How can we know which anime series are the greatest of all time? Me? You? Or, it could simply be a matter of preference. When compiling a list like this, it’s important to take a lot of factors into account. If the most influential anime series deserve a particular place in the top five, or if quality should take precedence over fan favorites?
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After getting a lot of positive and negative feedback for my list of the 15 most powerful anime characters, I thought I’d do the same for my list of the 10 best anime series ever made.
There is no time like the present to get started.
Watching Anime Series
For many anime fans, Dragon Ball Z may have been their first introduction to the genre. During the ’90s, the show enjoyed enormous acclaim. However, it’s possible that many of those people who watched the show never went on to love the genre. Almost all of this was true. It wasn’t until more than a decade later that a chain of events led me back to anime. A casual spectator suddenly turned into a die-hard fan.
The best anime series I’ve seen, as well as rewatching some of my favorites, has given me a good idea of what I consider to be my favorites. While typing that, I realize that it’s not the same opinion for everyone, with each fan having their own particular favorites.
More than a century ago, in 1917, the term “anime” was used to describe Japanese animated films. However, it didn’t gain mainstream acclaim until the 1960s, when the first anime television series aired. Astro Boy is the recipient of this honor (a.k.a. Mighty Atom). Today, there are hundreds of new anime programs being aired each year, and their popularity continues to rise.
The Top 10 Best Anime Series Of All-Time
Each of the shows you choose has a special place in my heart. It wasn’t just the stories and characters that drew me in; it was the visual and aural aesthetics and the challenging issues and thought-provoking nature of many of them that really made an impression on me. Even though I’ve seen each of these shows a second time, the second time has given me a deeper appreciation for them.
1. Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World
As basic as it starts out, Re:Zero quickly becomes a series built around time loops, character growth, and a variety of adversaries. When the time loop is reset, it doesn’t necessarily go back to the way it was before.
A chance encounter with the story’s heroine, Emilia, sends Subaru, the protagonist character, flying into another dimension known as Isekai, where his adventures begin. An anime enthusiast who is attempting to forecast what will happen in his environment is at the heart of the comedy of this story, which includes several laugh-out-loud moments. Sadly, this is not the case for him.
2. Death Note
Light Yagami, a brilliant high school student, is drawn into the story after he discovers a notebook that may kill anyone whose name is inscribed in it. Between 2003 and 2006 a manga series called Death Note was published.
The show’s popularity is largely due to the mystery and horror themes that run throughout it. It appeals to a wide range of people, not only those in Japan. There are only about 40 episodes, so the tale is kept short and sweet without veering off course, which is something that can happen when a show goes on for a long time.
It aired from 2002 to 2007, followed by Naruto: Shippuden, which ran from 2007 to 2017. Masashi Kishimoto’s Weekly Shonen Jump manga is the inspiration for the television series.
Naruto’s journey to become a ninja master is depicted in the series, which takes place in a fictional Shinobi universe. Ninja techniques are based on chakra energy, which is employed in battle.
The drama explores themes of friendship, family, betrayal, and overcoming adversity, making it a fascinating journey for the ages. It’s a great program for newbies, and many anime fans view it as one of the best of all time, making it one of the most highly acclaimed shows in the genre.
4. Rurouni Kenshin: Wandering Samurai
One of the key themes of Rurouni Kenshin is that of moving on from one’s troubled past. You get a look at everyday life in Meiji-era Japan through the eyes of those who lived through it. While wandering through the streets, he came across a little martial arts school in need of aid, and he decided to provide a hand.
As a whole, the series touches on a wide range of topics, but there’s an underlying theme of humility and selflessness. The series has a lot of action packed adventures with an anime flair that goes perfectly together. It’s a fantastic tale in every way.
Everybody’s top 10 best anime series list should include Rurouni Kenshin.
5. Ghost in the Shell
Major Motoko Kusanagi, or simply Major, and her team of police from Public Security Section 9 will be fighting high crime in Japan in the not-too-distant future. As technology and science have progressed to the point where people can become cyborgs, Ghost in the Shell takes place in the year 2030. Japanese syndicates, on the other hand, are taking use of these advantages.
