Animated movies have always been a hit among all genres globally, and many are released every year. In Japan, these animated movies are called ‘anime.’ It is a Japanese word and means animations made in Japan.
In 1917 the first Japanese animation was made and released. Do you remember the famous anime released in Japan in 1963? Yes! Astro Boy was the first anime series aired on Television. Every year hundreds of anime are made and aired on TV and other streaming platforms. However, only some of these anime become famous and a must-watch. But things are changing; the number of must-watch anime is increasing year after year.
Japan is a country that houses other Japanese pop cultures such as manga, video games, and light novels. This is the very reason for the anime industry to prosper in Japan. You will be surprised to know that some popular anime are inspired and adaptations of manga, video games, light novels, and other media. In Japan, these anime of Japan have become famous all across the world with fan following who watch it with English dubs and subtitles.
We bring you the best 30 anime series. The list includes both classic anime franchises and brand new series. It is a great list to either get you started watching anime or decide which one to watch next for an already anime fan!We would like to share that the below list of anime focuses on TV anime series. Anime movies like Studio Ghibli films or Makoto Shinkai’s are not mentioned.However, this list of 30 best anime is just the tip of the iceberg; there is a plethora of other anime worth a watch. The countdown for the best 25 anime begins.
The first season of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュ) was aired in 2006-2007. In this series, the anime series Lelouch vi Britannia stands out in opposition to the gigantic Holy Britannian Empire after being granted the supernatural power named Geass. The new story Code Geass Lelouch of the Resurrection (コードギアス 復活のルルーシュ) was released in 2019.
Air Dates: from 2006
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Mecha
The dark fantasy manga Tokyo Ghoul (東京喰種トーキョーグール) was published on the Weekly Young Jump in the year 2011-2014. It is an adaptation into an anime from 2014. Then the sequel named 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 the year 2018. The story is on the theme of Ghouls, which live in the human society looking like a normal human being. However, the ghouls depend on human flesh as food.
Air Dates: 2014-2018
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Steins; Gate (シュタインズ・ゲート) is considered to be one of the best anime of recent times. It is a sci-fi anime with 24 episodes released in 2011. Then in 2018, the story was continued with the release of Steins; Gate 0 (シュタインズ・ゲート ゼロ), In this anime film, the character Rintaro Okabe and other Future Gadget Laboratory members try to invent a kind of the time machine. It showcases a time loop plot. Akihabara, Tokyo is the city where the anime file was shot, and it has become a popular tourist spot where anime fans visit.
Air Dates: 2011-2018
Genre: Science Fiction, Time loop
22.My Hero Academia
One of the most popular ongoing anime called My Hero Academia (僕のヒーローアカデミア). A young boy Izuku Midoriya and the other heroes fight with the villains using their superpowers quirks. This anime is a hit internationally because it gives you a feel and atmosphere of an American Superhero comic rather than Japanese anime.
Air Dates: from 2016
Genre: Action, Fantasy
21.OreGairu: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU
There is a popular anime series based on the genre of a slice of life (the setting is based on daily life) called as My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU (やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている。), that is also known as just OreGairu or My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected. The slice-of-life anime is developed from the light novel that completed with the 17th volume in 2019. Hachiman Hikigaya is showcased as cynical and pessimistic who starts giving advice to students in the school service club with two heroines: Yukino Yukinoshita and Yui Yuigahama.
This anime series was then finished with the release of its final season, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Fin (やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている。完) in 2020.
Air Dates: 2013-2020
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Kyoto Animation released the anime Violet Evergarden (ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン) in 2018. The story is based on the light novel and has 3 volumes. Then in 2019, the anime movie Violet Evergarden: Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll (ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン 外伝 – 永遠と自動手記人形 -) after the TV anime series. This was then followed by a film with a new story called Violet Evergarden the Movie (劇場版 ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン) in April 2020.
