Here Are the Top 25 Best First Anime To Watch For New Fans

What was your first anime? Was it your favorite? For years fans have enjoyed anime for its beautiful animation coupled with its unrivaled cinematography and beloved characters. Theres been a huge push for the genre on the west so for this list we’re ranking the best first anime to watch for new fans. If someone who has never watched anime asked you for a series to watch, what would you recommend? Leave a comment with your suggestions and we may add them to a list down the road. So with no more gilding the Lilly, we give you our list of the Top 25 Best First Anime To Watch For New Fans. Lastly, after you’re done reading this, check out our list of The 50 Greatest Anime Of All Time.

25. Fate/Zero

Japanese Name:フェイト/ゼロ

Aired: Oct 2, 2011 to Dec 25, 2011

Status: Finished Airing

Studios: ufotable

Episodes: 13

With the promise of granting any wish, the omnipotent Holy Grail triggered three wars in the past, each too cruel and fierce to leave a victor. In spite of that, the wealthy Einzbern family is confident that the Fourth Holy Grail War will be different; namely, with a vessel of the Holy Grail now in their grasp. Solely for this reason, the much hated “Magus Killer” Kiritsugu Emiya is hired by the Einzberns, with marriage to their only daughter Irisviel as binding contract.

Kiritsugu now stands at the center of a cutthroat game of survival, facing off against six other participants, each armed with an ancient familiar, and fueled by unique desires and ideals. Accompanied by his own familiar, Saber, the notorious mercenary soon finds his greatest opponent in Kirei Kotomine, a priest who seeks salvation from the emptiness within himself in pursuit of Kiritsugu.

Based on the light novel written by Gen Urobuchi, Fate/Zero depicts the events of the Fourth Holy Grail War—10 years prior to Fate/stay night. Witness a battle royale in which no one is guaranteed to survive.

Background

Fate/Zero was simulcasted around the world, with subtitles covering eight major languages. It is currently licensed by Aniplex of America for release in North America.

24. Hellsing

Japanese Name: Hellsing [ヘルシング]

Aired: Oct 11, 2001 to Jan 17, 2002

Status: Finished Airing

Studios: Gonzo

Episodes: 13

Hellsing, an organization specializing in dealing with supernatural threats, is called in to eliminate a vampire that is turning the villagers of Cheddar into ghouls. To put an end to this, the leader of the organization, Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, dispatches her most formidable asset: a powerful vampire known as Alucard.

Armed with only a single handgun, Alucard wreaks havoc on the monsters plaguing Cheddar. However, a young police officer, Seras Victoria, gets caught up in the chaos and becomes mortally wounded as a result. Taking pity on the girl, Alucard gives her a choice: die as a human or live on as a vampire. Seras accepts his offer and begins a new life as a member of Hellsing.

Though it was her decision, Seras struggles with the fact that she is no longer human. Nevertheless, she must embrace being a creature of the night soon if she wants to survive on the front lines in the fight between humans and the supernatural.

Background

Hellsing was based on Kouta Hirano’s manga of the same name. The anime utilizes the same characters but the story strongly deviates from the manga, which was still ongoing at the time of the anime’s creation.

23. InuYasha

Japanese Name: 犬夜叉

Aired: Oct 16, 2000 to Sep 13, 2004

Status: Finished Airing

Studios: Sunrise

Episodes: 167

Based on the Shogakukan award-winning manga of the same name, InuYasha follows Kagome Higurashi, a fifteen-year-old girl whose normal life ends when a demon drags her into a cursed well on the grounds of her family’s Shinto shrine. Instead of hitting the bottom of the well, Kagome ends up 500 years in the past during Japan’s violent Sengoku period with the demon’s true target, a wish-granting jewel called the Shikon Jewel, reborn inside of her.

After a battle with a revived demon accidentally causes the sacred jewel to shatter, Kagome enlists the help of a young hybrid dog-demon/human named Inuyasha to help her collect the shards and prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. Joining Kagome and Inuyasha on their quest are the orphan fox-demon Shippo, the intelligent monk Miroku, and the lethal demon slayer Sango. Together, they must set aside their differences and work together to find the power granting shards spread across feudal Japan and deal with the threats that arise.

