Who decides what are the best anime series of all time? Me? You? Or perhaps it’s a matter of personal taste. There’s so much to consider when putting together a list like this. Like, whether or not to place quality over fan favourites or if the most influential anime series deserves a special place at the top.
After receiving a considerable amount of love (and hate) for my 15 Most Powerful Anime Characters list, I figured I’d give a list of the Top 10 Best Anime Series of All Time a go too.
Watching Anime Series
For many anime fans, they may have inadvertently started with the likes of Dragon Ball Z. The show was wildly popular throughout the ’90s. However, many of those viewers may not have gone on to become long-term fans of the genre. This, too, was almost my story. It wasn’t until over a decade later that I got back into anime through a series of circumstances. I quickly went from being a casual watcher to an avid fan obsessed with the world of anime.
After watching many of the best anime series of all time, and rewatching some of my favourites, I’m fairly confident in providing my take on what I found to be my personal favourites. Even as I type that sentence, I realise that it wouldn’t be of the same opinion for many others, with each fan having their own personal favourites.
Anime, referring to animated productions made in Japan, is said to have first come about more than 100 years ago in 1917. But the popularity of the Japanese art form wasn’t as widespread until the 1960s when the first anime was broadcast on television. This honour belongs to Astro Boy (a.k.a. Mighty Atom). Today, there are 100s of new anime series broadcast every year, only growing in popularity with each passing year.
The Top 10 Best Anime Series Of All-Time
I have a special relation to each of the series selected. Not only did they draw me in, each for their own reasons, but the art styles, voice acting, music and score, difficult themes and thought-provoking nature of many of them are what make them stand out to me. I could, and have, watched each of these shows more than once, with the second watching providing a lot more appreciation for each.
Looking for good anime to watch? We’ve got you.
Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World
Re:Zero starts off simple enough, but quickly turns into a series based on time loops, character development and unique villains. The adventure isn’t linear, and the time loops don’t always follow the expected path once reset.
The lead character, Subaru, is thrown into another world, Isekai, with his adventures kicking off after a chance encounter with the heroine, Emilia. It has quite a lot of comedic undertones, with Subaru, an anime fan, initially trying to predict all that will happen in his surroundings based on his experience watching anime. But things don’t turn out this way for him.
After discovering a notebook capable of killing people when their names are written into it, the series revolves around a highly intelligent high school student, Light Yagami. Death Note is based on a manga of the same name, which ran between 2003 and 2006.
The show is popular largely in part thanks to its mystery and horror genre themes. It’s enjoyed by both Japanese and international audiences. The story is relatively short, spanning less than 40 episodes, making it concise and to the point without deviating too much, which can often happen with extended series.
Naruto the anime series ran between 2002 and 2007, with Naruto: Shippuden airing between 2007 and 2017. The series is based on the Weekly Shonen Jump manga by Masashi Kishimoto released in 1999.
The series revolves around a fictional anime world of Shinobi, where Naruto learns to become a ninja master with the help of his friends and other masters. The Ninja techniques used in battles are derived from chakra energy.
Dealing with topics on strong bonds with friends and family, betrayal and overcoming various situations, the show is an intriguing adventure for the ages. The show is easy to get into, especially for newcomers and is widely regarded by many fans as a top anime deserving its spot on all top 10 lists and, for many, even at number one.
Naruto probably has one of the biggest anime fan bases across the genre.
Rurouni Kenshin: Wandering Samurai
Rurouni Kenshin is an anime based on a wandering swordsman who attempts to put his tormented past behind him. It takes place in Japan’s Meiji era with a glimpse into the life of people during that time. After stumbling upon a struggling martial arts school, he decides to help out, trying to live a simple life but turns out to be anything but.
The series takes on a wide range of topics, but there’s an underlying tone of remaining humble and giving of yourself to help those less fortunate and in need. There are numerous adventures in the series packed with great action with an anime style that pairs brilliantly. It’s just an all-around great story.
Rurouni Kenshin definitely deserves a place on everyone’s top 10 best anime series of all time list.
