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Anime Tier List
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Posted 5/29/14 , edited 5/31/14
Hello!

In advance, I want to apologize for making something similar to the "favorite anime" thread. I think that favorite anime threads are a great source for what show to watch next, however when people don't actually take the time to explain why they enjoy an anime, you don't really know what you're getting yourself into.

I want help compiling most anime that are very worth watching onto here. I have added anime that I think deserve to be on the list. I know I'm missing a lot of important titles, so I would definitely love some help adding those onto here. If you want to add something somewhere, keep reading to get a better understanding of why certain anime fall in certain categories as well as why some anime are missing.

This is why I wanted help in creating this tier list of anime based on objective observations from people on anime that they have watched. That being said, there needs to be criteria established. The anime I list will all be accompanied with the following:
1. Plot: Both the quality of the storyline and how well the storyline picks up/slows down at certain points is crucial.
2. Character Development: How well characters develop in an anime.
3. Buffer Episodes (if applicable): This refers to episodes that don't really progress the story.
4. Quality of Genre: How good the action, jokes, romance, and/or mysteries are.
5. Length: Is the anime too long and drags the storyline along unnecessarily? Or is the anime too short, leaving you wanting more without giving you enough? Or does the anime always leave you wanting more?

First, I want to make it clear that I haven't seen any slice of life anime (and probably won't do so for a while) so unless someone would like to step up, I won't be adding a section for Slice of Life. Second, the way this tier list will be split is a little simplified because I don't want it to be complicated. Essentially, there are 5 tiers of anime. Third, I don't actually notice the difference in most animations I watch (maybe DBZ since it isn't as pretty as other anime and quite a bit older), but I don't actually watch anime for the pretty animation personally. Also, animation style is subjective, so I find it difficult to make objective decisions on that (IE, I hate Soul Eater and Kill la Kill animation, they're awfully irritating to me).

One thing that I still don't know how to account for is long anime like Naruto, Bleach, DBZ, One Piece, Detective Conan (this one is fairly different than the rest though lol), and even Fairy Tail. And since I've only seen DBZ, Detective Conan, and Fairy Tail from that list, I am definitely open to suggestions. It seems to me that those anime will always be worth watching by damn near anyone and are usually insta-favorites for almost anyone that gets into them. For example, I still think DBZ is the perfect anime. Sure, the fights took years and years, but they gave us long stints of training episodes/tournaments that set the plot up and provided a nice relief from the 10 episode final battle/50 episode buildup to the final battle. And even those episodes are great when you first watch them. Right after re-watching DBZ, I watched Fairy Tail and instantly fell in love. Such an all-round anime that leaves no room for hate. However, all of these anime have one thing in common, they're extremely repetitive. The storyline progresses only by the characters getting stronger, however the concept behind the plot never changes. In case you're wondering, I definitely think both DBZ and Fairy Tail are god tier anime.

On that note, I'll move on by saying that I won't be including anime over 100 episodes in this tier list because they're a commitment lol. It's easy to binge watch a 25-episode (2-3 days) show or a 50-episode(5-7 days) show, but not a 100-episode (1.5-2 weeks).

On to explaining the way this tier list works. I've only included God tier, A+, A, A-, B+, and B, because I don't really think any anime belong below B-, but if there are, I probably won't watch them. God Tier anime are timeless, must watch, with unrivaled plots and characters that you will probably be emotionally attached to. They either have the perfect length, where every episode progresses the anime at in a timely manner, or they have just the right amount of buffer episodes between each stint in storyline progression. If the anime is too short (ends before manga), then it either ended with a satisfying ending or there is promise of new episodes in the future.. A Tier anime have either great characters/good plot or great plot/good characters, length is either almost perfect or too short (ends way behind the manga, leaving a lot unanswered, no status on it being renewed for more episodes in the future). B Tier anime have either great characters or great plot, length can be too laggy or rushed.

