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Top 14 Best Anime Series of all Time

Updated on April 19, 2016

I have decided to make a list of the best anime series of all time! My most memorable and epic anime series are listed here. I selected them based on the impression they left on me. I tend to forget the boring anime series and remember the anime series that moved me.

Steins Gate
Steins Gate

10. Steins Gate

Steins Gate is an anime about time travelling. Instead of the characters going back in time, they send messages back in time. This leads to some very cool and interesting situations. Like sending a text message back in time to win the lottery or change someones gender! It starts out a little cheesy but keeps getting more interesting and serious. The story is worked out very well and a lot of attention has been given to the little details.

Episodes: 24 | Sci-Fi, Thriller | Mar 6, 2011 to Sep 14, 2011 | R - 17+ |
Myanimelist rating: 9.17

time spent watching: 8 hours

Trigun
Trigun

9. Trigun

Trigun combines serious action with great humor. Main character Vash the Stampedes biggest desire is that nobody gets hurt, yet he always manages to get himself an others into trouble. Oh yeah, he also has a $600000000 bounty on his head for destroying cities. Sounds pretty contradicting right? The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, which really gives this anime its unique atmosphere. The storyline is very engaging and funny and will make you watch episode after episode. Trigun gradually gets more serious near the end but maintains its unique humor. The ending is somewhat disappointing however. There has been a trigun movie released recently called "Trigun Badlands Rumble". I highly recommend watching it.

Episodes: 26 | Action, Comedy, Sci-fi | Apr 1, 1998 to Sep 30, 1998 | PG-13 | Myanimelist rating: 8.36

Time spent watching: 10 hours

Gungrave
Gungrave

8.Gungrave

Gungrave is a dramatic and action-packed story. I especially liked the massive plot-twist in the the story. And the best thing is that you won't even see it coming! I was so surprised! The story only gets better from there. The enemy's get stronger and the main character more brutal. The ending is somewhat dissapointing.

Episodes: 26 | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi | Oct 7, 2003 to Mar 30, 2004 | R - 17+ | Myanimelist rating: 8.07

Time spent watching: 8,5 hours

Claymore
Claymore

7. Claymore

Dark fantasy is what describes Claymore best. This fantasy land is cursed by creatures known as yoma. These terrible monsters disguise themselves as humans. They do this because the have a very strong desire to eat humans! This is where the claymores come in. They are half-yoma and half-human. They are humans only weapon against the yoma. The story is dark and action-packed. Massive swords cutting off limbs and splitting body's in two is what usually happens during a fight. The storyline is great except the ending. It is different from the manga because the studio wanted to end the series.

Episodes: 26 | Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Supernatural | Apr 4, 2007 to Sep 26, 2007 | R+ 17+ | Myanimelist rating: 8.09

time spent watching: 17 hours

Berserk
Berserk

6. Berserk

Berserk is very similar to Claymore. Berserk is about dark fantasy. The setting is a medieval world full of massive swords, corrupt nobles, huge soldiers and much more. The action is great, the storyline is great and the music is great. The music is not what you usually hear in animes though. It's a special genre of music that fits in the world of berserk very well. The ending will leave you wanting for more, but it is good. They sticked to the manga so after finishing the anime you will be able to continue in the manga.

Episodes: 25 | Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural | Oct 7, 1997 to Mar 31, 1998 | R+ 17+ | Myanimelist rating: 8.32

Time spent watching: 8 hours

Kaiji
Kaiji

5. Kaiji

I began watching this anime by chance, which is ironic because this anime is about gambling. I randomly selected Kaiji from a whole list of animes and started watching it. I was hooked! When i finished an episode i absolutely had to know what would happen next. This anime will make you watch episode after episode without realizing its way past midnight. The storyline is simply amazing. The main character is a poor bum who has a chance to get rich by gambling. The stakes are always high, usually you will become a slave or worse if you lose. That is what makes this anime so awesome. The animation style is a bit different though, i have never seen anything like it.

