20 Most Rewatchable Anime Series of All Time
From all the anime series produced over the decades, some are just that great they deserve to be watched all over again. Many anime series have graced viewers with compelling storylines, well-developed characters, and wonderfully memorable moments that demand your attention and keep you invested. There’s literally no limit to the imagination, and many rewatchable anime series bring with them fresh and unique ideas that have inspired later works.
Rewatchable anime offers a sense of nostalgia, allowing viewers to revisit their favorite characters and moments they may have missed the first time, or to help build a bigger picture on the whole story with available foresight. Overall, rewatchable anime offers fans a unique and enjoyable experience, as they can revisit these shows repeatedly and still find them entertaining.
20 Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995 – 1996)
Neon Genesis Evangelion is a Japanese anime series that aired from 1995 to 1996. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the series follows teenager Shinji Ikari, who is recruited by his father to pilot a giant bio-machine called an Evangelion to fight monstrous beings known as Angels. Alongside fellow pilots Rei Ayanami and Asuka Langley Soryu, Shinji navigates the challenges of teenage life and the moral dilemmas of fighting to save humanity.
The series is known for its complex themes and character development, exploring issues such as identity, mental illness, and the nature of consciousness. Its iconic designs and use of symbolism have made it a cult classic in the anime world. Despite its controversial ending, Neon Genesis Evangelion remains a beloved and influential anime series.
19 Planetes (2003 – 2004)
Planetes is a science fiction anime set in the near future. The series follows the crew of the Debris Section, a group of space debris collectors who are responsible for the job of cleaning up space junk in Earth’s orbit. The main characters, Hachirota “Hachimaki” Hoshino and Ai Tanabe, plod through their personal and professional lives while dealing with the dangers and challenges of space exploration.
It’s a great series for those looking for a more realistic portrayal of space travel and exploration. It delves into environmentalism, capitalism, and the human condition. Its emphasis on relationships has earned it critical acclaim and a loyal following. Despite its short run, Planetes remains a beloved and thought-provoking anime series.
18 Mushi-Shi (2005 – 2014)
Mushi-Shi is a unique and enchanting anime that explores the relationship between humans and “mushi,” ethereal beings that exist in nature and have various supernatural abilities. The series follows Ginko, a wandering “mushi-shi” who travels to different towns to solve problems caused by the interaction of humans and mushi.
Mushi-Shi stands out for its serene and contemplative atmosphere, beautiful visuals, and hauntingly beautiful soundtrack. The series delves into themes of nature, spirituality, and the human condition, offering a thought-provoking and meditative experience. The characters are also well-developed, with Ginko being a particularly compelling and enigmatic protagonist. While Mushi-Shi may not appeal to everyone due to its slow pace and lack of traditional action, it is a must-watch for those who appreciate thought-provoking and visually stunning anime. The series offers a unique and beautiful exploration of the human relationship with nature and the supernatural.
17 Hunter x Hunter (2011 – 2014)
Hunter x Hunter is a popular anime series that aired from 2011 to 2014. A young boy named Gon Freecss sets out on his perilous ambition to become a Hunter, a licensed professional who can undertake dangerous tasks such as hunting down criminals and searching for rare treasures. Along the way, he meets and befriends other aspiring Hunters, including the cunning Killua and the determined Kurapika.
Delivering some wonderfully intricate world-building and intensely epic battles, this series packs a punch. Its exploration of friendship alongside the pursuit of power has made it a fan favorite. Despite its premature ending, Hunter x Hunter remains a highly regarded and influential anime series that most certainly deserves its dedicated fan base.
16 Mujin Wakusei Survive (2003 – 2004)
5 school children and their homeroom teacher face some pretty crazy adventures in Mujin Wakusei Survive. The group become stranded on a mysterious planet after their spaceship crashes. With limited resources and facing numerous challenges, they must learn to survive and adapt to their new environment. This series goes deep with survivalism testing human endurance, and reaches impressive emotional depth in storytelling.
It highlights the importance of resilience, teamwork, and unwavering perseverance in the face of adversity. Mujin Wakusei Survive gives a freshly unique take on the survival genre that regular viewers of anime and casual fans alike will appreciate. Despite its somewhat short run, the series manages to deliver enough that makes it a most beloved and undeniably influential anime series.
15 One Punch Man (2015 – 2019)
One Punch Man is a Japanese anime series that aired from 2015 to 2019. Based on the webcomic series of the same name by ONE, the series follows Saitama, a seemingly ordinary man who has trained himself to become incredibly powerful, able to defeat any enemy with a single punch. Despite his unparalleled strength, Saitama struggles to find meaning in his life and seeks out new challenges to test his abilities.
Jam-packed with dynamic action sequences, the comedic tone of this series brings a satirical take on the superhero genre. Its exploration of themes such as power, heroism, and the consequences of fame has made it a fan favorite. One Punch Man has won multiple awards and critical acclaim for its animation, humor, and storytelling and remains a highly regarded and popular anime series.
