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Top 10 Best Anime Series Of All Time

Top10.com Staff
 Best Anime Series Of All Time
Anime has grown to become a global phenomenon, captivating audiences with its unique storytelling, compelling characters, and visually stunning art styles. With so many series out there, it can be challenging to know where to start or what to watch next.

ortunately, the rise of various streaming services has made it easier than ever to access a vast library of anime series from the comfort of your home. That's why we've curated this list of the 10 best anime series ever, ensuring you can find these must-watch shows on popular streaming platforms.

Whether you're a seasoned otaku or a newcomer to the anime world, these shows have been selected for their impact, quality, and enduring popularity. Each series offers something special, from deep philosophical questions to intense action scenes, making them must-watches for any anime fan.

Dive into these incredible stories and discover why they have captured the hearts of viewers worldwide.

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1. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist

A touching and thought-provoking series that presents cool fight scenes, amazing characters, and a roller-coaster plot. The story follows brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric as they search for the Philosopher's Stone to restore their bodies after a failed alchemy experiment. The series is praised for its strong storytelling, intricate world-building, and deep philosophical themes

Why It's a Must Watch: The complex characters and the morally rich storyline make it a compelling watch. The themes of sacrifice, the pursuit of knowledge, and the exploration of the human condition resonate deeply with viewers.

Best For: Fans of intricate plots and character-driven stories.

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2. Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop
  • Genre: Space Western

  • Episodes: 26

  • Where You Can Stream It: Available on Hulu and Netflix.

 An influential series full of cinematic references that touches on comedy, western, crime, spy, horror, and sci-fi. The show follows a group of bounty hunters traveling in space, blending genres and offering a unique narrative style that has influenced many other works.

Why It's a Must Watch: The series is a masterclass in blending genres and features a memorable soundtrack by Yoko Kanno. Its deep, character-driven stories and philosophical undertones make it stand out.

Best For: Those who enjoy genre-blending narrative.

3. Death Note

Death Note
  • Genre: Dark Sci-Fi

  • Episodes: 37

  • Where You Can Stream It: Available on Hulu, Netflix, and Crunchyroll.

A dark, intense, and thought-provoking series that raises difficult moral questions as you follow the lead character's development. The story centers on Light Yagami, a high school student who discovers a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone whose name he writes in it.

Why It's a Must Watch: Its gripping plot and the psychological battle between Light and L create a suspenseful and intellectually stimulating experience.

Best For: Fans of psychological thrillers.

4. Hunter X Hunter

Hunter X Hunter
  • Genre: Action

  • Episodes: 148

  • Where You Can Stream It: Available on Crunchyroll and Netflix.

 A fun, funny, and tightly-crafted anime series that weaves a compelling story around themes of friendship. It follows Gon Freecss as he becomes a Hunter to find his missing father, encountering various challenges and making friends along the way.

Why It's a Must Watch: The series offers a perfect blend of adventure, comedy, and emotional depth, making it engaging for a wide audience.

Best For: Viewers who enjoy long-running adventure series with strong character development.

5. Steins;Gate

  • Genre: Sci-Fi Drama

  • Episodes: 25

  • Where You Can Stream It: Available on Hulu and Crunchyroll.

A slow-burning, highly dramatic series that portrays plenty of emotional depth through fully-fleshed out characters. The story revolves around a group of friends who accidentally discover a method of time travel, leading to unforeseen consequences.

Why It's a Must Watch: Its intricate plot and emotional storytelling keep viewers on the edge of their seats, while the scientific concepts are thought-provoking and well-explored.

Best For: Sci-fi enthusiasts and those who enjoy complex narratives.

6. One Piece

One Piece
  • Genre: Action

  • Episodes: 1000+

  • Where You Can Stream It: Available on Crunchyroll and Netflix.

This long-running series offers life lessons while delivering humor, memorable characters, and an intense plot. The series follows Monkey D. Luffy and his pirate crew in their quest to find the One Piece treasure and become the Pirate King.

Why It's a Must Watch: Its longevity and consistent quality make it a staple in anime, with its rich world and deep character arcs.

Best For: Fans of epic adventures and long-term stories.

7. Attack on Titan

 Attack on Titan
  • Genre: Action, Drama

  • Episodes: 88

  • Where You Can Stream It: Available on Crunchyroll and Hulu.

A ground-breaking anime that never loses hope throughout the lead character's discomfiting quest. It depicts humanity's struggle against giant humanoid Titans, blending intense action with deep, emotional storylines.

Why It's a Must Watch: Its high stakes and constant plot twists keep viewers hooked, while its exploration of freedom, sacrifice, and humanity's darker side adds depth.

Best For: Viewers looking for intense action with profound themes.

8. Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z
  • Genre: Action

  • Episodes: 291

  • Where You Can Stream It: Available on Crunchyroll and Hulu.

One of the most influential anime series, the tale of Goku's defense of the Earth is compelling, entertaining, and amusing. The series is known for its iconic battles, memorable characters, and its significant impact on popular culture.

Why It's a Must Watch: Its legendary fight scenes and iconic characters have left a lasting impact on the anime industry and popular culture worldwide.

Best For: Fans of high-energy action and classic anime battles.

9. Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo
  • Genre: Action

  • Episodes: 26

  • Where You Can Stream It: Available on Hulu and Funimation.

 A short but well-crafted series that is funny, emotional, and dramatic, with a top soundtrack and engaging characters. The show blends historical Edo-period Japan with modern hip-hop culture, following the adventures of Mugen, Jin, and Fuu.

Why It's a Must Watch: Its unique blend of historical and modern elements, coupled with its strong character dynamics and stylish animation, make it a standout series.

Best For: Those who enjoy innovative storytelling and cultural mash-ups.

10. One Punch Man

One Punch Man
  • Genre: Comedy, Action

  • Episodes: 24+

  • Where You Can Stream It: Available on Hulu and Netflix.

 An engaging show that explores philosophical issues while delivering an entertaining storyline parodying superhero culture. It follows Saitama, a hero who can defeat any opponent with a single punch, as he seeks a worthy adversary.

Why It's a Must Watch: Its satirical take on the superhero genre and its blend of humor and action make it a fresh and enjoyable watch.

Best For: Fans of superhero stories with a humorous twist.

Why You Should Watch These Anime Series

Each of the anime series listed above offers a unique experience, combining engaging storytelling, unforgettable characters, and breathtaking visuals. These shows have not only gained massive popularity but have also made significant cultural impacts worldwide. From the philosophical depth of "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" to the genre-blending masterpiece "Cowboy Bebop," there's something for every anime enthusiast.

Best Anime Series for Beginners

If you're new to anime, starting with these top series can be a great way to dive into the medium. "Death Note" and "Attack on Titan" are perfect entry points, offering gripping plots and accessible themes that will keep you hooked from start to finish. These series provide a blend of action, drama, and mystery that are easy to follow and incredibly entertaining.

Where to Stream the Best Anime Series

Finding the right platform to stream your favorite anime is essential for the best viewing experience. Platforms like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video offer extensive libraries of anime series. Whether you're looking to binge-watch "One Piece" or revisit "Samurai Champloo," these streaming services have you covered. 

»For more information on where to stream your favorite anime, check out our detailed guide here.

What Makes an Anime Series Great?

Great anime series often share common elements such as strong character development, compelling narratives, and high-quality animation. Shows like "Steins;Gate" and "Hunter X Hunter" stand out for their intricate plots and emotional depth, while "Dragon Ball Z" remains iconic for its action-packed sequences and cultural influence. Understanding these elements can enhance your appreciation of these top-rated series.

What to Look for in an Anime Series

When choosing an anime series, consider the following key elements that contribute to a great viewing experience:

  • Engaging Storyline: A well-developed plot that keeps you invested from start to finish.
  • Strong Character Development: Characters that grow and evolve throughout the series.
  • High-Quality Animation: Visually appealing animation that enhances the storytelling.
  • Memorable Soundtrack: Music that complements the tone and mood of the series.
  • Emotional Depth: Stories that evoke a range of emotions and connect with the audience.
  • Unique Art Style: Distinctive visuals that set the series apart from others.
  • Themes and Messages: Thought-provoking themes and messages that resonate with viewers.
  • Cultural Impact: Influence and recognition within the anime community and beyond.

Discover More Anime Genres

Anime spans a wide range of genres beyond the popular action and sci-fi categories. Exploring genres like slice-of-life, romance, and horror can introduce you to hidden gems and broaden your anime horizons. Each genre offers unique storytelling techniques and thematic explorations, enriching your overall anime experience.

Start Streaming Your New Anime Favorite

Anime offers a vast and diverse range of stories that can captivate and inspire viewers. Whether you're seeking intense action, deep philosophical questions, or heartfelt drama, there's something for everyone in the world of anime. 

These top 10 series are celebrated not only for their entertainment value but also for their ability to resonate with audiences on a deeper level. 

So grab some popcorn, find your favorite streaming service, and dive into these amazing anime adventures.

Top10.com Staff
Top10.com's editorial staff is a professional team of editors and writers with dozens of years of experience covering consumer, financial and business products and services.