Lol I promise I'll stop now, I wrote this part last. SORRY THE POST GOT SO LONG. There is a TL;DR list of good animes I can reccomend about two paragraphs down from here. The rest is about anime, linguistics, and Japan. If I went over some limit or if this just stands out as unnecessary wall of text feel free to disregard or delete! Cheers.
This post got long, so I apologize. its a rant about anime and some mumblings about japanese culture. I enjoyed writing it and I know anime quite well, I spent some time in tokyo and worked as a translator for YA novels. I'll put my Tl;Dr reccomendation list up here, but I dont want to delete this rant below me here, It was too fun to write. There's a lot of good info about the anime's I;ve reccomended, as well as some ranting about my experiences with the Japanese and their Culture.
Tl;Dr For anime, assuming you're relatively new to it: Anything in season(being broadcast right now weekly in Japan), hits from last season like tanya or franxx, you can see which ones people are talking about on 4chan /a/ and pick one that looks cool. (I liked Boruto and Punchline if you want to go back a few years.) any of the big 5 you havent seen, new dragon ball super, older ones like berserk, akira, fist of the north star, HARUHI SUZUMIYA. look it up on YT, lots of great standalone moments.
Real TL;DR: (annotated) reccommendations by category.
Slice of life/supernatural/scifi: <good if you like smart stuff like Heinlein or Wes anderson
Haruhi suzumiya < my pick
New: <good if you visit /a/ or talk with friends about anime
Tanya The Evil
Darling in the Franxx (I dont quite remember but Franxx is what people call it)
anything coming out weekly on crunchyroll, or high up in their popularity list
Anything they mention on /a/
Boruto (if you havent seen naruto, watch that first, its VERY jargon heavy and references the original a lot)
ONE PUNCH MAN. < so good. I put on scenes from this in the background at parties and people love it.
action/shonen/fighting/ "The Big Five" < if you were a dbz kid who just wants something badass to put on once in a while start here.
Dragon Ball (any, but for stubborn veterans, super is very good)
naruto (start at shippuden, watch a YT recap, go back and watch important fights if you want)
Freshman in whaaaaaaaat? lol. For anime my favourite is Monogatari Series. Very popular, lots of memes and merch. The books taught me 日本語。but is very dialogue heavy and its a harem. Its an artistically sound analytical harem with interesting changes of perspective in the middle-books, but it is about a guy hitting on a bunch of chicks.
If you haven't touched any big 5 (toriko, bleach, naruto, one piece, dragon ball) then start there. If you haven't bothered with new Dragon Ball Super, Do it! If I could give you an idea of what youre missing out on if you love old DBZ,
[spoiler alerts ahead]
Vegeto fights a time travelling Kai gone rogue
Any seasonal anime that seems cool is a good bet, but you will need crunchyroll or something. Recently passed seasonal hits like Tanya the evil or whatever or Franxx are guaranteed watchable.
it depends on what you like. since you didnt specify, I'll assume you're relatively new to anime. Another good place if you havent yet is really old anime. Akira, Berserk, Hunter x Hunter (modern but old manga), fist of the north star are god examples.
My actual 100% reccomendation for you would be the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Its a high school supernatural slice of life and was THE anime during its season. its from a novel series that was already over when the anime came out, and although not every book is covered, it doesn't lack an ending like many manga-based animes. A lot of memes come from it and its very very interesting if you like sci fi and weird abstract stories along with high school anime shenanigans. The only warning I will give is that the original broadcast was done out of narrative order, and eight of the episodes from the original broadcast are almost identical in terms of dialogue. The first and last of these set up a repeating story but the rest of the episodes are identical with the voice acting redone and the animation changed.
Oh and if you're into moe stuff at all, its a very moe anime. its scripted like a harem, with only one male character, but its much more sci-fi nerdiness than oversexualized character gags. The kind where you know the main female lead is really the best girl but you want them all to win. Theres a movie at the end too, with a standalone story from the books, which will give you chills if you're that kind of anime watcher. Think about snow so beautifully animated that it makes you rewind cuz you missed what the girl said watching her standing in the falling snow.
Tl;Dr Anything in season, hits from last season like tanya or franxx (I liked any of the big 5 you havent seen, new dragon ball super, older ones like berserk, akira, fist of the north star, HARUHI SUZUMIYA. look it up on YT, lots of great standalone moments.
If this whole wall of text was unwelcome/unhelpful, you can give me some idea of what you actually like and I can provide. I've had phases with every genre and can reccomend at least one anime(or hentai) for anybody's tastes.
one other thing before I do submit, (this is the actual last part written chronologically) In japan, you have to take a standardized test that is administered across certified facilities (mostly jap embassies) around the world twice a year. You have to pass certain levels of ability with Japanese reading, writing, and conversation to earn different rights as a resident (not necessarily citizen) of Japan. The highest level qualifies you for diplomatic work with the Japanese government, and last year around 60% of people that passed at the highest level reported that they cannot read a Japanese newspaper off the stand. They're qualified to translate and work in politics and diplomacy, but the newspapers are notoriously vocab-heavy in Japan. Theyre written with a different voice like you probably know in english news publications, but in Japanese it is basically a new dialect, different grammar and tonal queues. Only appears in print media and the text you see on screen during news shows and press releases, Japanese wikipedia is written in a style much like this, but based more on Japanese formal linguistics (国語, kokugo, lit. country language; eng. analogue would be 'Eng. Lit.' with emphasis on abbreviation)
I wrote essays about anime frequently in classes in Japan. Most of the teachers there teaching foreigners Japanese are very happy just to see you able to write and speak, so I got into some very good discussions about anime girls with some 40 year old Japanese teachers. I met a german girl who had worked on the german translation of a famous game im not sure if its kosher to mention. "a sassy breed" rhymes with it. I wish I had been ESL with ANY other language as my mother tongue. English is a disappointing language to master. When composed, in my writing or in serious discourse, I have a command of English basically where I can only be accurately corrected or improved by specially educated linguistic teachers (which is why I'm still self taught). But most english speakers are esl, or speak a dialect of english that is less diverse and less gramatically historical/consistent than Brit, Aussie, Leaf, or Murican english. In particular, older educational information such as history and philosophy is widely discussed in british english due to its having developed along with most of that history. When english mixes with more removed linguistic relatives as in india, africa, or the carribean where one can find pidgins formed of half-english-half-french vocab with swahili grammar. I would love to have had to learn this like I learned japanese, because there is simply no market, or very specialized and high-skill market, for translations into english. English is too easy to fumble through, especially since most people are now used to living with foreigners who can't speak fluently.
If you're going to school though, you should stop watching chinese cartoons and study. I use it to study Japanese and I'm certified, if you're just watching it for fun you should keep it artistically or personally relevant. Music and TV are better because they give you social context, but anime is very isolated and contrived to make you like watching it as much as possible. I've been down the merch and official goods/events rabbit hole to the tune of 100k JPY after just 3 months alone in Tokyo. If you're already afflicted and this warning is in vain, disregard it but if not SPACE OUT YOUR ANIME WITH TV AND MOVIES OR BETTER YET, BOOKS (non fiction is best) I went full weeb ten years ago and now I'm gonna end up moving to tokyo soon for my career path. And I've seen many good European men studying in tokyo at a for-profit school with no grades (mostly for giving tours to rich euroweebs who want to pretend to study a language, but a real student can learn a lot, the teachers care even though their results don't matter.) and learning to fluency within a month of chilling with natives at the bars give up their old lives for a Japanese family in a tiny 6 story 200m^2 abomination right next to the tracks in takadanobaba. The train is right there but the station is still a 20 minute walk through the maze of houses. Honestly its overpopulated and elitist, if you don't want to do something impressive and be the best, you will be looked down upon, but the food is diverse and cheap, the country is crowded but organized, I've seen 5000 people get off a rush hour subway and march three stories of stairs and mall arcades single file to go to their office. Those pictures of rail personnel shoving people into the train? That's not like a special event or a one time thing. Thats just rush hour. I met hundreds of young men in different professions, all exactly the same, I met many women, all teachers or future teachers, all extremely intelligent and interesting (you have to stand out as a female to succeed there). I would never devote myself vocationally or militarily to the islands, but I did fall in love with them and I would spend a small lifetime there if I could. One day, maybe, if they become more accepting of gays and foreigners, I can. But for now I can keep translating their beautiful art and even some business correspondence for them. ( I once translated a very angry letter from a mister Yoshida, to an american branch of a swiss watch distributing and marketing company, complaining that their numbers had decreased so much that if nothing was done and results shown immediately, that the relationship would be terminated. I was sweating bullets proofreading it with 3 different dictionaries. The client was very happy and thanked me for filling in for a really important 24h turnaround when their translator wasnt available. If their translator was a native Japanese, my translation was almost certainly higher quality than his would have been. Native Japs can get jobs translating into english because english speakers are used to dealing with mangled english. If youre not Native Japanese, you have to basically learn to talk exactly like one and only communicate in nihongo to get jobs translating into Japanese. I've convinced many native Japs over text that I'm native, I just know that the smallest amount of foreign sounding [for there are mistakes in any language which only foreigners tend to make] grammar or accent will cost you a job.
sorry for the wall~ Anybody wanna give me another jumping point and see how fast I can build another?