30 Best Anime of All Time You Should See
Identifying with an art form that your culture does not produce is always remarkable. One such art form is anime, the once niche cultural export that has now extended its reach to almost every aspect of contemporary animation. Today, it is a global phenomenon with a steadily growing fan base. If you are looking for something to binge watch, pick one from this list of 30 best anime of all time.
1. Dragon Ball Z
Arguably one of the best anime cartoons ever made, Dragon Ball Z is credited with making anime a global phenomenon. To this day it remains an entry-point to the medium for newcomers thanks to its unmatched violence and dizzying spectacles.
2. Death Note
This dark series, starring a morally compromised high school student with a god complex and a Shinigami’s notebook to boot, tries to dispel the stereotype of a decent protagonist typical of the anime medium. It delivers a complex moral theme flavored with riveting action and thrilling suspense.
Musi-shi is a remarkable episodic anime series that explores superstitions and old tales in the Japanese folklore using a more contemporary approach. It follows Ginko, as he helps people tackle problems caused by elemental life forms called mushi.
4. One punch man
This ironic anime follows the struggles of an average Joe come superhero in finding a worthy rival. His ability to end all fights with a single punch makes him question whether his training to become the strongest superhero was worth it after all.
5. Elfen Lied
If you are looking for an anime that does not shy away from violence, nudity, and romance, you will want to see Elfen Lied. This psychological horror sci-fi drama focuses on Lucy, a powerful Diclonius mutant with human dreams and desires.
A perfect blend of folklore, romance, anachronisms, horror, and action-adventure makes Inuyasha one of the best anime of all time. Its storyline revolves around a modern girl who is flung into the past to help a half-demon stop an evil demon.
7. Steins; Gate
This compelling sci-fi anime series effectively explores the concept of time travel. In a world threatened by propaganda spewed by an evil organization called SERN, three friends attempt heroism by inventing a time machine that can send emails to the past.
Berserk is a harrowing action-adventure story that features engrossing characters like Guts, the Black Swordsman, fighting intense battles. This riveting saga of revenge is set in a world rife with strife and cosmic cruelty where the human condition is constantly examined at every step.
This densely plotted crime-thriller plunges viewers into nightmarish aftermath of choosing to value innocent life. An esteemed brain surgeon, Dr. Kenzo Tenma makes a seemingly honorable choice, but it ends up costing him everything.
10. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Fullmetal Alchemist is an excellent blend of family drama, political intrigue, and gripping action. In a world of alchemy, two brothers driven by tragedy set out on a journey marked by misfortune and fleeting moments of animated silliness, to become Fullmetal Alchemists.
11. Samurai Champloo
This enthralling saga set in the Tokugawa era revolves around a ragtag trio in their quest to find “samurai who smells like Sunflowers.” The seemingly simplistic plot is enhanced by a funky hip-hop soundtrack that makes it one of the best anime to watch.
12. Guilty Crown
Lovers of fantasy and sci-fi should thoroughly enjoy this anime. Set in a post-apocalyptic Japan, Guilty Crown pits an unlikely hero, Shuu, against a powerful antagonistic military force. It is a compelling, action-packed story about freedom and sacrifice.
13. Neon Genesis Evangelion
This decade-spanning franchise is a philosophical mecha-anime about a teenage boy who is forced by his alienated father to pilot a robot. It explores complex questions about humanity spicing things up with intense horror imagery which features crucifixion and child abuse.
14. Ergo Proxy
Set in a ravaged future where humans and their robots confine themselves in doomed cities for survival, Ergo Proxy follows the rousing tale of an amnesiac immigrant, Vincent law and intelligence operative, Re-L Mayer as they combat mythical beings called proxies.
15. Cowboy Bebop
To date, this 26-episode science-fiction masterpiece justly ranks among the best anime of all time. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, its enthralling storyline follows the adventures of a team of desperado bounty hunters, “cowboys,” traveling through space in the Bebop spaceship.
16. Hunter X Hunter
Arguably one of the most popular shounen series, Hunter x Hunter tells the story of a young Gon Frecss on his journey to becoming a legendary Hunter like his father. The series tackles the dilemmas of life as social vices like revenge and greed are weighed against morality.
17. My Hero Academia
This shonen series is the anime equivalent of a Marvel comic. It follows the adventures of Izuku Midoriya and his classmates as they navigate school life and use their superpowers to battle a revitalized breed of villains.
Bizarre, frenetic and complicated are the words that come to mind when you watch this one-of-a-kind masterpiece. It is a riot of extreme characters and unique plot twists bound together by a brilliant Japanese alt-rock soundtrack.
19. Your life in April
This drama romance centers on a pianist with a wounded soul and his crush, a formidable free-spirited violinist. Sweeping classical music added to a forlorn yet resplendent storyline makes for a tear-jerking 22-episode anime experience.
20. Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
This adaptation of the 1989 cyberpunk manga series is one of the best anime movies of all time. Set in a world of cybernetic subterfuge, the show follows Motoko Kusanagi and her section 9 investigators as they solve all new kinds of crime.
Trigun is a mix of powerful drama and absurd yet intellectual dialogue among its comical characters. Its American-Western feel and the incorporation of Christian mythology make Trigun an easy entry point into anime for American genre fans.
22. One Piece
This long-running shonen is a classic pirate tale starring Monkey D. Luffy, a gallant pirate captain and his crew of corsairs who sail the high seas in search of a legendary treasure trove known as “One Piece.”
23. Code Geass
In a complex plot involving family drama and political strife, Code Geass narrates the struggles of a rebel prince driven to destroy his father’s oppressive empire only to be weighed down by his corruption. It’s one of the best anime to watch.
24. Sailor Moon
This shoujo, which features a large selection of strong lady characters, carries strong messages on gender and sexuality. Usagi, the main protagonist, teaches girls that they can be warriors if they applied kindness as their strongest weapon.
Bleach carries a strong religious theme that appeals to a mature demographic. It tells the fascinating tale of a high school student, Kurosaki Ichigo, who upon encountering a hollow in the woods receives the power of a Soul Reaper.
In a medieval world teeming with cannibalistic, shape-shifting demons, a silver eyed witch teams up with a human to fight the enemy on her path towards ultimate vengeance. A simple storyline and exhilarating action rank this anime as one of the best to date.
27. Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan gives viewers a glimpse into a world where humans are the hunted. The hero of the story, Eren Jaeger joins the Scouting Legion in a mission to exterminate the vicious predators, Titans, which have driven humanity to the brink of extinction.
Two athletes team up to revive their high school volleyball team in the face of personal and team crisis. Electrifying action scenes, compelling character development, and an emotional yet exhilarating plot make watching it worthwhile.
Gintama is a perfect blend of rib cracking comedy, period drama and science fiction. It serves up humorous yet deadly action in a world with aliens, ninjas, space monsters and historical samurai.
30. Boogiepop and others
This supernatural mystery thriller has been hailed as the best anime in 2019. It is an adrenaline-spiking sequence of action, horror, and suspense centered on a vigilante alter-ego of a high school girl that emerges to fight otherworldly creatures.