During this quarantine, everyone is looking for ways to deal with the boredom. To help you out, we have selected in this article some of the best anime of all time, with options for all tastes.
If you like Japanese animated cartoons, just keep reading this list to check out which ones are the best anime and see also summaries and links so you can watch them easily!
Index of this article
1. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Starting off our list, we have one of the best and most well-known anime of all time, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. It is based upon a manga written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki. It had its first anime season back in 1993, but the second season took until 2012 to be released, and new episodes are always coming out.
The show follows the Joestar family throughout the centuries, starting in 1880 and going until the current days. Each season is focused on a member of the family. All of them have skills called Stands, which are some special superpowers that let them beat their enemies! You can watch this bizarre show on Crunchyroll!
2. Avatar: The Legend of Aang
We also have Avatar: The Legend of Aang in our list. Even though this is not an animation of Japanese origin, it does fit in as an anime. It was created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, and written by Aaron Ehasz for Nickelodeon. The show features three seasons that were released between 2005 and 2008.
It’s set in a world where some people have the skill to control, or “bend”, one of the four elements: fire, water, earth, and air. It follows Aang, the last of the airbenders who, coincidentally, is the Avatar, someone who can control all four elements at will. If you want to watch it, just follow this link to Netflix, one of the best websites to watch movies.
3. She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Another of the best anime of all time is She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, a reboot of an animated series that went by the same name from 1985. This new version was released in 2018 as a Netflix Original.
It’s set in the planet called Etheria, and it follows Adora, an orphaned girl raised by the Horde, an evil army led by Hordak, who wishes to conquer the entirety of Etheria.
One day, Adora gets lost in the forest and find a magic sword that transforms her into She-Ra, one of the Princesses of Power, and realizes all the evil the Horde has done to the planet. And, thus, she joins forces with the Rebellion fighting against them! Follow this link to see more.
4. Blue Exorcist
Drawn and written by Kazue Katō, Blue Exorcist was a manga series – check out the best manga apps for Android to read it – released starting in 2009. It became an anime in 2011 by the hands of A-1 Pictures and it has two seasons.
The show follows Rin Okumura, a normal-looking young guy. Eventually, he gets ambushed by demons and he finds out he actually is the son of Satan, and that his father wants him back.
5. Gurren Lagann
A Japanese mecha anime, Gurren Lagann was animated by Gainax and co-produced by Aniplex and Konami. It features 27 episodes that were released between April and September of 2007. The show was directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi and written by Kazuki Nakashima, and it was later on adapted into a manga.
It tells the tale of two teenaged friends, Simon and Kamina, who were born and raised in an underground village, hidden from the surface. Together, they escape the village with the help of Yoko Littner and they join the fight against Beastmen, humanoid creatures who terrorize what’s left of humanity on the surface. Check it out right now on Netflix!
Another amazing alternative among the best anime of all time is Dororo, which is adapted from a manga series written and drawn by Osamu Tezuka in the late 1960s. There are two different anime adaptations, the first of which received scathing reviews. The newest one, from 2019, has 24 episodes.
The show is centered around a person who as a child was offered by his father to 12 demons in a pact, in exchange for the prosperity of his land. However, this child didn’t die, and the anime tells the tale of his fight against those who did him wrong. It’s available on Amazon Prime Video!
Another alternative among the best animes of all time is Psycho-Pass, a cyberpunk anime show produced by Production I.G. It was co-created by Naoyoshi Shiotani and Katsuyuki Motohiro, and written by Gen Urobuchi. Its first season was released between 2012 and 2013, and the second season was released in 2014.
In the 22nd century, Japan has the Sibyl System, a way to determine the threat level of each citizen by examining their mental state in search for any sign of possible criminal intent.
Akane Tsunemori is a young woman who desires nothing but to make justice. However, as she works she discovers that the System in place is not nearly as good as everyone thinks, and she’s forced to face some questions about what Justice really means. Watch it right now on Netflix!
Beastars is a manga series written and illustrated by Paru Itagaki that started being released in 2016. Its anime adaptation came to be in 2019. The show is set in a world of modern anthropomorphized animals, with a rigid cultural divide between the herbivores and the carnivores.
It follows Legoshi, a large grey wolf who is oddly shy and quiet. He is a student at Cherryton Academy where he lives in a carnivore dorm, among which is Jack, his yellow lab friend.
Unexpectedly, Legoshi meets a small white dwarf rabbit called Haru, and he falls head over heels for her. Now, he has to learn to deal with these feelings and to conciliate his relationship with her and the social expectations. You can watch it only on Netflix, where the second season will be made available in July, as we mentioned in our 2021 anime list.
