One thing that makes watching anime exceptionally awesome is the range of genres you can get to choose from. Slice of life, thrillers, psychological, romance, school, shounen; you name it, anime has it all.
Amongst these, the craze for spy-based animes has increased just recently. So if you are someone who is a lot into the spy-based genre, whether a thriller or not, here is, a list of 42 Spy Anime Shows to watch.
Spy x Family
Spy X Family is the best spy-based anime to come out this year. The show not only follows an interesting plotline but also has the best-loved characters like Anya, who is a cute, pink-haired child; Yor, who is an excellent combater; and Loid, who also displays incredible talent as a spy.
In the fictional place of Ostania, a man named Twilight takes the alias Loid Forger and acts as a psychiatrist but actually is there to gather intel on a prominent politician, Donovan Desmond. The politician only ever shows up to the Eden Academy, his son’s school.
To enact his master plan, he gets Yor Briar to act as his wife and a six-year-old orphan girl, Anya as his child. He enrolls Anya in the Eden Academy, eventually. Just like Loid, Yor and Anya are also hiding their identities. Even in doing so, they find love for each other in their hearts.
When Angelo Lagusa was a child, he witnessed the brutal slaughtering of his parents and younger brother at the hands of the Vanetti Mafia Family. After the traumatic incident, the boy leaves his hometown and changes his name to Avilio. After about seven years, the boy receives an anonymous letter that invites him back to Lawless, giving him the perfect opportunity to seek revenge.
Soon enough, he comes across the son of the Vanetti Don, Nero, whom he is able to befriend using the skills he has gathered over the years. The anime is a dark-themed story of Avilio as he navigates his way toward seeking vengeance upon his family’s murderers. It also has a good viewer score on MAL.
Allison and Lillia
Allison and Lillia tell the story of brave and determined individuals who believe in the power of change. The plot is set in a fictional continent that has two countries that have been consistently engaged in a political war with each other.
Amidst all this, two young people, Allison and Will make it their mission to find the one treasure that will cause the war to cease to exist. Eventually, their hope to find the treasure and end the war is inherited by their daughter, Lillia, who shares the same determination as her parents to make the world a better place.
The characters have done a wonderful job of believing in a world that is peaceful and fulfilling rather than settling for one that has no future and only calamity. Adapted from a light novel, Allison and Lillia is an anime you should not miss.
Najica Dengeki Sakusen
Najica Hiragi is a perfumer as well as a secret agent. She is often sent out on rogue and intense missions in order to gain control over situations involving uncontrollable androids and humorists using her brilliant combat skills.
Soon enough, Najica is assigned with Lila, a humaritts whom she has to groom into a better-skilled agent and who has to serve as her partner in the missions throughout. While Najica and Lila get along, they go on more missions together. As Najica sees more of Lila, she also realizes more of the various capabilities possessed and the origins of humaritts.
Heavy Objects is set in the distant future, where the traditional armies have been rendered useless by the new weapons of warfare. These are called “Objects” and are huge, spherical tanks that can take no damage from standard weaponry. They also have incredible and destructive firepower.
The story follows Qwenthur Barbotage, who is a student of Object Design, and Havia Winchell, who is a radar analyst, as they come face to face with Baby Magnum, one of the nation’s Objects. Something unexpected then happens and changes the perception of Objects that everyone has. The duo is soon accompanied by Milinda Brantini and Frolaytia Capistrano in their battles across the globe.
Set in the world near the Second World War, Joker Game shows the importance of intelligence that was in high demand by each country to boost its own social and economic situation. In the backdrop of this situation, Japan established an organization of spies called the “D Agency” to accrue intel from everywhere.
Eight skilled agents are commanded to infiltrate powerful nations under the orders of Lieutenant Colonel Yuuki. Their tasks are to report any developments taking place there that pertain to war. These men have undergone extreme training to sustain their bodies in all environments and have also acquired brilliant communication skills. They are also expert manipulators who will do anything to get the job done.
Night Raid 1931
Night Raid 1931, as the name suggests, is set in Shanghai in 1931. The aftereffects of the First World War are still felt throughout the globe as entire nations struggle to work out their differences, and hearsay flies faster than facts.
During all this, an ultra-secret intelligence agency called “Sakura Kikan” works its best to find out the truth from the lies spreading everywhere. The agency has impressive clairvoyants, espers, and telepaths that are trying their best to eliminate threats and prevent a higher calamity for mankind. They soon find themselves fighting against destiny itself.
009-1, or Mylene Hoffman, is a charming cyborg spy whose story is set in an alternate timeline where the Cold War is still ongoing and never ended for the last 140 years. This divided the world into two opposing factions, the West and the East Blocks.
The two Blocks are in constant conflict with each other and battle each other for supremacy through technology. Mylene, with three other agents, finds herself in deep chaos and deceit around her as she attempts to simply follow the missions assigned to her by her superiors.
Full Metal Panic!
Full Metal Panic! narrates the story of Mithril, a military institution that uses brilliant technology to eliminate terrorist threats. They put together a specialized team that is to handle the sensitive matter. Sergeants Sousuke Sagara and Kurz Weber come together to provide protection to the teenage girl Kaname Chidori who unconsciously harbors important breakthrough scientific knowledge of which several intelligence organizations are in pursuit.
Sousuke enrolls at her school to act as her classmate and closely protect her. He has a hard time adjusting to the environment there and often makes Kaname suspicious of who he is. The anime is quite interesting, with themes of action and Mecha in it.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans
Mobile Suit Gundam is set in the year 0079 of the Universal Century when Mankind has moved to live in space. People reside in colony clusters called the “Sides.” One of these Sides declares itself the “Principality of Zeon,” which declares wars on the Earth Federation, which is the governmental body ruling the earth.
Zeon gains power through their powerful humanoid robots, which act as Mobile Suits. After a Nine month-long conflict, the Earth Federation engineers their very own mobile suit called the “Gundam.” Upon the war that Zeon carries out against the Earth Federation, a fifteen-year-old civilian called Amuro Ray gets thrown into conflict with the enemy’s pilot, Char Aznable.
Darker Than Black
Darker Than Black is perhaps the most underrated yet impressive anime. The story is about two gates appearing in South America (as the Heaven’s Gate) and Japan (as the Hell’s Gate). The night sky has become a horrific skyscape as a result. These gates are a mystery to people, and the law of physics disappears inside these gates.
After this mysterious emergence, there were also Contractors who were given supernatural capabilities if they gave up their humanity in return. A police chief Misaki Kirihara comes at odds with the prominent Contractor named Hei, who is also called the “Black Reaper.” He works for the Syndicate and simultaneously finds out the truths about the Contractors and their fate. This Sci-Fi thriller is written strongly and in a raw manner.
Golgo 13 is a mysterious man who goes by several aliases, such as Duke Togo and Tadashi Togo; even Golgo 13 is not his real name. He is well known across all intelligence agencies, but no one can ever find out who he is. He is skillful and brilliant at what he does, taking up jobs with any agency. He completes all of his missions if he is compensated well for his able services. He is the most powerful weapon or the most powerful threat that any nation can have.
Phantom: Phantom for the Requiem
The circumstances in this anime are those of an America where assassinations are normally happening. Inferno is a mysterious organization that causes most of these happenings. They use their invincible human weapon called “Phantom.” One fine day, a tourist from Japan becomes witness to Phantom’s crime. He runs away as soon as possible and tries to hide in a secluded place.
Unfortunately, Phantom (who is a young woman called Ein) and the leader of Inferno, Scythe Master, find him. They brainwash the innocent man and give him the name “Zwei.” Zwei is then used as a puppet by Inferno in a life of lies and deceit.
Shinobi no Ittoki
Shinobi no Ittoki is about Ittoki Sakuraba, who is constantly puzzled as to why he must always stay under protection. His childhood friend, Kousetsu, follows him around with no care about his privacy so as to keep him safe. Ittoki realizes the seriousness of the situation when Satomi Tsubaki, a student at his high school, asks him out on a date. He soon finds out that something is off about her.
She tries to assassinate him, and she has other people helping her with it. His uncle and Kousetsu come to his rescue in full ninja attire. After being rescued, he is told by his mother about him being the 19th heir to a noble clan of shinobis (ninjas) called the Iga. The ones who just tried to assassinate him belong to the rival clan, Koga. Young Ittoki has to undergo training and learn skills to protect himself.
The World’s Finest Assassin Gets Reincarnated As An Aristocrat
The World’s Greatest Assassin had just decided to live a life where he fulfills himself after years of being only a tool to his employers when they decided to get him assassinated. He is soon reborn, thanks to a goddess. He takes birth again into a world for swords and sorcery, where he is named Lugh Tuatha De, an aristocrat.
The condition that was put forth to him was that of eliminating the powerful hero who wished to drive the world to an end and would not stop until something was done. Surrounded by beautiful girls and bound by duty, Lugh has a lot on his hands. This is one of the most recent isekai-themed animes you need to check out.
Lycoris Recoil shows a terror-free Japan where a syndicate called Direct Attack raises orphaned girls as killers to carry out important assassinations and protect the citizens under their “Lycoris” program. Takina Inoue is a brilliant Lycoris who is both driven and perfect. However, in a hostage situation, she loses patience which results in her suspension from the Direct Attack.
The happening really gets to her, and she starts a café called LycoReco, which is a base for her operations in disguise. She is soon met with Chisato Nishikigi, who has more reasons for performing her duties than just doing them for the sake of it. She is kinder and has a richer personality. She teaches Takina that there is more to life than just taking it.
Princess Principal is set in the 20th century when a recently discovered substance called “Cavorite” set the foundation of advanced military technology. The country gets driven into deep conflict. London is divided into two through a wall; the Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Albion. The two divisions are engaged in a cold war where espionage is the only weapon.
A group of girls in the Queen’s Mayfair school are also undercover spies, with each of them being skilled at their own art. The girls are led by Dorothy, who is an experienced driver. Others are Ange Le Carre, a liar and sharpshooter; Chise, who is an impressive samurai; and Beatrice, who is a voice-mimicking specialist. Through their skills, they try to survive in a world full of darkness and conspiracy. They would do anything to fulfill their missions.
Ghost in the Shell
Set in the year 2029, Ghost in the Shell is about Niihama city, which is now an advanced metropolis. Due to advancements in science and cybernetics, people can now have robotic parts as their limbs. The city’s Public Security Section 9 combats corruption, terrorism, and all the threats that have manifested as a result of globalization.
Major Motoko Kusanagi of Section 9 has to track down a hacker going by the name “Puppet Master” who strips their victims of their memories. This hacker’s entire body is robotic, which makes them extremely powerful. Motoko Kusanagi goes on a daring and complex mission to track down the hacker while simultaneously questioning her own existence, the answer to which will be provided by the Puppet Masters themself.
The city of Lisvalletta once was very peaceful, that was until the latest drug, “Anthem,” came and became a threat. The drug mutates the human body and turns it into an inhuman, beast-like creature. When the police are unable to handle the situation, a Special Crime Investigation Unit called the SEVEN-O takes the matter into their hands. These investigators work in a patented Double Decker system where they can work in buddy-cop pairs.
Police officer Kirill Vrubel had always wanted to be the savior of everyone in the school during a terrorist attack. He finds the cue to be a hero when his landlady commands him to search for her lost cat. While searching, he sleeps in an abandoned warehouse, where he finds himself in a hostage situation and soon becomes the newest member of SEVEN-O.
Release the Spyce
Momo Miyamoto is a shy person who has a simple person: to do good in the world. She wishes to be a police officer, much like her father, who is a talented law enforcer. She also has refined senses, which is her unique characteristic. One night, while she looks at the sky, she notices suspicious shades moving in it.
After finding out that those shades were actually spies, she is soon recruited as one of them by Captain Yuki Hanzoumon. These spies are part of a secret agency called Tsukikage. There is a lot of action in store in this fun anime.
