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Adventure anime are some of the most popular anime series out there, and for good reason. The best of these types of adventure stories accurately depict qualities a majority of people are looking for in an anime show in general: a meaningful and engaging journey, relatable characters, and an entire world that you’re introduced to that leaves you guessing as to who or what is out there. The wider the variety of the characters’ encounters are, the more likely you’ll keep watching as they progress closer and closer to whoever or whatever it is they’re searching for.
New anime fans as well as longtime anime fans will most likely be familiar with defining adventure anime such as One Piece and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Both are highly recommended adventures you should read and/or watch if you haven’t already, and both are discussed in the previous lists done for this topic (located down below). This iteration of the list will focus on some other titles that are sometimes overlooked as well as other big adventure anime that belong in the company of One Piece and Fullmetal Alchemist. That being said, here are the Top 10 Adventure Anime.
10. Sword Art Online
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: July 2012 – Dec 2012
Sword Art Online can be hit and miss depending on who you ask. Some like the direction the series took after the initial setup of the virtual world that took place in the first several episodes. Others felt it was a wasted opportunity and should have had better pacing and be less focused on the multiple time skips that take place. Whatever your view may be, a virtual world free to explore was established early on in this anime, and the artwork is very beautiful in terms. If you consider the artwork and setting of an anime to be the most important aspects and are not as concerned with having a detailed story structure, then this adventure anime is worth taking a look.
9. Rurouni Kenshin
- Episodes: 94
- Aired: Jan 1996 - Sep 1998
One of the most popular adventure anime is Samurai Champloo with its unique take on the travelling samurai concept through the use of music in addition to its development of the 3 core characters. Ruroni Kenshin is almost a “quieter” interpretation of the same genre: a wandering murderous samurai once known as Battousai has now reformed as Kenshin Himura in an attempt to repent for his sins and never kill again. It soon becomes clear, however, that despite Kenshin’s good intentions and vow to never kill again, old and new enemies will put Kenshin’s new samurai code to the test. There may not be as much humor as there was in Samurai Champloo, but if you enjoyed that show for the amazing samurai fights, the main cast, and their unique journey, then Ruroni Kenshin is worth watching.
8. Akatsuki no Yona (Yona of the Dawn)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct 2014 - Mar 2015
Princess Yona was living the life of luxury completely unaware of the problems going on in the kingdom of Kouka. That was before the murder of the king forced her and her longtime friend, Son Hak, to flee the castle, resulting in Princess Yona seeing the troubles of her kingdom for the first time. A coming-of-age type adventure that really delves into the ideas of both vengeance and betrayal, Yona of the Dawn is one of the newer anime series to really capture the idea of how awesome an adventure anime can be. The shifts between serious and humor can perhaps be better, but if you’re looking for a newer adventure anime with both a great story and great music to really help set the scenes, then look no further.
7. Log Horizon
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct 2013 - Mar 2014
A more detailed virtual world adventure than Sword Art Online in most respects, Log Horizon focuses a lot more on the elements of gaming as well as the political aspects in conjunction with the adventure Shiroe and his friends find themselves on. Shiroe’s approach is also a lot different than most main characters in the sense that he tends to solve his problems through logic and serving in the background as opposed to the typical method of running headfirst into a problem and solving it through more power. As a result, the adventures Shrioe’s group have can be pretty varied from a fair amount of other adventure stories. If this type of adventure journey interest you and Sword Art Online doesn’t cut it for you, Log Horizon should do the trick.
6. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
- Episodes: 27
- Aired: Apr 2007 - Sep 2007
A great example of an adventure that starts off small and grows big, Gurren Lagann focuses on Simon and Kamina, two boys that were raised in an underground village. When Simon’s discovery of an ancient weapon prompts an attack from the surface, the resulting view of the sky in the aftermath causes Simon, Kamina, and a wandering red-head named Yoko to explore the wastelands that make up the surface, resulting in an adventure that has not only the planet but the galaxy at stake. Make no mistake: this adventure gets straight to the point with many explosions along the way. In addition, you have a great contrast of characters in Simon being young and unsure of himself and Kamina being loud and pushing past any boundary in his way. If you want to watch an adventure with a simple approach and unapologetic action everywhere, then start with Gurren Lagann.
