18 All Time Best Anime Shows – Have You Watched All of Them?

Anime is an art form that originated in Japan and is made up of 2D and 3D animation. It’s a very popular art form among both children and adults alike.

It has become one of the most popular art forms in the world and gaining more and more popularity each year. 

Whether you’re looking for a new anime show to watch or you just want to know more about anime, we’ve got you covered.

We’ve compiled a list of all time best anime series for you to enjoy.

What Is Anime

What is Anime?

Anime (Japanese animation) is hand-drawn and computer animation. Anime is for everyone, from kids to teens and adults. In Japan and in Japanese it describes all animation regardless of style or origin. Animated works produced outside of Japan with a similar style to Japanese animation are referred to as anime-influenced animation.

Why is Anime Popular?

Anime fans have a great passion and their love for anime is reflected in their art. As much as they spend hours watching animes, they also create amazing fanart, illustrations, videos, and more.

If you haven’t ever watched Anime, you’d probably be wondering how the hell can someone, especially adults, like anime. But you most probably have heard some anime music and certainly liked it.

Anime Is Popular
Anime is Popular

Well, Anime art is amazing, both the story and animation are appealing. Anime gives you such exceptional stories that you don’t find on Television shows, films, or anywhere else. 

There’s a whole world of anime out there waiting to be explored. It’s much different than movies, which are drawn and scripted to fit in certain themes.

Cartoons, like anime, aren’t just for kids. You can find them in video games, TV, and even on Netflix and Amazon.

All Time Best Anime Shows for Love, Laughter and Lessons

All Time Best Anime Shows
All Time Best Anime Shows

Anime has become increasingly popular in English-speaking countries, where it is often referred to as Japanese Cartoons. According to a 2017 survey, 14% of Americans and 16% of UK residents watch anime weekly or more often.

There are many popular schools of thought when it comes to what type of anime should be watched, but one thing is for sure: there is an anime out there for everyone!

I have categorized these TV series into three different sections based on the age group; feel free to explore any.

  • Popular Anime for Kids – Pure Laughter and Learning
  • Popular Anime Shows for Young Teens – Friendship, Dreams and Comedy
  • Popular Anime Series for Adults – Love, Action, Drama and Horror

The best anime shows are just too many. It’s difficult to name them all. If you’ve never watched an anime before, give it a try! You should definitely start with these best anime shows of all time.

Popular Anime for Kids – Laughter and Learnings

Popular Anime For Kids
Popular Anime for Kids

You say if you haven’t watched anime, but sure you have enjoyed watching Pokemon or Doremon. That’s anime!

The following popular anime shows for kids will have you in stitches! If you’re looking for a good laugh, these are the perfect picks.

The first two are well-known titles on this list that have been around for a while. They are followed by four more unexplored anime releases that are just as awesome.

1. Doraemon

An anime series for children that is sure to keep your kids amused, is Doraemon. It is one of the most popular anime series made for children.

It’s about a young elementary school boy called Nobita who seems to have problems with his school and his friends. He meets a cute cat robot from the future called Doraemon. He helps Nobita deal with his everyday problems with the help of amazing gadgets from the future. 

There are about 1,787 episodes in the anime, which is based on a manga that was first published in 1969, and there are 45 volumes in this series. So, your kids will enjoy hours of fun and they’ll get a taste of how great anime is from a very young age.

Doremon was rated 7.37 out of 10 on MyAnimeList.

2. Pokemon

Since it was first released in 1996, Pokémon has been one of the most popular anime franchises in history. In addition to being a fun animated television show, it also spawned a number of games, trading cards, toys, series, and even movies.

As a result, several generations of kids have now grown up with the Pokémon franchise, and many parents are introducing their kids to it.

The Pokémon anime revolves around a young man named Ash Ketchum, who is on a quest to become a Pokémon master and to win the Pokémon League Championship. Ash Ketchum and his Pikachu get into lots of wild adventures. 

This is one of the all time best anime shows that includes numerous fun Pokémon of all sizes and appearances, and with different appearances, which will keep your child glued to the screen, wanting to watch more.

The original series still remains one of the top 3 anime of all time, according to reputable manga and anime ranking sites. Luckily, there are six different Pokémon series, including thousands of episodes to choose from, so kids will stay entertained for a long.

This is a great anime for young children, who will not only enjoy watching it, but also learn a lot from the characters, including the importance of friendship, perseverance, and learning how to improve when you lose a game or a challenge.

Pokemon scored 7.35 out of 10 on MyAnimeList.

3. My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro)

One of the best anime shows of all time is My Neighbor Totoro produced by Studio Ghibli.

It’s about two sisters who move to the countryside with their father to be close to their mother, who’s in the hospital with an unspecified illness.

They move so they can all be closer to her. While exploring their new surroundings they discover Totoros, magical creatures that live in the forest. The oldest sister turns to one of them when her younger sister runs away from home.

Today, it is considered a classic anime movie that has become a favorite of children and parents alike.

