Recently, the popular Internet Movies Database (IMDb) released their list of the top 250 TV series of all-time, based on user reviews. Japanese net users were curious to see which of their country’s shows would make the final cut, and as it turns out, 28 Japanese anime series were included in the list! How did your favorite anime stack up against some the most masterful television series in the world?

28 anime series out of a total of 250 television series (11.2%) is pretty impressive, especially considering that the animated series are going up against, well, every large-scale television production in the world.

Regarding the creation of the list, here’s what IMDb has to say about how they calculated the results:

“The Top 250 TV list only includes TV series and TV mini series.

  • The list is ranked by a formula which includes the number of ratings each show received from voters, and value of ratings received from regular voters.
  • To be included on the list, a series or mini series must receive at least 5,000 votes, and a TV series must also have aired at least 5 episodes.

On one final note, please keep in mind that the list is constantly in flux, so the rankings may be slightly different by the time you read this. Enjoy the following edited version for anime lovers that we’ve put together below!

IMDb’s Top 250 TV List [Japanese anime series only]

242. FLCL (2000-2001)

219. Detective Conan (1996-ongoing)

209: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007)

202. Trigun (1998)

177. Hellsing Ultimate (2006-2012)

▼ Hellsing Ultimate

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159. Mushi-Shi (2005-2006)

158. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002-2003)

138. Monster (2004-2005)

137. Rurouni Kenshin (1996-1998)

133. Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-1996)

Neon Genesis Evangelion

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132. YuYu Hakusho (1992-1995)

120. Samurai Champloo (2004-2005)

105. Fullmetal Alchemist (2003-2004)

92. Berserk (1997-1998)

91. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (2006-2007)

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion


90. Dragon Ball Kai (2009-2011; 2014-2015)

83. Steins;Gate (2011)

80. Dragon Ball [North American version] (2001-2003)

75. Dragon Ball [Japanese version] (1986-1989)

68. Hunter x Hunter (2011-2014)

Hunter x Hunter


65. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 (2008)

62. One Piece (1999-ongoing)

56. Attack on Titan (2013)

48. Dragon Ball Z [Japanese version] (1989-1996)

44. Dragon Ball Z [North American version] (1996-2003)

Dragon Ball Z

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Now, to round out the top three spots:

32. Death Note (2006-2007)

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28. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009-2010)


And coming in highest–err, lowest–on the list is…okay, three, two, one, let’s jam:

24. Cowboy Bebop (1998-1999)

2Gif Smile

I certainly don’t have any problems with Cowboy Bebop taking the anime gold! If anything, it’s a shame that the series isn’t immediately recognizable in more parts of the world.

By the way–in case you’re curious, IMDb’s top five TV overall series are as follows:

5. The Wire (U.S., 2002-2008)

4. Game of Thrones (U.S., 2011-ongoing)

3. Breaking Bad (U.S., 2008-2013)

2. Planet Earth (U.K., 2006)

1. Band of Brothers (U.K./U.S., 2001)

Japanese net users responded to the list with a variety of comments, including:

“I think the only time I ever cried while watching an anime was during episode 18 [“Speak Like a Child,” in which an old Betamax tape revealing Faye’s past is delivered to the crew] of Cowboy Bebop. Not that I’m getting my hopes up, but whatever happened to its live-action adaptation with Keanu Reeves?”

“If all the incarnations of Dragon Ball were combined into one listing, it would have scored even better.”

“There’s a distinct lack of moe-type anime on the list–guess they’re not as popular overseas.”

“Huh? I thought for sure that Naruto and Saint Seiya would be on the list, but they’re not…”

“I thought for sure that Friends would be number 1…it’s not even in the top ten…”

Which left-out series do you think deserved to be on the list? Which of the series didn’t even deserve to be ranked? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Sources: IMDbYurukuyaru
Featured image: Yurukuyaru