Anime series are in a few words a treasure house of interesting stories and characters. Being a fan of a certain anime, you go through each and every bit of it with passion. If the characters laugh, you laugh with them and if they cry, you do the same. The characters become a part and parcel of your personal life. But sometimes mixing it up can also create amazing content. There are many animes around gender-bending and Body-swapping which often creates hilarious as well as serious plot points. Like in the fan-favourite Fairy Tail, where we see all the main characters switch bodies in one episode and what ensued was nothing less than a big though beautiful mess of chaos. We somehow grew closer to the characters in their swapped bodies, because of their struggles. Though mostly funny, sometimes it probes deeper into the personalities of our characters.
We get to know about their wants and desires, their unfulfilled wishes. Case in Point is Your Name. In it the two characters poignantly and simply not only fall in love with each others’ surroundings but also with each other. This trope, when used properly, is capable of comedy as well as seriousness. This list consists of 22 anime series that will make you fall in love, tear off your hairs as well as make you laugh due to their characters swapping bodies.
1. One Piece
Aired on- October 20, 1999
This anime is action-packed and hence is an all-time favorite of the audience. The story begins as the pirate named Gol D. Roger, just before his execution, reveals about his hidden-treasure called One Piece, lying at the Grand Line. Many people tried to track this treasure, but nobody succeeded. After Twenty-two years, a boy named Monkey D. Luffy sets out to find the hidden treasure so that he can get the title of the Pirate King.
The best part of this anime is its characterization. The anime shows multiple shades of each character, whether hero or villain. The backstories of the character show why they end up in that condition. All of them have their individual struggle and survival method. The ‘human’ in them makes the audience feel for them.
This anime shows how a commoner can end up being a hero. It also low-key emphasizes that anybody can be the hero of their own story.
Aired on- April 2, 1979
Episodes- 1787+30 special
Doraemon is an anime adaptation of a Japanese manga by Fujiko Fujio. This series is extremely popular not only in Japan but all over the world. This high popularity has formed one of the biggest media franchises till date.
This anime is a science fiction about a robot. An earless robotic cat namely Doraemon visits Japan and meets a young boy, Nobita Nobi. Doraemon is from the 22nd century who has the ability to travel back in time. Nobita’s future grandson Sewashi Nobi decides to send Doraemon to help Nobita with his poor grades and bully classmates Gian and Suneo.
Doraemon has a four-dimensional pouch from where he can access several futuristic gadgets. With the help of those gadgets, Nobita experiences something new every day. One definite reason behind the popularity of this anime is everyone’s choice to have a friend like Doraemon. The anime leaves a positive impact on viewers at the end of every episode.
Aired on- April 10, 2008
This Sci-fi love story earned critical acknowledgement for its uniqueness from the very beginning. The actual societal structure is reflected in this anime. This anime deals with an alternative universe where memories can be stored in the form of information in a memory chip. The bad memories can be substituted by the good ones in this world. This digitization can have some adverse effect as well: memories can be manipulated by theft or can be transferred from one person to another.
There are two specific class distinctions shown in this anime, where the rich and wealthy people play with others’ bodies and minds just for the sake of having fun.
The actual plot of the story began when Kaiba found himself in a ruined room, without his memory. He had a locket with a girl’s picture in it. Eventually, he rescues and through his journey, he retrieves his memory. The story-telling supremacy is the reason this anime was awarded as an Excellence Prize for animation at the 2008 Japan Media Arts Festival.
4. Murder Princess
Aired on- March 28, 2007
This anime series was produced by Marvellous entertainment based on a Japanese manga series illustrated by Sekihuko Inui. The main theme of this anime is action. The theme of dark fantasy and comedy intertwines well to form an interesting combination.
The story begins with the launch of a coup d’état in Forland. The wounded king decides to send her daughter Alita away from this. Alita sets out to find her brother Kaito who is involved in some military missions abroad. On her way, Alita fails from a cliff on the bloodthirsty female bounty-hunter Felis. Due to this unexpected incident, their souls get exchanged. Alita begs her to save her country while offering her body and soul as collateral. Felis returns to Forland and drives away the enemy forces. She continues as the princess of Forland with the name the “Murder Princess”. The most incredible part of this anime is the characterization of Alita and Felis. Alita who seems to be a bit wavering at the beginning comes out to be strong by the end especially as she ensures Felis safety and punishes Kaito for his treachery.