Season 1: Episodes: 26 | Game, Thriller | Oct 2, 2007 to Apr 1, 2008 | R - 17+ | Myanimelist rating: 8.4

Season 2: Episodes: 26 | Game, Thriller | Apr 6, 2011 to Sep 28, 2011 | R - 17+ | Myanimelist rating: 8.32

Time spent watching: 17 hours

Code Geass
Code Geass

4. Code Geass

Code Geass is a revolutionary anime. Lelouch is a school student who accidentally gets a special power. With this special power he tries to gain world domination. The story is simply awesome, i love "evil" stories where a character tries to take over the world. Code Geass has awesome mecha-battles but also tear-jerking moments. The characters are interesting and diverse. The ending is good but sad.

Season 1: Episodes: 25 | Action, Mecha, Military | Oct 6, 2006 to Jul 28, 2007 | R+ 17+ | Myanimelist rating: 8.89

Season 2: Episodes: 25 | Action, Mecha, Military | Apr 6, 2008 to Sep 28, 2008 | R+ 17+ | Myanimelist rating: 8.99

Time spent watching: 17 hours

Deathnote
Deathnote

3. Deathnote

Death note is very similar to Code Geass but i like Death note a bit more. Yagami Light a 17-year old genius accidentally finds the deathnote. With this note he can kill people through writing their name in it. Yagami thinks he can improve the world by killing off a lot of people and he does. The storyline is epic, its a cat and mouse game. Yagami tries to stay anonymous while detectives are trying to hunt him down. The music also suits the anime very well.

Episodes: 37 | Mystery, Supernatural, Police, Psychological, Thriller | Oct 4, 2006 to Jun 27, 2007 | R - 17+ | Myanimelist rating: 8.84

Time spent watching: 12 hours

2. Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a must-see. It is set in a fantasy world with lots of political and military drama's. The storyline is great, it has a lot of interesting and lively characters who are creatively interwoven in the storyline. The soundtrack is what really stands out. The music always matches the situations perfectly. The orchestral suites that are used are simply awesome. The animation is also top notch. This is also one of the few animes with a great ending. This serie is so awesome that you will want to watch it 2 times just to relive all the amazing moments.

Episodes: 64 | Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Drama | Apr 5, 2009 to Jul 4, 2010 | R - 17+ | Myanimelist rating: 9.21

Time spent watching: 42 hours

One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, Fairy Tail, DBZ
One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, Fairy Tail, DBZ

1. One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, Fairy tail, DBZ

I couldn't pick 1 anime serie so i picked 5. These long-running animes aren't just a serie you watch, they become a part of you. I own a lot of my fond chilhood memories to these animes. They are so amazing because they have everything an anime needs to have. Great storylines, epic music, interesting and funny characters and great animation. All 5 anime series consist of the same basic elements: friendship, action and comedy. These elements work out really well and always leave you wanting for more. One of the best things is that they are so long. It really helps you to get into the world of the particular anime. Its almost like your living in it and the characters are your buddies. (Yes, i do have a life.) I have watched most of the series 2 times because they were so amazing! The bad thing about them are the fillers. They are junk-episodes to increase the time difference between the manga and the anime. If you have not watched one of the mentioned anime series i suggest you punch yourself in the face and start watching them right now! Grab yourself some tasty food and lock the door!

One Piece: Episodes: 587 | Currently Airing | Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy | PG-13 | Myanimelist rating: 8.64

Naruto: Episodes: 532 | Currently Airing | Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy | PG-13 | Myanimelist rating: 7.95

Fairy Tail: Episodes: 173 | Currently Airing | Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy | PG-13 - Teens 13 or older Myanimelist rating: 8.32

Dragon Ball Z: Episodes: 291 | Apr 26, 1989 to Jan 31, 1996 | Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy | PG-13 | Myanimelist rating: 8.31

Bleach: Episodes: 361 | Oct 5, 2004 to Mar 27, 2012 | Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy | PG-13 | Myanimelist rating: 8.01

Time spent watching: 700 hours (that's about a month)


Which anime out of this list is your favorite?

