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7 Underrated Anime Series (part 1)

Written by: Nicole Castro

Published on: December 5, 2021 at 17:15 PHT (GMT+8)


There are so many epic anime series that command our attention like Demon Slayer or Attack on Titan. And with the large number of people who have watched said shows, we're sure you've already heard so many reasons why they are a must-watch!


So this time, we feature seven anime series in no particular order that deserve more hype. We think their stories are unique and deserve a look-see in case you're in the mood for a little something different!


Warning: This article contains minor spoilers.


1. School Babysitters

Romaji title: Gakuen Babysitters

Japanese title: 学園ベビーシッターズ

Season: Winter 2018

School Babysitters | ©Brain's Base

School Babysitters is a downright ADORABLE anime featuring chubby-cheeked babies. Honestly, we think that's more than enough reason to watch it.


The series features teenager Ryuuichi Kashima and his toddler brother Kotarou who become orphaned after losing their parents in a plane crash. They are adopted by chairman Youko Morinomiya, who in exchange asks Ryuuichi to manage the school's Babysitters Club that takes care of the faculty members' children during weekdays.


While the cuteness factor is definitely one of the show's biggest selling points, it's equally heartwarming to see Ryuuichi and Kotarou learn how to feel at home with their new family.

2. Altair: A Record of Battles

Romaji title: Shoukoku no Altair

Japanese title: 将国のアルタイル

Season: Summer 2017


Altair: A Record of Battles | ©MAPPA

Altair: A Record of Battles is about the journey of Tughril Mahmut, a young pasha (a high-ranking official of the Ottoman political and military system) serving on the Divan of the Türkiye Stratocracy. Mahmut is a pacifist who hates war because it killed his people, but he finds himself powerless to stop it despite his high rank. So begins Mahmut's journey to self-discovery as he tries to balance the tense political situation surrounding Türkiye while not losing sight of his ideals.


If you liked the Magi series, you'll definitely like this. "Altair: A Record of Battles" pays homage to the era of Imperialism when monarchies were the norm and countries sought to dominate one another by engaging in wars and invading territories. Mahmut is considered a genius for achieving the rank of Pasha at such a young age, so this show will definitely amaze you with his strategic thinking.


3. Made in Abyss

Japanese title: メイドインアビス

Season: Summer 2017

Made in Abyss | © Kinema Citrus

Made in Abyss has gained steady popularity through the years, but we still feel like it's underrated when placed next to the bigger titles. The show stars Riko, an extremely curious Diver who wants to explore the never-before-seen depths of the Abyss to search for her mother (a.k.a. the legendary Diver, White Whistle Lyza the Annihilator). Despite the dangers of the unknown, Riko is confident she'll survive with Reg, an amnesiac robot with abilities that suggest he came from the Abyss, by her side.


While it's obvious to us viewers that the journey down the Abyss will be anything but easy, nothing could have prepared us for SHOCK that we actually find. No spoilers here. Don't let the childlike art deceive you. This is the kind of plot twist you need to see for yourself.


4. Mars Red

Season: Spring 2021

Mars Red | © Signal.MD

Looking for a tragic vampire-human love story done right? Then, Mars Red is for you. The universe is set in Taishou-era Japan, with the Japanese military trying to suppress a vampire crisis in Tokyo. The illegal trade of "Ascra," an artificial blood source, is causing vampires to run havoc, and the only way for the humans to stand a chance is by utilizing the members of Code Zero, a team of humans-turned-vampires.


With the line between humans and vampires blurred in this series, you'll find yourself genuinely wanting a way for them to peacefully co-exist (and fall in love). The members forming Code Zero each have their own tragic backstories to tell (and so do their lovers), and this series will not spare your heart with its bittersweet conclusion.


5. Muhyo & Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation

Romaji title: Muhyo to Rouji no Mahouritsu Soudan Jimusho

Japanese title: ムヒョとロージーの魔法律相談事務所

Seasons: Summer 2018 (season 1), Summer 2020 (season 2)

Muhyo & Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation | © Studio Deen

The story follows a young genius Magical Law Executor, Toru Muhyo and his assistant, Jiro Kusano as they track and find ghosts, then send the spirits to heaven or hell depending on the account of their lives in his magical law book. It's like a combination of the curses and sorcerer society from Jujutsu Kaisen plus the office setup of Bungo Stray Dogs where you have weird clients coming in and end up fighting against a variety of characters that are somehow involved in the overall complexity of the plot.


But make no mistake. Muhyo & Roji is no rip-off of the other two mentioned series. This series has a great backstory featuring Muhyo before he established his own office which greatly explains why he's the cold-hearted person he is today. Meanwhile, his partner Roji is his polar opposite: kind, naïve, and willing to save as many people (or even curses) as he can. Their roles as executor and assistant in the beginning start out as imbalanced due to Roji's inexperience. But by season 2, Muhyo evolves in his own way and becomes more expressive of his respect for Roji and the other people he cares about. With Muhyo being the genius he is, this series won't leave you bored as you discover all the curses, demons, and ghosts he can pass judgment on.



6. Flowers of Evil

Romaji title: Aku no Hana

Japanese title: 惡の華

Season: Spring 2013

Flowers of Evil | © Zexcs

Many people disliked this anime for its unconventional art style, but viewers who dared to give it a try were rewarded by just how much the art fit with the mood of the series. This is perverse school life to a P, so if you're in the mood to explore your dark side, this show might just be for you.


The protagonist is Kasuga Takao, a boy who loves reading books, particularly Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal. He has a major crush on classmate Saeki Nanako, whom he considers his muse and his Venus. One day, he forgets his copy of Les Fleurs du Mal in the classroom and runs back alone to pick it up. In the classroom, he finds not only his book, but Saeki's gym uniform. On a mad impulse, he steals it.


But the weird, creepy, and friendless girl of the class, Sawa Nakamura, saw him steal the uniform and uses this to control his life. And so begins the downward spiral of Kasuga's sanity.


7. Valvrave the Liberator

Romaji title: Kakumeiki Valvrave

Japanese title: 革命機ヴァルヴレイヴ

Season: Spring 2013 (season 1), Fall 2013 (season 2)

Valvrave the Liberator| © Sunrise

Couldn't get enough of Code Geass? Then, here's another sci-fi anime with magical powers, also brought to you by Studio Sunrise. Imagine Lelouch and Suzaku's roles as protagonist and deuteroganist reversed in the form of L-elf and Haruto Tokushima. In a mixture of chaotic circumstances certainly not brought about by childhood friendship, L-elf and Haruto end up aligning their interests and working together to protect Haruto's school, Sakimori Academy, from opposing military forces. Valvrave the Liberator will have you on the edge of your seats for two full seasons, not just because of L-elf's Lelouch-level plans for world domination, but also because Haruto and cast refuse to let L-elf fully have his way.


This show is equal parts uplifting and heartbreaking, and while most viewers will inevitably associate it with Code Geass, Valvrave the Liberator allows for more of the plot to be shaped by the entire cast's thoughts and actions, thus complicating the plot and making it more bittersweet when the sacrifices have to be made.

#digest #underratedanime #animerecommendations

 

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