God tier: Attack on Titan, Mirai Nikki, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Magi, Steins;Gate, Cowboy Bebop, Baccano!, Fate/Zero
A tier: Death Note (A+), Code Geass (A+) Log Horizon, SAO, Deadman Wonderland, Ruruoni Kenshin (A+), History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi (A+), Neon Genesis Evangelion (A+), Trigun, Kill la Kill (A-), Kuroko's Basketball, Monogatari Series
B tier: Another, Gosick, Tenjhou Tenge, Gungrave,


Reasoning

Log Horizon A
Plot is probably one of the better out of the “stuck in MMORPG world” genre. Only thing I dislike about this anime is that some of the characters are annoying and some of the jokes are overused (ahem, pa--/knee in the face 4 times in 10 seconds?). But Shiroe is a fricken badass.
SAO A
Plot is probably not as strong as Log Horizon in terms of the MMORPG genre, but the characters are great. One thing that I hated was the ending to the first half of the show, right before they move on to ALO. Also the romantic stint in ALO/real life involving Kirito (avoiding spoilers here), or the second girl that likes him, was preeettty creepy. I think the whole death thing in SAO put a lot of limits on what they could/couldn’t do. And so they cheated a little bit near the end of the SAO storyline. Other than that, such a captivating anime. Specially great if you love MMORPGs lol.
Deadman Wonderland A
If this show kept going, hands down would be a God tier anime. Without a doubt an amazing plot as well as characters that are so fricken raw.
Another B
Pretty damn good plot, just spent a little too much time looking at dolls I think. Characters are cool, but not worth getting attached to. But I should stress that the ending is insane and very worth reaching.
Gosick B
Kazuya is hands down my least favorite main character of any anime I’ve seen. In comparison to Victorique, whose role in the anime is spelled out to every last detail, Kazuya is just bland. Also, the story is just mad slow until you run into the Phantom storyline, and then the ending is confusing as all hell. Satisfying, but confusing. Definitely captures the reality of politics and war very well in a short amount of time.
Death Note A
Along with Code Geass, I don’t think anyone has any qualms with anything in this show. As per Le_Dom's suggestion, after ahem dies, the show becomes a little weaker, however the story overall is worth it and the ending is still great.
Code Geass A
^^
Ruruoni Kenshin A+
I haven’t finished the third season. I think the second season on its own was one of the best storylines of any animes I’ve seen. Insanely amusing fights that didn’t lag on for too long. The first season, introducing everyone, was great as well. I think without the 3rd season, this show would be a god tier anime despite it’s old animation. The fights are raw, the characters are all great, all of em, even the kids. And most of the storylines are very worth watching.
History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi A+
Ugh. Maybe I’m just biased towards this show. But damn, Kenichi is the shit. Hilarious, great great combat, and a feel good plot (hard working kid wanting to become a fighter). The dojo is outrageously funny and I think they spend a very fair amount of time there before moving on with the plot.
Tenjhou Tenge B
I was in middle school when I watched this, or maybe early high school. Either way, I loved the anime back then, but it was probably for the ecchi lol. Plot>Characters, and that’s not a good thing for this show lol. If anyone has comments, please...
Neon Genesis Evangelion A+
Maybe I’ll have a change of heart and put this as a god tier, idk. It’s such a great anime, I just don’t think it lives up to anime like Gurren Lagann. Since both are mecha shows, the plot in Gurren Lagann is so much more real.
Attack on Titan G
SO REAL. THIS ANIME. UGH. Sorry, I think the fastest binge I’ve ever completed was Attack on Titan. Started at like 1 PM and ended sometime in the afternoon the next day. Can’t wait for the next season. Amazing characters, amazing plot. Literally everything is amazing.
Gungrave B+
First anime I ever watched personally. And I’ve seen a lot of anime that I’ve forgotten, so I think that’s saying something. The characters in this anime are damn near amazing. The ending is probably one of the most tear-jerking endings ever. But the plot was a little too drawn out and a little too far fetched as it kept going.
Trigun A
Vash the Stampede! What a character. What a show. Only thing I never really liked was Legato. I mean, he’s an awesome character, but it just feels like he was insanely strong compared to not just Vash but Knives too. Plot took too much time buffering, but most of the buffer episodes were damn good. Also, don’t you dare watch the dub lol.
Fate/Zero G
Amazing plot/characters/character development. And the combat is damn near the best combat of any show. Doesn’t get too old either since most of the gods have different fighting styles. Oh, and the whole Gilles de Rais storyline with that creepy kid was insane. Not sure if I liked it or not, but ya lol. Definitely a very well rounded show though.