Mireille Bouquet, an assassin, receives a peculiar email from a young girl named Kirika Yuumura from Japan. She finds this email that is inviting her to “make a pilgrimage to the past” utter nonsense in the beginning, but then she finds a familiar song playing from it. When the two people meet, they are suddenly ambushed by armed men.
Mireille is able to fend off the attack, but she is surprised when she sees Kirika’s combat skills while she takes out several gunmen on her own. Kirika apparently has no memory of attaining these abilities and skills. Mireille senses a shared past between themselves and the two team up under the name “Noir.” This one of its kind spy assassin anime follows these two girls as they try to put together pieces of their past, one mission at a time.
ACCA: 13- Territory Inspection Dept.
ACCA is a national body in the kingdom of Dowa which provides public services to the people. It is an establishment under the peace settlement between the king of Dowa and the 13 states of the country. About a hundred years later, Dowa enjoys peace thanks to mainly, ACCA.
Unfortunately, rumors of a coup d’état begin to circulate. Jean Otus, who is the second in command of the inspection department of the ACCA, has to inspect all 13 states. He sets out on a mysterious journey to study the state of affairs.
The Millionaire Detective Balance: UNLIMITED
Daisuke Kanbe is an extraordinarily wealthy man who is assigned to the Modern Crime Prevention Headquarters as a detective. Haru Katou is a much more humane detective with a strong sense of justice. The two are paired up together despite being polar opposites.
The morals of the two constantly clash while they work together. Haru does not like how Daisuke uses monetary supplements to solve cases, for he believes there is more to life than mere money. The two eventually have to find a way to work together and work on their differences in order to function together.
Shingeki No Kyojin
The people of Paradis live a life of isolation and threat. Their settlement is enclosed within the borders of three parted walls. They are at constant risk of being eaten alive by Titans, which are huge and dangerous entities haunting the lands beyond the corps.
Eren Yeager, a young boy, determined to be part of the Survey Corps that battles the titans, managed to do so with his friends Mikasa and Armin when a titan attack takes place on the outermost wall, taking the life of his parents. As circumstances unfold, Eren learns baffling truths both about himself and the world outside the walls. This thrilling and suspenseful anime is not primarily a spy anime, but there are a lot of themes that involve spying and infiltration.
Kimetsu No Yaiba
Kimetsu No Yaiba follows Tanjiro Kamado as he returns home after selling wood, only to find his family killed by a demon. The only one who was able to survive was his sister, Nezuko, but she had apparently turned into a demon. As he struggles to get her to a doctor in tow, Nezuko attacks her and becomes blood-hungry as any demon would. It is evident that even in such a state, she is fighting her demon urges as a previous human.
They are met by Giyuu Tomioka, a swordsman who tries to kill her. While Tanjiro tries to defend his demon sister, he strikes Giyuu as rather strange, and he decides to spare the two. Giyuu sends the duo to his old teacher, where Tanjiro learns to be a demon slayer while trying to recover his sister.
The brother-sister duo embarks on missions to defeat demons. While even this is not entirely spy based, there are a lot of spy and shinobi themes you will get to see in further scenes and seasons.
Spy Kyoushitsu (Not Yet Aired)
This is the latest announcement in the spy genre. Although not yet aired, it is much awaited. The anime follows a world where gruesome war has created serious problems for the population. The governments of the nations decide on a better tactic to fight a war in the shadows.
Lily, who is a beautiful white-haired girl, is a student at a spy training institution. Sadly for her, she is not as good in practicality as she is in theory, and with no real-life skills that she can use, her chances of graduating decrease. She is then offered the chance to be part of a mysterious team called “Tomoshibi.” She accepts the invitation out of excitement but soon realizes the motives of the mission of the team.
Akame Ga Kill!
Akame Ga Kill! is a tragic and action-packed thriller revolving around the assassination organization called “Night Raid” that works to overthrow Prime Minister Honest, that works under the king. Honest manipulates the young emperor into self-satisfying decisions and presides over the policy-making process.
The nation suffers from poverty and strife. The Night Raid is a group of experienced assassins that eliminate any threat to their mission. Tatsumi soon joins the group and embarks with them on a journey to overthrow the rule. Tatsumi is impressed by the beliefs that this group shares and soon become one of a kind.
Bishounen Tanteidan is a light-hearted, slice-of-life anime that follows Mayumi Doujima, who promises her parents that she will give up her dream to be an astronaut if she cannot see a certain star on her 14th birthday that she saw long ago. Manabu Soutouin, who overhears her wishes, helps her find the star with the help of the rest of the “Pretty Boy Detective Club.”
The club is a mysterious establishment in the Yubiwa Academy. They follow simple rules, “Be Pretty, Be a Boy, and Be a Detective.” They take in Mayumi as one of their own and make her dress like them. In finding the lost star, they come across bigger mysteries that they must look into.
Jouran: The Princess of Snow and Blood
This anime is set in 1931 when the Tokugawa Shogunate rules and holds power over the “Dragon Vein.” An elite force of assassins called the “Nue” secretly worked to defend the government from a rival institution named “Kuchinawa.”
One of these assassins is Sawa Yukimura, who runs a bookshop during the day while seeking vengeance against the man who killed her clan. Sawa utilizes her ability to transform using her blue blood while being a part of Nue because she was promised information she would need in order to reach the man behind it all: Janome, leader of Kuchinawa.
Kaifuku Jutsushi no Yarinaoshi
Although primarily an Ecchi Harem-themed adventure anime, Kaifuku Jutsushi no Yarinaoshi also has great spy themes. Keyaru, a healer who has been exploited and abused by a lot of people in the royal palace, including princess Freiya, finds a way to “redo” everything.
He takes effective measures to gain resistance against the drugs they fed him and finds a way to the palace again. There he gains important intel and seeks greater vengeance. With his extraordinary abilities, he brainwashes the princess after exacting revenge on her. He subtly and quickly gathers his own harem with a lot of girls who have their perks.
Mirai Nikki, or rather, Future Diary, is a thrilling anime that is all about the chase. It follows Amano Yukiteru as he suddenly becomes the owner of a special diary that can tell him about future events. He has had imaginary friends called Deus Ex, a god of time, and his servant, Mur Mur.
Both of them turn out not to be figments of his imagination but real entities. He realizes that his classmate, Yuno Gasai, also has the same diary. Deus Ex later tells Amano, along with 11 other people, that they are all in a battle against each other to become the god’s next successor. Yuno and Amano team up to fight this unforgiving battle that proves to be more dangerous than they thought.
Munou na Nana
Munou na Nana is certainly one of the best spy anime specimens, and even like the anime version of the game “Among Us.” The world in the anime shows terrifying creatures that appeared on the earth fifteen years ago. To battle them, teenagers with supernatural abilities study at a faraway academy to hone their skills.
One of the students here is Nanao Nakajima, who is the odd one out since he really has no talent. He is often a target of bullying. Soon enough, two transfer students- Kyouya Onodera (who is rather mysterious) and Nana Hiiragi (who can read minds) enroll in the academy. Just as everyone seems to get along, students start disappearing mysteriously, and this creates major havoc around the campus.
Naruto is a long-running Shounen anime that revolves around Naruto Uzumaki, who lives in a Shinobi World (Ninja World). He is an orphan that faces certain backlash due to his origins. Even so, he is a determined individual who aims to be the Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village (Konoha).
The anime is all about talented Shinobis infiltrating mission bases, dangerous locations, and other lands to gain important intel and fight off threats to the nation’s peace. A lot of epic anime battles come from Naruto, and the Shinobi theme has been a game-changer. The spy themes used in this anime are often seen adapted into other animes.
Platinum End comes from the same author as Death Note, and frankly, it was quite good. It is similar to Mirai Nikki in some aspects. It has the same concept of a number of people fighting for a position. In this case, people are fighting as god’s candidates for the pedestal of god. Coincidentally, the protagonist is named Mirai. He lives a life of despair with his abusive relatives after his parents die.
As he tries to jump from a building to end his life, an angel called Nasse appears before him and convinces him not to take this step while offering him two priceless abilities in return. When Mirai uses his powers, he is taken aback by the range of his capabilities. He soon finds himself in a showdown with 12 other people who are also the same as him and are fighting this battle.
