The Best Japanese Anime Shows to Watch

Darius Taghizadeh


Manga/Anime has become a new norm in American pop culture, and it will seemingly continue its popularity. Anime is one of the most versatile/unique media available and focuses on all types of genres, from action, to comedy, to sci-fi, to thriller, to romance, and more. As new generations learn more about this Japanese art form, anime will likely continue to ingrain itself further in the mainstream.


Below is a list of some of the best anime shows to watch – for avid fans, and also those who are new to anime.



Hunter x Hunter (2011)

Episodes: 148

Director: Hiroshi Kōjina

Manga Artist (Creator): Yoshihiro Togashi

A world filled with professional hunters that go on tasks into the uncharted territories of the world to find rare items and monsters that can lead to dangerous quests. Gon Freecss, a young boy who wishes to become a hunter so that he can meet his father (who was a legendary hunter), embarks on many adventures and meets new friends and connections along the way.

Hunter x Hunter is an extremely enjoyable series from start to finish. All of the narrative arcs are appealing and executed beautifully. The characters are one of the main factors that make this story so enjoyable.


Gon, Kurapika, Leorio, Killua, Hisoka, and others make the show a must-watch and have interesting characteristics and backgrounds. The show excels at strategy as well, as Togashi brings innovative ways for characters to defeat their opponents. Yoshihiro Togashi made what is considered to be his most famous project. While the anime has finished, the manga will continue while Togashi is at work concluding the story.



Spy x Family (2022)
Episodes: 12-?

Director: Kazuhiro Furuhashi
Manga Artist (Creator): Tatsuya Endo


A spy, an assassin, and a telepath, all in one family. Loid Forger, otherwise known as “Twilight,” is an undercover spy who has to create a family for a confidential mission that will help save the world from Donovan Desmond, a secret chairman of a party that controls wars. Along the way, Loid adopts Anya, a telepath who can read minds, and later meets Yor, an assassin who is given the code name, “Thorn Princess.”

As the show will continue in Fall 2022, throughout its first 12 episodes released, Spy x Family is a relaxing and intriguing plot from the get-go. It explores various genres including comedy, romance, action, that lead up to a potential classic anime. What makes this show so intriguing is that all three of the main cast members have their own individual goals of having this fake family, which none of them know about the other. The show helps develop all three of the characters, especially Loid and Yor, and presents further life lessons for each on how to be a guardian/parent. This show has amazing potential and it should excite anime viewers in the upcoming months when it returns.


Toradora! (2008)

Episodes: 25

Director: Tatsuyuki Nagai
Manga Artist (Creator): Yuyuko Takemiya

Ryuuji Takasu, is a 16-year-old high-schooler in Japan. During his final years of school, he wishes to confess his feelings to Minori Kushieda, a girl who expresses herself very well and is Ryuuji’s crush. He later meets Taiga Aisaka, a girl who has a crush on Yusaku Kitamura, Ryuuji’s best friend, later to find out that she is also Minori’s best friend. They work together to find ways to confess their feelings to each other’s best friends while they also support one another on their issues throughout their academic careers.


As someone who is not into romcoms, learning about this series piqued my interest and I’m glad it did. As each episode plays out, the viewer becomes more curious how the relationships between all the characters are developed – particularly with Ryuuji and Taiga’s antics. The characters are unique and bring something new to the table. I think what makes this show successful is that it doesn’t do what cliche romcoms do. This show is considered one of the best examples of romcom anime, and it deserves to be in that category.


Death Note (2006)

Episodes: 37

Director: Tetsurō Araki

Manga Artist (Creator): Tsugumi Ohba


In a world full of crime, something must be done, and the question is: What is justice? Light Yagami is a high-schooler who is at the top of his class and finds a notebook that fell from the sky. He takes it, discovering that whoever’s name is written in the book will die in 40 seconds. Light seeks to use this power to become “the God of the New World” by executing criminals and stopping wars to end all evil.


My first anime, which I consider to be the easiest to indulge in if you wish to embark on the Japanese genre adventure, is recognized as one of the greatest animes of all time. Death Note excels at its psychological and mental games. The protagonist and antagonist are shown to be the most intelligent people in the show, and they both find ways to outplay each other to expose their identities.It also questions the idea of justice, and to what extent should people go to end atrocious acts by society. It perpetuates the idea that justice is created by the strong or victorious. If Light wins against the authorities, then he is accepted as just. If Light loses, then he is believed to be evil. An extremely interesting show that I recommend to even non-anime viewers.



Attack on Titan (2013)
Episodes: 87-?
Director: Tetsurō Araki and Masashi Koizuka
Manga Artist (Creator): Hajime Isayama


In a world full of titans, humans are confined by 100-plus-feet walls surrounding them. Titans have been around for 100 years and have been eating humans for enjoyment, not hunger. Humans are on the brink of extinction as they try to fight back when the titans do invade. Eren Yeager wishes to fight back against the titans after they took his mother when he was a child. He desires to expand the human race and to go outside the walls to have his absolute freedom, as his friends Mikasa and Armin join him on his quest to join the military to fight back. As the story progresses, there’s more than meets the eye it seems.


Possibly my favorite anime show of all time, Attack on Titan perfectly executes its story, worldbuilding, characters, visuals, and so much more. Attack on Titan always has the viewer on the edge of his seat, and is truly suspenseful – its plots and storylines are superb. This story also conjures the idea of freedom, what it means to have self-worth, and when all hope seems lost, to always fight for what you believe in.

Attack on Titan will end next year in the winter of 2023, as the manga has already concluded.

Author Bio:

Darius Taghizadeh is a contributing writer at Highbrow Magazine. He is a longtime manga /anime fan, and has spent years watching and reading about the Japanese art form.


For Highbrow Magazine



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