Top 30 Anime Series of All Time

Yep, I’ve finally put together a top shows list. As I hopefully made clear in part one and part two of my critical biases post, this is obviously my list – it represents the things I think are most valuable in stories in the way I think they’ve best been articulated. It’s also just a list of shows I enjoy – there’s no hard criteria here, so I wouldn’t stress the numbers too much. Also, it’s a bit front-loaded – I only started watching anime seasonally about two years ago, so the last couple years are disproportionately represented. Incidentally, I’m not including movies here either – I think direct comparisons between shows and films are a bit of a stretch, but if they were included, this list would certainly be somewhat different. And finally, I’m absolutely (and thankfully) certain this list will change over time – there are still piles of widely beloved shows I’ve never seen, so I’m sure the current rankings will be filled out in the years to come. So with that all said, let’s get to the list – Bobduh’s Top 30 Anime of All Time.

-edit- I have now created a Top Shows Addendum for shows that have either fallen off or just barely missed this list. Please enjoy these additional almost-top shows!

30. Baccano!

Baccano!

People have described Baccano as the anime version of a Tarantino movie, which to me seems like kind of an insult to Tarantino. Not because Baccano is bad, but because the things the two share – a penchant for non-linear structure and a love of ultraviolence – are basically the least interesting things about Tarantino movies. And Baccano itself is impressive in all sorts of other ways – ridiculous and fun and breathless and breezy, it juggles time periods, endless characters, and rampant subplots with an ease resembling controlled madness, coming off as a slight, entertaining crime caper in spite of all its ridiculous convolution. The end result is closer to Guy Ritchie than Tarantino, but Baccano is ultimately its own thing – an entertaining ride well worth the ticket.

Baccano is available on Amazon.

29. Mawaru Penguindrum

Mawaru Penguindrum

Though I don’t find it as compelling as Utena, Penguindrum is still stuffed with all the brilliant Ikuhara-ness that makes that show shine. Vibrant characters, plentiful visual inventiveness, a rich mix of ideas (this time concerning family, childhood, the nature of society, fate, and all sorts of other stuff I’d rather not spoil)… Ikuhara shows are busy, but Penguindrum manages to tie all this substance to a fast-paced, compelling central drama. What would you do to save the people you love? What composes your identity, and what is your identity really worth? The show is wild and absurd, but it stays grounded by virtue of the resonant issues it grapples with, along with the passionate, flawed, endlessly endearing family at the center of its spin.

Penguindrum is available on Amazon.

28. Psycho-Pass

Psycho-Pass

This show’s pretty textbook Urobuchi – one part compelling fantasy setting (a thoughtcrime-obsessed dystopian cyber-future), one part fun tweak on a classic genre (crime procedural by way of Bladerunner), and one part cynical yet optimistic attack on the inhumanity of utilitarianism, as well as the poignance of human nature. It’s fun as a straight crime drama, it works as a sharp-edged exploration of how society always creates friction with the individual, and its aesthetic is all kinds of stylish. Not Urobuchi’s best work, but standard Urobuchi is much better than most anime out there.

Psycho-Pass is available on Amazon.

27. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Gurren Lagann

Gurren Lagann is absolutely Not My Kind of Show, but it’s just so good at what it does that I have to love it anyway. The energy, the enthusiasm, the soundtrack, the fantastic visuals – it’s an exuberant love letter to mechs, hyperbole, and hot-blooded enthusiasm, and you’ll either absolutely hate it or end up swept away. It’s also pretty funny (though this is mixed with plenty of stuff that’s pretty not funny), has a broad and endearing cast, and even has one point of actual intelligence – Rossiu, whose arc and conflict possess a depth bizarrely out of whack with everything else the show is doing. Rossiu’s existence is probably the tipping point that knocks this show onto this list, but if you’re in the mood for pure, silly entertainment, Gurren Lagann is happy to entertain.

Gurren Lagann is available on Amazon.

26. Suisei no Gargantia

Gargantia

Gargantia is both the most complex exploration of Urobuchi’s ideas he’s yet attempted and likely the most deliberately personal story of any of his works. By tying his usual ideas about utilitarianism and human nature to the story of one young man finding purpose in a new, unfamiliar society, he turns Gargantia into both a positive story about the rewards of embracing adulthood and an exploration of the purpose of society in the first place. Gargantia’s also just an enjoyable show to spend time with – the world of Gargantia is rich and beautiful, and the way the show shifts between full genres throughout its run does a great service to both Ledo’s journey and the impact of Gargantia as a setting. It’s fun, pretty, and possibly the most unassumingly thoughtful of all of Urobuchi’s shows.

