Do you watch anime?
The Japanese refer to anime as an abbreviation for the word animation. Once a local product, anime now caters to fans all over the world. For many, anime is a brand in and of itself.
You can find various titles online, ranging from fantasy worlds to slice of life. In almost every country in the world, you can find a large anime following. Anime has brought communities together and served as an influence for many illustrators.
Are you looking for popular anime to watch? Whether you’re a long-time anime fan or new to the landscape, you’re sure to enjoy these titles. Read on to discover some of the top anime of all time.
1. Dragon Ball
Dragon Ball is one of the most popular anime, and one of the first to find success at the box office. Akira Toriyama kicks the story off with Son Goku, a young Saiyan individual who lives in the woods.
Goku lived alone — at least until a girl found her way into his home. The girl, Bulma, reveals to Goku her journey to find a set of Dragon Balls. She tells him that collecting seven of these magical trinkets can grant one wish.
The girl tells Goku that she hopes to find them to make a wish for her beloved boyfriend. Goku has one dragon ball, but he has no intentions of giving it away.
Instead, Goku follows Bulma on her journey to acquire all seven dragon balls.
The antagonist of the story is a dwarf named Pilaf, the king of a small kingdom. But Pilaf’s goals for the dragon balls are less savory. Pilaf, accompanied by his henchmen Shao and Mai, aim to find the dragon balls for evil.
Dragon Ball is an action-filled anime with plenty of humor. There is never a boring moment with Dragon Ball. It’s a must-watch for any anime enthusiast.
2. Sailor Moon
Sailor Moon is a beloved classic anime, always gaining the highest viewer count on TV. With over 200 episodes, Sailor Moon offers its watchers a story of comedy and romance. Sailor Moon executes its story well, finding a great balance between humor and romance.
Sailor Moon follows an ordinary girl whose life takes a turn when she discovers her fate. Her destiny is to become a planetary guardian, spending the rest of her days protecting her home. Once revealed, she earns the title Sailor Moon and joins other soldiers to defend the planet.
Sailor Moon is full of cute and relatable characters. With some of the most popular anime characters, it connects to the audience with the best heroes. The voice acting in the dubbed version of Sailor Moon may make it seem childish at first.
In fact, Sailor Moon covers a lot of dark and controversial topics. This includes relationship problems, sexuality, and violence. Loyal Sailor Moon fans would recommend new watchers to opt for the Japanese dub.
3. Fullmetal Alchemist
Fullmetal Alchemist has two series, the original and FMA: Brotherhood. Each series has only one season but 115 episodes in total. It starts with a tragic tale.
The series kicks off with two young brothers who wish to bring their mother back to life. The world has its own version of alchemy. According to its laws, the alchemist must sacrifice something to get what they want.
It must always be of the same value. In exchange for their desire, one brother loses an arm. The other loses his body, and his soul attaches itself to a suit of armor.
The pair find out about the Philosopher’s Stone, a trinket with the ability to surpass the laws of alchemy. They decide to go on the journey to acquire the stone. As we continue to follow the brothers, we find ourselves in a darker battle.
This shounen anime caters to a younger audience. However, Fullmetal Alchemist tells a much more intricate story. Despite its genre, Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the most popular anime due to its setting.
The story takes place in a fictional European setting in the early 20th century. If you enjoy dangerous fantasy tales, consider watching Fullmetal Alchemist.
4. Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan is one of the more recent anime on this list. With over 54 episodes, Attack on Titan covers epic and dramatic fight scenes. However, its fight scenes take a dramatic twist.
The world of Attack on Titan is full of giant humanoids, or titans. The story follows a young boy named Eren, who lives a peaceful life within the walls of his home. His life takes a turn when a titan destroys his home.
Watchers soon learn that Attack on Titan is not an anime meant for kids. After the titans kill his mother, Eren vows to take revenge and eliminate all titans in the world. One of the reasons that make this anime unique is its imagery.
The animation style takes a fun twist from traditional anime. Its production and storyline made Attack on Titan one of the longest-running anime of all time.
Though it’s anime meant for kids, Pokemon caters to fans of all ages. This popular anime has over 1,000 episodes and is still going. The story follows a 10-year old boy named Satoshi, though most fans will know him as Ash.
His world is full of unique creatures with elemental powers, known as Pokemon. Ash dreams to become a Pokemon trainer. However, he encounters a dilemma right at the beginning of the series.
When he goes to his local Pokemon Center, he finds that all beginner Pokemon were already taken. His only choice left is an electric Pokemon named Pikachu. Ash takes Pikachu along on his journey to becoming the best Pokemon trainer.
However, this rebellious Pokemon proves to be a handful. As we follow Ash and Pikachu on their journey, we watch as their bond becomes stronger. Follow Ash and Pikachu on their quest to become the best of the best.
Pokemon is a great anime series for kids, teaching many moral lessons. Adults are sure to remember and enjoy this anime. If you haven’t watched anime before, start with the original series.
Naruto is one of the biggest anime franchises in history, earning its spot in our list of the most popular anime. Even if you’ve never watched Naruto, you’re sure to have encountered a reference to it. In its 10-year lifespan, Naruto Shippuden finished with over 500 episodes.
It follows the story of Naruto Uzumaki, a young and eccentric ninja. His goal is to become the strongest ninja in the world. Naruto pursues this title while his clan gets challenged by the Akatsu.
However, even before his birth, Naruto encounters a dilemma. Naruto’s body is a host to a sealed demon Kyuubi. This makes it difficult for the young boy to find his place in the village.
The story continues with Naruto’s son, Boruto Uzumaki. The Naruto franchise earned countless awards for its captivating animation and story.
All characters in the series are well-rounded, making watchers appreciate even the antagonists. For many anime lovers, the Naruto franchise was the first to boost them into the love for anime.
7. Detective Conan
If you love mystery and drama, you ought to watch Detective Conan. Detective Conan delivers to all mystery-lovers, offering vague solutions and answers. While watching Detective Conan, you are sure to appreciate the writers’ skills.
Detective Conan follows a boy named Shinichi Kudou. Though he’s only 17, Kudou can solve even the most difficult cases. His life takes a turn when he witnesses two suspicious men when he visits an amusement park.
The two men notice the young boy and give him an experimental drug. He survives, but as a result, he shrinks down to a seven-year-old boy. He adopts the name Conan as he investigates the strange organization.
Conan finds his way to the Mouri Detective Agency to help a failed detective become the best. He helps Kogoro Mouri to hone his skills to help him find the secret organization.
Never one to turn down a case, Conan retains his reputation as one of the most brilliant detectives. Follow Conan to discover some exciting mysteries.
8. Death Note
Death Note earns its title as one of the most popular anime for its unique and compelling story. The suspense draws viewers and locks them in to find out more. It leaves viewers wondering what they would have done in the characters’ shoes.
The story follows a high school adolescent named Light Yagami. Light is the image of the perfect student. He is a young and attractive man with honors in his class.
However, not everything is perfect about Light. We find that Light has a deeper darkness within it when he finds a notebook titled “The Death Note.” This magical notebook finds its way into the mortal realm after getting tossed in by the god of death.
With this notebook, Light can kill anyone by writing their name on its pages. He decides to make the world a better place by killing as many criminals as possible.
However, the police notice this pattern of unusual deaths. They set out to catch the serial killer with another detective named Light.
9. One Piece
If you like pirates and anime, One Piece is a great anime to add to your list. The show starts with the Pirate King. He reveals the existence of a unique treasure named One Piece.
Before his execution, he claims that this treasure can give unlimited fame and riches. The story continues with Monkey D. Luffy. This teenage boy forms a small crew and sets to become the new King of the Pirates.
This young and good-natured pirate is part of the Grand Age of Pirates. All pirates aim to find the treasure and earn the title of the new Pirate King.
As he embarks on his journey to find the mysterious treasure, he encounters many troubles. As you unveil dark mysteries, you follow Luffy to fight against various enemies. One Piece offers lots of humor and action-packed scenes.
First premiered in 1999, One Piece now has over 800 episodes. However, new watchers may feel surprised by the slow pace of the story. If you enjoy long and extensive battle scenes, you’re sure to enjoy One Piece.
10. Fairy Tail
Though Fairy Tail’s story gets repetitive at some points, it remains one of the most popular anime. With great animation and loveable characters, Fairy Tail earned its spot on this list.
Fairy Tail follows an arc-like structure. It begins with Lucy Heartfilia. This girl, with a set of magical Zodiac keys, dreams of becoming a full-fledged wizard. However, her celestial keys aren’t complete.
As she embarks on her journey to find the remaining keys, she encounters Natsu and Happy. Natsu is an eccentric but well-meaning individual with his flying cat named Happy. He is part of a unique race of dragon slayers and soon reveals that he’s looking for a dragon named Igneel.
Lucy meets the pair when she gets abducted. He tells her that he’s a member of Fairy Tail, a local guild of other powerful wizards. Lucy soon meets Erza and Gray, and they embark on a long journey.
Together, the four wizards battle evil and adversity. Each arc covers stories of unique characters, taking turns that make its viewers wanting more. The series focuses on the power of friendship.
For loyal fans, this niche is what makes Fairy Tail one of the best anime of all time. If you like magic, friendship, and vague love interests, check out Fairy Tail!
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Watch Some of the Most Popular Anime of All Time
Now you know some of the most popular anime of all time. Whether you’re a long-time fan or have too much time on your hands, here are some great choices for your next binge.
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