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Top 20 Must-Watch Anime Storylines of All Time & Where to Watch Them!

Like the heart of a living being, the storyline is the heart of visual media like a movie, TV series, and even anime. Ironically, when both the heart and the storyline is not good, the one who suffers is the human being experiencing it.

The storyline is responsible for giving you an unforgettable experience, be it wonderful or dreadful. There are countless numbers of well-woven storylines in anime, but some will suck you into their universe, making you a part of it. 

So, let’s begin with the list of those top 20 anime storyline.

20. Bleach

Bleach will take you on an exhilarating ride of the soul society, making it one of the most memorable fiction ever.

Bleach

Air Date: October 5, 2004 Status: Upcoming Season 2 Studio: Studio Pierrot No. of Seasons: 2 No. of Episodes: 366

Ichigo Kurosaki is a normal high schooler until his family is attacked by a corrupt spirit, Hollow. He soon meets Rukia Kuchiki, a soul reaper who, while protecting Ichigo’s family, gets hurt and transfers her power to Ichigo, making him a soul reaper.

top 20 anime storyline
Bleach

Ichigo is given the task to hunt down hollows until Rukia regains her power. He is later joined by his friends Orihime, Sado, and Uryuu in his journey to save the human world from threats more terrifying than hollows.

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19. Golden Kamuy

Golden Kamuy beautifully illustrates a melancholy story driven by vibrant characters.

Golden Kamuy

Air Date: April 9, 2018 Status: Upcoming Season 3 Studio: Geno Studio No. of Seasons: 3 No. of Episodes: 24

In Hokkaido, after surviving the Russo-Japanese war of the Meiji era, Sugimoto was nicknamed “Sugimoto the Immortal.” To save his deceased comrades’ widowed wife, he was in search of gold.

Golden Kamuy Season One | Official Trailer (Own It 4/2)
Golden Kamuy Trailer

During his hunt of gold, he finds hints of hidden fortune by corrupt criminals. Accompanied by Asirpa, an Ainu girl, they venture into an adventure to find the hidden fortune where survival is the key.

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18. Hajime no Ippo

Fighting Spirit splendidly illustrates the fight with one’s inner demon to bring out the true self concealed deep within.

Hajime no Ippo

Air Date: October 4, 2000 Status: Finished Studio: Madhouse No. of Seasons: 3 No. of Episodes: 126

Makunouchi Ippo is always bullied for his lack of spirit to fight back. While getting bullied the other day, he was saved by Takamura Mamoru, a boxer whose skills amazed Ippo while he was fainting away.

After getting back to senses, Takamura asks Ippo to punch a punching bag with a photo of Ippo’s classmate. Following the punch, Ippo’s feelings led him to train under Takamura. 

top 20 anime storyline
Hajime no Ippo

Not seeming prepared to be a boxer, Takamura hands an impossible task to Ippo. After getting inspired by his hard-working mother, Ippo trains relentlessly to reach the top in the boxing world.

Watch Hajime no Ippo on:

17. My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia deals with a hero that you always dreamt of becoming.

My Hero Academia

Air Date: April 3, 2016 Status: Airing Studio: Bones No. of Seasons: 5 No. of Episodes: 89

Izuku Midoriya, an ambitious middle schooler, has always wanted to be a hero but cannot as he doesn’t have any quirk.

But soon his fate changes, when the number one hero and his personal idol, All Might, chooses him as his successor to inherit his quirk.

top 20 anime storyline
My Hero Academia | Source: Wiki Fandom

Izuku enrolls in UA High after enduring months of grueling training. Soon, he will understand what it means to be a hero as danger looms over the school.

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16. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure will take you on a vivid ride through its nutty characters.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

Air Date: October 6, 2012 Status: Upcoming Season 6 Studio: David Production No. of Seasons: 6 No. of Episodes: 152

After being saved by Dario Brando, English nobleman George Joestar takes in Dario’s son Dio, to repay his debt.

