Top 10 Most Beautiful Anime


A ranking of the most beautifully illustrated and animated anime highlights some of the most sumptuous and aesthetically pleasing titles Japanese animation has to offer.

The ranking, which defines “beautiful composition” as “well executed scenery, expressions and motion” whilst specifically excluding consideration of story, character design, music and so on:

1. Time of Eve

2. Hanasaku Iroha

3. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai

4. 5 Centimeters Per Second

5. Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko

6. Clannad

7. Angel Beats!

8. GitS: Stand Alone Complex

9. Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance

10. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Moeblob haters will doubtless be delighted to finally encounter a ranking free of K-ON!, which came only 14th, sandwiched in between Hourou Musuko and Gosick.

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    Avatar of Odysseus
    Comment by Odysseus
    00:09 16/05/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I won't say that Hanasaku, Ano Hana, and Denpa aren't quite lovely, but I do think that this list tends a bit too heavily towards the current season, and neglects quite a few very well animated films. Perhaps inclusion of the other forty might be of interest? (And since I know a bunch of you can't read Japanese).

    11. Natsume Yuujin Chou
    12. Nausica of the Valley of the Winds
    13. Hourou Musuko
    14. Keion!
    15. Gosick
    16. True Tears
    16. A Certain Scientific Railgun
    16. Oreimo/My Little Sister
    19. TVA Mushishi
    20. Sayonara no Tsubasa
    21. Hakuouki
    22. Toradora!
    23. Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works
    24. PlanetES
    25. Kannagi
    26. ARIA
    27. Innocence
    28. Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi/Spirited Away
    29. Aoi Hana
    30. CANAAN
    31. Ga-Rei:Zero
    31. Mononoke Hime
    33. Strike Witches
    33. Sora no Woto
    35. Kamichu!
    35. STAR DRIVER Kagayaki no Takuto
    37. Ao yori Aoshi
    37. Houkago no Pleiades (the one sponsored by Subaru on Youtube)
    39. A Channel
    39. Maria-Sama Ga Miteru
    39. STEINS ; GATE
    39. R.O.D. (doesn't specify the OVA or the TV series)
    43. Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
    44. Saraiya Goyou/ House of Five Leaves
    45. Saki
    46. Tamayura
    47. Old Japanese Manga Stories/ Manga Nippon Mukashi Banashi (I've never seen this one before, so just a direct translation)
    48. Yomigaeru - RESCUE WINGS
    49. Idol Master - XENOGLOSSIA
    50. Ibara no Ou - King of Thorn

    Avatar of Actar
    Comment by Actar
    01:03 16/05/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    I am happy that people still remember Ga-Rei Zero. Such a great series.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:47 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Natsuki's bike was so badass, sad they didn't use it later :(

    Avatar of Shima-kun989
    Comment by Shima-kun989
    03:10 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Natsuki's bike was so badass, sad they didn't use it later :(

    Avatar of Shima-kun989
    Comment by Shima-kun989
    01:44 16/05/2011 # ! Good (+0.3)

    Epic troll is epic, i really don't quite know how they got away with showing nearly none of the main cast for the entirety of the first episode.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:49 26/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    In the end it just turned out to be a prequel to Ga-Rei, huh...

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:53 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Don't forget Soukou no Strain. That one killed almost the entire known cast at the end of the first ep.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:03 16/05/2011 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    I still don't get why they introduced characters with background story just to have them all killed in the first damn ep.
    Didn't like it...

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:03 16/05/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    lol, no paprika or millenium actress. another case of complete incompetence.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:31 16/05/2011 # ! Drivel (-1.0)

    Complaining about the lack of Ghibli, another case of crazed fanboism

    Avatar of TehBoringOne
    Comment by TehBoringOne
    01:58 16/05/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Those aren't Ghibli works but Satoshi Kon's (RIP), another case of complete ignorance.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:56 16/05/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Unfortunately, s/he does have a point.
    Some of the vista's and "scenery" in their works are quite breath taking.

    In my case, I'd say a work like Summer Wars for instance. From the train station to the location of the house to the representation of the 3d world.

    So I also find the lack of their presence odd.
    Or to reference a movie quote.

    "I find their lack of awareness disturbing."

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:00 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    Summer Wars was by Madhouse I see..
    Odd, reminded me of Ghibli for some reason.

    Ah well..

    Still odd not to see them on the list at all.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:58 16/05/2011 # ! Drivel (-1.0)


    Get the fuck out.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:26 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    why are these list always polluted with most recent shows? Do these people have short term memory loss?

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:15 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    More like this list leans towards what people enjoyed rather than what actually has quality artwork put into it. Way too many shows in there that doesn't really have any special quality to the artwork or animation compared to every other show on earth.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:50 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I find it heartening to see Kamichu!, Aria, and Kannagi in that list.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:16 16/05/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    im surprised no one mentioned eden of the east..

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:12 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Eden of the East came to mind for me as well. Good call.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:56 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    more than Higashi no Eden, WHERE IS PAPRIKA!?! and The Sky Crawlers?!?! fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

    Comment by Anonymous

    "Hanasaku Iroha"

    This list is shit. Moving on.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:52 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    how does Kara no Kyoukai(garden of the sinners) not make this list? Another shit list indeed.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:10 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Feminists need to GTFO.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:37 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    aw SOMEONE's butthurt XD

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:05 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    WTB Explanation of what makes this list shit for having Hanasaku Iroha. Hanasaku Iroha IS pretty, whatchu talkin about bitch.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:49 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Iroha is basically about some wrinkled old cunt assaulting her workforce and being a general blight on humanity.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:24 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Never said it wasn't beautiful looking or the animation was bad just not deserving of a number 2 spot. I've seen better art styles and lots of anime with way better animations, so in other words this list is shit only compiled of most recent shows, aside from few. Its a pity people over look older shows, for years later when people vote on this list again Iroha will be a thing of the past overshadowed be the current trend of new shows. That's the real pity here.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:22 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    This list is talking about Beautiful animation, plots don't matter at all. The art of that series is one of the most beautiful i've seen this season.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:52 17/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Iroha animation es Awesome

    Comment by Anonymous

    The fact Iroha is number 2 on this list confirms that this list is shit. Moving on...

    Comment by Anonymous

    The fact that hanasaku iroha is in the list makes it clear its beatiful than ur average animation. U just too stupid too see it or maybe its that u r born imbecile so u will never understand it. Pity

    Avatar of CoolServbot
    Comment by CoolServbot
    23:54 15/05/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    Lots a new stuff, as usual. Does Japanese otaku have short term memory loss or something?

    Anyway, I love AnoHana, Denpa Onna, and Puella Magi's animation. That's it. But Gankutsuou, theatrical films, anything by Masaaki Yuasa and Kenji Nakumura are much more visual inventive/interesting to me.

    But even I'll admit that every anime on this list has some really great animation.

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    06:02 16/05/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Gankutsuou is quite similar to what Madoka attempted. I'm in the middle of Madoka, and I'm quite impressed with the level of commitment to the alternate world. But other than that, there's not much more that shines in it artistically. The animation is actually quite off in many places, with variance all over.

    Based on some of the things on this list, anime like Evangelion belong on there as well. But again, yeah, peoples' short-term memory plays a big part in these.

    I wonder if I'd like Madoka more if Sankaku wasn't such a fucking spoilerific place sometimes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:42 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    uh newsflash, no one made you look lol

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:39 17/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Newsflash, Sankaku reveals everything in the headlines and preview photos before you click the More-link.

    Avatar of Elcachetondelpuro
    Comment by Elcachetondelpuro
    04:24 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Agree, some Oshii movies had also beautiful animation too, and they din't make in this list.

    Avatar of Satou Tatsuhiro
    Comment by Satou Tatsuhiro
    05:56 18/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Short memory, yes. How come there is no Durarara or Bakemonogatari here?

    Avatar of VillainousHanacha
    Comment by VillainousHanacha
    00:05 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Having newer stuff on this particular list actually makes more sense, due to newer series having improved visual clarity over older series by proxy of being newer. Whether or not visual clarity is all that there is to beauty in Art/Animation or is it's most important factor however, is more complicated, and is up to the eye of the beholder.

