Top 50 Anime You Should Watch


In the great sea of anime, it’s difficult sometimes to find the gems amongst them. Even with Top 10 lists on every site, we often find similar titles throughout each one. To break from this mold, OtakuSpirit presents its first of many posts to help you find great titles that you should watch.

In this segment, we list the top 50 anime that may or may not be the top rated, but rather should be watched. They are titles that break from the mold, provide something unique, or perhaps just set trends for future work to be inspired by.

Surprisingly enough, narrowing down a large library of great anime into a list of 50 is tough work. Even more difficult is placing them in a numbered list. While we tried to weigh the greater titles in the lower numbers, many of these titles are great for their own reasons, so don’t take the numeric value to heart.

50. Tenchi Muyo


Following the chaotic life of a simple shrine man named Tenchi, one silly event happens after another that ultimately leads to a crazy story of one man’s attempt to please a house full of interesting characters. While Tenchi is a harem, it’s one of the original and just has to be experienced. Though the only challenge is in selecting which of the many spin-offs to watch. Just stick with the Universe series and movies to start. (Adventure, Action, Fantasy, Harem) (Watch On Funimation)

49. Haré+Guu


Anime is known for having some great comedies, Hare+Guu is hands down one of the most random and silly series to date. A boy named Hare lives in a jungle with his mother and other residence. However things get really crazy when an odd creature in the figure of a cute girl appears. While everyone takes her as a typical girl, Hare always seems to see her other and almost alien side. (Comedy, Parody)

48. The Vision of Escaflowne


Hitomi is a typical teenage girl who, after a series of events, ends up whisked away to another world called Gaea. On this planet she is thrown into the middle of a conflict against a rising nation seeking to revive a legendary power from the city of Atlantis. The show excels in creating an expansive and unique world with well fleshed out characters. While at the same time it touches on quite a bit of romance between characters.  Thanks to its high production cost, this show looks beautiful.  Even today. (Adventure, Fantasy, Mecha, Romance)

47. 5 Centimeters per Second


Takaki and Akari were close friends in elementary school, but after Akira moves due to her parents changing jobs, the two end up keeping in touch through mail. The show is an amazingly beautiful story of love and separation. Bringing both stunning visuals and fantastic storytelling that not only provokes emotion but also a believable heartache. (Romance, Drama) (Watch On Crunchyroll)

46. Time of Eve


Eyes can be deceiving, and in this not-so-distant future mankind has manages to live quite luxuriously with the aid of robots that look quite human. While Rikuo is checking the logs of his family robot, it finds it took a detour while shopping and recorded a strange comment. Investigating he found a cafe where humans and robots are not allowed to reveal what they really are. While not a long show, it manages to create a believable and fascinating story. One that provokes thought and intrigue. (Sci-Fi) (Watch On Crunchyroll)

45. Outbreak Company


An Otaku is taken to a parallel fantasy world of elves and dwarves where he spreads the culture of anime to its citizens. While many of these traits scream of typical comedies, it’s all in the way this show executes it that sets it apart. The humor is witty, clever, and well-paced. Never afraid to make fun of itself. While at the same time it sneaks up on you with a fantastic and feel-good story. (Comedy, Fantasy, Harem) (Watch On Crunchyroll)

44. Toradora


Beginning his new year at school, Ryuji manages to get in the same class as his best friend as well as his long time crush.  After he bumps into a rather quick-tempered girl who happens to be best friends with his crush, the two attempt to team up in order to make their dreams a reality.  Easily one of the best comedies around, dealing in both slapstick and clever humor.  That said, in the end it also manages to create a heartwarming conclusion. (Comedy, Drama, Romance) (Watch On Crunchyroll)

43. Baccano!


Baccano is definitely one of those series that would take entirely too long to explain its plot.  That is because it’s quite masterfully written and presented despite its complexity.  It’s a fascinating tale that stretches across several generations and ultimately leads to one fateful encounter on a train.  It’s a rather gruesome tale at times, but also doesn’t shy away from a sly humor that keeps you watching from beginning to end. (Sci-Fi, Action, Crime, Dark Comedy) (Watch On Funimation)

42. Durarara!


Similar to Baccano in both style and writing, Durarara takes place in a modern setting that is anything but modern.  It follows, for the most part, a trio of friends that are swept up in an ongoing feud between rival gangs.  While it feels quite grounded in reality, it also mixes in quite a bit of sci-fi elements that never push too far. It all engages you until a very well written conclusion that makes you beg for more. (Action, Supernatural, Drama, Mystery, Psychological, Comedy) (Watch On Crunchyroll)

41. Cowboy Bebop

You don’t have to be an anime fan to know Cowboy Bebop. Getting its fame from a huge following that came in response to its airing on American television. Following Spike in his adventures as a bounty hunter in a futuristic wild west setting in space creates both action and suspense that is rarely rivaled in the medium. The writing, choreography, witty comedy, and world building sets it apart from the competition as one of the greatest anime to date. (Action, Sci-Fi) (Watch On Funimation)

See the next 10!

Jump to:50-41, 40-31, 30-21, 20-11, 10-1

Co-Founder of and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 1300 shows. Outside of Otaku Spirit, he has been a judge for the Anime Awards and aided in reviewing titles for some publishers. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Sharing this joy, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.