Top 27 Anime

by jobithell | created - 14 Jul 2017 | updated - 4 months ago | Public

According to Digibro, 10% of your completed anime are favourites. By this logic, I'm compiling a top 27 anime. I'm omitting movies for this list. Possible contenders such as Genshiken and Bleach are also ommited, as I prefer their manga adaptations over their anime adaptations.

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1. N.H.K ni yôkoso! (2006– )

TV-MA | Animation, Comedy, Drama

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

Stars: Yutaka Koizumi, Yui Makino, Michael C. Pizzuto, Wataru Hatano

Votes: 4,533

An anime that starts with college dropout shut in, wasting his life away on his parents savings, waiting for the day he dies. It tells his path to social redemption through interactions with equally flawed people, adventuring through addictions, conspiracies and the ugly truths of life. No piece of media has had a greater impact on me as a person. It's haunted me ever since I've watched it, but I carry that fear through everything life has thrown at me. Some of the scenes and pieces of dialogue have defined parts of my life, so much so that it's wound up in many of my core principles and ideas. It might not be the prettiest show, or the best flowing, but I can't deny that it's my favourite.

2. K-On! (2009–2010)

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

K-ON is about 5 high school girls who become friends through the Light Music Club. Yui the lead guitarist, Tsumugi the keyboardist, Mio the bassist, Azusa the rhythm guitarist, and Ritsu the drummer. K-ON is the story of 5 aspiring musicians and their journey through high school together.

Stars: Aki Toyosaki, Yôko Hikasa, Satomi Sato, Minako Kotobuki

Votes: 2,012

The best anime I've ever seen is a moe blob show, where cute girls eat cake and drink tea every episode. I'm being serious. K-On! follows a group of people turning into best friends, and describes every moment that made them that way. Through it's slow but thorough storytelling, K-On! does less wrong and more right than any other show I've seen.

3. Cowboy Bebop (1998–1999)

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

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

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

Votes: 71,064

4. FLCL (2000–2018)

TV-14 | 151 min | Animation, Action, Comedy

A 12-year old boy named Naota one day meets a strange woman, riding a Vespa and wielding a big guitar. As soon as she appears, mysterious things start happening.

Stars: Jun Mizuki, Mayumi Shintani, Izumi Kasagi, Suzuki Matsuo

Votes: 13,023

Another show which wormed it's way up to my top 10 after multiple re-watches, FLCL is the anime I've watched the most times. Six all the way through, and countless one off episodes, I never get tired off this show. The first time I watched FLCL, I dropped it after three minutes and decided it wasn't for me. The next time I watched it with a friend, and upon hearing it became his favourite anime ever, I gave it a second shot. I have to say, it blew me away just as much. FLCL is the best looking anime for me. It's character designs are perfect, the backgrounds are beautifully crafted and complement the atmosphere excellently and the animation is incredible for it's time, and holds up just as well. I love shows which you have to dig into to find out what it's trying to say, and FLCL is like an ambassador for that. To the untrained eye, FLCL is random and doesn't make any sense, but once you figure out what it's trying to say, every scene works amazingly. The music, by the pillows, must be one of my favourite soundtracks ever. The lucid feel to their songs perfectly complements this show, and I listen to them all the time.

5. Gintama (2005– )

TV-14 | Animation, Action, Comedy

In an era where aliens have invaded and taken over feudal Tokyo, an unemployed samurai finds work however he can.

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

Votes: 4,327

6. Serial Experiments Lain (1998– )

TV-14 | 316 min | Animation, Horror, Mystery

Strange events begin to occur as a withdrawn girl named Lain becomes obsessed with interconnected virtual realm of "The Wired".

Stars: Kaori Shimizu, Bridget Hoffman, Dan Lorge, Randy McPherson

Votes: 8,923

'And you don't seem to understand...'

7. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009–2012)

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

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

Votes: 81,529

Where do I start with one of the most popular, well praised and complete stories ever told in it's medium. If there's any anime I could call perfect, Brotherhood would be it. It has everything, a varied, likeable cast, a gripping, over-arcing story and flawless presentation. Anime doesn't really have a magnum opus, like film or music does. Though Brotherhood is an anime which everyone can at least appreciate. It's not completely flawless, but the good in the story outweighs the bad by a huge margin. The greatest thing about Brotherhood is it's consistency in greatness. An anime is truly great when you start to expect amazing things to happen all the time, and this show delivers on that. Brotherhood feels like an exception to anime. It ends fantastically and it has basically no filler episodes, two things most shoenen can't do. The opening and ending themes are fantastic as well - in almost every aspect, Brotherhood is excellent. It gets you close to tears one moment, then on the edge of your seat after another story revelation. I wish more anime like Brotherhood existed, this show left a pit in my soul.

8. Steins;Gate (2011–2015)

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

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, Ashly Burch

Votes: 30,164

Steins;Gate is up there with the most accessible yet impressive anime ever made. It was my first exposure to the 'go back in time to save a friend in the present' plot, and it completely blew me away. It's thrilling beyond belief, with huge twists every few episodes. People complain about the slow start, but the chemistry between characters would have been enough to consider this show a favourite from the first half alone. The anime looks great, sounds great with the amazing opening, and is always moving in an exciting direction. The science is interesting, not too nonsensical that it takes me out of the experience, but it still fits right into the story. Every time I've watched Steins;Gate, it's been with a member of my family, so seeing their reactions to the crazy twists makes the overall experiences that much greater. Some anime feel transcendent of the medium, which is a staple to their quality. Steins;Gate certainly does this; it doesn't even feel like anime with the cliffhangers and unconventional directing. This show has given me some of the best memories I've had while watching anime. Marathoning a near perfect show with those close to you into the night is a great experience. It should be noted that episode 22 is up there with my favourite episodes of anime ever.

9. Tsuki ga kirei (2017– )

TV-PG | 24 min | Animation, Drama, Romance

A romance forms between two shy high school students.

Stars: Shoya Chiba, Konomi Kohara, Rie Murakawa, Amber Lee Connors

Votes: 552

I was amazed that this series kept up the greatness of its early episodes, and didn't have a bad bone in it. A wildly impactful anime about one of my favourite concepts - young love. Few series are as grounded or as realistic as this. It feels like a romantic drama, but with all the positives that you get from anime. Every episode is packed with moments that make me excited that this series exists - little relatable moments that I'm glad are implemented in an actual anime. Minus one or two CGI mishaps, this series is incredible, and left me in a huge anime hole.

10. Cardcaptor Sakura (1998–2000)

TV-Y7-FV | 30 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

Sakura stumbled upon the book of Clow Cards in a library. Accidentally setting the magical cards loose, it's now up to Sakura to catch them all with her best friend Tomoyo, and Kerberos, the guardian of the cards.

Stars: Sakura Tange, Andrea Kwan, Junko Iwao, Aya Hisakawa

Votes: 3,453

CCS is a joy to watch; every episode is rewarding. The animation is consistent, the Clamp magic is in full force and the romance is some of the best in anime. It has a surprisingly solid magical system which is mystical yet blends perfectly with the reality of the show. CCS never let me down - even the filler episodes blended in with the cannon ones. The characters were all likable and developed by the end. The story twist blew me away, and acted as the climax of the series while still rounding the show off nicely with the last arc. I fear there isn't an anime that delivers the same package of greatness that CCS does.

