Anime & Manga I’d Introduce to a First-Timer || The Animanga Festival

Hello all and welcome to my first official entry in The Animanga Festival, hosted by Auri and Nairne over at Manga Toritsukareru Koto!

As the title of this post says, today’s prompt is “Anime/Manga I’d Introduce to a First-Timer.” All the best things in life come in threes, don’t you agree? Correspondingly, I’ve prepared a trio of both anime and manga (in no particular order) for all my imaginary first-time fans out there. Without coming across as generic as possible, fingers crossed, let’s get right into things!

Manga For Newcomers

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Orange by Ichigo Takano is everything you’d want from a nice little shoujo drama series: a pleasant balance of comedy and seriousness, pure oodles of friendship, attractive characters, a respectful nod toward mental health, and ooh what’s this, only two omnibus volumes long? SOLD. I described Orange in my OWLS post for the series as being “sweet and sour, yet all the more beautiful,” and I still stand by those words today. It’ll break your heart—but in the sweetest way possible.

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Go For It, Nakamura! by Syundei is a standalone volume (WOOT!) perfect for people who are not only new to the manga scene, but maybe even still in the closet (or happily out of it). That doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed by anyone else, but I imagine it’s ultra relatable to all those closeted introverts out there. If you’ve ever had a big fat crush for someone but didn’t know how to confess your feelings cause you’re a dork who’ll probably screw everything up, you’ll just burst with love for Nakamura. And lookie there, that 80’s anime/manga aesthetic—WE STAN.

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Snow White with the Red Hair by Sorata Akiduki is more of a commitment, as it’s still on-going, but anyone’ll fall head over heels for these adorable characters after the first volume (heck, you might as well start picking it up now). Shirayuki is an herbalist living in a Tanbarun, a small medieval country. But when she bumps into the handsome prince of a neighboring kingdom, she sets her sights for one day working at Prince Zen’s castle. Comedy, action, and young love blossom in this shoujo series sure to win hearts.

Not much of a variety there, I realize. But hey, I guess now you all know what kind of manga I prefer. Soft stuff. Warm, tingly, fuzzy-feeling stuff. Onto the anime!

Anime for Newcomers

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Attack on Titan was everyone’s go-to recommendation back when it started airing in 2013, and hell, it’s still mine. Humanity’s been pushed behind giant walls just to continue living in this apocalyptic medieval society, and one day, a 50-meter-tall titan busts a hole in the outermost wall—and the titans invade. A thrilling story of survival, gripping action, and wild conspiracies unfolds, and with a final season in sight, Attack on Titan will go on to become one of the greats—if it hasn’t already. Come for the hot action, stay for the legendary lore and world-building.

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Steins;Gate is a much more thinking-intensive watch, but one that you’ll never forget. There’s an allure to the series that always pulls me back to it. Maybe it’s the fact that Okabe Rintarou invented a time machine with the help of his friends and started using it to change some of the small issues in their lives. Maybe it’s because all of those D-mails they sent to the past lead to a future with WWIII in their reality. Maybe it’s because the government starts to trace their actions and hunt them down, and their only way to fight back is by undoing all those sent messages—undoing the past. Thrilling and captivating, humorous at times yet incredibly intelligent, people might tell you it’s boring, or that you should wait so you understand all the references. Ignore ’em. It was one of my first watches, and look at me: I turned out fine. Better than fine because of it, in fact.

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Yuri!!! On ICE stole hearts when it aired in 2016, and I don’t think a single soul has forgotten about it. Yuri Katsuki suffered an embarrassing loss at the figure-skating Grand Prix Final last year, and who else to train him for the next one than his idol, the living legend Viktor Nikiforov himself!? Beloved for its sports appeal and the budding relationship between its lead characters (plus, I mean, literally everything else about it), this underdog story delivers heartfelt moments one right after the other until your heart explodes and you die you find yourself rooting for everyone, even JJ. Freakin’ JJ. Everything they do on the ice they call love—do yourself a favor and hop in the rink.

Of course, there’s always Your Name., Ghost in the Shell, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, My Hero Academia, and anything directed by Hosoda or Miyazaki, but eh, they’ll get around to them after these shows have sunk them in deep, right?

Between one, two, or all three of the titles listed under each category, hopefully my imaginary first-timers will find something that hooks them on anime or manga (or both)! What do you think of my recommendations? Let me know down in the comments, and until the next prompt, I sincerely hope you’re enjoying the opening festivities thus far!

– Takuto, your host

17 thoughts on “Anime & Manga I’d Introduce to a First-Timer || The Animanga Festival

  1. I’ve tried ‘Steins;Gate’ as a introduction to the medium, yeah – seemed to work! Also ‘Fullmetal…’ and .Ghost in the Shell,’ definitely.

    ‘Cowboy Bebop’ (which is probably an obvious choice for me to bring up) is another of course, it’s the show that just can’t seem to shake the reputation of being a ‘gateway drug’ of anime shows 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was hesitant towards putting Ghost in the Shell on this list, as I love the heck out of it, but I have heard people saying that it was “too smart” for them, which is understandable. I knew a couple people participating in the festival who were putting Bebop on their lists, but yeah, definitely a strong one to start with.

      Happy to hear from another Steins;Gate fan! Thanks for stopping by~!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know what you mean about hesitating around GIST – I always think about it as being like 3 or 4 action sequences and a whole lot of dialogue, which seems to deter some newcomers when they try the film

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great choices!! One day I’ll get round to reading Orange and Snow White the Red Hair. The anime choices are great as well. Steins;Gate is one of my favourites! I absolutely love it so when I recommend it and peoppe enjoynit as much as I do, it makes me really happy! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. I’ve not been much of a manga reader, but there certainly is a lot of appeal for Orange due to its short volume size and balance of sweetness and seriousness. Attack on Titan, I agree, certainly deserves a spot for many years to come as a first-timer recommendation. Depending on what genre the first-timer is interested in, I would recommend some heavy hitters such as ERASED, Your Lie in April, Anohana, Hunter X Hunter and Durarara!!.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Being only two omnibus volumes is definitely makes Orange an enticing read! And yes, cannot forget AoT, especially with the final season just around the corner. While I’ve yet to watch Your Lie in April (saving it for a rainy day) and Hunter X Hunter, I totally agree that ERASED is an excellent show for first-timers!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

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