The world of anime has mesmerized fans for years and still has a thriving market. The signature style of anime has vibrant colors, drama, and unexpected ending. As a genre anime is developed from its print counterpart known as manga, light novels, or web novels. The most common thing about all the anime is the presence of an alternative world, beyond the reality of mundane life. Escaping reality is the favorite of most people of all age groups.
Anime shares another common feature: at the end of the series, something unexpected becomes expected. This form of entertainment is well accepted by adults because of its variety and multitudes. Anime is the potboiler of drama, action, romance, horror, comedy and hence matches the taste of everyone.
The fandom of anime is diverse and it continues to grow. From early 2000, the anime market started to flourish and now it has captured a large number of viewers at home and abroad. If you want to explore the mighty kingdom of anime here is a recommendation of the top 40 best anime of 2020 –
1. The Seven Deadly Sins
Aired on: August 19, 2014
Episodes: 24 episodes
The anime is based on a fantasy manga written by Nakaba Suzuki. This series is so popular that it has already had four seasons and the one-fifth season is all set to air. This anime is based on the confrontation between the Seven Deadly Sins and the Holy Knights.
This story is based on a legend of Britannia. The Holy Knights of Britannia use their powerful magic to protect the kingdom. But suddenly some knights decided to betray their motherland to overthrow the ruler of Liones. This time the Holy Knights defeated them.
The story gets more action-packed after this. There was a rumor that those powerful knights, who were also known as ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ were still alive. Ten years later, the Holy Knights decided to kill the present ruler to become the new rulers of the Kingdom of Liones.
This series follows the adventure of Elizabeth, the discarded third princess of Liones. She tries to search for the disbanded and tough set of legendary knights named as ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ so that she can free her kingdom from the tyrants. She promises to get back her kingdom from the Holy Knights and be just.
This anime is extremely popular with fans because of its plot, which is taken from a popular manga. There are numerous battle scenes, but none of them are dragged, but most of the episodes end with a cliff-hanger. The superiority of this anime lies in its expression of feelings. The heroes are set to meet their insecurities, but their inner self is more powerful, this is what strikes the most viewers. The viewers feel the emotional wave as the plot humanizes the heroes, which is rare for an anime.
2. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Aired on: April 5, 2019
Episodes: 64 episodes
The reason to choose this anime as one of the best is its characterization part. This is one of the very few anime, which has more than 50 episodes. Still, the viewers are in love with this series because of its detailed characterization. The lead characters are dynamic and strong, and so are the other major characters. They are not flat characters but are made humane with detailed and well-developed personalities.
This story is set in an alternative universe where the main source of power is alchemy. The main protagonists of this anime are two brothers named Edward and Alphonse Elric. The story starts from the incident where they try to bring their mother back to life using the modern scientific techniques of alchemy. But they fail drastically.
The story is basically in quest mode, where they search for the philosopher’s stone. This stone can help them to restore their bodies.
This anime is based on a manga of the same name by Hiromu Arakawa. This anime has been the favorite of many viewers because of the action elements, whereas many people prefer the way it deals with the fundamental, but the complicated concept of loss, revenge, religion, and God.
Finally, the plot has unexpected plot-twists, that perfectly sets the pace of the series. Some moments are openly displayed to the audience but remain perfectly hidden for the viewers to realize later. If you are a fan of adventure-based plots, then this anime is meant to be on your list.
3. Naruto Shippuden
Aired on: February 15, 2007
Episodes: 500 episodes
Naruto Shippuden is a ninja warrior themed anime, but for the fans, it is something beyond its identified genre. This anime is the amalgamation of different powerful emotions like love, hatred, sorrow, humor, ambition.
The anime is considered one of the best because of its philosophical approach. Many episodes embrace the viewers within the cute relation between the trio Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura.
The story has its primary focus on the characters Naruto and Sasuke. They were both outcast and hence for them the most desired thing was power. There were other members as well, and it was shown that each of them needs power, but their reasons were different.
Naruto is shown as a character who wants to earn love and respect from his fellow villagers and wants to gain the power to protect them. Initially, the power-hunger in both of them creates conflict, but by the end, they both mature to form a bond between them.
The characterization of this anime is amazing. Each character has their own story, and struggle. They may be different, but all of them have their unique power. The character Naruto initially is not the strongest Ninja of the troop but ends up being the strongest one.
This growth is not sudden. This anime shows “life’s greatest lessons are learned through the pain”. This life lesson that Naruto Shippuden gives is the main reason it is the all-time favorite of the audience and no wonder it has spent 500 episodes with the viewers.
4. Tokyo Ghoul
Aired on: April 3, 2018
Episodes: 12 episodes
This anime is a bit different from most other regular anime. It’s often blamed for being gory, but it is worth seeing because of its unusual expression of human intellect. It has a parallel universe where ghouls co-exist with human beings.
The central character named Kaneki ken is partially a ghoul. Even though the anime features some cold-blooded murder scenes, torture scenes, but some scenes inspire the viewers.
The basic story shows how the protagonist is often tortured by his mother and later on, he suffered as a part of his aunt’s family. The character has his inner struggle. His struggle for survival inspires the audience more than anything. The addition to this is the fight scenes.
This is far different from the other ghoul stories. He is a character who turns into a half-ghoul after receiving organs from a ghoul.
There is a parallel universe where there is a continuous conflict between the ghouls and humans. That conflict was occurring in the boy as well. Even after being half-human, he craved for human meat, but at the same time, he desires peace.
The portrayal of emotion is a major reason to consider it to be one of the best. This anime never fails to reveal how life must be cherished with glittering happy moments, but at the same time, life offers someone suffering and struggle to deal with.
Aired on: January 5, 2014
Episodes: 13 episodes
The storyline of this anime is a bit more distinct than most of its kind. It mainly deals with the theme of religion, god, and exorcism. However, this anime is extremely entertaining. The first emotions that the viewers encounter while watching it is pure laughter. The central character Yeto is attributed to a comical character, but he has a sweet nature. Hiyori’s reaction to Yeto’s actions often generates more giggles than anything.
The setting of this anime roots in the Sinto religion. There are two layers of existence in Noragami, one in which humans live and another layer where ghosts, spirits, monsters, and gods coexist. The aim of the energies living in the latter layer is mainly to gain human followers.
The storyline of Noragami revolves around one such god. Yato is a minor deity, who dreams of having millions of worshippers. As he had not even a single shrine on his name, he keeps on trying hard to make one for himself. He spends time doing jobs for five yen until his weapon partner deserts him.
He meets Hiyori, a daughter of a respected family who supposedly saves Yato from a car accident taking the hit for him. However, this event resulted in the loss of her soul. As her soul was loose, it left her body. She asked Yato to help him. When she realizes that Yato needs a new partner to do so, she reluctantly agrees. Later Yato finds the wandering spirit of a young boy Yukine to be his sword.
The most entertaining part of this anime is the way the characters try to break free from their past. This anime is extremely popular, almost like the manga which is the base of it.
6. Hunter × Hunter
Aired on: October 16, 1999
Episodes: 62 episodes
It is considered to be one of the most successful anime, based on Shueisha’s best-selling manga series. This series deals with themes like humanity, power, and connections. The anime shows how a child fights for his dream, even though the journey may involve a lot of struggle. This fight is what captivates the viewers for years.
The story introduces us to an elite section of human beings, known as Hunters. They seek unknown items like hidden treasures, exotic animals, etc. The story is based on the struggle of a boy named Gon Freecss living on Whale Island. The boy was told that his father was dead. But, later he gets to know from “Hunter” kite that his father is still living and is risking his life in search of unknown items. The boy decides to be a Hunter like his father.
For being a Hunter, he has to pass Hunter examination, where the rate of success is one in a hundred thousand. There, he becomes friends with three other aspirants namely Kurapika, Leorio, and Killua. The story deals with how the boy is successful in achieving his dream and meets his father.
This anime has wonderful animation and soundtrack as well. There were other storylines added to the original anime later, making that a potential crime-thriller. The most fascinating theme about the anime series is how the characters grow. They are not the strongest at the beginning, but they out-think their opponent to win. The series has a methodical approach which makes it more interesting to watch.
7. One Piece
Aired on: October 20, 1999
Episodes: 900 episodes
This anime is extremely popular for its unique style and unpredictable but creative plot. The way the plot is knitted and then gradually develops an unpredictable end is worth praising. Though the plot is extremely expansive, it never gets incoherent and that is the biggest achievement of this anime series.
The story starts with a pirate named Gol D. Roger. This famous and powerful pirate king was executed after he was captured. But, he reveals that he has hidden his treasure called One Piece somewhere at the Grand Line. Many people set out to find this treasure, but nobody succeeds. Twenty-two years later, a boy named Monkey D. Luffy sets out to find the hidden treasure and acquire the title of Pirate King for himself.
If the plot is superior in this anime, then the characterization is no less powerful. Whether hero or villain, all the characters matter in One Piece. The characters that are otherwise treated as fillers are even relevant in this one.
Another captivating thing about this anime is its mystery and backstories. All the characters have their backstories. They have their struggle and goals as well. All of them have their own identity and they are not a mere part of the plot.
The characters are built on their backstories and explain why they end up like that. This makes the characters more humane and gives the plot an intensely emotional approach.
8. No Game No Life
Aired on: April 9, 2014
Episodes: 12 episodes
This anime is a favorite of many viewers because of its amazing characterization and the binding between them. This series features some sharp and vibrant looking characters and the good quality animation adds up to this. The fantasy world that it aims to create comes to life with a good production plan, creativity, and excellent artistry.
The story begins with Sora and Shiro, two hikikomori step-sisters and brothers. This duo is popular in the game world for being undefeated gamers, under the name Blank. Their view of the world is similar to a game. In this anime, there is the presence of an alternative reality. From there, a god named Tet challenges them into a game of chess.
The god offers them to play games to settle all sorts of conflicts through games, from squabbles to the fate of a country. In this world, the idea of human life is reduced to a child’s play, which somehow mocks the living condition of humans in the present day. By the end, they defeat Tet to become the god of this alternative world.
The strength of the characters are not like mystery anime, their power is not magical, but intellectual, which helps them to win against their enemies. Their sharp logic shines through their every action.
There is an amazing relationship between the brother and sister. Their trust in each other becomes the reason for their winning. The bonding that flourishes through every episode mesmerizes the viewers, as they develop a sort of emotional connection with the main characters.
9. Attack on Titan
Aired On: April 7, 2013
Episodes: 59 episodes
This anime features an interesting amalgamation of intense action and mystery. The way it represents violence, horror, action, the psychological thriller is great enough to captivate the viewers for more than 7 years. The animation and action scenes are well designed that accompany the storyline.
The story is all about the clash between the giant humanoids named Titan and a group of young people. This is set in an alternative world, where humanity is almost at the brink of being extinct by being mindlessly destroyed by Titans. They destroyed the human locality and only a few of them survived. Eren Yeager, a young teenager and his foster sister Mikasa see how their mother was eaten alive by Titans. He vows to avenge his mother’s death by destroying these humanoids and saving humanity.
The twists and terms in the plot is a masterpiece. Whenever the audience feels that they have figured out the situation the plot surprises them with a new twist. This surprise element creates a lot of high-low moments in the plot.
The characters are realistic and they develop well with time. They are unique themselves but hold a wonderful bonding with each other. They are all supported with interesting backstories that creates an emotional attachment between the characters and the viewers.
The character of Mikasa remains the sweetest of them all. Though she has an ambiguous relationship with Eren, she is still loyal and possessive. The way she was ready to kill and get killed to save Eren, makes the audience fall for this lovely duo.
This anime has a grand opening and carries hundreds and thousands of mysteries and unanswered questions. When it comes to action, the plot never seems to deprive the viewers. For this anime, its predictability lies in being unpredictable. If dark fantasy attracts you then this anime will appeal to you.
