También puedes leer este artículo en:Español
Watching every anime that releases can be almost akin to having a job. Sure, there will be days where you’ll love to binge the latest arcs of Black Clover and/or One Piece but then there are days where you’ll realize you can’t watch more than a few episodes of a new release. That’s why it’s very common to have a lot of great anime series fall to the wayside while focusing solely on the anime that everyone is talking about. In the anime community, the shows loved by a few but not many are considered underrated and that word hurts us greatly here at Honey’s Anime. Underrated anime can be some of the best viewing experiences you can have as an anime viewer and missing these shows is something you will regret later in life.
Luckily, our job here at Honey’s Anime is to watch and talk about anime 24/7. That’s why we have updated a prior listing for some of the best underrated anime and now wish to give you viewers some amazing anime series that are considered incredible but could have slipped past you. Regardless of your genre of choice, our list will give you a diverse list of series that will be loved once you give them your precious time! Now let’s dive headlong into some truly masterful anime that just didn’t hit the popularity charts like others did.
10. C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control (C: Control - The Money and Soul of Possibility)
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: April 2011 - June 2011
One thing Kimimaro Yoga has learned as a young university student is that living without money is truly an arduous task. Despite this, Yoga continues to try and survive despite those around him benefiting from what seems like god-gifted luck. Yoga’s life changes though when a strange man appears and gives him a card that will give him a means to make money and live like those he envies. Unfortunately, accomplishing this means entering a parallel world where people like Yoga—dubbed Entre—are forced to bet their lives in strange battles. Win and you will gain riches. Lose and you will see your life quickly change and spiral into an abyss that quickly becomes hell.
Money is truly the root of all evil and no anime expresses this better than C: Control - The Money and Soul of Possibility. Despite being almost shounen-like, C: Control has always impressed us as it examines the themes of rich vs poor and greed vs meek existence. We love how C: Control makes those themes a central focus but equally is fun and exciting thanks to some truly awesome action scenes and a powerful story. C: Control is well worth a watch and maybe one day it will ascend from its underrated position!
9. Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (Grimgar: Ashes and Illusions)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2016 – March 2016
Haruhiro and several other strangers wake up in a dark tower with no recollection of how they appeared here. After opening their temporary prison, the various men and women quickly learn they are in a land quite foreign to their muted memories. In order to survive this new world, Haruhiro teams up with a few other survivors and they try to live by killing monsters and earning just enough coin to stave off hunger. This world is truly a land of mystery but one thing is certain. If Haruhiro wants to live, then he will need to gain skill and courage, unless he wishes to join the ranks of the dead.
Most isekai are pretty simple in their setup, the main character either died or was summoned to a fantasy world to become a hero. Grimgar: Ashes and Illusions didn’t rely on a lot of these tropes and instead throws the main characters—and the viewers—into a mysterious world where many questions are given but few are answered. Grimgar: Ashes and Illusions is probably one of the few isekai out there that is rarely talked about and that pains our hearts. If you want an isekai that does things differently and has a great cast with some stunning animation, then you will love Grimgar as much as we did.
8. Akudama Drive
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2020 – December 2020
Kansai is a bustling city that just screams perfection, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Lying behind the scenes in this amazing future city is a threat in the form of Akudama, criminals who are considered dangerous and deadly. Making matters worse, the government within Kansai holds numerous secrets and one young woman is about to learn that for herself. Accidentally labeled as an Akudama, an ordinary woman will now become one of the city’s most wanted threats and will need to survive not only her new allies but also the reality of this so-called perfect city.
Evil seems like a simple adjective to throw at someone who is labeled as a criminal. However, in the world of Akudama Drive, evil isn’t such a black and white theme as you will quickly learn. We loved the sci-fi action of Akudama Drive but equally found ourselves invested in the several human elements it throws in. If you love thrillers with tons of action and want a truly amazing anime, then you will love Akudama Drive as much as we did.
