Do you want to know which are the best anime of all time? Get ready, because this list is all you need! From spotlighting the most influential Japanese anime in the US to examining the genre across the pond, one thing is certain, anime is taking over the world.
In this realm, anything is possible. Ladden with layers of complex storylines woven into a blend of action, adventure, part love story, and all philosophical, animes have a charm all its own. Interestingly, a growing subgroup of fans collect anime quotes and live by their messages.
Additionally, there is even a site dedicated to nothing BUT the genre. It is truly an epicenter of all things anime! And, the fandom keeps growing and shows no signs of slowing down. Our list will probably grow as well but for now, enjoy the 25 best anime of all time (so far)!
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It is really difficult to sum up the story of a series with hundreds and hundreds of episodes, but we can guarantee you that the main character, Luffy, will provide you a meaningful life lesson.
He will teach you that if you decide to accomplish something, you should give your all and fight to achieve your goal till the last moment of your life. This message alone makes this anime great.
No Game No Life
This brilliant anime can be addicting for gamers thanks to its unique plot and concept of a fantasy world where almost everything is governed by specific rules which one must follow at all times.
The two protagonists are siblings named Shiro and Sora, who are violently transported to a different world that is run by games, and where they must develop a lifestyle to survive in a world where games are not so cool and innocent.
Psycho-Pass is a smart series that deeply analyzes free will and whether or not a person’s “hue,” when cloudy, can determine if they will become a threat to society.
Using a special weapon known as the Dominator, detectives are able to continuously read and send psychological data to determine a person’s crime coefficient. Depending on how clouded a person’s hue is, they will either receive mandatory rehabilitation or be executed on the spot. Fans of Minority Report should watch this anime.
Akame ga Kill!
According to reviews, it’s quite possible you will find its first couple of episodes boring, but as the story unfolds, it becomes one of the most captivating fighting anime you may ever see.
The story focuses on a country boy named Tatsumi who sets out on a journey to the Capital to make a name for himself and meets a seemingly dangerous group of assassins known as Night Raid. Will you join him on his journey?
Rurouni Kenshin: Wandering Samurai
This fantastic series focuses on the adventures of a young wandering swordsman who stumbles upon a struggling martial arts school in Meiji-era, Japan.
So, if dramatic characters, great sword-fighting action scenes, a bit of history (the story takes place in the 1870’s), and some philosophizing about living a life of violence versus peace intrigues you, you definitely need to watch this little masterpiece.
One-Punch Man follows a hero who can end all his fights with a single punch, and that gets him frustrated. Now you might be thinking, what’s so interesting about that? Don’t you want to see the hero struggling to kill his enemy? Well, not this time.
Here you will see a super-overpowered hero struggling to find a stronger enemy, struggling to feel the thrill and adrenaline of the fights he once felt when he was weak. Was his training to become strong not worth it after all? Watch the show to get your answers.
Kagome, a modern girl from Tokyo, accidentally finds a portal that leads her to medieval Japan, where she meets the half-demon Inuyasha. She decides to help him find a magic crystal and fight the evil demon Naraku.
With its virtuous mix of romance, comedy, action-adventure, fantasy, and horror, Inuyasha has managed to gain millions of fans worldwide and is considered a classic in anime circles.
According to critics and fans, Trigun combines some of the funniest, most absurd, and at the same time intellectual dialogue with powerful drama and sense of what you could also consider to be horror in emotional terms. Just to get more of an idea, Vash, the protagonist, is one of the most contradictory characters in any anime you will ever see.
He’s a gunfighter who hates killing but he does it anyway. He’s almost unbreakable, yet very vulnerable. He has the power to destroy all life, but gets upset at the death of a bug. With a $60 billion double price tag on his head, he’s also the most sought after man on the planet!
The story of this magnificent anime is about Jin, a traditional and very skilled samurai; Mugen, an innovative and equally skilled samurai; and Fuu, a girl who works at a teahouse.
When Jin and Mugen get caught and are about to be executed, Fuu saves their lives and in return makes them promise to help her find the Samurai Who Smells Like Sunflowers. I know you probably think the plot of this anime sounds simple and childish, but trust us when we say it’s worth giving it a try.
What most fans appear to like about Soul Eater is that it has something new to offer in terms of story, setting, the personas of the main characters, and artistic style.
The story centers on the Shibusen, a school for “Weapons and Masters” in the fictional town of Death City, Nevada. To get a more distinct understanding, a weapon in Soul Eater is a person born with the ability to transform into a Weapon, not just any weapon but the one they were born as.
Ghouls are terrifying creatures that feed on human flesh. When Kaneki is almost killed in an attack, he transforms into a half-ghoul, half-human hybrid and is forced to adapt to their lifestyle in order to survive.