9. Sailor Moon Crystal
Another of the best anime of all time is one that those who are into Japanese animations have certainly heard about: Sailor Moon, a very old and well-known anime and manga series. Now, in 2014, the show Sailor Moon Crystal was released. It is a reboot that’s much more faithful to the original mangas.
Usagi Tsukino is a second-year student in high school who, albeit extremely clumsy, is a girl filled with energy. When she finds Luna, a cat with a crescent moon on her forehead, she becomes Sailor Moon, a Magical Warrior. Along with several other warriors. they must find the legendary Silver Crystal. Follow this link to watch it on Crunchyroll!
10. Black Lagoon
Based upon a manga series by the same name written and illustrated by Rei Hiroe, Black Lagoon had its first two seasons released in 2006. Other than that, it does also have an OVA, Roberta’s Blood Trail, that has only five episodes.
The show follows a group of pirate mercenaries known as the Lagoon Company who contraband goods in the Asian southeast at the beginning of the decade of 1990.
The Lagoon kidnap Rock, a Japanese businessman, who will soon join up with them in their many missions and adventures, all of which motivated by money. Watch this amazing show on Netflix right now!
11. Neon Genesis Evangelion
Yet another of the best anime of all time, and certainly a great option for you to watch while quarantined is Neon Genesis Evangelion. It is a Japanese mecha anime produced by Gainax and directed by Hideaki Anno that was released from 1995 to 1996.
It’s set in Japan 15 after an apocalyptic event known as the Second Impact in the super futuristic and super fortified city of Tokyo-3. The show revolves around Shinji, a teenager who was recruited by his father, Gendo, to pilot a mecha called Evangelion in order to protect the world against aliens known as Angels. If you want to watch it, follow this link.
12. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
One of the best and most guaranteed to be good options is Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the second animation based upon the Fullmetal Alchemist manga by Hiromu Arakawa. It was released between 2009 and 2010, and, unlike the first anime, Brotherhood is almost a direct reproduction of the manga.
The show follows the adventures of the brothers Alphonse and Edward Elric who, after a terrible Alchemical accident, suffered some terrible consequences: Edward lost a leg and an arm, while Alphonse lost his whole physical body!
On Fullmetal Alchemist you will see these brothers on their search for the Philosopher’s Stone, a legendary substance that would let them recover their bodies. The 64 episodes are available on Netflix.
13. Attack on Titan
Among the best anime of all time we have a show that deservedly became an instant phenomenon all around the world: Attack on Titan. The show has three finished seasons, and currently the fourth season, with almost 70 episodes and still going.
It is based upon the manga by the same name written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. The plot follows the journey of Eren Jaegar, Mikasa Ackerman, and Armin Arlert, as well as their comrades, who live in a world surrounded by walls. Outside are the titans, whose only goal is to devour every last human.
After they lose their families to these titans when one of the walls gets broken down, they decide to join up with the squad responsible for killing them. You can watch it on Crunchyroll!
14. Yuri!!! on ICE
A sports anime about ice skating, Yuri!!! on ICE was produced by MAPPA, written and directed by Sayo Yamamoto, and it has its choreographies carefully created by professionals in the area. It has 12 episodes that were released in 2016.
The show revolves around Yuri, a young ice skater who, during the Grand Prix Finals, lost terribly. Then, he returns to his homeland to stay with his parents, where he meets a Russian champion and his training mate, and they join up to compete for another Grand Prix. If you want to watch it, go to Crunchyroll!
15. Kill la Kill
An original show with 24 episodes and one OVA, Kill la Kill was released between 2013 and 2014, and it was the first production by Trigger Studio. The show is scripted by Kazuki Nakashima and directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, responsible by Gurren Lagann, another anime we’ve already talked about in this list.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Kill la Kill is one of the best anime of all time, and it follows the story of Ryuuku Matoi, a rebel student looking for the murderer of her father.
This search results in her enrolling in the Honoouji Academy, and she develops a bloody rivalry with Satsuki Kiryuin and her mother’s fashion empire. Go to Netflix to watch it!
16. Ghost in the Shell
A 1995 cyberpunk movie based upon a manga series by the same name, written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow, Ghost in the Shell is one of the most well-known animations around. It has several different versions, including OVAs and a lot of other movies.
It’s set in Japan in 2029, and it follows Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg police officer who’s hunting for a mysterious hacker known only as Puppet Master. The narrative incorporates philosophical themes focused in self-identity and a world with advanced technology. It’s another option you can watch on Netflix!
