How to Start Anime: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners


Anime, a vibrant and captivating form of entertainment originating from Japan, has gained immense popularity worldwide. If you have recently discovered the world of anime and are wondering how to dive into this captivating realm, you’ve come to the right place! This article will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to start anime, covering everything from understanding the basics to exploring different genres and finding reliable sources. Let’s embark on this exciting journey together!

Understanding the Basics of Anime

Before delving into the vast world of anime, it’s essential to grasp the basics. Anime refers to animated shows and movies that originate from Japan and often encompass a wide range of genres, including action, romance, fantasy, and more. These animated creations are known for their distinct art styles, intricate storytelling, and unique characters that captivate viewers of all ages.

What Makes Anime Different?

Anime stands out from other forms of animation due to its rich cultural influences, diverse themes, and complex narratives. Unlike cartoons, which are often targeted towards a younger audience, anime caters to individuals of all ages and explores a wide array of topics, from slice of life stories to epic adventures set in fantastical worlds.

Building Your Anime Vocabulary

As you embark on your anime journey, familiarizing yourself with common anime-related terms will enhance your overall experience. Here are a few essential terms to get you started:

  1. Manga: Japanese comics or graphic novels that often serve as the source material for anime adaptations.
  2. Subbed: Refers to anime episodes with subtitles in your native language.
  3. Dubbed: Anime episodes that have been dubbed in your language, replacing the original Japanese voiceovers.
  4. Fan Service: Scenes or elements in anime that are designed to please fans, often involving attractive characters or comedic moments.
  5. Filler: Episodes or story arcs in anime that deviate from the original source material and primarily serve to extend the series.

Choosing the Right Anime to Begin With

With countless anime series and movies available, selecting the right one to start with can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:

Explore Different Genres

Anime encompasses a wide range of genres, each offering a unique experience. Consider your personal preferences and interests when choosing your first anime. If you enjoy action-packed stories, try exploring the shonen genre. For romance enthusiasts, the shojo genre might be a perfect fit. Experiment with different genres to find what resonates with you.

Research Popular Recommendations

Take advantage of the vast online anime community and explore popular recommendations. Websites, forums, and social media platforms dedicated to anime enthusiasts provide valuable insights into highly regarded series and movies. Look for recommendations that align with your interests and read reviews to gauge the overall reception of a particular anime.

Start with Beginner-Friendly Anime

Some anime series cater specifically to beginners, ensuring a smooth introduction to the medium. These series often feature relatable characters, straightforward plots, and shorter episode lengths. Starting with beginner-friendly anime will ease you into the unique aspects of the medium and help you appreciate its diverse offerings.

Finding Reliable Sources for Anime

Now that you have an idea of what anime to explore, it’s crucial to find reliable sources to access your chosen series or movies. Here are some popular options:

Streaming Platforms

Streaming platforms have become a convenient and accessible way to watch anime. Services such as Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Netflix offer a vast library of anime series and movies, both subbed and dubbed. Subscribing to these platforms will grant you access to a plethora of content, allowing you to explore various genres and discover new favorites.

Physical Media

If you prefer to own physical copies of your favorite anime, consider purchasing DVDs or Blu-rays. Many anime series and movies are released in collector’s editions, complete with bonus content and additional merchandise. Building your anime collection will not only provide you with an enduring viewing experience but also allow you to support the creators and studios behind your beloved series.

Official Websites and YouTube Channels

Some anime studios and distributors have official websites or YouTube channels where they release episodes or provide legal streaming options. Keeping an eye on these sources will ensure you are accessing content legally and supporting the industry. Additionally, official websites often provide updates on upcoming releases, events, and merchandise.

Immerse Yourself in the Anime Experience

Now that you’ve selected your first anime series and found a reliable source, it’s time to immerse yourself in the captivating world of anime. Here are some tips to enhance your viewing experience:

Choose Your Preferred Viewing Method

Decide whether you prefer watching subbed or dubbed anime. Subbed anime allows you to experience the original Japanese voice acting while reading subtitles in your preferred language. On the other hand, dubbed anime provides an opportunity to enjoy the series in your native language. Experiment with both methods to determine your preference.

