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The Best Anime Series of All Time

List Criteria: Japanese animated TV series only

You love anime but what tops this list of the best anime series ever made? The blanket term "anime" in the US can refer to any animation originating in Japan, and specifically differentiates a few aspects of Japanese animation from more Western styles. (This includes the Japanese propensity to feature adult themes and stories in animation, as opposed to Western "cartoons" aimed primarily at children, as well as the exaggerated, fantasy-oriented and colorful style of Japanese animated visuals.) "Anime" can refer either to animated films or TV series, furthering the confusion. (Anime is often incorrectly used to refer to Japanese comic books as well. These are actually known as "manga," though many anime series are based on or inspired by popular manga.) Check out the best anime of 2014 for newer recommendations! 

Anime TV series first found popularity outside of Japan in the 1980s and have continued to find larger and larger audiences in the West. A number of anime shows originating in Japan - such as Cowboy Bebop or Dragon Ball Z - have found enthusiastic audiences for dubbed versions in English speaking countries. (Pokemon, a series inspired by Nintendo's blockbuster series of video games, has been an ongoing hit franchise in both Japan and the US.) The anime style has grown so popular in the US, it has stared to significantly influence the style and aesthetics of American animation. Shows such as Avatar: The Last Airbender, Afro Samurai and Samurai Jack have borrowed heavily from anime in terms of pacing, subject matter, and design.

This list collects the best Japanese anime TV series of all time. American series that have been influenced by anime, such as Avatar: The Last Airbender, are not included.

The Best Anime Series of All Time TV Programs
  • 247 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 17976
    - 6794

    the people's #1 & most listed
    L, Light Yagami, Near

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  2. 2
    + 16323
    - 3923


    Edward Elric, Roy Mustang, Winry Rockbell

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  3. 3
    + 16822
    - 4372

    added by maxryan3003
    Eren Yeager, Historia Reiss, Captain Levi Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人 Shingeki no Kyojin?, lit. "Advancing Giants") is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated byHajime Isayama. The series began

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  4. 4
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    Sakura Haruno, Naruto Uzumaki, Kakashi Hatake

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  5. 5
    + 4396
    - 1882

    often listed
    Yoruichi Shihouin, Orihime Inoue, Ichigo Kurosaki

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  6. 6
    + 12107
    - 4287

    added by Lepticidio
    Asuna, Leafa, Kirito

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  7. 7
    + 12088
    - 5062


    Sakura Haruno, Naruto Uzumaki, Kakashi Hatake

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  8. 8
    + 10093
    - 3522


    Natsu Dragneel, Lucy Heartfilia, Gray Fullbuster

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  9. 9
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    - 4908


    Vegeta, Goku, Android 18

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  10. 10
    + 8485
    - 2632


    Kallen Stadtfeld, Shirley Fenette, C.C.

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  11. 11
    + 9386
    - 3411


    Monkey D. Luffy, Nami, Roronoa Zoro

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  12. 12
    + 7912
    - 2936


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  13. 13
    + 6487
    - 2060


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  14. 14
    + 6161
    - 2839

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Faye Valentine, Spike Spiegel, Jet Black

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  15. 15
    + 5339
    - 2015


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  16. 16
    + 5017
    - 1739

    added by ValedPuud
    Rintarou Okabe

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  17. 17
    + 4714
    - 1593


    Rin Okumura, Yukio Okumura

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  18. 18
    + 3144
    - 992

    added by AdamJones
    Akame Ga Kill

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  19. 19
    + 3348
    - 1945

    often listed

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  20. 20
    + 2934
    - 721

    added by ketan-gupta
    Hunter X Hunter (2011) HUNTER X HUNTER (2011) is the remake of the Hunter x hunter anime series ,which aired in 1999.It is based on the manga ,HUNTERxHUNTER by Togashi Yoshihiro.A Hunter is one who travels the world

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  21. 21
    + 4355
    - 1967


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  22. 22
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  23. 23
    + 3488
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    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks

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  24. 24
    + 3823
    - 1473


    Jin, Mugen, Fuu

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  25. 25
    + 4772
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    often listed
    Ash Ketchum, Misty, Meowth

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  26. 26
    + 3379
    - 1029


    Parasyte

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  27. 27
    + 4934
    - 2416

    often listed
    Goku, Bulma, Piccolo

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  28. 28
    + 3062
    - 1403


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  29. 29
    + 3209
    - 1093


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  30. 30
    + 4572
    - 1855

    added by kesh777
    Sword Arts Online II Better than SAO I, Considered as one of the ten short classics

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  31. 31
    + 3068
    - 1192


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  32. 32
    + 2503
    - 1061

    added by ValedPuud
    Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  33. 33
    + 2740
    - 986


    Masami Iwasawa, Yuzuru Otonashi, Yui

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  34. 34
    + 5046
    - 1592

    added by SensitivePsych0
    Max Thunderman

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  35. 35
    + 3157
    - 1050

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    Shinya Kogami, Nobuchika Ginoza, Shion Karanomori

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  36. 36
    + 2489
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  37. 37
    + 2335
    - 1486

    often listed
    Maximillion Pegasus, Yugi Mutou, Anzu Mazaki

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  38. 38
    + 2189
    - 1086


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  39. 39
    + 2576
    - 1671

    often listed
    Asuka Langley Soryu, Rei Ayanami, Misato Katsuragi

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  40. 40
    + 2513
    - 1144


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  41. 41
    + 2623
    - 1217

    often listed & added by kiaoncelucas

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  42. 42
    + 2428
    - 1194

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Kamina, Yoko Ritona, Simon

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  43. 43
    + 1982
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  44. 44
    + 2743
    - 1041

    added by sophiagubbels
    Kyoya Ootori, Mitsukuni Haninozuka, Haruhi Fujioka

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  45. 45
    + 2801
    - 968

    added by Tatsuki34
    J. Michael Tatum, Brina Palencia, 

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  46. 46
    + 1755
    - 679

    added by kesh777
    Magi Among the ten short classics, with fifty episodes and the best morals there is to offer in its genre, unlike Naruto Shippuden

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  47. 47
    + 1809
    - 592

    added by BrianTwistedSoulHarrison
    Nami, Nico Robin, Roronoa Zoro

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  48. 48
    + 2429
    - 1051


    Korra, Azula, Asami Sato

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  49. 49
    + 1600
    - 742


    Huang, Mao, Yin

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  50. 50
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    added by penmetsa-rahul
    Akeno Himejima, Issei Hyodo, Koneko Tōjo

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