Is this really it? Are we really at the end? Sadly, yes, but don’t fret. We will go out with our heads held high. Nobody likes those series that drag on for four more seasons even after they ran out of story to tell. Or even worse, we don’t want to be that show that wows you for seven seasons and then turns into a
dragon dumpster fire at the end (*cough* no one in particular, just saying *cough*).
So yes, we will end our countdown of the 30 Anime You Absolutely Must Watch Before You Die with a metaphorical and emotional bang. Although varied in age and genre, the titles that follow are the best of the best. Some you will already know, but hopefully a few might surprise you. And the one thing they all have in common? They carry the TBG seal of quality.
If you missed Part 1 of the list, you can check it out here. If you missed Part 2, you’ll find it here. Without further ado, here’s the finale of our Anime Bucket List: 30 Anime You Absolutely Must Watch Before You Die!
10. Another (2012)
Based on the novel by Yukito Ayatsuji, the story follows a cursed middle school class that experiences an annual calamity: people die in gruesome ways until someone can solve the mystery of the curse. This is a fantastic, slow-burn type of horror.
9. Erased (2016)
Satoru Fujinuma posseses the ability to go back in time to change key events. When a serial killer plagues his elementary school, will he be able to save his friends? Tragic and suspenseful. We barely breathed through all twelve episodes of this show.
8. Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) & FMA Brotherhood (2009)
Okay, this is a double entry. Sue us. These anime are two different paths of the same story, and while you will often hear Brotherhood touted as the better, both are equally worthwhile. After an attempt to bring their mother back from the dead turns disastrous, two brothers embark on a quest for restoration.
7. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
Based on the incredible book by Diana Wynne Jones, this film is everything you love about Studio Ghibli. When Sophie is cursed with old age, she goes on the hunt for a cure and comes face to face with the mysterious Wizard Howl.
6. Ghost in the Shell (1995)
You have to see this stunning film to understand just how influential it’s been in the last 20+ years. It explores themes of identity and reality as Motoko Kusanagi and the Section 9 team hunt down the hacker known as the Puppet Master.
5. Akira (1988)
Set in the dystopian city of Neo-Tokyo, this cult masterpiece (about two best friends caught up in a secret, drug-fueled experiment to create psychic powers) is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. And if you get a chance, read the fantastic manga. Seriously, read it.
4. Paprika (2006)
There aren’t many movies that make us laugh out loud for the joy of what we’re watching; this is one. Master filmmaker Satoshi Kon’s final title, this is about therapists who use a dream-sharing device to help their patients…until it falls into the wrong hands.
3. Spirited Away (2001)
The most successful film in Japanese history at the time, and it’s clear why. This story always makes us feel like we’re ten years old again and following alongside Chihiro as she tries to rescue her parents from the spirit world. Miyazaki’s best.
2. Gintama (2006)
Thirteen years running, and we just can’t quit you, Gintama. The story follows Gintoki and company through many a crazy shenanigan, but don’t let the comedy fool you. This is a smart, sometimes even heartbreaking, show wrapped up in clever parody.
1. Cowboy Bebop (1998)
We were always destined to end up here. What more can be said about Shinichirō Watanabe’s legendary multi-genre anime about a crew of bounty hunters? Existential themes, film noir storytelling, and unforgettable music. See you, Space Cowboy.
Thank you so much for following along on our epic anime journey, and we hope you found a few new favourites along the way! Stay tuned to Two Beard Gaming for more awesome anime content, and don’t forget to let us know: What anime would you put on your bucket list?