Anime Forums have been around for a while. Forums such as AnimeCrazy from the earlier generation are now replaced by new generations like MyAnimeList.
Lately, I have been feeling very nostalgic about the days when I can gush about my favorite anime characters and shows using only anime forums.
It was around my teenage years when my friend introduced me to the concept of internet discussion boards.
And to be honest, I miss those good ‘ol simple days when Discord servers, chat messages, and other social media apps weren’t trending.
If you’re like me and grew up only on the simple messaging board system, could you remember some of the anime discussion boards that went trending back in the day?
‘Otaku Boards’ is one site I often visit to discuss anime shows and participate in games, contests, etc. around 2010.
They were fun to lounge around when I was a kid. Although there were a few internet trolls, restriction controls also existed to ensure safe internet surfing activities.
But sites like ‘Anime Crazy.net’ aren’t even alive anymore.
And it’s just sad to see those sites go away after growing up with its online community for so long. That’s why I’ll be talking about the 10 best forums that the anime community can mingle on this day and age!
MyAnimeList anime forum has everything and has the largest number of forum members compared to smaller ones. Its membership continues to grow because of the site’s popularity and comprehensive anime and manga database.
Anime Forum Stats
|Anime Forums||Topics/Threads||Posts/Articles/Discussions||Messages||Forum Members||Active Members (most online)||Active Content||Registered Users|
|Bulba Garden Forums||235,159||–||6,873,578||55,001||–||–||–|
If you’re interested about online activities, I’ve tabulated several anime forums’ statistics according to the following categories whenever they’re available. I’ve estimated some numbers on Forum Members to be able to create the bar charts in the following pages.
One glance at the bar charts tell us that MyAnimeList (MAL) has the highest number of forum members among anime forum communities.
In my opinion, MAL not only towers the others in size, but also in popularity (which is why it’s the best anime forum among the others in this list).
But MAL forum members aren’t even that active compared to the 216,000+ current users of 4channel.org, an online bullet board relying on simple images and a classic forum system. In any case, maybe the reason why anime forums aren’t that trendy anymore is because users are shifting to more common social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.
Reddit has even ~1.90 million forum members, but perhaps this is due to their Reddit and Apollo mobile apps. Crunchyroll has an app, but forum members are only 20% of the users.
Top 10 Anime Forums in 2020:
AnimeSuki enables its 275,000+ registered members to participate in 115,000+ discussion threads and 6.30+ million posts.
The site may have been using an old messaging system from the mid-90s, but that goes to show how the forum’s content aged along with its creators.
The online forum’s inception occurred on the year 2000, which explains why it’s using a classic system.
What I love about it though is that it uses a “Sticky” function to pin posts at the top. Only AnimeSuki’s moderators can use these to ensure their posts are eye-catching to the site’s visitors.
Other user-friendly designs that the forum utilizes are drop-down menus located in the bottom-left and bottom-right corners: “Quick Style Chooser” and “Forum Jump”.
The first one allows the user to pick “theme colors” and adjust “spacing” to match user preferences.
On the other hand, the second one allows users to navigate sub-forums by selecting specific anime shows.
It’s also helpful to know that moderators isolate “retired” sub-forums on older animes to ensure the site provides larger gigabyte forum spaces for current anime series.
“Fullmetal Alchemist” and “Death Note” are classic animes for several reasons, but AnimeSuki already archived them in the “retired” category because their online member ceased discussion on them a long time ago.
I also love how organized the posts are in AnimeSuki! A new site visitor can easily identify between the forums of “Anime Discussion” and “Anime Related Topics”.
For example, if I want to visit “Reviews & Recommendations” posts, I’ll go to “Anime Related Topics”. But if I want to know “Upcoming Series”, I’ll navigate to “Anime Discussion”.
Upon visiting AnimeBase back in 2004, I was reminded of the popular saying “less is more”.
With beautiful background graphics, a clean layout, and a friendly online environment, it’s as if I visited an anime café shop in Paris!
When I created an account in the early 2000s, it was formerly known as Narutobase.
The creators of this forum software must be die-hard Naruto fans that even “Ninja World Map”, “Konoha Town”, and “Jutsu” lists make up the Roleplay navigation submenu!
However, Narutobase didn’t become popular back in the day, hence, the name-change to AnimeBase to showcase a decluttered but stylistic messaging board system.
Despite the site revamping its name and user-interface, the threads are not as active as they used to be.
But what keeps me coming back to the site are its very strong anti-character bashing, anti-spamming, and anti-troll forum guidelines.
I’ve seen many anime forums where some of the titles of their posts are all capitalized (e.g., I’VE FINALLY FINISHED WATCHING NARUTO AND I LOVE IT TO THE MOON!!!).
