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'Different', but Well Done and Interesting Anime :D

(In Alphabetical Order!) This list is what I've seen of good, but not often seen titles with interesting plot(twists), or take on the genre that make them 'different'/excel in a good way. This list includes, action, drama, comedy, romance, all genres around. :D Enjoy (thanks to all who commented or enjoyed it!) This was also made in 2015, so it just includes anime up to that point.
1 Antique Bakery

Antique Bakery

Some shonen ai, but not much. A bit of mystery as you discover the owner's past. Each person working at the shop gets an episode or two to delve into their past or their life choices. A subtle slice of life/drama, similar to Ristorante Paradiso.

2 Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror

Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror

Similar to Mononoke, but with just 3 stories in it. The medicine sellers acts as the specialist, but each mystery and problem has various results...not always good.

3 Baccano!


Trains! Mystery! Death! Immortality! So many questions are answered by the end of this. The pace is catching and the show feels wild and unpredictable as the character you follow and point of view you get changes from episode to episode...

4 Bakemonogatari


Lots of dialogue, sometimes I something going to happen? But then as the scene suddenly changes or as they're talking something strange happens because of 'Kai' or abberation. -often- the fanservice is excessive, almost like I'm being fed fanservice without knowing it. But once they get off that there are plot twists and in depth looks at the psychology of all of the characters...and some of them are quite strange, though the constant dialogue and the other characters reactions make them seem normal?! If you can't stand the first arc with scissor girl then you probably won't like the rest.

But hey, if you DO like it there's a whole really long out of time order story!

5 Barakamon


An adorable slice of life comedy between a calligrapist and a boisterous child, and she is funny. The accent they all spoke in this added to the setting way out in the boonies, and the main character's development as he finds his own style added a touch of seriousness to the show.

6 BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad

BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad

Rock and roll music, and drama. Can this wimpy kid become a lead singer for a band, and work with the finnicky guitarist Ryuunosuke? And then there's that strange dog...beck. The character development and resolution in this was good. There was a light romance subplot.

7 Darker than Black

Darker than Black

Action, mystery, somewhat episodic, and the main character makes it worth the watch. He has a secret assasin identity, and he uses lightning. However, many may find the resolutions to various seasons of this too ambigous. 

8 Daughter of Twenty Faces

Daughter of Twenty Faces

Who is twenty faces, why does he steal, etc? A plot twist in the middle, action, and the character development of the female lead (yay independent female leads, though she's not that way from the start) makes this worth seeing.

9 Durarara!!


Intriqing mystery and seemingly seperate plots somehow connect and collide at the well as a few plot twists. Lots of schemes and supernatural aspects as well. This just has a very complex plot, and it was very entertaining to watch, though it is one you have to think about a little to follow.

Another longer series.



Thanks to the comment about this show I recalled that I have watched it, and I indeed think it fits this list! Spontaneous and with a variety of different themes tackled this show was an interesting ride. Boy transforms into robot, crazy lady with hidden schemes, weird factories popping up. At moments I was left confused but overall many subtleties revealed themselves. 

11 Genshiken



12 Gugure! Kokkuri-san

Gugure! Kokkuri-san

Another supernatural comedy that has some dark humour and culture jokes. Many of the characters were also cutesy. But really, what happened to Kohina's parents? All we know is that they're not there.

13 Hal


A bittersweet story about moving on from a loved one's much as you can. There's also a plot twist near the end to add some spice. However, there are a few unanswered questions' about Hal's past.

14 Hozuki's Coolheadedness

Hozuki's Coolheadedness

A silly comedy with lots of folklore in it. The main character Hoozuki is completely serious and intimidating. Lots of characters and funny actions. It's probably worth it just to see the screaming goldfish flowers...

15 House of Five Leaves

House of Five Leaves

Slow-paced show that's main point was to reveal the past of the characters, and the slow churning life of a starving 'warrior'. I actually liked the main character's somewhat soft personality, it was amusing, as well as the sneaky personality of Yaichi.

16 Jormungand


Lots of action and guns. This had a feel of war and weapony, from the unique point of view of an eccentric, beautiful, rich, ambitious, and genius arms dealer-what could go wrong? The other main character, the child soldier, Jonah, was a foil to Koko and his decisions over the course of the 2 seasons was fun to watch. He was like the face of cutesy within the grit, though he was good at fighting.

