Top 40 Underrated Anime
Every year plethora of stories come up from the world of anime and make their place in people’s hearts. But sadly some great pieces of animation get lost among the popular ones. All the animals that get overlooked are not necessarily bad in storytelling but the tough competition faced by pop culture hits makes them less reachable. We have therefore brought to you our list of the top 40 underrated anime that you should watch at least once in your life.
Raven of the Inner Palace
This anime is a reworking of Chinese folklore. Raven of the Inner Palace is revolving around the Raven consort Ryu Jusetsu who lives in the darkness of a black palace. She is believed to have some Mystic powers. Things take a ton when the emperor asks her to step out of the palace to solve a mystery. She has some dark secrets and her haunting past waiting outside the palace.
Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness
Deaimon: Recipe for Happiness is one of the underrated anime released in the year 2022. This series is a slice of life anime about a boy named Nagomu who returns to his family after hearing of his father’s health. The family now has taken in a girl who is the potential inheritor of the family sweet shop. Nagomu is expected to become the guardian of this girl until she finds out about her whereabouts.
Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song
Vivy the central character of the anime is a humanoid and the first of the AI creations to function on her will. This series is science fiction mixed with suspense. Vivy needs to stop the carnage waiting for humankind ahead of time. This series is highly underrated despite the great music pieces and an engaging time travel story.
Mushishi is an underrated history mystery anime. The main lead of the series is named Ginko. The main character travels around to cure people of mysterious diseases spread by supernatural beings. The story is underrated due to its slow pace and a regular protagonist who does not physically indulge in defeating enemies.
The concept of the anime Death Parade is based on life and death. This is a game of winning the chance to another life with reincarnation after participating in the game of fate. Decim, the judge of the game and the arbiter of souls identifies the wrongs and the rights. This is a unique story that keeps you held up until the very end.
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is an underrated anime with a female main character. Moribito features the story of a warrior named Balsa who encounters Prince and saved him from being assassinated by someone he truly believed in. The series is set in a fantasy world with compelling storytelling and is a must-watch.
Sk8 The Infinity
Sk8 holds up the passion for sports. Reki and Langa were passionate about skateboarding as a sport to the level that they take part in a life-threatening contest. The anime is gripping until the very end and the intensity of competition within it holds the viewers’ attention skillfully.
Welcome to the N.H.K.
Tatsuhiro has a tough life after being thrown out of the university and tagged as a hikikomori for having no work. The enemy has a balance of comedy and drama. This is sadly an underrated anime with convincing characters and an unusual story.
Hell Girl is an underrated horror anime. Taking revenge comes at a cost and the hell girl Enma Ai is the caretaker of it. This anime explores the mysteries of revenge full of human thought. The story also has added points of view to present concepts like redemption and deeds.
Somali & the Forest Spirit
If you like heartwarming anime tropes then this is a suitable choice for you. Somali & the Forest Spirit please set in a world where humans are outcasts. A forest protector finds a lone girl child and takes on the duty to find her family. Witness the sweet bond of the forest spirit with the fragile child in this underrated anime.
The Heike Story
For all of you interested in historical anime try out this underrated work. The Heike Story talks about the Taira clan and their dominance. There is rising tension and political turmoil surrounded by war in the story. There is a total of 11 episodes constituting some historical add class apart world-building ideas.
Yona Of The Dawn
Looking for an underrated shoujo anime? Here it is. Yona is the Princess of the Kingdom of Kouka. She lives a sheltered life until she is forced to leave the palace to save her life. The journey of this Princess begins with beauty and turns into a tale of valor. If you love overpowered female characters then watch this anime.
House of Five Leaves
This anime is a well-written story of a swordsman. House of Five Leaves has a well-constructed samurai plot with minimal fights and greater drama. The main character uncovers the reality of a band of outlaws. This is the journey of becoming a true samurai by serving society most unconventionally.
This anime series is an underrated isekai. Genki the main character gets transported to different dimensions to save the day from the evils. This was released back in 1999 and has an underrated charm with classic animation waiting to be appreciated. It has a nice storyline that will keep you engaged.
Time Of Eve
Eve’s Time popularly known as Time Of Eve is a really short 6 episode of ONA. The trope of this anime is technical and futuristic. It is set in a time somewhere in the future of Japan when Android robots live in a society bound by laws. Rikuo is someone deeply interested in the world of androids and how they think. His introspection into the creation of androids is what we find in this anime.
AnoHana: The Flower We Saw That Day
AnoHana: The Flower We Saw That Day is a coming of the age story with bitter-sweet moments. It is the heart-wrenching story of a group of friends who are separated by a cruel twist in their fate. Themes like grief, suffering, and loss are a major part of the life of the Super Peace Busters.
The 12 Kingdoms
The 12 Kingdoms is very similar to the popular fantasy anime InuYasha. This underappreciated fantasy anime is inspired by Chinese mythology. Along with a series of interesting characters the series also has a strong female protagonist. The anime series falls under the isekai genre and can be listed as a fantasy masterpiece for people who love adventurous tropes.
It is an underrated seinen anime set against a historical backdrop. The protagonist is teleported into a new world after being severely wounded in a war. In the odd world with strange circumstances, the protagonist tries to blend in and face newer battles.
The Mystic Archives Of Dantalian
Anime adaptation The Mystic Archives Of Dantalian hails from a source light novel. The anime is historical-themed and has side stories with historical contexts. Every bibliophile would love this anime filled with books and libraries. The impressive characterization and class apart raw character designs are always a pleasure to watch.
