10 Signals Anime Critics Actually Loved

Anime is no longer something that’s seen as a niche hobby that only nerds enjoy or something that’s too childish for most people to be able to get into. Thankfully, more and more people are realizing just how captivating and beautiful anime can truly be as a form of storytelling, and there are naturally all different genres that cater to a variety of viewer tastes.

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One such genre is seinen, which can best be described as shonen anime that’s primarily geared toward an older audience. The main difference between shonen and seinen is that seinen tends to linger more on adult themes and contain more graphic, visual depictions of violence. Not every seinen is a hit, but there’s a stellar selection of seinen anime that have received critical acclaim.

10 The Classic Berserk (1997) Wins Critical Acclaim All Around

While its remake may not have been received very well, the classic Berserk that came out in 1997 was with both viewer and critical acclaim. The plot primarily follows Guts, a lone mercenary and warrior who gets by on nothing more than his instinctual desire to survive.

Berserk‘s production was a collaborative effort between Nippon Television and VAP, and ran for a total of twenty-five episodes. Nearly every aspect of Berserk was praised by critics, including its storytelling, setting, soundtrack, and characters. Everything came together to create a truly unforgettable experience for the time.

9 Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War Is A Romantic Comedy In A League Of Its Own

Romantic comedies aren’t typically one of the first genres that come to mind when viewers think about seinen. However, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War manages to capture the best aspects of the genre while still remembering to appeal to its audience.

Kaguya-sama: Love Is War follows student council president Miyuki and vice-president Kaguya, who are aware of their feelings for one another but far too proud to admit them. This immediately sets Kaguya-sama‘spremise apart from most other romantic comedies and raises the stakes, as the two essentially battle to see who will admit their feelings first.

8 Cowboy Bebop Is Heralded As One Of The Best Animated Series, Period

Fans don’t even need to know what seinen is to have at least heard of the masterpiece that is Cowboy Bebop. Set fifty years in the future, Cowboy Bebop follows a traveling crew of bounty-hunters aboard a futuristic spaceship and the hijinks that inevitably follow.

Cowboy Bebop has been recognized as not just one of the greatest seinen anime of all time but one of the greatest animated works in general. What’s particularly impressive is that even the dub is met with high praise. Fans of most series will urge new viewers to stick to subtitles, lest they want their experience to be potentially ruined.

7 Critics Feel That Bungo Stray Dogs Has Potential

Due to the wide nature of what can constitute a seinen anime, there are countless unique plot opportunities for writers to go wild with. One of the most memorable in recent history is Bungo Stray Dogs, which follows members of the Armed Detective Agency as they protect the city from the mafia.

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Aside from a common criticism that Bungo Stray Dogs suffers from slow pacing, the series was met with praise from both critics and general viewers alike. The main draw is its characters, which are all lovingly crafted to be believable and well-written.

6 Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex Is Believably Futuristic

Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex critical acclaim on many fronts, having more than lived up to the already-critically acclaimed 1995 Ghost In The Shell movie. One of the aspects it gets the most praise for is how it manages to present a futuristic but still believably real world to its audience, a world that still clearly feels like modern Japan.

Its setting is described as feeling unlikely but not impossible, adding to that feeling of connection that real-world viewers have with the on-screen characters. Stand Alone Complex is even heralded as being entertaining and easy to understand, even when treated as its own piece of media, meaning those with no prior experience to the franchise can still enjoy the series.

5 One-Punch Man Is Considered An Instant Success

It’s no small feat whenever an anime manages to not only completely dissect and pick fun at its genre but gains universal acclaim in the process. This is exactly the case with One Punch Man, a seinen that follows the overpowered superhero Saitama, as it proceeds to poke fun at typical overpowered superhero series tropes.

One Punch Man‘sfirst season was easily met with critical acclaim all across the board. Its humor, characters, fight scenes, animation, and uniqueness were all praised. Season Two wouldn’t perform as well, however, with many noting a dip in quality following a change in animation studios.

4 Vinland Saga Is A Must-Watch Of The 2010s Era

Vinland Saga is a historical seinen anime that focuses on combining an original revenge plot with the historic rise to power of King Cnut the Great. while Vinland Saga is technically considered a shonen, it’s got enough of a focus on heavier, more adult themes in order for it to count as a seinen, as well.

Not many anime are able to grasp hold of even those who typically aren’t interested, but Vinland Saga manages to do this thanks to its complex cast of characters and focus on political intrigue. It’s been praised all around, being considered a must-watch and one of the best anime of the 2010s.

3 Blue Period Heartwarmingly Follows The Path Of A New Artist

Although seinen anime are known for handling heavier, more adult themes than most other genres, that doesn’t mean they have to be gorier or more violent. Some seinen instead focus on the coming-of-age struggle that all young adults go through. Such is the case with Blue Period.

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Blue Period follows Yatora Yaguchi, a popular high-schooler who deals with feelings of loneliness despite his status. He becomes inspired to pursue art after visiting his school’s art club. Critics especially praised Blue Period‘s characters, as well as its coming-of-age narrative

2 Critics Praise The Artistic Style of xxxHolic

xxxHolic is another great example of how unique plots within seinen anime can become, even when dealing with a typically-mundane concept like a high-schooler getting a part-time job. Kimihiro Watanuki is a high-schooler disturbed by an ability to see spirits, and Yuko Ichihara is a witch who agrees to lift his curse if he agrees to work part-time at her shop.

The anime for xxxHolic isn’t as well-received as the manga, but that doesn’t mean it’s without critic praise altogether. while xxxHolic‘soverall animation would receive criticism, it would be praised for its characters, as well as its balancing of horror and comedic elements.

1 March Comes In Like A Lion Deals With Loss & Maturity

Introverted viewers will easily find themselves able to relate with Rei Kiriyama, the main character of March Comes In Like A Lion. Rei is a professional shogi player in training who struggles socially after the loss of his family and not having any close friends.

March Comes In Like A Lion focuses on Rei’s growth, not just as a professional shogi player, but as a person as well. Both seasons of the anime did quite well, with critics praising its ability to use background environments to portray character emotions.

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