Top 30 Greatest Anime Series Ever Made

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22. Hunter x Hunter 2011

Top 30 Greatest Anime Series Ever Made

As the only long-running shounen on my list, HxH’s a bit of an outlier. But HxH is not your typical shounen – directed by Madhouse (likely my pick for the best studio of all time) and adapted from a source by the writer of Yu Yu Hakusho, Hunter x Hunter is basically a master class in what makes adventure entertaining. Though it starts off “only” demonstrating it knows how to make challenge-based television entertaining (in lieu of actual fights, it generally sets up compelling puzzles of all shapes and sizes for its heroes), it ends up jumping from genre to genre, dabbling in crime thriller, tournament shounen, and even war drama. And through it all, the show’s fantastic aesthetics elevate it above almost everything out there – in direction, in sound design, in pacing, in animation, in basically every relevant aesthetic metric, Hunter x Hunter triumphs. That it’s been maintaining this level of quality for well over a hundred episodes is nothing short of astonishing – in fact, I’d say Hunter x Hunter has only gotten better over time.

21. Mushishi

Top 30 Greatest Anime Series Ever Made

Mushishi is one of those strange, special shows that seem to just emerge confident and fully constructed, exude excellence for all of their running time, and then go quietly on their way. Its vignettes are dreamy and ambiguous, full of resonance and compelling ideas but never didactic. Its world is mysterious and enchanting, evoking both a more resigned and possibly more dangerous version of Miyazaki’s mystical forests. Its production is fantastic, with beautiful backgrounds matching a wonderfully understated musical score and a great sense of pacing to conjure its powerful, singular atmosphere. And all this works in service of a show that’s fundamentally just incredibly calming and sedate – a series of long, lazy afternoons spent enjoying the company of a master storyteller.

20. Gunbuster! + Diebuster!

Top 30 Greatest Anime Series Ever Made

Grouped together because they really do feel like two sides of the same coin, both of Gainax’s Buster shows would also make this list independently. Flippant and heartbreaking, cynical and triumphant, personal and universal, each of these OVAs tells a story of humanity’s struggle against all the forces of the universe with style and heart. And each can stand alone, as well – Gunbuster is helmed by a pre-Eva Anno already exhibiting his unnerving style of direction, and Diebuster offers a very appropriate conclusion to the FLCL era of Gainax production. Only six episodes each, too – it’s pretty remarkable how much story each of these manage to tell.



17 COMMENTS

  1. I was just about to put up an angry comment saying something like “how can you make a greatest anime of all time list without putting evangelion in it” when I was nearly reaching the end of the list

  2. Yes love psycho pass but also nature, inuyasha, free, parasite, tokyo ghoul, hakuouki , High School of the dead, Hiro no kakera, wolf girl and black Prince, say I love you, kamisama Hajimimashita, kamigami no asobi, inu x bokuss, amnesia, brothers conflict, vampire Knight, Uta no prince sama, kaichou wa maid sama, devil is a part timer, noragami, my little monster, blue exorcist, attack on Titan, black bullet, black Butler, Working XXX, and more,…

  3. What the f, I thought these are all originally anime (not based on LN & Manga). Considering no Gintama, Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, SAO, OPM, AOT, DanMachi, Mahouka, DanMachi, MS Gundam, High School DxD (haha), etc., this list is based on personal selection rather that what actually should be.

  4. some great here but most of them are not good enough for top 30 not even top 100, and no FMA Brotherhood, Code Geass, Death Note, Ghost in the Shell, Clannad, not even one Gundam series, Kaleido Star, Bersesk, Haikyuu, Kuroko, Angel Beats, ERASED, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso… so yeah not a good list.

  5. No Gintama????Really????..one of the animes which made me watch it when I woke up and when I went to sleep,I am not even exaggerating yes it is not everyone’s cup of tea and that any”top” list is subjective Gintama would definitely be top 3 on my list.For those who have not watched it and are scared of the 300+ EP count do give it a try atleast first few episodes since it takes a little time to get going but one it does it churns out some great episodes and the comedy is on point most of the time also all the OPs and Ends are awesome…yes I am a fangay of Gintama and the Yoruzuya trio…scrape that I am a fangay of all the cast.

  6. This list is made by a NEWB. There’s so many other animes that way above these. How do you not have Clannad, Angel beats, Erased, Elfen Lied, Hellsing, Full metal alchemist, Eureka Seven, etc, etc, etc. there’s maybe like 10 at most that i’d say totally deserve to be on here.

  7. Great article ! It mostly featured anime I haven’t seen, but based on your wonderful and insighful descriptions I want to discover all of them now 🙂
    I don’t care that it didn’t include mainstream anime popularly recognised as “awesome”; your choices were well argued, and each person has their own taste after all.

    If you enjoy stories about people and human dramas, then I recommend you check out Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu. It’s an amazing anime, and I’m sure it would make you revise this top 30 list in its favour.

  8. A great list! Glad to see there are no pretentious series like Death Note and Code Geass in it :’) also the overrated series like Clannad and Shigatsu (*cough cough* Erased, AoT, And thank goodness a list without the mainstream shounen)

    If you remove series like Chunnybyou, Hyouka, Toradora, Psycho Pass etc. and put more series like Escaflowne, Monster, Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, Kemono no Souja Erin, Akage no Anne, Nodame Cantabile, Honey and Clover, Twelve Kingdoms, Rose of Versailles, Princess Tutu etc.

  9. Ridiculous list these animes are good but not the best . looks like the person who made the list has only seen these animes . there no naruto,fairy tail,bleach,one piece ,death note ,hunter x hunter ,dragon ball z and many more are there better than most of the animes in this list.

  10. Give me one good reason why anime like Naruto, One Piece, Bleach(these three were once called the top 3s in world of anime) and there father Dragon ball(a fucking godly anime) are not in this list.

  11. You Need to Update The List
    there’s tons of Masterpiece Anime just made like Made In Abyss, Houseki no kuni, March Comes in Like a Lion etc.

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