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10 Most Underrated Anime Series

2008 Anime Titles Relevant to Non Anime Fans

By Chris Beveridge     August 11, 2009

Underrated Anime Series
© Bob Trate


The anime industry was pretty tumultuous in 2008 with shows changing hands between studios, releases delayed and a lot of confusion in general. In the midst of all of this, there were still a lot of titles released and quite a few that flew under the radar that should be checked out. We’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of 10 titles that didn’t get anywhere near the attention they deserved during their original release that you should check out A.S.A.F.P.

10 Underrated Anime Series  

      1. Toward the Terra
Toward the Terra tells the story of the underground group trying to survive and find a world of their own. It’s a far-flung future where kids are tested for psychic ability before becoming adults and killed if they display it. A solid space opera based on a manga from the late ‘70s, it influenced a lot of Japanese science fiction and you can see it in modern Hollywood serials as well. Multiple sides are told in this tale as humanity fights for what it believes its survival, guided by a computer sentience, and the young long-lived psychics try to find a home of their own while being persecuted.
Who will like this? Fans of Battlestar Galactica.

10 Underrated Anime Series

 2. Flag

When a photojournalist captures a striking image in the middle of a warzone, the region changes as each side tries to foster peace. Forces are rallying against this though and the UN sends in a special ops unit to handle some of the unique situations as armored mecha are being introduced to the world. Filled with politics, intrigue, social situations and plenty of solid real world style action, Flag offers up a compelling drama told through the eyes of two different cameramen in a unique style via the tools of their trade. Following the soldiers from this special unit, they’re able to give a unique view of the war that’s occurring in this Middle Eastern land.

Who will like this? Fans of The Unit with a healthy dose of near future real world style robotic advances.

10 Underrated Anime Series

3)   3. Welcome to the NHK
Can a show about a group of reclusive geeks be interesting? Welcome to the NHK certainly proves that it can as it follows Tastuhiro and his very small group of friends as they try to deal with their depression and loneliness while also trying to break free of it. When a young woman named Hitomi steps in to try and save Tatsuhiro, it leads to a series of discussions about life, psychology and what it means to be human and interact with others. Striking close to home for many, Welcome to the NHK serves as both a documentary and a warning for all sorts of reclusive fans of anime, movies, games andtoys.
Who will like this? Fans of documentaries about fandoms

10 Underrated Anime Series

4)   4. Tweeny Witches
Arisu finds herself transported to a world of magic which the world is mostly divided up between men and women. The land of witches she lands in is filled with the magic she’s always loved as told to her by her father, but it’s not as wonderful as she thought it would be. Magical creatures are hunted down, there are strict rules and hardly any friends. The wonder and fun of magic is something that she tries to bring to everyone, but there are world ending events about to take place as the male side of the world has discovered… technology.
Who will like this? Fans of Charmed

10 Underrated Anime Series

5)   5. Red Garden
What can you do when you’re drawn to a place and a cold woman there tells you that you’re dead? You do what you have to in order to survive, and that’s what happens to four high school girls in New York City. Thrust without warning into this world where their bodies have been taken and now they have only these stronger and more powerful bodies, they deal with the “monsters” out there to try and keep the peace in order to gain back their bodies. Deeper mysteries and curses become revealed, but much of the show focuses on how the girls handle their lives while being dead.
Who will like this? Fans of Twilight and Vampire Diaries who like a darker, deadlier storyline.

10 Underrated Anime Series

6)   6. Jyu-Oh-Sei
Earth is dead and long gone and now humanity survives in another star system, but it’s nowhere near a paradise. While a good chunk of mankind lives safely, many are sent to a prison planet of sorts where nature is the guard. Two twin boys, Thor and Rai, are sent there for political reasons and must survive among the factions of man that live there as well as the numerous creatures that thrive. Tribalistic, brutal and compelling, following the story of Thor as he goes from a 12-year-old boy to something more commanding in just 11 episodes. It’s surprisingly captivating and engaging as it uses classic science fiction elements to achieve it.
Who will like this? For fans of Earth 2

10 Underrated Anime Series

7)   7. Zegapain
What does it mean to be human? For Kyo, this becomes the focus of his life as he discovers that the world ended quite some time ago and all that remains of humanity is what’s stored in several servers across the world. Digitized and rebooted every so often, mankind lives out an unaware existence in these machines. But some, like Kyo, discover the reality and join a virtual crew in the real world where they do battle with the Gardsorm, the things that mankind created by accident that ended up destroying the world. Filled with lots of action, it’s also a very thoughtful piece on what reality means and what it takes to be human, whether it can transcend the flesh and into the digital world.
Who will like this? Fans of Last Starfighter and the Matrix.

10 Underrated Anime Series

8)   8. Project Blue Earth SOS
Earth is the focal point of an alien invasion by creatures from beyond and it’s up to a small group of people to fend it off. While the world deals with the large-scale attacks for a wide variety of alien ships, creatures and more, two young men form an alliance and work with top secret military organizations and scientists to develop ways of stopping them. Flying saucers abound in this as young Penny and Billy discover the secrets of what’s going on in a classic adventure style with nods to films of the past.
Who will like this? Fans of classics 50’s science fiction B-movies.

10 Underrated Anime Series

9)   9. FREEDOM
Earth has succumbed to the climate shift and there’s nothing left anymore. However, there are several million people alive on the moon. .Though a bit strict and controlled, kids still find ways to have fun and Takeru does just that as he goes off exploring on the lunar surface. He discovers a message in a bottle from earth with a picture of a beautiful girl that tells him that the planet is well and they want to see them. The mystery of what’s really going on becomes the focus as Takeru launches into a full throttle adventure to reach earth and the girl he’s enamored with. Done with cooperation from NASA, FREEDOM is one of the best visual CG anime series to arrive in years.
Who will like this? Fans of Apollo 13.

10 Underrated Anime Series

10  10. Story of Saiunkoku
Taking place in the kingdom of Saiunkoku, the show revolves around a young woman named Shurei who will become the catalyst for change. The role of women in the kingdom is about to undergo a change as she becomes tied to the Emperor as a teacher, temporary consort and friend. Because of her straightforward manner, she teaches him quite a lot and it opens numerous doors for her as she ascends into the world of men and power, challenging them with subtlety, charm and more.  Shurei has a lot of danger to face, politically and physically, as she walks these corridors of power and she gets lots of help from quite a few swordsmen who protect her as best as they can – when she lets them.
Who will like this? Fans of period dramas.



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acha 8/11/2009 6:47:06 AM

No one checked out or rates "Welcome to the NHK?" Really?

normtim@gmail.com_home 8/11/2009 6:53:00 AM

All excellent choices.  I'd have really liked to see Simoun get on a list like this as well.

Hectotane 8/11/2009 7:46:19 AM

 Considering how "the Larsen is getting louder" every year for the anime industry, this is no surprise.

What people don't understand about "Wecome To The NHK" being "underrated:"  There are many places on the web and in real life to go to in order to see the self-inflicted damage of reclusive geeks.  There are those of us who want to laugh and escape into the anime world without having to wash ourselves afterwards... ...with fire; thank you very much in advance.

epicgears 8/11/2009 10:49:11 AM

Story of Saiunkoku was actually quite popular in asia. Saiunkoku means Colorful Cloud Nation. This was a major chick flick. 

mutantlexi 8/11/2009 11:52:15 AM

 I'm going to have to second Simoun. Wonderfully touching and at times brutal story of love during wartime.

wrrlykam 8/11/2009 2:50:05 PM

Project Blue Earth SOS looks fun. In one clip alone I saw 5 'stolen' movie ideas alone. More than ID4 which was one they used.

Supermutant2099 8/11/2009 3:28:35 PM

I agree wth Flag, Jyu-Oh-Sei, Project Blue Earth SOS, Welcome To NHK, Story Of Saiunkoku.  Flag is a title I really liked and enjoyed.  It was different take on the miltary/robots with a really different take perspective on it all.  Pretty much you see things through the eyes and cameras of the people covering the war.  Jyu-Oh-Sei was not a title I was going to pick up till I watched the first two episodes on Funimations video portal.  Project Blue Earth SOS and Welcome To NHK are two titles I had the pleasure of catching on Anime Network before they were pulled due to lose of licensed.  Story Of Saiunkoku was a title I finally got to watch a couple of months ago and liked enough that I will probably buy the complete set when it comes out if I don't volume 2 and 3.  All of these are good and you little about them.  Flag is the most underated on the list in my opion.  To the others the only one I have watch any part was Red Garden on Anime Network and it was okay. 

violator14 8/11/2009 5:05:58 PM

I feel like banging an anime chick.

akiraakobus 8/11/2009 9:39:16 PM

"I feel like banging an anime chick."

Don't we all dude, don't we all.

akiraakobus 8/11/2009 9:42:59 PM

"I feel like banging an anime chick."

Don't we all dude, don't we all.

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