In this age of popular and consumerist cultural discourse, often what gets created is lost and forgotten before another replaces it. Anime experiences the same kind of convention, where the underrated anime shows sometimes come with extraordinary plots but are pushed by their fate into the abysmal depths of the unknown and the uncertain. In this article, we will look at the top 5 underrated anime shows that managed to deliver a classic plot but could never receive the fame and popularity that they deserved.
Top 5 Underrated Anime Shows (Ranked)
5. Darker Than Black
Darker Than Black is a masterpiece of mystery, science fiction, and thriller animation. To be honest, it’s a shame that despite being a masterpiece, the series received little fan attention. Tensai Okamura, who has notably worked on classic anime series such as Cowboy Bebop, Sword Art Online, Soul Eater, and The Seven Deadly Sins, is the mastermind of the series.
- The plot of Darker Than Black revolves around the mysterious phenomenal reality of the “Hell’s Gate” that comes out of nowhere in Tokyo.
- Several Psychics with extraordinary abilities attempt to unravel the enigma of the gate.
However, the plot primarily follows the voyage of Hei and his blind partner Yin, two of the world’s most powerful Psychics. This intriguing and evolutionary plot with a fantastical and adventurous approach remains one of the most underrated anime of our times.
4. Serial Experiments Lain
Chiaki J. Konaka, a well-known writer for his contributions to cyberpunk and psychological works, created Serial Experiments Lain. While it remains one of the most underappreciated of his works, the plot is an involving and arduous narration of a complex narrative. The story takes its own time to evolve, subsequently following a narrative arc, and remains difficult to grasp for the average viewer.
- For anyone with a fondness for a fast-paced tale with a straightforward finale, this might not be the show they’re searching for.
- But for those with a likeness for a developing and consequential storyline, the show remains a classic underrated anime recommendation.
Serial Experiments Lain is the narration of a strange event when fourteen-year-old Lain finds herself in the Wired virtual world. Her life changes drastically and entirely following that event, as odd and unusual occurrences begin to occur while she becomes more involved with the Wired.
3. Senryu Girl
While most rom-com fans of the present generation are familiar with Komi Can’t Communicate, anime aficionados may have ignored its more obscure and distant relative, Senryu Girl. The idea is similar, with a charming girl named Nanako who can only communicate through handwriting. While popular culture could provide a space for Komi and her story, Nanako remained in the shadows and thus remained an underrated anime that the popular discourse sidelined.
Sendyu Girl follows the story of Nanako who quickly befriends a kind-hearted ex-punk named Eiji Busujima, with whom she enjoys going about her everyday business. It’s no Fruits Basket or Komi Can’t Communicate but anime fans searching for something new can check out this delightful little anime with its innocent understanding of romance and comedy.
Drifters anime is based on the manga series of the same name written by Kouta Hirano. It follows the story of Shimazu Toyohisa who is a real-life samurai and has fought in the Battle of Sekigahara. During the final moments of his life, he is transported to a world of magic with other historical warriors. An endless battle among these warriors thus begins and they must keep fighting and winning in order to survive.
- While Drifters anime remains a hidden gem for this generation, this underrated anime has clearly introduced a postmodern idea on the amalgamation of action and fantasy.
- The story is very involving in nature and it blends the gore, the historical, and the psychological elements of the plot in a very well-crafted manner. Drifters, therefore, is undoubtedly one of the most underrated anime on our list.
Mushi-Shi, with an IMBD rating of 8.5, is unquestionably one of the best adventure and spooky anime but has remained one of the most underrated anime. It’s a thought-provoking slow-growing anime with neither violence nor intimacy and employs a very simplistic form of language. As a result, it’s a type of anime that may not appeal to everyone as it doesn’t cater to the conventional needs of anime.
The story of Mushi-Shi revolves around lifeforms known as Mushi, which exist in the world but serve no definite purpose. They are capable of replicating things and concepts in their surroundings, yet most people are unaware of their existence. Our main character Ginko, on the other hand, is fascinated by these weird beings and wishes to learn more about them. A tale of intuition, curiosity, and being in the shadows, Mushi-Shi is a narration of extraordinary quality but has remained unknown and undiscovered by the anime community.
The top 5 underrated anime list consists of shows from various genres. It is a coming together of different tastes and is a fusion of different likes. While we must remember not to forget these shows which were abandoned by time, we must also try to understand shows like these in a manner that doesn’t try to justify their existence but rather enhances their purpose and their idea.