10 Anime You Should Watch Right Now

Managing Editor, Riley Zalbert and Sports Editor Thomas Ithier go over the best anime you should be watching right now.

Demon Slayer, Courtesy of Viz Media LLC

Riley’s five

5. One Punch Man

With approximately 30 million overall sales of the manga, it is one of the most popular series that was adapted into an anime from the original webcomic that started in 2009. Series creator One started working with Yusuke Murata to refine the art for the manga that was released on Tonari no Young Jump’s website in June 2012.

The Anime follows the main protagonist Saitama who has become bored with his ability to finish opponents off in one punch and is not associated with the Hero Association at the beginning of the anime. In this fictionalized world Saitama hails from City Z where all the land is connected as a supercontinent along with the Hero Association who has different bases of operation across the world in all different cities ranging from A-Z. With Saitama and Genos, a cyborg he met while fighting a monster, climb the ranks of the association and become integrated into the hero’s life.

With a plethora of Heroes and villains, there are numerous storylines that One has used to his advantage, not just from Saitama’s or Genos’ perspective as it all works perfectly. The characters are incorporated and central when they need to be, however, other plots and characters within the series are just as important or interesting. 

 4. Naruto/ Naruto Shippuden

Written and Illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto, the manga has cemented itself as one of the most widely read in Japan with over 150 million copies originating there and the other 90 or so million, in 47 countries around the world with the United States being one of the largest overseas markets. The anime’s English dub was licensed and distributed by Viz from September 2005 running through January 2009.

This manga follows the namesake protagonist through the length of his youth and his young teenage years with a range of different characters and their stories to follow. Filled with captivating emotional moments, epic fight scenes, critical plot developments within characters’ worlds, and the development of Naruto himself are all key highlights of the series. 

Initially being shunned by everyone in his village(the leaf village), Naruto begins to develop bonds with a few characters slowly and by the end of the original anime series, the citizens of the village, and now his close friends and comrades, are there to help him in any way they can. Naruto’s selflessness and ability to change the hearts and minds of foes or friends is something truly remarkable to watch. True character growth, and he is one of the best examples compiled on this list.

3. Black Lagoon

Being one of the more brash ones on the list, this anime deals with a group of pirate mercenaries smuggling goods in a slick PT boat named the Black Lagoon across the South China Sea and Southeast Asian Countries. It adapted from the manga into an anime in 2006 that consisted of two 12-episode seasons, and a six-episode original video animation that aired in 2010-11. 

With four main protagonists, Dutch the leader, Revy the hotheaded gunslinger, Benny who is a researcher, mechanic, and computer whizz, and that leaves their former hostage turned negotiator Rock who is the most ‘professional’ out of the group for maintaining his old job’s skills. The crew works to gather or transport goods that they have been contracted to move, normally facilitated by the Russians, Hotel Moscow run by former veterans of the Soviet war in Afghanistan headed by Balalakia(Sofiya Pavlovna Irinovskaya). 

The group tries, but it rarely works, to make a shipment without any trouble. With setting up their base of operations in the fictional city of Roanapur in Thailand, the Lagoon company will have to deal with a den of thieves, criminals, assassins, mercenaries, thugs, prostitutes, and gunmen all of who operate without run-ins with the law.

2. Samurai Champloo

 Being one of the smaller entries on the list,  as there is only one season of the anime consisting of 26 episodes doesn’t mean it deserves less than a series with a lot of seasons or content.

This anime released first in 2004 then the manga came after, is set in the ‘Edo’ period of Japan which was characterized by substantial economic growth, strict social order, and a policy of isolationism that led the country to close out foreign powers.

The style of the anime is set in this time period and it provides a stunning backdrop to the events throughout. With the three main protagonists Jin, Mugen, and Fuu, there isn’t a reason that the group should have met but after events in the first episode, the two men are then set on a mission with Fuu to find the samurai that smells of sunflowers.

The title of the show is also interesting because the word ‘Champloo’ roughly translates to mixtape and the series runs in an album fashion with some episodes having ‘Part 1’ or ‘Part 2’. The show is also heavily influenced by the different music that the creator was inspired by and the team that was assembled to compose the music for the show. Nujabes, Tsuchie, Force of Nature, and Fat John worked together to create a plethora of amazing music that is for the show with some genres including lo-fi, Hip hop. In total the group produced four albums that were used throughout the show.

