Anime Underground

The Best Grown-Up Anime of All Time 

Ranker Anime
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Updated May 2, 2020 564.2k votes 71.3k voters 3.7M views 213 items

For those of you looking for anime that is a bit more mature, like seinen anime, here's a list of the best adult anime of all time. One of the worst stereotypes about anime is that it's just for children, but the shows below prove that to be completely wrong. What makes an anime mature or "adult?" It isn't just the plot, but the themes and ideals that are presented in the show that would likely go over the head of a younger viewer. In fact, many are great stoner anime, filled with jokes and funny anime characters that children just won't understand. Take Samurai Champloo, for instance, which addresses some heavy topics. Ghost in the Shell is another great example of an adult anime series, where the subject matter revolves around politics and philosophy, both of which will not likely not be understood by someone under the age of 18.

What is the best anime series for adults to watch? Vote for your favorites on the anime list below, but only if you've actually seen the series. Is one of your top mature anime shows missing? Add it to the poll so that others can vote for it also.

list ordered by
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charles-olivier-proulx added Starring Marina Inoue, Yuki Kaji & Josh Grelle (Mainichi Broadcasting System)
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Starring Kôichi Yamadera, Unshô Ishizuka & Megumi Hayashibara (TV Tokyo)
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Tokyo Ghoul is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Grown-Up Anime of All Time
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FlashBoomerang added
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Berserk is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Grown-Up Anime of All Time
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Starring Ayako Kawasumi, Koyasu Taketo & Akio Ōtsuka (Fuji Television)
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Starring Kana Hanazawa, Robert McCollum & Kate Oxley (Fuji Television)
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Starring Shirô Saitô, Peggy O'Neal & Dino Andrade (Animax)
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Starring Jôji Nakata, Yoshiko Sakakibara & Fumiko Orikasa (Fuji Television)
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Starring Houko Kuwashima, Brian Drummond & Kiyoyuki Yanada (Tokyo Metropolitan Television)
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Starring Mamoru Miyano, Asami Imai & Kana Hanazawa (TV Tokyo)
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pawan-d added Starring Kikuko Inoue, Jōji Nakata & Fumiko Orikasa (Animax)
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Starring Vic Mignogna, Aaron Dismuke & Romi Pak (Animax)
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High School DxD is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Grown-Up Anime of All Time
Omar Haggag added
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Starring Hidenobu Kiuchi, Matthew Leonhart & Christopher Sabat (Animax)
21
Highschool of the Dead ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Grown-Up Anime of All Time
Starring Ayana Taketatsu, Jouji Nakata & Yoshiko Sakakibara (TV Tokyo)
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charles-olivier-proulx added
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Neon Genesis Evangelion ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Grown-Up Anime of All Time
ToyotaObsession added Starring Megumi Ogata, Megumi Hayashibara & Kotono Mitsuishi (Animax)
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Starring Nobuyuki Hiyama, Shin-ichiro Miki & Toshihiko Seki (Mainichi Broadcasting System)