If you’re looking for the best fantasy anime to transport you to another world, this list is for you.
Set in a world far different from ours, with the existence of “magic,” “mana,” “nen,” or any other terms to describe otherworldly powers, heroes and villains clash, with the fate of the world at stake—that’s what you typically get in a fantasy anime.
It overlaps with many other genres like action/adventure, isekai (a different world), and more. It’s hard to differentiate, but the easiest way to determine if it’s fantasy is to ask, “is it a make-believe world? Would you be able to see or replicate any events in that story in our world?
If your answer is no, then that my friends, is already fantasy. Want more concrete examples? Here are the 15 best fantasy anime you can watch today.
1. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Manga: Hiromu Arakawa, 2001 – 2010 / Anime: Hiroshi Onogi, 2009 – 2010)
Let’s start with a classic: a world different from ours, where alchemy rules in place of science, and great men are recognized by their capacity to wield this power. If it’s a fantasy you want, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is more than enough to satiate your hunger.
Here, we follow the journey of two unordinary brothers, whose lives are drastically changed when they tried to resurrect their dead mother with the power of alchemy. Edward Elrich, who’s now a state alchemist, lost an arm and a leg, and he now sports metal prosthetics, thus the title “Fullmetal Alchemist.”
Not to be mistaken with his younger brother, Alphonse, whose soul currently resides in a metal armor in their failed attempt at resurrecting their mother.
Think that’s too much for just summary? Well, that’s just their backstory, and the anime’s storyline starts right after!
Check out the complete series on Amazon here: Fullmetal Alchemist : Brotherhood – Complete Series DVD Full Collection 1 and 2
2. Hunter X Hunter (Manga: Yoshihiro Togashi, 1998 – Present / Anime: Atsushi Maekawa & Tsutomu Kamishiro, 2011 – 2014)
Still one of the most well-received anime titles to date, Hunter X Hunter (read: “Hunter-Hunter”) is a must-watch for fantasy fans. It has over a hundred episodes and was set for syndication, just like some top titles like Dragon Ball Z or One Piece.
Unfortunately, the source material that is the manga version has been plagued by hiatus after hiatus because of the manga artist’s poor health. But that shouldn’t stop you from watching this anime. It’s one of the few titles out there with well-crafted characters, exceptional character development, and great story arcs. The arcs are complete, so you won’t feel cheated that you’ve watched the entire thing with a gaping hole for an ending.
Oh, and did I mention that the characters are so well made, you’d sometimes find yourself rooting for the villains!
Check out the first volume on Amazon here: Hunter x Hunter Set 1 [Blu-ray]
3. Fairy Tail (Manga: Hiro Mashima, 2006 – 2017 / Anime: Masashi Sogo, 2009 – 2019)
If the title’s not fantasy enough for you, I don’t know what is! It’s your typical shounen anime (targeting young males) with a lot of action, adventure, and fighting, and a hyperactive protagonist, Natsu Dragneel. Underneath his rough exterior hides the power of a dragon slayer, capable of using (and even consuming) fire in battle.
Oh, I almost forgot, he’s the adoptive son of an actual dragon, who has been missing for a few years before the anime’s story started. He’s also a member of the guild of wizards, who are capable of using different kinds of powers to do good deeds and ultimately battle evil forces.
What’s great about Fairy Tail is that it has over 300 episodes, and you definitely won’t finish it in one sitting. The story is already concluded in both the anime and the source manga, so it’s something to look forward to when you start the binge!
Buy the first collection on Amazon: Fairy Tail: Collection One (Blu ray/DVD Combo)
4. The Seven Deadly Sins (Manga: Nakaba Suzuki, 2012 – 2020 / Anime: Shōtarō Suga, 2014 – 2015)
It’s hard not to like this title, because it has all the elements of fantasy anime: a kingdom in turmoil, a beautiful damsel-in-distress, and a short-statured protagonist that can beat anyone regardless of their size (or power).
But based on the title, you might be wondering if it has something to do with any of the seven deadly sins that we know. From the get-go, we learn that the main protagonist, Meliodas, was the leader of the Seven Deadly Sins, a group of “criminals” who were branded with a mark of the sin/crime they represent. He is a cheerful, perverted guy who can flip a switch and murder everyone around him when a friend or a loved one is in danger.
I’ll let you figure out the other six sins, and once you do, it’s guaranteed that you’ll be flying through the episodes because of how good this anime is.
Check out the first volume on Amazon: Seven Deadly Sins: Season One [Blu-ray]
5. Fate/Stay Night (Manga: Datto Nishiwaki, 2005 – 2012 / Anime: Takuya Sato, 2006)
Shocking right? That’s precisely how the main protagonist, Shirou Emiya, felt when he got dragged in the Fifth Holy Grail War. So basically, he and other several participants will kill each other, and the sole survivor gets the Holy Grail, a wish-fulfilling cup with a serious thirst for blood!
What makes this fantasy title awesome is its callback to many literary and historical heroes from different cultures and civilizations. You have Greek mythology’s Hercules, the protagonist’s gender-bent King Arthur, and even Mesopotamian mythology’s Gilgamesh, among many others. You might think that it’s a lot of information to process, but the anime ties it all together so well that even if you don’t know jack about history or literature, you can still follow the story!
