Revealed: My TOP 5 Anime Series Of All Time (Without Question)

top 5 anime series of all time

I’ve always seen top 5 lists as too small and petty for me to care. After all, how do you condense your entire anime catalog into just 5 anime shows?

It’s hard enough doing a top 10, but here we are anyway.

In this post I’ll break down my top 5 anime series of all time.

This could change in the future, but given I’ve watched 100’s of anime, it probably never will.

Regardless, let’s get into it.

 

My Top 5 anime (No Ranking Order):

 

1. Code Geass

Code Geass lelouch episode 1 grin e1628358944242

Code Geass is an absolute masterpiece of an anime. And no one, or no anime has been able to convince me otherwise.

This is in spite of the fact Code Geass was one of my first 50 or so anime I watched.

So what makes Code Geass worthy of a top 5 list?

  • Lelouch’s brilliance as a protagonist.
  • The chess-like strategy and tactics in the anime.
  • Military concepts that are portrayed and laid out unlike any other series.
  • Mecha anime done right. It goes well beyond robots.
  • Plot twists. Many that will piss you off, others that will satisfy and leave you with questions.
  • Satisfying ending, and one that goes further than many anime are willing to these days.

Really, there’s a lot to like about Code Geass. Lelouch is smart, cunning, and patient more than anything else.

These traits makes the anime stick like glue, and you can’t look the other way because of all the suspense and action.

Lelouch isn’t what you’d call ethical, but he’s honest and acknowledges his flaws despite the path he follows.

The heavy burden can be felt as a fan watching the anime, and it’s part of the anime‘s emotional charm.

 

2. Death Note

death note episode 1 notebook

Death Note is an anime series I didn’t watch for years and years. I’ve known about it for the longest, but I got so sick and tired of hearing everyone praise it.

I caved in and decided to watch it back in maybe 2019 or so. And I can’t believe it lived up to the hype I was being pestered to the point of madness about.

The anime starts off with Light Yagami, a student who’s bored in school. And clearly wants something to spice up his life and make things dynamic.

He gets his wish. A f*cking death note of all things falls out the sky with a set of instructions on how to kill people.

light yagami in his bedroom thinking

Once Light Yagami returns home and goes in his room, he’s thinking about the Death Note and how to go about using it.

This is where the insanity of Death Note, and the brilliance of the plot starts to shine and take a dark turn.

I don’t know why I was even surprised this anime would be good. It’s by one of my favorite studios Madhouse after all.

How the anime makes you question topics like morality, ethics, right vs wrong and more in relation to society and how it’s built…. Is something else.

You get to experience it all through Light Yagami, who changes his name to Kira and then starts to become arrogant and somewhat lose his way.

It’s an interesting story of how easy it is to self destruct, even with all the power in the world in the palm of your hands.

Relevant: A List Of 30 Psychological Anime You NEED to Consider

 

3. Akame Ga Kill

tatsumi vs akame episode 1

Akame Ga Kill is an anime series I went in blind with. No one recommended it really, and I didn’t see it mentioned (I don’t follow recommendations anyway).

One thing I did know is some liked it, and others weren’t feeling it. So I got curious.

First off the anime starts out looking like a fantasy for the main character Tatsumi. His goal is to reach the capital, rise up the ranks, and get rich so he can help his poor village.

He’s traveling with 2 friends.

tatsumi episode 1 sayos body 1

Before long, he realizes just how corrupt the government is, its people, and how he’s been living a dream that doesn’t come close to the savage reality.

This is the main theme and the driving force that makes Akame Ga Kill so great. The drive for change, and the extremes people take to bring about a revolution by assassination high profile figures.

The struggle for freedom is real, and powerful. It’s relatable and hits you deep.

The LACK of plot armor (which is typical for Shonen) makes Akame Ga Kill stand out as well.

Realism is what makes it one of the best Shonen of all time, and one of my favorite anime ever made.

The ratings and more than anything else, the fanbase speaks for itself.

 

4. Jormungand

jormungand koko eyes blue

Jormungand, like Akame Ga Kill, is made by White Fox Studios. It’s an underrated series that’s comparable to Black Lagoon.

After watching Black Lagoon I jumped in this, and came out liking Jormungand even more than Black Lagoon.

What makes Jormungand so good?

  • The theme is about arms dealers, and it’s portrayed realistically.
  • Compared to Black Lagoon, Jormungand is a more “true to life” type of series.
  • The main character Koko Hekmatyar is a fearless, energetic leader who’s easy going and sarcastic.
  • The character chemistry is on point and makes everything feel more complete.
  • The landscape, locations, scenery and countries change a lot since there’s a traveling aspect to it.

For such a gritty anime, you can learn some relevant life lessons here. And the realism is unbeatable within its genre.

There’s no other anime like it, and that goes for its characters, themes, and overall style AND original music especially.

Related: 25 Of The Greatest Anime OST’S That Will Make Your Heart Sing

 

5. The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K

YouTube video

And last I’ll add The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K! It’s about a guy with psychic powers who’s introverted and wants to be left alone.

It’s surprisingly wholesome at times. Years back I would have said My Bride Is A Mermaid, but Saiki K surpasses it.

What makes Saiki K worth pointing out in a top 5 list?

  • Clever dialogue and mini episodes within each episode.
  • Original content.
  • Doesn’t need fan service to enhance the comedy.
  • Cleverly manipulates and mocks cliches to its benefit.
  • You get to see the world from the perspective of an OP character without the Shonen nonsense.
  • Original writing that stays in its own lane and makes a powerful MC relatable (like one Punch Man).

You can think of this anime as a NEW Gintama without the extreme fanservice. Or One Punch Man in a slice of life setting.

That’s part of Saiki K’s charm.

The creators have managed to create a slice of life/comedy series without relying on fan service, cliches, and common tropes to make it funny.

That’s why it feels refreshing and original.

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • Monster.
  • Madoka Magica.
  • Fate Zero.
  • Violet Evergarden.
  • Bleach.
  • Kino’s Travels.
  • Re:Zero.
  • Happy Sugar Life.

What are your top 5 anime of all time?

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