Recently, there are numerous animations produced and released all over the world every year and has increased in popularity worldwide lately as more anime series and movies with multilingual subtitles and dubs are distributed through lots of video streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Crunchyroll, Youtube, etc.
Due to this, many international people watch anime to enjoy the entertainment contents, learning Japanese, and for other various reasons.
This list focuses on TV anime series which the Japanese call “Anime”, so anime movies such as Studio Ghibli films or Makoto Shinkai’s animations are excluded from this article.
Here are the 15 Best and Amazing Anime Series to Watch including both the classic anime franchises and the brand new shows, and also there are many others that are worth watching outside this recommendations list, of course.
So, let’s start with our countdown!!
15. Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis EVANGELION (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン), directed by Hideaki Anno, is worldly known as one of the symbols of Japanese anime in 1990s. The famous mecha anime mainly depicts the story of the 4 teenagers: Shinji Ikari, Rei Ayanami, Asuka Langley Soryu and Kaworu Nagisa. They fight with the enemies called Angels by piloting the giant humanoid robot Evangelions.
The three anime movies were released: Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (ヱヴァンゲリヲン新劇場版:序) in 2007, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (ヱヴァンゲリヲン新劇場版:破) in 2009 and Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (ヱヴァンゲリヲン新劇場版:Q) in 2012. Additionally, the final title Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 (シン・エヴァンゲリオン劇場版:||) came to the big screen in movies in 2021.
Air Dates: 1995-1996
Genre: Mecha, Action, Fantasy
Bleach (千年血戦篇) follows the adventures of a teenager Ichigo Kurosaki, who inherits his parents’ destiny after he obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper—a death personification similar to the Grim Reaper—from another Soul Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki.
It was made by a studio Pierrot, based on the popular manga series serialized on Weekly Shonen Jump between 2001 and 2016. The new series Bleach: Thousand-Year Blood War (BLEACH 千年血戦篇) covers the rest of the original story from the manga, starting from October, 2022.
Air Dates: From 2004
Genre: Action, Adventure
13. My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia (僕のヒーローアカデミア) shows a story in which a young boy Izuku Midoriya and other Heroes fights the Villains using their superpowers Quirks.
It is one of the most popular ongoing anime that consists of several seasons while the original manga has been published on the Weekly Shonen Jump since 2014. My Hero Academia is also popular among international anime fans since the touch and atmosphere in the anime look like an American Superhero comic rather than Japanese anime.
Air Dates: From 2016
Genre: Action, Fantasy
12. Cowboy Bebop
Cowboy Bebop (カウボーイビバップ) is set in 2071, in a post-apocalyptic world where Earth has become largely uninhabitable, the story follows a ragtag group of bounty hunters, known as cowboys, aboard the spaceship “Bebop.” As they traverse planets and moons in search of wanted fugitives, each cowboy contends with shadows from the past they can’t outrun.
It is now one of the most popular Japanese anime among foreign people, was aired in Japan with 26 episodes. The anime film Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (カウボーイビバップ 天国の扉) was released in 2001.
Air Dates: 1998-1999
Genre: Action, Science Fiction
Tokyo Ghoul (東京喰種トーキョーグール) is set in an alternate reality where ghouls, creatures that look like normal people but can only survive by eating human flesh, live among the human population in secrecy, hiding their true nature in order to evade pursuit from the authorities.
This series was published on the Weekly Young Jump in 2011-2014, was adapted into an anime from 2014. And, the sequel title Tokyo Ghoul:re (東京喰種トーキョーグール：re) was aired as the second half of the anime in 2018.
Air Dates: 2014-2018
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Thriller
10. Dragon Ball
Dragon Ball (ドラゴンボール) tells the tale of a young warrior by the name of Son Goku, a young peculiar boy with a tail who embarks on a quest to become stronger and learns of the Dragon Balls, when, once all 7 are gathered, grant any wish of choice. Any battle scenes are worth watching, however, it is especially recommended to watch Goku vs Freeza and Goku’s son Gohan vs Cell.
Dragon Ball was originally made as the Weekly Shonen Jump manga by Akira Toriyama. There are several main parts in the Dragon Ball series, and it is ongoing as the new title Dragon Ball Super (ドラゴンボール超) from 2015. The well-known part is Dragon Ball Z (ドラゴンボールZ) where the story proceeds after the main character Goku is grown up.
Air Dates: From 1984
Genre: Action, Adventure
9. Death Note
Death Note (デスノート) tells us about the protagonist Light Yagami who finds a Death Note which makes people die if their names are written on the note.
This is based on the manga published on the Weekly Shonen Jump from 2003 to 2006, is highly rated by both domestic and international anime fans. It is so popular worldwide partly because the anime is completed with the relatively short story (37 episodes) in addition to the well-elaborated storyline. You will enjoy its battle of wits.
Air Dates: 2006-2007
Genre: Mystery, Psychology, Thriller
Pokémon (ポケモン) is one of the most popular Japanese anime and games around the globe now, and it was first aired in Japan as the Japanese title Pocket Monsters (ポケットモンスター) in 1997. New titles have been broadcasted every time a new game is released, and the latest series is being broadcasted from 2019 following the previous Sun & Moon (ポケットモンスター サン&ムーン).
In this series, a young boy Satoshi travels all over the world with various Pokemon like Pikachu to become a Pokemon master.
Air Dates: From 1997
Genre: Kids, Family, Adventure
7. Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人) is a story where humanity stands on the edge of extinction for being attacked by the titans. The main characters Eren Yeager and Mikasa Ackerman with the other Survey Corps members battle against the titans.
It was originally released as a manga in 2009, and the first season of the anime adaption was aired in 2013. The story of the manga series came to the end in April, 2021. The fourth and final season of the anime series started from the winter of 2020 and will be completed with the final part airing in 2023. You will be amazed by its story plots and twists.
Air Dates: 2013-2023
Genre: Action, Dark Fantasy, Thriller
6. Jujutsu Kaisen
Jujutsu Kaisen (呪術廻戦) tells a story about the character Yuji Itadori, a kind-hearted teenager, who joins his school’s Occult Club for fun, but discovers that its members are actual sorcerers who can manipulate the energy between beings for their own use. He hears about a cursed talisman – the finger of Sukuna, a demon – and its being targeted by other cursed beings.
The first season of this anime adaptation, produced by the modern Japanese anime studio Mappa, aired with 24 episodes in 2020. Since the end of 2021, the first anime movie Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (劇場版 呪術廻戦 0) has been welcomed by plenty of fans, based on the volume 0 of the manga series. It has been also decided to release the second season in 2023.
Air Dates: From 2020
Genre: Action, Dark Fantasy, Thriller
5. Chainsaw Man
Chainsaw Man (チェンソーマン) is the story of a 16-year-old poor boy Denji, who gets the power to transform into the Chainsaw Devil. As a member of the Public Safety Division, he executes his duty to beat other Devils with his partner Blood Fiend named Power and his Devil hunter supervisor Aki Hayakawa.
The manga series of Chainsaw Man, written by Tatsuki Fujimoto, started on Weekly Shonen Jump in 2018 and the first part finished in 2020. It re-started with the second part on Shonen Jump+ in 2022. Its first anime series adaptation was made by an acclaimed studio Mappa. The quality of this anime series is guaranteed based on the good manga story with amazing animation shown in this series.
Air Dates: From 2022
Genre: Action, Dark Fantasy, Thriller
4. One Piece
One Piece (ワンピース) proceeds with the adventures of the main character Monkey D. Luffy and his crews in the pirates world. He sets sail on the sea in search of the ultimate treasure called “One Piece”. There are Devil Fruits in the world of One Piece, which grant a person with a superpower to those who eat one but the fruits make them unable to swim.
The first volume of the manga was published in 1997, and there are now over 100 volumes sold around the world. The anime adaption has over 1,000 episodes since its release. The whole story of One Piece is divided into many arcs. For beginners, this series can go very long but they can enjoy it even if they start anywhere.
Air Dates: From 1999
Genre: Adventure, Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Drama
Naruto (ナルト), the setting of this series is in the fictional world of Shinobi (Ninja), and the ineffective boy named ‘Naruto’ is growing by the help of many friends and masters there. Naruto and other Ninja characters battle with various Ninja techniques using the chakra energy.
This greatest anime with the theme of Ninja, was initially released as the Weekly Shonen Jump manga by Masashi Kishimoto in 1999 and run until 2014. The anime Naruto series was completed in 2017 after no less than 15 years, consisting of two titles: Naruto (NARUTO -ナルト-) aired in 2002-2007 and Naruto: Shippuden (NARUTO -ナルト- 疾風伝) aired in 2007-2017.
Many anime fans may pick out Naruto as the top of anime especially for foreign people, and it deserves it.
Air Dates: 2002-2017
Genre: Adventure, Action, Comedy, Fantasy
2. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (鬼滅の刃) is set in the Taisho period (1912-1926) in Japan where demons exist with human beings. The main character Tanjiro Kamado finds his family is killed by the attack of demons and only his sister Nezuko is changed into a demon. He decides to become a demon slayer to restore her to a human.
This series is adapted into an anime from the manga by Koyoharu Gotoge, which was serialized on the Weekly Shonen Jump from 2016. The first season of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba with 26 episodes was welcomed by both fans of the manga and people who had not read it.
The battle scenes between demon slayers with swords and unique demon characters are intense and also beautifully drawn.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train (劇場版 鬼滅の刃 無限列車編) is a sequel for above, released in October, 2020. At the same time as the second season of the TV series Entertainment District Arc finished in February in 2022, it was announced that the season 3 Swordsmith Village Arc will be out in April 2023.
Air Dates: From 2019
Genre: Drama, Action, Adventure, Dark Fantasy
1. Fullmetal Alchemist
Fullmetal Alchemist (鋼の錬金術師) is an anime about two brothers who use alchemy to create the ultimate weapon. The two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, are trying to bring their mother back from the dead using alchemy. However, they aren’t successful in bringing her back and they have to deal with other problems including the government and the military. During the journey, they meet a variety of State Alchemists and vicious opponents Homunculi.
This anime series produced by Bones and directed by Seiji Mizushima. This series is based on the manga of the same title written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. This anime is divided into two different anime: Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
Air Dates: 2003-2010
Genre: Adventure, Science Fiction, Dark Fantasy
There are an inordinate number of excellent anime other than these 15 series, which are worthy of remark. So, I added a little more titles as honorable mentions:
– Violet Evergarden
– Spy x Family
– Fate/stay night
– A Certain Scientific Railgun
– Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World
– KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!
– Code Geass
– Tokyo Revengers
– Love is War
– No Game No Life
– The Eminence in Shadow
– Lycoris Recoil
– Classroom of the Elite
– One Punch Man
“The world’s not perfect, but it’s there for us trying the best it can. That’s what makes it so damn beautiful.”
– Roy Mustang (Fullmetal Alchemist)