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Best animated TV shows of all time

  • Nickelodeon Animation Studios
    1/ Nickelodeon Animation Studios

    Best animated TV shows of all time

    Animated television series have captivated audiences young and old, garnering dedicated fanbases across generations. Beyond the advertising value of commercial breaks and endless potential for merchandising, franchising, and movie deals, cartoons continue to occupy genuine spots in people’s hearts and are an essential component of pop culture.

    The first animated series to air on television was 1950’s “Crusader Rabbit,” which had four-minute episodes produced in part by Jay Ward, who would go on to create the iconic characters Rocky and Bullwinkle. Animated sitcoms as well as action and adventure shows became hugely popular in the ‘60s and ‘70s, thanks to iconic production houses like Hanna-Barbera Productions, United Productions of America, and Total Television.

    These early studios paved the way for a long and diverse history of award-winning cartoon series of all styles. Stacker is here to list the 100 best animated TV shows of all time, ranked by each one’s IMDb user rating. Shows needed at least 5,000 votes to be considered, and score ties were ranked by whoever had the higher amount of votes. Read on to find out how many you have seen.

    ALSO: Best kids TV shows of all time

  • DreamWorks Animation Television
    2/ DreamWorks Animation Television

    #100. Dragons: Riders of Berk

    IMDb user rating: 8.1
    Years on the air: 2012–2014

    “Dragons: Riders of Berk” was a show that followed the events of DreamWorks Animation’s “How To Train Your Dragon.” Hiccup and his friends, including warrior princess Astrid (America Ferrera) and dragon Toothless, must band together to face down a winter storm. This well-received Cartoon Network series ran for two seasons.
     

  • A-1 Pictures
    3/ A-1 Pictures

    #99. Your Lie in April

    IMDb user rating: 8.1
    Years on the air: 2014–2015

    Japanese anime series “Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso,” or “Your Lie in April,” is the story of a prodigal pianist’s grief-induced deafness to music following his mother’s death. A young violin player inspires him to continue playing and listening to music in this heartfelt, psychological drama.  
     

  • Marvel Enterprises
    4/ Marvel Enterprises

    #98. The Spectacular Spider-Man

    IMDb user rating: 8.1
    Years on the air: 2008–2009

    Most people know of the famous Spider-Man formula: high-schooler Peter Parker, who lives in New York City with his doting aunt and uncle, is bitten by a radioactive spider and gains superpowers he uses to secretly protect the city from evil-doers, while also trying to get through high school. Unsurprisingly, it makes for an enduring cartoon series, although this iteration only ran for two seasons.
     

  • Marvel Enterprises
    5/ Marvel Enterprises

    #97. Wolverine and the X-Men

    IMDb user rating: 8.1
    Years on the air: 2008–2009

    The Marvel Animated Universe rarely fails to deliver top-quality cartoon series, and “Wolverine and the X-Men” isn’t the first example you’ll see on this list. Following a violent incident, the X-Men must reunite and team up with Emma Frost to locate the missing Charles Xavier before the government can round up and detain the remaining mutant population in this single-season show.

     

     

  • Black Lagoon Committee
    6/ Black Lagoon Committee

    #96. Black Lagoon

    IMDb user rating: 8.1
    Years on the air: 2006

    Based on the popular manga series, “Black Lagoon” is a Japanese anime that follows the story of Rokuro “Rock” Okajima, a businessman kidnapped by the Lagoon Company, a band of outlaws. The series has all the trappings of a great gangster drama: ransom, organized crime, mercenaries, pirates, Russians, Nazi warships, fine art—if it’s trouble, “Black Lagoon” has it.
     

  • Nippon Television Network (NTV)
    7/ Nippon Television Network (NTV)

    #95. Claymore

    IMDb user rating: 8.1
    Years on the air: 2007

    Another anime based on a manga series, “Claymore” tells the tale of a half-human, half-demon hybrid who comes to a young boy’s aid when a vengeful demon kills his family. Together, they travel to battle the demons and solve the mystery behind the murders.  
     

  • Warner Bros. Animation
    8/ Warner Bros. Animation

    #94. Superman

    IMDb user rating: 8.1
    Years on the air: 1996–2000

    Originally airing on Kids’ WB, this DC Comics adaptation was widely praised for its handling of dark, complex themes as well as a star-studded voiceover list that included the talents of Malcolm McDowell, Mark Hamill, and Ed Asner.
     

  • Disney Television Animation
    9/ Disney Television Animation

    #93. Gargoyles

    IMDb user rating: 8.1
    Years on the air: 1994–1996

    “Gargoyles” targeted the same older audience that made “Superman” a hit. Addressing issues like gun violence and prejudice, this animated series follows the adventures of Medieval-era stone gargoyles who not only no longer perch atop a castle—they’re not in Scotland at all. Tasked with protecting the citizens of modern New York City, the gargoyles must face a population that may not want to know they’re there at all.
     

  • Fuji Television Network
    10/ Fuji Television Network

    #92. Dragon Ball Super

    IMDb user rating: 8.1
    Years on the air: 2015–2018

    The prophecy of a Super Saiyan god leads a deity of destruction to seek out his whereabouts in this Japanese manga series based on the popular “Dragon Ball” franchise. Fan favorite characters return for the fourth installment of the long-running cartoon, which received mixed reviews.
     

  • Pony Canyon
    11/ Pony Canyon

    #91. Fairy Tail

    IMDb user rating: 8.1
    Years on the air: 2009–present

    This Japanese series based on a manga follows the story of Celestial Spirit Mage Lucy, who teams up with a fellow mage of the Fairy Tale guild—and a flying blue cat named Happy—to search for a dragon. Praised for its humor, character development, and production value, “Fairy Tale” is a strong candidate for your next anime binge.

     

  • Warner Bros. Animation
    12/ Warner Bros. Animation

    #90. Batman Beyond

    IMDb user rating: 8.1
    Years on the air: 1999–2001

    “Batman Beyond,” also called “Batman of the Future,” ran for three seasons, with one television movie. The series chronicles the struggles of an aging Bruce Wayne as he tries to maintain order in Gotham, despite having no contact with the Justice League. Could an accidental newcomer possibly take his place? Nominated for several Emmys and Annies, the American animation awards, the series was an instrumental part of the greater Batman lore.  
     

  • MTV Animation
    13/ MTV Animation

    #89. Daria

    IMDb user rating: 8.1
    Years on the air: 1997–2001

    There has never been another animated series quite like “Daria,” the story of a high school misfit battling unpopularity over her unrelenting intellect and cynicism. A spinoff of MTV’s cartoon hit, “Beavis and Butt-Head,” “Daria” ran for five seasons with two made-for-television film-length episodes. It remains a cult classic among ‘80s and ‘90s kids, and is gearing up for a revival, starring Daria and classmate Jodie.
     

