The 2018 Anime Challenge


It can be easy for anime fans to get into a rut. We stick to genres, studios, and directors that we already know that we like. While this keeps us from seeing things that we don’t enjoy, it also means that we miss out on some gems, and we stay limited in our understanding of our own tastes.


In 2018, lets expand our anime horizons. Go out of your way to watch anime that you might otherwise ignore. If you’re an action buff, this means you need to check out some romance titles. If you only watch anime from before 2006, it might be time to watch a contemporary title. If you only watch anime with dudes at the helm, you might want to try out one with a female protagonist.

It’s dangerous to go alone, so take this list to help you out. Yes, that was a video game reference in an anime article. Deal with it.


  • Watch one obscure Studio Ghibli film.

Ex: Tales from Earthsea, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, When Marnie Was There, Only Yesterday


  • Watch an anime that came out the year that you were born.


  • Watch an anime that you’ve heard is terrible - and form your own opinion.


  • Watch an anime that you think is over hyped - and form your own opinion.


  • Watch one sports anime.

Ex: Yowamushi Pedal, Haikyuu, Big Windup!


  • Watch one classic anime that you missed.

Ex: Cowboy Bebop, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Akira, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Hellsing


  • Watch one anime with a female protagonist.

Ex: Kino’s Journey, Fruits Basket, Yona of the Dawn, Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit


  • Watch one anime that debuts in 2018

Ex: Love is Like after the Rain, Hakumei to Mikochi, Caligula


  • Watch an anime about Japanese traditions.

Ex: Chihayafuru, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, Barakamon


  • Watch an anime with short episodes.

Ex: Sekkou Boys, Chi’s Sweet Home, I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying


  • Watch an anime about a dystopian future.

Ex: Ergo Proxy, No. 6, Psycho Pass


  • Watch an anime with adult protagonists.

Ex: Recovery of an MMO Junkie, The Eccentric Family, The Great Passage, Honey & Clover


  • Watch an anime with an unusual art style.

Ex: The Flowers of Evil, Tatami Galaxy, Tsuritama


  • Watch a romance anime from the ’80’s.

Ex: Kimagure Orange Road, Aishite Knight, Georgie!


  • Watch one anime with an unnecessarily long title.

Ex: No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!, I Couldn't Become a Hero, So I Reluctantly Decided to Get a Job, Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren’t They?


  • Watch an anime that takes place outside of Japan.

Ex: Heroman, Emma: A Victorian Romance, Eden of the East, Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth


  • Watch one anime about parenting.

Ex: Sweetness & Lightning, Bunny Drop, Wolf Children, Aishiteruze Baby


  • Watch an anime featuring a disabled character.

Ex: Gangsta, Full Moon o Sagashite, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, A Silent Voice


  • Watch (or at least start) one really long shonen series that you haven’t seen yet.

Ex: Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Yu-Gi-Oh!


  • Watch an anime that a friend recommended to you - and form your own opinion.


  • If you usually watch dubbed anime, watch one series subbed. If you usually watch subbed anime, watch one series dubbed.


  • Watch an anime featuring a non-Japanese person of color.

Ex: Yuri on Ice, Michiko to Hatchin, Black Lagoon


  • Watch an anime about music.

Ex: Nodame Cantabile, Your Lie In April, Kids on the Slope, NANA


  • Watch one mecha anime.

Ex: Gundam SEED, Soukyuu no Fafner, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann


  • Use Crunchyroll’s Random Anime Button and watch the first show that comes up.

That's enough to see most people through the year - but if you need more, check out our other anime content.If there's anything we missed, let us know in the comments - the more recommendations, the better.

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