Top 10 Animes I Recommend as of 2021

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I struggle with doing "Top 10" lists because I'm often afraid my favorites are going to change as I discover new things throughout the years, so I titled this "as of 2021" with the thinking that I will most likely post another top ten in the future. 

With that said, here are ten animes I love and would recommend (in no particular order):

1. Sailor Moon Crystal

I grew up watching the dubbed version of Sailor Moon in the nineties. While it has its charm and nostalgia. There were so many things wrong with it, so if you have not seen Sailor Moon, I totally recommend skipping it and watching Sailor Moon Crystal. 

Sailor Moon Crystal is basically a remake and it follows the manga so much better. The animation and art style have greatly improved as well. It's the perfect introduction to a magical girl series and one you can watch with your kids!

2. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Not a fan of magical girls? This one might change your mind. My husband actually got into this one once he sensed a darker theme. While you can watch Sailor Moon with your younger kids, this one I would recommend for teens and adults. 

I really loved this one because it took the magical girl theme and twisted it, one of the more unique magical girl series. 

3. InuYasha

This was the first "adult" anime that I really got into. I remember sneaking out of bed just to watch it on Adult Swim as it aired past my bedtime. Other times I would record it on videotape and watch it later. I had a couple of friends who were really into and we would rewatch episodes together. 

It would not be until years later with my husband that we would watch the whole series together and I still love it. There is even a spinoff now featuring the daughters of InuYasha and Sesshomaru, which we are eagerly awaiting season two. 

This anime has it all, action, romance, and adventure! Only the first two seasons are available on Netflix, but the rest can be found on Hulu.

4. Fruits Basket 2019

While I owned the original, I totally recommend skipping it. The first anime did not follow the manga very well and the animation is not nearly as beautiful as the 2019 Fruits Basket. The new version is awesome and follows the manga much better! This is one of my all-time favorite series, and I even shared some life lessons I learned in a previous post

The first two seasons can be found on Hulu and all three seasons are available on Funimation

5. Code Geass

This anime really stood out to me as it was once again, different! A boy is given the power to control others and he uses this to try and change the world to make it a better place for his sister. There are so many twists and turns, including the ending! I have also watched this with my husband and he enjoyed it as well. Not as much romance in this one, it's more action-based, but there are some little love stories here and there. 

It can be watched on Netflix

6. Children of Whales

This is my newest find and I fell in love really fast. I feel like I'm always talking about mental health, emotions, and self-care, and this anime comes along featuring those themes. Children of Whales is unique in that emotions are central to the story. It's about a ship that was exiled to forever sail on the sand because the people chose to keep their emotions, whereas the outside world has given up their emotions. The first season is currently available to watch on Netflix

My husband did not like that they seemed to leave out some explanations here and there, but I'm guessing it will all be explained later as the series continues. I still have so many questions and hope they make a season 2!

7. Ouran High School Host Club 

If you need a fun, silly anime, this is definitely a good one! It's about a girl who gets forced into dressing as a boy in order to pay off a broken vase and becomes a part of her school's host club, which is basically a bunch of boys who cater to girls. It's a typical goofy anime, but as usual, there's some deeper meaning that is revealed towards the end. Overall my husband and I really enjoyed it. The perfect anime for when you need a laugh! 

It is currently available on Netflix

8. Cardcaptor Sakura 

Cardcaptor Sakura was one of the animes I grew up with along with Sailor Moon. It's a cute anime about a girl who opens a magical book and has to become a magical girl in order to get all the cards back into the book. Netflix recently added it and I have been rewatching the series. It's just as good as I remember when I was a kid. It's also family-friendly, so you can watch this one with your kids! 

They recently continued the series with Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card, but I have not had a chance to watch the new series yet! The art looks beautiful though!

9. Violet Evergarden

Violet Evergarden is about a feral child with no feelings, which became a weapon of war. After the war is over, in order to learn what "I love you" means, she becomes an Auto Memory Doll, which is someone who writes letters for others. Warning, you will cry while watching this, so have a tissue box handy! There are so many heartbreaking stories. I cried so much during the new movie that it left my eyes red for a couple days, but it was totally worth it! This series and the movies are available on Netflix

10. Romeo × Juliet

A spin on a Shakespeare classic! I really enjoyed the unique approach and the magical touches in this anime. Definitely recommend this one if you are looking for a romance and drama series. Currently can be watched on Funimation.