5. Inari Konkon
Aired on- January 15, 2014
Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha aka Inari Konkon is an anime series dealing with the genre romantic comedy. It is the anime adaptation of a Japanese manga series by Morohoe Yoshida. The central character of this anime is Inari who is a shy high-school girl. She is kind and considerate about others. She has some romantic feelings about Kouji Tanbabashi for his cheerful and hardworking nature. She never has the courage to confess her feelings.
The actual plot begins as Inari sees a fox pup about to fall into the river. She jumps in to save it. The goddess of Inari Shrine being impressed with her kindness grants her the power to fulfill one of her wishes. This leads to further disaster. To correct this the goddess gives her the power to transform into someone else. The plot offers the audience an interesting theme of love complicacy paired with supernatural powers. This uniqueness keeps the audience captivated for a long time.
6. Dragon Ball Z
Aired on- April 26, 1989
Episodes- 291 episodes
Dragon Ball Z is the sequel of one of the longest-running popular anime Dragon Ball. Dragon Ball z features the adventure of Goku, whose aim is to save the earth from dangers like intergalactic space fighters, powerful androids, etc. We can see an adult Goku in this series.
Goku’s son Gohan is kidnapped by a Saiyan alien, Radditz. Has previously offered Goku to assist him in the destruction of the world but Goku declined. Goku decides to seek another way of rescuing Gohan, and he plans on killing Redditz. In the first battle Piccolo joins Goku. Goku puts his best effort to save Gohan while ensuring the safety of his fellow civilians. He accomplishes it at the cost of his own life.
Goku’s adventure has generated a worldwide fandom and it is growing every day. Dragon Ball Z is still one of the favorites of the kids as well as the adults.
7. Cardcaptor Sakura
Aired on- April 7, 1998
This is one of the most popular Shoujo anime series and an adaptation of manga series illustrated by the manga group Clamp. The predominant theme of this anime is magic but romance is not at all left behind. The most praise-worthy part of this anime is its detailed character design that goes well with the intriguing plot.
The story is set against the backdrop of a fictional Japanese city Tomaeda, near Tokyo. Fourth-grader Sakura Kinomoto gets hold of a mysterious book and ends up releasing magical Clow Cards accidentally. With her innate magical powers, she tries to retrieve the cards. She battles with the magical personification of each card with the assistance of Cerberus so that she can seal them.
Being a masterpiece this anime was awarded the Animage Grand Prix award for Best Anime in 1999. The characters of this anime are so relatable that the audience cannot help but fall for it.
8. Kimagure Orange Road
Aired on- April 6, 1987
Kimagure Orange Road is one of the highly influential anime series. It is critically acclaimed for introducing a new generation of Europeans. This is a typical romantic comedy but its characterization establishes its superiority.
Kyosuke and his family settle for the seventh time as they frequently change their habitat as people see them using their esper power. On arrival, Kyosuke meets a girl who gives him her straw hat. He develops a liking for the girl at the very first sight. Madoka, who is his junior high classmate, is considered delinquent. Hikaru Himaya, Madoka’s first falls for Kyosuke when he uses his power while playing basketball. Kyosuke ends up dating Hikaru but he is torn between his feelings for Hikaru and Madoka. Madoka also has feelings for Kyosuke. She does not dare to admit it for fear of breaking Hikaru’s heart.
The inter-relationship between the characters of the love-triangle is heart-warming and it successfully captivates the audience.
9. Punch Line
Aired On- April 9, 2015
Punch Line is a Japanese anime Series that aired from April 9, 2015 to June 25, 2015 for 12 Episodes. It was simulcast by one of the most popular mediums, Crunchyroll. It was directed by Yutaka Uemura, produced by MAPPA, and had scripts by Kotaro Uchikoshi. The anime was so popular that it was followed up by a video game adaptation and Manga Series.
