Before I start this one, I just like to make it clear that I’m not saying there aren’t tons of animes in these genres, I’m just saying I haven’t seen tons and I’d love to see more. So please, don’t hesitate to suggest titles I may have missed. Please don’t suggest romances, I don’t know why you guys absolutely decided that I must watch more….

Alright – now let’s get this preamble did! There’s a long standing tradition to subdivide anime, and really storytelling in general, into increasingly small categories…. Just joking guys – I don’t know how to do an intro.. Here are five things in a row:

ironically, not this

5) Classic Horror

I know that there are some animes in this genre and I’ve seen most of them, I think…but the fact is, it’s unusual enough that I take notice whenever one comes out. The last few I’ve seen where in fact anthologies that often went the route of psychological thriller/mystery, rather that good old, don’t open that door, horror!

As I have repeatedly disclosed, I’m an abject coward, a milksop, namby-pamby yellow bellied scaredy cat, and yet I occasionally get a craving to not sleep for a month. Last Halloween I tried to gather up a bunch of these titles to mark the occasion. I ended up watching Hellsing (a gore filled action comedy), Mononoke (a beautiful collection of surreal traditional cautionary folktales), Flowers of Evil (an exploration of the baser instincts of the human psyche during puberty) and Shiki (a collage of fascinating moral thought experiments held together with a tense atmosphere and buckets of blood).

All of these were great animes, however to me there was a camp aspect that was missing. You know, jump scares and frivolity. Hellsing apart, all these shows where very thought provoking and introspective, the horror coming from the very real implication of the cruelties humans are capable of. Although they would certainly qualify as horror – I was looking for something more in the vein of Another (which had its own issues…)

spy thriller
I haven’t seen it but I’ve heard great things

4) Spy or Political Thriller

I loves me a good complicated spy story. With quadruple crosses and elaborate schemes. There are less and less of these stories in general, there’s a tendency to replace the more complicated but ultimately talkative narratives of this type with action-oriented James Bond stories. I loved the Constant Gardner and Tinker Tailor (ok not just LeCarré..)

I recently watched ACCA-13 that reminded me of Graham Greene and it hit me all at once, how much I missed those types of stories. As a stretch you could lump in Cohen Brothers types of plots as well. When I tried to find another similar anime, the only thing I could come up with is 91 days, which is an old school mafia movie but had a lot of power games and distribution of wealth.

Google images thinks this is a procedural

3) Police/Courtroom procedurals

The craze is dying down a little, but a few years ago, it seemed like 90% of what was on American television was some form of procedural, and there are still quite a few on air. I always like how easy these shows are. They really require minimal investment from the viewer.

Like a slice of life, you can just jump in at any random episode and follow along pretty well and you will get a self-contained mystery to solve that when done right, can be quite interesting. The emotional engagement is minimal, you’ll probably forget about it quickly unless there’s a particularly fun twist, but in the moment, they are extremely easy to get absorbed in.

I think Beautiful Bones was an attempt at this, although hints of a more important overarching story line where starting to become visible at the end of the first season so I have a feeling that it will become more of a crime drama than a procedural, should it ever get another season that is.

is this show any good?

2) Multi-generational or Family dramedy

Alright, I’ll be honest, I just want more Eccentric Family. I really enjoyed that show….

For obvious reasons, most anime tends to be youth centric. Characters are students with little to no interaction at all with the adults in their lives. When that particular mold is broken, it’s often replaced with a specific concept which for simplicity sake we will call “gritty”. What I mean is that either a bunch of kids are fighting, falling in love, doing cute or wacky things things or a bunch of young adults are doing those things but more seriously!

There’s not that many examples where the bonds between family members or friends of different generations and mindsets are explored. These relationships are often more interesting to me as they have a whole range of subtleties we take for granted. An overbearing sense of duty and family responsibility is often used as a theme in anime, but we rarely see what that pressure does to the mundane day to day interactions of these characters. How do they talk to each other about a movie they both enjoyed? Do they get each other birthday presents, how do they choose them…? Communicating through a generation gap brings about so many unique challenges. To me, those little moments are treasures to be cherished. They ring true and have an understated importance that could never be equaled by passionate outbursts or dramatic highs.

I wish more shows explored them.

I couldn’t find a pertinent pic

1)      The workplace sitcom

No not the workplace romantic comedy or the workplace cute girls. Actual jokes. Punchlines.  To be honest “workplace” isn’t really what I want to say but “adult” comedy could have given people the wrong impression. I want a comedic slice of life with grown ups in it. I enjoy them quite a bit with kids in them. Now I just want one that tackles concerns and issues that you start running across once you’re out of school and have your own mortgage or rent to pay. Once you can’t just *not* sleep because you’re not 14 anymore.

