I’m glad that anime has gotten a lot more traction within the last couple of years on the Western market. Back when I first started all I had was Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim and insomnia. Access to anime is getting easier and dubs are happening at a much faster rate. However, no one can really deny that anime still holds a certain kind of stigma: it’s for children, it’s for people with no social skills, it’s for weirdos, etc. Thankfully, this stereotype is changing but with Naruto and One Piece being featured on children’s programing it’s still a bit of an uphill battle to have this medium taken more seriously, and it should be. So here is a small list of more mature anime to get you started with the genre. Keep in mind that I will do more in-depth reviews of each in the future and I will also not be discussing subs vs. dubs, how you want to watch these is your choice. If I didn’t include an anime that you think would fit this list—I just know someone is going to be mad I didn’t include Death Note—please let me know in the comments.
Attack on Titan (1 Season: 25 Episodes—Netflix)
So this one would be strongly recommended if not for the fact that it hasn’t wrapped up and we’ve been waiting for its season 2 for what seems like forever. Attack on Titan is an entertaining action anime that also happens to be extremely violent and dark. A live action comparison would be Game of Thrones since Attack is also fond of introducing a number of characters, giving those characters enough screen time to become likeable and have an arc, and then brutally murdering and/or dismembering those characters just as you were starting to really like them. No one is safe in this series, no one.
The premise is that humanity has retreated behind high walls because of the titans—giant, humanlike monstrosities that eat people even though they seem to get no sustenance or pleasure out of it. The series starts with the protagonists talking about the world beyond the wall just as a colossal titan appears out of nowhere and breaks the main gate down allowing other titans to enter and enjoy an all you can eat human buffet. Humanity must now find a way to fight back against the titans and reclaim their world.
The animation is top-notch with the action sequences being fast paced, high-energy, and heart pounding. Bloody, yes, but not brutal as the choreography is more like an elaborate dance number with the soldiers zipping around to try and cut the one weak spot the titans have. There is also enough intrigue and mystery to keep your interest piqued as the titans and the humans are connected in some hitherto unspecified way. Just go and watch the first episode and I guarantee that your jaw will be on the floor by the end. Also, you can’t deny the epicness of the intro featured above!