AnimeBest Anime On Cartoon Network in 2023

Best Anime On Cartoon Network in 2023 [Updated]

What has been your best memory of all time? I’ll tell you mine! I met Ash Ketchum from Pokemon, my all-time favorite anime on Cartoon Network.

And oh dear, he was just the same as he looked on television. Those same sparking big eyes and that legendary red cap. I just couldn’t take my eyes off him. 

I was just about to speak and tell him how long I have adored him when hopping right onto his shoulders came Pikachu. Pikachu’s cuteness made me forget everything I was planning on saying. What a cute little cupcake he was. 

pikachu and ash

As I made one step towards Ash, I heard a loud sound ringing right in the curtains of my ears. The noise started getting louder and I couldn’t help but wake up. Why do alarms have to be so nasty?

Ash was no doubt my very first childhood crush. I still struggle to find his replacement. Cartoon Network has given us a golden collection of anime back during our childhood days. 

Be it the adventures of Pokemon, or the action-thriller Voltron, anime on Cartoon Network was the best thing that happened to me during my childhood.

The complex characters, intense storylines, and a world of imagination, where the sky was the limit, are all that are needed today. No wonder why the anime fanbase continues to increase. But where have these disappeared over the years? Why has Cartoon Network stopped airing anime?

Why Is There No Anime On Cartoon Network?

It was September 20, 2008, when Cartoon Network announced that they were calling off Toonami (the block that broadcasted the famous Japanese anime) due to low ratings.

But how can the ratings fall low? Anime was booming back in those days and it remains so even today. This boom in anime was the sole reason behind its departure from Cartoon Network. 

During 2000 and 2010, anime was not just a Television thing, but also an internet sensation. Teens from the West would directly go online, get fansubs of the latest episodes and watch their hearts out. No one needed to wait week by week for a single episode release. 

It was for this reason that the television audience hooked on anime was getting inconsistent. Airing these shows for a fluctuating audience was definitely not sustainable for Cartoon Network. 

cartoon channels

Also, with the onset of channels like Pogo, Hungama, Nickelodeon, and Toon Disney, the competition grew fierce, making it difficult for Cartoon Network to sustain anime shows that were mostly bought from other production houses. And so, the channel stopped airing anime. That was a heavy line to write. Let’s lighten the mood a bit.

Is Anime Coming Back to Cartoon Network?

Yes! It already has. It was not very late when Cartoon Network realized that it is incomplete without anime. And of course, ever since the 90s era, the anime sensation has been growing like wildfire. 

Toonami, the time block where Cartoon Network aired their first anime, was welcomed back on Cartoon Network in 2012, but was moved to a later time. Currently, Toonami is broadcasted under Adult Swim that airs on Cartoon Network. So that means anime is back on Cartoon Network.

And guess what? There is an anime with a crazy fan base already airing on CN. Which anime am I talking about? It’s ‘Dragon Ball Super’, a later version of Dragon Ball Z, and ‘Digimon Adventures’. These are the recently released anime on Cartoon Network! Cool isn’t it? I’ll talk more about these later, so keep on reading!

For now, how about swimming in the pool of nostalgia and visiting our old friends from those childhood anime days? 

Here is the list of the 10 best Cartoon Network anime that will definitely give you a blast from the past. Readers get to also have a look at the currently airing anime on CN. Trust me, I am a lot more excited than you!

Old Anime Series That Aired On Cartoon Network 

10. Voltron 

  • Number of Episodes: 124
  • CN Air Date: 10 September, 1984
  • Watch Link: Netflix

This ultimate saga of the defender of the universe has captured the hearts of almost everyone from the 90s, no wonder why it did. This anime was a visual treat that continues to hook anime lovers. 

Voltron was one-of-a-kind and had two different incarnations of himself. One being the five robotic lions, while the other being fifteen all-terrain vehicles. 

I was totally in love with the lion incarnation version of Voltron. What about you?

9. Bakugan Battle Planet

bakugan battle planet
  • Number of Episodes: 100
  • CN Air Date: May 9, 2009
  • Watch Link: Prime Video

What if you find yourself as the only person on Earth with some mysterious alien creatures as your only friends? I would be knocked out! This is certainly not the case with Dan Kouzo and his best friends. 

They happen to be the first kids on planet Earth who become friends with the out-of-the-ordinary aliens called Bakugan.

The adventures that follow ahead will make you laugh and cry at the same time. This anime surely had the most fascinating plot and continues to entertain us.

8. Speed Racer

speed racer
  • Number of Episodes: 34
  • CN Air Date: February 18, 1996
  • Watch Link: Youtube

If you loved playing ‘Need For Speed’ during your childhood days, you are no doubt going to be a fan of this one. 

Go Mifune, known as the Speed Racer, takes you through his adventurous journey with his revolutionary racing car, Mach 5, his girlfriend Trixie, his cute young brother Spritle, Chim-Chim – the pet, and his elder brother, Racer X. 

A ride in that car will be one hell of an epic adventure, right? I am really in need of a long drive. Not sure if modern-day traffic would let things be the way they should be. 

7. Gundam Wing

gundam wing
  • Number of Episodes: 49
  • CN Air Date: March 6, 2000
  • Watch Link: Youtube

Now if you are a science student and have known all the metals and alloys existing in the universe through your school textbooks, I have something new for you.

Gundam Wing from the Cartoon Network anime list brings a twist. 5 rogue scientists created machines called ‘Gundams’ when they discovered a rare and unimaginably durable alloy that is created only in outer space, and is named ‘Gundanium’. 

Five young boys trained by these scientists are then sent to planet Earth to seek revenge from the OZ military organization. 

6. One Piece

one piece anime
  • Number of Episodes: 1060
  • CN Air Date: September 29, 2007
  • Watch Link: Netflix

When it comes to pirates and oceans, ‘The Pirates of the Caribbean’ has been my all-time favorite. But wait, are you aware that the adventures of the pirates were long introduced to the world of television?

“One Piece” is a Japanese anime on Cartoon Network featuring a 17-year-old boy named ‘Monkey D. Luffy’, who sets on an exciting adventure, exploring the depths of the oceans in search of the world’s ultimate treasure called “One Piece.” 

I am definitely accompanying him in the search for this treasure. 

5. Hamtaro

  • Number of Episodes: 296
  • CN Air Date: June 3, 2002
  • Watch Link: Youtube

Based on a famous Japanese manga book for children, this anime is centered around a hamster named ‘Hamtaro’. He takes on the most amazing adventure with his fellow hamsters called ‘Ham-hams’.

What I love about this anime is that Hamtaro is curious about nature and his surroundings. 

Man! I really want my friends to be like him. Or at least I wish they were as curious as the hamster when we travel.

4. Sailor Moon

sailor moon
  • Number of Seasons: 5
  • CN Air Date: June 1, 1998
  • Watch Link: Netflix

Just like the name suggests, this anime is all about sailing across the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and basically the whole solar system!

‘Serena’, an air-headed crybaby, and her friends use their supernatural powers and become ‘Sailor Scouts’. They are Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, and Sailor Venus. 

Their fights for love and justice against the minions of the Dark Kingdom are all you need to experience the thrill of space travel. 

3. Dragon Ball Z

dragon ball z
  • Number of Episodes: 291
  • CN Air Date: April 26, 1989
  • Watch Link: Youtube

When talking about the best anime on Cartoon Network, you’ll surely hear the name ‘Dragon Ball Z.’ 

Goku, along with his fellow fighters, set on the adventure of defending planet Earth from the villains who happen to be intergalactic space warriors. 

What happens next? Well, for this one, I am surely not spilling the beans here for you. Watch it for yourself. Trust me, it’s going to be a power-packed thriller feast for your eyes. 

2. Naruto

  • Number of Episodes: 220
  • CN Air Date: September 10, 2005
  • Watch Link: Netflix

Can you even talk about anime without mentioning ‘Naruto’? This one anime on Cartoon Network left millions of fans wondering why anime was even removed from the channel. 

Yes, you can say that Naruto in a way represented the anime genre completely. 

My favorite ninja, Naruto, still lives in the hearts of people. Learning secret ninja techniques and hopping on adventures like no other, Naruto continues to be the game changer, a rebellious ninja, and an international sensation. And this series is a must-watch if you are an anime fan. 

1. Pokemon

pokémon anime
  • Number of Episodes: 1238
  • CN Air Date: April 1, 1997
  • Watch Link: Voot

Yeah, okay. I can’t help but land Pokemon on rank #1 of the list of best anime on Cartoon Network, for obvious reasons. 

‘Ash’, a Pokemon Monarch, the best Pokemon trainer in the world, and my childhood crush, sets on a journey of suspense, thrill, friendship, love, and destiny. 

The first Pokemon anime has finally ended, but the journey of this Pokemon Master still continues. Ash and Pikachu’s friendship will take you on a roller coaster ride of overwhelming feelings and a plethora of emotions.

Why Did Cartoon Network Stop DBZ?

why did cartoon network stop dbz

It wasn’t just Dragon Ball Z, but all anime on Cartoon Network came to a stop. But I got some good news for you! After the return of Toonami in 2012, the channel decided to bring a new version of the show. And there you go! You can now watch ‘Dragon Ball Super’ on CN.

Why Was Naruto Removed from Cartoon Network?

why was naruto removed from cartoon network

As I mentioned earlier, When Toonami was canceled, the channel stopped airing anime like Naruto.  Fans were disheartened due to the show discontinuing, but a few episodes were still aired just to give the anime a proper closing.

Recent/Current Anime on Cartoon Network

Dragon Ball Super 

dragon ball super
  • Number of Episodes: 131
  • CN Air Date: May 22, 2022
  • Watch Link: Crunchyroll

To all the ‘Dragon Ball Z’ fans, Goku is back on Cartoon Network! The Z fighters are back again as Goku continues his fight to maintain peace on planet Earth. He is constantly being pressured to get a job as a radish farmer by Chi-Chi but if you know him, then you know him. 

He ain’t giving up on his mission of protecting the planet and that’s what fans love to see! You can catch him live tonight at 9 pm. So what are you waiting for? 

Digimon Adventure

digimon adventure
  • Number of Episodes: 54
  • CN Air Date: October 6, 2004
  • Watch Link: Crunchyroll

Taichi, a 5th grade standard boy, who is on a quest of rescuing his sister, accidentally lands in a parallel reality called Digital World or Digiworld. 

The adventures show Taichi and his 6 chosen friends with 7 Digimon traveling in this strange new world as they try to find their way home back to the human world.

Wow! Why does all the adventure happen in the anime world? I find my life really boring looking at these folks! 

The current era is all about the ‘woke culture’. Justice, equality, and empathy run deeply within teens as well as the young adults of today. And nothing relates to the depth and intensity of this generation as much as manga or anime. 

Watching anime on Cartoon Network back during those good old school days makes me crave to live those moments once again. 

A lot of cinema and television would come and go, but those memories from the past and the impact on your childhood are something that’s totally yours.

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