10 Classic Anime That Should Be On The Adult Swim
Each year introduces hundreds of new animated series and it can sometimes be an overwhelming experience to stay on top of what is considered the most important content. Accessibility to animated series plays a major role in audience consumption, which has transformed Adult Swim in a Major Player when it comes to mainstream anime distribution. The Adult Swim and Toonami programming blocks helped launch groundbreaking animated series in North America, as well as popularizing hidden gems that hadn’t received their due in the past.
Adult Swim is always a vital destination when it comes to the latest and most popular anime series. Adult Swim has maintained a diverse schedule since its inception, but there are several animated series that would become iconic series if given a chance on the programming block.
ten Ranma ½ is the perfect Shonen series that slipped through the cracks of adult swimming
Ranma ½ is an anime series deeply representative of the ’90s. It’s exactly the same as early anime acquisitions that could be found on Adult Swim and Toonami which prioritize action, but can skew towards more lewd material. Ranma ½ is the perfect blend of quirky humor, quirky humor and gripping battles. Adult Swim’s programming block embraced Rumiko Takahashi’s other flagship series, Inuyasha, and Ranma ½ would have worked as a satisfactory companion on schedule. Ranma ½ also has over 160 episodes meaning it could still hold a spot in the calendar for several years to come.
9 Berserk’s aggressive tone and graphic violence make it an adult swim staple
The dark fantasy series by Kentaro Miura, Berserk, has received several anime adaptations that have all been successful on varying levels, but all struggle to match the artistry and meticulous detail present in Miura’s manga artwork. the Berserk 1990s adaptation is 25 episodes and is a brooding tale of Guts, The Black Swordsman, as he wields an exaggerated blade to take down malevolent entities. The violent and mature nature of Berserk is exactly the kind of content that Adult Swim is proud of and it’s a little surprising that Berserk didn’t show up on their schedule.
8 Flame Of Recca Are Old School Shonen Stereotypes That Will Soothe Audiences
Flame of Recca is an action-packed series from the late 90s that tells the thrilling story of Recca Hanabishi journey to become an acclaimed ninja. All the characters of Flame of Recca claim entertaining powers and the series leans heavily into tournament battles in a way reminiscent Yu Yu Hakusho and narutoboth of which were adult swim staples.
At only 42 episodes, Flame of Recca is also capable of telling an engaging story, but it’s not an anime engagement that will dominate Adult Swim’s schedule for several years to come.
seven Escaflowne’s vision draws the line between genres to establish her voice
Escaflowne’s Vision is an awe-inspiring hybrid of mecha, fantasy, and isekai sensibilities where Hitomi is swept into a magical world that’s caught in the middle of conflict and on the brink of war. The original dub for Escaflowne which was produced was so heavily censored that it is only 23 episodes, down from the original 26, and audiences deserve to see the proper version of the series aired on TV. Escaflowne’s Vision never aired on Adult Swim, but its corresponding film did, which shows how the series fits in with their target demographic.
6 Excel Saga is a bizarre comic experience unlike anything else
Parody and gag anime series are capable of delivering jokes at a delirious pace and there are few comedies that are more unbalanced than The Excel saga. The series functions as a loving parody of every anime genre imaginable as each episode drastically changes tone in the name of selling. The Excel saga is very adult in its humor, but it’s nothing beyond what’s already been featured on Adult Swim. If something as manic and surreal as Pop Team Epic can stream on Adult Swim and connect with audiences, there’s absolutely no reason why The Excel saga would not resonate the same way with viewers.
5 Great Teacher Onizuka is the perfect fit for adult viewers
Grandmaster Onizuka is another quirky animated series that feels tailor-made for Adult Swim audiences, not just in its tone, but because its protagonist is a 22-year-old former gang member who finds himself at a surprising crossroads in his life. Eikichi Onizuka ends up becoming the teacher of a group of unrepentant and rowdy students.
Grandmaster Onizuka is often hilarious, but it’s also an illuminating character study that doesn’t overstay its welcome. A school-based animated series may have been radical in the early days of Adult Swim, but newer programs like Assassination Classroom helped pave the way in this department.
4 RahXephon is the perfect Moody Mecha series for adult swimming audiences
There are all sorts of different anime that have aired on Adult Swim and Toonami, but they’ve been especially generous when it comes to comes to mecha content. Plenty of giant robot series have graced Adult Swim, making it somewhat surprising that one of the most groundbreaking series of the early 2000s never got caught up. RahXephon shares much of the same DNA as Neon Genesis Evangelion with its disgruntled teenage mecha pilot, the series’ often nihilistic tone, and its experimental blend of music with action sequences. RahXephon has always flown somewhat under the radar and it would really benefit from a proper showcase on Adult Swim.
3 Monster is a psychologically exhausting and mature descent into madness
Adult Swim has aired psychologically-boosting anime series in the past, like paranoia agent and Serial Experiments Laincorn Monster is a program that could have become an Adult Swim flagship anime under the right circumstances. Monster is a suspenseful murder mystery and serial killer drama that riffs on the traditional Frankenstein’s Monster tale in creative ways. There is such a gripping story that unfolds over 74 episodes, which takes patience, but is definitely worth the time and effort. It is a breakthrough series in anime horror and thriller genres.
2 Mushi-Shi carefully presents samurai staples with lots of love
Mushi-Shi is one of the best distillations of the wandering samurai archetype and over the course of 26 episodes, it indulges in thoughtful episodic storytelling. The absence of a larger serialized arc in Mushi-shi means it’s ideal for audiences to casually meet on Adult Swim and most episodes work as awesome stand-alone stories. Adult Swim has indulged in samurai series before, like with Rurouni Kenshincorn Mushi-Shi represents a calmer sensibility that will affect the audience differently. Its distinct artistic style fits well with its classical setting which is wedged between the Edo and Meiji eras.
1 Initial D is a thrill ride that never lets go of the accelerator pedal
Racing series can be a mixed bag and it’s not a variety of anime that Adult Swim has traditionally featured in the past. Some racing anime spin their wheels figuratively and literally with their storytelling, but Initial D create an exciting story out of its illegal street racing hook and atypical terrains and runners that drive the conflict forward. Initial D might be a risk for Adult Swim, but 1998’s 26-episode debut anime is the perfect way to test the waters, along with many more Initial D content to turn to later.
FOLLOWING: Swimming for adults: the 9 best crossovers, ranked
10 Things Naruto Does Better Than Any Shonen Protagonist
About the Author