The Popularity of Anime has skyrocketed in recent years and has become one of the most consumed Genres of Content ever. What makes anime unique is that its characters are not really real. Which means they don’t have the limitations that come with being real. The intensity of Anime characters is something that Humans cannot easily achieve. And the special effects used in Anime would be complicated to recreate outside of a Monitor.
There are some who look down on anime claiming that “Anime is for Kids” as it’s animated. This can not be further from the Truth. Anime is something that can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of Age. From OG Anime like Bleach and Naruto to New-Gen Anime like Demon Slayer and Jujutsu Kaisen, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Furthermore, Anime has come a long way in terms of Animation and Visual Effects. The attention to detail and the sheer quality of each frame are immaculate. Studios are known for putting millions of dollars into the development of each episode. And now that Most of the Popular Streaming services have integrated Anime into their vast libraries of shows they are more popular than ever. There is Anime in every possible genre there is and even streaming services dedicated to just them. If you are in the Market place for Anime recommendations this list will surely be of help to you.
33 Historical Anime to Watch
Historical Anime is the Genre of Anime taking place in the past. Any anime that takes place anywhere from ancient civilizations to the past century can be considered fair game. The story of said Anime would be inspired by true events but will be far from the actual fact. Most of the time genres like fantasy and supernatural will also be incorporated into it so as to make it more vibrant. Without further ado here are 33 Historical Anime You Should Consider Watching
1. Vinland Saga
Based on the Manga of the same name Vinland Saga takes place in 1013AD England. The story follows the life of an Icelandic Boy of name Thorfinn in his quest for Revenge against his Father’s Murderer. Since he is just a child with virtually no battle experience the task overwhelms him. But the anger and thirst for revenge are keeping him alive.
He follows around the person who killed his Father. And eventually joins his band of Vikings. This is so that he can kill him when he is ready. Strangely the person who is responsible for his Father’s death agrees to it. As to him, Thorfinn is a harmless child. With every battle, he is thrown into the emerges a little stronger than before. It won’t be long before he has his Revenge.
2. Black Butler
Based on the Manga series of the same name Black Butler takes place in 19th Century Europe. The story follows Ciel Phantomhive and his butler Sebastian. Sebastian is excellent in his duties as a Butler. Going above and beyond to fulfill any and all of his Master’s wishes. When Ciel gets kidnapped by the Italian Mafia for ransom we see the true nature of Sebastian.
It is revealed that Sebastian is a demon with whom Ciel has made a contract. The contract binds him to Ceil as a servant and can act as his personal security detail. The movie progresses as the duo travel around the country, getting in trouble. But Sebastian always has Ciel’s back; They also seem to have developed a more profound relationship going beyond that of Master and Servant.
3. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Based on the Manga Series of the name Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba takes place in Taisho Era Japan. The story follows Tanjiro Kamado, whose sister gets turned into a demon, and the remaining family is killed at the Hands of the Demon King. He joins the secret society of Demon Slayers, which is the only line of Defense against the demons.
The story progresses as Tanjiro goes under excruciating training to become a demon slayer and tries to find a cure for her sister. As time goes by, he gets more proficient in the way the sword. He meets several allies who help him in his struggle. With every demon he slays, he comes one step closer to exacting his revenge on the King of Demons.
4. The Heroic Legend of Arslan
Based on the Novel series of the same name, The Heroic Legend of Arslan takes place in Ancient Persia. The story follows the Prince of Pars Arslan as he tries to liberate his country from foreign invaders. A once peaceful and prosperous country gets usurped as King’s most trusted betrays him. Which left the Prince to fend for himself.
The Story progresses as Arslan is joined by his servant Daryun in his journey. He also recruits several people who are still loyal to the throne. As time goes by Arslan’s army grows in strength and is finally strong enough to fight the invaders. In the end, Arslan reclaims his throne but keeps an eye open for other threats that may follow.
