the world of anime warfare as we unveil the top 30 Best military anime of all time. From classics to hidden gems, these series are a testament to valor, strategy, and the human spirit in the heat of battle. Join us in exploring the captivating stories, unforgettable characters, and heart-pounding action that define this remarkable genre.
List of 30 Best Military Anime of All time:
30 Senjou no Valkyria: Valkyria Chronicles
Unique Blend of Genres: “Senjou no Valkyria: Valkyria Chronicles” combines elements of military warfare, fantasy, and romance. It takes place in a world reminiscent of World War II, where a small country named Gallia is invaded by a powerful empire, and the story follows a group of young soldiers fighting against the enemy.
Strategy and Tactics: The anime emphasizes strategic warfare, with the characters utilizing a turn-based combat system similar to the one found in the original video game. The tactical battles, along with the strategic decisions made by the protagonists, add depth and excitement to the series.
Character Development: The series focuses on character development, showcasing the growth and relationships of the main characters as they navigate the complexities of war.
29. Schwarzes Marken
Dystopian Setting: “Schwarzes Marken” is set in an alternate history where East Germany is under attack by an alien race known as the BETA. The series depicts a bleak and oppressive environment where humanity fights for its survival against overwhelming odds.
Mecha Combat: The anime features intense mecha battles as the main characters, known as the Schwarzesmarken, pilot advanced humanoid machines to defend humanity. The mecha action sequences are visually engaging and highlight the challenges and sacrifices faced by the pilots.
Political Intrigue: Alongside the action, “Schwarzes Marken” explores political and ideological conflicts within the East German military.
28. KanColle: Kantai Collection
Personification of Warships: “KanColle: Kantai Collection” takes the concept of anthropomorphizing warships and turns it into a unique premise. The series features girls who embody various World War II warships, known as “ship girls.” Each character represents a specific warship and possesses traits and abilities related to their historical counterparts.
Naval Warfare and Strategy: The anime revolves around naval battles against an enemy known as the Abyssal Fleet. The battles are depicted in a strategic and tactical manner, showcasing the ship girls’ unique abilities and the coordination required to win these engagements.
Moe and Slice-of-Life Elements: While the series primarily focuses on naval warfare, it also incorporates moe and slice-of-life elements, showcasing the daily lives and interactions of the ship girls.
“Military!” (also known as “Miritari!”) is a comedy anime series that parodies military life and culture. While it is a relatively short anime with episodes lasting around 3 minutes each, it offers light-hearted entertainment with its humorous take on military scenarios. Here are two points about “Military!”:
Satirical Portrayal of Military Life: “Military!” employs satire to poke fun at various aspects of military life. The series exaggerates military tropes and stereotypes, such as strict discipline, absurd training exercises, and over-the-top reactions to minor situations. It often showcases the contrast between the seriousness of military operations and the comedic mishaps and misunderstandings that occur among the characters. The humor primarily relies on visual gags, slapstick comedy, and situational comedy related to military themes.
Quirky and Colorful Characters: “Military!” features a colorful cast of characters who add to the comedic elements of the series. The characters embody typical military archetypes but are portrayed with exaggerated personalities and quirks.
26. Izetta: The Last Witch
Unique World War II Setting: “Izetta: The Last Witch” is set in an alternate version of World War II, where magic exists. The series follows the story of Izetta, the last surviving witch, as she uses her powers to aid the small nation of Eylstadt against the invading forces of the Germanian Empire. The blend of historical elements with fantasy creates a captivating backdrop for the narrative.
Strong Female Protagonist: Izetta is a compelling and strong-willed protagonist. Her character development throughout the series, as she grapples with the weight of her powers and the consequences of her actions, adds depth and complexity to the story. Her determination and bravery make her an engaging character to follow.
25. Girls und Panzer
Unique Sport: “Girls und Panzer” combines the sport of tank battles with high school girls as the main characters. The series revolves around tankery, a fictional sport where teams from different schools compete against each other using tanks. The battles are tactical and strategic, providing exciting action sequences and showcasing the teamwork and skills of the characters.
Character Development and Camaraderie: The anime focuses on the growth and development of the main characters, particularly the members of the Ooarai Girls High School tankery team. As the series progresses, the characters learn to work together, overcome their personal challenges, and forge strong bonds of friendship. The emphasis on camaraderie and teamwork adds depth to the story.
24. Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri
Blend of Fantasy and Modern Military: “Gate” tells the story of a portal that appears in modern-day Tokyo, connecting our world to a fantasy realm filled with magical creatures and medieval civilizations. The series follows the Japanese Self-Defense Forces as they embark on missions to explore the fantasy world and establish diplomatic relations. The combination of modern military technology and fantasy elements creates an intriguing dynamic.
Exploration of Cultural Clash: “Gate” explores the clash of cultures between the modern world and the fantasy world. It delves into the interactions and conflicts between the two civilizations, addressing themes of imperialism, racism, and cultural misunderstandings. The anime provides commentary on the consequences of military intervention and the complexities of diplomatic relations.
23. Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil
Unique Protagonist: “Youjo Senki” follows the story of Tanya Degurechaff, a young girl who is reincarnated into a world embroiled in war. Despite her appearance, Tanya is a ruthless and calculating military prodigy with a merciless approach to achieving her goals. The series explores Tanya’s complex personality and her struggle for survival in a war-torn world.
Exploration of Morality and Faith: The anime delves into themes of morality and faith, as Tanya’s actions and decisions are driven by a desire to defy and outwit a higher power known as Being X. The series raises questions about the nature of good and evil, the role of faith in one’s actions, and the consequences of power.
22. Sound of the Sky
Atmospheric and Beautiful: “Sound of the Sky” presents a visually stunning and atmospheric world. The anime is set in a post-apocalyptic future, where the remnants of humanity live in a small town surrounded by a war-torn landscape. The series incorporates beautiful scenery, music, and a sense of melancholy, creating a unique and immersive experience.
Themes of Hope and Camaraderie: While the series explores the harsh realities of war and loss, it also emphasizes the power of hope and the bonds formed between the characters. As the members of the Helvetian Army’s 1121st Platoon face challenges and hardships, they find solace and strength in their friendship and shared experiences, highlighting the importance of camaraderie.
21. Sora no Woto
Unique Blend of Genres: “Sora no Woto” combines elements of slice-of-life, military, and post-apocalyptic settings to create a distinctive and captivating world. The anime is set in a post-apocalyptic future where humanity is on the brink of extinction. The story follows Kanata Sorami, a young girl who joins a military outpost in a small town. While the series incorporates military themes and conflicts, it also focuses on the daily lives, friendships, and personal growth of the characters, adding a slice-of-life element to the narrative.
Atmospheric Worldbuilding and Music: “Sora no Woto” excels in creating a rich and immersive atmosphere through its worldbuilding and music. The anime presents a beautifully crafted world that blends elements of European and Japanese cultures, resulting in a unique and visually stunning setting.
20. Crest of the Stars
Epic Space Opera: “Crest of the Stars” is a space opera series that follows the journey of Jinto and Lafiel as they navigate a galactic conflict between two interstellar nations. The anime features grand space battles, political intrigue, and expansive world-building, creating a vast and immersive universe.
Complex Interstellar Politics: The series delves into the complex political landscape of the Abh Empire and the United Mankind. It explores the tensions and conflicts between these two factions, delving into themes of imperialism, cultural differences, and the struggle for power. The political intricacies add depth to the story and provide a backdrop for the characters’ journeys.
19. Gunslinger Girl
Dark and Emotional Story: “Gunslinger Girl” is a dark and emotionally-driven series that explores the lives of young girls who have been modified with cybernetic enhancements and trained as assassins by a covert Italian government agency. The anime delves into the psychological and ethical implications of their existence, raising questions about identity, morality, and the nature of humanity.
Character Development and Relationships: The series focuses on the relationships between the girls, known as “fratello,” and their handlers. It delves into the complex dynamics and emotional bonds that develop between them, offering nuanced portrayals of trust, loyalty, and the blurred lines between guardian and weapon. The character-driven narrative adds depth and complexity to the series.
