What are the best anime you have NEVER seen?

Please for give me for failing to watch these great shows!

Have you ever surfed the aniblogsphere and stumbled upon the post about some big or classic anime that everyone is talking, praising about but you have never watched? Worse, what if that weren’t the first time you run into this kind of situation for the very same anime? That happens to me quite often. I was reminded of certain great anime for countless times by other fans but for some reason I still failed to catch them. Then I started to feel the overwhelming guilt welling up inside. It’s like calling yourself a sci-fi movie fan when you haven’t watched Starwars. It’s an unforgivable crime doing something like that. Well, this post may not be that extreme but I’ll tell you about the best anime that I have not yet seen and will later ask you about yours.

The reason behind this post is that I want to remind myself of some must-see-or-never-call-yourself-anime-fan shows that I haven’t seen. The other, albeit minor, reason is that it would be so fun doing a confession sometimes. So I’ll start with my list and I’ll try to explain why I haven’t seen them no matter how lame the excuse might sound. Here are the list arranged in alphabetical order.

Baccano!

Hah! I’ve just finished this one and though my review is only half written, I can proudly say that I have watched Baccano!

Bakemonogatari

This one managed to conquer top spot on several lists for best anime of 2009 and was a very popular topic of discussion which I could not join but read a good deal. I suspect that I’ve read too much about it that I lost my enthusiasm.

FLCL

I honestly have no good excuse for keep pushing this one away. FLCL is agreed by nearly all the anime fans as one of the best anime and a classic. I’m sorry if I have let you down. I’ll try to catch it soon.

Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig

I watched Ghost in the Shell SAC the first season two years ago and I was stuck in the middle of writing my review on it…until this very day. There is a sense of unfinished business surrounding this series and I believe that prevents me from starting the second season of this fantastic sci-fi anime.

Honey and Cover

As far as I know, Honey and Clover stands out as a rare series depicting the life of young adults and adults instead of high school student. Plus, it is a very good drama/romance anime. In short, it has everything going for it to be my favorite show but for some crazy reason, I always end up watching anime about kids doing kiddy things. (Sign)

Monster

Blame it on the manga. I read Monster manga years ago and though it was a bit too long, it was amazing. When the anime was released, I lost my interest in it mostly because I knew all the suspense and plot twists.

Mushishi

I heard about Mushishi’s excellent visual and innovative story for years but I also heard a lot about how slow and quiet the show was. Unfortunately, every time I was reminded of this show, I was always in the mood for some exciting spectacles.

Trigun

Trigun is a classic action anime with absolutely cool characters and the only thing that turns me away from it is the horrendous visual quality of the version I have downloaded.

I am sure every anime fan understands the unexplainable, strange feeling that keep him/her away from watching certain shows; the shows which one should have watched a long time ago but that time has yet to arrive. From the listed anime above, the one with strongest potential to be watched soon is probably Bakemonogatari or Ghost in the Shell SAC 2nd GIG. It is fun sharing these stuffs so how about yours? Feel free to share!

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59 responses to “What are the best anime you have NEVER seen?

  1. This looks like fun, let me join in

    Legend of the Galactic Heroes:

    I’ve seen two episodes but stuff keeps cropping up that keeps me away. Mainly it’s the giant episode count. I really should start this series because it looks like something I would love in every shape way and form

    Revolutionary Girl Utena:

    I think it was the pink that kept me away. I’ve got it downloaded but I just haven’t got around to it as of yet

    Every Satoshi Kon movie:

    Millenium Actress, Paprika, Tokyo Godfathers. I have no viable excuse for not watching these. I guess it’s because they don’t show up on TV, unlike Ghibli movies

    Aria:

    I’m scared of watching this because of the backlash I’ll get if I find it dull. I know it’s just a bunch of girls doing not very much so excuse me if I find that premise not that far away from K-ON

    Beserk:

    Whenever I pick a new series to watch I put down a few on a piece of paper and roll a dice to pick which one to watch. Blame me not watching Beserk on bad luck

    • dont worry you have at least me-a reader(stalker) as your supporter if you dont like Aria

    • Aria was terrible, I tried it out and I couldn’t believe how someone watches it and doesn’t fall asleep.

