Top 50 Best Adventure Anime Of All Time (Movies & TV Series)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
The word “adventure” is quite a loaded one, don’t you think?
You immediately imagine a group of travelers walking in the desert, or maybe a jungle, or discovering an underwater city, anything is fair game.
And since anime as a medium sets the bar for creativity far beyond the stars, you already know that plenty of adventures are taking place. But where do you get started if you’re looking for this kind of series?
Let’s take a look at (what have to be) the best adventure-themed anime that have ever graced our screens. And there’s plenty of recommendations here to help you get a fill for that adventuring spirit.
50. Hunter x Hunter
The first arc of Hunter x Hunter is as adventure-esque as you can get:
“A boy sets off an a journey to find his father and see why his job made him an absent parent”.
This is even further established with characters like Kite stating that he too has been searching for Gon’s father for many years. But like a true adventure, danger is afoot. And in the middle of the series it even completely takes over, and it’s all about survival at this point.
This is an incredibly well-written show with one of the best arcs in anime history. So definitely give it a watch. Now if we could only get the Dark Continent arc already.
With isekai shows, the end goal is almost always the same: figuring out how to return to the “real world”.
Overlord doesn’t break away from that tradition conceptually. However, Ainz has quite the tactic up his giant sleeve.
He plans to take over the world he was transported to in the hopes of finding other people in the same predicament.
From then on it’s a story of how to build an empire, a reputation, and how to get as many allies as you can.
48. Akame ga Kill!
You wouldn’t usually think of assassinations as grand adventures. But there is definitely a set goal.
And as far as Tatsumi is concerned, this is all rather new. And he has a lot to learn, because even though he’s trained as a fighter, no one ever told him how bloody fights can be and how powerful Imperial Arms are.
He isn’t given a lot of time to adapt, as a war is at the kingdom’s door, and the show’s PG rating is long gone.
47. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
Another popular adventure hook is the rags to riches story. Or in this case, the strive for power.
In the world of Magi there are Dungeons, places with lots of traps that hold tons of treasure if conquered. But more importantly than the treasure itself is the power of Djinns, who upon completing the dungeon, may lend you their power and make you a King candidate.
The story follows Alibaba, who has conquered one of these dungeons, along with Aladdin, a little wizard boy. And of course Morgiana too, the best girl.
They traverse the world and try to figure out what to do with their newly acquired powers.
46. Attack on Titan
The world of Attack on Titan is a really depressing one.
The entire human race is living inside of fortified cities while giant derpy-looking titans roam the world, looking for any humans who dare leave their cage.
And our story follows exactly that: the exploration of the outside world, alongside the quest to unravel the secret behind the appearance of Titans.
This is a very dumbed down synopsis, as so many twists and turns happen along the way (especially in the manga) that it would be impossible to describe it all here. Check it out, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
45. Black Clover
Black Clover is just one giant adventure where the protagonist, Asta, really wants everyone to eat their words.
You see, in Black Clover, magic is everything. You use it to commute, to do chores, to murder angry elves, everything.
But our boy Asta has no real magic to speak of. And yet he wants to become the Wizard King, a.k.a. the strongest and most respected Potter on the block.
They all doubted him. But wouldn’t you know it, Asta has something even better than proper magic now!
A whole lot of muscle and maybe a few demonic rituals.
44. Assassination Classroom
“We will murder you” probably aren’t the words you would typically place after “Captain, my captain”.
But there’s a first time for everything.
So, a yellow tentacle monster shows up and threatens to blow up the moon if humans don’t manage to kill him before the deadline.
However, fighting the military is boring. So a group of students are tasked with his execution, and also he’s their teacher now.
At times the show definitely gives off slice of life vibes. But no matter how nice Koro-sensei is, time keeps ticking for our protagonists.
43. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Yes I’m putting the entire franchise as one pick. A mother can’t pick her favorite child.