Create a Comfortable Viewing Environment

To fully appreciate the immersive nature of anime, create a comfortable viewing environment. Find a cozy spot, ensure proper lighting, and eliminate distractions. Engaging with anime in a distraction-free environment will allow you to fully absorb the intricacies of the storytelling and appreciate the stunning visuals.

Engage with the Anime Community

The anime community is vast and passionate, offering a plethora of opportunities to connect with fellow enthusiasts. Join online forums, participate in discussions, and follow social media accounts dedicated to anime. Engaging with the community will provide insights, recommendations, and a platform to share your thoughts and experiences.

Exploring Different Anime Genres

As you delve deeper into the world of anime, you’ll discover an abundance of genres, each with its own distinct characteristics and themes. Here’s an overview of some popular anime genres:


Shonen anime targets a primarily male audience and often revolves around themes of action, adventure, and friendship. Series like “Naruto” and “One Piece” fall under this genre, providing exhilarating battles, coming-of-age stories, and memorable characters.


Shojo anime, on the other hand, caters primarily to a female audience, focusing on romance, drama, and personal growth. Popular shojo series include “Fruits Basket” and “Ouran High School Host Club,” which explore themes of love, self-discovery, and female empowerment.


Seinen anime targets adult males, featuring mature themes, complex narratives, and often delving into psychological or philosophical concepts. Series like “Attack on Titan” and “Death Note” fall under this genre, providing gripping storylines and thought-provoking themes.


Josei anime caters to adult women, offering realistic portrayals of relationships, career challenges, and personal growth. Series such as “Nana” and “Chihayafuru” fall under this genre, presenting compelling narratives that resonate with a more mature audience.

Slice of Life

Slice of life anime focuses on everyday experiences and mundane activities, often without a central plot. These series provide a glimpse into the lives of relatable characters, capturing the essence of human emotions and relationships. Popular slice of life anime includes “K-On!” and “Barakamon.”

Appreciating Anime’s Artistic Brilliance

One of the defining aspects of anime is its visually stunning art style. Understanding and appreciating the artistic brilliance behind anime will enhance your overall viewing experience. Here are some key elements to look out for:

Unique Character Designs

Anime characters are often visually distinct, featuring exaggerated facial expressions, colorful hairstyles, and eye-catching outfits. Each character’s design is carefully crafted to reflect their personality, emotions, and role within the story. Pay attention to these intricate details as you watch anime, and you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the characters.

Fluid Animation

Anime’s animation style is known for its fluidity and attention to detail. Scenes are brought to life through dynamic movements, vibrant colors, and meticulous frame-by-frame animation. Appreciating the fluidity of animation will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the captivating world of anime.

Stunning Background Art

Anime often showcases breathtaking background art that transports viewers to different worlds and settings. Whether it’s a bustling cityscape or a serene countryside, the attention to detail in anime’s background art creates a visually immersive experience. Take a moment to appreciate the intricate backgrounds that contribute to the overall atmosphere of an anime.

Expanding Your Anime Knowledge

Once you’ve become well-versed in the world of anime, you may want to expand your knowledge further. Here are some ways to deepen your understanding and appreciation:

Reading Manga

As mentioned earlier, manga serves as the source material for many anime adaptations. If you enjoy a particular anime series, consider exploring its manga counterpart. Manga offers a different perspective and often delves deeper into the story, allowing you to uncover additional details and character development. You can find manga in physical bookstores, online platforms, or through digital manga apps.

Attending Anime Conventions

Anime conventions are gatherings where fans come together to celebrate their love for anime. These events provide opportunities to meet fellow enthusiasts, attend panels and workshops, explore artist alleys, and purchase anime merchandise. Participating in anime conventions will immerse you in the vibrant and passionate community, allowing you to discover new series, meet voice actors, and engage with industry professionals.

Keeping Up with Anime News

Staying updated with the latest anime news, releases, and announcements will ensure that you are always in the know. Follow reputable anime news websites, subscribe to anime-related newsletters, and join social media groups dedicated to anime. By staying informed, you can anticipate upcoming series, movies, and events, ensuring you never miss out on exciting developments within the anime industry.

Exploring Anime Recommendations

As you become more familiar with anime, you’ll come across recommendations from fellow fans. Embrace these recommendations and be open to exploring new series outside your comfort zone. Engage in discussions with other anime enthusiasts, share your thoughts, and exchange recommendations. This constant exploration will broaden your anime horizons and introduce you to hidden gems within the vast anime landscape.

Common Misconceptions About Anime

Although anime has gained widespread popularity, there are still some misconceptions surrounding this unique form of entertainment. Let’s address a few common misconceptions:

Anime is Only for Kids

While anime does cater to a younger audience with shows like “Pokemon” and “Doraemon,” it is by no means limited to children. Anime covers a vast range of themes and genres, including mature and complex narratives that resonate with adult viewers. There are numerous anime series and movies that tackle deep philosophical questions, explore human emotions, and address social issues.

All Anime is Fantasy or Science Fiction

While fantasy and science fiction are prominent genres in anime, there is an abundance of series that focus on real-world settings and everyday experiences. Slice of life anime, for example, portrays the mundane aspects of life, offering relatable and heartwarming stories. Anime encompasses a diverse range of genres, ensuring there is something for everyone, regardless of their genre preferences.

Anime is a Genre, Not a Medium

Contrary to popular belief, anime is not a genre but a medium. It encompasses various genres, including action, romance, horror, comedy, and more. Just like movies or books, anime can be classified into different genres, each offering a unique experience. Understanding anime as a medium allows you to appreciate its versatility and the diverse range of stories it can tell.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How long does it take to get into anime?

The time it takes to get into anime varies from person to person. Some may become captivated by their first anime experience, while others may take time to explore different genres and find what resonates with them. Take your time, experiment with different series, and allow yourself to discover the vast world of anime at your own pace.

2. Is it necessary to watch anime in Japanese with subtitles?

Not at all! Whether you choose to watch anime in Japanese with subtitles or dubbed in your native language is entirely up to your personal preference. Some viewers prefer the authenticity of the Japanese voice acting, while others find dubbed versions more accessible. Experiment with both and decide which viewing method enhances your overall enjoyment of the series.

3. Are there age restrictions when it comes to watching anime?

While anime caters to audiences of all ages, it’s essential to be aware of age ratings and content warnings. Some anime series and movies may contain mature themes, violence, or explicit content that may not be suitable for younger viewers. Always check the age rating and content advisory before watching a particular series to ensure it aligns with your preferences and comfort level.

4. Can I watch anime for free?

Yes, there are several legal streaming platforms that offer free access to a wide range of anime series and movies. Platforms like Crunchyroll and Funimation provide both free and premium subscription options, allowing you to enjoy anime at no cost. However, subscribing to premium plans often offers additional benefits, such as ad-free viewing, early access to episodes, and access to a larger library of content.

5. How can I support the anime industry?

Supporting the anime industry is essential to ensure the continued creation of captivating anime series and movies. You can support the industry by subscribing to legal streaming platforms, purchasing official merchandise, DVDs, or Blu-rays, and attending anime conventions. By supporting the creators, studios, and distributors, you contribute to the growth and development of the anime industry.

6. Can I recommend anime to non-anime fans?

Absolutely! Introducing someone to the world of anime can be a delightful experience. When recommending anime to non-anime fans, consider their interests and preferences. Start with beginner-friendly series that have universal themes and relatable characters. By tailoring your recommendations to their tastes, you increase the chances of sparking their interest and igniting their passion for anime.

7. Is there a definitive list of the best anime series?

As anime is subjective and personal preferences vary, there is no definitive list of the best anime series. What one person considers the best may differ from another’s opinion. The beauty of anime lies in its diversity and the unique experiences it offers to each viewer. Explore different series, experiment with various genres, and create your own list of favorites based on your personal enjoyment and connection with the stories.

Congratulations! You are now equipped with the knowledge and guidance to embark on your anime journey. Remember to start by understanding the basics, explore different genres, and choose reliable sources to access your favorite series and movies. Immerse yourself in the captivating world of anime, appreciate its artistic brilliance, and continue expanding your anime knowledge through manga, conventions, and staying updated with the latest news. Embrace the vibrant anime community and share your love for this unique form of entertainment. Get ready to experience a world filled with captivating stories, memorable characters, and breathtaking visuals. Enjoy your anime journey!

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