30 Best Anime of All Time

Check the 30 greatest anime series to watch including the latest recommendations and the top classics!

Tanjiro Kamado from Kimetsu no Yaiba:Demon Slayer

There are numerous animations produced and released all over the world every year. Here, anime, which is the Japanese term originating in Japan and especially means the animations made in Japan.

It is said that the first Japanese animation was made and released in 1917. Speaking of the earliest famous anime in Japan, Astro Boy (a.k.a. Mighty Atom) was released in 1963 as the first series aired on TV. Around hundreds of new anime are aired on TV and distributed to the movie streaming platforms and come to the screens every year, and the number of must-watch titles is going on increasing year by year.

The industry of anime has prospered substantially in Japan partly because the country has other Japanese pop cultures such as manga, video games and light novels. Some popular anime are adaptations of manga, video games, light novels and other media. And, anime has flourished worldwide so rapidly since anyone can access the Japanese animations with English dubs and subtitles.

Here are 30 best anime series of all time including both the classic anime franchises and the brand new shows. This greatest anime list will help beginners to find which anime to start watching with in the world or anime fans to decide the next one to try. Otherwise, check the best anime by freak’s standards.

This anime list focuses on TV anime series which Japanese call “anime”, so anime movies such as Studio Ghibli films or Makoto Shinkai’s animations are excluded.

The latest anime list can be found here at Best Anime of 2024, which includes an exciting lineup for the year, ranging from completely new works to highly anticipated sequels of existing popular series. It’s packed with everything from Dandadan and Kaiju No. 8 to Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Season 4 and Classroom of the Elite Season 3.

▽Check these best anime recommendations perfect for you!▽

For Beginners

For Die-Hard Fans

It is not easy to narrow down to only 30 anime and rank them, and there are many others that are worth watching outside this recommendations list, of course.

Let’s start the countdown!

30. Fate

Fate/stay night, based on the game for Windows, was released as the first season of the Fate Series in 2006, followed by its past story Fate/Zero in 2011-2012.

Fate/stay night centers around Shirou Emiya, an amateur mage in Fuyuki City. Unwillingly drawn into the Holy Grail War, a deadly tournament between mages and their summoned heroic spirits, Shirou summons his own Servant, Saber. Together, they must navigate the treacherous war, facing formidable enemies while uncovering the truth behind the Holy Grail’s mysterious power.

From 2014 to 2015, Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, which focuses on the other route of Fate/stay night, aired on TV. The third route titled Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel was released with 3 movies in 2017, 2019 and 2020. The following series Fate/Grand Order started in 2016, followed by its spin-off series Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia and anime movies Divine Realm of the Round Table: Camelot and The Grand Temple of Time: Solomon.

Air Dates: From 2006
Genre: Fantasy, Action
Recommended for Fans

29. Inuyasha

Inuyasha (犬夜叉) is known as Rumiko Takahashi’s popular manga that was published on Weekly Shonen Sunday with 56 volumes totally, and was adapted into an anime. The anime series mainly consists two parts: the first part based on the manga vol.1-36 and the second Inuyasha: The Final Act (犬夜叉 完結編) based on the rest of the original manga story.

Kagome, a 15-year-old girl, is transported from modern-day Tokyo to feudal Japan, where she encounters Inuyasha, a half dog-demon. Together with allies they meet on their journey, like the monk Miroku and demon slayer Sango, Kagome and Inuyasha seek the scattered shards of the powerful Shikon Jewel. As they face various demons and adversaries, their bond grows, all while racing against the clock to complete the jewel before it falls into the wrong hands.

Air Dates: 2000-2010
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Action
Recommended for Fans/Freaks

28. Berserk

The greatest action and dark-fantasy manga Berserk (ベルセルク) was first adapted into the anime series in 1997. The first television series went on air with 25 episodes between 1997 and 1998, made by OLM’s Team Iguchi, which was followed by three movies produced by Studio 4°C in 2012 and 2013. In 2016-2017, the second series consisting of 24 episodes were completed by GEMBA and Millepensee. The original manga series starting its serialization in 1989 had stopped since the manga artist Kentaro Miura passed away in 2021. Surprisingly, it was re-started by Kouji Mori and Studio Gaga from June, 2022.

