The 32 Ultimate Fantasy Anime Recommendations

Fantasy anime are quite common nowadays and there are hundreds of candidates right now. It’s extremely hard to understand what to watch first as there is plenty of choices.

This genre included many subgroups and variations so you can expect this article to include different anime.

We are going to list what we consider to be the best fantasy series ever, covering a variety of subgenres as well.

This listicle includes personal opinions and is based on our experience and knowledge.

32. Overlord

Overlord

Overlord is an anime based on another light novel series written by Kugane Maruyama and illustrated by So-Bin in 2012.

A nice Isekai classic, it takes the basics of the genre and reworks them into a dark fantasy atmosphere all its own.

Although the initial premise is the same as much other anime in the genre, here the protagonist Momonga is not reincarnated into a weakling, but rather into what is considered the most powerful being in his world.

This will lead him to be in command of a powerless army with which he will slowly conquer everything conquerable, in a series of events that are never predictable or trivial.

The great virtue of Overlord is the rawness of the actions performed by Momonga and the real and tangible weight they have on the people of the world.

Indeed, we aren’t dealing with the classic weak and generous Isekai protagonist.

31. Little Witch Academia

Little Witch Academia

Little Witch Academia is a fairly recent anime consisting of 25 episodes aired in 2017.

The plot tells the story of the protagonist surnamed Akko, a young girl who as a child witnesses the witch Shiny Chariot’s magic show.

From that moment on decides to follow in her footsteps by enrolling in the Luna Nova Academy for Little Witches. But not everything will be as easy and smooth as hoped.

The magical gimmick is used masterfully and combined with a colorful and always cheerful animation style.

Magic is one distinctive element of fantasy and Little Witch Academia is one of those anime that you don’t want to miss.

Plus, it’s also one of the best majokko anime of the last few years with a great main character.

30. Konosuba

Konosuba

KonoSuba starts with the most classic of isekai story premises: Kazuma Satou is a hikikomori, a lover of anime, manga, and video games, who dies as a result of a car accident while trying to save a girl.

Upon arriving in the afterlife, he is welcomed by a goddess named Aqua, who offers him to be reincarnated in an alternate world where he would face the Demon King instead of dying for good.

Additional concessions include the possibility of being able to take with him an object, skill, or anything of his liking to use as an aid in his journey against the enemy.

A classic of the isekai genre set in a fantasy world and that is ideal if you want to watch something light and funny.

29. Beyond the Boundary

Beyond The Boundary is a 12-episode Kyoto Animation fantasy and slice-of-life anime adapted from a light novel.

The main character Mirai Kuriyama has to fight the so-called Yomu, manifestations of human negative emotions. This task won’t be so simple as she meets Akihito Kanbara, a charming immortal half-breed.

The 2 will eventually ally as the boy will help her to get her confidence back. Mirai is a Spirit World Warrior, a special race capable of creating weapons with their blood.

This anime is not original at all and it’s full of tropes but the artistic direction is astounding and its biggest perk.

Beyond the Boundary is an enjoyable show capable of making you laugh or cry, it’s the type of fantasy for supernatural fans.

28. No Game No Life

No Game no Life

No Game No Life is a very popular ecchi isekai anime released in 2014.

Its great success is undoubtedly due to its focus on the compelling games that set the pace of the episodes but also thanks to its charismatic and engaging characters.

The main characters are siblings Sora and Shiro, two Hikikomori who spend their days in their room together playing video games, and they are true legends considering how strong they are.

That is until they are teleported to the world of Disboard, a realm revolving around various games, gambling, and otherwise, where they can reach their full potential.

A much-loved isekai, a must if you are a fan of traditional games and even gambling.

The fanservice elements may be bad for some spectators but it’s still a nice experience if you want to see this iconic duo outsmart their opponents.

27. The Rising of the Shield Hero

The Rising of the Shield Hero

Originating as a light novel and later adapted into an anime, The Rising of the Shield Hero is another isekai anime, that is camouflaged as something new, but it isn’t.

After being transported to a fantasy world through a book, young college student Naofumi Iwatani will be chosen as one of four heroes entrusted with a legendary weapon.

The fantasy setting is combined with dark themes such as slavery to create a more serious tone that actually never manages to exist.

The Rising of the Shield Hero is a good show if you want to watch something for pure fun but lacks introspective and moral depth.

Many themes are barely touched and just mentioned but again, if you want to entertain yourself, this is a good choice.

26. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

That time I got reincarnated as a slime

One of the most popular isekai and fantasy anime of recent times, animated in various series by Studio 8-Bit and based on Fuse’s light novel of the same name.

Like much of isekai, here too we find a character who after his death is transported to a fantasy world. In this case, the protagonist is Satoru Mikami, a salaryman who dies stabbed after saving a colleague from a robber.

The special feature lies in the fact that he will be reincarnated as a blind slime. After befriending the dragon Veldra, he begins his adventure in the world, gathering around him a vast array of followers.

The main character is non-human and this brings some freshness into the overall story.

25. Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World

Re Zero

A great exponent of the Isekai genre based on the light novel of the same name.

Re:Zero is about the usual hikikomori, Subaru Natsuki, who awakens in the fantasy world of Lugunica. Here he joins a half-elf named Emilia, accompanying her on a journey to help her become queen and falling in love with her.

The real strength of the narrative of Re: Zero is Subaru’s special power that will allow him to explore new paths and forge an interesting storyline.

If you love mystery, Re:Zero is one of the best choices out there due to the well-placed twists and the great cast. With each use of Subaru’s power, we get to see new timelines and stories, as time travel is handled quite well.

This is a great fantasy anime because it’s nothing special on the surface but manages to create a unique mix of elements.

24. Fairy Tail

Fairy Tail

The plot of this anime focuses on Lucy Heartphilia, a girl whose dream is to become a powerful mage and join the famous guild of magicians called Fairy Tail.

Her dreams will become reality when she meets Natsu, a boy who travels around the world and is a member of the guild. He will bring her in and so Lucy will end up teaming up with the other members in their travels and quests.

They will have to face many obstacles and adventures within a good enough fantasy setting.

Fairy Tail can be good if you’re just starting with anime but the slow pacing and the bad character development are deterrents if you have some experience under your belt.

The 175 episodes you’re going to watch are filled with a lot of recycled scenes and clich√© situations, we’ve warned you!

23. Drifters

Drifters

Set initially in the Sengoku era of the real world, Drifters tells of the adventures of samurai Shimazu Toyohisa, who on the verge of death will find himself in another world unknown to him.

After he draws his last breath on the battlefield, instead of dying he will find himself in a strange corridor with many doors. There, a man on guard will notice him and immediately send him inside one of them.

The work aims to create a surreal yet intriguing scenario in which legendary warriors from different eras clash, testing their skills.

This is the perfect treat for samurai lovers and for those who are into history. The vibe isn’t too serious either because there is comedy everywhere, that is used as a way to dampen the dark tone of the story.

We didn’t like this escamotage as it’s quite weak since it breaks the serious atmosphere. Nonetheless, the great cast tries to make up for it and it’s really pleasant to see how much time is spent into character development.

22. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

One of the most popular fantasy slice-of-life out there thanks to its upbeat vibe and fun but wholesome moments.

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is one of the best works of Kyoto Animation and is able to portray a relaxing and chill scenario.

The protagonist Kobayashi is a working adult like many others in Japan. She’s bored with her life and enjoys drinking booze after long working hours, definitely not the average teenager you see in a slice of life.

After the fateful meeting with a dragon, her life will change forever. The beast will turn into a maid who will assist Kobayashi as her servant, ending up doing more harm than help.

The presence of Tooru, the dragon maid, will attract many other bizarre dragon personalities like Kanna and Quetzalcoatl.

This anime is the best if you like relaxing and if you love the “cute girls doing cute things” genre.

21. Claymore

Claymore

A 26-episode anime set in a medieval fantasy-themed world where the inhabitants are forced to fight the threat of monstrous creatures that feed on humans.

Fighting these creatures, called the Yomi, are the Claymores, warriors with enormous power who can counter the terrible monsters with their swords.

The protagonist of the story is Claire, one of the best female MC in the fantasy genre and a low-level claymore who will progressively discover the deceptions behind Yomi and the society in which she lives.

The dark fantasy setting of Claymore is charming and gloomy, perfect to represent a sad world infested by Yomi. The anime isn’t really at the same level as the source, the manga.

That’s because it aired before the manga finished so the last 3 episodes aren’t canon, but this adaptation is still a great introduction anyway.

20. Noragami

Noragami

An action and fantasy anime with 12 episodes aired in 2014, Noragami is one of the short anime you will want to enjoy in your free time thanks to its story and characters.

