The 10 Most Underrated Anime to Spice Up Your To Watch List


There’s never been a better time to be an anime fan than right now. We’re living through an age where brilliant Japanese animation has become more accessible than ever. Thanks to streamers like Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Netflix, we’re inundated with incredible anime to watch.

The downside of that is you’ve probably already gone through all the best anime of all time like Akira, Sailor Moon, and Dragon Ball Z, along with contemporary hits like Attack on Titan, Ranking of Kings, One Punch Man, and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. So we’re here to deliver on some of the more underrated, and in some cases, criminally underseen anime that we love. There’s kaiju, a smash-hit series spinoff you might have missed, some cult comedy, and even a couple of unreal anime anthologies featuring shorts from your favorite directors.

The Most Underrated Anime to Watch

10. Godzilla Singular Point

Where to watch: Netflix

While there are three canon Godzilla anime movies available on Netflix right now, we’re spotlighting their extremely rad kaiju adventure series Godzilla Singular Point. The action takes place in Japan, 2030. A strange radio broadcast brings together a ragtag group of kids who — along with one of their creations: Jet Jaguar — begin to uncover a hidden world of monsters. Featuring many of the most famous Toho kaiju alongside the titular fan fave creature, this is an awesome sci-fi romp which will delight both new and old fans of Godzilla, king of the monsters.

9. Super Crooks

Where to watch: Netflix

This Netflix anime series went a little under the radar when it was released in 2021, perhaps because of its unexpected origin working as both a prequel and adaptation of a Jupiter’s Legacy spinoff comic. Far better than Netflix’s live action take on that Mark Millar and Frank Quitely comic, Millar and Lenil Yu’s Super Crooks delivers a slick Ocean’s Eleven style heist story. But instead of the charming underdogs of that story, our thieves are some of the world’s most diabolical supervillains. Led by Johnny Bolt, a wannabe superhero turned supervillain, the crew gets into all kinds of criminal shenanigans, slowly finding their footing in the world of both super-villainy and super-thievery.

Read our review of Super Crooks.

8. Mermaid’s Scar

Based on Rumiko Takahashi’s evocative Mermaid Saga manga series, this romance anime horror story is inspired by Japanese mermaid folklore. In those legends, anyone who eats the flesh of a mermaid gains the gift (or curse) of immortal life. There’s a flip side, though. Not everyone who eats it keeps their human form. More often than not, they become monsters. Mermaid’s Scar follows Yuta and Mana, two wanderers who have their own connection to the mermaids. Their quiet yet tortured lives are thrown into disarray arrive in a new town where they hear rumors of an unexpected person who may have consumed the magical flesh. All in all, there’s nothing quite like Mermaid’s Scar.

7. Summer Wars

Where to watch: Funimation

The legendary director Mamoru Hosoda followed up his beloved sci-fi romance The Girl Who Leapt Through Time with this refreshing 2009 tale of a malicious artificial intelligence and the high school student who has to stop it wreaking havoc on the world. Blending the slice of life reality of growing up with exhilaratingly rendered online action, we follow Kenji as he tries to halt Love Machine, the sentient computer virus he accidentally unleashed. This is a uniquely entertaining and original take on the teen movie driven by groundbreaking animation.

6. Welcome to the NHK

Where to watch: Funimation

Living his life as a near shut-in, Satou has become a hikikomori. His days are defined by the walls of his tiny apartment and his overwhelming belief in a conspiracy that a nefarious organization called the NHK (Japan’s public television station) is behind his struggles. Luckily, he meets a beautiful girl named Misaki, who makes him sign a contract to learn how to live in the outside world. Things take an even stranger turn when an old high school acquaintance moves into the apartment next door. Welcome to the NHK is a true tragicomedy masterpiece!

5. Thus Spoke Kishebe Rohan

Where to watch: Netflix

It’s hard to put into words just how fun this JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures spinoff is. In case you’re not caught up, Rohan is a stylish mangaka first introduced in Jojo’s third season, Diamond is Unbreakable. Thus Spoke Kishebe Rohan takes him out of that sprawling series and thrusts him into a nightmarish world of horror. Each of Rohan’s tales is darkly hilarious and features unique takes on classical horror tropes. At the heart of it is the over the top cartoonist and his iconic fashion sense. The only problem with this show is it needs more episodes!

4. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Where to watch: Funimation

Funny, sweet, and silly, this constantly evolving adaptation of the light novels of the same name is a show unlike any other. It follows the titular first year high school student who wishes for more weirdness in her life. Our in-character is Kyon, who finds himself reluctantly roped into a web of madness when he’s seated next to Suzumiya on the first day of class. Together they found a club called the SOS Brigade to search out aliens, espers, and time travelers at their school and beyond. Unbeknownst to Haruhi and Kyon, all three of the supernatural folks are closer than they think and they’re all very interested in Haruhi…

3. Robot Carnival

Where to watch: Prime Video

This lost gem has one of the most epic opening sequences of all time as the titular robot carnival comes to town. From there this largely dialogue-free anthology delivers wonderfully animated takes on Frankenstein, a City Pop style cyborg romance, the evolution of man, and more. This is a true masterpiece of finesse and experimentation, offering every viewer something to chew on. With stories written by Katshuhiro Otomo and music by Studio Ghibli icon Joe Hisaishi, this is an absolute treat that’ll expand your expectations of anime.

2. Welcome to the Space Show

Where to watch: Prime Video

One of the best anime movies of the 2010s, Welcome to the Space Show takes a Studio Ghibli style narrative and flings it into the wilds of space with a psychedelic visual flare. A group of elementary school students head to the forest to spend a few days in their empty schoolhouse. The beautiful and calm escape is a tradition, but their languorous days are disrupted when they find what seems to be an injured dog in the forest. After helping the pup heal, he reveals his true nature: a space-traversing alien who takes them on a journey of a lifetime in this joyous feature.

1. Memories, “Magnetic Rose”

Where to watch: Tubic

This cult anime anthology features three sci-fi stories from the minds of two of the greatest directors of all time: Satoshi Kon and Katsuhiro Otomo. While the whole movie is worth a watch, the true standout is Magnetic Rose. Directed by Kōji Morimoto based on a screenplay and story by Kon and Otomo respectively, it’s one of the most atmospheric and beautiful space set stories we’ve ever seen. A spaceship, the Corona, responds to a distress call deep in the cosmos. On arrival they find a gorgeously ornate yet distressingly abandoned space station. Its halls are haunted by memories of its previous owners, but that’s not all that resides there. Creepy, stunningly animated, and sparking off a wonderful anthology, Magnetic Rose worth a watch.

What other underrated anime movies and shows have flown under the radar? Tell us in the comments below!

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