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Top 5 Anime Series You Need to Watch Before Anime Expo

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Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge Panty and Stocking cosplayers at Anime Expo 2011 - SHANNON COTTRELL
  • Shannon Cottrell
  • Panty and Stocking cosplayers at Anime Expo 2011
See also: Coverage from Anime Expo 2011

Anime Expo will take over downtown Los Angeles once again beginning on June 29. For four days, anime fans, often dressed in elaborate costumes, will gather at the Los Angeles Convention Center to check out the latest shows from Japan, take in a few concerts and party until late in the night.

At Anime Expo, the focus is typically on the latest hit anime series and features. If you aren't a hardcore fan of Japanese cartoons, it can be easy to feel a little lost. So before you head out to the convention, catch up on your anime viewing with these five shows. All of the titles listed below will have some sort of presence at the convention, whether it's an appearance from one actor or the bulk of the team behind the series. Also, every one of our picks is available to watch for free online. Check them out before you hit the convention floor.

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5. Blue Exorcist

Blue Exorcist is a great action series with a lot of heart in it. The story follows Rin Okumura, who grew up in the care of a priest who is also an exorcist and also happens to be Satan's son. The 25-episode series first ran last year in Japan and the U.S. and you can still catch streaming episodes on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Anime News Network.

Nobuhiku Okamoto, who voices Rin, will be a guest of honor at AX. Also, the president of Aniplex, who released Blue Exorcist, will be on hand at the convention. The fourth volume of the DVD set will be released in the U.S. on June 19.

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4. Shigofumi: Letters from the Departed

Shigofumi: Letters from the Departed is a 12-episode supernatural anime centered around a mail carrier who delivers letters from the recently deceased. The letters contain information that was unknown during the writer's lifetime.

Shigofumi is an older show -- it came out in 2008 -- and there are only two episodes available on Hulu. It's well worth the watch, though, for its intriguing concept and solid writing. Tatsuo Sato, who directed the series, is a guest of honor at Anime Expo this year.

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