The Best Anime Of All Time From Each Genre – Hey guys!. In this post, I’ll be discussing The Best Anime Of All Time From Each Genre. What are the best anime ever made? Depending on who you ask, you’ll likely get a different answer every time. It all comes down to personal preference at the end of the day. So let’s make a subjective list!
I went through 1500 anime, widdled them down to a couple of hundred, and then took those remaining anime and graded them based on their presentation, direction, animation quality, voice acting (both Japanese and English) and overall enjoyment. The anime that scored the most points were then carefully organised into 15 main genres, and 13 subgenres for a grand total of 28 anime.
There are some anime here you’ll be expecting, as well as some surprises, but at the end of the day this is my list so my choices may differ from yours and that’s fine. We all have different tastes, and different ways of appreciating anime so we’re not always going to see eye to eye. So, let’s get started.
Best Action Anime
Let’s start things off with best Action. For me, when I think about action anime and what really defines them, my immediate thought is how good the combat is; how well the fight scenes are animated, directed, etc. Taking that into consideration, the award for the best Action anime goes to…
Demon Slayer – An obvious choice, given that it features some of the best production values of any TV anime to date. For those of you that have been living under a rock and somehow don’t know what this anime is; it’s the story of a kind-hearted boy who finds his family slaughtered by a demon and his younger sister turned into one.
Though devastated by this grim reality, he resolves to become a ‘demon slayer’ so that he can turn his sister back into a human, and kill the demon that massacred his family. Regardless of how you might feel about this anime, there’s no denying that it features some absolutely jaw-droppingly gorgeous fight scenes that do an impeccable job of getting your adrenaline pumping.
Its story is nothing to write home about, as it’s a fairly conventional shounen anime plot that doesn’t exactly break any new ground, but it also doesn’t need to. It’s straightforward enough that you can follow along with minimal effort, and because of that it’s able to appeal to a much wider audience.
With the show’s explosive popularity, it’s all but guaranteed to get a complete adaptation and assuming it’s able to maintain this high level of quality throughout, it will no doubt be regarded by many as one of the finest anime to ever grace our television screens. While I wouldn’t personally consider this to be one of my all-time favourites, I have enjoyed my time with it and am looking forward to seeing more.
Best Action-Adventure Anime
Next up is Action-Adventure which combines the high quality fights of a typical Action anime with an on-going narrative that offers far more substance than what you might get with an Action anime alone. In other words, a typical shounen plot simply isn’t going to cut it. With that in mind, the award for the best Action-Adventure goes to…
Hunter x Hunter (2011) – Demon Slayer may have the best production values of any TV anime to date, but when it comes to compelling characters and engaging storylines, Hunter x Hunter has it beat by a clear mile. It follows the adventures of a naive-yet-determined young boy who aspires to join the ranks of the illustrious Hunters – in order to find his missing father.
To reach his goal, he partakes in the formidable Hunter Exam, a series of tests that push participants to their physical and mental limits, with a Hunter License as the prize. There, he befriends three other aspiring Hunters and together they set forth into a perilous world. Despite primarily being a battle shounen, Hunter x Hunter manages to set itself apart from the rest with its sheer variety.
It can seamlessly shift from light-hearted comedy to a darker, more serious tone with ease, and (with the exception of the Chimera Ant arc) the pacing remains consistent throughout. Each of the main characters, as well as many of the supporting cast, are all extremely likeable and they each have their own motivations, instead of just tagging along with the main protagonist.
With 148 episodes, it’s not an anime you can quickly breeze through, but it never feels like a slog to watch either. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this anime and with it being highly re-watchable I could easily recommend it to just about anyone.
Best Action Comedy Anime
Next up is Action Comedy which maintains the kickass fight scenes of a typical Action anime but presents them with a far more light-hearted and comedic tone. The story is oftentimes nonsensical and as such it shouldn’t be taken seriously; with its main purpose being instead to drive the show’s comedy.
For this category, there is a greater level of subjectivity – given that everyone has a different sense of humour – so this award is largely based off what I find amusing. With all of that said, the award for the best Action Comedy goes to…
Kill la Kill – As someone who is very much a character-driven person – meaning my enjoyment of any given show largely revolves around whether or not I like the cast – Kill la Kill makes a strong first impression thanks to its diverse mix of memorable and likeable characters.
The story revolves around a fiery, feisty girl on a vengeful mission to find her father’s murderer at all costs, with only a giant red scissor blade as a clue to the villain’s whereabouts. Using the item as a weapon, she fights her way into a prestigious high school to track down a lead, unaware that the institute is brutally governed by a student council that’s anything but ordinary.
Undeterred, she takes a stand against the Elite Four, in hopes of uncovering the culprit behind her father’s murder once and for all. Given that this award is for the best action comedy, the humour is arguably the most important part. I find that a lot of anime comedies aren’t all that funny but thankfully Kill la Kill isn’t one of them.
Perhaps in part because of its superb English dub, I found myself laughing consistently throughout – with the show’s animation further accentuating the comedy – as much of the action defies any sense of logic or basic physics. Considering this was Studio Trigger’s first original TV anime, they did an exceptional job with it, and even a decade later it’s still a show I find myself coming back to.
