Finding the most popular anime series is a tricky task since there is no definitive objective criteria to formulate it. Despite that I tried to formulate a list using “Google Trends” for this current year of 2020. This gives us an idea about which series the people searches more and thus we can find the most popular ones.
About Google Trends: In case you don’t know, Google Trends shows the popularity of a search term in a region for given time period. Google Trends provides “Interest over time” of a search term for a week.
Warning: There are lot of shocking inclusions and exclusions in the list. Honestly there is no real logical explanations for rankings of some of the anime series in the list. For example, one of the most popular modern day series “Attack on Titan” is at 92th position according to google trends in 2020. Since we don’t know google algorithm works and how these data are calculated by Google, take the list with a pinch of salt.
Note that Google doesn’t provide the list, I had to manually search each and every series I thought might have a shot in the list. And the Average trends value is also calculated by me manually. So there is a chance that I might have missed an anime entirely. All the 130 anime I analysed are listed below and if you find any popular anime missing that you think should be in the list do share it in comments.
Table of Contents
- Surprise Exclusions
- Top 35 Most Popular Anime List
- Table of all the anime I analyzed
- How rankings are calculated?
There are several notable exclusions in this list. Let us look at some of the mainstream anime series that didn’t make it to the list below.
48. Hunter x Hunter
#Rank – 48 | Rating – 55.55
Being one of the best anime ever, it could have been higher. But since no new season is on the horizon this might be a fair position.
53. Demon Slayer
#Rank – 53| Rating – 53.18
Demon Slayer had one of the best reception to an anime series ever for its first season itself. It is disappointing to see it so low in the list.
57. My Hero Academia
#Rank – 57 | Rating – 52.45
My Hero Academia is a fan favorite and has huge followers. It is quite a shock for it to be at this low considering the season 4 ran in 2020.
#Rank – 60| Rating – 51.45
One of the best manga of all time. Despite manga chapters are usually in hiatus and are released only once in several months, the fans are still excited about it as always.
61. Dr Stone
#Rank – 61| Rating – 50.81
Also another one of recent anime that become quite popular in recent times.
#Rank – 66| Rating – 49.31
It is part of the previous generation Big 3 along with “One Piece” and “Naruto” but didn’t reach the height as other two. With next season scheduled to release on 2021 one can hope it gains its popularity back.
#Rank – 69| Rating – 48.78
Though the people don’t like the sequel of Naruto as much as the original it is still expected to be higher. Most people still tune up to the show just to catch glimpse of Naruto and Sasuke.
#Rank – 73| Rating – 46.53
Being one of the best sports anime ever and having a great fanbase, it should have been higher. The fact season 4 aired in 2020 only strengths this fact.
75. Fairy Tail
#Rank – 75| Rating – 55.55
Another huge series that finds its place way low considering its fan following.
92. Attack on Titan
#Rank – 92| Rating – 37.71
Biggest surprise in the list with just 37.71 rating. Season 4 is expected to release in 2020/2021 which will increase its popularity.
98. Promised Neverland
#Rank – 98| Rating – 33.29
Manga ended recently and anime also was a great success. Considering that its position is a bit disappointing.
107. Tower of God
#Rank – 107| Rating – 30.34
Adapted from Webtoon comics, Tower of God is one of the fast growing anime series currently.
Top 35 Most Popular Anime in 2020
35. Death Parade
Average Ratings: 60.23
Whenever someone dies, they are sent to one of many mysterious bars run by bartenders serving as arbiters inside a tower in the afterlife. There they will participate in Death Games the results of which reveal what secrets led them to their situation and what their fate will be afterwards. The arbiters judges the soul either to be sent for reincarnation or banished into the void. The series follows Decim, the lone bartender of the bar the Quindecim bar.
Average Ratings: 60.3
It follows a high school student Houtarou Oreki who signs up for the Classics Club at his sister’s behest. Unfortunately, he is dragged into an investigation concerning the 45-year-old mystery that surrounds the club room. Accompanied by his fellow club members, Satoshi Fukube, Mayaka Ibara, and Eru Chitanda, Oreki must combat deadlines and find the truth.
33. Darling in the Franxx
Average Ratings: 60.94
The survivors of a catastrophic war against monsters cluster inside mobile fortress cities and train youngsters to defend humanity by piloting large battle robots called Franxx. The story follows a squad of ten pilots, particularly focusing on Hiro, an esteemed former prodigy, and Zero Two, a hybrid human who aspires to become entirely human
32. Soul Eater
Average Ratings: 61.04
Set at the “Death Weapon Meister Academy”, the series revolves around three teams, each consisting of a weapon meister and a weapon that can transform into a humanoid. They need to collect the souls of 99 evil humans and one witch to make the weapon into a “death scythe” for use by the academy’s headmaster Shinigami.