Is this show good? Yes, without a doubt, but our advice is that if you happen to find gore disturbing, then you should watch the censored version.
Can you imagine what it would be like if a genius could fit every good movie you’ve ever seen into just one series? Well, this is how numerous die-hard fans of Cowboy Bebop describe it.
Regarded as one of the best action anime, Cowboy Bebop is a space western with dashes of film noir, gothic horror, creature-feature, black comedy, screwball comedy, spy action, crime, romance, tragedy, action, philosophy, science, spirituality, fatalism, optimism, and more. It’s got a little something for everyone.
Fullmetal Alchemist became one of the most popular anime in both America and Japan because of its extremely touching story.
That story revolves around Edward and Alphonse Elric, who will try anything they can to bring their mother back from death by attempting human transmutation. If you think that an anime series can’t make you cry, then try to watch this one without tearing up.
Code Geass is set in an alternate universe after Japan’s conquest by the Holy Britannian Empire with their powerful new robot weapons, the Knightmare Frames, stripping Japan and its citizens of all rights and freedoms and renaming the country Area 11.
Lelouch is a Britannian prince who gave up his right to the throne after his mother was murdered and has vowed to destroy his father, the emperor and Britannia. It’s always interesting when family matters mix with a thirst for geopolitical conquest and domination, no?
High school student Kurosaki Ichigo is unlike any other kid because he can see ghosts. After an accident with a hollow in the woods, he received power.
So begins Kurosaki Ichigo’s training and duty as a Shinigami, Soul Reaper. If you liked The Sixth Sense, then you will most likely love this series.
In a world where magic is commonly used and sold, a team of guild members takes on various missions to earn enough money to pay the rent. Among them are Lucy, a celestial spirit mage, Natsu, a fire dragon slayer, and Happy, a blue-winged cat. Welcome to Fairy Tail—a world where magic can buy everything.
Sword Art Online
In the year 2022, gamers worldwide have lined up on launch day for Sword Art Online, a hotly-anticipated MMORPG that lets players connect to an immersive virtual reality world with special helmets called Nerve Gear.
Kirito is one such gamer who is eager to jump back into action, having spent a great deal of time as a beta tester, and quickly becomes friends with newbie warrior Klein. What happens next? You will have to check out the series to see what makes this a top anime!
Dragon Ball Z
After learning that he is from another planet, a warrior named Goku and his friends are prompted to defend it from an onslaught of extraterrestrial enemies.
In what might be the most famous Asian anime of all time in the West, Dragon Ball Z was and will always be to many fans one of the most influential cartoons ever created.
Naruto Uzumaki is a loud, hyperactive, adolescent ninja who constantly searches for approval and recognition, as well as to become Hokage, who is acknowledged as the leader and strongest of all ninjas in the village.
The story is absolutely beautiful and has epic fights combined with deep emotion and unpredictable story changes that will blow your mind.
Attack on Titan
The best action anime according to Ranker, Attack on Titan, is truly a ground-breaking anime. After his hometown is destroyed and his mother is killed, young Eren Jaegar vows to cleanse the earth of the giant humanoid Titans that have brought humanity to the brink of extinction.
This is a truly fantastic anime on many levels: the story, the imagery, the vision, and the atmosphere. The basic premise of mindless giants that eat people might sound silly and even grotesque on paper, but watching it leaves you with a much different feeling.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
One of the best anime series for adults, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is about two brothers’ search for a philosopher’s stone after an attempt to revive their deceased mother goes poorly and leaves them physically deformed.
It’s a very satisfying series that manages to stay engaging throughout its sixty-four-episode run. Additionally, the bond between the brothers is heart-warming to watch.
Dragon Ball is another legendary anime that became a global phenomenon and gained millions of fans. The story focuses on the adventures of an extraordinarily strong young boy named Goku as he searches for seven dragon balls.
These balls, when combined, can grant the owner any wish and the rest is part of pop culture history.
Well, what can we say about the legendary adventures of Ash Ketchum and his partner Pikachu, who travel across many regions in hopes of being regarded as Pokémon masters, that you don’t already know?
Although artistically and even from a story point of view Pokémon is nowhere near the greatest or best anime ever, it’s unarguably the most famous and influential on a global scale.
One of the most fascinating stories we have ever seen in anime history, the hero of this series is given a diary that can predict the future and is thrown into a battle with eleven others where the last survivor becomes God. Sounds pretty sweet, no?
Without a doubt, Future Diary is a gripping series. Needless to say, the story is a mega-bonus for sci-fi/anime fans.
This very dark series has been voted the best anime of all time in Japan. One of the things many dedicated fans find interesting about Death Note is that the protagonist isn’t your typical good guy, like your everyday stereotypical hero.
The fact that this series goes where few others have dared to go in terms of a moral theme is definitely one of the reasons you’ll find this series so enthralling.