1. Cowboy Bebop

This is one of the most defining anime of the 20th century with themes of sci-fi, noir, western, and space as it takes place across multiple locations across the milky way in the year 2071. Series director Shinichirō Watanabe also was the director for Samurai Champloo which aired in 2004 and Bebop in 1998 respectively. Bebop, is a show that is able to blend numerous amounts of themes and styles from different periods and makes it work beautifully.

 As you meet each character you come to learn that, Spike, Jet, Faye, Ed, and Ein(the dog) all have little in common and it’s hard for them to live together/ work together. Each comes from a highly different background also as Jet was a former police officer, Spike is a former member of a crime syndicate, Faye was in a coma for the past 54 years but didn’t age because of future technology, Ed a drifting hacker, and Ein a stolen dog who the crew kept. Spike and Jet are the two closest on the ship as they are the characters we first meet in the series, and they are two of the most intriguing characters in their own ways. 

The show highlights the individuality of each member even though they are on the same ship, it’s almost like getting four different stories and perspectives through the length of the series. It’s also amazing as some episodes, called ‘sessions’ can use a whole theme as some are solely Western, noir, or sci-fi styles. This is also one of the shorter series with 1 season and 26 episodes and a movie. The 2021 Netflix adaptation was not received by fans and critics well and was not renewed for a second season.

Thomas’ Five

5. Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen, being released on October 3, 2020, has already been dubbed by many fans in the anime community as one of the most thrilling anime series. 

For anime fans who have a preference of strictly watching shows that have an intriguing story or those who prefer action-packed fight scenes then Jujutsu Kaisen is just the anime for you. 

The anime has one season released with 24 episodes and a second season to be released in July 2023 as well as a prequel movie titled “Jujutsu Kaisen: 0”, which shows off past events before the first season. 

Each episode is 24 minutes long which viewers found relatively quick to complete and add to their anime watchlist and be all caught up for future upcoming episodes. The previously mentioned entailing story and action make this an anime definitely worth watching. 

4. Demon Slayer 

Very Similar to Jujutsu Kaisen, Demon Slayer’s story, and fight selections are quite the perfect package in Anime. 

As I mentioned Demon Slayer’s main story is great and as well even teaches valuable lessons about relying on assistants from friends or family. The main protagonist Tanjiro Kamado deals with a lot of real-life issues such as death, self-doubt, how to overcome it and displaying how to work as a team. 

Demon Slayer has an immaculate animation style which complements its fight scenes in a drastic way that will have fans engaged. There are a total of 45 episodes which showcase four different story arcs, with each arc ending with a significant bang rightfully giving it the number three spot. 

3. Black Clover

Black Clover is an anime series noticeably climbing rank in popularity over the years , is an anime first-time anime watchers should really watch. 

Black Clover in my opinion is a very simple anime which follows a young man named Asta born without magic, who lives in a world full of magic users. It follows the concept of a basic Shonen anime series where his main goal is to become The Wizard King, which has not been achieved by a non-magic user before. 

Following his journey we get to see Asta’s determination and willpower to achieve his goal by any means necessary and dueling against some of the biggest enemies. Asta as well relies on his friends to help him get to the next level eventually becoming The Wizard King. 

2. One Piece

One Piece is not just any ordinary anime series. It is a fantastic journey that takes you on an incredible adventure with an eclectic cast of characters, a richly detailed world, and a captivating story. You will follow the main character, Monkey D. Luffy, as he sets out to find the legendary treasure known as One Piece and become the Pirate King.

With over 1,000 episodes and counting, this series is filled with epic battles, emotional moments, and plenty of humor, making it a truly unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a fan of action, comedy, drama, or all of the above, One Piece has something for everyone.

So, if you’re a first-time anime watcher looking for an exciting, captivating, and unforgettable experience, “One Piece” is the series for you. Get ready to embark on a journey that you’ll never forget!

1. Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z is an anime series that has stood the test of time and continues to captivate viewers around the world. The series is known for its incredible fight scenes that are unparalleled in the world of anime. The battles in Dragon Ball Z are a sight to behold, with intense energy blasts, hand-to-hand combat, and epic transformations that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Apart from its visually stunning battles, Dragon Ball Z has an intricate plot, well-developed characters, and a rich mythology that keeps fans engaged throughout the series. The anime follows the story of Goku and his friends as they battle powerful enemies and protect the earth from destruction. It also follows a lot of character development across numerous characters within the series. 

Watching Dragon Ball Z is an immersive experience that will transport you to a world of action, adventure, and excitement. The series has a lasting legacy, inspiring countless other anime series to follow in its footsteps. If you’re a fan of anime, action, or just great storytelling, Dragon Ball Z is a must-watch, with its incredible fight scenes being the cherry on top.