Top 25 Fantasy Anime Series: Ranking The Best Of All TimeThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Fantasy. It’s a genre that pretty much grants a free-for-all to creativity in media.
With anime, that majority of series could be considered as fantasy with how they bring viewers into another world.
Whether it be from presenting a world where monsters exist, or a grand fantasy adventure, there are so many types with a lot to pick from.
One popular theme of fantasy these days is the isekai theme. Basically it brings a character from a “normal” world to a fantasy world by summoning or otherwise. And it’s just one of many popular choices for a modern fantasy series!
There could be a series that has magical creatures running around, yet is also more focused on the slice of life and comedy genre. There could also be an isekai series that is more on adventure and drama than fantasy.
In short: anime fantasy shows vary a lot with many sub-types to pick from.
If you’re looking for a series that is mostly fantasy, well there’s a lot of different choices. And in this list I’m hoping to rank the best anime that lean more heavily into its fantasy roots.
- 25. Fruits Basket
- 24. Pokémon
- 23. Re:Creators
- 22. Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon
- 21. Ookami to Koushinryou
- 20. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
- 19. Attack on Titan
- 18. Tokyo Ghoul
- 17. Fullmetal Alchemist
- 16. Fate/Zero
- 15. Kyou kara Maou
- 14. Houseki no Kuni
- 13. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
- 12. One Piece
- 11. Tsubasa Chronicles
25. Fruits Basket
While this anime may not be the most fantasy heavy series, it’s still a fantasy piece to check out.
It tells of Tohru Honda, an orphaned high school girl who, due to renovations at her relative’s house, ends up living in a tent in the forest.
One day she meets the Soumas who owned the land she is staying at.
Following a landslide which destroyed her tent, Tohru ends up living with the trio of Souma males. She soon discovers that the Soumas hold a secret; and this secret involves the Zodiac animals.
If you’re interested in a slice of life fantasy involving people turning to animals, this is one to watch. You’ll be hooked from episode one.
For some anime fans this entry may come as a surprise.
However, for all that it is, Pokémon should be considered a fantasy anime.
The series brings us into a different world where fantastical creatures exist.
What’s more, people live with and travel and train these creatures who also hold a variety of powers.
Even the story is like a fantasy quest.
A young boy with his trusted Pikachu travel the region with different companions and Pokémon in a quest to become a Pokémon Master… it’s a classic story that we’ve all heard in bits & pieces.
This is no conventional fantasy series, and the newer episodes feel more aimed at kids.
But with its deep worldbuilding and crazy adventures it could be considered a modernized type of fantasy series.
It’s safe to say that this series is a unique mix of an anime.
This is a fantasy series no doubt, but at the same time it could be considered sci-fi as well.
Re:Creators simply put, is a tale of characters from stories literally appearing in the real world(their creator’s world).
Due to a mysterious character who can summon weapons, the characters are split into two factions.
One side believes the destruction of the creators and their world will save theirs.
The other, does not believe this. And seeks another way to return home.
There’s action, drama, and even a touch of angst all wrapped in a fantasy battle theme.
22. Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon
Do you like comedy? Do you like cute characters?
Lastly, do you like DRAGONS?
If yes to all three, then this is an anime for you.
Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon is the story of a stoic programmer named Kobayashi. One night, in a drunk escaped to the mountains, she came across a dragon.
When she learns the beast has nowhere else to go, she offers a place to stay in her home. The next day Kobayashi is greeted by the dragon turned into an energetic young girl dressed in a maid outfit. Yep, I have no clue either but that’s that.
And that begins Kobayashi’s new life involving dragon turned females and days filled with shenanigans.
21. Ookami to Koushinryou
If dragons are not your taste, how about a wolf girl?
That sounds wrong but this is the main fantasy feature of the series.
Said wolf girl is in fact a wolf deity by the name of Holo.
Once she was revered by a small town named Pasloe and its people. When the people became self-sufficient, the once “Wise Wolf of Yoitsu” became a mere folktale.
One day a travelling merchant named Kraft Lawrence arrives in town ends up acquiring Holo as a business partner. While the fantasy genre takes more of a backseat, this is still an interesting mix of economics and romance.
There’s also a good depth to enjoy with the characters and their backstories & personalities.
20. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
Now this is a series that takes on the classic medieval setting involving humans battling against demons.
You would expect full on fantasy battles at first, but this is not that kind of story.
For years, humans and demons have battled.
When a young hero forges ahead to face the Demon ruler, he is shocked to discover the ruler is not only a beautiful queen but also a queen that seeks his help.
While he initially refuses, her points eventually have him seeing a different side to the war.
It’s a different concept that does feature politics more than you’d think. But it makes for an interesting exploration of different perspectives with a fantasy overtone for the whole thing.
19. Attack on Titan
An increasingly popular series, Attack on Titan is one that most would consider more a shounen work than a fantasy.
The fact that it is set in a world where beings such as Titans exist, well that earns it a spot on this list.
Titans in this world are monstrous beings who attack humanity in order to consume them.
Into the story: when he was young, Eren Yeager witnesses the loss of a loved one to a Titan.
Since then he dedicates his life to their eradication by enlisting into the Survey Corps, an elite military unit meant to combat Titans.
Though this is more action and drama, it does explore the mystery and origins of the Titans and provide solid lore for its fantasy side.
18. Tokyo Ghoul
Dark fantasy works are rising fast and this is definitely the one to start with if you’re interested.
More than taking a modernized take on fantasy which is not often done, the series explores a different take to a fantasy creature.
In this story, a city has humans and beings known as “ghouls” coexisting together.
It is not just their hunger for human flesh that makes these beings so frightening. No, what makes them frightening is their ability to blend in among humans.
An unfortunate thing that bookish college student Ken Kaneki learns a bit too late.
Following an accident with a date, Kaneki wakes up to find that he has been transformed into part ghoul. Now he must live a secret life as a half-ghoul/half-human.
17. Fullmetal Alchemist
On the surface, this seems more focused on the militaristic action aspect of a story. But the fantasy in this series comes from its amazing lore and deep character backstories.
The alchemy factor is strong in the series and it’s what truly brings out the fantasy side of things.
What’s more, the general story involves a full-on magical fantasy history.
The series begins with young brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric attempting a forbidden transmutation ritual in order to bring back their dead mother. This results in Edward losing an arm and a leg while his brother lost his body and now his soul resides in a suit of armor.
By the time they are teens they have become alchemists on a quest to retrieve what they have lost. But can they get it back? Well you’ll have to give it a watch to find out…
Those familiar with the Fate series know that there are a variety of installations to this anime.
Fate/Zero is known as the first of the installations and the most fantasy heavy.
The story tells of a greatly sought after artifact known as the omnipotent Holy Grail.
Said to be able to grant any wish, it has caused three wars in the past. Sounds like a darn cool artifact.
Now a new war is sparked and “Magus Killer” Kiritsugu Emiya finds himself at the center of it along with his own familiar, Saber.
Against him are six other participants. It’s a rather cut throat series with plenty of action, intrigue, and drama to enjoy.
15. Kyou kara Maou
There are many different isekai stories, but this one is a top pick for the different routes it takes in the storyline.
Rather than a hero requested to battle against a strong opponent, this series presents a high schooler summoned to be the king of a Demon Kingdom.
You read that right, Demon Kingdom.
Though they’re mostly human looking beings with magic, they still seem pretty dark.
The series takes a more political route in terms of story as it presents the hero Yuri Shibuya’s journey to becoming a good king while also developing his latent powers.
Very little of this series takes on the “standard” fantasy route, and to me that’s what makes it so fun.
14. Houseki no Kuni
This is a series that you could say is an alternative type of fantasy series.
Set in a mysterious world and future, this is the story of the war between crystalline figures called Gems and the mysterious Lunarians who seek to destroy the Gems for decoration.
Featured here is Phosphophyllite, also known as Phos, a young gem who wishes to join the war effort.
Deemed as too fragile, they are instead delegated to compiling an encyclopedia.