At the heart of JoJo’s is a single conflict, that of Dio and Jonathan, and the weirdest example of the butterfly effect. The resolution of this conflict is always somewhere in the overarching plot. But there are many of subplots too, with every season (or part) telling a different story.
New power systems are introduced, plenty of meme templates as well, and some amazing music, great fights, many mudas are screamed, it’s just a life-changing experience.
And if you think that I didn’t really explain what the show is about properly, trust me, I couldn’t if I tried.
42. Demon Slayer
In every Hollywood film you constantly hear how revenge is bad and you should never seek it out, but man does it make for a good story.
Tanjirou is just your average dude: a hard-working and kind hearted fellow who’s really close with his family. And then demons come into the picture and Tanjirou’s family tree shrinks quite a bit.
Now determined to avenge his family, he starts his training to become a Demon Hunter.
Along the way he meets a boar-headed maniac and a scared zappy boy and has some amazing fights, alongside some decent comedy and moe.
41. Your Name.
It’s hard to talk about the adventure aspect of this movie without going into spoiler territory, but I will do my best.
At first glance it may appear like a high-budget rom-com that just happens to have some supernatural elements.
But those supernatural elements lead to quite a mystery. A tragedy that had happened long ago and is now connected to the present.
The main cast has to travel to a certain spiritual place, as well as figure out how to stop that tragic past from ever happening. That’s as vague as I can go and hopefully it piques your interest.
If you really want to buckle down for a long-running epic/tragic adventure of revenge and questions of morality, then Monster is the show for you.
It tackles quite a few questions. But the central hook is simply “if you save a murderer, are you now responsible for his future crimes?”
But in order to answer this question you have to go deep into Germany’s past. As well as get a PhD in psychology, as the show is certainly a slow-burner, so don’t expect anything to be delivered to you on a silver platter.
39. The Seven Deadly Sins
Scene: middle-age England, the Holy Knights have just committed a coup d’état and began their tyrannical rule.
Interior, a young princess Elizabeth is stripped of her rightful position and goes out into the world in order to find The Seven Deadly Sins: a group of powerful knights that are said to have overthrown the previous king.
It’s also worth mentioning that the supernatural is all over the place in this show. So think less of proper sword fights and more along the lines of the Pringles man shooting miniature suns at a cocky demon.
That sentence will make sense once you watch the show.
38. Samurai Champloo
Samurai Champloo is the poster boy of adventure shows, as it stays the truest to the format.
Three travellers of different backgrounds end up sharing the common goal of finding the samurai who smells like sunflowers.
Well it’s more like one traveller tricked the other two into going with her, but that’s beside the point.
Not having any leads, the trio travel across Japan leaving a surprising trail of bodies in their wake.
I probably should have lead off with the fact that two of the three travellers are S-class samurai.
37. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
In this futuristic and somewhat morbid world, humans have completely moved to the underground world, while beast men control the entire surface.
As you can imagine, people aren’t too thrilled with this whole “never see the Sun, earthquakes are death sentences” lifestyle. So they try to revolt.
Nothing would come from it, hadn’t it been for two men: one with a charisma stat of 100 and the other with the power of God and anime on his side.
They go out on the adventure to take back the planet, collecting new allies along the way, heading for the big man himself.
36. Made in Abyss
Going into the unknown always has some hype associated with it, as well as some fear.
But this time it’s not outer space that’s the focus, nor is it the depths of the ocean, but rather a giant gaping hole in the middle of the Earth.
As you might imagine, not anyone can just waltz down said giant hole, as no one knows what awaits at the bottom. So our protagonist Riko busts her back and manages to gain a red whistle, the position of apprentice, and finally descends to the whole that seemingly swallowed up her mother all those years ago.
35. Howl’s Moving Castle
You know what they say, “never meet your heroes because you might just end up getting cursed”.
In this movie, the name Howl is connected to legend. As the stories go, he lives in a magnificent moving castle and has tremendous power. It’s also said that he’s a womanizer, but that’s less mystical.
