This is a list of some dark fantasy anime recommendations, it is neither all inclusive nor definitive.
Got a hankering for fantasy worlds that are on the brink of total destruction? Do you like characters fighting against impossible odds without a chance of victory? Do you like a world with no guarantees? Do you like evil beings, monsters, and evil characters being the crux of world destruction and societal catastrophe? Do you like characters being tested in extreme situations? For those craving those kinds of stories I have several recommendations.
Please keep in mind I am not rating them in any particular order.
I am not entirely sure who recommended this one to me. This was an anime that I was introduced to fairly early on when I started watching anime 7 years ago. While the art style is older and the story telling is also about 20 years old, it’s still a great series to watch. This anime is about an organization called Claymores who are sent out to fight Yoma, shape-shifters that feed on humans.The main character Clare is human-yoma hybrid, as are all Claymores, whose goal it is to destroy Yoma as she encounters them.
Akame ga Kill!
One of my favorite anime of all time, it’s a dark story about ridding the government of the evil and corruption that plagues it. It has a diverse cast of characters, each with their own motivations and own set of ideals. Ultimately great characters are set out to fight each other to the death as each side tries to assume control of the empire. Will evil consume all? Or will the rebel faction overthrow the tyrannical government?
Set in a dystopian future, humanity is truly on the brink of extinction. The best part is that scientists were responsible for it. Can’t really trust scientists can you? All they want to do is test the absolute limits of everything without regard for the consequences. Just kidding, scientists are awesome, but this world is on the verge of destruction because of them. Beyond the moral implications of science this anime has awesome fighting sequences and shows the human experience in a different light when humanity isn’t on the top of the world order. A fun watch!
Saga of Tanya the Evil
Do you want alternate reality World Wars mixed with magic? Then look no further. While the premise appears dumb to the history buffs (myself included), the anime actually explores the morality of humanity. It also explores themes of defying the gods in order to accomplish what you want. Translate that however you want. The charm of the anime is actually pretty appealing, as the protagonist actively fights against personal growth and change in the face of impossible odds. Can the brutality of the world change the protagonist for the better? Or does the brutality just harden them into everlasting cynicism?
World End: What are you doing at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us? (aka Sukasuka)
This one is probably less well known and more niche. It has an excellent soundtrack. What do you do when you are the last of your kind and the world is on the brink of destruction, held up only by a sliver of old magic? Guess you try to live life even if that means falling in love. While it may not be the ideal world to fall in love in, it would be a shame to hide how you feel. Don’t expect a happy ending, but feel free to enjoy the ride. That is if you feel the need for some romance in your dark fantasy.
All aboard the Dungeons and Dragons campaign gone wrong. In no universe should fighting goblins be your top priority as an adventurer. But this is exactly what goblin slayer is. It’s true to itself and is all around a fun ride. Of course there are plenty of dark moments around the anime and you should be prepared to stomach some of its brutality. It doesn’t hold back in terms of what can go wrong in a world with goblins in it.
If you are familiar with my blog I don’t shut up about this anime. If you haven’t seen it by now you are either living under a rock or just don’t care about dark fantasy. In which case there is no reason you should have read this far, unless it’s to satisfy your general curiosity. Our protagonist is taken to another world, aka isekaid, and he is far from perfect. He isn’t the type that is your normal hero material. The kingdom is in the middle of a succession crisis for the monarchy. Can our protagonist save the world? Or will he throw it further into chaos?
I hope you find enjoyment in these anime as I have found.
Is there anything you would like me to cover? Do you want to know my thoughts on anything? Have something I should know? If you answered yes to any of the previous questions, comment below!
5 thoughts on “Dark Fantasy Anime Recommendations”
Yes! I loved everyone of those shows. Got any more recommendations?
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There were a few shows I wanted to include but didn’t. Some are not actually dark fantasy, but fall into the same lines of despair at times.
Kabenari of the Iron Fortress
I felt both of those were well known and I didn’t want to make the list all expansive. A few that I did want to include but didn’t feel it was the right fit categorically were:
No Game No Life
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Cool. I’ve not seen GATE or Vinland Saga, loved Kabineri and NGNL. Demon Slayer had some spectacular moments, but it also had some terrible moments which kind of spoilt it for me. I’ll still continue when the new season comes out and I want to see the movie, but I’ll have lower expectations this time around.
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Well I think you might enjoy both GATE and Vinland Saga. Though Vinland Saga is more of a historical fiction well done with many dark elements to it. The writing for Vinland saga is superb at moments.
Demon Slayer falls into the love/hate category for me. Just like several other notable anime do for me. I wish I had a good word for these kind of anime, or a category for them. For the moment I am giving Demon Slayer the SAO treatment. I will watch it, but there are things that blatantly detract from my enjoyment of it.
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