Europe is a small continent compared to Asia and America but features a lot of amazing sceneries and historical monuments.
Anime did a great job of representing some of its most important sceneries, and examples include Italy, France, England, and Germany.
Here we go with our list of the best anime set in Europe, including fictitious settings as some of them closely resemble actual Europe or are alternate versions of our timeline.
Table of Contents
27. Burn the Witch
Burn the Witch is a mini-opera by Tite Kubo, author of Bleach, which he devoted himself to after the latter ended and which received a short adaptation recently, in 2020.
The protagonists are Noel Nihashi and Nini Spangle, two witches at the Natural Dragon Management Agency in Reverse London, an alternative London with magical elements.
Those who live there can see supernatural creatures. Noel and Nini are tasked with promoting coexistence between certain creatures and humans, but they are also sometimes forced to kill evil beings.
An anime with an excellent technical part, with amazing and very enjoyable animations. The settings are also excellent, with a magical and alternative London that winks, if you will, at Harry Potter.
26. Valkyria Chronicles
Based on a popular PlayStation 3 role-playing video game popular in Japan, Valkyria Chronicles tells the fictional events of an alternate Europe split in two by war in 1935.
On one side is the Federation of the East and on the other is the Alliance of the West, both battling to get their hands on Ragnite, a strange and powerful material.
The setting as mentioned above is fictitious but can be traced to a territory between France and Switzerland. Despite being fictitious, however, it picks up many themes and similarities with the real WWII.
This is a nice introduction to the videogame series that we absolutely recommend if you love strategy and war stories.
25. The Empire of Corpses
The Empire of Corpses is a fascinating movie released in 2015 that spans the horror, historical, action, and mystery genres.
The story is set in a steampunk version of London with horror overtones, where Frankensteins, reanimated corpses created to aid human beings, were invented.
The main character, John Watson, is a young scientist who is tasked with becoming a secret agent and sent on a mission to retrieve some critical notes of a Russian scientist.
The Empire of Corpses is an excellent movie, with beautiful animation and an engaging plot full of mystery.
However, what truly makes this movie worth watching is its outstanding setting in an atmospheric London that feels oppressive due to the horror elements.
A very recent anime just adapted in 2020 from the seinen manga from which it is based.
We are in Florence, in 16th-century Italy, the cradle of the Renaissance where art flourished.
In a little corner of the city begins a girl’s journey. She dreams of becoming an artist, an impossible dream for a girl from a noble family. These days, art is indeed the preserve of men, and women face much discrimination.
If you are a lover of painting and the Renaissance from an artistic point of view then this anime is a must.
23. Gunslinger Girls
We are again in an Italian-themed setting, but this time with a modern twist and in the present day.
A secret organization assigned to special assignments takes in young girls with nothing left with the task of turning them into merciless killers, making them androids.
This is accompanied by the use of drugs that can make them more obedient but shorten their lives.
An anime that doesn’t put any limits on itself, turning out to be often even crude and merciless.
Fate is one of the most popular series in recent years. Composed of a huge universe divided over several completely different media, the work features summoners (Masters) who through the summoning of familiars fight to conquer the Holy Grail.
Unlike the other products in the franchise, Apocrypha is set in the past, in a Europe plagued by World War II, where the war for the Grail is raging.
This will be fought between lineages and families, each ambitious to get their hands on the sacred object.
This is a different vision than Fate’s other products, though it retains the classic themes of the series that have enshrined it.
21. Nadia: Secret of Blue Water
The series tells the story of young Jean, a brilliant inventor who in 1889 travels to Paris, where the play is set, to the Great World’s Fair to present his model of an airplane.
Here Jean meets young Nadia, an orphan girl who wears a mysterious blue jewel around her neck.
The origin of the stone and the girl herself are unknown, but the mystery attracts more than one shady figure interested in getting his hands on the pendant.
Jean will find herself launched into a daring aerial flight with her new friend, discovering evocative fantastical settings.
Surpassing the very fine technical aspect and the enlightened inspiration of the authors, the anime is a masterpiece of the plot.
It’s a true adventure to be lived with the protagonists, participating in their joys and sorrows, until the finale is capable of sticking with you.
20. Master Keaton
Master Keaton is a manga resulting from the collaboration between Hokusei Katsushika and legendary mangaka Naoki Urasawa, author of Monster.
The paper version is initially adapted into 24 episodes of animated series, later completed into 15 more in OAV format.
Keaton Taichi, the main character, is a middle-aged man who is the son of a zoologist and an English woman.
His peculiar reason for living is to unearth an ancient civilization at the bottom of the Danube River. After an untimely divorce with his wife, in the British airborne division.
However, this will not stop him from pursuing his dream, and indeed he will take the opportunity to travel the world as an investigator for British forces, thus discovering new things and accumulating money.
The series, consisting of multiple self-contained stories, is set entirely in Europe.
Heidi is one of the first animated series directed by Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki. The anime is based on the novel of the same name by Swiss author Johanna Spyri and was produced by the studio that later became Nippon Animation.
The story is set in the Alps of Switzerland during the 1880s. Heidi is a little girl orphaned and cared for by her aunt, who can no longer care for her now having found a job in Frankfurt. The woman then decides to leave her with her only other closest relative, her grandfather.
He’s a gruff and shy person and lives in a mountain cabin isolated from everyone. The old man unwillingly takes custody of the child, but Heidi’s sympathy and innocence will manage to penetrate his rough mountain bark.
A series that does not follow much of a developed plot, but rather simply follows the girl’s life as she makes new friends and adjusts to her new living environment. But that is precisely its strength in the end.
One of the works serialized in the legendary Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, but certainly not one of the best known even though it has much to offer.
The Millennium Count is an evil entity that aspires to destroy the world using Akuma, biomechanical weapons consisting of a core placed inside a human body and powered by the souls of the dead.
To defeat him, the protagonist named Allen Walker in possession of an anti-Akuma weapon in place of his left arm joins the Dark Order as an exorcist.
Its 16th-century England setting mixed with fantasy and science fiction elements is ideal if you want to watch something more oriented toward Sci-Fi.
17. Les Miserables
Loosely based on the famous novel Les Misérables by French writer Victor Hugo, Les Miserables: Shoujo Cosette is set like the original play in early 19th-century France.
The mother of little Cosette, who can’t find a job and a place to live, when she is offered a job in a big city decides to separate from her daughter. She hopes of finding someone to take care of her while she earns the necessary money.
Unfortunately, the family fostering the girl is anything but good, and her childhood won’t be easy at all.
If you have read the original book and are a fan of Japanese animation this viewing is just perfect.
16. Moriarty the Patriot
If you are a fan of the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, then you have found your bread and butter.
Moriarty the Patriot tells the story of the most famous detective ever but from the point of view of James Moriarty, his legendary archrival. The story starts from his origins to the moment when he established himself as Sherlock’s nemesis.
As all fans will already know regarding the settings, this anime is also no exception. Its setting is an evocative 19th-century London, in one of the best anime set in England.
15. Rose of Versailles
The Rose of Versailles is one of the most important shojo manga ever, born from the pen of Riyoko Ikeda. The 1979 animated adaptation was edited by Nippon Television for a total of 40 episodes.
Set in 18th-century France, the series depicts life in the court of Versailles from the coronation of Louis XVI until the French Revolution. The story follows young Queen Marie Antoinette of Austria and Oscar François de Jarjayes, her contemporary.
This is the most famous anime on this list, it’s a true cult of history anime with a touch of romance and a vibe from the late 70s. Moreover, it features one of the most strong female leads in history.
It is 1924, in a fictitious country called Sauville inspired by Europe, where protagonist Kazuya Kujo moves.
