The fantasy anime genre isn’t just one genre that stands apart from other genres, it actually is packed with several sub-genres and works well with all kinds of plot settings. In fact, a majority of anime shows that we have watched can be counted as part of the fantasy genre.
You might think of medieval times when you hear the term “fantasy” and that was true a couple of years ago, but with anime gaining the momentum all over the world and becoming popular, there are now sub-fantasy genres that have become mainstream. Now, when we want to talk about the several fantasy anime shows, you will find these shows explore various themes ranging from psychological, dark, comedy, action/adventure and even slice of life, and many other things.
So, if you think that fantasy is just about magic and mythological creatures, then you are mistaken because the authors and creators pride themselves on being able to think outside the box, while adding a few tropes for the culture of course. Fantasy anime involves supernatural creatures, different types of magic, and mythical heroes, but the plots can vary quite a bit and it’s a guarantee that there is a fantasy show that every fan can watch and enjoy!
Best Fantasy Anime of 2021
InuYasha follows the title character and main protagonist Inuyasha, the half-demon son of a great demon father, Inu no Taishō, and a noblewoman mother named Izayoi. Inuyasha meets a human girl; Kagome Higurashi, a fifteen-year-old middle schooler who is transported from modern-day Tokyo to the Sengoku period after being dragged into a well in her family shrine by a demon.
Together they will travel across Japan on a quest to recover the shattered pieces of the Shikon Jewel; a powerful magical artifact that grants its holder any wish their heart desires. They are joined by strong characters who gives it a dark and serious subject matter; exhibiting violent content whilst retaining comedic elements.
20. Goblin Slayer
Picture an adventurer who is only interested in slaying goblins. Adventurers join guilds to complete quests and earn gold and glory as their reward. Goblin Slayer joins the adventurer’s guild even though he is uninterested in glory or fame. Being the sole survivor of a goblin attack that left him without a family or village, he only accepts goblin hunting quests.
This 12-episode anime has a strong adult theme and there are some gory scenes. If you are thinking this is just another fantasy anime with comedic elements, then you are going to be very wrong!
19. Fairy Tail
Fairy Tail is one of the most popular fantasy anime series out there, and there are several reasons for its popularity. This anime has everything; overpowered main characters and badass villains, breathtaking fight sequences and hilarious scenes!
The protagonist Natsu Dragneel is a fire mage who wields dragon slayer magic that he learned from Dragon King Igneel, his adoptive father. He and his friends, Lucy, Happy, Erza and Gray, travel around the kingdom of Fiore completing all sorts of adventures and quests that come their way.
18. Little Witch Academia
Little Witch Academia takes place in a fantasy world of witches and magical adventures. Luna Nova Magical Academy is a prestigious school for young girls training to become witches. The main protagonist Akko, does her best to live up to the famous witch, Shiny Chariot’s ideals by showing the world that magic is still a wonderful thing.
She struggles using magic most of the time but soon learns to hone her ability when she discovers “Shiny Rod,” a wand, as it is fondly called by its former owner, a magical staff with the power to break the seal of the Grand Triskellion.
17. The Ancient Magus’ Bride
This fantasy anime follows Chise Hatori, an orphaned Japanese high school student who decides to sell herself at an auction for somebody else to take her in and have a new place to call home. What she did not expect is to be become the bride of an ancient Magus!
With such an opening to the series, it is no wonder fans around the world enjoy this fantasy series which is sprinkled with magical as well as slice of life elements!
16. Tokyo Ghoul
As far as dark fantasies go, Tokyo Ghoul is a cut above the rest. Set in an alternate reality where humans are not the only apex predators around because there are Ghouls, creatures that look like normal people but can only survive by eating human flesh, living among the human population in secrecy and hiding their true nature to evade pursuit from the authorities.
Ken Kaneki barely survives a deadly encounter with a ghoul and accidentally becomes a half-ghoul that has to adjust to a new lifestyle that involves craving human flesh and avoiding getting killed by other ghouls as well as humans. This anime is choke-full of suspense and plot twists as the drama unfolds.
