Top 10 War Anime [Updated Best Recommendations]

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War…war never changes. War is a violent thing, where people clash in a conflict over resources, hostility and even ideals. It has existed since the birth of time, and it is an inevitable result when two groups of people can’t agree on something. Whether it be an all-out conflict with two armies clashing against each other, or a cold war threatening to end the world in an all-out nuclear fire, war will always happen.

Here at Honey’s anime, we celebrate the Top 10 War Anime not because war is a good thing, but because they remind us about the horrors of war. These are the anime that show not only the glory of the conquerors, but the losses of the defeated.

War…war never changes. But this list will because it is an updated one from the previous list which is equally fantastic as this one.
With that said, let us count down the Top 10 War Anime to grace our viewing palate.

10. Joker Game

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 2016 – June 2016
  • Read More

Set in World War II, a time when tensions are high, the value of intelligence has reached an all-time high. With such an important commodity in play, Japan establishes an agency known as the D Agency to obtain such. Under the purview of Lieutenant Colonel Yuuki, a group of agents infiltrates the upper echelons of the opposing country. In order to do so, they have trained their minds and bodies to the absolute limit. But their greatest strength is their ability to manipulate people to get the information they need.

Joker Game represents the seedier underbelly of war. War isn’t just about which country can get the highest body count or how many lands it can conquer, but the upper hand it can gain with the most simplistic of information. Imagine the power a country can obtain by absconding with the nuclear launch codes of another. The purpose of the D Agency is just that; to give Japan this sort of power. It takes not an army to destabilise the world, but a handful of individuals.

9. Kingdom

  • Episodes: 38
  • Aired: June 2012 – February 2013

During the Warring States Period of China, in a time when men of the same country would clash against each other for nothing but the sovereignty of their rulers, two slaves, Xin Li and Piao, get inspired from a nearby skirmish to become the Great General of the Heavens. They train together to achieve such a feat but are soon separated from one another. Years later, Xin joins the kingdom under the king Zheng Ying, and his story unfolds from there.

As expected of an anime based on the warring states period, it showcases very well the conflict of a no holds barred civil war. Countrymen fighting against countrymen, divided by their ideals and the whims of their rulers. But amidst such violence, some can show the chivalry that all humans are capable of. It isn’t just about survival, but the fight to prove that they deserve to survive.

8. Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu (The Legend of the Legendary Heroes)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: July 2010 – December 2010

Ryner Lute bears the eyes of the Alpha Stigma that are capable of analysing all types of magic. Because of his talent, he is tasked by his king alongside Ferris Eris to search for the relic that can bring an end to the war. He agrees to do so, despite his inherent laziness, because of the tragedy he has witnessed. Many of his classmates, only students at the time, dead at the hands of conflict between kingdoms. Join Ryner as he goes on a journey for the relics, and to discover the secret behind his eyes.

Despite its extremely bombastic title, Densetsu does a good job of showing war from the perspective of someone not actually participating in the conflict itself, but trying to end it. Many a times, humans crave conflict with one another for a multitude of reasons but rarely do we work towards ending these conflicts. From the eyes of someone who wants to stop it, the story changes completely, and that is the story of Ryner Lute and Ferris Eris.

7. Owari no Seraph (Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 2005 – June 2005

Vampires have emerged from nowhere and enslaved the human race with a deadly virus that the vampires are immune to. All of humanity is subjugated by the vampires with a simple premise, protection for blood. Two young boys, Yuuichirou and Mikaela are under the yoke of the vampires with a bunch of other kids under their protection. Mikaela hatches a plot to escape, but the only one who succeeds is Yuuchirou. He is picked up by a resistance unit known as the Moon Demon Company, and he joins them with the hope that he gets to kill as many vampires as possible.

Owari no Seraph is the best at showcasing that no side is ultimately right, that there are two sides to the same coin. While the vampires are tyrannical over lords who have enslaved humanity, they have their reasons for doing so. And just as they have their own side, humanity obviously does not like the enslavement they are under. War is always inevitable in this scenario, and you get plenty of it from this anime.