Ghost in the Shell
In a not-too-distant future, Major Motoko Kusanagi, or simply just Major, and her group of officers as part of the Public Security Section 9 fight high crime around Japan. Ghost in the Shell is set in 2030, where science and technology have advanced allowing humans to become cyborgs with varying abilities to help humanity progress. However, Japanese syndicates have started to use these to their advantage.
Ghost in the Shell has inspired a generation of other anime, TV series and movies thanks to its concepts and art style, directed by Mamoru Oshii. While its live-action movie may not have received similar praise, it remains one of the best anime series of all time.
Steins;Gate is in the top 10 highest ranked anime series of all time across many of the rating platforms. This isn’t the only reason it deserves its spot on my list. Its sci-fi and time-travel themes are one of the best around, across TV and film. The show takes place in Akihabara, Tokyo, which is a location for many fans to visit.
Rintaro Okabe, a university student, discovers time travel, and along with his fellow co-workers at Future Gadget Laboratory, must try to prevent an evil corporation from fulfilling its plans. There are a number of plot twists and surprise moments to keep you tuned in episode after episode.
The anime series is split into two series, Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. The series is based on a manga series, which both shows follow fairly closely at the start. The former, however, proceeded to its end without the manga series having concluded, much the same as Game of Thrones. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is based on the entirety of the completed manga.
After an attempt to revive their deceased mother using alchemy, two brothers are badly inflicted when it goes horribly wrong. The older brother, Edward, loses his arm, while his younger brother, Alphonse, loses his entire body, and takes the form of metal armour to save him from death. Reviving someone from the dead is a huge taboo in the world of alchemy, with serious consequences, as the results prove. They set out in search of the Philosopher’s Stone in an attempt to right their wrongs.
But this is just the start of a wild adventure for the duo. As they leave their small home town, they’re thrust into a world much bigger than them, having to overcome quite a lot of challenges and also to prevent an evil group from also finding the Philosopher’s Stone to achieve their goals.
After a chance encounter, Fuu, a teenage waitress working in a teahouse, rescues two master swordsmen, Mugen and Jin, who have been arrested by the Japanese police after their battle inadvertently result in the death of a son of the local magistrate. At the time, the son was harassing Fuu, who saves the duo as a result of assisting her. She asks the two to accompany her across Japan in pursuit of the Samurai who smells of sunflowers, and this is where the adventure really begins.
The show takes place in Edo-era Japan. What’s great about that is that Samurai Champloo attempts to be historically accurate with the time period, not just in the lifestyles, but also the events that take place, which the characters happen to be indirectly involved in.
It’s an easy-going anime series that’s funny and, at times, over-the-top. But its art style and comedic elements make it an easy watch for first time anime watchers.
Samurai Champloo is also only one of three anime shows my fiancé has indevoured to watch through its entirety. The hip-hop music themes are also relatable, bringing a unique style along with it, to accompany the great sword battles throughout the series.
Darker Than Black
A decade ago, a mysterious anomaly known as Heaven’s Gate appeared over the majority of South America. Soon after, another of these appeared in Tokyo, known as Hell’s Gate, which altered the sky and wreaked havoc on the surrounding area. As a result of this, the stars in the sky disappeared, replaced with fake stars. Each of these fake stars is linked to people who possess special abilities, known as Contractors.
These Contractors have been found and trained by various governments to utilise as spies and assassins. However, whenever they use their abilities, they have to “pay the price”, which comes in various forms, eating excessively, doing self-harm, changing their bodies and the like. The powers come at the cost of their humanity, murdering through objectives and rationale, suppressing any emotional and other human hindrances to stop them from achieving their goals.
Darker Than Black is one of my all-time favourite anime series. It’s highly rated by many but doesn’t often appear on many lists, unfortunately. I love the show and it requires at least two series watches to appreciate all the details and meaning extracted from the show. It may be a relatively short span of episodes, but isn’t an easy watch, especially for any new anime fans. Despite the Contractor’s lack of humanity, Hei, the lead character, is a slight contradiction of this, battling against other Contractors through a group known as the Syndicate.
Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan is the only series on the list that is still ongoing. The series is based on a manga released in 2009 with the first episode airing in 2013. After eight years, the show is in its final season, due to end within the next month or so. The story starts off on Paradis Island, where its inhabitants have built huge walls to protect themselves from attacks from mindless titans.
Things quickly take a turn for the worse when two titans break through the walls, sparking a war that spans almost 13 years from the start of the series. Eren Yeager and Mikasa Ackerman join the Survey Corps as they seek revenge on the titans after destroying their home and eating Eren’s mother. But what starts off as a simple battle against titans, there is a lot to uncover beyond the walls. Having initially thought of themselves as the last humans, there’s even more to discover further across the oceans.
Even beyond the show, there is a lot to unpack. There’s rich lore that has the potential to be explored beyond the show’s episodes, with just as many questions. The plot twists are crazy with bombshells at almost every turn. The voice actors do a great job for both the Japanese and English dubs, making the emotional connection what brings me back for more.
Having watched the series again a second time around, there’s far more to understand. 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. Even with the show coming to its conclusion soon, with quite a lot of lore to still unpack, one can only hope for a prequel series to bring fans back for more.
But wait. There’s more. How can we forget these shows?
I could have easily ended the post with the list of 10. But it may not be fair to some other great anime series. These are great in their own right but just didn’t make the cut for my list.
The series follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, along with his pirate crew. They attempt to find the greatest treasure, left by the legendary Pirate, Gold Roger. The show’s title is derived from this treasure, known as “One Piece.”
The show is beloved by many, and for most fans deserves its spot in the top 10. This is true and I fully agree. But personally, it doesn’t match the connection and personal preference from the shows on my list. Where it loses me, most is the continued run, still running after two decades. That shows its staying power, but where it loses me.
Having been sent back in time some 18 years, 29-year-old Satoru attempts to prevent his mom’s death in his teens, a story that began after a series of kidnappings when he was in the 5th grade.
The show is a slow grind, but worth it. The premise may not be real, but the struggles and emotion displayed by Satoru is very realistic, dealing with themes about society and real-world struggles.
Cowboy Bebop is a story about Spike Spiegel, a futuristic bounty hunter with a laid-back lifestyle, despite his deadly skills in martial arts. Alongside his partners, Jet Black and Faye Valentine (later in the series), they roam across the galaxy in search of a high-priced bounty for fugitives.
The show has an authenticity about it, despite its futuristic themes. The realism is what draws you in and keeps you entertained with action, comedy and a killer score to round things off.
The story is viewed through the lens of a post-apocalyptic future. Here, humans live in peace with AI-powered androids. But things quickly take a turn for the lead, inspector Re-L, after a series of murders, which cause tensions and threaten to dismantle the state of peace.
The story is vivid and feels too real. With quite a lot of focus on philosophical and moral questions we face in the real world, the show deserves to be watched at least twice to grasp all the nuances and concepts it brings to the fore.
One Punch Man
One-Punch Man is a relatively new series, compared to others on the list. With only two seasons having been released, spaced across four years between them, it continues to leave fans wanting more.
The series revolves around a seemingly oblivious hero, Saitama, who does it just for the fun of it. As the title suggests, he is able to defeat his enemies with a single punch.
Dragon Ball Z
A young warrior named Goku, along with his friends, are tasked with defending their planet from an onslaught of attacks from extraterrestrial enemies. But things aren’t as straightforward as it is on paper, with Goku learning that he, too, is from another planet, and a crazy number of twists through the show’s ’90s run.
Most kids growing up in the ’90s would have watched or come across Dragon Ball Z. In South Africa, the was a huge hit, as I recall all my friends rushing home between 4pm and 5pm when the show aired. Whether we were in the middle of a game of football or cricket, the streets would clear. This was the impact of the show, which many still remember fondly today.
And there you have it. That’s my list of the top 10 best anime series of all time. I can imagine that at least five of these shows would be on many lists, with quite a few being challenged.
Hunter x Hunter
For many, Hunter x Hunter is the best series of all time — even if it seems a lot like Dragon Ball. The show ties together themes of power, our connections to each other and our humanity in a story that could feel overwhelming for some.
