Anime Claims 28 of IMDB’s Top 250 TV Shows of All Time

By Kristen Olson

Curious which countries are behind the most beloved TV shows of all-time? The Internet Movie Database (AKA, IMDb) has spoken, and Japanese netizens will be pleased to know the Land of the Rising Sun is also rising in the ranks of television. In fact, 28 of the 250 television series are supplied by Japanese production committees!

While technically this is only 11% (compared to the UK’s 27.6% and the good ol’ USA’s 58.8%), the country still comes in as 3rd greatest TV series contributor.


The list (constantly in flux) is ranked by a formula which includes the number of ratings each show received from voters, and value of ratings received from regular voters. To be included on the list, a series or mini-series must receive at least 5,000 votes, and a TV series must also have aired at least 5 episodes.

But what if we singled out the animated shows in this list? Just as we thought, anime triumphs.


Of the 48 animated series on IMDB’s list, Japan has contributed the lion’s share coming in at 28 shows with the United States in close second at 20 shows.

Here’s those 28, in all their glory:

242. FLCL (2000-2001) 219. Detective Conan (1996-ongoing) 209: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007) 202. Trigun (1998) 177. Hellsing Ultimate (2006-2012) 159. Mushi-Shi (2005-2006) 158. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002-2003) 138. Monster (2004-2005) 137. Rurouni Kenshin (1996-1998) 133. Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995-1996) 132. YuYu Hakusho (1992-1995) 120. Samurai Champloo (2004-2005) 105. Fullmetal Alchemist (2003-2004) 92. Berserk (1997-1998) 91. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (2006-2007) 90. Dragon Ball Kai (2009-2011; 2014-2015) 83. Steins;Gate (2011) 80. Dragon Ball [North American version] (2001-2003) 75. Dragon Ball [Japanese version] (1986-1989) 68. Hunter x Hunter (2011-2014) 65. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 (2008) 62. One Piece (1999-ongoing) 56. Attack on Titan (2013) 48. Dragon Ball Z [Japanese version] (1989-1996) 44. Dragon Ball Z [North American version] (1996-2003)

…with the top 3 ranking anime coming in as:

32. Death Note (2006-2007) 28. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009-2010) 24. Cowboy Bebop (1998-1999)

Interestingly enough, 22 or the 25 Japanese anime are a decade or older- guess it’s time for more classics, Japan!

If you’re itching to know, IMDb’s top five TV overall series are as follows:

5. The Wire (U.S., 2002-2008) 4. Game of Thrones (U.S., 2011-ongoing) 3. Breaking Bad (U.S., 2008-2013) 2. Planet Earth (UK, 2006) 1. Band of Brothers (UK/U.S., 2001)

Which of these have you binged seen?