Anime includes a wide variety of genres and subjects that appeal to viewers of all ages. It has everything a person might want in terms of substance. In all of the anime’s diverse genres, the superhero fiction genre is the oldest and one of the most popular in anime.
If we talk about what kind of genre “superhero fiction” is, then it is a genre of speculative fiction examining the adventures, personalities, and ethics of costumed crime fighters known as superheroes, who often possess superhuman powers and battle similarly powered criminals known as supervillains. The genre primarily falls between the hard fantasy and soft science fiction spectrums of scientific realism.
So, without further ado, let’s look at the top 17 best superhero anime of all time.
17. Powerpuff Girls Z
Powerpuff Girls Z is a 2006 Japanese anime series directed by Megumu Ishiguro that is based on the American animated television series The Powerpuff Girls. The anime was co-produced by Cartoon Network Japan and Aniplex and was animated by Toei Animation.
The plot of this anime is as follows: Professor Utonium and his son Ken have been assigned to study the mysterious chemical X, which mutates and reacts when buns are dropped into it, becoming Chemical Z. When a strange glacier appears in Tokyo Bay, Ken uses a ray of Chemical Z to break it apart, causing several black rays of light to fall through the city.
When the rays strike objects, animals, or people, they turn into monsters. However, three white lights also break away and strike three ordinary girls, who gain the power to transform into Powerpuff Zs.
16. A Certain Scientific Railgun
A Certain Scientific Railgun is a dark adventure/sci-fi series produced by Studio J.C. Staff. It is directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai and written by Seishi Minakami. This series aired on AT-X, Chiba TV, MBS, Teletama, TVK, and Tokyo MX from October 3, 2009, to March 20, 2010.
This anime is set in the futuristic Academy City, which is made up of 80% of students, many of whom are espers, possessing unique psychic powers. Mikoto Misaka is an electro master who is the third strongest of a mere seven espers who have been given the rank of Level 5. The series focuses on the exploits of Mikoto and her friends, Kuroko Shirai, Kazari Uiharu, and Ruiko Satan, prior to and during the events of A Certain Magical Index.
15. Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a dark fantasy/magical girl series produced by Studio Shaft. It is directed by Akiyuki Shinbo and Yukihiro Miyamoto and written by Gen Urobuchi. This series aired on JNN (MBS, TBS, CBC) from January 7, 2011 to April 21, 2011.
The story follows a group of middle school girls, led by protagonist Madoka Kaname, who make supernatural contracts to become magical girls. In battling surreal enemies known as “witches,” they learn of the anguish and peril associated with their new roles.
14. Astro Fighter Sunred
Astro Fighter Sunred is a comedy/superhero series produced by Studio AIC A.S.T.A.. It is directed by Seiji Kishi and written by Makoto Uezu. This series aired on KIDS STATION, TV Kanagawa from October 3, 2008, to March 27, 2009.
This series follows Astro Fighter Sunred, who is a powerful, battle-tested hero of many years. He has sold his super bike, which is seen in the opening credits. Now he smokes a lot, is effectively unemployed, and lives by the grace of his girlfriend, Kayoko Uchida. His arch enemies in the Evil Florsheim Army are still trying to take over the world.
Under the direction of their local leader, Vamp, they help members of the community, run a cooking show, assist Kayoko Uchida whenever possible, and try to attack the ever-powerful Sunred.
13. Punch Line
Punch Line is an adventure/supernatural series directed by Yutaka Uemura and produced by MAPPA. It aired on Fuji TV (Noitamina) from April 9, 2015, to June 25, 2015.
This series follows the life of Yuta Iridatsu, who lives at the Korai House apartment complex with four girls: Mikatan Narugino, Ito Hikiotani, Meika Daihatsu, and Lovera Chichibu. One day, following a bus jacking incident, Yuta finds himself ejected from his own body and becomes a spirit.
Guided by the cat spirit Chiranosuke, Yuta must learn to master his spiritual powers in order to protect his housemates from the various circumstances they find themselves in. However, if Yuta sees a girl’s panties twice in a row within a short amount of time, the Earth will be destroyed by a meteor.
Charlotte is a 2015 Japanese anime television series produced by P.A.Works and Aniplex and directed by Yoshiyuki Asai. The anime aired 13 episodes in Japan between July 5 and September 27, 2015.
The story takes place in an alternate reality where special abilities occur among a small percentage of boys and girls in puberty. Yu Otosaka wields his power without the knowledge of others and leads a fairly normal, average school life. Before him, suddenly appears a girl, Nao Tomori. Due to his meeting with her, the fate of special power-users will be exposed.
11. R.O.D. The TV
R.O.D. The TV is a 26-episode action/mystery series, animated by J.C. Staff and Studio Deen and produced by Aniplex. This series aired on Fuji TV from October 1, 2003, to March 16, 2004.
This series follows Three girls named Anita, Michelle, and Maggie who are hired to protect Japanese author Nenene Sumiregawa during her stay in Hong Kong. In an incident where the “Paper Sisters” save Nenene from a disgruntled author, Nenene discovers that the sisters have the capability to control paper at their own will-an ability once used by her long-lost friend Yomiko “The Paper” Readman. Arriving in Japan after an airliner incident, the Paper Sisters move into Nenene’s apartment and become her freeloading bodyguards.
10. Guyver: The Bioboosted Armor
Guyver: The Bioboosted Armor is a sci-fi/adventure series based on the long-running manga series, Bio Booster Armor Guyver, written by Yoshiki Takaya. This series aired on WOWOW from August 6, 2005, to February 18, 2006.
