Top 50 Anime You Should Watch

10. Wolf Children

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After Hana meets a boy at school, they quickly fall in love and have two beautiful children.  Though the interesting element is that the father is the last of his kind, a wolf person.  After being separated from the father, Hana is determined to raise her two children with no knowledge of how to do so.  A mother with no equal, her determination to protect her children leads her to a challenging change of lifestyle.  Another of Mamoru Hosoda’s films that puts family first and will warm your heart. (Drama)

9. Utawarerumono

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After Hakuoro awakens in a village injured and without any memory of his past, he’s quickly accepted into the village and taken care of.  However soon he finds that the village is being oppressed by a greedy emperor and this soon leads him into leading a rebellion against the country’s leadership.  This story had a great mixture of fantasy, political intrigue, and a wonderful cast of characters that you constantly root for.  A truly refreshing series that had me wanting more. (Adventure, Fantasy) (Watch On Funimation)

8. Higurashi When They Cry

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Not for the faint of heart, this psychological thriller will have you wincing in pain for its cast of unfortunate characters.  Just be advised, this is a bloody show.  After Keiichi moves into a rural village, he’s met by new classmates Rena, Mion, Rika, and Satoko.  Though soon he discovers that there is a dark secret that sweeps him up in a dark and violent situation that may cost him and others their lives.  (Mystery, Psychological Horror, Supernatural) (Stream On Amazon)

7. The Future Diary

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After a socially inept boy named Yuki is inadvertently tricked into a game of minds by an imaginary friend turned God of Time, he will have to rely on his Future Diary as well as a stalker girl to overcome other players in a battle royale.  The story does a great job in taking you from moment to moment as Yuki deals with the bloody situation he’s in.  However one of the greater points in the show is in how he deals with a proper deadly girl who he’s constantly using to keep himself alive. (Action, Psychological, Romance, Supernatural, Survival Horror, Suspense) (Watch On Funimation)

6. Neon Genesis Evangelion

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Mankind is on the brink of extinction as beings known as Angels have arrived on earth to bring about the end.  The only hope for mankind is large humanoid fighting machines known as Evangelion.  Though only a select few children can pilot them.  While this is a “Children Save The World” plot-line, it was one of the originals and one of the most influential anime of all time.  It birthed many elements in anime storytelling that we see today.  It was a masterpiece when it was released in the 90s, and thanks to its remastering, it is even more so a masterpiece today. (Action, Drama, Mecha, Sci-Fi, Psychological)

5. Chobits

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Hideki is a boy from the country-side just making his mark in society.  He has dreams of not only having a girlfriend, but also having a persocom.  A persocom is a robotic assistant that everyone who’s anyone has.  It is a personal assistant that usually has a human form and handles any task you need.  While heading home one day, he stumbles upon a discarded persocom that he takes home.  It seems defective, but also has a hidden side that he soon discovers.  It’s a romantic tale of man and machine that constantly tugs at your heart-strings.  It won’t take long before you question what is human and what is machine. (Romance, Comedy, Sci-Fi) (Watch On Funimation)

4. Mai Hime

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Mai transfers to Fuuka Academy which has quite a few mysteries surrounding it.  Soon after arriving, she finds herself bound to a “Child.”  Part-spiritual, part-mechanical creature that can be summoned and controlled by girls with a mark upon their body.  While the story has a few tropes amongst it, it also manages to bring a very interesting twist to its storytelling.  Let’s just say things aren’t so rosy in Fuuka Academy.  Throwing in a likable cast, strong drama, romance, and even tragedy, it’s definitely one you can’t miss.  Just steer clear of the spin-offs. (Action, Fantasy, Romance, Comedy, Sentai)

3. Code Geass

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In an alternate timeline, the world is split between three powers. Britannia, The Chinese Federation, and the European Union.  Lelouch is an Exiled Britannian prince who was sent as a bargaining tool to Japan.  After being caught up in the destructive actions of Britannia, he vows to obliterate Britannia.  Thanks to the gift of Gaess given to him after a run in with a girl named C.C., he’s able to command a person with a look in their eye.  Using this and his unmatchable wits, he leads a revolution for the people against Britannia.  A clever written story filled with twists and turns that will have you hooked.  It’s a must watch, especially to its amazing conclusion. (Mecha, Supernatural, Drama, Tragedy, Alternate History)

2. Death Note

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Light is the son of a police officer and has a strong sense of justice.  One day Light stumbles upon a notebook that can kill anyone by simply writing their name on its pages.  This leads him on a quest to exacting justice upon anyone, though he discovers soon that a mastermind detective is on his trail to stop him.  This is a brilliant cat and mouse game that has you at the edge of your seat from start to finish.  The writing is clever, the twists are jaw dropping, and every minute is masterfully crafted. (Crime, Drama, Supernatural) (Watch On Hulu)

1. Clannad

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Tomoyo has had a fairly rough life.  Following the death of his mother and his father becoming a drunk, he hates life and is seemingly dragged along in existence.  After he meets Nagisa, a girl who recently recovered from an illness and is returning to school, Tomoyo ends up rediscovering joys in his life as he works to help Nagisa re-adapt to school life.  This is a touching tale that captured my heart from start to finish.  It masterfully meshes drama, hilarious comedy, and romance in a way that I’ve yet to find elsewhere.  What are you waiting for?  Go watch it! (Drama, Slice of Life, Romance, Comedy) (Watch On AnimeNetwork)

There you have it!  50 anime titles that you must watch!  There are tons more, but I hope you’ve found some great titles to add to your list.  Be sure to check back soon as we explore individual genres to find you more titles to fit your taste.  If you have some titles you think others must watch, be sure to leave us a comment below and share it with everyone.  Thanks for reading!

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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.