15. Blue Exorcist
The world of Blue Exorcist consists of two dimensions joined as one; the world where humans live; “Assiah,” and the other world of Demons; “Gehenna.” Rin Okumura, the series main protagonist begins exhibiting traits that reveal his parentage, and is revealed to be the son of Satan, after he wields a demon sword that holds his heart and when unsheathed, restores his demon powers.
Not wanting to join his father, Rin enrolls in an academy for exorcists where he studies to become one so that he can fight and destroy demons alongside his brother Yukio.
Yato, the stray god, is a minor deity living in the human realm and working as a handy-do-anything-man, a self-proclaimed “Delivery God.” He wants to make it to the big leagues so that he can have millions of worshippers and a loyal Regalia.
However, he ends up having a chance encounter with a middle school student, Hiyori Iki, when she saves him from a car accident. This event changes both of their lives as they become more intertwined and new events are set into motion!
13. Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online is one of the best fantasy anime series with as many twists and turns as its colorful, intriguing characters. A virtual reality gaming console known as the NerveGear is released to the public alongside the world’s first virtual reality game called Sword Art Online (SAO).
A beta-tester named Kirito logs in and soon discovers the players are unable to log out and have to fight their way to the end in hopes of finding the creator of the game and a way home. This anime is packed with a ton of strong characters and awesome fight scenes, and is also one of the most popular isekai anime shows of all time!
12. The God of Highschool
Fans of martial arts will no doubt love the hand-to-hand combat showcased in this anime. Jin Mori, a 17-year-old martial artist is invited to take part in The God of High School competition – a tournament that takes place to determine the best fighter among all high school students in Korea.
Mori battles competitors and makes friends with two talented fighters; Daewi Han and Mira Yoo, in the process. He also tries to find the whereabouts of his grandfather while he battles it out with the best of the best. The participants in the competition all have different fighting styles, and the fight sequences are pretty crisp and animation is pretty great that it wouldn’t be wrong to call it one of the best martial arts anime out there!
Re:Creators is a single-season fantasy anime about a high school student, Souta Mizushino, who becomes involved in a battle between several characters from manga, anime, and video games who appear in the real world because of the anime’s main antagonist, Altair.
The world involves countless other worlds, each one born from the imagination of a creator. Fictional characters begin to appear carrying the hopes and scars of their home; knights, brawlers, and magical girls. Souta has to work together with characters from other worlds to uncover the meaning behind these unnatural events.
10. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
A hilarious fantasy and slice of life anime that kicks off when Kobayashi, an office worker and programmer gets ready for work and leaves her home only to be greeted by a large dragon right outside her front door. It turns out the Kobayashi encountered the dragon during the previous night when she was drunk and offered the beast to stay at her place since it had nowhere else to go.
The dragon accepted her offer and showed up at her place the next day. It immediately transforms into a human girl in a maid outfit and introduces herself as Tohru. And although Kobayashi is kinda regretting her words, she reluctantly agrees to let the girl/dragon live with her as her maid!
9. Made in Abyss
This fantasy anime follows an orphaned girl named Riko, an energetic and trouble-prone 12-year-old girl who finds and befriends a humanoid robot called Reg and descends with him into the titular Abyss, that leads deep into the Earth, in hopes of finding her mother Lyza.
They travel into the abyss and meet new people while trying to unlock the secrets of the abyss which is filled with mysterious creatures and relics from the past, and of course a ton of dangers as well!
8. Hunter x Hunter
This shonen anime begins with 12 year-old Gon Freecss entering the hunter exams in hopes of finding his father, who was a Hunter himself and who has long abandoned his son and never met him in his life. Gon wants to become the best hunter the world has ever seen, but that path is filled with obstacles and dangerous missions.
Hunters are a group of select individuals who exist to perform all sorts of dangerous missions and are thus given special privileges and permissions to venture into uncharted locations or go after dangerous criminals. This is the reason why the exams to become a hunter are super-difficult with the chances of success really low and the chances of dying really high!
7. Somali and the Forest Spirit
This fantasy world is ruled by spirits, goblins, and all manner of strange creatures. Human beings are persecuted, and almost extinct. One day, a golem and a lone human girl meet. He decides to take her under his care and even allows himself to be called her father. The pair travel from city to city, learning the history of their civilization.
