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20 Best Anime Every Anime Fan Must Absolutely Watch (2020 List)

Some anime are great. Then there are some best anime that are timeless. Here we look at some of the best anime every anime fan must watch.

These are not rated in any particular order but, if you have watched all of these anime, you truly are the lord of Anime.

Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.jpg

Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a Japanese anime television series adapted from the manga series written by Hiromu Arakawa. It is directed by Yasuhiro Irie ans was first aired on October 25, 2009.

This is one of the best anime series is a perfect watch for people of all age groups. It is the story of two brothers who attempt to practice alchemy just like their father, so as to bring back their deceased mother. As a result, the brothers end up by getting physically disfigured and hurt. The series, then moves to their search for the Philosopher’s Stone.

The series was aired on different channels all around the world including in countries like US, UK, Australia and many more. It attracted a million fans and followers within a few days of its release. 

IMDb Rating: 9.1 out of 10

One Punch Man

OnePunchMan manga cover.png

One Punch Man is a Japanese web-comic series created by an artist One. It was later adapted into a television anime series with Shingo Natsume (season 1) and Chikara Sakurai (season 2) as directors.

Rated as one of the best anime shows, it was premiered in 2015and ran till 2019. One Punch Man is a superhero anime with Saitama as its protagonist who can defeat any opponent with a single punch but seeks to find a worthy opponent after growing bored by a lack of challenge in his fight against evil.

The anime received a lot of critical acclaim and was praised for its uniqueness, animation, humor, characters and fight scenes. Video games with one punch man as a hero were released in play stations and for PC; and mobile games for iOS and Android was released in the name One Punch Man: Road to Hero.

IMDb Rating: 8.8 out of 10

Death Note

Death Note Vol 1.jpg

Death Note is a Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. It was adapted for television screen and was premiered on October 2006. The director of the television anime series is Tetsurō Araki, and Toshiki Inoue wrote for the screen. This anime belongs to the genre of mystery and psychological thriller.

The teenager protagonist Light Yagami finds a book named “Death Note”, which grants its user the supernatural ability to murder a person whose name is written on it. The story centres on Light’s attempts to murder people whom he considers is morally evil and unworthy to the world and leads to a world-wide massacre. His idea behind these crimes would be to create a utopian society without evil.

He takes a god-like vigilante name “Kira” and is investigated by the law and order enforcement officers in Japan, consisting of members of the police force, led by L, an enigmatic international detective whose past is shrouded in mystery.

Death Note has received wide universal acclaim from both critics and audiences as one of the best anime shows ever, with praise aimed at the complex and cerebral storyline, handling of mature themes regarding morality and justice, along with the narrative progression and character development, especially that of the two main protagonists.

IMDb Rating: 9 out of 10

Cowboy Bebop

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Cowboy Bebop is a Japanese animated science-fiction television series animated by Sunrise, featuring a production team led by director Shinichirō Watanabe. The series premiered on TV Tokyo in Japan from April 1998.

The story is set in 2071 and follows the lives of a bounty hunter crew, “Cowboys” traveling in their spaceship called the “Bebop”. During this time, human beings have colonised the solar system and Earth has become uninhabitable. There is also a police force that takes care of the law in the entire solar system, the Inter Solar System Police.

This anime has been unique from others in its employment of science and the space. It combines some great comedy, as well as darkness, action, romance, science, spying, tragedy and philosophy in one. Cowboy Bebop draws most heavily from science fiction, western and noir films, and its most recurring thematic focal points include adult existential ennui, loneliness and the difficulties of trying to escape one’s past.

IMDb Rating: 8.9 out of 10

Hunter X Hunter

The image depicts a cartoon, wide-eyed, smiling boy with black, spiky hair and boots sitting atop a large frog. The logo "Jump Comics" are displayed in the top left-hand corner; the word "Hunter" is displayed twice in the background; and the logo "Hunter × Hunter" (ハンター×ハンター) is shown below the characters in green, yellow , and red lettering. The kanji symbols for the author Yoshihiro Togashi (冨樫 義博) border the bottom of the image in red bubbles.

Hunter X Hunter is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi, and was adapted into an anime film and anime television series. The television series aired its first episode on October 2011 with Hiroshi Kōjina as the director.

The story is about a youngster named Gon Freecss, who finds out about his father who was presumed dead, but in real is a legendary hunter named Ging. He decides to follow the footsteps of his father and to take the title of a hunter. He also goes in search of his father and on the way finds treasures and becomes friends with other hunters.

The series became instantly popular in many countries like US, UK, Canada, Australia, and so on. The whole plot is about the adventures of the young boy and you will love it to watch all kinds of characters, monsters and strange creatures he meets on his way. 

IMDb Rating: 8.9 out of 10

Steins; Gate

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Steins;Gate is a 2011 anime television series created by the animation studio White Fox based on 5pb and Nitroplus’s 2009 visual novel of the same name. This sci-fi series is directed by Hiroshi Hamasaki and the plot centres on Rintaro Okabe, a self-proclaimed “mad scientist” who discovers a time travel phone along with friends in his laboratory apartment. With this phone, they can send text messages to past and eventually can change history. 

The storyline is perfect without any loopholes or illogical absurdness, which is hard to find in time travel movies. A critic, Santos called the character designs memorable, and found it refreshing that the anime featured an overweight person as one of its main characters.

He noted that the backgrounds, while making use of muted and grayish tones, still had enough color to be visually appealing.

IMDb Rating: 8.8 out of 10

One Piece

One Piece, Volume 61 Cover (Japanese).jpg

One Piece is a Japanese anime television series created from the manga (comics or graphic novels in Japan) of the same name, written by Eiichiro Oda. Even though the printed version of this anime started to appear in 1997, it was adapted to a television series on 1999.the first episode was aired on October 20, 1999 with Kōnosuke Uda as its director.

This TV series is produced by Toei Animation and now has aired nearly 900 episodes all around the globe. 

One Piece is the story of a 17 year old boy Monkey D. Luffy, who sets for an adventure and explores Grand Line in search of the world’s greatest treasure “One Piece” along with his crew pirates.

He is a good natured fellow and dreams of becoming the next pirate king after finding the treasure. Luffy also gained the properties of rubber when he accidentally eats a Devil Fruit.

One Piece is highly regarded by audience for its storytelling, art, characterization, and humor. The comic book has found its place in the Guinness World Record for “the most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author”.

In Japan, One Piece has consistently been among the top five animated shows in television viewer ratings. On international online video platforms, the One Piece anime got 1.9 million demand expressions per month in 2016, making it the year’s most popular anime and fourteenth most popular TV show in the world, according to Business Insider.

IMDb Rating: 8.7 out of 10


Naruto Uzumaki doing a hand sign while there is a scroll in his mouth.

Naruto is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. It was adapted for screen in 2002 with Hayato Date as its director. The TV series consists of 220 episodes, which originally aired in Japan from 2002 to 2007, and on cartoon Network from 2005 to 2009.

The story is divided into two parts; the adolescent years and teenage years of its protagonist Naruto Uzumaki. He is a young ninja who needs recognition and attention from his peers and dreams of becoming the Hokage, leader of his village. 

Naruto has won best anime appraisal for its character development, strong storyline and well executed fight scenes. It is a coming of age story with cultural references to Japanese mythology and Confucianism. The series was also adapted into 11 films, both in Japanese and English.

IMDb Rating: 8.3 out of 10

Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan is a Japanese fantasy anime television series adapted from the manga of the same name by Hajime Isayama. It is set in a world where cities are surrounded by walls due to the threat of Titans.

These are gigantic and monstrous creatures which attack and devour human beings. The story is about the adventures of Eren Yeager and his friends who decide to attack these creatures and take back their world from them. They are determined to take revenge as these beings killed Eren’s mother and left them homeless.

The imagery, the incredible storyline, and the atmosphere of this TV series are what makes it so unique and why it is loved by most anime fans. They met with overwhelming acclaim with praise for the storyline, writing, animation, action sequences, characters, soundtrack, and dub performances.

IMDb Rating: 8.8 out of 10

Dragon Ball Z

Dragon Ball Z is a Japanese anime television series produced by Toei Animation and is the sequel to Dragon Ball. It was aired for the first time on April 2009 and was directed by Yasuhiro Nowatari and Naohiro Terazaki.

Dragon Ball Z continues the adventures of Goku, who, along with his companions, has been defending the Earth against villains ranging from aliens, androids and other creatures. The peaceful life led by him and his family is disrupted with another alien attack to which he defends again like in the prequel. You can also see Goku’s five year old son having the same characteristics of his father and being a hero himself. 

The story has a great plotline and you can see the characters are matured which is different from its prequel. 

IMDb Rating: 8.7 out of 10

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

Code Geass R1 box set cover.jpg

Directed by Gorō Taniguchi and written by Ichirō Ōkouchi, Code Geass is one of the best anime you would have ever seen. Besides the plot and visuals, it has a lot of action scenes for the fighter in you.

The whole story is set in a parallel time line world with three super powers and focuses on an exiled prince Lelouch vi Britannia, who obtains the “power of absolute obedience” or “Geass” from a mysterious woman named C.C. with this power, he sets for a rebellion against the rule of the Holy Britannian Empire, commanding a series of mecha battles.

The series won a lot of awards at the Tokyo International Anime Fair, Animage Anime Grand Prix, and Animation Kobe event. Millions of DVDs were sold across Japan which proves its popularity.

It won praise for its narrative, characters, strong voice acting, large audience appeal as well as the cross conflicts shown among the main characters and the moral questions presented.

IMDb Rating: 8.6 out of 10

Berserk (1997-1998)

Kenpû Denki Berserk (1997)

Berserk is a Japanese manga series adapted as a TV anime and directed by Naohito Takahashi. When Guts who was raised by a mercenary finds his way as a mercenary into a mercenary group named “The Band of the Hawk, he encounters with Griffith, the band leader.

Both of them together fight for the King of Midland and win the 100 years’ war. But things turn out in an unexpected way for both of them in the royal court. Watch this anime with its themes of friendship and ambition to find out what happens to Guts and Griffith.