The story follows the bizarre duo of Yato, a minor god, and Hiyori Iki, an average schoolgirl. One day, Hiyori saves Yato from a car accident, taking the hit instead of him.

The girl’s soul is not stable anymore and she cannot return to her body and that’s exactly when Yato will start to take advantage of this situation. The minor god had a weapon partner, who abandoned him before the accident.

Noragami is a great fantasy experience, even though you may want to watch it for how mythology is handled and for the romantic subplot.

Speaking of subplots, you need to have a great cast to have a good outcome. We can’t complain either as the characters are fleshed out but the initial premise of the plot isn’t followed through the end of the story.

A second season would be much appreciated since it could improve on some of the elements of Noragami and make for an excellent sequel.

19. Yona of the Dawn

Yona of the Dawn

A story about treason and revenge, the main character Princess Yona is betrayed and gets banished from her kingdom.

She will do everything in her power to reclaim it, as shown by her resolute strength of will. The story is set in a fictional kingdom that takes inspiration from the Three Kingdoms period of Korea, around 57 BC to 668 AD.

Yona of the Dawn is ideal if you love action and adventures, and revenge stories too while you are at it. Yona is a strong female lead and one of the main reasons why this series is so good, and you will this throughout the series as she develops.

The characters are detailed and they perfectly fit into the historical setting of the anime, so we can say that there is a solid cast.

We loved the peculiar setting of this series and think it should be referenced more in the entire medium.

18. Log Horizon

Log Horizon

Log Horizon is the perfect blend between an MMORPG and a fantasy setting.

The plot of the series is set in the world of Elder’s Tale, the world’s most popular MMORPG played by thousands of players. Unfortunately for the protagonists of the series, Shiro, Naotsugu, and Akatsuki, this fantasy world will become their prison as they mysteriously cannot get out.

To survive, the three will find the Log Horizon guild and make their way through the game world to try to solve the mystery that has trapped them.

What sets this anime apart is the more mature vision than the classic Isekai anime. This show is ideal if you want to breathe MMORPG and management games, as economics and politics are the backbone of the story.

If you want realism and real-world strategy, then Log Horizon is most likely one of the best variations of fantasy anime you could ever wish for.

17. Made in Abyss

Made in Abyss

Made in Abyss is a recent addition set in a bizarre and gloomy abyss where you can see anything.

The narrated events follow the adventures of Riko, a 12-year-old girl who lives in the Belchero orphanage in the town of Orth.

The distinguishing feature of this place is the presence of a giant chasm, called the Abyss, containing mysterious artifacts and general objects of special interest to the outside world.

As one descends through its various levels, ascending back up becomes more and more complex for a human, starting from mild symptoms to psychological and physical traumas.

This series is extremely dark and escalates quickly. The interesting setting and the cast are what make this series even more terrifying if you think about it for a second.

Made in Abyss is a great take on the fantasy genre that doesn’t introduce new elements but uses what’s at its disposal.

16. Mononoke

Mononoke

A Japanese avant-garde anime with just 12 episodes that follows the adventures of a nameless character destroying Mononoke.

They are evil spirits that bind themselves to negative human emotions to live. Mononoke features a spectacular Japanese setting with a fantasy touch and paranormal elements.

Mononoke is split into 5 stories, each of which has from 2 to 3 episodes. This division is interesting and doesn’t slow down the pacing of the series, but it rather reinforces it.

The Ukiyo-e style and the rich symbolism create one of the best visive experiences of the entire medium. Mononoke is more of a journey into Japanese animation and its beauty and each story is emphasized by the style too.

15. Mushishi

Mushishi

Mushishi follows the story of Ginko, a serious and composed character, and also a Mushi. This term refers to strange creatures whose origin or habits no one knows.

What is known is that coexistence with them is complicated for human beings. For this reason, there are the Mushishi, experts in the field who know how to deal with them.

Each episode will thus be devoted to a different creature, creating a succession of self-contained stories.

It must be said that the episodes are very slow, reflective, and if we want to use a misnomer, artistic. But the anime is deliberately so, to create a fantastic atmosphere that is almost hypnotic and lulling.

14. Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket

A classic romance anime with supernatural elements and a cult in the romance genre that received a remake in 2019 by Studio TMS Entertainment.

The story follows Tohru Honda, a girl that starts living in a tent after a family tragedy. Her tent is located inside the Souma residence, a very peculiar household.

