In telling stories packed with fantastical elements, anime has always excelled. Vampires, ghosts, and witchcraft, whether they draw cues from medieval Japanese folklore or other cultural backgrounds, are often featured in anime. There is so much to discover and even more to enjoy about the endless possibilities which come with a rich and nuanced genre, from contemporary to dark fantasy. One of the genre’s major strengths is its potential to be blended with a wide variety of elements from other genres, such as comedy, romance, and even horror. It is also easy to adapt it to any age group, offering the option of selecting a humorous kid-friendly anime or a darker anime with adult content. The various fantasy anime sub-genres offer a broad range of shows to choose from that could fit the preference of anybody, and in this video, we are going to be talking about are some of the best.
1. Break Blade – 2010
The inevitable war involving the Kingdoms of Krisna and Athens is raging on in Cruzon. For whatever intent they have, the inhabitants of this land can use quartz. However, one person, Rygart Arrow, isn’t able to. Rygart is an “un-sorcerer,” an individual incapable of using quartz. But this ability will make it possible for him to operate an ancient Golem, one powerful enough to battle the attacking army of Athens. The title is a reference to the broken blades seen on Rygart’s robot’s head and back. The titular damaged blades are often symbolically linked with the character of Rygart.
One the of two aspects they depict is how damaged he is in the world of Break Blade because of his shortcomings as an un-sorcerer. The other one is how he gets emotionally broken when he shifts from being pacifistic to the point that he refuses to strike back even when hit in a battle to kill. This isn’t a series in which a young boy still dreams of maneuvering a walking war machine but instead experiences some harsh lessons along the way about war. Rather, it is a series in which a young adult who is unwilling, lacking discipline and mental strength, and also natural talent, compels himself to fight even when he has no urge to do so. It will never be triumph that follows the battles; it is despair.
2. Now and Then, Here and There – 1999
Shuuzou ” Shuu ” Matsutani lives in peace in his ordinary life. He’s got a crush, friends, and love for kendo. Shuu scales a smokestack to see the sunset, drained after having lost to his kendo rival, where he meets Lala-Ru, a shy, blue-haired girl who was wearing a strange pendant. Despite her uninterested, flat answers, Shuu tries to be friends with her. His hopes, though, are destroyed when a woman emerges from thin air, accompanied by two serpentine robots, with one objective in mind: to catch Lala-Ru. Shuu, stubborn as he is, attempts to rescue his new friend from her abductors and, unlike anything he has ever seen, is taken to a desert world.
Shuu only thinks about saving Lala-Ru, despite the conditions, before he is completely defeated by certain soldiers. Lala-Ru can harness water, as he quickly figures out, and her pendant seems to be the source through which she can draw out the liquid, a precious asset in the new environment. And now, the pendant is missing, and the main suspect is Shuu. Now and Then, Here and There is a haunting tale about the dystopian world and Shuu, who has to suffer through torture, famine, and the atrocities of war to rescue the lonely girl he found seated on top of a smokestack.
3. Katanagatari – 2010
Shichika Yasuri performs the most identifiable sword-style: Kyotouryuu, a technique which uses the user’s body a weapon in an Edo-era Japan abundant with a range of sword-fighting styles. Shichika lives peacefully in isolation with his sister Nanami, the mysterious seventh head of the Kyotouryuu academy, till one day, the wildly ambitious Togame theorist barges into their lives. Togame brazenly asks Shichika to assist in her quest for the shogunate to obtain twelve special swords, classified as the Deviant Blades. Shichika agrees and then sets out on a trip, focused on the girl herself instead of petty politics.
The fierce wielders of the legendary weapons, as well as many other power-hungry forces that aim to thwart Togame’s target, are standing in their path. The pair need to become an unbreakable unit to triumph against their rivals as they forge forward on a path of confusion and risk. Katanagatari’s tale is motivated by the individuals that stand in the way of collecting the swords. In every episode, new characters and weapons of the month are presented. We hear about their enemies’ backgrounds and intent to fight through negotiations and fights with Togame and Shichika. It can be said that by excluding expendable side characters, the story progresses.
4. Appare-Ranman! – 2020
For Appare Sorrano, a socially anxious inventor living in the late 19th century in a small country town in Japan, no dream is too great. Fascinated by the invention of steamships that can unite people over long distances since childhood, he has learned to create the machinery of all kinds from different scientific texts. His goal is to travel across the sea, far beyond the horizon, including the other side of the moon, eventually. Sadly, through a string of incidents, Appare finds himself stuck on his mini steamship in the middle of the sea. A talented but cowardly samurai, Kosame Ishikki, who was charged with holding his unique behavior in place, is floating with him.
When all hope is lost, they are rescued and carried to Los Angeles by a huge steamship. They chose to compete in the Trans-America Wild Race with no money or plans, which offers Appare the opportunity to create his car, and Kosame the chance to use the prize money to return home. Over competing racers, however, and unforeseen obstacles in the wilderness. There seems to be remarkable originality to it, but it sounds a little reminiscent at the same time. Appare Ranman has an odd storyline, its bizarreness is not like anything average anime has. The characters are distinct and clichè at the same time.
5. Kekkai Sensen | Blood Blockade Battlefront – 2014
Supersonic monkeys, walking fishmen, vampires and all kinds of supernatural creatures living along with humans have been part of everyday life in Hellsalem’s Lot, previously known as New York City, for a while now. Three years ago, when the door between Earth and the Beyond appeared, New Yorkers and other-dimensional beings alike became locked in an impenetrable bubble and compelled to live together. Libra is an underground organization composed of superhumans and eccentrics charged with maintaining order in the city and ensuring the anarchy does not spread to the rest of the world.
Leonardo Watch’s hobby is photography; with his parents and sister, he leads a normal life. But when he receives the All-seeing Eyes of the Gods at the cost of his sister’s eyesight, he travels to Hellsalem’s Lot to help her by finding answers about the enigmatic powers he has got. Soon, he bumps into Libra, and when Leo suddenly enters their ranks, he gets much more what he’s bargained for. As the average boy unintentionally sees his life taking a change for the bizarre, Kekkai Sensen explores Leo’s misadventures through the wackiest place on Earth with his similarly odd comrades. This wonderfully visualized post-alien invasion world gives the best kicks from Leo being so dull that every time he is in the portrait, he normalizes utter chaos and death surrounding his being.
6. Great Pretender – 2020
A variety of tragic incidents led Makoto “Edamame” Edamura to accept the life of pickpocketing and scamming others for a livelihood. However, Makoto learns that he’s the one deceived after swindling an apparently naive tourist and, to make the matter worse, the cops are now chasing him.
He bumps into the tourist once more while attempting his escape, who turns out to have been a fellow con man called Laurent Thierry, who ultimately ended up following him to Los Angeles. Makoto challenges his opponent to establish the better scammer in an attempt to protect his self-proclaimed status of Japan’s Greatest Swindler. Accepting the challenge, Laurent drops them off outside a massive mansion and says that the biggest mafia boss on the West Coast will be their target.
From city to the city, Great Pretender follows Makoto’s efforts in the field of the international high-stakes fraud alongside the skilful Laurent and his lively partners. Soon, Makoto discovers that because his self-declared talents are constantly put to the test, he received more than what he negotiated for. Edamura is a likeable protagonist, Laurent is amazingly funny, and when he’s on, the screen he dominates it. All of these leads have a very immersive storyline and motivation for the character, and throughout the series, each is given some truly excellent character growth.
7. The Eccentric Family – 2013
For years, Kyoto has been inhabited by groups of tanuki and tengu, residing alongside humans who are ignorant of these species’ existence. The third son of a powerful tanuki family, Yasaburou Shimogamo spends his carefree days taking care of an elderly tengu, watching humans through his power to shapeshift, and interacting with the enigmatic woman called Benten. Behind the harmony and tranquillity, though, there is a painful memory of how long ago a group of people known as the Friday Fellows had killed and eaten Yasaburou’s father, head of the tanuki community.
The Eccentric Family follows the Shimogamo brothers’ struggles as they try to escape their gruesome downfall while getting ever closer to unravelling the reality behind the death of their father. The show so naturally follows the eccentric family that we see their history as well as their past tales. Any of these stories could spawn emotions particularly later on when some truth is exposed about Yaichirou and his generation. However, it is perhaps most important how the characters approach the revelations. The eccentric family takes on the theme of sadness and approaches it in a manner that appears to be more natural. It is clear that at times the characters wish somethings had never happened.
