Tired of never being able to find something exciting to watch? Perhaps it's time you dive into the wacky, harrowing, and colorful world of anime. Whether you've never watched anime in your life or are an avid fan, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out what to watch. This is exactly why we've created the ultimate list of the ten best action anime series.
Best Action Anime FAQ
1. What Is Anime?
If you've never watched anime before, you might think it's merely children's cartoons. In actuality, anime is a specific style of Japanese TV and film that is animated. Generally, those series or films are geared toward adults, but some are designed for children.
2. What Are the Different Types of Anime?
Just like any other form of media, anime has tons of different styles and genres. We've compiled a list of the best action anime series, but there are also romance, horror, and comedy series out there. Plus, there is anything and everything in between.
3. Is Every Anime in Japanese?
While yes, nearly all anime series have Japanese actors originally voice the roles, that doesn't mean you have to understand Japanese to enjoy it. If you want to hear the original actors, you can put on subtitles to help you understand what each character is saying.
Today, many anime series are getting dubbed, which means English speaking voice actors re-voice the characters in a series to make it sound as if they were designed that way from the start. This allows you to enjoy the content even if you don't want to read along.
4. Do You Have to Buy the Whole Series to Watch the Best Action Anime Series?
No! While owning the series is a great way to support the shows you enjoy and support the dubbing studios who make them, there is another way to check out the best action anime series. Streaming services have become wildly popular, and anime is no exception.
There are a number of different anime streaming services that allow you to have access to their broad selection of titles for a small monthly fee. This is an excellent alternative if you're unsure of a show or know you're going to want to watch all the best action anime series at once.
5. What Makes These Best Action Anime Series Better Than the Rest?
There are tons of great action anime series out there that have held their worth throughout the years. The ten best action anime series shown here is what people are watching and raving about now.
These are titles that maybe aren't fresh out the studio but are current and popular to avid viewers of the present day. These shows are exciting, action-packed, and well-deserving of the title, “Best.”
How We Reviewed
We searched through a wide selection of anime titles and narrowed in on the ten we feel are great for both new and old fans alike. After selecting the ten best action anime series, we took a closer look at their descriptions, price range, and overall rating to determine which series was the best of the best.
Overall Price Range
Buying a complete collection of an anime series, a season of the series, or an anime film will vary greatly in price. Most anime films will range from about $5 - $20. Depending on the length of an anime series, they may sell DVD sets in seasons, parts, or complete series.
Be sure to check which yours is before you purchase it. Because of the differences in episode numbers, popularity, and quality, action anime series title can cost anywhere from about $10 to $80.
What We Reviewed
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Polish Release, cover may contain Polish text/markings. The disk has English audio and subtitles.
- English (Subtitle)
- Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)
Fullmetal Alchemist is a classic anime series that received a reboot years later to more closely follow the manga it was based on. That reboot was Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and has been viewed by fans as the superior of the two.
Two young alchemists lose their mother and attempt to bring her back from the dead using alchemy. This backfires and causes the youngest, Alphonse, to lose his body and, instead, posses a suit of armor.
The oldest, Edward, loses his arm and leg in the accident but gets auto-mail replacements built by a young friend. Now, the brothers set out on a journey to return what has been lost to them, understand the truth of the mystical Philosopher's Stone, and stop the evil plots of creatures still unknown to them.
This series has been highly reviewed for many years. It has intense action scenes, mysteries to unravel, and a great deal of comedy in between. It's a great anime to start with and an absolute must-see for any avid anime fan.
Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
- Polish Release, cover may contain Polish text/markings. The disk DOES NOT have English audio and subtitles.
- English (Subtitle)
- Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)
Many years ago, giant creatures, known as Titans, devoured a large portion of the planet. They stand several stories tall and swallow any human insight. After nearly all the humans were exterminated, the remaining few built a city surrounded by walls to keep the Titans out.
Today, after a horrific attack that killed their mother, Eren and his foster sister, Mikasa, train to fight against the titans and prevent them from ever eating another living soul.
The thing many people love about this show is the beauty of the animation. They also greatly enjoy the emotional roller coaster this series puts them through. You see some great highs and some devastating lows while getting completely sucked into this high-intensity version of Earth.
Castlevania has been a popular video game franchise for many years and has only recently been adapted into an anime.
After Count Dracula's wife was burned at the stake, he sought to take revenge on the people of Wallachia and summons an army of demons to take over the town. Trevor Belmont, an outcast monster hunter, works alongside a magician to take back the city for the people.
While many people did enjoy the series itself, they were a bit bummed that each season only contained four episodes. They felt it was a bit brief, but, nevertheless, they were excited to see one of the favorite video games come to life..
