Top 10 Best Action Anime

Updated on November 15, 2017
Cheeky Kid profile image

Cheeky Kid has been watching anime and reading manga for as long as he can remember. Doing so takes him to different worlds.

Top 10 Best Action Anime
Top 10 Best Action Anime

When I say action, I mean ACTION! That’s “ACTION” with an exclamation mark! Well okay, I just said that to overemphasize and overact to things, because that’s what action anime are all about!

These shows are focused on the action and intensity of everything in the plot, be it the characters, the battles, the stunts . . . or really just everything! More often than not, this genre is responsible for making you all hyped up and excited. That means it's there to make you want to jump around restlessly as if you’re in the show itself. Put simply, action anime are the BOMB (exploding with eye-candy visuals and highly-engaging action).

So there, I hope I summed up what action anime are all about with that kinda messed up, over-excited, and nonsensical explanation. And so here we go, I’ve listed the best action anime based on how popular they are, how intense they are, and the way I see/view them.

Now get the adrenaline pumping as you’re in for a rush of extreme action that will knock you off your feet.

10. Guilty Crown


Snagging the #10 spot with a mixture of mystery, drama, mecha, supernatural powers, and extraordinary action is an anime show that’ll definitely make you feel guilty if you haven’t watched it yet. Well, the term guilty is in its name and it’s crowned #10 on this list. That anime is Guilty Crown.

Story-wise, you shouldn’t expect too much from this show because I myself believe that it could have done much better. The sound and music are awesome though, but what’s most important here anyway is…the action! It has tons of action and battle scenes that are good enough for you to disregard all the other mediocrities in it.

Guilty Crown starts off when 17-year-old boy named Shu accidentally meets the mysterious Inori Yuzuriha, a member of the infamous terrorist group, Funeral Parlor. After that fateful encounter, Shu gets mixed-up in a cruel conflict that involves a shadowy conspiracy and a deadly virus. Together with Inori, Shu obtains a top-secret power, the Guilty Crown, a power that enables him to extract voids from people’s hearts and manifest them as weaponry.

Guilty Crown - Trailer

9. Deadman Wonderland


If you’re looking for life-and-death battles with brutally exciting action, then look no further – you’ve just discovered it in the form of the anime show, Deadman Wonderland. Though there are bits of horrifying scenes and ruthless twists in this one (and the fact that one of its major themes is blood), all of them sync up well with the action, which makes it a really engaging show to watch. There are battles and lots of bloody fight scenes (which are not that grotesque) to watch so you won’t budge from your seat for a while.

Deadman Wonderland is a 2-in-1 facility that acts as both a high-security prison block and a carnival (hence the name Deadman Wonderland). All of that is a mere facade, however, because what lies beneath is actually a terrible secret that once shook the foundations of the country.

After witnessing the gruesome murder of all his classmates, middle school student Igarashi Ganta is framed as the culprit. Unknown to him, this tragic development in his life shall soon lead him to face the bloody truth of what exists in the shadows of Deadman Wonderland.

Deadman Wonderland - Trailer

8. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood


Amazing fight scenes involving alchemy and the law of equivalent exchange? How cool is that? It’s no wonder this anime series made it to the Top 8 here on this list.

This show is really popular and highly-rated, thanks to the excellent plot, engaging action, and enticing drama it showcases. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has not just captivated viewers with its unique premise and story, but also with its high-end alchemic stunts. As the law of equivalent exchange suggests, a great anime equals great reception.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood follows the story of the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse, after they had a tragic accident in alchemy trying to perform the taboo. They lose parts of their bodies in the process (or for Alphonse, his whole body).

Now, after receiving vast amounts of knowledge in alchemy and becoming state alchemists themselves, they embark on a journey to uncover the all-powerful Philosopher’s Stone and restore their bodies. Unbeknownst to them, as they get closer and closer to the stone, they also get closer to the undeniable and shocking truth about the whole world of alchemy.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Trailer

7. Btooom!


There’s nothing more action-packed and exciting than an overwhelmingly popular action online game – in this case, Btooom! But when the players are forced to play that survival game in real-life, the action increases drastically with an x100 multiplier! If what I’ve said isn’t enough, then just watch the show and witness the bomb-fest of survival with your very own eyes.

Btooom is an action online game wherein the players use unique bombs and explosives as weapons. Unknown to most, there’s actually a conspiracy behind it where the developers capture hopeless people to play the game on a deserted island in real-life.

That means it’s a battle of life-and-death where a player who collects a certain number of chips would be able to leave the hellish nightmare. 22-year-old N.E.E.T. Ryouta Sakamoto (who happens to be a top-ranking Btooom online player) awakens on the island one day only to find out that he has no choice but to play the real-life game of Btooom and survive.