The series was released in 1997 and received much critical acclaim, better than those anime series based on the same manga released in later years. The dark fantasy narrative, visuals and musical score won a lot of appreciation from both critics and audience.

IMDb Rating: 8.6 0ut of 10

Full Metal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist 2003.jpg

Directed by Seiji Mizushima, Full Metal Alchemist has won renowned fame because of its deep and heart touching story of two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric. Following the path of their famous father who was an alchemist, the brothers try to use alchemy in order to bring back their deceased mother.

But as a result of this attempt, things go wrong leading to the disfiguration of one and the death of another. The alchemy skills, however, help Edward to transform the soul of his dead brother into a metal suit of armour. 

The plot moves through the adventures of the brothers to find Philosopher’s Stone in order to regain their bodies and improve their alchemy skills. What happens during these adventures? Will they be able to find out the Philosopher’s Stone? Watch the anime and find out!

IMDb Rating: 8.6 out of 10


Monster (manga - promo image).jpg

Monster is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Naoki Urasawa. The anime television series was directed by Masayuki Kojima and streamed on Nippon TV. The basic plot of the anime is revealed from its title itself.

The story revolves around Dr. Kenzo Tenma, who is a young Japanese brain surgeon and is unhappy with the political bias of the hospital in treating patients. He gets manipulated by one of his former patients and goes through a series of investigations because of the multiple deaths associated with this patient.

The anime explores human nature and the evils that could destroy anybody anytime. 

IMDb Rating: 8.6 out of 10

Dragon Ball

Any anime lover would have heard about dragon balls and Goku. This series was the first and best of the Dragon Ball series. The protagonist Goku, along with a girl Bulma goes in search of 7 dragon balls which when combined can grant any of your wish in the world.

What makes Goku extraordinary is his strength with which he lives alone in the woods. Throughout the story, the characters undergo various adventures and Goku gets trained for martial arts. Who doesn’t love adventures, isn’t it? There is a lot of action and fun which will make this series your favourite one for sure. 

IMDb Rating: 8.5 out of 10


Kiseiju volume 4.jpg

Who wouldn’t love an anime with its nail-biting plot and ends with 24 episodes? Parasyte tells the story about co-existence of a boy and an alien parasite. Sounds interesting, right?

The parasite Migi enters in the body of this 17 year old boy through his right hand and the story keeps us curious with the question of whether the boy will be able to survive along with a parasite which devours humans. The series employs a perfect combination of horror, drama, action and psychological thriller. It won a lot of awards and much critical acclaim. 

IMDb Rating: 8.4 out of 10

Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files

The image shows a cartoon portrait of a young man in a green uniform with slicked-back hair and a hitaikakushi on his forehead. In the foreground below him is a curious-looking girl with brown pigtails, wearing a blue and yellow school uniform. The background depicts blue clouds and the red Japanese title さよなら現世!!の巻. Above the characters is the title "Jump Comics", the number "1", and stylized kanji reading 幽☆遊☆白書 (Yū Yū Hakusho). At the bottom of the image is the author's name, 冨樫 義博 (Yoshihiro Togashi).

With all the Superheroes and adventurers in the television anime, we have a different hero in Yu Yu Hakusho; a dead hero. The 14 year old boy, Yusuke Urameshi gets killed in a car accident when he tries to save the life of a young boy.

This good deed of him is appreciated in the world of death or afterlife Underworld and he is awarded or appointed the title “Underworld Detective” who has to go to earth and fight the evils of human existence.

He is accompanied by some other members too and the story is about his investigations in the earth. The anime has been given mostly positive reviews by critics in North America, praising its writing, characters, and amount of action.

IMDb Rating: 8.4 out of 10

Detective Conan

Case Closed Volume 36.png

Detective Conan or Case Closed is a Japanese detective anime series directed by

Kenji Kodama. The high school detective who helps police solve cases is poisoned by a crime syndicate known as Black Organisation. Instead of killing him, it turns him into a child. The child takes the name Conan and works along with a private detective who is his friend’s father and investigates into this mysterious organisation.

Along with the investigation part, there are other plots like the child detective enrolling in a school and the life in the home of his friend, him giving the credits of his work to the private detective, which makes this series fun and interesting to watch. 

IMDb Rating: 8.4 out of 10

The Seven Deadly Sins

The Seven Deadly Sins was adapted from the Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Nakaba Suzuki of the same name.

It is the story of Princess Elizabeth who decides to take her Lion Kingdom from the seven knights, who captured the king and became tyrannical rulers. This anime series have been so popular that Netflix holds the exclusive streaming rights for the English language version.

IMDb Rating: 8.4 out of 10

Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul volume 1 cover.jpg

The plot of Tokyo Ghoul can be related to that of Parasyte. If it was an alien parasite that affected the boy, here we have a college student who survives a deadly encounter with a ghoul, who is also his date. What happens as result of this attack is, the student Kaneki transforms into half ghoul. As ghouls are creatures that feed on human flesh, Kaneki also becomes the same and is required to adapt to the new life styles. But will he be able to do that? Watch the anime and find out!

IMDb Rating: 7.9 out of 10


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