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 fantasy. From exhilarating action to cinematically immersive settings, there’s a good selection of fantasy anime 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!
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood stands out as one of the best shōnen anime today. While the original 2003 adaptation gave fans some pleasure, this remake aimed to give its fandom a solid canonized conclusion. On that note, its fantasy elements aren’t worth overlooking.
This anime features multiple forms of magic, each with its own weaknesses and advantages. Our characters utilize their powers to overcome dreadful puzzles and defeat various combatants. The visual effects in this show are breathtaking and hold up wonderfully.
You’ll get amped up seeing our protagonists Edward and Alphonse fight numerous enemies aiming to take them down. Furthermore, fans will enjoy following Edward and Alphonse on their journey through this vast world. The people they meet range from wholesome to diabolical. If you’re looking for an incredible shōnen anime with fantasy elements, I’d suggest checking out Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
Violet Evergarden is one of Netflix’s best in-house anime. This series boasts multiple emotional scenes, likable characters, and a wonderfully-written plot. Its visuals are out of this world and will leave you questioning if the animators utilized realistic footage and overlaid it on top of the animation.
From Violet’s exciting journey to the way the environment pops on screen, you’ll find yourself having a difficult time following our character with how beautiful this show looks. Our tale takes place in a futuristic world where robots and humans live and work together. At the center is our female protagonist Violet Evergarden, who loses her spot in the army due to losing her arms and needing robotic limbs.
With her Major dying in her arms whispering “I Love You” to her, Violet sets out on a mission of discovery to indicate what her Major meant by those words. At the same time, she ends up in a school to become an Auto Memoir Doll, robots that write letters on humans’ behalf to learn about their emotions. Violet Evergarden set the standard for highly produced anime from Netflix and remains as one of its finest gems.
If you’re looking to watch a fantasy anime with in-depth storytelling and high production value, check this show out.
Made In Abyss
Don’t let this anime’s cutesy aesthetic fool you. Underneath its adorable exterior lies a show about death, survival, and hardship. The adventure our characters Reg and Riko embark on will captivate and impress you every step of the way.
As they adventure through the abyss’s deepest layers, they’ll come across many individuals and creatures. While some living organisms wish to off our children protagonists a helping hand, others want to place more pressure on their shoulders. At the same time, fans should expect this show not to hold back on its gore and violence.
While the abyss offers Reg and Riko much beauty to encounter and glare at, it also promises to challenge Riko’s sharp cave-raiding expertise and Reg’s robust robotic abilities and body. That being said, Made In Abyss isn’t always the cruelest show on the planet. There are happy occasions sprinkled in the show to give fans some breathing room from its intensity.
If you’re looking for a fantasy-themed anime with a great balance of pain and happiness, then Made In Abyss has you covered.
Howl’s Moving Castle
Howl’s Moving Castle takes place if a fantastical world full of anthropomorphic and human life. At the center of this world is a giant metal aircraft that floats in the sky. This is home to a talented wizard named Howl, who is known for his charming females and onlookers with his magical powers.
In a nearby town, we follow our female protagonist Sophie, who is looking to find her calling in life besides being a hatmaker. Unfortunately, Sophie gets involved in a crime scheme but gets saved by Howl. Though brief their interaction sparks controversy from a notable being called the Witch of the Waste. This witch places a curse on Sophie, transforming her into an elderly woman.
To become normal, Sophie must travel with Howl on a journey that will bring her endless happiness and insanity. This film will lead viewers down to many locales and environments. Each area becomes more uncanny and stranger than the last. Despite their brief encounter, the film does a wonderful job of developing Sophie and Howl’s bond.
If you’re looking for a fantastical film full of romance, magic, and adventure, look no further than Howl’s Moving Castle.
KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!
Arguably one of the most popular isekai anime around, Konosuba: God’s Blessing On This Wonderful World (Konosuba) is as hilarious as the anime’s elongated title. This anime contains likable characters with funny personalities.
This show’s humor is like a never-ending sea, as you will find yourself laughing nonstop at its bodily humor and witty jokes. While its humor is subjective at best, those who enjoy fantastical realms with hilarious characters will find themselves at home with Konosuba.
Besides its humor, each character brings something new to the group. For example, Kazuma will meet a young mage named Megumin, who believes she’s the best magician ever but is a novice at best. He’ll encounter a princess named Darkness, who acts more crude and raunchy than you’d expect.
As one can tell, there’s endless fun to be had with this wacky cast, as the antics they pull off will remind many folks of American sitcoms or comedic cartoons. Therefore, Konosuba will surely appeal to you if you’re looking for a fantasy anime that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The Rising of the Shield Hero
The Rising of the Shield Hero is one of those anime that sparked much controversy online. Despite receiving some backlash, this anime features fun characters, exciting action, and a glorious universe with mesmerizing landscapes.
