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When you really think about it, what in anime isn’t fantasy? A huge chunk of shows deal with crazy fictional premises, superpowers, aliens, time travel, and unheard of worlds. So it can be rather difficult composing an ultimate top 10 fantasy list. Thankfully, the term fantasy carries with it a certain connotation. When you hear fantasy, you think escape from modern times into a world full of nature and magic. In many ways it’s a call on the pastoral ideology as it tries its best to revoke a city or suburban setting and give you something new. Thus, why nothing like Bloodfront Blockade is one the list. Taking it one step further to narrow it down and make a list that is more unique, this list will only include shows that have started in the past five years. So sadly no Mushishi, no One Piece, no FMA. With that said, let’s dig into the best fantasy anime that have been released pretty recently.
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul. 2015 – Sep. 2015
Youji Itami is an otaku, a self-proclaimed one at that. So when an inter-dimensional force of dragons and trolls invade his world during the time of a convention, he is quick to throw himself in the fray, putting all his RPG knowledge to the test. He proves himself so useful during this initial battle that he receives a lot of honors and is later tasked with leading a special recon team into the fantastical world that lies beyond the gate.
Gate does an impressive job immersing the viewer wholly into the fantasy world that stands opposite modern day society. It does this in a number of ways. One it efficiently and effectively develops each of the main characters, who represent various ideologies, and thus gives insights into different cultures. Secondly, it shows the inner workings (the government, religious factions, and military) of the kingdoms that Japan is trying to defeat/negotiate with. By doing this, we receive a much a grander picture of how this entire world runs and functions. It’s very akin to a cultural exchange program, at least by the time diplomatic solutions start being suggested.
9. Konosubarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!(Konosuba) [KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!]
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: Jan. 2016 – Mar. 2016
Kazuma is young, lonely, and a shut in. One day, upon forcing himself out his room, he dies in an extremely awkward manner. Due to his relative youth, the goddess Aqua gives him the option to continue life in an alternate universe. He can even bring an ultimate item of his choosing to make sure things work at. Well, she happens to present on this information while completely humiliating Kazuma, and in an act of spite Kazuma declares that he wants her to accompany. To the higher ups of godhood, this request is valid and so Konosuba begins.
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!, aka Konosuba, presents a glorious fantasy world that’s brimming with life and then throws us into the outskirts. Basically, we realize quite quickly that neither Kazuma nor Aqua is quite suited for adventure. Thus, they end up working rather ordinary jobs and living in less than quality standards (a stable). Bringing some light into the world are the two companions that join this unlucky duo. However, they prove themselves to be equally as useless. Overall, Konosuba presents a fantastical world that gets flipped on its head as four inept adventurers try to make a living.
8. Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis (Rage of Bahamut: Genesis)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct. 2014 – Dec. 2014
In a time long ago, the destructive powers of the great dragon Bahamut threatened the realms of the humans, demons, and gods. In a massive battle that invoked a combined effort from each race, Bahamut was successfully locked away. The key to Bahamut’s imprisonment was then split between the god’s realm and the demon’s realm. Our story begins when the key in the god’s realm has suddenly been stolen.
Mappa’s 2014 Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis takes viewers down a visual masterpiece. We’re thrown into a medieval fantasy that has every type of mystical being you could hope for. There’s magic, swashbuckling, historical and mythological figures, as well as massive amounts of deception. Consistently, we are being brought face to face with some incredible setting or monster and the fight scene that ensues is always one of longevity and delight. It truly is an ode to fantasy lovers. It’s one drawback is that it provides such a massive world that it can only give a slight glimpse into the lives of some of the more imposing characters within its 12-episode run.
7. Hoozuki no Reitetsu (Cool Headed Hoozuki)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jan. 2014 – Apr. 2014
Have you ever wondered how Hell is ran? Obviously there is quite a bit of traffic going down in the underworld and for people to find their correct place in the afterlife, things cannot be left to anarchy. That’s why there’s Hoozuki, chief deputy to Lord Enma. Hoozuki no Reitetsu follows the management styles of this chief deputy as he makes sure that hell is a well-oiled, smooth-running bureaucracy.
One of the best things about this show and what it does extraordinarily well is intermix Japanese mythology into its storyline. It’s not the only show to throw around beings from legends and folklore, but it clearly took the time to nail down the characters. Rather than simply invoking the name of a hero or god to appease mythology lovers, Hoozuki no Reitetsu revolves around these characters and utilizes its supernatural setting to its upmost. The only thing you might find strange is how similar hell is to your office space.
6. Log Horizon
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct. 2013 – Mar. 2014
Not ten thousand, but thirty thousand gamers are suddenly trapped inside a popular MMORPG known as Elder Tale. They are not able to log out and they must learn how to survive in this dangerous fantasy world that has up to that point been only a virtual ‘escape’.
Think Sword Art Online, but better. We won’t have to deal with an extremely overpowered protagonist here and there’s less focus on a single guy wooing every girl he has one-on-one time with. What Log Horizon does exceptionally well is propel us into a universe that is vast and requires a collaborative effort among characters. In doing so, characters take on relatively niche roles that are both standard and comforting. However, the particular role of puppet master, the behind the scenes mastermind, is actually played by our hero, Shiroe. This actually allows the other characters more time to shine as they excel at their relative skills, which are put to perfect use by Shiroe.
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul. 2016 – Sep. 2016
We’re all probably familiar with Berserk and this is the one series that gets to break the rule of beginning in the last five years. Its implementation of CG, separate story arc, and overall time gap from its 1997 predecessor gave way to an exception. Considering the massive amount of monsters, hectic swordfights, and epic story; it’s hard not to put Berserk on any type of fantasy list.
Berserk, more than any anime on this list, captures the idea of a dark fantasy. Rather than act as an escape from mundane reality, Berserk presents landscapes that are dreary and haunting and characters who are highly damaged and complex. In this world, everything feels like it’s cast in some shadow, as it becomes increasingly difficult to decide what’s right and what’s wrong. All you can do is hold on as Guts heaves his hunk of iron into countless ghouls, and perhaps save a few innocents if he feels like it. The only issue you might find with it, is that CG isn’t your cup of tea.
4. No Game No Life
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr. 2014 – Jun. 2014
No Game No Life follows the adventures of the siblings Sora and Shiro as they find themselves thrown into a completely different world, a world where everything is decided by games. Luckily, Sora and Shiro are actually god-like gamers with incredible reflexes, inexhaustible strategies, and impressive teamwork. In other words, they have really just been taken to heaven and are ready to ascend to an entire new status.
Surreal on a completely different level than anything else on this list, No Game No Life invites its viewers to experience a visual feast. Few shows have the ability to completely consume the audience simply through the setting and animation styling, but that is exactly what No Game No Life accomplishes. It astounds you, and gives you an entire world that seems like a playground for your imagination to run wild with. Not only that, but each game that is played is executed with grace as strategies clash and mental capacities are tested.
3. Nanatsu no Taizai (Seven Deadly Sins)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct. 2014 – Mar. 2015
Set in world that is modeled after the European Middle Ages, Nanatsu no Taizai follows Elizabeth, the third princess of the Kingdom of Liones, as she searches for the subset of Holy Knights that had been deemed The Seven Deadly Sins for their betrayal against the kingdom. Why is the princess looking for them? Well, after The Seven Deadly Sins had been suppressed, the rest of the Holy Knights had a little coup of their own.
Maybe in a year or two Nanatsu no Taizai will be able to claim the top spot on a fantasy list. It has all the components for a traditional shounen in a fantasy world and it does them exceptionally well. It’s a case of presentation and pace beating out everything else. It has a diverse cast of powerful and interesting characters, who each offer a certain charisma that will attract its own following. The world is vast with plenty of visual appeal. No surprise their as A-1 Pictures steers the project. The story might be a little traditional in its search for the ultimate crew, but more than makes up for it with certain twists and its well developed characters. The only thing this show is truly missing is a second season to further explore the nuances of the world it has set up.
2. Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Re:ZERO –Starting Life In Another World-)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr. 2016 – Sep. 2016
Re:Zero follows Subaru Natsku as he gets thrown into a crazy fantasy world. This world says hello by having him beaten to a pulp by a group of thugs. Thankfully, a mysterious girl by the name of Satella comes to the rescue. To repay her kindness, Subaru says he will help her find her ‘insignia,’ which she explains was stolen. Well, they find it, they find themselves in over their heads, and they both die. Then Subaru reawakens to the group of thugs once more.
This anime is one of the few to have made an actual impact on the anime community. There are several reasons for this. One, the character designs are stellar and its simply enjoyable to watch people interact even in a relatively plain-looking setting. Two, there is a good amount of action from the get go to keep the people on their feet and excited to see what happens next. Three, the story does not dig itself into a hero who can save everything plotline. The third reason in particular sets the show apart. Usually, you would expect the ability to revive as a power that leads to happy endings. However, in this series, this power forcibly deconstructs Subaru into an entirely different character and creates massive struggles for himself and the people he comes into contact with.