Btooom! - Trailer

6. Terra Formars


If action highlights and fight scenes with little-to-no breaks in between are what you’re craving, then Terra Formars has got the fix for you. Seriously, every minute of every episode (except the first few ones) of this show are packed to the brim with action! Battles here and there, attacks flying everywhere. There’s really no rest from battle in this one. Why? Well, the characters here would probably die if they stop struggling even for a moment.

Terra Formars depicts the battle of humanity against mutated (or probably evolved) cockroaches on Mars. At first, humans were trying to make MARS habitable by sending moss and cockroaches there to begin the ecosystem.

But then, after several hundred of years, things take a darker turn. The cockroaches evolved into monstrosities and a deadly virus is on the loose in Earth. The only fix now is to capture the Terra Formars, study them and make an anti-virus from them, and if possible – eradicate them all!

Terra Formars - Trailer

5. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann


As Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is the very definition of EPIC in the world of anime, snatching the Top 5 accolade for it was a walk in the park. Marvelously, Gurren Lagann’s epic moments aren’t just marked by its remarkable and out-of-this-world story, but also by the death-defying action it showcases. From the most gigantic robot ever to the over-emphasized movements and stunts, you won’t be able to help but be fascinated with the spectacularity of it.

Gurren Lagann starts off in an underground world where humans now dwell and live, ignorant of the existence of the surface world. Living there is a humble digger boy named Simon who works hard to dig tunnels to expand the village.

One day, he discovers a peculiar drill-shaped object beneath the dirt. Not knowing what it is and what great change it’ll bring, Simon keeps it as necklace only to soon realize that his life will forever change in the most drastic and epic of turns.

Gurren Lagann - Trailer

4. Kill la Kill


Taking the #4 spot with style is an anime that knows no bounds when it comes to epic battles and astonishing moves. From the creators of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann comes…Kill la Kill! If you’ve seen it before, then you know that every episode of this anime feels like the climax of the whole story. By that, I mean that every episode feels like a climax. With that said, I must say that that eye-popping style in itself is what’s keeping viewers glued to the screen.

Kill la Kill is a story of revenge that follows Ryuuko Matoi’s exploits on seeking the person who killed his father—the woman with the scissor blade! As she travels from place to place, she finally comes upon an abnormal school where the students possessing ridiculous amounts of power through their Goku school uniforms. The whole student body is governed by the student council lead by the ruthless and powerful Satsuki Kiryuuin. This is Ryuuko Matoi’s biggest clue to exact her revenge.

Kill la Kill - Trailer

3. Hunter X Hunter (2011)


Hunter X Hunter may always (feels like forever) be on-hold/hiatus (both manga and anime), but surprisingly, it’s one of the best anime out there in terms of plot, action, and probably everything.

Taking a hint from that, one shouldn’t underestimate the action in this anime. Everything’s well-thought and well-animated. Even the moves and skills have massive substance in them. This in turn makes each battle so highly-anticipated that you’d probably get hooked and sit there asking (or begging) for more.

Hunters are the most professional of all professionals in the world. And so, they’re regarded as V.I.P.s and the most special people everywhere. Joining the ranks of the hunters isn’t an easy feat though.

There’s a deadly test (hunter exam) that requires very fine and attuned skills to pass. A boy named Gon Freecs is one of the applicants this year, and together with a few friends; the avenger Kurapika, the professional killer Killua, and the seemingly normal medical practitioner Leorio, they go through the dangerous hunter exam to pursue their own great dreams.

Hunter X Hunter (2011) - Trailer

2. Sword Art Online


They say that Sword Art Online is so over-rated, but for me, it deserves all the good ratings it earned. I can attest myself that the action in Sword Art Online is really refined and cutting-edge.

You see, it’s one of the anime where I really felt the intense exhilaration and thrill in some of its fight scenes. Well, not all fight scenes in this anime are like that but I should share that there is one boss-fight in a certain floor that literally made me jump because of the overexcitement. The story’s not over yet, but I’m really expecting a lot more from it in the upcoming seasons.

Sword Art Online narrates the story of how the very first virtual online game turned into a huge disaster and controversy. Thousands of players were trapped inside the game and denied the ability to log-out until someone finished the game.

As if that wasn’t enough, and that might look like an enjoyable tragedy, there’s the fact that when a player dies in the game – they die in real life! Now, a black swordsman named Kirito takes on the role of a beater and tries to finish the game until the very end.

Sword Art Online - Trailer

1. Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)


Okay, after everything we’ve passed so far, it’s time to reveal the #1 anime on this list. Standing tall (actually gigantic/titanic) is – Shingeki no Kyojin, also known as Attack on Titan. I can't really say any more.

