Anime with criminal characters, whether they’re good or bad, or even a mix of the two, is always a hit with us.
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Even more so when they work together as a team.
In addition to the machinations of the lower ranks, the gang’s operations are also affected by bureaucratic processes. Anime has it all.
In this section, we’re going to take a look at some morally thorny and hype-as-all-hell anime centered around yakuza and crazy gang stories. People, fasten your seatbelts!
Handyman mercenaries Nicholas Brown and Worick Arcangelo are the focus of this Japanese anime.
The 2015 anime adaptation of the manga by Manglobe was met with mixed reviews when it was finished. Due mainly to the lack of a conclusion in the manga’s ending… even though material exists in the manga’s end!
We may get a second season at some point in the future.
That leaves us with a succinct look at brotherhood and mafia sociopolitical control for the time being.
Also, the opening theme song is still one of the best in the game.
CGI anime from Studio Orange is currently at an all-time high.
They followed up Land of the Illustrious with an even better school drama set in an anthropomorphic world.
Our protagonists are Legoshi and Haru, a wolf and a rabbit who are both tall and frightened. It’s a love story, too.
Isn’t it odd that it’s on this list?
While the Yakuza syndicate plays a major role in the plot of Beastars’ first season (and currently only), it’s not the only source of the show’s villains.
The arc’s characters will also appear in subsequent seasons. Once we have them.
It’s more intertwined than you might think!
16. 91 Days
Ah! It’s possible that you missed this one.
91 Days is a 2016 animation about vengeance that came out of the relatively obscure Studio Shuka.
Angelo Lagusa, who witnessed his family’s murder at the hands of the Vanetti mafia, has vowed to avenge them.
Lagusa has changed her name to Avilio Bruno after seven years. After that, he goes back home and kills each of Vanetti’s members one by one.
This series has a distinct style. From an inexperienced studio (their sole other property is featured later on this list), it’s a terrific attempt!
15. Golden Kamuy
Studio Shuka’s run of Golden Kamuy in 2018-2020 has been just as spectacular for a rookie as Geno Studio’s.
Every step of the way, you’ll be a part of this absurdist testosterone-fueled journey.
While on an epic treasure hunt for a hidden trove of gold across Japan’s northern regions, Saichi Sugimoto and his crew are confronted by the Yakuza and criminals. Exciting!
There are bears, skin maps, food facts, and honor. Honor!
Since this writing, the third season has yet to begin, and I’m eagerly anticipating it.
What if Romeo and Juliet, Tokyo Ghoul, Parasyte, and The Godfather were all rolled into one?
Masaaki Yuasa’s lively animation and visual style are now added to the mix.
When Studio Madhouse released Kemonozume in 2006, they were also a fan of this concept.
As a blonde woman by day, Yuka Kamitsuki transforms into a voracious monster at night.
As a member of the Kiffuken dojo, Toshihiko Momota swears an oath to safeguard the human race against such monsters and abnormalities.
Kiffuken and Shokujinki have been engaged in a long-running feud for millennia. Kamitsuki and Momota’s love complicates a family feud even further.
A real Romeo and Juliet, but not in the way you may expect.
Hinamatsuri, a cult manga with a sense of comedy reminiscent of Gintama, Sakamoto-san, and Nichijou, swept the anime world in 2018 with its Studio Feel adaptation.
Yokozuna member Yoshifumi Nitta is a self-centered, materialistic yakuza member. In order to provide for himself and his family, he is living day by day.
Up until a blue-haired girl wanders into his living room one day, that is (literally).
In the midst of a fit of rage, she tells everyone her name is Hina. Maybe she can perform amazing telekinetic feats? Right from the start, you’ll be hooked in.
It was Nitta’s decision to take this young lady under his wing.
It isn’t only that her abilities could help him in his illegal position… Definitely not. That’s not what happened…
A little Japanese city’s feud between seven clans holds the key to the future of the planet.
In this situation, the ruler of each clan is a person with extraordinary powers.
It’s a tale of a Red King who becomes entangled in the affairs of a strange pupil, who we’ll refer to here as Yashiro.
A member of this student’s family has been accused of murder. Starting from the bottom!
Fans of the K-pop genre have been getting their fix from GoHands for nearly a decade now.
However, the initial 13-episode run is the best place to begin.
11. Great Teacher Onizuka
…the late Great Teacher Onizuka is…well, great.
After two decades, it still has the power to tear your sides apart and not hold back when it wants to reduce you to a crying heap of God knows what.
Eikichi Onizuka, a 22-year-old high school teacher, is ready to put his biker gang past behind him in favor of a career in education.
Initially, it wasn’t for good reasons.
In time, Onizuka grows into a legendary figure in the world of animation thanks to his ability to incorporate his own life experiences into his lessons.
It was in 2007 that Brain’s Base released Ryohgo Narita’s magnum opus light novel Baccano!
And it’s still in a lot of people’s top ten lists of favorite anime!
You’ll be sucked in by the novel’s novelistic approach, which employs a series of seemingly unrelated stories that are actually intertwined. In addition, a large number of viewers like the show’s diverse cast of colorful characters.
On a transcontinental train in 1930s Chicago, a bewildering number of fast-moving storylines race to reach their final destination.
And believe me when I say that the story has a clear and satisfactory ending!
There have been two hundred years of mafia battles, beloved thieves, eager gunslingers, and jaded scientises trying to find a way to live forever.
Baccano! is a weird experience you won’t soon forget!!! Are there any more exclamation points needed?
9. Black Lagoon
Oh Studio Madhouse, you’ve done it again!
… Talk about an old meme… Exactly what year is it? What year are we talking about again? Great!