It tells the story of Gon Freecss, a 12-year-old boy who seeks to reconnect with his long lost father who discovers is a world-renowned Hunter (unique individuals capable of tracking down secret treasures and rare beasts). Along the way, our young hero meets other hunters and encounters the paranormal. But does Gon have what it takes to become a hunter himself?
Voted as the 16th best anime of 2000 in the Animage Anime Grand Prix, both the art and the animation of Hunter x Hunter has been praised by critics and fans.
Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
Visually stunning and critically acclaimed, Sailor Moon revolutionised anime by creating or introducing the Magical Girl Warrior genre (at least to Western audiences). Unlike most magical girls, Usagi and her Sailor Senshi are considered anti-Disney princess characters who use their powers to kick ass and fight for justice. Together they have the ability to save their planets from the evils of the Negaverse.
Even people who have never watched the anime can identify with and know the characters.
Written and illustrated by Sui Ishida, Tokyo Ghoul is a massive favourite of anime fans. It tells the tragic tale of the young and innocent Ken Kaneki. The character manages to pull at the heartstrings of audiences who are able to connect with his identity war. Of course, the promise of violent and bloody battles attracted many more viewers. This one is probably not for younger viewers.
One fan perfectly described Sonny Boy as “an experience. A philosophical, poignant, and inventive experience.” That’s probably the best way to explain it. It’s not like other anime. There’s no slapstick comedy. There are no cheap tricks. Instead of the usual action-packed blockbusters, the show (which is not based on a previous manga, book or video game) takes a number of unconventional twists. It follows the story of a group of students who are transported to an alternate dimension. When they arrive, they discover that they have new abilities — superpowers to help them survive the dimension. Think of it as a sci-fi take on Lord of the Flies.
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, produced by the Japanese animation studio Kyoto Animation and directed by Tatsuya Ishihara, is a milestone in anime history. The anime series follows a high school boy, Kyon, who encounters Haruhi Suzumiya, an erratic girl who has abilities that can alter the very universe. She enlists him to join the SOS Brigade. Many might argue that this is definitely one of the best anime series of all time. It’s full of memorable characters.
Best Anime Series & Movies of All Time According To Fans Around The World
Anime or Japanese animation has made its way to the mainstream market of western media, expanding to video games, comics, movies and even fashion items. Shows like One Piece, Full Metal Alchemist, and Naruto have become staples of the industry. As anime becomes more and more popular (introducing the world to Japanese culture), fans have been arguing about who the most powerful anime characters are. But today, we’ll be looking at the 10 best anime of all time.
The results shown here are not just based on only one person’s opinion, however. Instead, we’ve headed over to My Anime List and compiled a list based on the votes of anime fans from all over the world.
Here is the best anime of all time as voted by you, the fans.
Code Geass follows the story of Lelouch Lamperouge, the black prince of The Holy Empire of Britannia, who uses the power of the Geass to build a world based on his ideals. With this power, he liberates all of Japan and starts a rebellion under the alias “Zero”. Unfortunately for him, he soon finds out that Geass is not only a gift but a curse as well.
Every anime fan knows why Code Geass is known as a legendary series. With its intense fight scenes, captivating storyline, and amazing character designs, it’s no wonder so many fans love it. But what’s more intriguing about this series is its surprising ending.
Go watch the show and see for yourself why Code Geass offers the BEST ENDING in all of anime.
Kimi No Na Wa (Your Name)
Before the Demon Slayer movie, Makoto Shinkai’s Kimi No Na Wa (or Your Name) was probably the most well-known anime film out there.
Offering some of the best animation and art in the genre, especially with regards to the beautiful backdrops, and an amazing soundtrack (with the iconic songs by RADWIMPS), Your Name follows the story of two teenagers who share a profound, magical connection upon discovering that they are actually swapping bodies.
This is a great gateway anime for all you new weebs, and definitely one of the best of all time!
If you thought that Naruto wouldn’t be making the list, you’re clearly not an anime fan. Naruto is one of the staples and an iconic series of the anime industry. It has shaped the childhood of so many fans and gone on to become legendary.
The series and the movies have some of the most relatable and yet diverse cast of characters. Even the villains in the franchise have captivating and emotional backstories.
While it is one of those longer-running series, Naruto is a surefire way to get that big dose of nostalgia.
The Monogatari Series
As confusing as the watch order of The Monogatari Series is, there’s no doubt that this anime series is one of the greats and the best of all time. With the deep themes present all throughout the series, it definitely is for the more dedicated anime fans.
The Monogatari Series is a masterpiece that’ll touch the heart and captivate the soul. The plot is the real selling point of this series. With a lot of mystery, romance, and even supernatural elements all mixed into one show, it is one to look out for.
Spirited Away is another anime film that shaped the childhoods of many fans in the anime community. It was made by the ever-famous Studio Ghibli and has made its mark even in western culture.
With how the art, themes, and story are presented, Spirited Away can be watched by both kids and adults alike.
Jujutsu Kaisen is a bit newer than others on this list but its no doubt that it’s worthy of its spot. The anime series has some of the most memorable fight scenes and the best character designs.
Plus, Jujutsu Kaisen’s portrayal of female characters is also very on-point and it’s a bit rare to see that in most anime.
The gritty and dark storyline also fits in perfectly. The writers are not afraid to kill off characters and shock the viewers to their core.
Jujutsu Kaisen is definitely one of the best anime series of all time.
Attack on Titan
Not only well-known for having one of the most popular anime openings of all time with Shinzou wo sasageyo, but this franchise has also been the talk of most anime fans, especially since studio MAPPA picked up the job for turning the anime to the big screens. Despite the dispute about the change in studio, Attack on Titan has been a hit week by week.
This series will put you on the edge of your chair with its jaw-clenching turn of events.
There’s no doubt that Attack on Titan is one of the best and most epic anime of all time.
One Piece might be one of the longest-running anime series to this day. Hence, the top 3 spot on this list. For a total of 20 years and counting since its launch in 1997, the franchise has been on top of the charts and garnered several awards along the way.
One thing that is commendable about the series is its well-written variety of characters.
Gintama is an all-time favourite when it comes to brightening up the spectrum with its hilarious spills and shenanigans.
It’s a no brainer that this anime takes the second-highest spot as one of the best anime of all time since this is one of the best episodic series there is.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Action, powers, philosophical themes, a rollercoaster ride on relatable human emotions, and the list goes on! Grasping the throne as the number 1 entry is Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
The quest of the Elric brothers in order to reinstate their bodies is a front seat ticket you won’t regret watching. Its play on fantasy worlds and dwelling in the many aspects of the human experience is what shapes the story.
The Best Anime Series On Netflix Right Now
Even with the growing market of streaming services, Netflix is still in the lead after all these years. And one of the main reasons for this is that it has possibly the most varied catalogue out there. Netflix has an incredible list of some of the best anime series of all time available for streaming, including some of the most popular classics, all the way up to the latest releases.
And while it may not be Crunchyroll, the catalogue is excellent. Recently they’ve been adding some new series to the already great list. Not just original series, but also some quintessential series and the more mainstream newer ones too.
According to Bloomberg, the anime market reached $23 billion in 2020 and is expected to increase to more than $36 billion by 2025. Netflix has steadily grown its anime library over recent years, with TV shows like Castlevania, B: The Beginning, and Dragon’s Dogma pulling in large numbers. Now, in order to meet the demand and appeal to audiences in Asia, the streaming giant has announced its plans to expand at the recent Tokyo’s AnimeJapan 2021 Expo:
“We want to be able to pride ourselves as being the top entertainment destination with good quality content,” Taiki Sakurai, Netflix’s chief anime producer, told Bloomberg. “The growth of our business is directly connected to the growth of our anime.”
Here we have a small list of the best anime series on Netflix. So no matter if you’re just getting into anime now, or if you’re a fan, you’ll enjoy this list. There’s action, romance, comedy, and classics you need to watch.
1. Neon Genesis Evangelion
Anyone who uses the internet has at least heard of Neon Genesis Evangelion, and there are some good reasons for this. Even though its original run was of just one year from 1995 to 1996, the show has been expanding ever since.
