The Best Anime Series of All Time TV Programs
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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.

  • 59 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 3281
    - 1360

    most listed

    ) open
  2. 2
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    - 860

    the people's #1
    Rie Kugimiya, Nana Mizuki, Minami Takayama

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 3059
    - 606

    added by maxryan3003
    Attack On Titan 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

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 1518
    - 855


    Megumi Hayashibara, Norio Wakamoto, Kōichi Yamadera

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 2558
    - 1030


    Colleen O'Shaughnessey, Junko Takeuchi, Wil Wheaton

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 2731
    - 1176


    Mayumi Tanaka, Naoko Watanabe, Masako Nozawa

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 1941
    - 1061

    often listed

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 1977
    - 975


    Rie Kugimiya, Dameon Clarke, Toru Ohkawa

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 1847
    - 569


    Kikuko Inoue, Jōji Nakata, Fumiko Orikasa

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 1867
    - 680


    Daisuke Namikawa, Kouichi Toochika, Katsuyuki Konishi

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 2327
    - 816


    Nana Mizuki, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Kazuhiko Inoue

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 2068
    - 585

    added by Lepticidio
    Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Kōichi Yamadera, Hiroaki Hirata

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 1879
    - 817


    Luci Christian, Brina Palencia

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 1019
    - 303


    Junko Takeuchi, Hiroki Takahashi, Hozumi Gōda

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 969
    - 647

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Johnny Yong Bosch, Hiromi Tsuru, Aya Hisakawa

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 1378
    - 808


    Mayumi Tanaka, Masako Nozawa, Hiromi Tsuru

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 929
    - 514


    Yoshito Yasuhara, Tomo Sakurai, Mayo Suzukaze

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 1174
    - 502


    Kaori Nazuka, Kouki Uchiyama, Keiji Himeno

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 1024
    - 345

    added by ValedPuud
    Tomokazu Seki, Mamoru Miyano, Yukari Tamura

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 841
    - 669

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Megumi Hayashibara, Takehito Koyasu, Akira Ishida

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 1102
    - 632


    Mamiko Noto, Paul Dobson, Houko Kuwashima

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 855
    - 289

    ranked low on reranks
    Jun Fukuyama, Nobuhiko Okamoto

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 1302
    - 874


    Megumi Hayashibara, Tomokazu Seki, Shin-ichiro Miki

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 892
    - 395


    Ayako Kawasumi, Takehito Koyasu, Akio Ōtsuka

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 841
    - 463
    ) open
  26. 26
    + 578
    - 456

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Akio Ōtsuka, Kōichi Yamadera, Atsuko Tanaka

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 641
    - 362


    Nobuyuki Hiyama, Takako Honda, Kiyoyuki Yanada

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 756
    - 177

    ranked low on reranks
    Tokyo Ghoul

  29. 29
    + 597
    - 245
    ) open
  30. 30
    + 644
    - 372


    Crispin Freeman, Jōji Nakata, Jason Miller

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 504
    - 505

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Steve Kramer, Kari Wahlgren, Dave Mallow

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 482
    - 309

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Toshiyuki Morikawa, Akira Ishida, Akiko Yajima

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 427
    - 405

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Steven Blum, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, Neil Kaplan

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 409
    - 151

    ranked low on reranks
    Yuki Matsuoka, Mai Aizawa, Akira Ishida

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 453
    - 166

    ranked low on reranks
    No Game No Life

  36. 36
    + 470
    - 166


    Parasyte

  37. 37
    + 579
    - 194

    added by SensitivePsych0
    Psycho-Pass

  38. 38
    + 499
    - 185


    Miyuki Sawashiro, Kana Hanazawa, Eri Kitamura

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 669
    - 217

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

  40. 40
    + 561
    - 480

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Andrew Rannells, Junko Takeuchi, Megumi Ogata

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 580
    - 246

    added by sophiagubbels
    Kikuko Inoue, Takehito Koyasu, Mamoru Miyano

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 324
    - 209

    added by Yamato19742014
    Houko Kuwashima, Brian Drummond, Kiyoyuki Yanada

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 454
    - 236


    Hellsing Ultimate

  44. 44
    + 288
    - 269

    often listed & added by Foxtrot
    Tomokazu Seki, Mamiko Noto, Junko Takeuchi

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 508
    - 509

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Aya Hisakawa, Kotono Mitsuishi, Keiko Han

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 313
    - 172


    Clannad: After Story

  47. 47
    + 481
    - 260

    ranked low on reranks & added by kiaoncelucas
    High School of the Dead

  48. 48
    + 236
    - 295

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Megumi Hayashibara, Hirotaka Suzuoki, Kenichi Ogata

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 301
    - 106

    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

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 175
    - 45

    added by AdamJones
    Akame Ga Kill

166 +

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