22. Gurren Lagann

Japanese Name: 天元突破グレンラガン

Aired: Apr 1, 2007 to Sep 30, 2007

Status: Finished Airing

Studios: Madhouse

Episodes: 27

Simon and Kamina were born and raised in a deep, underground village, hidden from the fabled surface. Kamina is a free-spirited loose cannon bent on making a name for himself, while Simon is a timid young boy with no real aspirations. One day while excavating the earth, Simon stumbles upon a mysterious object that turns out to be the ignition key to an ancient artifact of war, which the duo dubs Lagann. Using their new weapon, Simon and Kamina fend off a surprise attack from the surface with the help of Yoko Littner, a hot-blooded redhead wielding a massive gun who wanders the world above.

In the aftermath of the battle, the sky is now in plain view, prompting Simon and Kamina to set off on a journey alongside Yoko to explore the wastelands of the surface. Soon, they join the fight against the “Beastmen,” humanoid creatures that terrorize the remnants of humanity in powerful robots called “Gunmen.” Although they face some challenges and setbacks, the trio bravely fights these new enemies alongside other survivors to reclaim the surface, while slowly unraveling a galaxy-sized mystery.

Background

Gurren Lagann received widespread critical acclaim since its release. The series received an Excellence Prize at the 2007 Japan Media Arts Festival. Its director Hiroyuki Imaishi received an individual award for “Personal Best” at the 12th Animation Kobe Festival that same year for his work on the series.

In 2008, during the 7th annual Tokyo Anime Awards held at the Tokyo International Anime Fair, Gurren Lagann won the “Best Television Production” award. In addition, the “Best Character Design” award was given to the character designer Atsushi Nishigori for his work on the anime.

21. No Game No Life

Japanese Name: ノーゲーム・ノーライフ

Aired: Apr 9, 2014 to Jun 25, 2014

Status: Finished Airing

Studios: Madhouse

Episodes: 12

No Game No Life is a surreal comedy that follows Sora and Shiro, shut-in NEET siblings and the online gamer duo behind the legendary username “Blank.” They view the real world as just another lousy game; however, a strange e-mail challenging them to a chess match changes everything—the brother and sister are plunged into an otherworldly realm where they meet Tet, the God of Games.

The mysterious god welcomes Sora and Shiro to Disboard, a world where all forms of conflict—from petty squabbles to the fate of whole countries—are settled not through war, but by way of high-stake games. This system works thanks to a fundamental rule wherein each party must wager something they deem to be of equal value to the other party’s wager. In this strange land where the very idea of humanity is reduced to child’s play, the indifferent genius gamer duo of Sora and Shiro have finally found a real reason to keep playing games: to unite the sixteen races of Disboard, defeat Tet, and become the gods of this new, gaming-is-everything world.

20. Noragami

Japanese Name: ノラガミ

Aired: Jan 5, 2014 to Mar 23, 2014

Status: Finished Airing

Studios: Bones

Episodes: 12

In times of need, if you look in the right place, you just may see a strange telephone number scrawled in red. If you call this number, you will hear a young man introduce himself as the Yato God.

Yato is a minor deity and a self-proclaimed “Delivery God,” who dreams of having millions of worshippers. Without a single shrine dedicated to his name, however, his goals are far from being realized. He spends his days doing odd jobs for five yen apiece, until his weapon partner becomes fed up with her useless master and deserts him.

Just as things seem to be looking grim for the god, his fortune changes when a middle school girl, Hiyori Iki, supposedly saves Yato from a car accident, taking the hit for him. Remarkably, she survives, but the event has caused her soul to become loose and hence able to leave her body. Hiyori demands that Yato return her to normal, but upon learning that he needs a new partner to do so, reluctantly agrees to help him find one. And with Hiyori’s help, Yato’s luck may finally be turning around.

19. Sailor Moon

Japanese Name: 美少女戦士セーラームーン

Aired: Mar 7, 1992 to Feb 27, 1993

Status: Finished Airing

Studios: Toei Animation

Episodes: 46

Usagi Tsukino is an average student and crybaby klutz who constantly scores low on her tests. Unexpectedly, her humdrum life is turned upside down when she saves a cat with a crescent moon on its head from danger. The cat, named Luna, later reveals that their meeting was not an accident: Usagi is destined to become Sailor Moon, a planetary guardian with the power to protect the Earth. Given a special brooch that allows her to transform, she must use her new powers to save the city from evil energy-stealing monsters sent by the malevolent Queen Beryl of the Dark Kingdom.

