The Greatest Anime Shows Have These 7 Elements That Make Them Stand Out

Haruhi Suzumiya

What do you feel makes your favorite anime shows stand out?

It’s a subjective question, right? And one that’s hard to answer.

After all, what makes an anime stand out is based on how you feel about the anime you’re drawn to.

But with that said, there are some things we can all agree on, despite our unique tastes in anime shows.

So let’s talk about that!


7 Elements Of A Brilliant Anime Show:


1. When an anime is self-aware

What does that mean?

If you’re watching an anime about science (for example), that’s what the show should MAINLY be about.

An anime that’s not self aware is: Danmachi.

Danmachi Anime 1 1

Danmachi’s focus is fantasy, adventurers, goddesses, and a kid who wants to become stronger.

But as the series progresses, it starts to become a “harem” even though it’s not even classed as a harem show.

It has no idea what it is in the end, and it ruins the potential it had.


2. When an anime is memorable

A Certain Scientific Railgun Wallpaper Anime

If after weeks, months or years you no longer remember bits and pieces about an anime, then it was either:

  • Never good enough in the first place.
  • You didn’t connect with it in any way.

The best anime shows are memorable.

And when you think of your favorite show, it evokes an emotion. Whether that’s laughing, anger, happiness or whatever else.

This is one of the most “important” aspects of a great show.


3. When an anime has a great story that’s easy to follow

Psycho Pass

Psycho Pass is a great example.

It’s about a time in future where society is judged by technology.

Or more specifically: A dominator (weapon) that’s able to measure a persons psychological health, and act accordingly.

Everything revolves around this concept from the perspective of police officers and the law.

And this anime’s also self-aware (see point #1), so it stays focused and never gets distracted from its goal.

Psycho Pass is one of the lead examples when it comes to focus and storytelling.


4. When an anime has GREAT music

K On

Some anime’s are made better BECAUSE of the music. It’s an easy element to ignore.

Good examples are:

  • Dragon Ball Z.
  • Bleach.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth.
  • Higurashi.
  • Shiki.
  • Slayers.
  • Tamako Market.
  • Alice To Zouroku.
  • Psycho Pass.
  • Hell Girl.

When the music’s right, the vibes played out in each scene feel so much better.

And it makes things easier to remember as well (see point #2). Similar to how lyrics in a song are so easy to remember.


5. When an anime doesn’t depend on cliché’s too much

The Greatest Anime Shows Have These 7 Elements That Make Them Stand Out

Nodame Cantabile is one of the best examples there is.

Clichés’ like “hand a girl an umbrella because that’s what gentleman do” doesn’t exist here.

Or other cliché’s like the main character being sweet, nice, and the “perfect” guy which is unrealistic.

When an anime depends on clichés too much, it starts to forget it’s own purpose (see point #1) and the quality starts to fade away the more you watch it.

Clichés’ can’t be avoided, but relying on it just proves you have no idea what to do or how to freshen things up.

And THAT is what eventually kills an anime show with great potential.


6. When an anime is a little unconventional

My Bride Is A Mermaid

The kind of things that happen in this comedy show: My Bride Is A Mermaid is shocking, in a humorous kind of way.

And that’s what being unconventional is about.

When an anime follows tradition too much (see point #5) it becomes predictable, expected, boring and uninteresting.

Sometimes doing something surprising, out of the blue or unexpected can make or break an anime show.


7. Unique Visuals and Aesthetics

The Greatest Anime Shows Have These 7 Elements That Make Them Stand Out

Imagine shopping for a new pair of trainers. Only to find out they’re ugly and unattractive.

Would you still buy it, despite it being unattractive? Of course not.

In the same way, an anime show needs to have a visual appeal that catches your eye.

And lush backgrounds with unique character designs that are eye-candy to look at.

If an anime can accomplish this without being a “copy n paste” of another show… It’s easier to watch and take in.

Good examples of anime with great visuals and aesthetics:

  1. Snow White With The Red Hair.
  2. Hyouka.
  3. Kanon.
  4. Attack On Titan.
  5. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.



An anime show needs multiple elements before you can even consider it a masterpiece.

Or worth watching in the first place.

And these 7 elements from experience are reliable more often than not.

So the seven elements of a good anime show are:

  1. Self awareness.
  2. Memorable.
  3. Easy story to follow.
  4. Great music.
  5. Doesn’t depend on clichés.
  6. Unconventional.
  7. Beautiful visuals and aesthetics.


What makes a great anime show in your opinion?

Related: You’ve Probably Never Heard Of These 22 Anime Shows, But They’re Worth Watching

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