Best Adventure Anime
Next up is best Adventure. What differentiates this from the Action-Adventure category is that this focusses solely on the characters embarking on a journey without any of the action spectacle, or (if there is action) it isn’t the main draw. With that in mind, the award for the best Adventure anime goes to…
Made in Abyss – This is one of those rare types of anime that only comes along once every few years or so that manages to completely blow everyone away. From its story, to its world building, its visuals and its soundtrack – everything about this anime is sublime.
It revolves around a young girl who dreams of exploring the Abyss – an enormous pit and series of caves filled with wonders and terrors that only the staunchest of cave raiders have survived. No one knows just how deep it is, but her mother disappeared into it years ago; leaving her daughter behind with a powerful urge to follow in her footsteps.
After discovering a boy who seems to have originated from the Abyss, she decides to descend its depths in order to uncover the mysteries that lie within, as well as find her missing mother. What I really love about this anime is the amount of care that’s put into its world building.
It’s the type of anime where you can very easily miss something if you’re not paying attention because there’s so much detail packed into every scene. I also love the contrast between its cute, kid-friendly visuals and the darker themes of its story. It really makes a strong impact the first time you watch it. Overall, it’s an outstanding anime that I’d recommend to anime fans and non-anime fans alike.
Best Comedy Anime
Next up is best Comedy. Comedy is a difficult genre to recommend because everyone has a different sense of humour, so what I find funny may not necessarily be true for you. For me, if a comedy anime is not able to make me laugh, then it’s failed to do its job and thus won’t be featured on this list.
Since the comedy genre is one of the largest out there, I’ve broken it down into four categories; best overall Comedy, best High School Comedy, best Workplace Comedy and finally best Gag Comedy. So let’s start with the award for best overall Comedy anime which goes to…
Hinamatsuri – Hardly surprising, given that it’s one of my favourite anime of all-time; however that wasn’t the sole reason I chose it! The story revolves around a member of the yakuza whose life is suddenly turned upside down when a psychokinetic girl drops on his head out of nowhere. Left with no other choice but to take care of her, the two begin a strange and chaotic new life together.
Hinamatsuri is the type of comedy where situations escalate very quickly; becoming increasingly more absurd the further things go. It frequently had me bursting out laughing in almost every episode, and that alone made it a strong contender. However, Hinamatsuri isn’t all gags, as it also features some really tender and heart-warming scenes that you don’t typically see from this genre.
It’s these wholesome, more sombre moments that really sets Hinamatsuri apart from other comedy anime – as it not only helps to ground these characters but also makes you appreciate them in a way that you otherwise wouldn’t.
What really sealed the deal for me was when I went back to re-watch it, as I ended up enjoying it far more on my second viewing than my first – so much so that it became one of my all-time favourites. If you haven’t seen it, then I highly recommend giving it a watch.
Best High School Comedy Anime
Next up is High School Comedy, which maintains all of the laughs of a typical comedy anime with the only real difference being that it’s set in a Japanese high school. With that in mind, the award for the best High School Comedy goes to…
Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun – While technically a rom com, it tends to lean more towards being a slice of life comedy instead. The story centres on a high school girl who finally works up the courage to ask out the boy she’s in love with. However her feelings aren’t conveyed properly and before she knows it she’s helping him draw his manga as an assistant.
Through the time they spend together, they encounter other schoolmates who assist them and serve as inspiration for his manga’s story. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun is an anime I routinely come back to every few years, as it’s consistently entertaining no matter how many times I’ve re-watched it.
Out of every anime on this list, it’s probably made me laugh out loud the least but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t immensely enjoyable. It frequently parodies shoujo manga tropes to hilarious effect, but what I like most about it is that even if you’re not familiar with these tropes, the anime is still highly entertaining.
The characters are all delightfully quirky and I found myself falling in love with them almost immediately. The fact that there isn’t a single character I dislike in this show speaks volumes to the quality of its character writing. As time has gone on, my appreciation for this anime has only grown and I really hope it gets a second season at some point in the future because it seriously deserves one.
Best Workplace Comedy Anime
Next up is Workplace Comedy, which shares a lot in common with High School Comedy except it’s set in a working environment, instead of a school, with a predominately adult-cast (or at the very least more adult characters). With that said; the award for the best Workplace Comedy goes to…
Working!! – It’s almost like this anime was made specifically to win this award, huh? The story follows a high school boy, and self-professed lover of all things small and cute, who finds himself coerced into working at the Wagnaria family restaurant. Though the pay is reasonable and the clientele polite, he often finds himself at his wits’ end when dealing with the restaurant’s quirky staff.
From the indifferent and street-tough manager, to the katana-carrying floor chief and a red-headed server who violently assaults any man who gets too close, just how long can he survive before the combined stress does him in? The reason why Working works so well as a comedy (no pun intended), is because of the ludicrousness of its characters and the situations they’re put in.
