10 Best Historical Anime, Ranked According to MyAnimeList

Historical anime Demon Slaughter has advertised on Twitter that its third season is in production and predicted to premiere in the fall of 2023, so it looks like the genre is exploding in popularity with no signs of stopping. There are few better ways to learn story information than to be fully immersed in the unique worlds of historical anime.


Anime has the ability to embody glimpses of many of the past’s most memorable eras, from the Edo period of Japan depicted in Samurai Champloo to the Victorian era i Black Butler. In the highest-rated historical anime, according to MyAnimeList, countless facts can be learned while portraying a satisfying story to capture the hearts and minds of viewers.

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Inuyasha

Inuyasha follows the protagonist, Kagome, who is dragged from modern Tokyo down a well inside the family shrine by a demon and transported 500 years back in time to feudal Japan. There she goes on exciting adventures with a half-dog demon, Inyusha, as they try to find all the lost pieces of the powerful Shikon Jewel.

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Took place during the Jidai period, Inuyasha personifies the struggles of this era by using its constant struggles and communal rebellion as a metaphor. It was popularized because of its incredibly unique story filled with mythological themes, juicy drama, lovable characters and dynamics that were infectiously passionate throughout its run. Furthermore, it is known for being what introduced many viewers, especially in the West, to anime.

Spice and wolf

spice and wolf is an incredibly unique story that takes place in a period similar to Europe’s Middle Ages, following Holo, a wolf deity once worshiped by a small town to bless their annual harvest. But as time progresses and people become self-sufficient, she has been considered nothing more than a folktale.

An experienced traveling merchant rescues her from this loneliness, and Holo takes the opportunity to become his business partner. The two embark on a journey with separate goals that slowly coalesce into a common purpose as they scour the countryside for economic prospects. The romantic fantasy won over fans with its humbly blossoming love story and heartwarming, historically-influenced archaic adventure set to an elegant soundtrack.

Gintama

Considered one of the best anime series set in Tokyo, Gintama originates in an alternate Edo period where the planet is invested with an alien species known as the Amanto, who forbade the use of weapons to prevent a rebellion. Gintoki, a wooden sword wielding samurai, faces civil unrest as he fuels a feud with the alien royalty that rules the world.

Combining aliens with a historical setting is no mean feat, however Gintama makes it look effortless, with a style that can only be compared to a samurai sitcom that refuses to lose its sense of fun. What makes anime so great is not only its exceptional comedy with a style that can be loved by both Eastern and Western cultures, but its ability to utilize strong characterization in a completely original way.

Bacchano!

The prohibition era was a time characterized by gangsters and crime, but Bacchano! adds another layer to all the chaos. The storytelling is intentionally sporadic and eccentric, following a series of intricate character arcs that impressively weave together into one large plot, through the use of a transcontinental train.

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From an ever-escalating war between groups of mafias to making elixirs of immortality, Bacchano! is a rollercoaster ride where many turns actually end up being a 50-foot drop into the unknown. The anime’s relentless pace is complemented by its compelling blend of the 1930s and the supernatural. Its creative use of the plot’s butterfly effect, superb animation, timely music and relatable characters dazzle with each unfolding episode.

Dororo

From the creator of the iconic Astro boy comes a much darker story, set in the middle of the Muromachi period, Dororo. Hyakkimaru is another character who is desperate to become as human as possible, after being sacrificed to a bunch of demons. Fortunately, he is nursed back to health by a magical doctor, who fits him with prosthetics made for battle.

The ronin grows into a young man, determined to travel the lands to eliminate the demons that stole his life and regain his limbs. Known to be one of the best winter anime of 2022, its dark, moody tones and deep symbolism are the direct reason for its considerable popularity. Most of all, Dororos bold visuals and Hyakkimaru’s massive character development are as beautiful as they are deep, and rightfully earn the admiration of fans.

Mushishi

Mushishi highlights the world through the eyes of psychic protagonist Ginko, full of ancient spirits known as Mushi who are bent on causing trouble for humans. Using this to his advantage, he sells his unique skills as a service to help society.

Without a clear overarching story, as well as a setting that mirrors both the Edo and Meiji periods, supernatural part of life Mushishi remains quite perplexing throughout its run, entertaining viewers with its immersive world of the paranormal. The series is loved for its perfect expression and the detailed presentation of its vast world, filled with an unparalleled mystery. Its curious visuals and vague but complex spirits have a way of effortlessly etching themselves into the mind of the viewer, making it utterly unforgettable.

Black Butler

In an attempt to avenge the death of his entire family, Ciel sold his soul to his dedicated demon butler with insane abilities, Sebastian. Ciel’s story of questionable morality became one of the best anime sets of the Victorian era, Black Butler. Although Sebastian will one day devour Ciel’s mortal soul, the pair unabashedly work together to unravel the mysteries behind the young master’s chain of misfortunes.

Coupled with captivating plot tendencies and an absolutely eerie soundtrack, it has impressed viewers with its presentation of London as well as its rich history. The anime originally gained its status with gorgeous, fluid animation and crazy characters, strongly driven by a thick plot. However, once fans have found the second half of the series to be weak with an excess of filler episodes.

Samurai Champloo

Another anime set with the Edo period, Samurai Champloo recalls traditional Japanese samurai in unique imagery and incorporates other aspects present in the culture of the time, such as kabuki theater. The story unfolds with the klutzy teahouse waitress Fuu, who spills a drink on the wrong customer and continues to be harassed by a group of samurai. Fortunately, another samurai comes to her rescue.

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With sword fighting styles comparable to breakdancing, the two samurai destroy the shop and accidentally murder a man, and are sentenced to death for doing so. Fuu manages to save the rivals and hires them as her bodyguards. The trio set out on an unforgettable journey filled with imaginative battles and comedy, and the grand mission lands Samurai Champloo as an instant classic. Its multicultural elements of modern hip-hop. Bohemian influences and the Edo period make it unlike any other anime to date.

Vinland Saga

Fans are still looking for new updates on season 2 of Vinland Saga, the exceptional historical anime that took the world by storm in 2019, originating in Denmark during the Viking Age. The plot follows Thorfinn as he takes life head on, and tries to find peace in tumultuous times as he sails the sea to reach a place of legend, Vinland.

As war wages between England and the Danes who leave his homeland dripping with danger, Thorfinn vows to avenge his murdered father by killing the leader of a hundred Vikings. The anime became popular not only for its action-driven conviction, but its impressive character development and stunning creative realism that transports the viewer into its horrific world. As the audience watches Thorfinn become a true warrior, they are educated about the weapons and fighting techniques of the Crusaders.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Currently one of the newest “big three” anime, Demon Slaughter not only showcases its extremely authentic replication of Taisho era aesthetics, but incorporates them into every beautifully animated sword fight. After his entire family but his sister is slaughtered by demons, Tanjirou Kamado begins his dream of becoming a demon slayer and saving his sister from becoming a demon himself.

Both Demon Slaughter film and OVA are among the highest-rated historical anime of all time, earning every bit of viewers’ love through lovable characters and a stunningly distinct animation style. This dark fantasy adventure embodies an exciting atmosphere using its cinematic choreography while staying true to the time period, ensuring viewers remember the past and the importance of family in a fatal world.

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This article was written by Arthur

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