How To Start Anime

Is all the “anime hype” making you want to give it a shot? Well, buddy, you’re on the right track! Even though anime is one of the most fascinating and never-ending forms of entertainment globally, it can be challenging for potential fans actually to start watching it. This is mainly because the most popular anime tend to be very long, some of them spanning for thousands of episodes.

The world of anime is dense and unique, so getting your head into it and starting anime may seem like a big step – but trust us, once you get into it, you won’t find anything better! Don’t bother browsing the web for a list of the top ten best anime to watch as a newbie because that won’t help. You need a shiny magnet (metaphorically speaking) to attract you towards anime, make you understand what it is and what it has to offer.

Here’s the deal: there’s no perfect time to dive into Japanese animation. But if you’ve been wondering where to start, this handy-dandy guide will point you in the right direction.

Let’s Start From the Basics: What is Anime?

what is anime

First off: what exactly is anime? It is an Animated series, produced in Japan with a distinctive style, very different from western animations. Now, don’t start calling anime a cartoon because it can be misleading towards to the overall genre. The term “cartoon” has become synonymous with American animation, and anime is too distinct culturally to be a cartoon. They are different – let that sink in!

Furthermore, you might be already familiar with the “anime style”, without knowing it, if you have played popular games like Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy. If you have played these games, you definitely see the anime graphics, at least partially.

Now that we exposed you to the idea of anime, we can move further. You should also get familiar with the main types of anime out there. These anime types come from the target audiences that the anime aims to target.

  • Kodomo
  • Shonen
  • Shojou
  • Seinen

You must be wondering, “what the heck do these weird anime names mean?” Well, Seinen is anime for adults, Kodomo is for kids, Shonen is for teenage boys, and Sojou is for young girls. Pretty diverse, right? All of this means that anime is not just Japanese cartoons for kids. Unlike many other mediums of entertainment, anime is targets both young and mature audiences. This is one of the reasons why anime is so popular across generations.

Differences Between Anime & Manga

Anime vs manga

Manga and anime have become immensely famous in the English-speaking universe, and for a good reason. These Japanese fantasy worlds convey rich stories filled with vibrant settings and dynamic characters that are enjoyable for both adults and children.

If the difference between manga and anime confuses you – you’re not the only one! Both forms originate from Japan, and they contain a similar visual style. Bright colours, thematic elements of Sci-Fi and fantasy characterise anime. Manga, on the other hand is a style of Japanese graphic novels and comic books, mostly published in black and white. Both are equally enjoyable!

Start Anime: Your Frame of Mind

Start watching anime

To tell you the truth, there are very many anime series out there. And if you know anything about the anime community, the fans are mostly mega-fans, or ‘Stan’s. And no doubt, anime-fandoms can intimidate newcomers with phrases like “The quirk of Eraser Head is one of the best!”, “Have you watched all the episodes of Gintama?” and so on. Most importantly don’t let other people decide what’s good or bad for you.

Watch what appeals to you. Don’t watch something out of pressure, even if an Otaku tells you that it’s “classic” or “foundational.” You don’t have all the time in the world, so don’t spend it on streaming Evangelion if, by episode 13, you are blaring, “Shinji: Get in the damn robot.”

Besides, anime isn’t a genre; it’s a medium – unlike romantic comedies or sci-fi, you simply cannot enjoy (or devour) it all. Of course, some “anime” contain common tropes like high-school transfer love stories and cute magical pets, but these are not the essential building blocks of anime.
For a moment, think of anime the same way you consider “cartoons”. You might be a massive fan of Adventure Time, but not of Tiny Toons. In a similar way, an anime can might get into any topic in any tenor, so there are extreme differences between the shows.

Subbed vs Dubbed Anime

Now that the big talk is out of the way, we hope that we convinced you that starting anime is well worth the investment. Let’s move on to where you decide how you can watch anime – subbed or dubbed.

“Subbed anime” is short for “subtitled”. It refers to anime that relies on an English translator (or other languages) to interpret the original Japanese audio into subtitles at the bottom of your screen. This is great if you want to enjoy the Japanese voice acting in its full glory and really start anime the way it was intended by the series creators.

“Dubbed anime”, on the other hand, utilises English-speaking voice actors to adapt the Japanese audio into a voice-over in your native language. If you enjoy your entertainment in your native language most, this might be the ideal choice for you. Do pay in mind, however that quality dubbed anime might not be available for all anime titles in your language, since anime is primarily produced in Japan.

The choice is yours. If you find it immersing to hear the original Japanese audio, hear authentic Japanese language, and you don’t mind reading, the subbed version might work best for you. An added benefit of watching subbed anime is that you can easily pick up a few Japanese words and phrases taking you a few steps forwards in learning a new language! if you don’t like reading, however and want to heed in English, it might be best to start anime in a dubbed version. And of course, plenty of people enjoy both “subbed” and “dubbed” anime, and that’s more than okay.

What Anime Should I Watch To Get Into Anime?

Here are the top five anime that we think are good “launch” points for newbies to start anime.

1. Death Note

start anime: death note

If you had the ability to kill some of the most evil people in the world, would you use that power? Death Note is great “start anime” type of series, that explores this question. Thematically, It is a dark thriller about a teenage boy called, Light Yagami, who happens to find a magical notebook entitled, you guessed it, the Death Note. The notebook allows him to kill people just by scribbling their names in the book. It’s a thrilling starting anime well worth the watch!

2. Clannad

start anime with clannad

If you’re into hysterical crying, romance, and The Fault in Our Stars, Clannad is your ultimate pick! A school delinquent meets a girl and agrees to help her motivate the school drama club. Pretty straightforward, right? Guess again! This anime series will make you feel things you never thought you were capable of feeling. You will cry and laugh in a fetal position and then rush back for more.

3. Start Anime With My Hero Academia

beginners anime my hero academia

Need an anime hero in your life? Well, My Hero Academia is a highly popular anime series, well worth the time-investment. The story begins with Izuku Midoriya, an average teenage boy living in a world where a small number of special people are born with superpowers called “quirks”.

He starts out among the people with no powers, but by circumstance ends up with one of the most powerful quirks out there. This underdog quality establishes a unique emotional storyline, complete with awesome Shonen action scenes and a unique set of characters you will come to adore.

4. Attack On Titan To Get Into Anime

anime to start with attack on titan

Ah, the legendary gateway anime to start your anime journey with! If you’re a fan of post-apocalyptic stories with elements of horror, Attack On Titan is a modern classic. Not to mention, a great way to start anime! The series revolves around Eren Jaeger as he takes an oath to destroy all Titans by joining the Military. It’s a captivating tale of survival with many emotional moments and breathtaking visuals that will make your eyes pop.

5. Introductory Anime Psycho-Pass

introductory anime psycho-pass

Psycho-Pass is an edgy cyberpunk cop series that is one of the most exciting ways to get started with anime! It gives us a perspective on the mentality of people who choose to become criminals. The setting is futuristic and immersive. For example, the detectives use high-end guns called “Denominators”, that determine if a criminal needs to be thrown in prison or should be shot to death on the spot. Scary, right?

Where Can I Start Watching Anime?

How to start anime

You got this far – congratulations, you’re taking anime seriously!
Anime is quality entertainment for kids, teenagers and adults alike, because it explores themes like relationship dynamics, law & order, teamwork, humour, and friendships.

And since anime is a raising trend, numerous websites now offer free streaming. If you are ready to start anime, the next question on your mind should be, where can I start watching it? We got this covered too! Here’s a list of the top 3 best anime websites where you can stream your favorite anime online and in many cases for free.

1. Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll is one of the top websites on which millions of anime-lovers watch their most favorite series. It has all the popular titles available, such as Attack on Titan, Naruto, Yuri on Ice, and more. Crunchyroll boasts a simple interface and a massive collection of Manga, Asian dramas and anime. There’s a premium version of Crunchyroll as well, that is free of advertisement and adds extra features.

2. Funimation

Sony’s product, Funimation, is an excellent anime website that is popular for releasing dubbed content like tv shows, anime. If you don’t like watching “subbed” anime and prefer English voice overs, Funimation has options for that too.


Without a shadow of doubt, Gogoanime is one of the largest anime websites, with plenty of anime and manga series to get started with. You can watch anime for free here in extraordinary quantity. It also offers subtitles and embedded English audio for the best experience.

To Sum It Up

We hope we convinced you, that anime can offer more than just cartoonish characters and scenery; there are feelings, emotions, and many moments that will teach important lesson about life. So quit calling anime a kid’s thing and start watching anime! If you are already a veteran anime fan and reading this article out of interest, make sure to let us know, what are your tips on how to start watching anime.