MyAnimeList: Top 50 Initial Series

by lifeasfiction | created - 03 May 2012 | updated - 04 May 2012 | Public

A list of the top 50 rated anime series that are the beginnings of their respective franchises, as rated at MyAnimeList.net.

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1. Hagane no renkinjutsushi (2009–2010)

TV-14 | 24 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

9.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  

Two brothers search for a Philosopher's Stone after an attempt to revive their deceased mother goes awry and leaves them in damaged physical forms.

Stars: Kent Williams, Iemasa Kayumi, Muriel Hofmann, Lili Troncale

Votes: 70,396

2. Steins;Gate (2011–2015)

TV-14 | 24 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

8.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

After discovering time travel, a university student and his colleagues must use their knowledge of it to stop an evil organization and their diabolical plans.

Stars: Mamoru Miyano, Asami Imai, Kana Hanazawa, Trina Nishimura

Votes: 26,021

3. Gintama (2005– )

TV-14 | Animation, Action, Comedy

8.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

The comic adventures of a samurai having to live in an alternate history of Japan occupied by aliens.

Stars: Tomokazu Sugita, Daisuke Sakaguchi, Rie Kugimiya, Kazuya Nakai

Votes: 3,810

4. Tengen toppa gurren lagann (2007)

TV-14 | 24 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Two friends, Simon and Kamina, become the symbols of rebellion against the powerful Spiral King, who forced mankind into subterranean villages.

Stars: Yuri Lowenthal, Kana Asumi, Steve Blum, Johnny Yong Bosch

Votes: 10,315

5. Hajime no ippo (2000–2002)

TV-PG | 20 min | Animation, Action, Comedy

8.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Makunouchi Ippo is an ordinary high school student in Japan. Since he spends most of his time away from school helping his mother run the family business, he doesn't get to enjoy his ... See full summary »

Stars: Richard Epcar, D.C. Douglas, Peter Doyle, Beau Billingslea

Votes: 3,535

6. Kôdo giasu: Hangyaku no rurûshu (2006–2012)

TV-14 | 24 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

8.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

The Empire of Britannia has invaded Japan using giant robot weapons called Knightmare Frames. Japan is now referred to as Area 11, and its people the 11's. A Britannian who was living in ... See full summary »

Stars: Johnny Yong Bosch, Yuri Lowenthal, Jun Fukuyama, Takahiro Sakurai

Votes: 34,469

7. Mushi-Shi (2005–2006)

TV-14 | 25 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

They are neither plants nor animals. They differ from other forms of life such as the micro-organisms and the fungi. Instead they resemble the primeval body of life and are generally known ... See full summary »

Stars: Yûto Nakano, Travis Willingham, Kôjun Itô, Jennifer Seman

Votes: 9,316

8. Death Note: Desu nôto (2006–2007)

TV-14 | 24 min | Animation, Crime, Drama

9.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

An intelligent high school student goes on a secret crusade to eliminate criminals from the world after discovering a notebook capable of killing anyone whose name is written into it.

Stars: Mamoru Miyano, Brad Swaile, Vincent Tong, Ryô Naitô

Votes: 153,051

9. Cowboy Bebop (1998–2003)

TV-MA | 24 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

8.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

The futuristic misadventures and tragedies of an easygoing bounty hunter and his partners.

Stars: Kôichi Yamadera, Unshô Ishizuka, Megumi Hayashibara, Steve Blum

Votes: 64,939

10. Monster (2004–2010)

TV-14 | 24 min | Animation, Crime, Drama

8.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A brilliant neurosurgeon living in Germany finds his life in utter turmoil after getting involved with a psychopath that was once a former patient.

Stars: Hidenobu Kiuchi, Liam O'Brien, Mamiko Noto, Karen Strassman

Votes: 13,347

11. Fate/Zero (2011– )

TV-MA | 25 min | Animation, Action, Fantasy

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Seven chosen magi and their summoned epic heroes fight against each other to try and win the holy grail: a magical device that can grant any wish.

Stars: Ayako Kawasumi, Kari Wahlgren, Sayaka Ohara, Jôji Nakata

Votes: 6,395

12. Ano hi mita hana no namae o bokutachi wa mada shiranai. (2011– )

TV-PG | 23 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Six childhood friends have grown apart over the years following the death of one of them, Menma. The original 'leader' of this friend group, Jintan, is currently aimless in life and it is ... See full summary »

Stars: Griffin Burns, Ray Chase, Erica Lindbeck, Erica Mendez

Votes: 4,164

13. Maho Shojo Madoka Magica (2011)

TV-14 | 24 min | Animation, Drama, Fantasy

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A creature named Kyubey offers to grant Madoka a wish if she becomes a 'magical girl' and fights grotesque witches. A magical girl named Homura tries to stop this agreement, and the true nature of the contract with Kyubey is revealed.

