20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

best anime for adults

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

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Run: October 9, 2014 – March 26, 2015
Episodes: 24

One night, tennis ball-sized spheres containing snake-like creatures fell in numbers unknown all over the world. They are programmed to take the place of human brains. One of these attacks a young man, Shinichi, during his sleep, trying to enter through his ear but cannot reach him.

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Awakened with a shock as the parasite tries to enter through his nose, he tries to defend himself but ends up having his right hand punctured. The high school student then takes his headphones and wraps them around his arm, preventing the parasite from climbing to the brain.

Unable to leave his arm, the latter finally merges with his right hand. Meanwhile, other parasites, having managed to take possession of their host’s brain, begin to feed on humans, while the creature and Shinichi are forced to cohabitate.

19. Attack on Titan

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Run: April 7, 2013 – ongoing
Number of Episodes: 70 (+8 OVA episodes and several movies)

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.

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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

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Run: July 7, 2019 – present
Number of Episodes: 24

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 his father is assassinated by pirates led by the cunning Askeladd. Driven by revenge, Thorfinn will follow and then integrate this gang, with the displayed desire to kill his father’s assassin in a loyal 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, religion, and paints a convincing and human portrait of the daily life of the populations victims of the war but also and especially of the warriors, far away from the clichés usually conveyed by the Vikings.

17. Dorohedoro

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Run: January 12, 2020 – March 29, 2020
Number of Episodes: 12 + 6 OVA

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

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Run: October 3, 2006 – June 26, 2007
Number of Episodes: 37

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”.

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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”.

15. Tokyo Ghoul

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Run: July 4, 2014 – December 25, 2018
Number of Episodes: 48 (+2 OVA episodes)

The story of Tokyo Ghoul revolves around the student Ken Kaneki, who falls in love with a young woman named Rize Kamishiro. After meeting her, she bites his shoulder in a secluded alley and reveals that she is a ghoul, which shocks Ken.

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As Rizeis about to eat Ken, several large metal poles fall on her from the construction site of a building. Roze dies in the process, while Ken is rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries. After recovering, he is released from the hospital. On the day of his release, he finds out that he is no longer human. He looks in the mirror and shivers run down his spine because he now has one “red eye”.

He realizes that Rize’s organs were transplanted into him in the hospital. Since he now owns Rize’s organs, he is a so-called and very rarely occurring “half-ghoul”.

14. CLAYMORE

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Run: April 4, 2007 – September 26, 2007
Number of Episodes: 26

Claymores are half-human, half-demon warriors called upon by villagers to protect themselves from monsters such as demons. Feared and dreaded, they are distinguished by their silver eyes and the gigantic sword they carry on their backs, hence their names by humans of “silver-eyed witches” or “Claymore” (the name of the type of sword they use). Claire is one of them.

Called to a village to eliminate the demons that attack and devour the population, she kills the penultimate member, who has become a monster, of an already decimated family. The last survivor, Raki, finding himself alone, then decides to follow her in her bloodthirsty adventures, as a cook. He will gradually discover the secrets and the tragic destiny of these singular women.

13. Hellsing Ultimate

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Run: October 10, 2001 – January 16, 2002
Number of Episodes: 13 (+10 OVA episodes)

The Royal Knights of Protestant Order are a noble house of London led by Abraham Van Helsing. For generations, he has been fighting against creatures that most ordinary people are unaware of like vampires, ghouls, and any non-human entity that is generally referred to as a “monster”.

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The Order operates in great secrecy and has long been a paramilitary organization in the service of her Majesty. Leading the organization is Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, a direct descendant of the first Lord Hellsing. Still a teenager, she is forced to take control of the Order.

Her father Arthur, sick and close to his death, orders his daughter, should she feel threatened, to go down to the basement of the mansion, where there is something able to protect her.

12. Elfen Lied

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Run: July 25, 2004 – October 17, 2004
Number of Episodes: 13 (+ OVA)

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

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Run: October 7, 1997 – March 31, 1998 / 1 July 2016 – 23 June 2017
Number of Episodes: 25 / 24

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.

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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).

10. One-Punch Man

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Release: October 5, 2015 – July 2, 2019
Number of Episodes: 24 + 12 OVA

Saitama is an unemployed, depressed young man with no deep purpose in his life. One day, he meets a crab man who is looking for a young boy “with a chin slit like an ass” in his words. Saitama ends up meeting this young boy and decides to save him from the crab man, whom he manages to beat with difficulty.

From then on, Saitama decides to become a superhero and trains for three years very seriously: 100 push-ups, 100 squats, 100 sit-ups, and 10 km of running every day and there are no heating or air conditioning conditions. At the end of his training, “so intense that he loses his hair”, he notices that he has become so strong that he now manages to beat all his opponents with one punch.

RELATED: One Punch Man Watch Order: Episodes & OVAs

His disproportionate strength is a source of problems for him, since he cannot find opponents of his size and is bored in his job as a hero because the fights no longer give him any sensation or adrenaline.

9. Psycho-Pass

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Run: October 12, 2012 – December 12, 2019
Number of Episodes: 41

In 2112, in Japan, Sibyl, a computer system, transformed society into a “perfect world”, thanks to the ubiquitous cameras, drones and scanners, Sibyl is able to analyze and quantify the criminal intentions of a person (named “Psycho -Pass “) and determines who is likely to commit a crime.

When a citizen exceeds the norm, the inspectors of the Bureau of Public Security accompanied by their executors (person having an abnormally high “Psycho-Pass”), pursue and apprehend these people to make them undergo therapy, lock them up or shoot them down. square.

This is the world that embarks Akane Tsunemori, a new inspector who has just joined Division 1 of the Public Security Bureau. She wishes to uphold justice truly and loyally, however she learns that Sibyl’s judgments are not as perfect as her colleagues think.

8. Lupin the Third

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Run: October 24, 1971 – present
Number of Episodes: 296

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

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Run: October 3, 2012 – March 27, 2013
Number of Episodes: 25

Set in a thousand-year-old Japan, Shinsekai yori tells the story of Saki, a girl from the 66th district of Kamisu. In this age, all humans possess powerful telekinesis abilities and idyllically live in agrarian villages. Despite her parents’ fear that she could not awaken the power within her, Saki gains her powers at the age of twelve and joins her friends Satoru, Maria, Mamoru, Shun, and Reiko at the academy to develop her powers. But the kids are unaware that the city council monitors and influences the kids through teaching.

According to some evaluation criteria, some students are removed from society, such as those who cannot master the powers, such as Reiko, or those who violate the rules. The removed students are soon forgotten by all the other children; Saki and her friends have no recollection of Reiko.

Later, during a camp unsupervised by the professors, Saki and her friends come across a False White Nudibook, a legendary creature that turns out to be an ancient device containing a library. The False Nudibianco reveals to the boys the heinous crimes of their ancestors and what lies behind their powers.

6. Kaguya-sama: Love Is War

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Run: January 12, 2019 – June 27, 2020
Number of Episodes: 24

The Shūchiin Academy is a prestigious school where the country’s future elites, almost exclusively the children of the rich, continue their studies. Within the high school students’ office, the two brilliant exemplary models of the academy, the vice-president Kaguya Shinomiya and the president – from a modest background – Miyuki Shirogane, conceive of love in a particular way: they are attracted to one by the other, but it is impossible for them to confess their feelings because of their too much pride, even if a semester has passed.

Indeed, considering the correlation between inequality of love interest and the relationship of domination in a relationship of this ilk, they each conclude that whoever confesses first, will become the “loser” of the couple and will inevitably come from there. to be submitted by the other. Thus begins their daily life filled with various plots and other stratagems to force the other to confess his feelings.

5. Neon Genesis Evangelion

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Run: October 4, 1995 – March 27, 1996
Number of Episodes: 26

In 2000, a gigantic explosion occurred in Antarctica. This cataclysm, officially caused by the fall of an asteroid, causes the waters to rise several tens of meters and devastates a large part of the planet, causing the death of two billion people as well as a new world war.

Fifteen years later, mankind has overcome this dramatic event referred to as the “Second Impact” but mysterious giant creatures, the Angels, appear and attempt to destroy Tokyo-3, the new capital-fortress of Japan.

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To combat them, the secret organization NERV has developed the “Evangelion” (or “EVA”), humanoid giants of mechanical appearance. Shinji Ikari, a 14-year-old boy, goes to Tokyo-3 at the invitation of his father, director of NERV, whom he has not seen for ten years. Little did he know that he was called to pilot an EVA and take part in the fight against the “Third Angel”.

4. Ghost in the Shell

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Run: November 18, 1995 – present
Number of Episodes: Numerous series and movies

Ghost in the Shell is a futuristic, cyberpunk-style manga set around the 2030s. The main character is a female cyborg1, Major Motoko Kusanagi. Kusanagi is part of an elite anti-criminal police section, Section 9.

The main storyline of the manga, 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🢐

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Run: April 7, 2004 – September 28, 2005
Number of Episodes: 74

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

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Original Run: April 3, 1998 – June 26, 1998
Number of Episodes: 26

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.

RELATED: Cowboy Bebop Watch Order: The Complete

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

20 Best Anime for Adults of All Time (Ranked)

Release: July 6, 1998 – September 28, 1998
Number of Episodes: 13

After the suicide of the young Chisa Yomoda, some girls receive e-mails from the girl. The suspicion is that this is a bad joke, but one of them, Lain Iwakura is particularly intrigued. After asking her father for a new NAVI (Navigator, the evolution of the PC), she starts surfing the Wired (a computer network similar to the Internet) in search of answers.

From here on, a series of inexplicable events disrupt her life. She learns that another Lain, quite similar to her physically but temperamentally opposite, has made her the appearance of her both in the Wired and in the real world and that the Knights (knights – a group of hackers) are particularly interested in her.

Indeed, it seems that Lain has always had a counterpart in the network, born with the network itself. In the search for the truth, Lain discovers that she has no past, that her parents are nothing but actors and that her real self is the virtual one.

Through the Psyche chip, Lain comes into contact with the creator of the Wired structure, who after having downloaded her conscience in the computer network has proclaimed himself God; driven by her requests, she Lain begins to make real reality and Wired collide and merge, connecting all human beings on planet earth without the aid of peripherals through the Wired Protocol 7, which exploits the Schumann resonance.

But during the process she realizes, thanks to her only human friend Arisu, that reality and the Wired must remain separate if she doesn’t want to cause just more pain. She then makes the decision to reset the system by restoring the world to the state prior to Chisa’s death and erasing herself from the memory of human beings to completely eradicate the anomaly.

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