Set in a sword and sorcery world, Berserk presents a vindictive adventure of Guts, a strong warrior with a large sword known as the Black Swordsman. The 1997 part and movies mainly cover Black Swordsman Arc and Golden Age Arc; the 2016 series focuses on Conviction Arc.

Air Dates: From 1997
Genre: Action, Adventure, Dark Fantasy
Recommended for Fans

27. Chainsaw Man

A new dark-fantasy star Chainsaw Man (チェンソーマン) was just released for anime fans around the globe in 2022. The manga series of Chainsaw Man, written by Tatsuki Fujimoto, started on Weekly Shonen Jump in 2018 and the first part finished in 2020. It re-started with the second part on Shonen Jump+ in 2022. Its first anime series adaptation was made by an acclaimed studio Mappa. The quality of the just-begun anime series is guaranteed based on the good manga story.

Chainsaw Man tells the story of a 16-year-old poor boy Denji, who gets the power to transform into the Chainsaw Devil. As a member of the Public Safety Division, he executes his duty to beat other Devils with his partner Blood Fiend named Power and his Devil hunter supervisor Aki Hayakawa.

Air Dates: From 2022
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Action
Recommended for Fans/Freaks

26. Bleach

Bleach is what both anime beginners and experienced fans should watch, broadcasted with 366 episodes from 2004 to 2012. It was made by a studio Pierrot, based on the popular manga series serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump between 2001 and 2016. The new series Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War (BLEACH 千年血戦篇) covers the rest of the original story from the manga, starting from October, 2022. Depending on the outcome of this new concluding part, it could greatly elevate the anime’s overall reputation.

Bleach, an action-adventure series with a samurai theme, centers on high schooler Ichigo Kurosaki. After inadvertently obtaining the powers of a Soul Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki, he takes on the duty to protect the living from malevolent spirits known as Hollows. Alongside friends who gain unique abilities, Ichigo confronts challenges in both the living world and the spiritual realm of Soul Society.

Air Dates: From 2004
Genre: Action, Adventure
Recommended for Beginners

25. Cowboy Bebop

Between 1998 and 1999, Cowboy Bebop (カウボーイビバップ), which is now one of the most popular Japanese anime among foreign people, was aired in Japan with 26 episodes. This masterpiece was made as an original science fiction by Sunrise.

In the year 2071, a bounty hunter Spike Spiegel and his partner Jet Black travel the galaxy in their ship, the Bebop. As they pursue criminals for bounties, they are joined by Faye Valentine, a mysterious femme fatale with a past she can’t recall, and Ed, a quirky hacker prodigy. The series delves into each character’s backstory, blending genres from noir to western, and features a jazzy soundtrack that’s become iconic.

The only film titled Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (カウボーイビバップ 天国の扉) was released in 2001, in which the crew of the Bebop confronts a major incident on Mars just before Halloween.

Air Dates: 1998-1999
Genre: Action, Science Fiction
Recommended for Beginners/Fans

24. My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia (僕のヒーローアカデミア) is one of the most popular ongoing anime that consists of several seasons while the original manga has been published on the Weekly Shonen Jump since 2014. In 2021, this action series surpassed 100 episodes, and the sixth season aired from 2022 to 2023. The production of the seventh season has already been decided, and the story is now approaching its final phase.

In My Hero Academia, Izuku Midoriya, born Quirkless in a world where superpowers are common, earns the attention of the legendary hero All Might. After receiving All Might’s Quirk called One For All, Izuku enrolls in the prestigious U.A. High School to learn how to be a pro hero. My Hero Academia is also popular among international anime fans since its touch and atmosphere look like an American Superhero comic rather than Japanese anime.

Air Dates: From 2016
Genre: Action, Fantasy
Recommended for Beginners

23. Bocchi the Rock!

I aim to highlight a newcomer of the 2020s in my top 30. Bocchi the Rock! (ぼっち・ざ・ろっく!), an anime centered around the everyday lives of a high school band, aired in autumn 2022. Despite the manga series by Aki Hamaji, which started in 2018, being less known, it has gained global recognition through this anime adaptation by CloverWorks. The first season ended with 12 episodes, and we eagerly await the next.

