The top 10 must-see classic anime series of all time
From being watched and rewatched by fans to influencing numerous contemporary anime, these classic anime series have become synonymous with the best of the genre, making them to anime what "Hamlet" is to the theatre, "Pride and Prejudice" is to literature, and "Mona Lisa" is to art
Anime has its own collection of classic works that have established a lasting impact on the industry and continue to be celebrated by fans. Just like other forms of entertainment, such as literature, film, music, and art, each with its own set of classics, anime has its own iconic series that embodies the essence of what makes the genre so special. From being watched and rewatched by fans to influencing numerous contemporary anime, these classic anime series have become synonymous with the best of the genre, making them to anime what "Hamlet" is to the theatre, "Pride and Prejudice" is to literature, "The Godfather" is to film, and "Mona Lisa" is to art. Whether you're a seasoned anime fan or just starting out, these top 10 classic anime series are guaranteed to provide a fulfilling viewing experience and deepen your appreciation for anime:
Cowboy Bebop is a sci-fi adventure series that first aired in 1998. It follows a group of bounty hunters who travel through space in their spaceship "Bebop." The show is known for its unique blend of Western, jazz, and film noir styles.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood (FMA) is a fantasy-adventure anime that first aired in 2009. It follows two brothers who searched for a legendary stone to restore their bodies after a failed experiment. The show is known for its balance of humour, action, and drama, and its exploration of themes such as power, loss, and sacrifice.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion is a mecha-action series that first aired in 1995. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity is threatened by beings called Angels. The main character, Shinji Ikari, piloted a giant machine called an Evangelion to fight the Angels and save humanity. The show is known for its complex and flawed characters, which set it apart from other mecha-action anime.
Yu Yu Hakusho
Yu Yu Hakusho is a supernatural-action anime that first aired in 1992. It follows the journey of Yusuke Urameshi as he became a Spirit Detective and solved supernatural crimes in a world where humans, spirits, and demons coexisted. The show is known for its mix of humour, drama, and suspense, and its fast-paced and intense action sequences.
Sailor Moon is a fantasy-adventure anime that first aired in 1992. It follows the journey of Usagi Tsukino as she became Sailor Moon and protected the world from evil forces. The show is known for being the first anime with a female lead and for paving the way for the magical girl genre.
Dragon Ball Z
Dragon Ball Z is a sci-fi action anime that first aired in the 1990s. It follows the adventures of Goku as he defends the Earth from villains and threats. The show is known for popularising the shonen genre and for its iconic status in anime history.
Pokémon is an action-adventure series that first aired in 1997. It follows the journey of Ash Ketchum as he travels the world, caught new Pokémon, and battles other trainers. The show became a global phenomenon and inspired countless video games, toys, and other merchandise.
InuYasha is a romance series set in a world where humans and demons coexisted. It follows the journey of Kagome Higurashi as she travelled back in time to feudal Japan and teamed up with InuYasha to collect pieces of a magical jewel.
Hunter X Hunter
Hunter X Hunter is an action-adventure series that first aired in 1999 and was remade in 2011. It is set in a world where people with special abilities called Nen could become Hunters and embark on dangerous missions. The series follows the journey of Gon as he set out to become a Hunter and find his father. The show is known for its well-developed characters and themes of friendship, determination, and personal growth.
The Big Three
The "Big Three" is a term used to describe the three most popular and influential shonen anime of the 2000s: Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece. These three anime entertained a generation of fans with their engaging stories, dynamic characters, and epic battles. These series have influenced countless other anime and are considered to be some of the best anime of all time.