35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

More and more anime is being produced on a yearly basis, which makes it easy for gems to slip between the cracks.

It’s easy to find suggestions for popular anime in almost every genre.

But because there is so much anime, it’s easy to miss some great gems that don’t get the attention they should.

I would say that there are a lot of anime shows that don’t get much attention, even though most fans would love them if they knew about them.

Or at least a lot of shows that anime fans who are really into the genre should give a chance.

Overall, all we want is to be amused. And I think that any anime that has something good to enjoy just needs more attention.

If you want to check out some underrated anime from many different styles, here’s a list of what I think you should watch.

Some names may be familiar to you, while others may not be. Enjoy the trip no matter what!

These works weren’t mega-hits, but theses underrated anime worth your time due to artistic flair, nice stories, and great casts!

35. Hamatora

25 hamatora anime series 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

People with special skills in a mystery series isn’t a new idea, but this series gives that idea a bit of a twist.

The main story is about a man named Nice and a woman named Mursaki who run a private detective service. In each episode, their stories are shown.

Most of this can be summed up by saying that people with superpowers solve different private eye cases.

It does this well while keeping the story strong and keeping you interested in the tensions and turns.

Even though Hamatora has more of a “superpowered characters” theme, the fact that it also has a mystery theme is a nice change from the norm.

34. Tamayura

24 tamayura ova anime 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

At first look, you might think this is just another “moe” anime where a group of girls do silly things.

But this is not like that. This series not only shows photography in a new way, but it also follows a young girl’s deep thoughts on life through the eyes of a female cast.

It turns the idea that cute girls do cute things on its head.

Rather, it’s a relaxing anime about how a young girl named Sawatari Fuu uses photography to find happiness and beauty.

Since it’s an OAV, it’s not very long, but you should watch it anyway. if only as something to listen to while you relax.

33. Space Dandy

22 space dandy anime 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

We can safely say that this is an odd story.

With its strangeness and randomness, it’s easy for me to believe that this didn’t make it into anime pop culture.

Still, the series has a lot of interesting things to look at.

And then there are the different places Dandy visits and the people he meets there. These are a lot of fun for people who watch anime to get ideas for writing or art.

Even though the show is weird and odd, I think it has some good character moments and thoughtful scenes as well.

This is the kind of show you watch for fun or to get some new ideas for your own work. Even after you’re done, it might not stick out to you, but at least a few parts will.

32. Zombie Loan

21 zombie loan anime 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

Have you ever heard of an old show about zombies acting crazy?

Well, this story covers the topic with a girl who could see her time before she died and two undead men who are trapped by a contract.

In fact, it’s not clear if this series is overlooked or not.

On the one hand, it gives zombies a new spin. On the other hand, it had a lot of things that fans would like.

It does have good action and interesting people. You could say that Zombie Loan is a taste that you have to get used to, especially since it is so short.

Still, it’s a fun show with a different take on zombies in media. It’s a unique addition to your list of shows to watch.

31. Tsuritama

20 tsuritama anime series 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

There are many different kinds of anime, each with its own themes.

But you wouldn’t think that an anime about fishing would work well. Even writing it seems strange.

Fair enough, it may not be for everyone. But the bright colors and style of art in Tsuritama make it stand out.

It’s one of those shows that not many people know about, but if you can get into it, the story and characters are good.

Since it’s a short series, you might not think it has much to give in terms of growth. But it does have a side that makes you feel good.

30. Silver Spoon

19 silver spoon anime series 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

An farm anime. Not the most interesting idea, but like any underrated anime, a weird premise can lead to something interesting.

In the story, a boy named Yuugo Hachiken goes to a farming school, which is a place he has never been before.

This series is pretty funny and looks at what it means to work in agriculture. I know that doesn’t sound like much fun, but you have to take my word for it.

Also, if you like to cook, there are some interesting food scenes.

I’d say that Silver Spoon is a fun little story about a fish that doesn’t belong where it is.

But what makes this show stand out is how it shows how different people change and grow. Even if you only watch a few shows, it’s interesting to watch.

29. Princess Principal

18 princess principal anime 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

When you think about it, there aren’t that many anime shows that are all about being a spy.

And with so many “edgy” shows with all-female casts coming out these days, it’s easy to see why Princess Principal didn’t get as much attention as it should have.

But the series has a lot more going on than you might think.

The fact that the stories are told out of order adds to the mystery as you read on.

The action parts are also great, which helps. I think the story is really well written because it has a lot of clever ideas.

