If your group of friends is like most, its members have a wide variety of interests and priorities. That's why anime recommendations for friends aren't a one-size-fits-all type of deal. Sure, you can recommend your personal favorites regardless of your friend's preferences, but you should also keep what they like in mind when giving anime advice. You don't want to recommend Naruto or Dragon Ball Z to a seasoned anime fan unless you know for a fact that they haven't seen it. Likewise, you don't want to suggest Monster Musume to someone who recoils at fan service, or Black Lagoon to someone who hates brutal scenes.
This guide will give you tips to help you tailor your anime suggestions toward your friends' interests. The more spot-on the choice, the more likely it is you'll convert a reluctant viewer into a lifelong anime fan.
If you have a friend who catches every Marvel movie that comes out, and you want to introduce them to the world of anime, you should start with something in the superhero genre.
If they like a straightforward homage to the genre with an anime twist, My Hero Academia might be their new favorite show. If they like things a little grittier, try Tiger and Bunny. If parody is more their speed, show them One-Punch Man, and the next time you see them, they'll be wearing an "oppai" sweatshirt.
Recommendations: My Hero Academia, One-Punch Man, Tiger and Bunny
Anime fans know the medium has something for every age group, but there are still a lot of people who think that anime is for kids. Not only are many of the stories and characters complex with complicated problems, some contain graphic content and brutality you'd never want you kids to see.
If your attempts to get your friend into anime are met with scoffing about how childish it is, show them an anime you shouldn't show children unless you want CPS kicking down your door. Tokyo Ghoul, for example, is about man-eating monsters engaged in political warfare; Black Lagoon follows a group of violent criminals; and Monster psychoanalyzes a serial killer. All are incredible shows, but totally not for children.
Recommendations: Tokyo Ghoul, Monster, Black Lagoon
If your friend is an action junkie who somehow missed out on the plethora of great action shows anime has to offer, you should get them up to speed. While there are some cool contemporary options, it's sometimes best to start with the basics. Shows like Naruto and Dragon Ball Z are required viewing for any would-be action anime fan, and Yu Yu Hakusho is perhaps less mainstream, but no less exciting, as it combines underworld detective work with lots of martial arts.
With riveting battles, outlandish superpowers, and surprisingly deep character developments, only the most anime-adverse action fan won't be moved by these shows.
Recommendations: Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, Yu Yu Hakusho
Loving sports and loving anime aren't mutually exclusive activities - in fact, there's a whole genre of anime dedicated to sports! If your friend loves watching basketball, see how they feel about Kuroko no Basket. If they love hitting the road on their bicycle, try Yowamushi Pedal. If they wax nostalgic about their own high school volleyball team, let them compare their own experiences to those in Haikyuu!!, a silly yet compelling anime.
Recommendations: Haikyuu!!, Yowamushi Pedal, Kuroko no Basket