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Top 15 Anime with the Biggest Fanbases in the World, Ranked!

The anime industry has one of the largest, most die-hard fanbases in the world. Although anime arises specifically from Japan, there are millions of fans internationally that consume and participate with its content.

Anime fandoms are hard to critique, judge, or measure. It’s not as simple as comparing viewership or gauging sales.

We need to consider the fame and hype of the anime, not just in the form of numbers, but emotions. A fanbase consists of people that love and engage with the series, not just know that it exists or watch it because it’s on TV.

There are many series that might be popular across the globe (See: DBZ, Pokemon) but I wouldn’t say they have the biggest fanbase. People everywhere recognize Pikachu but they aren’t really fans of Pokemon, the series.

Anime with large fanbases have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • are consistently viewed on streaming sites/DVDs
  • are long-running
  • have numerous multimedia adaptations
  • have equally loved source materials
  • are frequently discussed on community forums
  • have peculiar, unique, or lovable characters
  • have a particularly uncommon/exclusive premise
  • have a growing consumption of content.

In this article I will take all these factors into consideration and give you the top 15 anime with the biggest fanbases currently across the globe. Let’s go!

15. Hunter x Hunter

Status – Finished Airing

Source – Manga

No. of Seasons – 6

No. of Episodes – 148

Demographic – Shonen

You know this list is going to be epic when a legendary show like Hunter x Hunter starts it off.

Top 15 Anime with the Biggest Fanbases in the World, Ranked!
Hunter X Hunter | Source: IMDb

HxH has some of the most devoted fans ever, despite being a series with the greatest number of hiatuses.

Yoshihiro Togashi, the mangaka, recently broke the internet by revealing that he was working on more material for the manga.

HxH has made commercial success with its unconventional narration, myth-building, and rich variety of memorable characters.

It has various movies, and original video animations (OVAs), and is one of the best long running Shonen of all time.

14. Cowboy Bebop

Status – Finished Airing

Source – Original

No. of Seasons – 1

No. of Episodes – 26

Genre – Sci-Fi Neo-Noir, Adult Cast

I still sometimes forget that Cowboy Bebop only has 26 episodes. It first aired in 1998, but even today, it is often hailed as one of the greatest animated television series of all time.

It was well received worldwide, and unanimously praised for its style and story.

Cowboy Bebop (Original Series) - Official Funimation Trailer

Since it’s a Space Western, it garnered fame prominently in the US and sold over 81,000 DVD units overall.

Spike Spiegel, the protagonist, has won Best Male Character numerous times, and has thousands of fans internationally.

Cowboy Bebop is considered a classic, a gateway series for anime.

13. One Punch Man

Status – Finished Airing

Source – Web Manga

No. of Seasons – 2

No. of Episodes – 24

No. of Episodes – 24

Demographic – Seinen

At #13 is one of the global anime wonders, One Punch Man.

This satirical masterpiece subverts Shonen tropes to make a truly memorable series that has been praised by all types of fans.

Top 15 Anime with the Biggest Fanbases in the World, Ranked!
One Punch Man | Source: IMDb

It is one of the best-selling manga series of all time, and is hailed as one of the most unique anime series in the world.

Although the animation could’ve been better, OPM’s fanbase is solid and always growing because it’s a series that is constantly being recommended.

12. Sailor Moon Crystal

Status – Finished Airing

Source – Manga

No. of Seasons – 3

No. of Episodes – 39

Demographic – Shoujo

One of the most famous animated series in Japan, Sailor Moon Crystal is the readaptation of Sailor Moon. It animates the manga more closely than its predecessor.

Top 15 Anime with the Biggest Fanbases in the World, Ranked!
Sailor Moon Crystal | Source: Netflix

It is one of the few anime that is streamed for free on Hulu and Crunchyroll because it is one of the most consistently watched series ever.

Even though the first 2 seasons were criticized for being too fast, the first earned a viewership of over one million during the first two days of streaming.

Its cute rom-com moments, humor, and drama drive the series and make it super relatable among girls and boys around the world.

11. Fairy Tail

Status – Finished Airing

Source – Manga

No. of Seasons – 9

No. of Episodes – 328

Demographic – Shonen

This anime won Animax Asia’s Anime of the Year Award in 2010, and the Best Japanese Anime Award, along with Best Japanese Anime, and Best French Dubbing Award at the 19th Anime & Manga Grand Prix in 2012.