But getting accustomed to her powers and fighting villains are not the only things she has to worry about. She must find the lost princess of the Moon Kingdom, the other Sailor Guardians, and the Legendary Silver Crystal in order to save the planet from destruction.

18. Rurouni Kenshin

Japanese Name: るろうに剣心 -明治剣客浪漫譚-

Aired: Jan 10, 1996 to Sep 8, 1998

Status: Finished Airing

Studios:  Studio Gallop, Studio Deen

Episodes: 94

In the final years of the Bakumatsu era lived a legendary assassin known as Hitokiri Battousai. Feared as a merciless killer, he was unmatched throughout the country, but mysteriously disappeared at the peak of the Japanese Revolution. It has been ten peaceful years since then, but the very mention of Battousai still strikes terror into the hearts of war veterans.

Unbeknownst to them, Battousai has abandoned his bloodstained lifestyle in an effort to repent for his sins, now living as Kenshin Himura, a wandering swordsman with a cheerful attitude and a strong will. Vowing never to kill again, Kenshin dedicates himself to protecting the weak. One day, he stumbles across Kaoru Kamiya at her kendo dojo, which is being threatened by an impostor claiming to be Battousai. After receiving help from Kenshin, Kaoru allows him to stay at the dojo, and so the former assassin temporarily ceases his travels.

Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan tells the story of Kenshin as he strives to save those in need of saving. However, as enemies from both past and present begin to emerge, will the reformed killer be able to uphold his new ideals?

17. Samurai Champloo

Nujabes-anime-all-time-greatest

Japanese Name: サムライチャンプルー

Aired: May 20, 2004 to Mar 19, 2005

Status: Finished Airing

Studios: Manglobe

Episodes: 26

Fuu Kasumi is a young and clumsy waitress who spends her days peacefully working in a small teahouse. That is, until she accidentally spills a drink all over one of her customers! With a group of samurai now incessantly harassing her, Fuu desperately calls upon another samurai in the shop, Mugen, who quickly defeats them with his wild fighting technique, utilizing movements reminiscent to that of breakdancing. Unfortunately, Mugen decides to pick a fight with the unwilling ronin Jin, who wields a more precise and traditional style of swordfighting, and the latter proves to be a formidable opponent. The only problem is, they end up destroying the entire shop as well as accidentally killing the local magistrate’s son.

For their crime, the two samurai are captured and set to be executed. However, they are rescued by Fuu, who hires the duo as her bodyguards. Though she no longer has a place to return to, the former waitress wishes to find a certain samurai who smells of sunflowers and enlists the help of the now exonerated pair to do so. Despite initially disapproving of this idea, the two eventually agree to assist the girl in her quest; thus, the trio embark upon an adventure to find this mysterious warrior—that is, if Fuu can keep Mugen and Jin from killing each other.

Set in an alternate Edo Period of Japan, Samurai Champloo follows the journey of these three eccentric individuals in an epic quest full of action, comedy, and dynamic sword fighting, all set to the beat of a unique hip-hop infused soundtrack.

Background

Samurai Champloo is the only anime to have featured music from the Japanese hip-hop producer Nujabes prior to his death in 2010. The anime also spawned the 2006 video game Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked for the PlayStation 2.

The show aired in two parts, with the first half airing Thursdays at 2:28 AM on Fuji TV from May 20, 2004 to September 23, 2004, and the second half airing Saturdays at 10:30 AM on BS Fuji from January 22, 2005 to March 19, 2005.

Geneon Entertainment USA originally licensed and released the show in North America, but after their closure in late 2007, the show went out of print. FUNimation Entertainment later entered a distribution deal with Geneon to distribute some of their titles, including Samurai Champloo. After the distribution deal ended, FUNimation later outright licensed the series.

16. Yu Yu Hakusho

Japanese Name: 幽☆遊☆白書

Aired: Oct 10, 1992 to Jan 7, 1995

Status: Finished Airing

Studios: Studio Pierrot

Episodes: 112

One fateful day, Yuusuke Urameshi, a 14-year-old delinquent with a dim future, gets a miraculous chance to turn it all around when he throws himself in front of a moving car to save a young boy. His ultimate sacrifice is so out of character that the authorities of the spirit realm are not yet prepared to let him pass on. Koenma, heir to the throne of the spirit realm, offers Yuusuke an opportunity to regain his life through completion of a series of tasks. With the guidance of the death god Botan, he is to thwart evil presences on Earth as a Spirit Detective.