5. Soul Eater
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: Apr 2008 - Mar 2009
An interesting take on souls, weapons, monsters, and even death, Soul Eater has a great cast of characters as well as numerous adventures that can have you laughing one minute and focused on the action the next. There isn’t so much a journey as there is a focus to reach a certain goal at first and eventually going up against certain villains that stand in the way of that objective. In addition to those fights, you also get to enjoy Soul Eater’s unique take with its artwork and how it sets itself apart; the appearance of the smiling half-moon at night, for example, is immediately recognizable as being that of Soul Eater. Definitely an adventure anime worth taking the time to enjoy.
4. Rave Master
- Episodes: 51
- Aired: Oct 2001 - Sep 2002
Fairy Tail is a very elaborate adventure with many different guilds and magical abilities present throughout the series. But the creator of Fairy Tail also has another adventure anime that is overlooked sometimes: Rave Master. We get to see from start to finish the journey of Haru Glory as he becomes the Rave Master and forms a team to help him find the Rave Stones as well as defeat the various member of Demon Card. Wacky and fun with a fair amount of impressive fighting throughout, this is definitely an adventure anime to look into, especially if you’re a fan of Fairy Tail.
3. Spice and Wolf
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jan 2008 - Mar 2008
A rather unorthodox journey that combines both romance and economics of all things, Spice and Wolf is definitely an adventure that few have emulated. A powerful wolf deity named Holo inquires the help of a traveling merchant named Kraft Lawrence to take her north to her home. While Lawrence recognizes that there is much more than meets the eye regarding Holo, he accepts, but what he thinks will be an opportunity to finally realize his dream of opening a shop soon turns into a journey with a deeper meaning. There’s a lot of dialogue to this type of adventure, much more than the typical journey. However, if adventures that aren’t always about fighting is the type of thing you enjoy, then watch Spice and Wolf for a new type of adventure.
2. Nanatsu no Taizai (The Seven Deadly Sins)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct 2014 – Mar 2015
Elizabeth, the third princess of the Kingdom of Liones, is on an important quest to take back the kingdom from the Holy Knights. Once the protectors of Britannia, the Holy Knights staged a coup d’état and became the new tyrannical rulers instead. Only by finding the 7 Deadly Sins, or 7 Knights, can Elizabeth hope to return the kingdom to what it once was. This type of adventure is the type of journey where the main character or characters focus on bringing together a group of some sort before setting out to achieve an objective. Each member of the 7 Deadly Sins has their own strengths and weaknesses (not to mention unique personalities), but once all 7 of them are together again, they are certainly formidable. If you enjoy the adventures where the group gets bigger as the journey goes on as well as the magical setting, the 7 Deadly Sins fits that niche nicely.
- Episodes: 153
- ired: Feb 1986 - Apr 1989
One of the standard adventure stories in anime, Dragonball is up there with One Piece in terms of iconic adventures. Based off of Sun Wukong aka the Monkey King, Dragonball focuses on multiple adventures that Son Goku, Bulma, Krillin, Yamcha, and many others go on. But none beat the adventure that started it all: Bulma’s quest to find the Dragon Balls and how Goku ended up joining her on her journey. If fighting and humor are all it takes for you to enjoy an adventure, then Dragonball delivers that in spades. However even if you’re not a fan of fighting, the very 1st adventure that starts off the series is at least worth one viewing to see how the Dragonball series got its start.
If an adventure anime is able to immerse you in to the small adventures the characters go on as well as the overall adventure itself, then the story has done its job. It’s a tricky thing to accomplish, but these 10 adventure anime are all able to reach that type of immersion in a variety of different ways with different takes on the adventure genre itself. But what are your thoughts? Should another adventure title have been #1? Should One Piece and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood have been included? Is there an adventure anime missing entirely that you think deserves recognition? Post your thoughts in the comment section below!
Here at Honey’s Anime, we are always trying to improve our articles to give our readers the best content imaginable. Our original Adventure List was written by the very talented Alfonso and had some amazing selections, many of which were kept around because nothing can beat them. The adventure genre is vast and it seems almost cruel to have to choose only ten must watch anime, but while the task is daunting, the job must be done. Here we bring you the updated list of the Top 10 Adventure Anime on this side of the galaxy.
10. Fairy Tail
- Episodes: 175
- Aired: October 2009 – March 2013
In the world of Earth-land, magical guilds are hired to dispose of criminals, evil guilds, and monsters known as Etherious made by Zeref, a dark wizard, and one of the most famous guilds out there is the group Fairy Tale. The guild consists of Natsu Dragneel, Happy, Lucy (who runs away from home to join), Gray Fullbuster, and Erza Scarlet who are all very powerful wizards themselves. Throughout the course of the show, the guild continues to fight against Zeref all while Natsu continues to search for his father, the great dragon Igneel.
Fairy Tail is fast paced and action packed fun that anyone can easily pick up. While the original series ended in 2013, there are several sequel series, OVAs, and movies that continue the story of these epic group of characters.
9. Digimon (Digimon Adventure)
- Episodes: 54
- Aired: March 1999 – March 2000
Seven seemingly average kids are whisked away to the digital world and gifted digivices, which allows them to bond and control to some extent various creatures called Digimon, short for digital monsters. In order to get home, they must save the digital world from the evil Digimon and their human counterparts. Their digital devices, or digivice, allows their Digimon to digivolve into higher level monsters that are able to battle enemies and save their human partners from harm.
Many people will remember watching Digimon on Fox Kids way back when, but not many know that the series continued on and is still going pretty strong. After the original series aired, a sequel soon came afterwards and now a new series is airing in the form of Digimon Tri which follows the original DigiDestined many years later. The new series can be found on Crunchyroll.
8. Lupin III
- Episodes: 23
- Aired: October 1971 – March 1972
As a master thief and womanizer, Lupin III travels the world in search of rare treasures to steal. Lupin III never fails and is so confident in his abilities that he is famous for sending a calling card before the heist has even occurred. As a result, he is one of the most wanted people in the world and is often pursued by master detective Zenigata who always comes close, but never quite catches his prey.
Lupin III has a crazy cast of characters that will cause anyone to laugh and enjoy the oftentimes goofy adventures of this mischievous mastermind. Lupin’s trusty partner Jigen, a master marksmen, often shows up to be the voice of reason for Lupin since he’s continuously led astray by the famous femme fatale, Fujiko Mine. The group is rounded out by Goemon, a samurai who can cut anything.
One of the best parts of Lupin III is that anyone can dive right in at any time making it easy to show family and friends unfamiliar with anime in general. Perhaps that is why the series has lasted so long and continues to inspire.
7. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2012 - March 2013
Alibaba has been through a lot in his life. He grew up in the slums and then taken in by the king as a bastard child set to rule the kingdom one day, but then left once he disgraced himself. Now, he just wants to get by, but ultimately has the goal of defeating a dungeon, mysterious temples that appear out of nowhere, and claiming its treasure and power as his own. Lucky for him, he runs into Aladdin who seems to have magical powers and can control a Djinn who lives in his flute. Perhaps there’s more to this boy that what meets the eye?
The story of Magi is based on the classic novel, The Arabian Nights, and puts a new twist on a tale that has been retold in many different ways. There is a sequel series that continues the adventures of the entire party once they split and a spinoff series based on the adventures of Sinbad, a prominent character in the Magi universe.
6. Hunter x Hunter
- Episodes: 62
- Aired: October 1999 – March 2001
After discovering that his father is indeed alive and well and a famous hunter to boot, Gon Freecss decides to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a reputable hunter himself. In order to do this, though, he must pass the Hunter Examination, one of the toughest tests around. On his journey, Gon befriends several of his fellow aspiring hunters who help him along the way, but not everything is so easy. The mysterious Hisoka has become infatuated with Gon which begins to cause problems for the group.
An amazing anime and wonderful example of adventure anime in general, Hunter x Hunter will, unfortunately, leave everyone upset seeing as the original creator has yet to finish the manga and thus the anime has been on hiatus for quite some time, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be watched! The series tears at the hearts of everyone which is why people continue to rewatch this series over and over again. And now there is hope as the creator has recently continued the manga! Our prayers ahve been answered!
5. JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2012 - Apr 2013
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’s overall plot revolves around different members of the Joestar family who fight evil and discover that they possess various magical powers. This first series involves Jonathan Joestar whose adoptive brother Dio makes life a living hell in their youth. Dio frequently appears more competent and kind in front of their father but is secretly cruel to Jonathan in hopes of gaining the right to be heir to the Joestar inheritance. In Dio’s thirst for power, he discovers a stone mask that transforms him into an unstoppable vampire bent on world domination. Jonathan must save the world and defeat Dio.
Drawing from its spiritual predecessor Fist of the North Star, JoJo can be described as over the top fun. The characters are exaggerated beyond belief and the whole series gives off a kind of soap opera type vibe that makes it unique and funny at the same time. This series is only for the manliest of men out there!
4. One Piece
- Episodes: Ongoing
- Aired: October 1999 - Ongoing
After eating the Gum-Gum Fruit, a mysterious Devil Fruit that grants those that eat it the power of rubber, Monkey D. Luffy is determined to follow in the footsteps of his idol, the infamous pirate Red-Haired Shanks, and become a pirate. But Luffy doesn’t want to become just any pirate! He plans on taking the place of the deceased Gol D Roger and become the King of the Pirates! And Luffy does just that, he assembles a crew shortly after his eighteenth birthday and sets out on numerous adventures in search of the One Piece, the treasure left behind by Gol D Roger and the item that will grant him the title, King of the Pirates.
A classic, it is impossible to leave the quintessential adventure anime One Piece off of this list. The show is packed full of adventure from giants and dinosaurs to long dogs and crossdressers, this show has it ALL. The characters are well developed and the story becomes much deeper and darker as the story progresses leaving holes in the hearts of all of its fans.
3. Tenkuu no Shiro Laputa (Castle in the Sky)
- Episodes: movie
- Aired: August 2, 1986
Pazu, a young boy, discovers a girl floating from the sky one day and decides to shelter her in his quarters. Little did he know that this mysterious girl would bring trouble to his doorstep because she is, in fact, the princess and heir to the mysterious sky island Laputa, an ancient kingdom filled with advanced technology that has long been abandoned. The girl, Sheeta, is now the only key remaining to finding and discovering what happened centuries ago and because of this, she must evade the clutches of those who would resurrect the power hidden within the castle above.
Hayao Miyazaki directed this movie so its pedigree is quite sound. The visuals are gorgeous and the soundtrack by Ghibli’s famed composer, Joe Hisaishi, just adds to the mood. Castle in the Sky is a feast for the eyes and medicine for the soul. Simply a must watch anime.
2. Samurai Champloo
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: May 2004 – March 2005
Fuu, a young waitress, is attacked by several samurai one day while working. She is then saved by Jin, a master of traditional sword techniques and Mugen, who has a rather unorthodox way of fighting. The two manage to defeat the samurai attacking Fuu, but soon become interested in each other and begin their own fight to see who is truly the stronger. During their battle, they accidentally kill the magistrate’s son and are soon wanted men. Fuu helps them escape in return for finding a samurai that smells like sunflowers.
This is Watanabe’s first directorial venture after his famed Cowboy Bebop. The juxtaposition of Jin and Mugen creates many memorable and comedic moments, but the series also can be quite serious and heartfelt. The art style and music explore elements of hip hop giving the anime its own unique flavor that sets it apart from the rest. Truly a masterpiece.