It’s as if the user himself/herself is screaming at the readers while abusing the font structure.
I’m grateful that AnimeBase’s global posting guidelines prohibits people from using memes, pictures, and emojis as “single-word replies”.
Answering a question that has already been properly answered in the forum is even considered as spamming!
With its strict forum posting rules, it’s understandable why AnimeBase has had lax threading activities.
But a reasonable parent would recommend AnimeBase forums for their kids because it’s not bombarded with troll threads and off topic posts that do not contribute to the anime community.
To compensate for their inactive threads and rigorous forum rules, AnimeBase hosts monthly art contests!
This is a great way to increase registered users’ participation while uplifting and engaging interests in the online anime community.
As the name implies, this site is dedicated to anime fans living in the United Kingdom (UK) regions.
Since it’s been catering to a specific group since 2004, it now makes sense why UK’s demand for anime exploded in the early 2010s.
What I love about its messaging board is that it distinguishes “Anime Industry Discussion” and “General Anime Chit-Chat” threads from “Anime News & Rumours”.
“Anime News & Rumours” threads are jam-packed with “legal streaming anime updates” and “overseas anime news and announcements” posts. Having 7,900+ threads, it’s clear to see why it’s the noisiest of the three.
Meanwhile, “Anime Industry Discussion” is filled with “UK Anime Blu-ray” and “Out of Print Anime Blu-ray” posts.
If UK fans are enthusiastic about getting their limited Blu-ray anime editions, it’s understandable why this thread has over 57,700 messages despite only having 99 threads!
The anime forum for AnimeUKNews website also complements its book, manga, anime, and film reviews.
Without the forum, UK anime distributors wouldn’t be able to create the necessary “buzz” to increase their DVD sales in UK’s anime community.
Even if the site is created and monitored by devoted UK anime fans, they don’t restrict their sites from non-UK visitors.
(Recently, I’ve discovered FUNimation news updates block some of its readers in certain regions.
European fans living in Germany, France, etc. are unable to view nor read FUNimation’s blogs.
This news doesn’t affect me in the least. I don’t live in the U.S., but I’m still part of the North American region.
And since I live in Canada, I can access FUNimation blogs and news updates whenever I can.
But I was shocked having heard of such sad news: European Redditors lounging in the r/anime subreddit directly told me their inability to access FUNimation’s latest blogs.)
‘AnimeNewsNetwork’ announced last year that Crunchyroll has had at least 50 million registered users.
But so far, only ~2,000 people are paying subscribers as of November 2018.
If we assume that only 20% of the 50 million registered users are forum members, then we get about 1 million of them.
Furthermore, let’s say that the ~2,000 paying subscribers make up the 1% of the ~20,000 active members.
These ~20,000 active members are the reason why there’s only ~77,000 posts and ~1,400 threads in the Crunchyroll Forum (a very small number compared to less popular anime forums (AnimeSuki’s: 115,743 threads, AnimeBase: 625,303 threads).
With Crunchyroll’s streaming services also available in its mobile app, it’s reasonable to say why there are over 50 million subscribers.
But even though Crunchyroll’s forum is decent enough, its active forum members remain to be ~20,000 people.
But no matter how you look at it, Crunchyroll’s forum has been the primary online discussion board for its paying members since 2006.
The forum software may be out-of-date, but the classic layout system makes it neat enough for members to lounge on momentarily as they anticipate watching other Crunchyroll anime videos.
Other than anime discussion boards, related anime topics sections exist for Crunchyroll users:
- “Crunchyroll Connections”
- includes “Chit Chat” and “Forum Games” communities for entertainment
- “Conventions & Events” includes threads to update anime convention attendees of upcoming ones in New York City, Boston, and so forth.
- “Creative” section also exists for enthusiastic users sharing their music, art, fanfic stories, YouTube videos, and more.
AnimeNewsNetwork (ANN) wouldn’t even be complete without its classic messaging board.
Like Crunchyroll, ANN uses an outdated messaging system, but over 103,000 forum members roam around this site because ANN is always updated with episode reviews, events, manga, novels, and people working in Japan’s animation industry.
It is the first place to go to if you want to expand your knowledge on the latest anime shows Japan has to offer.
However, ANN is not as big as MAL (MyAnimeList). Whereas MAL’s memberships are growing (8.30+ million forum members), ANN’s registered users remains stagnant (around 810,000+ people only).
Despite that, people still visit ANN if they want to hear the latest anime news and anime-related merchandise announcements.
After all, ANN’s distinctive feature shines on disc releases and dubs discussions.
Announcement threads are even pinned at the topmost portion of the online board to attract forum visitors immediately.
Moreover, if you finished reading the news, you’ll see at the bottom that there’s a direct link to the thread related to the news you’re reading about. That way, you don’t have to take the time to search for the specific thread itself.
