When compiling a list like this, it’s essential to take a lot of factors into account. When it comes to naming the best anime series, which makes the final call? Me? You? Alternatively, it could be a matter of personal preference. If the most influential anime series deserve a particular place in the top five, or if quality should take precedence over fan favorites?
#10. Re: Zero − Starting Life in Another World
Though it starts as a straightforward story, Re: Zero eventually becomes an intricate web of plots, characters, and villains. When the time loop is reset, it doesn’t necessarily go back to the way it was before.
A chance encounter with Emilia’s heroine thrust Subaru into another world, Isekai. His adventures began there. In the beginning, Subaru, a devoted anime fanatic, tries to foresee what would happen around him based on what he’s seen in the movies. But for him, things don’t go as planned.
#9. Death Note
High school student Light Yagami stars in the series after discovering a notebook that can kill people when their names are written. The manga Death Note, which ran from 2003 to 2006, is the inspiration for the film.
A big part of the show’s popularity can be attributed to its mystery and horror-themed plotlines. It appeals to a wide range of people, not only those in Japan. Less than 40 episodes make the tale compact and to the point without veering too much, which may be a problem with long-running series.
It aired from 2002 to 2007, followed by Naruto: Shippuden, which ran from 2007 to 2017. The show is based on Masashi Kishimoto’s 1999 Weekly Shonen Jump manga.
Naruto’s journey to becoming a ninja master is depicted in this series, which takes place in a fictional anime universe called Shinobi. Chakra energy is the source of the Ninja combat skills.
The show is a fascinating journey for all ages because it deals with solid relationships with friends and family, betrayal, and surviving various difficulties. If you’re a newbie, you’ll find it easy to get into, and many fans consider it a top anime that deserves to be on every complete 10 lists.
Naruto is one of the most popular animes of all time.
#7. Rurouni Kenshin
Kenshin is a swordsman who travels the world, attempting to put his troubled past behind him. During Japan’s Meiji era, the film shows a glimpse into the lives of its citizens. The quiet life he had planned to lead is shattered when he comes across a struggling martial arts school and decides to lend a hand.
The series touches on a wide range of themes, but there’s an underlying theme of humility and selflessness. It’s an action-packed series with an anime flair that works perfectly together. It’s a fantastic tale in every way.
Everyone should include Rurouni Kenshin in their top 10 favorite anime series.
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#6. Ghost in the Shell
Science and technology have advanced to such a point in the year 2030 in the anime Ghost in the Shell that people can now transform into hybrids capable of performing a wide range of tasks to aid humanity’s advancement. However, Japanese organized crime groups have begun to take advantage of these. As part of the Public Security Section 9, Major Motoko Kusanagi, or simply Major, and her officers battle soaring crime rates in Japan.
Mamoru Oshii, the director of Ghost in the Shell, has influenced a generation of other anime, television shows, and movies with his thoughts and aesthetic style. While the live-action film may not have earned the same acclaim, the anime series is still one of the best.
#5. Steins; Gate
Many rating platforms include Steins; Gate, among the top ten highest-rated anime series. There are many other reasons why it deserves to be on my list. It has some of the best sci-fi and time-travel concepts in television and film. The program is set in Tokyo’s Akihabara neighborhood, a popular tourist destination for anime enthusiasts.
University student Rintaro Okabe discovers time travel and must cooperate with his Future Gadget Laboratory coworkers to stop a bad company from carrying out its goals. To keep you engaged, there are numerous plot twists and surprise moments.
#4. Fullmetal Alchemist
Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is two different anime series. A manga series serves as the basis for this show’s plot, which both episodes follow closely at first. On the other hand, the latter ended without the manga series being finished, just like the Game of Thrones series did in the same way. There are no spoilers in Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.
Two brothers are severely harmed after attempting to resurrect their mother through alchemy goes tragically awry. To save his younger brother Alphonse from death, Edward, the elder brother, loses an arm, while Edward, the younger brother, loses his entire body. Because of their mistakes, they went off in pursuit of the Philosopher’s Stone. As this experiment demonstrates, the consequences can be dire when someone is brought back to life through alchemy.
But this is just the beginning of a wild journey for them. Their small hamlet is suddenly pushed into a world far more significant than them, with many difficulties and the need to stop an evil party from finding the Philosopher’s Stone to achieve their goals.
#3. Samurai Champloo
Two skilled swordsmen named Mugen and Jin are rescued by a young waitress working in a teahouse after they accidentally kill the son of a local magistrate during a fight and are taken into custody by the Japanese police force. The son was harassing Fuu at the time, and by helping her, she managed to save the two of them. The adventure begins when she begs the two to accompany her on a journey across Japan, searching for the Samurai who smells of sunflowers.
The show is set in Japan during the Edo period. So it’s nice that Samurai Champloo aims to be historically accurate with the period, not just in lifestyles but also in the events in which the characters happen to be indirectly involved.
It’s a light, breezy animation series that is amusing and over-the-top at moments. However, its comical aspects and easy-to-follow graphic style make it suitable for first-time anime viewers.
Samurai Champloo is one of just three anime series that my fiancé has completed in full. While the hip-hop music themes are a terrific accompaniment to the epic sword battles, they are also relatable.
#2. Darker Than Black
A decade ago, an unexplained phenomenon is known as “Heaven’s Gate” emerged in most of South America. Hell’s Gate, a second of these, appeared in Tokyo soon after, altering the sky and inflicting chaos on the surrounding areas. In the wake of this, the sky was filled with artificial stars. Contractors, who have specific skills, are attached to each of these phony stars.
These spies and assassins have been hired and trained by numerous nations. As a result of using their skills, individuals are forced to “pay the price,” which can be anything from overeating to self-harm to transforming their bodies. By killing via objectives and rationale and repressing emotional and other human obstacles, the abilities come at the cost of their humanity.
One of my all-time favorite anime series is Darker Than Black. Many people think highly of it, but it doesn’t appear on many lists, which is a shame. At least two viewings of the series are required to comprehend this show’s depth and substance fully. Even though the series only has a few episodes, it isn’t easy to go through, especially if you are new to anime. While the Contractors lack any human characteristics, Hei, the protagonist, is an exception to this rule, warring against other Contractors in a group known as the Syndicate.
#1. Attack on Titan
The only ongoing series on the list is Attack on Titan. Based on a manga published in 2009, the first episode of this anime aired in 2013. The show’s final season, which has been running for eight years, is scheduled to air within the next month or two—a giant wall built around Paradis Island to protect the residents from the mindless giants.
Soon after, a conflict breaks out between two titans who broke past the walls, lasting over 13 years after the story began. After the titans destroyed their house and ate Eren Yeager’s mother, Eren Yeager and Mikasa Ackerman join the Survey Corps in their quest for vengeance against the titans. Basic combat between titans has a lot more going on beyond its bounds. After initially believing they were the only humans on the planet, it turns out that there is much more to explore in the oceans.
In addition to the program itself, there is a lot to unpack. If you look beyond the show’s episodes, you’ll find an abundance of information and unanswered questions. The plot twists are insane, with bombshells thrown at you at nearly every turn. The voice actors do a terrific job for both the Japanese and English dubs, making the emotional connection what keeps me back for more.
Having seen the series again a second time around, there’s a lot more to understand. It dawns on you that every move has a ripple effect on the war’s history, even if you’re not directly involved0. One can only hope for a prequel series to keep fans coming back for more even though the show is nearing its end.