Our protagonist, Sophie, ends up meeting the fabled Howl. But also ends up at the receiving end of a witch’s jealousy.
She’s now cursed to be a boomer and has to accompany Howl in the pursuit of a possible cure.
34. Dr. Stone
Times are definitely tough, but at the Earth hasn’t been zapped by some green light that turned all humans into stone. Because that would suck.
Thousands of years later our protagonist, Senku, awakens from his stony slumber and realizes that civilization as he knew it is completely gone.
Luckily he’s the Elon Musk of his world and starts building society back, block by block.
Seeing Senku struggle as he tries to build all of the technology we take for granted is just fascinating. And the fact that a group of muscly men also proclaimed war to his empire of science gives this show those nice stakes we all love.
Not all parents are ideal, that’s just how it is. But when your mom takes away your Xbox just remember this show, where a father literally sells his newborn son to demons.
This “transaction” makes it so that the baby can’t see, hear, feel, and is also missing its limbs and skin. It’s not a pretty picture.
However, through the power of prosthetics, he manages to get on his feet and promptly starts traveling the land in pursuit of the demons who had stolen his normal life.
With each demon he slays he regains one part of his body. But will he be completely whole at the end of this journey?
This show starts off typical enough: man dies and is offered power in return for ridding a world of a tyrannical figure. Classic right?
But then he picks the goddess as his “power” because she was being irritating, and promptly realises that it was a big mistake.
How will he defeat such a formidable foe when he still doesn’t have anywhere to sleep?
At least his adventuring teammates are going to be all cool and overpowered, right?
Well, let’s just say that the world he transported into wasn’t going to let him have his way that easily. Also this show is hilarious, go watch it now.
31. Naruto: Shippuden
Just take everything I said about Black Clover, but add an edgy character with flip-flop morals and you get Naruto.
Okay that might be selling it a bit short.
This is the story of a ninja, or to be more precise how one Ninja (the titular Naruto) made his way up to the position of ninja president, Hokage, in order to prove his worth to everyone.
The show is a staple in any anime watcher’s diet. And as long as you skip the filler, it also tells an excellent story of friendship with some amazing fights going on in the background.
Although there is an overarching plot, Mushishi feels more like a book of fables than a singular story.
The central premise of the show is the mushi: they’re occurrences often tied with the paranormal, not necessarily good but not necessarily bad either. They’re the causers and meaning of the world.
So our protagonist sets off an a mission to learn about the mushi, going from town to town and exploring any case that might involve mushi, and could therefore bring him closer to his goal.
29. Vinland Saga
What has more ties to adventure than Vikings, am I right?
In Vinland Saga we follow the story of Thorfinn, a little boy who gets an extreme reality slap to the face.
After seeing his father murdered in front of his very eyes, he stays close to the killers, hoping to one day avenge him.
But easier said than done, as the killers are pretty skilled themselves.
He therefore has to become a killer himself. Or should I say a warrior, so that one day he may extinguish the fire of hatred that has burned him for so long.
28. Tower of God
What would you do for a Klondike bar? The Klondike bar, of course, symbolizing your deepest and darkest desires.
In Tower of God (as you might have guessed from the title) you’re given the opportunity to wish for anything your heart desires, as long as you reach the very top of the tower that is.
Initially just not wanting for Rachel to leave him, Bam finds himself within the walls of this multi-level death trap. And is now set on reaching the very top.
What will happen along the way? And will something push Bam over the edge and change what he believes in? Only one way to find out.
I honestly don’t think I need to explain this one, but just to be safe…
In Pokémon, life is all about one thing: adventuring and catching a ton of super powered animal-like creatures that also have free will (yet fight on command). And ultimately becoming the best there ever was.
Starting off with just a humble Pikachu, Ash sets out from home in the hopes of one day being at the very top of this weird fighting ring world.
I am specifically talking about the 1997 edition here, don’t proclaim me a CGI heretic just yet.