Words don't cut it to describe the overwhelming action in this anime. Let’s just say that there’s a colossal titan. That colossal titan is this anime. And that titan’s neck cannot be reached by our blades (in this case, words). Yeah, I’m sounding nonsensical already, but I suggest you watch it now to see for yourself what extreme action and story I’m talking about.

As humanity was left to live inside gigantic walls that fend off man-eating titans, there seems to be no hope left if nothing is done soon. Humans actually have lived in peace for a couple of years inside the walls, but one day, an abnormal colossal titan shatters the walls and breaks their peace.

After that tragic event, a boy named Eren Jaeger who survived the horror, vows to become a soldier to eradicate all the titans that exists. That’s not a simple thing to do though, as he finds out and discovers the truth about the titans and the whole of humanity.

Shingeki no Kyojin - Trailer

Are you an avid spectator of the action genre in anime?

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Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        sayang 4 weeks ago

        you guys forget about dragonball,naruto and one piece

      • profile image

        rex 5 weeks ago

        Who are you? A little kid?

      • profile image

        Ethan 2 months ago

        HxH is way better than SOA and AOT...

      • profile image

        Naruto Sucks Bro 2 months ago

        Naruto Sucks Lol People Who Actually Like Naruto Are 10 Years Olds With No Life

      • profile image

        Frank 3 months ago

        Attack on Titan and Terra Formars are stylistic garbage. Hardly anything happens. When something happens, it's hidden with weird angles and constantly shifting views and style changes.

        People and critics love it because the message is hyper leftist.

      • profile image

        raven 3 months ago

        I'm a bit surprised that one punch man isnt in this list that anime is pretty cool.

      • profile image

        Animesha 5 months ago

        need to add some famous Anime like Naruto, Fairy Tale and Etchetera.

      • profile image

        Sophia Zhaira 5 months ago

        i like guilty crown and sao. Boyh of them are amazing.

      • profile image

        MEELOPEZ 6 months ago

        FMA and HXH must be on the top.

      • profile image

        Hitesh 6 months ago

        Dragon Ball super is the best action anime in this century and u didn't put it in list

      • profile image

        DeShwan Brunos 7 months ago

        hehehe you right on the no. one spot.

      • profile image

        Azibliz 8 months ago

        really no NARUTO!! THIS NO LIST AT ALL but attack on titan would come second after NARUTO naruto is the best that is the end

      • profile image

        Guts 8 months ago

        BERSERK ?

      • profile image

        Joeysama 10 months ago

        Well written. I love all animes. I don't care about the ranks at all. Almost all of them have their charms. The arts, the animation, the plot, even voice actors are flawless. No offense, western cartoons have better animation and quality but I love anime more. I really am. I saw comments about complaining what should be in the list or not. One piece, Naruto, Fairy tail, Dragon....? They're just too mainstream guys. Obviously no animes can compete them. They're flagship anime series! lol. So I'd say Bravo, Cheeky. At least we have the same taste cuz SAO and AOT are my fav!

      • Cheeky Kid profile image

        Cheeky Kid 11 months ago from Milky Way

        @cynthia well, it's not purely action, and the action in it get into you after some time. Know what I mean? The fight scenes just kinda get old.

      • profile image

        cynthia 11 months ago

        how come " fairy tail " is not here?

      • profile image

        Sam Kuma 14 months ago

        @TyrantPree really? the anime you mentioned, everybody knows already. i am personally looking for something new! and come on bleach? that filler packed anime? or dragon ball? 2 dudes kicking each other to space and beyond and they only end up with a tiny scratch. ok!

        there are so much more to anime than the things you mentioned! and its already mentioned ** personal best **

      • profile image

        TyrantPree 14 months ago

        seriously no One piece, Fairy Tail, Bleach and Dragon Ball!!!!

      • profile image

        EMRADE 14 months ago

        People could be so weird at times, before he listed the above, he stated that they were his personal best so i don't understand the reason for the negative comments.

      • profile image

        DRock 15 months ago

        Where is Dragon Ball Z???

      • profile image

        Thatanimeguy 16 months ago

        Attack on the Titans is a decent anime doesn't deserve trip 5 spot

      • profile image

        Lee 17 months ago

        Yeah!! What a pity that Fate zero not in this list!

      • profile image

        ToryBrown 18 months ago

        Nice list, saw some of my favorites and some i hadn't seen here. Watching Btooom! now, seems pretty cool

      • profile image

        narissa 18 months ago

        CANT BELIEVE I DIDNT SEE NARUTO. Oh well, i think Hunter x Hunter wins it all in this list lol

      • profile image

        Thawmtepa 20 months ago

        No berserk = Nonsense list!