  • Arms
    14/ Arms

    #88. Elfen Lied

    IMDb user rating: 8.1
    Years on the air: 2004

    Another Japanese manga-turned-anime series, “Elfen Lied” is not for the faint of heart. Packed with realistic animated violence and gore, as well as plenty of nudity—discretion is advised—the show also delves deep into the vulnerable nature of human emotion and physiology, challenging the viewer to redefine their notions of both.   
     

  • Disney Television Animation
    15/ Disney Television Animation

    #87. DuckTales

    IMDb user rating: 8.1
    Years on the air: 1987–1990

    Not much was better for kids in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s than coming home from school and hearing the “DuckTales” theme on TV. A generation of kids followed the adventures of Disney’s Scrooge McDuck and his nephews as they pursued treasure and protected McDuck’s vast fortune. The show was rebooted in 2017, with David Tennant voicing the crotchety uncle.

     

  • Bento Box Entertainment
    16/ Bento Box Entertainment

    #86. Bob's Burgers

    IMDb user rating: 8.1
    Years on the air: 2011–present

    “Bob’s Burgers” has taken the primetime animated comedy slot by force, with razor-sharp humor at every turn, family-friendly situational humor, and a dynamic roster of regular and guest voice actors led by voice-over veteran H. Jon Benjamin—who you’ll see again on this list. Bolstered by its formidable musical prowess, the show even has its own extended vinyl collection of hits, 15 of which were hand-selected as “the best” by the critics at NPR. The cast, which also includes Kristen Schaal and Eugene Mirman, regularly does live shows around the country.
     

  • Nickelodeon Animation Studios
    17/ Nickelodeon Animation Studios

    #85. SpongeBob SquarePants

    IMDb user rating: 8.1
    Years on the air: 1999–present

    It’s the story of one famous resident of Bikini Bottom who lives in a pineapple under a tree. Widely considered one of the most influential animated series in history, “SpongeBob SquarePants” has aired, while thoroughly irritating parents, for 11 seasons—with a 12th in the works—and a handful of movies and video games, and a Broadway musical.
     

  • Music Television (MTV)
    18/ Music Television (MTV)

    #84. Clone High

    IMDb user rating: 8.2
    Years on the air: 2002–2003

    “Clone High” follows the story of adolescent historical figures in high school. The show became famous for tongue-in-cheek depictions of life as a teenager in the early 2000s, but garnered some criticism from South Asian viewers for its controversial portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi. It otherwise remains a cult hit, despite airing for only one season.  

     

  • Genco
    19/ Genco

    #83. Toradora!

    IMDb user rating: 8.2
    Years on the air: 2008–2011

    The next Japanese anime on the list is a romantic comedy that chronicles the relationship developing between two high school classmates: the son of a single mother who inherited his father’s intimidating eyes, and the awkward but tough daughter of a well-to-do family. Crushes, triangles, and other shenanigans ensue.

     

  • 70/30 Productions
    20/ 70/30 Productions

    #82. Frisky Dingo

    IMDb user rating: 8.2
    Years on the air: 2006–2008

    One of several series aired on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block, “Frisky Dingo” pits superhero and billionaire Awesome X against a supervillain named Killface armed with a weapon called the Annihilatrix. Produced by the same team as “Sealab 2021,” the show ran for two seasons. A third season was nixed during pre-production before its animation studio shuttered.
     

  • Disney Television Animation
    21/ Disney Television Animation

    #81. TRON: Uprising

    IMDb user rating: 8.2
    Years on the air: 2012–2013

    Tron is the greatest warrior the computer world of the Grid has ever known, and a young revolutionary must train with him in order to defeat the villainous Clu and lead the resistance against his city’s military occupation. Actors on the series, which ran for one season, include Elijah Wood, Mandy Moore, and Paul Reubens.
     

  • Daron Nefcy Productions
    22/ Daron Nefcy Productions

    #80. Star vs. the Forces of Evil

    IMDb user rating: 8.2
    Years on the air: 2015–present

    The first Disney XD series created by a woman, “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” follows the story of a princess struggling to fit in with her world’s royal values. In order to finish her education, she’s sent to Earth, where she hides her true identity while making friends, learning valuable life lessons, and protecting the power of her family’s heirloom magic wand.
     

  • Soup2Nuts
    23/ Soup2Nuts

    #79. Home Movies

    IMDb user rating: 8.2
    Years on the air: 1999–2004

    Oh, the wonders of old-school video cameras. This low-budget animated comedy, which aired on Cartoon Network, follows the recorded antics of young kid Brendon Small. Rife with the hilarious magic of an introverted child’s limitless imaginative interpretations of the world around him, this series gained a huge fanbase, occupying a style all its own up until the end. H. Jon Benjamin loans his voice acting talents here as well.  
     

  • A-1 Pictures
    24/ A-1 Pictures

    #78. The Seven Deadly Sins

    IMDb user rating: 8.2
    Years on the air: 2014–present

    This anime based on a Japanese manga series follows the adventures of a group of outlaw knights, each of whom represents one of the proverbial seven deadly sins, and the princess who needs their help to prevail in a war. Produced by the same studio as “Fairy Tale,” the action-packed series share common themes of strong, adventure-loving female characters.
     

  • Aardman Animations
    25/ Aardman Animations

    #77. Shaun the Sheep

    IMDb user rating: 8.2
    Years on the air: 2007–present

    A spin-off of “Wallace and Gromit,” this British stop-motion animated series chronicles the antics of Shaun the Sheep, who appeared in previous installments of the popular show. With 150 short episodes, two feature-length films, a video game, and its own spin-off series, “Timmy Time,” this is one sheep who’s not putting many kids to sleep.
     

  • Children's Television Workshop (CTW)
    26/ Children's Television Workshop (CTW)

    #76. Sesame Street

    IMDb user rating: 8.2
    Years on the air: 1969–present

    “Sesame Street” was well-loved and famous for a long list of reasons, including its airing of classic-style cartoon shorts. The majority of the show featured live-action puppetry with cartoons like “Pinball Number Count” in between the life lessons and catchy songs.
     

  • Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe
    27/ Cartoon Network Development Studio Europe

    #75. The Amazing World of Gumball

    IMDb user rating: 8.2
    Years on the air: 2011–present

    The first Cartoon Network series to be produced by their European studio, “The Amazing World of Gumball” is about a 12-year-old blue cat named Gumball and his best friend—a fish—who attend middle school together. The comedy centers on the organized chaos of Gumball’s interspecies family life, and the antics of Gumball and his friends.

  • TV Tokyo
    28/ TV Tokyo

    #74. Bleach: Burîchu

    IMDb user rating: 8.2
    Years on the air: 2004–2012

    Kurosaki Ichigo’s problem in this anime series based on a Japanese manga is that he’s a high schooler that can see ghosts. Forgoing a normal life for the sake of his family, Ichigo becomes a Soul Reaper, hunting down ghosts and helping them find peace.
     

  • Pierrot
    29/ Pierrot

    #73. Naruto

    IMDb user rating: 8.2
    Years on the air: 2002–2007

    Another Japanese anime series follows Naruto Uzumaki as he trains to become the strongest ninja in his village in order to assume the position of leader. English-speaking audiences responded positively to the show’s airing in America, and subsequently built up an enormous fanbase for the show and graphic novel series alike—the latter of which has sold more than 130 million copies worldwide.
     

  • 20th Century Fox Television
    30/ 20th Century Fox Television

    #72. Family Guy

    IMDb user rating: 8.2
    Years on the air: 1998–present

    The brainchild of longtime animator and comedian Seth MacFarlane, “Family Guy” follows the endearingly idiotic antics of Rhode Island resident Peter Griffin and his long-suffering, but equally hilarious family: a wife, two kids, a homicidal baby, and a talking dog. Gearing up for its 17th season, the show is Fox’s second-longest-running series after “The Simpsons,” and spawned a sequel: “The Cleveland Show.”  
     

  • DreamWorks Animation Television
    31/ DreamWorks Animation Television

    #71. Voltron

    IMDb user rating: 8.3
    Years on the air: 2016–present

    DreamWorks Animated Television’s “Voltron” follows five teenage heroes as they battle intergalactic forces to take down the evil King Zarkon. Who is Voltron? A super robot, made of five mechanical battle lions, of course, though Voltron can also be 15 individual vehicles. Check out the Netflix series to make further sense of it, though fans of Nickelodeon’s smash hits “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “Legend of Korra” will see some similarities—they share a pair of creators.
     

  • Hyperion Pictures
    32/ Hyperion Pictures

    #70. Life with Louie

    IMDb user rating: 8.3
    Years on the air: 1995–1998

    Not every comedian gets a Saturday morning animated series about their humorous childhood—which makes Louie Anderson a lucky guy indeed. “Life with Louie,” which aired on Fox for three seasons, still has a dedicated fanbase despite wrapping production in 1998.
     

  • Bones
    33/ Bones

    #69. Ouran High School Host Club

    IMDb user rating: 8.3
    Years on the air: 2006

    This Japanese anime series, based on the popular manga, addresses a facet of Japanese culture not everyone may be familiar with: the job of host or hostess at a nightclub or social club. Tasked with wooing and charming patrons, the occupation can prove quite lucrative for particularly good-looking, friendly, and outgoing individuals. What better place to train for this career than a private high school for Tokyo’s wealthy. Don’t worry, main character Haruhi attends on a scholarship—no hoity-toityness for her.
     

  • Aniplex
    34/ Aniplex

    #68. Fate/Zero

    IMDb user rating: 8.3
    Years on the air: 2011–present

    You’ll want to watch this Japanese anime series in the correct chronological order, or your “fate” is to understand “zero” of the plot. Following the events of the Fourth Holy Grail War, seven master magicians conjure the souls of deceased warriors and heroes throughout history to battle for the Holy Grail—capable of granting wishes.
     

  • Aniplex
    35/ Aniplex

    #67. Baccano!

    IMDb user rating: 8.3
    Years on the air: 2007–2008

    Based on a manga series, “Baccano!” is a historical drama set in America during different time periods. When the key to everlasting life is discovered by alchemists in 1930, the story’s characters begin to come together in unexpected ways to keep the magic elixir from those who would use its powers for evil.
     

  • Aniplex
    36/ Aniplex

    #66. Tengen toppa gurren lagann

    IMDb user rating: 8.3
    Years on the air: 2007

    In a dystopian future, mankind has been forced deep underground. In this anime series based on a Japanese manga, two teenagers, aided by a mecha machine called Lagann, reach the Earth’s surface to battle against the dark king who banished humans from their homeland.

     

  • Dentsu
    37/ Dentsu

    #65. Psycho-Pass

    IMDb user rating: 8.3
    Years on the air: 2012–2014

    An example of Japanese cyberpunk-style anime at its best, “Psycho-Pass” also depicts a dystopian future in which people face constant mental surveillance as a crime prevention measure. The story follows members of the police state’s criminal investigation bureau as they determine who may commit violent offenses.
     

  • Marvel Animation
    38/ Marvel Animation

    #64. The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes

    IMDb user rating: 8.3
    Years on the air: 2010–2012

    Marvel Animation strikes again with this series featuring a robust line-up of fan-favorite superheroes: Iron Man, Giant-Man, Hulk, Thor, and Wasp. Captain America, Black Panther, Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, and Vision all join in later episodes as well, and Nick Fury dutifully presides. The plot? Saving the world—they are the Avengers, after all.

     

     

  • Titmouse
    39/ Titmouse

    #63. Metalocalypse

    IMDb user rating: 8.3
    Years on the air: 2006–2013

    This beloved Adult Swim staple follows Scandinavian death-metal band Dethklok as they apply their signature black humor to a fanbase who takes their lyrics very seriously—literally, in fact. The show’s music is written and performed by Brendon Small, the show’s creator, and the creator of “Home Movies.”
     

  • Wildbrain Entertainment
    40/ Wildbrain Entertainment

    #62. The Ricky Gervais Show

    IMDb user rating: 8.3
    Years on the air: 2010–2012

    In this animated series, British comedians and writers Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant talk to Karl Pilkington, a loveable sidekick, who contributes some particularly dry and offbeat commentary. The show aired on HBO in America and E4 in Britain. It’s largely a show about nothing, one of many things that make it addictive to watch.
     

  • Ellipse Animation
    41/ Ellipse Animation

    #61. The Adventures of Tintin

    IMDb user rating: 8.3
    Years on the air: 1991–1992

    An adaptation of the iconic comic book series by Georges Prosper Remi—better known as  Hergé—this series, produced in Tintin’s own native Brussels, brings the books to life. While the series was more or less faithful to the actual stories, the producers notably downplayed some recurring themes like violence, alcoholism, emotional abuse, and death, and omitted storylines involving Soviet Russia and African colonialism.
     

  • Madhouse
    42/ Madhouse

    #60. Trigun

    IMDb user rating: 8.3
    Years on the air: 1998

    Pivoting back to anime series about outlaws on the run, “Trigun” is the tale of Vash the Stampede, a legendary warrior from an arid, hostile planet with a $60 billion bounty on his head. The only problem? There’s no proof he did what he’s accused of: destroying entire towns. His true story is revealed over the course of the series, thanks to those tasked with hunting him down.  
     

  • Nicktoons Productions
    43/ Nicktoons Productions

    #59. Invader ZIM

    IMDb user rating: 8.3
    Years on the air: 2001–2004

    Invader ZIM is from the planet Irk, and has a robot named GIR and adversary named Dib. The award-winning series tells the tale of an alien-being with the goal of enslaving the humans of Earth. Tasked to blend in with his surroundings, Zim has his work cut out for him. Nominated for several awards, but cut short due in part to budgetary issues, “Invader ZIM” nevertheless garnered a large fanbase.

  • Fuji Television Network
    44/ Fuji Television Network

    #58. Dragon Ball Z Kai

    IMDb user rating: 8.3
    Years on the air: 2009–2015

    Another installment in the Japanese anime Dragon Ball franchise, “Dragon Ball Z Kai” sees the heroes follow familiar storylines in a director’s cut format that removed much of the series’ “padding,” focusing on telling a story that was truer to the original manga. The production value was increased by remastering the audio and sharpening the pictures, as well.  
     

  • Marvel Enterprises
    45/ Marvel Enterprises

    #57. Spider-Man

    IMDb user rating: 8.3
    Years on the air: 1994–1998

    This chapter in the “Spider-Man” animated saga finds Peter Parker at college, beginning his career as a news photographer and battling enemies like the Green Goblin, Mysterio, and Venom. With a five-season run and plenty of syndication, this show was a mainstay of Saturday mornings and after-school TV blocks alike. It was ranked the second-best animated Spider-Man series.  
     

  • Cartoon Network Studios
    46/ Cartoon Network Studios

    #56. Regular Show

    IMDb user rating: 8.3
    Years on the air: 2009–2017

    Another Cartoon Network cult hit, “Regular Show” is the story of a blue jay named Mordecai and a raccoon named Rigby, best friends who work at a park and just can’t seem to catch a break. Running for eight seasons, a remarkable feat achieved by only one other of the network’s series—look for it later on this list—the finale saw the cast launch into space for a mysterious mission.
     

  • Cartoon Network
    47/ Cartoon Network

    #55. Courage the Cowardly Dog

    IMDb user rating: 8.3
    Years on the air: 1999–2002

    For fans of the grotesque, horrifying, and hilarious, there’s “Courage the Cowardly Dog.” Coward wouldn’t be so afraid all the time if the farm he lived on with a quirky old couple wasn’t crawling with ghosts and other scary adversaries. Courage must face his fears to save his owners, whether they help him or not.  
     

  • Hikarizaka Koko Engekibu
    48/ Hikarizaka Koko Engekibu

    #54. Clannad: After Story

    IMDb user rating: 8.4
    Years on the air: 2008–2009

    A sequel to the Japanese anime “Clannad,” the story picks up where it left off, with lovers Tomoya and Nagisa starting a family. The tale delves deep into the tragic family backstories and alternate histories of the main characters, addressing topics like death, parent bonding, and filial piety.
     

  • Rooster Teeth Productions
    49/ Rooster Teeth Productions

    #53. Red vs. Blue

    IMDb user rating: 8.4
    Years on the air: 2003–present

    This long-running science fiction web series from American independent studio Rooster Teeth centers around a civil war being fought in an abandoned canyon. It’s a sophisticated and intellectually driven parody mash-up, with influences from video games, military life, and science fiction media that kept it running for an outstanding 16 seasons.
     

  • DreamWorks Animation Television
    50/ DreamWorks Animation Television

    #52. Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia

    IMDb user rating: 8.4
    Years on the air: 2016–2018

    From acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro comes Netflix’s “Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia.” In a town rife with disaster, the world’s first human trollhunter must protect both the underground trolls and humans who live above them, having been chosen by a mystical amulet, all while managing school and family life.
     

  • TMS Entertainment
    51/ TMS Entertainment

    #51. Detective Conan

    IMDb user rating: 8.4
    Years on the air: 1996–present

    Young detective Jimmy is mysteriously transformed into a young child when an investigation goes awry. Going by the codename Conan, Jimmy, along with his elementary school classmates, form a junior detective club to find out more about the Black Organization. Wouldn’t you?
     

  • Pierrot
    52/ Pierrot

    #50. Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files

    IMDb user rating: 8.4
    Years on the air: 1992–1995

    In this Japanese anime series, the ghost of recently deceased Yusuke isn’t ready to be ferried to the underworld just yet—and besides, the powers in charge aren’t sure he belongs in either heaven or hell. The ruler of the underworld is willing to return him to his body, if he can complete a series of dangerous challenges involving mythical beasts, demons, tournaments and, ultimately, love.
     

  • Artland
    53/ Artland

    #49. Mushi-Shi

    IMDb user rating: 8.4
    Years on the air: 2005–2006

    This inventive animated series, based on a Japanese manga, explores the world of Mushi. They’re creatures with supernatural powers that typically can’t be seen by the human eye. Ginko, however, is a Mushi master who’s dedicated his life to helping people understand the nature of these mystical beings and serving as the bridge between two species.
     

  • Studio BONES
    54/ Studio BONES

    #48. My Hero Academia

    IMDb user rating: 8.4
    Years on the air: 2016–present

    Surely you’ve wondered what it would be like to have superpowers, but have you ever wondered how life would be if you were the only one without them? That’s the premise of this Japanese series that follows life in a high school for the magically inclined. Izuku, however, is bullied for his lack of special ability and must find a way to catch up, excel, and save society from evil-doers.
     

  • Warner Bros. Television
    55/ Warner Bros. Television

    #47. The Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes Comedy Hour

    IMDb user rating: 8.4
    Years on the air: 1985–1986

    You’ll find a well-curated selection of the hits of “Looney Tunes” in this delightfully nostalgic series. The show features some of legendary voice actor Mel Blanc’s most notable work, and favorite characters like Roadrunner, Porky Pig, and Daffy Duck.
     

  • Forecast Communications
    56/ Forecast Communications

    #46. Parasyte: The Maxim

    IMDb user rating: 8.4
    Years on the air: 2014–2015

    A blend of sci-fi and horror, this Japanese anime series tells the story of a young boy forced to co-exist with a violent parasite called “parasyte” bent on taking over his body. The key to his survival: the creature requires the host to live as well. A tale of symbiosis, endurance, and compromise, the pair battles other parasytes in order to save humanity.
     

  • Cartoon Network Studios
    57/ Cartoon Network Studios

    #45. Steven Universe

    IMDb user rating: 8.4
    Years on the air: 2013–present

    Lauded for its progressive subject matter as well as its innovative storylines and colorful, inventive animation, “Steven Universe” is one of Cartoon Network’s most successful series, and its first to be created exclusively by a woman. One of many of the network’s series geared toward older children and adults, “Steven Universe” follows the story of a boy being raised by a family of gem-powered superheroes. With a handful of award nominations under its belt, it’s safe to say this story isn’t going anywhere—in fact, a movie is in the works.
     

  • Adelaide Productions
    58/ Adelaide Productions

    #44. The Boondocks

    IMDb user rating: 8.4
    Years on the air: 2005–2014

    This animated series, in the style of Japanese anime, broke ground in many ways. Creator and animator Aaron McGruder originally wrote this story of an inner-city black family settling into life in an affluent, mainly white suburb as a comic strip, which was then reimagined as a cartoon that proved difficult to find a home for. The president of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim primetime block thankfully discovered the pilot episode, aired it, and reaped enormous benefits from viewers who had wanted stories about race, socioeconomics, gang violence, rap culture, family ties, and romantic relationships. Top it off with a brave, intellectual coming-of-age character who was easy to relate to, and CN had a formula for success. The show ran for four seasons, and enjoyed syndication long after.    
     

  • Cartoon Network Studios
    59/ Cartoon Network Studios

    #43. Samurai Jack

    IMDb user rating: 8.4
    Years on the air: 2001–2017

    Time-traveling ninja warriors? Check. Evil shape-shifting demon? Check. Dystopian science fiction-influenced world where humanity’s survival is at stake? If you’re still interested, “Samurai Jack” is the cartoon for you. Twelve years after its finale, the series received a fifth and final season to wrap up the story’s events. Magical swords, mythical creatures, interplanetary travel, and romantic love abound.
     

  • Pierrot
    60/ Pierrot

    #42. Naruto: Shippûden

    IMDb user rating: 8.4
    Years on the air: 2007–2017

    Naruto and his friends are back, older, and wiser, for more adventures in this series adapted from the Japanese manga. With a whopping 500 episodes over 10 years, “Naruto: Shippûden” finds the titular hero training tirelessly for a task beyond his wildest dreams: facing down the evil Akatsuki organization.
     

  • Warner Bros. Animation
    61/ Warner Bros. Animation

    #41. The New Batman Adventures

    IMDb user rating: 8.5
    Years on the air: 1997–1999

    Batman fans of all ages learn more about the legend’s supporting cast of characters in this award-winning animated series that aired for two seasons. Dark, macabre at times, and true to the original comics—with a few notable flaws—“The New Batman Adventures” was a staple of Saturday mornings and after-school weekdays alike.
     

  • Conaco
    62/ Conaco

    #40. Final Space

    IMDb user rating: 8.5
    Years on the air: 2018–present

    “Final Space” takes the space opera concept to new heights, deciphering what and where “final space” really is with a ragtag group of cosmic and cosmonaut oddities. The show is voiced by Fred Armisen, known for his work on “Portlandia” and “Saturday Night Live.” An upcoming second season is sure to please.
     

  • Aniplex
    63/ Aniplex

    #39. Rurouni Kenshin: Wandering Samurai

    IMDb user rating: 8.5
    Years on the air: 1996–1999

    A former assassin finds his way to absolution in this adaptation of a Japanese manga centered around peace, resolution, and romance. Unlike other animes that star a master swordsman, the protagonist in this case aids those who need help without sinking back into the life of a hired hitman.
     

  • Bandai Visual Company
    64/ Bandai Visual Company

    #38. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

    IMDb user rating: 8.5
    Years on the air: 2002–2005

    Humans are outfitted with long-lasting artificial body parts in the dystopian near-future of “Ghost in the Shell.” The “Stand Alone Complex” series follows a team of security task force members as they seek to unravel a web of organized crime within the Japanese government. Will they find an affordable cure to the cyberization disease that threatens humanity’s tech-infused bodies, and discover who stands to profit from its suppression?
     

  • Astro Base Go!
    65/ Astro Base Go!

    #37. The Venture Bros.

    IMDb user rating: 8.5
    Years on the air: 2003–present

    Another hit from Cartoon Network, daft teenage brothers Hank and Dean Venture, their mad scientist father, and loyal bodyguard battle evil wherever they find it, even if they find it accidentally and die trying. Don’t worry, there are plenty of clones stored up for that very reason. A recent seventh season was well-received.
     

  • OLM-Animation Studio
    66/ OLM-Animation Studio

    #36. Berserk

    IMDb user rating: 8.5
    Years on the air: 1997–1998

    This Japanese anime series asks the age-old question: Is humanity good by nature, or evil? Set in a fantasy-infused Medieval world, the story follows mercenaries with dark, traumatic backstories as they battle sinister forces for revenge and freedom. With no shortage of gore, violence, and sexual themes, this is an insightful, though intense dive into the human condition.   
     

  • Marvel Enterprises
    67/ Marvel Enterprises

    #35. X-Men

    IMDb user rating: 8.5
    Years on the air: 1992–1997

    American kids joined Cyclops, Wolverine, Rogue, Storm, Beast, Gambit, Jubilee, Jean Grey, and Professor X for a successful five seasons in this installment of the X-Men franchise. The show was praised for bringing social and historical issues to light—Magneto’s internment in a concentration camp during the Holocaust, for example—using easy-to-digest story arcs. During the series run, the heroes also encounter Spider-Man, Dark Phoenix, Lady Deathstrike, and Shadow King.
     

  • Tornante Company,
    68/ Tornante Company,

    #34. BoJack Horseman

    IMDb user rating: 8.5
    Years on the air: 2014–present

    “Arrested Development’s” Will Arnett voices BoJack Horseman, a washed-up former actor with a drinking (and everything else) problem in this Netflix original animated series. Critically acclaimed for its portrayal of mental health issues as well as its general critique of the trappings of Hollywood, “BoJack Horseman” follows the titular character’s chronic failures alongside a cast of humans and fellow anthropomorphic animals. This included Horseman’s on-again, off-again girlfriend and talent agent, Princess Carolyn (voiced by comedian Amy Sedaris). Other voice actors include “Breaking Bad’s” Aaron Paul, as well as Alison Brie, and Paul F. Tompkins.

