There are a lot of TV shows out there and in this golden age of TV streaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic? Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest and unforgettable shows through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best anime, our attention this time turns to the wild wild west. From gritty terrains and space-like quests, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!
Desert Punk is an action and adrenaline-centric anime full of crude humor and wonderful music. It may be lacking in the animation department, but it offers a compelling narrative with incredible characters. Keep in mind the humor leans toward sensual jokes and depicts characters in raunchy situations. If you can overlook that, you should be in for a fantastic time.
Desert Punk takes place in post-apocalyptic Japan where survival is all that frolics in its residents’ minds. However, those who can withstand this area’s horrid atmosphere, aim to make a name for themselves. Enter Sunabouzu (or Desert Punk), a masked handyman who has attained a grand reputation for himself regarding finishing missions and defeating worthy adversaries.
However, a girl named Junko Asagiri (known as the Vixen of the Desert) knows his weakness. His weakness stems from his love for women. Therefore, the anime follows Junko and Desert Punk’s frivolous adventures in this deadly wasteland as they encounter new foes and participate in newfound activities.
Coyote Ragtime Show
Coyote Ragtime Show is a space-pirate anime full of comedy and action. It’s an anime that starts off strong with an immersive setting, intriguing plot, and a colorful cast of characters. The anime’s storyline takes a while to pick things up as it prefers to drip-feed viewers new information at a slow pace.
Nonetheless, the show’s regarded for its adventurous aspects. Each character the protagonist meets during their adventure adds something new and flavorful to the anime’s main group. Also, its treasure-hunting and swindling aspects will provide viewers with enough thrills and delight to keep any anime fans at bay.
The action in this series is immaculate and well-choreographed. You’ll find yourself glued to your screens with the amount of detail that went into these scenes. Unfortunately, the series’ animation lacks in quality during its basic scenery involving conversations and other activities like it.
Nevertheless, the anime promises to deliver stellar visuals and memorable moments regarding its action-driven incidents.
Grenadier: The Beautiful Warrior
If you’re looking for an anime that features stellar marksmanship with a titbit of raunchy humor, Grenadier: The Beautiful Warrior has you covered. This is an action-adventure anime about a beautiful marksman named Rushuna, who travels around the world in hopes of establishing peace.
Although she’s an excellent gunman, she wishes to eradicate people’s will to fight through peaceful means. Nonetheless, Rushuna will be placed in difficult circumstances, which will result in her having to utilize her magnificent gunman skills rather than her charm.
While she starts her journey alone, she’ll encounter different warriors like the swordsman Yajirou, who’ll accompany her along the way. The chemistry between these two characters is spot-on and will satisfy those looking for incredible companion-rich storylines.
With Rushuna’s splendid marksmanship, fans can expect the character to utilize her weapons in bizarre and inventive ways. This allows all the fights in the series to stand out from each other and further enriches viewers’ interest to continue watching. If you can tolerate the series’ overabundance of sensual humor, then the fights alone should satisfy you.
Gun Frontier may feature goofy-looking characters, but it’s a seinen anime that echoes the dangers of the wild west with its enriching storyline, darkened atmosphere, and adventurous themes.
Like other adventure anime, Gun Frontier features a group of unexpected allies, who established a tight bond and forge wonderful chemistry with each other as the story progresses. Unfortunately, the anime doesn’t spend too much time fleshing out these characters’ backgrounds.
Fans shouldn’t expect to learn everything about the characters’ past lives, as it chooses to focus more on the present activities they find themselves in. The anime also leaves off on a cliffhanger which entices viewers of the work to read its original source material.
Besides those few gripes, the anime promises a good time. The world is full of western scenery that will excite anyone who is a fan of western dramas or action-driven shows. The anime’s art style also has a vintage look that mirrors the dark and gritty atmosphere concocted by early western television.
While the characters aren’t explored to their fullest potential, their great personalities and abilities will provoke fans to continue watching.
This 26-episode series will leave you on the brink of tears with a stellar comedy and light-hearted tone. While most of the adventure lies in space, there are a lot of western tropes sprinkled throughout Outlaw Star’s storyline.
Outlaw Star follows Gene Starwind, who has dreamed of piloting a vehicle capable enough of handling multiple planet’s climates and traveling through outer space. His present life involves him taking on mundane jobs with his friend James Hawking. Gene and James strike gold when they receive an incredible job opportunity.
This job opportunity will allow them to traverse outer space on a spacecraft called the Outlaw Star. A treasure hunter named Rachel Sweet tells them that they must help her protect a mysterious girl named Melfina. Although this task will allow Gene to fulfil his life-long dream, he’ll realize that traveling through outer space has its dangers and issues.
Gene doesn’t start off as a likable protagonist. He comes off as a stubborn and repulsive individual toward his allies and adversaries. However, his character will undergo a change of heart by the end of the series. This anime offers an incredible world brimming with unique creatures and formidable bounty hunters. Each leaves a wonderful impact on you.
Cowboy Bebop is in a similar boat as Outlaw Star. While it is a sci-fi action-adventure anime, it does carry a lot of western tropes. I’d argue this anime has a tighter influence over western and Japanese media than Outlaw Star does. This is because of its incredible characters, well-choreographed action scenes, and beautiful world.