To help him on his venture, Yuusuke enlists ex-rival Kazuma Kuwabara, and two demons, Hiei and Kurama, who have criminal pasts. Together, they train and battle against enemies who would threaten humanity’s very existence.

Background

Yuu☆Yuu☆Hakusho was voted as the second best anime of the year in 1993 and best anime of the year in 1994 and 1995 at the Animage Anime Grand Prix.

 

15. One Piece

Luffy

Japanese Name: ONE PIECE ワンピース

Aired: Oct 20, 1999 to ?

Status: Currently Airing

Studios: Toei Animation

Episodes: Unknown

Gol D. Roger was known as the “Pirate King,” the strongest and most infamous being to have sailed the Grand Line. The capture and execution of Roger by the World Government brought a change throughout the world. His last words before his death revealed the existence of the greatest treasure in the world, One Piece. It was this revelation that brought about the Grand Age of Pirates, men who dreamed of finding One Piece—which promises an unlimited amount of riches and fame—and quite possibly the pinnacle of glory and the title of the Pirate King.

Enter Monkey D. Luffy, a 17-year-old boy who defies your standard definition of a pirate. Rather than the popular persona of a wicked, hardened, toothless pirate ransacking villages for fun, Luffy’s reason for being a pirate is one of pure wonder: the thought of an exciting adventure that leads him to intriguing people and ultimately, the promised treasure. Following in the footsteps of his childhood hero, Luffy and his crew travel across the Grand Line, experiencing crazy adventures, unveiling dark mysteries and battling strong enemies, all in order to reach the most coveted of all fortunes—One Piece.

14. Code Geass

Japanese Name: コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュ

Aired: Oct 6, 2006 to Jul 29, 2007

Status: Finished Airing

Studios: Sunrise

Episodes: 25

In the year 2010, the Holy Empire of Britannia is establishing itself as a dominant military nation, starting with the conquest of Japan. Renamed to Area 11 after its swift defeat, Japan has seen significant resistance against these tyrants in an attempt to regain independence.

Lelouch Lamperouge, exiled prince of Britannia, unfortunately finds himself caught in a crossfire between the two nations’ armed forces. He is able to escape, however, thanks to the timely appearance of a mysterious girl named C.C., who bestows upon him Geass, the “Power of Kings.” Realizing the vast potential of his newfound “power of absolute obedience,” Lelouch embarks upon a perilous journey as the masked vigilante known as Zero, leading a merciless onslaught against Britannia in order to get revenge once and for all.

Background

Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch is an original anime series by Sunrise animation studio with original character designs by the all-female Japanese manga artist group Clamp. Manga and light novels based off the show have been published by Kadokawa Shoten. The show has sold millions of DVDs and Blu-ray volumes and is extremely popular in both Japan and North America. The show is known for its multi-genre appeal and for its diverse cast of characters who face many moral dilemmas over the course of the series.

The last two episodes received a pre-airing on an event, July 21, 2007. Regular broadcasting was on July 29, 2007.

The series won: “The Best Anime TV Series” award at the 2007 Tokyo International Anime Fair, “The Best TV animation” award at the twelfth Animation Kobe, and “The Most Popular Anime” award at the Animage ’s 29th Annual Anime Grand Prix.

13. Bleach

Japanese Name: BLEACH – ブリーチ –

Aired: Oct 5, 2004 to Mar 27, 2012

Status: Finished Airing

Studios: Studio Pierrot

Episodes: 366

Ichigo Kurosaki is an ordinary high schooler—until his family is attacked by a Hollow, a corrupt spirit that seeks to devour human souls. It is then that he meets a Soul Reaper named Rukia Kuchiki, who gets injured while protecting Ichigo’s family from the assailant. To save his family, Ichigo accepts Rukia’s offer of taking her powers and becomes a Soul Reaper as a result.

