryways for people who just want something light and easy to get into. Dragon Ball is a classic shonen combination of action and humor, while One Piece has a wacky, slightly more kid-friendly adventure style. Both series have extremely long runs and a ton of side stories, but for beginners, you can just watch the main story arcs and be done in a couple of weeks. This is perfect for people who are curious about anime or want to try it out but don’t want to commit to a long series right away.


If you want a feel-good series that’s also light and easy to access, go with Barakamon. This slice-of-life comedy is a very simple story with no real drama and no romance. It’s just about a guy who gets sent to a remote island to improve his calligraphy but finds a new home and friends instead. The show is very straightforward and not that weird. You won’t need to be a veteran anime watcher to understand every joke, and it’s also not packed with references to other anime as other comedies get. So you can enjoy it without overthinking anything. You can also check out SERVAMP. This is a slightly more mature series, but it’s also very silly and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s about a guy who ends up hosting a vampire named Mahiru in his home. Mahiru is trying to live a normal life, but he’s a bit awkward and not really suited for human life.

Slice of Life

If you want something that’s a bit more thoughtful and a bit less silly, go with My Neighbour Totoro. This is an iconic Miyazaki film, and a charming slice-of-life story. It’s about two girls who move to the countryside with their mother and end up befriending some magical forest spirits. The film doesn’t have much plot, and it doesn’t have many jokes either. But it’s a beautiful movie with a very gentle and relaxing atmosphere, just the thing for an easy entry into anime. And of course, you can’t go wrong with the classic Haruhi Suzumiya series. This is a more traditional slice-of-life story but with a more eccentric sense of humor and a more complex plot. It follows Kyon, a guy who ends up joining a strange club of oddballs and weirdos.

Fantasy and Adventure

If you want something with a more traditional Japanese flavor and a more epic vibe, go with the Gintama series. This is an ongoing comedy series about a guy named Gintoki who becomes a samurai, but he is super lazy and does not take his job seriously. Gintama is a great pick for beginners because it has a light and silly tone, but it also has a semi-serious fantasy adventure plot going on in the background. You truly get the best of both worlds. You can also check out One Punch Man, which is a more straightforward shonen action series. It’s about a hero who is so powerful that he can defeat any enemy with just one punch. The show follows his quest to be taken seriously and the humor that comes from him being so powerful. Both of these awesome series can be lumped into comedy as well due to the hilarious vibes they give.


If you want something with a light romance but nothing too dramatic or intense, go with My Little Monster or Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions. Both are sweet and silly series that are great for beginners. My Little Monster is a shoujo series about a girl who ends up living in the home of a boy who is popular with girls. She tries to hide her true feelings from him, and the series details their relationship as things unfold. The Chunibyo series is a comedy romance about a young woman who suffers from delusions but also has strong social anxiety. She falls in love with the main character, but she can’t quite work up the courage to confess her feelings. Both series are light and easy to get into, with no real intensity and no major drama. They’re the perfect gateway for someone who wants to try out some romance but doesn’t want anything too heavy.

Drama and Coming of Age

If you want something a bit more serious and a bit heavier, go with Honey and Clover or Anohana: The Flower We Saw that Day. Both are dramas that deal with the ups and downs of young adulthood, and they are also very easy to get into. Honey and Clover is a shoujo series about art students who are coming of age in a very traditional and artsy Japanese society. It’s a very dramatic story with a lot of heartbreak and sadness, but it doesn’t go too far or get too intense. Anohana is another dramatic series, but this one is aimed at older viewers. It’s a complex and emotional story about a group of childhood friends who drift apart and start drifting toward very different lives. Both series are dramatic but not too heavy or intense for beginners. They also have happy endings, so you can see how a drama can end happily while still being very real.


There are lots of great anime series out there, and many of them are good for beginners. These recommendations are the best ones for people who want something light and easy to access. With any luck, you’ll find one of these to be the perfect gateway into a bigger world of anime.

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