Through movies, reruns, and more, Neon Genesis Evangelion is much more than just the episodes in the base anime. But you need to watch this if you want to begin to understand it.
Explaining the plot of Evangelion is no simple task so we’ll just say that it’s a mecha anime that deals with complex existentialism and emotional issues. It’s a deep anime where the characters have more than just the threat of angels (yes, angels are the enemies here, and it does deal with religion too).
The influence Neon Genesis Evangelion has had over anime and culture throughout the years is unmeasurable. It’s definitely one of the best anime series Netflix has to offer.
2. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
Yes, this is the Jojo everyone’s been talking about. This is the anime adaptation of a manga that’s been going on for over 30 years now, and it’s been a constant top on the list of popular manga and anime ever since. It’s no coincidence that the anime is just as popular as the manga, if not more. It’s an excellent adaptation with different styles for each arch.
As the name implies, this is a really bizarre show. There’s a little bit of everything — so surely there’s something for you in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Whether you like action anime, mystery, fantasy, vampires, murders, and love stories (kinda), there’s something for everybody here.
3. Demon Slayer
This anime took the world by surprise these past couple of years, and it really came as a breakthrough for anime in the whole world. Even though you could say the story is a little bit cliche, it has all the basics of a good shonen covered. The art and animation are on another level.
In the show, Tankiro is forced to join the Demon Slayer Corps to try and find the cure for the horrible curse that’s taken upon his sister. The family bonds are key here, as well as the morals and tragedy that are involved in this business.
This is definitely one of the best anime series available on Netflix right now, and maybe of all time.
4. Death Note
If you enjoy stories where the main character is a genius and somehow always comes up with a plan, then Death Note is for you. Of course, there’s a twist in here, and that is that the protagonist is actually the bad guy of the story.
Light Yagami is a cynical high school student who ends up receiving a Death Note, a magical book ending with the power of Shinigamis that gives him the ability to kill anyone whose name is written on its pages. Light attempts to use this power to create a new world order with and cleanse the population of evildoers.
5. Gurren Lagann
If you like mecha anime as a genre, Gurren Lagann is the perfect one for you. Not only can you binge-watch the entire show in one day, but it is also one of the most moving, extreme, exciting, and beautiful-looking mecha anime of all time. It has some of the most heartwarming moments mixed with the most intense and crazy mecha fights you’ll see in anime.
6. Mobile Suit Gundam
Mobile Suit Gundam is one of the most commercial anime series in Japan, with so much content that it’s pretty hard to keep track of. It is also THE mecha anime of excellence, so you really need to check them out. But there’s much more than just cool robots and fights in there.
Mobile Suit Gundam is also one of the most profound anime out there, including some excellent political drama, emotional characters and stories, and of course, some of the best action out there mixed with a great plot. You really have to give it a chance.
7. Cowboy Bebop
We have to make clear here we are not talking about the newest live-action adaptation by Netflix here, but the original anime it is based on. Cowboy Bebop is a complex anime however you look at it. Similar to Neon Genesis Evangelion, it features humanism themes, and nihilistic ideas and how they face the world like this.
The bounty hunter team in Cowboy Bebop goes out in space to make a living in different missions, hunting criminals and helping the good guys, mostly. But the personal development and emotional moments of the characters are completely unique.
It has incredible animation and soundtrack too, and you can also binge-watch the entire thing in one sitting if you get into it. And you should really check it out. It deserves a place on any “best anime series on Netflix” list.
8. Devilman Crybaby
A remake of the classic anime by the same name, this Netflix original is an incredible new adaptation of the series. The art style is completely unique, and it goes hand in hand with excellent fluid animation.
The plot is a complex one, even though it is mostly an action anime. It deals with moral questions, humanism, religion, and the consequences of your life decisions. Of course, this all goes inside a fast-paced plot with incredible action scenes. And since it’s quite short, you can binge-watch the entire show in one sitting.