The protagonist of Bocchi the Rock! is Hitori Goto, a high school freshman who struggles to make friends. Her only hobby is playing the guitar, and one day, she’s invited to join a band by students from another school, Nijika Ijichi and Ryo Yamada. Adding one of students at the same school as Hitori, Ikuo Kita, they form the “Kessoku Band”. Despite the differing personalities within the band, the nervous Hitori grows through a part-time job and live performances.

Air Dates: From 2022
Genre: Slice of life, Comedy
Recommended for Beginners/Fans

22. Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen (呪術廻戦) has been a top manga and anime series since the manga series started its serialization on Weekly Shonen Jump in 2018. The first season of the anime adaptation, produced by the modern Japanese anime studio Mappa, aired with 24 episodes in 2020. Since the end of 2021, the first anime movie Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (劇場版 呪術廻戦 0) has been welcomed by plenty of fans, based on the volume 0 of the manga series. They were followed by the second season covering the Gojo’s Past Arc and the Shibuya Incident arc in 2023.

Jujutsu Kaisen follows Yuji Itadori, a high schooler who inadvertently consumes a cursed object, leading him to encounter sorcerers like Satoru Gojo. Discovering that he’s consumed a piece of a powerful Curse, Ryomen Sukuna, he joins Tokyo Jujutsu High to collect its remnants and protect the living from Curses.

Air Dates: From 2020
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Action
Recommended for Fans

21. Steins;Gate

Quite a few anime lovers look on Steins;Gate (シュタインズ・ゲート) as the best anime in recent years. The sci-fi anime’s 24 episodes were aired on TV in 2011, followed by Steins;Gate 0 (シュタインズ・ゲート ゼロ), the continuation of the story (but the timeline is past), in 2018. The story’s progression can be somewhat intricate, and there’s a chance you might not fully grasp its essence without watching it multiple times, though.

Rintaro Okabe, alongside his fellow Future Gadget Laboratory members, stumbles upon the creation of a rudimentary time machine. As they delve deeper into time travel, they discover its profound consequences, leading to a series of alternate timelines and paradoxes. The group grapples with the ethical dilemmas and threats from shadowy organizations, racing against time to prevent an impending dystopia while wrestling with the personal costs of their discoveries. Many fans of Steins;Gate visit the real-life locations in the town of Akihabara in Tokyo.

Air Dates: 2011-2018
Genre: Science Fiction, Time loop
Recommended for Fans/Freaks

▶︎If you love Steins;Gate, you’ll definitely enjoy these five shows: 5 Best Anime like Steins;Gate

<<Extra Selections>>

There are an inordinate number of excellent anime other than these top 30, which are worthy of remark. For every fan and creator of the amazing contents, I added a little more titles as honorable mentions:

Gintama: The unmatched blend of samurai life and sci-fi absurdity in the bustling city of Edo

A Certain Scientific Railgun: Conflict between Sorcerers and Espers in the Academy City

KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!: The funniest comedy anime set in an Isekai

Code Geass: The antihero story of revenge

Tokyo Revengers: The recent yanki-themed anime mixed with science fiction

Yu-Gi-Oh!: The classic card-game franchise

No Game No Life: Various mind games of the genius protagonists

Gurren Lagann: The good old mecha anime by Gainax

Eureka Seven: The “Boy Meets Girl” in the sci-fi mecha world

-Tokyo Ghoul: A Gritty Tale of Survival and Self-Discovery in a World of Ghouls and Humans

▶️Check more details about those 10 honorable mentions: 10 Great Anime that Missed the Best List

20. OreGairu: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU (やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている。) , which is also known as just OreGairu or My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected, is a popular modern anime series with the genre of slice of life (the setting is based on dailly life). The slice-of-life anime is made into from the light novel that completed with the 17th volume in 2019. The anime series was completed with the final season My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Fin (やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている。完) in 2020.

