Anime series recommended for you
So, you are a die-hard anime fan? You probably have seen most of the anime series and movies out there, but can you name your top favorite ones?
Ever since the 1980’s when anime began to gather popularity outside of Japan, we have been watching and enjoying the countless new series, playing the anime-based games and getting to know the genre up close and personal.
So, after decades of exploring and enjoying Japanese animation, and after checking the rankings on some of the leading anime websites, we have come up with our ultimate list of the best original anime TV series which you definitely need to watch ranked from number 25 up to our number one choice.
1. Death Note
Death Note is number one on our list based on many reasons. Firstly, it has been voted the number one anime series of all time by Japanese fans. It is also ranked as the number 1 most popular anime series on the MyanimeList website.
Death Note is rather dark, and its protagonist isn’t a stereotypical good guy like in many other series. The film goes to places where other anime series haven’t dared, and this is what makes it absolutely enthralling.
The Shinigami is a god of death able to kill any person as long as he is able to see the victim’s face and write their name down in the Death Note notebook.
Ryuk, who is bored by living the god of death lifestyle, leaves one of these notebooks in human reals to see how humans use it.
The prodigal high school student Light Yagami finds the Death Note and begins testing it by writing the name of a criminal in it. The criminal dies immediately, and Light realizes how devastating the power of the notebook in his hands really is.
Light decides to clear out the world from criminals with the help of the notebook, and people begin worshiping him. The police, though, realize that there is a serial killer targeting criminals and try to apprehend him with the help of an eccentric detective named L.
The original manga series was published from 2003 to 2006 and includes 12 volumes and 108 chapters.
The anime series developed by Madhouse was composed of 37 episodes directed by Tetsuro Araki. These were broadcasted in Japan from October 2006 to June 2007. In 2006 a light novel based on the series was also released, followed by a series of Nintendo video games and three live-action films, a TV drama, and mini-series in Japan as well as a US film shown on Netflix in August 2017.
The series became so popular that there was even a Broadway musical written and composed based on it.
If you want to see and experience the absolute best in the world of anime, Death Note is definitely a series which you should watch first and foremost. You will be amazed by the experience which awaits you with this very dark and fascinating series.
2. Attack on Titan -Shingeki no Kyojin
Voted the Best Action Anime by Ranker, Attack on Titan is definitely a fantastic and revolutionary anime.
The series is about a young man called Eren Jaeger who vows to destroy all the giant humanoid Titans on earth after they destroy his hometown and kill his mother.
The imagery, the incredible storyline, and the atmosphere of this TV series is what makes it so unique and why it is loved by most anime fans.
The captivating storyline and the entire production of the anime series have made it as popular as the longest-running anime series, even though the original Attack on Titans has only 25 episodes.
It is based on an award-winning manga by Hajime Isayama. This series follows the adventures and the fight against the Titans by Eren Shingeki no Kyojin, Mikasa Ackerman, and Armin Arlert, who all do everything possible to keep the three walls surrounding the remaining humans on the planet from the horrible Titan attacks.
There are three different military branches that are also engaged in protecting humans. The soldiers use special grappling systems referred to as Vertical Maneuvering Equipment, which they use to jump on trees, walls, and buildings in order to attack the Titans.
The original series aired in 2013, and a spin-off light novel and manga series have been created as a result of the success of the anime series. The second season aired in 2017, and there is a third one scheduled for July 2018.
In 2018, the Attack on Titan manga had sold 74 million printed copies, which has made it one of the best-selling manga series in history.
So, if you want to see some inspiring, well-paced, beautifully drawn action anime, make sure you get to see the Attack of the Titans series. We are positive that you will be so enthralled by them that you will most likely binge-watch the entire series at once!
3. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
If you think anime is for kids only, you may want to think again. If you are an adult but want to explore the wonderful world of anime, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a great place to start.
Unlike the first Fullmetal Alchemist, which was only partially based on the manga series by Hiromu Arakawa, this series was made after the manga series was completed and followed the original plotline closely.
It includes 65 engaging episodes, which will keep you interested and craving or more.
The series is written by Hiroshi Onogi and directed by Yasuhiro Irie and premiered in 2009 and ran until 2010.
It was subtitled in English almost immediately following its release, which made it very popular among non-Japanese viewers as well.
We already told you the story of the two disfigured brothers Edward and Alphonse who go on a quest for improving their alchemic training to resurrect their dead mother and also to restore their physical bodies to their full and healthy form. Edward loses a leg and sacrifices his arm to preserve the soul of his brother during an alchemic experiment for resurrection goes wrong. Alphonse is turned into body armor, and Edward wears his brothers’ soul on him as he travels to the capital along with his other brothers to become a Fullmetal Alchemist at the State Military. She proceeds to search for the Philosopher Stone, which is supposed to give him immense alchemic powers. On the way, he discovers some deep conspiracies of the government along with details about his father’s past.
DVD and Blu-ray box sets have been released around the world, and the series aired on various channels in the US, UK, Australia and many other countries and attracted millions of fans worldwide.