Having just moved in, he is about to study at St. Marguerite Academy where he meets Victorique de Blois, a mysterious girl who spends her entire days among the books in the library.
Kazuya becomes fascinated by her, partly because of her detective skills, which she uses to help her brother solve cases.
A fictitious but real-inspired Europe with gothic and dark atmospheres will dominate this anime with very atmospheric settings.
13. The Case Study of Vanitas
The story is set in an alternate 19th-century Steampunk Paris, where technology has taken a different path.
The protagonist Noah is a vampire called upon to investigate mysterious attacks by his fellow humans. Despite being fully integrated into society have for some time now begun to carry out random assaults caught up in a kind of feral state.
The key to stopping them seems to be possessed by a doctor and it is the mysterious Book of Vanitas.
This series is from the same author as Pandora Hearts, with the difference that this anime adaptation is quite good compared to Pandora’s, and is one of the best anime set in France.
12. Nodame Cantabile
Nodame Cantabile is a romantic comedy with drama elements, following the story of the first-class Japanese musician Shinichi Chiaki.
His dream is to play among the elites in Europe where he used to live as a child, although he cannot go there due to his fear of flying.
Things will change when he meets Megumi Noda (Nodame), a remarkable pianist, that will try to convince him to go back to Europe to follow his dream. Recommended if you enjoy classical music.
11. Romeo and the Black Brothers
A raw anime that does not shy away from showing unvarnished the terrible reality of the buying and selling of minors that was carried out in the 1800s. It’s based on the novel The Black Brothers by Kurt Held and Lisa Tetzner.
Romeo, a young boy living in the Alps of Italian-speaking Switzerland, signs a contract with a shady individual to pay for his sick father’s doctor.
This will lead him across the mountains to Italy, to Milan, where he will be sold as a chimney sweep’s helper.
A viewing that, while showing optimistic sides, may be heavy in the eyes of sensitive people, given the heaviness with which such themes are narrated.
10. Kiki’s Delivery Service
Also from the amazing Ghibli studio came Kiki’s Delivery Service, released in 1989.
The young aspiring witch Kiki, having turned thirteen, as per family tradition must spend a year away from home for a practicum in the magical arts.
She arrives in a quaint seaside village called Kokiro and is housed with a couple of bakers. Here Kiki will try to support herself by devising a flying delivery service, where she will have numerous adventures.
The movie is set according to the creators in an alternate Europe, where wars never happened. Instead, the maritime village is placed on one side on the shores of the Mediterranean, and the other on the Baltic Sea.
9. Emma a Victorian Romance
An anime released in 2005, adapted from a seinen manga, and one of the best historical romance.
The story is set in late 19th-century London during the Victorian Era and tells the story of Emma, a young maid employed at the home of Mrs. Stowner, a now-retired governess. In addition to narrating her daily life, her love life will also be examined.
But don’t be fooled by the plot, which may sound like a classic romantic story. Emma: A Victorian Romance tells a very enjoyable story, filled with twists and turns, and rendered technically very well, both visually and aurally.
8. The Ancient Magus Bride
A 24-episode anime series based on the manga of the same name by Kore Yamazaki and animated by Studio Wit.
The protagonist of the story is young Chise Hatori, a girl who, after losing her entire family in previous years, decides to sell herself off at an auction to change her life and find some light in her life after many years of suffering.
She will then be purchased by a man who stands out mainly because of his tall height and head shaped like a canine skull to make her a magician.
The settings of this anime are multiple throughout the viewing, but some of them are in Europe, and even in multiple countries, such as England, Iceland, and Sweden.
7. Lupin III
Lupin III is a hugely popular anime based on the works of Monkey Punch.
The iconic protagonist Lupin III is the grandson of Arsène Lupin, the gentleman thief. He is following in the footsteps of his grandfather by becoming a world-famous thief who is both feared and admired.
