What in anime isn’t actually fantasy? Most of the series deal with superpowers, imaginary worlds, aliens and myths and legends. So it’s pretty difficult to make an accurate fantasy animes list. I personally think of a world full of magic, fairies and elves when I think about fantasy animes. Not every anime on my list has these elements, but I hope that I can bring you a little bit closer to some of them. I have also consciously excluded a few more famous ones like HunterxHunter, FMA and Magi. The reason for this is that I would like you to discover a new fantasy anime with this list.
Here are my top 25 fantasy animes:
1. Rage of Bahamut: Genesis – (Shingeki no Bahamut)
© MAPPA Co., Ltd.
Humans, gods and demons inhabit the magical world Mistarcia. In the past, Bahamut, an ancient spiteful dragon-like being, threatened to destroy this world. Still, the three groups overcame their differences to fight Bahamut together and banish its power with a seal whose key was divided into two halves. The gods guard one half and the other half is with the demons, so they should never be reunited, and Bahamut should never return. Now, 2000 years later, the world is in an era of peace. Until one day, a human woman steals the key half of the gods…
I enjoyed Rage of Bahamut: Genesis. The anime entertained me, and I recommend the series to anyone who likes the genre. However, there is also a somewhat insipid ‘taste’ left, which is due to the wasted potential and not to the anime as such.
2. Goblin Slayer – (Goburin Sureiyā)
© White Fox Co., Ltd.
In a world threatened by dragons, demons, and other creatures, a young priestess joins the “Adventurer’s Guild”. It’s a group of young adventurers consisting of a mage, a swordsman, and a martial artist to help fight against all the threats to humanity. The group of inexperienced adventurers accepts the mission to rescue kidnapped girls from the goblins. Highly motivated, they set off, but soon after, they are ambushed by the goblins…
If you like fantasy in a medieval setting with monster battles and don’t mind a bit of gore, Goblin Slayer is absolutely worth watching.
3. Natsume’s Book of Friends – (Natsume Yūjinchō)
© Brain’s Base Co., Ltd.
The boy Takashi Natsume is an orphan with the ability to see yokai (ghosts and demons). He often behaves strangely for others when reacting to beings invisible to everyone else. After some time, he learned how unusual he is and became reserved and shy. So it happened that because of his behaviour he was often abandoned by foster parents and has no friends. When he inherits a strange book from his grandmother, he finds out why he has this ability…
A calm, beautifully done but not very demanding anime about the interface between the worlds of humans and ghosts, which deserves more attention, in my opinion.
4. The Sacred Blacksmith – (Seiken no Blacksmith)
© Manglobe Inc.
The girl Cecily Campbell lives in a country where the “Demons’ Contract” was imposed after a terrible war. She is the daughter of a former nobleman, and she has joined the knighthood. One day she meets a man who defeats a few bandits with a stroke of his mysterious sword. He seems to have the power – of this now forbidden – demons’ contract. It turns out that the mysterious man is a blacksmith named Luke. By coincidence, Cecily has been searching for a long time for a blacksmith who can repair an old sword she inherited from her father. This meeting marks the beginning of their adventures together…
The realization of the Light-Novel “The Sacred Blacksmith” is well done, and for friends of this genre, this anime is definitely worth a recommendation. Great entertainment, which I gladly remember.
5. Hozuki’s Coolheadedness – (Hōzuki no Reitetsu)
© WIT STUDIO, Inc.
Hoozuki is the assistant of the great King of Hell, King Enma. With his calm and sadistic nature, Hoozuki tries to solve the ongoing problems of the underworld, such as a rampaging Momotarou or a staff shortage in one of the countless hell departments. In compensation, he dedicates his free time to his hobbies, which include raving about cute animals and growing Goldfish Plants.
The best thing is just to watch the first episode. You will see if you like the show. If you keep a straight face in the first episode, this anime isn’t for you…
6. Chain Chronicle: The Light of Haecceitas – (Chein Kuronikuru: Haecceitas no Hikari)
© TMS Entertainment Co., Ltd.
On the continent of Yggdra, where humans, ogres, giants, fairies and many other mystical beings live together, an unsteady peace has always existed. Despite recurring minor conflicts between the various parties and their respective kings, the inhabitants of Yggdra lived a peaceful life under the protection and guidance of the Holy King – but all this suddenly changed when the mysterious Black Army led by the Black King invaded the land…
Chain Chronicle is a beautiful anime but gives away its potential. To be honest, I find that very sad, because I really liked the world and the characters. Nevertheless, I still recommend it to fans of the action-fantasy genre since I had a good time with the anime. It’s also not really long (only 12 episodes).
7. Made in Abyss – (Meido in Abisu)
© Kinema Citrus Co., Ltd.
The story is about a young girl named Riko who lives in the town of Orth. This town is surrounded by a huge and mysterious ravine called Abyss. Riko is a treasure hunter who, one day, finds an unconscious android boy in the Abyss, brings him back to her home, and names him Reg (after a dog she once had). Reg has metal arms that can be extended, and a kind of ray gun has been built into them. But Reg has no memories. During his stay, Riko and Reg become friends. Shortly afterward, Riko finds a note from her long lost mother, Lyza, saying that she is waiting for Riko at the bottom of the Abyss. Riko then decides to travel to the Abyss with Reg to look for her mother.
I love such animes that take you on a longer adventure trip. You know exactly that there is a fixed starting point and a clear end. You always have your eyes on this one goal, and you are happy when the next stage – despite the many obstacles and detours – has been completed. That’s why it’s so great that with Made in Abyss, this route is full of surprises. Great anime and especially recommended to fans of fantasy and adventure stories.
8. Wolf Children (Film) – (Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki)
© Studio Chizu
The story is about the 19-year-old student Hana, who lives in a city and falls in love with a wolfman. She then gives birth to two children named Yuki and Ame, which means snow and rain and refers to the weather conditions in which they were born. The older Yuki is curious and bright, while her younger brother Ame is rather shy. Both parents try to hide the secret of their “wolf children” and live quietly in a house outskirts of town, protected from the gaze of the public. Soon, however, her life would change abruptly…
Wolf Children is more than you might first think. The story has many parables to the real-life and impresses especially by its simplicity and authenticity. Everything is simply credible, and you never doubt that Yuki and Ame are wolf children. The supernatural becomes real, and yet a fairytale at the same time. It’s an endearing family movie with a conflict that is surprisingly clever to me – highly recommended.
9. Negima! Magister Negi Magi – (Mahō Sensei Negima!)
© Xebec, Inc.
The 9-year-old Negi Springfield, a magician from Wales, is sent to Japan with a special task to complete his training at the Magician Academy: to teach English at a girls’ school. Only after successfully completing this task he can become a Magister Magi (Master of Mana) like his father. He is considered the most famous magician in the world and has been missing for ten years. Negi’s strongest motivation is to find his father. Arriving in Japan, he has to deal with 31 girls between the ages of 13 and 15, who find him cute but show little respect. Will Negi be able to manage this task?
Negima! Magister Negi Magi offers you Brilliant parodistic comedy, nice characters and especially the harmonious atmosphere, which is neither too much nor artificial. You should risk a look!
10. Beyond the Boundary – (Kyōkai no Kanata)
© Kyoto Animation Co., Ltd.
In a world in which supernatural beings live among humans, the high school student Akihito Kanbara introduces a life that is quite normal for his circumstances. Even though he seems to be a human being at first glance, he also belongs to the world of the supernatural. Akihito is half Youmu, a being that gives him the ability to regenerate wounds so fast that he is immortal. One day he sees a young girl about to throw herself off the roof of the school. But he successfully stops her but ends up in a dangerous situation…
I really enjoyed Beyond the Boundary. Even though the story was a bit confusing at times and felt a bit immature, the beautiful animations of the characters and setting made up for this in my eyes.
11. Flying Witch – (Furaingu Witchi)
© J.C.Staff Co., Ltd.
Makoto Kowata becomes 15 years old and therefore has to leave her parents’ house, as she is considered an adult in the witch world. So she moves to the countryside near Hirosaki to live with her aunt Nana Kuramoto, her uncle Keiji, her cousin Kei and her younger cousin Chinatsu. There she experiences many adventures.
Everything matches here, sympathetic characters, a calm atmosphere, variety, own characteristics and a harmonious overall package. Only people who have no tolerance for calm series could have a problem with Flying Witch.
12. Xam’d: Lost Memories – (Bōnen no Zamudo)
© Bones Inc.
In the world of the series, the military Free Zone of the southern continent and the Northern Government are at war with each other. In the middle of this conflict and between the two continents lies the neutral Sentan Island located in the Yuden Sea. Despite the military deployment of the southern forces and the terrorist activities of the partly religious opponents, Sentan reflects an unreal cosy atmosphere. On this island, the boy Akiyuki Takehara lives together with his mother, Fusa. His father Ryuzo, works as a family doctor, but because of the tense atmosphere between him and Akiyuki’s mother, he lives alone in the surgery. However, one day the cosy atmosphere is disturbed when Akiyuki gets involved in a bomb explosion. The explosion creates a strange light, which gets into Akiyuki’s arm. Without really understanding the situation, he suddenly changes into a so-called Xam’d (a “human-form weapon”)…
After an appealing introduction, you follow the experiences of the different protagonists, and even though there aren’t necessarily many obviously spectacular highlights, you still remain bound by the story, which always knows how to evolve and also gives itself enough time for its side characters, so that the spectrum of plot elements is once again expanded. To me, Xam’d is simply an extremely satisfying anime, in which you won’t be disappointed and which can keep its initial high level until the end.
13. xxxHolic – (Horikku)
© Production I.G, Inc.
The boy Kimihiro Watanuki has the inherited ability to see ghosts and is therefore constantly haunted by them. When he is fleeing from them again one day, he accidentally touches a wall, after which the ghosts disappear. The wall borders the estate of Yuko Ichihara, the witch of the dimension. There she runs a shop in which one can get wishes fulfilled if one is willing to pay an appropriate price. She also promises Watanuki to free him from his attraction for spirits and the ability to see them. For that, he has to work as a “girl for everything” in her shop. So Watanuki starts working for Yuko and is often involved in supernatural events, which sometimes put his life in danger…
Sympathetic characters, interesting stories, a little bit of humour, and a great animation style, qualities that guarantee a good entertainment experience. xxxHolic is a great anime that quite wrongly gets so little attention, in my opinion.
14. Hell Girl – (Jigoku Shōjo)
© Studio Deen Co. Ltd.
There has been a rumor going around for a while now about a site on the Internet called Hell Correspondence. If you hate someone deeply, you can send a message every day at midnight to the Hell Correspondence, with the name of that person. The person will then be punished by the hell girl Ai Enma and her helpers with a mixture of nightmare and distorted reality and then taken to hell. The one who wrote down the name sells his soul to Ai Enma, which also goes to hell after his/her death…
I recommend this anime to everyone who likes short stories with a touch of horror and a mysterious person.
15. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? – (Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatte Iru Darou ka)
© J.C.Staff Co., Ltd.
Beneath the city of Orario is a huge labyrinth, commonly known as the Dungeon. Not only its special name attracts attention and stirs the imagination of the adventurers, who not only hope to find honor there but also a romance with a pretty girl. In this city of dreams and desires, the new adventurer Bell Cranel has a fateful encounter with the goddess Hestia. He strives to become the best of all adventurers while she is searching for followers out of loneliness…
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? actually knows how to stage, how to be funny, and somehow to keep the tension up. The show entertains. The fights are fun, well presented, with nice choreographies and effects. I would recommend it to everyone, but especially to those who also liked SAO.
16. Myriad Colors Phantom World – (Musaigen no Fantomu Wārudo)
© Kyoto Animation Co., Ltd.
Soon, in a world created by the imagination of the people, the high school student Haruhiko Ichijou attends the first class at the Hosea Academy. Ghostly or monster-like creatures called phantoms keep appearing. Mai Kawakami goes to the same school as Haruhiko and fights the phantoms with her ability Spirit of the Five Elements, as does Izumi Reina, who has the ability Phantom Eater, and Koito Minase, who fights the phantoms alone. Together they experience the ups and downs of school life until they reach the truth of this world through a certain event…
I like the ratio of comedy and action very much, which tends towards comedy. Nevertheless, the action scenes are quite nice. I’m a big fan of the art style, and that’s why I started the anime. However, it has to be pointed out that there is quite a mix of childish topics and emotional drama, which might not be for everyone. If you don’t have any problems with it, then you should give Myriad Colors Phantom World a try.