I suspect there are a lot of these and I just haven’t found them for some reason. I really liked I can’t understand what my Husband is saying. Love is like a Cocktail was also similar in style, but I just didn’t find it that funny. In any case, both are short programs, is it because adults don’t have any attention spans? Shiny! also both are romantic… Sop not like either of those. Shiny!

There’s my wish list! Bring on the suggestions! Am I still going to waste my time, better myself with ridiculous brilliant boy idol shows…probably…

And how about you, any genre you’ve been wanting to watch lately but can’t seem to find an anime that fits? Let me know, I might have a suggestion. Spoilers, It’s going to be Natsume and UtaPri.

Takashi natsume boy idol
doesn’t Natsume look like an idol here?

85 thoughts

  1. That’s a cool list you have here! I would really like to watch a good police procedural/detective anime. Unfortunately I didn’t have much luck finding ones that I truly enjoy. I liked Beautiful Bones, but dropped it after a few episodes, as seemed that the cases were solved by coincidence rather than actual investigation and deduction.

    On this genre I would recommend Gosick and Haruchika. If you are up for a drama, then Okitegami Kyoko no Biboroku (The Memorandum of Kyoko Okitegami)

    And “I can’t understand what my Husband is saying” is SO cool. Wish there were more of it, or similar titles

  2. It isn’t anime, so this is outside of the realm… but you might be interested in “Pretty Proofreader” a live Japanese drama. It is an office, slice-of-life. It does involve romance, but the most interesting parts are her interactions with her coworkers.
    OK, I am discovering more reading your blog enteries. It is strange… I don’t care for horror in film, but I guess I love it in anime.

  3. ALL OF THESE IRINA, ALL OF THEM. Like, can we get more Danganronpa? That’s the kind of anime I’ve been desperately searching for.

    Also, you’ve seen Beautiful Bones?? Man, we definitely have this similar taste thing going on.

    1. I know – this is why I unquestioningly watch everything you recommend – I need to see welcome to the ballroom…

  4. Maybe a blog with a list of sites that are clearly & undoubtedly pirate? I am pretty sure 9anime is and so is kissanime. Beyond that, I am not sure.

    1. People who want to favour legal watching won’t usually give you lists of sites that are “clearly illegal”, as this is going to give them more traffic rather than less. If you’re in the USA, UK, Canada or Australia, is a good search engine for legal streams, and – I think – fairly complete.

      1. If it doesn’t find the Japanese title, try the English one. It doesn’t find “Shin Sekai Yori”, but it does find “From the New World”.

  5. Happy Sugar Life is giving me the creeps. (Good creeps!) Just who is stuffed into in the three bags in the basement and why did she kill them? Staring to look like good yandere horror.

          1. Sorry. That was an over the top joke that came off badly. But… serious question here. How do you know a source is legitimate? When I do the “watch anime, I see a lot of entries removed by the Millenium Copyright Act. How would you know which of the remaining results are legitimate? Rather implies that because they *weren’t* removed, they didn’t violate the act but I suspect that may not be true.

            1. Copyright infringement is one aspects but there’s also licensing issued. Also you have grey zones. Technically if no one has paid for distribution rights in your jurisdiction then anyone can legally stream it but companies often pay for rights and don’t use then right away. I stick to officially licensed dstributors that have their agreements publically available like Crunchy and Amazon.

  6. For “classic” spy/political thriller, Night Raid 1931 is what you’re looking for. Yes, they have kinda-superpowers, but it’s really NOT the point.

    Shirobako is not the “workplace sitcom” – the whole point is that yeah, it jokes about the job, but it’s never mean or disrespectful about the job in the way that American sitcoms are about “work”. So it’s actually really more “the workplace anime”. (Yeah, yeah, it’s the workplace anime *about* making anime, and about the industry. So it’s even more f-ing hilarious – and even more poignant – if you already know how the industry works, and know the references and in-jokes and such.)

    1. Fantastic. Thanks for the recommendations. Like I said the word workplace is a misnomer I simply didn’t know how to classify it

  7. It seems from your AniList you haven’t watched Shirobako. There is no better workplace show in anime than that one, and it’s a terrific show all around. For other workplace shows, I’d copy Dawnstorm and also recommend ServantxService, cause at least half of it is NOT a romance. I’d also put Aggretsuko in as a good workplace show.

    I’ll also copy Dawnstorm on Shin Sekai Yori for a show that kind of fits into a horror category.

    1. I have not seen Shiro it is pretty close on my queu. I like how a show that us 50% romance still counts as not romance… But hey if 2 if you say it’s good. Who am I to argue?

