The 25 Best Action Animes of All Time

With all of this excitement you can't just put on a serious face.

Who needs Hollywood when the world of anime is at your fingertips?

There's just something about the endless possibilities of animation that get you hooked and keep you binge-watching. Guns, gore, swords, hardcore fighting moves? Check ✔. Throw in a few voluptuous ladies and you've got the makings of a great action anime. It doesn't matter what kind of action you're into, these timeless serials have something for everyone.  Below you'll find a list of the top 25 must-see anime.

25. Pokemon

  • Join Ash as he battles across a world filled with creatures called pokemon.
  • With each battle, he grows stronger and comes closer to his goal: to be the Pokemon League Champion!

Pokemon Black & White: An epic thunder vs bug pokemon battle. Will Pikachu prevail?

24. Naruto

  • Being shunned by your entire village can’t be easy.
  • But Naruto has vowed to become the strongest and take the title of Hokage (village leader).
  • How will the yang of the evil spirit sealed within him alter his journey?

Anger and sadness fuel Naruto in this legendary battle with nemesis Pain.

23. The Big O

  • Paradigm City is a place without memory.
  • The Big O mech, piloted by Roger Smith, is the protector of its people.
  • It’s like Batman + Transformers with a regal air of mystery.
  • It’s a cornucopia of robot battles and unanswered questions.
  • In the words of the negotiator, “It’s showtime.”.

The ultimate in mecha battles.

22. Cowboy bebop

  • A truly amazing ballad of space action, Spike is the ultimate modern-day action hero.
  • In fact, he’s not a hero at all. While traveling with his rag-tag band of county hunters they get into scenarios that aren’t always what they seem.
  • Think laid back Firefly. Oh, and there’s an amazing movie too.

Session 5: Ballad of Fallen Angels. Spike battles Vicious. It’s like Spike vs Anti-Spike.

21. Outlaw star

  • The sister series to Cowboy Bebop has the same bones with a whole different build.
  • A team of outlaws are on an escort mission through the galaxy.
  • A big emphasis on in-space ship battles. This one has a lighter feel.

Gene Starwind finally questions his life when he’s pursued by assassins.

20. Tenchi muyo

  • Aliens, spaceships, pirates, laser guns, light swords, ancient shrines, and genetic engineering.
  • All in one show. Oh, and girls, so many girls.
  • Tenchi Muyo isn’t only action-packed, it’s also hilarious.

When they aren’t battling the evils of space, they’re busy fighting amongst themselves.

Tenchi battling the feared space pirate Kagato.

19. Yu Yu Hakusho 

  • For those her prefer a supernatural flair, there’s our hero Yusuke.
  • Unfortunately, he’s dead, but that doesn’t make this any less exciting.
  • He’s been recruited to protect Earth from dark forces as a spirit detective.
  • There’s some tournament style fighting thrown in.

Tons of battles with creepy demons and such.

Not for the faint-hearted, Yusuke takes his share of punches in tournament battles.

18. Akira

  • Not a TV show, but any hardcore anime fan must see Akira.
  • This was a turning point in the history of anime. But be aware this has earned its R rating.
  • It’s full of action, violence, and moral dilemmas. It’s sure to make you feel intrigued, violated, sad, and enraged all at the same time.

Tragic and beautiful.

Visually stunning and nightmarishly disturbing.

17. Elfen Lied

  • For a dive straight into the gore/horror branch of anime, there’s Elfen Lied.
  • Genetic anomaly Lucy murderously escapes from the government.
  • An amnesia filled roller coaster ensues.

What follows is one full season of serious intensity.

Lucy escaping a government facility. Cue blood, guts, and mayhem.

16. Parasyte

  • The results of a parasitic fusion gone wrong.
  • Masterfully gory and gut-wrenching. The high-speed fight scenes are battles for survival.

The viewer grows with the main character Shinichi throughout the tests of his humanity.

If you can’t be faster then your enemy, then you must be smarter. Use their logic to your advantage.

15. Fairy Tail

  • The land of Fiore is a fantastical realm of magic.
  • Magical guilds are spread throughout the land, earning renown and furthering their power. Wielding fire dragon slayer magic, Natsu sets out on different quests with his curvy sidekick Lucy.

Lots of magical dueling in this one.

Natsu using his dragon magic to battle the Twin Dragons.

14. Rurouni Kenshin

  • A samurai with a troubling past has changed his ways, renouncing killing.
  • But that doesn’t cut down on the sword fights in this show.
  • The ex-manslayer now defends the weak.

He must battle old friends turned new rivals to protect his new-found life.

Kenshin vs Udo Jin-e. A battle that tests our warrior’s self-control.

13. Death Note

  • Death Note is a different breed of action.
  • The show has a very dark, supernatural tone.
  •  A highly intelligent student, Light, has a book that can kill.
  • Things become more and more complicated as more deaths occur.
  • He eventually finds a worthy opponent in L.

