The anime industry is a global phenomenon, with countless series and movies released every year. While some of these titles are more popular than others, many have been overshadowed by their time in the spotlight. This list looks at 12 anime that were ahead of their time and never reached the popularity they deserved.
Feel-good anime movies are anime that have a happy ending. These anime are usually released in the year of their release or later, so they feel like they were ahead of their time.
Have you ever looked up the release date of an anime series you like and been surprised by the year it debuted?
Or did you notice that the animation or art wasn’t up to par for the historical period?
Or maybe some of the topics were a little… sensitive at the time of release?
Maybe this anime even showed off some ideas that picked up & became trendier later on in the decade.
What exactly is it? You’ve never seen something like that before?
….But don’t worry, I’ll provide you with some fantastic alternatives so you don’t feel left out!
JoJo’s Strange Adventure is the 12th installment in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure series.
The art style of an anime may usually be used to estimate its age. The art, the comedy, the battles, and the music are all ageless in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Many anime tropes were first presented in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, such as the yandere stereotype with the introduction of Yukako Yamagishi in Part 4.
The original manga lasted from the late 1980s to the late 1990s, ignoring David Production’s translation from the mid-to-late 2010s. All of Araki’s crazy events and famous remarks are impossible to categorize in any particular period.
Cowboy Bebop is the eleventh film in the Cowboy Bebop series
Cowboy Bebop certainly fits the label of an anime that was ahead of its time, since it was considered too adult by TV Tokyo and only half of its episodes were broadcast.
It combined a variety of elements, ranging from jazz music to space battles to—you guessed it—cowboys chasing bounties throughout the cosmos. This is a fascinating and well-written program that would have remained a hidden treasure if it hadn’t received so much attention on Adult Swim.
It will go down in history as a classic with a narrative that will be appreciated by future generations. Ideally, in a future without monsters trying to murder you because you left a lobster in the fridge too long.
Psycho-Pass immerses you in a dark dystopian future world where you are confronted with the novel idea of tagging individuals with indications of criminal behavior. It was a unique idea that was implemented well. The anime’s visual effects for the different technology on display seemed fresh and innovative.
Similarly, the crisp graphics and fast animation make it seem like it was created recently, even though it was published in 2012. To put things in perspective, the iPhone 5 was launched the same year.
It’s been almost a decade now.
ID: Invaded is another anime with a similar premise but a very different execution. If you like science fiction, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with any of these two films.
Lelouch of the Rebellion
Let’s take a moment to speak about Lelouch. A smart, two-faced, charming mind whose goal is to use a Machiavellian philosophy to make the world a better place.
Lelouch is a well-known yet divisive character who inspired subsequent anime heroes such as Light Yagami. But, in addition to Lelouch, the anime has a number of other notable characters. Nunnally and Michella Watch, Nina Einstein and the yandere stereotype, and more examples.
If you’re ready to expand your horizons, it’s also a fantastic anime to become acquainted with the mecha genre. Code Geass covers a broad range of topics and has a diverse cast of characters.
Not to mention the complex storyline and political underpinnings. But if there’s one thing that no other anime has, it’s C.C. That was all it took to make the cut for this list.
Erased, also known as The Town Where Only I Am Missing, is a film about time travel that is laced with nostalgia and a hint of sadness. With a similar time travel premise, this mystery thriller set the way for the popular manga smash series Tokyo Revengers.
Even though the majority of the anime is set in 1988, you don’t have to be a kid of the 1980s to appreciate the bittersweetness of childhood recollections. Who wouldn’t want to go back to their youth and correct all of their errors? That sounds amazing!
My only complaint is that there isn’t much anime that allows you to go back in time and change your life. Just a moment….
7. There is No Life Without A Game
Here’s a show with one of the most distinctive art styles on the list, if not all of anime. When Vivy visits the Archive in her thoughts in Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song, or when you meet Featherine in the current Higurashi remake, you can clearly see the effects.
The visual style helps this anime age better than others, since it isn’t bound by any of the usual 2014 tropes. Unfortunately, there is a chance that the anime may not be renewed for a second season.
However, the imprint it has left is undeniably pleasant.
Mob Psycho 100 (#6)
2016 was a watershed moment in our culture’s evolution.
And I’d like to think Mob Psycho 100 had something to do with it. Everyone who saw the tale of an adolescent young kid finding out life (and himself) seemed to relate to it. The photography and directing made it seem like a movie.
The action, humor, art, and music all blended together wonderfully, making for a pleasant anime to watch. And the second season was just as good — and according to the official Mob Psycho Twitter account, season 3 may be announced shortly (as of this writing).
Priority #5: Wonder Egg
Character designs and direction are similar to those of KyoAni’s Naoko Yamada.
Suicide and abuse topics in anime are rare and far between. The slice-of-life moments, in particular (when the main girls are on break doing magical girl fights of course).
These topics, on the other hand, are taboo in Japanese culture.
As a result, Wonder Egg Priority is a huge step forward in eradicating the stigma.
Violet Evergarden is number four
Violet Evergarden boasts some of the finest art and sakuga in all of anime, with each episode seeming like its own full-length dramatic film.
People from all walks of life whose tales we can’t help but connect with. Animation sequences that flow like water, sceneries that seem like paintings, and characters from all walks of life whose stories we can’t help but connect with.
When I initially saw the paper fly out the window and across the sky in the first episode, I had to take a moment to make sure I wasn’t seeing the 2019 film release. Even though it was just 2018, this was the first time I had ever witnessed such dedication to the aesthetics of any scenario.
The most remarkable aspect, though, was that the quality remained constant throughout the whole performance. Especially in Episode 10…. If you haven’t seen Violet Evergarden yet, do right now to refresh your soul.
KonoSuba appeared just two years after Sword Art Online established the Isekai genre in 2012, mocking the conventional narrative of a Demon King assassination mission. Even now, when generic isekais are more prevalent than ever, the quips and comic parts still work.
KonoSuba, in fact, would be more appropriate in today’s Isekai environment than it was when it was published in 2014 – or even when the web novel was created in 2012-2013. Natsume Akatsuki, I suppose, is simply a wise visionary who sees things ahead of his time.
2. Online Sword Art
SAO is a pioneer in the anime business as well as a major influencer in the development of otaku culture. SAO would usher in a new age of isekai anime, light novels, and comics on its own. Aside from the massive impact it had, the show’s quality was also nothing to scoff at. The animation was not to be taken lightly. Its legacy is carried on through sequels and spinoffs. Sword Art Online will go down in anime history as a classic. As a result, it would be imprudent not to put such a groundbreaking and groundbreaking program on our list.
Since K-On! first broadcast in… hm? Is this what you’re saying, or am I misreading it? “From April to June 2009, a 13-episode anime television series adaption by Kyoto Animation aired in Japan.”
I swear there’s a fault in the matrix because K-On! doesn’t look or feel like a 2009 anime. Maybe it’s because of KyoAni’s laid-back animation and age-defying narrative.
Perhaps it’s the backdrops, which have been given a bit more thought than the typical Slice of Life anime. Or it might be because the series’ overall cheerful adorable atmosphere clashes with my own perception of what the 2000s, particularly in anime, signified.
I’m not sure what Naoko Yamada accomplished to create such a timeless animation that was so out of time. But it’s something for which I’m thankful.
It’s also not her finest work. Arguably.
90s anime dub is a term that has been thrown around recently. This article will list 12 of the best anime that felt ahead of their time.