Mamoru Oshii, the director of Ghost in the Shell, has influenced a generation of other anime, television shows, and movies with his thoughts and aesthetic style. Despite the fact that its live-action film didn’t receive the same level of acclaim, it remains one of the best anime series of all time.”
According to a number of popular rating systems, Steins;Gate is in the top 10 most highly rated anime series of all time. This isn’t the only reason it belongs on my list. It has some of the best sci-fi and time-travel concepts in television and film. In Akihabara, Tokyo, which is a popular tourist destination for anime enthusiasts, the show will be held.
In the Future Gadget Laboratory, a university student named Rintaro Okabe discovers time travel and must work with his coworkers to stop an evil business from completing their objectives. There are enough of plot twists and turns to keep you interested in each new episode of this show.
7. Fullmetal Alchemist
Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood are the two distinct series that make up the anime. At the beginning, both shows closely follow a manga series that served as the inspiration for the TV show. The latter, on the other hand, ended without the manga series being finished, just like the Game of Thrones series did in the same way. There are no spoilers in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.
When an alchemical attempt to bring their dead mother back to life goes horribly wrong, two brothers suffer the consequences. It is Edward’s arm that is amputated, while Alphonse, his younger brother, is reduced to metal armour in order to survive. Death-to-life alchemy is a great taboo, and the results show that it has serious ramifications. As a last resort, they set out to find the Philosopher’s Stone.
As it turns out, this is just the beginning for the two. A world far larger than their small hometown awaits them as they set out on their quest to discover the Philosopher’s Stone. Along the way, they must avoid being ambushed by an evil organization bent on obtaining the stone as well.
8. Samurai Champloo
The Japanese police had captured Mugen and Jin, two skilled swordsmen, after their combat mistakenly resulted in the death of a son of the local magistrate. Fuu, a young waitress at a teahouse, rescues them after a chance encounter. Fuu was being harassed by the son at the time, and she ends up saving the two of them by stepping in to help her. When she assigns the two to travel across Japan in search of the Samurai who exudes the scent of sunflowers, the adventure really gets underway.
The show is set in Japan during the Edo period. One of the best things about SamuraiChamploo is its dedication to historical accuracy, which extends not only to the characters’ appearances but also to the actual events in which they take part.
It’s a light, breezy animation series that’s both amusing and a little bit ridiculous at times. Even for those who have never seen an anime before, the lighthearted tone and appealing visual style make this an excellent choice.
Also, SamuraiChamploo is just one of three anime series that my fiance has made a point of watching from beginning to end. Additionally, the series’ hip-hop music themes are very relatable and add a unique flair to compliment the series’ spectacular sword combat.
9. Darker Than Black
Heaven’s Gate, an unexplained anomaly seen over most of South America a decade ago, was given the name “Heaven’s Gate.” Hell’s Gate, a similar phenomenon that transformed the sky and caused devastation in the surrounding area, appeared in Tokyo not long after. As a result, the stars in the sky were replaced with false ones. Known as Contractors, each of these phony stars is attached to a person with exceptional skills.
Diverse nations have found and educated these Contractors to be spies and killers. However, whenever they utilize their powers, they have to “pay the price,” which can take many forms, such as binge eating, self-harm, changing their physical appearance, and so on and so forth. The powers come at the cost of their humanity, murdering through objectives and rationale, suppressing any emotional and other human hinderances to stop them from achieving their goals.
One of my all-time favorite anime shows is Darker Than Black. It’s a popular choice, although it doesn’t appear on many lists. At least two series viewings are required to fully comprehend the show’s depth and purpose. Even though the series only has a few episodes, it is difficult to go through, especially if you are new to anime. Hei, the main character, is a tiny counterpoint to Contractor’s lack of humanity, fighting against other Contractors via a group known as the Syndicate.