The focus is a little more on the story, but there’s still plenty of action to be had.

Things become intense when L and Light face off.

12. Full metal alchemist

  • The Elric brothers test the laws of nature by misusing alchemical magic.
  • This results in a quest to restore them to what they once were.
  • Their skills get them admitted into the state military academy where they further their knowledge.

The goal: the philosophers stone, the ultimate in alchemical artifacts.

When there’s no time for alchemy you put the automail to work.

11. .hack//sign

  • This is the original “Log On and MMO becomes real” anime. 
  • Tsukasa logs into The World and becomes trapped in the playable world of .hack.
  • The story focuses on getting to the bottom of the AI responsible for his inability to log off.
  • Most of the action featured in this show is RPG based.

Magic wielders are the cornerstone of any MMO party.

10. Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • Tokyo 3 is the setting for Evangelian.
  • It’s been 15 years since Tokyo 2 was decimated.
  • A secret government project called NERV is operating below the city.
  • Giant aliens called Angels are attacking the city and trying to wipe out mankind.
  • Shinji must pilot a mech called an Eva to defeat these monsters, while also dealing with some serious psychological issues.

Get in the Eva Shinji, no one cares about how unfamiliar the ceiling is…

EVA unit 01 faces off against the tentacles of Shamshel, the fourth angel.

9. Sword Art Online

  • It’s a beautifully designed MMO based series.
  • Players are excited to play the latest immersive online game.
  • But they’ll all soon be trapped within the world of SOA, unable to be disconnected.
  • They must work together and beat the game to escape.

 If you die within the game then you die in real life, Matrix-style.

Switch move to handle a boss fight.

8. Inuyasha

  • Inuyasha is a half-demon hunting for a sacred jewel called the Shikon.
  • A young student named Kagome is pulled into a well at her family’s ancient shrine.
  • This sends her to the past with Inuyasha in feudal Japan.
  • Kagome takes up archery and finds out she’s a reincarnated priestess.

Every episode is packed with demon fights, magic, and a little bit of humor.

Inuyasha goes head to head with Bankotsu. Both are searching for the Shikon Jewel.

7. Dragon ball super

  • The newest in the Dragonball series is Dragon Ball Super.
  • Goku’s training continues after DBZ. We’re introduced to powers higher than the Kais.
  • Plus, there’s a new Saiyan form.
  • More tournaments, more training, more dragonball searching.

A new level of super Saiyan is achieved when Goku takes on Beerus.

6. Dragon Ball Z

A must watch for fans of fights.
Each season has a new story arc and a new array of enemies.
Follow the saiyans and friends as they battle to become strong enough to protect plant Earth. The ongoing quest for the dragon balls leads to an all-powerful wish from the great dragon Shenron.

The ongoing rivalry between the remaining saiyans Goku and Prince Vegeta.

5. Bleach

  • Ichigo can see spirits.
  • When he begins seeing evil spirits called Hollows he’s forced to help out a Shinigami from the Soul Society.
  • While recovering, Ichigo assumes the Shinigami’s duties of escorting and protecting spirits. Battling hollows to save souls becomes his main responsibility.

Battling a Hollow to protect innocent souls.

4. Black Clover

  • Two friends on their quest to become the wizard king.
  • But, in a world based on magic Asta has none.
  • Asta and Yuno journey to the capital and join the magic knights to help further their dreams of someday commanding the magic of the Clover Kingdom.
  • Dark magic is at work behind the scenes.

Magna and Luck try to defeat the unnaturally strong powers wielded by Vetto.

3. Trigun

  • Vash the Stampede is referred to as the Humanoid Typhoon.
  • Everyplace he travels seems to end up a pile of rubble.
  • In a wild west style world, this misunderstood hero is just trying to get by and eat donuts.

Vash the Stampede and his legendary aim.

2. Tokyo ghoul

  • The world is split between humans and emerging ghouls.
  • Ghouls must feed on humans to survive. Ken Kaneki has a terrible accident requiring organ transplants.
  • Unbeknownst to him, the organs are from a ghoul.
  • He is the first created ghoul-human hybrid and must find a way to live in both worlds.
  • Tons of action accompanies a heavy dose of gore.

A battle of survival. Human vs Ghoul. Kagune vs quinque.

1. Attack on titan

  • Attack on Titan has everything needed to make a great anime.
  • There’s a deep story, politics, gore, fighting, and an overall air of mystery.
  • The Eldians live a peaceful life within the walls of the city.
  • They are the last of humanity, surrounded by an unending population of man-eating titans.
  • When the walls are breached by a new breed of titan, the people must find a way to endure.

Eren goes after the weak point on the colossal titan.

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Gamer Since: 1992
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