6. Basilisk: Kouga Ninpou Chou (Basilisk: The Kouga Ninha Scrolls)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: April 2005 - September 2005

Two heirs of the current shogun are represented by separate ninja clans. Each wants the heir they represent to become the next shogun. They want this result because the one who gets their heir to the throne will get the support of the government for 1000 years and be able to destroy the opposing clan. To decide the winner, they each send 10 of their clan members to fight to the death over the possession of a scroll.

Basilisk is one of the best if not the best ninja anime there ever is. There are no flashy attacks or shouting at each other, there is just blood, gore and sudden deaths. It shows everything that a ninja should be, or what we imagine them to be. While there aren’t thousands of soldiers hacking and slashing at each other, this is a silent war. It is one that will determine the fate of a kingdom and the survival of their clan.

5. Aldnoah.Zero

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 2014 – September 2014

The Vers Empire, one that transcended the stars ages ago, uses their advanced technology known as Aldnoah to declare war against those living on earth. With the assassination of their princess at the hands of those on Earth, the Vers Empire sends everything they have to take back the planet and to show them who is the sovereign rulers once and for all.

Aldnoah.Zero is affectionately coined by the fandom on the internet as the reverse Gundam anime. It showcases humanity as the losing side against a superior force that possesses robots that far surpasses that of our own. Humans get robots with rifles while the aliens have robots that bend the very rules of gravity itself. This is a scenario where war is not equal, but they fight on regardless.

4. Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion)

  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: October 2006 – July 2007

The Holy Empire of Britannia has conquered Japan and many other countries with their revolutionary new machine, the Knightmare Frames; a mobile humanoid vehicle. Each country has lost their identities, rights and privileges and essentially its citizens have become indentured servants in the process. Japan, now renamed Area 11, is where Lelouch resides. He is an exiled prince posing as a student who has high ambitions of vengeance. Through a chance encounter, he gains the power of the kings and uses it to lead the rebellion against Britannia.

Code Geass shows us best that there are no winners in war. Even if one side triumphs over the other, the losers will still bite back eventually. No matter who wins, conflict won’t end till everything is dead. Under the cool stratagems and the clever speeches by Lelouch, there lies the countless dead in the wake of an unending conflict.

3. Arslan Senki (The Heroic Legend of Arslan)

  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: April 2015 – September 2015

Arslan is the price of the kingdom of Pars. Under the rule of their king, they have been enjoying a time of prosperity. However, the king is betrayed and the Parsian army is decimated. Their capital city gets taken by rival forces and Arslan is forced to flee his own country. With the aid of the general Daryun, Arslan must gather allies to retake his home country.

War takes many things from us, and it has taken Arslan’s home from him. We get shown his struggle to cope with his losses and his desperate bid to retake his country. Through war, his character matures and changes into what is eventually needed to lead his forces into battle. But he should never have been forced to mature in such a way. That is the very nature of the cruel and unbending nature of war.

2. Senjou no Valkyria (Valkyria Chronicles)

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: April 2009 – September 2009

In the fictitious world of Valkyria Chronicles, there is a precious resource known as ragnite, that powers many of the contraptions such as vehicles to weapons of war. It is highly sought over by the many countries that struggle endlessly against one another. The story is centred on the country of Gallia, a neutral state that has an abundance of ragnite that gets invaded by an empire for that very resource. Welkin Gunther and Alicia Melcott must join the militia to save their country from the invading forces and to protect their homeland.

Valkyria Chronicles is based on the strategy game of the same name. There is plenty of fighting that goes on, and much of it has its clever moments and strategies executed by Squad Leader Welkin Gunther. It generally comes across as somewhat light-hearted, but it does not shy away from showing the many tragedies of war and the losses that one can suffer from it.

1. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha (Maouyu ~ Archenemy & Hero)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: January 2013 - March 2013

The war between demons and humans have raged on for countless of years. The Hero and his party set out to slay the Demon King in order to bring an end to the war. Dissatisfied with his progress, he abandons his companions and goes on by himself to the castle of the Demon King. However, he finds out that the Demon King isn’t a malevolent demon of evil but a beautiful woman who asks for his aid. Her plea is simple, to help her end the war.

