Top 30 Most Popular Anime in Japan

Anime has emerged as a powerful art form that has captured the imagination of people worldwide. In Japan, anime is a massive cultural phenomenon that influences every aspect of life- from fashion to food, and even music. It’s not just a form of entertainment; it’s an integral part of Japanese culture. Have you ever wondered what makes anime so popular in Japan? In this post, we explore the fascinating world of anime and its impact on Japanese culture. We have also compiled a list of the most popular anime in Japan, including

  • Neon Genesis Evangelion
  • One Piece
  • Sazae-San
  • Doraemon
  • Love Live!
  • Steins;Gate
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Bleach
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Fist of the North Star
  • Samurai Champloo

and many more.

So sit back and enjoy this comprehensive guide to the most popular anime in Japan.

What Is Anime?

Anime, originating from Japan, encompasses a wide range of genres and styles. With its distinctive art style and expressive characters, anime has gained popularity worldwide. This animated medium tells diverse and compelling stories that resonate with audiences.

What Makes Anime So Popular in Japan?

Anime’s popularity in Japan can be attributed to its ability to entertain people of all ages, exploring themes like school life, romance, and cultural traditions. Its creative storytelling and imaginative worlds capture viewers’ attention. Anime has become ingrained in Japanese culture with conventions, merchandise, and themed cafes.

The Most Popular Anime in Japan

Japan is renowned for its vibrant and diverse anime culture. From the action-packed adventures of “Dragon Ball Z” and the thrilling mystery of “Death Note” to the nostalgic charm of Studio Ghibli’s films, anime has captured the hearts of millions of viewers across the globe. In Japan, the popularity of anime is unparalleled, with shows like “Naruto Uzumaki” and “Fullmetal Alchemist” becoming household names. These beloved series feature captivating storylines, memorable protagonists, and stunning visuals that bring the art form to life. Whether it’s the fantastical worlds of “One Piece” and “Attack on Titan” or the relatable trials of high school students in “Love Live!” and “Steins;Gate,” anime continues to captivate Japanese audiences and leave a lasting impact on the nation’s cultural landscape.

Below is a list of some of the most popular anime in japan.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

neon genesis evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion, a beloved and influential anime series that debuted in 1995, delves into complex themes. It explores personal identity, depression, and the essence of humanity. The show has gained popularity for its memorable characters, breathtaking animation, and profound storytelling. Neon Genesis Evangelion is definitely worth watching if you haven’t already. With its thought-provoking narrative and visually stunning scenes, it has left a lasting impact on anime culture. This mecha anime has captivated audiences in Japan and beyond with its depth and emotional resonance. Through its exploration of the human psyche and intricate plotlines, Neon Genesis Evangelion has solidified itself as a must-watch for fans of the genre.


One Piece

one piece

One Piece, an immensely popular anime series, has captivated fans since its debut in 1999. With a dedicated and enthusiastic fanbase, followers eagerly await each new episode, keeping the enduring story of Monkey D. Luffy’s quest for the legendary One Piece treasure alive.

This renowned series has gained worldwide acclaim and is cherished as one of the most popular anime in Japan. Join the millions of fans, both in Japan and around the globe, who have been captivated by the vibrant world of One Piece. Discover why this beloved protagonist and his stretchy abilities have become iconic within anime culture.




Sazae-San is a long-running Japanese anime series that has captivated audiences since 1969.

This slice-of-life anime follows the daily lives of the Isono family, offering a unique glimpse into their experiences. Despite its age, Sazae-San remains a beloved anime in Japan, proving its enduring popularity.

The longevity of the series is a testament to its ability to connect with viewers and provide relatable storytelling. Over the years, it has garnered a loyal following due to its endearing characters and heartwarming narratives. Sazae-San’s ability to resonate with audiences even after decades is a testament to its status as a timeless classic in the world of anime. Its often been described as The Simpsons (incorrectly) due to how many households tune into watching a new episode securing it as one of the most popular anime in Japan.

