The Best Underrated Anime to Stream on Crunchyroll

Following Sony’s acquisition of Crunchyroll in 2021, and with the recent announcement that all Funimation titles will be merged into Crunchyroll’s lineup by the end of March 2022, there’s no better time to discuss of some of the best anime shows available to stream on Crunchyroll that still deserve a little more love.

While the upcoming spring anime premieres will air exclusively on Crunchyroll, the following shows have sadly been largely overlooked by the anime community due to their age, or have never received the kind of attention they deserve. at the beginning. From comedy and slice-of-life drama to historical fantasy and mech-themed sci-fi, here are some of the biggest hidden gems Crunchyroll has to offer and what makes them such standout titles.

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Boogiepop Phantom is a classic psychological thriller

In an unnamed Japanese town, five years after a string of serial murders, high school students have started disappearing again under mysterious circumstances. An urban legend, incredulous and ridiculed by most but whispered with concern by others, points to a shinigami as the culprit – a dark female entity known only as Boogiepop.

Although the premise is relatively simple, the original 2000 anime Boogiepop Ghost (Boogiepop wa Warawanailiterally Boogiepop don’t laugh) is a dark urban fantasy series and twist-filled psychological thriller, with its events told primarily through the eyes of a set of high school students. Non-linear in fashion, its cutting-edge visuals and music are starkly different from almost any other show, incorporating and paying homage to various aspects of mythology, philosophy, and horror throughout its series of 12 episodes.

Stellvia of the Universe combines sci-fi mecha with coming-of-age drama

The main cast of Stellvia of the Universe

The year is 2356, and in order to protect Earth from the kind of damage it suffered 200 years ago from a nearby star going supernova, massive space colonies called Foundations have been built throughout the system. solar, including the Stellvia. Fulfilling her dream of seeing space with her own eyes, prep student Katase Shima leaves Earth for the Stellvia, where she begins pilot training and struggles to get used to her new surroundings, friends and family. its new challenges.

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A 26-episode original anime released in 2003, stellvia of the universe (Uchuu no Stellavia) accomplishes a commendable amount in its execution without ever feeling forced or rushed. Combining comedy and drama with a strong slice-of-life feel and its mecha sci-fi setting, the series comes across as remarkably down-to-earth, thanks in large part to its hugely diverse and relatable cast – most of whom easily transcend the normal anime stereotypes thanks to their surprising depth and steady character development.

Daily life of high school students shows average boys doing not-so-average things

Three young men who attend Sanada North Boys High – Tadakuni, Tabata Hidenori and Tanaka Yoshitake – are close friends who constantly hang out during and after school. Each with their own distinct personality and character quirks, these completely normal boys fill their days with relatively innocent mischief and, in their minds at least, having not-so-normal adventures.

Very much a satire of the “pretty girls doing cute things” anime genre (think Azumanga Daioh Where Nichijoucomplemented by a strange absurd or surreal twist), The daily life of high school students (Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou) ran for 12 episodes in 2012. Purely episodic in nature, its excellent sense of timing and genuinely funny slapstick moments make this purely slice-of-life sketch pack pack a punch. Both mundane and outlandish, the series is likely to appeal to anyone who appreciates the kind of silly-yet-clever humor offered by shows like Gintama.

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The Morose Mononokean presents its own version of Yokai and Japanese spiritualism

The Morose Mononokean

Ashiya Hanae is a normally energetic and optimistic young man, but an inexplicable and steadily worsening condition means that he becomes physically weak and exhausted. It turns out a small and fuzzy yokai became attached to him and refuses to leave. When Hanae comes across a flyer announcing a yokai-exorcist expelling, he calls the number and soon meets Abeno Haruitsuki, a Mononokean who reluctantly helps Hanae – and after finding out he can’t afford to pay, demands that he become Abeno’s employee.

The Morose Mononokean (Fukigen na Mononokean) aired for two 13-episode seasons in 2016 and 2019 respectively, and both deftly combine supernatural and Japanese mythology into a fairly light-hearted, often slightly comedic story with a modern setting. Although Hanae and Abeno are classmates in high school, The Morose Mononokean is less of a high school spectacle and more of a (mostly) casual game involving other yokai and Abeno’s connection to the underworld, which makes it unique yet easily digestible.

We Rent Tsukumogami was an unassuming star of his season

We Rent Tsukumogami's Okou and Seiji walking across a bridge.

In Edo’s Fukagawa district, brothers Okou and Seiji run a rental shop called Izumoya, where customers can borrow everyday items such as bedding, clothes, accessories, and knick-knacks rather than buying them, given the potential threat of fire and flooding in the area. However, the store also contains tsukumogami — innocuous-looking household items that have turned into good-natured spirits, but which no one but siblings can see or hear, and which are sometimes lent out to customers themselves.

First in 2018, We praise Tsukumogami (Tsukumogami Kashimasu) is a supernatural slice-of-life series set in historical Japan. Pleasantly understated yet visually vibrant, the work utilizes yokai in a very specific way, differentiating itself from the plethora of other yokai-anime titles centered there. Plus, since her drama and occasional romance moments don’t involve anything too big, We praise Tsukumogami is an overall relaxing and charming show that will appeal to a wide audience, even viewers who don’t necessarily watch a lot of anime.

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