Top 50 Anime You Should Watch

20. Kanon

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As a child, Yuichi often visited his cousin in the city.  However after something drastic happened to keep him away, he returns after 7 long years.  Sadly most of his memories of what happened during his past visits have slipped away and over time he rediscovers forgotten promises and companions.  The story manages to mesh lovable characters with tear jerking storytelling.  All while keeping you entertained with humor and interesting elements.  (Drama, Romance, Slice of Life, Supernatural) (Watch On Funimation)

19. Usagi Drop

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30-year-old Daikichi returns home to his Grandfather’s funeral only to find that his grandfather left behind his illegitimate six-year-old daughter who he had by an unknown woman.  While relatives treat her like an outcast, Daikichi decides out of frustration to take care of the girl despite being a single and having no experience raising children.  This is an absolutely adorable and touching tale of spontaneous fatherhood that will have you both crying and smiling from cheek to cheek. (Comedy, Drama, Slice of Life) (Watch On Crunchyroll)

18. Kokoro Connect

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After five ordinary students find themselves trading bodies at random with each other, it’s revealed to them that they are human guinea pigs in an experiment being conducted by an unknown entity called Heartseed.  While they try to keep their wits about, they are constantly thrown into not only embarrassing, but also life threatening situations.  All while testing their friendships and sanity.  Words can not express how great this series is.  It manages to mesh drama, comedy, and romance in a way that is refreshing and well-paced. (Drama, Romance, Supernatural) (Watch On Crunchyroll)

17. Grave of Fireflies

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Following the air raids during World War II, Seita, a 14-year-old boy, struggles against starvation and constant attacks while protecting his younger sister following the separation from his parents.  This is a truly dark and heart grabbing story of a fight for survival that will have you in tears. (Drama) (Watch On AnimeNetwork)

16. Puella Magi Madoka Magika

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Madoka is a middle school girl who one day finds a small cat-like creature named Kyubey.  It offers to her a contract to become a magical girl in exchange for a wish to be granted.  Sounds like a Win-Win situation right?  Well, over time Madoka discovers a hidden side to the magical girls that ends up sweeping her and her friends into a world she may not like.  Highly praised and highly touted as the great deconstruction of magical girl shows.  Anyone who is anyone should have this on their watched list. (Dark Fantasy, Magical Girl, Tragedy, Drama) (Watch On Crunchyroll)

15. Katanagatari

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Togame, a master strategist, employs a human weapon named Shichika to obtain twelve Deviant Blades scattered throughout the lands.  This show employs both creative writing as well as beautiful and sometimes stunning unique visual design.  A lot of its moment to moment flavor is derived by entertaining dialog but it also shines when it comes to the combat scenes and how they are overcome.  All leading to a conclusion that will completely catch you off guard. (Chanbara, Comedy, Tragedy, Drama, Action, Romance)

14. Serial Experiments Lain

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After a school girl commits suicide, many of Lain’s classmates start receiving emails they claim to be from the deceased girl.  Lain, who is quiet and often distant, ends up logging in to her computer after years of never touching it.  She ends up receiving the same emails, but continues contact with the girl until ultimately finding herself getting lost in the world known as The Net.  This series is a classic psychological thriller than was far ahead of its time.  With a deep and captivating world that even holds up to today. (Psychological Thriller, Cyberpunk, Drama, Sci-Fi) (Watch On Funimation)

13. Great Teacher Onizuka

Onizuka is an infamous ex-biker gang leader who is looking to hang up his leather jacket and enter the world of teaching. Though his intentions may not be the most pure, and his methods are far from normal, his role in many student’s lives may be the turning point they need to get out from the incorrect path they may be on. It’s a classic and hilarious series that created molds that many stories feed off today. (Comedy, Action) (Watch On Crunchyroll)

12. Hanasaku Iroha

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Following her mother eloping, Ohana moves to live with her estranged grandmother at her family inn.  While she felt it would be a great new beginning, she instead is greeted by a no-nonsense grandmother that immediately makes her life miserable.  Putting her to work at the inn with little time to rest.  This is a fantastic tale of growing up, finding your purpose in life, and most importantly doing something you really love.  It invokes thought, and that’s what makes it special.  After watching, I truly questioned myself and what I really want from life. (Coming of Age, Slice of Life, Romance) (Watch On Crunchyroll)

11. Air TV

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Yukito Kunisaki travels in search of a girl with wings who flies in the sky that was mentioned to him by his mother.  One day while resting in a small town, he meets a strange girl named Misuzu.  While she talks of flying, Yukito decides to stay at the town in order to learn more about her.  Words cannot express the amount of emotion that this series produces.  It’s a tragic tale of fate that covers a main character and two side stories that must be watched. (Drama, Romance, Supernatural) (Watch On Funimation)

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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.