8. Yona of the Dawn – 2014
Princess Yona leads a life of leisure and comfort, totally shielded from the troubles of Kouka’s seemingly peaceful Kingdom; but the unexpected assassination of the king and treason of her cousin Su-won puts the life of Yona at risk. The naïve princess soon learns that Kouka is not the idyllic place she imagined it to be, compelled to flee only with Son Hak, who happens to be both her childhood friend and bodyguard. Given the present state of the kingdom, poverty, corruption, and strife run rampant, making taking back the throne nothing but a wishful fantasy.
Yona of the Dawn, based on Mizuho Kusanagi’s popular manga of the same name, follows Princess Yona on a coming-of-age journey as she faces her kingdom’s harsh realities. Yona must find a way to return Kouka to its former glory with nothing more than a mysterious legend to guide her while being followed relentlessly by the armies of the current King of Kouka. Yona is a powerful female lead who is conscious of her vulnerability and wants to learn how to defend herself and save her country. The side characters are incredibly well developed and for some, you can see a very detailed past. This is the kind of anime that is going to give you chills in each episode.
9. Alderamin on the Sky – 2016
Ikta Solork is a free-spirited young man that wants only two things in life: a woman by his side and a place to sleep. Sadly, his happy life was shattered when the war broke out between Katjvarn Empire and the neighboring Republic of Kioka. As military officers, Ikta and his childhood friend, Yatorishino Igsem, enter the army, where they meet infantryman Matthew Tetojirichi, medic Haroma Becker, and sniper Torway Remion on a ship bound for the military examination site. However, five of them eventually end up in the enemy zone near a military outpost after a rogue storm destroys their vessel.
They learn that Princess Chamille Kitora Katjvanmaninik, the successor to the Katjvarnan Throne, has been abducted. The five are able to save her, and as an honor, each one of them is awarded the rank of Imperial Knight—one of the greatest awards a soldier can earn. It would seem that Ikta is going to have to put his dream of solitude on hold, for he must become the hero he never desired to be. Alderamin reflects mainly on its war themes and its religious aspects that enforce the war themes and bring them into touch with its intriguing characters.
10. BTOOOM! – 2012
His only real accomplishment is that he is Japan’s top player of the famous online video game Btooom! Ryouta Sakamoto is unemployed and lives with his mother. However, when he discovers himself trapped on an island in the middle of nowhere, with a small green crystal implanted in his left hand and no recollection of how he got there, his quiet life is about to change. To his horror, someone has wanted to replicate in real life the game he is so fond of, with life or death being the stakes. The players are tasked with destroying seven of their fellow competitors and taking their green crystals in order to return home, armed with a bag full of special explosives known as BIM.
Ryouta at first he condemns any form of violence, but upon realizing that many of the other players are not as hospitable as they may seem he is forced to fight. Joining forces with Himiko, a fellow player, they’re working together to get off the island, getting closer and closer to the reality behind this death contest. Ryouta, the protagonist, is just a regular person who is very self-centred and seems to think only about he’s affected by things. He’s not the goody-two-shoes, but he’s not the devil, either.
11. Drifters – 2016
Toyohisa Shimazu is the rearguard for his fleeing soldiers at the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 and is seriously injured when he unexpectedly finds himself in a new, gleaming white corridor. Toyohisa is pushed into the closest door and into a world entirely separate from his own in the presence of only a stoic man named Murasaki and hundreds of doors on both sides. All kinds of fantastical animals, as well as soldiers from various ages of Toyohisa’s world who were believed to be dead, inhabit the mysterious territory. Toyohisa soon becomes acquainted with the notorious warlord Nobunaga Oda and the ancient archer Yoichi Suketaka Nasu and learns of the civil turmoil that is ripping through the continent.
They were summoned to battle against the Ends as Drifters, individuals who are responsible for creating the Orte Empire and are trying to destroy the Drifters. The empire persecutes the elves and other demihumans, as the Ends are growing stronger. In a brand-new war, it will be for Toyohisa and his unorthodox heroes to fight to support the subjects of the Empire, while safeguarding the land to claim for themselves and challenge the Ends. While there are regrets for some of the Drifters, they are still ready to go on and it is rather exciting.