What are some good short anime series

The 12 best anime series of all time

The best anime series are all from Japan. Logical: After all, animes are by definition animation formats created in Japan. But because there are tons of them, a preselection is helpful. Here are our top 12.

Titans, Fantasy Creatures, Fighters: We have put together some of the most iconic, great, and eccentric anime series of all time. Great emotions, tension, humor and a visual frenzy are guaranteed!

One piece

The Japanese author Eiichiro Oda hit the jackpot with the manga series "One Piece". It became the best-selling in the world - and a TV success that has been broadcast around the world since 1999. The hero of the story is the young monkey Dr. Luffy, who has given him the flexibility of an eraser by enjoying a devil fruit. With his gang he travels across the seas to find the ultimate treasure called "One Piece" and thus become the pirate king - countless fantastic adventures included. "One Piece" has far exceeded the 800 episode limit, creator Oda said in a TV interview in early 2019 that the end of the legendary format was near. However, he did not give an exact date.

The series has been shown synchronized on German television since 2003 (formerly RTLII, currently on pay-TV broadcaster ProSieben Maxx). Via video-on-demand, fans can watch the latest episodes in the original with subtitles, always shortly after the broadcast in Japan:

Watch "One Piece" online now at Anime on Demand

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

The brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric are alchemists - scientists who deal with the powerful transformation of matter. As children, they tried to conquer death in a fateful experiment. Edward now lives with an artificial arm and leg, Alphonse has lost his whole body, his soul lives in metal armor. Her mission since then: to find the philosopher's stone that could give Alphonse back his old body. Of course, there are many more challenges to overcome on the way to this goal. Her adventures faithfully follow the manga template by Japanese artist Hiromu Arakawa and were broadcast as a series in 64 episodes from 2009 to 2010. Critics praise the sophisticated action scenes, the differentiated and coherently drawn characters - and the almost philosophical questions on which the plot is based.

You can stream the series directly here:

Watch "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" online now at Netflix

Attack on Titan

The last humans live behind high walls in fear of the gigantic titans who have nothing but destruction and death in mind. There is a glimmer of hope when the young Eren falls victim to an attack by the giants, but a little later returns to the side of his adoptive sister and friends as a "good titan". As it turns out, he is what is known as a titan walker - and with it perhaps the chance to unlock the secret of the giants and save humanity. Intense, tough, full of dramatic fights and great emotions: the series based on Hajime Isayama's manga, which has been broadcast since 2013, is something for fans of end-of-time action.

You can stream the series directly here:

Watch "Attack on Titan" online now on Netflix

Dragon Ball Z

For 291 episodes, this series is just like the previous "Dragonball" format, only about one thing: the fight against overpowering opponents (demons, aliens, etc.), who fortunately can be defeated one after the other. Of course not without hard training, sophisticated martial arts, the magical Dragon Balls and one or the other dramatic twist. The focus is on the superhumanly strong fighter Son-Goku, his companions and his equally gifted children. The TV adaptation of Akira Toriyama's manga, which was first broadcast from 1989 to 1996, is rather simple (and drawn), but has achieved cult status with many fans around the world and is not only successful on television, but also in cinema and as a computer game celebrated.

"Dragon Ball Z" was broadcast in Germany from 2001 on RTL II, but is currently neither on TV nor available from a video-on-demand provider. However, you can save the series on DVD or Blu-ray for home theater:

Buy "Dragon Ball Z" on DVD now

Death Note

A notebook of death? There actually is. In the series "Death Note" such a notebook falls from the sky and the student Light Yagami discovers the power of the little black book. The person whose name is put in this book dies. The series, which aired in 37 episodes from 2006, is the adaptation of a manga by Tsugumi Ooba and illustrator Takeshi Obata. The first ten volumes alone had sold over 15 million copies in Japan by May 2006. The series is exciting, the atmosphere is gloomy, Japanese rock-metal bands provided the soundtrack and by the way, "Death Note" manages to discuss the philosophical question of justice.

