Best Anime About Spies
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 anime about spies. From wholesome action comedies to nonstop thrill rides, 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!
Spy X Family
Spy X Family won over many fans’ hearts in 2022. Many people adore the series for its strong family aspects, as it begs the question, what does it mean to be a part of the family? While some characters aren’t explored as much as others, its three protagonists Loid, Yor, and Anya exhibit great chemistry and personality.
In it, we explore the life of Twilight. He’s a spy who dawns the named Loid as a part of his mission. The mission involves him defeating a prominent politician named Donovan to ensure peace between Ostania and Westalis. Loid adopts Anya at a daycare facility and enlists help from a clerk named Yor to fulfill his mission.
We examine the family’s wholesome mischief as Loid strives to get closer to Donovan. Each character holds a unique secret from the other, making things less normal and more engaging. For example, Yor’s a trained assassin but demonstrates clumsy motherly habits. Anya’s a psychic who can read minds but acts like a typical toddler. It’s these dynamics that make the anime amusing and fun to follow.
You can read our thoughts on Spy x Family in our full-season review here!
Phantom: Requiem For The Phantom
Deceit, chaos, and bloodshed await you in Phantom: Requiem For The Phantom. This anime takes place in a fictional American setting where assassinations occur frequently. An infamous human weapon named Phantom is responsible for the murders but isn’t carrying them out on her own accord. She’s simply following the mysterious Inferno Company’s commands.
Their plans reach a stopping point when a Japanese tourist catches Phantom in the act. Although he attempts to flee, Phantom and Inferno’s leader Scythe Master catch and brainwash him into thinking he’s someone named Zwei. Zaei must fight to survive in this godforsaken world. Although his circumstances are horrifying, Zwei develops an excellent relationship with Phantom.
You’ll adore seeing their bond grow and tighten over time. These two characters receive vital screen time, which helps in their characterization. If only the same could be said for the show’s focus on Inferno’s evil plans. Regardless, those looking for an engaging love story between two corrupted individuals will enjoy this one.
Joker Game takes place in a world where WWII is on the horizon. Japan establishes a spy organization called the D agency to obtain intelligence on other countries beforehand. Therefore, we examine eight skilled agents who’ll try their best to manipulate people for Japan’s gain. This is a fun spy anime with nice historical and militaristic themes.
This anime knows how to sustain its drama. It includes various intriguing plot developments that will persuade you to continue watching it until its conclusion. Whether it be through a sharp twist or a tense interaction, Joker Game will hold you by the neck with its riveting tale. The story itself can feel a bit realistic and resembles something you’d find on a history program.
Its dialogue can feel exaggerated at times, though. However, the show offers enough satisfying mystery elements to keep you tuned into it. With some stellar visuals and a diverse cast, you may wind up enjoying what this one delivers.
Fans looking for a fun episodic spy series to watch should consider Golgo 13. Although this isn’t his real name, the gentleman who takes on this alias has excellent talent and a mysterious background. Armed with his trademark M16, Golgo will take on any task the FBI or FGB grants him. He’s known for completing any task thrown his way as long as they pay him properly.
This anime contains mesmerizing action scenes, fun spy missions, and great suspense. The storyline has no real point and can be watched in any order you desire. It follows the same routine of Golgo accepting and completing missions. However, each mission diversifies itself from the last, making it a worthwhile binging experience.
Golgo doesn’t receive the best development either. He’s mostly a masculine individual through and through. However, the characters he meets on his missions receive great development and characterization.
91 Days is a historically-rich mafioso and spy-like anime. It examines the life of a boy named Angelo. He witnessed his parents and brother’s demise at the hands of the Vanetti mafia family. He flees his hometown and adopts the alias Avilio. After seven years, Avilio returns to his hometown and befriends Vanetti don’s son, Nero.
By using Nero, Avilio vows to bring the Vanetti mafia family down. This anime contains mesmerizing visuals and satisfying action set pieces. Fans will adore the anime’s gun battles and hand-to-hand combat segments a lot. Each episode contains some glorious tense moments that will get you excited for its future developments.
