One of the best parts about watching anime is being whisked away on an adventure to a distant land, or just the re-imagining of our own world in a more exciting way. It’s stepping into the shoes of great heroes, explorers, warriors, and magicians. It’s getting caught up in world-saving plots, epic romances, and timeless stories. Adventure anime can take viewers anywhere they can imagine and even beyond what they could have ever dreamed of. And with so many adventure anime out there, it’s hard to choose which ones to sit down with and enjoy the decade’s best adventures.
Between 2010 and 2019, countless adventure anime were released. And while many were great, only ten were able to make it onto our final list of the 10 Best Adventure Anime of the 2010s. We created our list by looking at what adventure anime had the highest critical and user ratings and cross-checked it with what adventure anime had to most people watching it. In the end, we were able to make a list of adventure anime that are highly rated across the board and beloved by many fans. And for good reason - we promise that if you watch any anime on our list of the 10 Best Adventure Anime of the 2010s, you’ll be going on a grand adventure yourself.
10. Dr. Stone
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Jul. 2019 - Dec. 2019
Dr. Stone begins with brawny high school student Taiju Ooki finally about to confess his feelings to his crush. But before he can do so, a mysterious green light hits the Earth - and petrified every person in the world! When Taiju eventually wakes up from his stone fate, millennia have passed and nature has taken Earth back. No one knows what happened or where the green light came from. Taiju finds his old science-loving friend Senkuu is also awake, the two set out to use science to try to reawaken humanity but not everyone who wakes up agrees with what they want to do, or how they want to do it.
Dr. Stone is a fun sci-fi adventure exploring a great “what if” - what if everyone on Earth suddenly turned to stone? What would happen when they woke up? It has two great characters, Taiju and Senkuu, who balance one another very well and are able to develop throughout the course of the anime. It’s also interesting to see the creators’ ideas of what would happen to the Earth if humans took a few millennia off, and what could happen when they all come back. Dr. Stone challenges ways of thinking and ideologies and will have you wondering what the right thing to do would be, and what you would do if this adventure had been yours.
9. Noragami (Noragami: Stray God)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 2014 - Mar. 2014
The leading character in Noragami is a minor deity called Yato. While he dreams of having millions of followers, without any shrines dedicated to him his dream seems unobtainable. For now, he does favours for people in return for five yen coins. Eventually, his weapon partner becomes tired of his lifestyle and disappears, leaving Yato alone. Shortly after, a human girl named Hiyori sacrifices herself to save Yato from being hit by a car. She survives the accident, but her soul becomes detached from her body. In order to help her, Yato has to find a new weapon partner. Hiyori reluctantly agrees to help him do so, and slowly Yato’s life starts to turn around.
Noragami is a modern adventure story set in the present-day but with a supernatural twist. After all, Yato is a god, minor or not, and Hiyori’s soul isn’t attached to her physical body, which is definitely not normal! Noragami takes an ordinary girl on an extraordinary adventure happening alongside real life, so it’s easy for the average viewer to get swept up in the story. There’s nothing better than watching an adventure anime and imagining yourself on an adventure as well! Noragami provides that by making an adventure that seems almost accessible, but keeps it more interesting than reality by adding in some extra twists.
8. No Game No Life
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr. 2014 - Jun. 2014
Sora and Shiro, siblings and NEETs at the start of No Game No Life, work as one to form a legendary online gaming user called “Blank.” The two view the entirety of their lives as nothing but a game. So when they receive an email challenging them to a chess game, the pair can’t pass it up. Then the unexpected happens, and they are transported into a fantasy world where they meet with Tet, the God of Games. It turns out that in this world, every disagreement no matter how big or small is solved by playing high-stands games. Sora and Shiro suddenly have a lot more to play for in life. They need to unite the world’s sixteen different races together, defeat Tet, and become the new gods of this world.
No Game No Life is a short but fun adventure anime that starts off strong and never slows down. It manages to make even games like Chess and Rock, Paper, Scissors exciting by making them high-stakes, and it’s interesting to see how Sora and Shiro’s deadpan characters evolve as the show progresses. The land of Disboard is very unique as well, with sixteen creative fantasy races, and it’s intriguing to see an entire society that revolves around wagers on games! Just like Sora and Shiro, No Game No Life takes viewers on an adventure they might have never expected but definitely will enjoy.
7. Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! (KonoSuba: God's
Blessing on This Wonderful World!)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr. 2011 - Jul. 2011
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! (from here referred to as KonoSuba) opens with the embarrassing death of the main character, Kazuma Satou, on his way home from buying a video game. He wakes up beside the goddess Aqua who gives him a choice. Kazuma can either continue on to Heaven, or he can be reincarnated into a fantasy world. Kazuma, an avid gamer and NEET, chooses to start a new life. He’s given the quest to defeat a demon king and also given his choice of one item to take with him. He chooses Aqua herself - and she turns out to be useless! And that’s just the start as Kazuma learns that living in a fantasy world isn’t exactly like playing a video game.
KonoSuba is a fantasy adventure that manages to combine magic and the mundane, and makes it hilarious. Kazuma and Aqua struggle to even make enough money to survive, let alone fight and defeat a Demon King. There’s something about watching the two of them struggle through the adventures of life in some ways that parallel our own world, except set in a colourful fantasy land, that is strangely appealing. It’s an adventure that feels familiar and yet fantastic at the same time. Plus, if you’re looking for an adventure that’s going to give you some laughs along the way, then this one is for you.
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Jan. 2019 - Jun. 2019
Daigo Kagemitsu is a greedy samurai lord in Dororo who is even willing to sign a pact with 12 demons to gain power, renouncing Buddha and turning from his path. His prefecture does indeed grow with the demon’s help, but nothing is for free. When Kagemitsu’s first son is born, he doesn’t have any limbs, eyes, ears, or nose, but he’s still alive. Kagemitsu has him thrown in the river and forgotten, but the baby is discovered by a medicine man who gives him prosthetics and helps him survive. If the boy, named Hyakkimaru, can defeat each of the demons who took something from him, he can gain that piece of himself back. Alongside an orphan boy named Dororo, who helps him on his quest, the two must fight to defeat all the demons and regain the 48 stolen pieces of Hyakkimaru.
Dororo barely squeezed into the last decade airing in Winter 2019 but we are glad it did! It’s a great adventure for fans of the supernatural, demons, or Japanese history. For viewers who like all three, it’s the perfect adventure! Set in feudal Japan with the added twist of demons, Dororo tells a dark story about an unlikely friendship and an unexpected hero. It’s full of great action, cool demons, and epic fights. It’s a bit grim, but for anime fans who like a darker and more serious story, that just makes it better. It gets pretty violent so stay away if that’s not your thing, but if demons and sword fights are what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.
5. Vinland Saga
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Jul. 2019 - Dec. 2019
Vinland Saga is set during the historical war between England and the Danes. The main character is a Viking named Thorfinn who grew up in a small, cold Icelandic village. His whole childhood he listened to epic stories that often ended in the fantastical land of Vinland where the land was fertile, the air warm, and there was no need for violence. Thorfinn’s father also always taught him that no violence was justified and to try to be peaceful. That was before he was killed, and Thorfinn grew up to be a mercenary. Now Thorfinn fights through a world of blood and war trying to find the man who murdered his father, all while fighting for whoever will pay the most for his services.
Vinland Saga is an adventure unlike others in anime - it’s about Vikings! While Vikings and their epic tales have been a part of Western media for a long time, they aren’t common at all for anime. That makes Vinland Saga stand out as something new and fresh, with a new kind of hero, setting, and story. With plenty of violence and blood—what else would you expect with Vikings?—and an age-old quest for revenge, viewers can follow Thorfinn on his fictional journey through a very real-time period and war. Vikings make for a grand adventure, and Vinland Saga doesn’t disappoint.
4. Magi: The Kingdom of Magic
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct. 2013 - Mar. 2014
Magi: The Kingdom of Magic begins with a great victory over Al-Thamen, and the hero Aladdin celebrating with his friends Alibaba and Morgiana. With the battle over, though, it’s time for the friends to go their separate ways and move on with their lives. Aladdin heads for the supposedly magical land of Magnostadt to see the magicians that rule it. Alibaba sets out to train and become even more powerful than he already is. And Morgiana starts the journey back to her homeland. Magi: The Kingdom of Magic follows all three of them on their journeys and their individual stories even as a new threat begins to rise up in their kingdom.