Stars: Aoi Yûki, Chiwa Saitô, Emiri Kato, Christine Marie Cabanos

Votes: 4,586

14. Baccano! (2007–2008)

TV-MA | 25 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A crazy fantasy caper involving alchemists, immortals, gangsters, outlaws and an elixir of immortality, spread over several decades.

Stars: J. Michael Tatum, Caitlin Glass, Akemi Kanda, Maxey Whitehead

Votes: 8,275

15. Usagi Drop (2011– )

TV-PG | Animation, Comedy, Drama

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A man adopts his six-year-old aunt and raises her as his own kid.

Stars: Hiroshi Tsuchida, Ayu Matsuura, Atsuko Mine, Noa Sakai

Votes: 1,666

16. Nana (2006– )

TV-14 | 21 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Two ostensibly opposite women, both named Nana, become roommates in Tokyo and grow inseparable. However, their relationship is jeopardized as the harsh realities of adult life take shape.

Stars: Romi Pak, Kaori, Brian Drummond, Toshiyuki Morikawa

Votes: 1,879

17. Mononoke (2007)

TV-MA | 25 min | Animation, Fantasy, Horror

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A mysterious man called the Medicine Seller travels along feudal Japan, uncovering and slaying evil spirits called "Mononoke".

Star: Takahiro Sakurai

Votes: 954

18. Nodame kantâbire (2007– )

25 min | Animation, Comedy, Music

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Chiaki is a first class musician whose dream is to play among the elites in Europe.He is an infamous perfectionist, not only is he highly critical of himself, but of others as well. But his... See full summary »

Stars: Yoshinori Fujita, Shinji Kawada, Sanae Kobayashi, Hitomi Nabatame

Votes: 700

19. Kurosu gêmu (2009– )

Animation, Romance, Sport

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

5th grader Koh Kitamura lives next door to the Tsukishima family, owners of a batting cage and the Clover cafe. His girlfriend, Wakaba, is the 2nd Tsukishima daughter; the 3rd daughter, the... See full summary »

Stars: Miyu Irino, Akemi Kanda, Noriko Shitaya, Haruka Tomatsu

Votes: 267

20. Durarara!! (2010)

TV-14 | Animation, Action, Crime

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Tired of his mundane life, Mikado Ryugamine decides to move to Ikebukuro, a district in Tokyo, when a friend invites him. With everything from invisible gangs to rumored beings, Ikebukuro is full of connected mysteries where people's pasts intertwine with the present.

Stars: Brian Beacock, Johnny Yong Bosch, Doug Erholtz, Crispin Freeman

Votes: 4,697

21. Ôran kôkô hosutobu (2006)

TV-14 | 24 min | Animation, Comedy, Romance

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

At the ultra prestigious Ouran High School, Haruhi Fujioka looks for a quiet place to read and walks into an unused music room, and accidentally stumbles across the notorious Ouran High ... See full summary »

Stars: Maaya Sakamoto, Mamoru Miyano, Masaya Matsukaze, Ken'ichi Suzumura

Votes: 6,154

22. Clannad (2007–2008)

TV-PG | 30 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A high school student who cares little about school or others meets a lonely girl who had to repeat a year while all her friends finished high school. He decides to hang out with her and soon meets more friendly students.

Stars: Yûichi Nakamura, Mai Nakahara, David Matranga, Luci Christian

Votes: 5,410

23. Angel Beats! (2010)

TV-14 | 25 min | Animation, Action, Comedy

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Rebellious teens fight in armed combat against one dispassionate girl's supernatural powers in an afterlife high school.

Stars: Hiroshi Kamiya, Harumi Sakurai, Kana Hanazawa, Ryohei Kimura

Votes: 7,788

24. Toradora! (2008–2011)

TV-14 | 24 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Ryuji Takasu lives in a falling down house with his mother, and although being a nice guy is cursed with the evil look of his father causing people to avoid him.Taiga Aisaka is a tiny,self ... See full summary »

Stars: Rie Kugimiya, Junji Majima, Yui Horie, Hirofumi Nojima

Votes: 5,091

25. Katei Kyoshi Hitman Reborn! (2006– )

TV-14 | Animation, Action, Comedy

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The baby hitman Reborn, one of the cursed 'Arcabaleno' arrives to teach Tsunayoshi 'No Good Tsuna' Sawada how to become head of the Vongola, a power crime family.