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    • emimemo profile image

      emimemo 5 years ago from USA

      Very interesting hub. I read One-piece up to 45th volume and it is a fun story. Thank you for explaining the Japanese Anime.

    • Boefie profile image
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      Boefie 5 years ago from Germany

      I'm reading it too. Eiichiro Oda is an amazing mangaka

    • profile image

      Dude 4 years ago

      Man you obviously don't know good anime, you just pick the ones popular with the kids nowadays (naruto, Bleach, one piece etc). Aside from Berserk, Gungrave, and Trigun this was a terrible list. Where's Cowboy Bebop or Evangelion? I would understand if you titled it your favorite Anime, but it says the BEST. Naruto, Bleach, and One piece are all filler anime.

    • Boefie profile image
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      Boefie 4 years ago from Germany

      I watched Cowboy bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion but they are not that great. Evangelion is cleary overhyped, the anime is just boring and weird, though the opening song is great.

      Naruto, Bleach and One piece are amazing and you know it.

    • profile image

      anon 4 years ago

      @Dude - maybe he is a kid and this is what he likes, it's his favorite list not yours. My list would look different too but oh well, there's a couple things on here I've never heard of which is interesting.

    • profile image

      Anonymous 4 years ago

      I think in saying "fullmetal alchemist" you meant brotherhood (fma:b), which is the one that sticks to the manga storyline, has 64 episodes, and was made in 2009-2010. "Fullmetal Alchemist" is a different, independently made show that has like 50 something episodes, deviates from the manga storyline, and was made a couple years before fma:b.

      Good list!

    • profile image

      F5 4 years ago

      I am hardcore anime fan and Cowboy bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion are for kids. No mature, intelligent person will ever watch any of them. Also,naruto, Full Metal Alchemist and one pice is for kids. If you were objective and not emotional sheep you would see it. Just take my word for it, since I don't base my judgment on personal feelings, but on logic and whole picture.

      berserk, death note and code geass are rank A animes. There is yet to come better anime. Claymore, steins gate and gungrave is rank B animes.

      ps I agree on why you put those shiits in first place. They are the most popular animes nowadays so its logical that they will be ranked 1st since biggest part of population like them.

    • profile image

      pain 4 years ago

      @f5 neon genesis is 4 kids?? tell me more how much u knw abt animes?? It explores the themes of loneliness, isolation, bonding, etc.. And the last episode is high 4 any adult.. Agreed that naruto and one piece are childish but they can be enjoyed by any adult. Full Metal Alchemist is no way 4 kids if you've really watched it.

      All the rank1 deserves their spot because they are the animes which bring people outside Japan to anime world. So before calling them shit tell me how logical u r..

      note to author - If u like dark stuff then u've missed out elfen lied, monster, Higurashi and Serial Experiments Lain..

      Also where is Samurai-X (Kenshin)

    • RionnaaLuffzYhuu profile image

      RionnaaLuffzYhuu 4 years ago

      My fav anime of all time are:

      10: Bleach

      9:Full metal alchemist, full metal alchemist brotherhood

      8:Naruto, naruto shippueden

      7:Eureka 7, Eureka AO

      6:Thundercats

      5:Tenchi-muyo-gxp

      4:cowboy bebop

      3: inuyasha

      2: vampire knight

      1: TORADORA~!!!!

    • profile image

      Raza 4 years ago

      Good list for North American viewers.

    • profile image

      shiuma 4 years ago

      fairytail deserves the top. it deserves the first. it deserves the peoples support. fairytail should have more votes. it must. i love fairytail so much it is hard to describe....... the feeling when i watch it...... ahh! FAIRYTAIL...FAIRYTAIL,,,,FAIRYTAIL!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      rara 4 years ago

      1. samurai x

      2.death note

      3.FMAB

      4.d gray man

      5.naruto

      6.bleach

      7.dbz

      8.soul eater

      9.code geasse

      10 initial d.

      lol

    • Jake Obnial profile image

      Jake Obnial 4 years ago from Palmview, Texas

      I agree with Pain.

