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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

Best beginner-friendly anime shows to kickstart your new addiction

Whether you’re a romcom fan or athlete there’s an anime for you
Hailey Valdivia
Anime is one of the fastest growing mediums of entertainment worldwide. Its vibrant characters and imaginative worlds attract fans of all ages, contributing to its ever-expanding popularity on both traditional and digital platforms. (Photos Courtesy of J.C. Staff, Ufotable studios, and Production I.G. and Graphic made in Canva by Hailey Valdivia and Ismael Martinez Castillo)

If you haven’t already heard, anime is one of the fastest growing mediums of entertainment worldwide. Maybe you have always been turned off by anime’s cartoonish nature but there’s more to it than meets the eye.

In fact, many anime are generally made for both younger and older audiences in mind. So grab a pencil and take some notes because here are five fantastic anime recommendations for you to watch whether you’re a certified edge lord or a total sweetheart.

“Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba”

“Demon Slayer” became incredibly popular worldwide, with its manga series written and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotouge. The show is known for its stunning animation, captivating story and dynamic characters. (Photo curstory of Ufotable studios)

The first anime on this list is none other than the worldwide hit known as “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba” which follows a young boy named, Tanjiro Kamado, who comes home to a massacred family and a sister that has been turned into a demon.

In order to cure his sister, Tanjiro undergoes a journey to slay demons and find a cure within a mysterious organization known as the Demon Slayer corp. From the elegant animation to the compelling story, intriguing characters and touching music, “Demon Slayer” is the epitome of what anime is all about.

My personal favorite part of the anime so far is the Entertainment District arc. This arc demonstrates the show’s biggest strengths which includes many hilarious moments, jaw-dropping fight scenes and emotional moments that will probably have you jumping out of your seat.

So if you think you’re ready, then you’re probably wrong because this anime will slay your expectations!


“Erased” is an animated thriller and is based on the manga series that was written and illustrated by Kei Sanbe. The show is popular for its suspenseful yet moving nature. (Photo courtesy of A-1 Pictures).

The next anime is “Erased” which follows 29-year-old Satoru Fujinama, who after the death of his mother, is sent back in time 18 years. Around the same time a series of kidnappings had occurred in his hometown which relate to his mother’s untimely death.

This anime is great for beginners because of its short-span of 12 episodes and simple murder mystery plot which most non-anime watchers are accustomed to.

Make no mistake, this anime will keep you on your toes as Satoru uncovers not only the truth about the mysterious disappearances of his friends, but also about his true purpose in life.

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“Haikyu!!” is a shonen sports show that is based on the manga series which was written by Harucihi Furudate. The anime is famous for capturing the true yet intense essence of sports as a whole. (Photo courtesy of Production I.G.)

The anime, “Haikyu!!” is a slice-of-life anime that centers around Shoyo Hinata who is a volleyball player of short-stature. After losing to the infamous “King of the Court” Tobio Kageyama, Shoyo pledges to transcend his rival.

Yet, Shoyo finds that Tobio is joining the same high school team as him in his first year. This anime is perfect for beginners and sports fans due to its realistic environment while still capturing the exhilarating moments that most anime are known for.

As you watch Shoyo and Tobio overcome their limits, you may find yourself becoming more inspired in your own life, whether that be academically or physically!


“Toradora” is a romantic comedy, based on the light novel series which was written by Yuyuko Takemiya. This show is known for its realistic slice-of-life and romantic plotline. (Photo courtesy of J.C.Staff)

“Toradora!” is a classic romcom show that revolves around mean-looking yet kind-hearted Ryuuji Takasu as he bumps into the tiny and fiery Taiga Aisaka aka “Palmtop Tiger” in school.

Both characters turn from enemies to friends as they work together to rizz up each other’s best friend. Throughout the process, both Taiga and Ryuuji begin to develop an even tighter-knit bond that complicates their relationship with each other and those around them.

What starts as a funny and easy-going tale quickly transitions into a complex story of the challenges that come along with being an adolescent. This anime is perfect for beginners because of its light-hearted and comedic storyline. If you’re looking for some relatability or even a feel-good experience then this anime is for you.

“Attack on Titan”

“Attack on Titan” has been a worldwide hit since it first came out in 2013 and is based on a manga series written by Hajime Isayama. The animated story is known for its intense buildups and mind-boggling storytelling. (Photo courtesy of Wit Studio).

If you’re a fan of apocalyptic or grim settings like “The Walking Dead” then “Attack on Titan” should be right up your alley.
This anime takes place in a dystopian era where humanity is forced to hide within walls because of giant man-eating humanoids called titans. When the wall-protected city’s outer-layer is broken into, young Eren Yeager becomes determined to destroy all titans and free humanity once and for all.

This anime is a great gateway to anime as it tackles the painful reality of war, politics and freedom which parallels our own world. So if you’re willing to undertake a gripping tale that questions your morality as a human being then this show is for you.

Many people today believe “Attack on Titan” to be not only one of the best anime, but also one of the greatest pieces of fiction ever made. So maybe grab a napkin and some utensils because you’re in for one hell of a feast (literally).

To those that made it through, hopefully at least one of these anime piqued your interest. If you’re still a bit skeptical, just know that there’s an anime out there for everyone. Even though anime may be grounded in fiction, it’s really meant to be so much more.

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About the Contributor
Ismael Martinez Castillo
(he/him) Ismael is a transfer student from Sacramento City College and currently majoring in English. This is his first semester at The State Hornet. He has no prior experience in journalism, but is eager to learn and grow on his journey here. In his free time, Ismael enjoys watching anime, working out, and playing sports.
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