11. Sôru îtâ (2008–2009)

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

Set in the Shinigami technical school for weapon meisters, the series revolves around 3 duo's. These pairs are a partnership between a weapon meister and a human weapon. Trying to reach a ... See full summary »

Stars: Laura Bailey, Chiaki Omigawa, Micah Solusod, Brittney Karbowski

Votes: 9,543

There will always be a place in my heart for my first anime. When I first watched Soul Eater, I was astounded by how great the art and animation was, with the Halloween influence appealing to me greatly. I can only view Sould Eater with rose tinted glasses, but that's okay. Even when I re-visit it, I'm reminded of how hyped I was, how emotional I got and how much I loved this series on my first viewing. With no benchmarks to measure the quality of this series by, I enjoyed every last aspect of it to it's fullest. The openings and endings are incredibly nostalgic to me. I even make an effort not to watch the first ending video too often, so the nostalgic feeling doesn't diminish. Even if I watched it now, there would be things to appreciate. The story line is gripping, the character designs are fantastic and the Bones animation is sublime. Soul Eater was an instant favourite for me, and I like to believe that would still be the case if I watched it now.

12. Hajime no ippo (2000–2002)

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

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: 3,877

I've loved pretty much every sports anime that I've watched, but Ippo is something special. I went into this show with no interest about boxing, but came out mimicking punches and going running. No series is quite as intense as Hajime no Ippo, which is impressive as it features only boxing matches. The sound effects, animation and character expressions are unbelievable, and sells every single fight to their fullest There are no heroes or villains (for the most part) in this anime, and you can root for anyone to win and still feel satisfied. It builds hype in episodes where longer running shows struggle to do it over hundreds. You get the sense that there's always something exciting around the corner, making it incredibly addicting once you get going. Hajime no Ippo is so heartwarming, and it sells you on every emotion that characters go through with it's versatile soundtrack. Ippo's formula never gets old, with new opponents and story lines to explore only being exciting rather than repetitive.

13. GTO (1999– )

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

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.

Stars: Steve Blum, Tom Fahn, Jun'ichi Suwabe, Wataru Takagi

Votes: 4,086

Starting off the top 10 is GTO. As one of the first anime I considered a favourite, Great Teacher Onizuka holds deep roots in my time as an anime fan, and shaped my future tastes. GTO kind of has a Golden Boy formula, but the problem at hand is helping students overcome their problems rather than winning over a girl. The philosophy of this show is simple, but appeals to me greatly. It treats the troubled students as people who need specific solutions to their problems, rather than suspensions and expulsions. My favourite character for a long time was the Great Teacher, Onizuka. No character is more badass, cool or outrageous than Onizuka, and I never get tired of his antics. He prioritises the life lessons through experiences rather than textbooks. He's an outcast fixing other outcasts, doing the impossible in hilarious ways and inspiring new ways of thinking to those in need. The openings and endings of GTO are some of my favourites, particularly the first ones. Every episode ends on a high, and transitions beautifully to the soft guitar of 'Last Piece', only to start the next episode with the intense 'Driver's High'. There are parts of GTO that people dislike, but I even upon re-watching it, I thought it was, for the most part, consistent. I even found new appreciation for the ending, which I had previously disliked.

14. XXXHOLiC (2005– )

TV-PG | Animation, Comedy, Drama

Kimihiro Watanuki, a high-schooler, is troubled by monsters and spirits who are magically attracted to him. However, nobody else can see them but him. One day, Watanuki stumbles into a shop... See full summary »

Stars: Sayaka Ôhara, Jun Fukuyama, Kazuya Nakai, Shizuka Itô

Votes: 1,379

Out of all the series on this list, xxxHOLiC has the hardest appeal to describe. It gives off a low quality, almost unfinished vibe with it's disproportionate character designs and wonky art style. The episodic storylines themselves aren't perfect either, but do offer some decent writing at times. It wasn't until I started to appreciate the strange, antique atmosphere that I started enjoying this show more. It's like something you'd find in a bargain bin in a run down DVD store - watching it is like remembering distant memories from your early childhood. With other entries on this list, I feel what I like about them are universal to what everyone else likes about them. With Holic, the appeal seems unique to me, even if it's not. The nostalgic, dream like atmosphere is by far my favourite for a show, and I set that standard with Holic. It gets me emotional over almost nothing, just by the ghostly art and enchanting music it's able to win me over. I often catch myself listening to individual songs from the soundtrack, more so than any other show. It's entrancing and almost mystical, a beauty that few series manage to pull off.