The story is about a girl called Violet who works for others as Auto Memory Dolls. It is showcased through beautiful illustrations in the anime.
Air Dates: from 2018
A popular ongoing detective anime is called Detective Conan (名探偵コナン). It is also called Case Closed. A high school detective called Shinichi Kudo is transformed into a kid by a poison named APTX-4869. To hide his identity from the opposite Black Organization, he calls himself Conan Edogawa. This is an anime series that is enjoyed both by adults and children.
Air Dates: from 1996
Laid-Back Camp (ゆるきゃん△) is one of the most popular anime released in 2018. It is also known as Yurukyan in Japanese. The spin-off Room Camp (へやキャン△) short stories was aired on TV in 2020. The second season series was then aired in 2021.
The story has five high school girls, including Rin and Nadeshiko. They have unique personalities, and they enjoy camping around Mt.Fuji. Real places inspire the camping sights shown in the anime in Japan. Also, many anime fans now visit these places and go camping after the first season was broadcasted.
Air Dates: from 2018
Genre: Slice of life, Comedy
17.The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Do you know that after 2000’s the best anime released was the slice-of-life anime-The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (涼宮ハルヒの憂鬱)? It first came out as a light novel in 2003, then made into anime in 2006. The anime, due to the light novel, already had a great fan following. It is strange even though the first season of the anime stories was broadcasted out of order; the audience did not get bored.
The anime showcases the daily life of SOS Brigade, a school club established by the heroine of the anime story called Haruhi Suzumiya. However, she is not a human in the story.
Air Dates: 2006-2009
Genre: Comedy, Science Fiction, Time loop
16.Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人) should is one of the best action based anime. It was released as a manga in 2009, and the first season of the anime adaption was aired in 2013.
In the story, it is shown that humanity is getting extinct as the titans attack it. The main characters Eren Yeager and Mikasa Ackerman, with the other Survey Corps members in the story, battle against the titans.
In April 2020, the story of the manga series came to an end. This was then followed by season 4 of the anime series that started from winter in 2020.
Air Dates: 2013-2022
Genre: Action, Dark Fantasy
Dragon Ball (ドラゴンボール) is a famous action anime aired in 1984. Akira Toriyama made Dragon Ball as the Weekly Shonen Jump manga. There are several parts in the Dragon Ball series. Currently, it is ongoing with a new title Dragon Ball Super (ドラゴンボール超). Dragon Ball Z is a famous part (ドラゴンボールZ), in which the story moves ahead with the main character Goku grown up.The battle scenes in this anime are worth watching. The most recommended to watch is Goku vs. Freeza and Goku’s son Gohan vs. Cell.
Genre: Action, Adventure
14.Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (あの日見た花の名前を僕達はまだ知らない。) is a very heart-warming anime in Japan. It is also known as Anohana. In the story, Jinta Yadomi, who has the nickname Jintan, plays video games instead of attending high school. One day in summer, Meiko Homma (Menma), his childhood friend, comes before Jintan as a ghost although she died in an accident years before. It comprises 11 episodes.
Air Dates: 2011
Love Live! (ラブライブ!) is first anime that set up the theme of an idol that means Japanese pop singer groups in Japanese. There are two seasons of Love Live! Aired in 2013-14.
In 2016-17 the second season of this anime series was released called Love Live! Sunshine!! (ラブライブ! サンシャイン!!). The story focuses on how the high school idol group named μ’s (pronounced “muse”) grows, and Aqours is also shown in Love Live! Sunshine! New titles are in process. Interesting to know that the fans of Love Live! Visit Tokyo’s town Akihabara, which is known as the mecca of Japanese anime and is the place that has inspired the production of the anime.
Air Dates: from 2013
Genre: Slice of life, Comedy
12.Ghost in the Shell
The Ghost in the Shell (攻殻機動隊) anime which is based on cyberpunk, was released in 1995 as an anime film. Mamoru Oshii directed it. It was then followed by the first season of the TV anime series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (攻殻機動隊 STAND ALONE COMPLEX). Kenji Kamiyama directed it.
