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Top 20 Best Anime of 2014

This article will count down the top 20 anime of 2014, as decided by the users on MAL. There are fan favorites, surprise snubs and even hidden gems. Feeling nostalgic? Get ready for a blast from the past... and yes, by past I mean last year.

by 5camp
Dec 2, 2015 1:17 AM | 496,746 views

Counting down the top 20 anime of 2014, ranked by their MAL scores as of the date of publication. The criteria are the anime must have started airing in 2014 and any DVD special episodes have been discounted.

Top 20 to 11

20: JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Stardust Crusaders (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders)

jojos bizarre adventure stardust crusaders Anime 2014
MAL Rated 8.24, Ranked #259
Spring Anime 2014
Produced by David Production
Watch on: Crunchyroll

Jojo's Bizarre Adventures continue in the third arc of the Jojo series, but this time it covers the story of Jotaro Kujo, Joseph Joestar's grandson.

19: Tsukimonogatari

tsukimonogatari Anime 2014
MAL Rated 8.27, Ranked #232
Fall Anime 2014
Produced by Shaft
Watch on: Daisuki, Crunchyroll

The continuation of the Monogatari Series Second Season, Tsukimonogatari continues to cover the adventures of Koyomi Araragi (Arararararararagi) and the various cute (yet burdened) girls he meets along the way. This "season" is four episodes long and covers the "Yotsugi Doll" arc.

18: Initial D Final Stage

initial d final stage Anime 2014
MAL Rated 8.28, Ranked #222
Spring Anime 2014
Produced by SynergySP
Watch on: Funimation

This classic racing anime finally reaches a conclusion with the four episode finale, appropriately titled Final Stage!

17: Akatsuki no Yona (Yona of the Dawn)

akatsuki no yona Anime 2014
MAL Rated 8.28, Ranked #220
Fall Anime 2014
Produced by Studio Pierrot
Watch on: Funimation, Crunchyroll

Top anime tend to be action or moe slice of lifes, but this smash-hit adaptation of a shoujo manga defies all odds, showing everyone that shoujo anime aren't just cheesy romances.

16: Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance)

Zankyou no Terror
MAL Rated 8.30, Ranked #215
Summer Anime 2014
Produced by MAPPA
Watch on: Funimation, Hulu, AnimeLab

Produced by MAPPA and with music by the legendary Yoko Kanno, this original supernatural thriller about a terrorist attack has all the ingredients for a top anime.

15: Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road

Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road Anime 2014
MAL Rated 8.32, Ranked #202
Fall Anime 2014
Produced by TMS Entertainment
Watch on: Crunchyroll

We're in the middle of a sports anime renaissance, and the second season of this cycling anime continues to prove its mettle.

14: Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun (Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun)

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun Anime 2014
MAL Rated 8.34, Ranked #188
Summer Anime 2014
Produced by Doga kobo
Watch on: Crunchyroll, Hulu

There are lots of self-referential anime about the anime and manga industry, but Gekkan Shoujo stands out for its hilarious character interactions and great insight into shoujo manga in particular!

13: Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus

Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus
MAL Rated 8.40, Ranked #154
Summer Anime 2014
Produced by A-1 Pictures
Watch on: Funimation, Hulu

Book of Circus continues the Black Butler franchise, where they discover the shady circumstances surrounding, well, a circus.

12: Gin no Saji 2nd Season (Silver Spoon 2nd Season)

silver spoon Anime 2014
MAL Rated 8.40, Ranked #153
Winter Anime 2014
Produced by A-1 Pictures
Watch on: Crunchyroll, Hulu, AnimeLab

Refreshingly different from both the creator's previous works as well as just about every anime out there, Silver Spoon continues to take an intimate look into the life of students in agricultural schools. It's no surprise anime fans like it-it's like experiencing nature without having to go outside!

11: Omoide no Marnie (When Marnie Was There)

when marnie was there 2014
MAL Rated 8.41, Ranked #150
Summer Anime 2014
Produced by Studio Ghibli
Purchase on the official site

Studio Ghibli never fails to appear on "Top" charts, and for good reason. The coming of age film When Marnie was There is another Ghibli work based on a foreign novel, specifically Joan G. Robinson's young adult work.

Top 10 to 2

10: Shirobako

MAL Rated 8.49, Ranked #105 | Fall Anime 2014 | Produced by P.A. Works

shirobako Anime 2014

While it was airing, Shirobako sat in the high 7's for its score and had remarkably few watching numbers. Its explosion in score and popularity since finishing comes thanks to a wave of positive word of mouth from fans. Now where is that sequel?