Hachiman Hikigaya, a cynical and pessimistic high school student, is coerced into joining the school service club. Alongside the enigmatic Yukino Yukinoshita and cheerful Yui Yuigahama, the trio tackles students’ various problems. As they interact, Hachiman confronts his own views on relationships and society, leading to personal growth and understanding the complexities of youth and friendship.

Air Dates: 2013-2020
Genre: Slice of life, Romance, Comedy
Recommended for Fans/Freaks

19. Love Live!

An idol, which means Japanese pop singer groups in Japanese, is now a very popular theme of anime, and Love Live! (ラブライブ!) is the most famous and first anime that assured the establishment of the theme. The two seasons of Love Live! was aired in 2013-2014, and the second title of the anime series was released as Love Live! Sunshine!! (ラブライブ!サンシャイン!!) in 2016-2017. The third series, Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club (ラブライブ!虹ヶ咲学園スクールアイドル同好会), aired 26 episodes in 2020 and 2022, and the fourth series, Love Live! Superstar!! (ラブライブ!スーパースター!!), started in 2021.

Love Live! chronicles the journey of a high school idol group named μ’s (pronounced “muse”) as they come together to save their school from closing due to declining enrollment. Facing various challenges, these nine girls from Otonokizaka Academy unite through music. Their shared dream is to compete in the biggest school idol contest, Love Live!. As they train and perform, the series delves into their friendships, struggles, and individual growth. While Love Live! Sunshine!! focuses on the idol group Aqours, Love Live! Superstar!! centers on Liella!. Each series in the franchise highlights a different idol group. Fans of Love Live! visit the Tokyo’s town Akihabara, which is the mecca of Japanese anime and inspired the production of the anime.

Air Dates: From 2013
Genre: Slice of life, Comedy
Recommended for Beginners

18. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

The slice-of-life anime The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱) is one of the best anime after 2000s. It was initially published as a light novel in 2003, which was adapted into anime in 2006. Before the anime was released, there had been already a large number of fans of the light novel. The first season of the anime never bored them by broadcasting the stories out of order, which were not chronological.

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya delves into the daily life of the SOS Brigade, a school club founded by the eccentric girl asHaruhi Suzumiya. Unbeknownst to most, Haruhi possesses reality-altering powers, yet she is unaware of them. Together with Kyon, the only ordinary human in the group, and other mysterious members, they embark on wild adventures, often driven by Haruhi’s whims and quests for the supernatural.

Air Dates: 2006-2009
Genre: Sekaikei, Slice of life, Comedy, Science Fiction, Time loop
Recommended for Beginners/Fans

17. Detective Conan

Detective Conan (名探偵コナン), which is also known as Case Closed, is a popular ongoing detective anime while the original manga has been published on the Weekly Shonen Sunday since 1994. The anime series started airing 1996, having been loved by both kids and adults since then. It has become an annual tradition to release a new anime film every April. In 2016, over 20 Detective Conan anime films were released. The popularity of Conan’s movies can be attributed to the fact that they are not merely spin-offs, but are closely related to the main storyline.

The high school detective Shinichi Kudo, transformed into a child by the poison APTX-4869, takes on the alias Conan Edogawa to hide from the sinister Black Organization. In his new form, he continues to solve baffling crimes with his brilliant deduction skills, all while seeking a cure for his condition and attempting to take down the shadowy organization that changed his life.

Air Dates: From 1996
Genre: Mystery
Recommended for Beginners

16. Mobile Suit Gundam

In terms of name recognition and history, Mobile Suit Gundam (機動戦士ガンダム) is one of the best Japanese animated series especially for adults, which is also known as a pioneer categorized as mecha and action. The fans around the world commemorated the 40th anniversary of Gundam in 2019.

The first TV series directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino and produced by Sunrise aired between 1979 and 1980, containing 43 episodes. Its re-edited movie edition is divided into three parts released in 1981 and 1982. There are lots of following and spin-off titles in the Gundam series including the early Zeta Gundam and ZZ and the modern Reconguista in GIron-Blooded Orphans and The Witch from Mercury.

