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The Best Anime You Can Watch on Funimation, Ranked

Ochako Uraraka about to make the speech of a lifetime in My Hero Academia

What would you do if you sat down at a restaurant and you could order ANYTHING? Frogs legs? Hot Pot? Huevos Rancheros? Cat food? Whatever Kirby is eating?

I know what I’d do. I’d order one of everything, then panic, realizing that I’ve just bankrupted myself, and die. That’s kind of how it feels opening up Funimation. They have EVERYTHING a hungry little anime nerd like you could ever want to feast your peepers on. It’s too much. You might panic and die. Like me. But I’m here to protect you. I’m here to make sure that you can open Funimation and SURVIVE. Because the world NEEDS anime nerds like you.

So in order to look out for the health of one of my own, I’m ranking the top 10 anime on Funimation so you don’t develop a fatal case of analysis paralysis.

10. Samurai Champloo

Characters from Samurai Champloo
(Funimation Entertainment)

You like swords? You like samurai? You like smelling sunflowers? I have what you need. From the creators of Cowboy Bebop comes what I personally believe to be the best Edo-period anime on the market: Samurai Champloo. After a violent misunderstanding. vagrant warriors Jin and Mugen have just met the first person they were unable to kill: each other. After they are arrested and captured by the governor, a young woman saves them from execution and asks them to help her find a mysterious “samurai who smells of sunflowers” in exchange.

9. Steins;Gate

Makise Kurisu from Steins;Gate looking shy
(White Fox)

I hope you like time travel! Because there’s a LOT of it in Steins;Gate. Young scientist Rintarou Okabe has just invented the world’s first working time machine. However, when he turns the time machine on, he sees a colleague’s death! Now he has to go back in time and save the brilliant scientist Kurisu Makise from her fate, all the while avoiding a shady government organization who would rather riddle him full of lead than risk the existential threat of a private citizen owning a time machine. If you like thrilling sci-fi roller coasters, this is for you.

8. Mononoke

the medicine seller from Mononoke
(Toei Animation)

The only reason that Mononoke isn’t higher on the list is because it’s so SHORT. This is the most stylishly animated work in existence. Hands down. The colors alone will commit grand larceny with your breath. Mononoke is about the adventures of a hot and mysterious medicine seller who travels around ancient Japan exorcising evil spirits that are plaguing the country’s inhabitants. Before he can slay a monster, he has to know its form, where it came from, and its motive. So it’s basically a technicolor detective story of the supernatural persuasion.

7. Mushi-Shi

A man walks in a forest with a toothpick in his mouth in 'Mushishi'

This anime is similar to Mononoke, but far more understated. Mushi-Shi is about a traveling medicine man named Ginko who is a master in dealing with spirits called Mushi. What are Mushi? They are primordial, semi-alien life forms that live freaky-deaky lives. For instance, one mushi resembles a snail shell and feeds on sound. Usually they live in loud places, like under waterfalls, but sometimes they make their homes in people’s ears. Ew. This is where Ginko comes in! He’s basically a backwoods Dr. House who remedies people’s supernatural maladies.

6. Trigun

Vash the Stampede in 'Trigun'

On a lonely desert planet, a wandering gunslinger named Vash the Stampede (a.k.a. the Humanoid Typhoon) has a 60 billion double-dollar bounty on his head. His crime? Allegedly blowing up an entire city by himself. But the thing is, he’s a really sweet doofus who just wants to spread love and peace. And in Trigun, he’s prepared to do it one bullet at a time (so long as he doesn’t kill anyone). Two insurance agents named Milly and Meryl have to track Vash down so he doesn’t cause any more liabilities, and in doing so reveal the sci-fi origins of his mysterious past and the nature of the shadowy organization hunting him.

Related: Who Created Anime? on Twinfinite

5. Kill La Kill

Ragyo Kiryuin from kill la kill giving off rainbow light (image credit: studio trigger)
(Studio Trigger)

Kill La Kill is the greatest ecchi anime ever made. What’s ecchi? Basically softcore hentai. This anime is about a young woman named Ryuko Matoi who travels to a city ruled by a totalitarian high school in order to assassinate the student council president as revenge for killing her father. And she does it all while wearing a skimpy sentient sailor suit that draws power by feeding on her blood. How’s that for a plot? Kill La Kill is essentially a comment on the clothes we wear, along with ideas like modesty, shame, and acceptance of our bodies.

4. Death Note

Light Yagami from the anime Death Note

In Death Note, bored and brilliant high schooler Light Yagami stumbles across a spooky little notebook at his school. According to the inside cover, the notebook is a “death note.” Anyone whose name is written in the death note shall die. So what does Light do? He decides to use the book to purge the world of wickedness and become the god of a New Era. Luckily, a crack team of detectives are dispatched in a cat-and-mouse struggle to nab the megalomaniac bastard.

3. My Hero Academia

Deku looking alarmed in 'My Hero Academia'
(Viz Media)

My Hero Academia takes place in a world where 80% of the human population possesses superpowers known as “quirks.” In that world, Izuku Midoriyama is special. And by “special” I mean entirely mundane. The boy dreams of becoming a superhero, but doesn’t have a single quirk. After a chance encounter with is favorite hero, All Might, he ends up inheriting the mysterious source of the hero’s power. But since he can’t control it yet, he’ll have to go to superhero school to figure it out! Just in time, too, ’cause a rogue gang of supervillains are attempting to pull off a nefarious plot, and Izuku and his classmates are gonna have their hands full trying to stop it.

2. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Edward and Al in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
(Aniplex of America)

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a story about two—spoiler alert—brothers who attempt to resurrect their dead mother using a forbidden alchemical ritual. It doesn’t go as planned. Instead, the pair end up losing their limbs! The older brother Edward loses an arm and leg, while his little bro Alphonse loses his ENTIRE BODY and has his soul sealed in a suit of armor. The brothers embark on a quest to get their missing parts back, and in doing so uncover a government conspiracy that rocks the world.

1. Cowboy Bebop

Spike in Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop is the ultimate anime. The story. The style. The characters. The setting. The animation sequences. The music. This anime is a masterclass in cool. In a spacefaring age not too distant from our own, bounty hunters Spike and Jet roam the solar system catching space criminals to make a living. Eventually, Spike and Jet’s own brushes with the law begin to catch up with them, and the pair are forced to reconcile with the demons of their past. And they’re gonna smoke a lot of cigarettes and say cool one-liners while they do it.

(featured image: Studio Bones)

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