17 Katanagatari


This show is a deconstruction of many things. Lots of dialogue and action. The animation is cutesy...but BEWARE...don't let it fool you, many characters have VERY twisted personalites, motivations, and pasts! LOTS of people die! Plot twists! Things dont' always go as they seem...The ending was sad but the main character's development was great.

18 Erin


This is another longer one, 50 episodes, but it's one of my all time favorites. You see the point of view of the people, the kingdom, and the animals. There's very light romance, drama, action, and a lightheared uplifting feeling when the protagonist Erin takes a step towards her goal. It's set in a different world with faction tensions, and the relationship between mystical beasts and humans beings is the focus.

19 Kino's Journey

Kino's Journey

Nice one to delve into some psychological aspects of societies-sometimes a bit twistedly. Kino was kinda just the guide for this, but each different area hosted interesting aspects to think well as corruption.

20 This Boy Can Fight Aliens!

This Boy Can Fight Aliens!

Shonen ai...ish? Eh I think it was mostly just bro love, so close, but not quite. Too bad it was one episode, some things are left unanswered. It was enjoyable for the psychological moments of memory loss, and the ending was colorful and very positive. I don't know, when I watch this short episode to the ending, the world just seems so colorful and optimistic, it puts me in a good mood.

21 Princess Jellyfish

Princess Jellyfish

Another strange, reclusive female lead! Just what I like. This time she's obsessed with jelly fish...and there's a cross dressing pretty boy. I will warn that the romance does not progress, though it does in the manga. Overall the eccentric tenants in the house is worth the watch.

22 Welcome to Irabu's Office

Welcome to Irabu's Office

Sort of felt like lots of colors and someone is on a high when I watched this, but I strangely became used to it and actually looked forward to the character's head turning into an animal. Completely episodic but did go into some psychological issues and disorders.

23 Maoyu: Archenemy & Hero

Maoyu: Archenemy & Hero

Politcal plot with a freshing twist where the demon Queen and the Hero becomes friends! I liked all the political schemeing, but there's not really many action scenes from the hero so don't watch for that. I found that a little dissapointing, if only they had more episodes so the action and political side could be shown. A few annoying moe/fanservice girl moments too.

24 Michiko & Hatchin

Michiko & Hatchin

This one is exciting and has lots of tropical brazil flair. Michiko and Hachin's relationship and their development at the end was satisfying to see. It wasn't really about finding the was about the journey! And wow, a setting that isn't actually in Japan..or in a highschool...who would have guessed.

25 RIN: Daughters of Mnemosyne

RIN: Daughters of Mnemosyne

This one is mature, but how would it feel to be immortal immortal, I mean no joking here, she's not gonna die, closest thing is continous death and revival. Because of this she can enter various mysteries or dangerous cases and always survive. Each episode is LONG, but they're are each a different story, and they were all pretty interesting.

26 Mononoke


I would say it's a bit of a supernatural horror. I didn't find it scary, but the stories and the mysteries were interesting and often twisted. The pattern style of animation was unusual but likeable. It had several arcs that were 2-3ish episodes long.

27 Monster


Great antagonist in this longer series. The thrill and the suspense and the mystery. The twisted personalities :)

Also a longer series if you hope you like having a lot of episodes to get through before it's over. Then again when the genre is mystery =_= personally I just wanna know already!

28 Mushishi Zoku Shou

Mushishi Zoku Shou

Well...all the Mushishis are calming and often sad/touching supernaturals that closely ties into nature. The colors are more a muted and gray palette and it looks more natural/earthy. It's completely episodic (2 eps at most) with no main plot, and even the main character, Ginko, mainly acts as a support to each arc. This however, also means that you won't be too sad about what happens to the characters, if you don't like the story it moves on to a new one, and one can focus more on the msytery of 'what mushi-shi is it? And what will be the outcome?'

29 Nodame Cantabile

Nodame Cantabile

This is for people who like music, in particular classical/instrumental. It goes through the light drama and romance as Nodame and Chiaki find their career pathway and make various life choices. Nodame herself is an amusing character, she's strange and it's great, (MUKYAAA) though Chiaki is also fun and well fleshed out as the prissy eccentric conductor.

30 Paprika


I still have a few unaswered questions abou this movie...but well it was within the acceptable range. It's very colorful and it delves into the human psyche by means of dream. It can be hard to follow though. In the end the dream overlaps with reality and things get strange.

31 Penguindrum


A unique story about two brothers quest to save their sister's life from a disease...and penguins? And a talking penguin hat? So many penguins, but's much more serious than it seems, though it starts off light heartedly.

