Anime Underground The Best Anime Series of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
4M votes 436.3k voters 7.5M views 1,013 items

List Rules Japanese animated TV series only

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
117,273 65,881
Death Note is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
The fictional universe that contains the anime, manga and television films that deal with the world of Death Note.

2
112,485 50,643
Attack on Titan is listed (or ranked) 2 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

3
102,234 37,707
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherho... is listed (or ranked) 3 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

4
107,906 42,314
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
85,397 41,301
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
83,406 41,777
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
75,477 37,355
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
63,533 43,831
Sword Art Online is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
71,252 27,435
One Piece (US) is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time

10
57,692 33,866
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 —a ...more

11
53,371 25,631
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
54,607 19,486
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
64,720 18,226
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 a deadly encounter with Rize ...more

14
39,690 20,328
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
47,044 21,585
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
30,420 15,541
Steins;Gate is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
37,848 16,709
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 manga has been serialized in Jump Square magazine by Shueisha since April 2009, with individual chapters collected into ...more

18
40,595 10,647
The Seven Deadly Sins is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
31,962 16,572
Soul Eater is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
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

20
32,086 14,667
Akame ga KILL! is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
31,020 12,790
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
34,736 21,447
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
28,388 11,712
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
23,215 12,585
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
28,943 14,189
Dragon Ball is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
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

26
26,756 14,794
InuYasha is listed (or ranked) 26 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

27
26,219 8,573
Noragami is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Noragami is a Japanese manga series by Adachitoka. An anime television series adaptation by Bones aired in Japan beginning from January 5, 2014 to March 23, 2014, with a total of 12 episodes. ...more

28
25,287 6,542
Assassination Classroom is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time

29
17,307 11,515
Trigun is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Trigun is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yasuhiro Nightow. Both manga were adapted into an anime television series in 1998. Trigun revolves around a man known as "Vash ...more

30
17,404 9,801
Yu Yu Hakusho is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Yu Yu Hakusho is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi. Yu Yu Hakusho follows Yusuke Urameshi, a 14-year-old street-brawling delinquent who, in an uncharacteristic ...more

31
18,105 10,791
Rurouni Kenshin is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
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

32
18,833 9,086
Psycho-Pass is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
SensitivePsych0 added 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

33
17,950 8,919
Fate/Zero is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
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

34
31,303 19,728
Sword Art Online II is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Better than SAO I, Considered as one of the ten short classics Sword Art Online is a Japanese light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec. An anime television series produced by A-1 Pictures, known simply as Sword Art Online. In ...more

35
17,813 10,955
Elfen Lied is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
ValedPuud added Elfen Lied is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Lynn Okamoto. Elfen Lied takes place in Kamakura and Kanagawa, and focuses on the "Diclonius", a newly mutated species. ...more

36
20,337 8,978
Future Diary is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
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

37
16,690 8,504
Angel Beats! is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Star Takeda added 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

38
15,751 6,933
Ranker Video
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.

39
17,580 10,603
Highschool of the Dead is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
kiaoncelucas added 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

40
19,705 1,612
My Hero Academia is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
My Hero Academia is a 2016 anime series based on the superhero manga series Boku no Hīrō Akademia, written by Kōhei Horikoshi. Izuku Midoriya is a regular middle school student in a world where ...more

41
20,943 8,921
Black Butler is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Tatsuki34 added 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

42
13,770 8,610
Neon Genesis Evangelion is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
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

43
18,473 8,169
Ouran High School Host Club is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Star Takeda added Ouran High School Host Club is a manga series by Bisco Hatori, serialized in Hakusensha's LaLa magazine between the September 2002 and November 2010 issues. The manga has been adapted into an ...more

44
15,712 5,453
The Devil Is a Part-Timer! is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
PhillipAdams added The Devil Is a Part-Timer! is a Japanese light novel series written by Satoshi Wagahara, with illustrations by Oniku. ASCII Media Works has published ten volumes since February 2011. The story ...more

45
14,811 7,426
Berserk is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Berserk is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kentaro Miura. Set in a medieval Europe-inspired dark fantasy world, the story centers on the characters of Guts, a lone mercenary, ...more

46
13,106 7,170
Gurren Lagann is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
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

47
17,354 8,554
High School DxD is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
penmetsa-rahul added High School DxD is a Japanese light novel series written by Ichiei Ishibumi and illustrated by Miyama-Zero. The story centers on Issei Hyodo, a perverted high school student from Kuoh Academy ...more

48
14,470 7,383
Hellsing is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
Hellsing is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kouta Hirano. It chronicles the efforts of the mysterious and secret Hellsing Organization, as it combats vampires, ghouls, and ...more

49
14,145 4,551
Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time

50
23,547 3,514
One-Punch Man is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Anime Series of All Time
One-Punch Man (TV Tokyo, 2015) is a Japanese anime series based on the webcomic by ONE. The story of Saitama, a hero that does it just for fun & can defeat his enemies with a single punch.