Maouyuu is one of those anime that makes us think hard and long about the state of our world. It shows us that ending the war is not so simple as to simply defeat the demon king and grant everyone a happy ever after. There are many issues in the world such as famine, poverty and slavery that coexist alongside war and each and every one of them must be tackled with care. War is a complex issue that we cannot solve simply with guns and blades, but with hearts and kind words.

Final Thoughts

War is an abomination of humanity that will continue to exist for a long time. For as long as our ideals differ and we come into conflict with one another, war will be the inevitable end result. These anime seek to explore and comment on the horrors and even the necessity of this conflicts between two groups of individuals. Perhaps one day we will see an end to war, but until then, these are the Top 10 War Anime.



Author: Aria

Hi, this is Aria. I have abandoned the 3D world for the 2D one. Occasionally I leave the 2D world to write my thoughts down. With that said and done, it's time for me to depart once more to the forbidden world, my waifus await.

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Original Article Below

There are a lot of different genres of anime. There are cute ones, the funny ones, the psychological ones and a lot of different dark anime. Now, we are here to talk about War Anime. If we don't like war in the real life, we sure enjoy it when it comes to anime, right?

So, if you are a fan of this genre of anime but don't know what to check out, here is a list of some of the best war anime that you could find and watch! Of course, every war series won't be mentioned in this Top 10, but it will help you to choose between the best anime of this genre!

Enjoy !

10. Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu (The Legend of the Legendary Heroes)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: Jul 2010 – Dec 2010

Ryner Lute is a lazy student attending the Roland Imperial Special Academy. Because of the war against the Estabul Kingdom, he is sent into battle with his friends and a lot of them die during the confrontation.

Filled with hatred and revenge, the Emperor sent him on a quest in order to retrieve the relics of a “Legendary Hero,” which are supposed to give great power to its user. During his journey, Ryner will associate with some other warriors.

In the context of war, the main character is sent on a mission and he will discover a lot of things. The lazy character will completely change throughout the show and it is quite interesting to see his change. The show has a lot of strategic aspects and with some fighting scenes, everyone should enjoy this anime!

9. Hitsugi no Chaika (The Coffin Princess)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Apr 2014 – Jun 2014

Toru Acura, a young man of 20 years old, is a retired soldier who tried to live a normal life after the war. One day, he meets Chaika Trabant, a mysterious sorcerer who is 14 years old, carrying a coffin bigger than her. Hoping to find a meaning to his life, Toru decides to follow her during her journey.

Full of mystery, the story is set in a post-war world where the main character is trying to live a normal life after the horrors of the war and the battles. There are a lot of historical aspects and this is really an interesting show to see.

8. Bakumatsu Rock

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 2014 – Sept 2014

During the Bakumatsu era, at the end of the shogunate reign, Tokugawa is using the music to control and brainwash the population through the Heaven's Songs, sung by the idol group Shinsengumi. The Heaven's Songs are the only form of music accepted in the whole country.

Sakamoto Ryouma is a rocker and he will try to fight against the Heaven's Songs with his friends, using rock 'n' roll. Through their music, they want to change the face of the country and give back freedom and justice to the population.

Despite a lot of fictional aspects, the historical context keeps a part of reality and takes place during an era of fight and war. Though there are no sword/gun fighting, the country is still at war, but this is a war that is fought through music.

7. Junketsu no Maria (Maria the Virgin Witch)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jan 2015 – Mar 2015

Maria is the most powerful witch who is living in France during the Hundred Years War. As she despises war, she keeps using her powers to interrupt battles between the two armies. Because of her contract with a succubus and an incubus, the witch draws the attention of the archangel Michael.

The story follows the battle between France and the Kingdom of England during the Hundred Years War. The story may be simple at first, but the historical setting is well-done and the subjects mentioned in the show, like war or religion, really make sense and seem real.

6. Ima, soko ni iru boku (Now and then, Here and there)

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: Oct 1999 – Jan 2000

Shu is an ordinary young boy with strong determination, and is always optimistic. One day, he meets Lala-Ru, a mysterious young girl with strange eyes. He is then sent in another world, different from the one he knows. There, war is common and Shu is put in front of a lot of horror he could not imagine. However, in this world, he will try to protect Lala-Ru.

In this anime, we can really see the reality of war and its horrific aspects. The main character discovers a new reality and is disturbed because of it. A pretty dark anime, which is still really interesting, and is worth watching!