7. Tokyo Ravens
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2013 – March 2014
Long ago, powerful magic existed called Onmyoudou and only a few were considered masters in it. As time ebbed forward, this once legendary magic has become streamlined allowing most to utilize it in everyday life. Unfortunately, there are some humans who still lack the ability to use Onmyoudou magic well and that happens to be the case with Harutora Tsuchimikado. Making matters worse, Harutora is responsible for the protection of a powerful girl—who also just so happens to be his childhood friend—Natsume. Nevertheless, when a strange incident occurs that threatens his friend’s life, Harutora enters into the fray fully aware that death may await him.
Tokyo Ravens is one of the few anime that when we talk to others about it they scratch their heads and ask us what is a Tokyo Raven? Sadly, Tokyo Ravens wasn’t hit with much fame or popularity when it released in 2013 but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great anime. We loved the supernatural action and were equally surprised at how the story plays out. Tokyo Ravens is a stellar anime that needs some more recognition and deserves it as well.
6. Devilman: Crybaby
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: January 2018
Akira Fudou has never been seen as a tough teenager and usually comes across to most as a pretty weak individual. Despite this, Akira doesn’t despise his life and still has a few friends that stand by his side. One of those friends, named Ryou Asuka, begs for Akira’s help in uncovering a strange lead regarding demon-like beings known as devils. Wishing to help his friend, Akira joins Ryou by accompanying him to an evil party where demons rise up and begin to possess the party-goers. Akira is one of those possessed and now harboring a powerful demon within him, Akira will never be seen as the weakling he once was. Unfortunately, though, Akira’s life is about to undergo a big change that will remove the simple life he once lived forever…
Devilman: Crybaby is hands down one of the best Netflix anime releases we have ever seen here at Honey’s Anime. With some unique art/animation and a truly mature story—be sure to be ready for a lot of blood and guts—Devilman: Crybaby is a series you shouldn’t pass up. The entire 10-episode anime can still be found on Netflix so if you’re a subscriber, you need to watch this show with haste!
5. Inuyashiki: Last Hero
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: October 2017 – December 2017
Despite looking like an elderly man, 58-year-old Ichirou Inuyashiki has allowed life to age him more than most. With family issues and work problems piling up on his back, Ichirou ebbs closer to death with every passing day. After a doctor’s visit proves that indeed death is coming soon, Ichirou takes his only companion—a small dog he adopts—for a walk to cry to the heavens. As he laments his existence, Ichirou ends up being killed by a spaceship that crash lands into the Earth. Wishing to not have any issues arrive from a person's sudden death, the aliens revive Ichirou but his body is no longer what he once knew. Armed to the teeth with weapons and special robotic abilities, Ichirou will need to use this newfound power to save others and to stop a menace that was also given his newfound “gift”.
From the creator of Gantz, Inuyashiki: Last Hero is a series that didn’t garner much attention when it released in 2017. One part drama and another part action, Inuyashiki is a heart-grabbing anime that will constantly test your faith in humanity and make you question what it means to live. Despite being a sci-fi series first and foremost, Inuyashiki reminds us all that the perception of life can be quite different from person to person. What does it mean to be a hero and how would you change the world if you could? Inuyashiki dives into these questions in an 11-episode series that should be watched by all otaku!
4. ID: INVADED
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: January 2020 – March 2020
In an effort to stop crime quicker and more efficiently, the Mizuhanome System was developed that allowed police/detectives to track down crime via strange wavelengths unseen by the human eye. In order to use the system, a special human must dive into the mind of a criminal and use the world within to deduce their motives, location, and possible next attack. Enter Akihito Narihisago, who dives in using the Mizuhanome System and becomes the “Brilliant Detective” Sakaido. Using Sakaido’s abilities, those who use the Mizuhanome System can stop crime…but at what cost?
Most mystery anime can be quite predictable but ID: INVADED surprised us with a unique idea that makes the mystery all that much more mysterious. Just when you think you nailed the perp alongside Sakiado, you realize that the world of a killer is far from simple. ID: INVADED is perhaps one of the most overlooked crime-themed anime and it truly deserves a place on our Top 10 Most Underrated Anime list.
3. Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin (Rainbow)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2010 – September 2010
In 1955, several young men have been assigned to a strange reform school dubbed Shounan Special Reform School. Despite having the title “school” this place is more akin to a prison and THEY are forced to live together in the same cell. Luckily, one of the inmates, named Rokurouta Sakuragi, has become used to this hard life and takes the strangers under his wing. Together, the teens vow to survive this strange hell and meet up under the beautiful Japan sky one day. However, reaching that goal will not be an easy task as several guards and reform personnel wish for the teens to break…even if that means death.
Rainbow is one of the best examples of a survival anime that we can think of. Filled with raw emotion, wonderful animation, deep levels of character development, and a truly inspirational story, Rainbow is, unfortunately, a truly underrated series. Thankfully, since it's higher up on our list, we hope this gets your attention and makes you dive into this emotional thrill ride as soon as humanely possible!
2. Ping Pong the Animation
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: April 2014 – June 2014
Ping Pong is a ruthless sport that tests the players in a way most sports cannot. Makoto Tsukimoto is one of the players who wish to become one of the best ping pong players out there. Alongside his childhood pal Yutaka Hoshino, the two will duke it out with the world’s best players. Their goal, to show their love and admiration for the world of ping pong. Their skills will be tested but together they will prove to the world how ping pong isn’t just a simple game of table tennis but something much more complex.
Ping Pong the Animation is met with some of the strangest admiration we’ve seen in an anime series. Due to its very unusual art style, Ping Pong the Animation tends to get overlooked as a serious sports anime but we will tell you that this train of thought is a mistake. Ping Pong the Animation is an exciting 11-episode anime that makes us wish we were good at ping pong!
1. Great Pretender
- Episodes: 23
- Aired: June 2020 – September 2020
Thanks in large part to his dad, Makoto Edamura has found his luck to be quite bad. Seen as a criminal, Makoto was jailed for quite a while at a young age and when he was released, there were practically no jobs looking for an ex-con. Forced to swindle to survive, Makoto became a master of manipulation…or he thought he was until the tables are turned on him during a simple money-grabbing scheme. As he thinks jail awaits him again, Makoto ends up meeting a fellow swindler named Laurent Thierry who wishes to utilize the young man’s talents in a big operation. Can Makoto prove that his talents are real or will he end up broke once again?
Hands down the most underrated anime of recent memory goes to Great Pretender. We have almost no complaints with Great Pretender as it boasts an incredible OST, some gorgeous animation/art, and a slew of characters that are charming and ridiculous in equal measure. Great Pretender has been a series we continue to talk about as it just shows how incredible anime can be. Right now you can watch the entire series on Netflix so after finishing this Top 10 list you should boot up Netflix and press play!
The beauty of anime is that there are always shows to be watched. Underrated anime tend to be overshadowed by popular series like Attack on Titan and Re:Zero but that doesn’t mean they aren’t as incredible. Have you seen the shows we listed above or did we miss a great underrated anime? Let us know via the comments below! For even more Top 10 lists and other anime articles keep stuck to our never underrated hive here at Honey’s Anime!
There are thousands of anime to choose from, so it’s only natural that some series would slip under your radar. Not only are we trying to keep up with seasonal anime as they air, but also older classics, movies, and the occasional Netflix Original anime. However, just because something is underrated, it doesn’t mean that it’s bad, and we’re gonna prove it to you.
The following series are underlooked in their respective genres, so no matter what theme you’re in the mood for, you’re bound to find an anime that caters to your interests. Keep in mind that these are updated recommendations, so please read our previous Top 10 Underrated Anime article before continuing on with this one. With all that said, let’s get on to the list.
10. Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2011 to December 2011
Kodaka just transferred schools and is already having a rough start due to his delinquent-looking hair. After a friendless month of school, he ends up sharing a connection with fellow loner Yozora. Through their encounter, Yozora comes up with the brilliant plan to gather lonely people by starting the Neighbor’s Club in hopes of making friends.