- Episodes: 50
- Aired: Oct. 2012 – Mar. 2014
Scattered about the world are deadly labyrinths, known as Dungeons, which hold magical treasures beyond the imagination. These Dungeons are ruled over by supernatural Djinns, who will give their power to anyone who conquers the impossible maze. This granting of power acts as the Djinn’s vote of confidence for the victor to be king. As a result, many people with grand dreams dare the labyrinths in hopes of achieving riches and power. One lucky big dreamer, Alibaba, happens to achieve such a feat while befriending Aladdin, a young magician who might be one of the legendary Magi, magicians who lead kings to their empires.
Magi tops this list due to the world it has been able to flesh out over two seasons. Yes, it basically doubles the length of most other entries, but that’s no reason to not celebrate the vibrant and magical world that Magi creates. It seamlessly blends adventure, action, magic, and humor into one incredibly interesting story. Each character we are introduced to has a story and the creators do a great job giving life to everyone. Even characters of minor importance have personal quirks and are developed quite thoroughly. As a result, every battle, whether one of fists or ideologies, has a certain undeniable attraction.
Anime is ripe with fantasy settings for people to lose themselves into. A large part of this is because of the certain animation qualities that are inherent in anime. They permit a more stunning world to be set up than most western cartoons and thus allow viewers to really indulge their senses into something. Anime, fantasy, and escapism all go hand-in-hand-in-hand. With that said, were there any fantasy shows that you wanted to see on this list?
Fantasy is a pretty famous genre of anime, but it is so wide that most of us could get lost with all its possibilities and the interesting anime to watch. You can find magic, mythology, supernatural powers and so on. Because of the diversity of this kind of anime, it is quite difficult to select and rank them, but there is nevertheless a lot of fantasy anime that has caught our attention, among others.
Lets get started with this Top 10 Fantasy Anime! A lot of other anime could be listed in this selection, but I think each of them here earned the spot in this Top 10!
10. Akatsuki no Yona/ Yona of the Dawn
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct 2014 – Mar 2015
Yona is the princess of the Kingdom of Kouka. She lives peacefully in the castle with her father, the King II, along with her bodyguard and childhood friend, Hak. In love with her cousin Soo-won, the life of Yona changes drastically on her sixteenth birthday, when Soo-won commits the murder of the King II. Because of this, Yona doesn't have another choice than to run away from the castle with Hak.
Running after a legend in order to save her kingdom, the story of Yona is full of action and agitation. The legend of the four dragons and of the Red Dragon God is at the center of the story and despite the shoujo aspect, everyone can find this show interesting.
9. No Game No Life
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 2014 – Jun 2014
Sora and Shiro are siblings and famous for being two NEETs who had never lost in a game. Tired of the world in which they are living, they meet a strange young man who proposes them to go to another world that will be better for them. This mysterious character is actually the God of a world where everything, including borders and politics, is decided by games.
In this world, a lot of different creatures are coexisting and humans are ranked the lowest because of their weakness, but the two siblings will soon change everything. Summoned into that mysterious world, Sora and Shiro will use their abilities in games to reach the top. A lot of adventure and strategy, this is a great show to watch!
8. Natsume Yuujinchou/Natsume's Book of Friends
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jul 2008 – Sept 2008
The story follows Natsume Takashi, a young man able to see youkai since he was a child. Although, he was keeping this ability a secret because it is no less than a burden to him. However, his daily life changed suddenly when he discovers the “book of friends” he inherited from his grandmother, who was also able to see youkai. In this book, she collects the names of the youkai she met and from now on, Natsume decides to release each youkai his grandmother ever encountered.
Natsume will be escorted by the spirit Madara, who he is called Nyanko-sensei. Because of the book, and the ability for his owner to control every youkai named in it, a lot of creatures are attracted to Natsume. The story of the main character has him always caught in the middle of several youkai as he has to deal with all of them so the fantasy aspect is present.
7. Log Horizon
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct 2013 – Mar 2014
Elder Tale is a famous online game played by a few thousand people. During the installation of the new extension pack, a bug in the system caused the players connected at that time to enter the game, replacing their avatar. These players are now locked in the game, doomed to live in it. Shiro, one of the players, is a great strategist and with the help of his friends, he will try to find out how to survive in their new reality.