You can stream the series directly here:

Watch "Death Note" online now on Netflix

Captain Future

At the beginning of this series about the intergalactic crime fighter, who achieved cult status on TV in the 80s, there is for once no manga by a Japanese author - but the adventure series by the Americans Mort Weisinger (inventor) and Edmond Hamilton (author), which ran from 1940 to 1944 has been published. Japanese animation specialists implemented Captain Futures experiences as an anime with 52 episodes, which was first broadcast in Japan at the end of the 1970s - in Germany as the first anime in children's programs from 1980 on ZDF.

"Captain Future" is currently not available from any video-on-demand provider, but you can watch the series on DVD:

Buy "Captain Future" on DVD now

Kill la kill

Even if many animes have an unusual and often complicated story: This one goes a step further. It's about Ryuko, who is on a campaign of revenge, who takes on the powerful student council and its leader Satsuki at her new school. The girls' Goku uniforms, which give their wearers superhuman strength, provide more tension. As if that weren't enough, aliens, a megalomaniac mother, a monster transformation and a paramilitary organization also come into play. All right? No? Then just have a look. The fast-paced, somewhat wacky anime, which was broadcast in 24 episodes in Japan from 2013, is guaranteed to keep you from getting bored.

You can stream the series directly here:

Watch "Kill la Kill" online now on Netflix


Elfen Lied

At the center of the dark, often brutal and moving saga about exclusion, identity, tolerance and humanity are the recently mutated Diclonius. Outwardly like humans except for bony outgrowths in the shape of a cat's ears, they have superhuman strength thanks to invisible additional arms controlled by telekinesis. Their potential danger means that their existence is kept secret and they are "studied" in secret laboratories. With Diclonius Lucy this leads to murderous thirst for revenge, which she lives out one day and flees. Serious injury causes her to transform into an innocent, childlike girl who makes new friends but is also hunted at the same time.

The series is currently not available from any video-on-demand provider, but you can watch it on Blu-ray:

Buy "Elfen Lied" on Blu-ray now

Violet Evergarden

When peace is made, soldier Violet has to get used to normal life. Not so easy when you were used as an emotionless weapon in the war and lost both arms, which have now been replaced by metal prostheses. Through her new job as a letter writer (autonomous correspondence assistant) for the largely illiterate population, she learns the meaning of feelings and love. And that brings her closer to her goal: She wants to understand the words that a special person on the battlefield entrusted her. This highly emotional anime is based on the novel series of the same name by Kana Akatsuki. The 13 episodes of "Violet Evergarden" were shown in Japan from January 2018, and it also started worldwide on Netflix.

You can stream the series directly here:

Watch Violet Evergarden online now on Netflix

Sailor Moon

With this series, anime became a trend in Germany. And not just with a committed community of connoisseurs. Magically gifted girl Usagi "Bunny" Tsukino became the heroine of many teenagers in the late 90s. No wonder: In addition to the fact that she turns out to be a moon princess and is destined to be a legendary warrior, she also fights for love and friendship and inspired styling imitators with her extraordinary look. There were 200 episodes, in Germany they were first seen on ZDF and then on RTLII.

The series is currently not available from any video-on-demand provider, but you can watch it on DVD:

Buy "Sailor Moon" on DVD now

Clannad After Story

The series builds on the second part of the Japanese computer game "Clannad". After Tomoya and Nagisa met and fell in love in the first part at high school, "After Story" tells you how their story continues. You decide to have a child, but the birth is not without complications. The drama is funny and warm and at the same time develops an incredible emotional force. The 24 episodes were broadcast in Japan from 2008, and the series was released on DVD in Germany in 2015.

You can stream the series directly here:

Watch the first season of "Clannad After Story" on Watchbox. The second season is now online on Google Play.


The story takes place at the end of the Edo period (1603-1868) in Japan. Aliens have conquered the land and banned the carrying of swords. The samurai are thus disempowered. Ex-samurai Gintoki Sakata and his two assistants then make ends meet as a mercenary troop. "Gintama" plays with the classic elements of the genre, pokes fun at anime clich├ęs and is peppered with allusions that only anime connoisseurs will understand. There is a lot of fighting here too, but "Gintama" shines above all with its somewhat anarchic humor.

You can stream the series directly here:

Watch "Gintama" now online at Watchbox