This is by no means a typical eatery because if any of the things that transpire in this show happened in real life, there would be serious consequences. It’s this chaotic energy that makes Working so hilarious but what’s especially compelling is the fact that the show’s characters are not one dimensional.
Throughout the anime’s three seasons, we get to see these characters grow, overcome hardships and even develop romantic relationships. It’s one of few anime that actually has a proper ending, and a satisfying one at that! Honestly there’s just so much to like about this show that I cannot praise it highly enough. If you’ve somehow missed out on this series, then I’d seriously recommend giving it a shot!
Best Gag Comedy Anime
Next up is best Gag Comedy which, as the name implies, focusses on singular gags or sketches. These anime are typically episodic – meaning you can watch any episode and enjoy it regardless of if you’ve seen any prior ones. With that in mind, the award for the best Gag Comedy goes to…
Asobi Asobase – Out of every anime on this list, this is the one that made me burst out laughing the most. Almost every episode had me in stitches and there were numerous instances where I had to stop an episode mid-way through in order to catch my breath.
The story is centred around three school girls; a blonde-haired beauty and supposed foreign transfer student who can’t speak a word of English, a seemingly quiet and shy girl who becomes scarily intense when she becomes serious, and a cheerful energetic girl who often gets the three of them into trouble. Together they form the ‘Pastimers Club’ where they are free to carry out their daily hijinks.
Whether it’s failing to learn English, trying desperately to become popular, or getting caught by teachers at the wrong time, school life is never dull for these three. They can be crudely drawn one minute, highly detailed the next, and their faces can be as squished and distorted in ways that you don’t anticipate.
The combination of the characters facial expressions and rapid fire gags means that you rarely have time to catch your breath, as you’ll be constantly laughing as it jumps from one gag to the next. If you’re in need of a good laugh, I can’t think of a better anime to watch.
Best Drama Anime
Next up is best Drama. Drama in anime can be a fickle thing at times, as more often than not it feels like it’s just trying to provoke a reaction out of the audience because the story calls for it.
However that doesn’t mean every anime with the drama tag is a melodramatic bore, as for every poorly written show there’s always at least one gem lurking beneath the surface. With all of that said; the award for the best Drama anime goes to…
March comes in like a lion – This was probably the easiest pick out of all the anime I’ve ranked so far, as it wasn’t even close. It’s the story of a professional shogi player who suffers from anxiety, depression and loneliness. Unwanted by his adopted family and resented by their children, he moves into his own apartment in Tokyo to avoid inconveniencing others.
While using his talent for shogi to earn a living, he meets a trio of sisters who share with him a unique familial bond that he has lacked for most of his life. In order for a drama anime to truly succeed, good character writing is essential and fortunately March comes in like a lion has that in spades.
It’s able to tackle difficult subject matter with ease thanks to its superb writing, but what really sets this anime apart is its phenomenal visuals that are able to depict a character’s emotions and expressions in a way most other anime are simply unable to.
The second season also has one of the best bullying arcs I’ve ever seen portrayed in an anime, as instead of just being a throwaway plot device to make the audience care for one of its characters, it instead properly addresses the reality of what bullying is like. The writing in this show is just so good, and you owe it to yourself to watch it if you haven’t already done so.
Best Coming of Age Anime
Next up is best Coming of Age, which is kind of an offshoot of drama anime that specifically depicts a character that learns about themselves, about others and the world around them as they mature. It can be a literal transition of a character becoming an adult or more focussed on a character’s personal growth. With that in mind, the award for the best Coming of Age anime goes to…
Silver Spoon – An anime that’s so well-written that it might as well be a documentary about the world of agriculture. The story follows a high school boy who enrols in an agricultural school to escape the stress of trying to live up to his parent’s expectations.
While his classmates revel in the barnyard chores and hard labour, eager to gain skills for their careers, he finds himself being challenged and sometimes downright horrified by the things he’s being taught. As he becomes familiar with his new environment, he learns more about the world of agriculture and how it affects the lives of his new friends.
The show’s main protagonist works well as a self-insert character for the audience as, just like many of us, he’s completely new to all of this and he’s caught off guard by some of the things he’s expected to do.
The supporting cast are all extremely likeable; their dynamics with each other are fun to watch and throughout the series you get to witness these characters grow and come to depend on one another. Even if you don’t care about agriculture, there’s still plenty to love about this show, and I highly recommend it.
Best Sci-Fi Anime
Next up is best Sci-Fi. Had I been asked what I thought the best Sci-Fi anime was a couple of years ago I’d have given a far more predictable answer by saying something like Steins;Gate. While I still believe it’s one of the best in the genre, there’s another anime that has managed to push it out of the top spot for me. With all of that said; the award for the best Sci-Fi anime goes to…
Astra Lost in Space – Yes, that’s right. The show that everyone collectively forgot about the moment the Summer 2019 anime season ended. It tells the story of a group of students as they prepare to set out for their interplanetary school camp.