Shipped into a fantasy world where monsters and magic are commonplace, characters will have to adapt themselves in their new world. With a lot of mystery and strategy, Log Horizon can transport anybody into its world!
6. Magi : The Labyrinth of Magic
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct 2012 – Mar 2013
Aladdin is a young boy who travels with his friend, the Djinn Ugo. In the country, strange ruins called Dungeons, are appearing randomly and offer their riches to anyone who succeeds in resolving their mysteries and traps. Aladdin then meets with Alibaba, whose goal is to take over all the gold of the Dungeon near his town. After the two boys collaborate, they begin their road around the world.
In a world where magic is omnipresent, the two characters will follow their road and destiny; meeting new friends while also being separated from each other. The story is great, and the magic and fantasy aspect is shocking. Another fabulous anime to watch!
5. Soul Eater
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: Apr 2008 – Mar 2009
The Shibusen Academy is a place where young people learn how to be Meisters. Each Meister has to unite with a demonic weapon, who can take human form, in order to face witches and monsters while protecting the city against certain threat. The goal of Soul Eater, one of the demonic weapons, is to become a Death Scythe, the most powerful weapon.
In the universe of shinigami, each group formed by a meister and a weapon live their own adventures. There is a lot of action and humour, with everything well mixed into the story. Fantasy and supernatural aspects are at the center of the plot, and the popularity of this show is undeniable.
4. Ao no Exorcist/ Blue Exorcist
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr 2011 – Oct 2011
Rin Okumura is a rebellious young man, living with his foster father and his twin brother within a temple. One day, the unknown world of the Exorcist opens itself to Rin, as he discovers he is the son of Satan, who was born for the sole purpose of allowing his real father to travel to the human world called, Assiah. As Rin's foster father dies trying to protect him from Satan, the young man decides to take revenge and becomes an Exorcist in order to do so.
This is a fantastic world of Exorcists against the forces of evil, with a lot of mystery and action. The characters are all endearing and the story is well developed. Humour is also present, and there are many great things we can say about this show!
3. Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct 2014 – Dec 2014
For many years, Fuyuki City has been the place for an ancient ritual whose purpose is to summon the Holy Grail and to grant the wish of the person who did the ritual. This ritual consists in a game called Holy Grail War, where seven magicians have to summon a mythical hero from the History. Each of these heroes fight against each other until there is only one left and this is when the Holy Grail can be summoned.
This new adaptation of the Fate/stay night show is deeper than the previous one, and the story is changed in some aspects, which is in a good way. This show is full of emotions and has a lot more action than the previous adaptation. This new show is a real pleasure for the eyes.
2. Fairy Tail
- Episodes: 175
- Aired: Oct 2009 – Mar 2013
In a world where magic is omnipresent, Lucy Heartfilia is a young woman who wants to join a guild, practice her magic by going on quests. One day, she meets Natsu Dragneel, a member of the Fairy Tail guild, in the city of Magnolia. After helping her with an impostor, Natsu drives Lucy to join his guild, allowing her wish to come true. After her official ceremony in Fairy Tail, she will experience more adventures than she thought she would.
There is everything you could want in this anime; lots of humour, action, adventure, a pretty good story, and the characters are all funny and endearing. This is a great show to watch as it deserves the second place spot in this Top 10!
1. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Episodes: 64
- Aired: Apr 2009 – Jul 2010
Alchemy is a great science as it allows anyone who can use it to fulfill a lot of miracles. However, there is a rule everyone has to respect in order to not create chaos. “In order to gain something, you have to sacrifice something of the same value,” is the rule that every alchemist has to accept.
As they learned about this rule, and its costs for trying to resurrect their mother, the Elric siblings, Edward and Alphonse, will have to travel around the world in order to take back what they lost during the ritual of transmutation.
More loyal to the manga than the previous adaptation, Fullmetal Alchemist is a really great show with a lot of charming and appealing aspects. With this show, we have magic, fantasy, action, humour and a bit of romance. So, it is not surprising that this series is really famous!
So, how about this Top 10? Do you agree with it? The selection was difficult because of all the choices and the diversity of the fantasy genre, but the most remarkable of them should be in this list. If we were to mention other shows not in this list, they would be Mushishi, Berserk, or even Seirei no Moribito.
And you? Which anime would you like to have in this Top 10? Leave a comment below and tell us about it!