15 Most Popular Anime In Japan – A Detailed Review

Have you watched any Japanese animation or anime? If yes, do you find it interesting? Well, actually most anime in Japan feature fantastic stories and they are usually about supernatural power. Therefore, they are really worth watching and they are absolutely entertaining. If you are a true lover of Japanese anime, you cannot miss 15 most popular anime in Japan mentioned in this blog. Now, let’s see what these anime are!

15 Most Popular Anime In Japan

1. Doraemon

Doraemon is quite an old anime that Japanese as well as many people in the world grew up with. It first came out in the 1960s and the story revolves around Doraemon, a blue robotic cat who travels back in time from the 22nd century to help a boy named Nobita Nobi. Nobita always gets bad marks at school and suffers from bullies from his classmates. With magical tools of Doraemon, both Doraemon and Nobita as well as his friends who are Xuka, Xeko and Chaien have a lot of exciting experience together, but sometimes they cause trouble with those tools. Doraemon is a long journey full of emotions and experience of two close friends and it also gives viewers many meaningful lessons. That’s why Doraemon is one of the most popular anime in Japan and you definitely must watch it at least once in your life.

most popular anime in japan

Watching Doraemon. you’ll immediately fall in love with the lovely robotic cat Doraemon

2. Detective Conan

Another top Japanese anime is Detective Conan, which is about Shinichi Kudou who has an amazing talent for solving all criminal cases, even the most challenging ones to find out the true murders. The thing that attracts you about Shinichi is he possess such a magnificent ability although he is only 17. Unfortunately, an unpleasant incident suddenly happens to him. One night completely changes his life. It’s the night when the young detective witnesses two suspicious men at an amusement park. They notice him and give him some experimental drug. He survives, but his body has shrunken down to the size of a seven-year-old boy. From that time, he starts to live a life of a kid and always tries to hide his real identity to investigate the strange organization that has made a dramatic change to his body.

Detective Conan will keep you interested till the end of each episode because it is a perfect combination of comedy, romance, drama and detective with unique mysteries. If you are looking for an anime that keeps you guessing next developments of the story, give Detective Conan a try!

most popular anime in Japan

If you are a big fan of anime, you cannot miss watching Detective Conan

3. One Piece

One Piece is a great anime that you can easily fall in love with. At the beginning of the anime, the Pirate King reveals the existence of One Piece, a treasure that can give its owner unlimited wealth and fame before his execution. The story becomes more appealing when it follows Monkey D. Luffy, a teenage boy who forms his crew and travels across the Grand Line. During their journey to reach the greatest treasure, they have to battle many strong enemies and experience plenty of things in their adventures.

Every character in One Piece is well-developed and unique with their fun and different characteristics so that you will definitely love them. Although the anime mostly focuses on introducing the characters at the beginning, you will always find some action in each episode of it. When Luffy’s crew gets to their destination, you will dive into endless adventure.

how popular is anime in japan

Let’s dive into endless adventures with One Piece!

         SEE MORE:

4. Naruto

Naruto is a popular anime in Japan that revolves around a boy named Naruto with a lot of his adventures. Years ago, one of the villages in Shinobi Countries was attacked by a powerful fox called Nine-Tails. This monster made the leader of the village sacrifice his life and he had to seal it inside his newborn son who was Naruto. Because of that, Naruto had to live a life with a living moster inside him and he had to struggle to find his place in his world at that time. One day, he became a ninja and formed his own team to conduct all missions requested by the villagers. Throughout his adventures, he met not only great friends but also dangerous enemies.

Check out the below video to watch the official trailer of Naruto!

Watching Naruto, you will be impressed by its character development. Everyone in the series, even the antagonists are loveable and smart with their own unique fighting style. Besides, the anime can give you different degrees of emotion. Sometimes you may feel worried about the characters or even cry a river because of so many heart-rending moments in the series. Overall, Naruto is really worth watching and there are so many reasons to love this top Japanese anime.

