15 Best Action Anime of All Time (You Should Watch in 2021)

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15. Castlevania

Castlevania action anime

Let’s kick start the list with a Netflix anime. Castlevania is one of the first few anime to be released by Netflix and it definitely needs a spot on our list for its unique story, animation, themes as well as amazing soundtracks. This is based on the Japanese video game of the same name and tells the story of Trevor Belmont, Alucard, and Sifa Belnati’s who defend the nation against the threat of Count Dracula who sends demon armies to murder people and pillage cities. This is a must-watch for all gothic horror fans as the show delivers some amazing action sequences and a classic retelling of a different tale of Dracula. Combine it with the superb action scenes and you’ll see what Netflix has done right this time. Consider this as a redemption for all the bad live-action anime movies Netflix is done.

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

No. of Seasons: 3

Original Release: July 7, 2017, -; Present

No. of Episode: 22 (List of Episode)

Original Network: Netflix

14. Kabaneri of The Iron Fortress

Kabaneri of the Iron fortress

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress comes next on our list. If you’ve fallen in love with shows like the attack on titan or high school of the dead then Kabaneri of The Iron Fortress is something that will surely capture you within seconds. Similar to the attack on titan, humanity is now living in fear of zombies known as Kabaneri who survive on eating humans and the story follows a group of people who escape their hometown in a train as these monsters attack it. The show introduces us to an interesting cast that survives the odds of both the Kabaneri and humans. The main theme of the show is survival and how humanity can only fight against the monsters by working together. If you want a show that can give you the same hype as Darwin’s game then this should be the next show on your watch list. It is directed by the same director of Attack on Titan. So that’s a bonus.

IMDb Rating: 7.2/10

Original Network: Fuji Tv (Noitamina)

Volume: 4

First episode date: April 8, 2016

Final episode date: June 30, 2016

Also See: 12 Best Websites To Read Manga Online in 2021

13. Black Clover

Black Cover action anime

I’m going to cover some Shonen anime on this list and what’s a better way to start that off than with our favorite screaming wizard boy. Black Clover follows Asta, a young orphan who has no magical power but aims high to become the wizard king. He soon gains the mysterious 5 leaf grimoire and along with his friend and rival Yuno follows on various adventures to become the one and only wizard king. Trust me, the first few episodes of this show might put you off a little since it borrows many elements of the genre but soon the show stands on its own legs with its impressive world-building and well-written characters and mysteries.

IMDb Rating: 8.1/10

Release Date: 3 October 2017 (USA)

Company Credits: Production Co

Country: Japan

Language: Japanese

12. Drifters

Drifters

Shimazu Toyohisa is a soldier who is mortally wounded at the battle of Sakigahara. At his dying moments, he is transported into another world and finds himself in a group known as the drifters. The drifters are made of other powerful warriors like him and need to fight off the ends who wish to take over the world and kill all of the drifters. Under the ants, the command is an arsenal of monsters ranging from giants to dragons. Drifters is one of the most underrated shows out there and one you should definitely check out. It is created by the same man behind housing so you get tons of blood, gore, a fast-paced story, some dark and twisted comedy as well as some great codes and philosophies thrown in between. Wars, warriors, and brutal deaths mixed in with izeki elements.

IMDb Rating: 7.1/10

Episodes: 12 + 3 OVA (List of episodes‎)‎

Released: June 6, 2016

Volumes: 6 (List of volumes‎)‎

English publisher: NA / UK Dark Horse Comics

11. Dorohedoro

Dorohedoro action anime

Kingdoms Knights and Characters with chivalry are something common in fantasy so why not do something completely different. Dorohedoro tells the story of a man named Kane who is trying to find the sorcerer who erased his memory and turned his head into a lizard. In this world, humans and sorcerers are different species and the former lives in a hole and the latter lives in the world above and constantly threatens humans. The strength of this story lies in its world-building characters and its evolving mystery. As Kane finds out who he also unveils mysteries that could change the human and sorcerer worlds forever. With a brilliant concept and some memorable cast, this is one of those must-watch action anime released recently.

