Top 10 Time Travel Anime [Updated Best Recommendations]

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Time is a construct that no single human being can escape. We’re born, we grow old and we die. However, that won’t stop us from imagining ourselves in positions where we can freely manipulate our influence on history by manipulating time itself. A trope that has seen itself in virtually all storytelling media and features in some of the most influential anime, we’ve decided to drop a list of some of our favourite time travel anime, featuring characters who are able to change the course of history. In many cases, it isn’t as simple as changing a single event, creating some of the most compelling stories. Without wasting anymore time, we present to you Top 10 Time Travel Anime. Please be aware that this is an updated list and the other lists can be found below.

10. Oda Nobuna no Yabou (The Ambition of Oda Nobuna)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 2012 – September 2012

17-year-old Sagara Yoshiharu finds himself travelling back in time to Japan’s Sengoku Era, finding out that all the famous Samurai lords who populate the history books in the modern era are cute girls. He meets Oda Nobuna, Oda Nobunaga’s female counterpart, who then recruits him to be her substitute for her aide, Kinoshita Tokichiro, who was killed by a rival clan. Using his knowledge of history and some of the technological advantages of the modern era, Sagara assists Nobuna in her very well-documented mission to unify Japan under her banner.

Without giving much away as to why he’s there, Oda Nobuna no Yabou follows Sagara into the reaches of the past, retelling a pivotal story in the history of Japan, with a few twists, of course. Being the history nerd that he is, Sagara takes to the Sengoku Era like a fish to water, or more like the protagonist of some sort of role-playing game. Steadfast in his duties so as to avoid changing the tides of history, Sagara assists Nobuna in her quest to take all of Japan.

9. Island

  • Episodes: ???
  • Aired: July 2018 - ???

Located far away from Japan’s mainland is the island of Urashima, a place where its inhabitants live carefree lives. However, 5 years prior to the events of the series, the three great families of the island fell into disrepute and it severed all connection to the Japanese archipelago, leading to its slow and steady decline. The only individuals capable of saving the island are the daughters of the three great families; however, they remain conflicted. Things become interesting with the sudden appearance of a man claiming to be a time-traveller; one capable of changing Urashima’s fate.

Combining the time-travel plot device with an amnesia trope brings you Island, a somewhat politically-inclined permutation of the tried and tested time travel concept. The mysterious time-travelling stranger is Sanzenkai Setsuna, a man who washes ashore one day with no idea of who he is; however, his upbeat persona and one memory remain: he is a time-traveller tasked with saving the island of Urashima from an unsavoury end. But how will he do it with missing memories?

8. Orange

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: July 2016 – September 2016

Takamiya Naho begins her first day as a sophomore in high school in a not-so-great fashion as she wakes up late. Dashing to school, she arrives at her desk, finding a strange letter addressed to her. The letter comes from none other than herself, 10 years in the future. Highly sceptical of the letter and its contents, Naho’s attitude changes when it accurately describes several events which happen that day, particularly the arrival of transfer student Naruse Kakeru. Future Naho expresses several regrets in her letter, hoping that her younger self can do better with a heads-up of what is to come, expressing vehemently the need to keep an eye on Kakeru. Using the letter as a guide, Naho uneasily navigates the territory her future-self failed to the first time around.

Quite the emotional rollercoaster, Orange brings a refreshing element to the time-travel trope, making use of messages from the future as a means of altering the past, rather than the characters themselves time-leaping. The series brings together romantic elements in addition to some heart-wrenching moments which we are all too aware of when it comes to shows of this nature.

7. Break Ups

  • Episodes: 1 (movie)
  • Aired: 2009

The short film follows the trials and tribulations of a young couple who are consistently in an on and off relationship with each other. One day, the two stumble upon a time machine which consequently takes them to various points in history, visiting particular junctures in their relationship. The slice of life animation is technically a Korean production and the animation style is evidently different from the general feel of anime.

Break Ups are unusual in the time-travelling trope given the fact that the characters happen upon the object which allows them to go back in time and the machine itself really only takes them back to certain parts of their lives together as a couple. Available on Crunchyroll, the short film is an interesting change of pace within the time travel trope and contrary to its short runtime, it leaves a lasting impression.

6. Doraemon (2005)

  • Episodes: ???
  • Aired: April 2005 - ???