For more details on the complete collection, check Amazon here: Fate / Stay Night TV: Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
6. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (Light Novel Series & Manga: Fujino Omori, 2013 – Present / Anime: Hideki Shirane, 2015 – Present)
The title of the anime is a question that we all should answer right now; a resounding YES! You shouldn’t try to pick up girls in a dungeon, especially if you’re powerless, and the dungeon is full of dangerous creatures!
This is what happened to the protagonist, who, on his first try to explore the dungeon, meets a boss-level monster from a lower level. He gets saved by a seemingly-cold high-level heroine, and he realized that yes, it is indeed wrong to try and pick up girls in a dungeon if you’re a wimp!
Aside from dungeon exploration, murderous beasts, and beautiful overpowered heroines, this fantasy anime takes us through the main character, Bell Cranel’s journey from a newbie adventurer to a hero he’s destined to be.
Oh, I forgot to mention that he’s working under a patron goddess Hestia, with very few redeeming qualities like her voluptuous figure and sexual attraction to Bell.
Check out the first volume on Amazon: Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
7. Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shukufuku (Light Novel: Natsume Akatsuki, 2013 – 2020 / Anime: Makoto Uezu, 2016 – 2017)
A social recluse gets revived by a goddess in a different world, and he’s allowed to choose anything, from powerful weapons to unique abilities, to aid him in killing the demon lord. What do you think he would choose?
If this were a typical fantasy anime, you’d be right to think he chose an evil-slaying sword or the power of invincibility. But since this is a parody of most fantasy isekai (alternate world) anime titles, he decided to bring the goddess herself!
That’s a little messed up, yet brilliant, and would probably be akin to cheating in most cases. Unfortunately, the goddess is messed up too, and it was revealed that she was mostly slacking and not taking things seriously.
With no powerful weapons or unique powers and just an idiot of a goddess with no other offensive skills aside from healing (and some party tricks she learned along the way,) saving this world is an uphill battle for the protagonist!
Check out the first volume on Amazon: Konosuba The Complete First Season [Blu-ray]
8. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic (Manga: Shinobu Ohtaka, 2009 – 2017 / Anime: Hiroyuki Yoshino, 2012 – 2013)
In Western animation, nothing could be more “fantasy” than the ones offered by Disney. You see, “Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic” is loosely based on Aladdin. But while Disney’s Aladdin is your typical love-struck prince type, Magi’s protagonist kicks butt. Rather than dwelling on wooing princesses in faraway lands, this one’s conquering dungeons and collecting treasures.
But it’s not your vanilla action series, either! There’s a lot of character development, as we see how the protagonist and his companions grow and improve with every adventure.
In this series, capturing a dungeon is the greatest glory that one could hope for. Many try and fail miserably, and only those born with the power and the willingness to do it can succeed. And yes, there’s a “genie” in this story, but it’s a djinn (supernatural creatures) kept in a flute, and you’re not limited to three wishes!
Check out the complete box set on Blu-ray on Amazon: Magi The Labyrinth of Magic Complete Box Set Blu-ray
9. Black Clover (Yuki Tabata, 2015 – Present / Anime: Kazuyuki Fudeyasu 2017 – Present)
Black Clover is a story of childhood friends, aiming to be the next Wizard King—that’s worthy of a fantasy tag already! But it goes deeper than that: one is naturally gifted, capable of using his magical powers to the fullest at a young age, the other hopeless, with no hint of magic at all, even during their early adult years.
But as the magical prodigy continues to hone his skills, the seemingly ordinary character compensates with intense physical training, to a point where he’s ripped and can stand toe-to-toe with magic users on sheer physical strength alone.
But the story doesn’t stop there.
The “powerless” main character stumbles upon magic that’s different from what everyone else uses. And that’s where the story starts to progress!
You can say that Black Clover is somewhat an underdog story. Still, after watching too many similar anime titles, you’d already know that the underdogs usually end up overpowered as the story continues. And that’s where I’ll leave you to figure out the rest of the story yourself!
Check out season one on Amazon: Black Clover: Season 1 [Blu-ray]
10. Goblin Slayer (Light Novel: Kumo Kagyu, 2016 – Present / Anime: Hideyuki Kurata & Yōsuke Kuroda, 2018)
Set in a world of magic, monsters, and adventurers, Goblin Slayer is a story of a warrior that’s dead-set on eradicating goblins…and only goblins. While many adventurers are progressing through stronger enemies as their level increases, the titular character only kills goblins because of his tragic past.
“But wouldn’t it be boring if he’s just killing goblins?” you might ask. Fortunately, this anime doesn’t skimp on the blood and gore, and you’ll see how horrible goblins are. Despite their “low-level monster” status, they operate as groups, pillaging villages, kidnapping and raping women, and torturing everyone else.
That’s where the protagonist comes in. He takes up quests that are too boring for others, and in the process, saves countless lives. He’s the accidental hero of the masses, but he doesn’t care about fame or fortune. All he cares about is slaying goblins.
