Giving 12 Underrated Anime Their Fair Share

Last week I published a post going over 8 anime that I feel are overrated because they simply don’t live up to the amount of hype and attention they frequently get (in my opinion).

This week, we’re going to look at the flip side of that, with 12 anime that I consider underrated and don’t get enough attention! Or maybe they do, and I’ve just missed it!

This is all my opinion, of course.

There are many anime that I mentioned last week, like Violet Evergarden, that could probably make this list. But the fact is, Violet Evergarden still gets or at least received a lot of good attention. I went through my anime list and picked out 12 anime that I feel are great but simply aren’t talked about very often, if ever.

In some cases I don’t actually remember all that much about the anime, other than that I really enjoyed it for one reason or another. As you all may know, after 2+ years my memory becomes so foggy that I can basically rewatch an anime as if it’s almost the first time. I’ve probably rewatched close to 50% of my anime list (448 completed as of now) at least once, and that’s no exaggeration.

Anyways, my bad memory aside, first up is…

12. Clannad Season 1

I’m keeping this at the bottom of my list because the fact is Clannad is a well known anime, and does get attention. However, the first season of Clannad really gets overshadowed by After Story, and I think that’s a real shame because it’s such an amazing season. In many ways I’d argue it’s actually better.

Emotionally, Clannad S1 can’t stand up to After Story. No question about that. But as a comedy + slice of life anime with some feels, it’s straight up just an excellent anime. Well-rounded, beautiful, and absolutely worth a watch.

I feel like the emotional aspect is what causes S1 to get overlooked, because when you watch both seasons side-by-side and then move on, you’re more likely to remember the hard hitting emotional parts. That’s how it was for me, until I rewatched S1. While being so closely connected, I think there’s a bit of a disconnect between these two because of how different they are.

Which is why I felt like S1 needs to get some representation here!


11. Utawarerumono

I’ll be honest with you, it’s been a long while since I watched this one. But all of my memories are telling me that this was a really good anime. I remember really liking Hakuoro, the main character, and enjoying the premise and story. Plus it’s a solid 26 episodes, meaning that there’s a good chunk of content to enjoy.

I can’t really get into more specifics than that, this was just an anime that I remember really enjoying that I haven’t really seen mentioned at all. I think there was some cool strategy in there. While this one is technically a fantasy anime, I remember it being more of a historical fantasy – which sounds like it shouldn’t be a thing, but it sort of is. I don’t normally like historical anime all that much, but it really worked here.

At least, my memory is telling me this. I may have to rewatch this one too at some point haha. I feel like I’m at a point where I could just endlessly rewatch the same anime from my list over and over and it’d still feel like fresh content!


10. Joukamachi no Dandelion

Another anime that seems to have slipped through the cracks over the years is Joukamachi no Dandelion (Castle Town Dandelion). What I really enjoyed about this one, aside from that it was a really good and relaxing slice of life, was how it managed to utilize so many characters. I loved how it managed to capture the spirit of a large family, and in many ways this anime just reinforced my desire to have a large family of my own someday.

It’s got a fun premise, some funny moments, and a great cast. Overall, it’s just a great slice of life anime that is definitely worth checking out.


9. Daily Lives of High School Boys

This one definitely gets some attention, but I feel like it’s not enough! Daily Lives of High School Boys is in my opinion one of the best, if not THE best comedy in anime. Great format, great jokes, great characters. Everything about this anime just works.

Even if you don’t enjoy comedy you’ll probably enjoy this. Absolutely deserves more attention, this anime is one of the best of the best in my books.


8. Darker Than Black

Here’s another somewhat known anime that I feel is underrated. Darker Than Black was in my opinion an excellent anime. Great action, story, twists, everything. Start to finish this anime was a great experience. The characters in particular I remember really liking.

It’s different enough in many ways that it’s got a fresh feel to it, I’d say Darker Than Black deserves a spot here on the list!


7. Eve no Jikan (Time of Eve)

Eve no Jikan is a short 6 episode series that takes place in a world where androids exist and abide by many rules and restrictions. However, our main character stumbles upon a cafe where these rules are not enforced, resulting in some interesting interactions with the individuals that he once looked at as nothing more than lifeless androids.

It’s a great slice of life with a good feel to it, and one that definitely has flown under the radar.


6. Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor (+ Sequel)

I guess Kaiji is more of a cult classic at this point? I have to seriously thank Rose for constantly retweeting Kaiji posts when she was on twitter, because that’s what eventually led to me watching this anime that I’d never heard of before that.

And man, Kaiji is such a wild ride it’s unbelievable. This anime is absolutely worth the watch. It’s such a thrilling anime, I was watching something like 8 episodes per night. And there’s a good amount of content to satisfy that too. I think Kaiji is one of the best psychological / thriller anime out there. If you’re into that kind of anime, you really have to watch this one! It’s amazing.


5. Dog Days

Dog Days is an anime series boasting 3 seasons that I’ve never seen mention of anywhere. I originally watched it back in… 2014? The first two seasons at least, and then the third when it aired in 2015. I’m not going to say Dog Days is the best anime series ever or anything like that, but it’s a really good and cutesy action / fantasy anime.

I say cutesy because the premise is such that no one really ever gets hurt, and the “wars” are more like contests than anything else. But that doesn’t stop this anime from having some excellent action sequences.

It’s also an isekai anime, which you may not have realized! Despite all the talk about isekai, Dog Days once again flies under the radar. The action is good, the characters are fun, the mood is relaxed, it’s just a fun anime series. And one I’m currently in the process of rewatching!


4. Seitokai no Ichizon

Specifically the first season, although the second is still good. This is one of my favourite anime, period. It’s a school, student council, slice of life, comedy, harem anime. Only the protagonist is unlike most other harem protagonists, in that he’s actually a great and interesting character who knows what he wants.

The entire anime basically takes place in the student council room. It’s a lot of fun, there’s a ton of ridiculous moments between the characters. The comedy is on point. The cast is great. I really just love this anime. Well worth a watch in my books, but seldom mentioned. I don’t think I’ve seen mention of this anime anywhere else actually….

Except for here, on the Umai Yomu Anime Blog!

seitokai no ichizon girls

3. The World God Only Knows

I’ve seen some other bloggers cover this one, but it’s just not enough! The World God Only Knows is simply put an absolutely amazing experience. It’s a dating VN turned into an anime with a lot of fun and even thrilling experiences. While the anime is also a sort of glorified advertisement for the PSP (like what Code Geass is for Pizza Hut), we overlook that because it’s just such a great anime.

Plus it’s got 3 seasons and several OVAs to sink your teeth into. This is a really great anime series that deserves more attention.

Oh, and I’m legally obligated (not really) to mention the kickass OP song whenever I mention this anime, so here it is. Long, but really worth a listen. It’s a really epic song. The actual anime OP is from about 2:25 to around 4:00.


2. YU-NO: A girl who chants love at the bound of this world.

We’re getting into criminally underrated territory now. YU-NO is an anime that I feel like was completely robbed of… attention I guess. I feel like it got a bad rap because of the fan service, and so people just dropped it early on. It’s either that, or no one picked this one up to begin with.

In reality, YU-NO is an amazing experience, a real adventure. It has probably the most adaptive story in anime, as the setting and circumstances are constantly changing and adapting, to the point where the setting in the beginning of the anime becomes a distant memory. A very unique and awesome experience.

And that doesn’t even touch on the great characters and fan service (hey, I liked it). While Kaiji is a wild ride in terms of thrill, YU-NO is a wild ride in terms of adventure and story progression.

Love it or hate it, this anime is absolutely underrated.


1. SKET Dance

Hey remember that 77 episode ridiculous school comedy? No? Well maybe that’s because this anime is also criminally underrated. While not the best comedy in anime, SKET Dance is still an excellent comedy. One that comes complete with 77 episodes of crazy comedic moments.

I believe SKET Dance was often compared to Gintama which it really emulates in it’s style of humour, and cast (3 main characters), but the fact is, if it works well, it can’t hurt to have more of it! You take Gintama and put it into a school setting, and you’ve got SKET Dance. I love Gintama, so it was only natural I’d love SKET Dance.

The biggest difference between these two series is just that SKET Dance seems to have fallen under the radar. It really is one of the best comedy anime out there that boasts more than 12 episodes. At 77 episodes, there’s just so much enjoyment to be had here. You’ll get great value out of this one.

Lot of fun and memorable characters just like Gintama too. My favourite side character was the girl in the manga club whose drawing ability is… not so good. It made for some hilarious moments as we get to see and read through several of her works throughout the series.

Just thinking about this is making me want to rewatch SKET Dance, like many other anime on this list…

If you like comedy, you really have to check this one out!

SKET Dance reference in Bakuman.

And there we have 12 underrated anime, in my opinion. Some I’ll admit my memories are not so fresh on, and I’m just going by how much I remember enjoying them. But even then, I feel like this is a solid list. So hopefully someone somewhere will read this and pick up a few new anime ideas!

Anyone have any other examples of anime that are amazing but just slipped through the cracks? Agree or disagree with my choices? Let me know!

Until next time,
Thanks for reading.

23 thoughts on “Giving 12 Underrated Anime Their Fair Share

  1. I totally loved The World God Only Knows and especially the opening (and the PFP lol)!

    I added SKEET Dance to my “To Watch” list. I’ve seen the characters of this anime in games like J-Stars Victory VS, but I didn’t know where they were from

    Liked by 1 person

  2. darkdaemonpk2

    1. Perhaps Sket Dance was overshadowed by more popular comedy shows, lack of advertising, or was not that popular outside of Japan. I still like that show to this day.

    2. Dog Days season 1 was the only one with a real plot. Season 2 and 3 kinda felt different, but I can say they are just shows to watch to feel relaxed due to its cutesy characters. If it weren’t for that show, I wouldn’t had brought nendoroids of Leonmitchelli Leonmitchelli Galette des Rois and Ricotta.

    3. The problem with Clannad season 1 is that the focus of the story is all over the main female characters, in which the director is giving all of ’em screen time based on their routes in the visual novel. Clannad season 1 and 2 is overrated (for my opinion), with season 2 being the worst (when all of them died) since it had this whole deus ex machina and the resetting of the entire thing which made Tomya’s struggle and resolution with his daughter useless. I still consider the version of Clannad made by Toei the superior version.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed on Dog Days, S1 was the best. While it kept it’s lighthearted feel, bringing his two friends into the picture and all that definitely changed the feel of the series. And good choice, Leo is best girl for sure.

      I like the VN approach to Clannad S1. I tend to like it in other anime too, although I guess it depends, but I did like it in Higurashi. Also agreed that the After Story ending was a bit anti-climactic. One of these days I wish an anime would just commit to a sad ending, we don’t see enough of that.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Kanon was the one that KyoAni remade after Toei, not Clannad. It’s also my personal favorite of the “Key trilogy.” I haven’t seen the Toei version but just looking at the character designs was enough to put me off it. That and knowing Toei crammed the whole story into one season, which was one of Air’s biggest problems: too much story in too few episodes (and it was the worst of the three at blending the side routes into the main girl’s plot). As far as those three anime go, I summarize them as Clannad/AS tells the most unique story, Kanon tells the best story (just MO, don’t shoot me), and Air tells the saddest story. But I’ve always wanted to play the Air VN just to see how much got cut out of the anime.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. darkdaemonpk2

        Clannad was first adapted by Toei in which it was a movie and after that, Kyoto Animation just jumped in with their own version which is a 2 season series. Was the art style of Toei Animation for the movie version of Clannad awful? No, because they were just being faithful to the original source (the original source was actually no better in a character design standpoint).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, okay I didn’t know about the movie. My bad. I’m looking at still images from that movie now and it looks fine. Toei also adapted Kanon as a 13 episode TV series in 2002, which is the one I thought you meant – that one doesn’t look so good compared to the VN or the KyoAni version. For example, Toei’s Yuuichi looks like someone took a belt sander to the top of his head.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Yeah, Dog Days is fun. I had to check that one out because it was created by Masaki Tsuzuki and animated by Seven Arcs, the same team that came up with the Lyrical Nanoha franchise, which has been a favorite of mine for years. It must be a conspiracy by cat lovers to keep it from getting the attention it deserves.

    I agree with you that Clannad S1 gets overshadowed by After Story – I think besides the emotional impacts you pointed out, that’s also because most romance anime end as soon as the relationship starts (if they even get THAT far), so seeing a relationship that continues on into adult life with jobs and marriage and children is a real novelty that makes After Story immediately stand out.

    As for my favorite underrated anime, I must mention two.

    The first is Yuki Yuna is a Hero. It got dismissed by a lot of people when it premiered as just another Madoka wannabe, but that’s a pretty superficial take that really does it a disservice, and left it very underrated for as good of a series as it is. I love the cast of characters and their friendship together (it’s almost as good of a slice of life anime as it is a magical girl anime), the story is gripping and emotional, most of the battles look great, and the soundtrack is one of my favorite anime OSTs ever (it stayed in my car CD player for almost a full year after I bought it),

    The second is Saki, which look, I get it. Most westerners don’t play mahjong, especially Japanese mahjong, so they’d just glance at the summary and move on. But they’re missing such a fun series. Saki is really like a blend of sports anime and shonen battle anime (lots of the characters have superpowered attacks and abilities and get powerups along the way and stuff, they’re just using them to cheat at mahjong instead of trying to kill each other), with lots of cute girls and some mild fanservice and yuri subtext on the side. What’s not to like? And you don’t need to play Japanese mahjong to enjoy it – they explain enough of the basics in the beginning that it isn’t hard to follow. In fact, I liked the series so much that it actually inspired me to learn how to play for real – I have my own set now and everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point, After Story does have that novelty factor to it that makes it enjoyable also. People love a good timeskip, even in Slice of Life. Myself included.

      Yuki Yuna looks interesting, I’d never heard of it before.

      Same with Saki, although Saki is giving me CGDCT vibes so even if I had come across it I’d never have watched it. I’ll keep this in mind for the future if I’m ever actively looking for anime to watch and come across it again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Saki’s definitely not CGDCT, and in fact there’s even a dude in the club, though he’s mostly there for comedy and as the straw n00b so other characters can teach him (and us) the rules. Training and matches are the main focus like any good sports anime, and just like the volleyball matches in Haikyu the important games sometimes span several episodes once it gets into the major tournaments.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t seen any of these anime series although some people have recommended Time of Eve for me. This would be a huge list for me if I did anything similar. Here are just a few examples of anime I find to be underrated…

    Yugo the Negotiator
    Hikaru no Go
    Shinesman
    A Tree of Palme
    Read or Die series
    Kimba the White Lion
    Toward the Terra (the original)
    Texhnolyze
    Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo
    Millennium Actress

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess that might be the case since I watch a lot of lesser-known works and review them. Hahaha! Here’s how I would pitch each one of them in just a few words or a sentence.

        Yugo (Atypical seinen adventure series with a great dub)
        Hikaru no Go (Shonen gaming anime for people who hate game/sports series)
        Shinesman (The Power Ranger parody people didn’t know they needed.)
        A Tree of Palme (Avant-garde Pinocchio)
        Read or Die (Action and espionage with bibliophile characters)
        Kimba the White Lion (The anime series that The Lion King stole from)
        Toward the Terra (One of the most conscious space operas out there)
        Texhnolyze (Dark and artsy cyberpunk on par with GITS)
        Gankutsuou (A futuristic adaptation with a VERY unique animation style)
        Millennium Actress (Satoshi Kon at his most tame, but still incredible and original)

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Kaiji is one of my absolute favorites. I watched Akagi first, another adaptation of a Fukumoto gambling manga that seems to be even more of a cult classic — it got me into mahjong, though I still kind of suck at the game.

    I remember people talking about Dog Days years ago. The girls in the show definitely looked cute, and I’m always up for some of that even if there isn’t a lot of other substance there. And Eve no Jikan is on my list to watch.

    Like

  6. Thank you for reminding me about Seitokai no Ichizon! Great series, and I’ve still got the sequel to watch. I also agree that Kaiji is seriously underrated, and wonder to what extent the unusual character designs put people off that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t get your hopes up too high for the sequel. It’s good, but they changed a lot from S1 and I didn’t think it performed as well.

      Good point about the Kaiji designs, I never even thought of that but you’re right, they are very unique and jarring.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. True. Idk if I’d go so far as to call it a dramedy, because I feel like its comedic identity is much more prevalent, just like how Gintama has dramatic moments but I’d say comedy is by far it’s most defining aspect. But it definitely does have some intense moments, so the drama is worth mentioning!

      Like

  7. Dez Polycarpe

    Watched both seasons of Seitokai no Ichizon and loved it. I regret not hearing about it earlier. Easy top 5 anime student council all time.

    Also, I definitely need to watch Skeet Dance because it is from Gorilla-Sensei’s assistant I heard. Finally Keima is a top tier harem protagonist arguably the greatest all time.

    Liked by 1 person

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