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The Best Anime of 2016

Updated November 5, 2019 8.3k votes 2k voters 24.6k views24 items

List RulesVote up the greatest and most memorable anime released in 2016.

Over the years, anime seemed to have become an unchanging genre of rinsing, washing, and repeating plots involving crazy-haired dudes, way-too-young girls in maid costumes, cute talking animal gimmicks, overly long adventures of neverending fights and trump cards, and redundant tropes that have worn all too thin. In decades past, anime was revered as a genre that set itself apart from other animated works for its capacity to explore the depths of imagination and human emotion. That all seemed lost, until 2016. 

In 2016 anime, we've witnessed a much-needed revitalization with new innovative series and films, many even hearkening back to the old-school style and reminding us all why we got sucked in the first place. 2016 is the year anime was reborn. The best anime of 2016 can easily rival the best anime series of all time, and this new renaissance brings even more hope for the future. Vote up the best anime of the year, including the best anime series of 2016 and the best anime movies of 2016.

  • 1

    My Hero Academia

    Action, Comedy

    In a world where developing superpowers is the norm, Izuku Midoriya is amongst the disadvantaged, born without powers. However, after courageously saving his childhood bully from a supervillain, the world's greatest hero, All Might, bestows upon him the powers that he dreamed of developing.

    Izuku goes on to join the Hero Academy and the ranks of the world's mightiest.

  • 2

    An emotionally-charged film about city boy Taki and country bumpkin Mitsuha, who one day switch bodies and must acclimate to their new lives. Despite being walled off from one another by distance, amongst other things, the two form an unshakeable bond, one that may dictate the outcome of the rest of their lives.

  • 3

    Seventeen-year-old reclusive gamer Subaru Natsuki one day finds himself pulled into a fantasy world where he meets a silver-haired elf named Emilia and her pet fairy cat. Not knowing who summoned him, why he was called, or how he obtained the ability to rewind himself back to life every time he dies, Subaru nevertheless finds himself caught up in the trials and tribulations of a new world that suddenly demands so much from him.

  • 4


    Mystery, Psychological

    Satoru Fujinuma has the ability to travel back in time moments before a life-threatening event. After the murder of his mother, Satoru travels back to his elementary school days to prevent an unresolved incident involving the deaths of five children.

  • 5

    No Game No Life

    Game, Adventure
  • 6

    Mob Psycho 100

    Action, Slice of Life

    Although Shigeo Kageyama was a wallflower his entire life, he is also an Esper. And as he gets older, his power grow. However, the trigger to his powers involves emotions, so Shigeo prefers to live a drama-free life. But of course, these sorts of things never go according to plan.

  • 7

    Down-on-his-luck orphan Nakajima Atsushi finds himself drawn into a world of the strange and paranormal after he rescues a suicidal member of the Armed Detective Agency - an illustrious group of gifted individuals that specialize in tackling mysteries of equal measure.

  • 8
  • 9

    Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku

    A popular social game known as the Magical Girl Raising Project has the ability to grant players a 1-in-10,000 chance of becoming a real-life magical girl. Each of the magical girls possess unique abilities and earn Magical Candies by protecting people and performing good deeds. However, at some point, the administration has decided that sixteen magical girls in a certain city is too many, announcing they will cut the number in half by having the magical girl with the fewest Magical Candies each week lose their powers. As the rules of the game become more twisted, the girls eventually find themselves dragged into a life-or-death battle against each other.

  • 10

    From the studio that brought you Fairy Tail and Sword Art Online. Haruhiro awakens with several strangers in the fantasy realm of Grimgar. With no memory of what happened before, the ragtag crew pushes on to the many adventures that await them after they build their character stats.

  • 11

    A tale of the coolest high school student in human existence. Each episode sets out to display the raddest possible way to react to any situation, and Sakamoto does it in spades.

  • 12

    Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable

    Taking place after Stardust Crusaders, Diamond Is Unbreakable follows the adventures of Josuke Higashikata, the next in the Joestar bloodline, and his friends, who unwittingly become the defenders of their once-quaint town of Morioh. Will the destructive and restorative powers of Josuke's Shining Diamond measure up against Kira's Killer Queen?

  • 13

    At the advent of the Industrial Revolution, a virus spreads that turns the infected into the undead kabane. As the last remaining vistas of human civilization struggle and ready themselves for the imminent global blowout, one lone engineer, Ikoma, crafts the perfect weapon to wipe out the zombie hordes.

    Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is unapologetically gruesome and set in a steampunk world - a surely winning combination.

  • 14

    A tale of vengeance that spans 91 days. Avilio Bruno has spent practically his entire life scheming to avenge his family's murder at the hands of the Vanetti Family. His point of infiltration begins with Nero Vanetti, the man who killed his father. Although a friendship rooted in deception begins to bloom, both sides will learn the hard way that revenge only stirs up more revenge.

  • 15

    Thirty strangers embark on a bus tour to the mysterious Nanaki Village, rumored to be a paradise waiting to be discovered. Some of these individuals are looking for a fresh start, while others are on the run from their own troubles.

    Upon arriving at the village, nothing is at all as it seems, and the truth behind Nanaki Village waits to be uncovered.

  • 16

    In the year 2036, the fourth-dimensional axis is proven to exist. This is Dimension W. By 2072, devices known as Coils have been crafted by New Tesla Energy to draw upon extradimensional power and provide a limitless energy source to keep the world's tech running and evolving. However, some coils have been utilized for illegal purposes.

    Enter Kyouma, a Collector tasked with confiscating illegal Coils. After a series of events, he finds his fate locked in with Mira Yurizaki, the daughter of New Tesla Energy's missing founder, and the duo finds themselves finding a great many skeletons in New Tesla's closets.

  • 17


    After 20 years, the wait is finally over. Berserk is a new adaptation of the manga series of the same name first published in 1989. Taking place after Guts and Casca's escape from God Hand, Guts now travels a lonely road obsessed with avenging his fallen comrades. He seeks to confront the demon lords and their newly appointed member, and Guts' former best friend, Griffith.

    Although the cel-shaded 3D animation is awkward to behold, Hardcore Berserk fans nevertheless are hyped to see Guts rending his enemies apart again with his giant sword and hidden gadgets, action sequences that were only available to view in the manga. Although this season is over, Season 2 is due to arrive in Spring 2017.

  • 18

    After saving a homeless man from thugs, Seigi is gifted with a strange tattoo on his hand. Before he knows it, Seigi finds himself caught in the middle of a secret war between the US and the Kingdom of Selinistan as each side races to activate ancient magical artifacts to tip the scales of world power.

  • 19

    A heartwarming and gripping film that recounts the disaster of the Hiroshima bombing, as experienced by a housewife named Suzu, who stops at nothing to care for her family during World War II.

  • 20

    A modern, CGI'd, re-envisioning of the popular manga series. A group of recently murdered teens are resurrected at the whim of Gantz, a sentient black orb, who tasks them with fighting off paranormal forces...at all costs.

  • 21

    Adapted from the hit Nintendo DS series by Capcom, Ace Attorney is almost a complete play-by-play of the events from the games, however, it manages to be more than just visual cliff notes. 

    Whether you're a huge fan of the games or you've never played them and don't want to endure the series' signature snail-paced gameplay, Ace Attorney's colorful journey into the case files of Phoenix Wright and friends is a romp that you don't want to miss out on.

  • 22

    While wars are commonly fought with firepower and brute force, Japan's top secret group, D-Agency, demonstrates that the true battle is fought behind the scenes through espionage and intelligence.

    Based on the novel series by Koji Inagi, Joker Game is a collection of short stories that center around each of D-Agency's elite members as they travel across the world to infiltrate, sabotage, and resolve all manner of political escapades. 

  • 23

    When former Yakuza member Yotaro is released from prison, he seeks out Yakumo Yurakutei VIII as his mentor to guide him on the path to a new life as a rakugo storyteller. 

    A period piece that focuses on the timeless struggles of performers who aim for the top but must endure the hardships of gaining validity as they make the climb from dream to reality.

  • 24

    Tiger Mask W is a sequel to the long-running Tiger Mask series that began in the '70s. Naoto Azuma and Takuma Fujii step into the roles of Tiger Mask and Tiger the Dark, respectively, in their separate journeys to confront the evil wrestler Yellow Devil and avenge their mentor's brutal defeat at his hands.

    There are over-the-top wrestling costumes, special moves, and a cheesy-yet-delightful narrative that puts the soap opera backstories of the WWE to shame. Even if you aren't a fan of wrestling, or have followed the series since four decades back, this is one that you shouldn't dismiss.