10. Assassination Classroom
Aired On: November 19, 2016
Episodes: 47 episodes
Can laughter make you tear up? Yes, if you watch Assassination Classroom you will feel it coming true in a different way. This anime series hides tears behind its comic representation and that too very well. Though the story is a classroom comedy, it still points out some serious issues regarding the modern education system. It also typically destroys the fine line lying between the sharp contrast of good and bad.
The story begins in a school where the student is introduced to Koro-Sensei, a genetically modified teacher. He has the potential to destroy the whole of mankind, but he strikes a deal with the government to allow them to make him a target. He asks his students to kill him before they graduate and in that way, they can earn some cash.
The students who considered it to be an easy task soon realize it to be the toughest one. Koro Sensei is the model teacher who never gives up on his students. He pays equal attention to them so that they can improve their skills, without blaming the individual for their faults.
Koro Sensei’s character is contrasted with two other teacher characters: Gakuho Asano and Akira Takaoka. Gakuno believes in creating a hierarchy based on the success of students, where Akira thinks that fear can be used as a motivation for success.
You may find them similar to the way the modern education system considers but the anime shows how they fail as educators. Koro Sensei shows us how our present educational system that is dominated by unnecessary and unrealistic standards is useless to make a student educate properly.
11. Black Butler
Aired On- July 1, 2014
Black Butler is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yana Toboso. Since its debut on September 16, 2006, it has been serialized in Square Enix’ shōnen manga magazine Monthly GFantasy.
It is a 24-episodes anime adaption, with 2 seasons. Black Butler is directed by Toshiya Shinohara and produced by A-1 Pictures. It aired from October 2008 to March 2009. The second season, Kuroshitsuji II, aired in 2010 spanning 12 episodes with two new main characters, Alois Trancy and Claude Faustus. It follows the aftermath of the first season.
The anime ranks high as it covers a lot of genres. It is a mix of the best aspects of each of them. It is a mystery, coming of age story and also a thriller, all combined into one.
It deals with a pair of characters who go on mysterious adventures throughout the globe for their Queen Victoria. The pair in question is Sebastian Michaelis and Ciel Phantomhive.
Their relationship is complicated, to say the least. Sebastian is Ciel’s butler and is supposed to serve him and act as his servant, but on many occasions, almost all he is the authoritative and dominant figure. He knows more and almost acts as a guardian towards Ciel.
Ciel also screams Batman at various points, but he is way more intense and is labored by his past in huge capacity. His parents got murdered in front of him, and he was kidnapped, tortured, and sexually violated by his perpetrators. He summons Sebastian who was a monster to kill them and serve him but later realizes that Sebastian will have to feed on his soul as a form of payment for coming. This takes its dynamic to a whole new level.
12. Your Lie in April
Aired On- October 9, 2014
Your Lie in April, known in Japan as Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso or Kimiuso for short, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Naoshi Arakawa. The series was serialized in Kodansha’s Monthly Shōnen Magazine from April 2011 to May 2015.
An anime television series adaptation by A-1 Pictures aired from October 2014 to March 2015 on Fuji TV’s Noitamina block. A live-action film adaptation of the same name was released in September 2016.
Your Lie in April is an anime containing extreme opposites. It is beautiful but has pain. It has love but has bold colors of sorrow. Though this series reflects and teaches moving on, there is absolutely one thing of permanence here and that is, you are deemed to fall in love with every character of this series.
All the characters try to help each other in every way possible, they try to uplift each other. They try to take each others’ pain. Through this journey, Piano prodigy Kōsei Arima realizes that mourning for someone does not mean completely giving up on your life and being one with the sadness that they have left behind. He realizes that he can honor those who leave him by living the life that he has left with as much joy as possible, for them.
When the anime starts Arima has lost everything, his closest confidant, his mother, and his musical capabilities. He has resigned to his fate of sadness and mourning. But Kaori Miyazono, an audacious, free-spirited, fourteen-year-old violinist challenges him and moves him. She makes space for a feeling like love in Arima’s heart. She doesn’t reciprocate it, which doesn’t bother Arima as long as he has her friendship.
However, his sadness threatens to return when his lifeline Kaori begins to face the same fate as his mother.
13. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2
Aired On-October 6, 2006
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2, often referred to simply as Code Geass, is a Japanese anime series produced by Sunrise. It was directed by Gorō Taniguchi and written by Ichirō Ōkouchi, with original character designs by Clamp.
This series belongs right in the alley of Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Divergent. We have an alternate universe here with three superpowers: the Holy Britannian Empire (the Americas; also called Britannia), the Chinese Federation (Asia), and the European Union (Europe and Africa; previously known as the Euro-Universe, also known as Europa United in Akito the Exiled).
Our protagonist, Lelouch vi Britannia is an exiled Britannian prince, son of Emperor Charles Zi Britannia, his royal consort Marianne vi Britannia. He is disgruntled and depressed by how his life has shaped out and wants to lash out at everyone responsible for his lonely state.
His tragic background stems from how his mother was murdered. Marianne, his mother was brutally murdered in the palace, and Nunnally, his sister, who witnessed the murder of their mother, was so traumatized she lost both her sight and ability to walk.
The fact that his Emperor’s father let it happen hurts Lelouch more, and he generates a certain degree of enmity towards his faction and sympathizes with the Japanese, who Britannia has attacked.
And therefore when he gains a power known as Geass, he uses it to become Zero, a masked vigilante and the leader of the resistance movement known as The Black Knights, gaining popularity and support among the Japanese on his way towards the rebellion of Britannia. However, this does not come without a cost.
Caught up in a conflict where he does not know the full extent of his powers, Lelouch will have to battle Suzaku, a resistance member named Kallen Stadtfeld, the strongest army in the world, his half-siblings, and many others in a battle that will forever change the world.
Aired On- October 3, 2002
Naruto is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. The manga was adapted into an anime television series produced by Pierrot and Aniplex, which broadcast 220 episodes in Japan from 2002 to 2007; the English adaptation of the series aired on Cartoon Network and YTV from 2005 to 2009.
