While historically, pirates are known as the bad guys at sea who commit multiple acts of violence, they somehow obtain the ‘cool’ status instead of having the image of scumbag criminals. Pirates have often been featured in Hollywood productions but are more rarely featured in Japanese anime.
In Japanese anime, there are not only traditional pirates who travel across the sea, but there are also space pirates who travel by space ships! If you have a hard time finding pirate anime, then you are at the right place, as we are about to introduce to you the Top 10 Pirate Anime!
10. Gensou Jotan Ellcia (Ellcia)
- Episodes: 4
- Aired: Oct. 1992 – Sep. 1993
The rediscovery of The Sacred Book of the land of Eija prompts Princess Crystal of Megaronia to embark on a journey to recover a legendary ship which is said to be very powerful. Standing against her desire to dominate the world is a small group of unusual pirates led by Eira.
This is a classic good against evil story, which brings to light that not all pirates are essentially evil. If you can look past the old animation style which also features old-fashioned sound effects, this short pirate anime series with a simple plotline may entertain you during the lazy weekend. Even with the violent content in the anime, it is not scarce in the humor department due to the funny pirate characters.
9. Sol Bianca
- Episodes: 2
- Aired: Mar. 1990 – Jul. 1991
Sol Bianca is the name of a starship piloted by an all-female pirate crew which consists of 5 beautiful women whose names are based on months in the year: Janny Mann, Feb Fall, April Bikirk, May Jessica, and June Ashel. From a boy stowaway on the ship, they learn about the legendary treasure known as Gnosis, which is currently in the hands of the wicked, Emperor Batros.
There may not be many female pirates in the past, but no doubt, female pirates have always been the fantasy of many, what more if they have attractive faces and figures to boot (and in the case of Sol Bianca, the addition of striking hair colors). With a main cast that encompasses a group of femme fatale pirates, this series, which is centered on girl power, serves to be a foolproof premise. As there is a boy stowaway in the ship full of female pirates, you can expect some mild harem going on.
8. Queen Emeraldas
- Episodes: 4
- Aired: Jun. 1998 – Dec. 1999
Emeraldas is a mysterious, strong, and beautiful pirate who pilots the spaceship known as Queen Emeraldas. There is a certain race that aspires to rule over the galaxy, but they would have to get through Emeraldas who will not do nothing and accept their tyranny! This series is part of the Harlock franchise but it can be watched even without seeing any Harlock series beforehand.
Forget about having a pirate crew and a pirate series centered on friendship, there are some of us who can’t relate well to such things due to our nature that prefers to go solo! If you had such thoughts when you read the synopsis, you may be disappointed because despite the title of the anime, this series really isn’t much about the beautiful pirate Emeraldas. Rather, the story focuses on Hiroshi Umino, a young boy who has big dreams.
7. Coyote Ragtime Show
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul. 2006 – Sep. 2006
An outlaw, or coyote, named Mister, has been in prison for a year, and 10 days prior to his release, he escapes with the help of his old friends Bishop and Katana. Pirate King Bruce was murdered, and he has a daughter named Franca who is left under the care of Mister. Mister searches for Franca and together they go on a journey to find her father’s treasure.
The theme of finding loot or treasure is integral in the history of pirates, and this theme is shown in Coyote Ragtime Show, in which its plot centers on a group of space pirates known as Coyote, who are in search of the stolen loot of Pirate King Bruce. Like other pirates, Mister is interested in the loot for the money, but he also wants to do it due to his promise to Franca. Thus, it is kind of like a father and daughter relationship in a pirate-themed anime series. Aside from pirates, there are robotic killer maids in the midst of a planet that is about to get blown up!
6. Captain Harlock (Space Pirate: Captain Harlock)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Sep. 2013
Captain Harlock has been surviving for one hundred years looting spaceships and going against the Allied Forces. Due to his reputation as the legendary Captain Harlock who is a formidable opponent of the Allied Forces, the Allied Forces is determined to kill him. This anime film is a CG version based on the original Captain Harlock series.