18. The Sky Crawlers
Thought-Provoking Themes: “The Sky Crawlers” is a thought-provoking anime that explores themes of war, identity, and the nature of existence. Set in a world where perpetual war is conducted by genetically engineered pilots called “Kildren,” the series raises questions about the purpose and consequences of war and the cycle of violence. It prompts viewers to reflect on the complexities of human nature and the search for meaning in a seemingly endless conflict.
Visually Stunning Aerial Combat: The anime showcases visually stunning aerial combat sequences that capture the thrill and intensity of dogfights. The flight scenes are intricately animated and provide a sense of realism and scale, immersing viewers in the action. The combination of beautiful visuals and intense action contributes to the overall impact of the series.
17. The Cockpit
Anthology Format: “The Cockpit” is an anthology series consisting of three separate episodes, each presenting a different story set during various historical conflicts. The episodes cover World War II, the War of Djibouti, and the Spanish Civil War. The anthology format allows for diverse perspectives and narratives, providing a unique and engaging viewing experience.
Human Drama and Moral Dilemmas: The series explores the human drama and moral dilemmas faced by individuals caught in the chaos of war. It delves into the personal struggles, sacrifices, and ethical decisions made by the characters, highlighting the impact of war on the lives of ordinary people. The focus on character-driven narratives and emotional depth adds depth to each episode.
16. Now and Then, Here and There
Dark and Gritty Narrative: “Now and Then, Here and There” presents a dark and gritty narrative set in a post-apocalyptic world. The series follows a young boy named Shu, who is transported from the present day to a dystopian future ruled by an oppressive regime. The anime tackles heavy themes such as child soldiers, war crimes, and the loss of innocence, providing a stark and unflinching portrayal of the consequences of war.
Exploration of Despair and Hope: While the series delves into despair and the horrors of war, it also explores the themes of hope and resilience. Shu’s unwavering determination to protect those he cares about, despite the grim circumstances, serves as a beacon of hope amidst the darkness. The contrast between despair and hope adds depth and emotional impact to the story.
15. Strike Witches
Alternate History and Fantasy: “Strike Witches” is set in an alternate version of Earth during World War II, where humanity is under attack by a mysterious alien race. To combat the invaders, young girls with magical abilities and equipped with unique mechanical legs called “Striker Units” are enlisted as the Strike Witches. The series blends elements of alternate history, military action, and fantasy, creating an intriguing and visually dynamic world.
Eclectic Cast and Character Designs: The anime features a diverse cast of characters, each representing a different country and possessing their own distinct personality and fighting style. The character designs, which incorporate elements of military uniforms and animal characteristics, add a unique and memorable aesthetic to the series. The eclectic mix of characters enhances the ensemble nature of the story and contributes to its charm.
14. Area 88
High-Stakes Aerial Combat: “Area 88” centers around the intense aerial combat missions of mercenary pilots in a war-torn desert region. The series showcases thrilling dogfights and aerial battles, emphasizing the risks, skill, and adrenaline-pumping action involved in aerial warfare. The focus on aviation and the portrayal of realistic aircraft contribute to the overall excitement of the series.
Exploration of Psychological Toll: Alongside the action-packed aerial combat, “Area 88” delves into the psychological toll of war on the pilots. It examines the internal conflicts, moral dilemmas, and personal struggles faced by the mercenaries as they fight for survival and grapple with the consequences of their actions. The anime offers a nuanced portrayal of the psychological impact of war.
Mecha and Political Intrigue: “Gasaraki” combines elements of mecha combat with political intrigue. The series follows the Yushiro Gowa, a member of a distinguished family involved in a secretive government project that revolves around the mysterious and powerful mecha known as TAs (Tactical Armors). The anime explores the complex relationship between politics, corporate interests, and the military-industrial complex.
Symbolism and Mythology: “Gasaraki” incorporates symbolism and mythology into its narrative. The series draws upon Japanese cultural and religious references to explore themes of destiny, identity, and the blurred lines between reality and myth. The use of symbolism adds depth and layers to the story, inviting viewers to interpret and analyze the events within a broader context.
12. Schwarzes Marken
Dystopian Setting: “Schwarzes Marken” is set in an alternate history where East Germany is under attack by an alien race known as the BETA. The series depicts a bleak and oppressive environment where humanity fights for its survival against overwhelming odds. The dystopian setting adds a sense of urgency and desperation to the story, as the characters struggle against the relentless alien invasion.
