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Top 10 Beautiful Anime Series

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Arschel Morell They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but these anime series cannot be denied. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Beautiful Anime Series. For this list, we're taking a look at shows whose artistic brilliance stands above and beyond most other Anime series. Special thanks to our user Skerlly Fc for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Arschel Morell

Top 10 Beautiful Anime Series


They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but these anime series cannot be denied. Welcome to Watchmojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Beautiful Anime Series.
For this list, we’re taking a look at shows whose artistic brilliance stands above and beyond most other Anime series. All you need are your eyes to enjoy these visual feasts.

#10: “Katanagatari” (2010)

Kicking off our list is this Anime from the studio behind fan favorites Steins;Gate and Akame Ga Kill. Katanagatari tells the tale of a swordsman, who fights without a sword, and his strategist companion as they seek out twelve legendary swords for the Shogunate. One thing you’ll notice right off the bat is the flatness of its appearance – a simplicity that is reminiscent of classic Japanese woodblock prints. Combining Vibrant backgrounds blend together with interestingly drawn character designs, Katanagatari is perhaps the most stylish depiction of an olden day Japan - And we can’t take our eyes off of it for one second.

#9: “Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine” (2012)

One of Anime’s loveliest femme fatales takes the spotlight. This entry of the long running Lupin III franchise focuses on Lupin’s infamous female frenemy, Fujiko Mine and her days before her first encounters with the gentleman thief. The exaggerated but stylish animation and the emphasis on a more sexual and naughty side of Fujiko’s life is a nice nod to the original manga source material. While it is notably darker and grittier than any Lupin series to date, A Woman Called Fujiko Mine is one gem you’ll instantly fall in love with.

#8: “Ergo Proxy” (2006)

Science Fiction may paint sparkly-lit pictures of the future, most times. At first glance, Ergo Proxy is no different as we see a Utopia on the surface. Deep down however, there’s a lot of grit and darkness. Menacing androids, a very gothic lead character Re-L, and burnt out landscapes illustrate a visually arresting look at a not so perfect future. The end result of these combinations is an action packed mystery, making the police work of Re-L all the more exciting to watch as the series goes on.

#7: “Samurai Champloo” (2004-05)

In his follow up to the massively popular Cowboy Bebop, director Shinichiro Watanabe set out to add a western edge to another period of time. The end result is Samurai Champloo, combining an Edo period action series with a hip-hop backdrop. Much like Bebop, Champloo boasts gorgeous visuals that are borderline movie worthy. Although the cinematic action scenes and comedic banter set aside from other anime, it is the mood created by the late Nujabes’ soulful hip-hop soundtrack that truly allows this series to attain its status in beauty.

#6: “Hyouka” (2012)

Sometimes, everyday life can look so much more beautiful in Anime form. Need proof? Look no further than Hyouka. The story follows Hotaro Oreki’s entrance into high school and the mysteries he solves alongside the literature club. Hyouka has the feel of a live action high school, coming of age drama, complete with love, drama, humor and wonderful life discoveries. There are countless schools in Anime, but few feel as realistic as Kamiyama High. It’s moody atmosphere and seemingly mundane circumstances let KyoAni’s dark horse series encapsulate high school life in a way no others can.

#5: “Planetes” (2003-04)

Planetes takes a look at a unique problem facing our future: the threat of space debris. In the year 2075, the crew of the Debris Collection Ship, Toy Box, works to keep the skies above the planet clear from even the tiniest threat of space garbage. Planetes is a more realistic look at the future of space travel. An emphasis is made to capture the look and feel of moving around in space, while grounding it all in reality with extreme attention to detail. Beautifully animated, you’ll never find a better view of Earth from the stars than Planetes.

#4: “Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo” (2004-05)

In this reimagining of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, young Albert meets the infamous Count and proceeds to get swept up in his mysterious revenge plot. Though set in the distant year of 5053, Gankutsuou retains much of the atmosphere and aesthetics of 19th Century France from the original novel. Its presentation is breathtaking. The mix of 2D and 3D backgrounds take on a life of their own, giving a true feast for the eyes. Who would’ve thought classic literature and Anime would make a great pair?

#3: “Monogatari Series” (2009- )

Based on a series of popular light novels, the Monogatari series follows Koyomi Araragi, a survivor of a vampire attack, who assists the ladies in his life with paranormal cases, from curses to yokai. Visually, the Monogatari series is unlike any other. In many respects, there’s more going on in the background than with the actual characters present within them. With this whirlwind of a presentation, each of the Monogatari entries nabs your attention. It’s practically begging to be slowed down at every moment just to take in all of the little nuggets of animation going on at once.

#2: “Cowboy Bebop” (1998-99)
Shinchiro Watanabe’s masterwork is like a live action film in animated form. In 2071, the bounty hunting crew of Bebop ekes out a living attempting to capture wanted criminals with varying degrees of success. From its depiction of a futuristic but very modern day galactic community to its action scenes, Cowboy Bebop is nothing less than cinematic in each of its 26 episodes. Throw in some crisp animation and one of the greatest soundtracks of all time and it’s no wonder why Bebop is one of the most universally beloved Anime of all time.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few Honorable Mentions.

#1: “Mushishi” (2005-06)

Our number one pick for this list is an Anime that could easily be watched with no sound and yet still be enjoyed. Mushishi follows Ginko, a wanderer who helps people understand the mystical Mushi. There’s a very gentle feel to this series. Both its animation and music emphasize a sense of wonder and learning rather than fear. The Mushi themselves are all incredibly unique and well defined in each encounter. Mushishi is an Anime that can suck you in and keep you tranquil during every watch. Not many Anime can pull that off - And even fewer can quite the way Mushishi does.
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