Who chooses which anime series are the best of all time? Me? You? Maybe it’s just an issue of personal preference. When compiling a list like this, there’s a lot to think about. For example, whether to prioritize quality over fan favorites, or whether the most influential anime series merits a special mention at the top. After receiving a lot of positive feedback (and some negative feedback) for my list of the 15 Most Powerful Anime Characters, I decided to make a list of the Top 10 Best Anime Series of All Time.
Anime Series to Watch
Many anime enthusiasts may have unintentionally started with shows like Dragon Ball Z. Throughout the 1990s, the show was extremely popular. Many of those viewers, though, may not have become long-term lovers of the genre. This was almost my story as well. I didn’t get back into anime until almost a decade later, thanks to a sequence of events. I evolved from being a casual observer to an ardent enthusiast enthralled with the world of anime in a matter of months.
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I’m very confident in offering my view on what I discovered to be my own favorites after watching many of the best anime series of all time and rewatching some of my favorites. Even as I type that line, I realize that many others would disagree, with each fan having his or her own particular favorites.
Anime, which refers to Japanese animated films, is thought to have first appeared in 1917, more than a century ago. However, until the 1960s, when the first anime was broadcast on television, the appeal of the Japanese art form was not as widespread. Astro Boy (a.k.a. Mighty Atom) is the recipient of this honor. Every year, hundreds of new anime programs are broadcast, and their popularity grows with each passing year.
The Top 10 All-Time Anime Series
Each of the series chosen has a personal meaning for me. They drew me in not only for their own reasons, but also because of the art styles, voice acting, music and soundtrack, difficult issues, and thought-provoking quality of many of them. I could (and have) watched each of these shows multiple times, with each subsequent viewing giving a new level of appreciation. Do you want to watch some good anime? We’ve got you covered.
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(from anime’s official website)
The anime is currently ranked #3 in latest AT anime rankings pic.twitter.com/BABykQmk9m
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10) Re: Zero − Starting Life in Another World
Re: Zero begins simply enough, but gradually develops into a series with time loops, character development, and unique villains. The quest isn’t linear, and once reset, the time loops don’t always take the predicted path. Subaru, the main character, is sent into another realm, Isekai, where his adventures begin following a fortuitous encounter with Emilia, the heroine. Subaru, an anime lover, tries to predict everything that happens in his surroundings based on his experience watching anime, which has a lot of comic undertones. However, things do not go as planned for him.
9) Death Note
The series centers around Light Yagami, a high bright high school student who discovers a notebook capable of killing people when their names are typed into it. Death Note is based on the same-named manga series that lasted from 2003 to 2006. The show’s popularity stems in part from its mystery and horror aspects. Both Japanese and international audiences enjoy it. The story is relatively brief, spanning less than 40 episodes, ensuring that it is concise and to the point without straying too far from the main plot, as is sometimes the case with longer series.
8) Darker Than Black
An unexplained anomaly known as Heaven’s Gate arose over most of South America a decade ago. Soon after, another of these, known as Hell’s Gate, arose in Tokyo, altering the sky and wreaking havoc on the surrounding area. As a result, the stars in the sky vanished and were replaced by false stars. Each of these fictitious celebrities is tied to Contractors, persons with exceptional skills.
Various governments have identified and trained these Contractors for use as spies and assassins. When they employ their skills, however, they must “pay the price,” which can take many forms, including binge eating, self-harm, changing their bodies, and so on. The powers come at the sacrifice of their humanity, murdering via objectives and logic, suppressing any emotional or other human hindrances that would prevent them from completing their objectives.
One of my all-time favorite anime series is Darker Than Black. Many people like it, yet it doesn’t appear on many lists, which is disappointing. I adore the show, and it takes at least two viewings to fully comprehend all of the details and meaning derived from it. It may be a short series of episodes, but it is not for the faint of heart, especially for newcomers to anime. Despite the Contractors’ lack of humanity, Hei, the protagonist, is a little exception, opposing other Contractors through an organization known as the Syndicate.
7) Rurouni Kenshin: Wandering Samurai
Rurouni Kenshin is a Japanese anime about a traveling warrior who is trying to put his troubled past behind him. It is set during Japan’s Meiji era and provides a glimpse into the lives of the individuals who lived during that time. He resolves to assist out after stumbling across a faltering martial arts school, attempting to live a simple life but turns out to be anything but. The show covers a wide range of issues, but there is an overarching theme of keeping humble and giving of yourself to aid those who are less fortunate. There are various adventures in the series, and all of them are jam-packed with tremendous action and paired brilliantly with an anime style. It’s just a fantastic narrative in general. Rurouni Kenshin is deserving of a spot among everyone’s top ten best anime series of all time.
