We have categorized anime into the following topics: Isekai, Cute and Innocent, 4 Star and 5 Star. Isekai is split into two types with one being more of a transfer into a game versus a more lateral world shift. If it has the 'game world' feel with a typical game storyline/world, I consider it a digital Isekai. Nondigital Isekai to me is more of a lateral shift focusing on a real-world way of life and a similar but different way of life. Leveling, boss monsters, better gear, skills gained are factors that hint at figuring out this difference. Cute and Innocent is exactly what it sounds like: any anime that is just flat out cute and innocent and that doesn't fit in an Isekai genre. 4 Star list are a strong and solid series that are great to watch but don't quite grasp you for eternity that is on the 5 Star list. Both of these lists include everything that is not an Isekai or a Cute and Innocent type style. We also have two separate lists that are our separate favorites that are not the others. Either because we didn't watch them together or one of us just didn't like it that much.
Since I'll be going through the various options on each list, I'll just put a 5 to 10 at a time. It would take too much time going through the synopsis with our evaluations for all of them at once. Plus I'd want you to have some time to go over them before the next list is released! I'm going to start with 10 options from our 4-star list. Not to be looked down on just because they aren't on the 5 Star list. Definitely give these a chance! If they are finished they have fully earned their place. If they are still ongoing, then they might have a possibility of dropping off. We have lost a few, what we thought, were great series just to be disappointed on where they tried to take the anime.
~By the way, these are not in any particular order for ranking~
1. The Irregular at Magic High School- Genre: Action fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction
"Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei (魔法科高校の劣等生), literally "The Poor Performing Student of a Magic High School", and also known officially as "The Irregular At Magic High School", is a Japanese light novel series written by Sato Tsutomu (佐島勤), with illustrations by Ishida Kana (石田可奈), published by ASCII Media Works under their Dengeki Bunko label.
There are also several manga covering the different arcs, as well as a spinoff manga from the perspective of Miyuki. A twenty-six episode anime covering the first seven volumes of the light novel aired in Summer 2014. A movie The Girl Who Summons the Stars which was released in theater June 17th, 2017. A second season anime covering the Visitor Arc (volumes 9-11) was recently announced and will be released in 2020."
Our Evaluation: Shiba Tatsuya is the cool character that you are eager to see show off his moves. Weird/awkward to see a younger sister so in love with her older brother. He does love her but doesn't respond the same way. It's not too often and should not deter from the main storyline. We didn't watch the movie and didn't care for the second season. We just wish they continued a little closer to what the first season had. Other than that we did love the storyline and a few of the characters. The designs are also beautiful with their modern-day attire sprinkled with futuristic tech/magic. Best to watch at night in my opinion.
2. Blood Lad - Genre: Action, Dark Comedy, Vampire
"The story revolves around Staz, an elite vampire otaku obsessed with the Human World, especially Japan. After a human stumbles into his part of hell and is turned into a ghost, his new goal is to return her to her original human form."
Our Evaluation: We really enjoyed this series which had a different take of a human being found in the demon world and trying to get back home. It does have a bit of ecchi in it and fan service but it doesn't heavily use it in the anime. The colors and designs were very unique and I did really adore the characters. Some of their background stories were easily predictable but they had a great twist, helping flesh out each main character.
3. Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor - Genre: Action, Fantasy, Harem
"The story takes place in Alzano Empire, which is the home to one of the most distinguished magic schools in the world: The Alzano Imperial Magic Academy. Here, ambitious young students undergo training to become competent magicians. Sistine Fibel, a stern noble girl, and her bright-eyed best friend Rumia Tingel attend the Academy, determined to cultivate their magical skills.
However, their world is thrown for a loop when their favorite teacher suddenly retires and the enigmatic Glenn Radars replaces him. His lazy and indifferent attitude toward life and magic quickly puts him at odds with his class. What's more, nefarious forces hidden within the empire's walls start to become active, and Sistine, Rumia, and Glenn find themselves caught up in their schemes."
Our Evaluation: A fun and fascinating story. It's always pleasing to follow a character who is a bit noble and overly powered. Some ecchi scenes, but again it isn't too bad and can be overlooked unless you are into that thing, in which they wouldn't be enough. If you are looking for that, this isn't that anime. It is a fun series and the characters likable.
4. God of High School - Genre: Comedy, Martial Arts, Supernatural
"The main protagonist is Mori Jin, a 17-year-old martial artist from Seoul, South Korea. At the beginning of the story, he is invited to join a Martial Arts tournament called "The God of High School" (or GOH). The event, sponsored by a shady corporation, brings together people from high schools all over South Korea on a regional and then, national level in order to select three representatives for the World Tournament. As a prize, the winner gets his wish fulfilled by the hosting corporation, no question asked.
This intrigues Mori, and as he continues through the tournament, he meets many competitors each with a different way of fighting. Martial arts aside, participants fight by using "Borrowed Power", mystical energy granted by supernatural entities (gods, demons, mythical creatures....), hence the name Borrowed Power. During the opening rounds, he comes across two other martial arts prodigies: Full-Contact Karate expert Daewi Han and epeeist master Mira Yoo. These two would befriend Mori after their fights with him and will become teamed together as the Korean Team after the preliminary rounds. As the tournaments, preliminary rounds finish, and teams assemble, plans for many different people within the organization, and those pitted against them begin to make their moves to achieve their goals."
