Find out which samurai anime are the best, from Berserk, Gintama, and Rurouni Kenshin to Samurai 7, Blade of the Immortal, and Samurai Kings.
In terms of Japanese narrative, few themes have supplied as much depth as the samurai in terms of cultural history. For as long as anyone can remember, samurai tales, with their focus on honorable swordplay and adherence to a rigid code of conduct, have been a staple of popular culture, not just in Japan but around the world.
If you want to pay homage to the legacy of ancient Japanese warriors, customs and practices, samurai anime is a good place to start.
1. Samurai 7
Samurai 7 is based somewhat on Akira Kurosawa’s globally recognized Seven Samurai, although it is set in an alternate feudal Japan. The plot revolves around an impoverished town that employs a septet of samurai warriors to administer just desserts to a barbarian band of robbers. It is a terrible and extremely bloody revenge drama.
Sword and Sorcery 7 is a thrilling blend of a timeless classic with sci-fi conventions that create a new experience for previous and future generations to enjoy.
2. Sengoku Basara (Samurai Kings)
Sengoku Basara, often known as Samurai Kings, is an engrossing anime that combines video game visuals and traditional samurai swordplay with future superpowers to create a really unforgettable culture clash of furious warfare.. When The Devil King abandons Japan during the Warring States period, the story takes place in Japan.
Japanese samurai Date and Sanada are entrusted with leading the attack against the feudal lords who are hell-bent on snatching as much land as possible for themselves. The series, which is based on the Capcom video game of the same name, combines multimedia conventions into a fascinating totality.
3. Shigurui: Death Frenzy
Shigurui: Death Frenzy is a gruesome tournament-style samurai fighting event that is sure to appeal to swordsmanship lovers of epic proportions! When it comes to character studies, this one is hard to beat. The plot follows a blind fighter who goes head-to-head with another one-armed warrior in an epic battle to the death.
With each character’s narrative and how it links to the Japanese samurai history, anime shows how they use their damaged pasts to find strength to succeed in battle during their hot struggle. Death Frenzy is one of the most bizarre and disturbing games ever created.
4. Basilisk: The Kouga Ninja Scrolls
The story of Basilisk: The Kouga Ninja Scrolls, set in 1614 AD, is essentially a modern-day Japanese Romeo and Juliet, with two fighting ninja factions. The shogun’s sons are supported by each side in the succession battle. Ten ninja warriors from each party will face off in an all-out deathmatch to settle the matter once and for all. There will be tension, suspense, gruesome bloodshed, and unpredictable mayhem.
The Kouga Ninja Scrolls concludes centuries-old blood feuds with magnificent animation, engrossing social context, and heartfelt romance.
5. Samurai Champloo
Samurai Champloo has become one of the most popular anime of the last two decades because of its lighthearted humor, groovy hip-hop music, and carefree young characters. Three unexpected teenage heroes are brought together by Cowboy Beepop founder Watanabe Shinichiro to defy warrior conventions.
Having saved two disgraced samurai from being executed, teahouse waitress Fuu is able to track down the mystifying samurai who holds the key to unraveling her mysterious background. Samurai Champloo is one of the few single-season anime that has a unique tonal mix, great animation, and a fusion of extreme violence and light humor.
Berserk is one of the most highly regarded and important samurai anime of all time, having been created in the late 1990s and relaunched in 2016. Guts, dubbed the Black Swordsman, a mercenary who seeks to punish his vile tutor Griffith, who commands the brutal “Band of the Hawk” samurai, is the protagonist of the novel.
One of the best dark fantasy anime series ever made combines interesting Japanese culture and history with political intrigue at the royal court and religious tradition to create a riveting vengeance plot.
7. Afro Samurai
Afro Samurai is a very amusing clash of cultures that sees a Black samurai out to settle a personal revenge in Japan following the horrific murder of his father, created by Takashi Okazaki and voiced by the renowned Samuel L. Jackson. The resulting flavor is significantly more unusual than most anime, combining futuristic samurai combat with sci-fi fantasy, blaxploitation, and hip-hop music.
Even though Afro Samurai is intended toward an older demographic, it leverages its self-awareness to pique the interest of younger viewers by juxtaposing Black history and Japanese culture. It’s the first and only of its kind.
Gintama, a legendary samurai anime that ran for 375 episodes from 2005 to 2018, will be remembered forever. High-tech aliens have taken over Tokyo in medieval times, and they are engaged in a never-ending struggle with the low-tech samurai warriors. Gintoko, an unemployed samurai with a sweet tooth, is summoned by the locals to save the day.
Despite the show’s graphic violence, the show’s characters are well-written, and the lighthearted humor helps to lighten the mood. The fact that the show has lasted so long is a testament to its enduring appeal, since it offers a degree of fun that only a few shows can match.
9. Blade Of The Immortal
The notion of Blade of the Immortal is fantastic, combining elements of samurai culture with the paranormal. Manji, a samurai in feudal Japan, is cursed by a witch to live indefinitely in the story. Using his trusty Samurai sword, Manji requests the witch for help in breaking the spell, which sets off a seemingly endless round of bloody swordfights between the two.
Manji meets Rin, a young girl with a personal revenge plot, as he journeys toward the 1,000 wicked warriors. Rin assists Manji in defeating them. Beautifully written and illustrated, Blade Of The Immortal is as timeless as the blade it bears.
10. Rurouni Kenshin
Rurouni Kenshin is, was, and always will be, the best samurai anime ever made, in the opinion of nearly every anime fan. The Watershed series, which debuted in 1996, has been copied numerous times but never duplicated, paving the way for the samurai subgenre to thrive.
Taking place in Japan in 1878, the film tells the narrative of Himura Kenshin, a vagabond samurai who stumbled into a martial arts school and swears to teach the locals to apologise for killing the shogun. One gore-soaked swordfight after another ensues as Kenshin joins forces with a young bullied boy and embarks on a revenge campaign to aid the innocent. Swordplay and story are inseparable, and they can’t be overshadowed by anything else.