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Why Many People Prefer OBSCURE Anime, And How It’s So Appealing

Obscure anime shows are like a treasure for treasure hunters, figurines for anime collectors, or Nintendo 64 for collectors with a taste for nostalgia.

It’s different by design.

Especially when the average anime fan and the average argument is about:

  • Mainstream anime shows.
  • Popular anime of the moment.
  • Trendy anime topics.

And things of that nature. That gets boring after a while whereas obscure anime (good ones) give a different feeling because it’s uncommon.

Why do anime fans like Obscure anime or prefer it on some level?

Here’s my answer to that question as well as why it’s so appealing.


1. Bragging rights if it blows up

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One anime that comes to my mind is My Dress Up Darling. I knew about the manga long before the thought of an anime adaption was conceived.

I personally don’t care about “bragging rights” but I bet many do in this case.

I mean we saw what happened with the anime. Some people doubted it would be so big to a degree. Especially for a slice of life/rom com style series.

The key was the twist, the Otaku elements, and the cosplay that helped it stand out.

Before the fact it was relatively obscure and not so well known compared to other manga like Chainsaw Man for lack of a better comparison.


2. A taste for something new

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Obscure anime shows offer something new. It’s just the way it is. There’s a reason it’s obscure and the reason isn’t always tied to it “not” being a good anime overall.

The anime shadows house is a good example of this.

It’s clearly a well made manga adapted anime that offers something new to the scene with its quality writing, unique sets of characters, and the environment they find themselves in.

It’s what anime like The Promised Neverland should have been but never was able to become.

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Land Of The Lustrous is another anime that can be considered obscure and underrated.

It’s not widely talked about by any stretch of the imagination, but the sheer quality this series has produced is unmatched.

It’s refreshing and gives fans something new to experience.

Some things in life just aren’t meant to appeal to the masses in mass numbers aside from agendas, tastes, or whatever it is getting in the way of an anime’s mass appeal.


3. Obscure anime has something else to offer that’s different

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Not to say that MAINSTREAM anime don’t offer something unique, or that some of the biggest anime aren’t unique (Death Note for example), but the more popular an anime is, the more likely it is to have cliches and common traits that are overused.

This doesn’t count for the anime in the above image (DBZ, Soul Eater, Naruto, Bleach) since they’re pioneers.

That being said, this is the reason Shounen anime tend to be successful. Jujutsu Kaisen, Fairy Tail, or Demon Slayer aren’t the most unique.

They’re familiar, and that familiarity, more so for fans who’ve watched a sizeable amount of anime can get boring or tiring.

Especially when many anime will try to “copy” the popular style in an attempt to profit off it.

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Take an obscure anime like Inari Kon Kon. Not many know of it.

It’s a Seinen with romance and supernatural elements. That makes it different to more of the popular Seinen. Clearly a story in its own lane.

It might not be strikingly different, but it’s unique enough to stand out from the more popular, mainstream, or “typical” anime you can watch in the same genre.

The vibes are different.

The way it tackles romance is different from the start, and it doesn’t have to rely on extremes to make it seem more funny or impactful like other more popular anime tend to do.

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Same for the original Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World.

I don’t know many to this day who know of it. And the anime itself never “blew up” during the time it was released in the 2000s.

It’s an obscure anime about travelling. It’s introspective, different, and can’t really be compared to a laundry list of anime because of those differences.

You could say those differences isolate it and make it “less” popular somehow but still appreciated by those who watch it.

This is usually the case with obscure anime with exceptions where some blow up bigger than expected.

Related: 20+ Obscure Anime Shows That Are Worth Considering


4. Less HYPE and exaggerations attached to it

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Attack On Titan is an example of an anime with HYPE attached to it. In this case, it lived up to it mostly, but it also ended up disappointing a portion of fans because the hype was oversold.

This is also the case with MANY other hyped shows like:

  • Demon Slayer.
  • My Hero Academia.
  • Chainsaw Man.
  • The new Bleach.

And other anime that fit the bill The hype alone can kill a person’s expectations to the point where once you watch it, if even a little of the anime isn’t up to par you’ll like the anime a lot LESS than you should have.

Chainsaw Man might be good, but I guarantee its level of hype is bound to disappoint some more than it should.

Obscure anime don’t have this issue. Especially because of the lack of:

  • Cliches.
  • Tired tropes.
  • Typical scenarios.

And the other types of stuff mainstream anime tends to lean more towards, even if for good reason at times.

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Cliche backstories, overly dramatic protagonists, walking into the bathroom with a naked girl in it, running to school with bread in the mouth, nose bleeds, etc…. You see these things more often in anime with a lot more coverage.

Obscure anime tend to stay away from all that or at least they tone it down and offer something else to replace it. And that’s the APPEAL of obscure anime.

The other appeal is knowing about anime that MOST people don’t, and introducing them to that shit.

It’s a flex.



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I’m not saying ALL obscure anime are magically different, but they lean towards that trait a lot more than mainstream shows since mainstream shows follow a pattern to avoid upsetting their larger fanbase.

Pokemon as an example is an anime that’s barely changed, only just enough to not alienate anyone. It’s not an anime you’d call “fresh” or one that challenges the status quo.

I think as well that obscure anime never become popular because of smaller marketing budgets since doing something different is riskier in a way.



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