17. Certain Magical Index – (To Aru Majutsu no Index)
© J.C.Staff Co., Ltd.
In the world of Certain Magical Index, there are both people with supernatural abilities and magic. The town Academy City, where the student Touma Kamijou lives, is used for researching these abilities. Almost all people have special abilities and are divided into levels according to their military usability. Persons with level 0 have almost no special abilities; level 5 is used to indicate highly developed abilities. Touma himself is classified with level 0 but has the strongly underestimated ability to negate magic and psychic powers with his right hand.
Toumas life changes suddenly after he meets a little girl named Index. Index is a nun of the church in Academy City. However, she is not just any ordinary nun, because she has the knowledge of over 103,000 books. Touma soon realizes that these books are not ordinary books. Moreover, he has to find out that certain organizations want to get Index’s knowledge and are willing to kill for it ruthlessly. Thus, before he knows it, he is involved in an enormous adventure…
Certain Magical Index offers a mixture of action (in a modern world with some sci-fi and fantasy), elements of the harem genre, and slice of life. Who isn’t put off by the strange and gloomy story should watch the anime. For my part, I felt well entertained, which is why the anime made it onto my list.
18. Assassins Pride – (Asasinzu Puraido)
© EMT Squared Co., Ltd.
Humanity was brought to the brink of extinction and exists only in the city-state of Flandore, whose districts were built in various glass domes, connected by a glass tunnel system, and can only be reached with the railway. Outside these domes, the world is plunged into eternal darkness and infested by dangerous creatures called Lancanthropes.
Within the domes, humanity is divided into the nobility and the middle classes. Through their blood, the nobles can manifest mana that gives superhuman powers to the user, making them equal in the fight against the Lancanthropes. In this world lives the young Melida Angel, who attended the Academy to be trained in magic. But although she is an aristocrat, she seems to have no mana and brings shame over her family. Her grandfather Lord Mordrew has doubts about her origins. Thus Melida is said to have originated from an affair between her mother and a man from the middle classes. The Assassin Kufa Vampire is hired to work as a teacher for Melida to find out her true origin. If Lord Mordrew’s suspicions prove to be true, his second task is to murder Melida…
I think Assassins Pride is just generally great. It has drama, love, magic (in a way), and really a lot of tension. I also like the animation style a lot, especially the extremely well-drawn fights. Many say that the story is too rushed, but I personally didn’t feel that way. Overall a great anime I can warmly recommend to anyone.
19. Kamisama Kiss – (Kamisama Hajimemashita)
© TMS Entertainment Co., Ltd.
Nanami Momozono has a little problem. Her father loves gambling, and one day, when he has accumulated too many debts, he runs away. That doesn’t bother the creditors very much, there is still the house with its inventory, and so Nanami ends up on the street.
But the hopeless situation doesn’t stop Nanami from saving a man from a dog, and when he hears about her situation, he even offers Nanami to live in his house. Of course, Nanami gladly accepts the offer, but to her surprise, she has to find out that the house is a shrine. To be exact, it is HER shrine, because the man was a kami who transferred his powers and duties to Nanami…
Love and comedy united in a Japanese setting of Youkai. I recommend Kamisama Kiss, especially for fans of the Shoujo genre but also for all others who like comedy, fantasy, and romance. The Manga of the same name continues the story and should definitely be looked at.
20. Ascendance of a Bookworm – (Honzuki no Gekokujō: Shisho ni Naru Tame niwa Shudan o Erandeiraremasen)
© Ajia-do Animation Works Inc.
