Best Anthology Anime of All Time | TheReviewGeek Recommends

There is a lot of anime 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 anthology-based works. From beautifully animated works to those that’ll send chills down your spine, 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!

Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories

Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories is a spooky treat that grows stale. It’s first-two seasons offer great tales, but everything that follows feels lackluster and bland. It follows a mysterious masked storyteller who appears at dusk to tell kids scary stories about Japanese urban legends. Each story is riveting and contains some room for thought.

Visually, the anime looks different compared to other horror series. The characters in its tales look like paper cutouts you’d see in paper theater performances. Its art style isn’t for everyone, but it does an excellent job of helping Yamishibai stand out from others. Despite looking like paper cutouts, our characters give off horrifying reactions.

Some of the monsters and evil people in this series will send shivers down your spine. That said, each episode lasts about 4 minutes and every season has about 13 episodes. If you’re looking for an effective bite-sized horror anime with a couple of mesmerizing and unique short stories, check out Yamishibai.

Robot Carnival

Robot Carnival is a beautiful anthology series. Its visuals and animation hold up well in today’s climate. It’s a 90-minute anime showcase that’s worth your time, especially if you enjoyed works like Memories or the Animatrix. It adopts a similar tone and atmosphere to both and a great selection of tales for you to dive into.

That said, the animations in this anime contain different subjects but maintain a similar technological theme. Each short is animated by different animators. If there is one that catches your fancy, consider researching the person who made that specific one. You never know what other incredible works they could’ve made since the release of this anime.

This is a well-crafted spectacle of epic proportions. If you’re looking for a fantastic robot-themed anime anthology to check out, give Robot Carnival a shot.


Memories is an anthology film that focuses on three different stories. It doesn’t contain as much as Robot Carnival and some fans may not love the fact that the stories don’t harbor consistent theming. The tale “Magnetic Rose” is regarded as the best of the three as its harbors the most imaginative narrative and sticks to the “memories” theming.

The other two lack substance or are only enjoyable from a visual perspective. That said, each short harbors excellent animation that holds up well by today’s standards. You’ll find yourself floored by the incredible camera work, choreography, and other techniques that went into producing this anthology anime.

It’s not the best anime anthology out there, though. However, it offers enough great material that’s worth your hard-earned time.

Flavors of Youth

Flavors of Youth is three-part anthology series. Unlike Memories, this anime sticks to its promised themes. Each tale is themed around food, clothing, and shelter. They all take place in Chinese cities and focus on multiple characters with likable personalities and issues that revolve around these three themes.

This anime may or may not become your favorite anthology series. It feels aimed toward a Chinese audience as viewers from that territory will be able to relate to the difficult situations our characters endure in these works. That said, the anime features incredible drama and romantic elements.

One of the shorts called The Rice Noodles is entirely about Chinese cuisine, though. While it may appear odd to many westerners, many folks who grew up or visited China may harbor a strong attachment toward this work. On that note, if you’re looking for a fun anthology series with a few noteworthy shorts, give this a try.

Batman Gotham Knight

Batman Gotham Knight is a fun anime take on the beloved cape crusader. It spans several stories centered around Batman’s daily activities. While many shorts provide enough stellar content that’s worth your time, others fall flat on themselves. These shorts will leave you with mixed feelings and aren’t as great.

However, it’s worth noting that this anime was meant as a lead-in for The Dark Knight. Therefore, it’s best to walk into Batman Gotham Knight with the lowest expectations possible. It’s not a groundbreaking anime, but it’s not utterly horrible either. For example, this anime understands Batman and Bruce Wayne’s characters.

You’ll witness people’s perceptions of Batman’s actions. Some will adore or resent him. These shorts aren’t too long, so it’s should be easy for folks to binge through this without issue. This is a fun interpretation of Batman with jaw-dropping visuals and exhilarating action sequences. While it doesn’t capture Batman in all his glory, this adaptation will make a fine addition to a Batman fan’s catalog.

The Animatrix

The Animatrix is a 9-episode anthology series with a total runtime of about 100 minutes. It has some remarkable sci-fi and thought-provoking tales that will please you. This is essential for anyone who adored The Matrix’s world. This anthology contains works spearheaded by fabulous creators.

From Cowboy Bebop’s Shinichiro Watanabe to Ninja Scroll’s Yoshiaki Kawajiri, you’re in for a great treat with these shorts. These creative geniuses came together to deliver a new spin on ideas that made The Matrix an engaging film to watch. That said, each short film offers something refreshing that will make you ponder. Give this anthology collection a shot when you have the chance.

Genius Party

Genius Party is a collection of seven notable tales with different themes. These can range from wholesome to utterly absurd. Some shorts will be seeing characters encounter monsters attending school while others center around a man who’s down on his luck. These shorts have a runtime of about 15-20 minutes each.

This is another work that allows its creators to express themselves in imaginative ways. Some shorts may lack characterization and depth while others flourish in those fields. Many works contain bright and vibrant colors while others may appear dull and mischievous. It’s Genius Party’s variety that makes it a worthwhile collection to watch with your friends or alone.

Neo Tokyo

This anime anthology consists of three separate set pieces. They’re all created by different creators who brought you fabulous flicks like Ninja Scroll and Akira. The stories in this collection feature great action and imaginative settings. From futuristic worlds to war-like conflicts, there is a lot of variety here to warrant your investment.

The collection’s second segment titled “The Running Man” is the most loved of the three. It contains realistic character designs and tackles dark themes like pain and misery well. The other shorts either lack strong characters or don’t offer the most complex storylines. However, each short contains phenomenal animation and visuals. It’ll be hard for viewers not to feel immersed.

Twilight Q

Twilight Q is a short-lived anime anthology series. While it didn’t do the best numbers, it helped its creators get their names out there. Some creators including Mamoru Oshii, Kazunori Ito, and Akemi Takada would band together to form a Headgear, which would lead to them creating a more well-received project called Patlabor.

Regardless, this two-episode anthology collection contains beautiful animation, decent storytelling, and rich dialogue. The second story doesn’t offer the best conclusion but contains a well-written and complex plot. The first story is strange but offers a splash of colors and a peaceful ambiance which shouldn’t be overlooked.

These are two tales that dabble into the paranormal but contain enough refreshing components to avoid feeling too similar. Give this a watch if you’re looking for a quick and fun sci-fi and psychological anthology anime to watch.

Ai Monogatari: 9 Love Stories

Ai Monogatari: 9 Love Stories is a rare anime anthology series. It features music from The Beatles and work written by Japanese manga artist Kawaguchi Kaiji. These are nine independent tales with a runtime of about 10 minutes each. Despite being written by the same gentlemen, each work is directed by a different person and can vary in tone.

Some will instill joy in you while others will make you feel bittersweet. They all focus on male-female relationships in different and extraordinary ways. Although they run for a short amount of time, some are jam-packed with enough depth and characterization that you’ll be left speechless and surprisingly impressed. With stellar animation, well-written plots, fun characters, and excellent music, this is a great romance anthology for diehard romantics.

So, there we have it, our picks for the best anthology anime over the years!

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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