      I don't really know what "childish" means when it comes to anime since it's obviously a subjective term.

      To those saying Evangelion and FMA are childish or shitty, I don't really get how plot twists or philosophical issues involved in those anime are to be underestimated.

      People have preferences, and the author and I are kinda similar in taste. It's just that I have trouble actually ranking anime because each has their own appeal.

      With regard to Claymore, the manga is definitely better with all the details, but the series is entertaining. And yes, Cowboy bebop and Monster AND Elfen lied are good animes too.

      I discovered Berserk movies, and my goodness, they were brilliant..and definitely R18.

    • Boefie profile image
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      Boefie 4 years ago from Germany

      Berserk movies are definitely awesome.

    • Ayu Bi profile image

      Ayu Bi 4 years ago from Sorajima

      Love your list! Will try Steins Gate, thanks :)

    • profile image

      CantThinkOfAName 4 years ago

      Personally, I would add Inuyasha instead of Trigun, and my #1 would be Fairy Tail or One Piece. I still watch Naruto and I hope Bleach comes back, but only because they are the reason I got into anime. The fillers drag them downhill. I was never able to get into DB/DBZ/DBGT though...

    • profile image

      Jack 4 years ago

      I haven't seen all of the animes in this list but from the ones I've seen, Kaiji is definitely the least childish. I pretty sure that if you watch, you'll understand why.

    • Boefie profile image
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      Boefie 4 years ago from Germany

      O man, i love kaiji.

    • profile image

      ddsds 3 years ago

      Fairy tail the best

    • profile image

      heybraindead 3 years ago

      either you are a kid or you have a brain of a kid...naruto, bleach.....well you must be a fan of desperate housewives too.

    • profile image

      rdtl06 3 years ago

      the reason why OP, Naruto, bleach, DBZ and FT are number one is because

      A. one piece rocks, no arguments, it's got it all...action, drama, adventure, and a lot more...

      B. Bleach, well, dis anime is by far the coolest most action-est show of all times!!!

      C. DBZ is the motherload of all animes...seriously, if y'all don't like it, y'all are gay

      D.Fairy tail is...mmm...well FT is EPIC...the main character is awesome!!!

      and lastly, Naruto...don't like Naruto but still the storyline is dramatic and inspiring...

      and der not for kids...just because their not ecchi doesn't mean dat their for kids...Dats y I like them...their not filled with nudity and disgusting perverted people...Their just shows that keeps us entertained without making us puke with disgust!!! So yea!!! Bleach, OP, DBZ and FT ROCKS!!! if u don't like it go to an anime porn site!!!!

    • Boefie profile image
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      Boefie 3 years ago from Germany

      Naruto is great, but all the recent fillers are really starting to annoy me. They make all the characters look like idiots.

      And i also believe "heybraindad" is a very desperate housewife ;-).

    • profile image

      Shooweewa 3 years ago

      Would've been a 'not bad list' until I saw your no. 1...

      Aside from One Piece(which isn't far off them too because of the pacing), Naruto, Bleach, Fairy Tail and DBZ doesn't even compare to some of the anime you listed before them! Plot line, consistency, character development, mature-ness, even animation-wise(although I've seen some very well-animated fights in those series, but only SOME; on a completely unrelated note, Fate/Zero has better animation than all those combined and is actually consistent).

      Seems more like a popularity list than a 'best anime' list to me.

    • Nightlife-nerd profile image

      Bruce Stoelzel 3 years ago from Tampa, Florida

      I mean, everyone has their own opinions on what they like, but I kinda agree that most of these are just the "Popular Anime."

      I've seen dozens of series better than Bleach and One Piece. I mean, don't get me wrong, they're good, but not even close to the best. They are just long. Some of the best series I've ever seen didn't last more than like 30 eps.