However, upon reaching their campsite, things take a drastic turn for the worse, as a mysterious orb transports them into the depths of space – thousands of lights years away from home, with no way to call for help. Discovering an abandoned spaceship nearby, they attempt to make their way home whilst trying to unravel the mystery as to why they were transported far away in the first place.
What I really like about this anime is that despite the fact that these kids have been put into such a dire situation, the show itself manages to remain relatively light-hearted throughout most of its run-time. There’s a strong sense of comradery between its main cast that ensures that no matter how bad things get, they’ve always got each other’s backs – which is an aspect I found rather refreshing.
It’s also a complete story, so you don’t have to worry about being left on a cliff hanger, or leaving with a sense that there’s still so much more to the story – like the majority of anime that air each season. If the idea of a fun, relatively light-hearted sci-fi adventure sounds appealing to you, then I’d strongly urge you to give this anime a shot!
Best Sports Anime
Next up is best Sports. I’m not someone who particularly cares to watch any real life sports, and yet when it comes to watching sports anime I find myself enjoying them immensely! With that said, the award for the best sports anime goes to…
Hajime no Ippo – A beloved classic that has stood the test of time, as it remains just as enjoyable today as it did back when it first aired more than twenty years ago. The story revolves around a friendless high school boy who spends his free time helping his mom with work.
His timid nature often leads to him being beaten up by bullies, but that all changes when one day he’s saved from another beating by an up-and coming boxer. Soon after, he manages to turn his life around with a passion for the newly discovered sport. As he sets foot into the world of professional boxing, he makes new friends, encounters a slew of fierce rivals, and comes to learn what dedication truly means.
As far as sports anime go, Hajime no Ippo is as straightforward as they come. He starts off as a complete novice, and throughout the course of the series you get to watch him grow into a real contender. He doesn’t possess any superpowers or some innate ability that makes him over-powered. He’s just dedicated and hard-working.
This is what makes Hajime no Ippo so satisfying to watch, as everything he does truly feels like he’s earned it. The fights are engaging thanks to its great direction, animation and sound design that all hold up remarkably well given the show’s age, and to top it all off it also features the best supporting casts I’ve ever seen in an anime to date.
Best Fantasy Anime
Next up is best Fantasy. The Fantasy genre has changed a lot over the past decade, thanks in no small part to the isekai boom. It’s become so prevalent that even non-isekai fantasy anime base themselves around video game tropes and mechanics.
For this category however, I want to try to focus on more traditional fantasy anime that are not built around video game concepts. With that in mind, the award for the best Fantasy anime goes to…
The Ancient Magus’ Bride – This anime reminded me a little of Mushishi, in that it’s a slice of life that borders on being a healing anime at times due to its generally relaxing vibe, but still tackles storylines and themes that can make you feel uncomfortable.
It’s the story of a girl that has grown up feeling lost, hopeless and emotionally numb due to her own mother saying she wished she’d never been born and being passed from one neglectful guardian to the next. At the age of 15, she’s sold into slavery and purchased by a mysterious being with a skull for a head.
Whisking her away to his home in England, he introduces her to a world of talking animals, dragons, fairies and the like – declaring that she is to become his apprentice in magic, and also his bride! Given that I’m from the UK, the fact that this anime is set in a fantasy England was a nice surprise – as most anime tend to be set in Japan.
It’s also a rare example of a modern fantasy anime that feels like a proper fantasy, as a lot of care and attention has clearly been put into its world-building to make it feel “believable”. This is further accentuated by Studio Wit’s commitment to its craft, as the anime features some truly gorgeous set pieces and animated sequences that wouldn’t work nearly as well had they been poorly adapted.
Best Dark Fantasy Anime
Next up is Dark Fantasy, which takes the typical fantasy genre and incorporates grittier and more mature themes – with many of them featuring horror elements and explicit violence. I’ll admit that this isn’t a genre of anime I go out of my way to watch, so for this category I have a much smaller selection of titles to choose from. With that said; the award for the best Dark Fantasy anime goes to…
Goblin Slayer – Of all the anime featured on this list, this is the one that surprised me the most when I initially sat down to watch it. It revolves around a mysterious adventurer who has managed to climb all the way up to Silver rank just by killing goblins.
At the guild to which he belongs, a priestess and her newly formed party decide to go goblin slaying – blissfully unaware that these seemingly weak creatures are actually among the most dangerous out there. Being so woefully unprepared, her party is quickly decimated but just as she’s about to meet her fate, she’s suddenly saved by the mysterious adventurer in question.
After the ordeal, she decides to join him on his quest to eradicate every single goblin in existence. This anime sparked quite the controversy when it initially aired, thanks to its first episode depicting a female adventurer being sexually assaulted.
It’s evident just how much the author loves Dungeons & Dragons as the entire story plays out like a D&D campaign. The characters are well-written, the story is engaging and the world-building is excellent. Honestly, I enjoyed this anime far more than I thought I would, and have continued to enjoy it on repeat watches.
Best Isekai Anime
Next up is everybody’s favourite fantasy genre, Isekai! Considering how much flack isekai anime get nowadays (which is somewhat justified given the abundance of mediocrity out there) I rather like this genre, when it’s done well that is.
