The Best Anime Original’s of All Time | TheReviewGeek Recommends

The expansive anime universe offers many different tales with compelling characters, engaging plots, and epic moments. While some anime come and go, many deliver outstanding and memorable experiences. Anime originals can be equally daunting and exciting as anime based on manga, light novels, visual novels, etc.

For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best anime, we’d like to highlight the best anime originals of all time. From epic space adventures to intricate takes on classic fairy tales, these anime originals are incredible and deserve your attention.

Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll add them when we can!

Cowboy Bebop

If you’re looking for an incredible space anime with compelling characters and stellar animation, I’d recommend watching Cowboy Bebop. This anime features a group of bounty hunters who travel through space to collect bounties, fight evildoers, and spend time with each other. It offers a great mix of humor, action, and drama within its episodic narrative structure.

The characters are memorable and a joy to watch. From the laid-back Spike Spiegel to the cunning Faye Valentine, you’ll adore seeing these characters interact with each other. The anime’s villains are equally compelling, with each one posing a worthy challenge to our protagonists. The action sequences are impressive as the anime’s staff utilized great lighting and colors to make each fight pop.

The anime’s jazzy soundtrack only adds to the anime’s charm and makes specific scenes grander. The episodic structure gave the staff a chance to explore its storytelling differently. Some episodes will be action-packed while others give fans a deep look into its casts’ lives. Everything comes together to forge an anime that’s one of the best its medium offers.

Code Geass Feature Image

Code Geass

Code Geass is a great mecha anime that left an impact on fans in the 2000s era. While it offers epic robot battles and distinct character designs, many adore this series for its psychological aspects. In it, we follow Lelouch, a student who gets caught in a battle between the Britannian Empire and Japanese refugees. Before Lelouch perishes, a woman named C.C. grants him Geass.

This allows Lelouch to command anyone he wants as long as they make eye contact with him. With these powers, Lelouch seeks vengeance upon Britannia’s king for the cruelties he put him and his sister through. This anime tackles various themes concerning rebellion, justice, and politics in an engaging way. The anime’s plot twists are satisfying and will leave many viewers speechless.

Lelouch is a brilliant protagonist. He’s highly intelligent and brimming with determination. The anime spends time exploring his character’s conflicting morals like how his quest for revenge transforms him into a darker person. The mecha battles are well-animated and viewers will love seeing our characters clash. For those looking for an anime with pulse-pounding action and well-developed characters, check out Code Geass.

Samurai Champloo

Odd Taxi

If you ever wanted an animal-themed story that was mysterious and dark, Odd Taxi is a great anime to watch. It provides viewers with splendid characters with great depth and a story that’s rich with mature topics. Many characters in this anime deal with loneliness, financial insecurities, and social status issues. This anime offers some humorous moments to lighten the mood though.

However, many people will cherish this work for its captivating drama and mystery components. Furthermore, Odd Taxi has great animation and each character has a unique look that helps them stand out. Odokawa is a fascinating protagonist. Despite having a stoic persona, Odokawa harbors some pain and regret that makes him feel authentic and relatable. If you’re looking for another incredible animal anime that’s dark and thought-provoking, check out Odd Taxi.

You can read our thoughts on Odd Taxi in our full-season review here!


Psycho-Pass is a great sci-fi series that’s set in a dystopian future where citizens are monitored by their society’s Sibyl System to determine their threat level. Akane, our protagonist, is a new enforcer who vows to report the system’s shortcomings in the name of justice. While it won’t be an easy task, Akane’s willing to do whatever it takes to make her world aware of the system’s flaws.

Viewers will love how incredibly animated Psycho-Pass is from its glorious streets to its epic gun fights. Everything works in conjunction to give the audience something grandiose and memorable. Akane is a well-rounded and enjoyable protagonist. She’s intelligent, empathetic, and highly skilled. The supporting cast and Akane’s foes have fascinating backgrounds and personalities too.

This anime’s known to leave viewers thinking about its themes and ideas throughout its multiple seasons. It raises many incredible questions about society and morality, making it an excellent show to watch for critical thinkers. That said, Psycho-Pass is a must-watch for anyone who loves crime-themed programs that’ll make you contemplate life, technology, and laws.