Our story follows Naofumi, an otaku warrior who’s ridiculed by his kingdom’s people and fellow heroes for his weak abilities and terrible personality. Naofumi sets out on a quest with his training partner Malty but she falsely accuses him of something, resulting in her betrayal.
Feeling discriminated against and hated, Naofumi embarks on a new endeavor to claim strength and fix his reputation. Naofumi will endure some harsh circumstances while on his own, resulting in him buying a demi-human slave named Raphtalia to accompany him.
To protect the kingdom, its people, and themselves, Naofumi and Raphtalia aim to fight for their kingdom’s future. Naofumi and Raphtalia’s relationship is at the core of this narrative. Fans will adore seeing how their companionship develops during this show. The mischief they get involved in will keep you on your toes, especially the series’s assortment of magical and physical fights.
No Game No Life
Searching for an anime about a wonderful gaming duo, look no further than No Game No Life. This series’s protagonists Sora and Shiro are highly intelligent and cunning individuals. During their journey in the virtual world of Disboard, they’ll meet people who adore games as they do.
The games Sora and Shiro compete fall between the lines of fantasy and realism. From common card games to a larger-scale form of chess, there’s a lot of activity for viewers to get invested in with this show.No Game No Life also features some comedy. The humor ranges from hilarious facial reactions to well-timed situational comedy.
However, those that don’t enjoy ecchi or raunchy content in anime may adore No Game No Life. Sora isn’t the most polite gentleman around ladies and often bullies Stephanie into doing sensual activities for his amusement. If you can look past this show’s attempt at sensual-themed comedy, then you’re in for a treat with this virtual game world.
Little Witch Academia
Little Witch Academia is a fun and delightful magic-themed anime. Atsuko Kagari (Akko) is an awe-aspiring witch who embarks on magical adventures with her friends Susie and Lotte despite her clumsiness. While goofiness and excitement await you, you’ll find yourself warmed by this show’s cozy atmosphere.
Nevertheless, the magical aspects of the show serve as one of its selling points. The magic Akko wields in Little Witch Academia ranges in nuance. You can expect her to cast spells that transform her into different entities and witness her soaring in the air while aboard a broomstick. Despite featuring predictable uses of magic, Akko and her friends get involved in some humorous schemes and mischief.
These situations will get a laugh out of anyone, even if they find magical worlds and witches boring. That said, Little Witch Academia tackles darker themes like hopelessness and loss. This show knows how to convey these themes effectively through character interactions and reactions. However, viewers can expect characters to come together and formulate strategies that’ll result in them feeling a bit better about themselves.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride
The Ancient Magus’ Bride was a shocking hit when it was released in late 2017. This show revolves around the relationship between a slave and her magical master. This bride and apprentice’s partnership blossoms into something more romantic and charming by the series’s end.
The journey to that destination feels genuine and well-paced. Fans will adore seeing its protagonists Chise and Eins interact with each other. Despite being a lower-classed individual, Eins always gives Chise the respect a woman like herself deserves. That’ll make many fans appreciate and adore his character. This anime’s universe is another sight to behold.
The world feels full of life. From its harmonious forests to its enchanting wildlife, The Ancient Magus’ Bride offers viewers an excellent magical paradise worth praising. While these creatures take a backseat in favor of developing Chise and Ein’s romance, there are multiple sub-plots in this series that’ll get you excited. Chise will find herself in multiple mishaps with many magical beings and creatures.
If you’re looking for a show that can deliver on its fantasy and romance elements, check out The Ancient Magus’ Bride.
Now and Then, Here and There
Many anime from the early 2000s aimed to toy with the viewers’ heads. Shows like Monster, Death Note, and Code Geass were excellent shows that got people hooked because of their intelligent characters and the different journeys they embarked on. Now And Then, Here And There is another anime from that era that’ll have you reflecting on what you watched.
From its melancholy soundtrack to its well-rounded characters, this anime is an ancient gem that time has forgotten. Unlike most fantasy anime, this show’s protagonist, Shu, feels more like a victim than a prophesized hero. Despite wanting to fill people with hope in his universe, he’ll end up rupturing the courageous persona he puts on.
However, it’s Shu’s bravery in this hopeless fantasy world that convinces people to flock back to this anime. This fantasy world isn’t bright nor is it colorful. It’s a deserted wasteland full of blood-red skies and is engulfed in an all-out war. The people blame Shu for their world’s destruction, though. This is because he failed to protect the key to saving it.
In this heartfelt fantasy adventure anime, prepare to get teary-eyed at the chaos that awaits you and Shu.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best fantasy anime through the years!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!