Wanting to seize the Joestar for his own, Dio using an Aztec stone mask, sets out to eliminate George and his son, Jonathan “JoJo” Joestar, which paved the way for upcoming disasters.

top 20 anime storyline
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure | Source: Viz Media

After unearthing the secrets behind the mask a century later, Jonathan’s grandson Joseph Joestar takes upon the responsibility to defeat the mystical figures known as the Pillar Men, responsible for the chaos.

He sets out on a journey filled with bizarre adventures.

Watch JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure on:

15. Gurren Lagann

Gurren Lagann deals with much more than the emotions and survival of humankind through an exhilarating mecha adventure.

Gurren Lagann

Air Date: April 1, 2007 Status: Finished Studio: Gainax No. of Seasons: 1 No. of Episodes: 27

Simon is a young man with no real aspirations while Kamina is free-spirited, both of them born and raised in an underground village, stumbles upon an ignition key to an ancient war artifact which they name Lagann.

Gurren Lagann Official Trailer
Gurren Lagann Trailer

With the help of Lagann, they set off on a journey under the bright sky with Yoko, to fight against “Beastmen,” humanoid creatures terrorizing humanity in robots called “Gunmen.”

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14. Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion strongly depicts the conscience of human emotions amidst the survival of humanity.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Air Date: October 4, 1995 Status: Finished Studio: Tatsunoko Production, Gainax No. of Seasons: 1 No. of Episodes: 26

Standing on the brink of extinction, Nerv, a special agency under the United Nations, is the last hope to save humanity against the Angels using their giant machines called Evangelions.

Gendou Ikari, head of the organization, along with her comradery, is finding compatible pilots to sync in with Evangelion.

Neon Genesis Evangelion | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix
Neon Genesis Evangelion Trailer

Shinji Ikari’s average life is drastically changed when he has whisked away into the depths of Nerv after meeting with his father. He has been destined to pilot Evangelion Unit-01 to save humanity once and for all.

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13. Baccano!

Baccano! is a gem of a mystery dwelling with alchemy, survival, and immortality. 

Baccano!

Air Date: July 27, 2007 Status: Finished Studio: Brain’s Base No. of Seasons: 1 No. of Episodes: 13

During the early 1930s, The transcontinental train, Flying Pussyfoot, is starting its legendary journey in Chicago, which will leave a trail of blood all over the country.

At the same time, in New York, scientist Szilard along with his aide, Ennis, are looking for missing bottles of the immortality elixir while, on the other hand, the war between mafia groups is getting worse. 

top 20 anime storyline
Baccano! | Source: Netflix

The several events seeming to be unrelated are the part of a much bigger story that will be merged by the kindhearted thieves, Issac and Miria.

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12. Steins;Gate

One has to carefully watch Steins;Gate to decipher the minute details of a truly magnificent story.

Steins;Gate

Air Date: April 6, 2011 Status: Finished Studio: White Fox No. of Seasons: 2 No. of Episodes: 47

The self-proclaimed mad scientist Rintarou Okabe along with his perverted hacker friend Hashida “Daru” Itaru and airheaded Mayuri Shiina, have made their most promising invention dubbed as the “Phone Microwave.”

It can perform the strange function of deforming bananas into piles of green gel.

Steins;Gate - Part One - Available Now on BD/DVD Combo - Trailer
Steins;Gate Trailer

But soon after experiencing some mysterious happenings, they discover that the Phone Microwave can send emails to the past, altering the flow of history itself.

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11. Death Note

Death Note is a bold illustration of the fine line between good and evil.

Death Note

Air Date: October 4, 2006 Status: Finished Studio: Madhouse No. of Seasons: 1 No. of Episodes: 37

Getting bored with the Shinigami lifestyle, Ryuk drops his Death Note into the human realm to see how a human would use it. Light Yagami, a high school student, finds it.

After knowing its ability to kill people just by writing the name, he dreams of creating a world without criminals becoming a god himself. 

Death Note | OFFICIAL TRAILER
Death Note Trailer

Police, however, quickly discovering a serial killer, hires a young and eccentric man known only as L, who is the best detective in the world.

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10. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba

Demon Slayer will make your heart throb with its heartwarming story and brilliant animation.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba

Air Date: April 6, 2019 Status: Upcoming Season 2 Studio: ufotable No. of Seasons: 2 No. of Episodes: 26

Tanjirou Kamado has been supporting his family ever since his father’s death by selling charcoal.

When coming back from a local village after a day selling charcoals, Tanjirou finds his whole family slaughtered except his sister Nezuko who has been turned into a demon.

top 20 anime storyline
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba | Source: Viz Media

Following which, Tanjirou joins the Demon Slayer Crops to avenge his family and find a way to turn Nezuko back into a human.

Watch Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba on:

9. Vinland Saga

Vengeance will make you hollow, Vinland Saga displays that through a heart-wrenching story.

Vinland Saga

Air Date: July 8, 2019 Status: Finished Studio: Wit Studio No. of Seasons: 1 No. of Episodes: 24

Thorfinn, being born in Iceland, has grown up listening to the legend of Vinland, where it is warm and fertile, unlike his motherland.

War is in his home now as the battle between England and the Danes, have grown worse with each passing year. Vikings are loving the bloodbath and are allying with the side they seem profitable with.

TVアニメ「ヴィンランド・サガ 」第1弾アニメPV
Vinland Saga Trailer

Amidst the chaos, Thorfinn must take his revenge and kill Askeladd, the man who murdered his father, Thors.

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8. Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop reminds us to smile even when the tide of time is against us.

Cowboy Bebop

Air Date: April 3, 1998 Status: Finished Studio: Sunrise No. of Seasons: 1 No. of Episodes: 26

In the distant future, humanity survives on different colonies of planets of the solar system. The peace in the colonies is maintained by the Inter Solar System Police, who are further helped by the “Cowboys.”i.e., The bounty hunters. 

Spike Spiegel, along with his boisterous partner Jet Black are the duo of bounty hunters who sustain their living through the reward earned by chasing bounties. 

Cowboy Bebop HD - Trailer - Complete Series on Blu-ray - Coming Soon
Cowboy Bebop Trailer

While adding new members to their crew, Spike is on his way to close the chapter of the past that keeps haunting his life, making it miserable.

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7. Hunter x Hunter

Hunter x Hunter is one of the most unique Shounen shows out there.

Hunter x Hunter

Air Date: October 2, 2011 Status: Finished Studio: Madhouse No. of Seasons: 1 No. of Episodes: 148

Hunters exist to perform tasks like capturing criminals and searching for treasures. Gon Freecs is determined to become a Hunter to find his father, who abandoned Gon as a child and went to become a hunter himself. 

Along the way of becoming an official Hunter, Gon befriends Leorio, Kurapika, and Killua. The four of them take the Hunter Exam to attain their goals and desires.

top 20 anime storyline
Hunter x Hunter | Source: Viz Media

Following which they embarked on a journey of hardships and struggles.

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6. Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan exquisitely depicts the survival of humanity against the Titans.

Attack on Titan

Air Date: April 7, 2013 Status: Upcoming Season 4 Studio: Wit Studio, Studio MAPPA No. of Seasons: 4 No. of Episodes: 75

Centuries ago, mankind was forced to live within defensive barriers in fear of Titans, human-eating monsters.

After centuries of peace, a colossal titan manages to breach the defensive wall and begins the survival against man-eating abominations where Eren Yeager lost his mother and joined the Survey Corps to dedicate his life for his revenge against titans by eradicating each of them.

Attack on Titan - Official Trailer w/ Intro from Voice of Eren
Attack on Titan Trailer

In this brutal journey, he is accompanied by his adopted sister, Mikasa Ackerman, and childhood friend Armin Arlert.

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5. Naruto

Naruto will teach you the value of friendship and trust while reminding you to never give up on your dreams.

Naruto

Air Date: October 3, 2002 Status: Finished Studio: Studio Pierrot No. of Seasons: 2 No. of Episodes: 720

The Hidden Leaf Village Konohagakure was saved by the Fourth Hokage after the monstrous Nine-Tailed Fox attacked it and was trying to destroy it.

To stop its rampage, the Fourth Hokage sacrificed his life and sealed the Nine-Tailed Fox inside the newborn Naruto.

Soon after growing up, Naruto is shunned and feared by the people of Konohagakure for being the vessel of Nine-Tailed Fox.

Naruto: The Complete Series Exclusive Special Edition - Official Trailer
Naruto Trailer

While trying to adjust to a society where he is not welcome, Naruto’s dream of becoming Hokage is solid as a stone.

Though famous for being a notorious kid, Naruto makes some of the greatest friends on his journey to be the best, where he also faces some of the most formidable foes. 

Watch Naruto on:

4. Code Geass: Lelouch of Rebellion

Code Geass beautifully portrays the unrecognized potential of human intellect.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

Air Date: October 6, 2006 Status: Finished Studio: Sunrise No. of Seasons: 2 No. of Episodes: 50

After conquering Japan, the Holy Empire of Britannia has renamed it as Area 11, which came along with the resistance from the tyrants wanting to regain independence. 

Lelouch Lamperouge, a Britannia student, was saved by a mysterious girl C.C. when he was caught in a crossfire between the empire and the rebels. 

Code Geass (Seasons 1 and 2) – Coming Soon
Code Geass: Lelouch of Rebellion Trailer

The girl bestowed upon him Geass, the “Power of Kings,” which has the “ power of absolute obedience.” Lelouch, after realizing its potential plans to take revenge against Britannia. 

Watch Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion on:

3. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood reminds us that mortality is a blessing to mankind. 

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Air Date: April 5, 2009 Status: Finished Studio: Bones No. of Seasons: 1 No. of Episodes: 64

After attempting the human transmission, a forbidden act of alchemy, young brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric, pay the price by losing a left leg and a physical body, respectively.

But Edward sacrificed his right arm to affix Alphonse’s soul to a suit of armor. Edward obtained metal limbs called “automail” and became a state alchemist.

top 20 anime storyline
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Both of the brothers have embarked on their journey to find the Philosopher’s Stone, which can solve their problem. But soon, they encounter a national conspiracy surrounding the Philosopher’s Stone.

Watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on:

2. Monster

Monster will chase you to the depths of the abyss through its horrifying psychological portraiture. 

Monster

Air Date: April 7, 2004 Status: Finished Studio: Madhouse No. of Seasons: 1 No. of Episodes: 74

After performing surgery on a boy named Johan Liebert instead of the mayor, Dr. Kenzou Tenma, an elite neurosurgeon, loses his social standing amongst the doctors.

That was followed by the break up with his engaged fiance, who was the hospital director’s daughter.  

top 20 anime storyline
Monster | Source: IMDb

But soon, with the mysterious death of the director, Tenma’s position is being restored. Getting arrested as a suspect, he was soon released due to a lack of evidence.

When faced by the horrors of that night, nine years later, he embarks on a journey to kill the monster he saved, who created havoc all around. 

Watch Monster on:

1. One Piece

One Piece is all about following your heart to the end of the world.

One Piece

Air Date: October 20, 1999 Status: Airing Studio: Toei Animation No. of Seasons: 1 No. of Episodes: 941

The words of the “Pirate King” Gol D. Roger before execution by the World Government has resulted in the dawn of the new era of pirates.

The only dream that every pirate has is to obtain Gol D.Roger’s most valuable treasure, the One Piece. 

Monkey D. Luffy is a young boy who dreams of becoming King of the Pirates, not for wealth or fame, but for the countless adventures he will get to experience.

ONE PIECE Coming to Netflix Trailer | East Blue & Alabasta Saga | June 12 | Toei Animation
One Piece Trailer

Soon making a crew of his own, he is on an adventure to fulfill his dreams while facing formidable enemies.

Watch One Piece on:
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Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

Our talented team of Freelance writers - Always on the lookout - pour their energies into a wide range of topics bringing to our audience what they crave - fun up-to-date news, reviews, fan theories and much much more.