With the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, you will never be bored and feel the need to fast forward a scene. Every minute of this brilliant anime series is spectacular and is worth your attention and time.
4. Naruto Shippūden
Naruto has become a huge franchise ever since the first Naruto series was released back in the years. Since then, numerous comics, films, games and series and related products have been made and sold to the growing army of Naruto fans.
Naruto Shippuden explores the life and adventures of Naruto Uzumaki, who is a young, hyperactive, and loud ninja looking to become the strongest ninja in the village (Hokage). The series starts more than two years after Naruto left Konohagakure to go through intense training. The Akatsu, which is the organization of the elite ninjas, is planning on overtaking the shinobi world. Even though he is older, Naruto has not changed too much, except that his confidence has grown. He goes through each fight with all his heart and soul still in pursuit of the Hokage title.
The characters are all superb, including the antagonists, which is why so many people around the world love this series.
The story keeps you interested and excited at all times, which is also why this is one of the most watchable lengthy anime series.
It includes a whopping 500 episodes which were aired from 2007 to 2017, and the Naruto fans have been relentlessly following their favorite series and their favorite anime hero through the years. The Naruto Shippuden, unlike the original Naruto series, is aimed at a more mature audience. The animation and the music are outstanding, and there are some scenes in the series which will make you want to watch them over and over again.
If you are new to manga and anime, Naruto Shippuden is definitely a great place to start!
5. Fairy Tail
This beautiful long-running anime series makes it to the top 10 list because it combines great animation, interesting characters, and an arc-like structure of the series.
Some may find that Fairy Tale gets repetitive at some point, but for true fans of shounen anime – this is a heaven-sent series.
Lucy Heartfilia has a dream of becoming a powerful full-fledged wizard, which is why she is searching for celestial keys. During her pursuit, she meets Natsu Dragneel and Happy, who are looking for the dragon Igneel – Natsu’s foster father.
Natsu is a wizard and a member of Fairy Tale and saves Lucy during an attempt for abduction. He offers her to join them.
Somewhere along the way, the group meets magic swordsman Erza Scarlet and the ice wizard Gray Fullbuster who join them on their quest.
Together they battle the evil and end up in countless adventures, which makes this series so much fun to watch.
The series aired from 2009 to 2013, and during that period, won a number of anime awards, including the best Japanese Anime Award in the 19th Anime and Manga Grand Prix in 2012. It was based on the popular manga series of the same name written by Hiro Mashima.
A second series premiered in Japan from 2014 to 2016, and a third series is expected to be released in the fall of 2018, so make sure you are ready for the new series and take the time to watch and enjoy these fantastic 175 episodes of the first Fairy Tale series.
6. Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online a.k.a. S.A.O. has a huge fan base. It is a beautifully drawn animation series with incredible music and sound. The fans of massively multiplayer online games (MMO) will love this anime series.
The plot involves several gamers who, in 2022, are part of the worldwide gamers for the launch of Sword Art Online MMORPG game, which connects players into a virtual reality world with the help of special Nerve Gear helmets.
Kirito is one of these eager gamers who is one of the first to log into the game and quickly becomes close friends with Klein, who is a newbie warrior.
The gamers use their thought s to control their avatars in the virtual world of Ainca, where they get access to various medieval weapons and meet gruesome monsters and fight bosses.
The gamers though pretty soon realize that they are unable to log out of the game and that they are being held by the creator of the game until they are able to complete all levels of the game. The worse part of this situation is that if you die in the game, you actually die in real life too.
So, you can imagine the excitement and adventure which this anime series provides. Its 25 episodes aired in 2012, and are based on the light novels by Reki Kawahara. The books have also become very popular around the world, and some anime fans even prefer them because of the proper pacing and writing, which is lacking in certain parts of the series.
People who love MMO games and anime will definitely have a treat with the Sword Art Online series!
7. One Piece
Our favorite hero Luffy has taught us that if you really want to accomplish something, you need to put your entire heart and soul into it even if it costs your life. This is what makes One Piece such an inspirational and loved anime series.
Luffy is a good-natured and adventurous pirate in search of the great mystical treasure called “One Piece.” He is part of the Grand Age of Pirates, who are all pursuing the dream of becoming the first to find the treasure and be proclaimed the title of “Pirate King.”
The series follows the adventures of Monkey D.Luffy, who is just 17 years old but overcomes numerous amazing adventures, unveils dark mysteries and battles various enemies on his way to the coveted prize and title.
The series produced by Toei Animation premiered on October 20, 1999, on Fuji Television, and since then, over 800 episodes have been aired on multiple networks around the world.
There were several crossover episodes with Toriko in 2011, and another with Dragon Ball Z in 2013.
In Jun 2004, 4Kids Entertainment purchased the rights for distributing One Piece in North America. A special “Pirate Rap” theme song was specially composed for the American audience, and the English version of the series premiered in September 2004 on Fox, and later on Cartoon network.
The airing stopped at episode 143, as well as the home video release, due to the fact that 4Kids realized that it wasn’t appropriate for their target audience. Since then, the entertainment company implemented much more serious guidelines and checks to all anime series it went on to purchase.
Funimation proceeded to license and dub the One Piece series in 2007 in English. The series was aired with less censorship and fewer restrictions. The cable program released an uncut DVD box set in Japanese and English with 13 episodes in 2008. After that, another 14 sets were released.
The uncut series began airing on Toonami’s late-night block and continued until One piece was finally removed in March 2017.
In 2013 the dubbed DVD boxed set was released in the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Latin America, the UK, and New Zealand by Manga Entertainment.
On February 12, 2013, it was announced that Manga Entertainment would start releasing the Funimation dub of One Piece in the United Kingdom in a DVD box set format. Crunchyroll began simulcasting the series on November 2, 2013, for the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America.
By October 2017, after 430 million copies of the series were sold, One Piece became the top-selling anime series in history.
The estimated production cost of each of the episodes is about $88,750, and the series still has a strong following among anime fans around the world.
With a staggering 366 episodes, this is one of the lengthiest anime series on our list. It was aired from 2004 to 2012 and gathered a serious fan following during the years.
The story revolves around a high school student called Kurosaki Ichigo, who can see ghosts. He receives this special power after an accident in the hollow of a tree. During the incident, when he and his family gets attacked by the Hollow, a Soul Reaper named Rukia Kuchiki rushes to save Ichigo and his family and gets injured while protecting them.
Ichigo promises to take Rukia’s powers in order to save his family, and as a result, the young boy begins training to be a Soul Reaper (Shinigami). The plot is quite similar to that of Sixth Sense, so if you enjoyed that movie, you will most probably like Bleach as well.
Ichigo then proceeds to hunt down all hollows which attack the people. He is joined by his classmate buddies Yasutora Sado, Orihime Inoue, and Uryuu Ishida who also have unique abilities.
The Bleach TV series is an adaptation of Tite Kubo’s manga series of the same name. The director of the series is Noriyuki Abe.
This is a wonderful adventure anime series which will keep you wanting to watch more and more, even though many anime fans find that the series tends to get tedious after the first 60 or so episodes, but if you are a true fan, you will enjoy every single one of them from episode 1 to episode 366.
9. Tokyo Ghoul
The Tokyo Ghoul anime series has stirred quite a bit of controversy among anime and manga fans around the world. Many of them agree that the original manga on which the series is based on is much better than the TV adaptation. This is mainly because the entire dark manga series written by Sui Ishida and loved by millions have been made into just 12 episodes. This means that there is no in-depth exploration of the characters which anime fans expect.
Even so, Tokyo Ghoul is a superb dark anime series which is quite gory, especially if you choose to watch the uncensored version.
It is about a serious college student Ken Kaneki who befriends another avid reader called Rize Kamishiro and as a result, gets pulled into the dark depths of the inhuman world of the ghouls. The ghouls are scary creatures that eat human flesh. During an attack on him by the ghouls, Kaneki is almost killed. He manages to survive, but he turns into half a human and half a ghoul. This causes him to change and adapt to this new lifestyle so that he is integrated into both societies.
The series is set in Tokyo which has become a city full of evil bloodthirsty ghouls who can transform themselves to look normal and so to blend in with the humans thus finding more victims.
The 12 episodes of the anime series were aired in 2014. They were followed up with a feature film and a sequel named Tokyo Ghoul √A, and later continued with the spin-offs Tokyo Ghoul: “Jack” and Tokyo Ghoul: “Pinto.”
There is a video game for Android smartphones called Tokyo Ghoul and a video game for PlayStation Vita inspired by the popular manga and anime series.
If you like dark and gory anime, you will love Tokyo Ghoul. If you don’t fancy bloody and gory scenes, you can safely watch the censored version!
10.The Seven Deadly Sins
If you love adventure and fantasy, you will be thrilled by The Seven Deadly Sins (Nanatsu no Taizai) anime series. The story is set in the region of Britannia which is very similar to a European Middle Age setting.
It is about seven knights who represent the seven deadly sins. The group of knights originally plotted an overthrow of the Liones Kingdom but failed because of the Holy Knights and disbanded.
But after 10 years, the Holy Knights manages to capture the king and proceed to become tyrannical rulers. As a result, Princess Elizabeth starts her journey to Seven Deadly Sins in an attempt to win back the lost kingdom and to find the long-lost justice in the world.
The hugely popular best-selling manga series was adapted into an anime series that aired from 2014 to 2015 and consists of 24 episodes and 2 OVAs. It is directed by Tensai Okamura, written by Shotaro Suga from A-1 Pictures studio.
There was a second season made which aired from January to June 2018 and was followed by a successful anime film that was released in August 2018. There is also a light novel and games based on The Seven Deadly Sins.
Today, Netflix holds the exclusive streaming rights for the English language version, and Funimation holds the home video rights.
Overall, The Seven Deadly Sins is a strong recommendation for anybody who wants to watch an exciting and considerably light Shonen anime show with all the action, fun, and great music.