6) 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. In the year 2030, science and technology have advanced to the point where humans can become cyborgs with varied skills to aid humanity’s advancement. Japanese syndicates, on the other hand, have begun to take advantage of this. Thanks to Mamoru Oshii’s thoughts and art style, Ghost in the Shell has influenced a generation of other anime, TV shows, and films. While the live-action film did not receive the same acclaim, the anime series remains one of the best of all time.
Across several rating platforms, Steins; Gate is in the top ten most popular anime series of all time. This isn’t the only reason I think it’s deserving of a place on my list. Its science fiction and time travel themes are among the best in television and film. The concert takes place in Akihabara, Tokyo, which is a popular tourist destination for many enthusiasts. Rintaro Okabe, a university student, discovers time travel and, together with his Future Gadget Laboratory coworkers, must strive to stop an evil organization from carrying out its intentions. There are several storyline twists and unexpected moments that will have you watching episode after episode.
4) Fullmetal Alchemist
Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is two separate anime series. The show is based on a manga series, which both shows initially follow closely. The former, on the other hand, came to an end before the manga series was finished, much like Game of Thrones. The anime Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is based on the whole manga. Two brothers are seriously injured after an attempt to use alchemy to resurrect their deceased mother goes horribly wrong. Edward, the older brother, loses an arm, while Alphonse, the younger brother, loses his entire body and transforms into metal armor to save him from death.
In the world of alchemy, resurrecting someone from the dead is a tremendous taboo, with grave implications, as the findings demonstrate. In an attempt to redeem their wrongs, they set out in pursuit of the Philosopher’s Stone. But this is only the beginning of the duo’s extraordinary adventure. As they leave their modest hometown, they are plunged into a world much larger than themselves, where they must face numerous obstacles while also preventing an evil party from obtaining the Philosopher’s Stone in order to fulfill their objectives.
3) Samurai Champloo
Fuu, a young waitress working in a teahouse, saves two expert swordsmen, Mugen and Jin, who have been detained by the Japanese police after their battle mistakenly results in the murder of a local magistrate’s son. Fuu, who was pestering the son at the moment, saves the duo as a result of supporting her. The journey really begins when she begs the two to follow her across Japan in search of the Samurai who smells like sunflowers.
The show is set in Edo-period Japan. What’s amazing about this is that Samurai Champloo makes an effort to be historically accurate with the time period, not just in terms of lifestyles, but also in terms of events that the characters are indirectly involved in. It’s a laid-back anime series that’s humorous and over-the-top at times. However, its art style and comic qualities make it a simple watch for newcomers to anime.
Samurai Champloo is also one of three anime series that my fiancé has resolved to watch from beginning to end. The hip-hop music themes are very relatable, and they add a new style to the tremendous sword battles that take place throughout the series.
Naruto the anime series aired from 2002 to 2007, followed by Naruto: Shippuden from 2007 to 2017. The series is based on Masashi Kishimoto’s Weekly Shonen Jump manga from 1999. Naruto is a fictional anime character who learns to become a ninja master with the support of his friends and other masters in the Shinobi world. Chakra energy is used to power Ninja skills in battle. The show is an exciting adventure for the ages, dealing with issues such as strong relationships with friends and family, treachery, and surviving diverse challenges. The program is simple to follow, especially for newbies, and many fans see it as a top anime that deserves to be on all top ten lists, if not number one.
1) Attack on Titan
The only series on the list that is still airing is Attack on Titan. The show is based on a manga that was first published in 2009, and the first episode aired in 2013. The show is on its final season, which will air in the next month or so, after eight years. The story begins on Paradis Island, where the residents have constructed massive fortifications to defend themselves against invasions by mindless titans.
When two giants break through the gates, things swiftly spiral out of control, igniting a war that will last over 13 years from the start of the series. After the titans destroyed their home and ate Eren’s mother, Eren Yeager and Mikasa Ackerman join the Survey Corps to seek vengeance on the titans. However, beyond the borders of what appears to be a straightforward struggle against titans, there is plenty to discover. Despite their initial belief that they were the last humans on the planet, there is yet more to uncover across the waters.
There’s a lot to unpack even if you don’t watch the show. There are a lot of backstories that might be explored beyond the show’s episodes, and there are a lot of questions. The plot twists are insane, with surprises around every corner. Both the Japanese and English dubs have excellent voice actors, and the emotional connection is what keeps me coming back for more.
There’s a lot more to comprehend now that I’ve watched the series a second time. You realise that every move has a long-term impact on the war’s history, going back many generations before Eren and Mikasa are involved. Even if the program is nearing its end, there is still a lot of backstories to unravel, fans can only hope for a prequel series to entice them back for more.