As a result of his haplessness, Nobi Nobita’s descendants as far off as in the 22nd century find themselves in a state of poverty. In order to raise the Nobi family’s social status, their time-travelling robotic cat servant, Doraemon, takes it upon himself to go back in time to Nobita’s youth and undo the damage that plunges the family into poverty. However, Doraemon is quite dysfunctional himself and while he makes the child Nobita’s life infinitely more exciting, it still remains to be seen if he can truly do what he set out to do in his mission to the past.

Doraemon’s influence is widespread and many are familiar with the blue time-travelling cat. In fact, he is quite celebrated as an anime character and even features as one of the ambassadors of the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics, alongside Shounen legend, Son Goku. The anime itself first aired in the 1970s and was rebooted in 2005, running ever since. Unfortunately for the older series, it was poorly preserved, never released other than on television and nearly all the 1973 series’ footage was destroyed. Nonetheless, we can still enjoy Nobita’s adventures with his robotic feline friend.

5. Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi)

  • Episodes: 14
  • Aired: April 2006 – July 2006

Meet Kyon, a regular high school student who has no belief in any supernatural phenomena and would rather just live a normal life. He attends the same school as the highly eccentric and energetic Suzumiya Haruhi, a girl who is committed to breaking out of a dreary high school life by finding anything unusual: from aliens to ESPers, Haruhi and the new club she’s formed, the SOS Brigade, will find them all! Unfortunately for Kyon, Haruhi has taken an interest in him too, forcing him to join the club alongside the soft-spoken Asahina Mikuru, the stoic Nagato Yuuki and the somewhat popular Koizumi. To his surprise, all three of these club members are abnormal – a time-traveler, an ESPer and a cyborg have all taken up the role of guardian of Suzumiya, whom they have identified as the unknowing god of this realm. In order to avoid any calamities due to Haruhi’s emotions, the club members of the SOS Brigade humour her in any and all of her wacky activities in an attempt to maintain the current order of the world.

While not an out-and-out time-travelling anime, The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi is an anime which garnered much attention for its application of the time-travel trope. The infamous Endless Eight arc of the series’ second season is eight episodes which were more or less the exact same thing animated over and over due to the series’ main characters being caught in an infinite time loop which repeated itself over 15000 times until Kyon found a way out. The arc is still talked about to this day by fans of the series. Aside from the aggravating time-loop which gave Haruhi much attention, the series features Asahina Mikuru, its very own time-traveller whose older self appears to Kyon at some point during the series.

4. Sakurada Reset

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: April 2017 – September 2017

Asai Kei is a high schooler who lives in the seaside city of Sakurada, where the inhabitants are born with special abilities. One day on the school rooftop, he meets Haruki Misora, a stoic girl with the ability to reset everything around her up to three days prior. Her ability renders everyone completely oblivious to the reset, including herself. However, Kei has his photographic memory and, choosing to join their powers, Kei and Misora decide to join their school’s Service Club in order to help people in their town. However, their club is soon employed by the Administration Bureau, an organisation fixated on managing the abilities of the town’s inhabitants for their own desires. Kei and Misora may soon find out that there is more to what happens in Sakurada than meets the eye.

Sakurada Reset sets a limiter on the time travel trope it employs and to that end, there is a great potential for a lot of difficulty that the protagonists much endure in order to do the good that they desire to do. The series is incredibly interesting and the application of supernatural abilities central to the events of the series creates quite the worthy explanation for the manipulation of time which forms such an integral part of the series.

3. Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World)

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: April 2016 – September 2016

One night, high school shut-in Natsuki Subaru decides to head over to the nearby convenience store in order to buy a few things, but when he steps out, he finds himself in the market district of a town in an alternate world. Modelled on the fantasy worlds he’s familiar with in the games that he plays, Subaru quickly takes to the hero role he believes he is there to fulfil, but not much longer after his arrival, he is attacked by bandits and subsequently killed. To his surprise, Subaru finds himself back in that same market and he’s attacked by the same bandits, but this time around, he is saved by a white-haired beauty named Satella. Satella is travelling in search of the thief who stole her family insignia, and out of gratitude for her help, Subaru decides to join her in her search. When they finally find the individual responsible, Subaru and Satella are both brutally murdered. Subaru awakens to the same sight: the same market, the same bandits attack him again and yet again Satella comes to his aid as history inexplicably repeats itself.