The ANN forum is also jam-packed with “Encyclopedia”, “Feedback”, and “Retail” sections.
The “Feedback” section even includes ANN surveys to collect interesting anime topics from its members.
Founded in 2001, over 1.60+ million users thrive on Anime-Planet because the website offers online legal streaming services in addition to anime season charts, recommendations, and community forums.
It has a very user-friendly database that allows viewers to rate and categorize (“unwatched”, “watching”, “want to watch”, etc.) several of its anime shows.
Its database is very informative because it even provides the user stats of an anime show of registered Anime-Planet users (e.g., no. of users who are “watching”, “want to watch”, and “dropped” a show).
With a database like Anime-Planet, it’s no wonder why its forum is thriving with 607,000+ messages. Anime-Planet’s forum has a fair layout, as well.
Some of its discussion boards are segregated into “Currently Airing Anime”, “Upcoming Anime”, “Entertainment”, and specific & general “Anime Discussions” to help the users navigate their way into the site.
Spend enough time browsing around Anime-Planet forums and you’ll also stumble into its anime clubs and groups.
Some of Anime-Planet’s clubs devote themselves to monthly movie clubs, marathon clubs, and even anime lottery games!
That’s how you’ll come to understand Anime-Planet’s forum standing out from the rest.
4Anime Forums (AF)
If you want some pizzazz in your forum boards, then head onto Anime Forums! Its dark layout is fantastic for people preferring dark mode all the time on their gadget screens.
In addition, their forums are also divided into “Anime & Manga”, “General”, “Creative Corner”, and “AF” sections to aid visitors navigating the site.
Aside from general anime discussions, the AF website also has submenus for “Shop”, “Activity”, “Blogs”, “Clubs”, “Gallery”, and “Quizzes”.
You won’t be bored, especially since the “Galleries” section contain screencap images of new animes showing this season.
Anime Forum’s registered users thrive on 82,000+ posts. Much more enjoyment can be obtained in AF when posters get to share anime images.
AF forums also dedicate events posts for “Cosplay & Conventions” and “Anime/Gaming Conventions”.
The “Creative Corner” is also very special because they have the “A-F Art Exhibit” to allow artists to showcase their talents with their wonderful drawings and digital graphics!
In addition, there are “Role Players Realm”, “Tutorials”, and “Writing” sections to expand users’ artistic skill sets.
If you are a writer, you can head onto the “Writing” section to obtain feedback from like-minded people on your writing.
But if you’re more of a tactical person, the “Role Players Realm” invites you to participate in joining fantasy worlds and fandoms for virtual role plays.
AniList.co described itself as the “next-generation anime platform” that allows users to discover, track, and share their anime and manga lists.
It’s like a mix of modern social media apps and anime metadata providers like Anime-Planet.
It also allows you to “favorite” and categorize anime shows into “planning”, “current”, “paused”, and “completed”.
It’s impressive how the outstanding anime messaging boards nowadays adapt social media layouts to emulate popular ones’ styles.
Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for example allows users to post images so users can comment, and like or dislike them.
The same technique goes for AniList except that it also allows you to rate and compare your own favorite animes and mangas against AniList’s top 100 lists (based on registered users’ preferences).
AniList exemplifies a modern metadata anime provider through its AniChart.net website because you can filter anime shows by season and the year it’s released.
If you discuss these on forum feeds, you’ll instantly classify topics via “Recent Activity” and “New Threads” through the navigation sidebar.
Message boards are also cleanly stacked to segregate the replies on one thread against another. There’s also no downvote function on the comments section.
And instead of an “upvote” or a “thumbs up” function, it’s replaced with a “heart”.
The navigation bar on the forums feed page allows users to indicate whether they want to jump to anime, manga, light novels, or recommendations thread discussions.
What’s more is that if you click on the profile of a user, you’ll see anime titles they’re “watching”, “planning to watch”, “completed”, and even “dropped”.
There’s also an activity section where you can see the reading progress of an AniList user’s manga titles.
With these features, it’s no wonder that the 654,000+ AniList registered users are satisfied with their site experiences.
There’s even a User Stats to count “Episodes Watched” of “Total Animes” of each user.
Members can even save their favorite animes in their profiles and save their favorite characters, too!
I’d rate AniList a 7 out of 10 because of its creative content management system.
Forum feeds are streamlined properly to deliver valuable comment contents to readers.
In addition, the anime charts lists are organized efficiently and they’re popularity are accurately reflected on registered profiles’ favorites lists!
A huge social media site like Reddit is on everyone’s radar if you like to talk about your favorite anime shows.
The r/anime community was created on January 2008, so the anime forum here has attracted hundreds of members already.