Our Evaluation: This anime I had read as a comic prior but only got halfway. The anime is a little different but still a decent story. A lot of great fighting scenes (which is the whole point of the anime I know). I really did love this anime as the powers and characters were very interesting and worked well together. Each, of course, has a deep story but learning to keep going. A great series to binge watch so buckle up!
5. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha - Genre: Fantasy
"Set in a Medieval fantasy world, a war known as the Southern Kingdoms War has been raging between the humans and demons for 15 years. The human's greatest warrior, known as the Hero, confronts the leader of the Demons, the Demon King, because he hopes it will end the war. To his surprise the Demon King is a woman. She explains the war between their people is not a war between good and evil and ending it now will only bring further chaos. Convinced, both the Hero and Demon King work together to end the war another way that will benefit both sides."
Our Evaluation: This had a different take in that the Demon King was female and willing to take on more of a protective and nurturing role. We do enjoy anime that takes a deeper look into human psychology and pieces of history and dig into it. They do well to lay out the story, characters, and direction of the anime with familiar and not-so-familiar aspects. A great one to watch!
6. Hangyakusei Million Arthur - Genre: Fantasy
"King Arthur and his mighty sword Excalibur are a legend that has lasted throughout eternity. But unknown to many, Excalibur has enabled Arthur to be reborn throughout the years as various different people for each generation. Due to Excalibur's massive power in enabling these avatars to exist, history has undergone a distortion that will warp space and time and destroy everything. A special squad of Arthurs are assembled to correct this distortion."
Our Evaluation: At first this anime seemed really silly and over-the-top. However it fleshes out the story and it makes sense, still keeping those same parts the whole ride through. It's a fun story about protecting history and knowing that even though you may want to do good in a small situation, there can be huge dire consequences for everyone else. It's a dilemma many face when wanting to do good and help others, but they also understand that every action has a consequence, and not all of them are good. Still was a solid and fun series that we actually may come back and rewatch!
7. Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda - Genre: Animation, Action fiction
"World Conquest Zvezda Plot (lit. Sekai Seifuku: Bōryaku no Zvezda) stars a little girl named Kate Hoshimiya (also known as Lady Venera), who is at the helm of an organization called Zvezda, which has the purpose of World Conquest. In her organization she is joined by Itsuka Shikabane (also known as Lady Plamya), Natalia "Natasha" Vasylchenko (also known as Professor Um), Yasubee "Yasu" Morozumi, Goro Shikabane (also known as General Pepel), and a robot named Roboko. One day, main character Asuta Jimon, a middle school boy who ran away from home due to family issues, ends up meeting Kate on the street, and subsequently getting roped into joining Zvezda with them. However, in order to conquer the world, they must defeat an organization called White Light, which is contracted out by the Japanese Government to defeat Zvezda and put an end to their plots of World Conquest once and for all. White light is composed of Renge Komadori, (also known as White Robin), Miki Shirasagi, (also known as White Egret), and Kaori Hayabusa, (also known as White Falcon)."
Our Evaluation: Just a crazy, fun anime with tons of weirdness. A great day anime to enjoy for a quick fun ride. Don't go in with expectations and just enjoy the ride!
8. Africa No Salaryman - Genre: Comedy
"Africa no Salaryman is a slapstick workplace comedy that follows the adventures of kind Lion, jaded Lizard, and perverted Toucan, as they trudge through office life while also becoming caught up in antics no regular office worker should.
Of course, most of these are the fault of Toucan, whose selfish actions and lack of filter still haven't gotten him fired. It's up to Lizard and Lion to keep themselves out of trouble and hang on to their jobs at the office. But trouble is never too far away from these savannah-treading folk."
Our Evaluation: These episodes can be PG-13 or higher, as they are following some older men in the workplace. This anime can be understood best if you have been in or worked in an office building. However, even if you just know a bit about the work atmosphere in one, you should be able to pick up their antics. I have to say I REALLY don't like the Toucan character, but he does help provide some humor in the story and it is fun to watch.
9. WACKY TV NANANA - Genre: Animation, Comedy
"Wacky TV Nanana follows the absurd adventures of three hard-working banana-men trying to save their terrestrial TV channel in a world of VOD and instant streaming. This week, Micchy and Andy unpeel their favorite gags from this mind-boggling comedy on Crunchyroll."
Our Evaluation: These episodes are short and packed full of humor/references. Everything they say will have some hidden meanings that you may overlook. Watching the episode a few times helps catch what you may have missed. We also really like their style of artwork and clever usage of what they have. You should definitely give it a chance. It won't even take 10 minutes of your time to take a shot!
10. Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina - Genre: Fantasy
"Inspired by her favorite book, Elaina ventures out to see the world she's read so much about. Like a leaf on the wind, she travels from one country to another, looking to sate her inquisitiveness and searching for new experiences. She's confronted by humanity in all its forms, whether strange, bizarre, or emotional. Exploration and curiosity drive her journey. Where to next, Elaina?"
Our Evaluation: This is such a lovely anime that has both light and some deep, dark tones. It explores different locations, different lives, and cultures, people, and beliefs as well as everything in between. The main character is very likable (despite being a little arrogant... even though she may have earned it). Clever and has the wanderlust that many of us have, using her skills and intelligence to escape danger and solve various mysteries of the land. If only we had the ability to travel and defend ourselves easily to explore the vast world!
And that's it for now! We really hope you can find some time to look over these gems and see which one may fit you and your preferences. Our's kind of jump from here to there, especially when they are on the 4-star list. The next list will come out in a month which should give you some decent time to check these 10 anime titles. Keep an eye out as more exciting adventures will be revealed to you!