Watch on: Crunchyroll, Hulu

9: Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works

MAL Rated 8.51, Ranked #98 | Fall Anime 2014 | Produced by ufotable

fate stay night unlimited blade works Anime 2014

While it didn't match the runaway popularity, success and critical acclaim that Fate/Zero achieved, Unlimited Blade Works was still beloved with anime fans and was, at the very least, a massive improvement on Studio Deen's 2006 Fate/stay night.

Watch on: Crunchyroll, Hulu

8: Nanatsu no Taizai (The Seven Deadly Sins)

MAL Rated 8.52, Ranked #95 | Fall Anime 2014 | Produced by A-1 Pictures

Nanatsu no Taizai Seven Deadly Sins Anime 2014

Even though it was released originally with a complete lack of legal streaming options, thousands of anime fans gathered to watch this latest shounen smash hit. A sequel is already in the works.

Watch on: Netflix

7: Barakamon

MAL Rated 8.53, Ranked #90 | Summer Anime 2014 | Produced by Kinema Citrus

Barakamon Anime 2014

This adorable slice of life comedy about a young talented calligrapher and his life after he moves to rural Japan was a wonderful summer sleeper hit. The joy of watching the main kid in the show was almost as much fun as an anime adaptation of the Yotsuba&! manga would be.

Watch on: Hulu, Funimation, Crunchyroll

6: No Game No Life

MAL Rated 8.55, Ranked #83 | Spring Anime 2014 | Produced by Madhouse

no game no life Anime 2014

Guess what? Anime fans like stories about guys who kick butt in video games, being dropped into a video game world and then kicking butt there. Bonus points if it has a colourful, unique art style more reminiscent of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure than any other light novel adaptation. Sometimes it's the little things that make you stand above the crowd.

Watch on: Crunchyroll, Hulu

5: Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu (Parasyte: The Maxim)

MAL Rated 8.64, Ranked #55 | Fall Anime 2014 | Produced by Madhouse

Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu Anime 2014

With the parade of samey light novel adaptations coming each season, perhaps more anime producers should look into mining older manga for their new adaptations. The Parasyte manga may be over 20 years old but that didn't stop it from being one of the biggest hits of the year.

Watch on: Crunchyroll, Hulu

4: Haikyuu!!

MAL Rated 8.68, Ranked #43 | Spring Anime 2014 | Produced by Production I.G

haikyuu Anime 2014

Remember once upon a time when anime fans used to refuse to watch sports anime? When no matter how many people told you Hajime no Ippo was one of the best anime ever, anime fans still wouldn't watch it? Between the recent popularity of Kuroko's Basketball and now Haikyuu, maybe that is finally starting to change.

Watch on: Crunchyroll, Hulu

3: Ping Pong The Animation

MAL Rated 8.70, Ranked #40 | Spring Anime 2014 | Produced by Tatsunoko Production

ping pong the animation Anime 2014

Critic's favourite Masaaki Yuasa makes his way into MAL's top 3 anime of 2014 with Ping Pong the Animation, an adaptation of the manga of the equally critically acclaimed author Taiyou Matsumoto. Funnily enough, when you combine two of the most talented people working in anime and manga, the end result is something quite incredible.

Watch on: Funimation, Hulu, AnimeLab

2: Mushishi Zoku Shou 2nd Season

MAL Rated 8.92, Ranked #14 | Fall Anime 2014 | Produced by Artland

mushishi zoku shou Anime 2014

In reality the various seasons, spinoffs and single episode specials could have taken up half of this list on their own. But instead, we just compiled them all into this one single entry to celebrate just how wonderful it was to see Mushishi again. And unexpected too, given that it took us 9 years before we finally saw this long awaited sequel. It was worth the wait.

Watch on: Crunchyroll, AnimeLab

Top Anime of 2014

1: Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April)

MAL Rated 8.93, Ranked #13 | Fall Anime 2014 | Produced by A-1 Pictures

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso Anime 2014

Every now and then an anime shows up in the Noitamina timeslot that reminds us why we wait so eagerly for their next announcement. We already have Terror in Resonance, Silver Spoon and Ping Pong the Animation from this season making the top 20. Right at the top is another anime from this time slot - the musical tearjerker, Your Lie in April! The blue-eyed beauty from the series, Kao-chan, not only changed Arima's life, but the lives of fans worldwide forever!

Watch on: Crunchyroll, AnimeLab

your lie in april Anime 2014

If you thought 2014 was amazing, why not check out some other banner years of anime?
Here are some of the best so far:
Top Anime 2015
Top Anime 2013
Top Anime 2012

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