This is an incredibly helpful forum, most people when you ask them what is a good anime to get into they just rattle off either their favorite (not always appropriate for beginners) or what they are watching currently, and normally without any further explanation other than, "Watch this, it is good", so thanks for this
The Studio Ghibli films work great as "gateway-animes". I have gotten plenty of people hooked trough them.
As mentioned before Fullmetal Alchemist (NOT Full Metal) Is fantastic. Id say watch both versions, as brotherhood follows the original story written In the manga, but The first anime Is great in its own rights and handles the opening better. (Brotherhood rushes trough what was the same as the manga in the original and then goes of into greatness at around.. episode 13(?)
Cowboy bebop as well.
Those are my two favorite animes and what I see as the BEST animes ever made.. sooooo.. yeah, should check em.
other then that, just go with whatever people have been saying. It all tdepends what you are into. As My blog says, I am sorta not into allot of new stuff and have been spoiled by the great shows of the past.. :P
To me, "Record of the Lodoss War" though an older title, stands the test of time as a classic anime. Everything about it is perfect, in a way no other anime can ever touch. I also am following "Guilty Crown" now, so new it's coming out one or two episodes a week, I highly recommend it.
Any Ghibli movie would be good, as well as Death Note and FMA. I've always thought one of the long-running shonen series (Bleach, Naruto, One Piece) is a fairly good way to get into it. They tend to have a broad appeal and to a newcomer they aren't boring and tired like they can become to those of us who've been watching for longer. I would be reluctant to pick a series that has a lot of fanservice, although I guess that would depend on the person you are trying to initiate.
Best way is to watch two series at a time, just for the variety.
I remember the first time i started watching anime as a recommendation from my mate.
High School of the Dead, i managed to watch the whole thing, however i hated it... every two seconds i was forced to look up a skirt when i was trying to watch something compelling and well, fantastic.
The second series i watched, after a while of convincing that all anime wasn't like HSOTD (yeah i shortened it) was Death Note and it was, well check my review if you wanna know how amazing it was because i can't say in a few words (cannot guarantee spoiler free), but yeah after that i was hooked, but aever since then i always like to keep an anime on the side, so if i plan to watch a series from scratch i'll still have my on going anime like Mirai Nikki, Naruto Shippuden, Bleach, Gintama, Brave 10 and a lot more.
Good luck, make you're first one count ;) x
@Blaopink: I'm not saying Anime like HSOTD is bad, I just feel like it shouldn't be someones introductory anime or Ikkitousen for that matter.
kinda makes me wonder what anime you wouldn't want to show a newbie. Don't really want to create a new thread for it though.