Anime has been around for decades. Something about these animated characters appeals to people of all age groups. A fictional universe that makes the impossible look possible is one of the key reasons why people love anime. It provides an escape out of reality and creates a sense of euphoria and wonder. Some people would argue that these cartoons are for children when in reality their plot is so deep that it ends up giving us life lessons. While every Otaku (anime/manga lover) has their opinion on which is the best anime, we have compiled a list of the top 15 anime which we feel are definitely worth watching.
15. Pokemon series
What can be said about Pokemon that has not already been said? Created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1995, Pokemon has become a phenomenon worldwide. Set in a fictional world where monsters called Pokemon exist it follows the story of Ash Ketchum who embarks on the journey to become a Pokemon master. Possibly one of the most popular anime of all time, Pokemon definitely deserves a spot on this list.
14. Tokyo Ghoul
Tokyo Ghoul is set in a world where ghouls are real. Creatures that feast on human flesh. The story follows Ken Kaneki a student who after being attacked by a ghoul undergoes surgery and on recovery finds out that he is half human and half ghoul. He has to protect his new identity from humans as humans want to exterminate all ghouls while also facing challenges on how he is going to fit into the world of ghouls.
13. Attack on Titan
While many may argue that Attack on Titan deserves to be higher up the list, it is relatively newer and there are lots of anime which have been around for longer and have more depth to the plot. Attack on Titan is set in a universe where humanity is fighting for survival against giant humanoid creatures known as titans that want to exterminate all of humanity. The series follows Eren, Mikasa, and Armin who enroll in the military in order to combat these beasts.
12. Dragon Ball series
Another iconic commercialized anime series that every child loves and has followed for years. The Dragon Ball series has several iterations but most agree that the Dragon Ball Z arcs were the best. The story follows Goku, a Saiyan from another planet who fights to protect humanity from various supervillains that want to destroy the earth. Several epic moments and movies later, all Dragon Ball fans can agree that Goku going Super Saiyan for the first time was perhaps one of the most iconic moments in anime history.
Perhaps one of the very few anime to be adapted from a video game instead of a manga series Steins;Gate is truly one of a kind. The story follows a self-proclaimed “mad scientist” Rinataro Okabe who runs a laboratory out of his apartment. While attending a conference on time travel he discovers that the microwave oven they have been developing using a phone can send messages to the past which can influence the present thereby opening up a path to time travel.
10. Fairy Tail
Fairy Tail is about magic and wizards. In a world where people become wizards by acquiring magical items and spells. The story follows Natsu Dragneel that belongs to the Fairy Tail wizard guild. Along with his companions Lucy, Erza, and Grey (who he does not get along with) Natsu embarks on a journey to make Fairy Tail the best guild in the world. Fairy Tail is filled with comic sequences and draws a comparison similar to several other shounen anime but is definitely one of the most entertaining anime.
No, this anime is not about the cleaning agent. Instead, this anime is about Shinigamis (death gods/grim reapers). The plot is based around Ichigo Kurosaki who gets the powers of a substitue soul reaper. He goes on to discover that several of his friends have awakened spiritual powers as well. With some of the best voice actors and some great music themes, Bleach is truly a delight to watch. The awesome action sequences and the final fight just add to the experience. An added bonus is the fact that several story arcs are exclusive to the anime and not the manga.
Set in the future, Pyscho-Pass has one of the most intriguing storylines. The story takes place in a Dystopia, where sensors are installed to check a person’s mental well being and criminal intent, known as their Psycho-Pass. If individuals show any signs of criminal intent they are pursued by enforcers and neutralised. One such enforcer is Akane, an honest woman who upholds the laws. Her world turns around when she begins to question what justice truly is.
7. Full Metal Alchemist Series
Full Metal Alchemist is one of the most popular anime in Japan and worldwide. It’s sequel FMA: Brotherhood is considered one of the greatest anime of all time. The story follows the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse in their hunt for the legendary Philosopher’s stone so they can restore their limbs which they lose while trying to resurrect their dead mother. The phrase “In order for something to be obtained, something of equal value must be lost” was personified through FMA. Without a doubt one of the most enthralling anime out there, FMA is a treat for any who watch it.
6. Cowboy Bebop
Cowboy Bebop is set in the future, year 2071. Earth has been destroyed and what remains of the human race has colonised various smaller rocky masses and planets in order to survive. The story follows bounty hunter, Spike Spiegel, and his partner Jet Black. These bounty hunters are known as Cowboys and they go on missions to capture criminals from across the galaxy to earn rewards. Their adventures on a spaceship known as “Bebop” cover majority of the story. Regarded as one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed anime series of all time, Cowboy Bebop has served as a gateway to many people to start watching other anime.
5. Naruto series
Talking about anime, of course, a series of ninjas makes our list. The series follows the journey of Naruto Uzumaki, a ninja who seeks to become the Hokage, the leader of his village. The fact that his father sacrificed himself to protect the village from nine-tailed fox hampers this. Guided by the spirit of the nine tailed fox that resides inside of him, Naruto embarks on this remarkable journey. Naruto is one of the most popular anime and the third highest selling manga of all time. The series also has several references to Japanese culture and is highly critically acclaimed for this.
4. Hunter x Hunter
Despite not having the same popularity as Dragon Ball, Pokemon or some of the other commercialized anime, Hunter x Hunter is definitely worth watching. The story develops around Gon Freeccs, a young boy in search of his father decides to become a Hunter. Hunters are a group of individuals who take on dangerous missions, to capture beasts, find treasures and even arrest criminals to justice. Along the course of his, journey Gon has to overcome several dangers while learning what it takes to truly become a Hunter.
3. Gin Tama
Gin Tama is set in a future where aliens have taken over the planet earth. Initially, samurais tried to fend off these aliens and then the samurai surrendered to the aliens after which it became illegal to carry a sword. Gin Tama follows the story of one samurai Gintoki Sakata (called Odd Jobs Sakata) who along with his friends open a store called Yorozuya (Everything store, it’s literal translation being we do everything). Gin Tama is a good balance of comedy and action making it a must watch for those who are new and old to anime alike.
2. One Piece
A man’s journey to become the pirate king. The story follows Monkey D. Luffy as he runs off in search of the legendary treasure One Piece which was hidden in the most dangerous sea in the world. During the course of his journey, Luffy meets and befriends several new members who become a part of his crew who he refers to as Nakama. Throughout the course of his journey, Luffy battles several members of the Marines and other strong villains overcoming each. With a strong emphasis on friendship and a storyline so deep that despite running for 20 years, certain things still remain a mystery. The creator Eiichiro Oda, referred to as Oda-sensei has done a masterful job of weaving the plot. No wonder this is the best selling manga of all time.
1. Death Note
Without the shadow of a doubt, perhaps the greatest anime series of all time. Death Note is the story of Light Yagami who finds the Death Note. A notebook which can be used to kill people. He uses this notebook to make the world a better place and begins punishing criminals who have escaped the law. He is challenged by L, a world-renowned detective who vows to stop him. How each one tries to outsmart the other while trying to lead a life as a student forms the major plot. Consisting of less than 40 episodes, Death Note is praised for covering so much of the plot with such good precision. Most people who start watching anime begin with Death Note and rightly so. Death Note is definitely the greatest anime series of all time.
There you have it. Our list of 15 of the best anime series out there. Please note, that this is merely based on our opinion and several factors have been taken into consideration while compiling this list like popularity, plot line, amount of filler episodes etc.