25 Most Influential Japanese Anime In The US

Posted by on July 9, 2013

Japanese Animation or (as it’s affectionately known in the US) “Anime” is a style of animation that has taken the US by storm. Known for exaggerated features (such as big eyes, oddly colored hair, etc) animes portray fantastic stories (usually about some supernatural power) that is not just beautiful to watch but also entertaining. Check out our 25 most influential Japanese anime in the US in order to see what we mean.


Yu Yu Hakusho


A Japanese manga series that was adapted into an animated series in 1990; Yu Yu Hakusho revolved around the story of a teenage delinquent named Yusuke Urameshi who got struck and killed by a car as he sought to save the life of a child. After he was revived, he was appointed as an Underworld Detective to investigate the cases of demons and apparitions on Earth.




Berserk was aired in 1997 and was centered on the life of an orphaned mercenary warrior named Guts, who called himself the Black Swordsman as he served the Band of the Hawk. This is an intense anime filled with great action and some colorful scenes which may not be appropriate for children.




An anime television series that was released in 1982, Super Dimension Fortress Macross featured a love triangle among its major characters plastered against the backdrop of battles that existed between aliens and humans. When it was shown in the US, it was titled Robotech instead. It rose to fame because of Linn Minmay, the pop star idol in the show, along with transforming air fighter units called Valkyries.


Code Geass


Code Geass was a Japanese anime series that was directed by Goro Taniguchi and written by Ichiro Okouchi. The story was set in the alternate future and revolved around a former prince named Lelouch Lamperouge who obtained the Geass power and used it to destroy the Holy Britannian Empire.


Elfen Lied


Elfen Lied was a Japanese manga series that was created by Lynn Okamoto. Its story revolved around the interactions, emotions, similarities and differences between human beings and the Diclonii. Diclonii was a mutant species that resembled humans in build but had two horns and vectors. The anime series centered on the protagonist named Lucy, who sought revenge after being rejected by humans.


Dragon Quest


Dragon Quest was a Nintendo game that was adapted into an anime series in 1989. It had a total of 43 episodes, was supervised by Horii and had characters that were similar to the original Dragon Quest game. The first 13 episodes of this anime series was translated into English and was released in North America.


Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex


An anime television series that was based on the manga series Ghost in the Shell, Stand Alone Complex revolved around the story of the members of a team called Public Security Section 9. This anime series was written and directed by Kenji Kamiyama and was first aired in Japan in 2002. It was released in other parts of the world a year after. Its lead character, Agent Motoko Kusanagi turned heads because of her beauty and fighting skills, which was crucial to the appeal of the series.




A manga series that was written and illustrated by Yuki Urushibara, Mushishi was adapted into an anime television series in 2005 and featured some ubiquitous creatures called Mushi. These characters had supernatural powers and were described as beings that were purer than any normal living thing. The main character in the story, Ginko, was among the few who possessed the ability to interact with the divine Mushis.


Future Boy Conan


Future Boy Conan was first aired in Japan and China in 1978 with the official title Conan, The Boy in the Future. The story was set in 2008, the time when the human kind was already in the face of extinction. Its story revolved around a devastating war that was fought by two nations armed with ultra-magnetic weapons. This war resulted in a series of earthquakes and other massive movements that eventually devastated the earth until everyone else died except for three survivors, including Conan.


D Gray-Man


A Japanese manga series that was created by Katsura Hoshino, D Gray-Man revolved around the story of Allen Walker, a boy who was a member of the Exorcists—an organization that made use of an ancient substance called Innocence to fight the Millennium Earl and Akuma, its demonic army.


Serial Experiments Lain


Directed by Ryutaro Nakamura, Serial Experiments Lain was first aired in Tokyo, Japan in 1998 and was derived from a play station game with the same title. This contemporary Japanese anime series tackled philosophical concepts such as identity, communication and reality and focused on the story of a teenage girl named Lain Iwakura, who was introduced to the Internet. She was bound to a path which took her into the network of her own thoughts following her discovery of “The God in the Wired.”




A Japanese hard science fiction manga created by Makoto Yukimura, Planetes was adapted from a Japanese hard science fiction television series that was broadcast sometime between 2003 and 2004. The story of Planetes revolved around a team of space debris collectors that boarded the Toy Box debris ship in the year 2075 to prevent the destruction of earth satellites.


Mobile Suit Gundam Wing


Gundam Wing was an animated series that was based on the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime. It was created by Hajime Yatate and Yoshiyuki Tomino and revolved around the war between planet Earth and its colonies in space. The pilots in this series were more closely allied to each other compared to those in Gundam. This had a total of 49 episodes and borrowed its storyline from another series entitled War and Peace.




Naruto is an ongoing Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. The plot tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, an adolescent ninja who constantly dreams of becoming the next Hokage (the leader in the ninja village).


Space Battleship Yamato


A science fiction anime series that featured an eponymous space craft, Space Battleship Yamato is an English-dubbed series that was broadcast on North American and Australian televisions as Star Blazers. It revolved around the story of a multinational teenage crew that journeyed through space to look for the planet Iscandar. The antagonists in this story were aliens called Rajendora who prevented the crew from catching a glimpse of the planet that they were searching for.