15. Golden Boy: Sasurai no o-benkyô yarô (1995– )

Not Rated | 165 min | Animation, Comedy

Golden Boy is the story of Kintaro Oe, a twenty-five-year-old in pursuit of life's lessons. A brilliant student, he dropped out of Tokyo Universiy's law program because he had had mastered ... See full summary »

Stars: Doug Smith, Matt Greenfield, Mitsuo Iwata, Gorô Naya

Votes: 3,392

Golden Boy excels in nearly every way it needs to. It's praised for it's excellent dub, featuring a star performance for Kintaro Oe, the hilarious toilet humour that stems from that, and the surprising feel good quality of it's episodes. There's plenty more to like about Golden Boy that that though. The art and character designs are some of the best I've seen, to be expected from the artist who drew Cowboy Bebop's cast. It's of the episodic genre of anime that features a perverted badass winning over a girl, using the same formula for each episode. Golden Boy does this precise formula better than any other. At only 6 episodes, it captures the essence of the genre without overdoing it. It's actually erotic, unlike many anime from the genre, and has badass feats that are both unbelievable but grounded in reality. This anime does ecchi better than any other show, and arguably comedy as well. It had me falling off my chair in laughter, then five minutes later being jaw dropped by the extreme feats of Kintaro. It's a complete entertainment package, if nothing else.

16. Ôran kôkô hosutobu (2006)

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

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: 6,636

Ouran must be the show that's grown on me the most since watching. On the surface, it's a fun rom-com reverse harem anime that has no reason to be on my radar. However, it's also a consistently entertaining, comedic and heart warming story that I never got bored of. This anime has close to nothing that bothers me, which lets me appreciate everything good about it even more. It has a kind of 'otaku slumber party' appeal, which makes me feel this is a guilty pleasure. Though I don't really put it in that category, as it's genuinely great anime that I'm not ashamed of liking. Ouran has a strange nostalgic feeling, which is hard to describe. It's like a fairy tale - everything that happens is straight from the wishes of a typical teenage girl. This evokes a strong emotion inside me for some reason, which makes me adore this series even more. Which is strange, as I was a male adult when I watched it. The glue that holds everything together is Haruhi, one of the best female leads in anime. Her tomboyish, indiscriminate and pure attitude is perfect for this anime, and stands as one of my favourite characters ever.

17. Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal (1999– )

Not Rated | 118 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

In the era of Japan's Meiji Restoration, an assassin regains his humanity.

Stars: Mayo Suzukaze, Junko Iwao, Nozomu Sasaki, Masami Suzuki

Votes: 11,146

If were rating this anime on aesthetic value alone, this OVA would be on top. While I generally liked the original series, Trust and Betrayal adds a whole new dimension of depth to Kenshin's character. I would usually include OVA's and movies to the original story when making a list, but this has to be an exception. The animation is sublime, the imagery and art unbelievable and music perfect, Trust and Betrayal is presented as well as a piece of art could be. The story line holds up, with a flawless 4 episodes of character building and tragedy. This is the kind of story I would have no choice but to give a 10, but as it's not a standalone story, it carries some weight from the original work. However, this OVA is still unmissable and unforgettable. I highly recommend watching the original series anyway, if only to experience this masterpiece to it's fullest.

18. Hunter x Hunter (2011–2014)

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

Gon Freecss aspires to become a Hunter, an exceptional being capable of greatness. With his friends and his potential, he seeks for his father who left him when he was younger.

Stars: Megumi Han, Mariya Ise, Issei Futamata, Cristina Valenzuela

Votes: 31,650

When recommending long running shoenen anime, Hunter x Hunter is the perfect choice. It's 148 episodes of unconventional yet incredible storytelling. In the stronger arcs, this show gains some serious momentum. Togashi demonstrates such breadth and depth of knowledge, especially the Chimera ant arc. Unlike some light novel adaptations, these nuggets of information are seamlessly communicated to the audience, most of which are too busy marathoning the show late into the night. It’s in these arcs that some of the most intense scenes and satisfying payoffs in anime come to fruition. Unlike most unfinished shoenen, the anime stops at a convenient point to let the manga move on. With Mad-House’s track record for sequels and Togashi’s hiatus problems, I doubt we’ll see a continuation within the next decade. However, the 144 episodes we got were some of the best anime has to offer.