Mecha Combat and Tactical Battles: The anime features intense mecha battles as the main characters, known as the Schwarzesmarken, pilot advanced humanoid machines to defend humanity. The series emphasizes the tactical and strategic aspects of warfare, showcasing the planning, teamwork, and combat skills required to counter the BETA. The mecha action sequences and the focus on military tactics provide excitement and suspense.
11. The Saga of Tanya the Evil
Unique Protagonist: “The Saga of Tanya the Evil” centers around the character of Tanya Degurechaff, a ruthless salaryman who is reincarnated into a world embroiled in war as a young girl. Tanya, driven by a desire to survive and ascend in rank within the military, becomes a talented and cunning soldier. The series explores Tanya’s complex and morally ambiguous journey as she navigates the brutalities of war.
Exploration of Themes: “The Saga of Tanya the Evil” tackles themes such as the nature of war, the abuse of power, and the concept of divine intervention. It raises questions about the existence of God and the role of fate in shaping individuals and events. The anime offers a unique perspective on war, presenting a morally gray protagonist and examining the consequences of their actions.
Time Travel and Historical Intrigue: “Zipang” follows the crew of a modern-day Japanese naval vessel that gets transported back in time to the middle of World War II. The series explores the moral and ethical dilemmas faced by the crew as they navigate the complexities of altering history and the impact their actions may have on the course of the war. The anime combines elements of military strategy, historical events, and time travel, providing a unique perspective on World War II.
Examination of Warfare and Ideology: “Zipang” delves into the nature of warfare and the ideologies driving it. The clash between modern-day military technology and the conventional methods of the World War II era raises questions about the effectiveness of different strategies and the value of human life. The series prompts viewers to reflect on the consequences of war and the choices made in times of conflict.
9. Valkyria Chronicles
Blend of War and Fantasy: “Valkyria Chronicles” is set in a fictional world inspired by World War II, where the small nation of Gallia finds itself caught in a war between larger powers. The series incorporates elements of tactical military combat and fantasy, with characters possessing unique abilities and a mystical energy source known as “Ragnite.” The combination of war and fantasy elements adds depth and intrigue to the story.
Strong Character Development: “Valkyria Chronicles” focuses on the growth and development of its characters, highlighting their personal struggles and the impact of war on their lives. The series explores themes of loyalty, friendship, and sacrifice as the characters navigate the horrors and complexities of war. The character-driven narrative provides emotional depth to the series.
8. Joker Game
Espionage and Intrigue: “Joker Game” revolves around a secret intelligence agency known as the “D Agency” during the years leading up to World War II. The series explores the art of espionage as the members of the agency undertake dangerous missions, manipulate information, and engage in psychological warfare. The intricate plotlines, intricate schemes, and strategic mind games create a captivating atmosphere of suspense and intrigue.
Focus on Espionage Tradecraft: “Joker Game” pays attention to the details of espionage tradecraft and the methods employed by spies. The series highlights various techniques, such as codebreaking, undercover operations, and psychological manipulation, providing insight into the tactics and strategies employed by intelligence operatives. The emphasis on realism and the mechanics of espionage adds depth and authenticity to the storytelling.
7. Alderamin on the Sky
Strategic Military Tactics: “Alderamin on the Sky” follows the story of Ikta Solork, a lazy and talented strategist in the Katjvarna Empire. The anime focuses on the strategic military tactics employed by Ikta and his companions as they navigate a war against neighboring nations. The series emphasizes the importance of intelligence gathering, unconventional strategies, and quick thinking on the battlefield.
Exploration of War’s Impact on Individuals: “Alderamin on the Sky” delves into the personal experiences and struggles of its characters in the midst of war. It examines the human cost, the psychological toll, and the sacrifices made by individuals caught in the chaos of conflict. The anime raises questions about duty, honor, and the complexities of loyalty, providing a nuanced portrayal of the impact of war on both soldiers and civilians.
6. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
Cyberpunk Exploration: “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” is set in a futuristic world where cybernetic enhancements and artificial intelligence have become commonplace. The series delves into the philosophical and ethical implications of this technology, raising questions about identity, consciousness, and the blurring boundaries between humans and machines. It offers a thought-provoking exploration of cyberpunk themes.
Complex Crime and Political Intrigue: The anime follows the members of the Public Security Section 9 as they investigate cybercrime and navigate complex political conspiracies. The series weaves intricate and multifaceted storylines, blending action, suspense, and cerebral narratives. It delves into the nuances of power, corruption, and the manipulation of information in a technologically advanced society.
5. Code Geass
High-Stakes Power Struggles: “Code Geass” is known for its intense power struggles and political machinations. The series follows Lelouch Lamperouge, a brilliant and charismatic student who obtains the power of Geass, which allows him to command anyone to obey his orders. Lelouch becomes entangled in a grand scheme to overthrow the Britannian Empire and create a new world order. The anime combines mecha battles, strategic planning, and intricate plot twists to create a thrilling narrative.
Exploration of Ethics and Morality: “Code Geass” delves into the moral dilemmas faced by its characters, particularly Lelouch, as they make difficult choices in pursuit of their goals. The series raises questions about the price of power, the consequences of one’s actions, and the blurred lines between justice and tyranny. It offers a complex examination of ethics and the human capacity for change.
4. Legend of the Galactic Heroes
Epic Space Opera: “Legend of the Galactic Heroes” is an epic space opera that spans generations and explores a vast galactic conflict. The series focuses on the struggles and ideologies of two main characters, Reinhard von Lohengramm and Yang Wen-li, who rise through the ranks and become pivotal figures on opposing sides of the war. The anime presents grand-scale space battles, intricate political maneuverings, and a sweeping narrative that delves into themes of power, governance, and the nature of heroism.
Philosophical and Political Commentary: “Legend of the Galactic Heroes” offers insightful philosophical and political commentary, exploring topics such as authoritarianism, democracy, war, and the cyclical nature of history. The series raises thought-provoking questions about the nature of power, the flaws of political systems, and the sacrifices made in the pursuit of ideals. It presents a nuanced portrayal of its characters and their ideologies.
3. Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
Exploration of Social and Economic Inequality: “Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans” takes place in a future where Mars has been colonized, and a stark divide exists between the privileged and the marginalized. The series follows a group of young mercenaries known as Tekkadan as they navigate the complexities of war and fight for their own freedom and dignity. It addresses themes of social inequality, exploitation, and the struggles of the disadvantaged.
Emotional Character-driven Narrative: The anime focuses on the personal journeys and relationships of its characters, portraying their growth, hardships, and bonds. It emphasizes themes of loyalty, camaraderie, and the weight of responsibility as the members of Tekkadan face the harsh realities of war. The emotional depth and development of the characters add depth and resonance to the series.
2. Attack on Titan
Intense Action and Thrilling Narrative: “Attack on Titan” is known for its intense and visceral action sequences, featuring humans battling against giant humanoid creatures known as Titans. The series combines high-stakes combat, strategic planning, and breathtaking animation to create thrilling and adrenaline-pumping scenes. The narrative is filled with twists, mysteries, and a sense of constant danger, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.
Exploration of Human Nature and Survival: Beyond the action, “Attack on Titan” delves into deeper themes of human nature, survival, and the consequences of war. The anime raises questions about the boundaries of morality, the price of freedom, and the complexities of human relationships in extreme circumstances. It examines the characters’ motivations, fears, and struggles, offering a thought-provoking exploration of the human condition.
1. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Engaging Worldbuilding and Alchemy: “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” presents a rich and intricate world where alchemy plays a central role. The series follows the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse, on their quest to regain their bodies after a failed alchemical experiment. The anime explores the rules and limitations of alchemy, creating a well-developed system that enhances the storytelling and provides a foundation for the plot.
Deep Themes and Emotional Storytelling: “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” delves into deep themes such as identity, sacrifice, and the consequences of human ambition. The series showcases a balance of action, drama, and humor while tackling complex moral dilemmas. It offers emotionally charged storytelling that explores the bonds of family, friendship, and the human capacity for redemption. The well-rounded characters and their personal journeys add depth and resonance to the narrative.