Harem anime are pretty popular, but not all of them are relatable. Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, or Haganai for short, is special in this regard. You have a variety of characters; from a genius to a chuunibyou, a rich girl who’s secretly an otaku, a girl who believes she’s a boy, and people with poor social skills coming together to learn how to make friends. They can be outrageous in nature, but chances are you’ll find a character that you can relate to. Haganai has two seasons and a live action movie, so maybe it’s not underrated in Japan; however, you still don’t hear many people talk about this gem of a harem anime. It’s not the best in its genre, but it’s certainly one of the more refreshing ecchi harem series.
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: November 2005 to May 2006
Karin is special among her family of vampires. Instead of sucking the blood out of humans, Karin has frequent nosebleeds and releases them onto others. Her blood somehow cures any human’s depression and they continue on their merry way. While at school, Karin runs into the new transfer student, Usui, and her blood reacts differently around him. Usui finds her cute, but suspicious, so it’s up to Karin and her siblings to keep Usui in the dark about their true form.
There was once a time when Karin was considered to be a classic romance anime, but over the years, it’s popularity decreased. Karin is a charming series with tons of moments that will make you blush. It also has a unique twist on vampires that you have to watch to find out. And just because Karin is a vampire anime doesn’t mean that it’s scary or creepy. This is a cute romantic comedy that’s perfect for a slumber party.
8. Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e (Classroom of the Elite)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2017 to September 2017
If you were given the opportunity to go to the college of your dreams, would you take it? If yes, are you willing to compete against your classmates and senpai? Are you willing to cheat, lie, and steal? At the prestigious Koudo Ikusei Senior High School, the students are promised the most successful lives imaginable if they stay on top. But with everyone aiming for that prize, the goal becomes way more difficult than it originally seemed.
Classroom of the Elite is one of the most underrated anime from 2017. It’s a gripping series that delves into topics like equality and the dark side of humanity. You feel as though you are standing on a battlefield when watching Classroom of the Elite. The lengths these characters will go through to achieve success are shocking, yet realistic. The series may make you feel uncomfortable with how real the characters are, but if you’re a fan of SNAFU, then you’ll probably enjoy Classroom of the Elite.
7. Higashi no Eden (Eden of the East)
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: April 2009 to June 2009
We’ve all had our strange experiences during trips, but have you ever ran into a naked man who lost his memories? Saki’s life changes forever when she meets Takizawa, a man who forgot how he became part of a survival game. All Takizawa has is a cell phone that will obey his every command, and the objective “Change the World”. Meanwhile, Saki is having trouble finding work due to all jobs requiring two to three years of experience. Maybe Takizawa is able to change the world by fixing Saki’s dilemma. He’ll have to hurry, because he’s not the only one in this game.
Just about every survival game is popular, so how did this one slip through the radar? Perhaps it’s because you don’t have to kill everyone to win? Whatever the case, Eden of the East tackles a subject that not too many people focus on; millenials’ hardships in finding work. You’re told that you need to go to college in order to get a job, but most jobs require a few years of experience. Does that mean you’ve wasted all these years of your life to get a job you won’t get hired for? Takizawa recognizes this problem and tries to fix it, making him the perfect protagonist to root for. If that sounds boring to you, remember that Takizawa is a participant of a survival game and some of the contestants are willing to kill to win.
6. Princess Principal
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2017 to September 2017
Would you expect a couple of boarding school girls to be spies? During the 20th century in Victorian London, Ange and Dorothy go on multiple missions to protect to queen. Through their adventures, they add more people to their team like Chise the samurai, and princess Charlotte. But everything is not what it seems when their own organization gets taken over by the enemy.
