With so many new anime releases, it’s easy to overlook some of them. So, here are some of the best-underrated anime to watch!
Anime has grown in popularity in the last decade, especially since covid began. And the quality has risen unimaginably in recent years so that every season we get at least two or three absolute banger anime.
However, with so many new anime coming out each season, some of the older, deserving anime aren’t getting the attention they deserve. We’ve listed some of our favorites that are definitely worth checking out for fans who want to explore some underappreciated titles.
So, without further ado, let’s begin with the list!
Best Underrated Anime
Drifters is an anime based on the same-named manga. Toyohisa and a group of historical figures are transported to a fantasy world where they must fight for their lives.
This fantastical land is home to a variety of fantastical creatures, as well as warriors thought to be lost from various eras of Toyohisa’s world. Toyohisa quickly befriends Nobunaga Oda, the infamous warlord, and the ancient archer Yoichi Suketaka Nasu, and learns of the continent’s political unrest.
Drifters is an action isekai anime that does the genre justice, and I highly recommend it.
Saving the world… by fishing?
This anime tells the story of Haru, a high school student who moves to a small seaside town. There, he meets an alien boy named Tsuru. Tsuru has arrived on Earth in order to find a way to prevent his planet from exploding. To do so, he must first learn to fish. Haru agrees to assist Tsuru, and the two become close. They meet a girl named Yuki along the way who becomes friends with them. They go on adventures together and learn more about fishing and themselves.
D.Gray-man tells the story of Allen Walker, a young Exorcist who battles Akuma, evil beings created from human suffering, with an enchanted weapon called the “Innocence.” Allen and the other Exorcists must stop Akuma from destroying the world and the human race.
D.gray man is a mythology/superpower anime with lots of action, adventure, and comedy that you should definitely check out.
12. Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere
Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere is a 2011 anime set in the future after a catastrophic event has caused the human race to collapse. The survivors are now forced to fight for their lives on a daily basis.
When the Testament (the authority that runs the re-enactment of history) stops revealing what happens next after 1648, rumours of an apocalypse and war begin to spread.
Toori Aoi, President of Musashi Ariadust Academy’s Supreme Federation, seizes the opportunity and leads his classmates in reclaiming their homeland.
Yoshimura Sumimura is descended from a long line of “Kekkaishi,” people endowed with supernatural abilities capable of annihilating evil creatures known as Ayakashi who occasionally enter the human realm. The Ayakashi are demons seeking to feed on the power emanating from Karasumori, which also happens to be Yoshimura’s high school. Yoshimura is now forced to fight to protect his beloved school and hometown. He’d rather be baking cakes than fighting off the obnoxious characters who appear at night if he could.
Kekkaishi is a supernatural action anime series about Yoshimori Sumimura and Tokine Yukimura, who are Kekkaishi — guardians who specialise in destroying ayakashi monsters that invade their land.
I haven’t heard much about it online, but it’s definitely worth a look.
10. Yona Of The Dawn
Yona of the Dawn follows Yona, the sole princess of the Kingdom of Kouka, who lives in the Hiryuu Castle in a sheltered but happy life. Her life is turned upside down when her father is assassinated by her cousin Su-won, forcing her to flee the castle with her bodyguard, Hak. The two eventually come across a group of dragons who agree to assist Yona in reclaiming her kingdom and exacting revenge on her cousin.
Yona of the Dawn is one of the best anime with a female lead. It is filled with action, adventure, and romance.
9. SK8 the Infinity
High school student Reki Kyan is obsessed with skateboarding. He goes to “S” when it gets dark, an illegal underground race inside a mine where skaters compete in extremely dangerous situations. Reki is unable to practise due to a loss that caused his skateboard to be destroyed and his arm to be broken.
Reki meets his new classmate Langa Hasegawa, a half-Canadian, half-Japanese boy with no skateboarding experience, while at work. Langa is in desperate need of money. When they are both assigned by Reki’s boss to visit “S,” they get into trouble and are forced to enter a bet in which Langa must skate in a race. However, Reki is unaware of the mysterious transfer student’s trump card, which could help him win the race in an unexpected way.
SK8 the Infinity follows a group of teenage friends who enjoy skating and is filled with action, comedy, and heart.
Fractale follows a boy named Clain as he meets a girl named Phryne who lives in a secret colony on an island in the middle of the sea. Clain discovers the secrets of the Fractale System, a computer system that controls the island and its inhabitants, as he gets to know Phryne.
This anime is underappreciated and has a great storyline that focuses on the characters. It’s definitely worth a look.
