Deciding which the best animes of all time are requires considering a vast list of shows. Animes have been in the air for about 100 years in Japan. By the 1970s, other countries started to include them in their regular programming. So, many fans think that the ones from their generation are the best. However, some of them resisted the time and developed their army of devoted fans who watched them repeatedly. Here we have the best animes of all time to add to your must-watch anime queue.
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15. Cowboy Bebop
It is a futuristic story of a space bounty hunter. Its success is due to its hybrid style between western, pulp-fiction, comedy, and space opera. It also deals with themes of existentialism and the karmic effect of past lives on the main character. And, the music is considered superb.
Unfortunately, it only aired for one season because it was considered too adult in Japan. But the public in the USA received it with open arms and awarded it with numerous prizes.
14. Heidi, Girl of the Alps
Heidi is the classic anime of all times. The tender story of a sweet little girl who was sent to live with her grandfather captivated everyone in the mountains. The first part occurs in the mountains, and the beautiful landscape becomes part of the story too. Since it was one of the first anime that had international distribution in the 70s, it paved the way for many other shows.
The story makes emphasis on the suffering of Heidi when she is taken away from her grandfather. From there, a sequence of facts that make her go through difficult situations when she has to get adapted to a new life is memorable. Also, the music and the dramatic scenes make this anime worthy of the title of one of the best animes ever.
13. Mazinger Z
Nowadays, it is common to see movies and TV shows with robots. Still, by the time it was broadcasted in the ’70s, Mazinger Z rocked with its originality. Its battles included a dosage of photonic rays displayed through his eyes and a removable punch that killed many enemies. The robot was managed from inside, and every time Mazinger Z entered the scene, it was to save the world.
Also, he had a female counterpart named Aphrodite with projectile-like removable breasts. It was a total revolution that excited boys and girls. Although the show only has the name of Mazinger Z, the battles where Aphrodite takes part were some of the most memorable.
12. Speed Racer X
Speed Racer X, known in Japan as Mach GoGoGo, features a race car, Mach 5, with all sorts of mechanical enhancements that made everybody go crazy about it. The story is about a teenager that intends to become a professional race driver and uses this car.
In the way, he goes through many adventures and with him, a cast that all viewers loved! It included a hot girl, a monkey, a mysterious brother, and the father, who is the car designer. But without a doubt, the Mach 5 was always the start of the show.
These are many fantastic little creatures, being Pikachu, the star, and a Pokemon trainer named Satoshi. He captures and trains Pokemons to make them battle against each other. It was initially aired from 1997 to 2002 and had more than five movies and spinoffs. There is currently a virtual game that allows hunting Pokemon in real life around parks and public spaces.
At first, its popularity was due to the variety of creatures that can satisfy fans of all kinds. Although many discuss whether Pokemon is one of the best animes, it is undeniable that it is one of the most popular worldwide. Hence, it deserves a place on this list.
10. Hunter x Hunter
This story follows a twelve-year-old named Gon Freecss, where his parents are dead. His father was a hunter, and Gon is determined to become a great hunter. Hunters do dangerous tasks such as capturing criminals or finding lost treasures. In this series, we watch as young Gon grows and matures, becoming a better person and hunter.
This is the story of a young boy trying to become a Ninja. The story also includes his personal growth experiences, many battles, and drama unfolds captivating for all its viewers. It lasted several years in the air and then a sequel that lasted 10 years. Fans love everything from this show and always want more, the story, the characters, and the music. It seems that it has it all. And that’s why the continuation of the series is called Boruto.
8. Dragon Ball Z
The story revolves around Goku with his companions to defeat villains on Earth and throughout the universe. Goku is a Saiyan, a powerful race of fighters, and his journey to improve and save the world. This show reached popularity due to its story because Goku’s was lighter and more memorable than other similar characters in other anime. Moreover, the villains were your classic evil-doers, which made many people fall for them.
7. One Piece
One Piece is one of the most long-running anime out today, which follows Luffy, who wants to become King of all pirates. With its unique art style, a cast of characters, the compelling universe, One Piece is a hilarious anime that will keep fans glued to watching it.
6. Attack on Titan
The main character, Eren Yeager, is on a mission to destroy giant zombie humanoids. It’s because the giants have destroyed Eren’s hometown and have also brought humanity close to extinction. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic giant zombie world. Fans of this series are captured by the cast of characters and the anime’s storytelling.
5. My Hero Academia (aka Boku no Hero Academia)
This standard shonen anime, which means it targets young teen males, is a long-running popular anime. It has a fantasy world setting, different and exciting character stories and development, beautiful animations, and art styles for each character.
4. Sword Art Online
In 2022, virtual reality’s technology has skyrocketed where players can use their brains as controllers to play in a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (VRMMORPG) called Sword Art Online (SAO). This is a really interesting premise where people can control their characters in a virtual reality setting. I mean, who wouldn’t want to watch a show about that? No wonder this anime is so popular and earns a spot in the best animes of all time.
3. One Punch Man
Saitama, a superhero, can beat any villain or opponent with a single punch. Throughout his life, he seeks a challenge and is in constant boredom. Throughout the series, a 19-year old cyborg named Genos joins under Saitama’s wing in the adventure to fulfill his quest for more power.
What makes One Punch Man a great anime is that it does the opposite of what an anime usually does and the familiar anime tropes. Typically, the main character is weak and must fight a higher villain or power to progress the story but not in this anime. Saitama is undefeated and seeks something else to fill the void of being a superhero.
2. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
This is a story of two young alchemist brothers, Edward and Alphonse, who dared to execute the forbidden act of transmutation. Their transgression caused them to lose part of their bodies, and from there, they start their adventures to recover them. It is a sequel from the first Fullmetal Alchemist show, but it stands out because it stayed true to the story and the original art style.
Although it has some violent and raw scenes, it results in thought-provoking with plenty of references to philosophy and religion. Also, the music and voices are outstanding! In short, a full package that keeps everybody connected to the series. It was first aired in 2009, and since then, its fans love it and keep ranking it in the first place.
1. Death Note
This TV show lasted only one season, from 2006 to 2007, but it was enough to win people’s hearts. Then, Nintendo developed a video game, Netflix released a US film, and even Broadway made a musical based on it. The most outstanding feature of this show is that the main characters are dark. They are on the edge of being good and bad.
The story is about a God of death that uses a death note notebook to sentence people to death. Whoever he includes into the notebook then dies. He opts for going down to Earth and passes the notebook to a human being. That human being is Light Yagami, and he discovers the power of the notebook.
With his newfound powers, he uses it to play as a God by “cleaning” the world from criminals. A series of non-stop spiraling and twisting events occur that create a suspenseful anime series from these events. For this year 2020, its creators announced a sequel, and many devoted fans anticipate it will be a huge success.
In short, this list proves that the best animes of all time may come from different genres and styles. They all have in common that they resisted the time and remain the favorites for many fans. This preference is also shown in the numerous side projects they have, such as movies, games, and sequels.
What do you think of this list? Are there any on here that we should have mentioned, and why?