Fena: Pirate Princess—an original anime co-produced by both Crunchyroll and Adult Swim and brought to life by Production I.G—has exceeded expectations in every way as one of the best anime of the Summer 2021 season. This tale of grand adventure on the high seas builds upon its traditional story concept with mysterious subplots, steampunk samurai set dressing, and a romance between the two main leads that’s just too adorable for words.
If you’ve been pulled hook, line, and sinker into the world of Fena: Pirate Princess and have been wondering whether there’s anything else like it to sink your teeth into, we’ve got six anime to recommend that make great companion pieces for it. Here are six anime like Fena: Pirate Princess!
Similar Anime to Kaizoku Oujo / Similar Anime to Fena: Pirate Princess
1. Akatsuki no Yona (Yona of the Dawn)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2014 – March 2015
The basic setup of Fena: Pirate Princess borrows a lot from old-school shoujo fantasy anime like Prétear and Fushigi Yuugi: a young girl with some mysterious power goes on an adventure to save an exciting new world with the help of her squad of very attractive friends, one or more of whom she falls in love with along the way. Yona of the Dawn is another modern take on this quintessentially ‘90s concept, this time starring an ancient Korean princess named Yona whose sheltered life is torn asunder when her beloved cousin murders her father and seizes the throne. She must journey across her kingdom—which is nowhere near as clean and perfect as she thought it would be—to find the four mythical dragons whose power is the only force strong enough to set things right again.
Even though their worlds couldn’t be more different, Yona and Fena go through similar character arcs on their journeys. Yona is forced to come to terms with her own naivete and has to move past it to become a more independent adult, while Fena learns that everyone has their own ulterior motives for their actions and only she can decide who’s actually worth trusting. They’re both bittersweet realizations, but Yona and Fena are stronger for having experienced them.
Yona of the Dawn Trailer
2. Fushigi no Umi no Nadia (Nadia: Secret of Blue Water)
- Episodes: 39
- Aired: April 1990 – April 1991
Although it’s most well-known these days for having a production so troubled that director Hideaki Anno suffered a mental breakdown that heavily influenced the creation of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Nadia: Secret of Blue Water is still a solid anime in its own right. It’s a very loose retelling of Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” that follows former slave girl Nadia as she and the crew of the submarine Nautilus seek to uncover the secrets of her past and defeat the Neo-Atlanteans who threaten to take over the world.
This series and Fena: Pirate Princess share many common elements, from the steampunk submarine to the awkward romance between the two leads to the surprisingly terrifying villain, but Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water goes in a much darker direction later on. If you’re looking for a slightly more cynical take on this type of story, where the people involved have to go through hell to have hope of reaching their happy ending, give this classic Gainax anime a try.
Nadia: Secret of Blue Water Trailer
3. Tenkuu no Shiro Laputa (Castle in the Sky)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: August 1986
Speaking of classic anime, here’s an oldie but a goodie: Hayao Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky! Young miner Pazu, who dreams of proving the existence of the floating castle his father once photographed long ago, catches a mysterious girl as she falls out of the sky. They end up entangled in a plot involving ancient technology, sinister military, a colorful band of female pirates (which the Rumble Rose crew from Fena: Pirate Princess may be a reference to), and of course the legendary castle itself.
Castle in the Sky focuses more on exciting action scenes and enchanting settings than the nitpicky details of its plot, which works well for a children’s movie. It’s got that signature feel-good Miyazaki vibe and a plucky heroine like Fena who’s easy to root for. Plus, both its Japanese and English voice casts are incredible—Mark Hamill as the evil Colonel Muska isn’t something we would’ve expected, but now we couldn’t imagine the movie any other way!
Castle in the Sky Trailer
Any Anime Like Fena: Pirate Princess / Any Anime Like Kaizoku Oujo?
4. One Piece
- Episodes: 1000+
- Aired: October 1999 – currently airing
Okay, this is an obvious choice, but if we’re talking about pirates, the anime gods would strike us down where we stand if we didn’t give a shoutout to One Piece. And luckily, this incredibly long-running series actually shares quite a few similarities with Fena: Pirate Princess. Luffy and Fena are both bubbly, excitable heroes whose naïve optimism eventually gives way to mature confidence once they’ve experienced the harsh realities of the outside world, and yet they maintain their infectiously positive personalities no matter how hard things get.
One Piece is a shounen series, so expect more emphasis on grandiose adventure and “wanting to be the very best” than on romance or subtle emotional moments, but since it’s been on the air for so long, there’s a little bit of everything for everyone at this point. Just start at the beginning and enjoy the trek across the Grand Line!
One Piece Trailer
5. Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau (Children of the Whales)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2017 – December 2017
In what may or may not be the post-apocalyptic remnants of a formerly prosperous world, massive islands called Mud Whales drift aimlessly across an endless ocean of sand. For some mysterious reason, many of the people who live on these isolated islands have special powers and are doomed to die young. One day, island archivist Chakuro happens upon a new island where he meets a strange girl who seems to come from an entirely different culture, and his world as he knows it begins to change.
Despite being set in a low fantasy desert world rather than the swashbuckling seas of traditional pirate tales, Children of the Whales serves as a solid companion piece to Fena: Pirate Princess because its overarching mystery plotline is told in a similar way to the gradual twists and reveals of Fena’s journey to understand who she really is. Plus, both Chakuro’s ragtag group of friends and the Samurai Seven who protect Fena add their own unique touches to the story while helping to uncover the mystery in their own ways, and each main character serves as the emotional core to their respective team. Give this one a try if you’re looking for something a little different!
Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau OP
6. Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus’ Bride)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2017 – March 2018
Chise Hatori, born with powerful magic that she can neither understand nor control, winds up in the care of a skull-faced mage named Elias Ainsworth after suffering through the lowest point in her life. After declaring that Chise will one day be his bride, the socially awkward Elias whisks her off to England to train as his magical apprentice and learn about the world of fae folk that she never knew she belonged to. Most of the people and creatures she meets have her best interests at heart, but there are some who would use her rare and powerful magic for their own ends...
The Ancient Magus’ Bride is less of a grand adventure story (although the gorgeously creative locales Chise visits are breathtaking enough on their own) and more of a contemplative tale about a girl discovering who she really is and what matters to her. She and Fena both start off being treated as objects, but gradually take charge of their own lives and fight for what’s important to them. And if you can’t get enough of Fena and Yukimaru’s relationship, Chise and Elias are even more adorkable than they are!
The Ancient Magus’ Bride Trailer
If you’re looking for even more shows like Fena: Pirate Princess, we’d recommend Show White with the Red Hair, Prétear, Fushigi Yuugi, Scrapped Princess, and Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet – not to mention the live-action Pirates of the Caribbean franchise! If you can think of any more good choices, please let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading!