When I say action, I mean ACTION! Maybe it’s human beings need to pursue something greater than ourselves or of being much stronger, action anime offers something that brings us closer to our fantasy with sometimes illogical action sequences, the fate of the world, nation, city, or just the protagonist in the balance.
Hello fellow anime fans and lovers to the top 25 best action anime of all time for action fans.
Action anime is about conflict, thrilling confrontations, car chases and epic battles. It’s heart-pumping action, nail-biting suspense, trigger happy characters and a love to hate or hate to love villain.
You asked and we delivered. A list focused on action, explosions, eye-candy visuals, intensity of plot, characters, battles or stunts that should bring you a lot of hype and excitement.
So lets get started;
25. Kill la Kill
Episodes 24 + OVA| Aired Fall 2013 | Produced by Trigger
From the creators of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann comes, Kill la Kill an anime with epic battles, eye-popping art style and astonishing moves.
After the murder of her father, Ryuuko Matoi goes on a journey of revenge looking for her dad’s murderer. Her only lead the missing half of his invention, the Scissor Blade.
Which brings her to the prestigious Honnouji Academy, a high school that’s quite unusual. Ruled by the student council president Satsuki Kiryuuin and her elite four, they possess superhuman abilities.
But with Senketsu, a rare sentient ” Kamui” and her Scissor Blade. She makes a stand against them, hoping to uncover the person behind her father’s death.
Revenge is the story of the game in Kill la Kill, it starts up with a simple plot but becomes more complex and deeper than it appears with each episode, becoming much more than just an anime filled with fan-service and amazing fight scenes.
I have been made a fan of Trigger and I honestly look forward to whatever future creative work they release.
24. Hunter x Hunter (2011)
Episodes 148 + OVA| Aired Fall 2011 | Produced by Madhouse
Hunter x Hunter is a well animated and thought out anime with plenty of action, with highly anticipated battles.
The story begins with 12-year old, Gon Freeces as he embarks on becoming the world’s best hunter in order to find his father. Who was a hunter himself and abandoned Gon when he was a kid, with his deceased wife’s family.
A hunter is a person who takes up dangerous tasks like searching for treasure, law enforcement and many other jobs.
We will follow Gon and his three friends- Leorio, Kurapika and Killua. He meets on his arduous journey.
Hunter x Hunter is an amazing action anime with a fantastic story, excellent characters with deep having their own goals and desires some simple while others complex. It’s one of those rear unicorns in the action genre that those a lot of things well. You will be glad you watched it.
23. One Punch Man
Episodes 24 + OVA| Aired Fall 2015 | Produced by Madhouse
One Punch Man is the story of Satima, a hero who is a hero just for fun and the strongest man in his universe that can defeat any opponent with a single punch. Based on Yusuke Murata’s manga remake of ONE’s original webcomic.
Saitama strived and became a superhero after experiencing the thrill of fighting an evil villain. Putting himself on a rigorous training regimen for three years, only to lose all of his hair and accidentally become the strongest human who ever walked the Earth. Now leaving him with a new problem－he doesn’t get to experience the thrill of battle, as any encounter with Saitama ends with one punch.
One Punch Man is quite different from other action anime, as rather than watch our protagonist struggle to become stronger, our hero has already reached his goals.
The series takes this plot and shows us the emptiness that follows achieving a lifelong goal. Showing us the journey to one’s goal is more fulfilling than actually reaching our goal.
22. Terra Fromer
Episodes 26 + OVA| Aired Fall 2014 | Produced by LINDENFILMS
Terra Formars is a show that is short, violent and an action anime that is simple to understand.
Terra Formars, an anime about a bunch of genetically modified humans with characteristics of powerful organisms from earth, that get sent to Mars to find a cure to a lethal disease that is believed to have originated from Mars and exterminate a race of hyper-evolved humanoid cockroaches called Terra Formars that stand in their way.
Terra Formars is an action sci-fi horror anime that deals with humanity fighting insects much like the film “Starship Troopers”. Plot-wise it’s not the best cause they try to add so much into it, but for action, it is pretty good.
21. Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
Episodes 203 + OVA| Aired Fall 2006 | Produced by Artland
Katekyo Hitman Reborn is definitely a well-made anime for its comedy and action.