    Comment by Anonymous


    Comment by Anonymous
    06:24 19/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    EPIC FAIL!!! Comedy the Animation didn't even make it here. A legendary anime with exceptional artwork too boot!

    Comment by Anonymous

    im just glad clannad is up there

    Avatar of Megidola
    Comment by Megidola
    23:42 15/05/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    I agree these are (almost) all very beautiful, but "Top 10 most beautiful anime of the last year" would be more accurate.

    Avatar of Shippoyasha
    Comment by Shippoyasha
    04:22 16/05/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    I think these are beautiful too, but I kind of think it should be called 'best background in anime list' instead.

    I'm personally more into the thematic beauty of something like Princess Tutu, Aria, Tatami Galaxy, Kaiba or even Panty and Stocking personally.

    Can't argue too much with just eyecandy though.

    Avatar of kenshinflyer
    Comment by kenshinflyer
    08:28 17/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's the catch when ranking anime by visual appearance. As we all know visuals evolve, especially that animation nowadays is mostly computer-assisted.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:45 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Half the stuff on this list didn't come out last year.

    Comment by Anonymous


    thas coz its older than last year dumbass

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:00 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Lmao anon 6:04, that's the point.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:44 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    ew, i smell weaboo (anon 6:04)

    Comment by Anonymous

    Eve no Jikan is right, but the rest...
    Ef easily beats most of 'em.


    Avatar of Jozle
    Comment by Jozle
    23:25 15/05/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    This, I give a thumbs up! Some gorgeous anime on this list.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:03 16/05/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    And I give thumbs down for some animes on this list.
    Angel beats I.E. can be a good anime but is not beatifully ilustrated, is more an average illustrated anime with tons of fans that try to keep it on the top positions of the rankings.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:55 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't get it why people bash Angle Beats so much. It had a lots of nice moments, awesome OST and left an impact on me especially at the end. So it pretty much deserves to be on that list. Also I haven't played the game so it's not out of fanhood that I say this. :(

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:35 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    SOME nice moments. The animes in these list were awesome ALL AROUND. Especially Clannad.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:34 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    What game? Maeda Jun developed the story for the anime before any talks of it ever becoming a Visual Novel ever came up.

    If they're developing a VN, it's due to the audience's demand. Also, though it's true that Angel Beats had a great impact on many (myself included) it had some fairly mediocre animation at points. I still think it's one of the best anime in recent years.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:35 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    so nice moments, awesome OST and left an impact on you = beautifully illustrated?

    Avatar of Uncommon0taku
    Comment by Uncommon0taku
    05:13 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You were probably away from your monitor when watching the panning of the campus scenes in Angel Beast, or missed the garden scenes.

    Although the quality started to slip half way through the series. I must admit.

    The list is good,... No derails coming from meh...

    However, in Strike Witches - the reproductions of the Naval Warships were uncommonly good. The detail on the Akagi were impecable.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:27 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Speaking of illustration and animation, Angel Beats has few good moments and few bad or very bad moments.
    Don't let the OST or the story to blind you, the visual quality of angel beats is not bad but is not awesome too.

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    00:01 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Wow, so much win titles.
    Fuckin' agreed.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:25 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well I wouldn't count Denpa Onna and Madoka to beautiful animes.
    Those Shaft-like "artistic" animes aren't really bad, but I prefer the classic art.
    And damn I agree with Eve no Jikan being first!
    I wish they'd make a sequel.

    Avatar of Shima-kun989
    Comment by Shima-kun989
    03:14 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm COMPLETELY surprised kara no kyoukai wasn't up here, i mean from the beginning to the end, my face must have been lit up like a disco floor, plus it had very "smooth animation" i guess cuz they are feature length-ish films

    Comment by Anonymous

    Kara no Kyoukai and Karas both should be up there. Talk about eyegasms galore. But I guess OVA's don't count when it comes to these lists.

    Avatar of Yourtime
    Comment by Yourtime

    I agree, but.. I think death note was a beatuy too .. :/

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