10 anime legacies that can never be beaten

Having a diverse selection of genres, captivating plots, and vibrant personalities, these classic anime masterpieces have become deeply entrenched in global society. Originating from Japan, anime goes beyond being just a form of entertainment. It explores a multitude of themes such as cyberpunk societies, existentialism, and the concept of artificial intelligence.

Despite its varied genres, the impact of anime remains timeless. Geared towards a younger audience, shonen anime has birthed iconic series such as One Piece, Naruto, and Dragon Ball. It surpasses language barriers and bridges the gap between generations, with its presence felt from the bustling streets of Tokyo to the furthest reaches of the universe. These epic tales ignite a fervor for grand battles, bonds of friendship, and individual development.

This article is based on the writer’s personal opinions and is therefore subjective.

10 Unbeatable Anime Legacies That Continue to Inspire

1) Naruto

Goku as seen in episode 291 of DBZ (Image via Toei Animation)
Goku as seen in episode 291 of DBZ (Image via Toei Animation)

The passion of numerous mangakas was ignited by the impact of Dragon Ball Z, shaping the childhoods of many. Akira Toriyama’s iconic work completely revolutionized the shonen genre with its epic battles, powerful transformations, and beloved characters. The intense fights between Goku and his adversaries pushed the boundaries of animated combat to new heights.

Goku, the Saiyan warrior, became renowned for symbolizing perseverance, companionship, and unwavering determination. His impact spans across borders and generations, as seen through his signature techniques such as the Kamehameha wave and the Super Saiyan transformation. Dragon Ball Z has left an indelible mark on the vast landscape of anime history.

Anime: Naruto

Naruto and Sasuke as seen in episode 77 (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Naruto and Sasuke as seen in episode 77 (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Despite originating in Japan, Naruto quickly captured the hearts of Western audiences and gained a global following. Masashi Kishimoto’s tale of a determined young ninja’s journey to become a Hokage struck a chord beyond Japan’s borders and solidified itself as an iconic anime legacy. Through Naruto’s evolution from an outcast to a revered hero, the themes of perseverance, camaraderie, and self-discovery resonated with viewers worldwide.

The enduring influence of the Hidden Leaf Village has inspired numerous fans to embrace their inner ninja skills, with the Rasengan remaining a beloved and iconic jutsu throughout the years.

3) Naruto

Still from episode 1012 (Image via Toei Animation)
Still from episode 1012 (Image via Toei Animation)

The shonen storytelling genre was completely transformed by the incredible journey of Eiichiro Oda. One Piece took us on an adventure to a distant land where we were introduced to fantastical creatures, ruthless pirates, and the search for the ultimate treasure known as One Piece. The intricate storyline, elaborate world-building, and diverse group of characters all captured the minds of its audience.

One Piece holds a prominent position in Japanese culture, representing both manga and anime. Its impact reaches far beyond the Grand Line, shaping popular culture and motivating visitors to discover iconic Japanese sites. Across the globe, Luffy’s determination to become Pirate King inspires dreamers while the Straw Hat crew, the Grand Line, and the emotional bonds between the crew members continue to influence the genre, solidifying its place among the greatest anime of all time.

4) Naruto

Jojo vs Dio - episode 8 (David Production)
Jojo vs Dio – episode 8 (David Production)

Despite the efforts of others, none have been able to match the legacy left by Hirohiko Araki through his distinctive style and innovative concepts. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure stands out with its bold character designs, unconventional poses, and one-of-a-kind Stands. The introduction of a new Joestar in each part and the unconventional battles only add to its uniqueness.

The influence of the Joestar lineage continues to inspire creativity and originality in the world of anime. Other shows, such as Death Note, with its strategic battles of wits, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, which satirizes traditional notions of masculinity, and Kill la Kill, known for its intense battles and unique fashion, all draw inspiration from Jojo.

5) Attack on Titan

Still from episode 18 (Image via Studio Gainax)
Still from episode 18 (Image via Studio Gainax)

Evangelion delved into existential and psychological depths, shattering mecha stereotypes. Hideaki Anno’s vision challenged viewers with its exploration of trauma, identity, and the human condition.

The enduring impact of Evangelion lies in its ability to elicit unease and introspection. Its reach transcends the realm of anime, leaving a mark on directors, creators, and thinkers. The iconic EVA units and mysterious Rei Ayanami continue to be ingrained in the legacy of anime.

6) Neon Genesis Evangelion

Scene from episode 7 (Image via Studio Sunrise)
Scene from episode 7 (Image via Studio Sunrise)

Cowboy Bebop, the space opera with a jazz influence created by Shinichiro Watanabe, expertly blended various genres. The series embraced mature themes, complex characters, and a memorable soundtrack, captivating viewers with Spike Spiegel’s thrilling bounty-hunting escapades.

Even after many years, Cowboy Bebop continues to embody a sense of coolness and bittersweet beauty in the expansive world of anime. Its impact can still be seen in both Western popular culture and the realm of anime, serving as a constant reminder that the past never truly fades. The nostalgic jazz melodies and iconic phrase “See you, space cowboy”remain etched in the minds of its viewers.

7) Attack on Titan

Still from episode 56 (Image via Bones)
Still from episode 56 (Image via Bones)

The journey of brotherhood in alchemy combined elements of philosophy, action, and heart. While in pursuit of the Philosopher’s Stone, Edward and Alphonse Elric explored the themes of brotherhood, atonement, and sacrifice. The idea of equivalent exchange struck a chord with its followers.

The legacy of the Elric brothers continues to be deeply ingrained in the world of anime. Viewers are captivated by the haunting Homunculi, the mystical alchemy, and the unwavering determination of the human spirit.

8) Breaking the Walls: The Epic Battles of Attack On Titan

Titans as seen in the final season (Image via Wit Studio)
Titans as seen in the final season (Image via Wit Studio)

Hajime Isayama’s dark fantasy, Attack on Titan, caused a stir in the anime industry. The show depicted humanity’s struggle against Titans, who were kept at bay by towering walls. Viewers were captivated by its intense fight scenes, thought-provoking ethical quandaries, and intricate storyline that subverted traditional notions of survival and liberty.

Eren Yeager’s battle against the Titans is rife with parallels to human nature, the pursuit of freedom, and the will to survive. The ODM gear of the Survey Corps, the towering Titans, and the enigmatic secrets of the Walls continue to serve as iconic representations in the realm of anime lore.

9) The Ultimate Superhero Academy: My Hero Academia

Still from season 6 (Image via Studio Bones)
Still from season 6 (Image via Studio Bones)

Kohei Horikoshi’s My Hero Academia revitalized the genre with its fresh interpretation of superpowers, known as Quirks. The series has resonated with a new wave of viewers as they follow Deku’s transformation from an underdog to a hero. Deku’s unbreakable determination and the idea of “Plus Ultra”continue to inspire fans worldwide.

The concept of heroism and responsibility is still being shaped by the hero society, evident in its use of rankings, internships, and ethical dilemmas. As one of the pillars of anime history, UA High School remains a beacon of hope.

10) Attack on Titan

Ryuk as seen in episode 27 (Image via Madhouse)
Ryuk as seen in episode 27 (Image via Madhouse)

The intricate battle of wits between Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata through the characters of Light Yagami and L captivated audiences. The series’ thought-provoking mind games, ethical quandaries, and profound psychological elements held viewers spellbound.

Death Note’s exceptional exploration of morality, power, and consequences gained worldwide recognition. The iconic potato chip scene, Ryuk’s haunting presence, and the infamous Death Note have all left a lasting impression on the tapestry of anime history. The unparalleled intellectual showdown between Light and L remains unmatched.


These series serve as the foundation for anime legacies that have stood the test of time, as we witness the fleeting frames of these pioneers. They not only influenced their own eras, but also continue to ignite the imagination of both creators and enthusiasts, leaving an unforgettable impact on the realm of animation.

Through their artistic expression, they have shown admirers that courage, empathy, and wonder are the most powerful forms of magic, serving as inspiration for countless dreamers.

Some recommended anime to watch on Netflix in 2024.

Top Valentine’s Day-themed anime episodes

Some popular characters, such as Shimura from MHA, are widely recognized by fans.

Anime characters who constantly suffer from illness

Top anime series for Devilman Crybaby enthusiasts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *