9. Street Fighter Alpha: The Movie - Okay, let’s suppose that the anime hater in your life is opposed to Japanese animation because they’re just not familiar with the characters. Well look no further than this movie! It’s a Street Fighter prequel of sorts that shows the gang coming together sorta like The Muppet Movie… just with a lot more blood and hadoukens.
8. Baccano - Personally, I don’t like this series at all. But I can recognize a crossover hit when I see one. Baccano is a supernatural action story set in early 1930s America. So not only is it unconventional, but it’s also set in the USA, which is sure to appease those anime haters among us who can’t handle the Japanese culture shock.
7. Ghost in the Shell - This is by far the most traditional anime on the list. I’ve included it because it’s an incredible story with gorgeous animation and a profoundly intricate plot. This is the movie to show to the anime haters that think everything animated in Japan looks like Dragon Ball Z.
6. Weather Report Girl - Ahhhhh, yes!!! I love it. This rare and extremely brief two-episode anime series is about a weather girl who works for a Japanese TV station… who’s obsessively driven to succeed… and enjoys furiously masturbating whenever she gets the chance. This is an extremely adult tale that’s best to show to haters who think that all anime is made for tweens.
5. Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya - Alright, so this show is probably the most controversial entry on this list. Why? Because it features a lot of the tropes that often give anime a bad rap among non-fans. But it’s sooooooo goddamn good that it had to make this list. It’s a light-hearted, feel-good story about an awkward crew of Japanese high school students who aren’t quite what they seem.
4. Avatar: The Last Airbender - Disclaimer: this isn’t a Japanese series. In fact, it’s a Nicktoon. As in it aired on Nickelodeon. But it’s often regarded as anime by many people out there. Even though I question that classification, there’s one thing that I don’t question in the least — the quality of this three-season TV show. It’s absolutely brilliant. Avatar is complex, emotional, and surprisingly all-ages.
3. Perfect Blue - This is the most straight-forward story on this list. A burgeoning Japanese pop star is haunted by a stalker. That’s it. Pretty simple in concept. But it’s wonderfully rich in suspense and imagery. Remember when I told you to show Weather Report Girl to haters who assume that all anime is juvenile? Well, you should probably show them this one first.
2. Welcome to the NHK - This is the anime to watch with haters who think that all Japanese animation is filled with busty babes, ridiculous action, and post-apocalyptic futures. NHK is the antithesis of the anime cliche. It’s a slice-of-life story about a troubled shut-in and his two best friends. It’s also an incredibly moving story that’s potent in any language.
1. Shin Chan - Finally, we’ve reached the ultimate anime to convert even the most stubborn of non-believers! Shin Chan is The Simpsons meets South Park, but with more fart jokes. It’s a family sitcom primarily following a five-year-old boy who says abnormally adult things while maintaining all the mischievousness of his youth. Though I’ve never tried to watch this show with subtitles, I can’t imagine it’d be much of a hater breaker that way. For this series, you want to make sure that the anime denier in your life is watching the English dubbed version, which is notable for airing on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.