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Top 10 Japanese Anime Series

Updated on July 27, 2017
Michael Kismet profile image

Michael has a passion for animation, and has extensive knowledge and experience with Japanese Anime.


Why do People like Anime so Much?

There's no age limit where you can't enjoy or appreciate the creativeness, cleverness, or imagination of a good anime series. Some of the best and intricate stories, some of the best action sequences that invoke an emotional response for me personally have been from an anime. Some are truly a masterpiece of design and story telling.

There are hardcore anime fans that might not totally agree with my selections, I invite you to voice your suggestions and opinions so that I may improve on this article, thanks in advance! Here are the top ten Japanese anime series!

Epic Dragon Ball Z Battle

#1 Dragon Ball Z Series

Quite possibly the greatest anime series of all time, Dragon Ball Z debuted in 1984, and created by legendary anime producer, Akira Toriyama. The main protagonist of the series, Goku, is a globally known figure and icon in the realm of Japanese anime.

If you're anime fan of a younger generation and have heard but never actually watched Dragon Ball Z, put it on your to-watch-list.

Amazing action packed fight sequences that will dazzle your eyes and keep you on the edge of your seat. Personally, I've met possibly hundreds of anime fans that became fans due to watching Dragon Ball Z.

The characters are fully developed with care and depth, a true anime masterpiece, a missing gem edition to any anime fan without their volumes of DBZ. Although serious in certain situations, adult humor, minimal nudity, Dragon ball Z , comparatively quite family friendly.

#2 Death Note Anime Series

A truly thrilling suspenseful anime, Death Note takes place in a modern era of Japan and intertwines justice and morality and the perplexing inquiry's among good and evil. A story that unfolds with amazing plot twists that will keep you constantly guessing.

The story revolves around Yagami LIght, who discovers a powerful notebook, and it allows it's owner to kill whomever name is written in it.

He proceeds to use the book in the way he sees fit, bringing about justice through the killing of prisoners. However, the police force is on his trail, a deadly game ensues. A very unpredictable thriller that should be watched with undistributed attention. Death Note is an experience that should not be missed, an intricate tale that's woven with precision and thought.

Kenshin samurai x anime
Kenshin samurai x anime | Source

#3 Rurouni Kenshin Anime

One of the most popular Japanese anime ever created, to this day I still watch it from time to time, great replay value.

The story is about Himura Kenshin, a reformed assassin that travels through the Meiji era of Japan, he attempts to help people in need to amend for his past deeds.

There is indeed, a dark and somber tone to this anime, which works seamlessly through it's non-sugarcoated world. He's on a path of atonement and redemption, a very deep, thought provoking anime that is timeless, suitable for a diverse anime fan base. After 10 minutes into the anime, I knew it would be one of my all time favorites. I hate to admit it, it might not be suitable for young children.

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#4 Cowboy Bebop Anime Series

Many regard Cowboy Bebop as one of the best anime ever created, myself included. The story takes place in deep space in the year 2071, following two main protagonist Spike and Jet as they freelance as experienced and skilled bounty hunters.

Cowboy Bebop is a stellar sci-fi, action anime that is loaded with humorous dialogue and situations.

If there was one word to choose to define this anime, it would be "cool". The music deserves a mention, one of my favorite musical pieces in any anime. Definitely had to get my own set, a very entertaining anime full of stylish action and genuine laughs.

#5 Bleach Anime Series

Bleach revolves around a 15 year old boy named Ichigo Kurosaki who is empowered with the abilities of a "Soul Reaper". A soul reaper, Rukia, transfers her powers to Ichigo to battle what are known as "Hollow".

His path is changed forever, and goes on to protect Rukia from the "Soul Society". He must control and wield his newly found powers to save humanity from evil spirits and guide them to the afterlife.

Bleach is a sometimes an underrated anime, but make no mistake, it is a great action packed anime, worthy of any anime fans time.

Edward Elric
Edward Elric

#6 Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

This story follows two brothers, Edward Elric, and his younger brother, Alphonse Elric on a forlorn quest to make themselves whole, after an alchemy experiment conducted yields unseen results.

Full Metal Alchemist, more or less is my definition of what great anime should be, it's loaded with creative action sequences, and is a comical anime at times as well.

It's a very original and compelling story, looking for something that has been lost, who couldn't relate? It's a very emotional anime, but it all works. The voice over for this anime is excellent, outstanding voice over acting, top notch.

#7 Naruto Anime Series

Naruto is one of the funnest anime to watch, by that I mean it's just so entertaining. Taking place in a world ruled and governed by Ninjas, Naruto, the main protagonist, is a wide-eyed overly zealous and optimistic boy striving to become the greatest shinobi of all time.

The action is very entertaining, usually pitting ninjas with different backgrounds and skill sets against one another.

A wealth of different and colorful characters keep this anime engrossing in depth and seemingly endless diversity. Unlike many anime, Naruto comparatively is very family friendly. The are serious, dramatic scenes, and there are moments where it's just so highly laden with humor, you'll find yourself laughing out loud.

#8 Neon Genesis Evangelion

The have been quite a few mech-themed anime, but not much like Neon Genesis Evangelion, a compelling story that revolves around Shinji Ikari. He's a timid teenage boy that pilots a huge bio-mechanical robo-suit mech, that is engaged in defending the planet from the extraterrestrial known as "Angels".

It takes place during the year 2015, in the rebuilt city of New Tokyo 3. If you're a fan of mech on mech action, this is the perfect title for any sci-fi mech genre fanatic.

Vash The Stampede from Trigun anime
Vash The Stampede from Trigun anime | Source

#9 Trigun Anime Series

This story is about a wanted man with a huge reward on his head, Vash Stampede, blazing a destructive trail across a wasteland. However, it's an interesting story that there is no valid proof that Vash has ever killed someone.

He isn't you average vagabond outlaw, aside from succeeding to masterfully defend himself, he is more goofy pacifist than vicious warrior.

Trigun has many comedic elements, but will gradually get into a more murky dark tone in the story progression. A fantastic mix of sci-fi and wild west, Trigun is a notable and unique anime title.

#10 One Piece Anime Series

I took me a bit to get into One Piece, but I soon believed it to be a unique and different kind of anime. The story follows Monkey D. Luffy and his grand quest to find the "One Piece". It's interesting to see how he recruits his new crew to join his voyage. With the aid of his comrades he faces off against the most famous and feared pirates off all time. I believe if you give it a chance, it will quickly grow on you.

What Are Your Favorite Anime Series?

Thank you for making it through my top 10 Japanese anime series list, if there's a better anime title that you think should be included in this article, please do not hesitate to voice your opinion!


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    • profile image

      Colp 7 weeks ago

      Death note best ever

    • JusticeAditya profile image

      Aditya 4 months ago from NOIDA


    • profile image

      zero 8 months ago

      code geass

    • profile image

      Hubby 9 months ago

      Naruto is d best

    • profile image

      doff 10 months ago

      i think SAO great.... and i'm 16...

    • profile image

      Kureiroru 10 months ago

      SAO is garbage only 12 year olds think it is good lel

    • profile image

      -A 11 months ago

      I totally agree with Anonymous. SAO, blue exorcist and FT (especially FT)

      should be on that list.

      But FMAB is absolutely amazing!

    • profile image

      Anonymous 13 months ago

      There are lots of amazing animes but I think it's missing Sao, blue exorcist, and my fav anime of all time - Fairy Tail

    • profile image

      mousa 2 years ago

      naruto is the best anime ever i will be happy i u know any anime to be the same as naruto am look for that kind of anime

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