Top 30 Most Popular Anime of All Time, Ranked


Anime adaptations of video game franchises have a tough task ahead of them – condensing an interactive medium’s storyline into episodic length. However, Steins;Gate successfully accomplishes this feat by drawing from its source material as a visual novel. The story revolves around Rintaro Okabe, a self-proclaimed mad scientist, as he conducts experiments and accidentally makes a groundbreaking discovery that could alter the course of history. Okabe’s eccentric personality and unwavering pride in his work make him a delightful protagonist.

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, which first aired in 1995, revitalized the mecha genre after previous iterations failed to gain traction. Set in a future where an oppressive regime dominates space colonies, the series follows five young men piloting mechanized suits called Gundams on a dangerous mission to fight back. Gundam Wing stood out with its mature storytelling, helping to introduce anime to a wider audience in the 90s. Today, it remains the go-to franchise for mecha enthusiasts.

Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket offers a refreshing change of pace from the typical shonen anime. The story centers around Tohru Honda, an orphan, who encounters members of the cursed Sohma family. She pledges to help them overcome their afflictions, which transform them into animals under specific circumstances. While the series is often light-hearted and silly, it also beautifully explores themes of love, family, and belonging. Its prequel film, Fruits Basket: Prelude, promises to elicit heartfelt emotions from viewers of all ages.


Berserk is not for the faint-hearted. The story follows Guts, a tortured swordsman seeking vengeance for the betrayal of his comrades. It’s a brutal tale filled with gore and mature themes, but it also captivates with its impeccable storytelling. The series doesn’t shy away from horrific content, keeping viewers engrossed as they witness Guts’ pursuit of justice. The 1997 edition is a standout adaptation, but any iteration of Berserk is sure to leave an impression.

Jujutsu Kaisen

Jujutsu Kaisen is an anime that has been steadily gaining popularity. It introduces Yuji Itadori, a powerful teenager who becomes entangled in a conflict between jujutsu sorcerers and cursed spirits. After consuming a villainous entity, Itadori must find and eliminate the remaining parts of that entity to save the world from destruction. With its exceptional cast and compelling storyline, Jujutsu Kaisen is an anime that should not be missed.

Tokyo Ghoul

If you enjoy body horror, Tokyo Ghoul is the anime for you. The story follows Ken Kaneki, a college student who becomes a ghoul after a disastrous date. Forced to consume human flesh to survive, Kaneki uncovers the dark secrets of Tokyo’s ghoul underworld and fights to retain his humanity. While not as gruesome as Berserk, Tokyo Ghoul impresses with its stylish presentation and an unforgettable ending theme.

Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon is a beloved anime that played a significant role in the 90s anime renaissance. It features Usagi Tsukino, an airheaded student who transforms into Sailor Moon, the guardian of the Earth, after receiving a magical brooch from a talking cat. Joined by other Sailor Scouts, Usagi fights crime while navigating friendships and romance. The series has been adapted in various forms but the 2014 anime adaptation remains faithful to the original manga.

Astro Boy

Astro Boy, the oldest entry on this list, made a lasting impact since its manga debut in the 1950s. The story revolves around a professor building an android named Astro Boy in the image of his deceased son. Astro has to confront not only the threats to society but also his own sense of identity and humanity. With multiple anime series and adaptations, each with its own unique charm, Astro Boy remains a classic.