Do you want to know about the 25 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)!
From Pokemon to Dragon Ball Z to Full Metal Alchemist, there are countless animes available. With themes running the gamut from lighthearted and fun to dark and brooding, fans from all over the world have embraced anime and found one (or several) to match their mood.
In Japan, huge blocks are dedicated to nothing but anime, and fans still want more! Since its conception, many have gone on to become television shows, video games, and full-length movies. Keep in mind that not everyone may agree with our list of 25 best anime of all time, and that’s okay! There are so many animes available with so many themes, we could only choose the top most popular ones. If you feel that a certain anime should be included in our list, let us know in the comments!
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.
Parasyte is a science fiction horror animated series that was written by Hitoshi Iwaaki. The series follows Shinichi Izumi, a high school student who is the victim of a parasite invasion that landed on his hand instead of attacking him.
The idea of this animated series was adapted into two movies in 2014 and 2015. Parasyte is considered to be one of the best-selling manga series of all time and has sold over 25 million copies to date.
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?
Assassination Classroom is a Japanese series written and illustrated by Yusei Matsui. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where the moon has been destroyed by an unknown alien entity.
That entity comes to Earth to destroy it as well, but it is defeated by Koro Sensei, a strange creature who teaches the students in Class 3-E at Kunugigaoka Middle School how to assassinate him so that he may have peace in his final days.
The climax sees Koro-sensei spared and Nagisa coming face-to-face with his own alternate personality that had committed many assassinations over time and was unable to die from them because he had no memories.
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.
Ghost In The Shell
Ghost in the Shell is one of the most successful anime franchises in the world, and even though it has been out for nearly 20 years, it still remains relevant today.
The original manga was published back in 1989 by Masamune Shirow and tells the story of Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg agent, and leader of an elite government task force known as Section 9.
She is assigned to investigate and stop a series of crimes linked to a mysterious hacker known as The Puppet Master. Along the way, she discovers that her own identity has been stolen, and her memories are being manipulated.
Kusanagi’s team includes Batou, her loyal partner; Togusa, an investigator with expertise in forensics; Ishikawa, an intelligence expert; Saito, an expert sniper; Pazu, a field agent; Borma, a technician and researcher; and Aramaki, their commander.
The team works together to uncover the truth behind The Puppet Master. In the process, they come to understand that all of their identities have been compromised by agents from another organization called Locus Solus.
Hunter × Hunter
Hunter × Hunter is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi.
It follows the adventures of Gon Freecss who discovers his father is a hunter. However, his father left him when Gon was quite young, and the story follows Gon’s adventures seeking out his father.
Interestingly, his father is not a typical hunter that hunts animals, he’s more like Indiana Jones in that he goes on perilous journeys to discover new animal species, or unexplored caves, as well as search for rare treasures.
Needless to say, Gon becomes a hunter and goes on an adventure to find his father.
Along the way, he encounters all sorts of strange and fascinating characters and adventures. Hunter x Hunter is one of those immersive animes you can’t stop reading and watching!
Your Lie In April
The critically acclaimed anime series Your Lie in April is a romantic drama that tells the story of a young pianist named Kousei Arima and his mental breakdown after the loss of his mother.
A beautiful violinist named Kaori Miyazono enters his life and helps him get back on track. After he falls in love with that girl and starts to play piano for her, he begins to heal from his past trauma and rediscovers the joys of playing music again.
While it has some sad moments, it remains a heartwarming series that has been praised for its ability to make viewers cry. Moreover, this story is full of surprises, powerful music, broken relationships, and the triumphs that come when people put themselves back together again.
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.
This is one show that has been around for a long time, but it’s still worth going back to. It follows two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who lost their mother.
They decide they want to bring her back by finding the mythical Philosopher’s Stone. But on their journey, they end up destroying their bodies and must use alchemy (the transmutation of one thing into another) to restore themselves.
This show is amazing because it has a great storyline, cool characters, and a different kind of art style that you don’t see much anymore.
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.
Gin Tama AKA “Silver Soul” was written and illustrated by Hideaki Sorachi. Here’s a manga that’s centered around aliens, and follows the adventures of samurai Gintok Sakata.
It was so popular that it was adapted into a tv anime series, as well as a film, and various novels. In 2017, a live-action film was released in Japan by Warner Bros. Pictures.
With more than 50 million copies in print, it is one of the most popular best anime of all time!
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, a manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto, follows the adventures of Naruto Uzumaki. It tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki.
He is an adolescent ninja who constantly searches for recognition from his peers and parents. Naruto’s development from a loud and brash adolescent to a young adult is a focal point in both story and art.
The story is absolutely beautiful and has epic fights combined with deep emotion and unpredictable story changes that will blow your mind.
The series is one of the most popular manga series in history, being ranked as the best-selling manga for many years on an annual basis with more than 250 million volumes sold worldwide.
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.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is one of those animes that weave layers upon layers of fascinating story arcs with mind-bending style and catchy music.
The series includes nine major storylines that captivate and keep the fans coming back for more. So much so that it eventually became a worldwide sensation.
Written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki, it ran from 1987 to 2004, and sold more than 100 million copies, followed by a franchise of video games, novels, TV anime, and even a live-action film.
Needless to say, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has been translated into countless languages for fans all over the world!
If you love anime, then there is a good chance that you have heard about Violet Evergarden. The show aired in 2018, so it is a fairly new show.
But it has the potential to be one of the best anime of all time because it follows such an interesting storyline and the animation is so beautiful and detailed.
This story is about Violet, a female soldier who lost her arms in an explosion during the war and gets artificial arms as a result.
Violet encounters many obstacles as she tries to adjust to society, but she remains strong and determined to accomplish her goals and find her true self along the way.
She learns how to become a strong woman in society through her job of writing letters for those who can’t find the words to express themselves. Her work allows her to bridge the gap between people and allows them to find their true voice.
Pokémon is one of the most popular animes in the world. It spawned countless games, tv shows, and fans of all ages.
What can we say about the legendary adventures of Ash Ketchum and his partner Pikachu? They travel across many regions in hopes of being regarded as Pokémon masters, and you probably already know that.
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.
What makes Future Diary so beloved by fans is its captivating story and characters. The main protagonist is Yukiteru Amano, an introverted, shy high school student whose life takes a drastic turn when he discovers his special Future Diary.
He meets eleven other individuals in similar situations as him, all with their own unique abilities. Together they must use their wits to survive against each other.
Each of them can have their own strategies to be the last one standing. It’s this constant competition between them that adds to the tension and excitement of every episode.
The characters themselves are especially appealing due to their complexity and depth. From the mysterious Deus Ex Machina to Yuno Gasai—Yukiteru’s stalker-like admirer, each person has something about them that makes them stand out from the rest.
Overall, Future Diary continues to be loved by fans around the world for years after its release; it’s got everything one could want from an anime.
The compelling story arcs with likable characters, intense action scenes with amazing animation quality, and a unique premise that keeps viewers guessing until the very end!
Death Note is a very dark series that 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 the Death Note series so enthralling. It’s also why Japan has voted it to be the best anime of all time!