The original Captain Harlock anime series was aired in 1978, but we think that many viewers would prefer to keep up with the times and watch something that is more modern, so we recommend this CG film instead of the original series. Since this is a CG anime film, you can expect the quality of the anime to be better than the average anime. The actions and battles of the space pirates are incredible. Even the spaceships look intimidating due to the CGI effects!
5. Kenren Butou Sai: The Mars Daybreak (Mars Daybreak)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr. 2004 – Sep. 2004
The story takes place in the future where there are humans who live on Mars. Perhaps inspired by the tale of Noah’s Ark, Mars is mainly covered in water, so humans live in huge city-ships. Life on Mars is not ideal due to the poor economy which causes some individuals to commit piracy instead. The most notorious pirate vessel is the Ship of Aurora, and Gram accidentally gets himself involved with those pirates.
Besides pirates, there are also mechas which are used by the government to fight against the pirates. Among the pirate crew, there is also a cat and a dolphin that can speak, so this anime is basically a mixture of various elements. The protagonist, Gram, finds out that the notorious pirates are not as bad as they seem and are probably doing the right thing, despite what it may seems like on the surface.
4. Mouretsu Pirates (Bodacious Space Pirates)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Jan. 2012 – Jul. 2012
Marika Katou is a high school student who spends her time at the space yacht club and works part-time job at a retro café. One day, she learns that her father, Gonzaemon, who had passed away, was actually a space pirate who commanded the ship, Bentenmaru. As the leadership has to be passed on to his direct descendant, Marika then becomes the new ship captain and begins her life as a space pirate.
Judging from the title, one might expect this anime series to be filled with silly, perverted moments, but this is not the case at all. In Mouretsu Pirates, you will follow the adventure of Marika learning about the skills needed to become a pirate captain before she can successfully be one. The anime series also features cute pirate costumes which are a feast for the eyes!
3. Erementar Gerad (Elemental Gelade)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jul. 2008 – Sep. 2008
Edel Raids are unique beings who can react with humans and grant them tremendous powers. The story centers on a sky pirate named Cou Van Giruet who discovered a very rare and powerful Edel Raid called Ren, which leads to many villains wanting to kidnap her. Cou tries to protect Ren and eventually falls for her.
Besides the simple theme of good versus evil in this story, this anime series which features a sky pirate as a lead, also has another underlying theme which is racial intolerance. Due to the unique powers possessed by the Edel Raids, various parties are interested in using them albeit for good or evil causes. Even though Cou is a sky pirate, he possesses a kind heart and sees the Edel Raids as human beings instead of weapons.
2. Black Lagoon
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr. 2006 – Jun. 2006
Roanapur is a crime-filled area in Thailand. Rokurou Okajima is a businessman who goes for a business trip in Southeast Asia, but is caught by the Black Lagoon, who are a group of pirate mercenaries. The group intends to use him as a bargaining tool but it does not work out as Rokurou is betrayed by his employer. Therefore, Rokurou decides to join the Black Lagoon.
Black Lagoon is about the businessmen Rokurou who suddenly has a change in career when he decides to join the group of pirate mercenaries. Even though it is certainly more eye-opening than his dull life as a businessman, his life as a pirate challenges his spirit and morality, as he has to break down some parts of his humanity in order to commit the crimes of a pirate..
1. One Piece
- Episodes: Unknown
- Aired: Oct. 1999 - Current
Before the death of the Pirate King, Gol D. Roger, he revealed the existence of the greatest treasure in the world, known as One Piece. Monkey D. Luffy aspires for an adventure which will lead him to the great treasure, so he becomes a pirate. Upon eating a special fruit known as the Devil fruit, he obtains the ability to stretch himself like rubber, which aids him in battles against other pirates!
One Piece is a shounen anime which centers Around Luffy and his crew, the Straw Hat Pirates. In the pirate world of One Piece, there are different kinds of Devil Fruits which grant the users special abilities. Thus, as the series progresses, there are many pirates who have special powers Luffy’s crew has to deal with! There is also plenty of humor in this series to entertain you.
Many of you may have stumbled upon this article in hopes of searching for a good pirate anime after being infatuated with One Piece, so we hope that the other anime we recommended in this list will satisfy your needs for more pirate anime?! If there are any more suggestions, please leave your comments down below.