Katekyo Hitman Reborn deals with the mafia. Tsuna, our protagonist is the next in line to become the 10th boss for the Vongola Family – one of the many and strongest families in the mafia world. Reborn, a hitman, and also a baby travels from Italy to Japan to tutor Tsuna to become a worthy boss for the Vongola Family.
From then on, Tsuna’s adventures begins.
Katekyo Hitman Reborn plot builds up slowly, with the first 20 episodes comedy-heavy. We will watch Tsuna change from being a clumsy weakling, to slowly growing up and become more dependable. It’s a show that will definitely keep you at the edge of your seat.
20. Darker than Black
Episodes 37 + OVA| Aired Spring 2007 | Produced by Bones
Darker than Black is definitely an anime that takes you on a journey with unique characters and an unusual style of story telling.
Darker than Black takes place in a near-future world where two gates appeared, Heaven’s Gate and Hell’s Gate. The mysterious appearance of these gates brought with them the Contractors. Contractors are people who have entered into a contract with an unknown force in exchange for their humanity and gained a unique power in return. The nature of the contract, however, requires them to give back each time they use their power, which is anything from smoking a cigarette to writing a poem, eating etc.
The story for most parts follows the infamous Contractor codenamed Hei. Called “Black Reaper” in the underground world.
If you like shows about people with supernatural powers and action, I think you should definitely watch this series. It’s a show that doesn’t give too much away in the beginning but as the story progresses you can piece the whole plot together. The characters are also brilliantly done especially the contractors that are supposed to be void of human emotions.
19. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Episodes 152 + OVA| Aired Fall 2012 | Produced by David Production
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is definitely an anime that takes you on an adventure. It’s a series that just keeps getting better and better.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure follows the stories of a different generation of the JoJo family, whose members have unique powers that they use to fight supernatural enemies.
I personally like the way the story follows a different member of the Joestar family? It’s an anime that lives up to the hype that surrounds it. Though it’s an anime that requires a bit of getting used to, it sometimes doesn’t take itself seriously but when it does, it keeps you at the edge of your seat.
18. Naruto/Naruto: Shippuden
Episodes 720 + OVA| Aired Fall 2002 | Produced by Studio Pierrot
Naruto/Naruto: Shippuden is one of the longest-running and most famous international shounen. That has a special place in most anime enthusiast.
The story follows the many adventures and misadventures of Naruto, a knuckle-headed ninja with a loudmouth, and his ninja pals.
A problem student, Naruto was never popular or talented, especially as a ninja. This all changes when he discovers the hidden power of the Nine-Tailed Fox sealed within him. Will he achieve his dream of becoming the leader of the Village? And can he protect his friends from the countless evils that threaten to destroy all he has?
Naruto/Naruto: Shippuden is an anime with a lot of characters, and there is definitely one you will feel you can relate to and you will cheer on for as the story progresses. And this feels like where the anime shines the most the ability to make us feel for certain characters. And all the while it takes us on an adrenaline-filled journey.
17. Megalo Box
Episodes 13| Aired Spring 2018 | Produced by TMS Entertainment
If you are a Rocky and Ashita no Joe fan, you will love Megalo Box a sports action anime that’s violent and entertaining.
The series takes place in a futuristic setting, where boxing with mechanical limbs known as Gear to enhance the speed and power of its users, Megalo Box is everything! The biggest companies either specialize in the technology or host the events that use the gear.
Junk Dog/Joe an unlicensed citizen earns a living in the slums for a crime syndicate by throwing fights with his partner, a former professional manager. But this all changes when he loses to the Megalo Box champion Yuuri. Due to a lack of money, Junk Dog/Joe is forced to compete without the assistance of any robotic arms has he chases his dreams of challenging the champ at a huge tournament called Megalonia.
Megalo Box is a great anime that really asks a big question of how much pain, time and energy one is willing to give and endure while chasing their dreams. And that resonates with me a lot.
16. Deadman Wonderland
Episodes 12 + OVA| Aired Spring 2011 | Produced by Manglobe
Deadman Wonderland was one of those shows that had everyone who saw it wanting more.
It was a normal day like any other normal day for Ganta Igarashi and his classmates but everything in Ganta’s life is soon turned upside down when his whole class is killed by a mysterious man in red.
