Start your journey to become the King of the Weebs.
Even though anime has made its way into the mainstream over the past few years, negative notions about the medium persist.
With the exception of a few mature animated comedies (some of which are fantastic and thematically complex, like Bojack Horseman), animation in the US is still typically viewed as a medium for children. The idea that cartoons are kid sh*t, while perhaps understandable for someone who has only ever been exposed to Western media, is ignorant of the broad range of animation in other cultures.
In a similar vein, a lot of people insist that they just can't get into anime, or they stigmatize all of it because they don't like the "schoolgirl stuff." But it's important to remember that anime isn't a genre–It's a medium.
Individual anime series fall into every genre under the sun, just like movies and live-action TV shows. Saying you don't like anime because of the schoolgirl stuff (which is a very valid thing to dislike) is kind of like saying you don't like movies because of slasher films. You're writing off an entire medium of art over a genre that you can easily avoid.
So let's say you are open to watching anime, but aren't quite sure where to start. Or, more likely, maybe you already love anime and you're trying to find a series to convince your SO that the $200 action figure in your room was a totally reasonable thing to buy (it was, and your life choices are perfect). Just check out any of these gateway anime series that serve as perfect entry points into the medium's diverse offerings.
Sword Art Online
ASCII Media Works
It's hard to recommend Sword Art Online. Unlike all the other series on this list, it is not a particularly good show. The writing is piss-poor. The main character, Kirito, is a total Gary Sue who is great at everything he does and beloved by everyone.
The main female character, Asuna, is introduced as a skilled fighter, only to be immediately upstaged by Kirito and relegated to the role of damsel for the rest of the series. But it's also impossible to deny that Sword Art Online was probably the biggest gateway anime for Gen Z, and the premise of MMO players getting trapped in the game is a lot of fun, at least on paper. If you watch it, check your brain at the door.