IMDb Rating: 8.2/10

Originally published: 1999

Author: Q Hayashida

Episodes: 12 + 6 OVA

English publisher: NAViz Media

Genres: Manga, Graphic novel, Horror fiction

Netflix release date: May 28, 2020

10. Devilman Crybaby

Devilman Crybaby

Of course, when we’re talking about best action anime, how can we ignore this modern classic. Devilman Crybaby is a new series to the original manga written back in the day. And once again, I’m proud to say Netflix has done this series justice. Ryo Asuka the best friend of Akira Furo tells him about the existence of demons. They stay mingled in with humanity and feed on them. On their visit to a nightclub, Akira is taken by the demon Amon. But Akira’s will to live overpowers him until he turns into a devil himself. But also retains his human qualities. The anime expands its scope from there onwards and delivers one of the best anime masterpieces ever created on Netflix.

IMDb Rating: 7.6/10

Episodes: 10

Language: Japanese | English

First episode date: January 5th, 2018

Also See: 7 Best Website To Read Comics Online

9. Akira

Akira Action Anime

Akira is still hailed as one of the masterpieces that came out back in the day. If this didn’t, most of the great anime you see wouldn’t have had their inspiration. Akira happens in a futuristic world and follows Shotaro Canera, a leader of a biker gang whose childhood friend Tsuoshima acquires incredible telekinetic abilities after an accident. But these powers aren’t your regular superpowers. Soon, Tetsuo became a threat to both Tokyo and the military among the growing chaos of the world. Rather than focusing on the potential of powers, this action anime movie shows the repercussions of powers. For a 90s anime, it has some greatly animated action and some great directing as well.

IMDb Rating: 8/10

Release Date: 16 July 1988 (Japan)

Production company: Tokyo Movie Shinsha

8. Parasyte The Maximum

Parasyte the Maximum

Alien invasions are nothing new, right? You see alien ships appearing in the sky and annihilating humans but what if these monsters are smart enough not to reveal themselves easily. Parasyte is an anime about a boy names Shinichi Zumi who discovers a strange species names Parasyte who take control of human brains. A Parasyte named Migi enters Shichi’s body and as they fight other Parasytes, the two form a strong bond. This is the ideal show for action and mystery fans and you will be surprised by the twists the show pulls and the emotion it delivers. It may have a few action sequences compared to many others in the list but when words are no longer an option and the fists start rolling that is when the anime truly shows its potential.

IMDb Rating: 8.3/10

Episodes: 24

Studio: Madhouse

Original network: Nippon TV

Adaptations: Parasyte: Part 1 (2014), 

Parasyte: Part 2 (2015)

Genres: Body horror, Thriller, Science Fiction

7. Gin Tama

Gin Tama action anime

It is rare to see great action in a comedy anime but Gin Tama is an exception. Not only does it deliver some great comedy with gags and parodies but when the action parts hit in it doesn’t disappoint you with its samurai mixed action. It happens when the amanto aliens from outer space have invented earth and taken over feudal Japan. Now samurai in the world are kicked out and treated with disrespect. But among them is Gentoki an errand boy with the heart of the samurai. His daily events lead to serious situations but it doesn’t take long for them to turn comical. As mentioned, Gin Tama incorporates both eastern and western concepts and also parodies tons of popular anime out there. So if you need some good laughs with some great action then this is anime for you.

IMDb Rating: 8.6/10

First episode date: April 4, 2006

Network: TX Network

Genres: Anime, Comedy, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Action fiction, Animation

6. Black Lagoon

Black Lagoon

You may think since anime is based in Japan it should give you an eastern feel. But there are some action anime out there that can stand toe to toe with a western movie in terms of direction and writing. One such show is Black Lagoon. It follows Rokuro Okajima who joins the Lagoon company. A group of pirate mercenaries sailing around the seas of Southeast Asia. This anime is filled with guns, shootouts, suspenseful car chases, and a nice blend of mystery and gang wars to its fast-paced plot. The world soon expands beyond the little boat of the Lagoon company and the rock soon finds him in company with the most dangerous people on the planet. And to be honest, this is one of the anime you should watch dubbed. I’m not kidding, just check it out but make sure to keep your headphones on because revvy’s curses are enough to make your ears bleed and make a nun hit you with a yardstick.