However, as Rukia is unable to regain her powers, Ichigo is given the daunting task of hunting down the Hollows that plague their town. However, he is not alone in his fight, as he is later joined by his friends—classmates Orihime Inoue, Yasutora Sado, and Uryuu Ishida—who each have their own unique abilities. As Ichigo and his comrades get used to their new duties and support each other on and off the battlefield, the young Soul Reaper soon learns that the Hollows are not the only real threat to the human world.

Background

Bleach adapts the first 54 volumes of Tite Kubo’s manga series of the same name. In addition, 4 anime-original arcs were broadcast in-between and during the adaptations of original arcs of the manga.

12. Sword Art Online

Japanese Name: ソードアート・オンライン

Aired: Jul 8, 2012 to Dec 23, 2012

Status: Finished Airing

Studios: A-1 Pictures

Episodes: 25

In the year 2022, virtual reality has progressed by leaps and bounds, and a massive online role-playing game called Sword Art Online (SAO) is launched. With the aid of “NerveGear” technology, players can control their avatars within the game using nothing but their own thoughts.

Kazuto Kirigaya, nicknamed “Kirito,” is among the lucky few enthusiasts who get their hands on the first shipment of the game. He logs in to find himself, with ten-thousand others, in the scenic and elaborate world of Aincrad, one full of fantastic medieval weapons and gruesome monsters. However, in a cruel turn of events, the players soon realize they cannot log out; the game’s creator has trapped them in his new world until they complete all one hundred levels of the game.

In order to escape Aincrad, Kirito will now have to interact and cooperate with his fellow players. Some are allies, while others are foes, like Asuna Yuuki, who commands the leading group attempting to escape from the ruthless game. To make matters worse, Sword Art Online is not all fun and games: if they die in Aincrad, they die in real life. Kirito must adapt to his new reality, fight for his survival, and hopefully break free from his virtual hell.

Background

Sword Art Online adapts the first 4 novels of Reki Kawahara’s light novel series of the same name. The first episode received an early screening at the Tokyo International Forum Hall C on June 24, 2012. The regular TV broadcast started July 8, 2012.

11. Dragon Ball Z

Japanese Name: ドラゴンボールZ

Aired: Jan 7, 2017 to Mar 25, 2017

Status: Finished Airing

Studios: Toei Animation

Episodes: 291

Five years after winning the World Martial Arts tournament, Goku is now living a peaceful life with his wife and son. This changes, however, with the arrival of a mysterious enemy named Raditz who presents himself as Goku’s long-lost brother. He reveals that Goku is a warrior from the once powerful but now virtually extinct Saiyan race, whose homeworld was completely annihilated. When he was sent to Earth as a baby, Goku’s sole purpose was to conquer and destroy the planet; but after suffering amnesia from a head injury, his violent and savage nature changed, and instead was raised as a kind and well-mannered boy, now fighting to protect others.

With his failed attempt at forcibly recruiting Goku as an ally, Raditz warns Goku’s friends of a new threat that’s rapidly approaching Earth—one that could plunge Earth into an intergalactic conflict and cause the heavens themselves to shake. A war will be fought over the seven mystical dragon balls, and only the strongest will survive in Dragon Ball Z.

Background

The U.S. version is a dubbed alternative version of the Original Japanese anime. For example, blood has been taken out, beer is called root-beer, dead is called “Another Universe” and people emigrate before the destroying of cities. (Source: YouTube movie – Anime History Day)

The U.S. version edited and compiled the original for a reduced episode count of 276, instead of the original 291. The proper episode count was later restored on the uncut “Orange Brick” Season Set releases by FUNimation Entertainment released from 2006 to 2009. Additionally, the North American “Orange Brick” Season Sets as well as the Season Set Blu-rays crop the show from its original 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9. The only complete 4:3 release ever released in English were the Dragon Boxes which have long since gone out of print.

10. Blue Exorcist

Japanese Name: 青の祓魔師 京都不浄王篇

Aired: Jan 7, 2017 to Mar 25, 2017

Status: Finished Airing

Studios: A-1 Pictures

Episodes: 12

The ExWire of True Cross Academy are beset with shock and fear in the aftermath of discovering that one of their own classmates, Rin Okumura, is the son of Satan. But for the moment, they have more pressing concerns than that of Rin’s parentage: the left eye of the Impure King, a powerful demon, has been stolen from the academy’s Deep Keep. After an attempt is made to steal the right eye in Kyoto as well, Rin and the other ExWires are sent to investigate the mystery behind the Impure King and the ultimate goal of the thief.

