Animation in Japan is on a whole other level to the rest of the world. Whereas for most cultures animation is primarily aimed towards younger audiences, in Japan the medium covers any topic you care to think of.
From cookery and sports dramas to shonen anime aimed at teens, wading through the thousands of anime series which have been made over the last few decades can be something of a minefield. Discovering the real gems isn't made any easier by the fact that some series have been running for many seasons, so it's always good to be doubly sure it'll be worth your time before dipping in.
Inevitably when putting together a list such as this there are plenty of great series which fall by the wayside, with quite literally hundreds which are worthy of an honourable mention but which sadly space won't allow for. If you think there's a glaring omission here, feel free to hit us up in the comments.
Here are the 20 best anime series of all time.
Gankutsuou: The Count Of Monte Cristo, adapted from the novel of the same name by Alexander Dumas and known as Gankutsuou in Japan, might not be the most faithful adaptation of the book but it's certainly the most imaginative.
Transporting the action of Dumas's classic from ninteenth century France to a strange futuristic city in which technology feels like a hybrid of the past and present, Gankutsuou is as epic and operatic as any anime series you can name and feels every bit as substantial as its source material.
It's also an opulant feast for the eyes, with director Mahiro Maeda utilising a stylish Photoshop technique which renders the intricate patterns of the character's clothing as stark textures against elaborate backdrops.