The Ultimate List of the Most Popular Anime in Japan

Since the beginning of time, anime has dominated Japan’s market. People fell in love with anime since the release of the first animated film, which was sometime before World War II. Japan has seen a huge growth in anime sales due to this love. Below is a list of the most popular anime series in Japan.

1. 1.

This list will be kicked off by Akira Toriyama’s Dragon Ball series. The story follows Son Goku, an alien child of the Saiyan race. His parents send him to Earth in a spaceship to destroy it, but things change when he starts to lose his memories. The anime is filled with action-packed battles and iconic scenes.

You can start Dragon Ball by watching the episodes in this order.

* Dragon Ball (1986).
* Dragon Ball Z (1989).
* Dragon Ball GT (1996, created by Toei Animation).
* Dragon Ball Kai (2009, 2014)
* Dragon Ball Super (2015)
* Super Dragon Ball Heroes (2018, created by Toei Animation).

2. One Piece

One Piece is an entertaining anime that you can watch if there are many episodes. Monkey D. Luffy is a young boy who embarks on a journey to become King of the Pirates. It’s funny and full of adventure, as well as slow-paced. This anime is perfect for those who enjoy long fight scenes.

3. Code Geass

Code Geass is an anime that is very popular in Japan. It’s a fascinating choice. The story centers on Lelouch who uses the Geass power he received from CC to start a rebellion.

It is possible to be surprised by anime’s (very entertaining and entertaining) mecha battles or rivalries. Code Geass is also appealing because of the conflict between characters and moral questions.

4. Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo’s story is simple. It follows three strangers, Fuu Jin and Mugen. They share a common path for a while but eventually split up once they reach their goal.

It tells their story in an original way and is filled with high quality animations and good music. This is what makes it my favorite anime!

5. Naruto

Naruto is a popular anime both in Japan and abroad. The story tells the tale of Uzumaki Naruto (a young boy who dreams to be a Hokage). Naruto’s adventures and trials are told in the anime. This shows his determination to pursue his dream, despite all odds.

There are many episodes and movies available to watch, with more being added every week. You can start watching the episodes by following this sequence:

* Naruto
* Naruto Shippuuden
* Boruto (follows Naruto’s adventures)

6. Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell, a futuristic anime, tells the story of Major, a cyber-enhanced person. Major is a cyber-enhanced human who fights the most dangerous criminals. She can also hack into the minds of others using her abilities. The show’s events make for an engaging story. This has made Ghost in the Shell a very popular anime in Japan.

7. Bleach

Bleach is a top-rated anime with its amazing fight scenes and characters. Kurosaki Ichigo, the protagonist, is one of the most powerful Shinigami in Soul Society. He has been through many fights. But he’s not the only one who must face Hollows and other Shinigami. Ichigo is supported by a trusted group of friends every step of his journey.

Bleach is a great anime series that I recommend to all anime fans. The anime is fun, has a lot of emotions and you can empathize with some characters. Bleach’s story is one of the most memorable of all time because of how love and hatred are presented.

8. Kakegurui

These stories are about compulsive gambling and addiction. Kakegurui literally means “crazy.”

The story centers on students attending Hyakkaou Private Academy, a school for the wealthy and privileged. This anime has a unique social hierarchy based on gambling, where the winner takes all.

9. Berserk

Berserk is another anime I love. I also have most of the mangas. It’s not for the weak of heart. There is a lot of blood, gore and violence. The story is still top-notch and will keep you entertained for hours.

The story is about Guts, the Black Swordsman and his journey through a world of violence and war. Guts also finds his way to Hell through betrayal and loss of love. These trials make Guts one of my favorite characters in anime.

10. Pokemon

You’ve probably heard of Pokemon Go — the game that everyone’s been so obsessed with a couple of years back. Did you know there was an anime as well?

The story of Ash Ketchum is told in the anime Pokemon. He’s a Pokemon trainer. Ash wants to be the ultimate Pokemon Master. To achieve this, however, Ash must participate in several Pokemon tournaments.

Ash meets Misty, Brock and Brock along the way. They travel together to challenge different opponents, including some you might know as Team Rocket.

