Alright, so I’m not like a huge anime buff or anything, I just sometimes binge watch it for hours on end. I am by no means a critic, but I’ve watched the first few minutes of lots of anime to find stuff I actually like. I prefer dark psycho thriller anime (and I have no idea why since as far as books go I prefer romance) but I’ll enjoy basically anything that can keep my attention. So, in no particular order:
Another. You can find it on Hulu, it’s only one season. A kid moves to a new school and discovers the curse set upon his new class: The classroom will always be one seat short, because one of the students among them is dead. Until the odd one out can be found, students and those connected to them will continue to die. This was great, and I didn’t see who it was until the very end. It was awesome.
Bleach. Alright, this one is pretty well known. I haven’t actually seen the whole anime, or even a full season. This is one of the shows that would play on Cartoon Network if I stayed up late enough when I visited my grandpa (we didn’t have cable at my house as a kid). From what I saw of it, I liked it, though I’ve heard grumbling about the plot and such by people who’ve seen the whole thing. Basically, he fights evil and ghosts and shit.
Blood C. We’ll go with the Hulu description here: Saya’s cheerful, clumsy exterior makes her well-liked at school, and she works hard to help out at her father’s shrine. However, her sunny disposition hides a secret: she spends her nights wielding a sacred blade against demonic monsters. However, it’s a lot more than that. It’s one of those shows that you know it hiding a secret but you can’t figure out the truth until they shove it at you. If you couldn’t tell from the gif, it’s kinda dark, but most of it was pretty upbeat from what I remember.
Coppelion. In the future, Japan is a radioactive wasteland. Three schoolgirls, genetically modified superhumans, must venture in to try to save those who were left behind and are still in need of rescuing. I absolutely loved the animation in this. Again, this one’s pretty dark.
Death Note! Again, pretty much everyone knows about this one. For those who don’t, a student finds a notebook with the power to kill anyone whose name is written down. He thinks about the all good he can do by killing criminals and is surprised when he is labeled as a serial killer and hunted down. I guess this one is a moderately dark anime as well, but I didn’t think it was too bad.
Psycho-Pass. Description from Wikipedia: The story takes place in an authoritarian future dystopia, where omnipresent public sensors continuously scan the Psycho-Pass of every citizen in range. The sensors measure mental state, personality, and the probability that the citizen will commit crimes, alerting authorities when someone exceeds accepted norms. I only watched the first season (since that’s all that was out at the time) but I really loved it. Again, a little dark, but nothing horrible.
Rosario + Vampire. This one is just silly. A boy accidentally gets into a monster high school, where everyone but him has secret powers. He befriends a vampire, a very powerful monster, and then basically just starts collecting girls for his harem. It’s a little weird, but pretty good. There’s a lot of sexual boob stuff that goes on, but mostly in a joking way. I don’t remember if I watched the second season or not, but eh.
Code Geass. Alright, I loved this show, probably more than Death Note. A student and former prince gains the power of Geass and decides to use it in order to take down the tyrannical Holy Britannian Empire. It’s just a crazy show, with mecha battles, political scheming, and all sorts of madness going on. I wouldn’t categorize this as dark, but lots of people do die.
Sword Art Online. It takes place in a video game centered around swords. Once everyone logs into the game with their virtual reality helmet, they’re stuck there. Either they beat the game or they die, and when they die in the game, they die for real. I liked this, even if I was a little eh about the romance, and even more eh about the plot after they left the sword world. I haven’t watched the latest season, but my boyfriend said it was okay if a little boring.
Inuyasha. My boyfriend, who has watched much more anime than I, gives me crap for liking Inuyasha, but this was the first anime I ever watched. Again, I had to stay up late at my grandpa’s to watch it on Cartoon Network, but I absolutely loved it. Watching it now that I’m older I can tell that the animation is a little old and it isn’t a fabulous show, but I’ll still always love it. Super basic Wikipedia description: A 15-year-old girl from Tokyo is transported to the Sengoku period after falling into a well in her family shrine, where she meets the half demon Inuyasha.