Criminally underrated anime you might have missed..

With so much anime out there, it’s hard to tell what’s good or what’s not unless you do a bit of digging and research. In the process, there are tons of great anime series that get overlooked or don’t get as much credit as they deserve. This list is full of underrated anime that doesn’t get brought up enough, even though they’re all fantastic series that deserve your viewing time.

Good anime can get outshined and overshadowed by other creations from the same studio, or just plain forgotten about or overlooked. These underrated anime series range from older series to like Satoshi Kon’s Paranoia Agent to more modern hits like Shinichiro Watanabe’s Space Dandy.


Eden of the East

Eden of the East is suspense, drama, and romance all bundled up into 11 episodes of psychological awesome. A mysterious man has his memories erased, and discovers that he’s part of a game where he has to save Japan with only ¥10 billion (about $93,109,000 USD.) If all the money gets used up, his game is over. Eden of the East is accompanied by 3 films, Air Communication (a compilation film), The King of Eden, and Paradise Lost, which accompany the series beautifully.

Fans of thrillers, mysteries, and high tech will really enjoy this one.

Also Ranked:

  • #5 on The 15+ Best Anime for Christians
  • #74 on The Best English Dubbed Anime of All Time
  • #21 on The 25+ Best Anime With Only One Season
  • #32 on The Best Anime With Adult Protagonists



Mushi-shi is a collection of stories following Ginko, who can see ethereal beings called Mushi. A lot of people can not see or interact with Mushi, so Ginko employs himself as a traveling “Mushi Master” in order to aid people who are disturbed by their presence. The paranormal and surreal experiences Ginko goes through while dealing with the Mushi are cool insights on Japanese superstition, and very enticing to follow. It’s a tad bit slow, but well worth the watch.

Also Ranked:

  • #47 on The Best Supernatural Anime


Ergo Proxy

Ergo proxy is beautifully animated and deals with philosophical subjects in an ominous, cyberpunk future setting. Robots and cybernetic beings called AutoReivs are slowly being infected by a virus which causes them to become self-aware. If you’ve ever seen a dark cyberpunk film, you know that robots gaining sentience starts to throw off the balance of society. As the story progresses, you begin to learn just how messed up things in this dystopian world really are.

Also Ranked:

  • #26 on The Best Adult Anime of All Time
  • #62 on The Top Horror Anime of All Time
  • #15 on The Best Gothic Anime Series Of All Time
  • #21 on The Best Seinen Anime & Manga Series


Paranoia Agent

Paranoia Agent involves street assaults, victims, detectives, and a mysterious “Bat Boy” (AKA “Lil’ Slugger”) that brings them all together. The anime has a lot of satirical and existential paranormal aspects and is very enjoyable to follow if you’re a fan of dark thrillers. Although Paranoia Agent had a brief run on Adult Swim, it’s not an anime that would come up in casual conversation or really gets as much attention as it deserves.

Also Ranked:

  • #22 on The Top Horror Anime of All Time
  • #30 on 25+ Anime With Great Rewatch Value
  • #15 on The 40+ Trippiest Anime That Mess With Your Head
  • #18 on The Best Psychological Thriller Anime of All Time


Last Exile

Last Exile was well received in America, but isn’t often talked about. The series has a steampunk theme, with a lot of the deigns being a wonderful fusion of Europe’s rising industrial period and German inter-war technology and mechanics. With flying ships, WWII-era fashion, and an amazing storyline, this anime is basically candy for people who are into science fiction, steampunk, and adventure genres.

Also Ranked:

  • #27 on The 25+ Best Anime With Only One Season
  • #43 on The Very Best Anime for Kids
  • #32 on Anime You Wish Was Streaming on Netflix


Serial Experiments Lain

This cryptic sci-fi series came out during a time in the ’90s when cyberpunk was thriving. Lain gets herself into a chain of dark events that bring her to a virtual reality network called the Wired, which she slowly uploads herself into permanently. The psychological horror and trans-humanist themes will undoubtedly captivate you.

Also Ranked:

  • #25 on The Top Horror Anime of All Time
  • #12 on The 40+ Trippiest Anime That Mess With Your Head
  • #25 on The Best Psychological Thriller Anime of All Time
  • #82 on The Saddest Anime Series of All Time



This Battle Royal style anime follows Ryōta Sakamoto who seems to have fallen into the world of Btooom!, a combat video game which he holds the title as one of the world’s top players. Everything in this world is exactly like his game, and he is forced to kill other players in the “game” in order to make it out, and even meets up his in-game wife. It’s very psychological and impactful, and is filled with tons of gritty action scenes. If you love bombs and survival game anime, this one is definitely for you.

Also Ranked:

  • #9 on Anime That Totally Deserve A Second Season
  • #72 on The Best Romance Anime Ever Made
  • #31 on The Top Horror Anime of All Time
  • #20 on The 25+ Best Anime With Only One Season



Ben-To is a ridiculous harem anime about brawling for bento boxes. Why make such a big deal over bento boxes? They’re half-priced, of course. Bento brawls have rules though, and if Yō Satō wants those bento boxes, he’ll have to learn and abide by them. The fights are pretty much a melee free-for-all where chopsticks are thrown and tactics can get sneaky.

Also Ranked:

  • #25 on The 25+ Best Ecchi Action Anime Ever Made
  • #8 on The Best Cooking Anime of All Time



Originally a manga series made by the same team behind Death NoteBakuman. is about a manga writer. It was a well received in Japan’s Weekly Shonen Jump, resulting in it being adapted into an animated series. The plot has a lot of character development, especially in the aspect of their passions and careers. However, because the series is about manga writing, it may not seem appealing at first to people who don’t read manga. We promise it’s worth the watch though!

