Pursuing a Ph.D. in Plant Biology at Pennsylvania State University, writing anime articles in my spare time.
Best Fantasy Anime
Are you a fan of the fantasy genre? Do you like otherworldly stories, supernatural elements, and magic? If so, then this list is for you. Read on for the best anime the fantasy genre has to offer!
10. Wagaya no Oinari-sama. (Our Home's Fox Deity)
MyAnimeList Score: 7.29
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Shounen, Supernatural
Aired: Spring 2008
Toru and Noboru Takagami are descendants of the spiritually strong Mizuchi bloodline, and as such, they are constantly hunted by youkai (spirits) seeking to absorb their power. To combat these threats, their grandmother gives them two secret weapons: a powerful shrine maiden and a mischievous fox deity who can take the shape of both a man and a woman. With these two coming to live with them and their single father, their lives just got a lot more complicated.
Wagaya no Oinari-sama is a heartwarming show with a little bit for everyone. There is action, comedy, supernatural elements, and even some romance. Don't expect this to be your favorite show ever, but it is definitely a worthwhile watch and easy to enjoy.
9. Uchouten Kazoku (The Eccentric Family)
MyAnimeList Score: 7.96 (Season 2: 8.23)
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, Demons, Drama, Fantasy
Episodes: 13 (+12 Episodes Season 2)
Studio: P.A. Works
Aired: Summer 2013 (Season 2: Spring 2017)
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Yasaburou Shimogamo is a shapeshifting tanuki living in a city where tanuki, tengu, and humans coexist. He lives his carefree days taking care of an elderly tengu and observing humans, particularly a mysterious woman named Benten who has acquired powers as a student of the old tengu. However, behind the apparent peace is the knowledge that some humans eat tanuki, and this is what happened to Yasaburou's father. But how exactly did this happen to such an influential and respected tanuki?
Uchouten Kazoku is a fun and gripping show about family, friendships, betrayals, and mysteries. Both seasons are quite good. Once you start watching, you'll quickly get hooked.
8. Cardcaptor Sakura
MyAnimeList Score: 8.19
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Magic, Romance, Fantasy, School, Shoujo
Episodes: 70 (+2 Movies)
Aired: Spring 1998
Sakura Kinomoto is a normal ten-year-old girl who stumbles upon a mysterious book full of cards. After accidentally scattering them all over the world with a magic gust of wind, Sakura is transformed into a magical girl and is tasked with collecting them all to prevent the cards from threatening the world with their magical powers. Now she is forced to balance her ordinary school life with a life of magical adventures.
Cardcaptor Sakura is well-known and well-loved as a classic magical girl anime. There are a few slow episodes towards the middle, but overall, this is a solid show with great characters and a heartwarming feel. Definitely watch the second movie (Cardcaptor Sakura Movie 2: Fuuin Sareta Card) for a proper finale and progress on the romance side of things. Also, look forward to the sequel series (Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen) starting this season (Winter 2018)!
7. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
MyAnimeList Score: 9.25
Genres: Action, Military, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Magic, Fantasy, Shounen
Aired: Spring 2009
Brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric learn Alchemy's Law of Equivalent Exchange the hard way. They attempt human transmutation to bring their mother back from the dead and instead end up losing Edward's left leg and right arm and Alphonse's body, leaving his soul trapped in a suit of armor. In an attempt to get their bodies back, they seek the mythical Philosopher's Stone.
This take on Fullmetal Alchemist has a lot to offer. It is much more expansive than the original, though some might say it goes a bit too far out there, particularly towards the end of the show. Overall, it has great character development, worldbuilding, and tension, which make it an almost universally enjoyed series as its current #1 rank on MyAnimeList attests. It also has some great opening and ending songs.
6. Omae Umasou da na (You Are Umasou)
MyAnimeList Score: 8.10
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Kids
Duration: 1 hr. 30 min.
A Tyrannosaurus named Heart is raised by a herbivorous dinosaur alongside her own son, making him think he too is a herbivore. An encounter with other carnivores causes him to have an identity crisis and results in him leaving. Later he meets a baby Ankylosaurus and, intending to eat it, calls it Umasou (looks delicious). However, Umasou thinks Heart is his father, and they end up developing a familial bond.
Omae Umasou da na is the cutest movie. The family dynamics are very heartwarming and the story is entertaining. If you're looking for a good kids movie, this one is ideal. It's family-friendly and has great morals. It's also fun for adults and will be sure to make you smile.
5. Hataraku Maou-sama! (The Devil is a Part-Timer!)
MyAnimeList Score: 8.00
Genres: Comedy, Demons, Romance, Fantasy, Shounen
Studio: White Fox
Aired: Spring 2009
The Demon Lord Satan and his general Alsiel are forced through a dimensional portal by the hero Emilia and end up in the human world. With no money, Satan has to get a job at MgRonald's, a local fast-food restaurant, to make ends meet.
Hataraku Maou-sama! is a very funny show that mixes daily life with action, comedy, and demons. There is even a little romance, though this aspect is rather lacking overall. I think this is a good transition anime for those people who mostly like action but wish to try out a more slice-of-life comedy show.
4. Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari (Poco's Udon World)
MyAnimeList Score: 7.78
Genres: Slice of Life, Fantasy, Seinen
Aired: Fall 2016
After his father's death, Souta Tawara returns to his hometown in the countryside, where his family had owned an udon restaurant. Though it should have been empty, he is surprised to find a small boy sleeping inside. This is not a human boy, however, but a shapeshifting tanuki. He decides to take care of the boy and names him Poco, and the two develop a heartwarming relationship. As their relationship grows, Poco helps Souta come to terms with his past and his relationship with his father.
Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari is a very cute and heartwarming show. Poco is quite endearing and the show does a good job of portraying moving moments. I like the characters a lot and looked forward to seeing their interactions each episode.
3. Puchi Puri Yuushi (Petite Princess Yucie)
MyAnimeList Score: 7.53
Genres: Comedy, Magic, Fantasy, Shoujo
Aired: Fall 2002
Yucie is a 17-year-old girl who stopped growing at the age of 10. She is admitted to the Princess Academy where she gets the chance to compete to become the legendary Platinum Princess. Yucie makes friends with her rivals while attempting to find the pieces of the Eternal Tiara, which will allow her to use its magic to become an adult like she has always dreamed of.
Though Puchi Puri Yuushi is mainly a little girls' princess show, it can be enjoyable for all ages. The friendship aspects are very heartwarming, and the romance is quite cute. The comedy is also on point, and there are some feels.
2. Natsume Yuujinchou (Natsume's Book of Friends)
MyAnimeList Score: 8.40+
Genres: Slice of Life, Supernatural, Drama, Fantasy, Shoujo
Episodes: 13 (+5 more seasons for 64 episodes total, several specials, and an upcoming movie)
Studio: Brain's Base (Shuka for seasons 5, 6, and the movie)
Aired: Summer 2008, Winter 2009, Spring 2011, Winter 2012, Fall 2016, Spring 2017
Takashi Natsume is a high school boy with the ability to see youkai (spirits), an ability he inherited from his deceased grandmother. She also passed on to him the Book of Friends, which contains the names of youkai she had bested. This gives the owner complete power over the youkai whose names are included. For this reason, youkai are constantly after Natsume, some seeking to regain their names and others looking for power themselves. Natsume sets out to give all the youkai in his book their freedom, enlisting the help of a powerful cat spirit and gaining friends along the way.
Natsume Yuujinchou is one of my favorite anime. It is a heartwarming story of friendship and family. The character development is excellent as we see Natsume become more social and finally become able to make friends. Despite having so many seasons, it is consistently good. Many episodes are rather serious, but Nyanko-sensei, the cat spirit, provides some humor to balance it out. This is a show that everyone should try. Even people who detest slice-of-life shows can enjoy this one, as there is rarely a dull moment.
1. Aria The Animation
MyAnimeList Score: 7.76 (The Natural: 8.27; The Origination: 8.60)
Genres: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Shounen, Slice of Life
Episodes: 13 (The Natural: 26; The Origination: 13; + an OVA and several specials)
Studio: Hal Film Maker (TYO Animations for The Avvenire (final specials))
Aired: Fall 2005, Spring 2006, Winter 2008
Akari Mizunashi and her friends are apprentice gondoliers in Neo Venezia, a replica of Venice constructed in the future on a flooded Mars. They spend their days practicing and having fun together as they become intimately acquainted with the city and its people.
Aria is my favorite anime of all-time, the third season (The Origination) in particular. It may seem slow-paced or even boring at first, but it sticks with you long after you finish watching it. There is no show more heartwarming and relaxing as we watch these girls going about their daily lives and slowly growing up. For those who hate shows with no plot progress, you may be frustrated during the first two seasons, but there is actually a lot of progress during the third and final season. And once you get to the end, you'll wish there were more plotless episodes earlier on just so you could spend a few more minutes with the characters you have come to love. I would highly recommend everyone to at least try this show, preferably after a rough day when you need to wind down a bit. If nothing else, the background music is excellent and very soothing. If you only like action or hate cute girls shows, this probably won't appeal to you, but for those who enjoy a heartwarming and healing show, this is the best one there is.