It’s like a big jigsaw puzzle, and every show makes you wonder what will happen next.

28. Rozen Maiden

17 rozen maiden anime series 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

A plot point in which dolls come to life and fight each other. It might seem odd, but I guess not in the world of anime.

The dolls and their fights have an eerie style that is really fun to watch. Great graphics, that’s all.

Plus, Rozen Maiden has a good amount of both sad and scary parts.

At the same time, though, it mostly stays lighthearted because it has more fun throughout.

This has a classic anime feel to it, but the story is new and there aren’t too many old tropes.

This is a different kind of story and scene. There aren’t many anime with a Gotham theme, either.

27. Tiger and Bunny

16 tiger bunny anime series 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

One could say that this series is like Boku no Hero Academia, but with a different theme.

Tiger and Bunny has a good number of fans, but compared to other shounen anime, it did not become as popular.

The cool thing about the series is that it shows how heroes would act in a current world.

It’s not often that the main character is a middle-aged man who acts as a hero.

There’s a good mix of action and drama, and the stories of different characters are also explored.

Just the different view of a hero and how hard it is to be one in the modern world: if you can get into it, it’s worth a look.

26. Hell Girl

15 hell girl anime screenshot 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

I’ll admit that Hell Girl has gotten more attention over the years, but there was a time when it was definitely underrated and unknown.

Mostly because there were bigger animes out at the same time that were more popular.

As a horror show, it looks at people who want to get even in an interesting way. Hell Girl is basically a person who can be called at midnight if someone wants to send someone to hell.

There is a cost to everything.

That’s why the series is so fun to watch. Each episode is a different story, but it looks at many different ideas, psyches, and ends.

Plus, it ties Hell Girl/Enma Ai’s riddle together. At the very least, an anime that makes you think.

25. Mononoke

14 mononoke anime girl screenshot 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

Check out Mononoke if you want a story that turns the idea of youkai and spirits on its head.

Well, not totally, but it’s very different from what we have now.

For one thing, the “rules” presented with the spirits and what they are are different from how the spirits “work.”

The style of the art is another thing to like.

The style of this show is similar to that of traditional Japanese art, but there is a twist.

One could say that the series didn’t become as popular as it could have because it didn’t have the most interesting stories.

Still, it has a lot of things to keep you interested, such as a unique art style, great animation, and some cool mystery plots.

24. Flying Witch

13 flying witch anime 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

At first look, this seems like a pretty low-key slice of life fantasy.

But, as with most underrated anime, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

It’s clear that this is a pretty chill show, so it’s easy to watch. But it’s also an anime about healing with supernatural and fantasy ideas that don’t make things too hard.

On the fantasy side, there isn’t a lot of drama or story. And that’s what sets this series apart from others in the same field.

Its charm comes from the carefree way it looks at magic.

This dream show is pretty calm and will be fun to watch every once in a while.

23. Shounen Maid

12 shounen maid anime series 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

A young boy is turned into his uncle’s maid.

It’s not as bad as it sounds, though.

Yes, the general idea of the series may seem strange, but it’s actually more of a good family story than you might think.

I can see why it’s not as well-known as it could be, but the story is more moving than you might think.

You won’t find as much chaos or weirdness as you might think. There is some good comedy, but that’s to be expected from a story with this kind of plot.

The most interesting thing about Shounen Maid, though, is how it shows the connection between the main character, Chihiro, and his uncle.

If there’s one reason to watch this show, it’s to see how the relationships between the characters change.

22. Kids on the Slope

11 kids on the slope anime 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

This is a show to watch if you like jazz music.

It’s not very well known because it came out during what you could call a “off season” for new anime.

Still, the show is great because it has great jazz music and great character growth.

It also has some great drama in it, but it’s not done in a boring way.

It tells the story of how two men with very different personalities become friends through jazz. The series also has a retro feel that adds to its charm.

But I think that, even more than the great music, the way the relationships between the characters will keep you interested and make you want to watch more.

21. Big Windup

10 big windup anime 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

Have you ever seen a sports anime with a main character who is very worried?

This one does, and it’s also a pretty good series.

Big Windup didn’t do well in the sports anime genre because it didn’t have many exciting sports scenes.

But what makes the series so good is how the characters and events are developed.

It has the usual comedy and sports cliches, but what jumps out to me is how deep the main characters are.

20. Mushishi

09 mushishi anime series 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

The best way to describe this series is as deep but low-key.

Mushishi looks at a different kind of ghost called a “mushi” and gives the supernatural genre a more serious side.

Basically, it uses this to look at how people relate to nature.

Since it’s a slow anime, it doesn’t really stand out that much. But it gives a different way to think about ghosts, which I think is pretty cool.

You could say that this is a soft series because each show has a different story. But I like it because I can pick it up almost anywhere.

In short, this is a different kind of supernatural story that is set in nature and makes you feel a lot.

19. Dennou Coil

08 dennou coil anime series 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

This show may not be well-known. But, other than maybe Ghost in the Shell, it is one of the first anime to deal with augmented reality.

It basically shows how virtual reality could affect the real world.

It was kind of ahead of its time in some ways. A reason that the series is rather underrated is for its obviously slow first half.

Even though the show is slow, the story and characters will keep you interested if you stick with it.

There’s a good buildup to more high-stakes moments, but you’ll have to watch a few shows to get there.

In summary: it’s a group of kids researching a case of disappearing people. But the story and the characters are complex, so if you have time, give this a shot.

18. Death Parade

07 death parade anime 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

Are the ideas of torment and life after death interesting to you?

If so, you’ll like Death Parade.

This is a very different take on death because it takes place in a world where there is neither heaven nor hell, but rather a bar. And a great idea that makes you think.

I think the series isn’t as well known because it’s aimed at a smaller group of people. But once you start watching you can’t help but be drawn in with its mystery vibe and general dark style.

It’s a show that focuses a lot on its characters. It plays with human nature and has a puzzle with its main characters.

The series is definitely dark, but if you ask me, that’s one of the main reasons to watch it.

17. Samurai Flamenco

06 samurai flamenco 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

A young man wants to become a superhero.

A pretty typical shounen idea, but this one stands out because Masayoshi Hazama doesn’t have any special skills and usually ends up in trouble.

It may look like a crazy comedy with a main character who always has bad luck, but the series gets better as it goes on.

You don’t really know what to expect from this show.

And that’s both what makes it difficult and what makes it so great. It depends on what you want from an anime show.

16. Kaiba

05 kaiba anime series 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

Be ready to be thrown right into this show, because that’s how the story goes, and I know that’s not for everyone.

In this world, if you store your experiences on a chip, you can live forever.

But we’re seeing this story through the eyes of someone who has no memories. Cool, huh?

There’s no doubt that the series is strange, but it also shows a world that is unlike any other.

Each show has a different story, and they all make you think about something.

I don’t know why this didn’t get as much attention as it should have, but again, I think it might be too odd to draw a big crowd.

Still, there’s a lot to like about this: the unique art style, the huge world, and the general wonder of the story, which pulls you in from the first episode.

15. Ergo Proxy

04 ergo proxy anime series 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

A cyberpunk theme that doesn’t feel overdone, how refreshing.

Ergo Proxy is a pretty hard piece to understand, so I can see why it isn’t as popular as other anime. But it has great art and a pretty interesting story.

The mix of styles in the series, as well as the fact that it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world with elaborate “domes”/cities and robots that look like people, make it a bit experimental.

The show is quite a trip, and you either fall or sink into its depth.

It’s a story about figuring out who you are, with a few romances thrown in.

14. Eden of the East

03 eden of the east anime 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

There must be a huge number of anime with life as a main theme.

This one isn’t like the others. It’s a survival game, not just a game with a survival theme.

A young man called Takizawa Akira is in the show.

He and 12 other contestants have to save Japan with 10 billion yen.

The series is an interesting mix of survival, politics, and psychological anime as it shows how this “free for all game” affects different characters.

The series has a lot of depth and keeps you on the edge of your seat. I wish I had found out about it sooner than I did.

Give the pilot a look and let me know what you think.

13. Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

02 morbito guardian of spirit anime 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

This series has a strong female lead and a really interesting plot, but it doesn’t get much attention.

It’s a story about a world that is about to end, with a call for a savior, a prince who is possessed by a demon, and a female mercenary whose job it is to guard him.

Just these things alone pique my interest.

Now, it’s not often that the main character is a woman who is so different from other women as Balsa. Maybe a little too much praise, but this is basically the opposite of the “rescue the princess” story, which is a nice change.

Before, the series didn’t get much attention, but I think it needs some attention here.

12. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

01 tokyo magnitude8 anime screenshot 35 Most Underrated Anime You Need To Watch

This anime is about a kid who has to grow up quickly because of bad things that happen to him. The idea is pretty common, but this takes it to a whole new level.

In this story, a young girl named Mirai and her younger brother have to figure out how to stay alive during a magnitude 8 earthquake.

In terms of how striking it is, this anime is very different from the others. Even more so when you think that this show was made in 2009, just two years before the 9.0 earthquake in 2011.

This is definitely an emotional ride that says a lot in only eleven shows. You can imagine how people deal with the aftermath of a big earthquake like this one, and the series as a whole is a sad reminder of how harsh nature can be.

Not everyone will like this, but if you try it, I think you’ll at least like the idea.

11. Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san

Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san Underrated Anime

Anyone who has worked in retail needs to watch Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san.

The short-format anime is filled with relatable (and frustrating) scenarios of dealing with customers and strange co-workers.

Despite being only 11-minutes, it’s easily one of the Underrated Anime best comedies of 2018.

10. Revue Starlight

Revue Starlight

The community didn’t know how to approach Revue Starlight and most fans assumed it was just another idol anime — which is way off-base.

Music is prevalent, but Underrated Anime Revue Starlight focuses on stage plays that focus on students participating in stage battles to captivate their audience.

9. Angels of Death

Angels of Death

Angels of Death is a story based on a game that not many people know about.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that most people who don’t play the game don’t know much about the series.

But the show is surprisingly interesting from the start.

You are thrown into a puzzle that gives you the shivers fast. This show raises so many questions that you’ll need to watch the next episode, and then the next, and then the next…

There is no real hero or villain because the stories are so different. The main characters, Zack and Angel, take you on a wild ride with strange people and a story about lost memories.

Some parts of it could have been better, but all in all, it’s a different kind of show to watch with a lot of crazy stuff.

8. Golden Kamuy

 Golden Kamuy

Golden Kamuy got off to a rough start due to shoddy animation, but don’t let that keep you from an exciting adventure.

The series follows a war veteran and an Ainu girl searching for stolen gold.

They meet a wide range of personalities and confront the perils of nature during their blood-soaked quest.

7. Tada-kun Never Falls in Love

Tada-kun Never Falls in Love

Less is more in this understated rom-com anime

Tada-kun Never Falls in Love favors slice-of-life moments instead of contrived storylines, forced comedy, and awkward emotional moments.

It’s a simple, but a refreshing story in a crowded genre.

6. Hinamatsuri


Hinamatsuri is a high-concept comedy that failed to connect with general fans. It consists of vignettes starring three girls facing absurd situations.

Hina is a powerful esper living with a gold-hearted yakuza, Anzu is a homeless esper attempting to find her way in life, and Hitomi is an overworked middle schooler.

Manga fans lament how the yakuza storylines were ignored, but it’s one of the best comedies of 2018.

5. Hakumei and Mikochi

Hakumei and Mikochi

Not many iyashikei anime is as warming and relaxing as Hakumei and Mikochi.

The series follows two lilliputian girls living a fairy tale styled forest.

There isn’t a grand adventure to save the world, but instead, you enjoy the duo go about their tiny lives.

4. Mitsuboshi Colors

Mitsuboshi Colors

Relive fun childhood memories, or fantasy about non-existent ones, with the mischievous cast of Mitsuboshi Colors.

This adorable trio is all about having fun and pursuing all sorts of “adventures” around their home town — often to hilarious conclusions.

The adult cast rounds out their personalities, especially Saitou.

3. Gakuen Babysitters

 Gakuen Babysitters

A series about babysitting shouldn’t be this fun! Gakuen Babysitters takes a seemingly mundane premise and makes it worthwhile with loads of comedy — who knew babbling toddlers could be so funny?

But don’t think the anime is just in it for the laughs, there are plenty of tender moments that will wet your eyes.

2. Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens

Fans of stylish anime like Durarara!! and Bungo Stray Dogs need to check out Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens.

Despite the title, it’s not about ramen restaurants, but instead about an underground society of assassins.

Various characters with seemingly separate lives are intertwined as the mystery plot progresses.

1. After the Rain

After the Rain

After the Rain lost out on viewers due to its -ahem- problematic premise of a high school girl crushing on a middle-aged man.

The actual story has more nuance to it as it shows how emotional bonds can overcome personal trials, such as depression and a mid-life crisis.

It’s certainly less Akira Tachibana: DILF Hunter and more about exploring human emotions.

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About the Author

Anukul Saini

Anime and gaming enthusiast with a passion for sharing my knowledge and insights. I've watched over 1000 anime and spent countless hours playing video games.

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