Anime comes in many shapes and sizes, and there are enough shows around to keep just about everyone happy. For those that are new to the anime scene, these are the very best shows available to get started with, and should provide a solid bridge into the extremely populated genre.
1. One Piece
Before starting with One Piece, it should be noted that it does require some commitment. With 740 episodes and counting in total, along with a storyline that has yet to reach its conclusion, One Piece is perhaps not the very best choice for a casual viewer. Despite this, it’s a highly rewardingly series with plenty of appeal and a group of characters sharing strong chemistry that’s enough to suck the viewer in.
This pirate-themed anime is a truly epic adventure in every sense of the word, and is somehow able to switch from comedic moments to darker themes in a single moment. The main protagonist, Monkey D. Luffy, is always entertaining and despite the monstrous amount of characters introduced throughout the course of the series.
There are few other shows around that have taken as much inspiration from the universally popular Dragon Ball franchise. Adapted from the manga by Masashi Kishimoto, Naruto and the following Naruto Shippuden follow the adventures of the titular hero, an orphaned ninja trying to forge his own path in a world of war and death as he attempts to bring his loved ones together.
Dramatic fights and spectacular ninja techniques are ever present in the show, Naruto also offers a far more involved plot, with points of political intrigue, underground conspiracy, along with the true value of having loyal friends.
Many fans will maintain that the first half of the show is superior to the follow-up series, but with several key moments, such as a showdown with Pain, appearing in the Shippuden half, both are well worth watching, and makes a great background show when busy with other things, such as playing bingo Australia or doing a bit of homework.
3. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
New watches should note that there are two different versions of this anime: Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Both of these deserve a watch, but we will be focussing on the Brotherhood version, as it has received more positive acclaim from fans and critics alike. It also follows the manga storyline with more accuracy and provides what’s considered by fans as the more fitting conclusion.
The series is set in a world where a magic-like practice called ‘alchemy’ has become common, and war between neighbouring countries is ongoing. When two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, try to revive their deceased mother using their limited knowledge of alchemy, one accidentally loses his body, and his soul is forced to reside in a suit of armour, while the other brother loses two of his limbs.