I see Berserk as a story of a man who’s just hated by God himself. Even at birth Guts had it rough, being that his mother passed away during her pregnancy. But after he picked up a sword, things arguably got worse.
He does find himself interlaced with a group of mercenaries known as the Band of the Hawk. Their leader Griffith takes a liking to Guts, and the two soon orchestrate beautiful mass killing all over the kingdom.
But then things get dark, very dark. It’s a darker adventure tale for sure.
25. Rurouni Kenshin
Finally, a story not about revenge, but rather of redemption.
Kenshin Himura seems just like another roaming samurai. The only thing that might stick out as odd is his unbreakable optimism and willingness to help everyone.
And in certain situations, you might even see that he refuses to kill, even though he seems like a master swordsman.
This is because his past is full of bloodshed and hatred, to the point where he was like a butcher amongst cattle. He now roams the Earth seeking to repent for his sins.
24. A Place Further Than The Universe
Although the name would led you to believe that this is some galactic adventure of exploring new worlds, it’s actually far more down to earth, literally.
The show centers around four girls and their ambition to go to Antarctica.
Each having a different background and different reasons for wanting to take the journey, they’re an unlikely crew. But through the power of shared experiences they grow close and bask in the wonder that mother nature forms all around us.
23. Banana Fish
The last pick was rather laid back, so lets turn to the mafia to spice things up.
Banana wish feels like a mafia flick with a central mystery that serves as the end-goal for the characters, it being the words “banana fish”.
However, it would be a great disservice to the show to just label it as another mafia show with some mystery attached to it. As the show tackles a lot of difficult topics, most of which are far beyond a PG rating.
So if you too want to join in on the quest to find out about the banana fish, but also be reminded that the world is a cruel and unforgiving place with occasional glimmers of hope, give it a watch.
22. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
In the world of FAM there is only one rule, the rule of equivalent exchange.
But as it turns out, determining the value of a human is rather difficult. This leaves two brothers in a rather harsh predicament where one loses his arm and leg, while the other loses his entire body with only his soul being affixed to a suit or armour.
So they set out on a quest to find the Philosopher’s Stone, the only thing in their world that can break the rule of exchange and hopefully return everything to normal.
But it’s never quite that simple, now is it?
21. No Game no Life
Underdog stories are always a pleasant watch. Whenever the protagonist proves their haters wrong, you feel a bit proud.
Now imagine that a whole race is an underdog. Added relatability points for that race being humans.
A sibling duo is dropped into a new world where games determine the way of the world and humans are all-time losers.
Luckily, the duo is beyond just good when it comes to games. They’re confident that they can lead the humans forward towards a future where they’ll be seen as equals to the other OP races. But can they do it?
What if God was one of us? Not really a slob, but one of us? Just a stranger who puts ads on a bus trying to make his way home.
Song reference aside, the world of Noragami allows for gods to walk freely in the mortal realm, with the only catch being that they must have followers.
Our protagonist, Yato, being a god of war is having a tough time in this new modern era. So he tries to rebrand his entire schtick and help people out, in the hopes that people will believe in him again.
With his end-goal of getting a shrine in his sight, he will scrub as many toilets as he can while simultaneously running for dear life from a Combat God.
19. Fairy Tail
Nakama Power: the Anime is a show that is about two things… community and magic.
In this world, magic is at every turn. So many guilds have started popping up in the hopes of gaining recognition, influence, and all of the babes.
Fairy Tail is one of those guilds. And although not the most prestigious, it definitely has some oddballs within its ranks.
The show starts when a girl, Lucy, basically stumbles into Fairy Tail and spends 100 episodes trying to figure out what the hell is going on.
18. Cowboy Bebop
It’s the distant year of 2071 and humanity has finally branched out into the universe, no longer confined to just the blue marble.
And with such a big playing field, maintaining peace and order is quite the hassle. Which is why Cowboys are created.