Princess Tutu

Princess Tutu

Princess Tutu is great fantasy anime with sprinkles of romance, drama, and magic. This anime follows a duck named Ahiru who transforms into the beautiful ballerina Princess Tutu. Through her ballet performances, she helps heal the hearts of those around her. The story is well-written, with a narrative that intertwines the characters and their struggles in a captivating manner.

The characters have great depth and diversity. Ahiru is a lovable protagonist who struggles with her own insecurities and limitations, but as Princess Tutu, she’ll find the strength necessary to move forward in life. The anime’s animation is fluid and graceful, capturing the beauty and elegance of ballet. Princess Tutu’s classical music perfectly matches the story’s mood and tone.

It’s also used to enhance the emotion and drama of specific scenes, making them feel impactful. For those looking for a magical girl anime rich in intricacies and grace, check out Princess Tutu.

Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song

Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song is an incredible anime with breathtaking animation and a thought-provoking narrative. It depicts a world where AI and robots have become an integral part of human society. It features elements from multiple genres like science fiction, action, drama, and romance to help it feel special. Our story follows Vivy, who is tasked with preventing a future catastrophe.

Vivy is an emotionally intelligent AI who must confront her own limitations and biases as she carries out her tasks. Viewers will find Vivy awkward at first, but through her conversations and struggles with the world and its people, she’ll undergo sufficient development. This will make her feel like an entirely new character. In addition to having breathtaking animation and a soundtrack that complements the show’s futuristic aspects, Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song is worth watching.

Gurren Lagann

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Another fabulous sci-fi original that’ll get you pumped is Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. This anime is a non-stop, action-packed thrill ride full of motivational one-liners, well-written characters, and epic robot battles. It follows Kamina and Simon, two companions who find a mysterious robot and use it to head to the surface world. They meet Yoko, who explains the world’s being run by Lord Genome.

After learning about Genome’s evil deeds, Kamina and Simon embark on a journey with Yoko to stop this evil tyrant and reclaim the surface world. Simon is one of the best child protagonists in all of anime. He starts off as an introverted young man but gradually becomes more confident through the many trials he endures alongside his comrades.

This anime contains some emotional segments that will strike you at your core. These moments will shock you but are pivotal in helping our characters grow. The fights get more chaotic and intense over time. The final bout will give you goosebumps with how much power each side wields. For those looking for a story that’ll last with you for a lifetime, I recommend watching Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion is a well-known sci-fi anime. It’s known for focusing more on its characters’ mental struggles rather than the fights between its machines and their extraterrestrial enemies. With its mind-numbing narrative, stunning animation, and beautiful soundtrack, you’ll wish you’d seen this classic sooner. In it, we follow Shinji, a troubled boy with a rough past.

Despite the pain his father Gendo put him through, Shinji must set it aside if he hopes to prevent humanity’s destruction. This anime’s exploration into its cast’s psyche is one of its defining features. Shinji is a deeply conflicted person who suffers from extreme anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. The other characters are equally complex and come with their own set of issues. In addition to having stellar animation and music, Neon Genesis Evangelion has cemented itself as one of anime’s finest originals.

Revolutionary Girl Utena

Revolutionary Girl Utena is an incredible anime with a rich story and a strong cast. It explores deep themes such as identity, gender roles, power dynamics, and love in a surreal and enchanting way. The series follows Utena, a girl who strives to become a prince, but must overcome many absurd hurdles that will challenge her viewpoints about herself and the universe she inhabits.

The characters are diverse and entertaining to watch. Utena is a strong and charismatic protagonist who defies societal norms and expectations. Utena, alongside other characters, embodies different aspects of the series’s themes. It’s important that viewers pay close attention to their interactions throughout the story as they’re essential.

The animation can feel jarring for some people since it feels like Studio Shaft cut corners in areas where they shouldn’t have. Nevertheless, the action sequences in this show hold value and meaning and should entertain modern audiences. If you’re a fan of romance, action, or retro anime as a whole, give Revolutionary Girl Utena a shot.

So, there we have it, our picks for the best anime originals through the years!

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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