Many people decide to join his gang, such as Daisuke Jigen, a skilled gunman, and Goemon Ishikawa, an expert samurai. Lupin is also hunted down by the law, represented by Inspector Zenigata, who is always left speechless by the cunning of the thief.
Among the legendary protagonist’s larcenous journeys there will be no shortage of stops in Europe, done very well by the way. Settings to name a few include Italy, France, and Germany.
From the genius of Katsuhiro Otomo came Steamboy in 2004, one of the best steampunk anime productions ever.
The plot is set in an alternate Victorian England of 1866, starring young Ray Steam, the son of a famous inventor. One day, Ray receives a metal orb from his grandfather of unspecified use, and for that, he is pursued by the Ohara Foundation, which kidnaps him and takes him to London.
A movie that has a lot to offer, both visually and in terms of mystery and plot twists.
The steampunk London sceneries are amazing and represent quite well the contrasting themes of the movie, such as the conflict between science and soul.
5. Vinland Saga
One of the most interesting and followed works of recent years in one of the best middle ages setting, animated in two seasons still running by Wit Studio and based on the manga of the same name by Makoto Yukimura.
The plot follows the life of the warrior Thorfinn, in a precisely Viking world inspired by real historical events.
Thorfinn is a warrior who became one to avenge the death of his father Thors, who was killed by the pirate Askeladd on behalf of King Sweyd because he had deserted years earlier to retire to a quiet life.
An anime with very psychological traits dwells on the choices that must be made when on the battlefield.
The setting of this anime is highly variable and uncertain as it’s set in the distant past, but certainly, on their journey the characters pass through Iceland, and the anime presumably opens in ancient England.
4. Porco Rosso
Late 1920s Italy. Marco Pagot is an ex-pilot who survived the Great War and mysteriously found himself in the guise of a pig.
He now makes a living hunting down pirates flying over the skies of the Adriatic and has become famous under the battle name Porco Rosso. But the sky pirates, tired of his intrusions, have hired the American pilot Curtis to take him down.
A very famous movie created by Studio Ghibli, which combines elements of real history, such as fascism and communism, with an absurd context.
This anti-fascist production features both Italy and Croatia, in one of the best 1920s settings.
3. Hellsing Ultimate
Here we are dealing with another work recognized as a masterpiece by the fan imagination. We are talking about Hellsing Ultimate, the main work of author Kota Hirano.
The anime tells the story of the bloody war between the English Hellsing association and the forces of evil. Among the ranks of the first faction, we find the vampire Alucard, the protagonist of the story.
The complex but effective plot and the high-level confrontations are the highlights of the anime.
The haunted and dark London that serves as the setting of the story enhances the splatter and is coherent with the themes of Hellsing Ultimate.
A 74-episode anime based on Naoki Urasawa’s masterpiece of the same name, it represents a true staple of the investigation and thriller genre.
The work follows the story of Kenzo Tenma, a renowned surgeon.
One day, he decides to rebel against his boss, thus saving a child from a fatal wound instead of the mayor of Düsseldorf, the city where the hospital is located. Time will prove Dr. Tenma wrong as he realizes that the child he saved, Johan Liebert, has become over time a serial killer who continues to claim lives.
Nothing is taken for granted, from the twists and turns to the evolution of the characters, all the more reason not to miss this absolute masterpiece.
The setting that earned him a nomination on this list varies between Germany and the Czech Republic.
1. JoJo’s Bizzare Adventures
The Bizarre Adventures of JoJo started as a shonen manga written by Hirohiko Araki in 1987 and the anime adaptation is still ongoing with the 6th arc.
Each arc has a separate protagonist, although some main characters appear in more than one. The plot revolves around the adventures experienced by the various members of the Joestar family over time, with a protagonist on each side.
Not all parts are set in Europe, as the anime tours the world during its episodes.
So its inclusion in this list is due to certain parts and episodes, such as Vento Aureo, set in Italy, or Phantom Blood, one of the best anime set in England.