From shonen to seinen, these best anime series have all withstood the test of time and are among the best the medium has to offer.
Anime’s popularity in the West has exploded in recent years, with streaming sites like Crunchyroll and Netflix helping to introduce fans to some of the medium’s many excellent hidden gems. This covers classic anime shows, many of which were never broadcast in the United States despite their enormous success in Japan.
However, with more and more series being introduced with each new anime season, the seemingly endless supply of anime might feel a little overwhelming at times. The best anime series of all time, on the other hand, will always be worth viewing and have inspired numerous others in the years since their debuts.
Attack on Titan
Though its plot has become somewhat muddled over time, Attack on Titan is still a brilliant anime with a fantastic cast of characters and some wonderful story threads. The visuals are also excellent, though anyone who are sensitive to violence may want to avoid this one, since it is an exceedingly gritty and gory affair from the start.
Eren Jaeger is the protagonist of the novel, who lives in a world where humanity has been pushed to extinction by a species of huge human-eating beasts known as Titans. Eren joins the Survey Corps after his hometown is devastated and his mother is eaten, vowing to rid the world of Titans. However, as the story progresses, things grow increasingly difficult.
Demon Slayer is new, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be considered a classic. Since its inception, it has generated approximately $10 billion, which is similar to more established media properties like Thomas the Tank Engine and Sesame Street.
Demon Slayer’s success is due to its great plot and diverse cast. The animation brings the source material to life like few other shonen anime shows. With more to come, Demon Slayer’s financial success and critical acclaim could skyrocket.
Similar to Sword Art Online and Fate, Death Note is a gateway anime. Some seasoned anime fans seem to adore finding storyline problems and pointing out superior series. There’s a reason so many anime newcomers are told to start with Death Note.
Death Note is a simple anime with a fun cast. Light and L’s cat-and-mouse game is fascinating and unpredictable. While the series follows to some anime stereotypes, it’s not as over-the-top as its contemporaries and hence appeals to a wider audience.
Naruto, like Dragon Ball, began in the Japanese magazine Weekly Shnen Jump. After a successful debut in 1999, it was converted into an anime in late 2002. The resultant series lasted 220 episodes, with the first 135 mirroring the first half of the manga and the rest presenting their own story using abandoned plot concepts from author Masashi Kishimoto’s original ideas.
The series delves into a wide range of topics while also adding elements from Asian mythology. At its core, though, it relates the story of a young boy who aspires to be the head of his village and his journey to become one of the greatest ninjas of all time. Boruto recounts the story of Naruto’s kid and is situated in the same world as Naruto, but the original anime is undoubtedly a much superior watch.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
It’s impossible to pick a favorite volume of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure because they’re all excellent. Fans of the popular seinen manga were skeptical when the choice to create an anime adaptation to commemorate the series’ 25th anniversary, but the resulting series has shown to be every bit as good as the source material. Furthermore, it has served to introduce the world of JoJo to a whole new audience.
The first five seasons of the show cover the first six parts of the manga, implying that at least two more seasons are on the way. After the completion of Stone Ocean, fans can look forward to Steel Ball Run and Jojolion. By then, JOJOLANDS will most likely have arrived and will be nearing the end of its run, potentially allowing both the show and the long-running manga to terminate at the same time.
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People occasionally complain that Cowboy Bebop is placed on a pedestal, which may be true to some extent. It’s far from the greatest anime series, yet ignoring its influence on the industry would be a huge mistake. Over the years, it has influenced countless more anime and manga series, as well as several western movies and television shows.
It’s a neo-noir sci-fi series that follows the adventures of a group of bounty hunters as they travel through space. The way it integrates aspects from many genres, on the other hand, is tremendously impressive, and is a huge part of why so many people hold the popular shojo anime series in such high regard. It’s not the best anime series of all time, but it’s certainly up there.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Brotherhood is the most faithful adaptation. It stays true to the manga throughout its 64 episodes, both in topics and visuals. Like other anime adaptations, there is some filler, but it doesn’t affect the story.
The series’ core is Edward and Alphonse’s relationship, although the plot’s twists and turns are close behind. Most Fullmetal Alchemist fans were pleased with Brotherhood and the studio’s commitment to heed complaints concerning source material changes.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
In the 1990s, mecha anime took off after being popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Other mecha anime series were released during the decade, but none proved as popular or as enduring as Hideaki Anno’s Neon Genesis Evangelion and its spin-offs and big-screen adaptations.
The comedy squeezed a lot into its first 26 episodes and still holds up today. Most of what followed was also excellent, but determining the best order to watch it has caused Evangelion fans heated debate over the years.
One Piece took a little longer to establish itself in the west than some of the other great shonen anime series. However, once it did, it has never struggled to keep western viewers captivated. The same could be said for its popularity in Japan, where many generations have grown up with the iconic manga and anime series.
The former has a Guinness World Record for the most copies produced by a single author and was the best-selling manga for eleven years in a row from 2008 to 2018. The anime version, on the other hand, has been similarly successful, and, with the exception of a few minor modifications, has mainly stayed close to the source material, much to the joy of series fans.
Few IPs can match with Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball, which has managed to maintain popularity for nearly four decades. Granted, there were some gloomy moments, such as the 18-year gap between the end of Dragon Ball Z and the start of Dragon Ball Super. Similarly, it would be absurd to claim that every arc or episode of Dragon Ball has been of the best quality. Despite this, the franchise has remained extremely successful in both Japan and the West.
There aren’t many anime shows that can come close to Dragon Ball in terms of entertainment, and there aren’t many that can say they had such a big impact on how popular anime is in the west as Dragon Ball. Just because of this, many people think that Dragon Ball is one of the most important anime shows ever made. There’s a strong case to be made that it’s one of the best anime series of all time, if not the best. It has great stories, great villains, and high-octane action scenes.
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