Average Ratings: 61.14
The series follows a samurai, Gintoki and his quirky band of friends, who take odd-jobs in an alternate version of feudal Japan that has been conquered by aliens. Gintama is a goofy series that will be a laugh riot. But it has its emotional moments too. It is no surprise that it found a place in our list.
30. Guilty Crown
Average Ratings: 61.64
The story follows Shu Ouma, a high school boy who comes into possession of a power called the “Power of the King” that allows him to draw out items called “Voids” from other people. He is then thrown into the conflict between GHQ and a rebel organization called Funeral Parlor which aims to restore Japan’s independence from the GHQ.
29. Steins Gate
Average Ratings: 61.85
Set in 2010, it follows Rintaro Okabe, who together with his friends accidentally discovers a method of time travel through which they can send text messages to the past, thereby changing the present. It has an unbelievably strong character development and an amazing plot structure. This is one of those animes that you could easily re-watch the early episodes and every time you do you will end up connecting more dots.
28. Beyond the Boundary
Average Ratings: 61.93
One day, a high school student Akihito Kanbara goes to save his fellow schoolmate, Mirai Kuriyama, from committing suicide. Following his pleas, Mirai suddenly stabs Akihito with a sword formed out of her own blood but discovers Akihito is an immortal “half-youmu”. Learning that Mirai is a Spirit World Warrior who protect humans from being affected by youmu, their lives become intertwined.
The series follows around Koyomi Araragi, a third-year high school student who has almost restored his humanity after briefly becoming a vampire. Cured of his vampirism, he seeks to help other supernaturals with their problems. Koyomi becomes involved in their lives, revealing secrets in people he once knew.
Average Ratings: 62.45
The series is set in a world, where there are several bizarre labyrinths, known as “Dungeons” said to be the work of Magi, a class of rare magicians. Djinns, supernatural beings that rule over the labyrinths, grant conquerors access to their immense power and choose them as potential king candidates to rule the world. Aladdin, a kind and young magician with his mentorr Ugo, a djinn and Alibaba Saluja seeks to to conquer the nearest dungeon thus starting their adventure.
25. Highschool of the dead
Average Ratings: 62.8
Set in present-day Japan, the world is struck by a deadly pandemic that turns humans into zombies. The story follows a group of high school students and the school’s nurse as they deal with a worldwide catastrophic event known as the “Outbreak”. In addition to the zombie apocalypse, they must also deal with the threats of societal collapse, even face situations that will question their moral codes.
Average Ratings: 62.95
Pokemon tells the story of Ash Ketchum and his journey towards becoming a Pokemon master. It is a long running series and it is a common household name. The Pokemon characters are quite famous among both the kids and the adults. With games and merchandise being really popular, it is no surprise that it finds a place in the list even though the anime isn’t airing now.
Average Ratings: 63.22
A young man is trapped within a video game as a warrior king, and sets out to make this new world his own empire.
22. Fate Zero
Average Ratings: 63.43
Fate/Zero is set ten years before the events of Fate/stay night, and tells the story of the Fourth Holy Grail War, a secret magical tournament held in Fuyuki City, Japan where seven mages fight in a deadly battle royale where the winner obtains the Holy Grail. The main protagonist, Kiritsugu Emiya, the foster father of Fate/stay night’s protagonist, Shirou Emiya, joins the tournament on behalf of his wife’s family.
21. Black Clover
Average Ratings: 63.57
The story centers around Asta, a young boy seemingly born without any magic power, something that is unknown in the world he lives in. Conversely, Yuno is a prodigy with immense magical power and the talent to control wind magic. Both aspires to become Wizard king and this develop a friendly rivalry.
It is a solid mainstream modern anime and the manga also is a commercial success. It is pretty obvious that it will find a place here.
20. Maid Sama
Average Ratings: 64.57
Once an all-boys school, Seika High has recently become a co-ed school. So Misaki Ayuzawa works hard in academics and athletics to make the school a better place for girls and eventually becomes the first female student council president. Despite her reputation, she secretly works part-time at a maid café.
Unfortunately, Misaki’s secret is soon discovered by Takumi Usui. Instead of exposing it he keeps it for himself and encounters various awkward situations with her. Misaki falls in love with Usui, who reciprocates, and the two soon become a couple. However, their relationship is troubled by Usui’s difficult familial past coming back to haunt him.
19. Kengan Ashura
Since the Edo period of Japan, gladiator arenas have existed in various forms around the world where gladiators fight in unarmed combat where the winner takes all, called Kengan matches. A street fighter, Tokita “Ashura” Ohma is scouted out by the Nogi Group CEO, Nogi Hideki. He is included in the Kengan Annihilation Tournament and the winner gets the seat of Kengan Association chairman, a position which holds immense power and prestige.
Being a Netflix original and releasing in late 2019 helps its popularity soar in 2020.
18. Code Geass
The series follows the exiled prince Lelouch, who obtains the “power of absolute obedience” from a mysterious woman named C.C. Using this supernatural power, known as Geass, he leads a rebellion against the rule of the Holy Britannian Empire, commanding a series of mecha battles.
This is another big surprise considering nothing happened in 2020 regarding Code Geass but the show is a masterpiece and has a great fan following.
17. Yuri On Ice
Average Ratings: 65.75
Yuri on Ice is the story of Japanese figure skater Yuri Katsuki who suffers crushing loss at the Grand Prix Final. Feeling dejected and depressed, he finishes up college and returns home to sort out his life. One night he performs a routine originally skated by his idol Victor Nikiforov, which a few local kids capture on video and post online. Victor himself sees the clip and decides to be his coach and train him to win.
16. One Punch Man
One Punch Man takes place in a superhero world which is continuously ravaged by villains. Saitama, the main protagonist is highly powerful that he needs only one punch to kill his enemies. It is a satirical parody on the whole Shounen Genre but coupled with great story and characterization. Since season 2 came in 2020 its popularity gained this year.
One Punch Man is one of the best modern anime currently and its popularity only keeps increasing. The comedy and its satirical take on superheroes and shonen genre as a whole makes it one of the most entertaining series to watch.
15. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
It is a story about Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse who set on a journey hoping to restore their bodies, which were lost when they attempted to resurrect their deceased mother using alchemy. The plot goes in a very fast pace always filled with mystery and suspense.
Often sited as one of the best made anime ever it is no surprise it finds a place this high on the list.
14. Mirai Nikki / Future Diary
Average Ratings: 68.07
The plot depicts the Diary Game, a deadly battle royal between 12 different individuals who are given “Future Diaries”, special diaries that can predict the future, by Deus Ex Machina, the God of Time and Space, with the last survivor becoming his heir.
This is an unexpected entry here as there was nothing happening in 2020 about this anime and the show isn’t even that famous.
13. The Rising of the Shield Hero
The story is about a man summoned in a parallel world who is equipped with only a shield is chosen to be one of the world’s great defenders. But when a cruel betrayal shatters his reputation, he tries to regain the public’s trust while fighting evil alongside a few devoted allies.
This is a fairly recent anime as it aired in 2019 and that might be a reason for its very high position.
12. Tokyo Ghoul
Average Ratings: 68.48
A Tokyo college student is attacked by a ghoul, a superpowered human who feeds on human flesh. He survives, but has become part ghoul and becomes a fugitive on the run. A beautifully written show with an unique plot line that questions the concept of ”survival of the fittest” and portrays the war between two species to become the dominant race.
11. Hajime no Ippo
Average Ratings: 69.14
Makunouchi Ippo is an ordinary high school student in Japan and was always a target for bullying at school. One day he is saved by a boxer named Takamura and this inspired him to become a boxer, giving his life direction and purpose. It is one of the best sports based anime ever and it is a fan favorite too.
Average Ratings: 69.25
Hiyori Iki, a normal middle school student was involved in a bus accident while trying to protect a stranger. This incident causes her soul to frequently slip out of her body, and she becomes aware of the existence of two parallel worlds: the Near Shore and the Far Shore, where demons and human souls linger. Through her soul, she meets the strange, nameless god without a shrine, Yato.
The reason for its high position in the list is unknown and like many shocking inclusions here I have no logical explanation for it. Only Google knows, I guess.
9. Kuroko no Basketball
Average Ratings: 71.23
Kuroko no Basket follows the journey of Seirin’s players as they attempt to become the best Japanese high school team by winning the Interhigh Championship, with primary focus on Kagami and Kuroko. To reach their goal, they have to cross pathways with several powerful teams, some of which have one of the five players with godlike abilities, whom Kuroko and Taiga make a pact to defeat.
8. One Piece
One Piece is a long running series and it follows the story of Luffy who wants to become the king of the pirates. It has amazing story, brilliant characterization and a great world building.
It is the best selling manga of all time and it is no surprise that it is very high in the list. With the series currently being in one of its most anticipated arc ever, popularity will only continue to rise even further.
7. Dragon Ball
Dragon Ball is a big franchise with several series and is one of the long running anime series. It follows Goku and tells his story from his childhood. It was the gateway for many people in the world towards the anime culture itself.
This is no surprise that it is in the top 10 of this list considering its popularity all over the world. Though there is no ongoing series its popularity shows no sign of slowing down.
6. Mob Psycho 100
Shigeo Kageyama is an average middle school boy, nicknamed Mob, a powerful esper with immense psychic power. In order to help learn how to control his abilities, Mob works as an assistant to con-man Reigen Arataka, a self-proclaimed psychic. Mob wants to live a normal life just like those around him, but a barrage of trouble keeps coming after him.
It is quite a surprise for it to this high up on the list beating other mainstream anime.