      • profile image

        Fun Hunter 21 months ago

        SAO above HXH and FMAB

        Someone end my suffering

      • profile image

        Bob 23 months ago

        I Screamed when i didn't see tokyo ghoul -_-

      • Mmartinez0015 profile image

        Mmartinez0015 2 years ago

        Justed walked away when i saw SAO higher than Hunter x Hunter lol

      • profile image

        Ihatesao 2 years ago

        Sao did not deserve to be on this list. Fate Zero is way better.

      • profile image

        askjasd 2 years ago

        Never seen SAO, I will now. What about Shaman King? Sure the anime its not that great as the manga but still awesome

      • profile image

        chaz 2 years ago

        i like a lot of this list kill la kill hunter x hunter (one of my faves period) AOT (another fave) fmab (yet another fave) dead man is pretty decent terraformers was ehh way to many deaths right off the bat made it hard to care for any characters, not to mention the fights in that were always one sided (up to what i saw) SAO is utter shit and highly overrated literally not even one good thing to say besides it's pretty. but i feel like you neglected a lot of popular ones just for the sake of not being a bandwagoner like DBZ any and all action top 10s should have this somewhere it's my number one but opinions differ but their is no denying the absolute intensity of the action sequences in this anime. 2 bleach once again amazing action sequences awesome graphics awesome characters just really good in general. 3 tokyo ghoul great action but i will give it to you that it's short and there aren't a huge amount of fighting scenes. 4 as much as i do hate this anime for it's retardedly inconsistent story it's obnoxious characters it's also very inconsistent levels of power and many other things wrong with it naruto now i hate hate hate this anime but in terms of action it's really not that bad and it has (somewhat) unique powers in it. just saying dbz definitely should be on there bleach i feel should but could see why not but that's it for my rant good list overall though.

      • Christopher Jay T profile image

        Christopher Jay Thompson 2 years ago from Fort Worth, TX

        I disagree. Akira is over 20 years old and the picture Quality is superb.

      • Cheeky Kid profile image

        Cheeky Kid 2 years ago from Milky Way

        But then, most people wouldn't really watch them even if they were really superb because of their old age (meaning: lower quality in terms of video and audio and whatnot). And that's why I only recommend the recent ones. :D

      • Christopher Jay T profile image

        Christopher Jay Thompson 2 years ago from Fort Worth, TX

        the problem with lists like this is they always seem to only include titles that have come out in the past 15 years. There are a lot more older Anime that are much better than some of these.

      • profile image

        pinkie 2 years ago

        SAO is my all time favorite action anime, but i like sub better, so the trailor bugged me a bit, but this is the best list I've found so far, so thanks!

      • profile image

        mikeydcarroll67 2 years ago

        Interesting list. I might have to buy a few of them in order to practice my Japanese!

      • profile image

        Anonymous 2 years ago

        I'd certainly say i agree with most of this list certainly FMA and SAO, a few id have put up there in pace of others i would spit upon such as Akame ga Kill or Log Horizon in place of the WAY overrated Attack on Titan which i think really isn't that great of an anime in my opinion (my opinion is cold hard fact though :P ) other than my small pet hate good list :)

      • Cheeky Kid profile image

        Cheeky Kid 3 years ago from Milky Way

        Have considered it. It's probably included at Top 10+ if it were like that. :D

      • profile image

        waytooold 3 years ago

        No tokyo ghoul?

      • profile image

        Miran Shuleta 3 years ago

        Personally I think Hunter X Hunter tops this list, the story, sense of adventure, and the uniqueness of the characters are things to admire. Attack on Titan is also very aesthetically pleasing as well as providing a very interesting story line.

        Great Hub!

      • Cheeky Kid profile image

        Cheeky Kid 3 years ago from Milky Way

        Haha. Thanks. Indeed you are correct when you said I intended to skip the obvious titles - they are mainstream and I wanted to put on spotlight the less mainstream ones but a lot more action-packed, hence this list. Fro Black Lagoon and Tiger & Bunny, I haven't seen them yet, so now I'm curious what they're about - thanks for recommending those two. :D

      • kotobukijake profile image

        kotobukijake 3 years ago

        Interesting list, and props on making room for Hunter x Hunter and Gurren Lagann. FMA: Brotherhood is also an essential action anime, and from the first episode I expect Kill la Kill to be as well (really want to get into that one). I am surprised, though, by the absence of Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, InuYasha, Ranma 1/2, Dragon Ball, Evangelion AND Fairy Tail. Guess you wanted to skip most of the obvious choices? Incidentally, I'd also consider Black Lagoon and Tiger & Bunny to be excellent contenders as well. Anyway, I enjoyed your list, and I certainly DO intend to add Kill la Kill, Sword Art Online and Attack on Titan to my series viewed, sooner than later.