Princess Principal is a cool anime covered in lies. First off, the series is told out of order, and there are 13 missing episodes. Second, the main protagonist, Ange, is a compulsive liar. And finally, the girls can’t even trust their own organization. There aren’t too many spy anime, but out of the few there are, Princess Principal is definitely one of the best. As an added bonus, the soundtrack was composed by the famous Yuki Kajiura, so you know you have to watch the series just for that.
5. Aoi Bungaku Series
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2009 to December 2009
An anthology series comprised of six classic stories in Japanese literature. This include Dazai Osamu’s No longer Human, Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s The Spider’s Thread, Ango Sakaguchi’s In the Forest, Under Cherries in Full Bloom, and more.
Here’s something you don’t see everyday, an anthology anime, which is a series of short stories such as The Twilight Zone. The first four episodes focus on Dazai Osamu’s most famous work, No Longer Human. Then the next two episodes, and the next two episodes after that and so on change to a different story written by another author. At the beginning of each episode, a man gives you a bit of a history lesson about the authors and you get to learn about why they wrote those stories in the first place. If you’re a fan of Bungou Stray Dogs and want to learn more about the authors the characters were based on, then check out Aoi Bungaku.
4. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: July 2009 to September 2009
Mirai is in that angsty middle school phase where she’s annoyed by her family, especially her little brother, Yuuki. While taking Yuuki to a robot convention, a sudden earthquake happens with a magnitude of 8.0. It’s up to Mirai to grow up and get Yuuki and her back home. If only she can find Yuuki under all the rubble.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is a disaster survival anime, but it feels like a horror series due to earthquakes being a real threat to humanity. It’s terrifying to think that a strong earthquake could ruin your entire life, especially if you’re only a child. Even more frightening is the aftermath of an earthquake. Your home could be destroyed, shelters run out of food, and aftershocks can cause even more buildings to collapse. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 captures the devastating effects of an earthquake in just 11 episodes, so you can definitely finish this incredible series within a day.
3. Michiko to Hatchin
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: October 2008 to March 2009
Produced by the director of Cowboy Bebop, Shinichiro Watanabe, comes Michiko to Hatchin. Hatchin is a foster child, treated an awful lot like Cinderella. But that means a fairy Godmother is sure to appear, right? One day, she does! Except this fairy Godmother is Hatchin's biological mother, Michiko. A wanted woman who escaped from prison to find her long lost husband. Michiko whisks Hatchin away as they try to escape from the police, gangs, and some crazy citizens. This was not the fairy tale story Hatchin was expecting.
Michiko to Hatchin is a fun and wild ride. With the anime taking place in Brazil, you’re introduced to a whole new world that no other anime has explored before. Even though Michiko saves Hatchin from her horrible foster home, Michiko isn’t that much better at being a parent. We get a unique style of a mother-daughter series filled with crime and escape. If you’re looking for something completely different from your average anime, then add Michiko to Hatchin to your queue.
2. Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru (Beautiful Bones - Sakurako’s Investigation)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2015 to December 2015
We all have our strange hobbies, but Sakurako’s pastime is particularly peculiar. Sakurako is obsessed with bones and loves analyzing them. Young Shoutarou is captivated by Sakurako’s beauty and interests, so he often visits her to to solve mysteries regarding bones. This includes murders and strange disappearances.
Who doesn’t love a good mystery anime? Similar to Hyouka, each episode focuses on a different case, with some cases becoming arcs. Sakurako’s interest in bones is so oddly fascinating that by halfway through the series, you begin to pick up clues just like her. Cases range from strange, to sad, to psychologically insane, so watch Beautiful Bones if you like all three.
1. Zetsuen no Tempest (Blast of Tempest)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2012 to March 2013
Yoshino and Mahiro are best friends, but they both secretly like the same girl. One day, that girl mysteriously dies, so Mahiro sets out to take revenge on the murderer. He gets into contact with the sorcerer princess, Hakaze, who’s stranded on an island. The people who kidnapped Hakaze are out to correct the world of humanity’s error and turn them into statues. As chaotic as it seems, Hakaze, Mahiro, Yoshino, and the deceased girl are all connected by destiny, and it’s up to all of them to fix each other’s problems before the world ends.
