Anime became increasingly popular in the early 2000s. In this decade, the so–called big three – Bleach, Naruto and One Piece – were released, which took anime to new heights. More and more viewers began to accept it, which led to a new dawn, in which more and more experimental anime came out.
Although anime became more and more popular, many great shows still flew under the radar of the public. Whether it’s because of their unconventional art styles or laid-back storylines, these worthy anime have slipped through the cracks. These shows deserve so much more love from the public, and it’s time for them to earn the recognition they’ve always deserved.
Darker Than Black (2007)
Hei is a notorious contractor working for the syndicate. Like most contractors who came up with the sudden appearance of Hell’s Gate in Tokyo, hei gave up his humanity for supernatural forces. He may seem ordinary to everyone else, but He is a ruthless killing machine.
Darker Than Black is one of those anime that fascinates the viewer from the very beginning. Although it starts out slow – and can be hard to follow – much of the confusion fades away as the episodes progress. Darker Than Black knows how to create a good mystery and takes the viewer on a ride, making it an underrated masterpiece worthy of the most universal praise.
Mushi-Shi follows Ginko as he investigates the humans and protects them from the Mushi, a supernatural life form. Although he already knows a little, he is interested in learning more about her. This anime is episodic and explores the many characters and their stories and connections to the Mushi.
Another show with an interesting concept, Mushi-Shi, arouses the curiosity of the viewer. It shows impressive world formation and the story unfolds beautifully as Ginko investigates the mushi. Mushi-Shi is one of the best science fiction anime, and fans of ambitious plots and wisdoms will undoubtedly appreciate it.
Paranoia Agent (2004)
Paranoia Agent follows the residents of the city of Musashino, who are being terrorized by a roller skate boy named Lil ‘Slugger. Detectives Keiichi Ikari and Mitsuhiro Maniwa investigate the attacks, and paranoia sets in for the city and its citizens.
One of the most interesting aspects of Paranoia Agent is the casting. All of them are unique and fascinating, even if Lil ‘ Slugger is the most interesting. Although this anime has only one season, it easily captivates with its curious mystery and easily keeps the viewer’s attention. Paranoia Agent explores the themes of illusion, doubt and fear and is a top entry in the middle.
Set in the year 2075 in outer space, Planetes follows the optimistic Ai Tanabe who joins the Debris division, the most underfunded division of Technora Corporation. From there, viewers follow the character in the exploration of normal life in space.
Planetes, one of the best science fiction series ever, is rather relaxing when it comes to science fiction anime and explores the ordinary life of those who decide to realize their dreams in space. It has a slow pace, but the story builds over time, focusing on the characters and their relationships.
The Twelve Kingdoms (2002)
The Twelve Kingdoms is about Yoko Nakajima, who seems to be dissatisfied with her life. At school, a strange and mysterious man appears in front of her and takes her to another world, where she is the empress. To become a worthy leader, Yoko needs to grow up faster than she ever imagined.
As old as it is, the art style of the Twelve Kingdoms may seem outdated. However, it is worth seeing, especially for fans of Isekai anime. It has an interesting story that keeps viewers on their toes, and its fantastic characters will make it easy to fall in love with the intricate plot.
Beck follows a boy named Yukio’Koyuki’ Tanaka, who saves a dog named Beck from criminal children. Then he meets Ryusuke, who teaches Koyuki guitar and invites him to join his band Beck. Beck is an interesting version of the traditional anime formula and features compelling main characters and refreshing animations.
The slice-of-life anime may not be for everyone, but Beck is definitely one of the best. Even more music fans will love this anime, as it depicts life as a struggling musician with a sincere but loving approach, which is not found in many projects – anime or not.
Paradise Kiss (2005)
Paradise Kiss follows the beautiful and arrogant schoolgirl Yukari, who is approached by fashion design students under the brand “Paradise Kiss”.They ask her to show her newly designed dresses as a model; despite her reservations, Yukari decides to give the model a chance.
Although there are some questionable moments, Paradise Kiss is a funny anime that highlights the decade in which it came out, from the realistic intro and music to the animation style and dialogue options. It has a slow start, which may explain its underestimated status, but for those who love humor and romance, Paradise Kiss should not be put to sleep.
Hell Girl (2005)
Enma Ai is known as a hell girl, a mysterious girl who, along with her assistants, drags everyone to hell as long as her name is typed on a mysterious website. However, there is a high price for this service: eternal suffering in hell.
Hell Girl is one of the best horror anime series. It offers funny, independent stories, which, although not quite scary, are quite scary. The exhibition explores various thought-provoking topics, including anger, jealousy, greed and human nature, through an accessible approach. Atmospheric and fascinating, Hell Girl is a triumph of Moderna anime.
Eden of the East (2009)
Eden of the East follows Saki and the enigmatic Akira on their escape from the police and their return to Japan. Strange at first, they become closer when they return home. Although Akira has lost his memory, it is clear that he is not an ordinary guy, and there is a certain secret around him that viewers will eagerly find out.
Eden of East is fun and cheerful and ideal for viewers who want to take it easy. There are a lot of pleasant moments that make the fans laugh, entrenched in a strong and convincing story full of intrigue. Eden of East is visually appealing and interesting, worthy of the time of the audience.
Monster follows the ingenious neurosurgeon Tenma, who is faced with consequences for violating the instructions of the hospital director and operating on a boy instead of the mayor. Almost a decade later, his past haunts him when his path crosses that of a deranged serial killer.
Monster has been gaining traction on TikTok lately, but not enough to not consider it underrated. Unlike other anime, Monster is a psychological thriller that deals with the darker sides of human nature. It offers an exciting and twisted narrative reminiscent of David Fincher’s best movies, making it a must-have for anime fans.