My Neighbor Totoro scored 8.27 out of 10 on MyAnimeList.

4. Anpanman (Sore Ike)

One of the most popular anime series for kids in Japan is Anpanman. It’s a family-friendly anime series that started airing back in 1979.

It’s a story about superheroes and has cute main characters that are made of bread. The traditional Japanese baked goods are known as Anpan, which is a pastry with a red paste made of beans.

Kids will love to see these cute and brave characters on a mission to protect the innocent and fight against enemies. Kids of age 0 to 6 years are going to enjoy this cute anime series while learning a lot from the characters. 

Anpanman scored 6.45 out of 10 on MyAnimeList.

5. Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon has one of the best anime for young girls. First started airing in Japan in 1992.

In the classic anime, we follow a young girl called Usagi Tsukino, who can transform herself into Sailor Moon. She’s helped by a group of magical women, called Sailor Guardians, who fight evil monsters while searching for the magical Silver Crystal.  

If you love anime and music, this might be a good show to start with. The Sailor Moon kids anime is so popular that it has been adapted into several musicals, and films.

Sailor Moon scored 7.70 out of 10 on MyAnimeList.

6. Crayon Shin-chan

The best anime for kids that is still on the air is Crayon Shin-chan. It’s been airing since 1992 and is still going strong.

Each episode of the show is self-contained, so you can start from whichever season or episode you want. The funny children’s anime is about the life of a young boy named Shin-chan, his eccentric parents, and his younger sister Himawari.

This is an anime for kids, and it’s full of humor, strange moments, and explores the weirdness of growing up.

Crayon Shin-chan scored 7.73 out of 10 on My Anime List.

Popular Anime Shows for Young Teens – Friendship, Dreams and Comedy

Popular Anime Shows For Young Teens
Popular Anime Shows for Young Teens

When most people think of anime, they usually picture kids and teenagers watching colorful cartoons on weekends.

However, there are plenty of anime shows that appeal to young teens. Let’s explore all time best anime shows for young teens.

As a young teen, Anime can be a creative and interactive way to experience a unique story. The characters are often admired for their fighting skills, making the anime an escape from reality for some children.

In recent years there has been an increase in the popularity of new anime shows with different twists on popular themes. There is a wide variety of genres that appeal to teens, such as drama, friendship, romance, and comedy.

1. Naruto

Naruto is a fun series about a young ninja who dreams of becoming the leader of his village. it also touches on the themes of loneliness, acceptance, and the value of hard work.

In the first half of the series, he’s a pre-teen, and in the second half, he’s an adolescent. There is the occasional use of the word damn, and a few, passing references to smoking, drinking, and gambling.

Naruto is one of the very popular animes of all time which scored 7.96 out of 10 on MyAnimeList.

2. Little Witch Academia

The story is about a young-upcoming witch named Atsuko Kagari. She aspires to be like her idol: Chariot, but not only that but also to prove that her family heritage of witchcraft has nothing to do with it.

Her struggles are real because she’s not born with any kind of natural talent. The manga I wish existed when I was growing up was called “Chariot.” Do not skip this one.

Little Witch Academia scored 7.84 out of 10 on My Anime List.

3. Dragon Ball Z

After watching the original Dragon Ball series, the Dragon Ball franchise continued with many spin-offs such as Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Z. They are both based on the original Dragon Ball series by Akira Toriyama. 

The Dragon Ball franchise has become enormously popular even in the US. It includes many series, 15 movies, and almost 150 different video games.

One of the best anime TV series based on the Dragon Ball franchise is Dragon Ball Z. It’s a sequel to the original Dragon Ball series by Akira Toriyama. It ran from 1989 to 1996. 

It’s the ideal show for anyone looking for an exciting family-friendly adventure with plenty of laughs!

Dragon Ball Z is a popular anime and scored 8.15 out of 10 on My Anime List.

4. Barakamon

Barakamon is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Satsuki Yoshino. If you’re looking for a lighthearted slice of life series with no fan service, pure comedy, then Barakamon is for you. 

Young handsome calligrapher Handa Seishu gets into trouble when he punches a famous calligrapher, and now the calligrapher’s furious parents order Handa to live on an island, far away from civilization.

Handa must find a way to survive among a bunch of strange people on a deserted island. But things get even weirder when his wacky neighbors start invading his house.

Can a city boy survive on a wacky island?

Barakamon is a really good anime. It got 8.39 out of 10 on My Anime List.

5. K-On

This is an anime show that focuses on 5 main girls who love to make music.

There’s no fan service or anything else that’s inappropriate in this anime show. It’s a very light-hearted anime, with a relaxing vibe.

A high school girl who joins the music club. She opposed the decision shortly after joining, as she was unable to play an instrument. The club members will offer anything, from food and drink to doing less work in order to persuade her to stay with the club. At last, her clubmates formed an impromptu musical and inspired her to return to the club.

K-On was rated 7.85 out of 10 on My Anime List.

6. Best Student Council (Gokujou Seitokai)

Another popular anime series for teens is about a high school girl named Rino Rando, a girl who loses her mother at a young age.