19. My Ordinary Life (2011– )

TV-14 | 24 min | Animation, Comedy

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: 1,297

Nichijou's appeal is hard to pinpoint, but it's one of the most appealing shows I've ever watched. With the spontaneous cute humour of Azumanga Daoih and the attention to detail of K-On!, Nichijou is a simple yet unique anime. When I think about it, the actual humour of Nichijou doesn't appeal to me greatly, unlike how Welcome to the NHK's or Golden Boy's would. However, I catch myself laughing just as hard as I would with those series, as I marathon the funny moments on YouTube. Maybe it's got something to do with the highly animated characters, or well composed soundtrack and fantastic voice acting, which communicates everything possible in a scene. As random as this show is said to be, the core themes hold the show together well, especially prevalent in Nano and Hakase's relationship. I plead for another season, as this was a show that I could watch forever.

20. Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor (2007–2010)

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

In Tokyo, an impenetrable field known as "Hell's Gate" appeared ten years ago. At the same time, psychics who wield paranormal powers at the cost of their conscience also emerged. Hei is ... See full summary »

Stars: Hidenobu Kiuchi, Matthew Leonhart, Christopher Sabat, Jason Liebrecht

Votes: 9,866

I feel I can now better justify why I like this show from when I first saw it. The mystery is well executed, with information delivered at a pace that keeps the viewer guessing, without being confused. The fact that the show concludes Hei’s mystery at all is worthy of compliment. Bones does a fantastic job with the fight scenes, which are all high octane and well animated. The power system is interesting and seeing the payback to each ability is always fun. The character designs are great as well, being a perfect fit for the atmosphere of the show. The music is outstanding, as you’d expect from Yoko Kano. It complements the pulpy tone of the anime well, enhancing every scene. A huge contributor to why Darker than Black is this high up my list is the ova episode. The fact that all the previously killed off characters come back in a light-hearted side-story about fanfiction is about as hilarious as it gets for a show like Darker than Black. You get to see everyone’s fun side, like when you go on a school trip and see your teachers actually have fun.

21. Kino's Journey (2003– )

TV-PG | Animation, Adventure, Drama

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: 2,096

Kino's Journey is an anime with so much to appreciate. It has the nomadic freedom of Mushishi and Golden Boy, the imaginative world building of Ergo Proxy and the dreamy atmosphere and stunning emotional climaxes of Haibane Remnei. This anime doesn't fall short in many categories, so I'm never distracted from appreciating the many great qualities of this show. Like Ouran, it's got an inspirational female lead who is perfect for this kind of anime. She's got depth, bravery and is humble, as well as being a great friend to her companion. Despite being a little too skilled for her age, she fits right into the dynamic nature of this show. From tournament arcs to philosophical adventures, Kino's journey can do anything and do it well. It's never afraid to approach a new concept, and the great main duo always entertain no matter what the context.

22. Toradora! (2008–2011)

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

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: 6,005

Toradora is entertaining all the way through. Even though the direction of the story is obvious from the start, it remains unpredictable and engaging till the end. Much like Boku No Hero Academia, it’s a series that embraces everything its genre has, and enhances them to perfection. The romance is fulfilled satisfyingly by the end, which is also a rarity. There’s something comforting in watching a typical romance anime that doesn’t have any glaring problems; it allows me to enjoy the genre for what makes it great. Toradora is an anime that ends on a high note every episode, notably when the first ending theme played. I’m a sucker for when the ending plays in the final scenes of the episode, and Toradora manages to pull it off expertly. The two openings are also nicely composed.

23. Little Witch Academia (2017)

TV-Y7 | 25 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

Akko Kagari is an ordinary girl who joins the renowned witch academy for witch girls, Luna Nova Academy. When she was younger, she went to Magical Festa, a magic show hosted by a witch ... See full summary »

Stars: Megumi Han, Erica Mendez, Alexis Nichols, Fumiko Orikasa

Votes: 1,440

A 25-episode expansion of the two short films of the same name, Studio Trigger’s gem is an enchanting experience, offering exceptional characterisation, imagination and storytelling. The disjointed format and the comical nature of the show allows for a lot of creative leeway. Every episode is dense with experimentation and inventiveness, including Disney style animation sequences, explorations of nerd culture and dabbles in politics. LWA has some of the best self-contained episodes I’ve seen in anime, with each episode contributing to the development of a distinct theme within the show, while keeping compact and entertaining. The whole show is refreshing and nostalgic, reminding us that a simple story like this is all you need, so long you get all the basics right. Emotionally resonant at moments and light and cheerful at others, this anime surprised me thoroughly.

24. Kareshi kanojo no jijou (1998– )

TV-14 | Animation, Comedy, Drama

TV series that tells the every-day stories of a group of teenagers in high-school, focusing on their romances and personal problems.

Stars: Atsuko Enomoto, Megan Hollingshead, Christopher Nicholas, Dick Rodstein

Votes: 1,103

Kare Kano is almost like everything I wanted Eva to be. Directed by Hideaki Ano, it's a pure expression of everything that goes on in the minds of two young lovers. With Gainax behind the production, the imagery and directing is nothing short of breathtaking. The limited production was never a problem, as the way the animators worked around the limitations was always creative - you never got the sense they were lazy. Nothing ever looks off or unintentional. The characters are presented with respect and depth, never skipping a thought or detail in their budding relationships. It strives to explore everything going on in their heads, and the honesty between the main couple is nothing short of inspiring. Though inconsistent and lacking an ending, faults that would otherwise derail a series off my favourites list, Kare Kano does enough right to earn a place in my top 25.

25. Azumanga daiô (2002)

TV-PG | 24 min | Animation, Comedy

A humorous and highly unpredictable animated series following a group of high school girls and their teachers.

Stars: Tomoko Kaneda, Yuki Matsuoka, Chieko Higuchi, Rie Tanaka

Votes: 2,463

I thought of Azumanga Daioh as a solid 7/10 show when I first watched it. Though compared with other shows I gave a similar score, this anime resided in my mind for several months. The powerful final episode left several lingering emotions, maybe more so than K-On! did. I get teary eyed looking at the characters and constantly rewatch the opening and ending themes. If there's any show that was a 10/10 based on purely the residual effect, then Azumanga Daoih would be it

26. Haibane renmei (2002– )

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

A young girl is reborn as an angel-like creature called a haibane, with no memory of who she once was.

Stars: Ryô Hirohashi, Junko Noda, Eri Miyajima, Fumiko Orikasa

Votes: 2,752

This series had one of the best first episodes in anime, and had an instant effect on me. My favourite types of settings are wispy and dreamy, which is exactly what Haibane Remnei is. The whole show is nostalgic, from it's soundtrack to it's great art style. Everything is consistent with the beautiful setting. Based on a book by Haruki Murakami, this kind of surreal atmosphere is no surprise.

The incredible emotional climaxes of this series justify the somewhat slow midsection, though there's always something to appreciate when you're watching this show. Yoshitoshi Abe does a great job with the character designs, as he always does. The way it blends the fictitious and more grounded aspects is seemless. It's elegant, original and presented through a cast of likeable characters, reaching tear jerking emotional crescendo's at its best moments

27. Barakamon (2014– )

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

As a punishment for punching a famous calligrapher, young handsome calligrapher Handa Seishu is exiled to a small island. As someone who has never lived outside of a city, Handa has to ... See full summary »