5. Crayon Shin-Chan

Crayon Shin-Chan is a hilarious anime that features a young and creative boy whose name is Shinnosuke or Shin-chan. He lives with his eccentric parents, Misae and Hiroshi, and his younger sister named Prima Donna. He also has a lot of unique friends around him. The daily life of little Shin-chan is always full of funny and even shocking moments, most of which are from his unnatural and sometimes profane language as well as his constant acts of inappropriate behavior. One of the most defining moments in Crayon Shin-Chan is Shin-chan’s famous “elephant” gag. That is a perfect example of crude comedy and one of the core themes of the series.

Crayon Shin-Chan is one of the most popular anime in Japan that you should give a try. It’s an anime, but it really captures the awkwardness of growing up as well as the beauty of being true to one’s self in a realistic way.

Crayon Shin-Chan will definitely make you laugh your head off with funny moments of the young boy named Shin

6. Pokemon

Pokemon is a fun show that not only has adventure and action but also teaches kids many moral lessons as it is also an anime aimed at children.

The main character of the anime is Satoshi, a 10-year-old boy who has always dreamed of becoming a Pokemon trainer. His dream is about to come true, but all three Pokemon for beginners have already been taken. Only the rebellious electric Pokemon named Pikachu is left. Satoshi and Pikachu set out on a journey together to become the best among the best. That’s when their adventures begin!

most popular anime in Japan

Pokemon is a very popular anime among children and it’s really great for them as it teaches them moral lessons

7. Dragon Ball

Dragon Ball centers on Son Goku, a young boy who lives in the woods and has no friends. He lives alone until a girl stumbles on him. She is looking for a set of Dragon Balls which are magical and can give anyone who collects all seven of them a wish. The girl really wants to find all of them and make a wish for a good boyfriend. Although Goku has one dragon ball, he is not willing to give it away.

The series is a must-watch for anyone who likes anime. It can meet all of your expectations of an anime with a lot of fighting and humor. The animation and art are not the best in comparison with modern anime, but the classic anime Dragon Ball is remarkable.

top japanese animes

Dragon Ball is another must-watch for anyone who likes anime

8. Death Note

Death Note is an animated television series adapted from the 2003 manga series of the same name.

The anime features a high school student named Light Yagami or L who finds out a supernatural book dropped on earth by the god of death, Ryuk. This notebook is extremely powerful and it grants its users the ability to kill anyone they can identify.

Let’s find the mysteries behind the death note in ‘Death Note’!

There is a wide range of reasons why you should watch this series. Firstly, Death Note has a unique plot without an excess of action. Compared with other top Japanese animes, Death Note brings something “greater” and “more mature” in thinking to viewers. However, it still caters for people of all ages. Secondly, the character development of the anime is also special. Every character has their own characteristic traits and goals, which creates the diversity of the story.

9. Fullmetal Alchemist

Full Metal Alchemist tells the tale of two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric. After losing their mother to an incurable disease, they turn to alchemy to revive her by using the forbidden act of human transmutation. This wrongdoing leaves them disastrous consequences which are Edward’s loss of a leg and Alphonse’s soul trapped in a suit of armor. However, this traumatic event motivates Edward to fix his body using mechanical limbs called “automail” and become a state alchemist. His brother joins the journey and finally, they find a way to restore their body to the original form.

This anime is one of the most popular animes in Japan that is considered a must-watch for any anime fan as well as those who are anime beginners.

is anime popular in japan

If you are an anime fan or even an anime beginner, you should definitely give Fullmetal Alchemist a shot!

10. Sailor Moon

If you are looking for an anime featuring a great balance between romance and comedy with some funny moments, Sailor Moon should be your choice. The characters of the anime are really cute, loveable and relatable in many ways. The voices in dubbed version of Sailor Moon makes the show seem childish, but it actually covers a lot of issues such as sexuality, violence, and many relationship problems.