This series follows Sho Fukamachi, a normal teenager who accidentally finds an alien object called “Unit” and thus changes his life forever. The unit bonded with Sho, resulting in a powerful fighting lifeform called Guyver. With this great power, Sho battled the mysterious Chronos and its zoanoids in order to protect his friends and his world. Unknown to Sho, the battle against Chronos will lead to the discovery of the origins of humans, their destiny, and the Creators.
9. Sailor Moon
Sailor Moon is a 1992 Japanese superheroine anime television series produced by Toei Animation using Super Sentai motifs. It is based on the manga of the same title written by Naoko Takeuchi that was published from 1991 to 1997 in Nakayoshi. Sailor Moon first aired in Japan on TV Asahi from March 7, 1992, to February 8, 1997.
The series follows the adventures of a schoolgirl named Usagi Tsukino as she transforms into Sailor Moon to search for a magical artifact, the “Legendary Silver Crystal.” She leads a group of comrades, the Sailor Soldiers, called Sailor Guardians in later editions, as they battle against villains to prevent the theft of the Silver Crystal and the destruction of the Solar System.
8. Astro Boy
Astro Boy is a science fiction series with a fantastic visual style.It debuted on Fuji TV in 1963, and it is the world’s first successful manga and anime franchise.
The series’ plot revolves around a futuristic metropolis where a brilliant scientist named Tenma builds Astro Boy, a robotic child with super strength, X-ray vision, and the ability to fly. After being created, Astro Boy sets out to explore the world and find acceptance, learning what being human is all about in the process. He finds that his friends and family in Metro City are in danger and uses his incredible powers to save all that he loves.
Zetman is a sci-fi/superhero series produced by TMS Entertainment. It is directed by Osamu Nabeshima and written by Atsuhiro Tomioka. This series aired on Yomiuri TV, Tokyo MX, and BS11 from April 2, 2012, to June 25, 2012.
The story starts off by showing who the players are and how Kouga and Jin were friends when they were young. Then the story makes a leap forward in time and follows the 2 main characters-Jin Kanzaki, a young man with the ability to transform into a superhuman being known as ZET, and Kouga Amagi, a young man with a strong sense of justice who uses technology to fight as ALPHAS.
The fates of these two men and those around them intertwine as they fight to protect mankind and destroy monstrous abominations known as “Players,” who, ironically, are the creations of the Amagi Corporation, the company founded by Kouga’s grandfather, Mitsugai Amagi.
Heroman is a Japanese manga and anime series created by Marvel’s Stan Lee and Bones. It is directed by Hitoshi Nanba and written by Akatsuki Yamatoya. This series aired on TXN (TV Tokyo) from April 1, 2010–September 23, 2010.
This series follows the life of an American kid named Joey who lives in an urban city and has always wanted to become a hero. Unfortunately, he’s just an orphan working part-time to support his grandma and himself. After he watches a toy commercial for a new robot action figure, Joey believes he’ll gain strength if he obtains one.
The only robot toy he can get his hands on is a broken one that was abandoned by a rich school bully. Feeling pity for the trashed action figure, Joey took it home to repair it. Little did he know that once he repaired the toy, it’d make his hero’s dream become a reality.
5. Samurai Flamenco
Samurai Flamenco is an action/superhero series produced by studio Manglobe. It is directed by Takahiro Omori and written by Hideyuki Kurata. This series aired on Fuji TV (Noitamina) from October 11, 2013, to March 28, 2014.
This series focuses on the male model Masayoshi Hazama, who decides to become a superhero, despite having no superpowers or the technology to create a high-powered suit. He becomes the hero, Samurai Flamenco, and begins to fight crime in the name of justice. Through a twist of fate, police officer Hidenori Goto finds out about Samurai Flamenco and his real identity, which leads to him getting involved in lots of trouble.
Nonetheless, these two young men will come face-to-face with the hardships of being crime-fighters while discovering what it truly means to be a hero of justice.
4. Cyborg 009
Cyborg 009 is a science fiction superhero anime series created by Shotaro Ishinomori in 1968. In this series, Tyrant skull runs the evil Black Ghost organization that kidnapped nine people from all over the world.
Following that, they conduct various experiments on them in order to transform them into cyborgs with superhuman abilities. However, a group of cyborgs eventually rebel against this organization and save the world from war. They also have to deal with mad scientists and supernatural beings.
3. One Punch Man
One Punch Man is a Japanese superhero franchise created by ONE who created the original webcomic version in early 2009. It is a 2009 self-published manga that is currently airing.
The story follows Saitama, who has a rather unique hobby: being a hero. In order to pursue his childhood dream, Saitama relentlessly trained for three years, losing all of his hair in the process.
He is so powerful that he can defeat any enemy with just one punch. Genos proposes that the two join the Hero Association in order to become certified heroes who will be recognized for their positive contributions to society.
2. Tiger and Bunny
Tiger & Bunny is a 2011 Japanese anime television series produced by Sunrise under the direction of Keiichi Satou. The series began its broadcast run in Japan on April 3, 2011, on Tokyo MX and ended on September 17, 2011.
The plot of this anime is as follows: Sternbild City is home to people called “Next,” who use their special abilities to protect the people around them as superheroes. These heroes solve cases and save lives so they can wear sponsor logos or acquire “hero points.” Their activities are documented on the popular program “Hero TV,” which picks the “King of Heroes” in a yearly ranking.
The veteran hero, Wild Tiger, has always preferred to work alone, but now he’s been assigned the rookie, Barnaby Brooks Jr., who has a different perspective on being a superhero.
1. My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia is a great anime series to watch if you love world building where superheroes and supervillains exist. This series features a wide range of heroes and villains with incredible abilities and strength.
This series is well-known for its unique storyline and fighting sequences, as well as the incredible world-building that sets it apart from other typical seinen anime. This series follows the journey of Deku who was born without power in a world where most of people have superpowers. Still, he never gave up his dream to become a hero.
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