It’s a common belief among anime fans that our entertainment would be shameful to our parents. “Oh, man, if my parents walked in while I was watching Nisemonogatari, I’d be disowned.” “My mom actually did walk in while I was watching Kill la Kill. Talk about awkward…”
It may seem like a lot of anime have alienating fan service, preventing you from ever proudly sharing your hobby with your parents. However, if you dig deep enough, you can find solid titles that not only lack awkward scenes, but contain themes and elements familiar to a mainstream Western audience. It’s possible your parents might actually enjoy them!
This critically acclaimed psychological thriller, optioned at one point for an HBO series, is an easy watch if your parents are fans of mysteries or thrillers of any kind. The lack of usual anime tropes or fanservice makes it an easy introduction into the medium, and due to the compelling storyline and stellar writing your parents are likely to get hooked.
2. Tiger & Bunny
Superheroes and superhero movies are a staple of popular Western culture. As such, this unique superhero buddy story has an immediate hook. The series features only the mildest of fanservice involving superhero costumes, and is for the most part easily accessible to all audiences.
3. Princess Tutu
If your mother/father enjoys watching fairy tales or has a thing for ballet, they’re sure to enjoy Princess Tutu. The beautiful animation, captivating ballet sequences, frequent cliffhangers and plot twists are a perfect formula to get someone hooked.
4. Cowboy Bebop
There’s a reason this show got so popular on Adult Swim, even with non-anime fans. The show stands out from the crowd for its outstanding soundtrack and heavy Western influence, which is why it’s managed to remain relevant internationally for so many years. Not only that, but the fact that some of its episodes are episodic stories will help you introduce the show differently depending on what your parents like; for example, if your dad’s a big fan of the Alien movies, he’d probably love episode 11, “Toys in the Attic”.