17. Violet Evergarden
Originally a light novel series written by Kana Akatsuki and illustrated by Akiko Takase, Violet Evergarden got an anime adaptation with 13 episodes in 2018. Other than that, it has a movie that was released in 2019, and a second movie that, despite the Covid pandemic, was released in September of 2020.
The plot centers around Auto Memory Dolls, people who work by writing in the place of others. It follows Violet, a girl who during her entire life was used as an instrument of war, and her journey of integration to society after the war is over. Now, she has decided to follow the career of Auto Memory Doll. Check it out by following this link!
18. One Piece
One Piece, based upon a manga by the same name illustrated and scripted by Eiichiro Oda is one of the longest-running and one of the best anime of all time. It has well over 900 episodes to date, and it’s not expected to end anytime soon.
The story follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his crew, the Straw Hat Pirates, searching for the hidden treasures of the infamous pirate Gold Roger, the One Piece. In their journeys, they face off against all sorts of challenges, battle against weird beings, and find all types of fantastical places. Watch it on Crunchyroll, one of the best apps to watch anime!
19. Samurai 7
An animated series from 2004 that was produced by Gonzo based upon a 1954 movie called Seven Samurai, Samurai 7 is directed by Toshifumi Takizawa and it has 26 amazing episodes.
It tells the tale of a village called Kanna and it is set in a futuristic world that has just seen the end of a gigantic war. In this world, Bobuseri bandits, who once were samurais, terrorize all the villages.
The elder of Kanna village hires seven samurai willing to help to protect the place and teach the villagers to defend themselves. Follow this link to watch it on Netflix, one of the best movie streaming apps on iPhone!
20. My Roommate is a Cat
Another option among the best anime of all time is My Roommate is a Cat, which is based upon a light novel by the same name written by Minatsuki and illustrated by Asu Futatsuya. The animated version was released in 2019 and it easily became one of the best anime of the year.
The show follows Mikazuki Subaru, a shy writer with social problems who has just lost his parents and, when he is visiting their grave, he ends up meeting an abandoned cat and adopting her.
Together, they must learn to live and deal with each other’s presence. It’s extremely moving to watch, and it works amazingly well as a guide on how to care for cats. If you want to watch it, go to Crunchyroll!
An amazing animation adapted from the work by Kentaro Miura, released in 1989 in Japan and that’s still getting produced to this day is Berserk. It has two TV adaptations, the first of which has 25 episodes and was released in 1997, and the second is an animated movie trilogy released from 2012 to 2017.
Berserk, in a fantasy story with dark and supernatural elements, follows the life of the Black Swordsman Guts, a lonely mercenary who’s forced to join up with the band of the Hawk by their charismatic and cunning leader Griffith. It’s a heavy and cure story that’s considered by many to be one of the best works of fiction to ever be written. To watch it yourself, follow this link!
22. Princess Mononoke
A war movie from 1997, Princess Mononoke was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and animated by Studio Ghibli, well known for their incredibly amazing and moving creations.
It’s set in the end of the Japanese Muromachi period, but with several fantasy elements added to it. It’s worth mentioning that the term Mononoke is a Japanese word that means spirit or monster.
It follows the young prince Ashitaka of the Emishi village that’s cursed by a demon who must not only conciliate the forces of nature and those of humankind but also win the battle against the demon within him. If you want to watch one of the best anime movies of all time, you can do so on Netflix, one of the best apps to watch movies!
23. Demon Slayer
A relatively recent anime, Demon Slayer quickly proved that it deserves a spot in our list. Adapted by Ufotable in 2019, it is based upon a manga written and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotõge and it has received several awards since it was released.
Demon Slayer follows the story of Tanjiro Kamado, a young and kind-hearted boy who has his entire family killed by demons. His younger sister is turned into one of these creatures, but she retains some of her humanity and doesn’t harm people.
All of that leads him to train to become a Demon Slayer to avoid that other people suffer as she and he did. If you want to watch it, follow this link to Crunchyroll!
24. My Neighbor Totoro
Another animated movie by Studio Ghibli, My Neighbor Totoro was released in 1988 and it was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It received several different awards for best movie.
It follows two sisters, daughters to a teacher who had to move to the countryside to take care of their sickly mother. While getting used to life in the country, they end up meeting several supernatural creatures.
One of them is Totoro, a gigantic and mystic spirit of the forest that leads them into several adventures and helps them out in many occasions. Check out what is one of the best anime of all time by following this link!
25. The Promised Neverland
The Promised Neverland is based upon a manga series written by Kaiu Shirai and illustrated by Posuka Demizu that started to be released in 2016. The adaptation into anime had its first episode released in 2019, with a second season currently underway. There’s also a live-action movie, released late 2020, and a live-action series in production.