The story has an exciting setting where they have shown Japan in the year 2030. They have shown a time when science and technology is highly progressive. In this anime, Public Security Section 9, including Major Motoko Kusanagi, works together to prevent crime. In 2020, the new title of the series Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2045 (攻殻機動隊 SAC_2045) was released with 12 episodes on Netflix all over the world.
Air Dates: from 2002
Genre: Science Fiction, Cyberpunk
A well-known Japanese sci-fi anime which is also famous all over the world is called Fullmetal Alchemist (鋼の錬金術師), which is known as Hagaren in Japanese. There are two parts of this anime called Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. The former Fullmetal Alchemist was aired before the manga series did not finish the story. This means that the story is different from the original story. The manga’s story is showcased in the latter Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.In the story, the characters, brother Edward and Alphonse, loses a part of the whole of their body by violating a taboo. They start traveling to find a way to retrieve their bodies.
Air Dates: 2003-2010
Genre: Adventure, Science Fiction, Dark Fantasy
The highly-rated anime by both domestic and international anime fans is a mystery and horror anime called as Dearth Note (デスノート). It is based on the manga published on the Weekly Shonen Jump from 2003 to 2006. It has short story episodes comprising 37 episodes and well-accepted all across the world.In the story, Light Yagami is a protagonist who finds a Death Note. Whosever name is written on this death note, that person dies.
Air Dates: 2006-2007
Well, we all know Pokémon (ポケモン)! It is one of the most popular Japanese anime and games around the globe. It was first aired in 1997 in Japan as the Japanese title Pocket Monsters (ポケットモンスター). With every new game release, a new title is aired. The latest series being broadcasted since 2019 following the previous Sun & Moon (ポケットモンスター サン&ムーン).In the story, the boy Satoshi travels worldwide with various Pokemon like Pikachu to become a Pokemon master.
Air Dates: from 1997
Genre: Kids, Family, Adventure
8.Re: Zero -Starting Life in Another World-
Re: Zero -Starting Life in Another World- (Re：ゼロから始める異世界生活), also known as Re: Zero, is one of the best light novels released in the 2010s. In 2016, the first season was released with 25 episodes. The newly-edited version was aired in 2020.In 2020 and 2021, season 2 of Re: Zero was broadcasted. Subaru’s main character is sent to Isekai (another world) with no superpower except a specific ability in this story. The story goes forward with the encounter of heroine Emilia.
Air Dates: from 2016
Genre: Isekai, Adventure, Dark Fantasy, Time loop
7.JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (ジョジョの奇妙な冒険) is a popular manga and anime franchise. It started getting published in 1987. The series has eight parts from Phantom Blood (ファントムブラッド) to Jojolion (ジョジョリオン) so far (as of 2020). The newest anime is an adaption of the 5th part Golden Wind (黄金の風), and it was in 2018-2019.
The story focuses on the adventures of the Joestar family. The main character changes with the parts, but they all are the Joestar family. The highlights of the anime are its unique characters and intense battle scenes.
Air Dates: from 2012
Genre: Adventure, Action, Fantasy
6.Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis EVANGELION (新世紀エヴァンゲリオン) was aired in 1990 and was directed by Hideaki Anno. The famous mecha anime showcased the story of the four teenagers: Shinji Ikari, Rei Ayanami, Asuka Langley Soryu, and Kaworu Nagisa. They pilot the giant humanoid robot Evangelions to fight with the enemies called Angels.
Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone (ヱヴァンゲリヲン新劇場版:序) , Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (ヱヴァンゲリヲン新劇場版:破) and Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo (ヱヴァンゲリヲン新劇場版:Q) are the three main movies. The final title, Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 (シン・エヴァンゲリオン劇場版:||) was released in theatres in 2021.
