TOP RATED ANIME: MUST WATCH LIST
The highest rated anime series [UPDATED 2021]
In recent times, the audience has shown an increasing interest for the Japanese animated series, also referred as Anime, with the term that has acquired a more global connotation. We want to collect in this article, the list of the top rated anime series that a anime-fan or even newcomers of the genre must watch. No spoilers to come in our must watch list of the highest rated anime series.
How do we rank our anime series?
These 4 fundamental points determines the quality of an anime (always according to our own opinion).
Complexity and hidden meanings: in this field we consider the depth of the plot, its structure and how much intelligible it appears after the 1st watch. The kind of topics (social, philosophical) and their semantic value have an impact on the mark.
Plot consistency: the series of events is analysed with the principle of causality. High rates means that the plot is both robust and with minor/or even missing plotholes.
Sound and Music: the Opening intro and the soundtracks that accompany the audience throught the episodes and crucial moments are evaluated.
Graphics and Drawings: it is related to the graphical quality of the novel, taking into account the year of release.
MUST WATCH LIST OF TOP RATED ANIMES
Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood (95/100)
Plot: The series follows the story of two alchemist brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who want to restore their bodies after a disastrous failed attempt to bring their mother back to life through alchemy. Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood is the perfect recipe for an anime series: the perfect mix of shonen and seinen moments in the narrative archs makes the storyplot almost unequal. Amazing battles, sublime soundtracks and a clver scripts are the fundamentals for a valuable work.
Weathering with you (90.5/100)
Plot: The masterpiece of Makoto Shinkai is the story of a high-school boy who runs away from his rural home to Tokyo and befriends an orphan girl who has the ability to manipulate the weather. The film was produced by Wakana Okamura and Kinue Itō, and the music was composed by Radwimps. The animed film (it’s not an anime series) comes after the worldwide success of Your Name. You can check the review of weathering with you here.
Steins; Gate (88.75/100)
Plot: Our top rated anime series is Steins; Gate (a must watch anime together with the sequel/midquel Steins; Gate 0). It is probably the best anime about time travel so far. The series takes 5-6 episodes to take-off but once there you’ll not be able to stuck from it. Okabe Rintarou, a university student who refers to himself as Crazy Mad Scientist Hououin Kyouma and his lab’s members work on a microwave device that can transfer messages to the past. Without getting captured, they should get it working in order to beat the evil organization, SERN and stop their evil plans. In this anime series you can find science, sad moments and light heart scenes in a mix which make the Steins; Gate universe an essential series for fans. The series is so comlex and well organised that we bet you’ll need to rewatch it. We have also prepared a timeline explanation in this article (Steins; Gate timeline explained)
Attack on Titan season 1-3 ( 88/100)
Plot: While the final season is currently on air (Aot season 4) and previous 3 season of Attack on Titan are for sure to retrieve. In fact, Attack on Titan anime is one of the most acclaimed of recent times. The first 3 season have been developed by Studio Wit while the final season is produced by MAPPA Studio. Attack on Titan is set in a world where humanity lives inside cities surrounded by enormous walls that protect them from gigantic man-eating humanoids referred to as Titans; the story follows Eren Yeager, who vows to exterminate the Titans after a Titan brings about the destruction of his hometown and the death of his mother. This is only the incipt of the plot, since Aot is well known for deep plot twists and keeping the spectator stuck to the screen till the very end. Even after season 3 a lot of mysteries have to be discovered. You can find our philosophy insight here (The philosophy behind Attack on Titan)
Death Note ( 88/100)
Plot: In our must watch list of the top rated anime series we couldn’t miss a true classic as Death Note. We cannot add nothing to one of the most famous contemporary animes. What’s this anime about? Let’s see what happens if a teen genius (Light Yagami) stumbles across a mysterious otherworldly notebook: the “Death Note“, which belonged to the Shinigami Ryuk and grants the user the supernatural ability to kill anyone whose name is written in its pages… We wrote two articles about Death Note to cover this anime: Death Note explained analysis and Death Note: Light vs L.
The Promised Neverland ( 88/100)
Plot: Don’t be fooled by the childish appearance of the characters, The Promised Neverland will keep the audience crushed by the thrilling atmosphere of the Grace Field House, an orphanage. An idyllic, apparently perfect place for the orphans where to grow and spend their lifes, waiting for family adoption. The pleasant appeareance barely resists 20 mins of episode 1, when the true nature of the orphanage is revealed. The Grace Field House, directed by the caretaker “Mama” Isabella is literally a farm for raising up the children. Emma, Ray and Norman, three orphans, will make up an escape plan full of twists. See also: The Promised Neverland review: why is the best anime of 2019.
Demon Slayer ( 88/100)
Plot: Demon Slayer is a 2019 shonen anime which has revently raised the interest of anime fans. The storyplot follows Tanjiro Kamado and his sister Nezuko Kamado as they seek a cure to Nezuko’s demon curse. Tanjiro and Nezuko become entangled in the affairs of a secret society, known as the Demon Slayer Corps, that have been waging a secret war against demons for centuries.
Violet Evergarden ( 88/100)
Plot: This anime series is pure emotion and armony. The story is focused on a young girl, Violet Evergarden, whose capabilities as soldier have been exploited in field battles. Now, Violet is reintegrating back into society after the war is over andher life’s purpose is to understand the last words her mentor and guardian, Major Gilbert, had told her: “I love you. If have already watched Violet Evergarden, enjoy our analysis review Violet Evergarden, is it possible to learn emotions?