Heroines Run the Show: The Unpopular Girl and the Secret Task
It is the perfect teen drama with a small-town teenage character. The girl (Hiyori) who initially moves to Tokyo for pursuing a career in track and field ends up in show business. Hiyori works part-time as the manager for two members of a popular ideal group. Watching this female character juggle her duties along with her passion is fun to watch.
Wave! Listen to Me
Minare Koda goes through a tough breakup phase just like many of the millennials out there. In a fit of anger, she calls the radio station and rants about her heartbreak. This changes her life and she finds herself hosting the midnight show at the same radio station. It is a story about balancing personal life and emotions and does make a perfect anime series for adults.
School Rumble is there an enticing tale of growing romances. The anime has got all the fun elements that you want in an entertainer. Along with the teller’s original soundtracks, there is a captivating love triangle in the center of the story. The animated show has a fun energy and an admirable lot of humorous situations.
Land of the Lustrous
In world full of gems, the Land of the Lustrous is a world full of organisms that resemble actual gems. After the whole human race has vanished a set of 28 gems inhabit the planet with their master. The faraway opponents are waiting for a chance to hunt down these precious beings for ornaments. This is an unrealistic action with an overpowering imaginative plot.
Akin to most slice-of-life anime, School Babysitters also uses the setting of a school but with a unique twist. The main characters of the show assist in the school’s day care juggling their own school life. The show has some cute baby characters and is loaded with laughter-worthy misadventures. This underrated anime is perfect to watch in case you need to cheer up your mood.
March Comes In like a Lion
March Comes In Like a Lion is an anime bestowed with the charm of thematic concerns like familial bonds and independence. The main character builds a very sweet relationship with three sisters and treats them like his own family. He is also a prodigy in shogi and thus is speaking to be independent with his game skills.
Monster is a sadly underrated get critically acclaimed anime series. The premise of Monster is tragic and realistic at the same time. Dr. Tenma regrets saving young twins instead of any influential personality from this town. The monstrous personality of one of the twins he saved leads us into the grim cinematic line of events happening within the story.
Kakushigoto: My Dad’s Secret Ambition
Kakushigoto: My Dad’s Secret Ambition is about a popular manga artist known for indecent creations. After becoming a father Kakushi get secretive about his status quo and profession to prevent being embarrassed in front of his daughter. This mangaka and his daughter fill up the screen with wholesome father-daughter moments amidst the sketchy premise of the story.
Detroit Metal City
A regular fan of pop music unwillingly joins a metal band named Detroit Metal City. The main character Soichi has to pay his bills and this is just one opportunity for him to mint money. He desperately wants to escape the world of metal music but the immense popularity and ambition of this musician keep him running around to balance work and the alternate band leads life.
This anime has a setting similar to a post-apocalyptic world. The deserted landscapes and the goon-fearing citizens are at the center of this anime plot. Texhnolyze is full of violence and difficult scenes to watch. It has a small touch of science fiction, romance adds horror to it.
The fascinating story of the Space Brothers is about two brothers who dream to become astronauts. One of the brothers has already achieved his goal to become an astronaut and the other is still trying to make his dream come true. It has a dramatic interpretation of the problems of outer space and is real earthly space. The animation of this one is very skillfully created and is underrated.
Legend of Galactic Heroes
Anime creators love to explore future possibilities with their creations. Legend of Galactic Heroes is another underrated masterpiece from a lot of futuristic works. The series has a political undertone with rhetorical speeches. Anime lovers with a political bent can try out this intergalactic political concept.
Himouto! Umaru-chan gives you the semblance of Crayon Shin-Chan in an older version. Umaru-Chan is two-faced. She is a perfect high school girl for half of the day and as soon as she comes back home she turns into a lazy otaku. Umaru loves to hang around with her friends and trouble her brother. This character looks extremely adorable when she dons a hamster hoodie.
Casshern Sins is yet another anime trope set in the apocalyptic future of the earth. The concept the anime is filled with human versus robot wars. Most of the sequences within the anime depict cannibalistic battles and the consequences of technological overuse that haunt humanity.
The most underrated anime series to watch is incomplete without the anime Soul Eater. This series has some good characters and humor to offer to the viewers. The universe of Soul Eater is filled with shinigami, witches, and demons who live in the same society as humans. The story resembles My Hero Academia in its action-pack backdrop.
Arte is the narrative of the life of an aristocratic lady who dreams to be an artist. The titular heroine depicts the struggle of a woman trying to make it big in the world of art during the 16th century. Arte is adamant about defying the conventional place of women in society and living the life that she always wanted.
It is sad to see such a contemplative anime going unseen. Kaiba is a Madhouse production story with a mixture of supernaturalism, fantasy, and science fiction elements. The plot has lessons to give on acceptance and end life. This series has won a couple of prizes for its beauty. But the esoteric nature of it might be a reason that it features this underrated anime list.
It is an anime featuring a passionate protagonist with the lesser-appreciated sport of acrobatics. Kaleido Star has an extravagant premise made with dedication. The female lead wants to stand out in the crowd with her amazing acrobatic routines.
Tsuritama is adapted from a manga series of the same name. It is dedicated to Shoujo. Along with hilarious moments, there is a touch of sci-fi in the plot. The story has a shortcoming in the form of a quick shifting in the narrative from sci-fi to slice-of-life. The confusing shift can be seen as the reason why audiences did not appreciate this anime enough.
Masayoshi is obsessed with superheroes and is a fashion model by profession. To fulfill his childhood fantasy the main character adorns a superhero costume and becomes Samurai Flamenco. This is a superhero without power and the story of this superhero without power seems somewhere crossing paths with a widely popular anime named One Punch Man.