The Most Loved Anime in Japan, Ranked

Choose the anime you think is the most loved!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 12, 2024 06:28
Anime holds a unique position in Japanese culture, reflecting not only local tastes but also global trends. By ranking popular anime, viewers gain insights into what resonates with fans and why certain series capture hearts. Such rankings serve as a guide for newcomers curious about which series have left lasting impressions. As fans cast their votes, the list dynamically shifts to highlight current preferences and emerging favorites. This process ensures that the ranking stays relevant and reflective of real-time public opinion. Your vote counts here, helping shape a collective perspective on the best of anime.

What Is the Most Loved Anime in Japan?

  1. 1
    This beloved anime about a robotic cat from the future has been a favorite in Japan for decades. Its whimsical adventures and heartwarming themes have captured the hearts of generations of viewers.
    Doraemon is a beloved anime in Japan that has captured the hearts of both children and adults alike. It follows the story of a robotic cat named Doraemon, who travels back in time from the 22nd century to help a young boy named Nobita Nobi. Together, they navigate everyday challenges and adventures, using Doraemon's futuristic gadgets and inventions.
    • Genre: Science fiction, Comedy
    • Original Run: April 2, 1979 – March 25, 2005
    • Episodes: 1,787 (excluding specials)
    • Manga Volumes: 45 (1787 chapters)
    • Theme Song: Doraemon no Uta (Doraemon's Theme)
  2. 2
    This long-running family sitcom is one of the most iconic anime in Japan. It depicts the everyday life of a suburban family and has become a cultural touchstone for many Japanese people.
    Sazae-san is a long-running anime series in Japan, known for its heartwarming and humorous storytelling. It revolves around the daily life of Sazae Fuguta, a cheerful wife and mother, and her family and friends.
    • Genre: Slice of Life
    • Original run: October 5, 1969 – ongoing
    • Episodes: over 7,000
    • Average episode length: 6 minutes
    • Broadcast network: Fuji TV
  3. 3
    One Piece
    Anass_belghrib · CC BY-SA 4.0

    One Piece

    Eiichiro Oda
    This action-packed adventure series has captured the imaginations of fans around the world. Its colorful cast of characters, rich world-building, and epic story arcs have made it a fan favorite in Japan and beyond.
    One Piece is a highly popular anime and manga series created by Eiichiro Oda. It follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his crew as they search for the ultimate treasure known as One Piece, in order to become the next Pirate King. The series is set in a world of vast oceans and diverse islands, filled with intriguing characters, epic battles, and deep storytelling. With its unique blend of action, humor, and emotional moments, One Piece has captivated audiences worldwide.
    • Genre: Adventure, Action, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
    • Episodes: More than 1000
    • Manga Volumes: Over 100
    • Original Run: July 22, 1997 – present
    • Animation Studio: Toei Animation
    One Piece in other rankings
  4. 4

    Dragon Ball

    Akira Toriyama
    This classic anime about a martial artist with superhuman abilities has had a huge impact on Japanese popular culture. Its high-energy battles, memorable characters, and inspiring themes have made it a beloved classic.
    Dragon Ball is a popular Japanese anime and manga series that follows the story of Son Goku, a young Saiyan warrior on a journey to find the seven mystical Dragon Balls. Created by Akira Toriyama, it was originally serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1984 to 1995.
    • Genre: Action, Adventure, Martial Arts, Comedy, Fantasy, Science Fiction
    • Original Run: February 26, 1986 – January 31, 1996
    • Number of Episodes: 153 (Dragon Ball); 291 (Dragon Ball Z); 64 (Dragon Ball GT); 167 (Dragon Ball Super)
    • Number of Manga Chapters: 519
    • Protagonist: Son Goku
    Dragon Ball in other rankings
  5. 5

    Attack on Titan

    Hajime Isayama
    This dark and gritty anime about a world overrun by flesh-eating giants has become a sensation in Japan and abroad. Its intense action, complex characters, and harrowing storyline have made it a must-watch for anime fans.
    Attack on Titan, also known as Shingeki no Kyojin, is a popular dark fantasy anime series set in a world where humanity lives inside cities surrounded by enormous walls to protect themselves from giant humanoid creatures called Titans. The story revolves around Eren Yeager and his friends who join the military to fight against the Titans and uncover the secrets behind their existence.
    • Genre: Action, Dark Fantasy, Post-Apocalyptic
    • Original run: April 7, 2013 – Present
    • Episodes: 75 (and counting)
    • Manga: Written by Hajime Isayama
    • Animation Studio: Wit Studio (seasons 1-3), MAPPA (season 4)
    Attack on Titan in other rankings
  6. 6
    This coming-of-age story about a young ninja striving to become the strongest in his village has captured the hearts of many Japanese fans. Its mix of action, humor, and drama has made it a favorite for viewers of all ages.
    Naruto is a Japanese anime series that follows the adventures of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja who aims to become the Hokage, the strongest ninja in his village. The story is set in a fictional world where ninjas possess various abilities and fight against powerful enemies. Naruto's journey is filled with action, friendship, and personal growth as he faces challenges in his quest for recognition and to protect his loved ones.
    • Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
    • Original Run: October 3, 2002 – February 8, 2007
    • Episodes: 220
    • Main Protagonist: Naruto Uzumaki
    • Setting: Hidden Leaf Village, various other ninja villages
  7. 7

    Detective Conan

    Gosho Aoyama
    This long-running mystery series about a teenage detective who is transformed into a child has been a hit in Japan for over 25 years. Its clever cases, engaging characters, and intriguing plot twists have kept fans hooked for generations.
    Detective Conan, also known as Case Closed, is a popular anime series in Japan. It revolves around the story of Shinichi Kudo, a high school detective prodigy who was transformed into a child after being poisoned by a mysterious organization. Under the alias Conan Edogawa, he continues solving crimes while searching for clues to regain his original body.
    • Genre: Mystery, Crime, Detective, Thriller
    • Original Run: January 8, 1996 - ongoing
    • Episodes: Over 1000 episodes
    • Manga Volumes: Over 100 volumes
    • Main Protagonist: Shinichi Kudo (Conan Edogawa)
  8. 8

    Sailor Moon

    Naoko Takeuchi
    This iconic magical girl anime about a group of teenage girls who fight evil has been a staple of Japanese pop culture since the 1990s. Its empowering message, colorful characters, and catchy music have made it a beloved classic.
    Sailor Moon is a popular anime and manga series that follows the adventures of a young middle school student named Usagi Tsukino, who transforms into the superhero Sailor Moon to battle against the forces of evil. Alongside her fellow Sailor Guardians, Usagi protects the Earth and the galaxy from various villains while also dealing with everyday school life and personal relationships.
    • Genre: Magical girl, action, romance
    • Original run: March 7, 1992 – February 8, 1997
    • Episodes: 200 (including specials)
    • Manga volumes: 18
    • Main protagonist: Usagi Tsukino / Sailor Moon
    Sailor Moon in other rankings
  9. 9

    Fullmetal Alchemist

    Hiromu Arakawa
    This epic fantasy anime about two brothers who use alchemy to try to bring their deceased mother back to life has captured the hearts of many Japanese fans. Its complex characters, intricate plot, and emotional depth have made it a standout in the genre.
    Fullmetal Alchemist is a popular anime series that follows the story of two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who use the power of alchemy to search for the Philosopher's Stone. Set in a fictional universe, the series blends elements of fantasy, action, and drama as the brothers encounter various challenges and epic battles in their quest to restore their bodies and uncover the secrets of alchemy.
    • Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Drama, Action
    • Number of Episodes: 64
    • Original Run: October 4, 2003 – October 2, 2004
    • Studio: Bones
    • Main Characters: Edward Elric, Alphonse Elric, Roy Mustang, Winry Rockbell, Scar, Riza Hawkeye, Homunculi
    Fullmetal Alchemist in other rankings
  10. 10
    This global phenomenon about a young boy who travels the world capturing and battling creatures has been a hit in Japan for over 20 years. Its cute characters, addictive gameplay, and pervasive merchandising have made it a cultural icon.
    Pokémon is a popular anime series that follows the adventures of a young trainer named Ash Ketchum and his loyal Pokémon companion, Pikachu. The series is set in a world where humans catch and train creatures called Pokémon to battle each other. Ash aspires to become a Pokémon Master by capturing and training different Pokémon species, battling Gym Leaders, and competing in various Pokémon leagues and tournaments. The series is known for its captivating storylines, memorable characters, and the underlying theme of friendship and determination.
    • Genre: Adventure, fantasy, action
    • First aired: April 1, 1997
    • Original network: TV Tokyo
    • Number of seasons: 23
    • Number of episodes: 1,135 (as of September 2021)

Missing your favorite anime?


Ranking factors for loved anime

  1. Popularity
    Measure the anime's popularity based on various indicators, such as TV ratings, social media presence, and number of fans. A popular anime in Japan is likely to be well-loved by the audience.
  2. Sales and Merchandise
    Analyze the sales of the anime series, including DVD/Blu-ray, manga, and other merchandise. High sales can be a strong indicator of the anime's success and love among fans.
  3. Critical Reception
    Consider the overall critical reception of the anime series, including reviews, awards, and accolades. Highly praised anime tends to be well-loved by the Japanese audience.
  4. Influence and Legacy
    Determine the anime's impact on the industry and popular culture in Japan. An anime that is considered influential or has a lasting impact is likely well-loved by fans.
  5. Cultural Relevance
    Evaluate the anime's connection to Japanese culture, history, and society. Animes that resonate with the Japanese audience in terms of themes and subject matter are likely to be highly appreciated.
  6. Longevity
    Consider the longevity of the anime series. A long-running series or a series with multiple seasons and adaptations can be a sign of its popularity and love among the Japanese audience.
  7. Character Appeal
    Look at the popularity and appeal of the main characters in the series. Memorable and well-designed characters can contribute to the anime's success and love among fans.
  8. Animation Quality
    Assess the quality of the animation, including the art style and character designs. A visually appealing and high-quality animation is more likely to be well-loved by the audience.
  9. Storytelling and Narrative
    Analyze the depth and complexity of the storylines and the overall narrative structure. Engaging stories with relatable themes and well-developed plots are more likely to be well-received.
  10. Genre and Demographics
    Consider the specific genres and target demographics. An anime that appeals to a wide range of audiences in Japan is more likely to be considered well-loved.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most loved anime in Japan. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Anime is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 164 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Anime once every 24 hours. The rank of each Anime is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most loved anime in japan

Anime culture has been ingrained in Japanese society for decades, with countless anime series captivating audiences all over the world. However, determining the most beloved anime in Japan is no easy feat, as the country is home to a vast array of anime genres and subcultures. From the early days of Astro Boy to the modern-day phenomenon of Demon Slayer, Japanese anime has continued to grow and evolve, captivating fans of all ages and backgrounds. Whether it's the heartwarming tales of Studio Ghibli or the action-packed adventures of Naruto, the world of anime is diverse and ever-expanding, making it an essential part of Japanese pop culture. So, which anime reigns supreme in Japan? Let's take a closer look at the most loved anime in the land of the rising sun.

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