The Action Cartoons That Really Rule

Generic, episodic, a lot of action cartoons are pretty much only appreciable in passing. But there exist a special few that carry true weight with smart writing and a powerful storyline. These are they.
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1.
Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  
In a war-torn world of elemental magic, a young boy reawakens to undertake a dangerous mystic quest to fulfill his destiny as the Avatar, and bring peace to the world. (23 mins.)
“ This impeccably crafted series takes every trope in the book and breathes amazing new life into it, making them better than ever before. Possibly the greatest TV show ever made. ” - DeusExKatrina
 
2.
Dragon Ball Z Kai (2009 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
In February of 2009, Toei Animation announced that as an honor to 20 years of Dragon Ball Z, they will begin the production of a renewed DragonBall Z... (24 mins.)
“ Between the ridiculous filler arcs, the constant stalling, and the episode-long power up sessions, I almost forgot DBZ was a fighting show. But without all the fluff, Dragon Ball Kai is as action packed as a nuclear explosion and a good bit more fun (than a nuclear explosion). The quality of the story and the supremacy of the fighting finally shine as they always should have. ” - DeusExKatrina
 
3.
The Legend of Korra (2012 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Avatar Korra fights to keep Republic City safe from the evil forces of both the physical and spiritual worlds. (23 mins.)
“ Twice as beautifully animated as the already picturesque ATLA, and with a powerful story nearly as strong. It exchanges the shonen tropes of Airbender for a more universal Miyazaki feel, and the animation alone is liable to make me weep. Every bit as impeccable as the original, it is the worthy heir to an all-time legend, and I can think of no higher praise than that. ” - DeusExKatrina
 
4.
Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (1995 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A squadron of giant robot pilots of a beleaguered Earth colony bring the war to their oppressive home planet. (30 mins.)
“ A sincerely interesting political undercurrent lends intellect to this fun, fierce, and action packed giant robot space opera. The characters are caricatures, but oh what fantastically engaging caricatures they are! ” - DeusExKatrina
 
5.
Spawn (1997 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
After being betrayed and murdered by his employer, a government trained assassin named, Al Simmons, is resurrected as a Hellspawn and is forced to become the reluctant leader of Hell's army. (30 mins.)
“ As lusciously and beautifully produced as any HBO series, this gorgeously animated and thickly gothic series seems to put cult-classic "Gargoyles" completely to shame, with a stronger, darker, more intricate plot and an equally flawless performance from Gargoyles' own Keith David. At once it is seductive and terrifying. ” - DeusExKatrina
 
6.
Æon Flux (1991 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Æon Flux is a mysterious and amoral secret agent from the country of Monica. Her motives or background are left unexplained... (30 mins.)
“ An absolutely cool, slick, racy MTV action cartoon with rare flare and smarts. A true rarity. ” - DeusExKatrina