9. One Piece
One of the longest-running anime series ever made, and it is also one of the most popular ones all around the world. One Piece is a key part of the anime industry, as the anime has been going on for over one thousand episodes now. Sure, keep in mind that Netflix has a little over 200 of these available at the moment, but by the time you watch all of them, chances are they’ve already added more, so don’t worry about it.
One Piece is an epic story about Luffy and his quest and life mission to become the King of Pirates. He puts together an ever-expanding crew to face these missions, while also helping them with their own individual quests.
The plot is rich, the superpowers and art are unique and incredible, and it somehow retains the same spirit and energy as it had in the early episodes. One Piece is a truly unique anime and is one you definitely have to give a shot.
10. Dragon Ball Z
This has to be one of the most well-known anime series around the world, the countless references, the iconic designs, and the pop-culture impact is on a completely different level. Dragon Ball is pretty much what people who don’t watch anime think all anime is like. But actually, it’s a great show with excellent action, great characters, and memorable moments. Even the music is quite unique.
In Dragon Ball Z, we follow the story of the Saiyan Goku and the Z Fighters as they face the greatest villains in the universe and save it from destruction time and time again. Each enemy will be stronger than the last one, but some of them may even end up being the greatest of allies.
It is your moment to check it out if you haven’t yet, or if you have, maybe it’s about time to re-watch it.
11. Naruto / Naruto Shippuden
Since we already mentioned One Piece and Dragon Ball Z, leaving Naruto out would be insulting, and it’s that in many ways these three are the biggest and most popular shonen series out there, and for a good reason. They are easily the most iconic anime you’ll find out there, and while they may be a little over mentioned, it’s because they are just so good.
Naruto has some of the best fight scenes in anime, but it also has a good deal of very emotional and complex moments. It deals a lot with friendship and perseverance no matter the circumstance. Naruto Uzumaki has an incredible power within, but he’ll develop it much more with the help of his friends. And he is wise enough to understand that the best way to get stronger is by building friendships and trust.
Emotions, action, memorable moments, incredible music, Naruto has everything. Put this high on your list of best anime series on Netflix.
12. Violet Evergarden
While there’s incredible beauty in the old anime series, it is undeniable that some modern anime has the best art we’ve ever seen in any animated feature, and Violet Evergarden is one of them. The pure beauty of the art and designs in Violet Evergarden can only be compared with the warmth and moving moments of the anime.
Violet grew up as a child soldier in war and even lost her limbs there. But now that the war is finally over and peace has settled, she’s scared physically and mentally, leaving her feeling empty and emotionless. However, she still needs a job, but she’s only ever been a part of the war. So she gets into a business as a letter ghostwriter, where not only she’ll reconnect with her emotional side, but also start to understand herself and her past while connecting with other people.
One of the most unique things about anime is that there’s something for everyone in there, no matter the age or even the genre of the spectator. And there’s a good reason it has become one of the most popular entertainment styles, surpassing more western animation.
While some people think anime is just action, weird hair, and people yelling at each other, the truth is that anime can be more emotional than most live-action shows. There are some incredible life lessons in anime and, of course, there are some incredible action scenes too.
Best Anime Series For Beginners – What Should You Watch First?
So you’ve watched some anime and want to give it a try. But where do you begin? Here are 5 anime series and movies for beginners.
Highschool of the Dead
Think of this anime series as a throwback to every ’80s teenage horror flick you watched as a kid because that’s exactly what it is. It’s a group of horny high school teenagers who find themselves in the middle of a zombie epidemic and have to rely on each other to survive. The show is equal parts comedy and horror, with a good chunk of it being awesome action with bawdy jokes that will surely get you laughing.
High School of the Dead was released in 2010 and it certainly has fun with the genre. It plays on certain stereotypes, approaching the story in a new way while giving you an abundance of crude jokes. It’s only 12 episodes long, which makes it accessible to anime beginners. Plus, the story is fast-paced and doesn’t drag its heels along.
This is definitely recommended for anime beginners.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
While the original Ghost in the Shell has garnered ample amounts of praise and even reached cult status, Stand Alone Complex is a TV series that isn’t quite the remake, sequel or prequel equivalent of the film. As its name suggests, this series stands alone apart from the film. While the film certainly delves deep into the psychology and philosophical ideas of a cyberised world and what that could mean for humanity, Stand Alone Complex gives us a far better idea of whom these characters are and what exactly it is they do.
