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Top 10 Anime that Everyone Needs to Watch

VO: Dan Paradis
Written by Alex Crilly Mckean New to anime? We’ve got you covered. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the top ten anime that everyone needs to watch. For this list we’ll be listing both anime series and films that even the most casual of fans should check out. We’re basing our choices on their accessibility, overall impact and what they bring to the fray.
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Written by Alex Crilly Mckean

Top 10 Anime that Everyone Needs to Watch



New to anime? We’ve got you covered. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the top ten anime that everyone needs to watch.

For this list we’ll be listing both anime series and films that even the most casual of fans should check out. We’re basing our choices on their accessibility, overall impact and what they bring to the fray.

#10: “Fate/Zero” (2011)



Now, trying to explain the Fate series to an outsider might seem like a herculean labor in itself given its fondness for playing around with its own timelines, but if we had to recommend an entry from the franchise it would be this one. Not only do you get some truly compelling characters who happen to be inspired by some of history’s greatest icons, but some stellar fight scenes that bring a new meaning to the phrase culture clash. From the noble Saber, insatiable Rider, villainous Archer and disturbing Caster, each is bringing a little piece of history with them…as well as some breathtaking Noble Phantasms!

#9: “Durarara!!” (2010)



Equal parts comedy, craziness and character study, the inhabitants of Ikebukuro are truly some of anime’s most memorable faces. While you do have your typical young leads who act as our catalyst to this rather violent city, we have to turn your attention to the following: Shizuo Heiwajima; a man so strong that he can send whole gangs flying with just a punch. Izaya Orihara; a rather sadistic information broker who lives to piss Shizuo off. And Celty Sturluson; a sweet and sensual woman with a love of motorbikes who happens to be missing a head. Did we mention this show is the best kind of weird?

#8: “Usagi Drop” (2011)



Are you desperate in need of that fuzzy feeling? Well, prepare yourself for a treat. This story of fatherhood follows the rather unremarkable Daikichi Kawachi as his aimless life is given a new purpose when he chooses to adopt Rin, the supposed illegitimate daughter of his grandfather. With Daikichi’s compassion and Rin’s cuteness complimenting each other seamlessly, the trials, tribulations and triumphs these two strangers go through are bound to have your soul singing by the time the credits roll.

#7: “One Punch Man” (2015)



Do you like your superheroes so powerful that it borders on being laughable? We have just the thing! As the titular One Punch Man, Saitama is a costumed hero who lives up to his namesake by defeating every opponent he comes across with a single blow. You would have thought that this would get rather stale after a while, but by breaking apart your typical anime clichés in favor of solid comedy and stellar visuals, not to mention increasing crazy super-villains for Saitama to battle, the premise works like a charm. We’d also recommend watching the likes of Mob Psycho 100 if you are itching for your next fix of mind-blowing action

#6: “Gurren Lagann” (2007)



It’s no secret that there are a ridiculous amount of mecha anime out there, though to be honest who doesn’t love seeing giant robots pummel the crap out of each other. But if you’re hungry for spectacle and also want an engaging cast to keep you invested, then your best bet is to stick with Team Dai-Gurren. Not only do the mechas eventually end up becoming bigger than the size of whole galaxies, you have one of the manliest men in all of anime leading the charge. Wait, you don’t know Kamina? Just who the hell do you think he is?!

#5: “Akira” (1988)



Citywide destruction and psychological horror all wrapped up in a cyberpunk package set in a dystopian future? Count us in. In what many consider to be one of the greatest sci-fi films of all times, we’re treated to a visual onslaught of gang-violence blended together with psychic warfare as two former friends, Kaneda and Tetsuo, end up on opposites sides due to Tetsuo’s awakened psychic powers. Both beautiful and gruesome in its presentation, it’s easy to see how this has still withstood the test of time.

#4: “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” (2012-)



To say that the tale of the Joestar Family is bizarre would be something of an understatement. Transcending time, themes and even logic, the misadventures of our multigenerational protagonists who happen to share the name of “Jojo” offer a strange blend of some truly brutal fight scenes, western inspiration and outrageous comedy. Though the series is over 20 years old, its only met worldwide acclaim recently after the anime adaptation was released. One thing’s for sure, you won’t be able to hear the words Ora OraOra after this without wincing.

#3: “Cowboy Bebop” (1998-99)



What could be cooler that following a group of dysfunctional bounty hunters as they end up running and gunning their way out of next to impossible situations? How about setting the whole thing in space! Whether you’re a fan of gritty slugfests or everything sci-fi, the less than diplomatic exploits of the Bebop crew never fail to hit their mark. And don’t get us started on the characters! Everything from Ed’s eccentricity, Jet’s rough sincerity, Faye’s femme fatale persona and of course Spike’s outwardly suave guise that only hides a bloody, tragic past. Be prepared to go through the emotional ringer on this one folks.

#2: “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” (2009-10)



While the original series is definitely worthy of merit, we feel that its later incarnation is the superior series. Led by the determined yet broken Elric brothers, the narrative follows a huge roster of characters who use the art of alchemy to try and protect, reshape or destroy the world as they know it. Not only are you getting a top-notch story and wild action scenes thanks to the incorporation of transmutation, but you’ll also find yourself encountering rather heavy subject matters. Religion, militarism, genocide, family, sacrifice, and revenge all permeate the series from the get-go, so rest assured it knows when to bring the smiles and when to go into the darkest places of the human experience.

Before we reveal our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“FLCL” (2000-01)

“Your Lie in April” (2014-15)

“Ghost in the Shell” (1995)

#1: “Neon Genesis Evangelion” (1995-96)



Don’t be quick to dismiss this one as another “young hero pilots giant robot and defeats aliens” anime, the depth of the conflict surrounding this particular series is almost legendary. As we follow our protagonist Shinji Ikari through his struggles against the cosmic threat known as Angels, we’re bombarded with religious symbolism, the depths of human depravity, more bloodshed and death than we know what to do with, and various endings that have caused everything from praise to confusion to outrage. Adore it for its uncompromising narrative or hate it for its complexity, whatever your views may be, we highly recommend you take a gander at it and choose for yourself.


Do you agree with our list? What do you think is the anime that everybody needs to see? With new top tens published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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