8 of the best anime that Toei Animation has produced

An example of one of their more recent works (Image via Toei Animation)
An example of one of their more recent works (Image via Toei Animation)

When one thinks of anime studios, chances are, they're thinking of Toei Animation. Their work has spanned from 1963 to the modern day, and there is no shortage of legendary classics attached to their name. In fact, some of the biggest anime of all time is under their studio's line of work.

This iconic studio has worked on over 200 anime TV shows, which don't include the several dozen films also under their name. Out of the studio's hundreds of projects, these eight anime are arguably their best and most famous works worldwide.


8 of Toei Animation's best anime

1) Yu-Gi-Oh!

It wasn't always about the card game (Image via Toei Animation)
It wasn't always about the card game (Image via Toei Animation)

Toei Animation didn't produce every Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, just the first season and film. Still, it's one of the most recognizable anime of the late 90s, and it is up there with Magic the Gathering as the best card game of all time.

This first season ran from April 4, 1998, to October 10, 1998, and featured much of the same cast as Gallop's Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters.

The setting and plot were noticeably different in this version. Yami Yugi would more regularly do Penalty Games in a school setting. It's a little weird to watch for those more used to the more famous sequel, especially since several characters are exclusive to this version of the show.


2) Fist of the North Star

The famous old meme, as it originally appeared (Image via Toei Animation)
The famous old meme, as it originally appeared (Image via Toei Animation)

The manga sold over 100,000,000 copies worldwide, and the anime was also legendary in its own right. The "Omae Wa Mou Shindeiru" meme originated from this show, so there is a good chance that some readers are already aware of it.

Toei Animation was the studio behind it from October 11, 1984, all the way to March 5, 1987, producing 109 episodes in total.

It's a series with plenty of fun, action-packed fight scenes in a post-apocalyptic world. Kenshiro is arguably the coolest protagonist in all of shōnen anime, being the one behind the infamous "Omae Wa Mou Shindeiru" quote he would say before destroying some poor sap. This legendary studio also did the sequel, Fist of the North Star 2.


3) The Transformers

The characters looked like anthropomorphic cars (Image via Toei Animation)
The characters looked like anthropomorphic cars (Image via Toei Animation)

Toei Animation was behind seasons 1 through 3 of The Transformers, along with Marvel Productions and Sunbow Productions. The Transformers was one of the most influential American animations of all time. It was like a western version of a mecha anime that became a license to print money via its toy line.

Many cheap knock-offs tried to create similar toys to The Transformers, albeit to nowhere near as much success as the original. As fans of the show know, it's about Autobots (the good guys) fighting against the Decepticons (the bad guys) on Earth.

Toei Animation was also involved in the first movie, which was, unfortunately, a box-office failure.


4) Digimon (series)

Tai Kamiya on Greymon (Image via Toei Animation)
Tai Kamiya on Greymon (Image via Toei Animation)

Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon, and Digimon are three iconic anime series that many 90s and 2000s kids will remember. While Toei Animation only briefly worked on the first show, they were instrumental in delivering:

  • Digimon Adventure
  • Digimon Adventure 02
  • Digimon Tamers
  • Digimon Frontier
  • Digimon Savers
  • Digimon Xros Wars
  • Digimon Universe: Appli Monsters
  • Digimon Adventure (reboot)
  • Digimon Ghost Game

The quality of the shows varies from season to season, yet they're all a part of a well-known series that has seen some success overseas. Most of the time, the series revolves around Digital Monsters (Digimon). It has usually been seen as the more digital version of Pokemon with a greater emphasis on the overall plot rather than an episodic formula.


5) Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo

An example of how weird the show could be sometimes (Image via Toei Animation)
An example of how weird the show could be sometimes (Image via Toei Animation)

This show is one of the best surreal animes out there. The main designs of the characters should give away how bizarre the show is, and it can make less sense to watch it. However, it's far from being a dull show, and the comedy in the show can be a treat to watch.

Bringing a show like this to life is an impressive feat by the studio. The quirky antics of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo (the main protagonist) are easy to follow as a result of the great animations, even if the viewer can't expect certain actions to happen based on the absurdity of the show.


6) Sailor Moon (series)

Usagi is also known as Sailor Moon (Image via Toei Animation)
Usagi is also known as Sailor Moon (Image via Toei Animation)

It's hard to think of a Shōjo anime more iconic than Sailor Moon. Toei Animation was involved in several iterations of this highly successful TV show, including:

  • Sailor Moon
  • Sailor Moon R
  • Sailor Moon S
  • Sailor Moon SuperS
  • Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars
  • Sailor Moon Crystal

Usagi is unquestionably one of the most iconic female anime protagonists of all time. Her journey as a schoolgirl in the daytime and heroine at night was full of enjoyable drama.

It is worth noting that her character is portrayed differently depending on which version of the show one watches (or if they read the manga).


7) Dragon Ball (series)

Power scaling has varied greatly throughout the seasons (Image via Toei Animation)
Power scaling has varied greatly throughout the seasons (Image via Toei Animation)

Anybody who is somewhat aware of anime is extremely likely to know what Dragon Ball is. The series is undisputedly up there with One Piece as this studio's most famous work. The sheer variety of different shows under the Dragon Ball umbrella has made it relevant throughout the decades, with catalog containing:

  • Dragon Ball
  • Dragon Ball Z
  • Dragon Ball GT
  • Dragon Ball Z Kai
  • Dragon Ball Z Kai: The Final Chapters
  • Dragon Ball Super
  • Super Dragon Ball Heroes

This series is one of the most influential anime franchises of all time, with a character like Goku defining what it means to be a hero that children around the world can enjoy.


8) One Piece

The original Straw Hat crew (Image via Toei Animation)
The original Straw Hat crew (Image via Toei Animation)

One Piece is the best-selling manga of all time, by a large margin (490,000,000+ copies compared to the second place's 300,000,000+ copies). Unsurprisingly, the anime is one of the most popular and recognizable shows of all time.

So many fans of the show have been dying to see Luffy become the Pirate King and to see him obtain the One Piece. It has over 1,000 episodes already, and there are still more coming up (considering the series isn't close to being over by the time this article was written).


Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.