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So You Want to Get into Anime: The Best Gateway Anime Series to Indoctrinate Normies

Start your journey to become the King of the Weebs.

Shueisha

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.


Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)

Kodansha

Few series have ever come close to crafting a narrative as perfect as Attack on Titan. The premise is high-concept: The last surviving humans live in a walled off city surrounded by giant, humanoid, man-eating monsters called Titans. One day the walls are breached, and three surviving children—Eren, Mikasa, and Armin—set their sights on joining the military in order to fight back for the sake of humanity. But what could have been a simple, straight-forward action-horror show, turned out to be so much more. Nothing is ever as it seems in Attack on Titan, and the plot continually twists to turn everything you thought you knew on its head. Attack on Titan is thrilling, terrifying, tragic, and emotionally resonant, oftentimes all at once. It's a show about the horrors of war and the lengths humans will go to protect the things they hold dear to them. If you only watch one anime ever, make sure it's Attack on Titan.

Jack White almost became a priest.

But then again, did he? The iconic rocker has regularly beguiled the press. "I'd got accepted to a seminary in Wisconsin," he told 60 Minutes Mike Wallace back in 2005 in what seemed like a moment of genuine candor. "At the last second, I thought, 'I'll just go to public school."

Whether you believe that story or not, the blues-rock polymath, who turns 45 today, has led an undeniably punk life and crafted some of the most sacred rock music in history. Two decades after The White Stripes' self-titled debut, Jack White has remained purposefully slippery with the public. He told publications that he and Meg White, his then-wife and White Stripes-cohort, were the youngest of ten siblings and claimed that his label, Third Man Records, used to be a candy company, among other outlandish claims.

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19 Best Anime Series You Can Watch on Netflix

Check out the best anime currently streaming on Netflix!

Kodansha

Anime isn't just an art form; it's a way of life.

I might enjoy watching Stranger Things, but I'd never shell out $1000+ for a Dustin vs The Mind Flayer 1:6 scale statue or a Demogorgon body pillow. Okay, that's not entirely true, I'd probably buy a Demogorgon body pillow. But if I'm going to spend $1000 on a statue, it's going to be on something like this. And no, that's not just because anime battles are cooler than battles in any other medium (and yes, I actually did buy that).



What sets anime apart from everything else is that, at its best, great anime combines action, fantasy, and humor with gorgeous art and cutting emotional impact in a way quite unlike anything else I've ever experienced. I recommend anime to anyone and everyone, and if you're seriously looking to get into the medium (legally), I'd recommend subscribing to Crunchyroll for its massive library. But for those just starting out, Netflix has a great range of anime series that are sure to show any budding anime buff what the medium has to offer:



Attack on Titan

Kodansha

Arguably one of the best series ever made (anime or otherwise...just look at the top TV episodes on IMDB), Attack on Titan is a brutal, complex story about humanity's last stand against mysterious, man-eating monsters called titans. The show steers clear of a lot of anime tropes that typically turn off newer anime viewers, and the plotting is mind-blowing. If there's only one anime you ever watch, make sure it's Attack on Titan.