At Paste, we believe there’s an anime for everyone. With lists like this, diverse demographics are often left unconsidered, effectively sidelining female and LGBT viewers. Hobbyists and fandoms have long had distinctive, individualized communities, lively groups that often do not intersect except, maybe, at anime conventions, given over half of North America’s attendees are female. So why is it that lists like this leave out anime made by women, for women? And why can’t these anime be enjoyed by men, too?


Working on this list allowed me to examine my own taste and the sort of aesthetic that guides me. I’ve long enjoyed shoujo for its florid style and high melodrama, but when I thought of anime that deserved to be on a list of the best ever, only shows with male protagonists came to mind. Prestige anime is often centered around a man and his struggles, themes that often disclude varied viewers and create an echo chamber of impenetrable, inarguable taste for fans to discuss. These anime are great, and you’ll find many of the expected takes on this list, but in compiling this I tried to consider every genre’s most exemplary offerings. watch free animes Shows both young and old are represented, with at least one show for everyone no matter their age, gender, or sexuality. In these anime, almost everyone can be seen in some way, whether it be in the rosy meditations of a slice-of-life show or the bombast of thrilling action.

The world of animation is constantly evolving, and we want to evolve with it. Our list is carefully curated with both accessible and challenging titles, a perfect landing pad for anime newcomers looking to dive headlong into shows that are essential, strange, or soothing. We hope you find something you’ll fall in love with.