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Top 10 Greatest Anime Series Of All Time

Darren Pangan   March 2, 2007

First and foremost, don’t think that I consider this as “The List”. It’s more like “My List”. I haven’t seen all the anime shows out there so expect me to be bias over those that I’ve seen and enjoyed. But I also considered the reaction of the people around me and anime fans over the internet that I encountered. If I’ve seen a certain series and it’s getting so much love from people, then it’s a plus. If it’s getting so much hate, then it’s a minus. Now, here’s the list.

10. Naruto
NarutoJust a little while ago, I was mentioning how I would consider other people’s opinion for this list if it’s quite obvious (getting so much love or hate from the general public). Now here’s a series I’ve seen, although currently it’s still on-going, that I liked but wouldn’t get into this list if not for fans, sometimes labeled as “Narutards”. If you go to non-title-specific/general anime forums, you’ll see people saying this anime isn’t good and often, the reason is for the excessive fillers. But even these people can’t deny how popular this series is now. Just to prove that, go to Google and search for your favorite 26-episode series (you can even try your all-time favorite, “Evangelion” if you want). How many results did you get? Less than 2 million? That’s nice. Now try searching for “Naruto”. At the time of this writing I got almost 30 million, including Google images result. If you know SEO, then you’ve probably heard about the “keyword suggestion tool”. Check how many searches does that term gets. Again, at the time I wrote this article, I got around 1.5 million. Compare that to “Elfen Lied“, a series that is getting a lot of love from anime communities today. You only get around 37 thousand. Now that’s how popular Naruto is today. I haven’t seen the filler episodes (which most people hate) yet but so far, I think the series is good and deserves the fandom. By the way, Naruto got my first review on this website.

9. Bleach
BleachBleach is Naruto’s greatest rival today when it comes to popularity. Whenever you find some Naruto download site, most likely, they also have Bleach download stuff. We can’t say for sure if it’s more popular compared to it’s rival or less popular. Based on my observation, I’d say less popular. Then you might be asking why is this one notch ahead of Naruto. Well, I’ve seen both series and I like Bleach a lot better. My “Anime friend” told me (when I asked him for some recommendations) that he likes strong and prominent main characters, then I came to realize that I feel the same way. And probably that’s the reason why I like Bleach better than Naruto. The strong main character in the series is Kurosaki Ichigo. He’s got a team behind him but he’s the one who takes care of the strongest villian. Unlike Uzumaki Naruto who is at times (or should I say, often) over-taken by Uchiha Sasuke. Also, when it comes to the story, I find Bleach a bit more exciting. Naruto and Bleach are most likely the two most popular anime today, and this two gave more life to anime fandom in this generation. But since I prefer Bleach over Naruto, I put it at number nine!

8. Ranma 1/2
RanmaOk. Maybe this Rumiko Takahashi masterpiece may not be as popular (today) as the two anime series mentioned earlier. But it was quite popular during it’s prime. Even my girlfriend loves this series and according to her, this is her favorite anime of all time. (How’s that? hehe) I saw this series, I think, back in high-school. It was my favorite back then and I felt really sad when RPN 9 stopped airing it without finishing the series. I was traumatized and since then everytime I saw a Ranma 1/2 poster, I felt like crying. (I’m exaggerating a little bit but it was almost like that). I searched anime shops everywhere but sadly, if they have it, it’s only the first season. But often, they don’t have it at all. Then came the internet.. and downloadable fansub videos. But still I couldn’t find the whole complete series. (sigh) Anyways, enough ranting. Ranma 1/2 is mainly not a continous series but rather, each series is stand-alone. What I really liked about it is the humor and the relaxing feel whenever watching it. There’s a also a bit of martial arts and love story. I really wasn’t sure if this anime is popular until my friend sitting beside me right now, diligently doing his work, confirmed it. For a second opinion, I did the “Google popularity test” I mentioned in number ten and found out that it is still quite popular over the internet.

7. Ah! My Goddess
Ah! My GoddessAh! My Goddess is an anime that has a great story and concept, and great cast of characters (I’m saying this probably because they’re goddesses.). And because of these qualities, the anime and manga got so much love from anime fans and it became very popular. At first, my perspective over the anime is that it is made for girls who like drama and love stories. Probably because of the relationship between Keiichi Morisato and Belldandy and during that time, I was under the somewhat traditional belief that action is for boys and drama is for girls. But as time went by, my perspective changed. I realized that Ah My Goddess is actually a “boys’ anime”.. wait.. let’s make that “boys’ dream anime”. Why is that? Well it’s typical for a boy like me to dream about being surrounded by pretty girls, much more if they’re serving me, much much more if they’re beautiful goddesses. *snaps out of it* Now why is Ah! My Goddess on this list? Well it’s pretty popular and I liked it so much and is actually one of my favorites.. enough said. It’s number 7!

6. Yu Yu Hakusho
Yu Yu HakushoWhen people were starting to get tired of the Dragon Ball Z phenomena, they had to look for something else, something new, but will still provide the action and excitement Dragon Ball Z has given them. Then comes Yu Yu Hakusho. In our area, as far as I can remember, Yu Yu Hakusho became a household name. Everyone was watching it. Even some unexepected people came out of nowhere acting like they were Toguro and Yusuke. Even my classmate in high-school used to put Yusuke’s name as alias in his test papers. And I thought that was just too much. The story is different from Dragon Ball Z and you might also notice the attempt to give it more twist. But I could say that the action and fighting scenes were somewhat patterened from DBZ. Really a great and entertaining show. According to my brother, this is his favorite series of all time. And for the balanced amount of popularity and “how much I liked it”, I put it at number 6.

5. Full Metal Alchemist
Full Metal AlchemistTalk about popularity. This anime used to be extremely popular and well liked. I did a quick search over the internet and found out that this was actually voted as the most liked anime series for 2005 and 2006, and why am I not surprised. Actually, I just saw this anime recently, although I’ve been hearing about it (it’s inevitable) but ignored the hype for I was under the influence of the drug most popularly known as “Rurouni Kenshin” at that time. But after I’ve seen the series, I was like.. wow. Great story and great cast of characters too. If there are series that revolutionized Anime, Full Metal Alchemist has to be one of them.

4. Rurouni Kensihin
Rurouni KenshinNow here’s the drug I was talking about. This is the second series that was able to push me into making a fansite (The first one was DBZ). To me, Rurouni Kenshin has the best story of all time for an anime series. Maybe the reason is that I like historical stuff and Rurouni Kenshin has a touch of history in it. The anime has a lot of fillers. As a matter of fact, you can stop watching after the Kyoto Arc because everything is filler after it. But if you’re a solid fan like me, you probably know about the Jinchuu Arc which is actually the following saga which was not animated. And up to this date, I still haven’t got over it. I still want it to be animated but it’s hopeless now. If you are amazed by the series, wait until you see the first OVA, Tsuiokuhen. Most people have it in their list of favorite anime shows. I have it at number one. What more can you ask for when you got great, great story and top notch animation? It’s also pretty popular and most people would say that they hated the fillers but liked Rurouni Kenshin as a whole. It’s actually hard to find someone who doesn’t like this Anime.

3. Dragon Ball
Dragon BallIf you an anime fan, there’s no way you haven’t even heard about the Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z series. They’re simply one of the most popular anime series of all time. Even non-anime fanatics know it, it’s a house hold name. And this great anime journey started here. The first of the three series. Some people think the first one is superior over the sequels. Story-wise, I would agree. The character we all know by the name of Son Goku was still a young boy here although as the story goes by, he grew up. The first time I saw this series, it was aired on RPN 9 after cutting the sequel, Dragon Ball Z series for the meantime. I don’t know why but probably they were still dubbing the remaining episodes. Whatever the reason, I was greatful that they gave us the first series. It also became very popular and anticipated by everyone I know. And up to this moment, it is still all over the internet together with its sequels.

2. Astro Boy
Astro BoyIf you only saw the remake that was done in 2003, you’re probably surprised why I put it in number 2. Just in case you don’t know it, Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atom) became a household name for many generations too just like Dragon Ball Z probably it’s reign was even longer. It’s a work of the late great Osamu Tezuka, The Father of Manga. I really don’t remember the details of the story anymore because I watched this maybe 20 years ago, but I know I loved it back then. And my brothers and I grew up knowing who Astro Boy is.

And now for my number one greatest anime of all time…

1. Dragon Ball Z
Dragon Ball ZYou heard it right, Dragon Ball Z haters! No matter how much you hate it, this anime has to be the most popular in our generations. Not only in Japan and the US but in other countries all over the world as well. Just check it’s Wikipedia page and see how many languages it has been translated into. Most people who got into the anime fandom started with Dragon Ball Z. Some people bash Dragon Ball Z for it’s long fight scenes that span into several episodes, for characters that move too fast that you don’t see them anymore, etc. Some even compare it to newer action titles and say that the new title is better because it got better story and action scenes. Sure. When it comes to story and action scenes, I don’t put Dragon Ball Z on my number one either but were talking “greatest” here. I try to recall how much I loved it during it’s time when this new anime doesn’t exist yet. How much excitement did it gave me back then and compare that to the excitement this newer anime with better story and fight scenes gives me. I can say that nothing beats Dragon Ball Z for that matter. It was the first of it’s kind and the others only followed. Only a few considers Muhamad Ali to be the pound-for-pound best boxer of all time, he’s been beaten several times while other fighters retire with their records unblemished. But why is it everyone considers him “The Greatest”?

So, there you have it folks! My top ten greatest anime of all time. Agree or disagree with me, this is still just my opinion. If you’re thinking about asking me why I don’t have Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, Outlaw Star, etc. in there, probably because I haven’t seen them yet or I don’t hear about them as much as I hear these 10 titles. Just to clarify, this is different from my list of all-time favorite anime series. In that list, I wouldn’t include other people’s view and for sure that list will include Slam Dunk and Hajime no Ippo. ^_^

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Category: Rants & Raves

You can contact me at darren at anime 2 manga dot com.

55 Responses to “Top 10 Greatest Anime Series Of All Time”

  1. Rednights http://rednights.net/typenights

    Faith in humanity minus 1. I see your bias, but where is my Hunter X Hunter please!

  2. Darren Pangan http://anime2manga.com/

    How could I forget about Hunter X Hunter?! Oh well.. ^_^

  3. Afuro http://afurokamen.animeblogger.net

    Great list, but if i were to put it, I’ll just have to kick Astro Boy for One Piece. imho! ;)

  4. Darren Pangan http://anime2manga.com/

    aw!Looks like I have to make another list! how can I forget so many? hehe.. ^_^

  5. Tracy

    Ranma 1/2 is very easliy findable online. I have the whole series, and I am glad it made the list. I was very disappointed that you never saw any conclusive ending though.

  6. Tracy

    No Inuyasha?

  7. faith simpson

    what happened to sailormoon???or cardcaptor sakura?!

  8. Darren Pangan http://anime2manga.com/

    Yes! No Inuyasha! ^_^

  9. yelle

    why there is no hunterxhunter i really love that anime!!

  10. okore affia

    Rurouni Kenshin Is without doubt the best anime series of all times.
    the story, music, fight scenes and characters create a long lasting memory. I give thanks to the people below for making such a touching anime.
    Kazuhiro Furuhashi,
    Kaeko Sakamoto

    Writers:Michiru Shimada,
    Nobuhiro Watsuki

  11. cam

    If it were mine i would have had to bump Full metal up to the top. I dunno the concept of alchemy really did it for me. Rurouni Kensihin
    would be a very close second. Also I thought Trigun was also pretty good. I never was a big DBZ fan though, now dragonball on the other hand was good.

  12. cam

    p.s kind dissapointed with the full metal movie ending.

  13. okore affia

    One thing that pissed me off about DBZ is that the makers tried to make the series longer by putting in meaningless bits which distracted us from the fight scenes. it just had me thinking get back to the fight man. who gives a shit!! about Mr Satans dog for crying out loud…..

  14. angela

    yup y theres no hunter x hunter also slum dank they’re very great also detective conan was great. naruto dont deserve no. 10 may no. 5 or 4 will do!

  15. Brij

    i think Rurouni kenshin should be number ONE.. i just love all about that series and have watched it SO many times but just still can’t get enough..

  16. Darren Pangan http://anime2manga.com/

    I love Rurouni Kenshin as well and is my favorite anime series of all time. The story is amazing. But my list considers popularity and I just think DBZ is way more popular than RK.

  17. okore affia

    Rurouni kenshin rules!!!!
    But maybe dbz is more well known especially in europe. But rurouni kenshin was very popular in its hey day. Their were video games and other merchanise of the series everywhere……

  18. aru-chan

    Maison Ikkoku was pretty good for a shojo. (it’s by the same creator of ranma 1/2)

  19. freewebs.com/prokplan http://detectiveconan.vidiac.com

    detective conan is waaaaaayyy better than all of that

  20. Darren Pangan http://anime2manga.com/

    ^ and so are other anime series. I think RK is better than DBZ but why did I put it below it? Monster and Slam Dunk are two of my all time favorites and I thought they were really good but why are they not on the list? If you read the whole post, you would know.

  21. Oliver

    I really love Rahxephon, though many dont feel the same.

  22. okore affia

    Have you guys seen the Anime Prince of tennis. I’ve been watching episodes and its pretty good. By the way you can watch nearly every single episode of all these animes we have been talking about at
    www.tv-links.co.uk.. I was really surprised to find so many different animes their and you don’t have to register or pay anything.. pretty cool!!!!!

  23. okore affia

  24. okore affia

    I just finished watchin the full metal Alchemist series and it rules. Wow i never thought i’d see an anime as good or may be even better than Rurouni kenshin. I’m lost for words………………..

  25. Darren Pangan http://anime2manga.com/

    Yeah. Full Metal Alchemist is really good. I thought it has balance that some mainstream fans and some hardcore fans would enjoy. Although some people think it’s overrated. But that’s probably because they hyped it up pretty good when it first came out in the US.

  26. okore affia

    Hi darren I see you’ve done alot of review on this site. Have you thought about doing a review for ”prince of tennis”. You can watch almost all the series at the link below


  27. Darren Pangan http://anime2manga.com/

    Hey okore!
    No need for TV Links. I do have a copy of Prince of Tennis although I haven’t seen it yet. First I’ll ask the other guys who write for this blog if they want to review POT (and I know some of them have seen it already) *ehem*. But if no one would dare.. then I’ll watch it then write a review. ^_^

  28. KevinKevin

    pretty bad list…non of these series goes very deep, these are just typical action animes, though i enjoy bleach, yuyu, and kenshin being classics. Bebop, grave of the fireflies, wolfs rain deathnote, and Evangelion should definately take the spots, ithink they just go aLITTLE deeper then buff guys shooting energy blasts for episodes straight…

  29. Darren Pangan http://anime2manga.com/

    Well this list is not about being deep. It’s about being popular and being likeable by me. ^_^ I’ve seen most of the titles you listed but most of them are not as popular as the one listed here. And the others.. I didn’t like.

  30. Nik

    You forgot Tenchi Muyo. It definitely deserves a place on any top 10 greatest animes list because it’s basically created the entire “one guy surrounded by a load of beautiful chicks” genre. You can’t deny it’s influence.

    And even though I fucking hate DBZ, it probably is the number 1 anime series of all-time. I admire how you at least tried to use some objective criteria in this, most people who make lists just put in whatever they think is good and forget about popularity, influence, and critical acclaim.

    Anyway, here’s my top 10 list:

    1. Dragon Ball Z
    2. Neon Genesis Evangelion
    3. Astro Boy
    4. Ranma 1/2
    5. Tenchi Muyo
    6. Lupin III
    7. Rurouni Kenshin
    8. Ah! My Goddess
    9. Cowboy Bebop
    10. Yu Yu Hakusho

  31. Nik


    Sailor Moon is at #4, knocking Yu Yu off th list.

  32. okore affia

    nik how can ya have astro boy but no full metal Alchemist.
    Crazy!!! astro boy is so dated… Even the updated version just looks like a kiddie program………………..

  33. Darren Pangan http://anime2manga.com/

    Thanks for the compliments Nik and for adding your list as well. ^_^ I know my list isn’t perfect but I tried to be objective but everything is still based on my observation. One anime may seem so popular from where I am but in reality it may not be that popular.

  34. shane

    It seems like no one likes Saiyuki. I harldly see anyone mention it. I think it is very funny stuff, especially the manga.

  35. Matt

    Whenever I look at an anime top ten list, I am disappointed if I do not to see TRIGUN make the list. This is my favorite series that I have seen so far, but other than that I liked most of the list. My top 3 would have been
    1 Trigun
    2 Fullmetal Alchemist
    3 Dagonball Z

  36. nineteen

    my top 10:
    2. Fushigi Yuugi
    3. Detective Conan
    4. Fruits Basket
    5. Ranma 1/2
    6. Naruto
    7. Full Metal Alchemist
    8. Rurouni Kenshin
    9. Slam Dunk
    10. Detective School Q

    heehee. just to share. : )

  37. Jay

    You haven’t watched enough naruto after hearing what you say about sasuke!!


    sasuke is cool for the first few sagas but becomes a bit of an idiot later on.. he was my favourite to begin with but now i barely even like him.. also naruto is WAY better than bleach..

    also.. no One Piece?

  38. Andrew

    did anyone Like Full metal panic? ?? i personaly think it outranks all these listed so far .. great storyline. not many fillers lasted 3 seasons .. and has a few movies for it .. its a bit old but tis nice …who dont enjoy seing monster robotic suits fighting ??

  39. M3

    my anime list list, that u could watch , they r kinda good
    Ps. sorry for no ranking, just couldent do it

    *.Dragonball Z
    *.Death Note
    *.Full Metal Alchemist
    *.One Piece (the 1st 100 episodes atleast)
    *.Elfen Lied
    *.Fate : Stay Night

  40. M3


  41. M3

    *.Yu Yu Hakusho - (the Dark tournament saga + 3 kings saga)

    well i know really alot of nice animes, wont spamm this forum
    if interested check this site out http://www.animenfo.com/statistic/top.php?type=anime

    kinda got cut, sry for tripple post lol

  42. okore affia

    Have any of you seen the Devil May Cry Anime. It’s Pretty Cool.!!!!!!!!!!

  43. Eric

    First of all, I’ve recently gotten into anime so I’m not an expert in the field but I can safely say that you’re missing out on many anime series that are much better than the ones on your list. I notice your list seems to largely be oriented on the anime’s popularity which only implies that you’re afraid to take a stand. I personally hate Naruto, its popularity be damned. But I’m not saying that being popular equals being bad. For instance, I’m personally shocked that Evangelion isn’t on your list. Sure, people might overlook Wolf’s Rain, Samurai Champloo, or even GTO but Evangelion? It easily beats most of the anime series on your list. Anyways, I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinions but I would suggest you read the comments posted for this list (since many of the readers seem to have better tastes) and watch some more anime before coming up with another list that’s based solely on your opinions and not the opinions of others.

  44. okore affia

    eric you talk alot of bull!!!!!#$$%#$

  45. Mcboo

    This was a valiant little list. Valliant in it’s attempt to do the impossible (list 10 anime from an almost infinite field) and rank them on a predefined scale with full knowledge of the onslaught to follow. Unfortunately scales are irrelevant and in the end no one will be happy that his/her title didn’t make a (no offense!) meaningless online list. But that’s what fandom is all about I suppose. Hell I can feel that way sometimes too so it’s really hard to knock sometimes!

    All that said, here’s my own meager and altogether meaningless list of 10 titles I continue to enjoy. Generally speaking that’s my scale. If it’s something I can watch more than one or two times it’s going to get some ME votes. But I try to really do research before hand because I buy so I like to cheat and know a little in advance. Which is why I like reading other peoples lists!

    Cowboy Bebop – To me, the epitome of what good anime can be
    Evangelion – I loved this so much but in re-watching, it can draaaaag
    Full Metal Alchemist – Such an incredible series. Music, characters, story…
    FLCL - ***comments meaningless***
    Paranoia Agent – some twilight zone sort of fun only much better
    Trigun – This series was just a ton of fun but, as many say, the ending was thin
    Nartuo – If I had the DUB version I’d burn it, but I love the butchered SUB
    Witch Hunter Robin – Good story and some good characters. Robin…stop your sniveling & whining!
    Outlaw Star – This was a fun mix of sci-fi and magic. Just a ton of fun.
    DBZ – This was a fun ride until I became allergic to Majin Bu Pink

    Now this represents just some of the series (not movies) I continue to enjoy and which recieved at least some marginal exposeure here in the States. And it’s funny, I consider Blue Submarine 6 to be a really long movie I don’t feel that way about FLCL. Maybe that’s because I don’t know if there is actually a word in existence to actually define WHAT FLCL exactly is! And there are always new series out there that will certainly work their way into my little personal list.

  46. Sarah

    My top 15
    15)Revolutionary Girl Utena
    14)Kino’s Journey
    13)Serial Experiments Lain
    12)Cowboy Bebop
    11)Record of Lodess War
    10) Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040
    9) Ah! My Goddess
    8) Magic Knight Rayearth
    7)Shamanic Princess
    6)Dragon Half
    5)Elf Princess Rane
    4)Sorcerer Hunters
    2)HIs and Her Circumstances
    1)Super GALS!

  47. adam

    sorry but bleach definitley top 3 and you missed out gundam seed. my list would have been top 5
    5. naruto
    4. tokyo underground you cant forget that
    3.dragon ball z
    2.gundam seed.
    1. bleach.
    and do you knnow where i can watch all of the bleach episodes in english audio. and not to forget tokyo underground in english audio.

  48. adam

    oh one piece and shaman king aswell are some of my greatest.

  49. okore affia

    let me guess adam youtube or google video or tv-links.co.uk

  50. bob

    does noone like Trigun???

  51. ihab

    where is Tenchi Muyo?

  52. luis

    great list i love ranma series they are hella funny plus i dont tjink theres an episode that is boing specialy with the funny ass panda i also like bleach specialy its music

  53. elpollodiablo

    YOU ARE A GOD!!! Thank you so much for realising that DBZ is just the best anime out there. The entire list is great, excpt maybe boot out astroboy for trigun. But DBZ, god bless you. I dont see why eeryone hates it. I saw it when I was like 7 and I worshipped it. It am now 16. I still worship it, except now I own everything to do with DBZ. It has everything you could possibly want. Action, comedy and random scenes of HERCULE(not mr satan) walking through the desert with a puppy.

  54. allan

    I think i would have put dragon ball ahead of dragon ball z. Dragon ball z wasnt that great. It was like watching a slide show with voice actors.

  55. aslam

    you must be a young child to give db two spots in your rating.where is DEATH NOTE?

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