  8. Multi-generational family drama is also something I’ve been craving more of ever since I finished the novel Packinko by Min Jin Lee. If you don’t mind reading lengthy novel I recommend it since it touches on some heavy subject matter on one’s cultural identity, sacrifices, and the meaning behind family. It follows a young Korean woman living through rough times pre-WW2, during WW2 in Japan, and post WW2 as she tries her best to take care of her family. For the first 2/3 it’s absolutely fantastic from beginning to end developing it’s characters. The final 1/3 is also great, but switches around between characters a lot more loosing a bit of focus. However, it might scratch that itch of yours, even if you have to read hundred of pages.

    Political thrillers is also something I’ve been wanting more of recently. I don’t see them enough in anything I see, so an anime tackling the inner workings of politics be it fictional, or non-fiction I would be down for. Also, I’m a fan of the Tinker Tailor Solider Spy movie. It’s quite a hard movie to follow, but it has such an amazing pay off. Sadly, the sequel never got made.

    If you want something horrish I guess the Vampire Princess Miyu tv series, and OVA might entertain you. It’s episodic focusing on Miyu killing demons. She usually doesn’t interfere with the demons until it’s too late, but some episodes are really good. Like this one episode where a guy gets his face change, and when he sleeps gets the personality of a killer the face belonged too. It’s not very traditional because Miyu can wield fire unlike every other vampire I know off. There is a little bit of an overarching story in the tv series, but overall is mostly episodic. Be warn though, it’s very slow, and difficult to get into.

    1. Some great suggestions. I’ll definetly try both that book and Miyu. Packinko sounds absolutely devastating in that way that makes you feel more human…

  9. Just had a magnificent brain fart! You would love “Otona Joshi no Anime Time”. Slice of life, with each ep about a different middle aged woman and the problems she confronts in life. No action. all very well done drama with a bit of humor.

  10. If you’re looking for political thrillers, then you should try Master Keaton or Yugo the Negotiator.

    For workplace sitcoms, I know there’s Working!!, but I haven’t seen it. I’m going to cheat and say Shinesman since a majority of the characters work for an office company that secretly has a superhero program to protect the world from alien business acquisitions and world domination.

    1. I know Working!! takes place in a restaurant but they’re still teenagers who just have part time jobs and it’s a Romance so I’m not sure why people keep recommending it – it’s exactly not want I want to see. I’ve never seen either your thriller recommendations – They both look really interesting

      1. Yeah, I hear you about Working!!. I never understood the appeal and I heard about some unfortunate implications with one of the characters, so I avoided it. That series just happened to be the first one that involved a workplace environment.

        Yugo is a great series that I know a lot of people haven’t heard of. There’s geopolitical issues going on (Pakistan and Russia respectively), lots of plot twists, and the main character has to save hostages without resorting to violence which makes Yugo Beppu one of the most atypical anime protagonists ever.

        Master Keaton is a good series even though it has some low points. The adventures were good more often than not. It’s also from the creator of Monster, if you’ve ever heard of that series.

  11. I’ve only seen one horror anime ghost stories, which is directed at kids more then adults. It has the good old fashion jump scares though, and it’s structure often made me think of goosebumps. You’d have to decide to watch the dub or not, personally I felt it took away from the scaryness. All I know is that it scared me enough.

  12. It’s a shame you’ve nixed the rom-com elements otherwise WotaKoi would have been great for you (Although the romance is underplayed a lot). It’s not quite a comedy but The Great passage is a lovely work-related show.

    I do have to emphatically second the nominations for Servant X Service (with the catchiest anime theme EVER!) and the fabulous Polar Bear Cafe.

    Spy shows, what about Princess Principal?

    1. If I can find Princess Principal I definitely will watch it. Polar Bear Cafe is already on my to watch list – I’m looking forward to is

  13. For horror you could try Mōryō no Hako, although this isn’t exactly like Another, and more mixed with mystery.

  14. Horror : Jigoku Shōjo, Kara no Kyokai. Petshop of Horrors, Ayakashi, Monster

    Horror, Campy : Ghost Stories, dubbed

    Espionage : Hmmm… That’s tougher. How about Fruit of Grisaia? Kind of Bond-ish with a harem done right. GITS is kind of political/spyish in nature. Terror in Resonance, 009-1, Higashi no Eden, Golgo 13 is uberBond-ish.

    Courtroom or Police procedural : Can’t think of the names right now but there are a couple involving hunting down misbehaving robots. I want more Beautiful Bones like I want water in the desert. Detective Conan, Tenchi Muyo GXP (lol!), GITS is considered police, Death Note, Psycho-Pass. Paranoia Agent

    Workplace – That’s really tough if you eliminate rom-coms.

    Multugenerational Very tough!

  15. I’d always recommend classic D Gray Man as kind of horror/action (it starts off fairly generic shonen but slightly darker but takes some really horrific turns as the story progresses). Only problem, anime unfinished and even the Hallow continuation hasn’t brought us to the end of the story (pretty sure the source isn’t finished either at this point). Still worth watching and one of the few I recommend that is not finished.

    1. I read d grey man and as far as I know you’re right it’s not finished. You know I think I was busy drooling over the pretty everybody to trully appreciate the horror aspect. I should give it a watch

  16. For classic horror…
    Does Higurashi no Naku Koro ni count? It’s a bit more than straight horror, but I think that it’s still scarier than any other anime I watched? Then again, anything where developed cutesy anime girls die and get viciously abused is terrifying…
    It also has jump scares, if that’s what counts as horror for you.

    1. I keep forgetting it since it’s so ingrained as a game in my mind but it would count. Old school scary cult horror!

  17. Looking through these, and the comments, the only one I came up with was Joker Game (but it’s already been suggested a number of times (I did write a (spoiler free) review for it. As for horror, I’m with you I would love to see some more anime in the vein of Another. Oohh…wait I just came up with something: Monster. It’s a really dark anime, somewhat older, but close to horror (more of a psychological horror though). You can find it in it’s entirety on Youtube😊

      1. I’m currently reading the manga for it…and it’s sooooo good. I’m now at volume 5 (of 9) and it’s almost as if I am not even reading a manga but reading a Stephen King novel. It’s so intense that it takes my breath away. Highly recommend it 😊😊

  18. I enjoyed Joukamachi no Dandelion. It’s a pretty relaxed but fun slice of life. I think it’s a little underrated on MAL but what do I know…

    It hit the spot for me when I was craving slice of life at least.

  19. For spy/political, definitely give Concrete Revulotio a try. It’s a story about post World War 2 politicking (and includes things like the 1968 student revolts), but with mahou shoujo, sentai heroes, cyborgs, kaijuu, a ghost… It’ll require a lot of concentrations since the plot is both complex and told non-linearly. The first season is, IMO, way better than season the second one, but the second one wraps things up, so you can’t skip it (and it’s still good).

      1. It would have a really bad rating: the show gets a lot better with a little knowledge of history, the plot is convoluted, the narrative technique is non-linear (meaning it jumps back and forth in time with neither warning nor obvious hints, so you’ll always have to figure where this particular episode fits, and eventually – on top of that – you get limited time travel and alternate personalities…). But it’s great and well worth the effort of figuring out what’s actually going on.

  20. Aside from Joker Game, I’m drawing a blank bu I’m going to be watching the comments myself, actually (not that I don’t already have a massive backlog…).

  21. I don’t like classic horror, but I want to watch more workplaces sitcom. That mecha picture is from a police produce show with sci-fi elements. I just can’t remember the name right now.

  22. Saw you mention LeCarré. Instant like. I love that genre and wish there were more anime that dove into it with some true passion, but sadly I can’t find many. 91 Days and Joker Game are the only two I can think of (and Joker Game felt very incomplete imo)

  23. Good stuff 😀
    The usual issues are that these stories require actual high-level writing skill and comparable real-life experience which most of these authors frankly don’t have.

    Never thought about which genres I would like to resurface, I would honestly be happy if we got more Harem and Ecchi anime, there’s simply not enough of it!

    Jokes aside, I’ll be happy already if Harem-Copy&Paste-Show#23561235 could finally be replaced with something good or… at least with something with a TRACE of creativity. I don’t mind Ecchi or anything like that but damn, you could shove most of these shows of an entire season in a bag, throw it away, burn it and I wouldn’t care one single bit. 😀

  24. 5) Classic Horror:

    This is hard. A lot of horror is just more bloody shounen (such as Blood +, which is fun, or Tokyou Ghoul, which is okay for a season and then falls apart). I didn’t like Another, and I’m not sure I even think of some horror shows as horror, so… But I do have some recommendations:

    Kagewani: It’s two seasons of five minute episodes. The animation style is a southpark like cut-out technique with more-realistic-than-usual art style. By all rights this shouldn’t work, but it just does. It fully embraces the du-du-dun cheesiness of classical monster movies and ends in a typical mad scientist arc. An unliekely hit if there ever was one, but a hit never the less.

    Mermaid Forest: This is what happens when Rumiko Takahashi decides to do horror. It’s probably more the psychological horror fed by facets of human foibles that you weren’t looking for, but it’s too good to not recommend anyway. If you eat the flesh of a mermaid you become immortal, so our two protagonists roam the land looking for a way to regain mortality, and encounter a surprising array of depravity centered around the myth. (It’s going to be a bit hard to track down, I’m afraid.)

    Shin Sekai Yori: This is a SF dystopia first and foremost, and mostly works like that. But the reason there’s a dystopia in the first place is that mankind awakened to psychokinesis and it’s a pretty terrible world when everyone you meet is a potential weapon of mass destruction. It’s got this creepy vibe all the way through, but when it decides to full-out genre horror, it’s very effective. Episode 19, for example, is among the most effective survival horror I’ve seen in any medium.

    4) Spy or Political Thriller:

    I can’t think of much. You might try Joker Game. I dropped because I found it silly and boring, but you might disagree, who knows. I’ll probably have to think more outside of the box for this one. If anything comes to mind I’ll be back.

    3) Police/Courtroom Procedural:

    Again, I’m drawing a blank. I’ve probably seen some, but I just don’t think that’s one of anime’s strengths, and I’d look outside anime for shows like this. Again, once I’ve had time to think a little, maybe some things come to mind.

    2) Multi-generational or family dramedy:

    The show in your picture was cute and worth watching, but I’m really not sure it’s what you’re looking for. The focus is on the kids, and the parents are more a presence and plot facilitation. It’s not like they’re not important at all; but they’re just the royalty who decided that it might be a good idea to have their children compete for the crown in public, while one of them’s still a toddler. Oh, and there are super powers. It’s cute, and there’s mutual support more than competition despite the show’s concept, so it might fit after all, but don’t expect the multi-generational angle feature more than parents benevolently hovering in the background, and it’s really a comedy with no drama to speak of (except what usually passes for drama in such shows).

    Again, I’m having trouble keeping the genre in my mind as a genre. It’s embarassing to say, but I might not even have thought of the Excentric Family in that context (even though it’s an obvious fit AND possibly my favourite anime out there).

    Strange as it may sound, I’d suggest Kyouran Kazoku Nikki on here, even though it’s a completely bonkers absurdist comedy. I talked about it recently: it’s a show where the Japanese government decides to give the decendents of a dangerous monster a happy family life so they won’t want to fulfill an ancient curse. The thing is they all take the family concept so darn seriously that after a while you just forget they’re “just a project”. There’s this scene where the daughter (a little girl) is bullied a school, and her lion-king brother asks, when they’re alone, if she’s alright, because he’s been smelling blood on her recently. It’s such an absurd scene, but it’s so touching because: (a) big brother cares, but also accepts her desire for privacy, and (b) the show accepts unconditionally that he’s a lion, but it makes no difference. That, in short, is the heart of the show. [A word of warning: the show contains an evil butterfly girl.]

    3) Workplace Comedy:

    Servant X Service is a show about government clerks. I personally liked it, but it’s from the author of Working!!, and as I recall that didn’t do much for you.

    Shirokuma Café is basically Cheers!, but with a café instead of a bar, and with animals instead of humour. You’ll get occasional night life at Grizzly’s Bar, too. Panda is a lazy teen, but almost everyone’s grown up (well the penguin chicks are children…). Also it’s a treasure trove of voice actors, with Takahiro Sakurai as Shirokuma, Hiroshi Kamiya as Pengin san, Jun Fukuyama as Panda kun, Daisuke Ono as Llama, Yuichi Nakamura as Grizzly, and so on. There are many cameos, such as Mamoru Miyano playing the leader of Porcupine Idol group popular with housewives. If you click with the show’s gentle humour you’ll love it, otherwise you’ll be bored.

    1. I did not like working but I didn’t get past the 3rd episode. It hit way too close to home for me.
      But I’m writing down all these suggestions. Now I can’t wait to get home!

  25. Ohh a family slice of life really does sound nice!
    Wow, in fact your 5 mentions here are basically what goes on live action TV every single day (Although I do wonder how can anime sustain 12 episodes of constant classic jumpscares and the such… … The drawings don’t look too scary unless its kind of like Aku no Hana’s style)
    I’m probably a bad person to ask recommendations from based on my limited viewing experience. Hope the others have some awesome stuff to share for that!

    1. You know what that’s an excellent point – horror doesn’t exactly lend itself super will to episodic format. Maybe OVA would be better

  26. For classic campy horror, there’s always the Corpse Party ova. I wouldn’t necessarily call it good, and it has problematic issues, but it’s the closest I’ve ever seen an anime come to matching the feel of a good old slasher film. I like watching it on Halloween.

Leave me a comment and make my day!