FairyTail Official Trailer

It received incredible reviews from viewers as well as critics, despite its below-par animation.

Sailor Moon’s fanbase is crazy – with serious cosplayers and interactive forums, it stands out with an exceptionally large fanbase.

10. Demon Slayer

Status – Ongoing

Source – Manga

No. of Seasons – 2

No. of Episodes – 44

Demographic – Shonen

Kimetsu no Yaiba currently hails as one of the most famous anime series in the world. This is mainly because of its insane animation and amazingly portrayed plot and characters.

Demon Slayer was the best-selling manga in 2019 and 2020. The franchise is also one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.

Top 15 Anime with the Biggest Fanbases in the World, Ranked!
Demon Slayer | Source: IMDb

With its manga, spin-off series, light novel adaptations, films, music, sequels, video games, stage plays, and merchandise, it’s no wonder that Demon Slayer is so popular.

The anime is famous worldwide because it caters to all kinds of audiences despite being a Shonen. If you haven’t yet watched it, get on the (Mugen) train asap.

9. My Hero Academia

Status – Ongoing

Source – Manga

No. of Seasons – 5

No. of Episodes – 113

Demographic – Shonen

If you’re an anime fan, you’ve heard of MHA. It’s manga and anime continue to receive unbelievable response. Ironically, it also has a wide number of haters that call it a cliché and a bore.

Top 15 Anime with the Biggest Fanbases in the World, Ranked!
My Hero Academia | Source: Viz Media

MHA is also known to have one of the most toxic fandoms among all anime series, but toxic fans are still fans.

The series is so popular that it was used to promote Avengers: Infinity War. I mean, come on. Even Eiichiro Oda, creator of One Piece, praised the series.

8. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Status – Finished Airing

Source – Manga

No. of Seasons – 1

No. of Episodes – 64

Demographic – Shonen

FMA:B often tops the list as the best anime series of all time. There are a very few people who haven’t seen the series. Even if you haven’t watched FMA:B, you’ve probably seen FMA.

Either way, the fanbase remains more or less the same with respect to the two anime adaptations, because the characters and their personalities are the same. And the relationship between the brothers Ed and Al Elric is what carries the show.

Top 15 Anime with the Biggest Fanbases in the World, Ranked!
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood | Source: IMDb

FMA:B is beautifully made, with a complex story, and even more complex characters. What’s more, it’s fanbase is one of the most wholesome ones ever. It’s a definite must-watch, and like with OPM, its fans are constantly endorsing it to newbies.

7. Death Note

Status – Finished Airing

Source – Manga

No. of Seasons – 1

No. of Episodes – 37

Demographic – Shonen

Whether or not you liked the Death Note ending, you have to admit that the series is amazing. When Death Note first came out, it took everyone by surprise. It became an instant sensation. The plot was so compelling that it hooked even non-anime lovers.

Top 15 Anime with the Biggest Fanbases in the World, Ranked!
Death Note | Source: Crunchyroll

Additionally, it only has a single season. It’s intriguing characters and enigmatic story helped it top worldwide charts and gains several awards.

It has since gained a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has overwhelming support from critics as well. 

6. Bleach

Status – Ongoing

Source – Original + Manga

No. of Seasons – 16

No. of Episodes – 366

Demographic – Shonen

Bleach is one of the Big Three – one of the three longest and most popular series in Shonen Jump’s 2000s period.

Bleach, the anime, first aired in 2004, and has managed to not only stay relevant all these years, but also insanely popular.

Top 15 Anime with the Biggest Fanbases in the World, Ranked!
Bleach | Source: IMDb

It has consistently remained as one of the top 10 Japanese TV series, won awards for Best Anime, Best Manga, and Best Actor. Although its popularity saw a decrease in Japan, it is still viewed regularly abroad in the form of DVDs and online.

The Bleach fanbase is always looking for a deeper understanding of how the Bleach universe works. The mechanics of the plot and premise have fans engaged with good reason.

5. Attack on Titan

Status – Ongoing

Source – Manga

No. of Seasons – 4

No. of Episodes – 87

Demographic – Shonen

AoT quite recently took the world by storm. Who doesn’t like watching giant man-eating humanoids exterminate the world? This critical and commercial wonder has won numerous awards and is one of the best-selling manga of all time.

Top 15 Anime with the Biggest Fanbases in the World, Ranked!
Attack on Titan | Source: Fandom

This fanbase kind of fluctuates between beating up the animation and loving it, but in the end, they’re all die-hard fans.

Due to its complicated fight scenes, and heartbreaking gruesome narrative, the anime has gained widespread affection.

I don’t think there’s a single anime fan in the recent years who hasn’t watched AoT. The show is everywhere. AoT fans reign far and wide, and continue to watch and rewatch the series.

4. Pokemon

Status – Ongoing

Source – Game

No. of Seasons – 24

No. of Episodes – 1,199

Demographic – Kids

Bet you were waiting for this one. Some of you might have expected Pokemon to be higher on the list. But like I said in my introduction section, popularity doesn’t always entail fans.

Top 15 Anime with the Biggest Fanbases in the World, Ranked!
Pokemon | Source: Official Website

Granted, Pokemon has a really huge fanbase, but there are anime series with greater. The Pokemon franchise is possibly one of the most well-known series in the world, with kids and adults from all countries recognizing Ash and Pikachu.

If we consider just the anime, Pokemon might not be that amazing. The games and merchandise are what primarily engage fans.

But the anime fandom is still bigger than most. Pokemon has the two highest-grossing anime films, and the anime TV series has more than 1000 episodes simultaneously airing in over 169 countries worldwide. In 2016, it became one of the most widely watched shows on Netflix.

Even though Pokemon is mainly for kids, it’s one of the emperors that rule the anime kingdom.

3. Dragon Ball Z

Status – Finished Airing

Source – Manga

No. of Seasons – 9

No. of Episodes – 291

Demographic – Shonen

For a lot of us, Dragon Ball, like Pokemon, was our childhood. This is one of the reasons that, despite ending several years ago, people have a soft spot for it.

The reason it ranks higher than Pokemon is because one might stop liking Pokemon after they grow up, but one doesn’t just stop being a Dragon Ball fan.

Top 15 Anime with the Biggest Fanbases in the World, Ranked!
Dragon Ball Z | Source: IMDb

The anime ended in 1996, but even in 2022, it is considered one of the greatest anime series the world has ever seen.

It is the father of Shonen, and the reason people got into anime in the first place – and started going to the gym. We all wanted to be Goku.

DBZ literally outperformed TV shows like Friends and X-Files, which should give you an idea about how big it is and was.

DBZ has an undying legacy and an even more undying fanbase.

2. Naruto Shippuden

Status – Finished Airing

Source – Manga

No. of Seasons – 21

No. of Episodes – 500

Demographic – Shonen

Say hello to another of the Big Three. Naruto is a gift that keeps giving. No one can not be a fan after watching Naruto – it has everything from magic to martial arts to humor to drama. It gave us one of the best rivals is the history of anime – Naruto and Sasuke.

Top 15 Anime with the Biggest Fanbases in the World, Ranked!
Naruto | Source: Fandom

Naruto Shippuden ranks high on emotional value, fighting sequences, and intricate world-building.

In 2020, it became the third top watched show in the whole of America.

Some fans criticize aspects of the anime, but they still deem it the best anime watching experience ever. I definitely agree.

1. One Piece

Status – Ongoing

Source – Manga

No. of Seasons – 20

No. of Episodes – 1019

Demographic – Shonen

One Piece has the biggest fanbase currently in the world. Its fandom is constantly growing due to the fact that the series is ongoing and that the anime runs very closely behind the latest manga chapter. This consolidates OP fans across mediums.

Top 15 Anime with the Biggest Fanbases in the World, Ranked!
One Piece | Source: Fandom

Eiichiro Oda makes it insanely easy for fans to attach themselves to his creation. The anime, manga, OVAs, films, light novels, video games, live action series, music, and other media share the glory of the series.

The characters are so solid that even with all the adaptations, you just can’t go wrong with them.

One Piece is the number one best-selling manga in the world. It broke all records when it ranked #1 for 14 years of Oricon’s Manga Sales Ranking.

Whether it’s Germany, Japan, US, or India, the One Piece fanbase is unbeatable. They are the definition of loyal and the reason the series has remained at the top.

Anime like Naruto, DBZ, Pokemon, and AoT might rank higher on visibility or popularity, but One Piece is the biggest show right now because of its ever-growing, passionate fanbase.

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Vansh Gulati

Vansh Gulati

Meet our very own Hinata Shoyo! - There is no anime or manga that he’s not aware of. Also the go-to guy for all things Epic at EML. He’s on a journey to discover life one bottle of sake at a time!
Ps...anime is not a cartoon!

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