Best Anime With Unique Art Styles | TheReviewGeek Recommends

There is a lot of anime out there and in this golden age of TV streaming, the choices have never been more significant. 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 shows with the most unique art styles. From whimsical pirate adventures to wholesome stop-motion fun, 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 add them!

One Piece

Despite having many seasons and episodes, fans should consider checking out One Piece. It has a well-written plot rich in foreshadowing, twists, and emotional scenes. The show spans multiple different story arcs with mature themes and beautifully rich settings. In One Piece, we follow Monkey D. Luffy, a young pirate who hopes to become the Pirate King.

He’ll be joined by multiple crewmates who led dark and intriguing past lives. These crewmates also have admirable goals they wish to accomplish by the story’s end. Like other adventurous narratives, One Piece includes multiple villains and adversaries who are after the Pirate King moniker like Luffy. Some characters have likable personalities while others were simply made to tick you off.

One Piece’s fights are well-animated and you’ll get a kick out of seeing our heroes deliver beatdowns to multiple evildoers. This anime’s art style may put people off, but it helps the show stand out, especially when compared to Naruto and Bleach. If you’re looking for a dramatic pirate anime with gripping story arcs and entertaining bouts, check this one out.

Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt

Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt delivers a unique magical girl experience. Its art style resembles that of western cartoons targeted toward young demographics. Unfortunately, this isn’t a show you should have your children watch. This anime features over-the-top action, sexual innuendos, and mature themes. However, it uses lustful imagery for a comedic effect.

Its comedy can feel hit or miss, but those who adore well-executed sexual humor will enjoy this one. That said, Panty and Stocking are incredible characters with several qualities that help them stand out. Panty is more sexually charged than Stocking, who likes to keep to herself and dine on sweets. Both girls are foul-mouthed slackers, though.

This anime follows an episodic story structure but concludes with an epic battle you don’t want to miss. It contains several side characters who play off our female heroines well too. If you’re in need of a good laugh and adore shows that look like western cartoons, check out Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt.

Mob Psycho 100

Mob Psycho 100 is a goofy supernatural show. It’s brought to you by the same mind that created One Punch Man. This anime features hilarious characters, well-animated supernatural bouts, and excellent storytelling. Its art style may appear simple to many viewers, but the anime utilizes its simplicity to its advantage by subverting viewers’ expectations.

Like One Punch Man, the show’s clashes are over-the-top. Your jaw will drop seeing the multiple explosions and colors fill your screen whenever our cast hop into fights. The show features incredible situational humor and you’ll die laughing at its protagonist’s meek facial expressions and reactions to situations. With its astounding cast, distinct art style, and beautiful animation, Mob Psycho 100 is worth watching.

Pui Pui Molcar

Pui Pui Molcar is a bundle of sunshine you need to see to believe. This anime’s incredible stop-motion animation helps it stand out from other adorable works. This anime may be the fastest one to binge from this list due to it having episodes that’ll run you for a total of 2 and 1/2 minutes each. It can also be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of age.

It takes place in a world like our own. Instead of cars, the humans in this world drive guinea-pig and car hybrids called Molcars. Its premise is as surreal as you expect. Nevertheless, this is where the series shines among the rest. It includes slight pop culture references that’ll make you laugh and adorable shenanigans that’ll make you smile. You should go into this one with an open mind. If you do so, you’ll wind up having a fun time with it.

You can check out our full-season review of Pui Pui Molcar here!


Nana is a great romance, fashion, and music-themed anime. It provides excellent commentary on the popularity and shows the issues that arise from it. In it, we examine two girls named Nana who live in Tokyo. They’re not familiar with the environment and aim for different things. One Nana wants to get into a romantic relationship while the other hopes to become popular.

When these girls meet, you’ll be enamored by how much they grow by the series’s end. This anime contains a unique gothic art style reminiscent of the drawings found in its source material. This art style reflects the punk-like fashion sense many characters approve of in the show and elevates the tense feeling you’ll receive hearing its bands perform.

The music is well-varied and great to listen to. Viewers will adore watching both Nana develop better morals and feelings toward life. The anime features light comedy, but nothing too hilarious. This is a show you’ll watch for its characters, storytelling, and music. If you’re fine with that, give Nana a shot.

Devilman Crybaby

Devilman Crybaby is an incredible reimagining of Go Nagai’s Devilman series. It features a strong story full of extreme violence and mature themes. The anime’s art style is unique and may not appeal to most viewers. The character’s proportions and movements can look jarring and absurd at times. However, its well-crafted narrative and cast will impress you.

This anime takes place amidst a spooky party our protagonist Akira attends with his friend Ryo. Suddenly, demons start murdering all the attendees, including Akira. However, Akira transforms into a formidable warrior called Devilman and slays every demon at the party. With her newfound abilities, Akira must balance his demon-slaying life with his human one.

This work contains explicit content that’s not suitable for younger audiences. It’s best to proceed with caution while watching this show and not to grow too attached to its cast.

You can read our thoughts on Devilman Crybaby in our full-season review here!

The Girl From The Other Side

This anime comes in two forms: a feature film and a 10-minute short. The former offers a longer experience filled with dialogue while the latter is shorter and lacks chatter. Many prefer the 10-minute OVA because it offers a simple explanation as to who our characters are and what their relationship is like.

Therefore, it’s best to go with the short than the movie. In any case, The Girl From The Other Side offers a tale about two unlikely companions named Shiva and Teacher. The former is a little girl and the latter is a demonic entity. They bond over mundane things from eating flapjacks to daily conversations. However, there will be instances where their forbidden companionship’s challenged.

You’ll enjoy seeing how our characters overcome fate in this work. It’s a piece of visual storytelling that will grip you with its unique visuals and use of colors. Give this a shot if you adore works like Beauty and the Beast or The Ancient Magus’ Bride.

Gankutsuou: The Count Of Monte Cristo

This anime offers viewers a revenge-driven narrative with a strange art style. It’ll appear jarring to many folks at first and some may have a challenging time focusing on the narrative or its character’s significant moments. It’s a style you’ll grow an appreciation for or will make your experience with this work awful.

That said, Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo’s (Gankutsuou) storyline will live up to fans’ expectations. It contains a great mixture of moments that’ll break your heart and instances that will surprise you. With some cleverly written plot twists and tense moments lying in wait, you’re guaranteed to adore Gankutsuou’s narrative. If you’re looking for an anime with great characters, stunning animation, and an engaging plot, give this one a shot.

Thunderbolt Fantasy

Thunderbolt Fantasy is as strange as Gankutsuou. Instead of CGI or traditional animation, this one uses puppets to tell its narrative. At the helm of its adaptation is written and produced by the well-acclaimed Japanese novelist and screenwriter Gen Urobochi. He’s known for being the co-creator of Puella Magi Madoka Magica and for writing the Fate/Zero light novel and anime.

This is regarded as one of Urobochi’s underappreciated works. While it doesn’t harbor visuals that fans are accustomed to with anime released today, it’s a well-choreographed production with a well-written plot, well-executed puppetry, and astonishing camera work. Thunderbolt Fantasy takes place in an Eastern-styled fantasy setting and follows Dan Fei.

She’s a sacred guardian who gets into trouble with an evildoer named Miè Tian Hai. She later meets a wandering swordsman who befriends her to fulfill a debt. After learning about her troubles with Hai, the wanderer must maintain his friendship with Fei while battling Hai and his minions. This is a great show with a lot of depth. Give it a shot if you’re looking for a new anime experience.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

This is one of Miyazaki’s best-looking films. It revolves around a girl named Kaguya, whose raised by a bamboo cutter named Okina and his wife, Ouna. They believe she’s a princess who comes to Earth to bless them. Kaguya lives a harmonious life in its village and befriends many of its residents. One day, Okina discovers a giant fortune of gold and treasure in the forest.

With this newfound wealth, Okina forces Kaguya to abandon her rural life in favor of a fashionable one. Forced into a life she never wanted, Kaguya embarks on a mission to discover her life’s purpose and origins. This anime’s engaging watercolor art style will immerse viewers in its multiple settings. You’ll adore the way our characters move and interact on screen.

The anime’s story will grip you. Many people who have lived under the roof of selfish individuals will sympathize with Kaguya’s dilemma throughout the film. No one loves living in a strict household and this anime conveys that message through dialogue and reactions. If you’re searching for a breathtaking anime with great depth, check this one out.

So, there we have it, our picks for the best anime with unique art styles throughout the year!

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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