Vanitas No Carte
Vanitas No Carte, as the name suggests, follows Vanitas, who is a self-proclaimed vampire specialist. He dons the “Book of Vanitas,” which is a cursed grimoire created by the vampire Vanitas who was scorned for being born under a blue moon and who existed in older times. The modern-day Vanitas is not a vampire but holds the power of this book which can give any lost vampire their true name. On his missions, he pairs up with Noe Archiviste, a vampire he saved on the way.
Yakusoku no Neverland
Yakusoku No Neverland or the Promised Neverland is the story of a few young children who attempt to escape the confines of their orphanage, Grace Feild, after realizing that their caretaker, Isabella, has been raising them all to eventually give them off to beasts that live out there.
The three oldest children devise plans to escape and take along with them all of the little children. They only barely escape the deadly creatures lurking in the wild. While not a lot of spy themes are seen in the first season, which is mainly about escaping, the second season promises a lot more of that.
Yuukoku No Moriarty
Yuukoku No Moriarty is set in Britain in the 19th century, where one’s worth is determined by their status and wealth. The system also is majorly determined by its favor towards the aristocrats, making it impossible for the working class to ever rise up in the ranks.
William James Moriarty, who is the second son of the Moriarty household, functions as a noble but also is someone that the common people approach regarding their problems. Deep down, William despises the system, too and constantly works towards breaking it down. With the help of his brothers Allbert and Louis, he makes it a mission to eliminate the filthy and greedy from the society that he is a part of, even if blood has been spilled.
In the Southern European country of Sauville, Kazuya Kujou comes as a foreign student in the boarding school of Saint Marguerite Academy. He is often made fun of for his black eyes and hair and is called the “Black Reaper.”
One day, he visits the beautiful library where he comes across Victorique De Blois, a doll-like girl who, with the help of her imaginative foresight, predicts their intertwined futures. The pair tries to solve together a range of mysteries that revolve around their lives and around them, going on their own little endeavors.
B: The Beginning
In the islands of Cremona, a vigilante runs free. This partly celebrated “Killer B” takes justice into his own hands. Thanks to his superhuman abilities and sharp blade, he gets the work done.
When the Royal Investigation Service (RIS) is unable to get their hands upon this man, they employ the expertise of Keith Flick, a detective who is considered the last resort. Keith is accompanied by his sidekick, Lily Hoshina, and later Killer B himself in uncovering secret organizations behind domestic terrorism, increased crime, and human experiments.
Of course, since the mention has been made of Platinum End, it is important to put Death Note on this list. The impressive manga and anime are one of the best even today. Death of god, Ryuk drops a mysterious notebook in the human realm. A genius 17-year-old called Light Yagami comes across it. He picks it up and takes it home.
The first of the rules mentioned in the notebook was: the human whose name gets written in this notebook shall die. He finds the idea stupid at first, but upon getting tempted, he writes the name of a felon. Not long after, the felon is declared dead, becoming the first victim of Light.
He realizes the extent of the god-like powers he has been given and takes it upon himself to eradicate the evil in this world. He takes upon the alias of “Kira” and continues to put criminals to death. The suspicion in the people soon arises, and the case is handed over to L, an expert detective whose intellect rivals Lights. The two men are put into an intense battle where each tries his best to know and hide respectively.
Bungo Stray Dogs
Atsushi Nakajima is unaware of the mystical tiger that is apparently haunting the premises of the orphanage he is in. Upon suspicion, he is kicked out of the place and left both homeless and hungry. When he is starving alongside a river, he saves a man from drowning from suicide. This man is found to be Dazai Osamu, who is a supernatural detective. Turns out Dazai has been investigating the same mystical tiger.
Together with Dazai’s partners, the mystery is solved, but it leaves Atsushi in a puzzling situation. He is eventually coerced into joining their firm that deals with all sorts of mysterious and supernatural happenings. They solve cases that are out of the reach of the police. Dazai’s team comprises enigmatic co-workers that Atsushi has to get along with.