If this series was just about listing off the anime I like most, then Overlord would be my number one choice for this category as it’s one of my all-time favourites however if you’ve seen it then you’d know that the anime suffers from some glaringly awful CGI that is kind of hard to ignore.
As such, I needed to pick another anime for this category. So without further ado, the award for the best Isekai anime goes to…
Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun – You probably forgot that this is an isekai anime, due to it not really playing out like one, but it is one and an incredibly good one at that. It’s the story of boy who finds himself sold to a demon and taken against his will into the demon realm.
To add to his predicament, his doting owner and self-appointed grandpa is the chair-demon at his new school. In order to survive the threat of being eaten should his peers discover he’s actually human, he tries to keep a low profile but he soon realises that doing so will not be as simple as he’d hoped.
It has that same kind of light-hearted playfulness, coupled with genuinely great comedy and a large supporting cast of unique and memorable characters. This is one of those anime where I knew by the end of the first episode that I was really going to enjoy this series, and that it would inevitably become one of my all-time favourites and it did not disappoint.
With two incredible seasons under its belt, and a soon-to-be-released third season that adapts a fan-favourite arc in the manga, things only seem to be looking up for Iruma-kun. It’s a seriously fantastic show that I’d highly recommend watching, if you haven’t already done so.
Best Supernatural Anime
Next up is best Supernatural. Like Action anime, Supernatural anime tend to pair with all kinds of different genres so there’s very rarely a supernatural anime without another genre being attached to it. As such, there is a sheer metric ton of supernatural anime to choose from. With that said; the award for the best Supernatural anime goes to…
Mob Psycho 100 – A lovingly crafted story with what is looking to be one of the best anime adaptations I’ve seen in a long time. It revolves around a boy who has a hard time expressing himself but who happens to be a powerful esper. Determined to live out a normal life, he tries to keep his powers supressed but when his emotions surge to a level of 100% something will overwhelm his entire body.
As the progression towards his explosion rises, any attempt to stop it is futile. From the same author behind One Punch Man, Mob Psycho 100 shares a lot of things in common with its bigger brother. The real defining difference between the two is that One Punch Man leans far more heavily into comedy, whereas Mob Psycho 100 leans more towards telling a heart-warming story.
This is most apparent in the anime’s second season which really blew the door wide open and elevated the show to a whole new level. Of course, in addition to the great character drama, are some fantastically kickass fight scenes that are beautifully animated and, unlike One Punch Man, its second season doesn’t drop the ball.
Its third and final season will adapt the remaining parts of the manga, meaning that this will also be one of few anime to receive a complete adaptation. If it’s able to stick the landing (which I have no reason to believe it won’t) this will undoubtedly become a standout anime that’s recommended for many years to come.
Best Horror Anime
Next up is best Horror. Horror is an interesting topic to discuss in anime because what constitutes as “horror” more often than not just means gore, instead of something that’s actually scary.
As someone with an anxiety disorder, I don’t typically go out of my way to consume anxiety-inducing media, but I have seen a lot of horror anime – simply because a lot of them aren’t all that scary. For this category however, I am making that a stipulation. If a horror anime is incapable of making its viewers feel uncomfortable, then I don’t think it really deserves to be classified as horror in the first place.
Ironically, the anime that I’ve chosen for this category isn’t even listed as horror on most websites, despite it being one of the most unnerving anime I’ve ever seen. So, without further ado, the award for the best Horror anime goes to…
Rainbow – An anime so genuinely disturbing that I considered dropping it on numerous occasions because of how ill it made me feel. The fact that I wanted to keep watching it, despite that, demonstrates just how incredible this anime is. The story revolves around a group of young men who are transported to a special disciplinary school where countless horrors await them.
Overseen by a sadistic, abusive guard and a perverted doctor who requires invasive “inspections,” the school is the new home of these boys who committed petty and often necessary crimes. Alongside their hardened cellmate, the young men will try their best to survive their incarceration and hold onto the fleeting rainbows in their hearts.
What makes Rainbow so unnerving is that it doesn’t shy away from the brutality, suffering and humiliation inflicted upon these young men. It’s extremely disturbing, but the story is so engaging that you want to keep pushing through despite how uncomfortable you feel watching it.
The bond these boys develop, as a result of their shared suffering, is also truly uplifting – as no matter how bad things get, they’ve always got each other’s backs. Knowing this actually made the second half easier to watch but that doesn’t mean it’s any less frightening. If you’re able to stomach it, I’d highly recommend giving it a watch.
Best Mystery Anime
Next up is best Mystery, which also suffers from a similar problem to horror anime – in that a lot of mystery anime don’t really have a compelling mystery for the viewer to solve. They’re often too predictable or are generally unsatisfying, and a great many anime will abandon their mystery elements once it’s served its purpose.