But instead of chasing down cattle, they’re chasing down dollar bills as they take up bounties all over the galaxy.
The Bebop crew, at first a small duo, soon grows much larger and weirder while on their endless mission to make money, have fun, and uncover how sad their backstories are.
17. Spirited Away
Rule 1 of survival: if something related to children is abandoned, don’t go near it.
Whoops, too late.
As young Chihiro fumbles towards an abandoned amusement park, reality gets flipped on its head and she’s transported to the spirit realm.
Being that her parents have been turned into pigs, and odd creatures seem to be wandering from all over, Chihiro must quickly adapt to her new surroundings and look for a way to get things back to normal.
Probably one of the most classic Ghibli films of all time, definitely worth a watch if you’ve never seen it.
16. The Rising of the Shield Hero
Life isn’t fair. And discrimination is stupid.
Our protagonist felt both of those statements on his skin as he got transported to a new world and was immediately exiled for bearing a “lame weapon”.
Not wanting to roll over and die, he quickly assembles a team, through slavery… but don’t think about it, that can make up for his lack of offensive abilities.
The trio then travels the world, helping people as they go and spreading the word that shields have feelings too.
15. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
If you could travel through time, what would you do?
Prevent a war? Meet your ancient ancestors? Invest in Bitcoin?
Well our protagonist didn’t have to ponder these types of questions, as she couldn’t go back very far.
However, she discovered that her new power allows her to avoid every awkward situation and be the most popular girl at school! You know, until that whole ripple effect “with great power comes great responsibility” schtick starts kicking in.
If you can’t choose whether you want to watch a fantasy or a sci-fi show, just watch GATE.
The story goes that a magical gate opens in modern day Japan, and all kinds of mystical creatures start emerging from the other side.
But unfortunately for them, machine guns are way better at mass genocide than swords and bows.
Nevertheless, what’s the secret behind this gate? And will the two sides find a way to live in harmony, or will they eventually wipe each other out?
Technically this is another girl who leapt through time, only this one was dragged by force. And instead of a few days, it’s 500 years in the past.
Who would do such a thing? A demon.
Why would he do this? Because he’s a demon, and also because that girl happens to possess a magic wish-granting jewel.
However, the jewel shatters. And it’s up to the protagonist as well as a rag-tag group of demi-humans and demon hunters to collect all the shards before the evil spirits come back for round two.
Akira is a tale about what would really happen if the supernatural came into our world.
A boy gains psychic abilities, but they’re so powerful that he nearly wipes out the entire city of Tokyo. In order to stop him from causing more destruction, the boy is swiftly taken away and kept away from the public eye.
Decades pass, Tokyo is rebuilt, but one day it happens again: another boy gains psychic abilities. Will he also destroy the city, or will the area of effect be even larger this time?
11. Spice and Wolf
Now this is your classic road-trip story.
The main actors are Holo and Lawrence, the former being a deity and the latter a guy wanting to open up a shop.
It might be hard to imagine how these two came to be travel buddies. But life works in mysterious ways.
As the people around Holo start being more self-sufficient, her popularity quickly fades, leading her to yearn for her hometown.
However, the foxy deity can’t just walk there. So she hitches a ride with Lawrence, promising him some business advice in return. Chaos and maybe some romance ensue.
10. The God of High School
If you get hyped whenever a show gets a tournament arc, then this show is bound to be to your liking.
With the promise of any wish being granted upon completing the martial arts/death match tournament on the line, warriors from all walks on life show up to try their luck.
Some get a broken face immediately, while others gain more and more power, slowly gaining strength that is beyond human.
All the while a dark conspiracy lurks in the background as hooded men keep mumbling something in the darkness, and the protagonist’s grandfather suddenly goes missing in action. Mystery and action await.
9. Sword of the Stranger
A boy and his little pup were just chilling, minding their own business, occasionally stealing so they don’t die of starvation, when out of nowhere people are sent over to capture them.
This young the boy wasn’t ready for time in the slammer. So he and his dog scrammed and luckily bumped into a ronin.
He reluctantly agrees to be their bodyguard, and the three set off on a journey in the pursuit of safety and some answers.
Let’s just say that one of those wishes was definitely not granted during the journey.
8. Sunday Without God (Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi)
I really hope this show isn’t just a forecast of what’s going to happen by the end of this decade…
God abandons Earth, and as such no one can die. Nor can anyone be born.
There is but one exception: people called grave keepers, as they can put your soul to rest through a ritual.
The story follows two grave keepers as they travel the world helping the damned and wondering what had made God give up on their entire planet.
7. Golden Kamuy
Tales of lost treasures always bring out the curiosity in people.
But this time, the map for said treasure is more than just a little out of the ordinary… it’s comprised of tattoos spread across dozens of inmates.
And that won’t stop retired super soldier Sugimoto from taking a swing at it.
After a brief encounter with terrible CGI, Sugimoto is joined by Asirpa, a young Ainu girl who’s more in touch with nature than with a machine gun.
The two form a dynamic duo and set off to find the treasure, or at least find some answers about the person behind it.
6. Somali and the Forest Spirit
If you’re looking for an anime equivalent of a tight hug on a cold winter day, this is the show for you.
It’s set in a world where the universe finally realized that people (such and humans) got killed off to the point that only a few remain.
One of the survivors happens to be an adorable little girl who gets in contact with a watchman of the forest, who happens to be a golem.
The two form a very wholesome father-daughter relationship and travel around together on adventures, making my heart sing.
5. Casshern Sins
That last pick had too much positivity in it, so back to depression and existentialism.
Casshern Sins depicts a world overrun by sentient robots.
The robots believed that they would live forever, but that doesn’t quite hold up. Now all contemplating their own morality while rust starts to break them apart, they cling to a legend that states if they eat Casshern, they will become truly immortal.
Casshern is a character, by the way.
As you might imagine, Casshern does not have a good time in this series.
The best way to view Baccano is as multiple stories that just happen to intertwine from time to time.
The central stage is on a train, the Flying Pussyfoot. This is where stories of gang members, old grudges and supernatural capabilities all come together.
Robberies start happening left and right, gunfire fills the air, and something like a monster starts dragging the travellers out of the train one by one.
Watch as the stories are slowly exposed to the light and the puzzles start falling into place. Trust me, after watching it all the way through, you’ll want to re-watch it immediately to pick up on the stuff you missed.
3. Kill la Kill
After her father gets killed, our protagonist Ryuuko is out for revenge.
The only clue she has to go off would be an invention he left, or at least half of it. Something like big scissors but could easily double as a fierce weapon.
The scissors lead her to an odd academy where she takes a major L when she tries to get some answers. Luckily, Ryuuko soon comes into contact with Sanketsu, an article of clothing that’s sentient and can give her some much needed stat boosts.
Now better equipped, and also less dressed, she comes back to the academy and follows the crumb trail to her father’s killer.
In the world of Nanbaka, prisons are more of a suggestion than a law. At least that’s how it is with our four protagonists, the best jail escapists in the world.
The four friends get sent to a maximum security prison, but even then continue just trying to escape and goofing off. That is, until things start unravelling in the background.
One of the protagonists finally gets information of a mystery that had plagued him for years now, and before long, everyone comes to realize that there’s more to him than just his ability to pick a lock.
1. Steins; Gate
Our final run-in with time travel is adequately the most morbid.
Okabe is just your average crazy scientist. He wears a lab coat, likes to scream about secret societies, is oddly lovable, the usual stuff.
But when he makes a breakthrough and discovers a time travel machine, things quickly go south.
Jumping from timeline to timeline, Okabe can’t seem to escape the tragedies that are all around him. Naturally making him question if the world is ready for this type of technology to begin with.
And you can bet your bottom dollar you’ll be questioning it too.