      Legend of the Galactic Heroes.. I’ve got the same problem with episodes, apart from that I think it’s also the name, lol.

      Berserk anime was awful, although the story is all great, graphics and music really let me down. Plus, whole anime is just a prologue which they ended and doesn’t seem like they’re going to continue, therefore there’s only one solution: Manga. It’s awesome.

    • Every Satoshi Kon’s movies?! Now we are talking about unforgivable crime! LOL, Just watch Millennium Actress, it’s one of my all time favorites.

      Haven’t seen any of the Aria either. I tried once but fell asleep before the OP even ended. Next time I’ll have some coffee prepared.

      • BUT THEY’RE NEVER ON TV!!!!

        Anywho, as for the ones on your list I’ve seen all of them. Heck, 2nd gig I literally finished yesterday. It’s more consistently good compared to the first season but never reaches the crazy heights of awesome that the Laughing Man episodes did.

        Oooh, I think I’ll add a few more onto my list for the hell of things.

        Hajime no Ippo:

        Considering I’ve found myself enjoying sports anime so much recently, I owe it to myself to give this a shot

        The entire Gundam and Macross franchises:

        Yes. I just can’t bring myself to start either. I’d probably love the Gundam franchise as well, I just can’t bring myself to dip into it.

      • Hehe, I was kidding. It’s just that I really like them.

        Hajime no Ippo…I still have problem about sport anime. That something I have to work on.

  2. Trigun, Mushishi – must watch. FLCL, Honey and Clover and Bakemonogatari were disappointments for me.

    Myself: I’m not sure if I miss something really good, as sometimes what’s on the top of Anime lists is awfully bad to me(like Haruhi Suzumiya or Neon Genesis Evangelion). Other matter is when I try anime like that out, and the beginning is really putting me off- like Gintama, wasn’t funny at all but it’s top Comedy everywhere, so I guess I’d need to try watching it longer sometimes.

    Rurouni Kenshin is also very high, while I didn’t enjoy the first episodes at all and gave up. Could be better further in the story..

    Also, the only anime movies that came out some time ago and I watched them are: Grave of the Fireflies and Akira. Other than that, I haven’t watched anything at all. Somehow I just can’t get myself to watch it. Do you have any must-see movies to recommend? Of course I watch the new ones, but I have no idea about older like Princess Mononoke.

    Other than that, I know I should’ve watched FMP: Fumoffu but I can’t get myself to watch the first season :s

    I don’t think I’m missing anything except for these.

    • For movies, as long as you finished most of Ghibli films, Satoshi Kon’s and Makoto Shinkai’s films, it’s okay.

      I haven’t seen Gintama and Kenshin the series (I watched the ova) as well but didn’t feel any guilt…or should I? (-_-)

      • I’ve seen none of these I’m afraid :P…

        The idea of watching OVA without orginal series seems wrong to me, unless it’s a remake.. That’s why I should ask – is the OVA alone good enough?

      • The ova was good, actually but it didn’t give me much inspiration to watch the series…

  3. Some of the highlights:

    — Everything Aria
    — Beck
    — Great Teacher Onizuka
    — Haibane Renmei
    — Kino’s Journey
    — Everything Macross (except for Frontier, which I liked)
    — Mushishi
    — Moribito

    Way more than that too. Usually if I avoid a highly-praised series, it’s because my viewing habits are random. I never can tell which series I will want to watch next. :p

    • I watch anime randomly, too. Sometimes watching many high profile titles consecutively can be exhaustive. Thus, I have to put in some general series in between.

      Kino no Tabi…added to my list!

  4. I had a ton of these before I started blogging. Then readers kept bugging me about the big names until I eventually caved in. A few I still haven’t seen:

    – Ghost in the Shell II
    – All but one Gundam (0083)
    – All but one Macross (Frontier)

    • OMG! the whole Macross series slipped my mind! (I should go punish myself by hitting my head to the wall)

      • The only thing I enjoyed in Macross Frontier was the music (bunch of pop songs, concerts etc.), must say I feel like punishing myself for actually watching it WHOLE, was a hell.

  5. For me, it’d have to be Planetes (I have the DVDs too!), Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Crest/Banner of the Stars (which is supposed to be pretty awesome), Kaiba (for its unconventional story), and Kaleido Star.

    • Planetes is praised by almost every one around here…well, at least for the first half. I am still stuck somewhere in the middle of Kaiba x_x

  6. -GitS:SAC
    Of course I saw a handful of eps back when it was on CN, but I never sat down and watched it chronologically

    -Macross (original), Gundam Zeta
    The major holes in my mecha viewing resume

    -everything Key
    In light of inspiring a constant stream of chatter in the blogging circles, somehow watching only one or two eps of each doesn’t cut it

    • Don’t worry! the hole in my mecha resume is much bigger than yours!

      Agreed. Watching one or two episodes only enables me to discuss only about ‘first impression’ and nothing more than that.

  7. I too have not watched Ghost in the Shell 2nd Gig (I saw the movie and the first season, and liked it). Nor have I seen Musashi.

    A few days ago, I’d say the best show I haven’t seen was Gurren Lagann, but I’ve now completed 4 episodes.

    I’d say:

    -TTGL
    -Mushishi
    -2nd Gig
    -Aria (I’m going to wait till summer to watch it)
    -Darker Than Black

    and a bunch of other stuff. There’s a lot of anime that everyone’s seen that I haven’t seen yet.

  8. I have vague feelings of guilt that I haven’t seen:

    – Cowboy Bebop
    – Dragonball Z
    – Spirited Away

    Cowboy Bebop, because it’s supposed to be a classic anime series; Dragonball Z, because I call myself a shonen fan; and Spirited Away, because Miyazaki is supposed to be the gold standard for anime features, but I don’t really care for the family-type animes and that’s all that he does…

    And your pic of Honey-senpai from Ouran is priceless, BTW. =D

    • Bebop is a must-watch, I can assure you but if you don’t like family-type anime then Princess Mononoke is the one Ghibli film you should not miss :)

      Thanks! I captured Honey-senpai screen without knowing that it would come in handy right now. :)

  9. You forgot Clannad!!!!
    For it was the most emotional anime ive ever seen, oh after story btw)

    The whole plot and whole was so moving. ok there must have been a few things off, but in general it was amazin =)

    but i aggree with you with the rest of the list

    • I did forget about Clannad. I always thought it was the ‘people’s choice’ type, not the ‘critics’ choice’ type but I guess I was wrong.

      Clannad…Added to the list!

  10. I have got this habit of watching few episodes of the anime and then completely forgets about it. I have only completed Honey and Clover but phailed to finish the others you have mention.

    This post just gave me the motivation to finish it though.

  11. Although an anime itself might be very good, you might not enjoy it enough to finish. That certainly was the case for me with Monster because I don’t like the genre that much.

    From your list I liked Mushishi the most. In fact, it is one of my favorite shows of all time and took the second spot on my decade list :)

    I don’t feel guilty for not watching some anime, but I do feel guilty that I had to put blogging LoGH and Maison Ikkoku on halt because life is too busy now.

    Moribito and 12 Kingdoms (have DVD set) are on top of my watchlist.

    P.S. Is that a forest from Erin on your banner?

    • I haven’t watched 12 kingdoms either even though it has been sitting in my hard drive for more than a year.

      You got it right! The banner is the forest from Erin which I’m currently watching right now. Yes, I know it topped your list and that’s why I’m watching it ^_^

  12. Ugh, yes, One thing I’m always guilty of. Your list pretty much applies to me, besides Trigun. And then, maybe Serial Experiments Lain?
    In retrospect, I’ve only very recently started doggedly following anime and watching what’s considered good. I hadn’t even hit puberty yet when most of these were airing – it was hard enough getting to watch anime at all, much less construct some sort of logical appraisal of it. I just watched what I had, and liked what I watched.

