Anime Maru’s Top 27 Anime Series of All Time

Hello readers. Today, Anime Maru celebrates its second birthday. If you’ve been following us since the very beginning, we recommend you go outside once in a while. But regardless of how often you visit, our staff would like to express their deepest gratitude for your support. While running this site is hard work at times, the sense of gratification that people enjoy our articles (or even better, believe them) makes it all worthwhile.

So today, to commemorate the two-year anniversary of this site’s founding, we at Anime Maru have finally completed the task of compiling the list of the top anime of all time. This also happens to be our 500th article. That’s a lot of cutting-edge anime news! We’ve surveyed every anime ever made and determined that the amount of good anime is exactly 27, all of which are represented on this list. It should be noted that this list is based on our opinions, but also that our opinions are objectively factual, so if you disagree with anything on this list, it’s because you are an idiot and also wrong. Also, this list is limited to anime series only, as anime movies are more difficult to find pirated online. Without further ado, here are all of the best anime ever made:

OP Group

#27. One Piece

Okay, I know how we’ve been going on about this series as our favorite ever for years, but we just started reading the manga and we realized that basically all of the quality comes directly from that while taking far less time to get through, and also we recently read an article on what animation quality is and it turns out this show isn’t very well animated, which we never knew before. We’re still including it on the list because of the whole voice acting and music thing, but honestly we’re a little embarrassed about it.


#26. Bodacious Space Pirates

Who doesn’t remember Bodacious Space Pirates? Lauded by many as the best anime of the Winter 2012 season, and winning the Seuin award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Bodacious Space Pirates has really stuck around in people’s minds in the now 4 years after it aired, becoming one of the most influential and most watched anime comedies ever. I myself often quote now classic lines from this show, such as “Breakfast beats worrying!” and “who ever heard of a legal pirate?”



#25. My Little Kill Drone Can’t Be This Cute!

In the bleak future of 2106, humanity has been enslaved by the very creations that thought would make their lives easier. Under this regime of terror and liquid metal injection, every single human over the age of ten is monitored twenty-four hours a day by a hovering drone equipped with a variety of useful tools, including three types of guns, to keep its assigned target in line.  But when one one high school boy with a mecha fetish takes a liking to his own personal drone, their relationship becomes complicated when he begins walking in on the drone being taken apart for repairs or reloading its many armaments. Can love between a kill drone and human last, or exist at all? You’ll just have to watch and find out.


#24. Concrete Revolutio

Easily one of the most important shows of the last few years. The main character has pink hair, then there’s characters with purple hair, and all these different colors. I think this show really emphasizes the importance of having a colorful cast. The timeskips the show uses symbolize how timeless the story really is. With season 2 underway, there’s no way the show can disappoint, unless it does, in which case, putting it on this list will look really foolish.


#23. Honey and Clover

We’re obligated to include at least one Josei anime on here to show that we’re open minded to all genres, even though we only ever watch Shonen and Seinen anime. Like, Shojo we can casually write off as all being cliche romances that are totally inferior to the tremendously unique battle series we like, but Josei is, like, mature, so we need to give some kind of nod to it. Looking at other people’s lists we found this one shows up on a lot of them, and based on what other people have said about it I’m sure it fits. We may even get around to watching it.


#22. Hunter x Hunter

No, not that awful remake that they made in 2011, we’re talking about the original here! While we’re all aware that the Chimera Ant arc is a terrible crime against humanity that absolutely no one likes, this 1999 version of Hunter x Hunter really got things right. It’s also older, which means less people have seen it and therefore it makes us feel more special.


#21. Bleach

While debate raged on for a decade about which of the Big 3 Shonen Jump series was the best, at this point we can definitively say it was Bleach. While Naruto only recently ended and One Piece continues onward, Tite Kubo brilliantly decided to end the story with the Soul Society Arc instead of dragging the story out for the sake of profit. It was a risky gamble, but it paid off, and now viewers can look back on Bleach as a series that knew how to quit while it was ahead instead of trying to shamble forward by over-complicating the plot with endless characters and twists no one cares about.


#20. Jenī wa tīn ☆ robotto

Before we had those illustrious semenoid demenoids like Isla from Plastic Memories or DBZ’s Android 18, we had the real-deal original kawaii robot girl Jenny, slaying bad mechas and monsters with her baka gaijin friends in this wonderful tragic story about a highschool robot trying to adapt to her human environment all whilst fighting her primal robot urges to destroy all humans and bring an end to modern civilization as we know it.