Re:Zero came in a year filled with stories of time travel; however, this particular rollercoaster came with plot-twists and emotions galore! Subaru’s Return By Death very closely mimicked the checkpoint save model which many games employ and in that capacity, his deaths often heralded a return to an earlier point in time. Subaru had no control whatsoever over which point in time to which he returns and much of the anime shows a frustrated Subaru coming to grips with his own death, as well as the deaths of many others on several occasions. This quickly wears away at him and to that end, Re:Zero will torture the viewer… and Subaru, of course.

2. Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time)

  • Episodes: 1 (movie)
  • Aired: July 2006

Konno Makoto is a high school senior who isn’t quite coming to grips with the demands of her future. She ebbs between the pressure applied by her teachers for her to take charge of her own future, and the sunny days she spends with her friends. Makoto’s life changes when she accidentally finds out that she is capable of literally leaping through time. Her mundane life becomes complicated as Makoto quickly learns about the drawbacks of playing with time, as well as the consequences of her newfound ability.

Quite the classic as far as the time travel trope is concerned, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a seemingly unassuming narrative which quickly becomes convoluted as the days Makoto relives begin to weigh heavily on her and her own decisions begin to have dire consequences. With the power to freely navigate the ever-flowing stream of time, Makoto is put through quite a lot emotionally as her power isn’t the only thing she deals with.

1. Steins;Gate

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: April 2011 – September 2011

Okabe Rintarou is a self-proclaimed mad scientist who rents out a room in a building in Akihabara, where he and his friends (whom he dubs “lab members”) create “future gadgets” as a hobby. Alongside Shiina Mayuri, his childhood friend, and perverted hacker friend Daru, Okabe spends his time messing around with their most interesting invention yet: the Phone Microwave. The device has the strange ability to turn bananas into piles of green gel. While not very promising in terms of scientific breakthroughs, strange things begin happening after the Phone Microwave’s creation and soon enough, the contraption turns out to be able to send emails into the past which alter the flow of history. Soon realising the true gravity of their creation, Okabe must navigate the various consequences that come with the manipulation of time.

With Steins;Gate: 0 freshly entering its second cour, it is of no surprise that the first anime gets a mention on this list. Intense on so many levels, Steins;Gate is an incredible story that brings together elements of comedy and suspense in a character-driven plot that will shake you to the core. With time travel as its core theme, Steins;Gate throws you into an intricately woven plot with many twists and turns and an exploration of the consequences of time travel like none other. The series is well-deserving of the top spot on this list – just don’t let CERN know that.

Final Thoughts

Like we said before, time travel is a concept which exists in all forms of storytelling and as human beings, our current helplessness against the flow of time brings us to think up incredible stories. Maybe we wish to be free of it, maybe we wish to control it – whatever the reason behind our fixation on the concept of time, the fact remains that the resulting anime can be completely engrossing. Have we forgotten to mention your favourite time travel anime? Drop a comment below and tell us about it – if you’ve got the time.

ISLAND-Wallpaper-700x435 Top 10 Time Travel Anime [Updated Best Recommendations]


Author: Hoshi-kun

I’m South African, harbouring an obsession for anything remotely related to Japan, mostly anime, of course. I draw sometimes. Some people call me Naledi, it’s my real name, or something like that. People think I’m stoic because I don’t smile often (I do sometimes). I like languages. Hoshi-kun and Naledi are the same side of the same coin.

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Top 5 Anime by Hoshi-kun

Original Article Below

If there’s anything people ponder about at one point or another, it’s a variation of some sort relating to time travel. Maybe it’s travelling to the ancient past to observe what life was like. Maybe it’s travelling to the more immediate past to witness historical events or observe certain people alive during that time. Maybe it’s travelling to some point in the future to see what happens to humanity. Whatever the case, it’s an idea that is very difficult to get your head around, leading to multiple ideas and theories as to what might happen if it was ever attempted.

There are multiple anime that depict these ideas. Some are more detailed in their approach to a resolution, such as exploring the idea of multi-verse theory or the consequences that result in not thinking through your actions. Others focus more on other aspects of the anime and leave time travel as just another tool in the story. Here are the top 10 examples of time travel used in anime.

10. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

  • Episodes: 14
  • Aired: May 22, 2009 - Sep 11, 2009

Although this anime may be about a group of students having supernatural adventures due to the main character’s unique ability to warp reality, it does have a unique take on time travel, even if it’s controversial. In what’s become known as the “Endless Eight arc” in the 2nd season, this anime does succeed in demonstrating the idea of time looping, or repeating the same events over and over. In this case, most of the 2nd season has the same few weeks looped for years and years as the characters experience the same events and do the same things repeatedly with no change whatsoever. If you’re a fan of Groundhog Day in terms of witnessing a character repeat the same day over and over again as well as the “slice of life” anime tone, this is the anime for you.

9. In Search of the Lost Future

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Oct 4, 2014 - Dec 20, 2014

This anime may start off as something of a “slice of life” anime at first as we are introduced to the main cast of characters attending Uchihama Academy participating in school events and beginning to move to a new building due to increased numbers. However, a mystery slowly begins to unfold in the old building, and we eventually see the main character, Sō Akiyama, wrestle with premonitions of the future showing his friends in danger. As Sō struggles to attempt to rescues his friends, including his closest friend Kaori Sasaki, and resolve the mystery, the tension only continues to build until the final reveal. If you’re a fan of both time travel and mystery, this is certainly an anime worth checking out.

8. Re:ZERO

  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: Apr 4, 2016 - Sep 19, 2016

This anime is a great example of the time travel theme of returning back to the same spot in order to redo something over and over. After mysteriously arriving in a strange land only to get beat up by some thugs, Subaru Natsuki meets a beautiful girl only to get killed by a mysterious darkness alongside said girl. However, Subaru suddenly awakens to the same exact scenario of confronting the same thugs and meeting Satella. Re:ZERO is a great time travel anime not only because it does not have any plot holes as a result of time travel, but also keeping the viewer engaged as Subaru gets more and more desperate in his attempts to fix his mistakes and redo everything. If you enjoyed the movie Source Code for its similar take on time travel, this is definitely worth watching.

7. Noein: To Your Other Self

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: Oct 12, 2005 - Mar 29, 2006

In the near future, a struggle is taking place between 2 different dimensions: the good guys, La'cryma, and the bad guys, Shangri-La. A group, known as Dragon Calvary, is dispatched throughout space and time to search for the Dragon’s Torque, seen as the only thing that can stop the invasion from Shangri-La. One of those members, Karasu, meets his past self and his friend 15 years in the past, which appears to be a promising lead…

Noein’s time travel mechanics revolve around the idea of how different dimensions can result due to different actions that are taken. This is especially important, as the series takes a more “character driven” approach to what happens as opposed to a “plot-driven” approach. As a result, you have a beautifully crafted series that achieves what it set out to do. If you’re a fan of the time travel genre who would also like more of the quantum aspect involved, this would be the anime to check out first.

6. Charlotte

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: Jul 5, 2015 to Sep 27, 2015

This anime may focus a fair amount on kids with magical powers who lose them when they become adults or overuse them, but one of the main characters, Shunsuke Otosaka, has the power to send his mind back in time to change the past, resulting in some key events unfolding. This is a unique take on travelling back in time, as most anime have the characters going back physically either through a time machine or some other unique way. To go back through the mind alone is a trend that may start to appear more and more as time goes on. If you were a fan of the time travel method used in X-Men: Days of Future Past, then this anime may be the one for you.

5. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jan 7, 2011 - Apr 22, 2011

Again, another example of an anime that upon first glance you would not expect a complicated theme to be explored. Yet one of the “Magical Girls”, Homura Akemi, sets out to prevent the harm of another Magical Girl by going back in time. A big lesson regarding time travel is demonstrated here, though: sometimes the changes you set out to make are impossible to achieve, no matter how hard you try. If you’re a fan of the idea of how time travel doesn’t necessarily work out in the end as well as cuteness, Puella Magi Madoka Magica delivers in spades.

4. Dragon ball Z

  • Episodes: 291
  • Aired: Apr 26, 1989 - Jan 31, 1996

Yeah, this may be a shounen anime at heart, but considering you have one of its biggest arcs revolving around a time traveler from the future arriving to save Goku and his friends from androids as well as an android travelling back to the past to absorb the very androids themselves, it’s impossible to ignore this aspect. Not to mention Dragon Ball Super currently featuring one of the strongest characters in anime who can turn back time 3 minutes at will. Time travel may not be approached in this anime as the “main topic” so to speak, but if you want to watch an anime where time travel is still fun and interesting despite being a secondary focus, then look no further than DBZ.

3. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

  • Episodes: 1
  • Aired: July 15, 2006

This movie serves as the definitive example for what someone would probably do when realizing they can go back in time for the first time, making it that much more believable. Makoto Konno isn’t someone who has plans for going back in time. On the contrary, she tries to figure out what to do with her new ability as she goes along, only to learn the hard way what the consequences of her actions are. It is only by the sudden arrival of a character we wouldn’t expect that Makoto truly learns how to treat this new power. If you want to watch a believable experience in terms of what an average teen would do with time travel, then watch this movie.

2. Erased

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jan 8, 2016 - Mar 25, 2016

The newest example of a time travel based anime, Erased focuses on Satoru Fujinuma using his special time travel ability to prevent bad things from happening to those he cares about. In this case, the focus of the time travel aspect is mainly on the mystery of how his ability suddenly jumps to going back years in the past as opposed to seconds. With the protagonist being a 29 year old male suddenly gifted with said ability as well as a new focus on the time travel element changing within the series, this anime is worth checking out if you’re curious as to a new take on the time travel genre.

1. Steins;Gate

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: April 6, 2011 – September 14, 2011

No doubt which anime was going to be #1. Steins;Gate earns that spot for a reason: the setup of the time travel aspect, the combination of different takes on it, the different reactions of the characters to it as they slowly learn what it means, and the resolution at the end that ties back into the beginning without nay plot holes. As time passes, Steins;Gate will serve as the benchmark as to not only how to properly do a time travel related anime, but also serve as a basic framework in terms of how to properly tell a time-travel related story. If you have not seen this anime yet and are a lover of time travel, then wait no longer.

Final Thoughts

Time travel is a complicated concept to nail down. With so many aspects, possibilities, and a high likelihood of going wrong if not executed correctly, it’s a wonder why there are so many anime that choose to use it. However, if done correctly, the payoffs can be huge, as you can not only have an incredible adventure that unfolds with great characters along for the ride, you can also create a story that ultimately is fun to watch. These are the top 10 anime that best convey time travel. Are there any that are missing? Is there an anime that is ranked too high or too low? Let us know in the comments!

ISLAND-Wallpaper-700x435 Top 10 Time Travel Anime [Updated Best Recommendations]


Author: Ian Williams

Hi, my name's Ian. I grew up in the United States, but I've traveled to and lived in many different countries, including Scotland, Japan, and New Zealand. Some of my hobbies include reading, writing, chess, running, playing video games, and watching anime. I started getting more into anime after watching Dragon Ball Z on Toonami as a kid, and have been hooked by the amazing stories and characters in anime ever since.

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Top 5 Anime by Ian Williams

Original Article Below

Have you ever wished that you could view the statue of liberty before it changed colors or watch the broadcast of Neil Armstrong stepping onto the moon, live? You could even go back to feudal Japan, like Kagome did in Inuyasha, and see a world full of yokai (monster) and other dangerous things. There are many different events throughout history that I would love to see, if I could travel through time. Which brings us to this list of the top 10 time traveling anime.

In this list, you will be reading about different anime that have taken the concept of time traveling in their own way. While most of the time, they will purposely travel in time, other times, they will be picked up by the hands of fate and played with.

10. Zipang

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: October 2004 – March 2005

The phrase “wrong place at the wrong time” could summarize Zipang for us. As the latest destroyer, Mirai, travels into a fierce storm that does little damage to the ship, but the storm is a rouge time vortex that sucks the Mirai and all of her crew into the past during the middle of the of the biggest war in human history, World War II. Now, it is up to Captain Umezu Saburo to get his ship and crew back to their own time, without interfering with history too much.

Time travel can be tricky and the consequences of a single mistake years ago, could change what you know about the present. Luckily, the Captain of Mirai knew this and tried to stay out of history’s events. Leaving it to be the first choice for the entrance to Time Traveling anime.

9. Arata naru Sekai: World's/Start/Load/End (World’s End)

  • Episodes: OVA (30 minutes)
  • Aired: October 2012

A rite of passage for most high school students is the graduation trip. Some students go off to tropical paradises while others just take a trip to the big city. Arata, Hongou, Arisa and Ichimiya take a trip to their own town. Doesn’t sound that exciting, until you see what has happened to the once pristine town after 6,000 years.

Methods of time traveling can vary from show to show. Sometimes we are not even shown the explanation behind the time traveling. These girls are shot out of their time and are put into a world that they never expected to be the future, for without humans around, the earth could take strange turns.

8. Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)

  • Episodes: 14
  • Aired: May 2009 – September 2009

A whirlwind with long hair tied up in a yellow bandana, that is the best for Haruhi Suzumiya, for her logic is far out there and even the wises person in the anime, Kyon, can’t figure out what she is doing half the time. This is an anime where the main character, Haruhi, drags her friends around to do anything that she thinks of and sometimes her imagination can run wild.

It is almost like Haruhi can conjure up anything out of her imagination, even a Time Traveler who joins her school and becomes a slave of Haruhi’s whim. Though, it’s not all bad for Mikuru Asahina as she sometimes likes the outfits that Haruhi dresses her up in.

In the second season, the mechanics of time traveling come into play with most of the season portraying the repetition of the same few weeks for almost 43 years. Bringing the possibilities of a time loop into this list. Where sometimes that loop is set up to fix something, this time it was set up for fun, even if Haruhi didn’t realize it.

7. Noein – Mou Hitori no Kimi e (Noein: To Your Other Self)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: October 2005 – March 2006

When a man in a black trench coat appears before you, you should run for you don’t know who that might be. Haruka was lucky because the man in the black cape was Karasu, the furture version of her high school friend Yu Goto. Karasu was sent back to find the Dragon Torque and to fend off the agents of Shangri-La, people from a alternative future, where Haruka was already killed for who and what she is.

The time traveling in Noein shows us that many different actions can cause different dimensions to appear. Even if the event that caused the branch to split was not that long ago, a small change could drastically alter the course of time and have major repercussions with the world around it. If Captain Saburo wished, he could have changed the outcome of World War II with his accidental time traveling. The agents from Shangri-La showed us the outcome of what a change in history could do to in our future. Which brings it to number seven of this list.

6. Ima, Soko ni Iru Boku (Now and Then, Here and There)

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: October 1999 – January 2000

Now and There, Here and There is another anime that the main character finds himself in a new time, surrounded by a harsh environment and harsher people. Shuuzou Matsutani tries to find his way back to his time and go home. Getting the help from Lala-Ru, a blue haired girl, he sets out to survive, and in doing so, he helps those who have to live in the harsh future.

Now and Then, Here and There shows us another version of what the future may bring if we don’t change our actions and protect the environment. Once the world turns into that from Fallout, there is no real hope. The time traveling in Now and Then, Here and There comes from the future, where they can grab people and bring them back from the past. Almost like the teleporters in Star Trek, just temporal-porters.

5. Charlotte

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: July 2015 – September 2015

Life is tough sometimes and when you have magical powers, it doesn’t really make life any easier. In Charlotte, some teenagers have gained magical powers from a mysterious source. But, they are not going to take over the world, for once they become an adult their powers fade. Though, to control a child with magical powers would make any adult powerful, so an academy was built to protect those kids with powers. The builder of Hoshinoumi Academy is a secretive man who doesn’t want to be in the memories of anyone again.

Without giving away too many spoilers, one of Charlotte’s key plot devices is a person with the power to send his mind back in time to change the past. Charlotte spends some time explaining what happens as a result of this persons’ time traveling. Hopefully, you’ll agree why this new show is up high on the list of Time Traveling anime.

4. Mirai Nikki (The Future Diary)

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: October 2011 – April 2012

Imagine that you are given the power to always know what your loved one is always doing, before they do it. Now, think if your stalker had that power instead! The Future Diary centers on the idea of a powerful god, the God of Time and Space, who gives his power to different people. Those people have to fight to survive. When Yukiteru Amano starts receiving messages from his future self, he teams up with Yuno Gasai, to hopefully survive this whole game/battle together. But, Yuno’s intentions are not as honorable as they may seem.

Time traveling can be good and harmless, but The Future Diary takes the concept to a darker place with the whole “Fight to Survive” aspect, but it does give us a new take on what time traveling can be. The time traveling in The Future Diary is limited to around 10 minutes. Which leaves you open for major insolvencies if you’re in trouble stretching further back than that limit.

3. Toki o Kakeru Shoujo (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time)

  • Episodes: Movie (98 minutes)
  • Aired: July 2006

High school is the time of a young girl’s life. Makoto is a normal high school girl who loves baseball and her normal high school life. Unfortunately for Makoto, that all changes one day when she is alone in the chemistry room. She hears something in the teachers’ area and goes to investigate. Finding a small metallic walnut. As she looks down at the walnut, something falls over behind her, scaring her, causing her to trip. She lands on the walnut and finds herself in a time vortex. Waking up on the floor of the chemistry room, she thinks nothing of it, until she wrecks her bike, flying through the air and almost getting run over by a train. But, something weird happened that caused her to relive the past few minutes of her life.

Time Travelers need to keep good track of their toys, or who knows who will pick it up and cause havoc in the time stream. Luckily for the owner of the walnut shaped T.A.R.T.I.S., Makoto didn’t abuse the power too much… or destroy the universe. Time traveling should be for the professionals.

2. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: January 2011 – April 2011

There have been many “Magical Girl” anime and each one has its own spin on an enemy and an ally. Now, when the enemy you have to fight, is a soul stealing witch, then you must count on your little fluffy friend, Kyuubey. The only thing Kyuubey wants is the crystals from the evil witches, what could be so wrong with that? To help fight the witches, Kyuubey grants his little magical girls anything that they could wish for. One of those little magical girls received the power to travel through time.

With the power to time travel, Magical Girl Homura Akemi sets out to stop the evil of the witches from harming another Magical Girl. However, she tries so many times that she becomes cold and the changes she wishes to make are impossible to achieve. Time, just can’t be changed sometimes. That is what this anime tells us about the hazards and rules of time traveling.

1. Steins;Gate

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: April 2011 – September 2011

What can go wrong when a self-proclaimed mad scientist tries to fix his microwave? Luckily, you get a working microwave that can still heat up your leftover meatloaf from last night. Unlucky… or maybe lucky, you also get a time traveling device that allows you to send messages back to your past self. Each text that is sent, slightly changes the past until, Rintarou Okabe, discovers how it works. Then he really messed up Akihabara, the wonderland for Otaku all around the world. Left with a broken microwave, Rintarou has to repair what he wrecked.

This is not a happy-go-lucky anime where the lead character gets rich and lives a happy life. Instead, Rintarou’s life will not be the same. Each text he sends changes the very world he lives in and not every text that is sent can change what is meant to be.

This is an anime full of laughs and heartache by bringing you into its grasp like a hurricane playing with a butterfly. It drags you into the action and breaks your heart by the time it’s done.

Steins;Gate, is said to be the prime example of what a time traveling anime should be. It is what other sci-fi anime should look to become. Of course, you have older anime that has dealt with time traveling, Inuyasha for starters. Even Dragon Ball Z has had some time traveling. But Steins;Gate is currently the top among Time Traveling anime.

Time is not something that should be messed with. Even if you can achieve miraculous things with it, the little butterflies that you could make are numerous and unpredictable. A simple action in your past, could completely change your life, and not always for the best. Anime, such as Steins;Gate and Charlotte, show what could happen if you mess with time traveling, both good and bad.

As the anime Zipang showed us, it is sometimes best to just stay out of the course of time and let the events that happened, happen. Other time traveling anime, like Inuyasha, Now and Then, Here and There and World’s End, just pretend that the events in the previous time don’t really affect the future time line.

Is there another great anime series that is based on time travel that you want to share? Let us know in the comments below!

ISLAND-Wallpaper-700x435 Top 10 Time Travel Anime [Updated Best Recommendations]


Author: Zack Ringler

My name is Zack Ringler, just like it is written on all of my articles. I come from America, Indiana to be precise. I work for the Board of Education in Utsunomiya Japan. Heard of it? Didn’t think so. I am a teacher, writer and game designer with my first game “Moonshine Run” going on Kickstarter later this year. You can learn more about me on my facebook by looking up my name or just adding /zringler to the end of the facebook URL. Hope you like what you read, later.

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