But over time they begin to discover more about not only the Gem people, but also the mystery of the Lunarians. It’s a very detailed lore but once you get into it you don’t wanna stop until the end.
13. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic
One of the things that anime does well is take a piece from classic tales and bring a whole new twist to it.
While the characters may bear the names of fairy tale characters, the series is a completely different tale.
In this world there exists several bizarre labyrinths hiding incredible treasures. I’ve got you hooked already right?
It is said that they were built by rare magicians called Magi and ruled over by supernaturals called Djinn.
Essentially it’s the story is of a young boy named Aladdin with his Djinn mentor Ugo setting out on a true fantasy quest. Just a pure fantasy adventure to enjoy with different colorful characters that borrow ideas from older stories, but bring a unique anime twist with it.
12. One Piece
One Piece could be considered more adventure than fantasy, but it still mainly involves fantasy elements. And lots of pirate stuff.
From the different fruits that give magical abilities to the variety of character types, One Piece is an unconventional anime that has proven itself to be incredibly popular.
Mainly because rather than having a usual medieval theme, this takes a different theme with the sea pirates of yesteryear.
The main story tells of a young man named Luffy who sets off to gather a crew and seek the One Piece. If you don’t know, the One Piece is a treasure left by the previous Pirate King Gold D. Roger and it’s worth a heck of a lot.
Now Luffy wishes to take the mantle of Pirate King, but will he? You’ll be sitting through a lot of episodes before you find out!
11. Tsubasa Chronicles
You could consider this as one of the first isekai series to be released.
It’s one of the earliest anime series where one or more characters are transported into another world.
The difference with this series is that it explores multiple worlds.
The story tells of a young man named Syaoran who is friends with a princess named Sakura.
One night a strange phenomenon occurs and Syaoran discovers the princess with wings that dispersed into many feathers.
Those feathers turned out to be memories and are now in different realms. Weird, right?
Now together with an exiled ninja named Kurogane and mage Fai, they travel various realms to retrieve the feathers and learn more about their reality along the way.
10. Made in Abyss
“Don’t let the whimsy fool you” is the first warning you’ll get about this series.
In this world, the Abyss is a mysterious gaping something. It features explorers who venture into the Abyss known as divers.
Riko, a diver in training, one day discovers a mysterious robot with the appearance of an ordinary young boy.
As she learns more about him Riko receives a message from her mother a legendary Diver that went missing in the depths of the Abyss. Mystery and adventure, I like it!
Now with a goal to find her mother and retrieve the boy’s missing memories, the duo set out to venture into the depths of the Abyss. Nothing prepares them for what they find.
9. Log Horizon
As one more isekai anime, this is one of the most clever series to be released.
Initially it seems like a standard type of isekai where multiple characters find themselves transported to a game world.
What makes this series so different is in how it shows how different characters adapt to the situation and explore aspects previously unexplored.
One such example is how the characters are distinct and personally affected in being unable to die due to the “game system”. This makes for some interesting moments.
Another point is how this anime shows the perspective of NPCs as well, something that we don’t often think about.
Just the general exploration and development of the series shows a lot of clever plot points and it’s a really fun journey, especially for video game lovers.
8. Cardcaptor Sakura
Now this is a true classic of a fantasy anime.
Cardcaptor Sakura may seem as one of many magical girl series. But it’s not, it’s so much more.
What makes this anime different is how it explores it’s magical element.
Here’s the basic story: Sakura is a cheerful young girl who discovers a strange book containing cards.
By accident she unleashes the beings that were cards into the town.
Now with the help of a guardian creature she has to capture the escaped beings lest they cause massive untold destruction. Seems pretty wrapped up, but the actual scenery and magical effects are so fantastical.
It’s a fun series that shows not only character development and great plots, but also some really unique styles of magic as well.
7. Little Witch Academia
If you’re not that into the medieval/adventurer type of fantasy then how about a tale of witches?
Little Witch Academia is set in a world where anyone can learn to be a witch. It stars the one Atsuko “Akko” Kagari.
After being inspired by the renowned witch Shiny Chariot years ago, Akko aims towards being a witch like her even without a magical background.