#19. Darker Than Black

Hey, so are we still cool on this one? I mean, it’s ranked like #35 on MyAnimeList’s popularity list and it’s got an 8.29, which is pretty high, but I feel like no one ever talks about it anymore. I mean, I like it a lot, but I feel like I’m the only one who ever brings it up in these discussions. You liked this show, right? Yeah, of course you did, it’s great. I’m sure all those other critics are just too intimidated by how great it is to put it on their lists.


#18. Cowboy Bebop

We feel this is just the right spot for Cowboy Bebop on our list. It’s high enough to acknowledge it as one of the all time greats and to show that our taste in anime is good, but low enough to show that we’re better than it, and that its reputation and lasting quality have no influence over us. This is our list Cowboy Bebop, don’t think you deserve a higher position.


#17. National Hockey League

There’s not a lot of sports anime on this list, and while they do tend to fall into formula, National Hockey League really represents the best sports anime has to offer, which is why has continued to air seasons every year from 1917 to this day. Our personal favorite season was in 1988, which focused Wayne Gretzky’s determination to win one last MVP title and the tense All-Canadian Stanley Cup. The National Hockey League franchise is perhaps the best showcase of Japanese perspectives on sportsmanship and teamwork, one could argue it’s really not about sports at all.


#16. Hanasaku Iroha

The story of a city girl whose life is uprooted when her mother sends her to work at her grandmother’s inn, Hanasaku Iroha focuses on the dynamics of an unconventional extended family and the experience of figuring out what you want to do in life, taking us on an emotional journey with one of the best female leads in recent memory. Wait, shit, we were actually being sincere there, uh, let’s put Boku no Pico in this spot instead.


#16. Boku no Pico

We don’t want to spoil anything about this masterpiece, if you haven’t seen it, go watch it now, don’t look up anything beforehand.


#15. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO!

While the first season of Oregairu was shallow and pedantic, the second season taught us that using words like shallow and pedantic makes us sound pretty smart. We never managed to finish the show because we were too busy reading through the multiple analytical theses of the show that were sent to us, but apparently this show has deeper meaning than any of us can begin to understand so we’re guessing it’s worth the #15 spot.


#14. Game Grumps

All sorts of anime fans and reviewers like ourselves tend to rag on the “trapped in a game” trope that has percolated its way through numerous anime over the years, but Game Grumps adds a variety to the trope by changing the game universes regularly, something that has rarely been seen in anime since Sword Art Online director Tomohiko Itou claimed that Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase perfected the method. We also think that the directorial decision to rarely complete the plot arcs before moving to a new game universe is bold, but leaves us on the edges of our seats in suspense nonetheless.


#13. Love Live: School Idol Project

This is Nico Yazawa’s first big debut in her lucrative anime career, and It’s a must-see for any die-hard Nico fan. Watch her brilliant struggle to get rid of 8 useless girls as she rises to the top of the idol scene and becomes the beloved household name we all know her as today. It is worth a watch if only to see her amazing smug powers develop from an endearing character trait into one of her most deadly weapons of death in her idol power tool-belt.


#12. Galactic Savior Excellion

The most popular mecha anime on Parallel Earth 65B, this series taught a generation of alien and human school children alike the importance of teamwork, hard work, and how love–in this case that between two women–can save the universe! The series would later go to spawn two TV series, the incredibly silly Excellion G, the critically acclaimed Excellion Horizon, and the much beloved move “Do You Remember Youth?” Sadly it is unlikely that this genre masterpiece will ever be released in our part of the multiverse, as opening a portal between the two may result in horrible space monsters invading our world and destroying everything we hold dear.


#11. Witch Hunter Robin

This series above all others really was able to capture the feel of the anime community. The ability to have good taste in anime is magically gifted to special individuals, much like super powers, but then other people constantly try to hunt you down like there’s something wrong with you (much like the STN-J in this series). This show uses the “witch hunt” in order to show how desperate some anime fans are in trying to bring the tasteful fans down. For being so deep and head of its time, the series rightfully earns its #11 spot.


#10. Yugo the Negotiator

You know, many people don’t really appreciate such a classic series. It’s about Yugo, he’s a negotiator, and he negotiates. That’s all you need to know, that’s all most people know, and that’s all most people will ever know, since no one’s heard of this show. It deserves the #10 spot to give this list some worthwhile hipster cred.


#9. Boku Dake ga Inai Machi

Expect it to reach the number one spot by the time the show has finished airing its second-to-last episode.

animetitlecard#8. Ore no Kanojo wa Sabishisa wo Taerareru Tame Jibun no Hinekureta Atama kara Tsukurareta Gensou ni Suginai shi, Kono Joukyou wo Nantoka Shinai to Hateshinai Kurayami no Shinen ni Nomikomareru Kamoshirenai ga, Kanojou ga MECCHA Kawaii Kara maa ii… Kana?

Wataderu, or as it’s known in English, My Girlfriend Is Nothing More Then a Delusion Spawned From My Twisted Mind That Exists Only for the Sake of My Own Loneliness and I Feel as If I Do Not Somehow Remedy the Situation Soon I Fear That the Darkness That Grasps at My Waking Mind Every Moment of Every Day Will, in Some Spare Moment, Drag My Very Soul Into Place From Which It Will Never Escape, but She Is Really Cute I Guess So That Balances Things Out…Maybe? asks the question of what you would do if your entire romantic relationship was nothing more then a trick of your mind in a terrifying and revolting manner by showing the boundary between delusion and relativity with keen writing by the Chiaki J. Konaka and art direction by Akiyuki Shinbou, who work together to create a show unlike any seen on air in years. That was all one sentence.


#7. Dog With a Blog

“On the internet, no one knows you’re a dog.” This is the central conceit of Dog with a Blog, a show that muses on the power and social structures newly presented with the advent of the internet. But more than that, Dog With a Blog is a show about family, about the way connections can be formed between people over the common bond of owning a dog that is somehow able to type on a keyboard. While many anime fans prefer Disney Channel’s Cory in the House, Dog with a Blog represents the best animated output Disney has ever done.


#6. Tie between FLCL, Baccano!, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Gurren Lagann, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Toradora, Gankutsuou, Steins;Gate, Welcome to the NHK, Mushishi, Haibane Renmei, Monogatari, Clannad, Azumanga Daioh and Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex

We feel all of these anime are about equivalent in quality. Also, we saw them on other people’s lists and realized we liked them too, but we didn’t want to add them to our top 5, so we figured #6 is good enough for all of them.

birds and the wall moment

#5. Attack on Death Notepunch-Man

One of anime’s biggest crossover hits, Attack on Death Notepunch-Man has drawn in countless new viewers with its shonen action that’s framed to be appealing to adults. In fact, many people have only seen this show and no other anime, but will still tell you you’re wrong if you think there are any anime better than it. Personally we don’t feel it’s the best anime ever, but we’re giving it this spot on the list to make people shut up about it.


#4. Totally Spies!

Screw Bubblegum Crisis!, Girls kicking ass has never been this appealing before, and will never be this appealing after. Many have tried, but thousands have failed at matching this show’s writing prowess. Each episode acts as a social commentary on how materialism has invaded the youth, and how shallow teenagers are. The fanservice has a lot of subtlety to it, which really adds to the charm of the show. That is until you read the doujins, at least. It is very much deserving of a #12 spot, but we decided to give it a #4 spot instead, due to its historical importance.


#3. Gintama

For the purposes of this list we’ll be counting all of the seasons together, because if we didn’t our Top 10 list would be half Gintama, which would be completely ridiculous. Gintama’s great not only for the way it deftly switches between comedy and drama, but also because it’s really long and spans multiple seasons, so if you only watch a few episodes and don’t like the humor, it doesn’t matter because you haven’t seen enough episodes for your opinion to count.


#2. Neon Genesis Evangelion

As anime scholars and historians, we obviously had to give Neon Genesis Evangelion one of our top spots as the show that made anime “mature.” Not liking Evangelion is a sure sign of a pleb, and we certainly love this show enough to be praised, far more than you do. We understand the exact reasons why Hideaki Anno chose his the exact imagery he used in every episode, and have written several think-pieces on it, so you know our opinion is qualified. What makes Evangelion so great is the way it deconstructs the mecha genre with brilliant symbolism, and its greatness has nothing to do with the way it portrays flawed characters who show real human weaknesses that deeply remind us of our own deficiencies that we’ve been desperately trying to ignore, but can’t manage to ever run away from. Wait, where was I? Right, Evangelion is a smart and important show, and we are likewise smart and important.


#1. Astro Boy

The first, and still the best. We assume. I mean, we haven’t seen any of it, but neither have you, so who are you to judge? Besides, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs always makes it onto the top of the best animated movies of all time lists, so clearly the first example of a medium stands as the best, with nothing else able to top it. Who are we to argue with the American Film Institute after all? Astro Boy must be the best, and we’re sure we’ll get to it eventually, just as soon as we catch up with all those other anime we haven’t seen.

About the author

The pinnacle of collaboration, this account is the Anime Maru staff combining to form a giant super mecha. Endless Union, Go! Anime Maru!