You’ll find Pokemon Go more fun than Pokemon Go because of the many entertaining dialogues and suspense-driven scenes.

11. Online Sword Art

Sword Art Online (or SAO), is an anime that revolves around video games. Sword Art Online is an online MMORPG that the protagonists are playing. It can be accessed via a special headset that stimulates one’s senses. The helmet allows players to control their characters only with their minds, and without the need for any other controls.

All players are locked in the game due to its nature. They must beat the castle’s hundred floors in order to escape. In real life, dying in the game is equivalent to dying in real life. SAO is a very popular anime series, especially among those who enjoy video games.

12. Baki

Baki is an original anime. This is probably why it’s one of Japan’s most loved anime. Baki Hanma, a strong fighter, can take on any opponent, so many want to challenge him. Baki Hanma’s goal is to be the strongest man on Earth. He accepts challenges and works hard to achieve that goal.

The anime’s uniqueness lies in its cringy animations, and the outrageous expressions of its characters. Baki is a great anime to watch if you are looking for something unexpected.

13. Shingeki no Kyojin

Shingeki no Kyojin (or Attack on Titan) is rightfully one the most beloved anime in Japan. The animation quality is excellent, as is the story. The protagonist is Eren Yeager, and the story follows his journey to save humanity from the human-eating titans.

14. Bakuman

Bakuman is a wonderful anime that depicts the life of a Japanese mangaka. Mashiro Moritaka, an aspiring mangaka, gets a taste for the competitive manga industry. This anime is a fun slice of life that shows the struggles, failures, and eventual great success of the protagonist.

15. Saint Seiya

Saint Seiya is the story of a 13-year old orphan named Seiya. Along with other knights, the boy becomes Athena’s protector.

Seiya is shaped by the many trials ahead of him to become the strongest Knight in the Zodiac. He soon becomes one of Athena’s most powerful guardians.

16. Kill la Kill

I’ll start off by saying that the animation in Kill la Kill is simply amazing. The story is still good, though, as Ryuko Matoi follows her search for her father’s killer.

After taking a beating from her opponent, she meets a Kamui. The Kamui grants her tremendous power and allows her to defeat stronger opponents.

17. Psycho-Pass

Psycho-Pass anime is set in the 22nd Century. Japan developed a system to determine an individual’s intention in the future. It is used mostly by law enforcement inspectors.

The Sybil System isn’t perfect. A young inspector finds flaws in the Sybil System that makes her question the meaning of justice.

18. Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist is about two brothers, Edward Elric and Alphonse. After an alchemical experiment that was supposed to revive their mother goes wrong, the brothers set out on a journey to save their bodies.

Fullmetal Alchemist is a popular anime in Japan, and has many interesting features. It is fascinating to see how the story shows a connection between everything in the world, no matter its size, and it is really amazing.

19. Shokugeki no Soma

Shokugeki No Soma is a highly addictive anime. Food Wars is the name of the anime that tells Yukihira Soma’s story. She is a young chef who has a passion for good food and a love for cooking. Soma is a student at a hard cooking school that is well-known for its Shokugeki (food battles).

Soma has the chance to compete against other students and showcase his culinary skills. He will create dish after dish, experimenting with new ingredients and creating exciting flavors. You will be begging for delicious food once you watch this anime.

20. 20.

The Fate/ series is an action-packed anime series that features amazing animations and graphics. The series follows battles between Masters that take place once every few years. These battles are known as the Holy Grail Wars and the grand prize is called the Holy Grail.

If you are not sure about the order in which to start watching the Fate/ series, you can see the complete list with all the mangas, movies, and anime here.

21. Deca-Dence

Deca-Dence, an anime that only recently began airing in Japan, quickly rose to be one of the most loved anime. It is an interesting series that tells the story of Natsume (a Tanker girl). Kaburagi guides her as she learns how to fight and helps her dream of becoming a Gear fighter. The story that you have seen until now will be completely different once you see the third episode.

22. 22.

Death Note is a popular anime that you may have heard of. It is a popular anime in Japan and one of the greatest.

This anime is a unique tale about Yagami Light, a high school student who discovers a notebook which kills everyone whose name he has written in it. Light begins to play God and kills people he doesn’t like. The police are called in to help. They call L, an internationally renowned (and uncommon) detective to stop Light from committing these crimes.

23. 23.

After appearing in a 1990 magazine, this old anime began airing in 1992. It’s a simple, funny anime that has captured many hearts over the years.

It is lighthearted and fun, with no plot. This anime has a unique way to showcase its humor. It’s a great series for those who want something easy to watch.

24. Gintama

Gintama is another anime that Japanese love. Although it begins slowly, the action will pick up quickly and there will be many epic moments.

The basic storyline is simple: An alien invasion of feudal Japan causes problems for Gintoki Sakata, a samurai. The anime will captivate you with its thrilling battles and the fun interactions between characters.

25. Re:Zero

The anime is full of charismatic and interesting characters. Subaru Natsuki, a gamer, is the protagonist. He is summoned into another world one night when he goes to a store.

Subaru is soon reunited with Satella, a girl he meets while there. They both die soon after. This is when anime becomes really fun! Subaru finds out that he can reverse time by dying after he dies.

Intrigued? Are you intrigued?

26. 26.

Cowboy Bebop may be an oldie but it’s a great show. This anime is set in 2071 in an uninhabitable universe. The Inter Solar System Police was established by Humanity to maintain peace on other planets. Spike Spiegel, a registered bounty hunter who works with the ISSP, is charged with bringing criminals to justice.

27. My Hero Academia

Since its debut in 2016, Boku no Hero Academia is one of Japan’s most loved anime. Izuku Midoriya, the protagonist, dreams of becoming an hero despite not having any Quirks (which basically are superpowers). Midoriya eventually inherits the Quirk “One For All” from All Might, making him a Hero.

28. Inuyasha

Inuyasha is a wonderful anime that beginners as well as avid anime fans will enjoy. The story follows Kagome, a young girl who has been transported back in time. She meets Inuyasha, a half-dog boy, and they attempt to complete the Shikon Jewel together.

The Shikon Jewel, which can grant any wish, is desired by many. There are many enemies who want it. Kagome, Inuyasha must defeat them!

29. Steins;Gate

In my opinion, this is one of the best anime ever created — and it seems like I am not alone in my belief. Steins;Gate quickly became a popular anime in Japan and still holds its spot at the top of the list almost ten decades later.

The story centers around Rintaro Okabe, the Future Gadget Laboratory member who creates a time machine. You might binge-watch all 24 episodes at once due to the addictive plots of time loops and love triangles.

30. Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul is a darker anime that tells the story about Ghouls who live among humans in secret. This anime features Kaneki Ken, a half-ghoul, as the protagonist. It follows his journey and the dangers that he faces. Kaneki proves his strength every time he is challenged by other Ghouls.

31. Clannad

Clannad is a relaxing slice-of-life anime for beginners and veterans alike. It doesn’t have any crazy action or sci-fi, but it shows everyday elements. It is a popular anime in Japan, with a dramatic plot and great animation quality.

32 One-Punch Man

After it began airing in 2015, this action-hero anime quickly became a favorite choice in Japan.

Saitama, the protagonist, is a superhero that can defeat any opponent with one punch. Saitama is unable to defeat a worthy opponent due to his superpower. One-punching everyone can make anyone boring.

One-Punch Man is an action anime that will make you smile. After all, Saitama’s face is the epitome of comedy on its own.

33. Ergo Proxy

Ergo Proxy, a cyberpunk anime, is set in the future when humans and androids live together. One day, an android virus infects them, making them more aware of themselves and leading to their murderous ways. Behind the scenes, the government conducts experiments on Proxy, a mysterious lifeform that is believed to be the key to human survival.

34 Case Closed (Detective Conan).

Jimmy Kudo, a high school student, offers his assistance to police officers in solving cases. After investigating a mysterious group, Jimmy Kudo becomes a child. He adopts the name Conan Edogawa, and begins solving cases secretly, all credit going to Richard, the private detective.

Last Thoughts

Some of the most beloved anime in Japan date back decades. Others have just recently been released. New stories are constantly emerging in the Japanese anime world. I hope you have found at least one new title in my collection. If you’re a newbie to anime, this list could be a great resource!

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