This anime follows a boy named Yuta Iridatsu who finds himself in an awkward multi-dimensional situation which forces him to swap bodies. It is also in a lot of ways a Hentai Anime because our main character is involved between at least four girls. These girls are roommates- Mikatan Narugino, Ito Hikiotani, Meika Daihatsu, and Lovera Chichibu.
Iridatsu seemingly dies as in a bus jacking accident he literally loses his life. But there is a twist of fate and he remains in the earth portal to save his four roommates from mortal danger as a spirit. But being around girls also makes him privy of seeing a lot of female underwear which creates a problem. If he sees a girl’s panties twice in a row, the Earth comes in danger of being destroyed.
10. Kokoro Connect
Aired On-July 8, 2012
Kokoro Connect originally started off as a Light Novel Series. Its popularity paved a way for two Manga Adaptations and a 13 episode Anime adaptation. It has 13 episodes in all that aired between July and September 2012. The popularity of the series led to the creation of 4 more episodes that aired on December 30, 2012. The Anime was directed by Shin’ya Kawatsura, written by Fumihiko Shimo and produced by Silver Link.
The Anime has a very juicy setting of a High School. All of our main characters- Taichi, Iori, Himeko, Yoshifumi and Yui attend the same school. Though very different in personalities and interests, there is another thing they share amongst themselves apart from their school and that is their membership of the spooky Student Cultural Research Club.
Their membership has caused a significant change in their lives, they face various out of the world ‘supernatural phenomena’ because of a spirit called Heartseed. The main aim of this spirit is to test these characters and therefore it constantly puts them in horrible situations.
11. Yamada- Kun and the Seven Witches
Aired On-April 12, 2015
Yamada- Kun and the Seven Witches is an anime series that aired from April 12, 2015 to June 28, 2015, for 12 episodes. It was originally a manga series that also gave way to a live-action adaptation. It has been licensed internationally by Crunchyroll. It also has an OVA that was released in the same year.
It is in a lot of ways a representative Body Swapping Anime as the main characters actually swap bodies – not spiritually or in some other plane but in actuality. The story can be characterized as a fantasy tale, supernatural tale and even a coming of age tale. It has multiple layers of elements working for it. As the title suggests the story is about Ryu Yamada and his relations with the seven witches.
Ryu Yamada in every sense of the word is an outcast, he is not a run of the mill character. His school experience has bored him out of his mind and has his life completely turned upside down by a simple kiss. His kiss with Urara Shiraishi activates a power and by the virtue of it, their bodies are swapped.
12. Your Name
Aired On-July 3, 2016
Your Name is a Japanese animated movie that was released in 2016. It was produced by CoMix Wave Films, directed and written by Makoto Shinkai with animations by Masashi Ando. It is a romantic and fantasy feature.
In this anime the body-swapping happens between Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana. Both of them cannot be more different from each other, their lifestyles and environment are very much unlike each other. But still, they are bonded by something unique and share an emotional connection that is so powerful that they can swap bodies.
It all starts with a fateful meeting that makes them both go through a whirlwind of an adventure where they both experience each other’s culture. They get acquainted with each other on an extremely deep level, in the process creating a never before seen love story.
The movie was highly acclaimed at the time of its release, earning 359$ million dollars. This made it the highest grossing Japanese anime of all time as well as the 16th highest-grossing non-English film worldwide.
13. Birdy the Mighty: Decode
Aired On-July 4, 2008
Birdy The Mighty: Decode is an extremely popular anime series, which was adapted from the manga series of the same name written and illustrated by Masami Yuki. It was first conceived as a 4 part OVA, and then became an anime that ran for 25 episodes from July 4, 2008 to March 27, 2009.
As the title suggests the Anime is about Birdy. Birdy Cephon Altera is a highly reputed Federation Agent who catches interplanetary criminals. In one of her missions, she accidentally kills a high school boy named Tsutomu Senkawa. To get him his life back, the only viable option is that he shares his existence literally and figuratively with Birdy, at least until his body recovers.
It is an extremely awkward experience for both of them. Birdy is so used to having her life in a particular order but now she has to slow down because she has a layman attached to her. On the other hand, Senkawa has to make some drastic changes in his relatively normal life to make space for Birdy’s crazy shenanigans.
14. To Love- Ru
Aired On-April 4, 2008
To Love- Ru is a Japanese anime, which aired in 2008 for 26 episodes. The anime was directed by Takao Kato and came from a studio named Xebec. The anime was derived from a manga of the same name written by Saki Hasemi and Illustrated by Kentaro Yubiki.
To Love Ru is one of the few anime in this list which is in the genre of C
omedy. Most of its comedy comes from the harem element in it. It mainly deals with the love triangle between the clumsy Rito Yuki, elegant Haruna Sairenji and quirky Lala Satalin Deviluke.
Initially Rito has a sort of unrequited love for Haruna. He doesn’t know how to properly express this to her. Then one fine day while he is in his bathtub, Lala appears out of nowhere. Lala is the crowned princess of Deviluke. She is the daughter of Gid Lucione Deviluke, who is practically the Master of the entire universe. Her pursuit of freedom has made her land literally on Rito’s lap.
Henceforth the story deals with Rito’s struggle with his feelings and his fight with the various creatures that Lala’s family sends his way.
15. Miracle Girls
Aired On-8 January, 1993
Miracle Girls is a Japanese anime that aired in 1993. Its original network was Nippon Television, where it produced 51 episodes in all. The anime was derived from a manga of the same name written and illustrated by Nami Akimoto. It was primarily directed by Hiroko Tokita and had music by Michiru Oshima.
This Anime deals with the pair of twins- Tomomi and Mikage Matsunga. Being a pair of identical twins has enhanced their otherworldly powers like teleportation and telepathy. Due to the uniqueness of their power they prefer to keep it a secret, to ward off the advances. They try their best to not use it for meager activities. But a sports event leads them to revisit their choices.
Their choice to swap bodies at this event proves to be crucial – as it brings all their worst case scenarios to life. They get stuck in an emotionally confusing situation with Yuya Noda and also get literally hunted by their Science Teacher, Shinichiro Kageura who suspects some sort of foul play.
16. Excel Saga
Aired On-October 7, 1999
Excel Saga was originally a manga series written and illustrated by Koshi Rikudo. The anime came out of the shops of Victor Entertainment and premiered on TV Tokyo. Out of its 26 episodes, only 25 episodes made it to air because of the intense content of the final episode. Since its release, the series has enjoyed critical acclaim.
The series starts off as a battle of ideologies. Seeing the Earth becoming corrupt day by day an organization named Across wishes to conquer the Planet to ‘right all the wrongs’. They begin their plan of domination through Fukuoka. As the title suggests the main character of the series is through and through, Excel. She is an enthusiastic individual who has firm belief in the values of this organization.
It is her relationships and struggles that we follow. There are times when her beliefs become questionable when her interactions with people from the other party make her question everything.
17. Mirai Keisatsu Urashiman
Aired On-January 9, 1983
Mirai Keisatsu Urashiman is a Japanese anime, produced by Tatsunoko Productions and aired on Fuji TV. It had 50 episodes in all that aired from January 9 to December 24, 1983. The series was a big score for Tatsunoko Productions as its sales pulled the Studio out of Bankruptcy.
The Series is in a lot of ways, the best of both the worlds. It is character-oriented as well as genre-oriented. The viewers get to know the protagonist, Ryu Harushima completely and for all the sci-fi nerds it has elements like time travel to quench their thirst.
We begin the narrative through a chase. The authorities are chasing Harushima who is with his cat. He finds himself in a cyclone which transfers him directly to 2050. Reaching there, he remembers virtually nothing but his life becomes plagued by an organization named Necrime. In this unknown space and timeline he finds his back against the wall and is forced to join the same force that he has vehemently opposed his entire life.