Also Ranked:

  • #22 on The Best Shonen Jump Anime of All Time


Space Dandy

Space Dandy is a really fun sci-fi comedy good for anyone who’s looking for a lighthearted and quirky adventure. The title character, Dandy, is super fashionable and sort of like a scientific bounty hunter for aliens. Newly discovered aliens have a high price tag on their heads for their discovery, but the competition is cutthroat. Dandy and his his sidekicks travel to the edge of the universe to discover new life forms as the best dressed hunters in the galaxy.

Also Ranked:

  • #16 on The 40+ Trippiest Anime That Mess With Your Head
  • #38 on Which Anime Universe Would You Want To Live In?
  • #91 on The Best Adult Cartoon Shows in TV History


Excel Saga

Film buffs will love picking out pop culture jokes and tropes in Excel Saga. The title character, Excel, is part of a secret totalitarian organization bent on conquering the world. Alongside her pet/emergency food and two accomplices, and of course, their great leader, they erratically carry out their missions for world domination in over-dramatic, risque, and often bloody ways. Each episode is a parody of a film genre, and the characters act out a parody of sports anime, romantic comedies, sci-fi flicks, and everything in-between.

Also Ranked:

  • #35 on The 40+ Trippiest Anime That Mess With Your Head
  • #18 on The Best Body Swap Anime Ever Made
  • #6 on The Weirdest Anime Shows of All Time


Angelic Layer

Angelic Layer is a super adorable and uplifting anime from CLAMP, the all-female manga artist group behind anime such as Chobits and Cardcaptor Sakura. It’s based around a popular fighting game of the same name where people contest each other with fairy-like robot dolls. The characters go through a lot of development and growth, and it’s also really fun to watch tiny robot battle arena fights. Because CLAMP gets a lot of attention for their more popular anime, Angelic Layer is often overlooked.

Also Ranked:

  • #27 on The Best Anime With Tournaments


Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt

Among Gainax’s titan anime classics like Neon Genesis: Evangelion and FLCL, some gems can be overlooked. Panty and Stocking with Garterbeltis definitely a fun, sassy, and psychedelic gem. The fallen angel sisters, Panty and Stocking, fight ghosts under the watchful eye of Reverend Garterbelt. And how do they fight ghosts? By turning their lingerie into weapons.

Also Ranked:

  • #15 on Anime That Totally Deserve A Second Season
  • #3 on List of All Gainax Anime, Ranked Best to Worst
  • #19 on The Best Anime To Have On In The Background
  • #76 on The Best Anime Soundtracks of All Time



There’s a fight for control over the dejected underground city of Lux.When orphaned prize fighter Ichise loses his limbs, he becomes the prime subject for the future of prosthetic limbs called Texhnolyze.

Tha anime is dark and gritty, and fans of cyberpunk and dark crime will enjoy following Ichise as the city breaks out into war.

Also Ranked:

  • #99 on The Saddest Anime Series of All Time
  • #19 on Anime With The Darkest Endings
  • #10 on 20+ Boring & Slow Paced Anime Series
  • #15 on The Best Post-Apocalyptic Anime of All Time


Detroit Metal City

In a funny satirical series about Soichi Negishi, a pop idol at heart but a heavy metal frontman by trade, Detroit Metal City follows his duel lifestyle and the antics that ensue while being a pop idol stuck in a brutal heavy metal band. Negishi wanted to be a pop star, but when things weren’t quite working out, he joined Detroit Metal City… and he absolutely hates it. No matter how hard he tries to escape, he can’t seem to get away and take his pop career off the ground. The name of the anime is even based off of Kiss’s single “Detroit Rock City”.


Baby Steps

Baby Steps is an uplifting anime about a highschool student who isn’t happy with his current physical state, so decides to take up a new routine… Tennis! The encouraging sports/slice-of-life series follows the main character’s ambition to better himself through taking up a new practice. Although the series is pretty low-key, watching his journey and work ethic is very inspiring and heartwarming.

Also Ranked:

  • #13 on The Greatest Anime From Studio Pierrot
  • #7 on The Best Sports Manga of All Time


Gatchaman Crowds

This action-packed anime is about a super group of special warriors called the Gatchaman. Using their NOTE, suits powered by their own spiritual powers, the Gatchaman protect their city against aliens and evil organizations. The art style of Gatchaman Crowds is as edgy and colorful as the series itself. If you like superheroes and mech, this one’s for you.


Kuuchuu Buranko (Welcome to Irabu’s Office)

Kuuchuu Buranko doesn’t have a typical “anime style” and isn’t originally based on a manga. It’s a series of short stories that were published in a Japanese literary magazine for nearly 6 years that was later adapted into an anime. Each episode is about a different patient of Ichiro Irabu’s, who visits his psychiatric ward suffering from a different psychological problem. Irabu, however, has a fancy for administering strange injections to help his patients. The animation itself is surreal and colorful, and the series is a treat for fans of dark and weird clinical experiments.

Comments (1)
April 16, 2019

I have only seen two of these. Both were amazing in both content and the well designed character makeup. I will be looking up the rest up. Thank you for the leads. And as an old school American anime fan after Akira and vampire hunter D adding Utawarerumono that one never gets any credit as well. Respectfully T*

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