We’re a fan of criminal characters in anime, whether they’re heroes, villains, or a little of both.
Even more so when they operate together as a team.
In addition to the manipulations of the lower ranks, the gang’s operations are also affected by bureaucratic processes. Anime has it all.
We’re taking a look at a variety of morally tough and hype-as-all-hell anime, all focusing on yakuza and insane gang storylines. People, fasten your seatbelts!
It was in 2007 that Brain’s Base released Ryohgo Narita’s magnum opus light novel Baccano!
In fact, it’s still high on the list of favorite animes for many people.
Disconnected but intertwined narratives keep you enthralled. In addition, the show’s diverse cast of characters is a big draw for many fans.
In the 1930s, a transcontinental train from Chicago to Los Angeles carries a confounding number of fast-paced plotlines.
Trust me, there is a clear and gratifying conclusion at the end of it all!
It’s been two hundred years since a two-hundred-year-long search for immortality began!
Baccano! It’s an experience you’ll never forget! Is it a sufficient number of exclamations?
9. Black Lagoon
Do you know who’s at it again, Studio Madhouse?
Talk about a relic of the past… Isn’t it the year again? What the hell, it’s already 2006? Great!
With a new perspective, we can watch Black Lagoon.
In the vein of Cowboy Bebop, it’s an action-packed, no-torque thrill-ride
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.
Virtue and morality are tested to the limit in every episode. Each day, we get a glimpse into Rok’s perverse world of crime and mayhem.
That was a lot of exclamation points, wasn’t it?
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 connected by a series of killings. However, that thread gradually unravels into clan strife and strange mayhem!!! No more exclamation points, right?
Dorohedoro, a delightfully macabre anime from MAPP, debuted in early 2020 as one of the most singular works of anime ever produced.
It takes place in Hole, a desolate area where the poor die of starvation and where powerful sorcerers roam free.
Our hero, Kaiman, is on the prowl for the magician responsible for his transformation into a lizard-man.
In a genre that’s been done a million times before, Dorohedoro is a breath of fresh air.
During Kaiman’s investigation, the bizarro is ratcheted up a notch before blowing up in an explosive finale that begs for more season.
An entertaining and bloody horror film. This is a must-see.
So far, we’ve seen anime through the eyes of a gangster, but what about the people they interact with on a daily basis?
Kaiji is a squatter who has no idea where he’s going. The situation is exacerbated when he is duped into incurring big debts that he cannot afford to repay.
When Kaiji agrees to go on an illegal gambling cruise, it marks the beginning of his perilous journey into the yakuza underworld of gambling and treachery.
If you want to know what’s really going on in Kaiji’s head, you have to look at the criminals who threaten him and mean what they say.
This Madhouse masterwork has me clamoring for a third season because the stakes are so high.
How about placing a wager? 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 world of Hunter x Hunter is full of life and character, and players have a lot of ways to express themselves.
Gon, Killua, Kurapika, and Leorio are the four protagonists of this story.
And each time they meet someone new, they discover a new genre that helps them go forward in the story.
At least one of them is longer than the entirety of several of the other shows on this list combined: YorkNew Phantom Troupe 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. It’s a term they use to describe themselves.
Avenging the genocide of his people, Kurapika has the highest stakes in this arc. Not everyone in this conflict has a legitimate claim to be the aggressor.
As one of the most recognizable villains in anime, the Phantom Troupe was firmly established in this arc of mob wars. But Chrollo is the best boy.
Lux, an underground metropolis filled with dirt, degradation, and violence, is fought for by three vastly different groups.
Ichise, a renowned ring fighter and Lux’s orphan, is the first character introduced in the anime. When his arm and leg are removed from him and replaced with prosthetic limbs, his existence is unquestionably unique.
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.
One of the many masterworks from Studio Madhouse, Texhnolyze is no exception. It’s a thought-provoking tale of existential angst and human frailty.
Worth the watch, even if you’re scared to death.
What will define a generation, revitalize anime as a cinematic property, and inspire animation for decades.
An initial gang conflict on the streets of Japan quickly degenerates into something considerably more horrifying.
Akira takes place in Neo-Tokyo, a dangerous metropolis plagued by organized crime and terrorism.
As Shoutarou Kaneda and Tetsuo Shima, two young boys, become specimens in an increasingly macabre conspiracy, the film follows them.
There is a richer socio-political lore to explore because of the criminal history of the characters and the city. Aesthetically, and historically, Neo-Tokyo relies on this.
Honestly, I could go on and on about Akira for hours, so I encourage you to see it instead of reading this. You’ll adore it because it’s a true work of art.
2. Cowboy Bebop
Like “space bounty hunter family” and “sordid jazz bust,” I thought “gang” was close enough to “space bounty hunter family.”
Gambling, robbery, gunfights, betrayals, shady deals, and all other forms of illicit activities can be found here.
And our main characters aren’t exactly saints.
Cowboy Bebop set a standard for Studio Sunrise. And they’ve made it their life’s work to stay up with the quality of the anime’s animation and choreography. 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.
A greater emphasis on family is seen in JoJo’s fifth installment than it has been in previous installments.
Mafia boss Giorno Giovanna, along with a few other members of the Passione syndicate, are featured in this film. During this time, they are attempting to dismantle the group.
This colossal meme machine is powered by justice, resolve, determination, and companionship.
King Crimson Metallica. Aerosmith. Shotguns for the ladies. Quick, intricate, and always interesting are only some words to describe the allusions.
For David Productions, adapting Araki’s rollercoaster comic couldn’t have been any more difficult.