Bad reviews and minimal attention don't necessarily mean they're bad series, right? Well, today I am here to prove that to you by presenting you all with 10 anime series that I for one believe are vastly underrated for a variety of different potential reasons. Whether reviews are poor, it gets a bad wrap, or people just haven't heard of it, it does matter. For each series I will be giving a brief description about it and saying a little about why I believe it is so underrated, so without further ado I say we get into things.
Before reading, maybe check out the video version as well? Hope you enjoy!
I’m going to go ahead and start off with a potentially controversial choice and see just how many people choose to stick around after reading it, and that would be Yu-Gi-Oh.
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Now bare with me here, Yu-Gi-Oh in it’s original Japanese form is so far from the near monstrosity that 4kids turned it into when it came over to the US and become strictly a show geared towards children.
Yu-Gi-Oh with firearms rather than people pointing or being replaced by a slingshot, legs being chopped off rather than being touched by dark energy discs, an actual pentagram, though speaking of the shadow realm.. That’s just more or less a cover up for the losing duelist getting killed.
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Not that violence and religious imagery make a good series, they also changed a lot during the dubbing process to change both the story and motivations of characters.. So with all of that combined I am calling this series underrated because it’s just misunderstood in America and wow I have spent too much time on this show, so onto the next one!
"Legend says that the enigmatic Millennium Puzzle will grant one wish to whoever deciphers its ancient secrets. Upon solving it, high school student Yugi Muto unleashes "another Yugi," a peculiar presence contained inside. Now, whenever he is faced with a dilemma, this mysterious alter ego makes an appearance and aids him in his troubles.Wishing to unravel the mystery behind this strange spirit, Yugi and his companions find themselves competing with several opponents in "Duel Monsters," a challenging card game used by people seeking to steal the Millennium Puzzle in a desperate attempt to harness the great power within. As the questions pile on, it is not long before they figure out that there is more than pride on the line in these duels".
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Now there are some series on this list that are considered underrated because they don't get as high of reviews as I personally feel they deserve, then there are some others which just simply don't get the attention they deserve, but this next series is one of the ones that actually qualifies as both, and that would be Kurozuka. I do somewhat understand why this series isn't as appreciated as I for one believe it should be though. I kid you not, I think this show might be best enjoyed while on Adderall, either that or you basically have to be Rain Man just to begin to comprehend all the fast paced and insane camera work that's going on during many of the fights in this series. That Adderall thing is pure speculation by the way, but you know, if anyone ever tries it maybe don't be afraid to hare your results with me. So despite those remarks I actually greatly enjoyed this series because of it's intense action, original and interesting story, as well as how pretty looks a lot of the time. Another thing about the action and fight sequences is actually the really good use of that Matrix style "bullet-time" effect, and I know it's done in an animated medium here, but I would argue it's used even more effectively here than in the Matrix films sometimes. I'm talking to you Wachowski brothers.
"Kurou flees into the mountains after losing to his brother Minamoto no Yoritomo, the first Shogun to rule all of Japan. History records that he committed suicide, but instead, Kurou meets a strange, beautiful woman named Kuromitsu in her mountain hermitage. Eventually, Kurou falls in love with Kuromitsu, but then realizes she conceals a dark secret. He learns that he is unable to die and continues to live for a thousand years as Japan evolves into a future society".
3. ELFEN LIED
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So my next pick is one that some may agree is underrated, others would say is overrated, and some just don’t care because they’ve never heard of it.. and that would be Elfen Lied.
I will admit that the ending is a little lackluster compared to the manga’s, but most people just see this series and think boobs and violence, and there’s a fair bit of each of those, but this is a sad series that’s handled rather well compared to many other series. It also contains plenty of good messages and some fairly intense symbolism, but more often than not the common person is not capable of critical thinking and cannot get past what they think to be unnecessary mature material. Also, I would like to find one person who says that the opening sequence in the first episode is not spectacular. Whether you love it or hate it I find this to be a series that at minimum everyone needs to check out at least once.
"Lucy is a special breed of human referred to as "Diclonius," born with a short pair of horns and invisible telekinetic hands that lands her as a victim of inhumane scientific experimentation by the government. However, once circumstances present her an opportunity to escape, Lucy, corrupted by the confinement and torture, unleashes a torrent of bloodshed as she escapes her captors. During her breakout, she receives a crippling head injury that leaves her with a split personality: someone with the mentality of a harmless child possessing limited speech capacity. In this state of instability, she stumbles upon two college students, Kouta and his cousin Yuka, who unknowingly take an injured fugitive into their care, unaware of her murderous tendencies. This act of kindness will change their lives, as they soon find themselves dragged into the shadowy world of government secrecy and conspiracy".
These next four series are ones that I actually have not seen myself, but that were recommended be put on this list by the lady seen below who I will admit right now is far wiser than I on these topics, so I'll really just be writing in the synopsis of the show, though if you would care to see her talk about them herself I would highly recommend you check out the video that will be linked at the bottom of this article.
4. THE GARDEN OF SINNERS
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The first of these is actually a series of short(ish) things that are technically movies, but they can easily be watched much like a regular series would be so I am still counting it, and that "series" would be The Garden of Sinners/Kara no Kyoukai.
So for any of the ones such as this one that I can't give my own personal opinion on, I must first recommend again that you check out the video at the end of this article, and maybe just check he series out if you like the sound of it. Okay! Onto the second one.
"In September 1998, a string of seemingly random suicides leaves Japan baffled and devastated. But a detective agency specializing in paranormal occurrences notices that there are a few glaring, disturbing similarities tying the deceptively unrelated cases together: All the victims are schoolgirls, and all of them have jumped to their deaths from atop the ancient Fujou Building, a skyscraper that is scheduled to be bulldozed soon. To investigate the cause of these disturbing events, the head of the agency, magus Touko Aozaki, dispatches Mikiya Kokutou and Shiki Ryougi. The kind and surprisingly normal Mikiya serves as a stark contrast to the cold and mysterious Shiki, who possesses the "Mystic Eyes of Death Perception": an abnormal ability which allows her to see, and bring, an end to all things."
5. AKU NO HANA/FLOWERS OF EVIL
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Kasuga Takao is a boy who loves reading books, particularly Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal. A girl at his school, Saeki Nanako, is his muse and his Venus, and he admires her from a distance. One day, he forgets his copy of Les Fleurs du Mal in the classroom and runs back alone to pick it up. In the classroom, he finds not only his book, but Saeki's gym uniform. On a mad impulse, he steals it. Now everyone knows "some pervert" stole Saeki's uniform, and Kasuga is dying with shame and guilt. Furthermore, the weird, creepy, and friendless girl of the class, Nakamura, saw him take the uniform. Instead of revealing it was him, she recognizes his kindred deviant spirit and uses her knowledge to take control of his life. Will it be possible for Kasuga to get closer to Saeki, despite Nakamura's meddling and his dark secret? What exactly does Nakamura intend to do with him?"
"In a man-made underground society, descendants of a banished generation vie for control of the crumbling city of Lux. Ichise, an orphan turned prize fighter, loses a leg and an arm to satisfy an enraged fight promoter. On the brink of death he is taken in by a young woman doctor and used as a guinea pig for the next evolution of Texhnolyze. With his new limbs, Ichise is taken under the wing of Oonishi, a powerful leader of Organ, an organization with some hold on Lux. As Ichise is drawn deeper into a war for territorial control of the city, he learns of his possible future from the young girl prophet Ran, who guides him from the shadows in his darkest times. With the explosion of the warfare, Ichise must uncover the truth about Lux and fight for his survival as he realizes his destiny".
7. SERIAL EXPERIMENTS LAIN
Lain Iwakura, an awkward and introverted fourteen-year-old, is one of the many girls from her school to receive a disturbing email from her classmate Chisa Yomoda—the very same Chisa who recently committed suicide. Lain has neither the desire nor the experience to handle even basic technology; yet, when the technophobe opens the email, it leads her straight into the Wired, a virtual world of communication networks similar to what we know as the internet. Lain's life is turned upside down as she begins to encounter cryptic mysteries one after another. Strange men called the Men in Black begin to appear wherever she goes, asking her questions and somehow knowing more about her than even she herself knows. With the boundaries between reality and cyberspace rapidly blurring, Lain is plunged into more surreal and bizarre events where identity, consciousness, and perception are concepts that take on new meanings.
And hey, this series came before The Matrix films. I'm talking to you again, Wachowskis!