The anime takes a creative spin with the way magic works and its visuals.
What’s more it takes a different look on what it means to be a witch and how it works in the lore of this world.
The series is honestly a fun watch with a good mix of comedy, adventure, fantasy, and friendship.
6. Sword Art Online
A rather classic isekai story for many, but also an anime series with clever twists.
SAO is set in the future where virtual reality games have advanced beyond imagination, and many rush to join the newest game Sword Art Online.
One of these people is Kazuto Kirigaya, nicknamed “Kirito,” a young man that joined the game with ten thousand others.
However the players quickly find themselves trapped in the game by creator.
In order to escape they must complete all of the creator’s levels. If they attempt to escape another way, they face death in the real world. One of those “if you die in the game, you die for real” situations.
SAO is a series full of fun characters, mystery, and engaging action. It’s a rather blood pumping experience for a fantasy anime but the concept is just so incredible that it’ll suck you in from episode one.
In almost every sense of the word, Overlord is a prime dark fantasy work.
Beginning with the upcoming shutdown of the virtual reality game Yggdrasil.
In the last hour, a player named Momonga decides to stay until the end.
To his shock, rather than shutting down, Momonga becomes his avatar and the NPCs come to life.
What’s more, the guild is brought to a new world.
After some exploration it quickly becomes a goal to go through this game until the end. This is a series that takes a unique look at the hero coming out as the villain and an OP one as that.
Something entirely different from most fantasy anime, yet it still feels very “fantasy” in style. And this is another series that gamers will adore.
4. Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken
Here’s a more recent anime that takes a different route with its hero.
There is the typical setup of a character being reborn into another world, fantasy elements lots of that stuff.
Yet rather than an expected knight or soldier, this hero is a slime creature.
Instead of battling against general monsters, this series explores working with different creatures and world building.
There’s also the fun involved in having an OP hero who looks like an innocent slime thing.
The show does a great job in how the characters and their homes tend to grow, as well as explore different aspects like how summoned people are affected by magic. In general this brings some refreshing takes to both the isekai theme and fantasy genre.
Note this is also a manga series and the English name is “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime”. Pretty on the nose but still a great story.
3. Seven Deadly Sins
What started out as a simple quest story with strong characters grew way more than was expected.
Set in a world similar to the European Middle Ages, there are figures known as Holy Knights of Britannia.
Years ago a small faction was believed to have attempted to overthrow the ruler of Lionels before being defeated by the Knights and now labeled as the “Seven Deadly Sins.”
Years later the Holy Knights have staged a coup.
Now the young princess Elizabeth sets out to find the Seven Deadly Sins in an endeavor to take back her kingdom. It seems like a standard storyline that you’d expect to follow along, especially the setting right.
But there is way more to the story than you’ll expect. A brilliant fantasy series through-and-through.
2. Fairy Tail
When it comes to anime that’s packed with fantasy and adventure, this is the series to watch.
With how many seasons and episodes this series has, it’s fair to say this has a lot of stories to tell.
For those unfamiliar with this anime, Fairy Tail presents the tale of a magic guild filled with powerful mages and their adventures.
The series begins with the tale of celestial mage Lucy Heartfilia who ends up teaming up with Fire Dragon Slayer Natsu and becoming a new member of Fairy Tail.
In future quests she ends up teaming up with ice wizard Gray Fullbuster and magic swordswoman Erza Scarlet. From here, it’s a ride of many tales with a lot of variation.
Fairy Tail(the anime) first debuted in 2009 and it’s still airing new episodes to this day as of this writing.
1. Ancient Magus Bride
If I had to compare this anime to all of the previous ones in this list, I have to say this is a series that is entrenched in fantasy from the get-go.
Since she was young, Chise was able to see all manners of strange things.
At the age of 15 she is sold for five million pounds at an auction to a tall masked gentleman.
Rather than what she expected, this mysterious being informs her that he wants to work with her as his apprentice and bride. A little strange but if you keep watching you’ll see the storyline really picks up as you go along.
If you want a series that explores a world of deep fantasy settings then this is definitely one to watch.