  • Ginormous Madman
    69/ Ginormous Madman

    #33. The Legend of Korra

    IMDb user rating: 8.5
    Years on the air: 2012–2014

    A sequel to Nickelodeon’s record-smashing hit “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” “The Legend of Korra” takes place approximately 75 years after the end of the Hundred Year War. Avatar Aang has moved onto his next incarnation: a water-bender named Korra. Along with her pet polar bear-dog and band of friends—one of whom was named for the late actor who loaned his voice to “Avatar’s” General Iroh—Korra proves herself worthy to lead humankind alongside the spirit world while battling a loaded cast of evildoers bent on ending the avatar cycle forever. Among the many notable names in the cast are J.K. Simmons, Kiernan Shipka, Mindy Sterling, Aubrey Plaza, Daniel Dae Kim, and Anne Heche.  
     

  • 20th Century Fox Television
    70/ 20th Century Fox Television

    #32. Futurama

    IMDb user rating: 8.5
    Years on the air: 1999–2013

    “The Simpsons” was a hard act for creator and animation legend Matt Groening to follow, but follow and succeed several times, he did. Voice-acting from some of the industry’s best—Tress MacNeille, John DiMaggio, Hank Azaria, Billy West, David Herman, and Lauren Tom, among dozens of celebrity cameos—launched this story of a cryogenically frozen pizza delivery boy and his intergalactic cast of friends into a household name. In order to produce scientifically accurate concepts for story arcs and topical humor alike—as topical as humor about theoretical physics can be, anyway—the writing team possessed three Ph.D.s, seven master's degrees and had attended Harvard University for 50 years altogether. Five years after being canceled by Fox, “Futurama’s” creators released a season of straight-to-DVD feature-length episodes in lieu of an official fifth season, and Comedy Central picked up the cult hit for two more seasons and a finale.
     

  • Shueisha
    71/ Shueisha

    #31. Saint Seiya

    IMDb user rating: 8.6
    Years on the air: 1986–1989

    Japanese anime “Saint Seiya” is the story of a team of mystical warriors who derive superpowers from their star-infused armor. They’ve sworn to protect the earthly incarnation of the Greek goddess Athena in her battle to protect earth from destruction. With 114 episodes and five feature films, this was one Japanese series with star power.  
     

  • Warner Bros. Television
    72/ Warner Bros. Television

    #30. The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour

    IMDb user rating: 8.6
    Years on the air: 1968–1978

    You can never have too many “Looney Tunes” episodes, at least not to multiple generations of American kids. The iconic Golden Age Saturday morning cartoon consisted of “Looney Tunes” and sister series “Merrie Melodies” cartoons. The show cemented its characters in the annals of American pop culture on a near-permanent basis, paving the way for decades to come of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, and all their friends.

  • A-1 Pictures
    73/ A-1 Pictures

    #29. Erased

    IMDb user rating: 8.6
    Years on the air: 2016–present

    Based on the popular Japanese manga and live-action series, “Erased” tells the story of a young aspiring artist with the uncanny ability to save people’s lives seconds before they die because he can occasionally see several minutes into the past. After time-traveling suddenly to the period during which his mother passed away in an accident, Satoru discovers the opportunity to prevent her death, as well as that of a classmate.  
     

  • Warner Bros. Television
    74/ Warner Bros. Television

    #28. The Bugs Bunny Show

    IMDb user rating: 8.6
    Years on the air: 1960–1975

    The original show, hosted by that “wascally wabbit,” initially struggled through diminishing demand for animated short cartoons, but some clever remarketing—with the help of Daffy, Porky, Tweety, Road Runner, and Sylvester, of course—helped solidify its place in the history of American animation.  
     

  • Barnum Studio
    75/ Barnum Studio

    #27. Samurai Champloo

    IMDb user rating: 8.6
    Years on the air: 2004–2005

    “Samurai Champloo” is a Japanese anime set to hip-hop music with an urban vibe and a large base of dedicated fans, though the show ended in 2005. Young waitress Fuu is attacked by samurai, prompting two wandering warriors to save her though inadvertently killing her assailants. Fuu helps the two escape their execution in return for a favor. Expect dramatic combat scenes in the style of traditional Japanese chanbara cinema—one of many reasons the show maintains its reputation.  
     

  • Gainax
    76/ Gainax

    #26. Neon Genesis Evangelion

    IMDb user rating: 8.6
    Years on the air: 1995–1996

    “Neon Genesis Evangelion” falls into the “mecha anime” category as a Japanese anime inspired by world religions and, of course, a dystopian future in which a teenager must prevail against all odds to save the world from further annihilation. That’s to say, everything hinges on oversized battle machines controlled by humans, seeing as the enemies in question are giant spiritual humanoid aliens named for Biblical angels.

  • Warner Bros. Animation
    77/ Warner Bros. Animation

    #25. Justice League

    IMDb user rating: 8.6
    Years on the air: 2001–2004

    Welcome back, DC animated universe. “Justice League,” based on the popular comic books, took the winning formula of the “Batman” series and expanded it into a full-on superhero parade. Packed with backstories, new villains, old rivalries, and plenty of famous names on the cast list—Neil Patrick Harris, Julie Bowen, Alfred Molina, Virginia Madsen, Ron Perlman, Brad Garrett, and Rob Zombie, to name a few—this was one show that called for and received a sequel: “Justice League Unlimited.”   
     

  • The Bird Studio
    78/ The Bird Studio

    #24. Dragon Ball

    IMDb user rating: 8.6
    Years on the air: 1986–1989

    The manga that inspired the first animated adaptation of the “Dragon Ball” series was released in 1984, when fans first met heroes Goku and Bulma. Their mission: to gather all seven Dragon Balls scattered throughout the world in order to access their wish-granting powers before an evil emperor beats them to it. Along the way, Goku trains for an ultimate martial arts tournament, meeting a colorful cast of friends and villains. Ready to give it a shot?  
     

  • FUNimation Entertainment
    79/ FUNimation Entertainment

    #23. Dragon Ball

    IMDb user rating: 8.6
    Years on the air: 1995–2003

    The burgeoning Dragon Ball franchise followed up its initial success with an English dubbing by studio Funimation to release in America. A deluge of translated video games, movies, merchandise, and subsequent dubbed series would follow shortly after.
     

  • Aniplex
    80/ Aniplex

    #22. Fullmetal Alchemist

    IMDb user rating: 8.6
    Years on the air: 2003–2004

    Alchemy is considered among the most valuable of sciences in the futuristic world of “Fullmetal Alchemist.” By honing their science, two brothers hope to break to code of the mythic philosopher’s stone, which reverses death—though this practice is illegal in their society. Persecuted by those who would harness the brothers’ abilities to further their own nefarious agendas, they must travel the world to stay ahead of their enemies and continue amassing allies. With two series and two feature-length films, not including a live-action production, “Fullmetal Alchemist” has enjoyed success in America and Japan as well as Poland, France, Portugal, Italy, and Korea.
     

  • Toei Animation
    81/ Toei Animation

    #21. One Piece

    IMDb user rating: 8.6
    Years on the air: 1999–present

    When an anime series has more than 800 episodes to its name, it’s evident viewers are in for an addictive treat. Based on the Japanese manga, “One Piece” is about a young boy, Monkey, who seeks a pirate treasure known as One Piece. On his journey, he gathers a crew of misfit friends and hybrid creatures who help and sometimes hinder his dream of becoming King of the Pirates. The series was so popular, it even received a “Dragon Ball Z” crossover episode.
     

  • Frederator Studios
    82/ Frederator Studios

    #20. Adventure Time

    IMDb user rating: 8.6
    Years on the air: 2010–present

    A work by famed animator Pendleton Ward, “Adventure Time” is currently Cartoon Network’s flagship property, with 10 critically acclaimed seasons as well as multiple successful video games and a wealth of other merchandise. Psychologically attuned to appeal in equal measures to children and adults, “Adventure Time” follows the antics of sword-bearing Finn the human—one of the last known on a post-apocalyptic Earth—along with his adopted brother Jake the magic dog, and their vibrant cast of friends: a sentient computer, princess made of candy, friendly vampire queen, Korean-speaking rainbow unicorn and ...well, lumpy space princess.

  • Madhouse
    83/ Madhouse

    #19. Monster

    IMDb user rating: 8.7
    Years on the air: 2004–2010

    In this anime adapted from a manga series, Kenzo Tenma, a young Japanese brain surgeon, must address internal conflict when it comes to who will receive his life-saving attention at a busy hospital following a violent incident. Years later, Tenma begins to unravel the complex web of events that follow the surgery he once performed on an injured child. War memories of East Germany and the former Czechoslovakia have permeated the child’s life, and could hold the answers to where the monster in question is hiding.
     

  • DC Comics
    84/ DC Comics

    #18. Young Justice

    IMDb user rating: 8.7
    Years on the air: 2010–present

    If you’ve ever wondered what fan favorites from the DC Universe would look and act like as teenagers, “Young Justice” answers all those questions and more. Though they don’t technically belong to any official world-saving organization at first, a grown-up Batman invites the teens to form their own team in a secret hideout and receive mentorship from some of their favorite heroes.
     

  • Frontier Works
    85/ Frontier Works

    #17. Steins;Gate

    IMDb user rating: 8.7
    Years on the air: 2011–2015

    Ever wish you could text the past? In “Steins;Gate,” an adaptation of a Japanese video game, D-mails are just that. By utilizing time travel technology developed by a self-professed mad scientist in Tokyo, multiple generations of characters are able to contact each other and change future events by manipulating history. But is it enough to stop World War III from occurring?  
     

  • Madhouse
    86/ Madhouse

    #16. Hunter x Hunter

    IMDb user rating: 8.7
    Years on the air: 2011–2014

    In the Japanese anime world of “Hunter x Hunter,” some have attained the coveted rank which allows Hunters to follow the trails of treasures, mythical beasts, and fellow people. Hero Gon meets a group of friends during his notoriously difficult Hunter exam training, and together, they face adversity from foes, challenges during tournaments, and are hunted themselves by a larger-than-life carnivorous ant queen, all while searching for Gon’s missing father.
     

  • Bandai Namco Games
    87/ Bandai Namco Games

    #15. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

    IMDb user rating: 8.7
    Years on the air: 2006–2012

    Three world powers vie for supremacy in this adaptation of a Japanese manga series. Meanwhile, a student has received the “power of kings” from a mysterious girl following a violent attack. Now a masked vigilante, he uses his newfound powers—which he doesn’t completely understand—to solve the mystery of his mother’s murder and ultimately bring peace to the world.
     

  • Toei Animation
    88/ Toei Animation

    #14. Dragon Ball Z

    IMDb user rating: 8.7
    Years on the air: 1989–1996

    The sequel to the original “Dragon Ball” anime, “Dragon Ball Z” continues the story of hero Goku and his young son, Gohan, who learn the origins of their uncommon superpowers when an alien visits their homeland. Who is Goku, and can he ever return to the original nature of his people? The seven mythical Dragon Balls return in a new capacity, and the legend of the Saiyans takes on new life in this popular expansion of the global franchise.
     

  • Toei Animation
    89/ Toei Animation

    #13. Dragon Ball Z

    IMDb user rating: 8.7
    Years on the air: 1996–2003

    The next chapter in the “Dragon Ball” series is “Dragon Ball GT,” in which hero Goku is turned into a young child. Rather than face defeat, the transformation empowers Goku to fight his new adversaries harder than ever, while hunting down the Black Star Dragon Balls that changed his appearance.
     

  • Floyd County Productions
    90/ Floyd County Productions

    #12. Archer

    IMDb user rating: 8.7
    Years on the air: 2009–present

    “Archer” has staked its claim in the hearts of animation fans of an older age. Sterling Archer, voiced by industry superstar H. Jon Benjamin, is the world’s greatest Bond-style secret agent. He has it all: looks, money, talent, and a deep-set mother complex. Voiced by several “Arrested Development” alumni—Jessica Walter, Jeffrey Tambor, Judy Greer, and David Cross—“Archer” takes viewers around the world in a hilarious peek into what it’s like to go undercover as a hired spy. Just don’t utter any double-entendres: Archer will call you out every single time.
     

  • Comedy Central
    91/ Comedy Central

    #11. South Park

    IMDb user rating: 8.7
    Years on the air: 1997–present

    “South Park” is the long-running story of four elementary school boys and their families and friends in the provincial mountain town of South Park, Colorado. Currently gearing up for what’s sure to be a historic 22nd season, the show has millions of fans around the world who follow its unapologetic social commentary. The creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, earned award nominations and wins from the Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, and Tonys. In addition, “South Park” has won honors from many more, including: CableACE; Behind The Voice Actors; the Chicago, Los Angeles, Florida, and Las Vegas Film Critics Associations; The Online Film and Television Association; the MTV Movie and TV Awards; Producers Guild of America Awards; and on top of all of that, the team won a Peabody Award “for pushing buttons and envelopes with stringent social commentary.”
     

  • Gracie Films
    92/ Gracie Films

    #10. The Simpsons

    IMDb user rating: 8.7
    Years on the air: 1989–present

    Animation legend Matt Groening graduated from his critically acclaimed comic book series “Life is Hell” to the big screen with “The Simpsons,” which premiered on Fox in 1989. Loveable oaf and nuclear power plant technician Homer Simpson, his wife Marge, and their three kids, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie have been entertaining Americans for decades, and show no signs of stopping. Another recipient of the coveted Peabody Award, as well as mountains of other accolades from some of the most important institutions in film and TV, “The Simpsons” is gearing up for its 30th season, and holds the title of longest-running American sitcom of all time, while also being translated into a dozen languages worldwide.
     

  • Wit Studio
    93/ Wit Studio

    #9. Attack on Titan

    IMDb user rating: 8.8
    Years on the air: 2013–present

    Adapted from the manga of the same name, “Attack on Titan” takes place in a world where humans live in walled-in cities to protect them from the massive creatures who roam free. Young Eren joins the Scout Regiment, tasked with protecting the population from these dangerous beings, knowing the walls will not protect his people forever and grieving the losses he’s already experienced. A series of risky missions to defeat the Titans ensues, with help from Eren’s fellow soldiers.  
     

  • Disney Television Animation
    94/ Disney Television Animation

    #8. Gravity Falls

    IMDb user rating: 8.9
    Years on the air: 2012–2016

    Forbes called this Disney Channel original “the best show on television.” The series follows twins Dipper and Mabel as they help their uncle run a local tourist trap in the town of Gravity Falls, investigating paranormal occurrences and other mysteries along the way. With voice acting from Kristen Schaal and Jason Ritter, and guest appearances by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Will Forte, Nick Offerman, and John DiMaggio, “Gravity Falls” benefits from star talent as well as witty writing and relatable situational humor.
     

  • Warner Bros. Animation
    95/ Warner Bros. Animation

    #7. Batman: The Animated Series

    IMDb user rating: 8.9
    Years on the air: 1992–1995

    The first “Batman” animated series has a wealth of awards to its name, including four Emmys. With aesthetic influence from film noir as well as filmmaker Tim Burton—right down to a dark, dramatic soundtrack by Danny Elfman—the show proved visually captivating as well as superbly written. The series adapted several popular storylines from the original Batman comics, while also infusing the canon with fresh new faces, including spin-off character Harley Quinn.  
     

  • Bandai Visual Company
    96/ Bandai Visual Company

    #6. Cowboy Bebop

    IMDb user rating: 8.9
    Years on the air: 1998–1999

    In this original Japanese anime set in a dystopian near-future, a team of bounty hunters travel through space, tracking down criminals and other evildoers in order to earn much-needed cash to keep their ship fueled and stocked with instant noodles. Frequently referred to by fans and critics alike as the greatest anime ever made, “Cowboy Bebop” ran for a short two seasons. The series was Cartoon Network’s first foray into Japanese cartoons, serving as many American viewers’ first experience with the anime genre. Owing to its classic Western, cyberpunk, and science fiction influences as well as its well-translated comedic zingers, “Cowboy Bebop” was an instant hit with older children, teenagers, adults, and fans of improvised jazz. In fact, the series hired its own band to compose the soundtrack.  
     

  • Asatsu
    97/ Asatsu

    #5. One Punch Man

    IMDb user rating: 9
    Years on the air: 2015–present

    Fans of the Marvel and DC Universes may want to queue up “One-Punch Man” for their next animated binge: Saitama can knock out foes with one thunderous punch. This is useful, as his planet has been overrun with mutants, monsters, and other villains bent on wiping out humanity. Along with other superheroes, Saitama channels the frustration of no longer being challenged by fighting after knocking out a constant stream of adversaries. Based on a webcomic, the graphic novel adaptation of the story spent two weeks on The New York Times’ manga best-seller list.   
     

  • Bones
    98/ Bones

    #4. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

    IMDb user rating: 9
    Years on the air: 2009–2010

    A more detailed version of the 2003 series, “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” tells the story of two brothers who practice alchemy, considered among the most valuable of sciences in their futuristic world. By honing their craft, two brothers hope to break to code of the mythic philosopher’s stone, which reverses death—though this practice is illegal in their society. Persecuted by those who would harness the brothers’ abilities to further their own nefarious agendas, they must travel the world to stay ahead of their enemies and continue amassing allies.

     

  • D.N. Dream Partners
    99/ D.N. Dream Partners

    #3. Death Note

    IMDb user rating: 9
    Years on the air: 2006–2007

    Based on the Japanese manga of the same name, this anime thriller follows the story of Light, a high school student who stumbles upon a notebook with mysterious properties known as the Death Note, which belonged to a demon god. Whoever possesses the notebook is granted the ability to kill anyone known by name and face. Well-meaning Light intends to use the notebook to eliminate crime, but is met by resistance from those who want to destroy the notebook and prevent its power from being used to benefit society. “Death Note” was adapted into a live-action series by Netflix, which received mixed reviews.
     

  • Nickelodeon Animation Studios
    100/ Nickelodeon Animation Studios

    #2. Avatar: The Last Airbender

    IMDb user rating: 9.2
    Years on the air: 2003–2008

    The epic story of a spiritual leader lost and found, the series follows the redemption of Aang: the bridge between the human and spirit worlds. An impressive 5.4 million people tuned in to watch the show’s feature-length finale in 2008, with IGN proclaiming it deserved “an Academy Award.” Enlisting the voice acting talents of Mark Hamill, Mae Whitman, and the late Mako Iwamatsu, the show was so beloved by kids, teens, adults, and critics that sequel series “The Legend of Korra” was quickly greenlit, breaking equal historic ground and adding a dozen additional famous actors to its cast.
     

  • Harmonius Claptrap
    101/ Harmonius Claptrap

    #1. Rick and Morty

    IMDb user rating: 9.3
    Years on the air: 2013–present

    This relative newcomer to the animated world has taken the world, space, and all alternate realities and parallel universes by storm. Created by “Community’s” Dan Harmon along with Justin Roiland—both of whom provide voices—“Rick and Morty” follows the peril-ridden adventures of Rick Sanchez, the world’s smartest human, and his average grandson Morty, as they chart courses through infinite dimensions while trying to maintain a normal family life.

    Jam-packed with the grotesque effects of the show’s scientifically accurate references to theoretical physics, astrophysics, biochemistry, xenobiology, aerospace engineering, particle theory, interplanetary diplomacy, and just a dash of McDonald’s Szechuan nugget dipping sauce, “Rick and Morty” has been renewed by Cartoon Network indefinitely in response to the overwhelming approval of animation fans of all ages and persuasions.

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