The 10 Most Underrated Anime of the 21st Century

These anime don’t get too much attention, but that doesn’t make them any less entertaining.

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Just about everyone has seen Attack on Titan, My Hero Academia, and Death Note. But what about the lesser-known anime that never got any of that hype?

In recent years, a ton of fantastic anime has been buried by ultra-popular series. These underrated anime were overshadowed by other series, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch up on them now.

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1. Blood Blockade Battlefront

Blood Blockade Battlefront takes place in the demon-infested city of Hellsalem’s Lot. Leonardo Watch, the recipient of the powerful All-Seeing Eyes of the Gods’, moves to the city, only to get involved with a crime-fighting organization called Libra.

When more malevolent demons begin to seep in from the Beyond, life in Hellsalem’s Lot gets even more unstable. Despite having some amazing artwork and action sequences, this exciting anime often goes overlooked.

2. Welcome to the NHK

If you’ve ever spent an entire day (or longer) sitting inside watching anime, you can probably relate to Welcome to the NHK.

This highly-underrated series follows the average life of Tatsuhiro Sato, a college dropout who spends most of his time inside his apartment.

Because of Tatsuhiro’s status as a recluse, he attracts the attention of a young woman who tries to shake him of his solitary ways.

3. Space Dandy

Space Dandy comes from the same brilliant minds behind Cowboy Bebop. Although both anime have the same emphasis on space travel, Space Dandy puts a wacky, non-sensical spin on things.

This goofy space opera follows Dandy, an alien space hunter, along with his unconventional crew—together, they embark on missions to discover new alien species.

4. Nana

The fact that Nana has never made it to the big leagues of anime is mind-boggling. Nana introduces you to two women named Nana, and they couldn’t be any more different.

While one Nana is a peppy girl who just moved to Tokyo, the other is a rugged, aspiring rockstar. When their paths cross, plenty of drama and angst follow.

5. Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens is set in Fukuoka, Japan, a city that houses a surprising number of assassins.

In a city full of investigators, killers, and spies, Detective Banba scrambles to uncover the truth behind the mysterious “killer of professional killers.”

6. Overlord

Overlord is yet another modern anime that’s been overshadowed by other hugely popular series. Just like Sword Art Online, the main protagonist of Overlord gets trapped inside of an MMORPG.

Now that Momonga’s stuck in a virtual fantasy realm, he’s left with an incredibly powerful character, mindless NPCs, and enough experience to take over the world of Yggdrasil.

7. Eden of the East

On Careless Monday, ten missiles strike Japan, but somehow cause no deaths.

Following this event, recent college graduate Saki Morimi travels to Washington D.C., where she encounters a strange naked man with amnesia. Saki and the mysterious man travel back to Japan to find the man’s true identity.

9. Birdy the Mighty: Decode

The Birdy the Mighty manga was originally written in the 80s, and it luckily received an anime adaption in the mid-2000s.

This epic anime concerns the story of Birdy, an agent who tracks down interplanetary criminals.

When she follows the scent of one criminal to Earth, she nearly kills a civilian. Birdy decides to save his life by combining her body with his.

10. Ghost Hunt

Ghost Hunt is a paranormal horror anime that frequently slips through the cracks. Like most of us, Mai Taniyama enjoys a scary ghost story.

She takes her interest even farther when she winds up as an assistant to the Shibuya Psychic Research company, and gets involved in supernatural investigations.

Don’t Miss Out on Underrated Anime

If you think you’ve seen every amazing anime, think again. Chances are, you haven’t watched some of these underrated anime series. Want a break from modern anime? Check out some of the more classic anime series!

Japanese Anime & Manga Genres

We all know what fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and thriller mean. But anime and manga go beyond that, and there are all kinds of Japanese genre names that might perplex you.

Maybe you already understand what shonen and shoujo are all about. But what about isekai? What exactly does slice of life entail? What’s the difference between ecchi and hentai? We’ve broken it down for you!

Understanding the Japanese genre names can be helpful when you want to find more anime to watch and manga to read. Download the printable PDF below and pin it on your wall so you always have a handy reference at hand:

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