    • profile image

      RAcziDE 3 years ago

      I belong to this world. all you people really LOVE animes.. now i know that i'm not alone in this world. everytym i completed a story of anime , i really want to look for the author and beg him to continue the story.. like angel beats.. i hav lots of frustrations and questions on what will happen next.. so it's storyline was the one making it famous and immortal because die hard fans are really searching for it's update or next seasons when to be released.. lyk for example if one piece will end the story next week.. i will really shout and get angry to the author.. i can't allow one piece to close. it's already a part of my living since i'm 8.. for those who hav'nt watch one piece.. i extremely recommended this anime to be watch. it feels like a real life story... so awesome. pls watch one piece.. long live anime anime creators. and God bless.

    • Boefie profile image
      Author

      Boefie 3 years ago from Germany

      One piece rules!

    • profile image

      drew 3 years ago

      No Black lagoon? No Baccano? Cmon those are classics people. If you've never seen those you need to watch asap

    • belleart profile image

      belleart 3 years ago from Ireland

      wow, great hub. I've just started watching claymore as I wait for more episodes of Attack on Titan to be released and I'm really into it. I've tried to watch Naruto but hated it!

      His constant 'Believe it' catchphrase really grinds my gears ...so personally wouldn't have chosen that for the number one spot but Il be sure to check out the rest of them.

    • Boefie profile image
      Author

      Boefie 3 years ago from Germany

      haha, if I were to watch Naruto right now I would probably say the same. But I kind of grew up watching it, so i have some good memories of it.

    • profile image

      kitaku 3 years ago

      monster was awesome, psychological thriller

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      thecolonel 3 years ago

      that pic that goes soul eater dbz one piece naruto bleach and fairy tail what's the one on the end

    • Boefie profile image
      Author

      Boefie 3 years ago from Germany

      The one at the end is Katekyo Hitman Reborn! which is a pretty good anime. has about 170 episodes i think.

    • profile image

      thecolonel 3 years ago

      thank you

    • profile image

      thecolonel 3 years ago

      and what about Yu Yu Hakusho

    • hiwaka profile image

      hiwaka 3 years ago

      Nice collection. I have watched most of the series. Naruto, Bleach, Deathnote remain my favorite though ^^

    • profile image

      TTK 3 years ago

      High school of the dead. Your argument is invalid xD!!!!!

    • PaoloJpm profile image

      John Paolo B.Magdaluyo 3 years ago from Philippine

      You should include Kyo Kara Mouh or God save our King in English. Its a fun anime with its realistic episodes that truly connects with its audience. Sadly episodes got run out or something. Anyway, good list! Great Job.

    • Boefie profile image
      Author

      Boefie 3 years ago from Germany

      fairy tail has restarted the anime again!! season 2 began just 3 weeks ago

    • profile image

      Koneko-Chan 3 years ago

      what about Clannad After Story? or Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Monogatari Series, Natume Yuujinchou, Guilty Crown, Angel Beats, Anohana, Toradora, Hellsing Ultimate, Fate/Zero, Mirai Nikki, Hunter x Hunter, Great Teacher Onizuka, Hajime no Ippo, Eureka Seven, Another, Baccano, Durarara, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Blood +, Chihayafuru, Mushishi, NHK ni Youkoso, Gintama, Darker than Black, Ergo Proxy, Kuroshitsuji, Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu....... yeah ok lets just stop there before I get too carried away and end up listing my entire anime list :P

    • Boefie profile image
      Author

      Boefie 3 years ago from Germany

      You can always make your own list ;-)

    • ashleydavidson profile image

      Ashley Davidson 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Wouldn't it be better to put "My Favorite Animes" in the title? Those are mostly shounen and new ones, definitely not "of all time" :)

    • Boefie profile image
      Author

      Boefie 2 years ago from Germany

      Well, i like my title the way it is. I could change it to 'My top 14 best anime series of all time'. But if you disagree with mychoices you can always make your own list. :-)

    • profile image

      Jonathan 2 years ago

      Why isn't Hunter x Hunter with them at number one?

