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16 Underrated Seinen Anime That Are Worth Watching

Updated September 13, 2021 1.4k votes 484 voters 23.4k views16 items

Seinen is an underrated genre to start with. Because it's aimed at adults, it's not always accessible or interesting to younger audiences. But there are some seinen series that are widely enjoyed, like Tokyo Ghoul, Erased, Elfen Lied, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War and March Comes in like a Lion. Those shows are great, but they aren't what this article is about. For this list, we're focusing on underrated seinen anime. 

Love comedy? Try out Hozuki's Coolheadness or D-Frag! Love intense, dark storytelling? Try Bokurano, Kingdom, or Black Jack. Love emotionally driven storytelling? Try After the Rain or Ping Pong the Animation. Hopefully, at least a few of these shows are ones you'll find both new and exciting. Vote up your favorites to help guide your fellow fans!

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  • College student Tsukasa Taira didn't think much of vampires - that is, until one of her friends turned out to be one. After a dramatic confrontation in which her friend is arrested and taken down by a human/devil hybrid named Yuuki Anzai, Tsukasa finds that not only are vampires on her mind, but so is Anzai. Despite the danger, she can't help but feel drawn to him. The two enter an uneasy romantic relationship - but can Anzai keep his violent vampiric nature in check? Or is he too dangerous to be close to a human? 

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  • Photo: SynergySP

    Initial D is a 90s classic, but it's not something that's commonly watched today. It follows Takumi, a young man whose friends are totally obsessed with cars, but who doesn't really care about them himself until his latent racing talents are discovered by the street racing team the Akagi Red Suns. If you love ridiculous, OP street racing and are looking for something with an old school feel, you can't go wrong with Initial D! 

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  • Photo: LIDENFILMS

    This one just came out, but it didn't get nearly as much hype as it deserved. Unlike the main Cells at Work anime, this iteration centers on the cells that make up the body of a person who doesn't take care of themselves at all. They drink, smoke, expose themselves to STIs, they're sleep-deprived and stressed - and their body pays the price. 

    Despite the cell's broken-down, filthy work environment and the endless drudgery of their jobs, they still do their best to keep fighting. If you want to see a fantastical metaphor for terrible workplaces in real Japan, get emotionally attached to red blood cells, and hear the same voice actor who plays Overhaul from MHA explain reproduction, this is the anime for you.  

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  • During the Chinese Warring States period in the kingdom of Qin, two enslaved children train in the hopes of becoming the Great General of the Heavens. Piao is suddenly recruited to work as a retainer at the royal palace, and for a while, Li Xin is alone. But after a violent coup d'état, Piao reappears bearing a mission for Xin - one which puts him in contact with China's king, Ying Zheng. For some reason, the king looks just like Piao. To find out what's going on, Xin must delve deeper into the complex world of royalty and warfare. 

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