However that doesn’t mean every mystery anime is a dud. There are actually a few that could win the title of best mystery anime, but since this award can only go to one – I’ve gone with the anime I’ve enjoyed the most from beginning to end. With that in mind, the award for the best Mystery anime goes to…
Moriarty the Patriot – We’ve had a few Sherlock Holmes-inspired anime over the years, and while they’ve mostly been mediocre, this one is thankfully a delight! The story centres on William James Moriarty as he works to topple the aristocracy that has caused systemic inequity in 19th century Britain.
Living as a regular noble, while also being a consultant for commoners to give them a hand and solve their problems, he meticulously plots to destroy the very institutions responsible for upholding the British nobility and those who benefit from it. Not even the great detective Sherlock Holmes can stand in his way.
There’s a lot to like about this anime, from the cat and mouse chase between Moriarty and Sherlock that is very reminiscent of Death Note, to the way it puts its own fun spin on familiar characters, and the fact that the English dub actually has British voice actors in it which helps to give the show an extra layer of authenticity.
It’s been a long time since I sat down to watch an anime and immediately fell in love with it. From the very beginning, all the way to the end of its second season, I was positively enthralled by it. Moriarty is Sherlock’s greatest adversary and throughout the series we get to witness his brilliance as he’s always able to stay one step ahead. If you’ve slept on this anime, then you owe it to yourself to give it a watch.
Best Psychological Anime
Next up is best Psychological, which delves into the mental or emotional states of its characters in the midst of a difficult situation. This genre is often paired with Thriller anime however I’ve chosen to separate them into two categories so that each has a chance to shine on their own. With that said; the award for the best Psychological anime goes to…
One Outs – A tragically underrated anime that’s as clever as it is entertaining. The story follows a baseball pitcher and reckless gambler who uses nothing other than his wits and a slow-moving fastball to consistently win a high stakes one-on-one game between pitcher and batter. That is until he’s introduced to a superstar clean-up hitter who manages to defeat him due to a technicality.
As per their agreement, he’s enlisted to join their poorly-ranked baseball team in hopes of turning it around. But the team’s greedy and detestable owner is reluctant to give the inexperienced pitcher any sort of significant salary; prompting an unusual contract where he receives five million yen for every out he pitches, but loses fifty million yen for every run he gives up.
Despite primarily revolving around baseball, this is not a typical sports anime so you don’t need to know anything about the sport to enjoy it. The way in which the protagonist carefully observes his opponents in order to psychologically manipulate them into doing what he wants is incredibly satisfying, and the anime takes great care in laying everything out so that his actions never appear too outlandish.
It succeeds in keeping the viewer engaged by being genuinely clever, as you never quite know what to expect next. If you haven’t seen One Outs, then I cannot recommend it highly enough!
Best Thriller Anime
Next up is best Thriller! These are the types of anime that leave you on the edge of your seat, desperate to know what’s going to happen next. With that said, the award for the best Thriller anime goes to…
Monster – Not only is this an exceptionally brilliant psychological thriller, it’s also an excellent example of how to do a mystery anime right. It’s the story of a genius neurosurgeon whose life is changed irrevocably when he decides to save the life of a young boy over the town’s mayor during an emergency.
His decision not only damages his future prospects but also kick starts a chain of horrific events that he could have never foreseen. Laden with guilt, he begins a journey across the country in search of a formidable young man who will challenge his morals, his love for life, and his very sanity.
Monster is a classic anime that has very much stood the test of time, as almost two decades later it’s just as enjoyable to watch as it was when it first aired. The show is divided into numerous character arcs that at first seem irrelevant to the overarching plot, but each plays a role in solving the mystery.
While its pacing might seem a tad slow for some people, it never wastes the time it’s given – with it carefully building suspense throughout, and a sense of impending dread as more of the plot is unravelled. Monster manages to tackle a variety of dark and difficult subject matter in a mature and tactful way that ensures it never comes off as edgy like a lot of more modern anime can feel.
Best Romance Anime
Next up is best Romance. A genre of anime that I’m quite fond of – providing the story isn’t dragged out or plagued with copious amounts of melodrama. For this reason, I often find myself gravitating towards romance anime that are more fluffy and wholesome – which may or may not have influenced my final decision. With all of that said; the award for the best Romance anime goes to…
Snow White with the Red Hair – The quintessential wholesome romance anime, as it always manages to remain light-hearted regardless of what’s happening in the story. It revolves around a cheerful redheaded girl who works as an apothecary, until she catches the eye of the kingdom’s prince who demands that she become his concubine.
Not wanting to be viewed as an object put on display, she flees to a neighbouring country where she meets and befriends a charming man who is revealed to be a prince as well. Returning to his castle, she sets her sights on becoming a court herbalist and soon develops a romantic relationship with him.
It’s such a pleasant anime to watch that even during scenes that you’d think would be tense, you never feel on edge or uncomfortable. And that’s not even factoring in all of the adorableness that comes from the show’s two main leads. I think what really seals the deal for me though is that its fluffiness doesn’t equate to boredom, which is often sadly the case for other similar shows.
When you have a romance anime that’s too sweet, it can start to wear out its welcome pretty quickly but thankfully Snow White with the Red Hair never crosses that line. It’s a truly wonderful show and I cannot sing its praises enough!