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Doraemon, the beloved robotic cat from the future, is an iconic character in Japanese pop culture. This popular manga and anime series has been captivating audiences since 1969. Step into the world of Doraemon and join Nobita and his friends on heartwarming adventures. Discover why this lovable cat has become a symbol of anime culture in Japan. From its original manga to the television series, Doraemon has won the hearts of millions with its charming protagonist and relatable stories. Whether you’re a fan of high school student antics or futuristic gadgets, Doraemon has something for everyone.

Experience the magic of Doraemon and understand why it has remained a beloved series for generations of Japanese people and why to this day it is still one of the most popular anime in Japan.

Dragon Ball

dragon ball z

Dragon Ball, one of the most iconic anime series of all time, has captivated audiences for decades. This classic series takes you on a thrilling journey into a world where the battle between good and evil is fought with extraordinary powers. With its rich history and influential impact on the shonen genre, Dragon Ball has inspired millions of fans around the globe thanks to the internet. Its unforgettable characters, led by the courageous Goku, have become symbols of strength and determination. Dragon Ball’s blend of action, humor, and heart has solidified its place in anime culture. So join the ranks of devoted fans and experience the epic saga of Dragon Ball for yourself.



Pokemon, a popular anime that originated as a video game in 1996, has amassed a massive fan base worldwide. Its hard and maybe even possible to find someone in the world who has not head of “Pokémon” making it easily one of if not the most popular anime in Japan. This global phenomenon has made a significant impact on both the gaming and animation industries. Fans of all ages have been captivated by the charming world of Pokemon. From its lovable characters to its exciting adventures, Pokémon has successfully captured the hearts of millions. With its compelling storyline and relatable themes, this anime has become a beloved part of anime culture. Whether it’s the journey of the protagonist, the thrill of the battles, or the messages of friendship and determination, Pokemon continues to resonate with audiences around the world.

Slam Dunk

slum dunk

Slam Dunk is a highly beloved sports anime that is based on the manga of the same name. This anime explores various themes such as teamwork, determination, and self-improvement, which resonates with viewers. In fact, the popularity of Slam Dunk had a significant impact on the rise in popularity of basketball in Japan. The story follows the journey of protagonist Hanamichi Sakuragi, a high school student who initially joins the basketball club for personal reasons but eventually falls in love with the sport. With its engaging storyline and relatable characters, it’s no wonder why Slam Dunk remains a favorite among sports fans.



Naruto, originally airing in Japan in 2002, is a popular anime series that has become a cultural phenomenon worldwide. With multiple spin-off series, movies, and video games, Naruto has captured the hearts of audiences globally. Its impact on the international anime community is undeniable. The story of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja with dreams of becoming Hokage, resonates with viewers of all ages. The themes of friendship, teamwork, and perseverance have made Naruto a beloved series. From the bustling streets of Tokyo to the hidden mysteries of the ninja world, Naruto continues to captivate fans with its compelling characters and thrilling adventures.

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is a popular ongoing anime series in Japan. It follows the story of Naruto’s son, Boruto, as he tries to make his own name in the ninja world and step out of his father’s shadow. The show is widely watched by audiences and can be streamed on various platforms like Crunchyroll. Despite being a sequel to the popular Naruto series, Boruto has its own unique storyline and characters that have captured the hearts of many anime fans in Japan.

Fullmetal Alchemist

full metal alchemist

Uncover the secrets of alchemy in the world of Fullmetal Alchemist. Follow the Elric brothers on their journey to restore their bodies. Experience the intricate storytelling and meet the complex characters that make Fullmetal Alchemist a modern classic in the anime industry. This captivating series delves into themes of sacrifice, redemption, and the consequences of tampering with the laws of nature. With its unique blend of fantasy, action, and drama, Fullmetal Alchemist has captured the hearts of anime enthusiasts worldwide. Don’t miss out on this compelling tale that explores the bonds of brotherhood and the true nature of humanity.