The anime series never really delves as deep as the film does in terms of its psychology, but for all intents and purposes, the show is much more balanced. If you are someone who likes psychological thrillers like CSI or Dexter, Stand Alone Complex is something that will get your blood pumping and kick your brain into motion.
Attack on Titan
Even beginners will recognise this popular anime series. Known as Shingeki no Kyojin, Attack on Titan, based on a manga of the same name by Hajime Isayama, was released in 2013 and it has amassed substantial praise from fans and critics around the world. One thing that draws most viewers to the title is the fact that this show single handily made giants scary again.
The story is certainly refreshing and pulsating. In fact, the first 5 episodes would make one heck of a film that would keep audiences totally enthralled, mesmerised and wanting more. Hell, the first 5 episodes of the anime are enough for anyone to totally go ballistic. The story moves quickly and is beautifully animated by Wit Studio.
Whether you are an anime fan or not, there’s no way you can watch the first episode and say you are not intrigued. And, after the fifth episode, you would be hooked. Attack on Titan is definitely one of the best anime series of all time.
Watch The Best Anime Series Online: Here Are The Top 7 Legal Sites
Watching anime online has always been a struggle for avid fans of the Japanese animation art form, especially when you’re usually forced to search sites with pesky pop-ups and constant redirects (you know the ones). Surely there must be a way to watch your favourite anime shows online legally?
Here is a list of websites where you can watch some of the best anime of all time online. Heck, some of them are even free!
YouTube (Ani-One Channel)
YouTube has been one of the largest video-streaming platforms on the planet for a couple of years. Luckily, this giant company hosts several channels that stream your favourite anime for free. One of those channels is Ani-One Asia.
Ani-One launched way back in 2019 and aimed to give out free anime to everyone. The channel is owned by Medialink Group.
Series like My Hero Academia, To Your Eternity, and Higurashi: When They Cry are currently being uploaded to the channel.
Not only that, but they also post fun videos such as cosplaying and some other wacky stuff. So if you’re suddenly bored of watching anime online, there’s a lot more in store for you.
YouTube (Muse Asia Channel)
Muse Asia started back in 2019. It was established under the name Muse Communications, which has companies based in Singapore and Taiwan. And the best thing is, everything’s free!
Muse Asia has a lot and I mean a lot of top-tier anime on their channel. Series from Tokyo Revengers to Classroom of the Elite, and even to Assassination Classroom, this channel is surely a giant of its own. It even has Japanese dubs if you’re a weeb that has reached the highest levels.
Funimation was one of the first websites made for watching anime online. Over the years it has grown a lot, especially after airing Dragon Ball, one of the most popular shonen anime of its time.
Not only does Funimation serve as a streaming platform, but they are also one of the leading companies that dub anime in English. This includes Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid and Violet Evergarden.
Amazon Prime Video
Although Amazon Prime Video requires a prime membership of approximately 9$ per month, there is also a 30-day free trial. That’s long enough to gain access and watch its anime content variety. The streaming service has some old classics that the others don’t. These include Cowboy Bebop, Akira, and even new ones such as Dororo.
Another option is Hulu. With a subscription of 10$ per month, the streaming service offers access to dozens of your favourite anime movies or shows.
Some of the most popular anime series available to watch online include masterpieces like Attack on Titan, Demon Slayer, and One Punch Man.
Crunchyroll was established in 2006 is one of the most popular platforms to watch anime online, especially in America. This site is available in 180+ countries and gives users access to thousands of anime for free. There is also an upgrade available to their premium subscription for 7$ to watch ad-free.
You can tell that Crunchyroll is at the top of the food chain as it even has its own awards show.
Look out for anime like Boruto, Darling in the FRANXX, and more!
Netflix needs no introduction. But what most people don’t realise is that the streaming service offers a wide and large variety of anime movies and series. In fact, you’ll find some of the best anime of all time hidden amongst your regular content.