Some anime is good, some anime is great, and some anime is life-changing. These shows range from the classics that helped put the genre on the map to innovative new programming that pushes the boundaries of animated storytelling. One of the best parts about anime is that the stories are only limited by the imaginations of their creators, so don’t expect this list to be full of traditional fantasy and sci-fi sagas. If you’re looking for anime that will change your life, here are the shows you need to watch.
The first on this list is a fairly universally loved anime. A fascinating genre mishmash that transcends science fiction, Westerns, film noir, and martial arts, this 26-episode epic is a prime example of great anime. It features complex characters, a snappy soundtrack that keeps the story bouncing along, and tight writing that never feels like it’s diving into filler territory. Best of all, both language tracks are outstanding. Whether you prefer subtitles or Americanized dubs, you’re in for a treat because the voice acting is top-notch throughout the entire series. Cowboy Bebop is one of those few programs that isn’t simply quality anime; it’s also just great television in general.