18. Hare + Guu
Aired On- 3 April, 2001
Hare+Guu is a Japanese anime adapted from a manga series of the same name. The manga was written and illustrated by Renjuro Kindaichi. The anime was directed by Tsutomu Mizushima and written by Michiko Yokote.
This story mainly revolves around Hare and Guu. Their relationship is the focal point of the series, it is the ups and downs of it that decide the pace of the narrative. Hare is an eccentric boy who has lived in the jungle his whole life and Tui is a very unique entity, who keeps on switching her personality. The thing that stands out the most about Guu is the fact that she has a whole world or universe in her stomach.
Hare and Guu start off this adventure of a lifetime in the Jungle but their destiny takes them to the city. At first, their out of the box personalities make it difficult for them to fit in, but once they get comfortable they begin finding more abilities in themselves like time travel that adds a whole new layer to this anime.
19. Jewel Pet
Aired On-April 5, 2009
Jewel Pet was created out of the famous Jewel Pet franchise which was created by Sanrio and Sega Sammy Holdings. It was written by Atsushi Maekawa, directed by Nanako Sasaki on the screenplay provided by Takashi Yamada.
Jewelpet mainly deals with two worlds at once- Jewel Land and Earth. Both of them are majorly different from each other. In Jewel land magicians and Jewel Pets live together. The Pets here go to an Academy to study subjects like Magic and Alchemy. As far as Earth is concerned only a few characters from here know about Jewel land and its existence too through their encounters with Jewel Pets.
The Narrative is put into action the moment the Jewel Pets are put into the Earth. They reach through a series of unfortunate incidents that lead the authorities to employ Ruby to get them back. There they meet Rinko Kougyoku and Minami, who tag along with them as they solve the mysteries of the world.
20. Galaxy Angel
Aired On-7 April, 2001
Galaxy Angel is a Franchise consisting of anime, manga and a Dating Sim Video Game. The anime has a lot of influence from the genre of Comedy while the manga and video games are a little bit serious.
Galaxy Angel’s story starts taking shape when almost the entire Royal Family is wiped off the face of the earth. Only one representative, Prince Shiva remains. The whole anime deals with the attempts of the military personnel to save Prince Shiva. The Military in the anime is headed by Commander Takuto Meyers who pours everything of himself to save the Royal lineage. The characters also include exiled Prince Eonia, who wants to take back what is rightfully his in his mind and hence poses a huge danger to Prince Shiva. There are many hints in the series for the fact that he is behind the massacre of the Royal Family.
The Series was so popular in Japan that it led to the creation of a Musical inspired by it.
21. Selector Infected
Aired On-April 3, 2014
Selector Infected was adapted from a Japanese Multimedia franchise. This Franchise’s focus is on gaming cards. The Girls who control these cards are the eponymous Selectors. The Anime had 2 seasons in total on their original network MBS.
In the Anime Girls with their LRIG’s take part in a battle of sorts. If they win the battle they get to have one of their wishes fulfilled, but if they lose three battles in a row their wish would turn into a curse.
The first season follows a girl named Ruko Kominato who realizes as she gets deep into the game that win or lose, this game will always require a huge sacrifice from its participants. And the whole series deals with the question, whether this price is enough.
The next season shifts the focus to another character named Suzuko Homura, who also plays this game with her LRIG spirit. But this time the game includes boys as well which changes all the equations.
Aired On-November 13, 2010
Atashinchi is a Japanese anime movie revolving around the daily life of The Tachibana Family. The anime series ran from 2002 to 2009, and just like other popular anime series such as Shinchan, it was episode based. The series also produced a sequel titled Shin Atashin’chi in 2015 which is licensed with Crunchyroll for international broadcast.
In the movie Mikan and her mother, two main characters swap bodies due to lightning. This mishap makes them both open their eyes to the differences in each other’s lifestyles and causes all sorts of hilarity.
The Tachibana family is headed by Father, who is a no-nonsense man. He is a man of few words. Like all the contemporary men of that time he liked to spend more time frequenting pachinko parlors than at home, the second in command mother is a typical housewife who always tries to remain in budget and create frugal but tasty dinners.
