Anime Underground The Best Anime Series of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
4.4M votes 484.3k voters 8M views 1,019 items

List Rules Japanese animated TV series only

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, Ranker may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.
Ranker Video Best Anime Series Of All Time

You love anime but what tops this list of the best anime series ever made? Top anime series include shows like Death Note, Attack on Titan, and so much more. Plus, with so much new anime debuting each year, the list of best anime will only grow. 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. For example, the top comedy animes can be be much more explicit in their humor. 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 popular 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. Forget a top 10 anime list- ours has over 200 entries!

list ordered by

1
128,718 73,795
Death Note is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Death Note is a Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. The story follows Light Yagami, a high school student who stumbles across a mysterious ...more

2
113,313 42,398
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherho... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an anime adaptation of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga by Hiromu Arakawa. Developed by Bones, the series is directed by Yasuhiro Irie and written by Hiroshi ...more

3
123,359 56,190
Attack on Titan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Star Takeda added Several hundred years ago, humans were nearly exterminated by giants. Giants are typically several stories tall, seem to have no intelligence, devour human beings and, worst of all, seem to do ...more

4
120,891 46,432
Naruto Shippūden is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Star Takeda added Naruto Shippuuden is the continuation of the original animated TV series Naruto.The story revolves around an older and slightly more matured Uzumaki Naruto and his quest to save his friend ...more

5
94,573 45,594
Naruto is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Naruto is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. It tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, an adolescent ninja who searches for recognition from his peers and the ...more

6
91,293 46,023
Dragon Ball Z is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Dragon Ball Z is a Japanese anime television series produced by Toei Animation. Dragon Ball Z is the sequel to the Dragon Ball anime and adapts the last 325 chapters of the original 519-chapter ...more

7
83,231 41,836
Fairy Tail is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Star Takeda added Fairy Tail is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiro Mashima. It has been published in Weekly Shōnen Magazine since August 2, 2006, and has been published by Kodansha in 48 ...more

8
79,565 30,825
One Piece (US) is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time

9
70,529 49,156
Sword Art Online is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Lepticidio added Sword Art Online is a Japanese light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec. The series takes place in the near-future and focuses on various virtual reality MMORPG ...more

10
63,412 37,026
Bleach is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Star Takeda added Bleach is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Tite Kubo. Bleach follows the adventures of the hotheaded teenager Ichigo Kurosaki after he obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper from ...more

11
58,098 28,195
Code Geass is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, often referred to as simply Code Geass, is a Japanese anime series created by Sunrise, directed by Gorō Taniguchi, and written by Ichirō Ōkouchi, with ...more

12
61,608 21,442
Hunter × Hunter is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Star Takeda added Hunter × Hunter is a 1999 television series and is part of the Hunter × Hunter media franchise. The story focuses on a young boy named Gon Freecss, who one day discovers that the ...more

13
72,360 20,619
Tokyo Ghoul is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Tokyo Ghoul is a Japanese dark fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Sui Ishida. The story follows Ken Kaneki, a college student who barely survives an encounter with Rize Kamishiro, ...more

14
43,563 22,426
Cowboy Bebop is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Cowboy Bebop is a 1998 Japanese anime series developed by Sunrise featuring a production team led by director Shinichirō Watanabe, screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshihiro ...more

15
50,906 23,628
Fullmetal Alchemist is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Fullmetal Alchemist is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. It was serialized in Square Enix's Monthly Shōnen Gangan magazine between August 2001 and June 2010; the ...more

16
48,938 12,099
The Seven Deadly Sins is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Among the ten short classics with a damn dose of action The Seven Deadly Sins (Netflix, 2014) is a Japanese animated series based on the manga by Nakaba Suzuki. A once-active group of knights called the Seven Deadly Sins must band together to defeat ...more

17
41,607 18,471
Blue Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Blue Exorcist is a manga written and illustrated by Kazue Katō. The series was adapted into an anime television series during 2011. The story revolves around Rin Okumura, a teenager who ...more

18
33,418 17,191
Steins;Gate is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
ValedPuud added Steins;Gate is a 2011 anime series created by the animation studio White Fox, based on 5pb. and Nitroplus's video game of the same name. It is set in 2010, and follows Rintaro Okabe, who ...more

19
35,300 16,183
Akame ga KILL! is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
AdamJones added Akame ga Kill! is a Japanese shōnen manga series written by Takahiro and illustrated by Tetsuya Tashiro. An anime television series adaptation of the main series premiered in Japan in July 2014. ...more

20
34,880 18,149
Soul Eater is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Soul Eater is a manga series written and illustrated by Atsushi Ōkubo. The series revolves around three teams, each consisting of a weapon meister and weapon that can transform into a humanoid.

21
34,454 14,072
No Game No Life is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
No Game No Life is a light novel series by Yū Kamiya. Sora and Shiro are two hikikomori step-siblings who are known in the online gaming world as Blank, an undefeated group of gamers. One day, ...more

22
38,564 23,867
Pokémon is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Pokémon, abbreviated from the Japanese title of Pocket Monsters, is a long running Japanese children's anime television series, which has been adapted for the international television ...more

23
31,417 12,819
Parasyte: The Maxim is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Parasyte is a science fiction horror manga series written and illustrated by Hitoshi Iwaaki, and published in Kodansha's Afternoon magazine from 1988 to 1995. Parasyte centers on a male ...more

24
25,143 13,831
Samurai Champloo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Samurai Champloo is a Japanese anime series developed by Manglobe. It featured a production team led by director Shinichirō Watanabe, character designer Kazuto Nakazawa and mechanical designer ...more

25
29,012 16,021
InuYasha is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Inuyasha, also known as Inuyasha: A Feudal Fairy Tale, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi. It premiered in Weekly Shōnen Sunday on November 13, 1996 and ...more