Magi: The Kingdom of Magic is the sequel to Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, and is in our opinion an even better adventure than the first - and that was already pretty good. Magi: The Kingdom of Magic takes viewers on not just one adventure, but three! It balances the story between Aladdin, Alibaba, and Morgiana’s journeys, each different and interesting in their own ways. With sword fights, plenty of magic, and epic heroes reimagined as you have never seen them before, Magi: The Kingdom of Magic offers a fantasy adventure like no other. Plus, it’s not just another one of your typical European aesthetic fantasy; Magi: The Kingdom of Magic is an adventure through a desert kingdom that feels different from other adventure anime in a very positive way.
3. Made in Abyss
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jul. 2017 - Sep. 2017
Made in Abyss is the story of two unlikely travellers, a girl named Riko and a robot named Reg. Reg is from the Abyss, a huge chasm holding mysteries and relics of civilisations long past. But when he encounters Riko near the top of the Abyss, he has no memories of who he is or where he came from. Riko is a diver, one of the people who brave the Abyss to explore its secrets. She is only a beginner herself, but the daughter of a great diver who tragically went missing. Riko and Reg decide to descend into the Abyss to try to discover where Reg came from and recover his memories and to see the bottom with their own eyes. But there’s a reason that beginners are restricted to only exploring near the surface...
Made in Abyss is a fantasy adventure that follows two friends on an epic quest. It’s a traditional plotline delivered in a less-than-traditional way. Reg and Riko are not typical heroes, but it’s hard not to love them as you journey with them into the Abyss. The Abyss also holds many secrets that are hard to predict, making each new episode exciting and new. It’s impossible to not feel curious about Reg’s memories—and even more curious about what lays at the bottom of the Abyss. The only way to find out is to watch Made in Abyss and take the adventure for yourself!
2. Hunter x Hunter (2011)
- Episodes: 148
- Aired: Oct. 2011 - Sep. 2014
Hunters are brave adventurers in the world of Hunter x Hunter. Gon Freecss may only be twelve years old, but he’s already determined to become a great Hunter himself. He wants to find his father, who was also a great Hunter, but abandoned Gon when he was a child. But the path is long and difficult, and he has to take the Hunter Exam which is notorious for its high chance of death. Along with a ragtag group of other wannabe hunters, Gon and company set out on an adventure ripe with monsters, danger, and excitement.
Hunter x Hunter is not a short commitment; it’s by far the longest anime on our list. But if you’re looking for a long term adventure that has a lot of time for character development, lots of story arcs, a ton of lore, and plenty of great monsters, then you have found the right anime. Hunter x Hunter is a massive anime with a lot to enjoy and take in and can keep you busy for a long time. It’s perfect for viewers that like fantasy stories that have a lot of cool weapons and monsters and don’t mind seeing classic tropes used to tell a story that is good, nonetheless. Hunter x Hunter has a huge fan base in Japan and abroad for a reason. Are you ready to find out why?
1. JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Oct. 2012 - Apr. 2013
Kujo Jotaro is a high schooler with a problem in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure; he thinks he is possessed by a spirit. So he does the logical thing and locks himself away in prison. But soon he learns the truth behind the “spirit” from his father Joseph Joestar and his friend Muhammad Abdul—it’s actually his fighting energy in a solid form called Star Platinum, also known as his Stand. When Jotaro’s mother becomes sick, he learns it is because a vampire defeated by his great-great-grandfather has come back to life. Wanting to save his mother, Jotaro travels to Egypt with his father and Abdul to find the vampire and vanquish it once and for all.
If there’s one anime on our list you’ve definitely heard the hype about, it’s probably JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Famous for its insane poses, heavy art style, and memorable character design, it’s loved by anime fans and cosplayers around the world. It’s an intense adventure with high-energy fight scenes using the Stands between characters that truly feel larger than life. Plus, a trip to Egypt is always an adventure, and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure really delivers on that. Three extremely powerful fighters going to Egypt to fight an undead vampire? That’s certainly an adventure if we’ve ever heard of one.
From historical tales to contemporary drama, supernatural stories to fantasy worlds, adventure anime can take us wherever we want to go. We have given you a wide variety of amazing adventure anime to choose from the plethora of great titles that this decade has given us. What’s left to you is to take the plunge, let yourself get carried away, and to take an adventure yourself. Whatever sub-genre is anime you like, there’s likely something for you out there. We just saved you the trouble of having to find it yourself! So why not start this new and exciting decade by taking one final adventure from the one that just finished?
Which adventure anime are you going to watch first? Have you seen any of these before? Did we miss your favourite adventure anime of the decade on our list? Would you have changed our order? Let us know in the comments!