Zetsuen no Tempest is, without a doubt, one of Studio Bones’ best works. The first twelve episodes are like a mind game equivalent to that of Death Note, while the second half makes you question your morals like in Psycho-Pass. There are action, magic, romance, and psychological elements that blend so perfectly, you’ll be amazed at how it all comes together.
Hopefully you’re able to squeeze a few of these series into you’re ‘Must Watch’ list. Have you seen any of the anime we’ve listed? Do you agree with our picks? What’s your favorite underrated anime? Leave us a comment and we’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as we can. Till next time!
There is no doubt anime has already taken the world by storm. With anime fans all over the world, it has developed into something that is more than a subculture – it has developed into an art form in itself. At the forefront of anime’s popularity lie the classics of anime, flagship series that have garnered millions upon millions of fans. With classics like Dragonball Z at the helm, anime continues to thrive and spread by the day.
However, there are some instances when, despite the quality or the critical reception of the anime, the series just refuses to take off. This could be due to a number of reasons, but due to these unfortunate instances, some jewels of anime remain buried beneath the radar of anime fans.
This list aims to suggest a number of titles worth checking out, despite their lack of popularity in the mainstream anime world.
10. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal (Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon: Crystal)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: July 2014 - present
Anyone who knows anime will no doubt be familiar with Sailor Moon, the progenitor of the magical girl genre in anime. Centering on the adventures of clumsy yet good-hearted Usagi Tsukino, the plot revolves around her exploits as the pretty guardian of love and justice, Sailor Moon.
Being a remake of the 90’s classic anime, Sailor Moon Crystal has had the unfortunate fate of being shunned by modern fans and being unfairly criticized by the older fans of the series. Taking a darker, more manga-centric approach to the plot, Sailor Moon: Crystal portrays the central character, Usagi Tsukino in a more mature, realistic way. This, however, has turned off fans of the original series.
What a lot of people seem to me missing is the fact that this remake was not designed as a rehash of the original. It is, on the other hand, an update of the story, catering to the fans who grew up with Sailor Moon. At the end of the day, the 90’s classic was a highly toned down, child-friendly version of the story. Sailor Moon: Crystal, tells the story much in line with the manga, which or course, just the way the creator of the manga wanted.
Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Crystal Official Trailer
9. Guilty Crown
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: October 2011 – March 2012
Taking place in a future where Japan is under oppression by the quasi-governmental organization called GHQ, protagonist Shu Ouma is thrust into the role as a key player in a plot to overthrow the current rule. Wielding the Power of Kings, he seeks to protect those he loves, while discovering the truths about his past.
Guilty Crown has received a lot of flak due to numerous aspects of its story conforming of tried and tested templates in anime. Indeed, when one looks at the characters as well as some key elements in the plot, a number of parallels can easily be drawn. The character template for the main female lead, for one, is cut right out of the mold of one of anime’s most prominent faces, Neon Genesis Evangelion’s Rei Ayanami.
Despite its shortcomings, however, Guilty Crown remains as one series that actually has a lot of entertainment value. While it is true that several aspects of the show may be far from the original, the execution that the production company employed is something definitely worth watching. In fact, in terms of music and action, it is one of the best.
Guilty Crown Official Trailer
8. Kakumeiki Valvrave (Valvrave the Liberator)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2013 – June 2013
Set in a world where the majority of humanity has migrated to space, Valvrave the Liberator tells the story of humble and unassuming Haruto Tokishima, who unexpectedly gains the power to pilot the powerful Valvrave when his home gets attacked by invading military fortress.
Compared by many to Sunrise’s more famous Gundam franchise, Valvrave the Liberator was quick to end and quick to fall down the cracks in anime fame. Criticized by many to be an anime full of cliches from the mecha genre and characters that are not in any way unique, it has garnered a reputation that far undercuts its worth.
