Top 10 Most Influential Anime Of All Time

Top 10 Most Influential Anime Of All Time

By Hinata Hyuga on Mar 06, 2022

We have entered a new decade 2020-2030. This also means that a new era of anime is about to come, with new stories, new inspirations. But everything has to come from somewhere. So it's a good time to look back and honor some of the anime series that have helped shape the anime world today.

Here is a list of the top 10 most influential Anime of all time!

1. Astro Boy (1963)

Top 10 Most Influential Anime Of All Time

Of course, anime must come from manga! And if we talk about the early days of manga, we must mention Osamu Tezuka - the God of Manga! Quite frankly, most of Mr. Tezuka's anime adaptations could be included in this list. But this time, let's take Astro Boy as a prime example since it was supposed to be the first anime series on TV.

Astro Boy tells the story of an emotional cyborg boy named Atom, created by Professor Tenma out of grief for his lost son. However, Atom was abandoned by its creator and sold to a conductor. Not until another professor named Ochanomizu rescues him and teaches him how to use his powers for good.

The manga was first published in 1952, and 11 years later, it was adapted into an anime in Japan. While Astro Boy wasn't exactly the first anime, it was widely recognized as the first anime series to be broadcast for 30 minutes on TV. Needless to say, the series pioneered the concept of Japanese animation on TV, kicking off the entire anime industry later on.

2. Mobile Suit Gundam (1979)

Top 10 Most Influential Anime Of All Time

It's not an exaggeration to say: Gundam is the crazy source of the trend of giant, flashy, cool robots in today's entertainment industry.

Born in 1979, the first Mobile Suit Gundam anime series made by Studio Sunrise was the first anime series to conceptualize the simple idea of humanoid robots. This really revolutionized the mecha genre, which we often see today, including hits like Neon Genesis Evangelion and later anime generations like Code Geass or Darling in the Franxx.

Interestingly, Gundam itself has not lost its popularity in the slightest. Today we can still have a huge community of fans of the mecha model. All the Gundam models look pretty cool!

3. Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind (1984)

Top 10 Most Influential Anime Of All Time

Many people will mistake Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind as Studio Ghibli's first anime. However, this anime actually predates the foundation of Studio Ghibli.

The anime series is written and directed by the famous Hayao Miyazaki (of course) and produced by his good friend Isao Takahata. Also, it was their first collaboration with Joe Hisaishi, who was later a veteran composer for Studio Ghibli.

Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind was produced in 1984, it is an extremely beautiful anime series that is in the top anime back in the days. This is also the first animated film to give us a hint about Studio Ghibli's art style. The anime itself has a great story: it tackles a serious subject, yet is accessible to people of all ages and offers deep meaning & practical lessons.

4. Dragon Ball (1986)

Top 10 Most Influential Anime Of All Time

Dragon Ball is internationally recognized both in the Eastern and Western worlds, so we'll obviously see it on this list.

First appearing in 1986, the Dragon Ball anime inherits everything it learned from its anime predecessors and pioneered the shounen anime trend we have today. The classic story of Son Goku came to life and quickly caught the attention of both Eastern and Western audiences. Even many people born in the 80s and 90s consider this series as their childhood, which tells us how much influence this series has had on their lives.

Besides Dragon Ball, there are much other anime series that could be in the same place like Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, etc. But given the popularity and age of this long series, it's only fair to let Dragon Ball represent it. for the greatness of the shounen genre.

5. Akira (1988)

Top 10 Most Influential Anime Of All Time

Born in 1988, Akira transported the audience to a crazy world of the Neo-Tokyo world, which became a paradise of crime. Among the various gangs that roam the streets of Neo-Tokyo is the capsule gang, led by Shoutarou Kaneda. One night, their gang gets into a fight with a rival gang. And in the chaos, an escape from a government facility causes Tetsuo Shima, a friend of Shoutarou, to be captured and he somehow develops his own destructive psychic powers that the government tries to try to control.

Even to this day, Akira is definitely a hellish and wild ride. Not only does it show how technologically advanced anime can be, but it also clearly represents a mature, deep story in the world called anime.

6. Sailor Moon (1992)

Top 10 Most Influential Anime Of All Time

These days, the image of magic girls can become quite a common thing with countless anime like Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Precure, But again, all of these anime series come from somewhere and that is Thuy. Guardian of the Moon.

The anime tells the story of Usagi Tsukino, an ordinary schoolgirl with rather ordinary school life. However, her life is forever changed when she rescues a cat with a strange crescent moon symbol on its head. She discovers that she is destined to be Sailor Moon, the guardian of the galaxy whose job is to protect the Earth from evil forces.

While Sailor Moon isn't exactly the first "magic" anime (that honor actually goes to Sally the Witch, which was released in the 60s), it's what 80s kids do. – 90 most familiar. The series became hugely popular and made its motif a lot more popular later on.

7. Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995)

Top 10 Most Influential Anime Of All Time

Around the 90s, Japan was also in economic crisis, and unless you are a corporation as big as Nintendo, any business can go bankrupt, including the anime industry. But, many people will be surprised because there have been some great anime coming out in the 90s. The main representative is Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Neon Genesis Evangelion was first released in 1995, this anime series truly saved the entire anime industry thanks to its huge success in both Japan and the outside world. Literally, any anime viewer will at least know the name even if they haven't seen it. It was such a huge success both commercially and culturally that it influenced the entire anime industry and even, pop culture worldwide.

The only downside is its ending, unfortunately in a hurry due to budget issues & its creator – Hideaki Anno's mental health. And the funny thing is: the anime itself also spawned the term “Gainax” ending, which usually refers to the pointless ending (which normally only happens when a series is forced to end too soon).

8. Ghost In The Shell (1995)

Top 10 Most Influential Anime Of All Time

Whenever we talk about influencing film culture around the world, most of us will mention some famous movies like The Matrix and Avatar. But what some of us might not know: those movies (The Matrix & Avatar) were partly inspired by an animated movie called Ghost In The Shell released in 1995.

Like Akira (1988), Ghost In The Shell's story takes place in a Japanese version of the world. And like Akira (1988), this anime proves once again that anime can also tell a grown-up story with a deep meaning behind it. It has captured all aspects, from powerful visuals, impressive animation, even to philosophical depth (which is difficult to convey).

A big question posed by anime is: what are humans if we're so integrated with technology? Such a concept actually inspired The Wachowskis to write The Matrix and even James Cameron in the making of Avatar.

So again if someone tells you that anime is for kids, tell them to watch Akira and Ghost In The Shell.

9. Pokemon (1997)

Top 10 Most Influential Anime Of All Time

It all started in 1996 when the first Pokemon game called Pokémon Red and Green was released for the original Game Boy system. The producer also targeted a Western audience, and so in the West, added Pokemon Red & Blue. The great thing is: they used the Pokemon anime as a vehicle to introduce kids & teens into the whole new world of Pokemon.

Needless to say, this plan is a huge hit! Tons of people became Pokemon fans through the anime and it wasn't long before they got into video games. And now, we have seen a large community of Pokemon fans in both Japan and the world. Pokemon itself has grown so rapidly that it has even expanded into other areas of entertainment such as manga, anime (why not!?), card games, and more.

It is no exaggeration to say that Pokemon is also one of the childhood memories of many people, and now it has become a major commercial icon.

10. Cowboy Bebop (1998)

Top 10 Most Influential Anime Of All Time

Let's end this list with an adult anime widely known as Cowboy Bebop.

This jazz-style animated series was first released in 1998, with the distant future when humans have finally expanded beyond Earth into outer space. In this world, there are bounty hunters (or space cowboys) working outside the law. But their main job is to hunt down and arrest criminals. The story follows a cowboy named Spike Spiegel and his adventures with other strange characters to earn money while avoiding the police.

Much like how Akira influenced the sci-fi aspect of the film, Cowboy Bebop also had a big influence on the sci-fi series later in the Western world. To a certain extent, it is also a good gateway to introduce Western audiences to the anime world thanks to its excellent jazz soundtrack, captivating visuals, and mature stories. The fact that it was even shown on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim for over a decade.

And that's the top 10 most influential Anime of all time! In your opinion, is there any other anime that deserves to appear on this list? Share with MyAnimeShoes now!

PreviousNaruto: The Moon Eye Project Just Proves Madara's Limited Vision
NextMy Hero Academia & One-Punch Man – Unique Superhero World

Related articles

Recent posts