My 50 Favorite Anime Series

I think that this accurately lists my top fifty anime series at present. Listing only the top ten cuts out too many good shows. Dear readers, if you spot any which you’d like to hear more about, just leave a comment, and I’ll be happy to write a review for your pleasure.

  1. Ashita no Joe

  2. Rurouni Kenshin
  3. Code Geass

  4. Inuyasha
  5. Wolf’s Rain

  6. Space Pirate Captain Harlock
  7. Mardock Scramble
  8. Full Metal Panic

  9. Vision of Escaflowne

  10. History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi

  11. Book of Bantorra

  12. Last Exile

  13. Tengen Toppa: Gurren Lagaan

  14. Samurai 7

  15. Princess Tutu
  16. Ajin
  17. Fullmetal Alchemist

  18. Utawarerumono

  19. Melody of Oblivion
  20. Slayers

  21. Lost Universe

  22. Carried by the Wind, Tsukikage Ran

  23. Ga-Rei Zero

  24. Violet Evergarden
  25. Hajime no Ippo

  26. Noir

  27. Trigun

  28. Kara no Kyoukai

  29. Trinity Blood

  30. Hellsing

  31. Re: Creators
  32. Scrapped Princess

  33. The Third: The Girl with the Blue Eye

  34. Sabagebu!
  35. Now and Then, Here and There

  36. Made in Abyss
  37. Yu Yu Hakusho

  38. Berserk

  39. Azumanga Daioh

  40. Gungrave

  41. Claymore

  42. Blade Break
  43. Black Lagoon
  44. Read or Die

  45. Arpeggio of Blue Steel
  46. The Rose of Versailles
  47. Vampire Princess Miyu
  48. Psycho-Pass
  49. Ghost Hunt

  50. Black Cat

33 comments on “My 50 Favorite Anime Series

  1. BEahanART says:

    I admit I have not, until recently, gotten much into anime. That being said, what I have watched – Inuyasha, Wolf’s Rain and Fullmetal Alchemist were pretty amazing. Glad they all made your top 20…


    • You can say that again! Anime has plenty of amazing shows, and I still haven’t watched all the classics myself. Cowboy Bebop and Rurouni Kenshin are a couple of other shows I can recommend to you without hesitation.


  2. It is an interesting list. Since I don’t know most of the shows listed it is a good reference for future searching. Two of my favorite anime shows, aired in Spain, were Future Boy Conan and Ulysses 31.



    • I’ve heard much about Ulysses 31. In particular, I was surprised to learn that it came out of a collaboration with Japanese and French animators. Thanks for reminding me to watch it!

      I’m glad that you liked the list. I’m a rather modern anime fan, so the list concentrates on the 90’s and early 2000’s. I also search for rather obscure shows sometimes, which makes for an eccentric list, but all these shows are highly enjoyable–and you can’t go wrong with the top 25. Or so I like to think, anyway.


  3. japesland says:

    I looked over this list a few months ago, but ended up seeing it again since I just happened to be snooping around.

    Very happy to see Now and Then Here and There on your list (perhaps the most underrated anime of all time, in my humble opinion, as it currently sits at my #1 slot and you are the first person I know of who has seen it).

    I ought to put together a list like this just as an extra page on my blog (although it’s more of a sheet music database now than anything).

    Also, I am digging the new background. Vast improvement over the swords.


    • Thanks for your compliments on my background! Nothing quite says medieval like the Bayeux Tapestry. And the more I looked at the sword background, the less I liked it. πŸ™‚

      Now and Then, Here and There stands as one of the most unique anime I’ve ever seen and quite deserving to be among anyone’s top fifty. I got the idea from the now defunct Anime Insider magazine, but I do think that some items on the list say more about me than the anime’s objective greatness.

      I would certainly love to see a list like that on your website!


  4. Zortor says:

    you should try aesthetica of a rogue hero


  5. Lucas says:

    Haven’t you seen Death Note? Or you just don’t like it?
    My top seven would be:
    1-Death Note
    2-Psycho Pass
    3-Code Geass
    6-Zankyou no terror
    7-Elfen Lied

    I’m so looking forward for season 2 of Psycho Pass!


  6. I liked Death Note; but, the episodes with Near were not as powerful as the first half, and I remember that I did not like the ending too much. I gave it four stars out of five, but a show needs to earn four and a half stars to have a chance of ranking in the above list.

    Your top seven are pretty strong. I find it funny that we both rank Code Geass as our third. I have three more episodes of Zankyou no Terror to watch, and I should have an article about it soon. A very cool show.


    • Lucas says:

      Yeah, it kind of lost something after L’s death. I still love it though. I noticed that about Code Geass being both’s 3rd too. I think it’s ending is the best I’ve seen so far in an anime.

      One thing to note is that, although I’ve seen a good amount of anime, you surely have seen way more than me. That must make it difficult to rank them all.

      May be you can recommend me an anime or two that are similar to the ones on my top seven? πŸ™‚


      • Ready to be spammed with a long list of recommendations? πŸ™‚ Based on your top seven, I figure that you like dark shows with a psychological angle. Therefore, I’d recommend the following to you: Hell Girl, Steins; Gate, Book of Bantorra, Darker than Black, Shin Sekai Yori, Witch Hunter Robin, Ergo Proxy, Serial Experiments Lain, Perfect Blue, Gankutsuou, Gunslinger Girl, Melody of Oblivion, Innocent Venus, and Claymore.

        I hope that you enjoy those shows! And you can always check out my profile on Anime-Planet for other ideas.


    • Leo Blaze says:

      Yeah, they should have ended the show after L’s death.


  7. Lucas says:

    Thanks for the recommendations! You got it right, that’s the kind of series I like. Psychological’s.
    From what you’ve recommend, I’ve seen Serial Experiments Lain and Perfect Blue. I liked them both, specially Serial Experiments Lain, although they didn’t make it to my favourite list (the top seven).
    I’m going to try out the rest!


    • I hope that you enjoy them! Serial Experiments Lain and Perfect Blue are true classics. The way they mix fantasy or the cyber world with reality is practically inimitable. In Perfect Blue, the line between imagination and reality was completely non-existent by a certain point.


      • Lucas says:

        Yeah, there was a moment when you couldn’t tell reality from imagination anymore.
        Another one I saw and you haven’t named, its Ghost in the Shell. I’ve seen the movie and it’s very good. I haven’t seen the anime though, but I intend to do it sometime.

        By the way, I’m studying philosophy in university here in my country. And one of the subjects I’m currently studying is Medieval Philosophy. I’m reading the likes of Agustin, Escoto, Ibn Sina, Plotino, Proclo, etc. It’s interesting.
        I have to say that I’m not really into any religion, but I respect every human being’s point of view, specially when they express it racionally and show tolerance to the others, like you seem to do.

        PS: I’m watching Ergo Proxy now, looks promising.


      • Ghost in the Shell is certainly a classic, and I have watched a few episodes but was never able to get into it. You see, I used to not be very partial to cybernetic characters. Worse, I don’t care for the idea of the perfectibility of man through technology. (No surprise coming from someone who calls himself a medievalist, right? πŸ™‚ ) I much prefer Gunslinger Girl’s presentation of the idea, where cybernetics may enhance a person’s abilities but they still retain their human weaknesses and desires. An interesting book titled Anime and Philosophy: Wide Eyed Wonder by Josef Steiff and Tristan D. Tamplin covers the differences between the two series very well. Though, it must be admitted that Ghost in the Shell is a much stronger show, and one might find Gunslinger Girl–with its moe aspects and intense focus on the characters’ psyches–a little boring.

        That sounds like a great course of study. You’ll end up getting a hefty dose of theology along with philosophy, as medievals felt that philosophy is the handmaid of theology. Initially, I was put off from reading John Duns Scotus’ works when I learned that the word “dunce” derives from his name. (Can you imagine your name becoming the word meaning the class idiot? Wow!) But, I’ve since learned that he was much brighter than his enemies gave him credit for. I mean, even St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, was called the Dumb Ox and named a heretic at Oxford!

        Yes, I do my best to show tolerance to others’ views. After all, “we see through a glass darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:12), and I prefer understanding what people who disagree with me think than just dismissing their ideas, which is a hallmark of prejudiced minds and generally just leads to divisiveness.

        I’m glad that you’re enjoying Ergo Proxy! The interesting thing about Dai Sato’s anime is his fluency with Western culture, and he employs western motifs with more frequency in Ergo Proxy than his other works.


  8. Lucas says:

    “I prefer understanding what people who disagree with me think than just dismissing their ideas, which is a hallmark of prejudiced minds and generally just leads to divisiveness.”
    I couldn’t agree more with this!

    Sure I’m getting a lot of theology with this particular subject. It’s not such a common thing in the rest of the philosophers, but in Medieval philosophers, theology and philosophy can’t be separated.

    By the way, do you know how many episodes will Psycho Pass 2 have? And wheter the movie is animated or live action?


  9. Leo Blaze says:

    I think Steins;Gate is a pretty good anime too if you are into time travel. And Great Teacher Onizuka is pretty funny too.


  10. […] My 50 Favorite Anime Series […]


  11. I’m glad to see in your top 50, it’s my number 1.


  12. Roberto Karabetian says:

    Ashita no Joe instantly climbed to the top of my list the moment I finished it.
    Never before have I seen such a character development packed with the most awesome soundtrack I have ever listened to and all these in a semi shonen anime. Not to mention the most epic ending ever written with hints of it that go back all the way from the start of the anime. I mean I kinda have guessed it but never thought I’d burst into tears. PS I am over 30……

    i finished it 2 days ago…

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re not alone in finding this a very moving experience. People frequently wrote to the author or even showed up at his front door asking why Rikishi had to die. A funeral was held for that same character with a Buddhist priest presiding. Very few anime have had the same impact on the fans as Ashita no Joe.


Legens, scribe sententias tuas.

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