She’s been transferred to a new school and finds that she needs to join the student council. It is similar to Love Live, but each character is memorable and has its own importance.

Best Student Council scored 6.92 out of 10 on My Anime List.

Popular Anime Series for Adults – Love, Action, Drama and Horror

Popular Anime Shows For Adults
Popular Anime Shows for Adults

Like I said, earlier, it’s not just kids that are into anime. There are a number of popular series that are marketed towards adults. These series can be stories with intrigue, comedy, suspense, horror, or just plain fun.

We’re going to take a look at some of the most popular anime series for grownups and provide you with a list of the six all-time best anime series that we think everyone should watch at least once.

1. Death Note

You might have heard the music of Death Note at least once. It is a very popular anime series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. 

Light Yagami, a teenage genius, discovers a mysterious notebook. The notebook called the Death Note, which belongs to the Shinigami Ryuk, grants the user the supernatural ability to kill anyone whose name is written on its pages.

Death Note was published in Weekly Shōnen Jump from December 2003 to May 2006 and collected in 12 volumes.

This anime series follows the story of a teenage student, who is given a mysterious notebook that allows him to kill people with just the power of his mind.

Death Note got 8.63 out of 10 on My Anime List.

2. Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop is a science fiction series set in the year 2171. It is a live-action series based on the 1998 anime series of the same name and the 2001 anime film of the same name.

It focuses on the adventures of a rag-tag group of bounty hunters who work for a space organization that seeks out and captures dangerous fugitives throughout the solar system aboard the Bebop spaceship.

Cowboy Bebop is a bit Cyberpunk, a bit space western, and a whole lot of pizazz. The cast of colorful and eclectic characters is augmented by a dynamic story and an original soundtrack that will keep you watching until the very last episode.

Cowboy Bebop is a fantastic show, no matter what kind of anime fan you are. It’s one of the best shows out there. If the live-action adaptation of the anime is good, lots of people will check out the original anime soon, so it’s important to be sure that the quality is good.

Cowboy Bebop was rated 8.76 out of 10 on My Anime List.

3. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is full of interesting characters, plot twists, and philosophical ideas. 

Edward and Alphonse are alchemist brothers who are on a journey to restore their bodies after a terrible accident happened when they tried to revive their dead mother.

It’s rare for a show to be completely outstanding without any elements like cliche anime features, fan service. Alchemist Brotherhood relies on brilliant dialogue, a phenomenal soundtrack, and unique ideas to get the job done.

If you’re looking for a show that isn’t too dark, makes you laugh while simultaneously making you think, and one that will leave a lasting impression, this is the show for you.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood was a big hit when it came out, scoring 9.15 out of 10 on My Anime List.

4. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

The anime series begins with the young teen Tanjiro Kamado. 

After his father dies, Tanjiro takes the responsibility of supporting his family. This leads him to travel to another town to sell charcoal. Later that day his whole family is slaughtered by Demons.

The survivors of the slaughter are Tanjiro and his sister Nejuko who is possessed by a Demon and yet shows human emotions. He tries to save her sister from the Demon.

When he’s running away from his village with his sister, a Demon Slayer (who kills Demon with their special blade) tries to kill his sister because she’s a Demon.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba achieved 8.57 out of 10 on My Anime List.

5. Detective Conan or Case Closed

Detective Conan also known as Case Closed is a great manga series about a teenage detective, named Shinichi Kudo, who is poisoned by an evil group called “The Black Organization”.

As the poison transforms him into a small child, Shinichi adopts a new identity and becomes Conan Edogawa. He lives with his girlfriend, Ran Mouri, and her father, Detective Kogoro Mori, under the pretense that his parents are away and unable to take care of him. 

In this new life, he helps Kogoro solve murder cases while trying to find the evil men who poisoned him, steal the poison and create an antidote.

Detective Conan scored 8.16 out of 10 on My Anime List.

6. Tokyo Ghoul 

Tokyo Ghoul is an interesting, eccentric, and unique anime series.

The college student Ken Kaneki is attacked by a ghoul, a being that feeds on human flesh. He receives a liver transplant from the ghoul later, turning into a part monster himself.

A sinister threat is invading Tokyo: flesh-eating “ghouls” who appear identical to humans and blend into their population. Ken Kaneki, a shy college freshman, immersed himself in books, avoiding the news of the growing crisis.

His solitude was broken when an attractive woman named Rize Kamishiro asked him on a date.

Tokyo Ghoul scored 7.8 out of 10 on My Anime List.

Hope the above list helps you in picking your next favorite anime show.

The anime industry is booming and it’s now one of the most popular art forms around the world.

The popularity of anime can be attributed to its unique storytelling style and characters that are both relatable and engaging.

What anime would you recommend to someone who would like to start watching anime?

Did we miss any great anime show? 

Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Palak is a theatre artist with a passion for creativity. She loves photography and writing. Owing to her inclination towards social development, she tries to have a sustainable lifestyle while contributing to social causes.

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