Stars: Daisuke Ono, Suzuko Hara, Nozomi Furuki, Rina Endô

Votes: 1,808

Barakamon is a bundle of good vibes and relaxation. With the muted visuals and rural paradise of a setting, this series is easy to watch and re-watch. Character interactions are pleasant and everything is relatable. The strength of Barakamon comes in the snipets of artistic insight that come towards the ends of each episode. These summarise the theme of each episode in a moment of epiphany for the main character. This is welcomed for someone like me who isn't so quick to catch onto themes in anime. The opening and ending themes are some of the best in anime. The catchy, upbeat and meaningful opening contrasts with the vivid, wild and nostalgic ending theme. Slice of life is rarely done as smoothly or naturally as this, and Barakamon still manages to bring plenty of artistic commentary to the table

28. Katanagatari (2010– )

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

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: 903

I always appreciate when a show’s aesthetic is weird and quirky, and Katanagatari nails it. With Nisioisin’s long, winding dialogue and the expressive, fluid art-style, this anime is begging to be critically analysed. The traditional setting also does it favours, with the adventure aspect of the show allowing the world to be fully explored. Every episode is focused, so even if the dialogue goes off track, there’s always a strong conclusion. The opponents Shichka faces all seem imposing; their morals and intentions are always well explored. Katanagatari is consistent, and never let me down while watching it. The ost is beautifully composed, and each track is used at just the right scene to get the fullest effect. The ending blew me away completely, and I regard it as one of my favourite endings to a series ever

29. Ergo Proxy (2006)

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

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.

Stars: Kôji Yusa, Akiko Yajima, Rachel Hirschfeld, Liam O'Brien

Votes: 10,314

Ergo Proxy is a divisive anime. Some claim it's pretentious and doesn't make any sense, while others praise it for it's heavy atmosphere and interesting philosophy. I fall into the latter category, but I do acknowledge its problems. I admit the philosophy goes over my head and the start and end of the show is rushed, but the midsection is one of the best stretch of episodes I've ever seen. The unpredictable adventure style of these episodes always wowed me with new concepts and themes, producing some stellar episodic stories. Reminiscent of Watanabe works, they're inventive and interesting. Vincent Law is a great main character, with his awkwardness and two faced identity producing a hilarious yet fascinating character. The soundtrack, especially the opening and ending themes, are fantastic. I mean, Radiohead doing an anime ending theme?

30. Sakamoto desu ga? (2016– )

TV-14 | 24 min | Animation, Comedy

Sakamoto is a genius who is well liked by both girls and boys. Despite the strange situations he may be in, Sakamoto always manages to fix the problem in absolute perfection while still being over the top.

Stars: Bryson Baugus, Hikaru Midorikawa, Saki Fujita, Nobuyuki Hiyama

Votes: 855

One note comedy has been proven to work well in anime, and Sakamoto is a prime example of that. Its gimmick never gets old, and every episode delivers fantastically. Few comedy anime reach the heights of hilarity that this series does or as regularly. For a low budget show that doesn't look great, Sakamoto surprised me with how consistent it is with its greatness. The opening theme alone is energetic and makes me laugh with its absurdity.

31. Shin Seiki Evangerion (1995–1996)

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

A teenage boy finds himself recruited as a member of an elite team of pilots by his father.

Stars: Megumi Ogata, Megumi Hayashibara, Kotono Mitsuishi, Spike Spencer

Votes: 35,025

HONOURABLE MENTION I'm placing Eva here because i'm still unsure how I feel about it. When I watched it, I thought it was a thought provoking show with a story line which was completely incomprehensible. However, I must have watched more YouTube videos about Eva than any other series. I've gained somewhat of an understanding of what was going on, and the impact Eva had on anime as a whole. There are so many layers to Evangelion, and the more I think about it, the more I think it's the best thing ever. I'm unsure about the actual viewing experience I had though, because compared to other entries on this list, I didn't enjoy it nearly as much. A revisit is much needed, as I feel I would relate and get much more out of this series as an adult.

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