Anime is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of entertainment available to consumers across the world. Originating in Japan, anime is a term that is derived from the English word “animation” and it describes all animated works, regardless of style or origin. In regions outside of Japan, anime is typically referred to as animation produced in Japan – or the common animation style that is seen in Japanese animation. As the medium continues to evolve and grow in popularity, we’re taking a look at My Anime List’s list of the top 10 anime sorted by popularity. So, let’s start off this list with a bang, shall we? Please keep in mind that this is absolutely not a list of “my favorite anime of all time,” but simply a list of anime that are sorted by popularity according to My Anime List.
10. No Game No Life
No Game No Life is a Japanese anime that premiered on April 9, 2014. The series follows two step-siblings known as Sora and Shiro who are both known in the online gaming world as “Blank,” an undefeated team of gamers. No Game No Life is currently still being produced as a manga, though the anime met its end in June 2014.
Steins;Gate is an anime television series that began in 2011. The series is set in 2010 and follows Rintaro Okabe who accidentally discovers a method of time travel and through this method, he and his friends can send text messages to their friends in the past, thus changing the present/future. Steins;Gate ran from April 2011 – September 2011.
Naruto is one of the biggest anime series’ of all time. It follows Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja who just wants to be recognized by his friends and dreams of becoming the next Hokage, the leader of his village. The anime originally ran from September 1999 to November 2014. A sequel series known as Naruto: Shippuden was also released and began airing in February 2007 and the final episode of the series was aired on March 23, 2017.
7. Tokyo Ghoul
Tokyo Ghoul is one of my favorite anime series of all time. It follows a high school student, Ken Kaneki, who goes on a date with a nice girl he meets at a cafe. Little does Kaneki know that the girl he is to be taking out is actually a man-eating ghoul who catfishes him in an attempt to eat him. Unfortunately, her plan goes awry and she ends up merging with Kaneki to turn him into a ghoul. It’s a really fantastic anime…if you ignore the last couple of seasons. Tokyo Ghoul ran for a few seasons but came to an end in December 2018.
6. My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia is by far one of the most popular anime series of all time. The anime began airing on May 5, 2018 on Adult Swim’s Toonami channel. Since then, the anime has exploded into popularity and is one of the highest selling series ever. The series follows Izuku “Deku” Midoriya on his journey to become the #1 hero – the only problem is he doesn’t have a Quirk. In My Hero Academia, a Quirk is what gives the population their abilities. Just about everyone on the planet has a Quirk, but it is possible to never obtain one. My Hero Academia shows viewers Midoriya’s journey to become a hero even without a Quirk.
5. One Punch Man
One Punch Man is a Japanese anime series focused around telling the story of Saitama, a superhero that has the ability to take down any opponent with a single punch. Saitama grows bored of defeating his enemies with such ease due to his overwhelming strength and decides to seek out an actual challenge. The One Punch Man anime currently has 2 seasons with a total of 24 episodes.
4. Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online has been an incredibly popular, though controversial, anime since its release in 2012. The controversy of the series comes from the audience’s perception of what is considered good as many people think the anime is actually very bad and put people down for liking it. However, with the newer seasons, Sword Art Online is quickly becoming more widely accepted and improves on previous issues.
3. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
By far, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is my favorite anime of all time. I started watching Fullmetal Alchemist when I was in high school, but hadn’t heard of Brotherhood for a couple of years after finishing the original series. Once I started watching Brotherhood, I couldn’t stop. It has the action, the acting, the animation, it has it all. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is widely regarded as one of the best anime of all time.
2. Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan has also become an incredibly popular anime since its release in April 2013. The series follows Eren Jaeger and his friends after a massive creature known as the Colossal Titan breaches the wall of their home town and kills his mother. After the attack, he swears revenge and will stop at nothing to take down the Titans. It’s a really good action-packed series full of twists and turns around every corner.
1. Death Note
Last, but certainly not least, we’ve got Death Note. According to My Anime List, Death Note is the most popular anime of all time with a total of 2,480,912 members on the site. The series centers around Light Yagami as he received a notebook imbued with powers that will kill anyone whose name is written inside. The series also received a Netflix adaptation that was less than perfect, though it seems we’ll be getting a Death Note 2 anyway.