While this mission has them cooperating for the time being, Rin has never felt more distant from his fellow exorcists. In his attempt to reconcile with them, he undergoes specialized training to control his dark power. However, when the right eye is stolen not long after their arrival, the unthinkable threat of a traitor amongst them leaves them in need of all the power they can get.

9. Tokyo Ghoul

Japanese Name: 東京喰種-トーキョーグール-

Aired: Jul 4, 2014 to Sep 19, 2014

Status: Finished Airing

Studios: Studio Pierrot

Episodes: 12

Tokyo has become a cruel and merciless city—a place where vicious creatures called “ghouls” exist alongside humans. The citizens of this once great metropolis live in constant fear of these bloodthirsty savages and their thirst for human flesh. However, the greatest threat these ghouls pose is their dangerous ability to masquerade as humans and blend in with society.

Based on the best-selling supernatural horror manga by Sui Ishida, Tokyo Ghoul follows Ken Kaneki, a shy, bookish college student, who is instantly drawn to Rize Kamishiro, an avid reader like himself. However, Rize is not exactly who she seems, and this unfortunate meeting pushes Kaneki into the dark depths of the ghouls’ inhuman world. In a twist of fate, Kaneki is saved by the enigmatic waitress Touka Kirishima, and thus begins his new, secret life as a half-ghoul/half-human who must find a way to integrate into both societies.

8. Cowboy Bebop

Japanese Name: カウボーイビバップ

Aired: Apr 3, 1998 to Apr 24, 1999

Status: Finished Airing

Studios: Sunrise

Episodes: 26

In the year 2071, humanity has colonized several of the planets and moons of the solar system leaving the now uninhabitable surface of planet Earth behind. The Inter Solar System Police attempts to keep peace in the galaxy, aided in part by outlaw bounty hunters, referred to as “Cowboys.” The ragtag team aboard the spaceship Bebop are two such individuals.

Mellow and carefree Spike Spiegel is balanced by his boisterous, pragmatic partner Jet Black as the pair makes a living chasing bounties and collecting rewards. Thrown off course by the addition of new members that they meet in their travels—Ein, a genetically engineered, highly intelligent Welsh Corgi; femme fatale Faye Valentine, an enigmatic trickster with memory loss; and the strange computer whiz kid Edward Wong—the crew embarks on thrilling adventures that unravel each member’s dark and mysterious past little by little.

Well-balanced with high density action and light-hearted comedy, Cowboy Bebop is a space Western classic and an homage to the smooth and improvised music it is named after.

Background

When Cowboy Bebop first aired in spring of 1998 on TV Tokyo, only episodes 2, 3, 7-15, and 18 were broadcast, it was concluded with a recap special known as Yose Atsume Blues. This was due to anime censorship having increased following the big controversies over Evangelion, as a result most of the series was pulled from the air due to violent content. Satellite channel WOWOW picked up the series in the fall of that year and aired it in its entirety uncensored. Cowboy Bebop was not a ratings hit in Japan, but sold over 19,000 DVD units in the initial release run, and 81,000 overall. Protagonist Spike Spiegel won Best Male Character, and Megumi Hayashibara won Best Voice Actor for her role as Faye Valentine in the 1999 and 2000 Anime Grand Prix, respectively.

Cowboy Bebop‘s biggest influence has been in the United States, where it premiered on Adult Swim in 2001 with many reruns since. The show’s heavy Western influence struck a chord with American viewers, where it became a “gateway drug” to anime aimed at adult audiences.

7. Fairy Tail

Japanese Name: フェアリーテイル

Aired: Oct 12, 2009 to Mar 30, 2013

Status: Finished Airing

Studios:  Satelight, A-1 Pictures

Episodes: 175

In the mystical land of Fiore, magic exists as an essential part of everyday life. Countless magic guilds lie at the core of all magical activity, and serve as venues for like-minded mages to band together and take on job requests. Among them, Fairy Tail stands out from the rest as a place of strength, spirit, and family.

Lucy Heartfilia is a young mage searching for celestial gate keys, and her dream is to become a full-fledged wizard by joining this famous guild. In her search, she runs into Natsu Dragneel and his partner Happy, who are on a quest to find Natsu’s foster father, the dragon Igneel.