The book-loving university student Motosu Urano has finally made it! She has finally been accepted for her dream job as a librarian, where she can fully live out her love of printed paper – or at least she could have if a tragic accident hadn’t deprived her of her life shortly after this good news…
The anime is simply amazing. It is simply a lot of fun to follow the lovely protagonist on her journey. I really enjoyed it. Ascendance of a Bookworm has drama, action, tension, and combines them in an incredibly good mix. Watch it if you haven’t already!
21. Cardcaptor Sakura – (Kādo Kyaputā Sakura)
© Madhouse Inc.
The ten-year-old Sakura Kinomoto finds a strange book in her father’s library. Sakura opens the book and discovers the magic Clow Cards. She removes the first card, Windy, and activates it, creating a strong wind that spreads the other cards in all directions. The guardian of the book, Kerberos, or Kero for short, who unfortunately slept through the event, appears and instructs Sakura, as Card Captor, to collect the cards again so that they cannot cause any damage…
If you appreciate harmonious and romantic Slice of Life, paired with a little bit of magic and an absolutely cute protagonist, you will be overwhelmed, if you give the series a chance, by how successful this heartwarming connection in Card Captor Sakura has turned out.
22. Maka Ouji: Devils and Realist – (Makai Ōji)
© Doga Kobo, Inc.
William Twining is a young man from a noble family – educated and wealthy. He attends an elite school and looks forward to a brilliant career. Until one day his uncle and guardian go bankrupt! William now has only one thing left in this world: an old, dilapidated villa and a family butler who refuses to leave him alone. The financially stricken William searches the family home for treasures to sell. In the process, he discovers a secret room and activates a magical seal that summons a demon. Now a magical adventure begins for William, even if he is highly sceptical about such humbug…
Maka Ouji: Devils and Realist is thrilling, full of action, and it raises a lot of questions. The puzzling and historical elements hidden in this anime lead to addiction and never let me go. It’s overall just a great anime I highly recommend.
23. Spice and Wolf – (Ōkami to Kōshinryō)
© Imagin Co., Ltd
The travelling trader Kraft Lawrence is on his usual routes to trade with various things. When he spends the night near the village of Pasloe, he discovers the wolf goddess Holo in his car. She introduces herself to him as the goddess of the harvest, who gives her owner a good wheat harvest for many years. Despite her responsibility for Pasloe, she wants to return to her northern home country Yoitsu. In the conviction that the people have already forgotten her and that she has already fulfilled her promise to provide a good harvest, she wants to join Kraft Lawrence on his way. But he doesn’t seem too excited about the idea…
What more could you ask for than an interesting setting, which is additionally filled with absolutely great protagonists? Spice and Wolf lets you follow the story with joy until the very last episode. It is simply something different, and because of this, it stands out from many animes and goes a different way, which is definitely worth watching.
24. Full-Time Magister – (Quan Zhi Fa Shi)
After Mo Fan awoke from his sleep, he suddenly found himself in a world where schools teach magic and monsters eat people. Still, not much has changed in his previous situation. Labelled a loser of the school, he wants to give his physically disabled sister, who is in a wheelchair, and his father a better life. To achieve this, he has set himself the goal of becoming the best in terms of magic and to show everyone that it doesn’t matter what status you have in society to achieve exactly that.
Quan Zhi Fa Shi was my first Chinese anime. The anime entertained me very well and is worth watching. I would definitely recommend it to friends of the fantasy genre.
25. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – (Kōtetsujō no Kabaneri)
© WIT STUDIO, Inc.
During the industrial revolution in feudal Hinomoto, a virus breaks out and turns infected people into Kabane (corpses). Kabane are aggressive, undead, and very strong. They can only be killed by piercing the glowing heart, which is protected by a layer of lead or by completely removing an important part of the body (e.g., the head). Most weapons, such as the steam guns of the Bushi (samurai/soldiers) are not effective against the Kabane. On the island of Hinomoto in the Far East, people have built stations to protect themselves from these creatures. The transport of people, as well as goods between these stations, is done by huge locomotives called Hayajiro. Ikoma, a boy who lives in a town called Aragane Station and helps to build these locomotives, has invented his own weapon called Tsuranuki Zutsu to fight these vicious creatures…
If you have fun in terms of tension and action and are willing to sacrifice some depth in plot and characters for that, then I definitely recommend you Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress.