Best Anime TV Series Recommendations

A small Collection of my personal Anime Series favorites.
The list is mainly seinen titles with some exceptions ofc.

OVAs up to 4 episodes and Movies/Shorts are excluded from the list. Mediocre shounen series with huge number of episodes were also deliberately excluded. I can't say they are my cup of tea anyway. I always value my time and if the series watched was worth the trouble and the time invested in it. Sequels are also out, generally speaking.

This list somehow tries to give emphasis in combinations of the below, at least in my mind:

Artwork & Animation Quality
Variety in genre and originality
Story (pace/plot/narrative/twists)
Memorable characters
Messages and feelings that were conveyed
Overall Enjoyment

Order as always is more or less irrelevant since it is just personal. Feel free to comment on anything and suggest any missing titles I may have neglected.

NOTES:

1. Hanada Shounen-shi (2003), Human Crossing (2003) & Dezaki's Black Jack OVA Series would have made this list, but their entries were nowhere to be found in imdb...

2. Gintama didn't make it by a small margin due to the too many mediocre episodes after the middle.

3. Honorary mention to Garden of Sinners movies (a movie series) for their animation quality and to guilty pleasure series such as 100 Stories, Stein's Gate & Gungrave even if they didn't make it. Captain Harlock deserves a mention as well, even if outdated.

4. Special mention to the French/Japanese Animation Series Ulysses 31, which I adored and was completely bedazzled by, as a kid.

Enjoy and feel free to add recommendations!

---05-11-13---
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1.
Cowboy Bebop (1998 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
The futuristic misadventures and tragedies of an easygoing bounty hunter and his partners. (24 mins.)
 
2.
Guardian of the Sacred Spirit (2007 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The Second Empress hires a spear-wielding woman to save her son from the Mikado (emperor) who believes the young prince is possessed by a water demon foretold to bring a terrible drought upon the land should he live.
“ ---Guardian of the Sacred Spirit--- ” - Rad82
 
3.
Legend of the Galactic Heroes (1988 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  
Various people, especially two rising commanders, cope with a massive continual space conflict between two interstellar nations. (25 mins.)
Director: Noboru Ishiguro
“ ---The Legend of Galactic Heroes--- ” - Rad82
 
4.
Mushi-Shi (2005 TV Series)
    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... (25 mins.)
 
5.
The Rose of Versailles (1979 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The story of Lady Oscar, a female military commander who served during the time of the French Revolution. (24 mins.)
“ ---Rose of Versailles--- ” - Rad82
 
6.
Monster (2004 TV Series)
    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. (24 mins.)
Director: Masayuki Kojima
 
7.
Texhnolyze (2003 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In a man-made underground society, descendants of a banished generation vie for control of the crumbling city of Lux...
“ ---Texhnolyze--- ” - Rad82
 
8.
GTO (1999 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
About Eikichi Onizuka, a 22-year-old ex-gangster member and a virgin. He has one ambition that no one ever expected from him. His solely life purpose is to become the greatest high school teacher ever. (24 mins.)
Director: Kino Abe
“ ---Great Teacher Onizuka--- ” - Rad82
 
9.
Treasure Island (1978 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Jim Hawkins, a 13-year-old boy in the 18 centre runs with his mother Admiral Benbu hotel since his father died but events begin when the sailor drunkard decide to stay in a hotel. (24 mins.)
“ ---Treasure Island--- ” - Rad82
 
10.
Kino's Journey (2003 Mini-Series)
    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.
“ ---Kino's Journey--- ” - Rad82
 
11.
Mononoke (2007 Mini-Series)
    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". (25 mins.)
 
12.
“ ---Toward the Terra--- ” - Rad82
 
13.
Nobody's Boy Remi (1977 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A compelling story in which orphaned Remi gets hired out to a traveling street entertainer Vitalis when her foster parents fall on hard times. (24 mins.)
Director: Osamu Dezaki
“ ---Nobody`s Boy - Remi--- ” - Rad82
 
14.
Master Keaton (1998 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The enigmatic Taichi Keaton engages in secret missions that take him to every corner of the globe. He... (30 mins.)
 
15.
Shigurui: Death Frenzy (2007 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The series starts off at a tournament where a one armed samurai faces a blind one and quickly flashes back to reveal the history between the two fighters.
“ ---Shigurui: Death Frenzy--- ” - Rad82
 
16.
Kaiba (2008 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
In a futuristic dystopian world where memories are literally stored, bought and sold and rich have all the privileges, a young amnesiac is trying to find out who he is.
 