32 Ristorante Paradiso

Ristorante Paradiso

This was a smooth, peaceful, slice of life and romance anime. The end was fairly good, though the love issue wasn't resolved, and the past of the main cast was subtly unfurled.

33 Kids on the Slope

Kids on the Slope

Another bittersweet story about growing up and finding joy and friendship within a passion. This one is music, there's also a bit of romance, but that wasn't as enjoyable to me as the relationship between Kaoru and Sentarou, the two male leads.

34 Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo

This was an interesting mix of deliquent modern historical action :0. Mostly episodic, one will slowly discover the 3 main character's past within their loose travel accross Japan. The actions scenes come often and are fast flurries of movement and skill; very entertaining. The 2 samurai have very different personalities but are both likeable in their own unique way.

35 Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei

Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei

This is a fast paced comedy with lots of pop culture humour or remarks on the human psyche or behavior in general. There aren't really any serious moments, plot, and the characters don't really develop...but it's a different kind of comedy I found enjoyable.

36 Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

This is just a well done fantasy story of a bodyguard and the prince. Great character development in the prince, and Balsa is a strong and independent female lead that you don't often get. Most of the action occured at the beginning, but the actual identity of the spirit that lies within the prince was fun to discover.

37 Skip Beat!

Skip Beat!

I would say this is entertaining due to the main character, this IS shoujo, but Kyoko is one of the most enjoyable female leads I've seen in this genre. The little spirits that come out with her hatred were amusing.

38 Spice and Wolf

Spice and Wolf

I wouldn't say it was 'political' but it dealt with a lot of the economy and trade in the earlier times. There was a flair of fantasy with Holo, a romance subplot, and occasional bits of action. They did a very nice job of recreating the medieval world. 

39 Terror in Resonance

Terror in Resonance

You might end up hating them but these main characters have the attempted portrayal of justified terrorists. I loved the opening and end to this series. The ending is pretty sad.

40 The Twelve Kingdoms

The Twelve Kingdoms

Very slow pacing at the beginning where I'm like, what is going on...and then it breaks into this well descibed and intriquing world and culture of the 12 kingdoms. It is broken into various arcs that are sometimes flashbacks. This one some may consider boring, but I found it very enjoyable when the story fleshed out the magical world and the kingdom politics. 

41 Utawarerumono


This was about a charismatic and quiet main character that ends up becoming a big influence and turning into a monster...and then those last few episodes...?!?! Well it's been a while since I've seen it but it did have a different feel than the normal anime. Kinda. And for those folks that like that bit of anime girl harem feel

42 Watamote: No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!

Watamote: No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!

I thought some of her actions were overly stupid, but at some points I could relate and overall it was enjoyable. I will warn that her biggest triumph was unknowingly making one ally/friend at school...and well it was only the very beginnning of a friendship at that.

43 Welcome to the NHK!

Welcome to the NHK! just good. It has a dark vibe but has lots of humour, and the MC Satou's exaggerated personality was fun to watch. There were a few psychological aspects that I could relate to or found intriquing. The resolution to 'How to stop being a hikkikomori' was suprisingly simple but fit it perfectly and was great!

44 xxxHOLiC


Lots of ambiguious parts to this, it's supernatural with some psychological aspects. Mostly episodic and there is no real conclusion to the 'main' plot that remains mostly hidden. The last season does wrap it up fairly well though. One bad thing about this is the animation, it's not great.

45 The Wallflower

The Wallflower

I kind of love how stupid this was in a weird way, and Sadako was fun to watch, a dark blob creature of horror. If the first couple episodes don't appeal to you, the serious moments are few, so it's probably not for you. This is a 'twisted' kind of harem, where the female lead is surrounded by males but wants NOTHING to do with them, and isn't feminine at all.


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itzBoncar Jun 6, 2022

Nice list. Thank you.

kremlin Oct 5, 2020

The Flowers OF Evil would fit this list - it was hated because it was done differently and told a different type of story.

nice to see pendrum in the list

Akishima Jul 30, 2017

Great list! I really need to finish a bunch of these. I wonder if Tatami Galaxy would fit here. I haven't watched much of it, but it seems pretty unique. There's a bit with a phantom ramen stand that reminds me of xXxHolic. Mekakucity Actors is one I just finished that's similar to Bakemonogatari in art style. The story is told in an unusual way, and I thought it was brilliant.

339476512448 Jul 5, 2017

FLCL would be a good one to add, it's from 2000, only 6 episodes, occassionally crosses the 4th wall and has a simplistic kind of vibe and an interesting humor