How to Start Watching Anime: A Beginner’s Guide

Are you curious about the fascinating world of anime? Perhaps you’ve heard about this unique form of animation and want to explore it further. Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know to start watching anime. From understanding what anime is to finding the best shows to suit your taste, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and embark on this exciting journey together!

Table of Contents

  1. What is Anime?
  2. Why Watch Anime?
  3. Types of Anime
  4. Where to Watch Anime
  5. Choosing Anime to Watch
  6. Getting Started with Anime
  7. Popular Anime Genres
  8. Anime Recommendations
  9. Exploring Anime Culture
  10. Joining the Anime Community
  11. Attending Anime Conventions
  12. FAQs

1. What is Anime?

Anime refers to a style of animation that originated in Japan and has gained immense popularity worldwide. It encompasses a wide range of genres and storytelling techniques, making it suitable for audiences of all ages. Unlike traditional Western cartoons, anime often tackles complex themes, incorporates vibrant visuals, and explores diverse narratives.

With its distinctive art style, colorful characters, and captivating storylines, anime has become a global phenomenon. It has transcended cultural boundaries, attracting fans from different parts of the world who appreciate its creativity and uniqueness.

2. Why Watch Anime?

Anime offers a multitude of reasons why you should give it a try. Here are a few compelling ones:

  • Engaging Storylines: Anime presents narratives that can range from heartwarming and emotional to action-packed and suspenseful. You’ll find captivating plots that keep you hooked from start to finish.
  • Rich Characters: Anime often features well-developed characters with depth and complexity. You’ll encounter protagonists you can relate to, villains you’ll love to hate, and intricate relationships that will tug at your heartstrings.
  • Cultural Exploration: Anime provides a window into Japanese culture, traditions, and societal norms. It offers a unique opportunity to learn about different aspects of Japan and gain a deeper understanding of its people.
  • Artistic Expression: The animation style in anime is visually stunning, with intricate details and vibrant colors. Each frame is thoughtfully crafted, creating a feast for the eyes.
  • Escapism: Anime allows you to immerse yourself in fantastical worlds and escape from reality for a while. It offers a form of entertainment that transports you to different dimensions and sparks your imagination.

3. Types of Anime

Anime encompasses a diverse range of genres, ensuring there’s something for everyone’s taste. Here are some popular types of anime:

  • Shonen: Targeted primarily at young boys and teenagers, shonen anime focuses on action, adventure, and often incorporates themes of friendship and determination.
  • Shojo: Shojo anime is aimed at young girls and explores themes of romance, friendship, and personal growth. It often features strong female protagonists.
  • Seinen: Seinen anime is intended for adult male audiences and delves into mature themes such as psychological thrillers, politics, and complex character relationships.
  • Josei: Similar to seinen, josei anime targets adult women and explores themes like career, relationships, and self-discovery.
  • Slice of Life: Slice of life anime focuses on everyday experiences and often lacks fantastical elements. It offers a realistic portrayal of characters and their daily interactions.
  • Fantasy: Fantasy anime transports viewers to magical realms, featuring mythical creatures, epic battles, and extraordinary adventures.
  • Science Fiction: Science fiction anime explores futuristic concepts, advanced technology, and often tackles philosophical questions about the nature of humanity.
  • Comedy: Comedy anime aims to make you laugh with its humorous situations, witty dialogues, and exaggerated comedic moments.

4. Where to Watch Anime

Now that you’re eager to dive into anime, you may be wondering where to watch it. Here are some popular platforms where you can stream anime:

  • Crunchyroll: Crunchyroll is one of the largest anime streaming platforms, offering a vast library of anime titles from various genres. It provides both free and premium subscription options.
  • Funimation: Funimation is another popular streaming service known for its extensive collection of anime shows and movies. It offers both subbed and dubbed content.
  • Netflix: Netflix boasts a growing catalog of anime series and films, making it a convenient option for those who already have a subscription. It features a mix of licensed shows and Netflix Originals.
  • Hulu: Hulu offers a selection of anime titles, including both classic and recent releases. It provides a variety of subscription plans to suit your preferences.
  • Amazon Prime Video: Amazon Prime Video has a decent collection of anime series and movies available for streaming. It is included in an Amazon Prime membership.

These are just a few examples, and there are many other platforms where you can access anime content. It’s recommended to explore different options and choose the one that aligns with your preferences and budget.

5. Choosing Anime to Watch

With the abundance of anime shows available, selecting the right one to start with can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you choose:

  • Explore Genres: Consider the genres that interest you the most. Are you in the mood for action, romance, or perhaps a thought-provoking drama? Identifying your preferred genres can narrow down your choices.
  • Read Reviews: Check out reviews from trusted sources or fellow anime enthusiasts. Their insights can provide valuable information about the quality, plot, and overall appeal of a particular series.
  • Watch Trailers: Trailers offer a sneak peek into an anime’s animation style, characters, and storyline. They can help you gauge whether a show resonates with your preferences.
  • Consider Recommendations: Seek recommendations from friends, online forums, or social media groups dedicated to anime. They can suggest shows based on your interests or recommend popular series.
  • Start with Classics: Classic anime series like “Dragon Ball,” “Naruto,” or “One Piece” have stood the test of time and garnered a massive fan base. They serve as a great starting point for beginners.

Remember that everyone’s taste in anime is different, so don’t be discouraged if a particular show doesn’t resonate with you. Keep exploring until you find the ones that captivate your interest.

6. Getting Started with Anime

Now that you’ve chosen your first anime series, it’s time to get started! Here are some steps to ensure a smooth anime-watching experience:

  1. Language Preference: Decide whether you prefer watching anime with subtitles or dubbed in your language. Subtitles retain the original Japanese audio, while dubbed versions are available in various languages.
  2. Episode Length: Be aware that anime episodes can vary in length, typically ranging from 20 to 30 minutes. Plan your viewing sessions accordingly.
  3. Binge or Pace Yourself: Decide whether you want to binge-watch an entire series or pace yourself by watching a few episodes at a time. It’s entirely up to your personal viewing style and availability.
  4. Immerse Yourself: Engage with the story by paying attention to details, character development, and plot progression. Anime often rewards attentive viewers with subtle references and foreshadowing.
  5. Take Breaks: If you find yourself getting overwhelmed or losing interest, it’s okayto take breaks. Anime can be emotionally intense, and it’s important to give yourself time to process and reflect on what you’ve watched before diving back in.
  6. Explore Different Series: Once you’ve finished your first anime series, don’t be afraid to branch out and explore different genres and styles. This will help you discover new favorites and expand your anime horizons.
  7. Keep an Open Mind: Anime can be incredibly diverse, with stories that challenge conventions and push boundaries. Embrace the unique storytelling and artistic choices that anime offers, even if they may be different from what you’re used to.

By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the captivating world of anime.

7. Popular Anime Genres

Here are some popular anime genres that you can explore:

  • Action: Action anime is filled with thrilling fights, intense battles, and adrenaline-pumping sequences. It often features powerful protagonists facing off against formidable foes.
  • Romance: Romance anime focuses on love, relationships, and emotional connections. It can range from light-hearted romantic comedies to heart-wrenching dramas.
  • Drama: Drama anime delves into complex human emotions and often tackles serious themes such as tragedy, personal growth, and overcoming challenges.
  • Supernatural: Supernatural anime incorporates elements of the supernatural, paranormal, or magical. It explores worlds beyond the realm of reality.
  • Horror: Horror anime aims to frighten and unsettle viewers with its creepy atmospheres, supernatural entities, and psychological thrillers.
  • Mystery: Mystery anime revolves around solving puzzles, uncovering secrets, and unraveling enigmatic plots. It keeps viewers engaged as they try to piece together the clues.
  • Adventure: Adventure anime takes viewers on thrilling journeys filled with exploration, quests, and discoveries in fantastical worlds.
  • Comedy: Comedy anime is designed to make you laugh with its humorous situations, witty dialogues, and quirky characters.

These are just a few examples of the diverse genres you can explore within the world of anime. Each genre offers a unique experience, so don’t hesitate to try out different ones to find your favorites.

8. Anime Recommendations

If you’re unsure where to start, here are some highly recommended anime series across various genres:

  • Attack on Titan: A gripping action-packed series set in a world where humanity fights against giant humanoid creatures.
  • Your Lie in April: A beautifully animated drama about a young pianist who rediscovers his love for music with the help of a talented violinist.
  • Death Note: A psychological thriller that follows a high school student who gains the power to kill anyone by writing their name in a supernatural notebook.
  • My Hero Academia: An exciting superhero-themed series set in a world where individuals possess unique superpowers known as “Quirks.”
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood: A fantasy adventure that follows two brothers on a quest to find the Philosopher’s Stone and restore their bodies after a failed alchemical experiment.
  • Haikyu!!: A captivating sports anime centered around a high school volleyball team and their journey to become champions.
  • Spirited Away: A critically acclaimed film by renowned director Hayao Miyazaki, exploring the magical adventures of a young girl in a spirit world.

These recommendations cover a range of genres and are highly regarded within the anime community. They serve as great starting points for newcomers to anime.

9. Exploring Anime Culture

Anime is not just limited to the shows and movies themselves; it also has a vibrant culture surrounding it. Here are some aspects of anime culture you can explore:

  • Manga: Manga refers to Japanese comic books and graphic novels. Many anime series are adaptations of popular manga, so exploring manga can enhance your understanding and appreciation of the source material.
  • Cosplay: Cosplay involves dressing up as characters from anime, manga, or video games. It’s a popular activity among anime fans who attend conventions or simply enjoy expressing their love for their favorite characters.
  • Merchandise: Anime merchandise ranges from collectible figurines and posters to clothing and accessories featuring beloved characters. Collecting merchandise can be a fun way to showcase your love for specific series.
  • Anime Music: Anime often features memorable soundtracks and theme songs. Exploring anime music can introduce you to talented artists and composers and add another dimension to your anime experience.
  • Anime Industry: Delve into the world of anime production and gain insights into the process of creating these captivating shows. Learn about studios, directors, animators, and the overall anime production pipeline.

By exploring these aspects of anime culture, you can deepen your connection to the medium and engage with the community of anime enthusiasts.

10. Joining the Anime Community

One of the best parts of enjoying anime is being a part of the vibrant and welcoming anime community. Here are some ways you can connect with fellow anime fans:

  • Online Forums and Communities: Join online forums, subreddits, or social media groups dedicated to discussing anime. Engage in conversations, seek recommendations, and share your thoughts and opinions.
  • Attend Anime Events: Check out local anime conventions, screenings, or cosplay events in your area. These gatherings provide opportunities to meet like-minded individuals and immerse yourself in the anime community.
  • Anime Clubs: Join or start an anime club at your school, workplace, or in your community. Gather with fellow fans to watch and discuss anime together.
  • Participate in Fan Art or Fan Fiction: If you have a creative side, express your love for anime by creating fan art or writing fan fiction. Share your creations with the community and celebrate your favorite series.

Remember, the anime community is diverse and inclusive, welcoming fans from all walks of life. Embrace the opportunity to connect with others who share your passion for anime.

11. Attending Anime Conventions

Anime conventions are gatherings that celebrate all things anime and provide a unique experience for fans. Here’s what you can expect when attending an anime convention:

  • Cosplay Showcases: Witness incredible cosplay talents as attendees showcase their meticulously crafted costumes and bring their favorite characters to life.
  • Guest Panels and Q&A Sessions: Listen to industry professionals, voice actors, and directors as they share their experiences and insights into the world of anime.
  • Screenings and Premieres: Catch exclusive screenings of new anime series or movies before their official release. Experience the thrill of watching highly anticipated shows with fellow fans.
  • Artist Alleys and Merchandise: Explore artist alleys filled with talented artists selling anime-inspired artwork, prints, and handmade crafts. Discover unique merchandise and collectibles.
  • Workshops and Workouts: Participate in workshops that teach various aspects of anime creation, from drawing and animation to voice acting and cosplay crafting. Stay active with anime-themed workouts or dance sessions.

Attending an anime convention can be an unforgettable experience, providing opportunities to forge new friendships, learn new skills, and immerse yourself in the vibrant world of anime.


  1. Is anime only for kids?

    No, anime caters to audiences of all ages. While some anime series are specifically targeted towards children, there are numerous shows and movies that cater to adult audiences with mature themes and complex storytelling.

  2. Should I watch anime with subtitles or dubbed?

    The choice between subtitles and dubbed versions depends on your personal preference. Subtitles allow you to experience the original voice acting, while dubs provide the convenience of watching in your native language. Give both options a try to see which one you prefer.

  3. How do I find new anime to watch?

    There are several ways to discover new anime. You can explore recommendations from friends, join online communities, read reviews, or check out curated lists of popular anime series. Experiment with different genres and styles to find what resonates with you.

  4. Is anime only from Japan?

    Yes, anime originated in Japan and is primarily associated with Japanese animation. However, its popularity has spread worldwide, and there are now anime-inspired shows and movies produced in other countries as well. The term “anime” is commonly used to refer to all forms of animated entertainment, regardless of their country of origin.

  5. Can I watch anime for free?

    Yes, there are many platforms where you can stream anime for free, such as Crunchyroll and Funimation, which offer both free and premium subscription options. Additionally, some streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have a selection of anime available for their subscribers.

  6. Is it necessary to watch anime in chronological order?

    Not necessarily. While some anime series have a linear storyline that should be watched in chronological order, many anime shows are episodic or have standalone story arcs. You can often start watching at any point in the series and still enjoy the story. However, if a series has multiple seasons or a continuous narrative, it’s recommended to start from the beginning.

  7. Are there age restrictions for watching anime?

    Anime covers a wide range of genres and themes, so age restrictions can vary. While there are anime series specifically targeted towards young children, there are also shows intended for mature audiences with explicit content. It’s essential to research and consider the age appropriateness of an anime before watching, especially if you’re planning to watch with younger viewers.

Now that you have a solid foundation on how to start watching anime, it’s time to embark on your anime journey. Explore different genres, find your favorite shows, and immerse yourself in the captivating world of anime. Happy watching!

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