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JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

jojo bizarre adventure

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a beloved manga and anime series that has garnered a dedicated fanbase both in Japan and worldwide especially with young men. Known for its unique blend of supernatural powers, thrilling action, and comedic elements, the series has captivated audiences with its engaging storytelling. Since its inception, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has expanded into numerous manga volumes, anime adaptations, and video games, further cementing its place in popular culture. Fans are drawn to the dynamic characters and their bizarre adventures, making JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure a must-watch for any anime enthusiast. With its iconic art style and compelling narrative, this series continues to leave a lasting impact on the anime community.

Spy x Family

spy x family

Spy x Family is a popular manga series in Japan, created by Tatsuya Endo. This captivating series centers around a spy who forms a fake family to accomplish his mission. Combining action, comedy, and compelling family dynamics, Spy x Family has garnered a dedicated following. The well-developed characters and engaging storyline make it a unique blend of espionage and heartwarming moments. With its intriguing plot and seamless integration of NLP terms like “tokyo” and “ninja,” Spy x Family has become a beloved addition to the anime culture in Japan and beyond. Its popularity speaks to the impact it has had on Japanese animation and its ability to captivate audiences worldwide.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

demon slayor

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is a recent anime series that has captivated audiences worldwide including China. The story revolves around Tanjiro Kamado, a young boy seeking revenge against the demons that killed his family. This anime has garnered high praise for its breathtaking animation, compelling storytelling, and unforgettable characters. Demon Slayer’s remarkable success can be attributed to its record-breaking box office performance and prestigious awards. It has become a cultural phenomenon, sparking a renewed interest in anime across the globe. As fans eagerly anticipate the second season, Demon Slayer continues to redefine the anime landscape with its gripping narrative and visually stunning animation.

Attack on Titan

attack on titan

Attack on Titan is a captivating dark fantasy anime series that takes place in a world where humanity is constantly under the threat of gigantic humanoid creatures known as Titans. The story revolves around Eren Yeager and his companions as they join the battle against these formidable adversaries.

Renowned for its intense action sequences, multifaceted characters, and thought-provoking themes, Attack on Titan has garnered widespread acclaim. It is highly regarded for its exceptional storytelling, intricate world-building, and exploration of complex moral dilemmas. The series has achieved immense popularity both in Japan and internationally, establishing itself as a cultural phenomenon with a massive fanbase across the globe and one of the most popular anime in Japan.

Love Live!

love live!

Love Live! is a multimedia franchise that encompasses anime, music, and video games. It tells the story of a group of high school girls who come together to form an idol group in order to save their school from closure. Known for its vibrant animation, catchy songs, and heartwarming friendships, Love Live! has become a fan favorite. It has had a significant impact on the idol genre in anime and has garnered a dedicated fanbase. With its uplifting and inspiring story, Love Live! continues to captivate audiences and release new content.


Watch STEINS;GATE - Crunchyroll

Steins;Gate is a captivating science fiction anime series that delves into the intriguing concept of time travel and its profound consequences. The story revolves around a group of eccentric individuals who stumble upon the ability to send messages to the past, leading them down a thrilling and perilous path. Renowned for its intricate plot, Steins;Gate seamlessly weaves together elements of mystery, suspense, and emotional depth. The narrative explores profound themes of fate, sacrifice, and the moral implications of altering the timeline. With its well-developed characters and unforgettable moments, Steins;Gate has garnered critical acclaim and amassed a dedicated following of avid viewers.

Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop 25th Anniversary Project Announced - Siliconera

Cowboy Bebop is a classic anime series that has captivated audiences with its stylish animation and iconic jazz soundtrack. The story follows the adventures of bounty hunter Spike Spiegel and his eclectic crew as they navigate the galaxy in search of bounties. Combining elements of space opera, film noir, and western genres, Cowboy Bebop has carved its place in the world of anime. With its unique blend of action, humor, and drama, the series has garnered a dedicated fanbase and left a lasting impact on the medium. As the characters grapple with themes of existentialism, loneliness, and redemption, Cowboy Bebop continues to be celebrated as a timeless masterpiece.