17.
Ergo Proxy (2006 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In a post-apocalyptic future humans live in peace with androids in a domed city. However, a strange series of murders has intruded into bored inspector Re-l Mayer's life. (25 mins.)
Director: Shûkô Murase
 
18.
The Twelve Kingdoms (2002 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
High school student Yoko Nakajima is approached by a strange man who claims he's been searching for her and that she is the rightful ruler of his kingdom.
“ ---The Twelve Kingdoms--- ” - Rad82
 
19.
Romeo's Blue Skies (1995 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
the story about the boy Romeo, who was living with his family in a small village in Switzerland and... (24 mins.)
Director: Kôzô Kusuba
“ ---Romeo's Blue Skies---
aka Romeo and the Black Brothers ” - Rad82
 
20.
Future Boy Conan (1978 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
After the world is nearly destroyed by a war, a young boy and his friends must fight to save the world from those who seek to conquer what is left of civilization. (24 mins.)
“ ---Future Boy Conan--- ” - Rad82
 
21.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
The futuristic adventures of a female cyborg counter intelligence agent and her support team. (24 mins.)
“ ---GIT SAC--- both seasons ” - Rad82
 
22.
Berserk (1997 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Guts is a skilled swordsman who joins forces with a mercenary group named 'The Band of the Hawk', lead by the charismatic Griffith, and fights with them as they battle their way into the royal court. (22 mins.)
“ ---Berserk--- ” - Rad82
 
23.
The Count of Monte Cristo (2004 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Trying to escape his uneventful life, Albert, the son of a renowned general from Paris, makes a journey with his friend Franz... (24 mins.)
Director: Mahiro Maeda
“ ---The Count of Monte Cristo--- ” - Rad82
 
24.
Death Note (2006 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 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. (24 mins.)
“ ---Death Note--- ” - Rad82
 
25.
Paranoia Agent (2004 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Seemingly unconnected citizens of Tokyo are targeted for bludgeoning by a boy with a golden baseball bat. As detectives try to link the victims, they discover that following the assaults, the victims' lives have improved in some way. (30 mins.)
“ ---Paranoia Agent--- ” - Rad82
 
26.
Zipang (2004 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The story of Zipang is basically the same as that of the movie The Final Countdown, only with a few twists...
 
27.
Welcome to the NHK! (2006 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
N.H.K ni yôkoso! (Welcome to the N.H.K) revolves around the life of Tatsuhiro Satou, a 22 year old hikikomori...
“ ---Welcome to the NHK!--- ” - Rad82
 
28.
Samurai chanpurû (2004 TV Series)
    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." (24 mins.)
“ ---Samurai Champloo--- ” - Rad82
 
29.
The Irresponsible Captain Tylor (1993 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The adventures of a space navy captain who is either an incredibly lucky idiot, or an unorthodox genius in tactics.
“ ---Irresponsible Captain Tylor--- ” - Rad82
 
30.
Haibane renmei (2002 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A young girl is reborn as an angel-like creature called a haibane, with no memory of who she once was. (25 mins.)
 
31.
Kemonozume (2006 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
 
32.
Môryô no Hako (2008 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Police detective Kiba finds himself investigating a very strange case involving a girl hit by a train... (23 mins.)
“ ---Box of Goblins--- ” - Rad82
 
33.
Planetes (2003 TV Series)
    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...
 
34.
Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl (1989 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Follows the story of a Japanese girl named Yawara Inokuma over a four year period as she prepares for the Judo competition at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. (25 mins.)
 
35.
Ping Pong the Animation (2014 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Five ping pong prodigies learn to navigate the harsh climate of competitive sport and the even more frightening realm of self realization.
 
36.
3000 Leagues in Search of Mother (1976 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An Italian child goes on a journey to find his mother in Argentina. (25 mins.)
Director: Isao Takahata
“ ---From the Appenines to the Andes---
aka 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother ” - Rad82
 
37.
Wolf's Rain (2003 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In a post-apocalyptic future where humans live in domed cities surrounded by wasteland, wolves are assumed to be two hundred years extinct. (701 mins.)
 