Here’s my review of Gargantia.

Gargantia is available on Amazon.

25. Gatchaman Crowds

Gatchaman Crowds

Gatchaman’s a goddamn busy show – in the course of a 12-episode run, it covers everything from internet culture to crowdsourcing to the necessity of leadership to social responsibility to human nature to… well, you get the idea. And it explores all these ideas while also staying remarkably light and breezy – you could enjoy the show purely as a fun, visually interesting, musically brilliant adventure without even thinking about how identity is constructed in the digital age, or whatnot. And when you combine these two strengths, you get a show that proves you don’t have to be dry to be smart – you can make awesome points about how the internet will change the world without ever giving up a sense of fun and moment-to-moment excitement. Brain food and comfort food at the same time.

Here’s my review of Gatchaman Crowds.

Gatchaman Crowds is available on Amazon.

24. Steins;Gate

Steins;Gate

Half witty, endearing slice of life, half thrilling time-travel drama, Steins;Gate is a strange mixture of elements, but the end result has a lot going for it. The story is really compelling, for one thing – the tension it slowly builds is released in a thrilling second half, full of twists, turns, and all the quirks a good time-travel story should have. The humor is surprisingly sharp, too – this was a show I actually picked up in the first few episodes, and the pitch that sold me on it was “it’s like an anime comedy, but good!” And underlying both of these strengths is the great cast – in the midst of all the scifi shenanigans and episodic tangents, Steins;Gate finds the time to also tell one of the better love stories in anime, featuring a couple that are compelling independently but completely adorable together.

Steins;Gate is available on Amazon.

23. Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai

Chuunibyou

Considering how much I’m disliking the second season, I’m probably gonna have to revisit my feelings on this show at some point, but for now, all I’ve got are incredibly positive memories. The first season of Chuunibyou has focus – though it’s comedy-heavy, almost every episode of its first half is indispensable in setting up its cast’s personalities and dynamics. And once the die is cast, it tears out of the gate, covering more romantic drama in six episodes than most shows manage in a season. It’s also a great example of all the things KyoAni really does well – it’s full of small character moments and beautiful colors, and its sense of comedic timing is best in class. Tie it all together with a legitimately thoughtful thematic center, and you’ve got a pretty impressive romantic comedy.

Chuunibyou is available on Amazon.

22. Spice and Wolf

Spice and Wolf

It may not be apparent from this list, but it turns out I’m an incredible sucker for romance. Chemistry, banter, moments of sacrifice for the one you love – all it really takes is one great couple to get me through a show. Unfortunately, most anime is really bad at portraying romance – it flounders in cliches, it creates artificial drama, and it doesn’t understand actual rapport. Standing as one of the premier counterexamples to this sad trend, Spice and Wolf is about as endearing and well-drawn of a romance as you could hope for. Its characters are distinctive and bounce off each other well, its dialogue displays great personality and chemistry, and it’s apparent again and again how much its protagonists care for each other. Though I also am a great fan of its aesthetic and economic focus, the thing that makes Spice and Wolf a top show for me is the fantastic romance at its center.

Spice and Wolf is available on Amazon.

21. Hunter x Hunter 2011

Hunter x Hunter 2011

As the only long-running shounen on my list, HxH’s a bit of an outlier. But HxH is not your typical shounen – directed by Madhouse (likely my pick for the best studio of all time) and adapted from a source by the writer of Yu Yu Hakusho, Hunter x Hunter is basically a master class in what makes adventure entertaining. Though it starts off “only” demonstrating it knows how to make challenge-based television entertaining (in lieu of actual fights, it generally sets up compelling puzzles of all shapes and sizes for its heroes), it ends up jumping from genre to genre, dabbling in crime thriller, tournament shounen, and even war drama. And through it all, the show’s fantastic aesthetics elevate it above almost everything out there – in direction, in sound design, in pacing, in animation, in basically every relevant aesthetic metric, Hunter x Hunter triumphs. That it’s been maintaining this level of quality for well over a hundred episodes is nothing short of astonishing – in fact, I’d say Hunter x Hunter has only gotten better over time.

Here’s a critical breakdown of HxH episode 116, and here’s an essay on the recently concluded (and breathtaking) Chimera Ant arc.

Hunter x Hunter 2011 has not received a western release.



20. Mushishi

Mushishi

Mushishi is one of those strange, special shows that seem to just emerge confident and fully constructed, exude excellence for all of their running time, and then go quietly on their way. Its vignettes are dreamy and ambiguous, full of resonance and compelling ideas but never didactic. Its world is mysterious and enchanting, evoking both a more resigned and possibly more dangerous version of Miyazaki’s mystical forests. Its production is fantastic, with beautiful backgrounds matching a wonderfully understated musical score and a great sense of pacing to conjure its powerful, singular atmosphere. And all this works in service of a show that’s fundamentally just incredibly calming and sedate – a series of long, lazy afternoons spent enjoying the company of a master storyteller.

Here’s my essay on Mushishi.

Mushishi’s first season is available on Amazon.

19. Gunbuster! + Diebuster!

Gunbuster vs Diebuster

Grouped together because they really do feel like two sides of the same coin, both of Gainax’s Buster shows would also make this list independently. Flippant and heartbreaking, cynical and triumphant, personal and universal, each of these OVAs tells a story of humanity’s struggle against all the forces of the universe with style and heart. And each can stand alone, as well – Gunbuster is helmed by a pre-Eva Anno already exhibiting his unnerving style of direction, and Diebuster offers a very appropriate conclusion to the FLCL era of Gainax production. Only six episodes each, too – it’s pretty remarkable how much story each of these manage to tell.

Here are my essays on Gunbuster and Diebuster.

Both Gunbuster and Diebuster are available on Amazon.

18. Shinsekai Yori

Shinsekai Yori

Shinsekai Yori is basically tailor-made for fans of fantasy and scifi novels. Heavy on worldbuilding and questions of human nature, its story unfolds on a scale far greater than most anime, exploring a compelling dystopian society by following one generation from childhood through adolescence and well into adulthood. Though I often feel its characters fade into the background of its storytelling pretensions, it all works in service of an incredibly compelling central narrative, and its devastating conclusion justifies everything that came before. It’s a rare and valuable thing – few shows work on the scale of Shinsekai Yori.

Here’s my review of Shinsekai Yori.

As of this posting, Shinsekai Yori’s first half is available on Amazon, with its second half soon to come.

17. Hyouka

Hyouka

Unless KyoAni performs some tremendous about-face in priorities, it seems like Hyouka will stand as their masterpiece for a long time to come. Not that that’s a mark against it – Hyouka is a fantastic show, and easily makes best use of KyoAni’s mastery of small character moments and subtle, human animation. It’s a mark to how impressive I find this show’s character work that I enjoyed it in spite of not really caring about any of the mysteries – of course, the fact that the show’s ridiculously gorgeous and filled with lush animation doesn’t hurt, either. If you’re in the mood for a more meditative character story, Hyouka’s as good as it gets.

Hyouka has sadly never received a western release.

16. Toradora!

Toradora!

Considering I haven’t seen Toradora since it actually aired, its position on this list may be something of an open question. But if memory serves, Toradora certainly deserves it – it’s basically the high school romcom/drama all other such shows wish they were, populated by multifaceted characters, driven by relatable, human drama, and crescendoing in a long line of iconic moments. Its conflicts emerge naturally from the base nature of its well-drawn protagonists, and perhaps most importantly, its writing actually understands the fundamentals of banter and chemistry. Anime could use a lot more shows like Toradora.

Toradora is just barely available on Amazon, though you might better off waiting for a price drop on the recent bluray release.

15. Kids on the Slope

Kids on the Slope

After nearly a decade’s absence, Shinichiro Watanabe returned to direction with a serious change of pace – an understated period drama/coming-of-age story. Surprising as that was, perhaps even more surprising was how good Kids on the Slope turned out to be. Its postwar setting is compelling, its characters act like people, and it, perhaps more than any other Watanabe show, beautifully demonstrates his love affair with music. Every element of this production exudes polish, and when its characters come together for a performance, the results are always transcendent. Though it’s not among my absolute favorites, I’d consider Kids on the Slope one of the most “perfect” shows I know – every element is used well, every character leaves a mark, and its understanding of the tension, release, and even unfulfilled longing of youth is remarkable. And those songs!