14 Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002 – 2005)
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is set in a dystopian future. The series follows Section 9, a special operations unit tasked with investigating cybercrime and terrorism. Led by the cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi, the team must navigate complex political and social issues as they uncover a web of conspiracies and threats to society.
Through sophisticated storytelling and stunning animation, the nature of identity and consciousness are explored alongside a world consumed with advancing technology. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex has inspired numerous adaptations and spinoffs, including films, video games, and a live-action series, cementing its place as a landmark of the cyberpunk genre. It’s a great take on a potential future for the planet as we know it, and it’s easy to justify its influential promise.
13 Kino’s Journey (2003)
Kino is a young traveler in Kino’s Journey who roams a mystical world aboard a talking motorcycle named Hermes. Along the way, Kino encounters a diverse cast of characters and experiences different cultures and customs, all while reflecting on the nature of humanity and society. Kino’s Journey stands out for its thought-provoking themes, complex characters, and episodic storytelling that forces viewers to question their own beliefs and values.
It’s a thought-provoking and philosophical anime series that explores the human condition through the eyes of a young traveler named Kino. With beautiful animation and engaging storytelling, the series raises questions about society, morality, and the meaning of life, making it a must-watch for fans of introspective storytelling. The anime’s beautiful animation and soundtrack add to the overall atmosphere, making it an immersive experience.
12 Beserk (1997 – 1998)
Berserk is a dark and intense anime series based on the manga series of the same name by Kentaro Miura. Guts is a skilled mercenary warrior who seeks revenge against his former best friend and leader, Griffith. Along the way, Guts must confront his own demons and the horrors of a dark and violent world.
The exploration of concepts such as power, destiny, and the nature of humanity has earned earned Beserk critical acclaimcritical acclaim. Berserk has inspired numerous adaptations and spinoffs, including video games and films, cementing its place as a seminal work of the dark fantasy genre. Berserk is a standout in the action and fantasy genres. Its exploration of themes such as loyalty, fate, and the cost of ambition makes it a must-watch for fans of mature and gritty storytelling.
11 KILL la KILL (2013 – 2014)
KILL la KILL is a high-octane and over-the-top anime series. The series follows Ryuko Matoi, a transfer student who is on a quest to find the person who killed her father. She ends up at Honnouji Academy, where students wear special uniforms called “Goku Uniforms” that give them superhuman abilities. Ryuko wears a sentient “Kamui” uniform called Senketsu, which enhances her own abilities and allows her to fight back against the academy.
KILL la KILL has won numerous awards and critical acclaim for its bold storytelling, memorable characters, and innovative approach to the anime genre. With vibrant animation, frenetic action, and a healthy dose of humor, KILL la KILL is a fun and entertaining watch for action and adventure fans.
10 Hellsing Ultimate (2006 – 2012)
Hellsing Ultimate is a thrilling and dark anime series that follows the story of the Hellsing Organization, a group of vampire hunters led by the powerful Alucard. With stunning animation, intense action scenes, and an engaging storyline, the series stands out in the horror and action genres. The series explores themes such as morality, power, and the consequences of violence in a world where humans and vampires coexist.
The characters are well-developed and complex, particularly Alucard, whose moral ambiguity and brutal methods make him a fascinating and unforgettable protagonist. The series also features a memorable cast of villains, including the sadistic and psychotic Major and the sultry and manipulative vampire Seras Victoria. Overall, Hellsing Ultimate is a must-watch for horror and action anime fans. Its visceral and mature content may not be for everyone, but for those who can handle it, the series is a thrilling and satisfying ride from beginning to end.
9 Death Note (2006 – 2007)
Death Note follows the story of Light Yagami. He’s a high school student who discovers a mysterious and deadly notebook. It has the power to kill anyone whose name is written in it. As he uses the notebook to rid the world of criminals, he unknowingly attracts the attention of a genius detective known only as “L.”
The series did a brilliant job of highlighting the complexity of its characters and intense psychological themes. It’s no wonder the series was well received with it’s a full-throttle approach to power, justice, and morality in its storytelling. Death Note has inspired numerous adaptations and spinoffs, including a live-action film and a TV drama, cementing its place as a classic of the psychological thriller genre.
8 Attack on Titan (2013 – 2023)
Attack on Titan takes place in a world under threat from Titans. Humanity lives stuck inside cities surrounded by giant walls as protection. The story follows Eren Yeager and his friends Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert, who join the military in order to fight back against the Titans and uncover the secrets of their origins. With its intense action, heart-wrenching drama, and complex characters, the series has become a cultural phenomenon and one of the most popular anime of all time.
The series features incredible animation and a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack that perfectly captures the desperation and hopelessness of humanity’s struggle against the Titans. With its thrilling action scenes, emotional storytelling, and unforgettable characters, Attack on Titan is a must-watch for any anime fan and a testament to the power of storytelling in the medium.