Upon being tricked by a man, Lucy falls under an abduction attempt, only to be saved by Natsu. To her shock, he reveals that he is a member of Fairy Tail and invites her to join them. There, Lucy meets the guild’s strange members, such as the ice wizard Gray Fullbuster and magic swordswoman Erza Scarlet. Together as a family, they battle the forces of evil, help those in need, and gain new friends, all the while enjoying the never-ending adventure that is Fairy Tail.

Background

Fairy Tail won Animax Asia’s Anime of the Year Award in 2010, and the Best Japanese Anime Award and Best French Dubbing Award at the 19th Anime & Manga Grand Prix in 2012.

6. Naruto

Japanese Name: ワンパンマン

Aired: Oct 3, 2002 to Feb 8, 2007

Status: Finished Airing

Studio: Studio Pierrot

Episodes: 220

Moments prior to Naruto Uzumaki’s birth, a huge demon known as the Kyuubi, the Nine-Tailed Fox, attacked Konohagakure, the Hidden Leaf Village, and wreaked havoc. In order to put an end to the Kyuubi’s rampage, the leader of the village, the Fourth Hokage, sacrificed his life and sealed the monstrous beast inside the newborn Naruto.

Now, Naruto is a hyperactive and knuckle-headed ninja still living in Konohagakure. Shunned because of the Kyuubi inside him, Naruto struggles to find his place in the village, while his burning desire to become the Hokage of Konohagakure leads him not only to some great new friends, but also some deadly foes.

Background

Naruto received numerous awards during its airing, including the “Best Full-Length Animation Program Award” in the Third UStv Awards and the 38th “Best Animated Show” in IGN’s Top 100 Animated Series.

 

5. One-Punch Man

Japanese Name: ワンパンマン

Aired: Oct 5, 2015 to Dec 21, 2015

Status: Finished Airing

Studio: Madhouse

Episodes: 12

The seemingly ordinary and unimpressive Saitama has a rather unique hobby: being a hero. In order to pursue his childhood dream, he trained relentlessly for three years—and lost all of his hair in the process. Now, Saitama is incredibly powerful, so much so that no enemy is able to defeat him in battle. In fact, all it takes to defeat evildoers with just one punch has led to an unexpected problem—he is no longer able to enjoy the thrill of battling and has become quite bored.

This all changes with the arrival of Genos, a 19-year-old cyborg, who wishes to be Saitama’s disciple after seeing what he is capable of. Genos proposes that the two join the Hero Association in order to become certified heroes that will be recognized for their positive contributions to society, and Saitama, shocked that no one knows who he is, quickly agrees. And thus begins the story of One Punch Man, an action-comedy that follows an eccentric individual who longs to fight strong enemies that can hopefully give him the excitement he once felt and just maybe, he’ll become popular in the process.

Background

Episodes 1 and 2 were previewed at a screening in Saitama city cultural center (small hall) on September 6, 2015. Regular broadcasting began on October 5, 2015. One Punch Man is based on Yusuke Murata’s manga remake of ONE’s original web comic. The anime adapts the first 7 volumes of the manga.

4. Attack on Titan

Japanese Name: 進撃の巨人

Aired: Apr 7, 2013 to Sep 29, 2013

Status: Finished Airing

Studio: Wit Studio

Episodes: 25

Centuries ago, mankind was slaughtered to near extinction by monstrous humanoid creatures called titans, forcing humans to hide in fear behind enormous concentric walls. What makes these giants truly terrifying is that their taste for human flesh is not born out of hunger but what appears to be out of pleasure. To ensure their survival, the remnants of humanity began living within defensive barriers, resulting in one hundred years without a single titan encounter. However, that fragile calm is soon shattered when a colossal titan manages to breach the supposedly impregnable outer wall, reigniting the fight for survival against the man-eating abominations.

After witnessing a horrific personal loss at the hands of the invading creatures, Eren Yeager dedicates his life to their eradication by enlisting into the Survey Corps, an elite military unit that combats the merciless humanoids outside the protection of the walls. Based on Hajime Isayama’s award-winning manga, Shingeki no Kyojin follows Eren, along with his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and his childhood friend Armin Arlert, as they join the brutal war against the titans and race to discover a way of defeating them before the last walls are breached.