Best Romantic Comedy Anime
Next up is Romantic Comedy! For the purposes of this category, I’m specifically looking at anime that lean more into the comedy side than the romance side, as arguably that’s the entire point. With that in mind, the award for the best Romantic Comedy goes to…
Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions – An anime that combines great action, funny slice of life moments and an adorable romance to create what is without a doubt one of my favourite anime romcoms. It’s the story of a teenage boy who used to suffer from chunibyo syndrome (or eighth grader syndrome) when he was in middle school, and a chunibyo girl who never grew out of it.
While the boy wishes he could put his embarrassing past behind him, his secret is discovered by the chunibyo girl in question who uses this knowledge to rope him into all of her wacky adventures. As she pulls him further away from normality, he must try to pull her back into the real world – or risk getting sucked into hers!
The anime features some genuinely funny scenes, and when combined with its slick presentation and the bubbly romance between our two main leads, you end up with something that’s utterly delightful. The romantic progression is fairly slow, but that’s understandable given that this is a comedy first and foremost. It does eventually lead to a satisfying conclusion however, thanks to the finale movie.
This anime basically has everything I could ever ask for; quirky, yet loveable characters, genuinely funny comedy, an adorably sweet romance that leads to a satisfying conclusion and a generally light-hearted tone that all culminate to create an extremely wholesome show that I never grow tired of, even on repeat watches. I strongly recommend giving it a try, if you haven’t already.
Best Romantic Drama Anime
Next up is Romantic Drama! I’ll admit that this isn’t my favourite genre pairing, partly due to the fact that a good number of them are set in high school with similar character archetypes that grow tiresome after a while. With that said; the award for the best Romantic Drama goes to…
Fruits Basket (2019) – A fairly typical shoujo anime at first glance, but thankfully it doesn’t stay that way for long. The story follows an orphaned high school girl, who’s left to live in a tent after a family tragedy leaves her all alone. When her temporary home is discovered by the mysterious Soma clan, she suddenly finds herself moving in with them.
But she soon learns their family has a bizarre secret; when hugged by a member of the opposite sex, they transform into animals of the Zodiac! What makes Fruits Basket so captivating, and what ultimately helps to differentiate it from so many like it, is that it manages to introduce characters that seem fairly clichéd at first – but then proceeds to add further depth to them.
It starts off light-hearted and comedic, before shifting into darker storylines and heavier drama but it does so in a way that doesn’t feel forced or overtly melodramatic. The icing on the cake is that not only is this 2019 remake significantly more faithful than its original 2001 depiction, but it’s also a complete adaptation as well – meaning you won’t be left on any kind of cliff-hanger.
There’s also a movie that adapts additional chapters from the manga that aren’t present in the TV series, and it’s just as good. Fruits Basket is a series that’s been highly praised for many years, and having now seen the full story (thanks to this remake) I finally understand why that is. It’s easily one of the best shoujo anime out there, and you’re doing yourself a great disservice by not checking it out.
Best Ecchi Anime
Next up is best Ecchi! There are many anime that feature the ecchi tag but mere fan service is simply not good enough to win this award. For this category, the ecchi needs to be a core component of the anime. In other words, it can’t just be something that’s tacked on for the sake of it. With that in mind, the award for the best Ecchi anime goes to…
Interspecies Reviewers – The anime that sparked a fair amount of controversy when it first aired, due to it being too hot for Funimation to handle. The story centres on a group of adventurers who take it upon themselves to review the beastly babes of the red-light district in a fantasy world filled to the brim with alluring creatures of every variety.
Whether it be scorching hot salamanders or voluptuous cow-girls, these perverted heroes will leave no species unturned in their quest to discover which of these races is the sexiest. While ecchi anime are a dime a dozen, finding ecchi anime that are of decent or high quality is much more difficult.
That said, it’s clear from watching this anime that the staff were having a ton of fun working on it, as not only is it extremely well-produced for an ecchi anime, it’s also genuinely funny at times – with some great gags that made me chuckle far more often than I expected to. Of course, being an adult-oriented show, it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but I ended up enjoying it a fair bit.
Because Funimation dropped it, the English dub ended up being canned after just a single episode – which is unfortunate because it actually sounded pretty good. It’s also not legally streamable either, for the same reason, so you’ll have to sail the high seas if you want to check out this title – which you absolutely should, if you’re a fan of this genre.
Best Slice of Life Anime
Next up is best Slice of Life. Anyone who has watched my content will know that this is the genre I gush about the most – which makes narrowing down this list that much harder, as there are so many incredible slice of life anime to choose from.
Before we begin, I just want to give an honourable mention to Shonen Maid – a very wholesome and underrated anime that I frequently bring up on this channel because it is one of my favourite feel-good shows, however just because it’s one of my favourites doesn’t immediately grant it a spot on this list. With all of that said, the award for the best slice of life anime goes to…
Mushishi – A truly exceptional anime, and certified classic, that is just as phenomenal now as it was when it first aired. It revolves around a man who is one of few humans who can interact with Mushi – lifeforms more primitive than plants and animals that exist without any real purpose or meaning. Employing himself as a Mushi Master, he aids people suffering from problems caused by them.
