15 Best Gateway Anime to Get Your Anime-Hating Friends Hooked on Anime

Ever tried convincing your anime-hating pals to give this colorful world a shot? We’ve got your back! From epic adventures to heartwarming romance, these shows are the perfect gateway material that will introduce just about anyone to the anime universe. Let’s turn skeptics into fans, one binge-worthy series at a time!

15. Your Lie in April

  • Aired on: 2014-2015
  • Genres: Drama, Music, Romance, School, Shounen
  • Seasons: 1

If your friends appreciate a story that tugs at the heartstrings and explores the depths of human emotions, Your Lie in April is a perfect gateway anime. The magnetic pull of its characters, coupled with the magnetic pull of classical music, makes it a captivating watch.

The story revolves around Kousei Arima, a piano prodigy who loses his ability to hear the music after a traumatic event. His monochrome world gains color when he meets the free-spirited violinist Kaori Miyazono. Together, they embark on a musical journey that transcends the boundaries of friendship and love.

14. Cowboy Bepop

  • Aired on: 1998-1999
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi, Space
  • Seasons: 1

Cowboy Bebop is a genre-defying classic that blends elements of space opera, film noir, and westerns. Its unique style, memorable characters, and jazz-infused soundtrack set it apart as a timeless masterpiece. The anime’s lasting popularity, even a quarter-century after its television debut, and its significant cultural impact attest to its exceptional storytelling and its ability to resonate with audiences.

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Set in a futuristic world where bounty hunters (cowboys) roam the galaxy, the series follows the adventures of the laid-back Spike Spiegel and his diverse crew aboard the spaceship Bebop.

13. One Punch Man

  • Aired on: Season 1 (2015), Season 2 (2019)
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Parody, Sci-Fi, Super Power, Supernatural
  • Seasons: 2

One Punch Man injects humor into the superhero genre, providing a fresh and comical perspective on the clichés of powerful protagonists. With jaw-dropping animation and a satirical storyline, it’s a delightful entry point for those unfamiliar with anime.

In this anime, we meet Saitama, an ordinary man who becomes a hero for fun, possesses an unbeatable ability—he can defeat any opponent with a single punch. However, this immense strength becomes a source of boredom for him as he searches for a worthy adversary, all while dealing with all sorts of villains and Hero Association.

12. Assassination Classroom

  • Aired on: 2015-2016
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, School, Shounen, Supernatural
  • Seasons: 2

For those seeking a mix of laughter, action, and a touch of of heartfelt moments, Assassination Classroom hits the mark. The show’s balance between lighthearted moments and deeper themes makes it an ideal introduction to anime, showcasing the medium’s versatility.

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The series introduces a powerful, octopus-like creature that destroys part of the moon and threatens to do the same to Earth. However, he offers a deal: he becomes the teacher of Class 3-E, and the students must try to assassinate him before the school year ends. As the students form an unusual bond with their target, they discover more about life, friendship, and themselves.

11. Death Note

  • Aired on: 2006-2007
  • Genres: Mystery, Police, Psychological, Supernatural, Thriller
  • Seasons: 1

Death Note is among the most common gateway anime that most people recommend to their friends. A psychological thriller, the anime explores the consequences of absolute power, making it a gripping choice for newcomers.

Imagine possessing a notebook that can cause the death of anyone you choose, just by writing their name in it. This is the premise of Death Note, keeping the viewers on the edge of their seats with its intense cat-and-mouse game between the protagonist and antagonist.

10. Haikyuu!!

  • Aired on: Season 1 (2014-2015), Season 2 (2015-2016), Season 3 (2016), Season 4 (2020)
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, School, Shounen, Sports
  • Seasons: 4

Even if you’re not a sports enthusiast, Haikyuu!! draws you in with its compelling characters and their journey to conquer challenges. The series’ emphasis on teamwork and perseverance transcends the sports anime genre, making it accessible and enjoyable for a broad audience.

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The anime has gained widespread acclaim for its realistic portrayal of volleyball matches, coupled with well-developed characters. The series has successfully sparked interest in the sport among viewers who may not have previously been fans of volleyball.

9. Hunter x Hunter

  • Aired on: Original Series (1999-2001), 2011 Series (2011-2014)
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
  • Seasons: Multiple arcs within the series, no distinct season structure

Hunter x Hunter’s popularity and impact on popular culture have extended beyond anime, with the series influencing other media and garnering a cult following. The hit shounen series features adrenaline-fueled scenes, a beloved cast, and explores universal themes like friendship, morality, and consequences. As a result, it has the potential to win over even the most hesitant viewers.

The story follows Gon Freecss, a young boy who sets out to become a Hunter, an elite member of society who specializes in finding rare treasures, exploring uncharted territories, and accomplishing impossible tasks.

8. KonoSuba

  • Aired on: Season 1 (2016), Season 2 (2017), OVA (2016), Movie (2019)
  • Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
  • Seasons: 2

Konosuba is a great gateway anime for new viewers because it is funny, relatable, and easy to watch. The series is a great introduction to the world of anime and is sure to leave viewers laughing. Moreover, the anime has 10 episodes per season, making it a quick and easy watch for newcomers.

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It follows Kazuma Satou, a shut-in gamer who is transported to another world after dying in a traffic accident. He is given the opportunity to choose one item to bring with him to the new world, and he chooses Aqua, a useless goddess who is more interested in drinking and partying than in helping Kazuma on his quest to defeat the Demon King.

7. Naruto

  • Aired on: Original Series (2002-2007), Naruto: Shippuden (2007-2017)
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Martial Arts
  • Seasons: Multiple arcs within the series, no distinct season structure

Naruto Uzumaki is an orphan who dreams of becoming Hokage, the leader of Konohagakure, a ninja village. Despite being ostracized for carrying the Nine-Tailed Fox demon, he never gives up on his dream.

Spanning 720 episodes and numerous OVAs, the Naruto world is both complex and fascinating. It’s no wonder that this anime has garnered a massive fanbase and holds a spot among the best-selling manga of all time. Naruto’s journey, an inspiring underdog tale, easily connects with viewers of all ages.

6. My Dress-up Darling

  • Aired on: 2022
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance, School
  • Seasons: 1

My Dress-up Darling hit the anime scene in 2022 and blew up because it brought a unique vibe to the romance and slice-of-life genres, making it a fantastic gateway anime for new viewers to the genre. The quirky characters, especially the main duo, Marin and Gojo, add a lot of charm and a good reason to watch the anime.

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With beautiful animation, relatable themes, and a mix of humor and heart, it quickly became a fan favorite. The anime is a delightful tale of a shy doll-maker and a vivacious cosplayer who discover love and friendship through their shared passion for fashion and artistry.

5. Demon Slayer

  • Aired on: Season 1 (2019), Movie (2020), Season 2 (2021-2022), Season 3 (2023)
  • Genres: Action, Demons, Historical, Supernatural
  • Seasons: 3

The Demon Slayer franchise has generated billions of dollars in revenue, making it one of the most successful anime franchises of all time. It’s action-packed, visually stunning, and heartwarming. With its colorful cast of characters, universal themes, and global popularity, Demon Slayer is sure to appeal even to anime-hating friends.

The show centers around Tanjiro Kamado, a young boy whose family is slaughtered by demons, and his sister, Nezuko, is turned into one. Driven by the quest for revenge and to cure his sister, Tanjiro joins the Demon Slayer Corps, an organization dedicated to battling demons and protecting humanity.

4. Attack on Titan

  • Aired on: Season 1 (2013), Season 2 (2017), Season 3 (2018-2019), Season 4 (2020-2023)
  • Genres: Action, Demons, Historical, Supernatural
  • Seasons: 4

Attack on Titan is often hailed as a masterpiece, and for good reason. This unpredictable shounen series delivers the whole package: incredible worldbuilding, mind-blowing character development, and extremely intense battles. With numerous likable characters to choose from, the more you get to know them, the more love you’ll find for each one.

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Eren Yeager, our fiery protagonist, witnesses the destruction of his home by Titans and vows to eradicate them. Little does he know, there are mysteries within the walls that go beyond just mindless Titans.

3. Sword Art Online

  • Aired on: Season 1 (2012), Season 2 (2014), Season 3 (2018-2020)
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi
  • Seasons: 3

Sword Art Online makes for a killer gateway anime for any gamer. If you’ve ever lost yourself in a video game or daydreamed about being part of one, the series takes that fantasy to the extreme. Of course, it doesn’t forget to throw in some wholesome romance and an OP protagonist to make it a complete package.

The anime is basically the ultimate gaming fantasy gone haywire. It’s got action, romance, and a gripping storyline to keep you entertained. Plus, if you’ve ever wondered what it’d be like to live inside a game, this anime will answer that question.

2. Frieren

  • Aired on: 2023-2024
  • Genres: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
  • Seasons: 1

Currently airing, Frieren is a drama/fantasy anime that ranks as #1 on MAL, dethroning Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. However, Frieren might not cater to everyone’s taste. Unlike some flashy counterparts on this list, the anime doesn’t rely on spectacle; instead, it shines in its storytelling and worldbuilding.

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The story follows Frieren, an Elven girl with a lengthy lifespan, who sets out to understand the human way of life after the loss of her closest friend. As she reunites with her remaining friends, she gathers apprentices and embarks on a journey to relive the adventures they once shared.

1. Spy x Family

  • Aired on: Season 1 (2022), Season 2 (2023)
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Spy Fiction
  • Seasons: 2

Spy x Family has recently earned a spot on the list of the best selling manga, having more than 34 million copies in circulation. The quality of the anime is on par with its manga counterpart, making it a favorite and family-friendly choice for a wide audience. After all, it’s a masterclass in blending genres, offering fans a fresh take on the spy and family dynamics.

You will meet Twilight, a suave spy tasked with a mission to infiltrate an elite school. To maintain his cover, he needs a family, and quickly. Enter Yor, a telepathic young girl, and Anya, a mysterious girl with a secret. Together, they form a family that’s as dysfunctional as it is endearing.

Misaka
Misaka

Hi, my name is Mia, and I am the founder of 9 Tailed Kitsune. I am a big fan of esports, games, and anime. When I was around 7 years old, Phantom Thief Jeanne sparked my fascination for anime, and it has never faded! 🌟💖

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