Everyone has watched anime at some point in their lives. Some love it and grow up to appreciate the stories and changes the industry has gone through. Here’s a list of top starter anime movies for beginners. The people who stay with it change their preference and upgrade according to the industry as well. For me, it all started with Kochikame, Princess Sara, Cyborg Kuro chan and Naruto.
Cartoon Network stopped airing Naruto in India after the chunin exam arc and that was sad. Then 2009 onwards, I started watching a bit of BLEACH. But then Animax was removed from Indian cable due to some issue in which they were unable to pay the carriage fees to the DTH service providers. Anyways, I stopped watching it. Fast forward to 2017 now I am having a bad time *breakup sux maen* ANEEMAY SAVED ME. Everyone needs a vice and anime was mine. Just kidding – although it was a coincidence.
People often confuse anime with hentai. Not only that, but they also confuse it with cartoon. A simple thing, Japanese cartoons are also called anime (short for animation). It’s just that quite a few of them have mature themes. People can relate stuff about life and thus it is an eye-catcher sort of thing. Don’t mistake anime for the hentai, it’s just animated adult videos which you should avoid or not (your choice).
ANIME HAS 5 MAIN GENRES
So the viewer can choose what they want to watch based on their liking. Here is the starter anime guide for the beginners. They are:
1) Shounen – The content of shounen manga and shounen anime generally deals with exciting stories about adventures, friendship, fantasy, battles with villains, demons and saving the world. They have a lot of action sequences and it is basically aimed at teenagers. For e.g. DBZ and Naruto.
2) Shoujo – It is the counterpart of shounen, but it is targeted at girls this time. No boys. Only girls. This is because shoujo features romantic themes, love stories, dressing up, and plenty of pink-colored backgrounds with hearts, flowers and other effects on them. For e.g. Sailor moon and Cardcaptor Sakura
3) Seinen– Seinen anime and manga are the opposite of shounen, they are for adults and just not meant for kids. And is usually for males. They have a fairly intricate plot, lots of swearing and gratuitous violence and gore. For e.g Berserk, Parasyte.
4) Josei– Josei manga and anime, which are targeted towards women, are pretty much the seinen version of shoujo. Series like these often tell the female perspective and deal with real life issues. They’re not extremes of serious or fun, but well balanced. For eg. Violet Evergarden, Chihayafuru
5) Kodomomuke– They are lighthearted shows whose target audience is kids. In India channels mainly aired shounen and kodomomuke genre of anime. They include shows like Shin-chan, Doraemon and Chibi Mariko chan.
Few points to keep in mind before starting an anime series (Starter anime tips):
See, I had little to no knowledge about watching anime. Things like these, one picks up when you have watched a great deal of shit. So here it goes.
1) Remember, anime is not some genre of the cartoon.
It is merely the style of a different country. And the difference is visible when you will watch different series. It’s not like “LIVE ACTION” films are a type of genre. Sure you have people getting filmed while they do stuff but it is different, you have avengers at one hand and walk to remember on the other but they are totally different right? so yes.
I mentioned them above, choose what you want to watch at your own liking. No harm, no foul. Each of them is amazing and very rewarding in their own way.
The most crucial thing. Subbed anime’s spoken language is Japanese but they have English subtitles. Dubbed anime’s spoken language is either English or something else. And as the name suggests and they don’t have subtitles. There is a whole debate amongst the anime watchers on which is better: dubbed or subtitled. It is a matter of personal preference, although dub works are pretty limited because if you are into a long running shounen so chances are you might have to switch to subbed. But it still is your choice. Some people have in-built sharingan so their eyes are perfectly synced with subs while others cant do it.
Some series are either too long or too short or they are never-ending. And I have watched them all *oof* but it is all on you, you can start with the films then switch to 12-24 episode long shows then 50 and so on. It is a test of endurance but if you can commit then try watching a long-ass series.
5) Style and substance:
Like some series are very cool, have badass moments but they don’t have heartwarming or touching moments and then you will crib about it, so before starting you read about the synopsis or stuff because of HEY! IT TAKES A LOT OF HARD-WORK TO MAKE SOME SERIES MAN. For substance watch the slice of life dramas. IF you want both, shounen and seinen will work it out for you.
The Starter Anime Pack (Movies):
So finally we are about to kick off our voyage with these recommendations which will give you a good time. So I will start with some movies of famous banners and others as well.
1) Makoto Shinkai Movies (CoMix Wave Films)
He is one breathtaking chap. Hailed as the “The New Miyazaki” due to his amazing talent and stunning visual works. This is the Starter anime kit for Makoto Shinkai Movies. The pastel and bright color themes – he portrays the love, loneliness, and distances between people wonderfully. Some of his works include;
Your Name aka Kimi no Na wa.
A countryside girl and a Tokyo based boy realize that their bodies and minds sometimes switch while they’re dreaming. This often leads to pretty hilarious moments. But all of it happens for a reason which is lowkey sad and romantic at the same time. All their actions have consequences which have pretty dramatic effects on their lives, thus weaving them into a fabric held together by fate and circumstance.
The Garden of Words aka Kotonoha no Niwa.
It is a 45 min short film filled with emotions and jaw-dropping scenery. It is a story about an aspiring shoemaker who meets a mysterious woman during the rainy season in a garden. Little by little, they get to know each other and get close. Even though while being with each other and alleviating their problems, they still have a life to return to.