Death Parade ( 87.5/100)
Plot: Death Parade gives an alternative view of the after-death. Let’s consider to find yourself to face a bartender in a moder European bar which will define your destiny: heaven or hell. Of course, you don’t remember that you just died. The view of Death Parade will give you another perspective of the “Memento Mori” (Death Parade: the bar game to reveal soul destiny).
Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion ( 87.25/100)
Plot: After Holy Empire of Britannia attacks and conquers Japan and reduces the once proud nation as an occupied country, Lelouch, an exiled Imperial Prince of Britannia empire, vows to wrestle Japan to its freedom. He encounters a mysterious girl named C.C., who bestows upon him the mystical power of Geass. Code Geass is a great anime review which greatly mixes actions, strategy and powerful soundtracks. For more insight about the topics and analysis check Why Lelouch is the real hero of Code Geass.
Gurren Lagann (85/100)
Plot: Gurren Lagann is a mechan-anime series animated by Gainax and co-produced by Aniplex and Konami. The series can be considered as a turning point for the director Hiroyuki Imaishi and thw playwright Kazuki Nakashima which, later, would have given birth to Kill La Kill (2013) and Promare (2019). The plot focuses on two teenagers, Simon and Kamina, who live in a subterranean village and wish to go to the surface. Gurren Lagann har clear references to another highly rated anime Neon Genesis Evangelion (NGE) which can be considered an important precursor of not only the mecha-centered anime. For more about see: Gurren Lagann, a legacy of NGE .
Plot: The first romantic-comedy anime of our list. The storyplot focuses on the school adventures of Taiga and Ryuuji. The typical sentimental dynamics of young generations are well captured by Toradora! A must watch for a deep and touching heart series about the most common social interaction problem: the fear of not being understood and beloved. To clarify the ending of Toradora, simply check our article: Toradora: ending and relationship explained.
Kill La Kill (84/100)
Plot: Kill la Kill has a character design very similar to Gurren Lagann. Honnouji Academy is forcefully ruled by the iron-fisted control of its student council and its president, Satsuki Kiryuuin. Transfer student, Ryuuko Matoi, arrives on campus carrying a giant sword, that is actually half of a scissor. She is looking for the woman who holds the other half of her sword who killed her father. The anime inspects philosophical topics exploiting a very dynamic storyplot. Kill la Kill is more than a mere fanservice product, analyzing social problems through the concept of clothing (Kill la Kill review: the deception of clothing)
Plot: In the list of our top rated anime series, a Sci-Fi crime story like Psycho-Pass cannot be missed. The series takes place in the near future (Tokyo 2112), when it is possible to instantaneously measure and quantify a person’s state of mind and personality. This information is recorded and processed, and the term “Psycho–Pass” in the anime’s title refers to a standard used to measure an individual’s being. The anime is organized in three season where you’ll smash into a new concept of “intelligence” and “Justice”. Check our articles about Psycho-Pass here.
Banana Fish (82.5/100)
Plot: Ash Lynx is a 17-years old teenager in New York City. Raised by the infamous godfather of the mafia, Dino Golzine, he begins investigating the mysterious “Banana Fish”—the same two words his older brother, Griffin, has muttered since his return from the Iraq War.
Tokyo Ghoul season 1-2 (82/100)
Plot: Tokyo Ghoul is set in an alternate reality where ghouls, creatures that look like normal people but can only survive by eating human flesh, live amongst the human population in secrecy, hiding their true nature in order to evade pursuit from the authorities.The protagonist, Ken Kaneki found himself to be a ghoul after a surgery to save his life. You can find our analysis of Tokyo Ghoul here.
Fist of North Star (80.5/100)
Plot: First of the North Star relives the episodes of the animated anime/manga episodes in a very concentrated way. Each narrative arch is dedicated to a particular character which has marked the faith of the Hokuto Shinken. Let’s follow the steps of the shining warrior Kenshiro.
Other famous anime series
As you can appreciate, the anime listed above cannot be fully comprehensive, but you can make an idea about which anime series are worth watching because are top rated inside the anime community. For example, we haven’t mentioned some worldwide famous series like DragonBall, One Piece, Naruto and Pokemon. In fact, in our list we preferred to focus on some titles that don’t have the same spread or consist on a more limited amount of episodes (not over 80 anime eposodes).
Shortly on our TOP RATED ANIME LIST: the titles
Our top anime chart will be updated with the following anime series which, for sure, deserve a high place on the to rated anime ranking. Shortly in our must watch list you’ll find also:
Neon Genesis Evangelion
TOP RATED ANIME SERIES – RANKING CHART
|Anime||Complexity and hidden meanings||Plot consistency||Sounds and Music||Graphics and drawings||Global Rank (/100)|
|Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood||92||96||97||95||95|
|Wheathering with you||85||80||98||99||90.5|
|Attack on Titan (1-3)||90||88||92||82||88|
|The Promised Neverland||88||90||88||86||88|
|Code Geass (R1 and R2)||90||82||88||89||87.25|
|Kill La Kill||80||82||84||90||84|
|Tokyo Ghoul (season 1-2)||85||80||82||81||82|
|Fist of North Star||80||80||82||80||80.5|
Highly rated anime to watch: final thoughts
As you may appreciate from our top anime chart, some anime series are classified with the same score. That’s because comparing different anime genre is quite difficult and the final decision is left to the spectactor. And you do you agree with us? What anime do you like the most?