Naruto is probably one of the most famous franchises out there. People have been religiously following it for many years. It has created a lovely and passionate following for itself. Fans love and breathe this story and its characters. All of them have invested a part of themselves in it.
Naruto touches everyone because its characters are so relatable. We don’t have a hero who has everything handed to him. His possession of Nine Tails fox spirit does him more harm than good. In actuality, he loses everything and gains everything back through sheer hard work.
The first time Naruto gains respect is when he defeats Mizuki in combat. He then makes a deadly trio with Sasuke Uchiha, against whom he often competes, and Sakura Haruno, on whom he has a crush.
This trio labeled Team 7, completes missions requested by the villagers, ranging from doing chores and being bodyguards to performing assassinations. As the anime moves forward the trio grow as fighters and face deadlier and more difficult challenges.
Naruto: Shippuden, a sequel to the original series, premiered in Japan in 2007, and ended in 2017, after 500 episodes. The English adaptation was broadcast on Disney XD from 2009 to 2011, airing the first 98 episodes, and then switched over to Adult Swim’s Toonami programming block in January 2014, starting over from the first episode. The English adaptation is still airing weekly on Adult Swim to this day.
Aired On- October 9, 2014
Parasyte is a Japanese science fiction horror manga series written and illustrated by Hitoshi Iwaaki and published in Kodansha’s Morning Open Zōkan and Monthly Afternoon magazine from 1988 to 1995.
An anime television series adaptation by Madhouse, titled Parasyte – the maxim – aired in Japan between October 2014 and March 2015. The English-language dub aired on Adult Swim’s Toonami block in America between October 2015 and April 2016.
It weirdly has a lot of similarities with Marvel villain Venom. And just like Venom got a resurgence in interest after a decade of its publication. It is a coming of age story in a lot of ways, we see quite literally the formation of a Superhero in front of our eyes.
It all starts when one fateful night, strange worm-like creatures with drills as a ‘head’ called Parasytes appear on Earth, taking over the brains of human hosts by entering through their ears or noses. One Parasite attempts to crawl into Shinichi’s, our protagonists’, nose while he sleeps, but fails as Shinichi wakes up, and enters his body by burrowing into his hand instead.
Since both of them in a way blocked each other, hence we see the presence of both the entities in Shinichi. This makes Shinichi’s entire life turn upside down, as now he has to handle his daily life in this strange situation. He capitalizes on this, and gradually forms a strong bond with Migi, his Parasyte.
This gives the pair an edge in battling other Parasites who frequently attack the pair upon realization that Shinichi’s human brain is still intact. Shinichi feels compelled to fight other Parasites, who devour humans as food while enlisting Migi’s help.
16. The Devil Is a Part-Timer
Aired On- April 4, 2013
The Devil Is a Part-Time is a Japanese light novel series written by Satoshi Wagahara, with illustrations by Oniku. ASCII Media Works has published the series in Japan, while Yen Press has published the series in North America.
A 13-episode anime adaptation produced by White Fox and directed by Naoto Hosoda aired between April and June 2013.
This series deals with a group that has been transferred from their world to a modern Tokyo, in Japan. This Group and its dynamics form the crux and backbone of the series.
All of them don’t enter the realm as friends, but they quickly realize that to survive in this alternate universe, they need each other- and would have to work together. This is not easy as a lot of them were each others’ mortal enemies in their original land.
As the title suggests, the show centers around the Devil aka Demon Lord Satan, who in his original universe of Ente Isla tries to capture the entire world through devious means. In the struggle, he somehow is transported to this modern world.
Having no power on his magic and absolutely no knowledge of the technology around him- he becomes a part-timer in a fast food shop. His only companion turns out to be Alciel, his only alive ally who also comes into this world with him.
Just when he manages to get everything in order, he is faced with the worst shock of his life when he realizes that his arch-nemesis – Emilia has also entered this world.
The anime is known for its charismatic characters and reflects the messages that if you give people a chance and create a better environment for them; they could change for the better.
17. Fullmetal Alchemist
Aired On- October 4, 2003
Fullmetal Alchemist is a Japanese anime television series adapted from the manga of the same name written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa.
Comprising 51 episodes, it was co-produced by the animation studio Bones, Mainichi Broadcasting System (MBS), and Aniplex and directed by Seiji Mizushima.
It is an action anime inside and out. We see an adventure reach its culmination and are in on it from the beginning to the bitter end. We lose people, gain allies, and see a lot of bloodshed in the midst.
It is about two brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric, and their quest to search for Philosopher’s stone so that they can bring back their mother and other people they have lost. They begin this quest because it is enticing for them to have an opportunity that brings back everyone they have ever lost. But soon they find out how deadly it is.
The relationship between the brothers also keeps us hooked. Another important feature of this drama is its mythology, which is unique and captivating.
Interestingly, the Anime wanted to have an original ending and changed course from the Manga midway. Though certain fans were upset, it did increase anticipation among people as they did not know how the series would end and also contributed to its longevity.
The first series ended with a sequel film, Conqueror of Shamballa, released in 2005. A second anime series, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which adapted the manga chapters throughout the story, was broadcast in 2009.
18. Akame Ga Kill
Aired On- July 7, 2014
Akame ga Kill! is a Japanese manga series created by Takahiro and illustrated by Tetsuya Tashiro. It was serialized in Square Enix’s Gangan Joker from March 2010 to December 2016.
An anime adaptation of the manga was announced in January 2014. The teaser site of the series was opened on January 21, 2014. The series was directed by Tomoki Kobayashi and written by Makoto Uezu. Takahiro also supervised the scenario.
It deals with some intense topics like corruption and gets pretty gruesome and bloody at various points. It is a very passionate project and manages to evoke a lot of emotions into its viewers. It makes people realize the value of freedom and how much standing up to a situation is essential, rather than resigning to it.
The protagonist, Tatsumi along with his two friends arrives at the City, to earn more money for his poverty-stricken village, but things go awry when he realizes how difficult all of it is because of the corruption spread in every establishment.