5 Centimeters Per Second aka Byousoku 5 Centimeter.
This is one of his saddest works to be honest (no one dies) but do not expect a happy ending, well in real life there are none so this film is the stark portrayal of that. 2 childhood friends are separated. Before separation, they meet and decide to keep in touch through mail. As years pass by, they continue down their own paths, their distance slowly grows wider and their contact with one another fades. This distance between people is growing larger and larger every second, or more precisely, 5 centimeters per second.
Children Who Chase Lost Voices aka Hoshi Wo Ou Kodomo.
This movie has a lot of Miyazaki vibes to it because it deals with magic, other realms, and inhuman creatures. Children who chase lost voices is all about adventure, the hidden realm beneath the Earth and a brave girl who must fight supernatural beings all on her own and by all of this will make her realize who she is and the real purpose of her existence.
2) Hayao Miyazaki (Studio Ghibli Films)
In my personal opinion, I admire him and he works a lot. He is one of Japan’s greatest filmmakers, at par with Akira Kurosawa. He has blessed everyone with heartwarming movies about whimsical yet relatable characters. The majority of his films have female protagonists.
Hayao Miyazaki Anime
Here’s the Starter anime kit for Hayao Miyazaki movies.
They are not your typical damsel in distress as portrayed in a certain line of films by a company whose mascot is a “mouse”. Some of his films are as:
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind aka Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa.
After a catastrophic nuclear war named the “Seven Days of Fire,” which destroyed nearly all life on Earth. The remaining humans live in a constant struggle against the treacherous jungle that has evolved in response to the destruction caused by mankind. Our charismatic princess named Nausicaa will unite everyone in a heartwarming tale filled with courage, friendship and a powerful message about conserving our mother nature.
My Neighbor Totoro aka Tonari no Totoro.
This film is too pure and wholesome. Filled with charming and adorable moments this is a classic Ghibli movie which will surely touch every kids and adult’s heart as well. Totoro is actually about the siblings Mei and Satsuki and their parents who move to a new house and the forest nearby is the home to a chubby guardian spirit, this is pretty much the plot they have fun and adventure that’s it.
There’s one thing I would like to shed some light on, this is for both the people who have watched and will watch it. The sequence where Mei gets lost attempting to deliver an ear of corn to her mother include her sitting by a row of statues. In Japan, such statues represent the Bodhisattva Jizo, the Buddhist deity who is the protector of children. Thus, the effect Miyazaki is conveying is a subtle reassurance to the audience that Mei, although lost at the moment, is otherwise in no immediate danger while her sister and King Totoro are coming to her aid in the Cat Bus.
Kiki’s Delivery Service aka Majo no Takkyuubin.
Miyazaki in a subtle way used a child to show the struggles of adulthood. KDS is a coming of age film which is way too relatable. I mean the story is about a girl who wishes to become a witch who starts her own delivery service. Like an average teenager working her first part-time job, and when she steps out of the home everyone realizes how big the world really is.
Princess Mononoke aka Mononoke-Hime.
PM is a beautiful, yet darker and gorier Miyazki film till date. As far as animation films go the titular character is by far one of the most badass of em all. The construct of the story is something like this – the spirits and the creatures of a forest find their existence under threat when the residents of “IRON TOWN” want to destroy the forest for there own benefit.
At the same time a cursed prince, Ashitaka who is searching a cure for his condition is seemingly caught in the crossfire and must choose a side to end the conflict. It shows the clash between human civilization and nature and it is my personal favorite by the way.
Other Amazing Starter Anime Movies
A SILENT VOICE aka KOE NO KATACHI (Kyoto Animations)
This is my favorite Kyoto animations movie. The studio went through pretty hard times though, and they are returning stronger than ever. I’ll be mentioning one more of their works in the series section.
A Silent Voice tells us the heartwarming tale of a former bully who’s on a path of redemption, where he wishes to reconcile with a deaf girl who he used to bully back in elementary school. The film is a real tearjerker. It has beautiful animation, amazing soundtrack and some phenomenal voice acting. I noticed a parallel between KnK and Will Smith’s Pursuit of Happyness. Both the protagonists shed tears of happiness after they achieve what the wanted, both of them are different by the way. But that execution was amazing.
SWORD OF THE STRANGER aka Stranger: Mukou Hadan ( Bandai Visual)
Thanks to a random Youtube suggestion, I came to know about this film. This film has anime history’s one of the most iconic and realistic swordfights ever. with no unnecessary quips, flashbacks. Truly an underrated gem.
During the Sengoku period of Japan, a young thief Kotarou and his dog steal stuff from a village & run away for their survival. His antics, later on, attract China’s Ming Dynasty who sends assassins after them.
The duo runs into Nanashi, a ronin. He gets mixed up in their lives and vows to protect them at all costs. The trio realizes that a terrifying swordsman from the same dynasty is after them to fulfill a certain prophecy, now Nanashi must fight for their lives.
Into the Forest of Fireflies aka Hotarubi no Mori e (Brain’s Base)
It is based on the one-shot shojo manga. The story is about a little girl who ventures into the forest after hearing stories about the mountain god. She gets lost and finds a spirit in the form of a masked boy named Gin. She learns in a not so easy manner that they cannot make physical contact because in doing that he will be eradicated from existence. This short film is about how they become close friends and what happens when feelings of love arise in an already complicated situation where they are at the crossroads of destiny.
This was Senpai’s Starter Anime kit for the beginners. Leave a comment to let us know about the anime you should be in the “Starter Anime Movies Kit”
Take a look at Senpai’s “Perfect anime Starter Kit“