In the end this will allow us to see Black Lagoon in a new light.
A thrilling, action-packed trip reminiscent of Cowboy Bebop!
When he meets Revy, Dutch, and Benny of the Black Lagoon, ordinary Japanese businessman Rokuro Okajima (Rok) has his monotonous life flipped upside down.
Sleazy and brutal acts are carried out under the watchful eye of this mercenary group.
With each new incident, morals and virtues are tested to the limit. We see Rok and his gang get deeper and deeper into the murky world of murder and mayhem as we follow their every step.
I’m sorry, I didn’t use enough exclamation points!
As a result of Studio Brain’s Base (and the previously eluded Studio Shukadesire )’s to adapt another Ryoho Narita’s criminal-based novels, Durarara!!
Many strange and devious people may be found on the streets of Ikebukuro, from the brutal Izaya and Shizuo, to the ethereal Celty and Anri, to Mikado!!!
In the first season, a number of characters are linked by a series of killings. However, that thread gradually unravels into clan strife and strange mayhem! No more exclamation points, right?
Dorohedoro, by MAPP, was one of the most distinctive animes of all time when it was published at the beginning of 2020.
Hole, a desolate area where the poor and weak are left to die by strong sorcerers, is the setting for this story.
He is searching for the wizard who transformed him into a lizard-man, Kaiman’s nemesis.
In a genre that’s been done a million times before, Dorohedoro is a breath of fresh air.
It’s only until Kaiman comes face-to-face with the suit-wearing mobster En family that things take an unexpected turn for the better and demand a second season.
Great gory show. Definitely worth your time.
Since we’ve seen anime through the eyes of criminals, what about the people they interact with on a daily basis?
Kaiji is a squatter with no purpose in life. Adding insult to injury when he is duped into accruing an enormous debt that he cannot afford to repay.
In order to enter the dangerous world of yakuza gambling and deception, Kaiji agrees to go on an illegal gambling cruise.
Threatening thugs who mean what they say stoke Kaiji’s debt and greed, making mind games and torture irrelevant as Kaiji sinks deeper into debt and greed.
This Madhouse masterwork has me clamoring for a third season because the stakes are so high.
When do you think it’ll happen? Anyone? Please?
5. Hunter x Hunter (2011)
Studio Madhouse is once again at the helm with a brilliant adaptation. If you’ve seen this by now, please let me know!
The fantastical world of Hunter x Hunter is full of character and choice.
Gon, Killua, Kurapika, and Leorio, our four primary protagonists, set out to explore this strange new world.
And each time they meet someone new, they discover a new genre to help advance the overarching plot.
The YorkNew Phantom Troupe storyline, for example, is longer than many of the other anime on this list combined. However, the characters they meet in the manga stay with you all the way up to the most recent chapters, so you’re never bored.
All of the members of the Phantom Troupe have Class-A bounties on their heads, making them a well-known group of criminals. In their minds, they are spiders.
Avenging the genocide of his people, Kurapika has the highest stakes in this arc. But he isn’t the only one who has a motivation to get into a fight.
With this arc of mob warfare, Phantom Troupe become one of the most recognisable villains in anime. Chrollo, though, is the best dog.
Cities like Lux, a filthy metropolis filled with decaying squalor and violent crime, are fought over by three vastly different groups.
Ichise, an orphan from Lux and a well-known ring fighter, introduces the story. After having his arm and leg amputated, he’s had to adapt to a whole new way of living.
As the city is on the verge of total catastrophe, Ichise and a few allies realize that they may be the only ones who can come to an amicable settlement.
Another Studio Madhouse masterpiece, Texhnolyze, has been released. Storytelling that is both philosophical and tragic is woven into the narrative.
Definitely not for the squeamish.
Japanese animation has been reinvigorated as a cinematic medium and has inspired generations of animators since its release.
Violence on the streets begins as gang fighting, but it swiftly degenerates into mind-shattering terror.
With its stunning visuals and stunning animation, Akira is set in Neo-Tokyo, a crime-ridden and terrorist-infested metropolis.
As two young guys become specimens in a larger, more horrific scheme, the film follows Shoutarou Kaneda and Tetsuo Shima.
The criminal history of the people and the city provides a deeper socio-political lore to explore.. Aesthetically, and historically, Neo-Tokyo relies on this.
Akira is one of my favorite films, and I could go on for hours about it. It’s a work of art, and you’ll be delighted with it.
2. Cowboy Bebop
When I heard the word “gang,” I thought of the sleazy jazz-busting feel of “a little family of interplanetary bounty hunters.”
Gambling, robbery, gunfights, betrayals, shady deals, and all other forms of illicit activities can be found here.
Moreover, our protagonists aren’t completely innocent.
A precedent was set with Cowboy Bebop by Studio Sunrise. They’ve also aimed to stay up with the animation and choreography in this anime for the rest of their lives. A great series, to say the least.
1. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure V: Golden Wind
A gang-based anime’s soul is carried by its characters, and we’ve learnt this from previous anime.
In the end, it’s all about the people involved and the connections they make.
For the first time, JoJo’s fifth installment focuses more on family than ever before.
Giorno Giovanna and a few other mafioso members of the Passione, a corrupt gang that smuggles drugs and injustice into Naples, are featured in this film. They’re still trying to dismantle the organization as they go.
This meme machine is powered by justice, resolve, determination, and camaraderie.
The King Crimson. Metallica. Aerosmith. Inappropriate weapons. The allusions are fast, complicated, and always interesting.
For David Productions, adapting Araki’s rollercoaster comic couldn’t have been any more difficult.
All of us are looking forward to the sixth installment!