Thanks to the internet, we now have access to more entertainment than any humans in history have had before. Unfortunately, the day hasn’t yet lengthened to accommodate all these movies, TV shows, books, comics, music, video games, and anime we need to get through (although I’m thinking of petitioning NASA for a 36 hour day; who’s with me?).
At Two Beard Gaming, we understand that your free time is at a premium, and we’re here to help. No more shall you spend your evenings endlessly browsing Crunchyroll, Funimation, or the many questionably legal streaming sites online trying to sort between the thousands of available titles. To help you maximize the efficiency of your anime watching time, we’ve compiled our top 30 that are absolute must-sees, broken into three instalments for extra juicy suspense.
The titles that follow are varied in age and genre. Some you will already know, but hopefully a few might surprise you. And the one thing they all have in common? They carry the TBG seal of quality.
So find a comfy chair and your favourite snack. Here are the 30 Anime You Absolutely Must Watch Before You Die, Part 1:
30. Ghost Hound (2007)
A lesser-known work by Masamune Shirow (of Ghost in the Shell fame), this one is about three boys who band together to search out the source behind their shared childhood trauma, and in doing so, tap into a mysterious and dangerous spirit world.
29. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
This film (which is based off Hayao Miyazaki’s manga) actually pre-dates Studio Ghibli. In a post-apocalyptic world, a girl must try to make peace between kingdoms to prevent the use of a powerful weapon.
28. Flip Flappers (2016)
Two girls are recruited by a mysterious organization to travel through alternate dimensions collecting magical fragments. This is a fun, colourful romp in which every episode is something different. Sure to put a smile on your face.
27. Wolf’s Rain (2003)
With a soundtrack by the legendary Yoko Kanno and an ending that will rip your heart out, this anime is unforgettable. In a world on the verge of apocalypse, four wolves join together in the search for a promised Paradise.
26. Future Diary (2011)
Twelve people must compete in a battle royale, and the last one left alive will become God. While not a horror anime by any means, this has some genuinely disturbing moments. What would you do with unlimited power?
25. Sweetness & Lightning (2016)
Although it has a simple premise (a widower learns to cook for his young daughter), this anime is so cute and so touching. At its core, it’s about lonely people who come together to make their own family.
24. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
One of the most well-known of Miyazaki’s works, this film tells the story of two sisters who move to the country to be near their ill mother and discover a world of friendly spirits.
23. Attack on Titan (2013)
In a post-apocalyptic world, the last of humanity fights for survival against giant man-eating titans. There’s a ton of death, so this one can be hard to view, but you’ll love the characters so much that you’ll have to keep watching.
22. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002)
Forget the live-action movie with ScarJo. Based on Masamune Shirow’s manga, this is about the elite operatives of Section 9 as they hunt down the terrorist the Laughing Man. Soundtrack by Yoko Kanno is to die for.
21. Haikyu!! (2014)
Karasuno High used to be a power school in boys’ volleyball, but has since fallen from grace. Two new first years look to change all that. If you love sports anime, Haikyu!! is one of the best.
That should be enough to get you started, but stayed tuned for parts 2 and 3 of our Anime Bucket List! What anime would you put on your bucket list?