Set in Universal Century year 0079 when space colonization becomes a reality, Mobile Suit Gundam presents a conflict between the Earth Federation and the Principality of Zeon. A shy geeky teenager Amuro Ray pilots a giant humanoid weapon called mobile suits to fight against the Principality of Zeon that is led by its Lieutenant Commander Char Aznable.

Air Dates: From 1979
Genre: Mecha, Action, Science Fiction
Recommended for Freaks

15. Violet Evergarden

The famous Japanese animation studio Kyoto Animation released the quality anime Violet Evergarden (ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン) in 2018, which is based on the light novel with 3 volumes. The anime movie Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll (ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン 外伝 – 永遠と自動手記人形 -) was released in 2019 after the TV anime series, and the brand new story Violet Evergarden the Movie (劇場版 ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン) followed the stories as a film in April, 2020.

Violet Evergarden tells the touching tale of Violet, a former child soldier, who becomes an Auto Memory Doll, professional scribes who write letters for those who cannot express their feelings. Through her work, Violet navigates post-war life and begins to understand the nuances of human emotions. As she pens others’ sentiments, Violet also embarks on a personal journey to comprehend the last words her major said to her, unraveling her own feelings in the process.

Air Dates: 2018
Genre: Drama
Recommended for Fans

▶︎If you like Violet Evergarden, try these recommended anime similar to it: 5 Best Anime like Violet Evergarden

14. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day

Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (あの日見た花の名前を僕達はまだ知らない。), often shortened to Anohana, was produced by A-1 Pictures and first aired as a TV anime series in 2011. It is directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai with a screenplay by Mari Okada. Due to its immense popularity, it was adapted into a feature film in 2013, providing additional perspectives and an epilogue to the original tale.

Its story begins with this plot: Jinta Yadomi, whose nickname is Jintan, plays video games instead of attending high school. One day in summer, his childhood friend Meiko Homma (Menma) shows up before Jintan as a ghost though she died in an accident years before. The moving anime is brought to an end with just 11 episodes.

Air Dates: 2011
Genre: Drama
Recommended for Fans

13. Attack on Titan

As one of the best action anime in recent years, Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人) should be listed. It was originally released as a manga in 2009, and the first season of the anime adaption was aired in 2013. In the story, humanity stands on the edge of extinction for being attacked by the titans. The main characters Eren Yeager and Mikasa Ackerman with the other Survey Corps members battle against the titans.

The story of the manga series came to the end in April, 2021. The fourth and final season of the anime series started from the winter of 2020 and will be completed with the final part airing in 2023.

Air Dates: 2013-2022
Genre: Action, Dark Fantasy
Recommended for Beginners/Fans

▶︎For those who can’t resist the charm of Attack on Titan, these similar anime are must-watches: 5 Best Anime like Attack on Titan

12. Ghost in the Shell

The legendary cyberpunk anime series Ghost in the Shell (攻殻機動隊) was originally released in 1995 as an anime film directed by Mamoru Oshii, which was followed by the first season of the TV anime series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (攻殻機動隊 STAND ALONE COMPLEX) under the direction of Kenji Kamiyama.

The setting of the anime is Japan in the parallel world after 2030 where the science technology is highly developed. In this anime, Public Security Section 9 including the main member Major Motoko Kusanagi works to prevent crimes. The new title of the series Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045 (攻殻機動隊 SAC_2045) with full 3DCG was released with 24 episodes exclusively on Netflix all over the world in 2020 and 2022.

Air Dates: From 2002
Genre: Science Fiction, Cyberpunk
Recommended for Freaks

▶︎Cherish the moments in Ghost in the Shell? Relive similar emotions with these series: 5 Best Manga and Anime like Ghost in the Shell

11. Dragon Ball

Many anime fans associate the most famous action anime with Dragon Ball (ドラゴンボール), which started to be aired in 1984. Dragon Ball is originally made as the Weekly Shonen Jump manga by Akira Toriyama. The first part of Dragon Ball, consisting of 153 episodes, was followed by its sequel and the most famous series Dragon Ball Z (ドラゴンボールZ) with 291 episodes. As a brand new story, Dragon Ball GT (ドラゴンボールGT) was released between 1996 and 1997. And, the latest title Dragon Ball Super (ドラゴンボール超) was broadcasted with 131 episodes from 2015 to 2018.

Dragon Ball follows young Goku as he embarks on quests to find the seven magical Dragon Balls. As he matures, Dragon Ball Z shifts focus to Goku’s adult life, introducing the Saiyan heritage and fierce adversaries like Frieza, Cell, and Majin Buu. With intense battles, it explores themes of friendship, sacrifice, and redemption, while chronicling the adventures of Goku’s son, Gohan, and the next generation.

Air Dates: From 1984
Genre: Action, Adventure
Recommended for Beginners

▶︎Dragon Ball lovers, dive into another adventure with these anime: 5 Best Anime like Dragon Ball

10. Death Note

The mystery and horror anime Dearth Note (デスノート), based on the manga published on the Weekly Shonen Jump from 2003 to 2006, is highly rated by both domestic and international anime fans. It is so popular worldwide partly because the anime is completed with the relatively short story (37 episodes) in addition to the well-elaborated storyline.

In Death Note, high school student Light Yagami stumbles upon a mystical notebook with the power to kill anyone whose name is written within its pages. Possessed by a desire to reshape the world, Light adopts the alias Kira and starts eradicating wrongdoers. This sparks an intense, strategic cat-and-mouse chase with the enigmatic detective known only as L.

Air Dates: 2006-2007
Genre: Mystery
Recommended for Beginners/Fans

▶︎Looking for something similar to Dearth Note? Don’t miss out on these recommended selections: 5 Best Anime like Death Note

9. Pokémon

Pokémon (ポケモン) is one of the most popular Japanese anime and games around the globe now, and it was first aired in Japan as the Japanese title Pocket Monsters (ポケットモンスター) in 1997.  New titles have been broadcasted every time a new game is released. The first series centering on the protagonist Ash concluded with Pokémon Journeys: The Series in 2023, and the new part titled Pokémon Horizons: The Series, which following the new main characters Liko and Roy, just began.

In the long-running anime series Pokémon, young Ash embarks on a journey with his trusty companion, Pikachu. Along the way, they meet a diverse group of friends and face countless challenges in the quest to become a Pokémon Master. From battling Gym Leaders to participating in regional tournaments and thwarting the schemes of the nefarious Team Rocket, Ash’s adventures span multiple regions, introducing audiences to a vast world of unique and captivating Pokémon species.

Air Dates: From 1997
Genre: Kids, Family, Adventure
Recommended for Beginners

▶︎If Pokémon is your cup of tea, then you should sip on these anime like it: 5 Best Anime Series like Pokémon

8. Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World-

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- (Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活), which is also called just Re:Zero, is looked on as one of the best Japanese anime and light novels released in the 2010s. The season 1 started with 25 episodes in 2016; the newly-edited version was aired from the beginning of 2020. The season 2 of Re:Zero was broadcasted with 25 episodes during 2020 and 2021. The next season’s production has been already confirmed.

In Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World-, Subaru Natsuki unexpectedly finds himself in a different world, devoid of any typical Isekai protagonist powers. However, he possesses a unique and burdensome ability: Return by Death, which resurrects him to a specific point each time he dies. His fate intertwines with Emilia, a silver-haired half-elf, and together they face dark and twisted challenges in this new world.

Air Dates: From 2016
Genre: Isekai, Adventure, Dark Fantasy, Time loop
Recommended for Fans/Freaks

7. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

The popular manga and anime franchise JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (ジョジョの奇妙な冒険) has long captivated fans around the world with its unique character development and distinctive dialogue. The manga series tarted to be published from 1987 with its first part Phantom Blood and its latest and ninth part The JoJoLands just began in 2023. It has been adapted into the coolest anime series by David Production since 2012. Lately, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 6: Stone Ocean (ストーンオーシャン) was produced as the fifth season and aired with 38 episodes from 2022 to 2023. Like its predecessors in the series, it has received widespread acclaim.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure chronicles the intense, supernatural escapades of the Joestar family across generations. While each part introduces a different protagonist from the lineage, they all bear the distinct JoJo moniker. Whether confronting vampires, Stand users, or other mystical foes, the Joestar legacy is marked by their undying spirit, unique abilities, and a shared destiny of battling evil.