38.
Flag (2006 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Kazuo Terada
 
39.
Princess Tutu (2002 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A duck turned girl with magical powers must help save a prince from an unfinished fairy tale. (30 mins.)
“ ---Princess Tutu--- ” - Rad82
 
40.
Usagi Drop (2011 TV Series)
    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.
“ ---Usagi Drop--- ” - Rad82
 
41.
Revolutionary Girl Utena (1997 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A tomboyish schoolgirl finds herself forced into repeated duels for another girl who has a role in a world revolution. (24 mins.)
“ ---Revolutionary Girl Utena--- ” - Rad82
 
42.
Koi kaze (2004 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Koshiro and Nanoka fall deeply in love, then discover they are the children of their divorced estranged parents... making them brother and sister. How will their relationship turn out? (25 mins.)
Director: Takahiro Ômori
 
43.
Dennou Coil (2007 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
“ ---Dennou Coil--- ” - Rad82
 
44.
Serial Experiments Lain (1998 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Strange events begin to occur as a withdrawn girl named Lain becomes obsessed with interconnected virtual realm of "The Wired". (24 mins.)
 
45.
The Tatami Galaxy (2010 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 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.
Director: Masaaki Yuasa
“ ---The Tatamy Galaxy--- ” - Rad82
 
46.
Nodame kantâbire (2007 TV Series)
    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... (25 mins.)
Director: Kenichi Kasai
“ ---Nodame Cantabile 1st Season--- ” - Rad82
 
47.
Nana (2006 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Komatsu Nana moves to Tokyo, after a break-up. On the train, she meets Osaki Nana, the vocalist of a Punk band, who is also moving there. The two girls end up becoming flat mates and together they support each other, while facing life. (21 mins.)
 
48.
Crest of the Stars (1999 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
“ ---Crest of the Stars & Banner of The Stars--- ” - Rad82
 
49.
Ouran High School Host Club (2006 TV Series)
    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... (24 mins.)
“ ---Ouran Highschool Hostclub--- ” - Rad82
 
50.
Baccano! (2007 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A crazy fantasy caper involving alchemists, immortals, gangsters, outlaws and an elixir of immortality, spread over several decades. (25 mins.)
Director: Takahiro Ômori
 
51.
House of Five Leaves (2010 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Timid samurai Akitsu Masanosuke becomes involved with the group "Five Leaves" after becoming the bodyguard for their mysterious, yet charismatic leader Yaichi.
“ ---House of Five Leaves--- ” - Rad82
 
52.
Hourou Musuko (2011 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Yoshino and Shuichi are two friends, both starting at a new school, both starting puberty, and both trans-gendered. This series follows them as they come out and find acceptance. (25 mins.)
“ ---Wandering Son--- ” - Rad82
 
53.
Hataraki Man (2006 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Stars: Rie Tanaka
“ ---Working Man--- ” - Rad82
 
54.
Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A teenage boy finds himself recruited as a member of an elite team of pilots by his father. (24 mins.)
“ ---Neon Genesis Evangelion--- ” - Rad82
 
55.
Aoi Bungaku Series (2009 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Aoi Bungaku is a 12 episode anime series that is comprised of adaptations of six Japanese literary classics... (22 mins.)
“ ---Blue Literature--- ” - Rad82
 
56.
Hi no tori (2004 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Throughout history, from the distant past to the far future, men seek to capture the Phoenix, the source of eternal life. But what does success truly mean? (25 mins.)
“ ---The Phoenix--- ” - Rad82
 
57.
Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad (2004 TV Series)
    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. (25 mins.)
Director: Osamu Kobayashi
 
58.
Rupan sansei (1971 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The adventures of the master thief Lupin III and his cohorts as they dive into various escapades, all the while in pursuit by the tenacious Inspector Zenigata. (23 mins.)
Director: Masaaki Ôsumi
“ ---Lupin the 3rd, 1st Season--- ” - Rad82
 
59.
Detroit Metal City (2008 Video)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The life of a split personality man who secretly sings for death metal. (168 mins.)
“ ---Detroit Metal City--- ” - Rad82
 
60.
Fullmetal Alchemist (2003 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
The Elric brothers' deciding to perform a forbidden human transmutation to bring their dead mother back, they end up losing their bodies. Now Edward must find the chemical privileges to restore their body back. (24 mins.)
“ ---Full Metal Alchemist---

This series had better atmosphere while the recent one had full plotline and more action. Both were pretty ok. ” - Rad82
 
61.
Chôjikû Yôsai Macross (1982 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
An alien ship crash lands on Earth and its secrets lead to a desperate war against an alien foe sent to retrieve the ship. (25 mins.)
Director: Noboru Ishiguro
“ ---Macross SDF--- ” - Rad82
 
62.
Akagi (2005 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Genius gambler Shigeru Akagi competes with members of the mafia in mahjong.
Director: Yuzo Sato
 
63.
Basilisk: Kôga ninpô chô (2005 TV Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The year is 1614 AD. Two warring ninja clans, each supporting a son of Hidetada Tokugawa as the next shogun... (25 mins.)