Kids on the Slope is available on Amazon.

14. Shiki

Shiki

Anime doesn’t really have the best track record with horror – there’s just something inherently difficult about portraying visceral dread in animation, and few shows manage to pull it off. Fortunately, Shiki neatly avoids falling into any “this isn’t scary” traps by being more about creating an oppressive atmosphere, and focusing less on visceral horror than on the horror of human nature. Its slow-burning story depicts the breakdown of an entire community from basically every possible position within that community, making for a remarkably well-realized cast of dozens of characters. And its runtime is peppered with stark moral questions, thrilling twists, and moments of pure adrenal shock. Its themes of community and the meaning of a monster are classic ones, but Shiki infuses them with vitality and modern relevance, along with a sense of campy fun that almost tricks you into embarking on one of the darkest rides the medium has to offer. Shiki is a vivid, tense, and deeply angry show.

Here’s my essay on Shiki.

Shiki is available on Amazon.

13. Kyousogiga

Kyousogiga

There’s a whole lot to love in Kyousogiga. It’s a family story, populated by a diverse set of characters and full of personal reflections on sibling and parental relations. It’s a world unto itself, a beautiful fairy tale city filled with evocative details. It’s an exercise in aesthetics, with top-notch direction, visual design, and music. And it is all of these things at once – its central conflict of a family that has fallen apart and must come back together makes brilliant use of all its aesthetic strengths, and the world they inhabit fills every frame with personality and color. It also has the best brother-sister relationship I’ve seen in any show, and as the brother of two sisters, I can really appreciate how well this show understands people.

Here’s my review of Kyousogiga.

Kyousogiga is sadly not available in the west.

12. Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop

Shinichiro Watanabe’s first and arguably best original production, Cowboy Bebop has a venerable and well-deserved reputation as a classic. Its stylistic mix of noir, western, scifi, and jazz feels so natural that it’s hard to believe it was basically invented by this show. Its direction is fluid and assured, its stories are incredibly varied and regularly poignant, and its characters are as iconic as they are relatable. It’s cool and funny and confident, diverse enough to have an episode for everyone, and ambitious enough to aptly demonstrate anime’s strengths as a medium. It’s as remarkable today as it was fifteen years ago.

Cowboy Bebop is available on Amazon.

11. Ping Pong The Animation

Ping Pong the Animation

If you’ve gotten this far in my list, you probably won’t find it surprising to learn that Ping Pong is not exactly a sports show. It contains sports – and has a variety of thrilling and aesthetically stunning matches, in fact – but in truth it is a story about people, and about what brings them to ping pong and to each other. Its characters bounce off each other and grow continuously, their sharp edges and loves and ambitions all reflecting in how they change those they compete with. Its scale stretches beyond the court, with ping pong serving as either gateway to or guardian from engagement with the real world. And all of its poignant turns are framed by Masaaki Yuasa’s tremendous direction, full of beautiful interpretive flourishes and scored by a careful soundtrack that constantly elevates the proceedings. Ping Pong demonstrates that any conflict can be made gigantic through empathy for the characters involved, and goes above and beyond with its tremendous aesthetic merits. Even if you don’t consider yourself a sports show fan, Ping Pong is something special.

Here’s my essay on Ping Pong.

Ping Pong just came out! It may get a release, but Yuasa’s shows have a poor track record.

1,054 thoughts on “Top 30 Anime Series of All Time

  1. Thumbs up for sure! And I’m so glad you give Magica what it deserves, such a brilliant piece of art and a story to back it up in the fullest. My list would “as givin” very but not much. top 1 for sure I’m not a Nge fan at all never captured me, in replace bebop Im a 90’s kid who grew up watching bebop outlaw star yu yu. And yes even dbz… Stopped after buu sad day what happened to an entertainment my anime. However, have you seen yumekui Merry? I think you may enjoy it. One thing I know is that making a top “30” is damn hard when you have seen the plethora of amines that I and assume you have a top “100” list suites it better but that’s a big blog ehh. Well just wanted to comment on how I appreciate what you are giving to the newcomers of anime. I’m just so tired of the usual blasphemie to anime people say is the “best”. Oh also I love Afro samurai its a true story of indignation with trials of care and deep motions. Anyhooooo. Love the list!

  2. Just stumbled across your list and I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to write this out. I’ve taken a few years off from watching anime, but recently I’ve felt the pressures of adulthood and confusions of being a part of this universe, and so I wanted to find some shows that would make me feel better, and thanks to you I have about six new series’ to find and watch.

  3. Thanks for sharing a nice list! But no deathnote, well I haven’t seen any anime movie with the same style, farceless confidence, and plot as that one!!

    • To be honest I really liked death not until the end, I grew attached to L and Kira (can’t remember anime names I’m sorry you can kill me later if you must) so when the end came I just kinda died inside ya know? (I won’t go any further to prevent a ramble and spoiling it so watch and see for yourself if your that curious) anyways so what I’m saying is I think death not is one of those animes where you like it or you hate it, me on the other hand it’s a love hate thing, I laugh at the funny stuff remember the normal stuff and cry at the other stuff lol

  4. Quite simple: Your list is awesome!! :)
    I actually haven’t seen all the shows that are on ur list but after reading your reviews, I think I’ll give them a go. I like the way you review anime and how you seperate ur own feelings and general facts. Excellent reasoning! My fav happens to be also NGE and as much as I love the show it has it’s own problems. Nothing is perfect. I could go on and on about the show, but I especially liked how you reviewed that!

  5. No FMA: Brotherhood?!
    No Code Geass?!
    No Death Note?!
    No Attack On Titan?!

    You Fail!!!

    Stines;Gate and Psycho Pass are way too far up on your list.
    Worst List I’ve ever seen.

    • i love all of em .
      first of all , Stein gate are masterpiece , it come slow , and POFF , too much complexity really original . same goes for pyscho pass .

      anyway the author like oregairu and monogatari .

      im sure hot headed character are a no no . hence attack on titan .
      deathnote are pretty much author cup of tea but i respect him for not showing that , i mean , most peoples know them ready .
      code geass ? ..

      i think you like deadly anime .
      . _ . tragic anime ..

      • Lol Nial you know nothing about Death Note. You think dark atmosphere is a bad thing? You should really get more experience before commenting man. Death Note is one of the best ever, and I bet you haven’t even completed it. If you did, and didn’t like it, then that’s just retarded.

        • Death note was amazing for the first 15 or so episodes, but it slowed down so much and became an annoyance later, *SPOILER* especially after L dies. The whole part with N seemed pointless, and they should have ended the show with L catching Light Yagami instead because those two actually had an interesting back-and forth.*SPOILER* It was intense when they would go in the heads of those two, and early on I did’t even know whom I wanted to win. L and Light’s battle made the show, afterwards it was kinda a trashy show that felt like it was beating a dead horse.

          • I agree with what you’re tyring to say, that an shouldn’t have done the job, since he’s L’s underling, and I understand that. But, L’s death was NOT a bad thing since we even see that he was smart enough to know it was his end, by telling Light before dying, and that someone took over for him. But I don’t like N himself. Also, the ending where *SPOILER* Light dies isn’t a bad thing either since we get to see that the main character isn’t also a winner, and that part when Ryuk kills him is actually a pretty good ending. N sucks, I get it, and when L was alive, the show was 10 times better: doesn’t mean the show doesn’t deserve to be on this list…

          • But you gotta agree the One Piece COMPLETELY DESERVES TO BE ON THIS LIST. And don’t tell me it compares to other shonens because HELL NO! This final arc is freaking amazing, and nobody has the right to say anything about one piece until they’ve hit Marineford Arc.

    • I’m pretty sure this was done on purpose by the authors so that readers may find animes they haven’t already watched; as much as I love the shows you mentioned, I think we all know them.

      • Naruto sucks. Okay, the high moments of Naruto are absolutely worth watching – but has any other show had that much filler? Naruto is famous for injecting four or five episodes of filler in the middle of intense action scenes. Also, it repeats the same caricatures over and over again! The Fifth Hokage’s brother, Obito and Naruto are EXACTLY the same character. They had tough childhoods, all wanted to be Hokage, all were underperforming ninjas with big hearts and big dreams who were willing to work hard to achieve their goals. Is Naruto a decent anime? Yes. Is it even in the top 100 anime of all time? No.