Air Dates: From 2012
Genre: Adventure, Action, Fantasy
Recommended for Fans/Freaks

▶︎JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure enthusiasts often find these anime equally captivating: 5 Best Manga and Anime like JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

6. Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン), directed by Hideaki Anno, is worldly known as one of the symbols of Japanese anime in 1990s. Following the 26 episodes aired from 1995-1996, anime movies Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death and Rebirth (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン劇場版 シト新生) and The End of Evangelion (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン劇場版 Air/まごころを、君に) were released in 1997, reconfiguring the original series.

The series’ presence remains significant even today, with Hideaki Anno remaking it into four anime movies under the title Rebuild of Evangelion. The movies include Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (ヱヴァンゲリヲン新劇場版:序) in 2007, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (ヱヴァンゲリヲン新劇場版:破) in 2009, Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (ヱヴァンゲリヲン新劇場版:Q) in 2012 and Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 (シン・エヴァンゲリオン劇場版:||) in 2021. These weren’t mere remakes; they concluded with the addition of an entirely new storyline.

Neon Genesis Evangelion delves into the lives and psychological struggles of four teenagers: Shinji Ikari, Rei Ayanami, Asuka Langley Soryu, and Kaworu Nagisa. Set in a post-apocalyptic Tokyo, these young pilots are humanity’s last defense against mysterious beings known as Angels. Operating massive humanoid robots called Evangelions, provided by the covert organization NERV, they not only confront external threats but also grapple with personal traumas, relationships, and the blurred line between human and machine.

Air Dates: 1995-1996
Genre: Mecha, Action, Fantasy
Recommended for Beginners/Fans

▶︎Can’t get enough of Neon Genesis Evangelion? Give these similar anime a shot: 5 Best Manga and Anime like Neon Genesis Evangelion

5. Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist (鋼の錬金術師), which is abbreviated to Hagaren in Japanese, is a well-known Japanese sci-fi anime worldwide. This anime is divided into two different anime: Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. The former Fullmetal Alchemist was broadcasted before the manga series did not finish the story, which means its story is different from the manga series. On the other hand, the manga’s story is truly depicted in the latter Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, which is highly recommended to watch.

The alchemist brothers Edward and Alphonse loses a part or the whole of their body by violating a taboo: Using alchemy to try to revive their dead mother. And, they start traveling to find the way to retrieve their bodies. During the journey, they meet a variety of State Alchemists and vicious opponents Homunculi. You can enjoy fierce battles between them as well as moving episodes related to what is life.

Air Dates: 2003-2010
Genre: Adventure, Science Fiction, Dark Fantasy
Recommended for Beginners/Fans

▶︎Those who appreciate Fullmetal Alchemist might also find these similar titles to their liking: 7 Best Anime like Fullmetal Alchemist

4. One Piece

What is the most famous and top-selling ongoing manga and anime is One Piece (ワンピース) without a doubt. The first volume of the manga was published in 1997, and there are now over 100 volumes sold around the world. The anime adaption began two years later after the first manga was released, and over 1,000 episodes have been aired since then. The whole story of One Piece can be divided into about 10 parts, and beginners can enjoy it even if they start anywhere.

It proceeds with the adventures of the main character Monkey D. Luffy and his crews in the pirates world. He sets sail on the sea in search of the ultimate treasure called “One Piece”. There are Devil Fruits in the world of One Piece, which grant a superpower to those who eat one while the fruits unable them to swim. Powerful fight scenes between the Devil Fruits eaters including Luffy are stunning.

Air Dates: From 1999
Genre: Adventure, Action, Fantasy, Drama
Recommended for Beginners/Fans

▶︎Fans of One Piece often rave about these similar series as well: 5 Best Anime like One Piece

3. Clannad

The third position of the best anime list may satisfy many Japanese anime fans, however, some foreign people may be surprised at it since Clannad (クラナド) is less known worldwide. Clannad is one of the Kyoto Animation’s masterpieces, which is recommended for any kind of anime fan. There is no action scene or supernatural event in this anime, but human drama is represented sensitively.