Stars: Hidenobu Kiuchi, Hidekazu Ichinose, Yukari Kokubun, Neeko

Votes: 920

26. Yojôhan shinwa taikei (2010)

TV-14 | Animation, Comedy, Drama

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

When a nameless student at Kyoto University encounters a demigod one night, he asks to relive the past three years in order to win the heart of Ms. Akashi, the object of his affection.

Stars: Shintaro Asanuma, Keiji Fujiwara, Yuki Kaida, Rin Mizuhara

Votes: 1,576

27. Katanagatari (2010– )

TV-PG | 50 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Kyotoryuu, the legendary sword fighting stance is passed down from father to son. Shichika and his sister Nanami are the sole remaining descendants of theYasuri household and Shichika alone... See full summary »

Stars: Yoshimasa Hosoya, Yukari Tamura, Masako Ikeda, Haruka Tomatsu

Votes: 795

28. Rainbow: Nishakubou no shichinin (2010– )

TV-MA | 30 min | Animation, Crime, Drama

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Set in 1955, the anime follows the story of seven teenagers locked in a reformatory, waiting for a ray of light in a daily hell of suffering and humiliation, focusing especially on how they faced the life once regained freedom.

Stars: Shun Oguri, Romi Pak, Takaya Kuroda, Tatsuya Hasome

Votes: 925

29. Kino's Journey (2003– )

TV-PG | Animation, Adventure, Drama

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Young world-weary sharpshooter girl Kino and her talking inquisitive motorcycle Hermes travel around her unusual world, visiting various city-states for three days each to learn about their culture, history and ruling philosophy.

Stars: Ai Maeda, Ryuji Aigase, Kelli Cousins, Cynthia Martinez

Votes: 1,931

30. Samurai Champloo (2004–2005)

TV-MA | 24 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

8.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Fuu, a waitress who works in a teahouse, rescues two master swordsmen, Mugen and Jin, from their execution to help her find the "samurai who smells of sunflowers."

Stars: Kazuya Nakai, Ginpei Sato, Ayako Kawasumi, Steve Blum

Votes: 29,998

31. Fullmetal Alchemist (2003–2004)

TV-PG | 24 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

8.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

When a failed alchemical ritual leaves brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric with severely damaged bodies, they begin searching for the one thing that can save them; the fabled philosopher's stone.

Stars: Vic Mignogna, Aaron Dismuke, Romi Pak, Rie Kugimiya

Votes: 47,446

32. Sukippu bîto! (2008– )

TV-PG | Animation, Comedy, Drama

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Kyouko went with her childhood friend, Shou to Tokyo to pursue his dream of becoming an idol. Despite she is supporting him, Shou deceive her. Kyouko vows to get her revenge by defeating him in the entertainment world too.

Stars: Robbie Daymond, Caitlin Glass, Marina Inoue, Katsuyuki Konishi

Votes: 790

33. N.H.K ni yôkoso! (2006– )

TV-MA | Animation, Comedy, Drama

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

This surreal dramedy follows Satou Tatsuhiro as he attempts to escape the evil machinations of the NHK.

Stars: Yutaka Koizumi, Yui Makino, Wataru Hatano, Asuka Ideno

Votes: 4,135

34. Hunter x Hunter (1999–2001)

23 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

8.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

The history of Gon Freecs, a boy who left home alone to become a Hunter. In the hard test, Gon meets Leorio, Kurapika and Killua.

Stars: Hozumi Gôda, Yuki Kaida, Junko Takeuchi, Annika Odegard

Votes: 3,738

35. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad (2004–2005)

TV-MA | 25 min | Animation, Drama, Music

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Koyuki meets the guitarist, Ryuske, and discovers a love and talent for music.

Stars: Tomohisa Asô, Taliesin Jaffe, Jamie McGonnigal, Shintarô Oohata

Votes: 1,705

36. Mejaa (2004– )

25 min | Animation, Sport

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Honda Goro the son of a famous baseball player loves nothing more than baseball itself. His biggest dream is to show his father that he can become the best pitcher in the world despite all ... See full summary »

Stars: Shôtarô Morikubo, Seiichi Morita, Junko Noda, Mamiko Noto

Votes: 173

37. Chihayafuru (2011– )

Animation, Comedy, Drama

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Chihaya meets a boy named Arata, a talented karuta player. He thinks that she has a potential to become a great player. Then, Chihaya takes on a new dream of becoming Japan's best karuta player.