The children of the family Mikan and Yuzuhiko, themselves have a very interesting life. They are involved in various relationships in their respective schools that leads to comedic gold. Their family dynamics in which their mother prefers Yuzuhiko more than Mikan also generates interest.
23. La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia
Aired On-July 1, 2012
La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia (Italian for The Story of the Arcane Family) is an extremely popular visual novel series. An anime of the same name was adapted from the game in 2012.
The Anime strongly deals with interfamilial relationships. At the front and center is the organisation called the Arcana Famigilia whose job is to protect the island of Regal. The members of Famiglia have a special tool called Arcana Cards which gives them certain special abilities like Body Swapping.
The leader of the organisation, Mondo, at his birthday party decides to give away his position and retire. To decide on the new leader he organizes a tournament. The winner of the tournament not only gets to control his dynasty but also wins the hand of his daughter Felicita.
Seeing this as completely unfair, Felicita herself decides to participate in the competition with her well-wishers Liberta and Nova by her side.
24. Nikutai Teni
Aired On-21st December, 2003
This Anime is sure to catch everyone’s attention at first go. Its theme includes body-switching, yuri, erotica as well as supernatural. It might be a little too much for the younger audiences as it contains pornography.
The series follows a group of friends who study in the same high school. The main protagonist is Kemichi. One day he decides along with his friend to stay after school to explore a new archaeological find, a unique looking mirror. While investigating the artifact something bizarre happens and all of them are transported to an alternate dimension. Not only that, their souls are interchanged too. The only time they get their bodies back is when they get sexually charged.
To get everything back to normal, their only way out of this mess is if they can get everything back to normal. The pace gets more heated up when the danger of the dimension falling apart also appears.
Aired On-April 2, 1999
Gokudo is a Japanese anime adapted from a visual novel series of the same name. It was produced by Trans Arts and found a network in TV Tokyo. It ran for a total of 26 episodes in 1999. In the United States of America, it is known as Jester the Adventurer.
In one of the series’ arcs we see a body-swapping happen between Gokudo and Rubette. Gokudo is an adventurer who roams around the world in pursuit of a better life. He is not like other conventional lead male characters who are ideal. Gokudo, on the other hand, is anything but ideal. He has no intentions of taking the high road. If the choice is between his own self-interests and the happiness of those around him, he will always choose himself. In his journey, he meets Rubette, a noble girl who is Gokudo’s complete opposite and considers him to be her rival.
26. Bunny Girl Senpai
Aired On-October 4, 2018
Bunny Girl Senpai is a Japanese light novel series written by Hajime Kamoshida. It was adapted into an anime that aired in 2018. It also spawned an anime movie titled Rascal Does Not Dream of a Dreaming Girl.
It has a very unique plot in which Sakuta Azusagawa helps many girls in his life to get over something known as Adolescence Syndrome. Adolescence Syndrome affects your identity in a major way. It primarily removes you from existence and its other effects include swapping bodies for some characters. The narrative starts weaving itself when Sakuta fatefully meets Mai.
Mai is an extremely famous actress but after taking a hiatus she realizes that everyone has sort of forgotten her and is not even acknowledging her. After moving around in a Bunny Costume to see if someone notices her, she stumbles upon Sakuta.
Sakuta helps Mai and many other girls with this syndrome. As he helps each one of them he realizes the tough issues the girls of todays’ world go through.
27. Asatte No Houkou
Aired On- October 5, 2006
Asatte No Houkou, also known as Living for the Day After Tomorrow in some places, was originally a manga written and illustrated by J- ta Yamada. JC Staff brought the anime adaptation to life.
The plot is extremely unique as it deals with two distinct characters. We witness one of them growing into a full-blown adult and the other one coming back to her baby aka child form. The two characters in question are Karada Iokawa and Shoko Nogami.
The only common link between them is that Karada’s brother used to date Shoko and left her for dry in America. After a quarrel with him, Shoko rudely tells Karada that she is childish. This makes Karada wish vehemently to become an elder, and when her wish is granted Shoko becomes eleven years old. Both of them achieve their own transformative journeys and find something that they were both missing in their lives.