Much like every other demographic, seinen has no limits placed on it other than what target it’s aiming toward. Seinen anime can be a comedy, a slice-of-life that will break its viewers’ hearts, or a pulse-pounding action spectacle.
And while most people recognize that classics are defined only in hindsight, it’s also true that some series are obviously going to be remembered long after they’ve finished. These are series that have developed massive fanbases and are talked about even when they aren’t always on the air. They don’t need to be twenty years old for people to define them as legendary in their own right.
10 Kaguya: Love Is War Is The Ultimate Seinen Romance Series
There’s no more vulnerable feeling than confessing one’s love to another person. In that instance, someone can choose to accept those feelings, gently let a person down, or crush them entirely. Kaguya: Love is War focuses on two people who are madly in love with one another and are both trying to avoid that vulnerability.
Miyuki and Kaguya are the two most respected people at Shuchiin Academy, but the lengths they go to avoid confessing reminds viewers no one is above being made a fool for love. Even three seasons in, people aren’t tired of this modern comedy classic.
9 Kingdom Is An Epic About Two Men Seeking To Unite China
Xin and Yin Zheng are two men on a mission to put a stop to the endless war that has been engulfing their country. If anything held Kingdom back early on, it would be its odd choice in art style. The first season chooses to use CGI. While it’s not the worst CGI of all time, it’s still not great.
But it’s impossible to keep a good series down; the second season switched to traditional animation and never looked back. Each new season has received progressively higher ratings on MyAnimeList, as fans have only become more invested in seeing how Xin and Zheng Ying will unite the Warring States.
8 Ping Pong The Animation Is A Coming-Of-Age Story Centered Around Table Tennis Players
ping pong is proof that it’s possible to create a classic about any sport. Of course, the series isn’t only about table tennis either. The series follows Makoto Tsukimoto and Yutaka Hoshino, two childhood friends who have formed a deep connection over their shared love of ping-pong.
But as the two age and their worlds expand, both of them find the way they play challenged by the people around them. This series is a must-watch for anyone with a love of well-written fiction and coming-of-age stories.
7 One-Punch Man Shows A Man Seeking The Ultimate Fight
The curious thing about One Punch Man isn’t its popularity, but rather why the series doesn’t already have dozens of episodes. When the first season from the legendary studio Madhouse premiered in 2015, it was a smash hit in America. Saitama is a parody of every shonen series where a character is seeking ever-greater strength.
Saitama has not only found ultimate strength, but it’s also left him bored. There isn’t anyone around capable of challenging him anymore, leaving him struggling to find meaning in his life. Despite everyone loving the show, however, there still hasn’t been a third season following Studio DEEN’s follow-up in 2019.
6 Space Brothers Follows Two Brothers Making Good On A Childhood Promise
Though Space Brothers was meant to take place in the near future when it debuted in 2012, 2025 isn’t so far away anymore. The series gets its start back in 2006 when two brothers Mutta and Hibito agree to become astronauts and reach the moon and Mars. But while Hibito is well on his way to becoming the next man on the moon, Mutta has become stuck working for a car company.
However, Mutta is selected by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency to become an astronaut, and he’s given one more chance to join his brother out in the stars. Space Brothers is a compelling story with realistic sci-fi that anyone could get into.
5 Golden Kamuy Takes Viewers On A Journey For Lost Gold
By now, most seinen fans are well aware of Saichi Sugimoto, his Ainu partner Asirpa, and their search for the location of a mountain of gold. Though it isn’t entirely accurate to the era, the series is grounded in well-researched history, as the story takes place following the Russo-Japanese War.
The creator of the manga, Satoru Noda, is mostly just embellishing and adding to events that actually happened. But it’s this grounding that makes the series unlike any action anime, both within and without the seinen genre. The series feels hyperreal, which has carried it through three seasons and the fourth starting recently.
4 My Dress-Up Darling Features Two High Schoolers Bonding Over A Shared Love Of Clothes & Cosplay
My Dress Up Darling might frustrate some critics, but it hasn’t stopped the series from being a break-out success. A newer anime, the story follows two high school students. One is Wakana Gojo, who wants to create hina dolls like his grandfather. The other is Marin Kitagawa, a giant nerd who loves cosplaying but isn’t great at creating her own costumes.
Though Gojo has been discouraged from sharing his hobby with anyone, Kitagawa encourages him, forming a bond between the two. While the anime only has one season so far, with this level of popularity, it’d be a surprise if it didn’t get more.
3 Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken Displays Three Girls’ Attempt To Form An Animation Club
What happens when two imaginative young girls with a passion for animation are paired with a realist who has a desire for making money? They make an animation club, of course. Midori Asakura and Tsubame Mizusaki both love anime, with Midori always getting carried away with her imagination while Mizusaki loves drawing characters in motion.
Meanwhile, Midori’s friend Sayaka Kanamori is a pragmatist who realizes that their work has the potential to make money. After Sayaka suggests they create a motion picture club at their high school, the three girls work on their “ultimate” creation. egg pickles manages to convey a love for animation and creativity in all its forms, drawing in fans who are in love with the creative process.
2 March Comes In Like A Lion Is A Masterpiece Adaptation From Shaft
While SHAFT has done multiple top-tier adaptations, March Comes In Like A Lion is an achievement among achievements. The series is about Rei Kiriyama, a professional shogi player who’s considered to be one of the best of his generation. Despite this, not everything is going in Rei’s favor.
Rei’s intense behavior has caused him to ostracize himself from those around him. March Comes In Like A Lion knows exactly how to pace itself, balancing between the softer moments and its heavier themes to create a series its fans refer to as a masterpiece.
1 Vinland Saga Is A Brutal Action Series About Vikings & Revenge
Running since 2005, Vinland Saga is one of the longest-running seinen epic manga, maintaining the same incredible level of quality the entire way. It’s a surprise there wasn’t an anime before 2019, but few places could’ve done it justice like Wit Studio, so perhaps that was for the best.
Vinland Saga follows Thorfinn, a man who watches his father get brutally killed by the viking Askeladd. Despite this, Thorfinn agrees to work with Askeladd, who even humors his constant attempts to try and kill him. In just one season, Vinland Saga managed to create a massive fanbase, and all of them are awaiting season two in 2023.
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