Anime Underground The Best Anime Series of All Time  

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List Rules Japanese animated TV series only

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. 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 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
77,911 37,083
Death Note is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Death Note The fictional universe that contains the anime, manga and television films that deal with the world of Death Note.

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2
74,064 27,981
Attack on Titan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Star Takeda added Attack on Titan 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

3
64,827 21,351
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherho... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood 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

4
65,695 25,797
Naruto Shippūden is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Star Takeda added Naruto Shippuden 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
52,926 24,526
Naruto is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Naruto Naruto is a 2002 TV program written by Masashi Kishimoto and directed by Hayato Date.

6
53,043 24,900
Dragon Ball Z is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Dragon Ball Z 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
47,633 20,853
Fairy Tail is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Star Takeda added Fairy Tail 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
37,519 22,252
Sword Art Online is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Lepticidio added Sword Art Online 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

9
36,868 20,525
Bleach is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Star Takeda added Bleach 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 —a ...more

10
34,770 14,692
Code Geass is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Code Geass 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

11
43,170 16,003
One Piece (US) is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time

12
35,828 9,376
Tokyo Ghoul is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time

13
30,377 12,996
Fullmetal Alchemist is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Fullmetal Alchemist 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

14
31,732 11,520
Hunter × Hunter is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Star Takeda added Hunter x Hunter 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

15
24,775 12,041
Cowboy Bebop is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Cowboy Bebop 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

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16
26,301 4,560
One Punch Man is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
OnePunch Man One Punch Man is an online comic strip by One.

17
23,243 8,891
Blue Exorcist is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Blue Exorcist Blue Exorcist is a manga written and illustrated by Kazue Katō. The manga has been serialized in Jump Square magazine by Shueisha since April 2009, with individual chapters collected into ...more

18
20,232 9,785
Soul Eater is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Soul Eater Soul Eater is a manga series written and illustrated by Atsushi Ōkubo. Set at the "Death Weapon Meister Academy", the series revolves around three teams, each consisting of a weapon ...more

19
19,231 8,743
Steins;Gate is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
ValedPuud added Steins;Gate

20
19,729 7,574
Akame ga KILL! is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
AdamJones added Akame Ga Kill

21
17,535 6,875
No Game No Life is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time

22
18,018 4,823
Seven Deadly Sins is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
The Seven Deadly Sins Among the ten short classics with a damn dose of action

23
17,289 6,360
Parasyte: The Maxim is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time

24
16,837 8,844
InuYasha is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
InuYasha 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

25
21,428 12,471
Pokémon is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Pokémon 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

26
15,370 7,498
Samurai Champloo is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Samurai Champloo 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

27
14,786 4,241
Noragami is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time

28
12,254 6,653
Rurouni Kenshin is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Rurouni Kenshin Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story, also known as Rurouni Kenshin and Samurai X, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Nobuhiro Watsuki. The story begins during the ...more

29
20,229 10,897
Sword Art Online II is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Sword Art Online II Better than SAO I, Considered as one of the ten short classics

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30
16,551 8,131
Dragon Ball is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Dragon Ball Dragon Ball is a Japanese anime television series produced by Toei Animation. It is an adaptation of the first 194 chapters of the manga of the same name created by Akira Toriyama, which were ...more

31
11,430 7,010
Trigun is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time

32
11,435 5,011
Fate/Zero is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Fate/Zero Fate/Zero is a light novel by Gen Urobuchi, illustrated by Takashi Takeuchi, and is a prequel to Type-Moon's visual novel, Fate/stay night. The first volume was released on December 29, 2006, ...more

33
11,005 5,707
Yu Yu Hakusho is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time

34
11,790 6,420
Elfen Lied is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
ValedPuud added Elfen Lied

35
11,394 5,911
Highschool of the Dead is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
kiaoncelucas added High School of the Dead Highschool of the Dead is a Japanese manga series written by Daisuke Satō and illustrated by Shōji Satō. The story follows a group of high school students caught in the middle of a zombie ...more

36
12,148 5,176
Psycho-Pass is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
SensitivePsych0 added Psycho-Pass Psycho-Pass is a Japanese anime television series that was produced by Production I.G, directed by Naoyoshi Shiotani and written by Gen Urobuchi. The series was aired on Fuji TV's Noitamina ...more

37
11,017 2,738
Assassination Classroom is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time

38
13,833 4,994
Black Butler is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Tatsuki34 added Black Butler J. Michael Tatum, Brina Palencia,  Black Butler is a manga written and illustrated by Yana Toboso. Since its debut on September 16, 2006, it has been serialized in Square Enix's shōnen manga magazine Monthly GFantasy. The series ...more

39
9,588 3,644
Ranker Video
Magi Among the ten short classics, with fifty episodes and the best morals there is to offer in its genre, unlike Naruto Shippuden Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic is a 2012 TV anime series written by Hiroyuki Yoshino and directed by Koji Masunari.

40
11,996 4,920
The Future Diary is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
The Future Diary Future Diary is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Sakae Esuno. It depicts a battle royale in which each combatant has a diary with entries from the future. The manga was ...more

41
11,049 5,031
Angel Beats! is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Star Takeda added Angel Beats! Angel Beats! is a 13-episode Japanese anime television series produced by P.A.Works and Aniplex and directed by Seiji Kishi. The story was originally conceived by Jun Maeda, who also wrote the ...more

42
11,738 4,652
Ouran High School Host Club is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Star Takeda added Ouran High School Host Club Ouran High School Host Club is a manga series by Bisco Hatori.

43
12,059 3,609
Fairy Tale is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Fairy Tale Fairy Tale is a Canadian LGBT dating television series. Hosted by Nelson Tomé and produced by Canadian media company Hiltz Squared Media Group, the program premiered on PrideVision in ...more

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44
8,979 5,338
Neon Genesis Evangelion is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Neon Genesis Evangelion Neon Genesis Evangelion, commonly referred to as Evangelion or Eva, is a Japanese animated television series produced by Tatsunoko Productions and Gainax and directed by Hideaki Anno. It was ...more

45
9,699 4,529
Hellsing is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time

46
9,440 4,306
Berserk is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Berserk Berserk is a 1997 anime series adaptation of the dark fantasy manga series of the same name written and illustrated by Kentaro Miura.

47
9,347 4,375
High School DxD is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
penmetsa-rahul added High School DxD High School DxD is an anime television series.

48
8,418 4,326
Gurren Lagann is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Gurren Lagann Gurren Lagann, known in Japan as Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, is a Japanese mecha anime television series animated by Gainax and co-produced by Aniplex and Konami. It ran for 27 episodes on ...more

49
8,572 2,761
Devil is a Part-Timer! is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
PhillipAdams added The Devil is a Part-timer

50
10,668 5,902
Avatar: Legend of Korra is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Avatar: Legend of Korra Book One: Air is the first season of the U.S. animated TV series The Legend of Korra created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. Consisting of twelve episodes, it was initially ...more