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Ohhh! There's a TON of anime out there that are so underrated and deserve more love than they get! I've been keeping track of a bunch of them! Here's a few I can name off the top of my head so far:
1. Fancy Lala - Don't let its cutesy-poo title and premise fool you. This anime is actually a very nice, wholesome, heartwarming tale of a young girl using her newfound magical items to become a model/singer and learn the ups and downs of adulthood in the process. It's not very well known because it aired right alongside CardCaptor Sakura at the time this came out (1998). This is my favorite magical girl anime of all time because it never talks down to its audience and never takes an overly saccharine approach to the subjects it tackles, such as divorce, adulthood, juggling school life alongside a budding career, and so on. It's also my favorite idol anime ever, and considering those tend to be rather low quality, I highly recommend you check this one out.
2. Shounen Maid - Again, this show's premise is very misleading, and I don't blame you if you thought this was going to be gross fetishistic hentai pedobait. Rest assured, having seen this twice, it's also a heartwarming, wholesome drama about a boy who loses his mother and is adopted by his eccentric uncle and learning to adjust to his new home...but he's also a super OCD neat freak and said uncle really sucks at cleaning up after himself, and only puts Chihiro in the maid uniform for funsies. It can also be really funny at times and manages to avoid a lot of the cliches that are typical of this kind of show. But I recommend you watch the English dub, as some of the Japanese voice acting can be...questionable or downright unlistenable.
3. The Dog of Flanders (Movie) - Seriously, I love this movie to bits! It's my gold standard not just for anime movies, anime in general, but for movies as well! It's sad, heartwrenching, funny, sweet, and beautifully well done! Sadly, the DVDs are long out of print and super hard to find. Thankfully, someone uploaded the dub on YouTube so you can still find it easily. I'm praying that someone licenses this and gives it a Blu-Ray release in the future (Yoohoo, Discotek!! Get on it already!!). But if you want to watch something that's genuinely good that encompasses what animation can truly achieve when done right, make this the one you watch!
4. Astra: Lost in Space - Based on the manga by Sket Dance creator Kenta Shinohara, it's about nine kids who find themselves thrown into deep space when a space camping trip goes horribly wrong, and they need to find a way back home while figuring out just why this happened. It's fun and funny, though rather tropey and stupid at times. It's a fun little sci-fi mystery adventure for anyone wanting to scratch that itch. I do recommend checking out the manga too, because the anime changes some things and leaves out important plot details that really accentuate the later plot revelations.
I'll add more later on, when I'm not short on time.