Air Dates: 1995-1996
Genre: Mecha, Action, Fantasy
One Piece (ワンピース) is the most famous and top-selling ongoing manga and anime. The first season of the manga was released in 1997. Can you believe it now there are over 90 volumes sold across the world? After the release of the first Manga, the anime adaption began two years later. Since then, about 900 episodes have been aired. The story of One Piece can be divided into ten parts. The best thing is that beginners can start from anywhere and yet enjoy it.
The story proceeds from the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his crew in the pirates’ world. He starts sailing in search of the treasure called “One Piece.” They have sown some Devil Fruits in the world of One Piece, which, when eaten, give you a superpower but take away their skill to swim. There are powerful fight scenes between the Devil Fruits eaters, including Luffy, and they are worth watching.
Air Dates: from 1999
Genre: Adventure, Action, Fantasy, Drama
Monogatari Series (物語シリーズ) was directed by Akiyuki Shinbo and produced by the animation studio Shaft is the popular anime series released in 2009. It is made apted into an anime from the novels that are authored by Nisioisin (Nishio Ishin). In 2009-2012 the first season of Monogatari Series started as Bakemonogatari (化物語), Nisemonogatari (偽物語) and Nisemonogatari Black (偽物語 黒).
The main character Koyomi Araragi handles lots of problems arising from apparitions called Kaii in Japanese. The shades (like a supernatural ghost) influence the feelings, and Koyomi Araragi saves them.
There are five seasons of the novel, and 3 of them have been made into anime. The director Akiyuki Shinbo stated that he would continue producing more seasons as long as the original novel is being published.
Air Dates: from 2009
Genre: Fantasy, Slice of life, Comedy
Surprising Clannad (クラナド) is a hit in Japan but not very well known worldwide. Kyoto Animation directs it, and it is wonderfully made. The human drama is shown sensitively and is a hit despite not having any fight scene or supernatural event in this anime.
Clannad in 2007-2008 and Clannad After Story in 2008-2009 are the 2 parts of the anime. The story shows the daily life of the main character Tomoya and the heroine Nagisa in high school. It comprises 44 episodes and is worth a watch.
Air Dates: 2007-2009
Naruto was initially released as the Weekly Shonen Jump manga by Masashi Kishimoto in 1999. It continued till 2014. It is based on the theme of Ninja. Naruto (ナルト) series was completed in 2017. It took almost 15 years and comprises 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.
The story showcases the fictional world of Shinobi (Ninja). The boy Naruto is growing with the help of many friends and masters there. Naruto and other Ninja characters used the various Ninja techniques using the chakra energy to battle.
The anime showcases many emotions like solid bonds with friends and family, betrayal, and parting. This anime has fans from all across the world.
Air Dates: 2002-2017
Genre: Adventure, Action, Fantasy
1.Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (鬼滅の刃), released in 2019, is adapted into an anime from the manga by Koyoharu Gotoge that was serialized on the Weekly Shonen Jump from 2016. The first season of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba has 26 episodes and was appreciated by people who had not read and as well the fans of the manga.
The anime shows the Taisho period (1912-1926) in Japan when demons exist with human beings. The demons kill Tanjiro Kamado’s family, and only his sister Nezuko is changed into a monster. He then becomes a demon slayer to restore her to a human.This anime showcases various emotions of brotherhood, friendship, and respect. The battle scenes between the demon slayers and unique demon characters are worth seeing. It is interesting to see that even demons are respectfully depicted in this anime.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train (劇場版 鬼滅の刃 無限列車編) is its sequel story released in October 2020. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba will be the next anime, but for sure, it will become a super hit.
Air Dates: from 2019
Genre: Drama, Action, Adventure, Dark Fantasy
I hope you liked the collection of the 30 Best Animes in Japan. A lot of research went into the compilation of this list for you. So what are you waiting for? Start watching them on today. Don’t miss it.