Once they know about her situation, they offer to let her live inside their house. The strange thing about the Souma family is that when they are hugged by a member of the opposite sex, they transform into animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

This show proves how romance can fit with every other genre, and fantasy is not an exception at all. Fruits Basket is a cult for sentimental fans and you should watch it even if you aren’t interested in the fantastic setting.

13. Fate

Fate

Fate is one of the most popular series in recent years.

Composed of a colossal universe divided over several completely different media, the work features summoners (Masters) who through the summoning of familiars fight in order to conquer the Holy Grail.

The reinterpretations of the various historical characters in the anime are a great strength for the series and allow it to have an absolutely amazing roster of characters.

We still recommend you play the Visual Novel and explore all of its universes, but you can start with the anime as well.

12. Mushoku Tensei

Mushoku Tensei

One of the most popular isekai in recent times, featuring an anonymous 34-year-old Japanese NEET as its protagonist.

The protagonist, after being evicted from his home and realizing the futility of his life, decides to save some high school students who were about to be hit by a truck, thus losing their lives and ending up in an alternate world.

However, what from the premise may seem like the most mundane of isekai is born much more underneath, with an outstanding and varied world populated by excellently characterized characters.

Mushoku Tensei is one very good fantasy anime that is suitable even for those who don’t like these types of stories.

Speaking of which, it’s one of the best isekai of the last decade thanks to a great cast and an engaging plot.

11. Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke

Another movie by Studio Ghibli, Princess Mononoke is quite famous and deals with themes attached to the environment.

We can summarize this production by saying that it’s about the contrast between nature and humanity, a quite current theme right now. All of that in a pleasant fantasy setting attributable to the late Muromachi period in Japan.

The director Miyazaki also mentioned that he wanted to put some emphasis on disability, as shown during one scene.

Princess Mononoke features a strong female lead and a great direction by Hayao Miyazaki. There is a very deep focus on nature and elements, as you can see from all the references to spirits and mythical creatures.

These elements contribute to creating one of the best worldbuilding in anime, since the entire setting is extremely detailed and feels like a parallel fantasy world.

10. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic

Magi

Magi is the perfect mix of a proper fantasy setting, magic, and kingdom wars. It draws inspiration from the classical collection of folk tales One Thousand and One Nights, as visible from the setting.

The story is based on magicians called Magi whose inclination toward magic is so immense that they can be said to shape the world.

Each Magi chooses a worthy candidate to become a king, then helps them conquer strange labyrinths called Dungeons.

Magi is the successful fusion of many elements that can even resemble a Dungeons and Dragons campaign and the Middle-Eastern setting is perfect to host.

9. Spirited Away

Spirited Away

Spirited Away is one of the cornerstones of Japanese animation and Studio Ghibli, that even received Oscar nominations and awards. It’s a movie released in 2001, with a runtime of about 2 hours.

Chihiro is a little 10 years girl, who together with her parents is moving to a new town.

On the way, they will stop in front of a strange building in the middle of the woods, which the parents decide to explore in curiosity, leaving the little girl alone in the car.

Chihiro will decide to join them, scared of being alone, and from here a journey you can’t even imagine will begin.

Sprited Away is good on all fronts: plot, quirky characters, animation, soundtrack, but above all one of the best fantasy settings ever created.

8. Howl’s Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle

It’s impossible not to mention one of the best Studio Ghibli productions ever. Howl’s Moving Castle features a bewitching and unique setting that most anime fans will remember forever.

The story is set in a fictional kingdom that takes the best of magic and 20th-century technology, currently at war with another kingdom.

The protagonist Sophie will make the acquaintance of the wizard Howl, a young charming man at the service of the king.

This movie is characterized by a strong anti-war sentiment and supernatural elements while highlighting the importance of freedom and having a family as well.

Howl’s Moving Castle is another masterpiece directed by Hayao Miyazaki and is what we can call a perfect fantasy story.

7. The Ancient Magus Bride

The Ancient Magus Bride

Ancient Magus Bride features an excellent fantasy setting combined with a romantic slice-of-life storyline.

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 for the exorbitant sum of 5 million pounds by a particular magician named Elias Ainsworth.

He is a man who stands out mainly because of his tall height and head shaped like a canine skull making her a magician in turn.

This series is a little gem worth discovering, and undoubtely one of the best magic anime if recent years that you can’t miss if you love the genre.