However, those who have actually watched the series from beginning to end would beg to disagree, as the series does provide a lot of entertainment value. With over-the-top space battles with notable animation bumps, and plot devices that pull no punches when it comes to character development, it is a series definitely worth checking out.
Valvrave the Liberator Official Trailer
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 1998 – September 1998
In the anime portrayal of a somewhat futuristic version of the Old West, Trigun follows the adventures of the notorious outlaw, Vash the Stampede, who is notorious for the damage he is capable and whose reputation has earned him a bounty of $$60,000,000,000.00 (that’s sixty billion double dollars), yet whose personality suggests something completely the different.
This anime actually has a number of decent reviews, and numerous fans of the 90’s appreciated it immediately after its release. However, it did not stand the test of time very well, as, despite the initial positive reception, the series ended up being pushed back behind more recent anime offerings.
This, of course, is quite a shame, since Trigun deserves to be considered as one of the classics of anime, together with the likes of Cowboy Bebop. The action sequences, the developments in the plot, and of course, the character development of Vash the Stampede himself, truly makes this anime a worthy watch.
Trigun Official Trailer
6. Groove Adventure Rave (Rave Master)
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: October 2001 – September 2002
Hailing from the same author who penned the popular Fairy Tail franchise, Rave Master tells the story of a young teen, Haru Glory, who is entrusted with the powerful Rave Stone. Travelling with Ellie, an amnesiac who has a mysterious past, and Musica, a man with the rare ability to control silver, Haru must collect the other Rave Stones in order to defeat the evil in the world, Sinclair.
Rave Master was actually quite well-received when it was released back in 2001. Though the story was typical shounen fare, it was nonetheless light and entertaining enough to keep its fans hooked. However, its popularity quickly diminished when more prominent anime got introduced, most ironically by another anime that was created by the same author, Fairy Tail.
What a lot of fans nowadays miss is the fact that despite the lack of popularity of this anime, Rave Master is actually quite superior to Fairy Tail in terms of plot. In fact, a number of concepts from Fairy Tail were taken directly from Rave Master, most notable of all being Plue, which was used in both series (though a reference to Rave Master was made in Fairy Tail). Any fan of shounen, of Fairy Tail especially, should pick up this title, as it definitely deserves to be checked out.
Rave Master OP
5. Shadow Skill: Eigi (Shadow Skill)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: July 1998 – December 1998
Shadow Skill tells the story of Elle Ragu, an elite ighter from the land of Kuruda known as a Sevaar. With her adopted younger brother Gau Ban, she seeks to fill her role as protector of the Holy City of Julianess, while trying to pay off her enormous debts.
Shadow Skill was one of those anime series which may have been produced at the wrong time. Though it was received quite warmly when it was released, a number of critics bashed the series due to its inconsistent production values. Though the concept of the anime has a lot of potential and a number of unique elements, its popularity waned after its initial run.
Despite the inconsistency of the quality however, the anime nonetheless delivers a powerful experience that is rarely seen in current anime offerings. With gritty battles and characters that are unique and memorable, Shadow Skill is a classic of the battle genre that deserves more attention that it has garnered thus far. As it fans say, they just don’t make anime like this anymore.
Shadow Skill OP
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: January 2005 – April 2005
Air tells the story of Yukito Kunasaki, a travelling puppeteer who is on a journey to find the mysterious Sky Maiden. Arriving on a small, nondescript town, he meets a quirky, mysterious girl, Misuzu Kamio, which may be somehow related to his goal of finding the maiden of the skies. As his relationship with the mysterious girl deepens, Yukito starts witnessing revelations that will change his life forever.
Air is one of those anime shows that got eclipsed by more popular offerings of its author and its production studio. Produced by the same creative minds as the architects of anime greats Kanon and Clanaad, Air’s popularity has diminished after its initial run. One of the things that a lot of people pick on is its length, since the series is only 13 episodes long; hence, a lot of the elements of the plot feel very rushed.
Just like the other anime on this list, the fact that this series has garnered a fairly small audience is something that is quite a tragedy, since the story of Air is something that definitely deserves a very wide audience. With an excellent score and with an atmosphere that gives out a sense of wonder, Air is definitely something significant in the slice of life/fantasy/romance genre.
Air Fanmade Trailer
3. Hunter x Hunter
- Episodes: 148
- Aired: October 2011 – September 2014
Hunter x Hunter follows the story of 12-year old Gon Freecss, a boy who has lived all his life thinking that his father was dead, only to find out years later that his father has left his family when he was a child to pursue a career as a Hunter. Mystified as to what kind of career can drive a man to leave his family, Gone decides to become a Hunter himself. However, the journey ahead of him is a long, uphill climb.
Hunter x Hunter is actually critically acclaimed, garnering almost universal approval from anime critics around the world. However, despite this, the anime has never quite reached the same level of popularity as anime like Bleach, Naruto, or Fairy Tail. Considered a masterpiece by those who have actually viewed it, it nonetheless has failed to become as big a mainstream success as it could have been.
The fact that this anime has not made it to mainstream anime fans is an injustice in itself. As stated in the opinions of the hundreds of critics who gave this anime a perfect score, Hunter x Hunter is possibly the most well-written and mature shounen anime ever made. This anime definitely deserves something more than what it has received.
Hunter x Hunter Official Trailer
2. After War: Gundam X
- Episodes: 39
- Aired: April 1996 – December 1996
As one of the three Gundam series that were produced in the 90’s that takes place in an alternate timeline (the other two being Gundam Wing and G Gundam), Gundam X takes place in a post-apocalyptic Earth, where most of the human population has been wiped out after the colonists decide to initiate a massive colony drop during the war. Fifteen years after the catastrophic end of the war, street-smart Garrod Ran pilots the Gundam X to keep the powers from repeating history.
Gundam X has garnered a pretty notorious reputation for being only one of two Gundam series that got cancelled midway through its run. Just like the original Mobile Suit Gundam classic, Gundam X was pulled out due to low ratings. As a result, many viewers criticize the fact that the plot got really rushed midway through the series. Its different angle from its more popular siblings Gundam Wing and G Gundam also did not help its popularity.
However, it should be known that behind the cancellation and the rushed plot during the final episodes, Gundam X is the one Gundam entries of the 90’s that captures much of the spirit of the original Gundam series. With characters that echo favorites like Amuro Ray and Char Aznable, as well as Gundams and battles that are quite realistically portrayed, this entry into the Gundam franchise that should not be overlooked.
After War: Gundam X OP
1. Ima, Soko ni Iru Boku (Now and Then, Here and There)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: October 1999 – January 2000
Now and Then, Here and There tells the story of Shu, a typical teenage Japanese boy with an unwavering optimistic spirit. After a fateful encounter with a mysterious girl with strange blue eyes up on a smokestack, Shu gets entwined in a deadly game of survival amidst a post-apocalyptic future world. As he attempts to save the girl, Lala-Ru and go back home, his resole and heart will be put to the test.
This anime has silenced critics and shocked mature viewers all over the world when it was released. However, despite this fact, very few people have known about this anime. Until now, this series can only be said as obscure as very few anime fans even know of its existence.
However, Now and Then, Here and There is an anime that is certainly beyond average. Though simplistic in its art and soundtrack, the rawness and veracity of its portrayal of the horrors of war and fascism in a post-apocalyptic world is something that has jarred those who have been fortunate enough to view it. Just like Clannad: After Story, this is one anime that will change you and your outlook in life after watching it. In a lot of ways, no one leaves this anime unscathed.
Now and Then, Here and There Official Trailer
So here are ten of the most underrated anime that have been produced off the best studios in Japan. Though a number of them have actually garnered great reviews from professional critics, some of them have unfortunately been eclipsed by more mainstream anime series.
These series are but the tip of the iceberg. If there are any that you feel are worthy parts of this list, then do mention them in the comments below!
Oh, and let’s support these anime while we’re at it too, therefore making them much less underrated.