Sailor Moon focuses on a regular teenage girl whose life changes differently after she learns about her fate. She is destined to become a planetary guardian and protect the planet, so from then on she becomes the warrior Sailor Moon. She must cooperate with other Sailor Soldiers in order to save the Earth.

Featuring cute and loveable characters, Sailor Moon will attract lots of your attention

11. Attack On Titan

Attack On Titan is one of the most popular animes in Japan which is full of epic fight scenes and sad moments. If you are finding an epic and dramatic anime with an intriguing story, Attack On Titan is for you. This series can make your eyes filled with tears or even break your heart as many characters have to sacrifice their lives to protect humans.

The anime takes us to a world where mankind is on the verge of extinction and it follows Eren Yeager and his two allies who dedicate their lives to defeating terrifying and enormous man-eating creatures called titans. These creatures have forced humans to hide behind giant walls for 100 years. However, the calm life of humans comes to an end when a titan breaches the outer wall.

If you are finding an epic and dramatic anime with an intriguing story, Attack On Titan is for you!

12. Mr. Osomatsu

Mr. Osomatsu first appeared in the 1960s, around the same time as Doraemon and this is an exceptionally popular show with thousands of kids in its home country.

The anime is a comedy about  the Matsuno sextuplets and their adventures in causing mischief for everyone else. Although they are all identical in appearance, share a love for wrongdoing and pay attention to the same neighborhood girl named Totoko, they have different personalities.

When it comes to humor, Mr. Osomatsu is at the top of the funniest animes. If you are looking for a parody to end all anime parodies, watch Mr. Osomatsu!

Mr. Osomatsu would be the one that end all anime parodies

13. Sazae-San

Airing in 1969, Sazae-San is a classic and the longest-running anime in history with more than 2700 episodes.

The story revolves around a typical Japanese family and their daily lives. The anime is so old, but the liberated protagonist Sazae will make you really interested.

Like Doraemon, Sazae-San is also a very specific anime that reflects Japanese culture. If you would like to learn more about Japanese culture and the daily lives of Japanese people, this is a great anime to watch.

Sazae-San will help you learn a lot about Japanese culture

14. Anpanman

Anpanman is another anime that is considered one of the most popular animes in Japan. Because the story is about a superhero named Anpanman and the superhero is the most popular character among Japanese children, it attracts tons of kids. Anpan in the anime is a bread filled with red beans, so he can rescue those who are hungry by giving them a piece of his own head.

This anime can easily strike you once you watch it as it is very Japanese. It’s also very humane in the way it teaches young children to sacrifice themselves for others.

Anpanman is a humane anime that teaches young children many meaningful lessons about sacrifice

15. Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online follows a teenage boy whose name is Kirito. He becomes one of the lucky game enthusiasts to first get access to a game called Sword Art Online, but unfortunately, he gets stuck in it. The game is full of medieval weapons and dangerous monsters, which sounds exciting for gamers. However, when he logs into it, he realizes that he has to complete all one hundred levels or he cannot quit the game. The game now is not fun anymore, but it turns out a danger. If the players die in the virtual world, they die in reality. There’s no way, so Kirito and his allies decide to do whatever they can to survive.

If you are expecting to watch an anime with very beautiful animation and memorable characters, give Sword Art Online a try! In addition, this anime is very entertaining and it can keep you interested in its enjoyable soundtrack.

Sword Art Online can keep you interested with its beautiful animation and memorable characters


With all the suggested most popular animes in Japan above, hopefully, you have had your own list of must-watch. If you have ever watched other fantastic animes which are not mentioned in the blog, let’s share!

About Yuu Sato

Yuu Hiasa has been working in hospitality industry since 2003. In the past, he used to work as a tour guide and now he is running his business of supplying comfortable accommodations in Japan. Thanks to this experience and his passion for writing blog, the articles by him provides awesome tips and things to do when you are traveling in the country of cherry blossoms.