Need an anime TV show to watch?

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Photo by Dex Ezekiel on Unsplash

At 500+ million copies sold, One Piece is the most best selling manga series and one of the longest running anime of all time.

Maya Adimora, Beyond the Gates editor

If you are an anime connoisseur, a beginner looking to dip your toes into the world of Japanese animation (anime), or someone searching for a new anime to binge, this list is for you. With so many new TV shows and movies being released, it is easy to feel swamped by the seemingly endless amount of options. But, have no fear! When in doubt, it is best to return to classic anime that have (for better or worse) significantly impacted pop culture around the world.

  1. Dragon Ball

After birthing the “Kamehameha” and “It’s Over 9000!” memes of the 2000s, the Dragon Ball franchise is a household name in countries all over the world. Throughout several TV show adaptations, Goku ages up from childhood to adulthood as he searches for the Dragon Balls, seven orbs that summon a wish-granting dragon when put together. He makes friends and enemies in a race to find the Dragon Balls first.

  1. Bleach

According to Wikipedia, “The story follows the adventures of Ichigo Kurosaki after he obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper—a death personification similar to the Grim Reaper—from another Soul Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki. His newfound powers force him to take on the duties of defending humans from evil spirits and guiding departed souls to the afterlife.”

  1. Naruto

Despite its copious amounts of filler, the Naruto franchise is a beloved show for people of all ages. I am sure we all know the story of Naruto Uzumaki becoming the Hokage or leader of the village. But, in case you did not know, the manga’s story is split between 3 shows. Naruto follows Naruto, Sakura, and Sasuke as pre-teens, while Naruto: Shippuden follows the characters in their teen years. Naruto Uzumaki becomes a side character in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations as his son, Boruto Uzumaki, seeks to forge his own path as a ninja outside of his father’s shadow.

  1. One Piece

At the start of quarantine, I attempted to watch One Piece on Netflix, then dropped it when I saw the 1,000+ episode count. Do not let my experience deter you from watching the show though! Watch the entire show or cherry-pick your favorite episodes. The show is incredibly popular for a reason. Watchers from all over the globe are enamored with Monkey D. Luffy’s adventures with the Straw Hat Pirates in his goal to become the next Pirate King by acquiring the “One Piece”.

  1. Pokémon

Based on the Pokémon video game series, the anime follows the protagonist Ash Ketchum, his ever-changing group of friends, and Pokémon team across different regions. They compete against other trainers, gym leaders, and the Elite Four in hopes of winning the Pokémon League.

Honorable Mention: Demon Slayer

After binge watching its Entertainment District Arc, I wholeheartedly recommend this anime to anyone suffering from boredom. It only took me a few episodes to fall in love with the charming characters, breathtaking art style, and thrilling action scenes. The anime follows Tanjiro Kamado, a demon slayer, on a quest to cure his little sister Nezuko, who was turned into a demon, after a demon murdered their family.