20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

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The world of anime has given us some amazing titles over the years. Some of these titles are aimed at certain age groups, with shonen titles being the most popular ones. Now, some titles, despite their demographic group, can be watched by or are aimed at an adult audience. In order to honor these great and complex titles, we have decided to bring you a list of the 20 best adult anime series of all time.

20. Parasyte

Parasyte

One night, worldwide, tennis ball-sized spheres release snake-like creatures programmed to replace human brains. A young man named Shinichi is attacked during sleep, successfully resisting brain entry but getting his right hand pierced. Using headphones as a barrier, the parasite merges with his hand. As other parasites control hosts and feed on humans, Shinichi and his symbiotic creature coexist, forced to share a body.

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19. Attack on Titan

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The plot of Attack on Titan revolves around the young Eren Jäger, his adoptive sister Mikasa Ackermann, and his best friend Armin Arlert, who live together with the rest of humanity in cities that are protected by huge walls from the attacks of the so-called Titans, gigantic humanoid beings who devour people for no apparent reason. The walls that promised peace have existed for 107 years. But one day, the Titans break through the outermost Wall Maria, and the people are pushed back further. Eren’s mother dies, and he and many other people flee behind the second wall, Wall Rose. Eren swears when his mother dies that he will wipe out the Titans.

18. Vinland Saga

Vinland Saga

Combining historical figures and events with many fictional elements, Vinland Saga is the story of the life of a young Icelandic man, Thorfinn Thorsson. This son of an illustrious repentant warrior will see his life turned upside down when pirates led by the cunning Askeladd assassinate his father. Driven by revenge, Thorfinn will follow and then integrate this gang with the displayed desire to kill his father’s assassin in an honorable duel. Thorfinn’s vengeful quest is the common thread of the story’s prologue.

It will lead him, in particular, to participate in the invasion of England by the Danes at the beginning of the eleventh century. This part of the story brilliantly treats various subjects such as war, politics, and religion and paints a convincing and human portrait of the daily life of the population victims of the war but also especially of the warriors, far away from the clichés usually conveyed by the Vikings.

17. Dorohedoro

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The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world divided into two hermetic dimensions: Hole, the city dump of the Humans, and the world of the mages. Magi can travel the human world through magical doors. The story revolves around Caiman, a character who has lost his memory. Transmuted by a mage, he possesses a reptile head and impressive strength. He is accompanied by a young woman, Nikaido, with whom he tracks down the mages to find his original identity.

16. DEATH NOTE

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Light Yagami is a model student, bored with his lifestyle and tired of being surrounded by a society filled with crime and corruption. His life takes a decisive turn when, one day, he finds on the ground a mysterious black notebook entitled “Death Note,” which bears the following instruction: “The human whose name will be written in this notebook will die.” Initially skeptical of his authenticity, Light changes his mind when he successfully tests the notebook on two criminals and meets the real owner of the Death Note, a shinigami named Ryuk; he then decides to use this new power to kill all criminals, eradicate evil and become the “God of the new world.”

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15. Tokyo Ghoul

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The Tokyo Ghoul story follows Ken Kaneki, a student who falls for Rize Kamishiro, only to discover she’s a ghoul. In a twist of fate, a construction accident kills Rize as she tries to consume Ken. After recovering from life-threatening injuries, Ken realizes he’s no longer human. Mirroring Rize, he possesses a “red eye” and discovers that Rize’s organs were transplanted into him, making him a rare “half-ghoul.”

14. CLAYMORE

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In a world threatened by demons, Claymores, half-human and half-demon warriors with silver eyes and large swords, protect villages. Claire, a Claymore, is summoned to a village to eliminate demons. After completing her mission, she is joined by Raki, the lone survivor of the attacked family, who becomes her companion. Together, they unravel the secrets and tragic destinies of these unique and feared warriors.

13. Hellsing Ultimate

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The story revolves around the Hellsing Organization, a secret British government agency led by Sir Integra Hellsing. The organization’s primary mission is to protect England from supernatural threats, especially vampires. The central character is Alucard, a powerful vampire who works for Hellsing. Alucard is a formidable force with immense strength and regenerative abilities. Alongside Alucard is his master, Sir Integra, and the young and skilled Hellsing agent, Seras Victoria, who becomes a vampire after being bitten by Alucard.

12. Elfen Lied

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The story is set in Kamakura, Japan, and revolves around the Diclonius, mutant beings very similar to humans but with two strange horns on their heads and endowed with very strong invisible limbs called “vectors.” Believed to be dangerous to the normal human race, Diclonius babies are killed at birth or locked up in research laboratories, subjected to terrible torture, and extremely violent experiments.

One of them, Lucy, however, manages to escape to the sea, massacring anyone who comes in front of her. She is found on the beach by two boys in a complete state of amnesia and double personality, caused by a shot in the head while escaping.

The young Diclonius finds herself with a completely different personality and the two boys decide to call her by the only word she can pronounce, namely “Nyu.” Unable to leave her alone in those conditions, they take her home waiting to find out about her past. But the military does not give up and remains on her trail. What’s more, every time the girl hits her head she goes back to being Lucy.

11. Berserker

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Berserk tells the story of the meeting of Guts and Griffith, leader of the Falcon Troop, a band of mercenaries in the pay of the kingdom of Midland. From this meeting will be born an ambiguous friendship, but nevertheless efficient: the presence of Guts, warrior with the disproportionate sword, will quickly prove essential to the ambition of the young Griffith, swashbuckler and outstanding tactician.

The anime is thus the account of the rise and fall of the Falcon Troop, and of the relation between Guts and Griffith, particularly complex, between the relation of interest (Griffith uses the force of Guts), mutual respect ( both see each other as soldiers), and deep affection (each inexplicably needs the other’s presence).

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10. One-Punch Man

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One-Punch Man is a Japanese superhero anime and manga series created by the artist ONE. The story follows Saitama, an ordinary man who becomes a hero for fun. The unique twist in the series is that Saitama can defeat any opponent with a single punch, hence the title “One-Punch Man.”

Despite his incredible strength, Saitama faces the challenge of feeling bored and unfulfilled in his hero career because the fights are no longer challenging or exciting for him. He yearns for a worthy opponent who can provide a real challenge.

9. Psycho-Pass

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In the year 2112 in Japan, the Sibyl computer system created a seemingly perfect society by analyzing individuals’ “Psycho-Pass” to predict criminal intentions. The Bureau of Public Security, aided by enforcers with abnormal Psycho-Pass readings, apprehends those who deviate from societal norms. Akane Tsunemori, a new inspector, joins Division 1 with the intent of upholding justice. However, she discovers that Sibyl’s judgments are not infallible, challenging her and her colleagues’ perceptions of the so-called perfect world.

8. Lupin the Third

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Arsène Lupin III, the grandson of the gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, is an internationally sought-after thief. His right arm is Daisuke Jigen, an infallible aiming shooter, capable of emptying the magazine on various targets in an instant.

They are joined by the beautiful Fujiko Mine, who often manipulates situations, and especially Lupin, in love with her, to his own advantage. After several battles with the samurai Goemon Ishikawa XIII, the latter joins the gang with his incredible speed in handling the trusty katana, named Zantetsuken. Lupin and his associates are constantly pursued by Interpol Inspector Koichi Zenigata, whose goal is to arrest them once and for all.

7. From the New World

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Set in a millennium-old Japan, Shinsekai yori follows Saki, a girl from the 66th district of Kamisu, where all humans possess telekinesis. Saki and her friends, unaware of the city council’s influence, develop their powers at an academy. Some students, unable to master their abilities or those who break rules, are removed from society and forgotten. During an unsupervised camp, Saki and her friends encounter a False White Nudibook, an ancient device containing a library that reveals the dark secrets of their ancestors and the truth behind their telekinetic powers.

6. Kaguya-sama: Love Is War

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At Shūchiin Academy, a prestigious school for the country’s elite, Kaguya Shinomiya and Miyuki Shirogane, the vice-president and president, respectively, grapple with their feelings for each other. Despite being attracted to one another, their pride prevents them from confessing their love. Believing the first one to confess would become the “loser” in the relationship, they engage in daily plots and stratagems to make the other confess in this comedic exploration of the dynamics of love and pride.

5. Neon Genesis Evangelion

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In the year 2000, a massive explosion in Antarctica, officially attributed to an asteroid, led to catastrophic consequences such as rising waters, the death of two billion people, and a subsequent world war known as the “Second Impact.” Fifteen years later, humanity faces a new threat from mysterious giant creatures called Angels, which attempt to destroy Tokyo-3, the fortified capital of Japan.

To counter the Angels, the secretive organization NERV creates humanoid giant mechs known as “Evangelions” or “EVA.” Shinji Ikari, a 14-year-old boy, is summoned to Tokyo-3 by his estranged father, the director of NERV. Unbeknownst to Shinji, he is called upon to pilot an EVA and join the battle against the latest threat, the “Third Angel.”

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4. Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell Does Producer Reveal 1995 Films True

Ghost in the Shell is a futuristic, cyberpunk-style anime set around the 2030s. The main character is a female cyborg, Major Motoko Kusanagi. Kusanagi is part of an elite anti-criminal police section, Section 9.

The main storyline of the anime, as well as the film adapted from the manga, chronicles the hunt for a cybercriminal known as the “Puppet Master.” This cybercriminal takes control of a human’s “ghost” through the Global Digital Network, the evolution of the Internet in this universe. As the investigation progresses, Section 9 ends up discovering that the criminal is not a physical person but an intangible artificial intelligence, having acquired consciousness for the first time in the world.

3. 🢒M⊙NS†ER🢐

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The story begins in Germany in 1986 at the Eisler Memorial Hospital in Düsseldorf. Kenzô Tenma, the main character, is a young Japanese neurosurgeon with exceptional skills. He is engaged to Eva Heineman, the daughter of the director of the hospital, and is destined for a brilliant career. However, one day, he refuses to give priority to his care to the mayor of the city and prefers to operate on a boy injured by a bullet in the head, who arrived at the hospital before the mayor.

2. Cowboy Bebop

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In the year 2071, the crew of the spaceship Bebop travels the solar system in search of bounties. In the slang of the time, these bounty hunters were called “cowboys.” Most episodes revolve around a bounty; however, the focus of the story is on each character’s past and more general ancient events, which connect as the series progresses. The first story is that of Spike Spiegel, a former member of a criminal organization, the Red Dragons, who is haunted by a love triangle he experienced with his former teammate in the Red Dragons, Vicious, and a mysterious woman named Julia.

1. serial experiments lain

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After the suicide of Chisa Yomoda, some girls receive mysterious emails from her. Lain Iwakura becomes intrigued and, after acquiring a new NAVI (Navigator), starts exploring the Wired, a computer network similar to the Internet, to find answers. Inexplicable events disrupt Lain’s life as she discovers a doppelgänger in the Wired and the real world, and a group of hackers known as the Knights takes interest in her.

Lain learns that she has no past, her parents are actors, and her true self is virtual. Through the Psyche chip, she connects with the creator of the Wired, who proclaims himself God. Responding to Lain’s requests, they begin merging reality and the Wired, connecting all humans via Wired Protocol 7. However, realizing the potential harm, Lain decides to reset the system, restoring the world to a pre-Chisa’s death state and erasing herself from human memory to eliminate the anomaly.

Have anime to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!

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