At the same time, the anime contains a breather moment between Avilio and Nero. This gives the fans time to take in the show’s intel and brutal imagery. If you’re looking for a fun spy-like anime with an enjoyable premise, 91 Days is worth trying out.
Fans will walk away bewildered by Baccano’s unique storytelling. It follows multiple protagonists with clashing ideologies, backgrounds, and personalities. Each character has a story to share and the anime manages to intertwine each tale into its overarching storyline. That said, Baccano’s a show that’ll appeal to fans who adore crime shows and thrillers.
It features multiple clues for viewers to pick up and hold to their chests. Most clues aren’t as blatant as others, but it makes one’s experience with the anime more interactive and exciting. Despite having a large cast, Baccano gives everyone a chance to shine. Despite being a thought-provoking work, Baccano contains some fights and comedy moments to relieve viewers from thinking too hard.
Like filling in a crossword puzzle, Baccano will keep you occupied with its puzzling plot.
Darker Than Black
In line with Baccano is Darker Than Black. This is a sci-fi action anime with a familiar setting. It has an engaging premise that starts vague but gets more interesting over time. With its suspenseful atmosphere, well-written characters, and music variety, Darker than Black promises a pleasurable time.
This world takes place in a futuristic Japan where two gates called Heaven and Hell appear. These gates bring along supernatural humanoids called Contractors, and our protagonist, Hei is an infamous one. He gets into trouble with Japan’s Section 4 Chief, Misaki. While involved with a heinous plot, Hei uncovers a grand scheme that will put his fellow Contractors in danger.
Darker Than Black gives viewers excellent action set pieces. These segments help keep viewers afloat after sitting through the anime’s significant dialogue and plot developments. Fans looking for a complex storyline with beautiful animation and jaw-dropping fights should steer their attention toward this one.
Kill La Kill
Kill La Kill is an adrenaline-pumping action comedy with flair. It features a striking art style to diversify itself from others like it and a colorful cast that will make you smile, giggle, and sad (at times). In it, we follow Ryuko. She’s wandering her world looking for the person who murdered her father. With half of her father’s scissor blade as her clue, she finds an esteemed academy run by Satsuki.
She challenges Satsuki to a fight, loses, and flees to an isolated area. At this location, she meets a lively vest named Senketsu. Senketsu attaches itself to Ryuko, granting her insane powers. With Senketsu and her scissor blade, Ryuko vows to return to the academy to defeat Satsuki’s minions and Satsuki herself.
Each battle will leave viewers stunned. They’re all coupled with an excellent soundtrack that’ll add to your enjoyment. The anime includes some wholesome interactions and funny humor to give fans time away from its intense bouts. The show can feel a bit raunchy for some people. However, if you’re into over-the-top action comedies, this one will delight you.
Ghost In The Shell (1995)
Ghost In The Shell is a marvelous film with a great futuristic setting. It has influenced many filmmakers, directors, and creators over the years with its excellent cast, stunning visuals, and phenomenal storytelling. Despite having some grand action elements, this anime can feel more mind-numbing with its takes on human ideology and existence.
Despite tackling complex subjects, the anime’s pacing isn’t too slow nor is it fast. It features a great pace that’ll keep viewers’ attention. The information it offers viewers isn’t drawn-out. The anime drips feed its significant lore and information gradually. If you’re a fan of movies, tv shows, or video games with well-developed cyberpunk universes and characters, give Ghost In The Shell (1995) a chance.
Original anime works can be a hit or miss. You can have successful hits like Code Geass or wind up with mixed works like Housing Complex C. Lycoris Recoil took this leap of faith and managed to wind up on par with the former. This anime follows a group of female students who must defeat an evil threat to protect their city and its people.
The characters receive great development and characterization. The chemistry between its characters Chisato and Takina will delight many folks. Their bond feels genuine and it’s always nice to see them overcome their diverse obstacles. On that note, Lycoris Recoil maintains a good balance between its action and slice-of-life segments.
On the other hand, Lycoris Recoil’s drama will play a factor in your enjoyment of the story. With some great tension, characters, and twists, you’re bound to enjoy what this anime offers.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best anime through the years about spies!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!