9 Underrated Anime Series That Became Beloved Cult Classics

Fans often wonder what defines a cult classic, regardless of what people say it is. Every outlet has its sleeper hits and surprise hits, offset by stories that don’t live up to the hype. It’s easy to see how some anime don’t deliver what the audience wants. Many series initially attract very few and then later attract many.

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Some shows cause the smallest splashes, but the ripples of their impact can be felt for years afterward. These cult classics have the power to reshape what anime can be, and their legacy is only respected in hindsight. Whether they’re weird, ambitious, bizarre, or just plain unforgettable, cult classics leave an indelible mark on the anime landscape.

9 Odd Taxi is far from conventional (Odd Taxi)

Odokawa and Dobu by taxi

It might seem premature to declare a 2021 series a cult classic, but odd cab it is anything but conventional. A series that features a fully anthropomorphized cast of characters, centered around the passengers of a walrus taxi driver, sounds more quirky than substantial. However, odd cab it is about doubting your first impression of someone or something, a metacognitive journey into the modern world.

Sometimes, odd cab it’s as realistic as any show featuring clothed animals can get. odd cab centers on a failed comedy duo joking around in the backseat, a kidnapped girl, and a salaryman who devotes his life to a phone app at the expense of everything else. Like the best cult police movies, these stories are intertwined and the taxi is what unites them. In the end, viewers leave knowing that they have never seen anything like odd cab.

8 Largely ignored but has its devotees (Blood Blockade Battlefront)

kekkai sensen, blood blockade battlefront

Anything written by Yasuhiro Nightow from trigun fame is bound to be an explosive success. Unfortunately, Blood Blockade Battlefront it was not Blood Blockade Battlefront it marked the first Nightow anime in over a decade. While it received some critical fanfare, bolstered by Studio Bones’ legendary reliability, blood block it seemed destined to be largely ignored.

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The second season, directed by a new director, seemed unlikely to spark new interest. Today, the show has no shortage of advocates. I like trigun, blood block offers more than meets the eye, generating many fans over time.

7 Creating a new generation of otakus (FLCL)

Without FLCLthe world may not have had Gurren Lagann. FLCL The season on Toonami introduced thousands of otakus to the crazy possibilities of anime. This six-episode OVA loudly reframed Western expectations of what anime could be with its weird art, weird characters, distinctive grunge attitude, and experimental animation. With a single swipe of her guitar, Haruko Haruhara became the manic goblin’s dream girl for an entire generation of fans.

With FLCL inspiration, Gurren Lagann ultimately leading to the creation of an entirely new groundbreaking studio, Trigger. Trigger reinvented animation again, with hits like kill the prey and Promise.

6 Overlooked But Not Forgotten (Legend of the Galactic Heroes)

galactic hero legends

Considering how few young otakus have seen legend of galactic heroesits consistent ranking in the Top 10 Anime of All Time in MAL is somewhat remarkable. legend of galactic heroes it began airing in 1988 and ended in 1996. In that time, over 100 episodes were produced. While classic series like crazed, jojo’s bizarre adventureand Dragon Ball have kept a constant influx of new viewers, many overlook the legend of the galactic heroes.

His continued acclaim is a testament to the devotion of his fan base. Heroes it inspired a fanaticism that spans decades, buoyed by those who see it as a masterpiece.

5 A staple of the science fiction genre (Serial Experiments Lain)

Lain and the hand of God

eerily, Lain serial experiments predicted the trauma of the Internet when public access to the Internet was still in its infancy. Broadcast in 1998, Other it looks its age but feels oddly timeless. The story follows a girl who is seduced by an online world, a black mirror-as a premise.

In the 1990s, people began to fully invest in a virtual world for the first time in history. It’s hard not to look back Other as a milestone in history, and it’s no surprise that it’s frequently recommended by those who don’t even watch anime.

4 Kunihiko Ikuhara’s works are always loved, but only by some (Utena, Mawaru Penguindrum)

Utena protects Anthy in Revolutionary Girl Utena

fan opinions on Mawaru Penguin Drum they are divided, people either loved the series or couldn’t finish it. Overall, this follows director Kunihiko Ikuhara’s legacy as a whole. The author perhaps best known for the legacy of Uthena he has committed as many missteps as he has masterpieces during his career, leaving much of his work to be considered cult classics. Depending on who you ask, his programs could be interpreted either way.

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defects of Uthena and drum penguin aside, there’s no denying Ikuhara’s impact. His shows contain a level of surrealism, existentialism and sexuality that many creators would not come close to. While this alienates some audiences, it wins the devotion of others. If a project has Ikuhara attached to it, it won’t be like any other.

3 Leaving A Quiet But Definitive Impact (Princess Tutu)

For a time, “meta” became an irritating buzzword. Every series with an ounce of self-awareness was described as meta and soon enough, this label was placed on everything from viral videos to children’s cartoons. While much of great fiction is metacognitive, aware of its own existence, the word began to lose its impact.

Among the largest and earliest metacognitive experiments is an unlikely shoujo romance called princess tutu. An ode to fairy tales, a storyteller pulls the strings in this haunting tale of swan lake featuring a heartless prince and the duck who falls in love with him. princess tutu it appears simple on the surface but contains a level of darkness. princess tutu received little recognition upon its release in 2002, but has earned a cult following.

two A confusing but beloved sci-fi series (Shinsekai Yori)

Sometimes futuristic fiction misses the mark. Whether it’s because the world is too bleak to welcome another entry in the genre or the messaging is too clunky, people get tired of watching the aftermath of the apocalypse. It doesn’t help that most post-apocalyptic series lean towards dystopian rather than utopian themes.

With shinsekai yori, enough time has passed since the apocalypse that humanity has evolved, and the world is green and green. While the initial episodes confused early audiences, Shinsekai Yori has earned a place on the pedestal of science fiction storytelling over the last decade. There is nothing like this vision of the future.

1 Masaaki Yuasa has repeatedly raised the bar (The Tatami Galaxy, Devilman Crybaby)

Ping Pong The Animation Features Intense Anime Table Tennis Action

It is not difficult to recognize a Masaaki Yuasa series. His direction always contains the characteristic surrealism and he is not afraid to be ugly sometimes. His works have established him as a successor to iconic directors like Satoshi Kon, Miyazaki, and even Tezuka.

The Tatami Galaxy is the college art house anime, and crying devil man is one of the strangest reboot success stories in recent memory. Ping-Pong: The Animation it’s a sports anime that feels like an existential exploration instead, and Hands off, Eizouken! is one of the few stories that explores the essence of what animation is. Whatever Yuasa directs is sure to garner praise and provoke the thought and admiration of a legion of devoted fans.

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