If you're looking for an intense film focused on Japan, Ninja Scroll might just be the best action anime for you. In the Edo period, the Yamashiro clan secretly mines gold and sends it to the Shogun of the Dark as payment for protection.
Unfortunately, the ship carrying the gold crashes into the Mochizuki territory during a storm. A ninja team with unworldly powers, known as the Eight Devils, kills the people of the village to keep the transaction a secret. Investigations of the deaths begin, and a sole survivor is saved, leading the way for a whole lot of challenges and gore.
While still quite popular, this is an older anime film and does not have some the crisp, clear animation some of the newer series and films do. That being said, it definitely has some of the most high-intensity action on this list.
Princess Mononoke is a terrific anime film that was created by Studio Ghibli.After obtaining a deadly curse, Ashitaka heads out in search of a cure.
He soon finds himself tangled up in a bitter conflict between the people of Iron Town and Princess Mononoke, who is one with nature after having been raised by wolves.
The two sides fight to decide how the land should be used while the forest spirits and an animal god also take action.
This is a highly rated film with tons of praise for its story, characters, and art style. What's also great is, if you enjoyed the look and feel of this anime, there are plenty of other Studio Ghibli films for you to enjoy.
My Hero Academia
In a thrilling time of heroes and villains, many people begin to develop superpowers known as quirks. Young Deku dreams of being able to fight against the forces of evil, but soon learns that he's quirkless.
He instead focuses his time on studying professional heroes and, in an act of courage, catches the attention of All Might. With some training, he helps Deku get into a prestigious school for heroes. But soon, their training lessons become fights against real-life villains!
This popular anime is genuinely one of the best action anime series out on the market. It has high levels of action, hilarious comedy, and offers relatable moments that pull on the heartstrings of anyone who's ever felt like an outsider.
Hunter X Hunter
A young boy spends his whole life believing his parents are dead, until one day he learns his dad has become a world-renowned hunter. Hunters do all sorts of fantastical work, such as treasure hunting, locating exotic, unidentified animals, and even tracking down criminals.
After learning about his father, Gon decides to set out and pass the Hunter Examination so he can track down his father and work alongside him.
This anime has become a real crowd favorite, receiving a ton of great reviews. The thrilling adventure and level of skill needed to pass the exam are exciting to watch. Plus, it has a ton of great mishaps and comedy along the way.
Kill la Kill
In a fictional Japanese high school, a fearsome student council runs everything. The council members wear Goku uniforms, which give them special abilities that render the general student body useless.
Until one day, a new transfer student comes in wielding a scissor-shaped longsword that can cut through the life fibers of the Goku uniform. She challenges the council and searches for her father's killer all while attending classes.
The true action here is thrilling, and the energy is well maintained throughout the series. Even though it's a bit older than some of the others, it's a must-see for many anime lovers.
Sword Art Online
- Contains episodes 1-7 of the first SAO TV series Dubbed in english, as well as Japanese with english and spanish...
- Includes Mini Pin-up Poster, O-Sleeve, and Clear 3-disc DVD Cases with 2-sided wrap
- English, Spanish (Subtitles)
If you love video games, this is by far the best action anime for you. A new gaming headset, known as Nerve Gear, allows you to dive right into the video game the virtual dimension and become your character.
Excitement is bubbling over on launch day until it becomes announced that the only way to leave the game is by beating every single level. But be careful, if you die in the game, you die in real life.
This is an incredible anime series with a lot of great reviews in terms of plot, animation, and action. As the players battle through dangerous dungeons, you're constantly on the edge of your seat as to whether or not they'll make it out alive.
Taking place 50 years after World War III, Tokyo has become nothing more than rubble. This spot has now become “The Black Spot” and is viewed from space as a dark patch. This spot of darkness becomes home to many outcasts who obtain powers, known as fragments, and eventually become known as, Needless.
This anime is also a bit on the older side, meaning that it may not be the hippest thing to watch this moment. However, it's a high-energy plot and exciting battles.
There are tons of excellent action anime series and films out there that deciding on the best is a difficult feat. The best action anime for those who've never watched anime before would be Sword Art Online. This anime is still pretty new, has great animation, and provides tons of great action sequences throughout.
The best action anime film is Princess Mononoke. Created by the award-winning Studio Ghibli, this film provides thrilling battles alongside heartwarming relationships, while also questioning our choices of technology over nature.
The overall best action anime series out now is My Hero Academia. This show is ridiculously popular for a reason. It's relatable, funny, jam-packed with beautifully animated battles.
Give one or all of these action anime titles a try for a night of binging that you won't soon forget.
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