Mirai Nikki G
Mmmmm. Hands down the best combination of characters/plot. Unless you dislike watching people die, this anime is probably one of the best anime ever. I don’t think any anime has as intense a plot as Mirai Nikki. Also, I don’t think there is a single anime character as maniacally insane as Yuno. Straight up beast.
FMA Brotherhood G
Ugh. I can watch this show over and over again. The ending was satisfying as all hell. The battles were so real. And the way everything comes together, bit by bit… What a show <3
Gurren Lagann G
THIS. When a certain character dies near the beginning, you cry for a little bit, and then you think to yourself, ‘Damn, this show is so real.’ The emotions that just flare out of everyone are absolutely insane. Hands down a must watch for anyone. It’s one of those shows where the genre might not be what you’re looking for (mecha), but the content is incredible.
Kill la Kill A-
Uhhh, is it bad that Senketsu was my favorite character in this show? I just think the overly shameless fanservice was way too much. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some fan service. But they just went way too far. And those little 10-15 second stints where Mako would talk all choppy while doing some weird stuff (in one of the episodes it looked like she was eating a raw egg out of its shell) to save Ryuko from some situation… I mean, I think that speaks for itself. I think it’s fair to say that the show is for sure over the top. The action was good, but if you compare it to shows like Magi, Attack on Titan, or even its predecessor Gurren Lagan, the action really isn’t as great. Other than that though, the plot was for sure unique and well developed.
Magi G
I think people might hate me for suggesting that Magi is god tier, but I honestly think it’s an amazing anime. If you’ve seen this anime, you’ll understand why. If you haven’t, well, watch it! I was thrown aback at first that it was Aladdin and Sinbad and Ali baba, but honestly all the characters are so fricken awesome. Like actually every single character is great. Alibaba and Aladdin both develop so much over the course of the show. The plot was kept going throughout the entire show and never once got boring. In fact, I’d probably watch this show if it went on for a 100 episodes (I would’ve loved it if they expanded on the stint in Magnostadt with Aladdin’s training as well as Alibaba’s training in Reim for like 50 episodes lol). And let’s be real, the action in that show is fricken awesome and when the show wants to be funny, it’s funny. (Nothing beats tiny Aladdin motorboating grown sexy women, or that man in the first episode xD!).
Steins;Gate G
This is the best executed time travel story I have ever seen. It manages to stay true to the rules it establishes, while being unable to contradict itself in the process. Although slow during the first half, Steins;Gate manages to shine through its fast-paced second half. The characters may seem a bit cliche, but the main character has one of the most dynamic character development throughout the entire series, allowing the audience to be able to relate to him on a certain level. The plot is chock full of twists and turns, and is an utter mindfuck, like in a good sense. While Steins;Gate can be very emotional and dramatic, it puts in some very effective humor to lighten the tone. There's more I could say, but you've already gotten my point. --EatsRainbows
Kuruko's Basketball A
The main characters, Kagami and Kuruko, are both drastically different so it really helps the dynamic in the show. Their attitudes accentuate each other's characters, which is helping them both develop together. As for the plot, basic sports plot, but the addition of the Generation of Miracles makes it all the more intriguing. Especially since they don't reveal them all at once. And, thankfully, the episodes don't lag on for too long. --Horobiru
Cowboy Bebop G
Cowboy Bebop is without a doubt, one of the best gateway series out there and for many good reasons; it has solid characters and the episodic storytelling means that you can show someone a random episode and they wouldn't be confused (which is something I wouldn't be able to say about long running shonens) --LeDom
Monogatari Series: Bake, Nise and second season. A
It's one of the more artistic, and intellectual shows, yet it manages to be that way without feeling pretentious. Its stylish animation gives it a pretty unique feeling and you grow to love the characters through there respective arc. The fanservice can turn a lot of people off, but it's used in a surprisingly artistic way as well. --LeDom
Baccano! G
Baccano! I'd place here because well, simply said, it's my favorite anime of all time. It's the kind of show I can re-watch and re-watch and still enjoy it as much as I did on my first time. Heck, there are some details that give viewers a pretty cool bonus on a second watch. --LeDom
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Posted 5/29/14
[Reserved for space, if needed]
Posted 5/29/14
God-tier:

Flowers of Evil:


I'm not good at writing essays... ugh explaining something. I feel like I don't have the skill to explain this with justice. It's just a masterpiece that focuses heavily on characterisation. Consistent characters, there's just so many meanings you can derive from this 13-episode length anime.

Y'know, you live in this society that have rules set out for you, you have to conform with everyone else. If you go outside of that, you become an enemy of society... and this anime explores that notion into great depth.


Then on a microscopic level, you have the issue of discovering one's own identity and how our identity is shaped by people around us. And our struggle with identity during adolescence. Figuring out who we are. We form our own personalities and our own values; but if they're different to society's main values; then there is a conflict... which one should we choose? Be the norm and go with everyone or be true to ourselves?

I don't know how to explain it in greater depth.... like someone who is good at writing essays should do it. But this anime is a genius piece of writing... and like, even the animation expressions are so masterfully crafted.
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16 / M / Tokyo
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Posted 5/29/14
Reborn! is A Tier for me
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Posted 5/29/14

GayAsianBoy wrote:

God-tier:

Flowers of Evil:


I'm not good at writing essays... ugh explaining something. I feel like I don't have the skill to explain this with justice. It's just a masterpiece that focuses heavily on characterisation. Consistent characters, there's just so many meanings you can derive from this 13-episode length anime.

Y'know, you live in this society that have rules set out for you, you have to conform with everyone else. If you go outside of that, you become an enemy of society... and this anime explores that notion into great depth.


Then on a microscopic level, you have the issue of discovering one's own identity and how our identity is shaped by people around us. And our struggle with identity during adolescence. Figuring out who we are. We form our own personalities and our own values; but if they're different to society's main values; then there is a conflict... which one should we choose? Be the norm and go with everyone or be true to ourselves?

I don't know how to explain it in greater depth.... like someone who is good at writing essays should do it. But this anime is a genius piece of writing... and like, even the animation expressions are so masterfully crafted.


I'll watch it tonight and see what's up. Is this slice of life?
Posted 5/29/14

Habibiqt wrote:

I'll watch it tonight and see what's up. Is this slice of life?


heck no!
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Posted 5/29/14
Flower of Evil is not a slice of life LOL. What it is though is quite....well, you'll see once you watch it.

God-tier anime:
NANA

Best damn josei/romance series period
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Posted 5/29/14 , edited 5/29/14
God Tier:

Steins;Gate

I don't want to write an entire essay on this, so let's get straight to the point. This is the best executed time travel story I have ever seen. It manages to stay true to the rules it establishes, while being unable to contradict itself in the process. Although slow during the first half, Steins;Gate manages to shine through its fast-paced second half. The characters may seem a bit cliche, but the main character has one of the most dynamic character development throughout the entire series, allowing the audience to be able to relate to him on a certain level. The plot is chock full of twists and turns, and is an utter mindfuck, like in a good sense. While Steins;Gate can be very emotional and dramatic, it puts in some very effective humor to lighten the tone. There's more I could say, but you've already gotten my point.
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Posted 5/29/14 , edited 5/29/14
God Tier:

Kara no Kyoukai

Seven movies may seem long at first, but in combined length these are just the length of about 23 episodes of anime. It may also seem a tad bit slow at first, but it really gets going and it turns out to be far more than worth the bit of slowness. Its complicated, disorderly method of storytelling adds a sort of charm to this series, and the character relations between the main character and the male lead are fantastic. Also, the soundtrack to this series in truly incredible, and the animation is flawless. You should check this thing out when you get the chance, and personally, I find the Fifth movie to be one of the best things ever.
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Posted 5/29/14 , edited 5/30/14
GOD TIER:

Attack on Titan

Very creative plot.Character development is above average.Its dark,gloomy mood fits the show perfectly.The soundtrack just like the mood, also fits the show perfectly.The OST knew when to make the show seem hopeful,and then SMASH it back into cruel reality and utter despair. The achievements of the soundtrack are even greater when you consider just how small it was .The distinct black outline of the characters may have annoyed some, but in my opinion, it was a new, creative idea that worked brilliantly. The show gives philosophical questions such as, "if you were faced with a tremendous foe, would you try as hard as you could to fight against it, or would you try as hard as you could to stay away from it?" .Attack on titan to a very large extent, deserves the hype that it receives. ALSO, DAT OPENING THOUGH (you know which one i'm talking about....)
Posted 5/29/14
1. Tits
2. Explosions
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Posted 5/29/14
havin just re-watched fate/zero i think it deserves god tier the animation alone is just amazing
and im thinking kuroko no basket needs to be up here at atleast A+ possibly god tier havin no desire to watch any sports anime personally this still was able to hook me and keep me interested the whole way through
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Posted 5/30/14

horobiru wrote:

havin just re-watched fate/zero i think it deserves god tier the animation alone is just amazing
and im thinking kuroko no basket needs to be up here at atleast A+ possibly god tier havin no desire to watch any sports anime personally this still was able to hook me and keep me interested the whole way through


Ya Fate/zero is definitely up there. But I think the distinction between god tier anime and A tier anime is, more than anything, comparison. Would you say that Fate/zero is as good as Mirai Nikki for example? Maybe I need to rewatch it, so you're probably right. I remember loving the show when I watched it.

As for Kuroko's Basketball, I 100% agree. I just started watching 3 or so hours ago, what a great show. The main characters, Kagami and Kuruko, are both drastically different so it really helps the dynamic in the show. Their attitudes accentuate each other's characters, which is helping them both develop together. As for the plot, basic sports plot, but the addition of the Generation of Miracles makes it all the more intriguing. Especially since they don't reveal them all at once. And, thankfully, the episodes don't lag on for too long.
Le_Dom 
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Posted 5/30/14
No way I'm gonna fit in everything I've ever watched but I'll take a few (5 per tier)
Top Tier
Steins; gate
Fate/Zero
Baccano!
Cowboy Bebop
Monster

High Tier
Monogatari series
Attack on Titan
Death Note
Gurren Lagann
Log Horizon

Middle Tier
Kill la Kill
Code Geass
Mirai Nikki
Space Dandy
Toradora

Low Tier
I want to avoid a flame war

Boku no Pico tier

...Boku no Pico
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Posted 5/30/14 , edited 5/30/14

Le_Dom wrote:

No way I'm gonna fit in everything I've ever watched but I'll take a few (5 per tier)
Top Tier
Steins; gate
Fate/Zero
Baccano!
Cowboy Bebop
Monster

High Tier
Monogatari series
Attack on Titan
Death Note
Gurren Lagann
Log Horizon

Middle Tier
Kill la Kill
Code Geass
Mirai Nikki
Space Dandy
Toradora

Low Tier
I want to avoid a flame war

Boku no Pico tier

...Boku no Pico


Hmm, I'd like to discuss at least, see why you think most of them belong where you place them. I have Attack on Titan, Gurren Lagann, Mirai Nikki, and Death Note all placed higher than Fate/Zero. As for Cowboy Bebop, that was probably the only really good anime show I haven't finished (started it like 4 years ago but never got passed episode 16, kinda bummed lol). So I think that one definitely does deserve top tier. But yeah, if you could give some rationale behind your reasoning, I'd appreciate that.


EDIT: Why did I ever google Boku no Pico. That was something I really didn't need to see this morning lol.
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