Check out season one on Amazon: Goblin Slayer: Season One Blu-ray + DVD + Digital
11. Gate: Jietai Kanochi Nite (Kaku Tatakaeri) – (Novel Series: Takumi Yanai, 2006 – 2009 / Anime: Tatsuhiko Urahata, 2015 – 2016
In reality, it would be the government forces who’ll make the first move, and it will be off-limits to civilians. This is basically the idea behind this isekai (transported to a different world) story—only this time, no one’s caught off-guard and transported accidentally.
Japan sent their JSDF (Japan Self-Defense Forces) troops, complete with weapons, vehicles, and other necessary equipment to investigate and make contact. It’s quite unfortunate that the world on the other side is a bit primitive, using weapons like swords and bows versus our world’s tanks and guns.
Yes, they brought in the big guns, and it made mincemeat out of the other world’s armies. Oh, and they hunted dragons using modern weaponry too. Spoiler alert: it didn’t end well for the dragon.
Check out this anime on Amazon: Gate [Blu-ray]
12. Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers (Light Novel Series: Ishio Yamagata, 2011 – Present / Anime: Tatsuhiko Urahata, 2015)
The story starts with six heroes called upon by the goddess of Fate to defeat the evil Demon God. But as the heroes are assembling in preparation for their perilous journey, seven ended up claiming that they’re one of the six chosen.
If you start watching this fantasy anime expecting it to be similar to your vanilla action-adventure title, you’re greatly mistaken. That’s what I expected too, especially when there’s a demon god to slay, and a long journey to be made. Boy, was I wrong.
Instead, we get a magnificent mystery thriller. Rokka is a game of cat-and-mouse in hopes of uncovering an impostor and their motives. It’s filled with plot twist after plot twist. Nearing the end, you’ve already forgotten your initial expectations, and you’re just too engrossed with the story and eager to find out the truth!
Check out the collector’s edition of episodes 1 – 4 on Amazon: Rokka – Braves of the Six Flowers Collectors Edition BLURAY/DVD Set 1 + CD (Eps 1-4)
13. Maoyu Maou Yuusha (Mamare Touno, 2010 – 2012 / Anime: Naruhisa Arakawa, 2013)
From the start, we learn that during a subjugation quest, the hero, Yuusha (which also means hero in Japanese) met the demon lord, Maou (literally, demon king), a lady with a voluptuous figure, and somehow they fell for each other. Maou’s not bad; instead, she’s more idealistic and wants to see a world where different races thrive. Yuusha’s okay with that too, so they hatch a plan to say that the demon lord was defeated, when in fact, she’s just spirited away to the human world by the hero.
Check out the complete Blu-ray version on Amazon: Maoyu Complete [Blu-ray]
14. One Piece (Manga: Eiichiro Oda, 1997 – Present / Anime: Junki Takegami, Hirohiko Uesaka, & Shōji Yonemura, 1999 – Present)
The foundation of a good fantasy anime is a world far different from ours, the existence of magic and superpowers, and of course, hot-blooded protagonists who are more than willing to duke it out with those who disagree with them rather than peacefully discussing their issues.
With those alone, One Piece is currently recognized as the most successful syndicated anime series and is the epitome of fantasy. We all know the main protagonist Luffy, whose rubber man powers propelled him to become a legitimate contender for the Pirate King title.
He’s built quite a sizable following, although his crew is quite small compared to the emperors of the sea. With over 900 episodes out already, it will take you quite a long time to catch up. And it’s still nowhere near the end! It’s easy to sing praises to a title as well-known as One Piece. All I can say is, just start watching it, and you’ll see why it has become so popular.
Check out collection one on Amazon: One Piece – Collection One
15. Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash (Light Novel Series: Ao Jumonji, 2013 – Present / Anime: Ryosuke Nakamura, 2016)
We’ll end this list with something that’s undeniably fantasy: Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash (released as “Grimgar, Ashes and Illusions”). Most fantasy titles view their world in rose-colored lenses. Yes, there’s round-the-clock conflicts and fighting, but everyone’s relatively happy with what they have or where they are. Grimgar, on the other hand, shows us the harsh reality of living in a fantasy world.
We follow a group of adventurers, newbies who are still struggling to kill low-level monsters. They’re not fighting these monsters because they want to—it’s their job, and that’s what they need to keep on living.
Here, we can see that the threat of death is real, and just a small mistake can be costly. No one gets revived, even the “heals” from healers are rationed. And if a party member dies, they mourn not only the loss of a friend but also the decrease of their combat power, which will make their lives as adventurers even more difficult.
For such a gloomy take on fantasy and adventuring, Grimgar is a breath of fresh air in a genre that’s full of feel-good stories and overpowered protagonists.
To be honest, 15 titles are not enough to list all of the best fantasy anime available. That’s because it encompasses many other genres, and it would be a sin to consider them all as just fantasy anime. So if you have any other titles which you think deserve a spot on the list, let us know in the comments!
Check out the complete series on Amazon: Grimgar, Ashes and Illusions: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]