It’s set in 2045, where several children live in an orphanage. As far as anyone can tell, nothing could be any better. However, when one of the children is leaving, Emma discovers terrible secrets about everything that goes down there. She, along with Ray and Norman, create plans on how to defeat the enemy and escape alive. Go to Crunchyroll to watch it!
26. Code Geass
Code Geass is an original Japanese animation produced by Sunrise, written by Ichirō Ōkouchi, and directed by Gorō Taniguchi. It consists of two seasons that were released from 2006 to 2008.
The anime is set in an alternative world in which the exiled prince Lelouch vi Britannia gains the power of absolute obedience from a woman known only by CC.
27. Kaguya-sama: Love Is War
An amazing alternative for those who want to laugh a bit during the quarantine is Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, a romantic comedy anime based upon a manga written and illustrated by Aka Akasaka. It features 24 episodes spread across two seasons, released in 2019 and 2020.
The outlandish story tells the tale of what would apparently be the perfect couple, Miyuki Shirogane and Kaguya Shinomiya, were it not for the determination of both of making the other be the first to confess their feelings. Their machining with this goal reach unimaginable levels and ensure laughter. Follow this link to watch it!
28. Vinland Saga
A manga series written and illustrated by Makoto Yukimura that tells some historical events under a dramatized light, Vinland Saca received an anime adaptation with 24 episodes in 2019.
It is set in the beginning of the 11th century in England, while it still was under Dane domination, and it follows the peoples known as the Vikings. It merges a dramatization of the historic ascension of King Cnut to power with a vengeance arc centered around the explorer Thorfinn, the son of a dead ex-warrior. Watch it on Prime Video!
29. Hellsing Ultimate
Another option among the best anime of all time is Hellsing Ultimate, one that’s based upon a manga series by the same name, written and illustrated by Kouta Hirano. It first had an anime adaptation in 2001, and this much more faithful version was released between 2006 and 2012.
The show follows the Hellsing company, and specifically a member called Alucard, who serves its leader, Integra. Alucard is a vampire who hunts other vampires as well as those who put themselves in the way of the organization’s goals.
He, alongside his ex-police officer companion, Seras Victoria, do all it takes to protect all those that matter, eventually fighting against some of the most iconic enemies there are! You can watch Hellsing Ultimate by following this link to Netflix, one of the best websites to watch anime!
30. Boku no Hero Academia
Boku no Hero Academia, or My Hero Academia, is an amazing anime based directly upon the manga by Kõhei Horikoshi released in 2014 in Japan. Its animated version came to life in 2017, and it quickly amassed a legion of fans, and received a myriad of awards with its almost 90 episodes and its two movies.
In a world where the vast majority of people have some kind of superpower, and where superheroes are a glorified and exalted profession, Izuku Midoriya dreams of one day becoming as great as All Might, the number one hero.
However, he has to face against a huge problem: he doesn’t have any powers whatsoever. All of that changes when he meets his idol, All Might, who provides him with the opportunity of becoming one of the best heroes around. You can watch one of the best anime to watch on Crunchyroll by following this link!
Anohana is another extremely good alternative for you to watch, featuring 11 episodes released back in 2011. The anime was created by an artist collective called Super Peace Busters that’s made up of director Tatsuyuki Nagai, the writer Mari Okada, and the character designer Masayoshi Tanaka.
The show follows a group of childhood friends who have split up after one of them dies in an accident. Five years after what happened, the leader of the small group, Jinta, has removed himself from society and lives as a recluse.
Eventually, the spirit of the one who has died asks Jinta that he does a specific wish of hers while telling him that she’s unable to pass on to the next plane if it is not done. This gets the group back together and, together, they learn how to move on by helping her to do the same. Check it out by following this link on what is one of the best video streaming services!
32. Spirited Away
Yet another animated movie created by Studio Ghibli and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Spirited Away is one that played a significant role in the childhood of many. The movie was released in 2001.
The movie tells the story of Chihiro Ogino, a 10-year-old girl who moves to a new neighborhood. However, when doing so, she enters the world of the Kami, spirits in Japanese myths.
After her parents are turned into pigs by a witch called Yubaba, Chihiro takes up a job offer at Yubaba’s bathhouse in order to free herself and get her parents back into human form. The movie is available on Netflix, one of the best
33. Mob Psycho 100
A manga series written and illustrated by ONE between 2012 and 2017, Mob Psycho 100 received an anime adaptation by studio Bones, and it had its first season released in 2016. Other than that, the second and last season was released in 2019, and a live-action movie was released in 2018.
The show follows Shiegeo, most well-known as Mob, a boy who’s not really good at expressing himself, but who is an extremely powerful psychic. So he can lead a normal life, he suppresses his powers and tries to learn how to better control them by asking the help of other psychics (who in fact are nothing but shams). Check it out right now on Crunchyroll!
34. Carole & Tuesday
Another of the best anime of all time is Carole & Tuesday, a 24 episode long animated series. It was produced by studio Bones and directed by Shinichirō Watanabe as a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the studio and the 10th anniversary of a recording label. The show was released in 2019.
It’s set in a future in which Mars is partially terraformed. There, Tuesday Simmons runs away from her home and goes to Alba City to become a musician. In her new town, she meets Carole Stanley, an orphan refugee from Earth. They band together to create the Carole & Tuesday duo so they can follow their dreams! Go to Netflix to see more.
35. One-Punch Man
In 2009 the digital manga One-Punch Man, written and illustrated by Yusuke Murata, quickly became hugely successful by deconstructing the superhero and martial arts genres into a mix of comedy and action.
It took no one by surprise when its animated version was received just as well when it was released in 2015.
One-Punch Man follows the story of Saitama, an everyday man who one day is faced with a monster. After facing and defeating it, he realizes how much he likes the emotion of combat and decides to train to become a superhero.
Unfortunately for him, he trains way too much, and now he can beat any opponent with a single punch. This ensures he lives an unhappy, boring, and unfulfilling life due to the lack of worthy opponents. Check out his search for a worthy enemy on Netflix!
ERASED was originally a manga written and illustrated by Kei Sanbe. However, in 2016 it became an anime created by A-1 Pictures and it quickly gained the title of one of the best anime of all time. Other than these versions, it also has a movie and a TV show, both live-action.
The anime follows Satoru Fujinuma, a mangaka who deals with a lot of social problems. However, he has a supernatural skill that lets him go back in time moments before a terrible accident happens, and as such he is able to save many lives.
One day, when getting home, he finds his mother dead and he gets accused of murder. Then, he goes back in time almost two decades, and he becomes a child again. Now, he must prevent some child murders that happened back then in order to save his mother! The anime is available on Crunchyroll, one of the best movie streaming services.
37. Devilman Crybaby
Another really good option is Devilman Crybaby, an original web animated series based upon a manga series. It is directed by Masaaki Yuasa, produced by Aniplex and Dynamic Planning, animated by Science Saru, and released by Netflix back in 2018.
The original manga was set in the 1970s, but the anime updates it to the 21st century. It follows Akira Fudo and his friend Ryo Asuka. Ryo proposes that Akira binds himself with a demon to gain its powers so they can fight against other demons.
He does so, and as such he becomes the Devilman with demonic powers in his human soul. The anime deals with several themes regarding puberty, sexuality, LGBT and queer identities, and more. Follow this link to watch it.
Among the best anime of all time we also have Aggretsuko, also known as Aggressive Retsuko. It is an animated musical comedy that was released in 2018 on Netflix, and it has already been renewed for its fourth season.
The show follows Retsuko, a 25-year-old female red panda who’s forced to deal with condescending work colleagues and a sexist boss. When she reaches the limit of what she can take, she goes to a karaoke – but not any karaoke, death metal karaoke – in her mind, and she relieves her feelings. Watch it on Netflix!
A manga series created by Haruhisa Nakata, Levius received an anime adaptation in 2019. Its first season had 12 episodes, produced by Polygon Pictures.
It’s set in the 19th century, when the world was entering the Renaissance, recovering from a terrible war. There, there is a different sport – mechanic martial arts – that has piqued the interest of many. Levius is one of the warriors cybernetically augmented to fight, win, and survive. The show is available by following this link!
Last, but not least, we have Castlevania, a Netflix animated series released in 2017. It was produced by Kevin Kolde and his company Project 51, and scripted by the renowned writer Warren Ellis. It has three seasons, it was already renewed for its fourth, being a huge success to the platform.
Based upon the video game series Castlevania, the animation follows the story of Trevor Belmont, Sypha Belnades, and Alucard Tepes in their journey to stop the vampire Dracula from destroying the world to avenge the death of his wife.
Castlevania has some amazing characters and character development, a quick and witty narrative, and a captivating story and cast from beginning to end. If you want to check it out, follow this link.
So, did you like our selection of the best anime of all time?
Let us know in the comments if you knew them all or if we helped you out! Don’t forget to also check out the best shows to binge watch, the best shows on Netflix, the best Netflix documentaries, and the best fantasy fiction shows!
Tip: If you’re interested in other ways to pass your time, check out here the best mobile multiplayer games, the best free games on Steam, the best Android games, and the best live TV apps for Android!