The show follows the adventures of the five-year-old Shin and his parents, baby sister, dog, neighbors, and friends and is set in Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture of Japan. Shin-chan’s weird, unnatural and inappropriate use of language and his mischievous behaviour often results in comical events.
This may be a surprise for many but there is a very good reason for its success. Shows that have kids’ fanbase tend to perform really well all over the world. Also Shinchan is being telecast still in many countries it should be no surprise that it holds such a high spot.
Naruto is set in a Ninja world with story’s primary focus on Naruto who wants to become Hokage, Sasuke who wants to avenge his clan, Sakura and Kakashi, their teacher who guides them. The story is ambitious and its characters are amazing and the series as a whole is a trendsetter for future anime series.
Even though the show has ended it is still a big fan favorite and the popularity is still high all over the world.
3. Highschool DxD
Average Ratings: 75.86
The story centers on Issei Hyodo, a high school student from Kuoh Academy who desires to be a harem king. After being s killed by his first date, he is later revived as a devil by Rias Gremory to serve her and her devil family. Issei’s deepening relationship with Rias proves dangerous to the angels, the fallen angels, and the devils.
Another surprising inclusion in the list. But considering the series was a huge success upon its release and it has a cult following, it should have been no surprise for it be this high here.
Doraemon is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Fujiko Fujio. The story is about an earless robotic cat named Doraemon, who time travels from the 22nd century to aid a boy named Nobita Nobi.
It is the most popular kids anime from Japan and has found success all over the world. With telecast still in several countries the popularity remains high.
1. JoJo Bizarre Adventures
Tells the story of the Joestar family, who are possessed with intense psychic strength, and the adventures each member encounters throughout their lives. One of the most unique things about the series is it has different story with different protagonist for each arc while still having a lore and continuity.
It should be no surprise to find it in the first place. With its enormous influence in Social media and the meme culture, and its huge fanbase, it is inevitable that it is at the top of the list.
I have listed the details of all the anime I considered.
Consider the following rankings just to be an approximation since there are several more lesser known anime that aren’t listed below. But the ratings are perfectly valid based on google trends.
Rankings from Last to Best
|130||The Misfit of Demon King Academy||5.13|
|127||Japan Sinks 2020||9.76|
|126||God of High School||10.69|
|124||Kiss Him, Not Me||19.3|
|121||My Teen Romantic Comedy||20.43|
|114||Made in Abyss||27.56|
|113||Sword Gai: The Animation||27.83|
|111||Kaguya Sama – Love is War||29.61|
|110||Sword Art Online||29.64|
|107||Tower of God||30.34|
|106||Akame ga kill||31.1|
|93||Terror in Resonance||37.58|
|92||Attack On Titan||37.71|
|88||Case Closed Conan||40.56|
|85||Ushio and Tora||41.16|
|84||Danganronpa: The Animation||41.23|
|83||The Pet Girl of Sakurasou||42.63|
|81||Kill la KIll||43.13|
|80||The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiyaa||43.36|
|79||Cells at Work!||44.18|
|78||Seven deadly sins||44.31|
|65||Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica||49.5|
|64||How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord||50.49|
|57||My Hero Academia||52.45|
|56||Yu Yu Hakuso||52.7|
|52||Ouran High School Host Club||53.2|
|50||That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime||54.16|
|48||Hunter x Hunter||55.55|
|47||The Devil Is a Part Timer||55.78|
|45||Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day||56.48|
|43||Darker than Black||56.79|
|41||Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign||57.83|
|40||Bungo Stray Dogs||58.87|
|39||Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works||58.87|
|33||Darling in the Franxx||60.94|
|28||Beyond the Boundary||61.93|
|25||Highschool of the dead||62.8|
|17||Yuri On Ice||65.75|
|16||One Punch Man||67|
|13||The Rising of the Shield Hero||68.38|
|11||Hajime no Ippo||69.14|
|6||Mob Pyscho 101||74.57|
|1||JoJo Bizarre Adventures||78.64|
How Ratings are calculated?
After putting a list that will make the readers question its authenticity, I think I need to justify the the logic behind the ratings of the series. Calculating the ratings in google trends is pretty simple.
In case you don’t know, Google Trends shows the popularity of a search term in a region for given time period with its criters “Interest over time“.
Interest over time: Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means there was not enough data for this term.
- Go to trends.google.com and choose the needed anime series.
- Then choose location as worldwide.
- Then choose time filter for 2020.
I will show an illustration with following two shows “Attack on Titan” and “Jojo Bizarre Adventure”.
As you can see the google trend is way more for Jojo which is touching 70s constantly than Attack on Titan which is 25 to 50 range in 2020.
I tried my best to formulate this list objectively based on stats and even I am surprised at many of the entries here. If you have an anime that you think should be on this list do share it on the comments.
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