Bleach is a long-running anime series that is based on the manga created by Tite Kubo. The story revolves around Ichigo Kurosaki, a teenager who possesses the unique ability to see ghosts. As he embarks on his journey to protect the living world from supernatural threats, Ichigo becomes a Soul Reaper. One of Bleach’s notable features is its intense action sequences and intricate storyline. The series is also renowned for its diverse cast of characters and the elaborate world-building. With its captivating plot and engaging narrative, Bleach has captivated audiences around the world.

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Ghost in the Shell

The original Ghost in the Shell is iconic anime, and a rich philosophical text - Vox

Ghost in the Shell is a cyberpunk anime series set in a futuristic world where individuals can enhance their bodies with cybernetic enhancements. The story revolves around the members of Public Security Section 9, who are dedicated to combating cybercrime and terrorism. In addition to its action-packed plot, the series delves into profound philosophical questions about identity, consciousness, and the essence of humanity.

Ghost in the Shell is renowned for its breathtaking visuals, intricate storytelling, and thought-provoking themes. Its impact on the science fiction genre is immense, and it has served as an inspiration for both anime and live-action works.

The original ghost in the shell heavily inspired western animation and even inspired the directors to create The Matrix


Fist of the North Star

New Fist of the North Star Anime Announced, First Poster Revealed

Fist of the North Star, a classic manga and anime series set in a post-apocalyptic world, follows Kenshiro, a martial artist with tremendous strength and the ability to strike pressure points. This series is renowned for its intense action, over-the-top violence, and unforgettable catchphrases. It has significantly influenced the shonen genre and served as inspiration for many other works. Beloved by fans, Fist of the North Star boasts memorable characters and epic battles that continue to captivate audiences. Its impact on anime culture cannot be overstated. With its iconic protagonist and thrilling storyline, Fist of the North Star remains a testament to the enduring power of Japanese animation.

Samurai Champloo

Art of Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo is a captivating anime series set in feudal Japan that seamlessly blends the traditional with the contemporary. This unique show follows the exciting journey of Mugen, Jin, and Fuu as they embark on a quest to find the enigmatic “samurai who smells of sunflowers.” With its stylish animation, dynamic fight scenes, and an eclectic soundtrack that fuses hip-hop beats with Japanese melodies, Samurai Champloo offers a visually stunning and musically innovative viewing experience. The series skillfully combines historical elements with modern sensibilities, creating a compelling narrative that captivates audiences. Its well-crafted storytelling and nuanced character development have earned Samurai Champloo critical acclaim.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is the most popular anime in Japan right now (2024)

The current popular anime in Japan includes

  • I Got a Cheat Skill in Another World and Became Unrivaled in The Real World, Too
  • KamiKatsu: Working for God in a Godless World
  • My Unique Skill Makes Me OP even at Level 1
  • Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon
  • Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation

These anime series have gained significant popularity among Japanese viewers and are currently ranked the most viewed by Anikore (what anime) as of April 2023.


How big is the Anime-Industry in Japan?

The anime industry in Japan is a significant and influential part of the country’s entertainment sector. It has a global following and generates billions of dollars in revenue each year. Anime encompasses a wide range of animated content, including TV shows, movies, and web series, with genres that appeal to viewers of all ages and interests. In addition to domestic consumption, the popularity of anime has spread internationally, with fans from around the world eagerly watching and supporting Japanese animation. The anime industry not only provides entertainment but also contributes to various sectors such as merchandise sales, tourism, and cultural exports. Its impact on popular culture cannot be understated, making it an important and vibrant industry in Japan.



In conclusion, anime holds a special place in Japanese culture and has gained immense popularity worldwide. The diverse range of genres, captivating storylines, and intricate animation have made anime a favorite among people of all ages.

From iconic classics like Neon Genesis Evangelion and Cowboy Bebop to long-running series like One Piece and Bleach, there is something for everyone in the world of anime. Whether you are a fan or new to the anime scene, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Please feel free to comment below and share your favorite anime or any recommendations you may have. Let’s continue to celebrate and enjoy the magic of anime together.

For international audiences who want to watch anime from Japan easily you can do so using a service like Crunchyroll



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