Lesser-Known Anime: Anime’s that went under the radar

The anime world is massive and is constantly expanding. As a result, many great animes get overlooked. In addition to Last Exile, Wolf’s Rain, Millennium Actress, and Berserk, the following overlooked animes are worth checking out:

Azumanga Daioh
Genre: Comedy, Publisher: ADV Films
Azumanga Daioh is comedy anime about high school girls. They’re not your typical ones: Chiyo is a child prodigy, Tomo is a party animal, Sasaki loves cats, and Osaka is just strange. Even their teacher, Yukari, is not exactly by-the-book, she is emotionally unstable. Each episode is split into five segments following the girls in and out of school. In school, you see them playing in P.E., chatting before and after class, and participating in school festivals. Out of school, they go on vacations (even brining their teachers along) and hanging out with each other. Although all this may sound mundane, each character’s unique personality makes for hilarious situations. The cuteness of the series may put some off, but they will be missing in on the hilarity. Simple yet charming, Azumanga Daioh is worth a look if you are looking for a laugh or two. You can watch all 26 episodes of Azumanga Daioh on UAnime.

Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water
Genre: Fantasy, Publisher: ADV Films
Before GAINAX made Neon Genesis Evangelion, they made Nadia. Inspired by Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Nadia is a classic in its own right. The story follows Jean and Nadia as they try to escape from the people who want the Nadia’s mysterious jewel, “Blue Water.” Jean and Nadia eventually find their way onto Captain Nemo’s submarine, the Nautilus. From there, the secret of the jewel “Blue Water” as well as Nadia’s past begins to unravel. Consequently, surprises will arise from unexpected people and places. The story is told through some excellent art direction, which holds up well even today. Some of the environment especially looks beautiful. The mysterious and epic story will keep you addicted from one episode to another. When you are done watching Nadia, you will be in awe of this masterpiece.

Vision of Escaflowne
Genre: Action-Adventure and Fantasy, Publisher: Bandai
The story begins when a young high school girl named Hitomi is accidentally transferred into the mysterious world of Gaia. It is there that she discovers that she has latent physic powers, allowing her to read into the future. She has no time to ponder with her new powers, however, as the nations of Gaia are at war with each other. Fortunately, she was able to meet Van, the young king whose kingdom has been destroyed. Van can pilot the mysterious giant mech, Escaflowne. Hitomi and Van must travel across the land of Gaia, trying to survive many conflicts along the way, to solve the mysteries of Escaflowne and Gaia. Along the way they will meet many characters, both enemies and allies, with their own unique personality and philosophy. The dramatic and suspenseful story will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to end. Along with the excellent story, is what is arguably the anime best soundtrack of all time composed by the legendary Yoko Kanno. Escaflowne is as joyful to your ears as to your eyes. Vision of Escaflowne is the absolute pinnacle of anime.


Yu Yu Hakusho: The Spirit Detective
Genre: Fighting and Fantasy, Publisher: Funimation
Best known for its Dark Tournament Saga, Yu Yu Hakusho has so much more to offer. The story starts out when a delinquent kid, Yusuke Urameshi, is killed while saving a little child from being hit by a car. Appearing as a ghost, Yusuke met the soul reaper, Botan, who explained to him that he wasn’t supposed to die and, thus, he can be revived if he proved himself worthy. After passing numerous tests, Yusuke not only was able to revive himself, he was able to become the Spirit Detective, a man with special spirit power whose job is to protect human from demons. Together with his friends Kuwabara, Hiei and Kurama, Yusuke fight evil demons who are trying to invade the human world. Either by participation in demon tournaments or by charging in onto their bases, Yusuke and his crew of misfits uses their special spirit power to fight super powerful demons. Yu Yu Hakusho is full of gore and excellent fights with a little bit of added humor to boot. If you are fighting and action anime fanatic, than this is definitely for you.