8. ERGO PROXY
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Ergo Proxy is an extremely creative and risk takey kind of series both with it’s concept and execution of said concept. Though it’s another one of those series where people are either split on it or just haven’t heard of it at all, and there are far too many of all but one of those which is why I’m stamping this one as underrated. Some people who have seen it, such as me, enjoy it’s more complex, dark story and symbolism, while the others seem to hate it claiming it’s pretentious and confusing. Now I do admit that often times through the series you are completely clueless as to what’s happening, but I for one say it’s handled and always wrapped up rather well so I must recommend that you check Ergo Proxy out.
"After the explosion of the methane hydrate layer, the remaining members of mankind are forced to live in isolated domed cities scattered across the arid and inhospitable planet. They live in a controlled society and are assisted in daily life by autonomous robots called AutoReivs. In one of these cities, Romdo, Inspector Re-l Mayer, granddaughter of the regent, leads an investigation concerning AutoReivs that have gone mad after being infected by the Cogito virus. In the process, she comes in contact with a monster called Proxy. Elsewhere in the city, immigrant Vincent Law is on the run after being framed for involvement in several Cogito cases. Together, along with the adorable child-AutoReiv Pino, they set out on a journey to the dome city Mosk in order to unravel the mystery of the Proxies".
You know, I’m starting to think that me calling these series underrated because I feel like not enough people have heard of them is more or less due to me never talking to anyone about anime.. So if you’d care to, maybe go ahead and just hit me up wherever. I mean I can’t write an article called anime I like that not enough people have heard of, right? Doesn’t have the best ring to it.. I like how I’m explaining my title choices when I’m already like half way through writing this.
Okay! Onto the next one.
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This is a series that is critically held extremely highly and anyone who actually gives it the proper chance it deserves seems to love it, and that would be Steins;Gate. This very well seem like a strange choice because of how amazing everyone says it is, but prior to somewhat recently it seems that if you were to compare its review type ratings to it’s popularity rating, they would differ more than they should. I don’t know what’s happened that has changed that, but still depending on where online you look and who you talk to you will still find decently large groups of people who really dislike this show and their influence is annoying because this show is amazing.
The self-proclaimed mad scientist Rintarou Okabe rents out a room in a rickety old building in Akihabara, where he indulges himself in his hobby of inventing prospective "future gadgets" with fellow lab members: Mayuri Shiina, his air-headed childhood friend, and Hashida Itaru, a perverted hacker nicknamed "Daru." The three pass the time by tinkering with their most promising contraption yet, a machine dubbed the "Phone Microwave," which performs the strange function of morphing bananas into piles of green gel. Though miraculous in itself, the phenomenon doesn't provide anything concrete in Okabe's search for a scientific breakthrough; that is, until the lab members are spurred into action by a string of mysterious happenings before stumbling upon an unexpected success—the Phone Microwave can send emails to the past, altering the flow of history.
10. DARKER THAN BLACK
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My tenth and final pick is actually an absolute favourite series of mine overall, but that I’ve found both does not have a high enough rating AND isn’t know by enough people, and that would be Darker Than Black. This is kind of another one that I just don’t understand why it isn’t given the praise that it definitely deserves, the action is amazing, the story is great, and the messages are ones that all can relate to, it even acts as a subtle expose on war.. And who doesn’t love a good one of those, right?
It has been 10 years since Heaven's Gate appeared in South America and Hell's Gate appeared in Japan, veiling the once familiar night sky with an oppressive skyscape. Their purposes unknown, these Gates are spaces in which the very laws of physics are ignored. With the appearance of the Gates emerged Contractors, who, in exchange for their humanity, are granted supernatural abilities. In the Japanese city surrounding Hell’s Gate, Section 4 Chief Misaki Kirihara finds herself at odds with an infamous Contractor codenamed Hei. Called "Black Reaper" in the underground world, Hei, like his associates, undertakes missions for the mysterious and ruthless Syndicate while slowly peeling back the dark layers covering a nefarious plot that threatens the very existence of Contractors.
Alright! So that right there about does it for this article, but first there are a few things that need to be taken care of. The first thing would be thanking you all for reading this article (I hope you enjoyed), the second thing is to ask that all you guys please go to the comments below (or on the following video) and let me know both what you thought of this article and /or video as well as what some anime series that you yourself believe are underrated. The final thing I must do is urge you all to please check out the video version of this list which is uploaded to my YouTube channel and can be viewed below. Though if you like what you see there you can follow this link and subscribe for so much more!
Thanks so much again for reading and watching and you have yourself a wonderful day. What's your favorite anime? Let me know in the comments!