The Best Anime Shows of All Time

Updated June 20, 2024 • Staff

From dazzling fights to tear-jerking moments, anime has become a cultural phenomenon that transcends boundaries. These are our picks for the series that showcases the boundless creativity and captivating storytelling that make this genre an unmissable journey. You're on your way to becoming an anime aficionado (if you aren't already) with these amazing anime shows of all time.

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Grandpa and Grandma Turn Young Again

As one grows older, only then do they realize the benefits of youth. It’s all there in the title, but unlike other transformation stories where the protagonist reincarnates into a different, younger persona, Grandpa and Grandma Turn Young Again is much more mundane as they turn into their younger selves, but still keep to their calm, small town suburban lifestyle. It’s less exuberant than other stories– there’s no mystery to solve, no conspiracy to uncover– but it’s just so funny to see everyone around them react to the youth they attained, like make them enter their district’s sports team. But as the show progresses, and they continue their day-to-day lives, the show reveals itself as the celebration of the simple, small town life that once wasn’t a guarantee due to the war, the good life that many forgo for the city.

Our staff rating: 7.1/10
Genre: Animation, Comedy
Actor: Mamiko Noto, Nao Toyama, Shin-ichiro Miki, Shiori Mikami

Zom 100

Making a bucket list at the height of a zombie outbreak seems ridiculous, yet totally reasonable when you've spent the last three years overworked and undervalued. In real life, our workforce already feels zombified as higher-ups enslave the working class to high production and insufficient pay, so it's nice to see Zom 100 exemplify that notion. Zom 100 also immediately captures that essential reminder to "live now," which has become especially relevant as the Covid-19 pandemic found most people rekindling old hobbies and discovering new ones as death and sickness felt ever near.

Though there isn't a lot of character-building in episode one, the titular 100-item bucket list promises an eye-opening, personal journey with our protagonist Akira. Thankfully, the opening didn't shy away from the gore and electrifying tension of the zombie attacks, making this an interesting horror/slice-of-life/coming-of-age/drama to keep an eye on. 

Our staff rating: 7.2/10
Genre: Action & Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Actor: Makoto Furukawa, Minami Takahashi, Shuichiro Umeda, Tomori Kusunoki

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Akuma Kun

With a turbulent publication history – rebooting three times with three separate publishers – the Netflix adaptation of Akuma Kun doesn’t have the exact same plot or protagonists. Instead of the original Shingo Umoregi from the 60s manga and 80s anime, this show hands it off to Shingo’s successor and son Ichiro, who conducts the same magical experiments but also investigates rogue paranormal activity. However, this anime doesn’t stray too far from the original, taking inspiration from the 60s with its ink scratched art style, and even calling back the original director and voice actors. It makes for a weird and quirky supernatural series that stands out from today’s anime, while still honoring the original creator, the late Shigeru Mizuki, on his 100th birthday.

Our staff rating: 7.2/10
Genre: Animation, Crime, Mystery, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Actor: Fairouz Ai, Ryoko Shiraishi, Toshio Furukawa, Yuki Kaji, Yumiri Hanamori
Rating: TV-MA

The Unwanted Undead Adventurer

Usually, being swallowed up by a dragon means death. However, for Rentt Faina, The Unwanted Undead Adventurer, becoming a skeleton is just a little setback in achieving his dream of becoming an defender for the kingdom. That’s because in this world, dying doesn’t mean dying– it just means that he has to kill other monsters and absorb their spirit in order to evolve into more human forms, like ghouls and vampires. It’s a strange premise, and the first episode relies on internal monologues, because, well, he doesn’t have the muscles to speak, but it's intriguing to see someone persevere despite having to start all over again. After obtaining the respect of novice adventurer Rina, the show plays out in a fairly entertaining way, with decent visuals, coherent storyline, and a more cautious protagonist we haven’t seen from previous shonen fantasy.

Our staff rating: 7.2/10
Genre: Action & Adventure, Animation, Mystery, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Actor: Ikumi Hasegawa, Mikako Komatsu, Ryota Suzuki, Sayumi Suzushiro
Rating: TV-14

The Wrong Way to Use Healing Magic

Usually, when whisked away to a fantasy world, there’s usually some grand reason, like a prophecy or a destined quest to go on or a villain to defeat, with the hero having some secret powers to discover. The Wrong Way to Use Healing Magic instead, starts with an unintentional, average protagonist that gets accidentally transported with his popular, more accomplished classmates, but he does have the healing magic that hasn’t been focused on in most isekai anime. And as Usato acclimatizes himself to the world, the show suggests that even average people can rise up to extraordinary challenges, if only given the expectation to succeed. While his journey would gradually come closer and closer to regular isekai, The Wrong Way to Use Healing Magic still makes the journey there fun.

Our staff rating: 7.2/10
Genre: Action & Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Actor: Atsuko Tanaka, Ayaka Nanase, Kengo Takanashi, Saya Aizawa, Shogo Sakata

The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again Today

The summer 2023 anime line-up easily has the most interesting titles and premises, and The Masterful Cat is Depressed Again Today is one of them. After Saku rescues him on a snowy night, Yukichi the cat decides to take care of her and her home. Sentient and intelligent, Yukichi, who is as big as a human (and walks and behaves like one too), does all of Saku's housekeeping: cleaning, cooking, taking out the garbage, the works! Naturally, this lends itself well to the inherent comedy of the situation. The absurdity mounts when you realize there are quite a few people aware—and unbothered—by the fact. If you're up for hijinks this summer, it's best to start here. 

Our staff rating: 7.3/10
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Actor: Ai Kakuma, Ayana Taketatsu, Hiroki Yasumoto, Katsuyuki Konishi, Mao Ichimichi, Miyu Irino, Yui Ishikawa
Director: Susumu Kudou
Rating: TV-14

Play It Cool, Guys

There’s a classic male character trope of stoic guys that don’t seem to be fazed by anything. Play It Cool, Guys has an ensemble cast of four of these cool characters, but they aren’t quite put together as others might think. While on the outside, they seemingly handle setbacks easily, the show’s short vignettes and corresponding internal monologues reveal their relatable day-to-day clumsiness. The contrast makes these characters feel so endearing, more so as they get to know each other. As the show progresses with their friendship, the series feels like kind reassurance for all clumsy people out there.

Our staff rating: 7.3/10
Genre: Animation, Comedy
Actor: Chiaki Kobayashi, Haruka Shiraishi, Kazuyuki Okitsu, Kengo Takanashi, Kohei Amasaki, Koki Uchiyama, Satomi Sato, Seiichiro Yamashita, Shoya Chiba, Taku Yashiro, You Taichi, Yuuichirou Umehara

Delicious in Dungeon

When watching fantasy anime, there’s a wonderfully whimsical world that viewers can fully explore. Spectacular magic, brave warriors, and strange creatures are all expected, but every exploring troop needs supplies. Money, weapons, and of course, food are needed to survive the wondrous yet perilous adventures they set out to embark on. Delicious in Dungeon recognizes these practicalities, and creates a whole episodic adventure that focuses more on the possible food ecosystems of a fantasy world rather than the seemingly serious quests they embark upon. It makes for a slightly silly approach poking fun at the fantasy genre, but it’s definitely something unique, especially when it brings about mouthwatering exotic dishes made from monsters.

Our staff rating: 7.3/10
Genre: Action & Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Actor: Asuna Tomari, Hiroshi Naka, Kentaro Kumagai, Miyu Tomita, Rie Takahashi, Saori Hayami, Sayaka Senbongi, Shinji Kawada, Toru Nara, Wataru Katoh, Yuya Hirose
Rating: TV-MA


With games creating whole virtual worlds, with stunning landscapes, powers, and storylines, it’s easy to escape into the fictional simulations, to the point of being addicted. Good Night World reimagines this idea in the present as a family drama, where video game addict Tachiro Arima struggles to relate with his family because of his addiction. As the show progresses, the game integrates with the real world, with real life-threatening consequences, but the show slowly uncovers how this game unraveled the Arimas’ family bonds, through neglect, depression, and shared trauma. It’s an interesting series about connection and video games, if you can get into the world of the series.

Our staff rating: 7.4/10
Genre: Animation, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Actor: Akio Otsuka, Aoi Yuki, Aya Endo, Daisuke Hirose, Hiroki Nanami, Inori Minase, Kenjiro Tsuda, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Rie Takahashi, Ryohei Kimura
Rating: TV-MA

Wind Breaker

Understandably, people get nervous when delinquent boys team up into groups and start beating the hell out of people, but in WIND BREAKER, masculine strength isn’t used for aggression– instead, the boys of Furin High use their fighting skills and penchant for violence into protecting the town. Of course, with this premise, there’s fun fight sequences and all the youthful misdemeanors that kids probably should not do in their real lives, but at the heart of all the action is the question as to how boys can positively grow into the strength they are granted. It also never forgets to show the goofy, endearing side that’s often forgotten and rarely encouraged when talking about young men of today.

Our staff rating: 7.4/10
Genre: Animation
Actor: Koki Uchiyama, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Ryota Suzuki, Shoya Chiba, Yuichi Nakamura, Yuma Uchida

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