1. Ginga Tetsudou 999
- Episodes: 113
- Aired: September 1978 – April 1981
While on a journey with his mother to the city, Tetsuro soon must make the trip solo after his mother was hunted down by those with mechanical bodies who enjoy hunting normal humans for sport. He doesn’t get far in the snow covered wasteland before he himself collapses and resigns himself to his fate. Fortunately, a young woman name Maetel rescues him and gives him a pass for the Galaxy Express 999, a mysterious space train that takes its passengers to a planet that will provide them mechanical bodies free of charge. The only thing Maetel asks is that she accompany him.
An oldie but goodie, Galaxy Express 999 sends its viewers on an emotional ride through the galaxy where morals and ethics are constantly being questioned. Each planet the duo travels to are unique, but hide some sort of suffering in the shadows. Tetsuro’s unwillingness to ever listen to Maetel’s warnings consistently get him into trouble and expose him to dangers like no one has ever seen.
The genre of adventure anime encompasses many different types of shows and so on this list we tried to encapsulate a wide range of series from old to new and funny to serious so that anyone may find something to watch after reading this list. So sit on the couch and enjoy the long road ahead with good food and good company!
If there is one genre in the anime world that is a part of almost every anime ever released, it's adventure. The adventure genre paves way for many other genres linking in, to create a huge variety of experiences and visuals. Adventure anime also has a great perception of what it would be like to travel the world and discover new areas or lands that have never been seen before.
Or, just plain ole being a wondering man, or woman. Illustrators in anime definitely have a talent conveying their imagination in the form of animation, which is the essential reason I love anime.
So, get ready to discover anime in the most adventurous approach. Here are the Top 10 Adventure Anime!
10. Samurai Champloo
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: May 20th, 2004 - Mar. 19th, 2015
Samurai Champloo is about two individuals helping out woman in need, even though they never really intended to. One of the individuals is named Mugen, who is a strong, violent, and an ill mannered warrior. While the other, Jin, is a vagrant ronin who is well mannered, strong and very mysterious. They cross paths in an unexpected situation which has them facing off in battle and almost leading to their deaths.
It just so happened that a girl named Fuu, intervenes and convinces the two to help her search for a mysterious samurai who smells of sunflowers. This begins one of the greatest adventures in anime, which involves love, trust, friendship, and courage. Follow the three loveable and hateful character as they cross the great lands of Japan.
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 26th, 2010 - Dec. 11th, 2010
Katanagatari is one of the best anime series ever to be created. The series follows Yasuri Shichika who is the seventh successor of the Kyoto Ryu sword art and lives on an isolated island with his elder sister, Nanami. It all changes when a woman suddenly visits Shichika and asks for his aid in finding and collecting the final twelve swords that were forged by the legendary sword-smith, Shikizaki Kiki.
This begins the epic journey to find the legendary swords, which has Shichika leaving his the island he called home for over twenty years. On their adventure, they will face twelve different individuals in hopes of retrieving the legendary swords.
8. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Oct. 6th, 2012 - Apr. 6th, 2013
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is an adventurous tale of Jonathan Joestar in the early 19th century England, where he finds himself in a bitter rivalry with his adopted brother Dio Brando. Dio is as low as you can go, only seeking fortune and power in any way possible. He first tries to sabotage JoJo's father by slowly killing him with poison.
This is due to Dio's extreme life as a child and wanting to achieve nothing more than reigning over all. That's when he decides to seek out the supernatural powers of the ancient artifact that is in Joestar's possession.
This begins the adventurous journey of JoJo's grandson as he takes up his grandfather's mission while mastering the ability to to destroy the ancient stone mask and the creators of the who challenge humanity.
The story is pretty epic, for sure!
7. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct. 7th, 2012 - Mar. 31st, 2013
This is a great anime series that has a wonderful take on the adventure genre. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic is about a traveling boy named Alibaba, who seeks to conquer an infamous dungeon and claim its treasures.
Throughout the series, Alibaba is traveling long distances and meeting new friends along the way. Even when he and his new acquaintances have to part ways, Alibaba is still discovering himself and the fate that lies before him.
6. No Game, No Life
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 9, 2014 - Jun 25, 2014
The story of this anime centers around two characters in the series, Shiro and Sora, who are brother and sister and are both intelligent NEET’s. They are also hikikomori gamers who are living urban legends all over the internet, and they consider the world they live in as just another crappy game.
That’s until they’re brought into a world where humanity is cornered in one city by all other races. Humanity seeks the help from Shiro and Sora to become their saviors in the alternate world. This series is full of adventure and is probably better that SAO, in my opinion.
There isn't one second that I was bored or displeased with the outcome of certain situations in No Game, No Life. It was a great way to experience the adventures of a different world.
5. One Piece
- Episodes: 683 – and Counting
- Aired: Oct. 20th, 1999 – Ongoing
This anime follows Monkey D. Luffy, a young teenager who defies the usual characteristics of a pirate. Following the footsteps of his childhood hero, he strives to become the King of the Pirates only to continue his exciting adventures and meeting new and intriguing people as a pirate. As well as finding the One Piece, the treasure of all treasures.
One Piece is completely described as an adventure anime, probably one of the most popular and successful series of the decade in a community that involves the world. The series is still on going, and yet for some reason, I feel the ending is coming near. I'm sure this won't happen for the next year or two, but I do feel like it it's been reaching the beginning of the climax.
Of course, more adventures are still to come!
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Oct. 23rd, 2005 - Jun. 19th, 2006
This anime is about the most basic form of life, Mushi. They exist in the world without goals or purpose, and are beyond the beliefs of good and evil. Existing in many forms and having the ability to mimic the natural occurrences of the world, only a vague description of these entities can define them.
The is due to the fact of humans being unaware of their existence.
Only traveling Mushi-shi, those who research and understand their place in the world’s hierarchy of life, know about them. One individual, Ginko, strives in knowing all about them in hopes of finding out the meaning of life. The anime series has viewers following Ginko as he travels across Japan in search of misbehaving Mushi spirits!
Mushishi is probably one of the most popular series in the anime community, for it is also a great way to learn about the cultures within Japan.
3. Cowboy Bebop
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr. 3rd, 1998 - Apr. 24th, 1999
Cowboy Bebop is an anime full of wild adventures and crazy situations, with the characters always having to find ways to survive. The show is basically about three individuals who are bounty hunters in the galaxy.
They all have their own secrets about their pasts that somehow finds a way to force all three of them to be involved and act accordingly.
Living a life as a bounty hunter in any anime series will definitely have the viewers experiencing an excitement filled with action and suspense, in the most adventurous way. Travel the galaxy and experience the adventures of a Space Cowboy!
2. Hunter x Hunter
- Episodes: 148
- Aired: Oct. 2nd, 2011 - Sep. 24th, 2014
Hunter x Hunter is the epitome of adventure anime. The series is filled with tons of traveling and new experiences that have the viewers glued to the TV screen. A Hunter is a person who travels the world completing all kinds of dangerous and challenging tasks that come their way.
This could range from capturing huge beasts and creatures, dangerous criminals, and lost treasures in known and uncharted lands. Hunter x Hunter has several situations of adventure quests and journeys that take the characters in the show to new heights and accomplishments.
1. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Episodes: 64
- Aired: Apr. 5th, 2009 - Jul. 4th, 2010
This anime is the most adventurous anime series I have ever seen in my life time. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood takes the adventure and expands it in ways you could never have imagined. In a world where people study and perform the art of alchemy and its transmutation in order to manipulate objects and transform one object into another, is just insane and unfathomable.
The story follows two brothers, Edward and Alphonse, who only sought out to find a way to bring their mother back from the dead. In doing so, their lives are judged in ways the would never have thought. Edward loses his arm and leg while his brother Alphonse loses more than that, his whole body.
Edward did manage to save his brothers soul, and they both now venture across the lands in order to find others like them who are using alchemy negative ways, while also searching for a method to bring back Alphonse's body before it's too late.
That's it for segment of some of the best adventure anime out there in the world. I'm sure some can argue against this selection, but keep in mind, this was actually based off of a collective search from many sites of votes from the general community. And, your voices is what matters, which is what decided the ranking for this Top 10 list.
Which anime is your favorite adventure anime? Let us know in the comments below!