Losing his friends, money and rejected at the army Tatsumi lost all his hopes when suddenly a miracle happens for him, and he is taken in by a noble family, but when an assassin group called Night Raid attacks, he learns that his noble hosts intended to torture and kill him as they had done with his friends.
Fed up of all this unfair attitude, he decides to join Night Raid and make a change on his own. He gains allies like the swordswoman Akame, the beastly fighter Leone, the sniper girl Mine, the scissor-wielding Sheele, the string manipulator Lubbock, the armored warrior Bulat, and their leader Najenda, a former general of the imperial army.
Together they decide to clean this city and rid it of all it is waste and wrongdoings.
Aired On- October 7, 2012
Magi is a Japanese fantasy adventure manga series written and illustrated by Shinobu Ohtaka. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from June 2009 to October 2017, with the individual chapters collected and published into 37 tankōbon volumes by Shogakukan.
An anime television adaptation by A-1 Pictures aired in Japan from October 2012 to March 2013 and a second season titled Magi: The Kingdom of Magic aired from October 2013 to March 2014.
Magi is a hugely popular anime, one of its most appreciated elements is its capability to transform popular Folk Tales to captivating and magnetic stories of reverence, courage, and bravery. The stories in the series are hugely inspired from 1001 Arabian Nights, most notably the tales of Aladdin, Ali Baba, and Sinbad the Sailor.
One of the things that stands out about this series is its beautiful world. It looks and feels exotic and the history just drops out of every scene. The world feels like a character in this series and reflects a very warm and rich vibe.
The duo of Alibaba and Aladdin is the root and backbone of the series. Their friendship starts everything and creates the legend that their group becomes in the coming years. During their first fight against Jamil, they gained a strong ally in Morgiana.
Morgiana comes with her own set of issues, having been forced from a very young age to serve Jamil. Aladdin and Alibaba liberate her and remove her shackles. The series also warns us of the fact that it will not be all happiness here when Goltas sacrifices himself for Morgiana.
The series has everything in it from intensity to life moments and jam-packed emotions.
20. Ouran High School Host Club
Aired On- April 5, 2006
Ouran High School Host Club is a manga series by Bisco Hatori, serialized in Hakusensha’s LaLa magazine between the September 2002 and November 2010 issues.
A 26-episode anime television series aired between April 5 and September 26, 2006, on NTV. The series was produced by Nippon Television, VAP, Bones, and Hakusensha. It was directed by Takuya Igarashi, with Yōji Enokido handling series composition and writing the scripts, Kumiko Takahashi designing the characters and Yoshihisa Hirano composing the music.
This anime is a very light-hearted comedy, in a High School setting. Everyone knows how juicy the backdrop of High School can be. At the same time, it is also fertile and can bring a huge amount of intensity to the table.
It follows the life of Haruhi Fujioka, a scholarship student at the prestigious Ouran Academy – a fictitious high school for rich kids located in Bunkyo, Tokyo. Being put in a fish out of water situation all she desires is peace. She does not want to cause any ripples.
However, she is the central character. How can she be out of the spotlight? Her life takes a drastic turn when she stumbles upon the abandoned Third Music Room, a place where the Ouran Academy Host Club, a group of six male students, gathers to entertain female “clients” with sweets and tea.
In this encounter, she destroys an antique vase valued at ¥8,000,000 (around US$80,000) and must work off the debt as the club’s errand boy. Her short hair, slouching attire, and gender-ambiguous face cause her to be mistaken by the Hosts for a male student, though they soon realize her actual gender and the fact that she’s a “natural” in entertaining girls, promoting her to full-Host status.
The anime has a lot of things working for it from the comedy generated by the mistaking of Haruhi’s gender to the lofty romantic story it produces. All in all, in a few words this drama can be described as charming and captivating.
Aired On- April 6, 2014
Episodes- 85 + 4 OVAs
Haikyu!! is a Japanese shōnen manga series written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate. Individual chapters have been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since February 2012.
An anime television series adaptation by Production I.G aired from April 2014 to September 2014. The second season of the anime aired from October 2015 to March 2016. The third season aired from October 2016 to December 2016. Initially announced during Jump Festa 2019, the fourth season aired in January 2020.
This anime is related to sports. It deals with the utter love people have for their sport. It shows how a sheer affinity that one might have for something can light a fire in someone, to change their life.
This fire was lit one day by a Junior high school student—Shōyō Hinata. He is the most endearing character of the show because of his optimism and never gives up attitude. Though he is too short to support his dream of becoming a world-famous Volleyball player like his idol “Little Giant,” he puts in a huge amount of effort and strives to be his best self.
However, his dreams suffer a setback, when his team suffers a crushing defeat against the junior championship favorite team, which includes the so-called “King of the Court” Tobio Kageyama.
He vows to defeat Kageyama but finds himself in a weird situation as Kageyama’s teammate when he enters Karasuno High School. And thus begins the story of emotions, strength, hard work, and partnership.
22. Dragon Ball
Aired On- February 26, 1986
Dragon Ball is a Japanese media franchise created by Akira Toriyama in 1984. The initial manga, written and illustrated by Toriyama, was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1984 to 1995, with the 519 individual chapters collected into 42 tankōbon volumes by its publisher Shueisha.
Toei Animation produced an anime television series based on the first 194 manga chapters, also titled Dragon Ball. The series premiered in Japan on Fuji Television on February 26, 1986, and ran until April 19, 1989, lasting 153 episodes. It has been broadcasted in 81 countries worldwide.
Dragon Ball at its core is a coming of age story. We follow a bunch of friends as they go through life, maturing, and making life-altering decisions. It felt as if we grew with them. For the fans, it is not a show but a feeling, and thus the show boasts one of the biggest fandoms in the world.
Goku, our hero is devoid of any family or relationships when we first meet him, but it all changes when he suddenly meets the charismatic Bulma. She, in a way, gives meaning to his life and takes him on a journey that defines him and his future.
They decide to find the seven mystical Dragon Balls, which can summon the powerful dragon Shenron, who can grant whoever summoned him their greatest desire. This leads him to various other people who become an important part of his life like- a desert bandit named Yamcha and his companion Puar, who all later become allies; Chi-Chi, whom Goku unknowingly agrees to marry; and Emperor Pilaf, a blue imp who seeks the Dragon Balls to fulfill his desire of becoming the ruler of the world.
He goes through this and enhances himself as a fighter and also has a person. By the end of this anime, he becomes a legend and it is his legend that we get in the sequel anime series Dragon Ball Z.
Aired On-July 5, 2015
Charlotte is a 2015 Japanese anime television series produced by P.A.Works and Aniplex and directed by Yoshiyuki Asai. The anime aired 13 episodes in Japan between July 5 and September 27, 2015.
An original video animation episode was released in March 2016. A couple of manga series was serialized in ASCII Media Works’ Dengeki G’s Comic.
The plot is similar to X-Men. Just like in the Marvel Superhero team up, we have certain characters who gain superpowers because of a phenomenon. This superpower helps them to come together but also makes them outcasts.
The central character of the series is Yuu Otosaka. He is an average guy with nothing extraordinary in his life. He becomes extraordinary when one fine day he awakens with the ability to temporarily possess another person for five seconds.
Like any normal teenager, he wants to use this power to fraudulently live a carefree high school life. But he is forced to take all of this seriously when he is unexpectedly exposed by Nao Tomori, a girl who can make herself invisible to a specific target.
She forces him to transfer to Hoshinoumi Academy and join its student council, of which she is the president. There he meets Jōjirō Takajō, a boy who can move at uncontrollably high speeds.
This council aims to help other people like them with their power, to help them to control it so that it does not take over themselves.
The reason behind the series’ unique name comes from, the fact that it takes place in an alternate reality where a short-period comet called Charlotte passes near Earth once every 75 years. As this happens, it spreads dust onto the Earth, which causes a small percentage of pre-adolescent children who inhale the dust to manifest superhuman abilities upon reaching puberty.
24. Code Geass
Aired On- February 9, 2019
The anime is directed by Gorō Taniguchi, written by Ichirō Ōkouchi with music by Kōtarō Nakagawa and Hitomi Kuroishi.
This anime stands out from the series because it gives the other characters a place to shine. Of course, we don’t mind Lelouch Lamperouge, but one thing is for sure he sometimes took up a lot of space.
Here we see some other characters take up the spotlight. Like his sister Nunnally vi Britannia who at this point rules Britannia while aided by her bodyguard Suzaku Kururugi, who has taken the identity of Zero.
The story in the movie starts when Nunnaly and Suzaku are ambushed by a Knightmare squad. They kidnap them to use Nunnally to access the collective unconsciousness within C’s World to restore Zilkhistan’s political might. The entire movie is an attempt to get the pair back to safety and prevent Zilkhistan’s rise to power.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection is set in the alternate universe which is composed of the 3 previous movies. It is not a sequel to the original series Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, but to the 3 alternate universe movies, which generally kept the same path as the anime series but had a few meaningful changes in characters’ motivations and relationships.
25. Future Diary
Aired On- October 10, 2011
Episodes- 26 + OVA
Future Diary is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Sakae Esuno. It was serialized in Kadokawa Shoten S Shōnen Ace between January 26, 2006, and December 25, 2010, and has been collected into 12 tankōbon volumes.
A “pilot anime” DVD was released with the 11th manga volume in December 2010. A 26-episode anime television series produced by Asread aired in Japan between October 2011 and April 2012. Funimation has licensed the anime for distribution in North America. An 11-episode live-action television drama aired between April and June 2012.
This Anime is a lot of things packed into one, it is a love story, adventure as well as a mystery. Here we have a group go on a cat and mouse chasing situation, to prevent an apocalypse from happening.
The main character in this group is Yukiteru Amano, a 14-year-old, a shy and daydreaming loner who observes life and jots down the events on his cell phone. One day he realizes that this Diary has been transformed into a Future Diary, capable of predicting the future up to ninety days. Yukiteru discovers he and eleven others are part of a survival game orchestrated by Deus. From then on begins a bloody and dangerous game that tests everyone to the T.
26. Is It Wrong To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon?
Aired On- April 4, 2015
Episodes- 25 + 2 OVAs
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? is also known as DanMachi for short, and with English subtitles, Familia Myth is a Japanese light novel series written by Fujino Ōmori and illustrated by Suzuhito Yasuda.
It has received two manga adaptations as well as an anime television adaptation by J.C.Staff, which aired from April 4 to June 27, 2015. An OVA was released on December 7, 2016. A second anime season and an original anime film adaptation were both announced in February 2018.
Though its title sounds funny, the anime is quite interesting and intense. In a way, it is a harem anime as well with plenty of girls falling for the main character. At its core, it is about survival and exploitation.
It centers around a town named Orario, where Gods have descended to live like humans. To make their stay enjoyable, they have created a game where they offer mortals to fight monsters assorted in an underground labyrinth known as Dungeon.
The main character, Bell Cranel, is one of those mortals and as time goes on, he grows to be an insanely good warrior capable of overturning this whole system.
27. My Hero Academia
Aired On- April 3, 2016
My Hero Academia is a Japanese superhero manga series written and illustrated by Kōhei Horikoshi. It has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump since July 2014, with its chapters additionally collected into 26 tankōbon volumes as of March 2020.
The manga was adapted into an anime television series by Bones. Its first season aired in Japan from April 3 to June 26, 2016, followed by a second season from April 1 to September 30, 2017. The third season was aired from April 7 to September 29, 2018, while the fourth season was from October 12, 2019, to April 4, 2020. A fifth season has also been announced.
The series takes place in an alternate universe, where almost everyone is a superhero. But in this superhero infested population, our Lead Izuku Midoriya is born with no power. The unfortunate thing about this situation is that he probably has the spirit of a superhero, more than anyone.
His fortunes change when after seeing his ability he is chosen by All Might to become the ninth holder of One For All and thereafter begins his journey of becoming the savior of the world.
28. Dragon Ball Z
Aired On- April 26, 1989
Dragon Ball Z is a Japanese anime television series produced by Toei Animation. It is the sequel to Dragon Ball and adapts the latter 325 chapters of the original 519-chapter Dragon Ball manga series created by Akira Toriyama which ran in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1988 to 1995.
Dragon Ball Z aired in Japan on Fuji TV from April 26, 1989, to January 31, 1996, before getting dubbed in territories including the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. It was broadcasted in at least 81 countries worldwide. It is part of the Dragon Ball media franchise.
This anime takes place after Dragon Ball. It shows Goku as a legend. Dragon Ball Z goes deep into Goku’s life and reveals him to be from an extraterrestrial species, which was sent here to conquer the Earth.
This anime also brings the fan-favorite character, Vegeta, to life. His coupling with Bulma is as charming in the anime as it is in the manga.
29. Fairy Tail
Aired On- October 12, 2009
Fairy Tail is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiro Mashima. It was serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shōnen Magazine from August 2, 2006, to July 26, 2017, with the individual chapters collected and published into 63 tankōbon volumes.
The manga has been adapted into an anime series produced by A-1 Pictures, Dentsu Inc., Satelight, Bridge, and CloverWorks which began broadcasting in Japan on October 12, 2009.
Fairy Tail at its core is about Adventure and Family. It is set in a world where there are magic and wizards. These wizards have the responsibility of saving this world from chaos. These wizards separate themselves into Guilds. One of these guilds is Fairy Tail.
Fairy Tail gets its name because its founders wanted its members to always seek the unknown. Therefore, they named it Fairy Tail because no one knows if the Fairy has any Tail. They wanted their members to seek the unknown.
The central character of the Anime is Natsu Dragneel, a fire magician who has been brought up by a Dragon. He, along with his comrades Lucy, Happy, Gray, and Erza goes on quests to save the world and also to know about his mysterious origins.
30. Cowboy Bebop
Aired On- April 3, 1998
Cowboy Bebop is a Japanese animated science-fiction television series animated by Sunrise featuring a production team led by director Shinichirō Watanabe, screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto, mechanical designer Kimitoshi Yamane, and composer Yoko Kanno.
Cowboy Bebop is set in a post-apocalyptic, future Japan, with all the citizens are living in literal space. In this world, registered bounty hunters (also referred to as “Cowboys”) chase criminals and bring them alive in return for a reward. The series’ protagonists work from a spaceship named Bebop.
The series has garnered a lot of popularity over the years because of its focus on themes like adult existential ennui, loneliness and the difficulties of trying to escape one’s past. It has also been noted for its efforts in mixing the genres and its heavy application of Japanese culture.
The series has gained a lot of acclaim over the years, and its universal charm has gained it a live-action series adaptation scheduled to air on Netflix.
31. Food Wars: Shokugeki No Soma
Aired On- April 3, 2015
Episodes- 75 + 5 OVAs
Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma is a Japanese shōnen manga series written by Yūto Tsukuda and illustrated by Shun Saeki.
An anime adaptation by J.C.Staff aired between April 3 and September 25, 2015. A second season named Food Wars! The Second Plate aired between July 2 and September 24, 2016. The first part of the third season referred to as Food Wars! The Third Plate was aired between October 4 and December 20, 2017. The second half aired between April 9 and June 25, 2018. A fourth season, called Food Wars! The Fourth Plate was aired between October 12 and December 28, 2019. The fifth and final season premiered on April 11, 2020.
As the name suggests, this series is set in an Elite Culinary institute. It focuses on, Teenager Soma Yukihira whose goal in life is to become like his father and run their family restaurant which just at the onset of the series has been closed.
In the institute, he gains a nemesis in the form of Erina Nakiri, the talented granddaughter of the school’s dean. The rest of the anime shows us how these pairs grow from being enemies to mutually respectful competitors – all the while engaging in a shokugeki, a cooking fight with any other student or alumni. Battles fought in this way could be for cooking utensils, research society facilities, council membership, or even expulsion from the school.
32. Steins; Gate
Aired On- April 6, 2011
Episodes- 24 + 1 OVA
Steins; Gate is a 2011 anime television series created by the animation studio White Fox based on 5pb. and Nitroplus’s 2009 visual novel of the same name, and is part of the Science Adventure franchise along with Chaos; Head and Robotics; Notes.
The series is very interesting and deals with the theme of time travel. The reason the show works so well is because of its characters. The characters have an amazing depth to them and contain qualities that make them very endearing to the viewers.
Rintaro Okabe is a very talented albeit an intense scientist. He is very firm in his thoughts and ambition; he will stop at nothing to achieve the excellence he knows he is capable of. His equation with Kurisu is the most enduring of the series.
It all starts when Okabe suddenly discovers that he has made a time machine sort of gadget, where he can send messages to the past and change the present. This aspect of time travel makes every character in the series go through the wringer.
33. High School DxD
Aired On- January 6, 2012
Episodes- 12 + 6 OVAs
High School DxD is a Japanese light novel series written by Ichiei Ishibumi and illustrated by Miyama-Zero.
An anime adaptation by TNK aired on AT-X and other networks from January 6, 2012, to March 23, 2012. The anime is licensed in North America by Funimation, in the United Kingdom by Manga Entertainment, and in Australia by Madman Entertainment. A second season called High School DxD New aired from July 7, 2013, to September 22, 2013. A third season called High School DxD Born aired from April 4, 2015, to June 20, 2015. A fourth season called High School DxD Hero aired from April 10, 2018, to July 3, 2018.
A hentai anime inside and out, it has gained a huge amount of popularity not only because of its notoriety but also because of its original lore. The lore created by the series comprises Humans, Demons, and Angels, thus facilitating in the story a lot of excitement.
The protagonist goes through a major facelift throughout the series. Issei Hyodo starts as a perverted high school boy, dreaming of being a Harem. He has no respect towards his opposite Gender thinking them capable of only one thing, but the tables turn around when through a twist of Fate he becomes a slave of Rias Gremory, a buxom third-year student at Kuoh Academy.
34. One- punch Man
Aired On- October 5, 2015
Episodes- 24 + 10 OVAs
One-Punch Man is a Japanese superhero web comic created by the artist One in early 2009. It has a manga adaptation illustrated by Yusuke Murata, as well as an anime adaptation.
An anime television adaptation by Madhouse aired in Japan between October and December 2015. It was dubbed in English during the summer of 2016, and later that year a planned second season was announced.
The setting of this Series is in an alternate Japan, where superheroes are needed to keep the world peace in order. The situation has gotten so worse that an association of superheroes has to be formed to save the world.
The protagonists of this series are parts of this association. Saitama is an insanely strong hero, who can defeat anyone just by his punch, his student Genos is a cyborg with a very tragic past in which he lost all his family and is now seeking revenge for it, martial artist Bang; and King, the “Strongest Man on Earth”, who is a fraud quietly taking credit for Saitama’s deeds.
As the series progresses the dangers to the world also increases and this team of unlikely heroes band together to save it.
Aired On- July 7, 2015
Episodes- 39 + OVA
Overlord is a Japanese light novel series written by Kugane Maruyama and illustrated by So-Bin. It was serialized in 2010, before being acquired by Enterbrain. There are fourteen published volumes since July 30, 2012.
The anime television series adaptation by Madhouse consists of 3 seasons with 13 episodes each, with the first season airing from July 7 to September 29, 2015. Two compilations, recapping the events from the first season, were released in Japan on February 25, 2017, and March 11, 2017, respectively. The second season ran from January 9 to April 3, 2018. The third season premiered later the same year on July 10, 2018, after which the last episode was aired on October 2, 2018.
Overlord is an isekai anime of the highest quality and contains the fertile setting of a video game. The protagonists here are stuck in a Dive Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game or DMMO-RPG called YGGDRASIL.
Momonga, a huge fan of this game, was very sad when the game was going to be shutdown. To commemorate the last moments, he invited his entire guild one last time at their spot. When only one person arrives, Momonga understands that he has lost his social life, and did not have friends anymore.
He decides to stay in the game till the last moment, but to his utter surprise realizes that the game after its shut down has changed into an alternate reality. Now he is in his greatest dream, but the cutthroat nature of the game slowly turns it into a nightmare.
36. Death Parade
Aired On- January 9, 2015
Death Parade is a 2015 Japanese anime television series created, written, and directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa and produced by Madhouse. The series spawned from a short film, Death Billiards.
It started airing on January 10, 2015. The series has 12 episodes in total. Death Parade in a few words is spooky. Everything from its setting to characters is dipped in a layer of horror and mystery.
The mystery element is quite obvious as the series quite literally deals with death and souls. It focuses on our deeds in life and our motivations behind them.
The protagonist of the series, Decim, is a bartender of the bar where people come after dying and participate in games that decide the future of their soul- reincarnation or void. He is a judge of these souls, he has no human emotions and he prefers it that way. But his meeting with a curious black-haired woman changes everything.
This series poignantly explains the value of life and emotions. Even though we might feel that the absence of emotions might do us good, our ability to feel makes us better and this series proves it.
Aired On- October 12, 2012
Psycho-Pass is a Japanese cyberpunk anime television series produced by Production I.G. It was co-directed by Naoyoshi Shiotani and Katsuyuki Motohiro and written by Gen Urobuchi. The character designs are done by Akira Amano and featuring music by Yugo Kanno.
The series aired on Fuji TV’s Noitamina programming block between October 2012 and March 2013. A second season was aired between October and December 2014, with a feature film titled, Psycho-Pass: The movie released in January 2015. In 2019, Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System premiered the first of its three independent films, spanning release dates between January and March.
Psycho-Pass takes place in an alternate future, where to lower down the crime rates the government has built a system. In this system, Inspectors and Enforcers prosecute criminals, who exceed an accepted threshold (100) in the parameter of how likely they are to commit a crime. The only problem in this system is that Enforcers have been latent criminals themselves in the past.
As the series goes forward, it poses a lot of questions many related to this system and whether it is a fair way to evaluate someone.
Aired On- 1 July 2016
Berserk is a 2016 anime television series based on Kentaro Miura’s Berserk manga and a sequel to the Golden Age Arc film trilogy. a. A second season, covering the first half of the Hawk of the Millennium Empire arc began airing on April 7, 2017.
The series deals with violence, revenge, trust, and relationships. It shows how hard it is to have your trust broken from a paternal figure. This happens with Guts and he is never able to get over it. Until he has his perpetrator, Griffith, in front of him, he roams around with half a soul.
This is a journey of revenge as well as a clash between two opposite trains of thought. It is also a journey of friendship and warmth. Finally, it is a journey of seeking retribution and freedom from the scars inflicted on Guts’ soul due to the selfishness of his parental figures.
Another parallel theme the series reflects throughout the run is PTSD. Many animes have violence and gore, but not a lot shows what this aggressiveness and goriness may result in.
39. Kuroko’s Basketball
Aired On- April 7, 2012
Kuroko’s Basketball, known in Japan as Kuroko no Basuke, is a Japanese sports manga series, written and illustrated by Tadatoshi Fujimaki.
It was adapted into an anime television series by Production I.G that began airing in 2012. A second season began airing in October 2013. The third season aired in January 2015.
This series centers around a legendary middle school team, “Generation of Miracles”. This team was very dominant. The famous counterparts of this team included Ryota Kise, Shintaro Midorima, Daiki Aomine, Atsushi Murasakibara, and Seijuro Akashi.
However, the actual miracle worker of the team who largely went unnoticed was Tetsuya Kuroko. Bring in high school, he sees this as an opportunity to prove his mettle. He, along with Taiga Kagami, a talented player, vows to make their high school team the best in the country.