Top 50 Anime You Should Watch

40. Angel Beats

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Where do we go when we die?  Key has an interesting take that won’t answer it for everyone, but specifically to the young who have had their lives cut short.  As a group of students trapped in an odd limbo fight to survive, they also answer some important questions of life.  Though in typical Studio Key fashion, you will be forced to both laugh and weep to its great conclusion. (Action, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Tragedy) (Watch On Crunchyroll)

39. Soul Eater

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In the Death Weapon Meister Academy, students are paired off as a fighting force to be reckoned with.  Humans able to transform into deadly weapons and the wielders that are able to use them in combat.  A truly unique story that is met with a unique style and wonderful animation that keeps you glued ’til the end. (Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Supernatural) (Watch On Funimation)

38. Samurai 7

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When a village is forced to seek aid from samurai in order to protect their harvest they are also faced with the issue of finding some willing to take little pay.  In a world filled with samurai, it’s harder than you’d expect to find one who follows a code to protect rather than fill pockets.  This is an amazing story of duty, love, and ultimately sacrifice that sees the birth of legends as well as the return of others. (Adventure, Fantasy, Mecha, Chanbara, Steampunk) (Watch On Funimation)

37. Witch Hunter Robin

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Robin is a craft user of fire, trained to hunt down those who have awakened as witches and lost their sanity.  Being as every human has the potential to awaken as a witch, it’s up to a large organization to find them and stop them before they kill.  This is a gritty and amazing world that tells a very compelling story that isn’t seen much in anime. (Occult Detective, Supernatural)

36. Akira

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Who hasn’t heard of Akira?  Set in a future where Tokyo is leveled by an explosion just before World War III, Tokyo is rebuilt on a landfill in Tokyo Bay.  There the story follows Kaneda and his friend Tetsuo who are inadvertently trapped in the midst of a revolution and an experiment.  Absolutely breathtaking visuals, sound, and writing makes this a classic that must be watched. (Action, Horror, Psychological, Sci-Fi, Supernatural) (Watch On Funimation)

35. Armitage III

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Set on the new colonized Mars, mankind is now living with newly created 2nd generation androids.  However when it comes to light that there is a 3rd generation of androids that are superficially identical to humans and actually are many well-known people in the world, riots begin and people begin to hunt down to destroy all 3rds.  Another classic anime that is set in a dark and dire universe that isn’t seen much in anime anymore.  It’s a compelling story with great acting and animation. (Action, Cyberpunk, Romance, Sci-Fi) (Watch On Funimation)

34. Ghost in the Shell

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Set in a distant future, a group known as Section 9 is an elite group tasked with counter cyber terrorism to keep the public safe.  When a hacker known as the Puppet Master manages to use a ghost-hack to control the minds of others, cyborg and member of Section 9 Major Kusanagi is tasked to take him down.  An amazing story with great art direction brings this futuristic world to life. While most of the GitS series are great in their own right, the movie is a must see. (Sci-Fi, Action, Cyberpunk)

33. Azumanga Daioh

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Following the everyday life of 6 students and their teachers, this comedy will have you laughing ’til it hurts.  There’s the child prodigy Chiyo, the energetic Tomo, the sporty Kagura, the spacey and often odd Osaka, the gentle reserved Sakaki, and the voice of reason Yomi.  Then there’s the Kimura, the creepy teacher that is obsessed with young girls! (Comedy, Slice of Life)

32. Mushi-shi

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When it comes to beautiful and atmospheric anime, Mushi-shi is unrivaled.  It takes place in a world where ubiquitous creatures called mushi are everywhere.  Though only gifted people are able to see them.  They control many aspects of daily life, but also can affect things in negative ways.  Specially trained people called mushi-shi travel the world in hopes of quelling these almost spirit like beings.  All the stories this series tell are self-contained but never feel weak and episodic.  Instead, each tale is both breathtaking and captivating. (Occult Detective, Supernatural) (Watch On Funimation)

31. Fate/Stay Night

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A war has been happening over many centuries called the Holy Grail War.  Magi gather from around the world to fight as Masters who yield one of seven Servants which are reincarnations of legendary heroes from distant time.  The reward?  The Holy Grail that is said to grant any wish the wielder desires.  This is both a high action and compelling story with some really interesting plot elements.  The story manages to go much deeper that first expected even during its many arcs from present and history settings. (Action, romance, Supernatural, Thriller, Urban Fantasy) (Watch Fate/Stay) (Watch Fate/Zero) (Watch Unlimited Blade Works)

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. 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. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.