10. Attack on Titan
Only one of these shows, Attack on Titan, is still airing. From 2009 through 2013, a manga was serialized and the first episode was aired. The final season of the show, which has been running for eight years, is set to air in the next few weeks. The story begins on Paradis Island, where the residents have built massive fortifications to stave off attacks from mindless titans.
When two titans breach the fortifications, the serial swiftly descends into civil war, lasting over 13 years from the time of the series’ inception. As a form of retaliation for the titans that destroyed their home and ate Eren’s mother, Eren Yeager and Mikasa Ackerman join the Survey Corps. What begins as a straightforward conflict with titans soon becomes much more complex. After originally believing they were the last humans on the planet, it turns out that there is much more to uncover in the oceans.
Even if you don’t watch the show, there’s a lot to digest. There’s a lot of lore that could be explored beyond the show’s episodes, and there are just as many unanswered mysteries. The plot twists are insane, with bombshells thrown at you at nearly every turn. Both the Japanese and English dubs have excellent voice actors, and it’s the emotional connection that keeps me coming back for more.
There’s a lot more to learn by seeing the series a second time around. You realise that each action has a consequence on the history of the war, dating back to many generations before Eren and Mikasa are involved. One can only hope for a prequel series to keep fans coming back for more even when the show is nearing its end.
Instead of a list of 10, I could have ended the piece with that. Some amazing anime series may not get the credit they deserve. These are excellent in their own right, but I didn’t include them because I felt they were too niche.
11. One Piece
Monkey D. Luffy and his pirate crew are the focus of this series. They’re on the hunt for Gold Roger’s famous loot, which is said to be the most valuable in the world. Because of this fabled artifact known as “One Piece,” the show takes its name from
Many people adore this show, and the majority of them believe it is deserving of its place in the top 10. This is correct, and I completely agree. But for me, it doesn’t have the same level of connection and personal preference as the other shows on my list. It’s the fact that it hasn’t slowed down in two decades that bothers me the most. That proves its tenacity, but I’m not convinced.
When Satoru was a child, he was kidnapped a number of times and taken back in time to prevent his mother’s death, a saga that began when he was just 5 years old.
The show is tedious, but well worth the wait. Although the idea is fictitious, Satoru’s experiences and emotions are quite real, dealing with social issues and everyday struggles.
13. Cowboy Bebop
Despite his formidable martial arts skills, futuristic bounty hunter Spike Spiegel leads a laid-back life in Cowboy Bebop. Jet Black and Faye Valentine (who will appear later in the story) accompany him as they scour the galaxy in quest of hefty bounties for wanted criminals.
Despite the futuristic ideas, the show has a genuine feel to it. Action, levity, and a soaring musical accompaniment round out the film’s compelling reality.
14. Ergo Proxy
This is a narrative that takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting. Here, humans and AI-powered androids coexist peacefully. After a series of killings, tensions rise and threaten to destabilize the state of peace. Inspector Re-L, who leads the investigation, swiftly takes a turn for the worst.
I can’t stop thinking about it. The show’s heavy emphasis on philosophical and moral dilemmas that we confront in real life calls for at least two viewings to fully appreciate all the subtleties and topics it explores.
15. One Punch Man
When compared to other series, One Punch Man is very fresh. It’s been four years since the last season was released, and fans are still hungry for more.
A seemingly naive hero, Saitama, is the star of the show, and he does it for the sake of it. He can, as the title says, defeat his opponents with a single blow.
16. Dragon Ball Z
When an army of extraterrestrial adversaries attacks their world, a young warrior named Goku and his companions are tasked with protecting the Earth. Goku, for example, discovers that he is from another planet, and the show’s ’90s period saw a ridiculous number of plot twists.
As a child of the ’90s, you’re likely to have seen or heard of Dragon Ball Z. All of my pals in South Africa were hurrying home between 4 and 5 p.m. when the show aired, as I recall. The streets would empty when one of our sports teams was playing, whether it was football or cricket. This was the show’s impact, and many people still remember it warmly.