Underrated Anime



Not only do we here at Film Smash enjoys Asian cinema, but we also enjoy Japanese animation. While everyone knows the Narutos, BLEACHes, and Dragonball Zs of anime, I thought it would be beneficial to all to highlight some of the lesser known or forgotten series that have been released. Keep in mind these will all be for series, as films and one shots should have their own full reviews. Since series will have multiple episodes, our entries are designed to provide an overview, give some quick editorial qualification, and hopefully, make you want to see them. So let’s take a look at what you’ve been missing!

What are your favorite underrated anime? Comment below and if we use your suggestion, you’ll get credit on that entry!

About Author

Long time film lover and occasional writer. I watch anything and everything though I have massive love for the works of Shunji Iwai, Jackie Chan, Johnnie To, and Kinji Fukasaku. POP! POP!


  1. My suggestions to the lesser known category:

    Now and Then, Here and There
    Haibane Renmei
    Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi

    (And a few not really lesser known but not that over-hyped either: Chobits, Wolf’s Rain, Katanagatari)

  2. My favorite underrated anime would be Kino’s Journey. On the surface, it appears nothing more than a bit of lighthearted fluff. After all, it is the story of a young girl travelling the countryside with her talking motorcycle. But then you realize that the director also worked on Serial Experiements Lain [another great, but not quite as underrated, anime] and the screenwriter worked closely with Satoshi Kon on Perfect Blue and Millennium Actress [two incredible examples of storytelling in anime form] and you realize that maybe there’s something here that deserves another look.

    So, back to Kino. Despite how it appears at first, Kino’s Journey is a serious examination of the human psyche, a surreal odyssey through a world whose beauty is found in how beautiful it is not. The nature of war and the struggle for survival, the way that people interact with one another. Kino’s Journey is the kind of anime that invites you along, shows you many things, and then asks you to draw your own conclusions. Kino is often no more than a [near-]silent observer to the curious [or even dangerous] customs of each new country that she visits, neither offering alternatives or judging between “right” and “wrong.”

    Sometimes violent and sometimes uplifting, the purpose of this anime is not some much to entertain [although it does do that] but to get the viewer to think about what they’ve seen. Not too many anime series do that.

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