The Most Popular Animes: A Comprehensive Ranking

Choose the animes you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Mar 1, 2024 05:17
Welcome to the ultimate showdown of the anime world! StrawPoll presents the highly anticipated ranking of the "Top 10 Most Popular Animes" of all time, and we want YOU to be a part of the action. Step into a realm where heroes, villains, and magical creatures come to life as you explore and vote for your all-time favorite animes. Will it be the breathtaking adventures of "Naruto" or the mind-bending mysteries of "Death Note"? Perhaps the epic battles of "Attack on Titan" or the heartwarming friendships in "My Hero Academia"? The choice is yours! And if your beloved anime is missing from our list, fear not – you can suggest it to be added and rally your fellow fans to vote. So, unleash your inner otaku and help us determine the true champions of anime in this legendary ranking!

What Are the Most Popular Animes?

  1. 1

    Attack on Titan

    Hajime Isayama
    This anime has become a major hit due to its intense action sequences, complex characters, and intricate storyline about humanity's struggle against giant humanoid creatures.
    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
  2. 2
    A classic anime that has been popular for decades, Naruto follows the journey of a young ninja as he strives to become the best in his village. With memorable characters, epic battles, and heartwarming moments, it's no wonder why Naruto remains a fan favorite.
    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
  3. 3
    One Piece
    Anass_belghrib · CC BY-SA 4.0

    One Piece

    Eiichiro Oda
    Another long-running anime series, One Piece is a swashbuckling adventure about a group of pirates seeking the ultimate treasure. With a colorful cast of characters, dynamic action, and a rich world full of lore, One Piece has captured the hearts of many anime fans.
    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
    Widely regarded as one of the best anime series of all time, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a gripping tale about two brothers who use alchemy to try and bring their deceased mother back to life. With stunning animation, a powerful soundtrack, and unforgettable characters, it's no surprise why this anime has such a huge following.
    Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an anime series based on the manga written by Hiromu Arakawa. It is a remake of the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime series and follows the story of two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, in their quest to find the Philosopher's Stone to restore their bodies after a failed alchemical experiment. The series is set in a fictional world where alchemy is a highly advanced scientific technique. As they uncover the dark secrets behind alchemy and society, the Elric brothers face numerous challenges and encounters with other powerful alchemists and beings.
    • Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
    • Episodes: 64
    • Original Run: April 5, 2009 – July 4, 2010
    • Animation Studio: Bones
    • Producers: Square Enix, Aniplex, Mainichi Broadcasting System, Studio Moriken
    Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood in other rankings
  5. 5
    A psychological thriller about a high school student who gains the power to kill anyone whose name he writes in a notebook, Death Note is a gripping and suspenseful anime that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats. With complex characters, thought-provoking themes, and a gripping plot, Death Note is a must-watch for any anime fan.
    Death Note is a psychological thriller anime series that tells the story of Light Yagami, a high school student who discovers a mysterious notebook called the Death Note. The notebook has the power to kill any person whose name is written in it. Driven by his desire to cleanse the world of criminals, Light begins a killing spree as he takes on the identity of Kira. However, his acts of vigilante justice don't go unnoticed, and he becomes the target of an eccentric detective known as L.
    • Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Supernatural, Psychological
    • Episodes: 37
    • Original run: October 3, 2006 – June 26, 2007
    • Studio: Madhouse
    • Adapted from: Manga
    Death Note in other rankings
  6. 6
    Dragon Ball Z
    Toei Animation · Public domain

    Dragon Ball Z

    Akira Toriyama
    One of the most iconic anime series of all time, Dragon Ball Z is a high-energy action series about a group of warriors who defend Earth from all manner of evil threats. With intense battles, epic transformations, and a sense of humor that never quits, Dragon Ball Z is a classic anime that has stood the test of time.
    Dragon Ball Z is a popular anime series that follows the adventures of Goku, a Saiyan warrior, as he defends Earth against various villains. The story continues from the original Dragon Ball series and features intense battles, epic transformations, and a focus on friendship and personal growth.
    • Dragon Balls: Seven magical spheres that, when gathered, grant a wish
    • Continuations/Sequels: Dragon Ball GT, Dragon Ball Super
    • Number of Episodes: 291
    • Original Run: April 26, 1989 – January 31, 1996
    • Genre: Action, Adventure
    Dragon Ball Z in other rankings
  7. 7
    Cowboy Bebop
    Sunrise · Public domain

    Cowboy Bebop

    Shinichirō Watanabe
    A stylish and sophisticated anime about a group of bounty hunters traveling through space, Cowboy Bebop is a masterpiece of storytelling, music, and animation. With characters that are both cool and complex, a jazzy soundtrack that perfectly captures the mood of the show, and a blend of genres that is truly unique, Cowboy Bebop is an anime that everyone should watch at least once.
    Cowboy Bebop is a Japanese anime series that follows the adventures of a group of bounty hunters in space. Set in the year 2071, the show combines elements of science fiction, westerns, and film noir to create a unique and captivating story. The series explores themes of existentialism, loneliness, and the search for purpose, all set against a backdrop of jazz music.
    • Number of Episodes: 26
    • Original Network: TV Tokyo
    • Original Run: April 3, 1998 – April 24, 1999
    • Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Western
    • Animation Studio: Sunrise
    Cowboy Bebop in other rankings
  8. 8

    Sword Art Online

    Reki Kawahara
    A thrilling and emotional anime about a group of gamers trapped in a virtual reality MMORPG, Sword Art Online is a series that explores themes of love, loss, and the power of imagination. With breathtaking animation, a touching soundtrack, and a story that will keep you guessing until the very end, Sword Art Online is a must-watch for anyone who loves anime.
    Sword Art Online is a popular anime series that is based on a light novel by Reki Kawahara. The story revolves around a virtual reality massively multiplayer online role-playing game (VRMMORPG) called Sword Art Online. Players enter the game using a virtual reality headset, but find themselves unable to log out. They are informed by the game's creator, Akihiko Kayaba, that the only way to escape is to reach the 100th floor of the game's tower and defeat the final boss. If they die in the game, they will also die in real life. The protagonist, Kirito, along with his friends, embark on a dangerous journey to escape the game and save themselves.
    • Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Romance
    • Original run: July 7, 2012 – December 22, 2012
    • Episodes: 25
    • Studio: A-1 Pictures
    • Main characters: Kirito, Asuna, Klein, Leafa, Sinon, Yui
    Sword Art Online in other rankings
  9. 9

    My Hero Academia

    Kōhei Horikoshi
    A relatively new anime that has taken the world by storm, My Hero Academia is a superhero series about a young boy who dreams of becoming a hero in a world where nearly everyone has a superpower. With lovable characters, epic action scenes, and a message of hope and perseverance, My Hero Academia is a series that has captured the hearts of anime fans everywhere.
    My Hero Academia is a popular anime series set in a world where most of the population possesses superpowers known as Quirks. The story follows Izuku Midoriya, a young boy who dreams of becoming a hero despite being born without a Quirk. However, his life takes a turn when he encounters the greatest hero of all, All Might, who offers to pass down his Quirk to Izuku. Faced with challenges and obstacles, Izuku enters U.A. High School, a prestigious academy for aspiring heroes, and embarks on a journey to fulfill his dream of becoming the world's greatest hero.
    • Genre: Action, Comedy, Superpower
    • Original Run: April 3, 2016 – present
    • Episodes: Currently over 100 episodes
    • Manga Volumes: Currently 30 volumes
    • Main Protagonist: Izuku Midoriya
    My Hero Academia in other rankings
  10. 10

    Hunter x Hunter

    Yoshihiro Togashi
    A dark and gritty anime about a young boy who sets out to become a hunter, a prestigious profession that involves tracking down rare and dangerous creatures. With complex characters, intricate world-building, and a story that never fails to surprise, Hunter x Hunter is a series that demands your attention from start to finish.
    Hunter x Hunter is a popular anime series based on the manga of the same name. It follows the story of a young boy named Gon Freecss who embarks on a journey to become a Hunter, a licensed individual who can pursue dangerous tasks such as capturing criminals and discovering hidden treasures. Along the way, Gon meets other aspiring Hunters and faces various challenges and enemies in order to achieve his goal and find his absentee hunter father.
    • Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
    • First Episode Date: October 16, 1999
    • Last Episode Date: September 23, 2014
    • Number of Episodes: 148
    • Studio: Madhouse
    Hunter x Hunter in other rankings

Missing your favorite animes?


Ranking factors for popular animes

  1. Audience Engagement and Fan Base
    Analyzing the size and activity of the fan base can help gauge the popularity of an anime. This includes the number of people discussing the anime on social media platforms, forums, and fan websites, as well as the number of fan art, fanfiction, and cosplay related to the anime.
  2. Viewership and Ratings
    The number of people watching the anime and the ratings or reviews it receives can indicate its popularity. This can include streaming statistics, television ratings, and online ratings on anime databases such as MyAnimeList or IMDb.
  3. Critical Reception
    The response from professional critics and journalists to the anime can also impact its popularity. High-quality anime with good storytelling, animation, and character development often receive praise from critics, which can lead to more people checking it out.
  4. Awards and Recognitions
    Animes that have received awards or recognitions at prestigious events like the Tokyo Anime Awards or the Crunchyroll Anime Awards can gain more visibility and attract a wider audience.
  5. Sales and Merchandise
    The sales of DVD/Blu-ray, manga, light novels, and other merchandise related to the anime franchise can be an indicator of its popularity. High sales figures usually suggest a strong fan base and demand for the anime.
  6. Longevity
    Animes that have been around for years and have maintained a loyal fan base are often popular. This can include long-running series like One Piece or Dragon Ball, or those that have generated sequels, spin-offs, or frequent collaborations.
  7. International Appeal
    The popularity of an anime outside its home country (Japan) can also be a key factor. Animes that have been successfully exported to other regions and have gained a following in different languages and cultures can be considered popular.
  8. Cultural Impact
    An anime's impact on popular culture can contribute to its popularity. This can include its influence on fashion, music, art, or the creation of memorable catchphrases and iconic characters.
  9. Nostalgia Factor
    Some animes may be popular due to nostalgia and the fond memories they evoke for fans who grew up watching them. These animes may have a strong emotional connection with viewers, making them more popular.
  10. Genre and Themes
    Popular genres and themes can influence an anime's popularity. Animes that belong to trendy or well-received genres like action, fantasy, or romance may have a larger audience and fan base. Innovative themes and unique storytelling can also boost an anime's popularity.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular animes. 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!


  • 168 votes
  • 10 ranked items

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 popular animes

Anime has become a global phenomenon with millions of fans around the world. It originated in Japan and refers to animated series or films that cover a wide range of genres such as action, romance, comedy, and science fiction. Anime has its own unique style with distinctive features like large eyes, vivid colors, and exaggerated expressions. Over the years, many anime series have gained immense popularity, and fans eagerly await new episodes and seasons. In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 most popular anime series based on StrawPoll's user votes.

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