The trend of anime has been sweeping the nation for quite some time, and it is very refreshing to see that it finally claimed the title of a genuine global sensation! Starting as a strictly Japanese thing, these series grew to so much more, becoming not only one of the country’s staple forms of entertainment, but an appreciated form of art.
Strangely enough, the earliest examples of anime can be traced back to as early as 1917, but one could say that the ’80s and ’90s saw the style receiving a real surge in popularity. Since then, a variety of classic series has surfaced, with more quality stuff than you can imagine!
Therefore, soon upon taking on the idea of finding the best anime ever, we realized we are in for a difficult task. There are so many top level series to choose from that narrowing things down to an objective Top 3 is impossible, simply because no three anime stand out that strongly above the rest to be crowned as supreme champions.
Anyhow, what we are about to present you with is a fairly subjective list of three champs, but with enough objective qualities to deserve a spot among the best. Allow us to present you the goods below!
What is the best anime ever?
Not a bad question at all! So as noted, subjective taste and personal preferences greatly influence this decision from one person to another, but we believe that enough objective guidelines can be drawn to set apart the crème de la crème of the anime realm.
That crème de la crème features more than enough good stuff to make a Top 10, or even Top 50 list with killer stuff, but we decided to narrow it down to Top 3 and present you the best of the best, in our book at least.
Some of those objective criteria include storytelling quality, the engagement factor of the story, quality of drawing, quality of animation, the series’ general success, awards, packaging quality, and more.
With all that stuff in mind and out of the way now, proceed to check out the Top 3 list below. Enjoy!
– Dragon Ball Z
Let’s kick things off with a classic, shall we? Starting the list in style and with great success, give it up for the one and only “Dragon Ball Z“! As one of the things that epitomize the ’90s – in Japan for sure, as well as around the globe to an extent – this series follows the story of Goku and the rest of the “Dragon Ball” gang once he’s grown up.
The series also introduces Goku‘s son Gohan, as well as a humanoid alien known as Raditz. The Raditz fella come to Earth from the outer space and reveals to Goku that he is his long lost brother, saying how Goku is part of a nearly extinct alien race known as Saiyans.
The hero we know so well was in fact sent to Earth as an infant under his real name of Kakarot with one goal in mind – to conquer the planet. However, Goku suffered head injury and ended up losing the race’s notorious bloodthirsty character. The hero refuses to help his brother from another universe, infuriating Raditz who then kidnaps Gohan.
Goku then joins forces with none other than his former enemy Piccolo to save his son, and sacrifices his life to do so. In the afterlife, Goku trains hard, gets revived, but arrives back too late as Piccolo – the only individual capable of crafting Dragon Balls – is killed. This is just the beginning, and what happens next will intrigue, surprise, sadden you, make you joyful and just happy for joining this ride. It’s a genuine classic after all!
We recommend starting your “Dragon Ball Z” journey appropriately with season one. We are looking at 291 episodes in total after all, so you better buckle up. The first season comes stretched across four discs clocking in at 925 minutes. And that’s just season one! Additionally, this series has by far the greatest amount of paraphernalia available on the market, so if you’re up for collecting things, you’ll be very happy with the variety of items that’s present on the market.
Recommended for fans of: martial arts and good stuff!
Now this is what we call a hidden gem! Originally launched in 1995, the original “Trigun” manga lasted only until 1997. In 1998, the series was adapted into anime with 26 episode we couldn’t recommend enough.
The series follows the story of a man known as “Vash the Stampede,” as well as two Bernardelli Insurance Society employees called Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson. Mr. Stampede has a peculiar habit of turning any city he passes through into a pile of rubble, and the two insurance society employees are there to minimize the damage.
However, the reason why those towns get leveled to dust is not because of Vash alone, but mostly because of the bounty hunters that follow him. When the two clash, the bounty hunters recklessly want to destroy the hero, causing massive collateral damage.
And why do they want to destroy him? Because he has a 60 billion double dollar bounty on his head for supposedly destroying a city back in July. And why he has that bounty on his head? He cannot remember, as the man suffers from retrograde amnesia, and only gets occasional flashes and sudden images of some city being destroyed and random events from his childhood.
Occasionally, Vash is accompanied by fellow mysterious gunfighter extraordinaire known as Nicholas D. Wolfwood, who can really spice things up! As the series progresses, we get more and more information about our hero’s life and past, as well as detailed insight on how life on the planet Gunsmoke works. We don’t want to give you any spoilers, so dive right into this one to find out what happens next.
For the finest viewing experience, we recommend getting the complete series box set edition. Loaded with four discs and a total length of around 650 minutes, this set is one heck of a ride! If you want to experience a similar series after this one, we recommend checking out the mighty “Cowboy Bebop,” another killer anime.
Recommended for fans of: Action, space Western, adventure, weird stuff
– Deadman Wonderland
If you’re up for a more recent series, we recommend giving “Deadman Wonderland” a go! The manga series was started back in 2007, while the anime edition followed in 2011, making this one of the most popular series of the current decade.
So, we are looking at one gloomy and eerie story: a gigantic anomaly ravaged the country of Japan, sinking over 75 percent of Tokyo and leaving the world in a desperate state.
10 years after, we are presented with the story of Ganta Igarashi, a seemingly ordinary middle school student and an “escapee” who survived the great earthquake, but with zero recollection of what life used to be before the great tragedy.
One day, a disturbing individual covered in blood and known only as the Red Man enters Ganta’s class and brutally massacres everyone but our hero. Instead, Mr. Red decides to embeds a mysterious red crystal shard right into Ganta’s chest.
Within a matter of days, Igarashi is brought to a ridiculous court that sentences him to death. He is brought to Deadman Wonderland, a prison that also operates as a theme park. Quite peculiar, wouldn’t you agree?
From that moment on, Ganta’s sole goal in life as he awaits on the death row becomes to find the Red Man and clear his name. Strange things begin to happen along he way, such as blood mutations that allow our hero to modify his blood and use it as a weapon. What follows next is yours to discover. Oh, and there’s something called Carnival Corpse in there as well, keep your eyes peeled…
The series was directed by Kōichirō Hatsumi and illustrated by Kazuma Kondou. For the best watching experience, we say go for the multi format Complete Series Classic edition. With four discs and a length of around 325 minutes, this edition also includes special goodies such as a couple of individual episode commentaries and video trailers to spice things up.
Recommended for fans of: Action, horror, sci-fi
When all is said and combined then, each of these three features is a worthy contestant for the flattering title of the best anime ever. They all possess the required qualities, and it is now only a matter of you jotting down your personal preferences and singling out the one that suits you the best.
Needless to say, you can get engaged with more series than one, but we believe that watching them one at a time is the proper way to experience the amazing world of anime. Once that is out of the way, feel free to treat yourself to one of these cool features as early as today. Good stuff, highly recommended!