Top 10 Anime Series
Anime and Manga are more popular than ever. Their spread into western culture is widespread and continues to grow. We wanted to provide a place to dive in and begin to explore what we would consider the top ten anime series! Whether you’re a die-hard Anime fan or just a casual viewer, this is the must-watch list. Enjoy!
10. Code Geass
This highly acclaimed series is an excellent example of the brilliant storytelling that anime series can produce. The story is a creative and original take on a dystopian postwar future set in an alternate timeline. After the French Revolution, the world is divided into three empires and follows the Holy Britannian Empire’s conquest of Japan. All Japanese citizens are in turn stripped of their rights and freedoms. One former prince, Lelouch, possesses the power of Geass which allows him to plant direct commands into people’s minds. He combines this power with his sharp intellect to form a resistance movement and attempt to destroy the Holy Britannian Empire. The series takes you on an emotional rollercoaster and features one of the strongest protagonists we’ve seen in awhile. It’s an excellent mix of classic anime elements combined with modern storytelling techniques and exciting twists. Definitely a must watch.
Naruto is definitely one of the more nostalgic classics on this list and can potentially be a bit divisive by nature. Some people feel it is one of the most iconic series in anime history and others find it repetitive and overhyped. One thing is for sure though: Naruto has absolutely left a massive impact on the anime community. It was, for many, a first introduction to anime and a jumping off point for exploring other series. Though the story arc and character development isn’t as complex as some later series, it is action-packed, exciting, and fun. It follows the story of Naruto Uzumaki who had a monstrous demon sealed inside of him at birth. Now a hyperactive preteen ninja, Naruto is shunned by many because of the demon he possesses within him. Despite this, he is determined to one day become the Hokage, or village leader, an honor bestowed on the strongest shinobi in the village. Overall, the series in a fun journey that has made a permanent mark in the anime community.
8. Fairy Tale
Fairy Tale is another series with a strong cult following and strong fantasy elements throughout. It is set in the mystical land of Fiore where wizards offer up their magic for paid job requests. Natsu is a young dragon-slayer wizard who meets Lucy, a young woman with the ability to summon celestial beings at will. Together, along with other members of their guild, they embark on missions and use their powers to fight criminals and counteract dark magic and evil guilds. It has a strong story and exciting action sequences, and it’s the perfect anime to watch when you want to be entertained without feeling too invested in the story or overwhelmed with plot twists.
7. Yuri!!! On Ice
When I first learned of this anime, I was a bit skeptical. I had never heard of a sports anime before but diehard anime fans swore that this was one of the best series they had seen in years. It strays from the classic, action-heavy elements of an anime series but can be viewed as a welcomed shift in the genre. It’s a story that focuses on passion, rivalry, loyalty, and friendship. It relies heavily on character development and the complex relationship between the two leads. It’s the story of a young skater on the verge of retirement and his figure skating idol who offers to coach him and make him a champion. It’s unlike any anime I’ve seen before and definitely a bold new addition to the list.
Bleach is an incredibly unique series with a top notch premise. Ichigo Kurosaki was born with the abilities of a “Death God.” His duties are to protect humans from evil demons wishing to harm them and to protect spirits and guide them to an afterlife known as the Soul Society. Bleach is well known for its legendary fight scenes and has earned its place as one of the strongest and most beloved anime series of all time. It’s fast-paced and action heavy, but it leaves room for some strong story arcs, comedic relief, and complex multi-dimensional characters.
5. Cowboy Bebop
Another classic with an eccentric storyline and cult following, this genre-mixing series has seen incredible worldwide success and has remained a fan favorite since its initial release over 2 decades ago. It combines elements of science fiction, Western, and classic Hollywood crime films and features some heavier, more sophisticated themes than Western audiences were used to seeing in an animated series. It follows two futuristic bounty hunters traveling across the galaxy looking for criminals. It seamlessly blends light-hearted comedy with more dramatic elements and has also received critical acclaim for its unique, innovative soundtrack.
4. Death Note
Death Note is the kind of series that keeps you permanently fixed on the edge of your seat. The story is so incredibly well written and full of constant twists. The story centers around Light Yagami, a high school student who stumbles upon a notebook that grants its user the ability to kill anyone simply by inscribing their name in the book. Light attempts to use this power to create a perfect society free of crime, while L, a mysterious detective, attempts to do everything in his power to apprehend him. The overall tone of the series is witty, sarcastic, dark, and clever. The plot is complex and the idea of two opposing forces both believing they represent justice really makes you contemplate what justice means to you.
3. Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan was my first introduction to anime and will forever hold a special place in my heart. The series is an excellent introduction to the genre and does not fall victim to any of the tropes that can be commonplace in an anime series and feel strange to first-time viewers. The story introduces us to the remainder of humanity living inside of giant fortified walls to protect themselves from giant man-eating humanoids known as “Titans.” When one of the walls is breached by Titans, the world is sent into a mass panic as the Titans attack. Eren Yeager is a teenager who swears revenge on these creatures but learns more about himself throughout the journey than he could have ever expected. The series does a great job at exploring the emotional depth of the human characters, the fear and helplessness that they feel contrasted with their fierce will to live and protect everything they know and love.
2. Dragon Ball Z
The oldest on our list, Dragon Ball Z is a beloved classic that gained massive popularity worldwide and became an overnight cultural phenomenon. Every episode leaves the viewer eagerly anticipating the next. Dragon Ball Z is a continuation of the Dragon Ball anime and centers around the adventures of Goku, his son Gohan, and the Z-Fighters. They are the unofficial defenders of the Earth and are on a quest to improve their strength and defend the world from various evils. The series as a whole is exciting, funny, suspenseful, and an absolute staple in the anime world.
1. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
This is the second series based on the popular Fullmetal Alchemist manga, however unlike the first series, Brotherhood directly and meticulously follows the plotline of the manga series which many viewers greatly appreciated. It is set in a world where alchemy is one of the most popular and well known sciences and follows the story of two brothers, Ed and Al, who attempt to resurrect their dead mother. During a failed attempt, Ed loses a leg and the Al loses his entire body with only his soul remaining. The brothers then set out on a journey to restore what they have lost by finding the Philosopher’s Stone. The stone, however, carries dark secrets and sends them on a journey world they could have never imagined. This series is thought provoking, action-packed, and features some excellently thorough character development not always found in a series this action-packed. In many way the series represents every aspect of what makes an anime series truly great.
You can also check out our blog post TOP 10 SITES FOR FREE ANIME to stream any of those series mentioned above! <3