While there are many well-known anime based on manga or light novels, there are significantly fewer anime based on full-length novels, but there are some, including many based on Japanese books and a handful based on European novels. If you’re wondering if there are any anime based on books worth watching, look no further. Read our list of 5 Best Anime Based on Novels!
5. Gankutsuou (Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo)
Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo is based on a classic French novel you may have read in English class in high school, though the adaptation takes many liberties. As the title suggests, the protagonist is the Count of Monte Cristo. In the year 5053, the Count encounters a French aristocrat named Viscount Albert de Morcerf, who introduces him to French society believing him to be nothing more than a charming nobleman. Unbeknownst to Albert, the Count has a mysterious past and has actually come to France seeking revenge. If you’re looking for a suspenseful and mysterious series based on French literature, check out The Count of Monte Cristo.
4. Uchouten Kazoku (The Eccentric Family)
The Eccentric Family is a slice of life anime set in a Kyoto in which supernatural creatures live in secrecy alongside humans. The protagonist is Yasaburou Shimogamo, a tanuki who lives his life like an everyday boy, observing humans and spending time with his family, which consists of his mother and siblings since his father was killed by humans. The anime does a good job portraying the characters’ lives exploring their realistic relationships with each other. While The Eccentric Family might not be as action-packed as most other fantasy series, if you’re looking for something unique, we think it’s a good anime to put on your list.
3. Shinsekai yori (From the New World)
If you’re looking for something a bit darker, consider From the New World). As a fantasy drama, this anime is set in a world in which children who develop supernatural abilities are trained at special schools for psychics. When 12-year-old Saki Watanabe learns that she is psychic, she is initially excited to join her friends at Sage Academy, but she eventually learns that the utopian-seeming society that she lives in may have a dark side. From the New World is a unique and dramatic coming-of-age story with amazingly well-written and cohesive character development and high-quality art and animation. If you’re looking for a dark fantasy anime that you won’t be able to get out of your mind for a long time, look no further than From the New World.
2. Kemono no Souja Erin (The Beast Player Erin)
The Beast Player Erin is an imaginative high fantasy anime that features fantastical beasts, including Touda, a species of powerful war lizards. Erin is the smart young daughter of a doctor who cares for the Tai-Kou king’s Touda, but after a tragic accident befalls the lizards, the king sentences the doctor to death. In an attempt to save her mother, Erin falls into a river and is swept to Shin-Ou, a rival nation whose tensions against Tai-Kou constantly rising.
Being stuck in Shin-Ou, Erin meets allies and learns secrets about Touda and other magical beasts that would be highly dangerous if fallen into the wrong hands. The Beast Player Erin is praised for its amazing worldbuilding and a good combination of politics and magical animals. The protagonist is realistically portrayed and well-written, so it is easy to sympathize with her plight. If you’re looking for a fantasy anime that is good overall, check out The Beast Player Erin. Additionally, the original novel has been translated into English, so be sure to look for that too!
1. Howl no Ugoku Shiro (Howl's Moving Castle)
Howl's Moving Castle is a classic Studio Ghibli movie that’s known by both anime fans and the general audience. Based on an English book, Howl's Moving Castle features Sophie, a hardworking daughter of a hatmaker. After an accident befalls her, Sophie is rescued by Howl, a wizard living in a moving castle. Unluckily, this incident causes Sophie to be cursed by an evil witch, turning her into an old woman. To turn back into a young girl and continue living her life, Sophie must travel with the wizard and a cast of other magical beings on a dangerous fantastical journey. Howl's Moving Castle is famous for its stunning animation, art style, and music. Further, its characters are all well-thought-out and have unique personalities from each other, and even the villains have their good points. If you still haven’t seen Howl’s Moving Castle, tuning into this famous movie should definitely be your priority.
We hope you enjoyed reading 5 Best Anime Based on Novels. Did you find a new series you think you’ll watch? If you’ve already seen any of these anime, do you like or dislike them? Are there any other anime based on novels that you’d recommend? Feel free to give us a comment below!