He is framed for his classmates’ deaths and sentenced to death at a prison amusement park Deadman Wonderland – where the convicts perform dangerous stuns for the amusement of their visitors.
Now in prison, Ganta lives in fear of the lethal poison collar around his neck that can only be slowed down by winning the deadly prison games. All the while not being able to tell friend from foe.
Also since his encounter with the Red Man, he has acquired the branches of sin – a power that allows it’s user to use his or her blood to do extraordinary things. Putting his life on the line to survive this brutal place all the while trying to find the Red Man and clear his name.
Deadman Wonderland is a well-written engaging anime with plenty of horrifying scenes, deaths and amazing visuals.
It’s one of those animes that made me take an interest in the manga, wanting to find out the secrets that lie beneath Deadman Wonderland when I finished watching the anime.
Episodes 41| Aired Fall 2012 | Produced by Production I.G
Psycho-pass takes place in a futuristic setting, with interesting characters and weapons.
In the future, the government is literally in your head. Monitoring your mental state and your likelihood to commit a crime.
When the levels are high, he or she is haunted, captured or eliminated by the police forces.
Enforcers armed with Dominators – special weapons that only activate when aimed at suspects with high likelihood to commit crime. Enforcers themselves are latent criminals who are overseen by police inspectors, who can terminate them at any time if they themselves pose a threat to the public.
Psycho-Pass is an amazing action anime that shouldn’t be missed. And thought-provoking showing how sanity does not always equal morality.
14. Black Lagoon
Episodes 24 + OVA| Aired Spring 2006 | Produced by Madhouse
Black Lagoon an action anime with a lot of mayhem featuring modern-day pirates, outrageously amazing action scenes and interesting characters.
Rokurou Okajima is a businessman living an average life, but this all changes on a business trip to Roanapur, Thailand. Where he is held for ransom by the Black Lagoon.
But decides to join the Black Lagoon after his bosses leave him to die than pay his ransom.
To survive in the ruthless Roanapur, this former businessman most transform from soft-spoken salaryman to ruthless mercenary.
Black Lagoon an amazing anime that can’t be mentioned without our trigger-happy Revy, who truly helps bring the series together.
It’s a story with a lot of ups and downs that tries to tackle themes like existentialism -what are we here for? what’s our purpose? and morality – what is really wrong or right?
Plus it has gun-wielding nuns, sociopath maids and the awesome Revy.
13. Vinland Saga
Episodes 24| Aired Summer 2019 | Produced by Wit Studio
If you ever wondered what watching what an angry Sasuke after he left the hidden Leaf village would be like, I give you Vinland Saga.
Thorfinn grew up listening to tales of the legendary place, Vinland. A place said to be warm and fertile all year round, with no fighting. Different from the frozen village in Iceland where he was born, or a place with the need of his current job has a mercenary.
War is his only home now after the death of his father at the hands of Askeladd. A man he has sworn vengeance against.
Fighting alongside Askeladd in the war against England and the Danes, all to be granted a duel to the death with Askeladd to kill the man who murdered his father.
What will he learn on his journey?
Vinland Saga is the Berserk Adaptation we deserved. With stunning artwork, consistent and solid animation and characters you will connect with. It’s definitely one of the best anime of 2019.
12. Samurai Champloo
Episodes 26| Aired Spring 2004 | Produced by Manglobe
Samurai Champloo is one of the most unconventional, thrilling action anime about samurai.
Samurai Champloo follows three unlikely pair Fuu, Jin and Mugen. Brought together by chance but stuck together by choice or blackmail?, out of a debt to pay to Fuu after saving them from being executed.
They follow her on a wild adventure to different places in their search for the samurai that smells of sunflowers.
It’s a series that takes the usual “power of love and friendship” plot most animes takes and throws it out the window.
Throwing a trio of mismatch characters together and forming an unlikely team, we will all be sad to see part ways at the end of their journey together. I’m still hoping for a second season.
11. Tokyo Ghoul
Episodes 48 + OVA| Aired Summer 2014 | Produced by Studio Pierrot
Tokyo Ghoul is an anime I looked forward to watching after reading the plot, that I immediately started reading the manga.
The world occupied by two type of people – normal humans and ghouls who look like us but have special abilities and eat normal humans as a source of food.
Kaneki Ken after being tricked and almost killed by a ghoul is turned into a hybrid – half-ghoul half-human.