    • profile image

      lyly 2 years ago

      Yu yu hakusho is better than fairy tail and bleach

    • profile image

      meira 2 years ago

      Yu yu hakusho is better than fairy tail and bleach

    • Boefie profile image
      Author

      Boefie 2 years ago from Germany

      Not possible :-)

    • profile image

      ja 2 years ago

      To people saying dbz shouldn't be on this at top 3 your crazy

    • RachaelLefler profile image

      Rachael Lefler 2 years ago from Illinois

      A little critique... check your English please. You never pluralize "drama", let alone with an apostrophe + 's'. There are numerous additional errors here, I won't list all of them, but this needs to be checked. Furthermore, I think it's pretty disorganized to choose 5 anime titles for the rank of "number one". When you do that, it loses all meaning. I disagree with your choices for "number one" anyway since I think of Bleach and Naruto as ok but repetitive and formulaic, and DBZ mostly only gets points from people due to nostalgia and for the series' quirky humor. I haven't seen Fairy Tail but it seems fairly over-hyped. One Piece, I've seen a couple episodes, not a fan. What I would have done instead, given your views though, is made a separate list rank for all of them. No one is telling you that you have to have a specified number of ranks on your countdown. A good thing about this list is it made me aware of one anime that I hadn't even heard of, Kaiji, and it sounds like something I would enjoy.

    • profile image

      Miran Shuleta 2 years ago

      Steins;Gate would come first personally in terms of quality, Death Note is the best written show and Code Geass is best for entertainment.

      Great Hub!

    • profile image

      Devica 2 years ago

      Where is Katekyo hitman reborn?

    • profile image

      shadabbarmare@gmail.com 2 years ago

      SADAF

      I don't know whether this list is nice or not but where is Pokémon,digimon,beyblade,and backings series

      These are all filled with action adventure friendship love

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      peede 14 months ago

      my top 10 animes:

      1.Sword Art Online never been captured by any anime as much as that 1 specially in the first handful of episodes

      2. Bleach its freakin epic nuffsaid

      3. Fairy Tail again its freakin epic

      100. somehow i almost forgot to throw in attack on titan so it gets its own special number up here XD

      4. Btooom dunno how exactly i got started on thisun and even tho it was short it was srsly good

      5. Log Horizon interesting plot,unique,and panties need i say more?

      6. Naruto way down here because it simply could not hold my interest as well as the rest i have named dunno why but it wasnt as great to me as others

      7. rurouni kenshin got started on this 1 just cause it was on netflix and greatly enjoyed it

      8.fullmetalalch brotherhood another 1 that i greatly enjoyed

      9. Afro Samurai dunno if it really counts as anime cause ive never hunted for it in subbed only watched it in eng but its good enough it should count XD

      10. Deathnote enjoyed it bit dark in some ways for my taste but still good stuff

      DISCLAIMER i have not watched: One Piece, DBZ and a few others that are on this list ( mainly because i know if i start i wont stop for way too long ) so these wont be my final top 10 XD wonderful part of anime is that you can NEVER run out lol

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      aditya 11 months ago

      Just love bleach and naruto . I have downloaded all the episodes of bleach , naruto and deathnote and still downloading more as bleach and naruto still continue

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      AkasH 11 months ago

      Buddy watch one piece I agree some starting epi are kinda of boaring but after some 20 epi U won't feel that way.The story become interesting and want U to watch More. One Piece Rules.

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      Hush 10 months ago

      For those who said One Piece are childish, i see your point. But if you said that it is totally childish, you are wrong. Because.if you are clever enough to see, a lot of politics is going around in that anime. Yes, One Piece is full of filler, but if the filler being erased, you will get nothing because Eiichiro Oda has every reason for those fillers. Something you didn't notice may come back.to the recent episodes, like Jack and Blackbeard (he is a minor character back then, very minor, and look now! He is one of the most potential candidate for Luffy's main enemy!). The filler is, i think, necessary fo the character developments.

      And yes of course, One Piece rules!!!

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      What???? 3 months ago

      Seriously the list was fine until no.1 pick except for one piece all the others suck big time you could have atleast put Hunter x Hunter and Gintama instead shit like Fairy tail and Naruto

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