Top 10 Anime Gateway Series

Script written by Allen-Michael Harber. Want to get into anime, but don’t know where to begin? We’ve got you covered. Join as we count down our picks for Top 10 Anime Gateway Series. We are ranking these series based not only on how good they are, but how accessible they are to western audiences and all newcomers to the world of anime. Special thanks to our user Kahvittelija for submitting this idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest.

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Script written by Allen-Michael Harber.

Top 10 Anime Gateway Series

Want to get into anime, but don’t know where to begin? We’ve got you covered. Welcome to and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Gateway Anime Series.

For this list we are counting down series that are highly recommended for those who want to start immersing themselves in the world of anime. These series were chosen based on accessibility as well as popularity.

#10: “Hellsing” (2001-02)

Anyone who likes vampires, action and suspense will slide easily into this series, regardless of how they feel about anime. In Hellsing, Alucard is a bad-ass vampire who works with the Hellsing organization to rid the world of the undead and Nazis, because who doesn’t like seeing Nazi zombies get torn apart? “Hellsing” is a good starter for any aspiring anime fan because it takes an old tired cliche and spices it up with over the top action and plenty of blood, so if you can adjust to Hellsing levels of gore, you are ready for anything.

#9: “Fruits Basket” (2001)

In many anime, supernatural occurrences can happen in ordinary places. After Tohru Honda’s mother dies Tohru lives in a tent for awhile before being invited to stay with Sohma family. She then discovers their family secret, when they are hugged by a member of the opposite gender they transform into an animal from the zodiac, witch each family members representing a different animal. “Fruits Basket” is a very relatable story of acceptance and loss with a good mix of drama, comedy and romance.

#8: “Sword Art Online” (2012)

Take it from us, Sword Art Online is really polarizing in the anime community, but you can’t deny the popularity it garnered in such a short amount of time. Thousands of player have become trapped in a virtual reality online fantasy game and must clear 100 dungeon floors in able to escape the game. Naturally if any of them die in the game they die in real life. “Sword Art Online” features a large cast of characters, a good bit of romance and plenty of epic action sequences. Anyone whose every played an online fantasy game can quickly relate to this one, and those who haven’t can enjoy a sci-fi fantasy series full of monster bashing.

#7: “Dragon Ball” Series (1986-)

The “Dragon Ball” series is one of those series that even those who have no idea what anime is, knows what “Dragon Ball” is. Western audiences are most familiar with the phenomenally popular “Dragon Ball Z”, but the series is still going strong today with 2015’s Dragon Ball Super. This series follows the exploits of Goku and his friends as they protect the Earth and eventually the galaxy from various threats. The series is the pinnacle of 80s anime style and storytelling, but the big hair and intense screaming might turn modern audiences off a little.

#6: “Ouran High School Host Club” (2006)

Haruhi, who is mistaken for a boy, enrolls at the prestigious Ouran High School. While trying to find a study room she accidentally ends up indebted to the school’s Host Club, a group of boys who entertain female clients.” Ouran High School Host Club” is a good start to anyone who likes quirky romantic comedies. There are plenty of absurd and comedic situations, with a fair bit of drama and tension thrown in. It captures both the awkwardness of school life as well as falling in love making it relatable and entertaining for almost anyone.

#5: “Attack on Titan” (2013)
There is only one-way to describe “Attack on Titan”, non-stop over the top action. In this alternate Earth, humanity is on the brink of extinction by giants called Titans that devour any humans they find. To protect themselves humanity built a concentric series of massive walls to keep the titans at bay; as fighting the hoard of mindless giants turned out to be impossible. Now, the Titans have seemingly adapted and begin to break through the outer wall and wreak havoc on the human population. Attack on Titan is action packed, but with a lot of really strong and well developed characters.

#4: “Death Note” (2006-07)
What would you do with the power and cunning to bend the world to your will? When a mysterious notebook known as the Death Note falls from the Shinigami world into the human world, series villain/protagonist Light Yagami uses it to kill off criminals in the hopes of creating a utopia free of crime. “Death Note” is famous for not only being a little over the top, but for its psychological back and forth between Light and the detectives assigned to stop him. One of the most suspenseful and exciting anime ever made, Death Note is easy to get into and impossible to put down.

#3: “Pokémon” (1997-)

For many kids growing up in the 90’s and early 2000’s “Pokemon” was their first taste of anime. “Pokemon” tells the story of Ash on his seemingly endless quest to become a Pokemon master, accompanied by his revolving door of companions and of course, Pikachu. More than just a show, “Pokemon” has become a global phenomenon with its video games, card games and lots of Pokemon merchandise. Even parents who have no idea what anime is, know what “Pokemon” is.

#2: “Cowboy Bebop” (1998-99)

Spike Spiegel and the crew of the aptly named Bebop are bounty hunters in the year 2071 after Earth has become uninhabitable and many planets and moons have been colonized. During their travels they must tangle with criminals, law enforcement and the Red Dragon Syndicate. Playing off many Old West motifs, “Cowboy Bebop” is one of the most beloved anime series of all time. It helped to usher in the new millennium of anime to new fans and stands the test of time phenomenally well.

Before we recommend our top pick here are a few Honourable Mentions.

“One Piece” (1999-)
“Samurai Champloo” (2004-05)
“Hetalia: Axis Powers” (2009-10)
“Vampire Knight” (2008)
“Blood+” (2005-06)

#1: “Fullmetal Alchemist” (2003-04)

Adventure, action, mystery and suspense, Fullmetal Alchemist has it all. Following brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric on their quest for redemption, Fullmetal Alchemist introduces audiences to a world where humans can reshape elements to create virtually anything they can possibly imagine. The show is constantly moving and evolving as our heroes get caught up in world-changing events. Whether it’s the original series or the reboot Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, this is the best place to start for those looking to get into anime, or just watch an amazing series, regardless of the genre or medium.

Agree with out list? What series do you recommend to friends who say they don’t like anime? For more highly recommended Top 10’s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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