7. Hell Girl
Those seeking vengeance are advised to dig two graves, especially if they use the Hell Correspondence website. At midnight, this ominous web domain becomes accessible, and anyone who enters the name of their grudge will be visited by Ai Enma, the Hell Girl. Ai explains that while she will send the soul of the target to hell, the requester will also die in hell.
For some, that price is far too high; for others, where they will spend their afterlife has no bearing on their current hell. But one thing is certain: the Hell Girl will always be available to those looking for vengeance while stoically transporting souls into the darkness.
Hell Girl is a Horror/Mystery/Supernatural anime about Ai Enma, a girl who acts as a liaison between the living and the dead. When someone wishes to exact vengeance on another, they can send that person’s name to the Hell Girl, who will drag that person’s soul to Hell.
6. Daily Lives of High School Boys
As the title suggests, Daily Lives of High School Boys follows the daily lives of three high school boys: Hidenori, Yoshitake, and Tadakuni. The boys are frequently seen roaming the halls of their all-boys school, getting up to mischief. In their imaginations, their lives are mostly filled with giant robots, true love, and intense drama, but in reality, they are just an everyday trio of ordinary guys trying to pass the time.
5. Ghost Stories
A certain student banished all of the ghosts in a haunted schoolhouse years ago. They’ve returned—and they’re out for vengeance…
Satsuki and Keiichirou Miyanoshita are two siblings who have just lost their mother. They discover, after moving to their mother’s hometown, that the local school to which they have been transferred is an extremely old structure that is said to be haunted. Despite dismissing it as a silly rumor, the two soon discover that ghosts exist and are after them!
Ghost Stories is both creepy and heartwarming, as well as suspenseful. It will undoubtedly keep you on the edge of your seat!
4. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian
Lord Hugh Anthony Disward, also known as Huey, recently lost his eccentric grandfather, a well-known collector of rare books. And, in order to inherit his grandfather’s manor and everything within it, he must take guardianship of the Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian—a forbidden knowledge archive—as well as care for a mysterious girl named Dalian.
The Mystic Archives of Dantalian is a supernatural mystery anime based on Gakuto Mikumo’s light novel series of the same name. Huey, the sole heir to the Phantomhive estate, is visited by Dalian, a young girl who refers to herself as “The Mystic Archives of Dantalian.” The estate Huey inherited turns out to be the key to a secret library, and Huey and Dalian must work together to solve mysteries caused by cursed books known as Phantom Books.
3. 91 Days
91 Days is a 2016 anime series based on Shiro Amano’s manga of the same name. The anime is set during Prohibition and follows the story of Avilio Bruno, a man who returns to the town of Lawless seven years after his family’s murder to exact revenge on those responsible.
The series received positive reviews from critics, who praised its art style, setting, and themes. The series, however, was panned for its slow pacing and lack of action.
91 Days is a stunningly rendered animated series that tells a dark and mature story. The setting is distinctive, and the characters are well-rounded. The series, however, is slow-paced and may not be suitable for everyone. But it’s definitely worth a look.
2. Darker than Black
Heaven’s Gate debuted in South America ten years ago, and Hell’s Gate debuted in Japan. The two Gates are areas where the laws of physics are ignored. Contractors emerged with the appearance of the Gates, who are granted supernatural abilities in exchange for their humanity.
Misaki Kirihara finds herself at odds with an infamous Contractor codenamed Hei in the Japanese city surrounding Hell’s Gate. In the underground world, Hei, like his colleagues, undertakes missions for the mysterious and ruthless Syndicate while slowly peeling back the dark layers covering a nefarious plot that threatens Contractors’ very existence.
Darker than Black is a sci-fi thriller that takes the form of a subtle exposé on a war in which political positions and justice have no sway; it’s a war fought solely in the shadows.
1. Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song
From the designer of Re:Zero, Vivy -Fluorite Eye’s Song- is an original anime series that follows the adventures of a highly advanced AI as she attempts to prevent a future war. The series is set in a future where AIs are an integral part of human society and follows Vivy, a singer AI who is recruited by a future AI to help prevent a devastating war.
Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song is an entertaining and unique series that combines action, science fiction, and slice-of-life elements.
If you haven’t already seen it, I highly recommend you do so.
BONUS: Princess Principal
The anime is set in an alternate version of the United Kingdom in the early twentieth century, and it follows the exploits of a group of five British government spies as they carry out various missions.
Princess Principal has a very creative plot with impressive storytelling that will likely surprise many viewers. The plot revolves around espionage in a divided country. The spies are young girls who use their student status as a disguise (Does this sound familiar?). They are ordinary students by day, but when duty calls, they transform into dangerous and highly skilled spies with unique abilities.
This concludes our list; let us know in the comments what your favourite underrated anime is!