Background

Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) adapts content from the first 8 volumes of Hajime Isayama’s award-winning manga of the same name. The last episode received a pre-airing in Tokyo, Marunouchi Piccadilly 1 theater on Saturday, September 28, 2013. TV broadcast took place after midnight, a few hours later

3. Spirited Away

Japanese Name: 千と千尋の神隠し

Aired: Jul 20, 2001

Status: Finished Airing

Studio: Studio Ghibli

Episodes: 1

Stubborn, spoiled, and naïve, 10-year-old Chihiro Ogino is less than pleased when she and her parents discover an abandoned amusement park on the way to their new house. Cautiously venturing inside, she realizes that there is more to this place than meets the eye, as strange things begin to happen once dusk falls. Ghostly apparitions and food that turns her parents into pigs are just the start—Chihiro has unwittingly crossed over into the spirit world. Now trapped, she must summon the courage to live and work amongst spirits, with the help of the enigmatic Haku and the cast of unique characters she meets along the way.

Background

Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away) is the highest grossing film in Japanese history, with a total of ¥30.4 billion from Japanese box office sales alone. It is also the most successful film to debut from Japan, with a total of $289 million worldwide. This critically acclaimed film has won numerous awards, including the Academy Award, more commonly known as “Oscar”, for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards in 2003, as well as the Golden Bear at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival (alongside Bloody Sunday). It is also among the top ten in the British Film Institute’s list of the “50 films you should see by the age of 14”. The English version of Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi was dubbed by Walt Disney Pictures and premiered in 2002. The film was released on DVD and VHS formats in North America by Buena Vista Home Entertainment in 2003.

2. Full Metal Alchemist

Japanese Name: 鋼の錬金術師

Aired: Oct 4, 2003 to Oct 2, 2004

Status: Finished Airing

Studio: Bones

Episodes: 51

Edward Elric, a young, brilliant alchemist, has lost much in his twelve-year life: when he and his brother Alphonse try to resurrect their dead mother through the forbidden act of human transmutation, Edward loses his brother as well as two of his limbs. With his supreme alchemy skills, Edward binds Alphonse’s soul to a large suit of armor.

A year later, Edward, now promoted to the fullmetal alchemist of the state, embarks on a journey with his younger brother to obtain the Philosopher’s Stone. The fabled mythical object is rumored to be capable of amplifying an alchemist’s abilities by leaps and bounds, thus allowing them to override the fundamental law of alchemy: to gain something, an alchemist must sacrifice something of equal value. Edward hopes to draw into the military’s resources to find the fabled stone and restore his and Alphonse’s bodies to normal. However, the Elric brothers soon discover that there is more to the legendary stone than meets the eye, as they are led to the epicenter of a far darker battle than they could have ever imagined.

Background

Fullmetal Alchemist won the TV Feature Award in the 9th Animation Kobe Awards and was one of the Jury Recommended Works in the 2004 Japan Media Arts Festival in the anime division.

As the manga was still on-going at the time, the anime midway through diverged from the manga. This led to it having an anime-only ending, unlike Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood which would air years later.

1. Death Note

Japanese Name: デスノート

Aired: Oct 4, 2006 to Jun 27, 2007

Status: Finished Airing

Studio: Madhouse

Episodes: 37

A shinigami, as a god of death, can kill any person—provided they see their victim’s face and write their victim’s name in a notebook called a Death Note. One day, Ryuk, bored by the shinigami lifestyle and interested in seeing how a human would use a Death Note, drops one into the human realm.

High school student and prodigy Light Yagami stumbles upon the Death Note and—since he deplores the state of the world—tests the deadly notebook by writing a criminal’s name in it. When the criminal dies immediately following his experiment with the Death Note, Light is greatly surprised and quickly recognizes how devastating the power that has fallen into his hands could be.

With this divine capability, Light decides to extinguish all criminals in order to build a new world where crime does not exist and people worship him as a god. Police, however, quickly discover that a serial killer is targeting criminals and, consequently, try to apprehend the culprit. To do this, the Japanese investigators count on the assistance of the best detective in the world: a young and eccentric man known only by the name of L.

Background

Death Note has been adapted into live action films, TV dramas, video games, light novels and a musical composed by a Broadway composer. It is licensed in North America by Viz Media.