Now he must learn to live in both worlds. Trying to fit into the ghoul community, while trying to hide his new identity in the human world.
Tokyo Ghoul was quite enjoyable even though I felt there was room for more improvement. It’s an anime that’s not for everyone either being a swing or a miss.
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10. Gurren Lagann
Episodes 27| Aired Spring 2007 | Produced by Gainax
Gurren Lagann is a popular action anime that pushed the boundaries of action anime and is an anime that has a special place in everyone’s heart that has seen this anime.
The story focuses on two young men, Simon and Kamina who are born in a time when humanity has been forced underground by the tyrant King Lordgenome, killing anyone who tries to come to the surface.
Digging is the only way they know how to live digging further underground. That is until Simon has an encounter with Yoko a red-haired girl, who rashes down, fighting several enemy Gunmen. Seeing the sky for the first time the two young men are determined to drill their way to the surface, fighting for their right to live under the sun.
Gurren Lagann is a classic, vibrant, heroic and outspoken anime. That’s absolutely a must-watch.
9. Mob Psycho 100
Episodes 25 + OVA| Aired Summer 2016 | Produced by Bones
From ONE the creator of One Punch Man comes another fascinating anime Mob Psycho 100.
Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama is an awkward but kind eighth-grader who has to keep his emotions in check because he possesses psychic abilities. As long as he keeps a lid on his emotional state all hell won’t break loose.
Worried about this he meets Arataka Reigen for guidance, believing he is also psychic. Even though Reigen is just a con artist. He is actually dependable and Mob believes in him.
Follow the story of Mob and his friend’s journey to adulthood.
Mob Psycho 100 is definitely a one of a kind series from its unique art style, well-developed characters that are very relatable, to the out of this world actions scenes.
It is a true gem, that proves the saying “never judge a book by its cover” or in this case art style. A definite must-watch for an action lovers time.
8. Afro Samurai
Episodes 6| Aired Spring 2007 | Produced by Gonzo
Afro Samurai an anime about revenge and katanas, filled with a lot of action right off from the beginning of the story.
Afro after witnessing the death of his father in a dual with a man named Justice for the Number One headband. Afro vows revenge against Justice who killed his father for the Number One headband.
But there is a catchy on his path to vengeance he has to possess the Number Two headband, if he wishes to fight the new Number One. And even after possessing the Number Two headband, he will have to fight pretty much everyone in the world people to get to the Number One. Because unlike the Number One, the Number Two can be challenged by anyone.
Afro Samurai is actually 5 episodes but I made it 6 cause of the movie, which I’m 80% sure you will want to see if you watch the series.
7. One Piece
Episodes 912+ | Aired Fall 1999 | Produced by Toei Animation
One piece is one of the most popular action anime series from its first air till date and still growing strong.
In a world similar to ours, only with magic and unimaginable places. Luffy is on a quest to find the treasure of the former King of Pirates, as well as others who have heard of the legendary treasure.
As Luffy travels, he will make friends and create a ragtag crew of members with their own dreams and goals.
One Piece is an anime with a lot to offer from supernatural powers, amazing fights scenes, well developed and lovable characters and voyages to new and exciting places.
It’s definitely an anime that ticks a lot of people boxes on what they want in an action anime.
6. Sword of the Stranger
Episodes 1| Aired September 2007 | Produced by Bones
Sword of the Stranger is a really great movie with a lot of amazing action scenes.
Nanashi a nameless ronin, gets caught up in a struggle with swordsmen from the Ming Dynasty China when he agrees to take a boy Kotaro and his dog to a Buddhist temple. The reason behind the Ming swordsmen relentless pursuit unknown. A man haunted by memories of his past, which as made him avoid drawing his sword, will this be too much for him to handle.
If you love historical settings that’s another reason to give Sword of the Stranger a chance.
It won’t disappoint with its relatable characters, amazing action sequences, beautiful art style and just the brotherly love that is shown between the two main characters has the story progresses.
5. Dragon Ball Z
Episodes 291| Aired Spring 1989 | Produced by Toei Animation
Dragon Ball Z is like a fine wine that only seems to get better with the years.
Five years have passed since Dragon Ball, Gokuu lives with his loving wife and son. But this soon changes when on a trip with his son, he encounters Raditz – who his Gokuu’s long-lost brother.
Raditz tells Gokuu where he is truly from and what his purpose was on earth. When he tries to compel Gokuu to fight with him to take over the earth a fight ensues.
Raditz warns Gokuu and friends of a new threat that’s rapidly approaching Earth. A threat that will plunge Earth into an intergalactic conflict and cause the heavens themselves to shake.
A war will be fought has hero and villains race to gather the seven mystical dragon balls.
Only the strongest will survive in Dragon Ball Z.
Dragon Ball Z is one of the anime series that helped spread the love of anime around the world.
It’s thrilling, pulse-pounding and delightful to watch.
4. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Episodes 64 + OVA| Aired Spring 2009 | Produced by Bones
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an anime with an amazing plot, engaging action, lovable characters, comedy, drama and beautiful music.
In a world where alchemy is considered a highly skilled job, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood tells the story of two brothers who live every day repaying for their childhood mistake of trying to play god. Forgetting the greatest rule in alchemy “equivalent exchange“.
In the aftermath of a failed attempt at reviving their dead mother, Edward lost a leg and later an arm to bring his brother back, when Al lost his entire body.
Hearing of a mysterious stone named the Philosopher’s Stone that can correct the mistake they made.
They begin their adventure in search of the stone, to restore what was lost. How far will their journey take them?
A must watch anime series for anime fans alike.
3. Attack on Titan
Episodes 59 + OVA| Aired Spring 2013 | Produced by Wit Studio
Attack On Titan is an extremely action-packed story with cliff-hangers, amazing characters and interesting battle equipment.
In a world terrorized by giant man-eating humanoids known as titans, mankind hides behind large walls in constant fear.
The only way they have to fight back against the Titans is the military.
Eren Yeager, who witnessed the death of his family and friends as a child, is determined to fight back in the only way he can, by joining the military.
But there is a lot of things going on inside and outside the wall. Showing that maybe titans are not the biggest threat to humanity.
It’s one of the best anime series of its year. With amazing visuals and soundtracks.
Episodes 49| Aired Fall 1997 | Produced by OLM / Millepensee, GEMBA
The story centres on Guts, a lone mercenary and Griffiths, a leader of the mercenary band -Band of the Hawk. You think Sasuke and Naruto rivalry was something, Griffith and Guts take it to a whole new level.
Guts is a wandering mercenary who from his birth as had it rough – found under a hanged corpse, his adopted mother dies from the plague and his adoptive father tried to kill him, which forces Guts to kill him, scaring Guts even more.
He meets Griffith as he wonders as a mercenary. He is forced to join his band of mercenaries, and as time goes he finds a home there, even becoming best friends with Griffith. But he later decides to leave after hearing Griffith saying he doesn’t consider anyone a real friend that follows someones dream and doesn’t have their own, so he goes in search of his own dreams.
He joins the team again when Griffith has been captured and after a tough fight they rescue him, but Griffiths is a shadow of his former self, his body is completely broken.
This is where the supernatural world is really explored now and by sacrificing the band of the hawk, he is revived better than ever.
And the story of vengeance begins
It’s a series that is based on realism, at least when we look at human nature. Showing the good and evil, we humans are capable of and how society as become and so much more.
1. My Hero Academia
Episodes 88 + OVA| Aired Spring 2016 | Produced by Bones
My Hero Academia has been praised as one of the newest big three of its time.
The story follows Izuku Midoriya, a boy born “Quirkless” meaning he as no powers, on this earth people with quirks (used for people with powers), is the norm.
So Izuku is bullied for standing out (being quirkless), even through all this, he still dreams of being a superhero.
And on one particular day, he meets the world’s greatest Hero All Might, who passes on his quirk “One For All” to Izuku.
Enrolling him into U.A. High School, a school that is known to cultivate the most promising next generation of superheroes and hero support teams. And like the intro says his story begins to tell us how he became the world’s greatest hero.
It’s a superhero genre that has been done right, very realistic with lovable and relatable characters. Showing how hard work and skill go hand-in-hand to being good at something.
So that’s all amazing guys and gals, hope you loved my recommendations if you have an anime you think deserves to be on this list, hit me up in the comment section below I would love to hear from you.
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Till next time have an action-filled adrenaline-pumping day…….