If you’re a current Redditor, then you’ll likely know about the difference between r/anime against special anime subreddits like r/Naruto, r/KimetsuNoYaiba, r/Kaguya_sama.
Moreover, if you’re a fan of a specific anime character, then you know you’ll also likely to find subreddits about them (e.g., r/Sasuke, r/Nezuko, r/ChikaFujiwara).
If you think r/anime and the specific anime subreddits only consists of anime show discussions, think again.
Ask Me Anything (AMA) are popular Reddit sessions where Redditors share success stories like ‘creating a strategy game and selling over 100,000 copies of it’.
AMA sessions also attract many Redditors because some of its posts are from the following people:
- Voice actors/actresses from different anime shows
- Animation and dub writing staff
- Executive staff (e.g., anime producers, directors, etc.)
- Forum staff of streaming websites (e.g., FUNimation, Crunchyroll, Hulu, HiDive)
- Netflix voice actors/actresses
- Animation students
Here’s a ‘recent AMA subreddit from Katelyn Barr’ talking about video games and voice layovers and character roles.
Another interesting thing to touch upon are Reddit Megathreads (e.g., Weekly Roundup, Monthly Meta Thread).
Megathreads are long posts that heavily discuss the given issues at hand.
For example, I first heard about the news of the pandemic impacting anime production through Reddit Megathreads. It details the interrupted anime airings from fully delayed series.
Other Megathreads of interests are ones like “Merch Mondays”, “Recommendation Tuesday”, “Thursday Anime Disc” and “Casual Discussion Fridays”.
These Megathreads update weekly on their given days under the r/anime subreddit to keep the online community alive.
With all these Reddit features, it’s not hard to argue that Reddit’s up there when you asked me which anime forums to recommend.
Moreover, “Reddit” and “Apollo” will deliver trending anime news straight to your cellphone when you download these mobile Reddit apps!
Other anime forums that I’d like to mention but will never be able to fully discuss in this best anime forums list are the following. Check them out when you can!
- 4channel.org – users can post comments on this bulletin board filled with simple images
- Otaku Boards –
- an old forum since 2001;
- an “Otakupedia” category is established to guide visitors;
- ‘theOtaku.com’ exists for community news, community chat, featured works, quizzes, fan comics, etc.
- Otaku.café –
- In addition to Otaku.café forums, it’s also a streaming anime service that offers ‘VIP membership’ (without ads) for $5/month
- AnimeForum.com – a website since 2012 that has direct links to the following:
- aniDB – a meta data provider since 2002; its forum uses a classic system
- Kitsu.io Groups – Kitsu.io is a meta data provider in the anime industry. But its “Groups” section acts like a forum where the messaging board system is similar to that of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook layouts. The user-interface is clean and organized, and the navigation sidebar at the left provides easy access on anime, manga, gaming, music, and lifestyle posts.
There are also forums dedicated to Pokémon fans! Here are two forums existing since 2010:
One simply cannot have an anime forums list without listing MAL in it. MAL is simply the king of anime metadata providers since its inception on November 2004.
Having 8.34+ million forum members, it’s the world’s largest anime/ manga database and community!
It is the best anime forum out there because its thread discussions are based on MAL’s informative, comprehensive, and large database.
And therefore, the discussion threads making up MAL forums are up-to-date and should be based on the most recent anime news announcements.
MAL is excellent in categorizing its anime lineups from season to season and year to year.
Select an anime show and scroll to the right side of the top navigation submenus.
Upon selecting “Forum”, a classic message board will display to reveal all discussion threads specifically relating to the anime show you selected.
You can see the usual details like number of “Replies” and “Last Post” on the forum.
But one unique detail I noticed upon entering the discussion threads is that there are numbers at the right side.
One can see these hash-tagged numbers ascending numerically when entering the discussion threads.
There are also anime and manga recommendations displayed when you reached the bottom of the thread.
The complete DVD or manga volumes will be displayed, along with the price. And when you click on them, it’ll give you a preview of the manga or light novel the anime show is adapted from.
Recent anime discussions and latest anime recommendations aren’t the only ones you find on MAL.
You’ll also find “MAL Contests” consisting of season-long anime games and competitions.
A “Creative Corner” also exists so participants can submit their own stories, graphics, and list designs.
“Music and Entertainment” section also exists to ensure Western media collide with what Asian music and live-action series have to offer.
If you sign up for any of the anime forums above, it will be your judgment call at the end of the day.
I already have a Reddit account and an IMDb account, and am very satisfied with my site experience on these programs’ apps.
So, if you feel enthusiastic sharing your anime passion, why not head onto one of the anime forums above to learn some new things? Find anime friends, share your hobbies, and have fun along the way!