7 Star Blazers (1979 – 1984)
Also known as Space Battleship Yamato, Star Blazers is set in the year 2199, where Earth is under attack from an alien race known as the Gamilas. The crew of the battleship Yamato embarks on a dangerous mission to travel to a distant planet and retrieve a device that could save humanity from extinction.
With its epic space battles, complex characters, and compelling story, the series has become a classic of the sci-fi genre and a must-watch for fans of vintage anime. Its impact on the anime industry has been significant, influencing numerous subsequent works in the genre. Star Blazers has inspired several adaptations and spinoffs, including a live-action film and a remake series. Its enduring popularity has cemented its place as a beloved classic of the anime genre.
6 Lupin the 3rd (1977 – 1980)
Lupin the 3rd is a beloved anime series that follows the adventures of the master thief Lupin III and his eclectic band of allies as they pull off daring heists and evade the law. With its stylish animation, memorable characters, and exciting storytelling, the series has become a classic of the action and adventure genres.
The characters are well-developed and charismatic, with Lupin himself being a standout for his charm, wit, and roguish nature. The series is also notable for its use of music, with its iconic jazz soundtrack becoming synonymous with the Lupin III franchise. Overall, Lupin the 3rd is a must-watch for fans of classic anime and action-adventure storytelling. Its enduring popularity and influence on the medium is a testament to its quality and appeal and a tribute to the genius of its creator, Monkey Punch.
5 Astra Lost in Space (2019)
Astra Lost in Space is a gripping and emotional sci-fi anime series that follows a group of high school students who find themselves stranded in space after a mysterious accident. With its intriguing premise, strong character development, and beautiful animation, the series keeps viewers engaged and invested from start to finish.
The group must learn to work together and overcome their differences in order to survive and find their way home. The characters are well-written and likable, each with unique personalities and strengths. Its blend of sci-fi and mystery elements has made it a standout in the genre, and its use of space exploration as a backdrop for character development has earned it critical acclaim. Astra Lost in Space has become a fan favorite and a modern classic, showcasing the continued creativity and innovation of the anime industry.
4 A Place Further Than the Universe (2018)
Four teenage girls set out to travel to Antarctica in A Place Further Than the Universe. They’ve each got their own personal reasons of going, and you can get fully invested in each individual’s story. During their journey, they face challenges and make new friends, all while discovering the meaning of true friendship and the value of pursuing their dreams.
The series is known for its heartwarming story, beautiful animation, and realistic depiction of the challenges of travelling to such a remote and inhospitable location. Its exploration of themes such as self-discovery, determination, and the importance of human connections has earned it critical acclaim and a dedicated fanbase. A Place Further Than the Universe is a testament to the power of anime to inspire and uplift its viewers, and its impact on the genre will be felt for years to come.
3 Erased (2016)
The story of Erased follows Satoru Fujinuma, a struggling manga artist who possesses the ability to travel back in time to prevent tragedies. When he is wrongly accused of a crime, Satoru uses his power to go back 18 years to solve a string of child kidnappings, including one that affected his childhood friend Kayo.
This anime presents a captivating plot that explores themes of time travel, child abuse, and redemption. It masterfully balances suspenseful moments with heart-warming scenes highlighting the importance of human connections. The characters are well-developed, and the voice acting is superb, adding depth and authenticity to the story. It’s a must-watch for anime fans who enjoy a good mystery and a well-crafted storyline. The series is emotionally engaging and will leave viewers satisfied with its conclusion.
2 Cowboy Bebop (1998 – 1999)
Cowboy Bebop is a classic anime series that follows the adventures of a ragtag team of bounty hunters. They travel across the galaxy in their spaceship, the Bebop, seeking out the universe’s most dangerous criminals. The show’s main character, Spike Spiegel, is a charismatic and laid-back bounty hunter who loves to smoke, drink, and gamble. Along with his partner Jet Black and the rest of the crew, Spike takes on a variety of dangerous missions and encounters a wide range of colorful characters.
The series is known for its impressive animation, memorable characters, and stunning soundtrack. The show blends science fiction, Westerns, and film noir elements, creating a unique and unforgettable viewing experience. Cowboy Bebop has since become a cult classic, inspiring a devoted fanbase and influencing countless other anime series. If you’re looking for an action-packed, stylish, and entertaining anime, Cowboy Bebop is definitely worth checking out.
1 Black Clover (2017 – 2021)
Black Clover is a popular shonen anime series that follows the story of Asta, a boy born without magical abilities in a world where magic is everything. Determined to become the Wizard King, Asta and his rival Yuno embark on a journey to become powerful magic knights and protect their kingdom from evil forces.
The anime presents an engaging plot filled with action-packed battles and a well-developed magic system. The characters are likeable and relatable, with Asta’s never-give-up attitude and Yuno’s calm demeanour creating a great dynamic. The series also explores themes of friendship, rivalry, and perseverance. While some criticize the anime for its slow pacing and generic plot, it still manages to entertain with its thrilling fight scenes and lovable characters. Overall, Black Clover (2017 – 2021) is a great anime for fans of shonen series who enjoy epic battles and a classic underdog story.