There are two parts in the anime: Clannad in 2007-2008 and Clannad After Story in 2008-2009. The story follows the daily life of the main character Tomoya and the heroine Nagisa in the high school. It reaches the climax in the second half of the anime, and touching episodes move you. It is totally worth spending the amount of time for 44 main episodes.

Air Dates: 2007-2009
Genre: Drama, Slice of life
Recommended for Beginners/Fans/Freaks

2. Naruto

Naruto (ナルト), the greatest anime with the theme of Ninja, was initially released as the Weekly Shonen Jump manga by Masashi Kishimoto in 1999 and run until 2014. The anime Naruto series was completed in 2017 after no less than 15 years, consisting of two titles: Naruto (NARUTO -ナルト-) aired in 2002-2007 and Naruto: Shippuden (NARUTO -ナルト- 疾風伝) aired in 2007-2017.

The setting of Naruto is the fictional world of Shinobi (Ninja), and the ineffective boy Naruto is growing by the help of many friends and masters there. Naruto and other Ninja characters battle with various Ninja techniques using the chakra energy.

Lots of anime’s essentials such as strong bonds with friends and family, betrayal and parting are represented in this anime. Many anime fans may pick out Naruto as the top of anime especially for foreign people, and it deserves it. Nevertheless, Naruto yields the top position to a certain new anime being released.

Air Dates: 2002-2017
Genre: Adventure, Action, Fantasy
Recommended for Beginners/Fans

▶︎If you love Naruto, you’ll definitely enjoy these similar recommendations: 5 Best Anime like Naruto

1. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

The advent of a shockingly quality anime surprised experienced fans all over the world in 2019. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (鬼滅の刃) is adapted into an anime from the manga by Koyoharu Gotoge, which was serialized on the Weekly Shonen Jump from 2016. The first season of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba with 26 episodes was welcomed by both fans of the manga and people who had not read it.

It is set in the Taisho period (1912-1926) in Japan where demons exist with human beings. The main character Tanjiro Kamado finds his family is killed by the attack of demons and only his sister Nezuko is changed into a demon. He decides to become a demon slayer to restore her to a human.

This anime includes every important part for an excellent anime from the main character’s purity and growing to friends with the spirit of brotherhood and respect for any characters. The battle scenes between demon slayers with swords and unique demon characters are intense, which is beautifully drawn. Each character’s past and background including even demons is respectfully depicted in this anime.

It is followed by the sequel story Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train (劇場版 鬼滅の刃 無限列車編) released in October, 2020. At the same time as the second season of the TV series Entertainment District Arc finished in February in 2022, it was announced that the production of the season 3 Swordsmith Village Arc was decided. This franchise has not completed yet, but it is safe to say that Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba will grow to represent the best anime in Japan and around the world.

Air Dates: From 2019
Genre: Drama, Action, Adventure, Dark Fantasy
Recommended for Beginners/Fans

▶︎If you like Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, try these recommendations: 5 Best Anime like Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

This best anime list covers from the classic series to the ongoing new faces including the latest trends. I did the best to be objective as much as possible to complete the ultimate ranking that helps many fans to understand the lineup of quality works and to find the one to watch next. As the advent of nicer one, this best anime’s position is changing.

*This article was published in March, 2020. It was updated on December, 2023, with my latest selections.

For those who became interested in Japan through anime and are considering a trip to Japan, start by checking out this Japan Bucket List: 30 Best Things to Do in Japan Now. In addition, from anime shops to exhibitions and museums, I’ve also compiled a list of must-visit places in Japan for anime enthusiasts: 10 Best Anime Spots in Japan.

▽This is the list of the best latest anime series of 2024!▽

And, if you are wondering how to watch the lineup above, Netflix is one of the reasonable and useful options. Check the list of must-watches on Netflix below!

For those who like manga, see the best 30 manga list of all time in this article below.

For Studio Ghibli fans, compare your favorite films with this list of 16 best Ghibli movies below!

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