If you haven’t seen this timeless classic you’re missing out. The plot may appear episodic in nature, but the story takes its time revealing the hidden aspects of its protagonist’s past lives. The adventures these characters undergo are mesmerizing and fun. You’ll get a kick out of the many minuscule details scattered throughout the series.
Furthermore, the anime’s animation holds up well and its soundtrack is full of life. You’ll find yourself snapping to the beat of its jazzy soundtrack. All the fights look fluid and engaging, too. You can tell the animators had a fun time animating the characters during these scenes.
Therefore, Cowboy Bebop is an impeccable action-packed adventure full of thrills. Its characters and world will pull you in. Its story will have you hooked in anticipation of its stellar conclusion. Fans of western films will adore what this anime has to offer.
Gun X Sword
Gun X Sword doesn’t bring anything new to the table regarding the plot and its characters. What gravitates fans toward this anime though, would be its stellar soundtrack and animation.
The animation is breathtaking in action scenes and stellar during the show’s peaceful scenarios. You’ll find yourself mesmerized by the fluidity of its fight scenes and exhilarated whenever these mechs and characters throw a punch or shoot a bullet.
The soundtrack elevates the emotion and tense atmosphere during these scenes. From its environmental sounds to its engaging music, there’s a lot to look forward to in that aspect. The sound effects used during the anime’s clash and fights are astounding, too.
As stated above, Gun X Sword’s storyline isn’t too special or unique. It’s a simple tale about an apathetic swordsman named Van who is journeying to find his fiance’s murderer. During his journey, he’ll make new friends and meet fearsome foes. That said, the fights and shenanigans Van and his allies end up in are fun enough to warrant a watch.
El Cazador De La Bruja
El Cazador De La Bruja is a fun action-adventure anime that follows the quest between two unlikely partners named Nadie and Ellis. The former is a bounty hunter, and the other is suspected of murdering a famous scientist.
Although Nadie’s tasked with bringing Ellis in, she decides to embark on a quest with Ellis to the Eternal City, where the memories of her past life reside. This journey will take our female protagonists through the thrilling deserts of Mexico, where they will encounter a slew of foes waiting to take them down.
Unlike Gun x Sword, this anime features an engaging storyline. It’s an intriguing anime that takes place in Mexico and doesn’t opt for a more Japanese-esque location. It allowed the anime to set itself apart from other series at the time. The story progresses at a steady pace, allowing time for viewers to get a feeling for its characters and world.
While the story does feature some sensual content, it doesn’t take away from the narrative’s quality. The sensual content ties into the show’s humor well. It’s never overbearing or tacked on for the sake of getting people’s attention. It meshes well with the personalities of our protagonists and makes for some hilariously memorable commentary.
Trigun is as western as western can get. This anime features a slew of intense gun-slinging combat scenes that’ll get anyone pumped up. It’s a wasteland and desert-like setting that captures the feelings fans would attain from old-school cowboy and western flicks.
This anime tells an incredible tale about a bounty hunter named Vash the Stampede. Vash is a merciless villain that can flatten entire cities with each and lays waste to any town he stumbles upon. At least that’s what people claim to know about our protagonist. As with any rumor on the internet, these claims hold little truth.
In reality, Vash is a wholesome goofball and pacifist. He does adore traveling through his world’s deserted landscapes, though. However, he’s not alone on his travels as he’s accompanied by his two friends, Meryl and Milly. When Vash finds himself among legendary assassins, tasked with killing him, his kindness is tested.
As one can assume, Trigun is an anime that balances its humor, adventuring, and action well. It manages to tell a complete and memorable story within 26 episodes. Each episode is jam-packed with fun concepts, dialogue, and scenarios. Although he’s a peaceful individual, Vash doesn’t tolerate criminals, especially those who harm his friends.
Gungrave is a dramatic and action-centric anime. This anime features subplots involving vengeance and seeking justice. It features incredible gunslinging stand-offs and battles. The series’s animation peaks during these scenarios, allowing viewers to immerse themselves.
Our tale follows two comrades named Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowell. These two friends are astounding criminals with great records. Their credentials buy them entry into a large mafia syndicate run by its infamous leader Big Daddy. Unfortunately, Brandon and Harry fall within the lowest ranks of the group.
However, this is what drives Harry toward his conniving plot to overthrow Big Daddy and become his group’s new leader. As for Brandon, he simply wants to appease Big Daddy to get his lover back. Moreover, Brandon wants to help Harry achieve his desire, too.
Typically game-based anime don’t harbor the same joy and excitement from fans. Many anime fans prefer original stories or anime adaptations of manga (or Japanese comics). The reason is that most game-to-anime adaptations don’t capture the same energy displayed from their source material or fail to reference the source material in any way.
Fortunately, Gungrave isn’t one of those failures. It manages to capture the same vibe and excitement fans had for its source material. It often exceeds what the video game presented, giving fans another amazing way to experience its story, characters, world, etc.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best anime through the years about the wild wild west!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!