First episode date: April 8, 2006

IMDb Rating: 8.0/10

Genres: Anime, Comedy, Adventure, Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Action fiction, World cinema, East Asian cinema, Animation

5. Sword of the Stranger

Sword of the Stranger

I really need to emphasize the action and the battle choreography of this show. Trust me when it comes to samurai anime there wouldn’t be any show that could beat Sword of Stranger in terms of action. It follows Kotaro a boy who is hunted by a group of ming swordsmen and finds a samurai named Nanashi. Nanashi has vowed not to raise his blade again but soon finds it difficult when he understands his opponents. Among the group of people searching for Kotaro is a fearsome western fighter named Luo Wang whose only desire is to find a worthy opponent and in his eyes, Nanashi seems to be this opponent. Sword of Stranger is a must-watch if you are a fan of samurai and action. So this should definitely be on your watch list.

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

Release date: February 5, 2009 (USA)

Languages: Japanese; Mandarin

4. Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul action anime

Action shows wouldn’t be complete without dystopian monsters. Tokyo Ghoul happens in an alternative world where Ghouls live among humans and survive feeding on their flesh. The protagonist Kaneki gets invited to a date by a rather popular Ghoul and she has him for dinnerlike literally eats him for her dinner. Luckily an accident prevents it but in a surgical operation, Kaneki’s damaged organs are replaced by ghoul organs transforming him into a half-human and half-ghoul. The story then follows him as he gets dragged into a human ghoul war. The story is both action-filled and psychological. You may have heard of the go-read the manga joke too often with this one. But I think the anime should be praised for its animation and directing.

IMDb Rating: 7.8/10

Release Date: 3 July 2014 (USA)

Episodes: 12

Genres: Dark fantasy, Horror fiction, Thriller

3. Kill La Kill

Kill La Kill

Kill La Kill happens in a world where clothes give their wearers superhuman abilities. This happens because they are constructed with a special material known as life fibers. Along comes Ryuko Matsui, a student searching for the killer of her father. She arrives at the honugi academy and challenges the rulers to fight her. She gets taken down but finds a costume named Senkesu that gives her more power. Anime has a way of using its simple premise and lofty world-building to reveal deeper themes and issues and Kill La Kill is one such anime. It may start off with a society that is divided into classes based on clothes but soon. It will explore deeper themes and weave an interesting action story.

IMDb Rating: 7.9/10

Release Date: 8 February 2015 (USA)

Episodes: 24

Country: Japan

2. Mob Psycho 100

Mob Psycho 100 action anime series

I’m sure this action anime doesn’t need any new introduction. But just for the sake of people who don’t know here we go. Mob Psycho is written by the same author of One-Punch Man and tells a story of a schoolboy named Shige Okagayami nicknamed Mob who works with a detective named Reagan Arataka on handling mysterious cases. Even though his nickname is Mob, he is actually a powerful esper with a great amount of psychic power. Similar to some others on this list. Mob’s main goal is to keep his power in check as well. But as he encounters other espers like himself he finds it difficult to deal with them without reaching his full potential. Mob Psycho also explores the themes of loneliness isolation among its other themes. And trust me, this action anime has got something in it for everyone.

IMDb Rating: 8.5/10

Release Date: 27 October 2018 (USA)

Episodes: 12

1. Jojo’s Bizzare Adventures

Jojo's Bizzare Adventures

This is the show that originated half of the memes you see on the internet. Based on the widely popular manga of the same name, the anime tells the conflict between Jonathan Joestar and Dio Brando. The narrative is divided into several parts and the protagonist of each part is a member of the joe Starr family. All of which possess a star-shaped birthmark about their left shoulder blade. The Jojo series manages to mix a realistic and rather dramatic story with its unique plot and setting. Instead of superpowers, here we have users who can channel their inner spiritual power into a significant energy form known as the stand. Jojo has some interesting fight scenes that complement its unique power system. And of course, along with those fight scenes, comes out some interesting dialogue that soon gets turned into memes.

Release Date: 4 October 2012 (USA)

IMDb Rating: 8.4/10

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