Breaking Animes Barrier of Entry!

Have you ever looked at something related to Anime and been at least a little bit curious? I mean compared to western animation, Anime can be vastly different. And when you stop with all the ironic jokes and left field misconceptions, does it ever peek your interest? I have a slight guess that it has otherwise you most likely wouldn’t be reading this article.

The concept of Anime can be scary and bizarre to someone looking from the outside, puttering around its door, contemplating on whether or not to enter. And don’t get me wrong, to some extent this is warranted. Anime certainly has its fair shares of land mines, that if seen by the wrong person can instantly shut down any further interest in the subject. And if you have experienced something like this before, don’t be discouraged. Let me assure you that Anime is just like Music or Live-Action TV, there’s good and there’s bad. And whats good or bad can vary from person to person. So in there lies the ultimate key to finally making your way through the golden doors into Anime.

Taking Recommendations

Having someone suggest shows for you can be both a good thing and something you may need to avoid, depending on the person. For one, I think its obvious but for some reason most people forget, that some people have different interests when it comes to certain mediums of entertainment. So if you do intend to ask someone you know to recommend Anime (and trust me when I say that one is probably closer than you think) make sure that your interests align at least somewhat, otherwise you may be thrown into the wrong direction and your Anime experience will be ruined even though it could have flourished.

Also if you don’t have really anyone to ask about anime recommendations, just go online. There you should be able to find people who have similar interest with you who also enjoy Anime. Usually their recommendations should hit home for you.

As for just general suggestions (like a top 10 lists for beginners or something) I don’t really think these are good for someone trying to get into Anime. The main reason is that these lists are compiled by Anime fans who have been watching for quite a bit of time and have concretely established what they think good Anime is. And mostly it relates to things that are general audience. Nothing really genre heavy, so while your probably sure to get something high in quality, it might not be quite your thing and establish enough of a hold to keep you interested. And that’s what you want isn’t it? To get excited about something so much that it makes you seek out more things like it. I personally think that general audience appeal stuff doesn’t do the trick if that’s the case.

So I think I made it pretty clear but let me try to get it down one more time. Anime is just like something like Music and Live-Action. There are many genres inside its contents and finding the right ones you enjoy will be crucial to whether you stay or flee the Anime scene. Having said that, there still is a few minor details I think you should take before delving into the genres you’ve decided on.

The Old vs. the New

Now that you have your genre you still need a starting point. There has been a lot of Anime produced up till this point and even if you have an idea on what you might like, finding the show can still be difficult. Personally for me I think anything in the last five years is the place to start. And if you need help looking up dates and genres, Anime News Network and MyAnimeList have easy search engines to help out with that. MyAnimeList also has recommendations under every show, so if you do find something you like it’ll be easier to find the next thing.

Now I know that there are a slew of good shows that have been made before 2008 or so, but a lot of Anime is a product of its time. So I feel that if you watch newer shows instead of older shows your tastes will fit better with what you watch. Another reason is that Anime hasn’t always been produced with the same quality throughout all series’. So if you watch more current shows there’s a better chance that the aesthetic will be more appealing, certainly as a newcomer. Once you dabble around in newer shows and get a feel for Anime and what genres you enjoy, then that’ll be the time to go back and look into older shows.

Don’t be afraid to jump around with shows

Anime, especially today, is seeing more product being dumped out that ever before. There are at least forty shows coming out every season. So if you end up picking a show and you’re not quite feeling it halfway through, quit it and move on. With the sheer volume of shows out there is no reason for you to continue a show that you are not enjoying. Odds are there is another show that will be exactly what you’re looking for. One way to deal with this efficiently is the “three episode rule”. Basically if a show isn’t good in the first three episodes it’s probably not worth your time. Now there are always exceptions to this rule and if you are unsure, or on the fence about a show, its easy to look up a review and see what someone else thought about it and see if its worth sticking with. But there are a lot of Anime so don’t feel like you have to watch everything, or even everything you start.

Just Do it!

So if you ever have been even the slightest bit interested in Anime, you would be doing yourself a disservice to not at least give it a fair chance. Like I said before, Anime is literally limitless in its content, and I personally believe that there is a show for everyone is the vast Anime library. It’s only a matter of finding it. And hopefully I have given you some good insight on how to find that show for you. And hopefully once you find that show, you will continue to find other shows and have successfully broken Animes barrier of Entry.

But if you don’t feel like searching for a certain show that will most likely adhere to your tastes specifically and don’t plan on making Anime a thing that you’re into, Jennifer Valure has done a good list of general audience Anime classics that you can check out here.

Logan Peterson
Logan Peterson
My names Logan and I love writing about Anime. Other art is guchi too. When I'm not writing gonzo reviews I'm writing books. *If interested look up The Dream Sequence on Amazon.* I usually write more editorial stuff than just plain reviews. I like my writing to be more big picture. I feel consumer reviews are a thing of the past and more personal reviews are the most valuable nowadays.