Total Recommendations: 11
Both... ...are clever and unique deconstructions of their respective genres. ...changed and inspired the anime series that came after it. ...tell tragic and emotional stories of teenagers, exploring their psyche. ...have great soundtrack, great voice acting, and good animation. ...are classics that should be watched at some point! I'd say if you are not interested in either, you should at the very least watch Neon Genesis Evangelion, since it is the more important anime. But if you aren't into the whole "mindfuck" aspect of Evangelion, you can expect a more cohesive and well-written story from Madoka Magica, as well as an - arguably - better finale. Being familiar with the Mecha or Mahou Shoujo genre is not required in order to enjoy these anime, they stand well on their own, too. Be prepared to cry a lot while watching either of those anime! And don't forget to follow up with the End of Evangelion, or Rebellion movies respectively.
Both... ...are slice-of-life comedies in a school setting. ...are made by the same studio and share voice actors. Lucky Star references Haruhi A LOT, so liking the Haruhi series or at least being very familiar with it, is a prerequisite to enjoying it. If you loved Haruhi, then there is a good chance you will enjoy Lucky Star as well! Lucky Star is a much more laid-back comedy though, without a story. And its humor is very Japanese. So I recommend watching it later in your "anime career", so you will get more of the references and parodies. Haruhi is a great start for any anime watcher though.
Both... ...are 4-koma comedies in a school setting. ...feature "delinquent" girls as main characters who are simply misunderstood. ...have them coming out of their shell thanks to the help of a friend. ...are cute, heartwarming and funny stories that aren't too long. I liked Hazuki Kanon a lot more, because it felt more focused on comedy and was a bit more over the top. Sotomura-san was kind of tame in comparison, but also more "feel good". I feel like Sotomura-san drags on a little too much in the middle because it overuses the same joke too often, but it is a very cute series nonetheless and worth the read if you like 4-koma comedies.
Both... ...put a twist on the magical girl genre, while still remaining faithful to its core values. ...boast an excellent and beautiful soundtrack. ...can be dark and bittersweet at times and will probably make you cry. ...have a cast of deep, complex and relatable characters. Princess Tutu is suitable to all ages and can be a bit too childish at times, while Madoka Magica is probably a bit too dark for younger audiences. Madoka Magica subverts some tropes, so it's recommended - but not necessary - you are somewhat familiar with the genre first. You have to deal with some bad comedy and average filler episodes when watching Princess Tutu, but the serious episodes mroe than make up for them! While both have great characterization, Princess Tutu's characters also undergo a lot of development over the course of the series! Both series are among the best the magical girl genre has to offer.
Both... ...are short horror mysteries in a school setting. ...manage to establish a creepy atmosphere very well. ...have gory death scenes that are more goofy than disturbing. If you liked one anime, chances are very good you will like the other one, too! They are both comparable to horror B-movies, in that they shouldn't be taken too seriously. If you want to lean back and enjoy a sometimes shocking, but often silly horror flick, then these are the anime series for you.
Both... ...are very episodic, focusing on different characters each episode. ...delve into the psyche of various people with mental health issues. ...give great insight into psychology. ...are rather trippy and weird. While Paranoia Agent is more of a dark mystery, Trapeze is much brighter and upbeat. Paranoia Agent features more standard visuals, but eventually becomes very trippy and confusing. Trapeze features very dazzling and weird visuals, but doesn't get too weird story-wise. While episodic, Paranoia Agent has a central mystery that is solved in the end. Trapeze's episodes are all interconnected via little character or background moments, there is no overarching story. It also has quite a few comedic moments.
Both... ...are about intense, psychological high-stakes gambles. ...feature badass geniuses as main characters. ...rely on lengthy explanations of their incredible plans and strategies. ...consistenly create exciting cliffhangers. ...have amazingly awesome soundtracks! One Outs is more accessible, as it is about baseball and has much more modern animation and art style. Akagi is about Mahjong, and thus requires you to pay a lot more attention if you are unfamiliar with the ruleset. That said, I could enjoy Akagi even without actual Mahjong experience. Akagi also has a rather "unique" art style that is said to scare off new viewers, but I personally like it a lot.
Both... ...feature a cast of unique, cute and likeable girls. ...have visually impressive, epic fight scenes. ...are very emotional series, focusing on the personal struggles of the characters. Madoka Magica is definitely the superior series, but if you liked it there is a good chance you might like Black Rock Shooter as well. The characters are not as deep and neither is the plot, but it is still a highly entertaining and touching anime. It is also worth watching, if only for the magnificent battles.
Both… …are psychological thrillers that deal with mind games and high stakes. …have an attractive, arrogant and super-intelligent main character. …rely on inner monologues and lengthy explanations of their complicated plans. …have amazing soundtracks and good animation. Death Note is a lot darker, as it is about life and death and the concept of justice. One Outs is an anime about baseball, but actually… it isn’t. I had no interest or a lot of knowledge in sports, especially not in baseball prior to watching One Outs, but it managed to hook me nonetheless. What little you need to know about the rules is always explained to the viewer. Death Note gets more closure and better characterizations, but One Outs is a little bit more consistent in terms of writing quality and creates exciting cliffhangers.
Both… …are mysteries about strange (and deadly) happenings in a village. …have some gratuitous violence (Another is more exaggerated, Shiki is more serious). …succeed at creating a dark and mysterious atmosphere. …have supernatural elements and deal with undeath. Another is a bit more accessible, but falls flat in terms of emotional impact and characterization. Shiki is deeper and has better writing, as well as a more satisfying finale, but suffers from a very strange art style that can be distracting at times. I think Shiki is definitely superior, but if you don’t like it you might still enjoy Another.
Both… …are fast-paced action comedies. …have protagonists that often get caught in ridiculous and awkward situations. …have highly inappropriate humor (Prison School is 110% lewd, DMC is 110% vulgar). …create some very intense and exciting scenarios, with TONS of hype! …also explore themes of friendship and romance. I personally enjoyed Prison School more, as I felt that DMC recycled some jokes a bit too often. That said, both are pretty short, especially DMC, so checking them both out and seeing for yourself is highly recommended! Make sure that your parents don’t walk in on you while watching these two.