Stars: Asami Seto, Mamoru Miyano, Tôru Nara, Ai Kayano

Votes: 467

38. Bakemonogatari (2009– )

TV-14 | 25 min | Animation, Action, Comedy

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Third-year high school student Koyomi Araragi is human again. Cured of his vampirism, he seeks to help other supernaturals with their problems. Koyomi becomes involved in their lives, revealing secrets in people he once knew.

Stars: Hiroshi Kamiya, Eri Kitamura, Yuka Iguchi, Chiwa Saitô

Votes: 2,504

39. Romio no aoi sora (1995– )

24 min | Drama, Animation

8.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

the story about the boy Romeo, who was living with his family in a small village in Switzerland and then decide to lease himself to his need for money after the crowman burn their farm for ... See full summary »

Stars: Ryûnosuke Ôbayashi, Kayoko Fujii, Terue Numanami

Votes: 473

40. Kanon (2006–2007)

TV-14 | 22 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

As a young child, Aizawa Yuuichi had often visited his cousin in the city; however, something drastic happened to keep him away for seven long years. Now, Yuuichi returns, his memories of those days are simply gone.

Stars: Tomokazu Sugita, Mariko Kouda, Yûko Minaguchi, Yui Horie

Votes: 1,232

41. Slam Dunk (1993–1996)

22 min | Animation, Comedy, Sport

8.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

About Sakuragi Hanamichi, a freshman of Shohoku High School who joins the basketball team because of the girl he has a crush on, Haruko. Although he is newbie in this sport, he is no ordinary basketball player.

Stars: Michael C. Pizzuto, Hisao Egawa, Eriko Hara, Akiko Hiramatsu

Votes: 2,851

42. One Outs (2008–2009)

Animation, Drama, Sport

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Hiromichi Kojima, the star batter of the Lycaons, heads to the southern Japanese island of Okinawa to train and find a new pitcher for the team. There, he meets Toa Tokuchi, a 134-kmph ... See full summary »

Stars: Masato Hagiwara, Tsutomu Isobe, Kenji Utsumi, Kappei Yamaguchi

Votes: 779

43. Iga-no Kabamaru (1983–1984)

Animation, Comedy, Family

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A young ninja who has lived in the country comes to the big city for the first time.

Stars: Yôko Asagami, Shigeru Chiba, Kenjirô Ishimaru, Akira Kamiya

Votes: 422

44. Planetes (2003–2004)

TV-14 | Animation, Drama, Sci-Fi

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In the year 2075, mankind has reached a point where journeying between Earth, the moon and the space stations is part of daily life. However, the progression of technology in space has also... See full summary »

Stars: Joe Cappelletti, Nao Nagasawa, Beau Billingslea, Kazunari Tanaka

Votes: 2,612

45. Natsume yûjinchô (2008– )

Animation, Comedy, Drama

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When Natsume Takashi inherits a book that belonged to his late grandmother he realizes the book is filled with the names of spirits she defeated and bound to her will. He then decides to return their names so they can be free once again.

Stars: Hiroshi Kamiya, Kazuhiko Inoue, Miki Itô, Ryohei Kimura

Votes: 1,021

46. Rurouni Kenshin: Wandering Samurai (1996–1998)

TV-14 | 24 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

8.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The adventures of a young wandering swordsman who stumbles upon a struggling martial arts school in Meiji era Japan.

Stars: Mayo Suzukaze, Richard Cansino, Dean Wein, Dorothy Elias-Fahn

Votes: 13,915

47. Kôkaku kidôtai: Stand Alone Complex (2002–2005)

TV-MA | 24 min | Animation, Action, Crime

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The futuristic adventures of a female cyborg counter intelligence agent and her support team.

Stars: Shirô Saitô, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, William Knight, Richard Epcar

Votes: 14,574

48. Kimi ni todoke (2009– )

TV-PG | 30 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Sawako Kuronuma is misunderstood due to her resemblance to the ghost girl from The Ring. But one day the nicest boy in the class, Kazehaya befriends her and everything changed after that and also everyone perspective of Sawako but there's going to be struggle await for her up in the future.

Stars: Mamiko Noto, Daisuke Namikawa, Yûko Sanpei, Miyuki Sawashiro

Votes: 1,710

49. Kemono no Souja Erin (2009– )

25 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Add a Plot

Stars: Nanase Hoshii, Akira Ishida

Votes: 135

50. My Ordinary Life (2011– )

TV-14 | Animation, Comedy

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A group of students lead normal lives and cope with normal predicaments, but all too often find themselves in abnormal situations.

Stars: Shizuka Furuya, Hiromi Konno, Mariko Honda, Minoru Shiraishi

Votes: 1,067