5. Break Blade

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Apr 2014 – Jun 2014

On the Cruzon continent, the population can use telekinesis powers to control a particular quartz, which is their main source of material in anything they desire. Rygart Arrow, living in the kingdom of Krisna, is a 'un-sorcerer,” which means that he cannot use this power. He is excluded from the rest of the population, but when the nation of Athens attacks Krisna, Rygart will have a huge role to play for his country, precisely because of his abililties.

The countries of Krisna and Athens are at war and the main character has to fight for his own country. Because he is a 'un-sorcerer”, he has the ability to use an ancient Golem, used to fight during battles. In this show, there are a lot of fighting scenes and strategy plays a huge role for the scenario of the series. It is an interesting anime that you should watch!

4. Kakumeiki Valvrave (Valvrave The Liberator)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Apr 2013 – Jun 2013

In a new era, 70% of the population is living in space thanks to a new system called “Dyson Sphere,” which is a city in space. The world is divided into two main powers: The Dorssia Military Pact Federation and the Atlantic Rim United States.

Tokishima Haruto is living in the little nation of JIOR and is attending high school. He was living peacefully until the Dorssian army attacks the nation of JIOR. Then, Haruto meets a mysterious humanoid weapon called Valvrave, and his life is completely turned around.

This anime starts with the beginning of the confrontation between the Dorssian army and the country of JIOR. Other than war, the series shows a lot of different genres, and humour is very well present with the dramatic aspects that we can see throughout the show.

3. Senjou no Valkyria (Valkyria Chronicles)

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: Apr 2009 – Sept 2009

On the Europa continent, two main powers are persistently in war. The Imperial Empire is a monarchy towards the east, and the Federation is an alliance of democracies towards the west. Each power is fighting over the ragnite, the most important resource in the country, which is used for medical purposes and also used by the military.

Inspired by World War II, the story follows the resistance of the country of Gallia, caught in confrontation between the two main powers because of its bountiful resources. The context of war is very well present and gives the pace of the show a realistic representation.

2. Aldnoah.Zero

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jul 2014 – Sept 2014

After the discovery of a portal to Mars on the surface of the Moon, mankind was split in two with the Vers Empire, the population who left Earth, taking possession of a very advanced technology due to a brand new energy.

In 2014, despite the tensions between the two planets, the Crown Princess of Vers, Asseylum, Vers Allusia, is determined to maintain peace and go to Earth. Upon her visit, an attack was committed and sufficient enough to enter war.

The story tells the beginning of a war between two planets who have built tensions within the years. With a lot of fighting scenes and tactical war aspects, the show is a pleasure for the eyes and is really worth watching!

1. Arslan Senki (The Heroic Legend of Arslan)

  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: Apr 2015 – Sept 2015

Arslan is the son of King Andragoras, who reigns on the Kingdom of Pars. He is living a peaceful life in the Royal Capital of Ecbatana, and despite all his efforts to be a worthy son, he doesn't earn any recognition from his father.

When he turns 14 years old, Arslan takes part in his first battlefield. Due to the defeat of the Kingdom of Pars, he loses everything he had ever known. Running away with his bodyguard, Daryun, he will search for new comrades in order to reconquer his Kingdom and to discover his capabilities in becoming a King himself.

In this show, we are completely submerged in the war and battle atmosphere, with see all the tactical strategies needed in order to win the fight, thus, winning a war. The anime is still airing, but it will surely be a great show until the very end! I highly recommend this series if you are not already watching it!

So, what do you think about this Top 10 list? Of course, there is much more anime that could be in this list, like Berserk, Last Exile or Aoi Sekai no Chuushin de, but I tried to talk about anime that everyone could could enjoy easily!

Is there any other anime that you would like to recommend for this list? Let us know in the comments below!



Author: Nafarik

I am a French girl of 23 years old. I was 7 years old when I saw my first anime and since then I couldn't stop watching anime. This is also the reason I decided to learn Japanese so I entered the university. Just before graduating, I had an opportunity to do an internship in Japan and I was clearly the otaku type, spending a lot of time and money on my passion for anime. As soon as could, I return Japan and here I am now !

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