Part of the brilliance of Mushishi is how each episode is able to tell a complete story; establishing a set of characters, a problem that needs solving and the eventual resolution, without it feeling rushed or predictable. It’s seen by many as being an Iyashikei or healing anime, thanks to its overall tranquillity however that doesn’t stop it from exploring storylines that are dark and disturbing.
It also doesn’t portray the mushi or the human characters in these stories as being strictly good or evil. Both are simply doing what is needed to survive, and as such there’s rarely a happy end to these stories, but that’s also what makes them so interesting in the first place.
If you have this anime on your plan to watch list, like so many people currently do, then might I suggest actually sitting down and watching it so you can see why it’s so beloved.
Best CGDCT Anime
Next up is CGDCT. I’ll admit that I find this genre to be rather hit or miss. There are some that I absolutely adore, while there are just as many that I find to be a snooze fest. However that also means that when I do find one I enjoy, it ends up making that much more of an impression. With that in mind, the award for the best CGDCT anime goes to…
Non Non Biyori – It may appear rather mundane on the surface but it’s surprisingly entertaining and easily one of the best in the genre. The story follows a girl who transfers from a school in bustling Tokyo to a tiny rural school in the quiet countryside. While her new school only has a handful of students, there’s something about the laidback lifestyle that makes her feel right at home.
Together, with her newfound friends, she embarks on a variety of adventures and comes to learn that home really is where the heart is. I remember being genuinely caught off guard when I first watched this anime, as I initially went in expecting to drop it after a couple of episodes, only for it to end up becoming one of my favourites!
My biggest gripe with CGDCT anime is the constant repetition; from plot threads to character archetypes – if you’ve seen one then you’ve basically seen them all. However Non Non Biyori manages to avoid falling into this trap thanks in part to its setting. With there being so little to do out in the countryside, the anime has to rely heavily on its characters to keep things entertaining.
The characters are all extremely likeable, which compliments the show’s relaxing atmosphere, and their interactions with each other are genuinely hilarious. To top it all off, it’s also a complete adaptation as well which is a rarity for this genre. I’m so glad that I didn’t pass up on this anime.
Best School Life Anime
Next up is School Life, which focuses on the daily life of a character or group of characters that are still attending school. Unsurprisingly, the characters depicted in these shows range from middle schoolers to college students – with high schoolers being the most prevalent. With that said; the award for the best School Life anime goes to…
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K – Just because an anime is set in school, doesn’t mean that it has to be conventional. The story revolves around a typical sixteen-year old, with the one exception being that he possesses psychic powers. Wanting nothing more than to live an ordinary life, he keeps his powers to himself in an attempt to stay out of the limelight.
But try as he might, he’s unable to shake off some of his more eccentric classmates who he’s forced to deal with on a near constant basis. Here we have another anime that’s been fortunate enough to receive a complete adaptation, and from beginning to end it’s a real treat! The characters are all delightfully quirky and are able to make a strong first impression, which is vital due to the anime’s structure.
Being made up of five minute shorts that are strung together to form full-length episodes, it’s essential for viewers to get to grips with new characters quickly – which is achieved beautifully thanks to each character’s distinct appearance and personality. The anime is also very funny, and the short length of each sketch ensures that jokes rarely outstay their welcome.
It also features an exceptionally good English dub that manages to elevate an already incredible show that much higher, however only the first season is currently dubbed into English – so that’s something to keep in mind.
Best Work Life Anime
Finally we have Work Life which, in a similar vein to School Life, focusses on the daily life of a character or group of characters in the workplace. While characters in School Life anime are typically teenagers, Work Life anime predictably feature more adult characters. With that in mind, the award for the best Work Life anime goes to…
The Great Passage – A phenomenal workplace anime that I’ve sung the praises of on numerous occasions on this channel, and for good reason! It tells the story of a socially awkward salesman, with a real love and appreciation for words, who is invited to join the Dictionary Editorial Department at his company after its veteran Chief decides to retire.
There, he has a hand in creating a brand-new dictionary titled “The Great Passage” that is being designed for the modern era. As he accepts his new position, he finds himself unsure of his abilities and questioning whether or not he’ll fit in with his new co-workers. Yet amid the vast sea of words, The Great Passage will bring them all together.
What truly makes this anime shine is that not only do we get to witness the daily lives of these characters as they work together to make something so intricate, but also how this anime spans across thirteen years – so you get to see these characters mature with the passage of time.
The thoughtfulness of the show’s writing keeps you invested in these characters and the dictionary they’re creating – with it almost feeling like a documentary at times. It provides a fascinating and insightful look into all of the work involved in bringing a dictionary to life. It’s a real shame more people haven’t seen The Great Passage, as it’s truly exceptional.
That is it from today’s post on The Best Anime Of All Time From Each Genre. If you do not agree with the points in the post and have some of your own opinions, share them with us in the comments section down below. Keep visiting Animesoulking for more information about Anime and Manga.