Most Underrated Anime Series, Ranked | Pretty Reel

Anime is a large and popular genre, with a dedicated fan base. Still, having a large fanbase doesn’t mean every show will get the recognition or reviews it deserves. There are quite a few anime that get lost and forgotten, with only a niche group of fans remembering them and trying to get others to see them.

Here is a list of anime that needs more recognition.

10/10 Berserk (2016)

Dark Horse Comics

Berserk was a well-known manga, so you might find it odd to be on this list, but while the manga is important, the anime doesn’t get enough credit. The 25-episode series covered the manga’s “Golden Age” story arc, a relatively short arc. The manga and anime are set in a dark medieval fantasy world and center on the characters of Guts, a lone swordsman haunted by literal demons, and Griffith, who leads a group of mercenaries.

The animation is well done and they stick to the source material. It’s a dark, intense series with incredible action, and would make a great live-action movie. Fans would like more seasons but are also fine with just reading the manga. Either way, this is one anime you should check out because if you like it, there’s plenty more manga to keep you going.

9/10 Angels of Death (2018)


Rachel Gardner just wants to die. This is the main plot of the Angels of Death anime, and a unique plot. Rachel wakes up in a basement with a murderer and together they try to escape the building, but only if Zach (the murderer) promises to kill her when they get out. But they keep going up, encountering people who seem familiar to Rachel, but she doesn’t know why. They must fight a new enemy on each floor to escape. Will Rachel get her wish?

The plot is intriguing and a unique concept that keeps you hooked on the show. Each revelation adds more questions and each answer leads to more revelations. The quirky characters work well together as a cast, and the great voice actors have great chemistry. Unfortunately, this anime is sometimes overlooked, even though the plot is unique and captivating.

8/10 Now and Then, Here and There (1999)

A young boy named Shu is transported to an apocalyptic future in an attempt to save a girl in Now and Then, Here and There. However, he must first survive in this lonely new world.

The animation has a decidedly 90s feel to it, but now its visual style has a kind of nostalgia that accompanies many 90s animated shows. The show consistently finds hope and optimism despite the still overwhelming and emotionally devastating plot, and in just 13 episodes it manages to tell a fuller and more powerful story than most anime with 100 hours.

7/10 GYO Tokyo Fish Attack (2012)

Terracotta DistributionAniplex

Three friends, Aki, Erika, and Kaori, celebrate their upcoming graduation with a vacation at GYO Tokyo Fish Attack. However, on their travels, they are suddenly surrounded by an infestation of strange walking fish. They are reasonably shocked and confused and are forced to reevaluate many things to survive.

For a silly sounding anime, the show is pretty dark. The animation is very well done, and the gory scenes are very graphic. This is the one to watch if you want to watch horror anime with a flair for the ridiculous and the absurd.

6/10 Shirokuma Cafe (2012)

Pierrot studio

An anime filled with misadventures between friends, Shirokuma Café aptly follows a cafe owner polar bear named Shirokuma. This story is lighthearted and comedic most of the way, with a few slices of life moments thrown into the mix. There’s always something interesting happening at Shirokuma Café!

A nice sight to put in the background while you unwind for the day, this anime lets you escape all the cares of your life and watch these characters exist in their unique world.

5/10 Excel Saga (1999)


Excel and his partner attempt to take over the city of Fukuoka for their boss, the leader of the ACROSS organization, in the absurd and wacky masterpiece Excel Saga. But they always manage to mess up their missions no matter who tries to stop them. This usually results in a lot of destruction and terrorizing of the ordinary person in Fukuoka.

The main characters’ constant messes are reminiscent of a more serious Team Rocket. It’s a fun sight to watch, if not a little frustrating, when you see how well they manage to mess up their missions. Rather, Excel Saga is a parody of the anime itself, frequently shaking up the medium’s tropes and cliches in increasingly inventive and hilarious ways (to the point that they even kill off the show’s writer).

4/10 Sound and Its Situation (1998)

Crazy / Nozomi

This has a similar concept to the popular Love is War anime, which is perhaps why this anime is often overlooked. His and Her Circumstances, however, came out 20 years prior and mastered the romance genre in the anime medium. Unlike most love stories, His and Her Circumstances makes the bold decision not to end with the couple reuniting.

The anime follows the romance between perfect student Yukino and her academic rival Soichiro. It’s a love story through and through, but has the guts to examine relationships and romance beyond meet-cute and will-they-or-won’t-go, by choosing instead to explore the hardships and mundaneness of keeping the romance alive.

3/10 Rainbow: Nisha Rokubō no Shichinin (2010)


The darker anime Rainbow: Nisha Rokubō no Shichinin follows five teenagers who are sent to a special reform school because of the horrific crimes they have committed. Once there, they meet an older inmate who urges them to continue in this horrible place. They have to face terrible daily conditions together as they all try to get through their sorrows.

As a more mature anime with high stakes, it’s a good anime for someone who wants to see some quality character development over the episodes. Part Shawshank Redemption, part Battle Royale, part GTO, Rainbow is quite unique in the anime genre and has been through many cracks as a result.

2/10 Comedy Psychosomatic Medicine (2015)

Shin Ei

Comical Psychosomatic Medicine is a bizarre, colorful and rambunctious show that mimics educational PSAs, but covers some pretty intense subject matter with hilarious incongruity – episodes have titles like Subconscious Models of People Suspected of Mentally Illnesses, What is the mentality of stalkers and think proactively about painful things.

The two main characters are a psychologist named Ryou and his energetic nurse Asuna. Together they explain many aspects of mental illness, such as the validity, prevalence and origins of mental disorders, etc. Although seemingly serious subjects, the information is presented in a comedic way, often with jokes and pop culture references used to help the viewer learn.​​​​​

1/10 Black (2001)


Noir is a worthy show with only 26 episodes. The main plot follows two female assassins searching for answers to questions about their secret past. However, a secret organization doesn’t want them to reveal too much and lures them into more and more traps.

An excellent and mysterious plot with stunning stylistic illustrations, Noir is a series far more iconoclastic than most anime, more influenced by European and specifically French culture than anything Japanese. With its amazing animation, music and characters, it’s strange to think that many have yet to discover this anime, but with the constant stream of anime airing since its airdate, this anime has largely been forgotten .

Most Underrated Anime Series, Ranked | Pretty Reel