    Uh, I guess that’s my excuse for not having watched these :S

    • I think Serial Experiment Lain is more like a cult-classic type.

      ‘Watching what you have and liking what you watch!’
      That’s a great line! No one should be forced to watch anything they don’t want to but it’s okay to be encouraged to watch something by other fans as long as it’s his/her choice.

  13. There are a lot listed here I’ve been meaning to see but haven’t.
    I personally don’t care much about watching “anime that you must see or you’re not an anime fan.” The last time I saw something because of that reason, I watched Evangelion, which is… Let’s just say it’s not my thing. Now I kind of just watch whatever catches my interest. People’s evaluations do play a role in that though.
    Anyways, I would recommend watching FLCL first from that list. It’s unique enough that there are probably few anime that can give you a similar experience. And it’s short. Other than that, GITS for a similar reason… Fascinating conceptual premise. Nothing else I would consider too much of a must see. Of course, I haven’t seen all of them, so I’m not the best judge on that.
    From the other comments, I agree with Shinmaru on Haibane Renmei and Kino no Tabi as must sees.

    • What you said is interesting and true. In order to enjoy something, you must be interested in it first and watch it with your own will, not because you have to see it.
      I’ll definitely watch GITS and FLCL soon. So Evangelion is not your cup of tea…I think I understand that. I rated it very high because I respected its achievement but the series didn’t inspire much happiness to me, frankly speaking.

  14. Monster, GiTS SAC 2nd, and Mushishi I have not dug in to. I have sampled Mushishi though, and I may or may not ever watch Monster, depends on mah mood/motives :)

    I’m still working through Aria. orz

  15. I’ve never watch an anime so great. Makes all your unwatched list look like kid’s play. :p

    Cowboy Bebop…

    Yeah. I know, I win. :)

    Edit: Oh wait, Jan wins too. Lol.

  16. Let’s see so many to choose from, guess my all time favorites would have the be Gurren Laggan. The action and story and the fun crazy characters make the show a fun favorite to watch, another show would have to be Dragon ball z it sort of got me into looking for more anime online.

  17. AH! I was thinking up of my list as I scrolled down and we share a lot of the same ones.

    -Baccano!
    -Berserk (although I read the manga so it balances out)
    -Bakemonogatari
    -Monster
    -FLCL
    -My Neighbor Tortoro
    -Serial experiments Lain
    -Outlaw Star
    -GTO
    -Haibane Renmei
    -Hunter x Hunter
    -Kanon
    -Clannad
    -Le Chevalier D’Eon
    -Millennium Actress
    -Rozen Maiden
    -Shigofumi
    -Urusei Yatsura
    -TTGL: The Movie

    AND I’m sure there are more

    I recently started Fairy Tail, that would have made the list as well if I hadn’t decided it was my next series.

    • That is one lonfg list of high profile titles! But I would not count Hunter X Hunter, Shigofumi, Chevalier D’Eon and Rozen Maiden as the must-watch-or-go punish-yourself anime.
      BTW, missing Totoro is a serious crime! ;)

      • LOL @ Totoro comment

        I know quite a few people on forums and such that are ABSOLUTELY in love with Rozen Maiden, and here we are a few years later and I still haven’t watched it. So my list is probably influenced by those around me.

  18. Clannad series is the best anime from my perception. It is has great story, great music…everything almost perfect.

  19. Three words.

    Full Metal Alchemist.

  20. aquabluesweater

    The one that really sticks out for me is Akira. It’s just one of those I keep telling myself I will get to watch eventually but never got around to watching!

    • Akira is more like an obligatory anime for me. I watched it once and never intend to watch it again -_-

      • aquabluesweater

        Exactly like you say, it feels like the Citizen Kane of anime…

        As for your list, that’s some good list of anime you still have to watch! I count that as a blessing in a way:) GITS:SAC 2nd Gig is great and the action and storyline should help you to finish that pretty quickly (works for me). ALso do give Mushi-Shi a chance sometime too. I left that till quite late too due to its supposed pace (chose to watch Eureka Seven, Bokurano, Witch Hunter RObin and Ouran over this) but it is so worth watching! It gives me a very weird sense of satisfaction when I finished watching it. A unique piece of animation indeed.

  21. you should REALLY get to watching FLCL.. its an awesome show. the only reason its not in my top 10 is because its so short.

    also… you NEED to watch Trigin NOW. Its number 6 on my list. I absolutely love that show and have seen it multiple times. Yea the visual quality might not be the best, but it doesn’t take away from the series at all.

    • Of course! I’ll definite watch those two especially FLCL. (I was about to do that and somehow I ended up writing this post about the anime I never watched…sounds ridiculous, I know =_=)

  22. Hooray for Honey & Clover and Mushishi, never feel tired no matter how many times I loop them ;>

  23. Pingback: Canne’s anime review blog has turned 3 years old! | Canne's anime review blog

  24. May not be quite on topic, but

    Mushishi is one of the greatest animes : )

    And

    About must watch anime, i disagree, every anime is watched for enjoyments and to gain insight on certain matters. It depends what you are interested in, though i must say that there are some masterful works of art which don’t matter weather you like it or not, as they are still brilliant. I guess in essence every anime is a depiction of certain things ( except those crappy, fan service, commercial shit animes), so in that sense every anime has somekinda value and the amount of value depends on the person which watches it.

    Of course some animes are repetitive and explore the same things, so if you have already seen something like it, the anime which would explore same stuff would be less valuable to you, even though it may be just as awesome. That is interesting, for example it’s like a book on certain a subject, and as most of the time, there are several books on the same matter which talk about same stuff and both books may be just as good, but the first book will hold more value to you and you will probably not read the other book to save time. ( that’s what people do in universities ) So the value of the book varies even though it explores the same thing. However the value of the thing itself doesn’t change, “To call things by their true name” : ). The stuff that animes talk about – things, exist in reality and do have a set a value, well don’t think about it as value, but i mean a rose smells as a rose and a lily smells as a lily, neither is better then the other they just exist as they are with their values-features. So the same is in anime, anime depicts certain things, things that are not better then each other, which has bigger value or is better-has more influence on you,depends only on the person. Therefore some anime my be brilliant to one person and meaningless to another, though that is unlikely as all things are valuable, it’s more likely that there are animes which do manage to explore those “real” things and animes that just explore the surface of them and then interpret them differently as they are.

    Of course all of this would happen to be true only if their indeed is a true name for each things : )

    • *applause* You are absolutely right and I like your positive point of view. Each anime has its own value and for most of the time, they face unfair judgement by us viewers. The anime compiled in this post is indeed not especially better than others not mentioned but they are regarded by fans as significant entry in anime circles due to certain unique features.
      Thank you for the thoughtful comment ! :)

  25. Late to the party but here is my list:

    Legends of Galactic Heroes – It seems so long and I just don’t have time to go through that at this point! Need to find time and hopefully a friend to marathon it with one day

    Honey and Clover & ARIA series – Been meaning to get the R1 dvds for ages but the price has always been too high. Still very high on my to watch list

    Gurren Lagann – Put this off for so long. Actually starting to watch the first 4 episodes today and really liking it!

    MONSTER, GTO, Berserk – Read or am reading the manga for these so see no point of watching the anime version, at least until I retire and have more time to spare.

    Hajime no Ippo – Must be the length of it that scares me away…

    • It’s never to late! :)
      I am in the same situation as you are for several titles you mentioned.
      Though I doubt GTO is really universally praised or anything close to being critically acclaimed :)

      • I think i read somewhere that the live action adaptation of GTO was one of the most watched programs in Japan at the time.

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