          • u say naruto is crap and yes it is on the top 100 anime of all time. naruto deserves to be on this list so does death note and code geass. you say code geass is overrated thts stupidness just cause it is dosen’t ean it is no good. deathnote u hated it but u liked it ?? make up ur mind deathnote is a masterpiece there is no other anime like it. so dude take a scissors and cut the smalltalk

          • u say naruto is crap and yes it is on the top 100 anime of all time. naruto deserves to be on this list so does death note and code geass. you say code geass is overrated thts stupidness just cause it is dosen’t ean it is no good. deathnote u hated it but u liked it ?? make up ur mind deathnote is a masterpiece there is no other anime like it. so dude take a scissors and cut the smalltalk ok,

    • Personally, i found Death Note to have a great start, and alright middle, and an end that I coulnt bring myself to even watch. I started losing interest once SPOILERS Light got rid of his memories, it removed the best part of the show in my opinion, which was L and Light each trying to figure each other out. Then they went and killed L, ending the banter for good. But the biggest crime they committed, and it was at this point where I stopped watching it, they introduced N. From first seeing him all I saw was a carbon copy of L, lacking all of the background story that L had. It was just another “L” without anything to attach the watcher to the character. So in terms of “greatest” animes, it had a great shot of being one, but failed in the end.

      • Your POV is pretty retarded, but I agree that Death Note was worse in the ending. However, it still deserves to be on this list and the ending where SPOILER Ryuk kills Light was an amazing ending. The part where u went completely out of your mind is when you said the beginning was better than the middle. ARE YOU F*N STUPID? After Light and Misa turned themselves in, that’s where the show gets amazing. WTF? You have all that stuff with the new Kira and Misa getting Her book back, which was freaking amazing. You don’t know this anime enough to be commenting here.

  6. This is a practically perfect list. I notice you’re watching Fullmetal Alchemist though, when you really should be watching Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. They cover the same events, but FMA goes off of the manga and brings up random stuff with Dante and things with Hoenheim make absolutely NO sense. Watch brotherhood. I can tell you care a lot about good characters, and FMA-B has characters in spades.

  7. Thank you very much for this list! I greatly appreciate the fact that you left out known animes (attack on titan, death note, code geass) so that the readers may for once actually find series they haven’t already seen.
    Secondly, I commend you for the fine little descriptions you made for each show: instead of just explaining the plot, you gave us a feeling for the “kind” of anime it is and for what is to be expected of it.
    Finally, thank you ever so much for your eloquent and subtle writing that made reading a pleasure (you may as well be a professional critic!).
    Many thanks for taking the time to do this, it’s been very helpful :)

  8. Fooly cooly, WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!!
    Favourite show ever. I understand why most people think it’s just a bunch of schizophrenic frantic ridiculousness… but that’s because it’s spending most of it’s time setting up tropes just to subvert them, all whilst carefully (and I mean VERY carefully) crafting a young male coming of age story of surprising depth. It’s a show that is very divisive; you either love it or hate it.

  9. I’m glad you took your time to write these heavily detailed paragraphs, teaching everyone about different anime. However, I don’t see Death Note, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, or One Piece. You should DEFINITELY WATCH THESE, ESPECIALLY DN AND OP. I’m sure you already know about Death Note being loved everywhere, and I’m sure you’ve heard people saying One Piece sucks.. Well they’re 100 percent wrong. For me, I’ve loved the anime ever since the start, but some people don’t like the beginning of the show and drop it quickly. You have to have some patience and wait for the show to progress a little (even though it’s amazing from the start and I don’t know what these people are saying) to get the real experience. I haven’t seen One Piece on your list of anime watched already, so you should watch it.

    • Sweet Christ One Piece is an endeavor but they make you love the characters. Albeit in the same way over and over and over and over and over…. But I still keep up with it because like 600 episodes in they change their writing style completely.

  10. Well I won’t say I don’t like your list as I have not seen most of the ones u mentioned but I have one question what about one piece, out of all anime I have seen I liked it the most and I agree for death note the ending ruins the level of it. :)

    • Oh my, you do realise Avatar isn’t an anime. It’s just a mix between anime style and american cartoons but definitely not classed as an anime.

      • I feel Avatar: The Last Airbender is truly one of the only American Anime. It’s the only cartoon show outside Gravity Falls that has wonderful characters, vivid enticing environments, and a beautiful story. For me that is what makes anime, and the U.S. has 2 anime in my opinion. I know anime is supposed to be classified by style but in my world it’s all about the writing and artwork.

  11. I must say that I haven’t seen too many of the ones on your list. Although as my name implies there weren’t too many action type shows on the list that I’ve seen. To the individual who said naruto sucks you’re are a joke. An anime can’t bring in that much publicity over that amount of time as well as bring in the revenue that it most likely accrued. I’ll be honest the fillers were always quite disappointing but if you saw what people put when a show didn’t air for one week you could understand why they did it. Don’t forget the early days of Naruto; the Lee Gara fight I could watch a million times. Likewise when you have that many shows, movies, action figures, halloween costumes, and even video games it’s near impossible to say that it sucked.
    That being said you should take a look at Death note like many said because it is breath taking throughout the entire two seasons. The one I’m a bit baffled not to see on here is Bleach. I figured it may have at least made your top 10 but if you’re lucky you’ve never seen it. Another show to watch is The Irregular at Magic High. I’m crossing my fingers for the next season to come soon. Attack on titans I would fund it’s production on my own if possible. Sword Art Online is another great that I must say is a must watch.Magi is a great show to watch but it may not be a top 30 type. Needless to say you have a lot of enjoyment ahead of you. Not trying to promote but check out animeseason.com and its top rated list. It won’t disappoint.

  12. I really like this list it has a lot of very good anime on it. But is missing one of my favorites “Sword Art Online”, and I was a little bit disappointed to not see “Steins;gate” higher on the list or “Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood”. But overall you included a lot of very good ones.

    • Sword Art Online, my God, I love this show. It’s like a condensed perfection of One Piece. In that I felt the same way about Kirito and Asuna as I did for Luffy and Robin and they didn’t take 300-400 episodes (I forget where that arc is) to build up.
      Sword Art Online: Brilliant
      Alfeim Online: Watchable
      Gun Gale Online: Stunning and Clever

  13. Code Geass and Gurren Lagann should have been on this list. I liked Death Note but Code Geass is better than it. Lelouch is a version of Kira that has a fucking actual purpose and dignity. Gurren Lagann is the most epic anime of all time plus it has great storyline, characters, drama…

  14. Gurren Lagann, Code Geass ??
    Gurren Lagann is the most epic anime of all time plus it has great storyline, characters, drama…

    Code Geass and Gurren Lagann should have been on this list. I liked Death Note but Code Geass is better than that. Lelouch is a version of Kira that has a fucking actual purpose and dignity.

  15. I really like your list. I would add these to your list. Top 3: (Elfen Lied, Death Note & Monster)… Code Geass, Denno Coil, Future Diary, Noein, and Full-metal Alchemist (Brotherhood), just off the top of my head.

  16. Thanks for writing this list and the blog! You introduced me to some great anime.

    Given your taste (based on this list), i’d say you’d probably enjoy Cross Game and Touch, both anime based on manga by Adachi Mitsuru.

  17. If only nosebless(i have bad spelling), sen rock, tower of god, god of high school, basically the good Manhaws; as well as ONE PUNCH MAN, AKAME GA KIRU, The breaker, shoughniki no soma, The gamer were animes, then the list would need to be changed alot.

  18. So I take it that Anime didn’t exist before 1998 or so? Where the hell is Totoro? Yamato? Macross? Robot Carnival? Project A-Ko? Grave of the Fireflies? Akira? Bubblegum Crisis? Escaflowne?

  19. I’ve never had anything move me as deeply as End of Evangelion. While the flaws in the series itself are apparent as you mention, the story, the way its presented, the symbolism, deep philosophical and theological implications are what make it a masterpiece.

  20. No Golden time,Nisekoi,The world God only knows,The girl of sakurasou,Date A live,Boku wa tomodachi and noucome? WTF IS THIS LIST?!!

  21. God, I was just reading through the comment section. It’s filled with 13 year old kids that have yet to understand hidden currents underneath the surface water. I was cringing at every full caps reply of “WHERE’S SWORD ART ONLINE?”. I truly feel sorry for you, oh author, if you read through these comments or have stopped because of the sheer level of idiocy portrayed in them.

    • I read every one. They’re really something.

      Fun fact – I’m actually a staff critic at Anime News Network, and one of the shows I’m assigned to cover weekly is Sword Art Online.

  22. Awesome list and exactly what I was looking for. Also appreciate the well written blurbs on each one with what you liked about it. I stumbled upon this trying to figure out which series to watch next and came out with a ton of good suggestions.

    I’m surprised I’m not seeing Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood on the list though. Its the one big addition I would make…

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