6. One Piece

One Piece

The most famous pirate history ever with the most sold manga as of today. The adventures of Luffy and his crew are known to any anime fan and there is no doubt that One piece has one of the best fantasy settings ever.

The worldbuilding of this series is amazing and rich in details, featuring a variety of islands, continents, and seas.

One Piece is the apotheosis of the concept of adventure, many fans have been following the Straw Hats’ journey for years.

The increase in budget that the anime recently received changed the feeling of the series for some people but we think it was a great addition.

The animations and the battles are smoother and it’s a feast for the eyes even if you are reading the manga and just taking a break.

5. Laputa – Castle in the Sky

Castle in the Sky

Laputa is one of the most famous and iconic anime movies ever made, and a true icon of the fantasy genre in the medium. It was released back in 1986, created by the iconic Studio Ghibli.

Pazu and Sheeta are two boys on a quest to find the flying fortress Laputa, known to hold incredible secrets.

But already on its trail is the dangerous Colonel Muska, who will give our two protagonists some hard times.

Laputa is, without too many doubts, is a masterpiece of the fantasy genre and Japanese animation in general.

Its story is practically flawless, with beautifully written characters, drawn with an amazing character design, with even room for plot twists and incredibly tender romance moments.

Don’t let the dated animation stop you and catch up on this gem if you haven’t watched it yet.

4. Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood

An absolute masterpiece of the fighting genre and one of the best fantasy anime of all time.

Based on the manga written in 2001 by Hiromu Arakawa, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is the animated series that most faithfully deals with the plot told in the original work.

Edward and Alphonse Elric are two brothers who live in a world where alchemy reigns and is used for a variety of purposes, whether in war, medicine, or even related to everyday life.

They have a very specific purpose, which is to regain their lost bodies.

When they were young they tried to bring their late mother back to life using alchemy, and it went wrong, since as powerful as this magic is, it cannot go against the laws of nature.

The strong story and the compelling cast of characters, with one of the best male MC in fantasy anime are completed by the interesting setting.

3. Hunter x Hunter

Hunter x Hunter

If you are a fan of fighting-focused anime, you cannot be unfamiliar with Hunter x Hunter, an early work by master Togashi, who you may have already heard of for YuYu Hakusho.

Hunter x Hunter follows the story of Gon Freecs, a young boy living in the wilderness.

One day he will learn that his father, believed dead, is instead alive and well and is also one of the strongest Hunters in the world.

He won’t think twice before undertaking the examination to become a Hunter himself, to reunite with his father.

This anime is a real masterpiece if we consider the 2011 adaptation and can boast one of the best-animated shonen arcs ever.

This is the best period to catch up to Hunter x Hunter, as the manga is going to continue and it’s likely that we will have a new anime adaptation in the future.

2. Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan

Another example of dark fantasy and one of the most popular anime in entire history.

Set in the fictional world of Paradis, you will find yourself in a setting similar to medieval Germany where the main human settlement is located surrounded by high walls, known as Wall Maria, Wall Rose, and Wall Sina.

Following in the shoes of young boy Eren and friends Mikasa and Armin will be a series of events that lead to the mighty enemies breaking through the walls.

Attack on Titan isn’t the usual gory fantasy, as it features political intrigues and psychology, as many fans who have finished the manga already know.

Being one of the most influential anime ever, there isn’t much to discuss its importance and role in the genre.

Worldbuilding is one of the main reasons why we can say that this is among the top-tier fantasy anime of the medium.

1. Berserk

Berserk

A masterpiece of the dark fantasy and sword and sorcery genres by the notorious mangaka Kentaro Miura. Its 1997 anime adaptation is famous for its vintage style and its fitting setting.

There are few other works that can match this one due to the complexity of its characters and for starring two incredible personalities: Gatsu and Griffith.

The presence of demons, monsters, and other supernatural beings are typical of the fantasy genre with the difference that Berserk imprints psychology into them too.

You can’t miss out on the 1997 adaptation as it represents one of the best examples thanks to the setting and the enemies.

The manga is still the better alternative but the old adaptation is a nice pick if you want to taste some good old vintage design.

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Zeruan

Anime lover and a big fan of the 90s. He has previous experience working with foreign websites and now he is willing to move things even further. When he is not writing for Nihonime.com, Zeruan spends most of his time reading, coding and developing marketing strategies.

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