The adult’s guide to anime #1: The Blockbusters

Key terms

Lets start by demystifying some terms you hear often in the world of anime/manga:

  • Manga: Most anime is derived from a running print comic strip. These comic strips are known as manga. So basically, manga is Japanese comic strips. Manga usually appears in weekly instalments in magazines like Shonen Jump, and is generally black & white, although exceptions exist.
  • Anime: Animated manga. Enough said.
  • Arc: The main running storyline at any point in a show is called an Arc. Longer shows usually comprise of multiple arcs, with one overall storyline that strings all the smaller arcs together. An example is in order. The show One Piece, is about a boy pirate Luffy, who aspires to be the King of Pirates. While his journey to become king is the overall story, the show comprises of multiple arcs, each dealing with one adventure on his journey.
  • Filler: While the title is self evident, it’s interesting to know what parts of a show are called fillers. As I mentioned before, most anime is derived from manga. In a lot of occasions, production of anime episodes starts catching up pace with the publishing of the manga that it derives from. Shows are known to put in special video-only parts, which were not originally in the Manga, when the storylines start catching up to each other. Pro Tip: Anime shows can be long. You can often find a site listing filler episodes of shows. you can skip filler episodes and not miss a beat in the story
  • OVA: OVA stands for original video animation. These are usually stand alone episodes/movies that were not in the manga. These are often released in between seasons of the show.

The big shows

For this part, we’ll take a look at some of the most famous/popular anime shows. You have probable heard some if not all the shows I talk about below. These shows comprise the mainstay of Japanese anime, and the themes in them are quite popular in a lot of shows. Elements you will almost surely find in these shows:

  • Superpowers
  • Epic fights
  • Overzealous / Idealist protagonist
  • People taking the concept of friendship too far (Friend=Nakama a word you’ll hear often)
  • Perverted old man (I’m not sure why this is such a common thing)
  • References to panties

Dragon Ball

One Piece

Naruto Shippudden


Hunter X Hunter


Fullmetal Alchemist

Discovery and Streaming

If I’ve managed to sell you on the idea of watching anime, you must be wondering where to start. My personal suggestion is to start out at . All shows mentioned in this article are hyperlinked to their pages on KissAnime. So you can jump right into a show that interests you.



UX Designer. Backpacker. Photographer. Half baked musician.

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Anurag Dutta

Anurag Dutta

UX Designer. Backpacker. Photographer. Half baked musician.