También puedes leer este artículo en: Español
Anime and assassins go hand in hand. The focus on assassins and the underworld they dwell in has been a focus of anime culture for a long time. In fact, Golgo 13, a beloved assassin anime, came out in 1983. Albeit its manga debuted even earlier (the 60s).
When assassins are in an anime, you are most likely going to get the full package of anime goodness. You’ll get badass characters (both design and personality), action, and subterfuge. It would be improper to expect anything less from characters who are trained killers, and that’s why the top ten assassin anime are must-see shows. Well, it’s a little more than ten considering this is an updated list, and you should definitely check out all the shows on both lists. Luckily for you, they do overlap a tiny bit. This is an update to an original article so be sure to check out the original when you are done with this one!
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr. 2004 – Sep. 2004
Civil war rages in the country of Gazth-Sonika. In this war-torn land, a mercenary by the name of Madlax makes a living for herself due to her exceptional skills. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Margaret Burton who lives a quiet life in a peaceful country. However, fate has decided to bring these two together in an amazing twist of destiny.
Madlax is a little bit slower than most assassin anime. Many shows that deal heavily with assassinations are action packed from beginning to end. Madlax on the other hand slowly builds up its plot by carefully introducing each character and making sure that we understand the differences and similarities between everyone. It also deals with a lot of flashbacks, which creates a conflicted sense of forward movement in the plot. Nonetheless, the anime puts forth a decent amount of action by the end as well as strings together a few good twists.
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Oct. 2012 – Dec. 2012
Code:Breaker closely follows the life of Rei Oogami, who is part of an organization of assassins. He, along with the other members of the group, must present himself as an ordinary student while undertaking various missions. Well, his secret life is discovered by a classmate, and this classmate decides that Rei’s perspective on life is way too dark and distorted. Lucky for her, she has the ability to negate his powers and so is able to actually get close to him and try to make an impact on his life.
Code:Breaker presents a really unique set of assassins. Each character is well defined and has a rather spectacular ability, which is always fun to watch. However, the general missions that the group performs do not hold a candle to the inner turmoil of the organization. The organization’s history and hidden power plays are where the true drama lies. These facets unravel bit by bit and show just how dark the underbelly of an assassin’s organization can be as we discover more about the main antagonist. This set up lets the anime build an extremely volatile environment that puts everyone against one another, which leads to quite the entertaining climax.
8. 91 Days
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul. 2016 – Oct. 2016
Angelo Lagusa watched his family murdered before his eyes when he was only a child. For seven years he has planned out his revenge and now he is fortunate to find an opportunity to enact his vengeful desire. However, it won’t be easy. He will need to infiltrate one of the most powerful mafia families and get into a position where he can take out the top members of the family.
Similar to a couple other shows on this list, “Assassin” is not the first word that pops into your head when thinking of the show. “Gangster” or “Mafia” are actually probably the first words you think. However, what is “Angelo” but an assassin. He has orchestrated his revenge and goes with the intention of tearing apart this mafia family one by one. Assassinating people is also pretty common work for a mafia family. It just goes by the title of a hit. Splitting hairs on these specifics is more detrimental to the genre as it will force the image of an assassin to become repetitive.
7. Akuma no Riddle
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr. 2014 – Jun. 2014
Akuma no Riddle follows the events that occur in a very particular high school class. This class is full of highly skilled assassins who all share a single target. This target is Haru Ichinose, who happens to just be an ordinary girl. Well, this girl does happen to have extraordinary luck as she befriends one of the assassins, who decides to make it her mission to protect Haru at all costs.
What’s nice about Akuma no Riddle is that we have a whole class of assassins who have very unique abilities. This is not a show where everyone is simply skilled with a blade and they try to take each other down with certain special techniques. Nope. We have an assassin who is particularly skilled with poisons, we have an assassin whose creates riddles and explosives. Each has a family method that is unique and really helps keep the series from feeling too repetitive.
6. Ansatsu Kyoushitsu (Assassination Classroom)
- Episodes: 57
- Aired: Jan. 2015 – Jul. 2016
Ansatsu Kyoushitsu puts us into a world where Earth has been invaded by a single alien who is capable of destroying the planet. All military tactics that have been used on the alien have failed miserably, and now the fate of the world lies in the hands of a bunch of middle school kids. It is their job to assassinate this alien who has taken up the position of their teacher.
Ansatsu Kyoushitsu is a fun twist for people who enjoy assassin anime, but want something with a little less death and gore. This is because on an episodic basis, the students do try to assassinate their teacher. They try to trick him or catch him off guard by employing various strategies. However, Koro-sensei is generally able to foil their plans and teach them a lesson or two about life while doing so. It is this playful mix between humor and murder that keeps the show so lively. Not to mention a strong ensemble of characters, with each episode introducing us to a new perspective.
5. Bungou Stray Dogs
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Apr. 2016 – Dec. 2016
Bungou Stray Dogs portrays the everlasting conflict between supernatural beings in Port City. You see there are two main organizations: the Port Mafia and then the Armed Detective Agency, which are comprised of many unique individuals and have a certain give and take as they wrestle for control over the city. Well, one subject that they wrestle over is the custody of a boy, who happens to have the power to transform into a were-tiger. At least, that’s the issue in the first season. In the second season, the war finds a third party and it’s an all-out brawl in the city between gifted people.
The Port Mafia is essentially an organization of assassins. So what if they call themselves the mafia. A good chunk of their work deals with killing people and leaving little to no trace of the deed. This is exactly why they not only have a special battalion to handle hits, but also have Kyouka and Kouyou, who are explicitly used as assassins due to their unique powers, which summon forth a demon assassin of sorts.
4. Akame ga Kill
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Jul. 2014 – Dec. 2014
Tatsumi has his mind set on Capital City. He believes that if he can make it to the city, then he will be able to find a way to save his poverty stricken village. Well, those dreams are shattered pretty early on, and he ends up joining the Night Raid, a group of assassins who wish to overthrow those who control Capital City.
Night Raid is both in title and deed a band of assassins. This is something that works particularly well in the anime as they serve as a certain extreme faction of the rebellion, and thus draw attention towards themselves while allowing the main body of the rebellion to organize properly. As such, those in this assassin’s group are extremely skilled and powerful. Each own a special weapon that possesses an extremely unique power and actually chooses its owner.
Between each assassin’s inherent abilities and the powers of their weapons, Akame ga Kill is filled with action and death. In fact, [kind of SPOILER[ this is one of the few anime, where it’s best for the viewer to not grow attached to any character, as there’s a good chance that one will die. However, the creators did a good job and chances are you will fall in love and then get your heart broken.
3. Mirai Nikki
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Oct. 2011 – Apr. 2012
Yukiteru Amano finds himself suddenly placed in a game of life and death, as he is given the power of a “future diary”. He is tasked with using his diary’s power to murder 11 other diary users, who each have their own specific power. However, will he be able to do this when his only ally is his obsessive stalker?
Mirai Nikki is interesting because it technically forces the person to become an assassin. Yuki is honestly just an ordinary kid, but once thrust into the game he must kill or be killed. Thus, he is forced to devise and plan out assassinations if he expects to live. The plot thrives off the fact that each person is doing essentially the same thing as him. It is a game of assassination and so it’s impossible to really figure out what will happen next. Bonus points go to this assassin anime for never turning an eye to the violence that ensues within its plot.
2. Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr. 2009 – Sep. 2009
This assassin anime takes place in a world where violence runs rampant. Assassinations are committed frequently in America and many are done by the organization Inferno, which has a near-invincible human weapon that goes by the codename Phantom. One day a Japanese tourist witnesses a hit done by Phantom and is then forcefully brought into the Inferno organization. The first thing that happens to him is that he gets brainwashed. The second is that he himself becomes an assassin.
Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom is an emotionally powerful anime. It handles the work of an assassin with a certain detached perspective that strikes at the audience. Such a viewpoint allows the show to display just how far the characters are removed from humanity. It forces the viewer to accept that living can be boiled down to acts of instinct as each character is consistently forced to kill or be killed. At the same time though, it makes us feel so much for the characters as we can only imagine just how much pain they have gone through in order to become the assassins. It is this duality to the piece that creates an extremely unique viewing experience.
1. Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan
- Episodes: 94
- Aired: Jan. 1996 – Sep. 1998
rurouni kenshin follows the life and adventures of the wandering swordsman, Kenshin Himura. At first glance this frail man might seem like a simple vagabond, but in fact he is a legendary assassin from the Imperial War who was given the title of manslayer. His work played a vital role in setting up the current government, but caused such mental/emotional stress that he disappeared for years. After coming to terms with his actions, he decided to travel about Japan and use his abilities to ensure peace in the adjusting society. This is where the story begins.
Many would not think that Rurouni Kenshin is an assassin anime. Samurai, even ninja, might be a better way of describing it. However, if you’ve seen Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal or simply pay attention to the bits of dialogue in Rurouni Kenshin, then you know his work during the war was as an assassin. He was sent on special missions to assassinate political figures mainly. This fact is pretty explicitly stated when the show gets to discussing Shishio, Kenshin’s replacement.
If you feel like his past life as an assassin doesn’t quite justify the show being an assassin anime, then let’s not forget that many of the characters in the show are also assassins. Shishio,’s entire squad is full of assassins as well numerous other fighters that appear in the series.
Though most of these shows are pretty clear with declaring their characters as assassins, it’s important to realize just how far the assassin trend actually carries. Hitmen and even mercenaries can be considered assassins when you consider the work that is being done. It’s also important to note just how deeply ingrained the concept of an assassin is when it comes to anime. The classical depiction and work of an assassin heavily influences both characters and stories in the world of anime. Admittedly, you can’t go into any show, see a murder, and call it an assassin anime. That’s taking it too lightly.
The world of anime paves way to never ending possibilities of imagination and interpretations in the form of action, adventure, drama, thrillers, suspense, and comedies.
What may happen in real life, can be exaggerated in anime with spectacular visuals and storytelling. One of the greatest things about anime is there are no boundaries or rules while interpreting an experience in life.
Sometimes, these interpretations can become very unrealistic to the point of defying the laws of physics as we know it.
A great example of this would be anime that is based off of tactics and coordination within the world of Assassins!
Not much can rival against the masterminds of assassins in anime, not without being overly-exaggerated and/or completely fabricated.
There's just something about anime assassin series that present well-thought out situations which need to be executed precisely in order for an assassination to take place leaving no evidence, whatsoever.
If you like anime like this, then maybe you'll like this selection below?!
Here are the “Top 10 Anime Assassin Series” out there in the world in no particular order, because honestly, it was hard to rank them from each other.
10. Akame ga Kill
This anime has a lot of assassination situations in it, taking place in a fantasy world where the Capital is seen as a great place in the eyes of others, but really, it hold a deep and corrupt secret that most aren't aware about.
A fighter named Tatsumi, travels to the capital seeking work to earn money for his poor village, he soon becomes aware of the corruption in the Capital, all rooting to the Prime Minister who controls the child Emperor.
He is recruited by a group of assassins known as Night Raid, who dedicate their lives in fighting against this corruption to bring peace to the Capital.
9. Golgo 13
I really like this anime, besides the fact that the first part of the first episode take place in my hometown, it has very realistic situations of assassinations. Considered a darker, Japanese version of James Bond, the anime follows a mysterious man known as Golgo 13.
His origin is unknown, and he takes jobs from anyone offering him an assignment as long as the price is right! He's never failed to complete a mission and has been known to handle more than one at a time. He is a brilliant sharpshooter who has keen accuracy with his custom made rifle of death.
A lot of the episodes in this series are based off events that occurred during the run of the show!
Check it out, I think you'll like it!
This anime story follows the lives of two female assassins who embark on a journey seeking answers to their past.
Having a vague relation to each other, the answers they find unravel a series of clues and secrets of something more than they imagined. As they form an alliance, the take on assassin missions under the name, Noir.
As the anime series goes on, they experience multiple situations of of betrayal and traps from a secret organization called Les Soldats. The organization as a test to see if the two girl are worthy of representing the name, Noir!
7. Darker Than Black
Darker Than Black, follows the life of Contractors, who are people bread for destruction and assassinations with supernatural powers, they strike fear and hate in the eyes of others.
After a presence known as Heaven's Gate suddenly appears, Hell’s Gate, a massive wall surrounding the city, is constructed to keep the city safe from these supernatural beings. Which is why an international organization called PANDORA, seeks out information to analyze and discover the truth behind the creation of them.
But, there’s one Contractor different from the others, and he seeks the truth as well.
6. Assassination Classroom
This another great anime assassin series that recently started. Earth is threatened by a powerful alien who destroyed about 70 percent of the moon with his powers. Making claims that he will do the same to Earth within the year, unless mankind can somehow find a way to assassinate him at a school he miraculously teaches at. The government offers a reward to any student at the school, who can accomplish in killing the alien known as Korosensei. But, it is quite impossible considering the alien came move at speeds of Mach 20.
5. Gunslinger Girl
This is one of those anime series that is both great and brutal at the same time.
Taking places in Italy, an organization called the Social Welfare Agency, rescues young children from their death beds at hospitals granting them a second chance in life. Using state of the art cybernetic advancements, the children's bodies are artificially enhanced and brainwashed in order to be trained as assassins to fulfill the the needs of the governments dirty work.
They're still kids at heart and struggle throughout their lives to be accepted by those the love, even though the love they feel is manufactured and the agency they work for treats them as nothing more but killers!
4. Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom
Another crazy anime assassin series is this one, where a mysterious company called Inferno, is behind most of all assassination in the United States using their almost invincible human weapon code name, Phantom.
While Phantom was committing her latest assassination, a Japanese tourist accidentally witnesses her in the act.
Running scare and not knowing what to do, he hid in an abandoned building only to found and taken to Inferno where he has his memory wiped cleaned and is forced to kill and assassinate for the company while trying to figure out who he is and recover his lost memories.
3. Chaika - The Coffin Princess
Taking place five years after a 300 year old war had ended, Toru Acura and his sister Akari, are out in the woods when they encounter Chaika, a girl who claims to be a wizard, who they save from a man-eating unicorn (Chuckles).
Because of Toru and Akari's past skills, Chaika hires them to take on an important task. To gather the remains of her father Arthur Gaz, and placing them in the coffin she carries around with her in order to give him a proper burial.
They must retrieve the remains from eight heroes of the great war which send them on a difficult path filled with magic, near death experiences, the secrets behind her father's existence.
2. Black Cat
This anime follows the infamous gunman Train Heartnet, also known as Black Cat, who is a coldblooded assassin working for an organization named Chronos.
Most of Black Cats life has been filled with violence causing him to be anti-social, uncaring, and quiet. All that changes when he suddenly encounters a bounty hunter named Saya, who is intrigued by Black Cats way of life.
As tragedy surfaces, Black Cat must change his way of life as a result of having new friends and becoming more normal for other assassins begun to target not only him, but his friends as well.
1. Rurouni Kenshin
This anime follows a man named, Himura Kenshin, who was a very skillful assassin in the great war during the Meiji era of Japan.
After slaying and murdering many during the war, he becomes exhausted in his beliefs for fighting and just walks off the battle field. He could be confused as a ronin, but he was never a samurai to begin with, instead he is considered a rurouni. Traveling through the country, he ends up in Tokyo where he befriends a female kendo master, a doctor, a brawler, and a former thief.
They continue their lives until Kenshin’s past begins to haunt him. That doesn’t discourage his new friends at all for they fight with him to defeat his enemies from his past. They also help to bring an end to an enemy who seeks to destroy the government and conquer Japan.
Only then can Kenshin and his friends continue to live their lives in peace.
There you have it folks! These are the “Top 10 Anime Assassin Series” for this article. Some other series that deserve an honorable mention would be Madlax, Angle Heart, Weiss Kruez, Kite, and 009-1. I hope you all had a fun time reading this segment of Honey's Anime Top 10's.
Which anime was your favorite? Is there an anime you like that is based on assassins?
Let us know in the comments below!