One of the most common posts I see online regarding anime is the ‘recommendation’ posts, with the OP asking for suggested series, based on other series that they have enjoyed. Websites do this automatically, based on im assuming tags the series share in common. MAL has a whole section set for recommendations by other users. “If you like this, you may like this’
I’ve been watching anime for 7 years now, and in those 7 years I’ve finished 282 individual series. I still have a lot ongoing, but I think I’ve seen enough to be able to offer my favorites. Majority of them are not super popular series, but hidden gems. If any of them peak your interest id highly suggest checking them out. I really enjoyed these series!
These series are in chronological order from the first ones I watched to the most recent.
This series is BL, or shounen-ai. The raciest it gets is a kiss between Eiri Yuki and Shuichi Shindou. The story is essentially one about the overcoming/acceptance of past trauma and moving forwards. While the anime quality is not the greatest, the series is one of my absolute favorites. The mangaka, Maki Murakami shifted art styles rather drastically, but the characters are so funny and inspire so much well written fanfiction and fan art. I think it is still being published, I read on Wikipedia like 4 years ago, but TokyoPop hasn’t re-picked it up or anything.
The story itself is very standard yaoi, with the ‘but were two guys’ mentality from one character. A significant part of the cast are members of a band so there’s great music if you want to give that a listen! Shining Collection by Iceman is my favourite.
By the same authors as Deathnote, Bakuman shows the behind the scenes of being a mangaka. While yes, it is dramatized, there are elements that I think are real, from the struggle to get a one shot approved to deciding whether or not the manga is ready for an anime, and even how to end a series on a high note, rather than let it drag on until it dies. The importance of rivals are stressed, and the underlying plot of the whole series is a secret romance between two classmates.
This series changed a lot of how I saw series and it still influences how I consume manga and anime. I feel like I at least have an idea of the inner workings, if even just a teeny tiny bit. Much like how Shirobako showed us how an anime is made, Bakuman showed us how a manga is made. Its 170~ chapters and 75 episodes long. But I really really like it.
- Suisei no Gargantia
This series messed me up. Episode 7, bombs dropped.
The story follows a human Ledo, who was sucked to a water-covered planet Earth with Chamber, his home/weapon/AI life support. Ledo doesn’t speak English/Japanese/earthling so he relies on Chamber to translate for him as he gets used to living on Earth and living with a community.
In space he and the other humans he was with were responsible for killing the Hideauze, a squid-like creature that was attacking the humans back. Tensions rise as he discovers the ‘gods’ or worshiped creatures on earth are also squid-like and he kills a bunch.
But episode 7 man, I didn’t see that coming.
Its sci-fi/slice of life. Its rather tame until the final few episodes so if you are into sci-fi id definitely check out. Chamber as a character is really fascinating, and I reeeeally enjoyed this series.
Hamatora is an anime about a detective agency, made up of characters with abilities. They have conditions needed to use their abilities, like one characters condition being he has to have headphones on. The eventual plot is one where these abilities are running out and being systematically stolen by one person.
The story is full of character betrayal, puzzles, and the main characters names are Nice and Birthday.
If Trickster left a sour taste in your mouth, checkout Hamatora, its great.
- Hoozuki no Reitatsu
Following an Oni secretary Hoozuki, this anime is still rather slice of life. It uses both Japanese and Chinese historical figures and more as Hoozuki tries to maintain order in his little slice of Hell. He serves Emna, one of the Kings of Hell.
One situation that arises is that patrons of Screaming Hell, saved for alcoholics, steals Orochis alcohol and are enjoying themselves. The solution then becomes to force them to drink, because if you are forced its no longer enjoyable.
The ever colorful cast includes Momotarou, Minamoto no Yoshitsune and Hoozukis look-alike, rival, and Chinese dragon, Hokutaku.
Story aside, the visuals are stunning! All bright oranges and reds, the heavy outline on backdrops, the aesthetic makes my spine tingle. It ruined Fukigen na Mononokean for me a bit, because unlike the more recent Yokai series, Hoozuki would give information on the yokai and the characters that you were introduced. Hoozuki a character is very funny as well, in a looks docile but will club you if need be. I wish I could go back and rewatch it with new eyes.
So those are my top 5 hidden gem animes. They are the smaller animes I feel should get more recognition. They all were so great and if I ever get amnesia and forget them and have to rewatch them, well id be a happy amnesiac.
Have you seen any of these series? Do you have any hidden gems! Let me know!
Not that larger series are bad, I love so many larger, more popular series, especially Soma, God Eater, Owari no seraph, Danmachi and others, but those are.. Revealed gems.. >.>
This was fun! Haha! Thanks for reading! I didn’t do any review of these series on my blog but one series that in love with is Kabaneri, which ill link to HERE! Feel free to check it out!
Thanks for reading!