This fantasy anime is a record of the human and the golem, one a member of a ruined race, the other a watchman of the forest. The heartfelt anime tells of their travels together and the bond the develops between them.
6. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
Aladdin is the main protagonist of this anime series, a kind, and young magician, that has lived his life in isolation up until the moment he leaves his home behind to explore the world.
He begins his journey only accompanied by his mentor Ugo, who happens to be a djinn, that Aladdin can summon with his flute. Djinns are supernatural beings that rule over mysterious dungeons that grant successful conquerors access to their power. Aladdin soon befriends Alibaba, and the two decide to venture into a nearby dungeon in order to conquer it and thus take their first step in a journey that will become an epic adventure.
5. KonoSuba: God’s Blessing On This Wonderful World
Isekai tropes aside, this fantasy anime series is full of hilarious moments to go with its sword and sorcery fun. While out buying a game, Kazuma Satou, a sleep-deprived recluse mistakes a tractor for a speeding truck and rushes in to push a girl out of the way, and dies from shock as a result.
In the afterlife, Kazuma is greeted by a goddess named Aqua, who offers to transport him to an RPG-like world to battle against the Devil King instead of going to heaven or reincarnation. But Aqua also makes fun of Kazuma because of the way he died; so when Aqua tells him he can take anything with him in the new world, he chooses Aqua and takes her with him. And thus begin one of the most hilarious adventures featuring some of the most interesting characters in the world of anime!
4. Violet Evergarden
The series follows Violet Evergarden, an orphaned former child soldier, who is out of her depth in the normal world of civilians when the war ends. During the war, she was treated as nothing more than a weapon by the Leidenschaftlich army because of her extraordinary fighting capabilities.
But her life has changed now and she gets a job at a writers’ agency and goes on assignments to create letters that can connect people, learning about emotions and humanity in the process. A heart-warming anime that sees its protagonist travel and learn about the meaning behind the words “I love you.”
After being defeated in three successive wars for the Holy Grail, the Einzbern family is determined to win the next one at any cost and hires the notorious Magus Killer, Kiritsugu Emiya, with marriage to their only daughter, Irisviel, as a binding contract.
A holy grail war is a battle of seven mages from strong families who get to summon a hero of the past or future to fight to the death for the holy grail which can grant any wish of the winner. The past heroes’ concept is a nice touch, lots of the summoned heroes are historical figures. Full of merciless brawls between combatants and a shocking finale, Fate/Zero is a must-see!
2. Attack on Titan
When the anime Attack on Titan premiered, it was an instant smash hit and quickly became one of the most visible and popular anime series in the world. It takes place in a world where giant human-shaped creatures called Titans, hunt for the humans secluded inside a walled city.
The humans inside the walled city believe themselves to be the last of humanity and they live in constant fear of the titans breaching their walls and attacking them, a fear that soon becomes their reality when the titans actually attack. Eren Jeager is the protagonist of the series who, after seeing a titan devour his mother, vows to rid the world of the creatures. He and his friends join the military in their quest to conquer the titans and take back the lands beyond the walls!
1. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is the ultimate fantasy anime, probably the best anime of all time, that everyone needs to watch at least once in their life.
The show follows two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric who are very gifted alchemists. But their talent costs them significantly when they try to resurrect their mother through alchemy. Edward loses an arm and a leg while Alphonse, his little brother loses his entire body but Edward manages to tie Alphonse’s soul to an old suit of armor.
To recover all that they lost, they go on a journey to hunt down the Philosopher’s Stone, a power source that leads them to the capital city to become government-sanctioned State Alchemists.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an anime full of intrigue and a dark undertone that viewers can pick up on from the start, leaving you with an end that makes you want more.
What’s Your Favorite Fantasy Anime of All Time?
Fantasy anime allows fans to be transported into a world of magic, scientific marvels, or horror. Either way, you are in for a good time.
So make sure you go through the above list of anime one-by-one and watch their story unfold because you will be hooked to these shows from the very first episode. And if you think there are some fantasy anime shows better than the ones mentioned here, do let me know about them in the comments section below.