Best Anime of All Time?

‘Sup, everyone. This post is exactly what the title says – I’m looking for your nominations for the best anime of all time, however you choose to define ‘best’. Any genre is okay. Any release date is okay. The only stipulations I have are:

  1. It must be a televised series (no films, OVAs, or specials) that has completed airing as of you nominating it.

  2. It must be completely watchable without any prior knowledge whatsoever of the source material, or of any anime that came before it (so remakes are okay, direct sequels likely not).

  3. You need to think it’s A+ material based on the first 1-3 episodes (as well as the show as a whole). The title obviously doesn’t have to be considered in any way complete over those initial 1-3 episodes, but don’t give me shows that you think only truly get great halfway through or whatever.

That’s really about it – other than that, anything goes. So give me your best-ofs, no matter how popular or unpopular they may be. I don’t care if you’re the only one who thinks the anime is amazing or if everyone and their dog does. Hidden gems are more than welcome, but so are your “unoriginal” picks. And yes, if you have a few shows that top your list and you can’t decide between them, by all means, nominate multiple titles, or titles that you might have already seen mentioned in other comments.

Oh, and one more thing. You don’t have to defend your choices. In fact, I’d prefer it if you didn’t leave any lengthy comments about exactly why you think the anime you picked is deserving of the title “best of all time”. Feel free to just drop it and run if you like. Feeling shy and want to leave an anonymous comment? A-ok, no judgment here. Now have at it.

25 thoughts

  1. Of all time? Selecting just one is a very difficult task. I watched HunterxHunter 3 times, BThe Beginning 4x, and Engaged to the Unidentified maybe 20 times. I don’t know if watching an anime more than once means it’s my best ?

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    1. However you’d like to define ‘best’ works for me. I know people will likely interpret that word in different ways, so I’m leaving the definition completely open there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s one … T.T…. Graveyard of the Fireflies. I cannot watch it again… I even want to forget this anime.

        There’s another one, OMG, I can’t remember the title but it’s on Netflix, and I think I watched it 4x ! ! There’s an Evergarden in the title, and it’s about this girl, a child soldier, who embarks on a journey to find the meaning of love.

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  2. Is it OK if I select the anime in the GIF at the top of the article? I know a lot of people think Hyouka doesn’t get good until the festival (a lot don’t think it ever gets good), but I was enthralled with it from the very first episode. For my money, there’s never been another TV anime as well directed or animated as Hyouka, though of course, those things themselves don’t make for the “best ever.”

    To my mind, Hyouka is the best ever because the overall arc of the story, and the individual episodes which build on it, are just so well conceived and written that there are times when weekly entries were so good that I immediately wanted to watch them again after finishing.

    For example, the episode about the teacher, the helicopters, and the friends who died on the mountain is one of the most exquisite character pieces I’ve ever seen in any medium. I’m not sure how anyone paying attention can come away from those 25 minutes without goosebumps.

    Hyouka is a coming of age story that is simply majestic in its telling, unscrolling in a deliberate and beautiful fashion where each small story is building upon what came before it until you arrive at an utterly perfect ending that very few books or movies ever reach. And honestly, not a single other anime comes close to it.

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    1. Totally fine by me. 🙂

      On a personal note, I also liked Hyouka from the very first episode. Arguably, the school festival is one of the highlights of the show, sure, but I think it does the anime a huge disservice to say that it’s /only good because of the festival arc.

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  3. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Great characters, story, animation. Diverse plots and philosophies. A complete production, with something for everyone. Perfect ending.

    {runners-up: Cowboy Bebop, Attack on Titan, Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Death Note}

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  4. I don’t think there’s any anime that is “best”, I don’t even have a “favorite” anime. But if I had to say three titles quick:

    Gankutsuou
    Cowboy Bebop
    Vision of Escaflowne

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  5. Ones I have successfully shown to an anime fan, an anime novice and my very much non-fan mother: Sweetness and Lightning, Hyouka, A Place Further Than The Universe, She and Her Cat

    Ones I enjoyed very much and recommend to anime fans: Shirobako, Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori, Run With The Wind

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  6. Personal favourite: Uchouten Kazuko

    After three seconds of trying to be a little more objective: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju

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