Based on the Japanese Manga of the same name, Gintama takes place in Edo-era Japan. In this alternate universe, Japan is invaded by aliens called the Amanto. The Samurai are enlisted to fight the alien threat. However, the rulers of Japan gave up Japan, believing they were not equipped to fight the alien threat. The aliens impose harsh and unfair laws on Humans.
Gintoki Sakata is a Samurai during this period. Now that the aliens have outlawed Samurai Swords, Gintoki is doing odd jobs to make ends meet. There is no central storyline here as the next episode is rarely a continuation of the previous one. But an entirely new story. However, some villains make multiple appearances throughout the anime.
Taking place in the Sengoku Period of Japan, Yasuke is the tale of a Black Samurai who served as a weapons bearer for Daimyo Oda Nobunaga. However, the story is reimagined with magical elements. When his master falls to the might of Dark Forces beyond his comprehension, Yasuke retires and tries to live a calm and peaceful life.
His peace didn’t last very long as he agreed to take a young girl and her mother to a doctor who lives far away. There he comes to realize that whatever ails the child is of magical nature. Furthermore, it is also revealed that someone is trying to kidnap the child. Possibly to exploit her magical abilities. Yasuke makes it his mission to care for the child and to help her get the help she needs.
7. Heaven Official’s Blessing
Heaven Official’s Blessing is a Chinese anime that takes place in a fantasy version of Ancient China. A period where Gods also roamed the Earth. The story follows the crown prince of Xianle. He ascended to the heavens at a very young age, and due to his beloved nature, he had a lot of followers. However, when his kingdom fell under hard times, he went against the etiquette of being a god and involved himself in the life of Humans.
This led to him losing his status as a God and his followers. However, he gets ascended a second time which was also short-lived. When he ascended a 3rd time, he was a laughingstock among the other Gods. This time around, he is an Official of the Heavens. He is tasked with roaming the earth and solving mysteries that threaten humans. There he meets the infamous Crimson Rain, one of the 4 Ghost Kings.
Based o the Video Game Series of the same name, Castlevania takes place during the 11th century. When Lisa, the wife of Dracula, was accused of witchcraft and burned at stake. All hell breaks loose, literally. Dracula has been living a peaceful life ever since he met his wife. She convinced him to share his knowledge with her. In the end, that knowledge is what led to her demise.
Dracula assembles his other Vampiric allies and plans to go to war against the world for what they did to Lisa. The story progress as Monster Hunter Trevor Belmont, Magician Sypha Belnades, and Alucard, son of Dracula, band together to defeat Dracula and his hordes. The fate of the entire world rests on their shoulders.
Based on the Manga series of the same name, Dororo takes place in Sengoku period Japan. The story follows the life of a child who gets sacrificed by his father to demons. In exchange for wealth and prosperity. The child who has been stripped of all his senses and limbs is abandoned. Little did they know the little one’s will to live is stronger than anyone’s.
The child is found and saved by Jukai, who uses prosthetics to replace what he has lost. Due to his organs being sacrificed to demons, he has gained the ability to sense their aura. When he defeats one of them, he regains his ability to feel pain. The story progresses as he travels the land defeating demons and gaining his organs back one by one.
10. Grave of Fireflies
Taking place in World War II era Japan, Grave of Fireflies is a story of a brother and sister just trying their best to survive. After their mother’s death, siblings Setsuko and Seita move in with their Aunt. But as time goes by, the Aunt begins resenting the children, which led to them moving out. With no place else to go, they move into an abandoned bomb shelter.
With no access to good food or other supplies, Seita started looting farmers and abandoned homes. This doesn’t prove to be much as Setsuko grows weaker due to malnutrition and eventually dies. Now Alone, Seita sets out with her sister’s ashes. The movie ends as Seits succumbs to malnutrition and sets out with his sister into the afterlife.
11. Golden Kamuy
Based on the Manga series of the same name, olden Kamuy takes place during the Aftermath of the Russo-Japanese war. The anime follows the adventures of Saichi Sugimoto in his quest to find a long-lost treasure. He wants to make a lot of money so that he can afford to get the best treatment for the wife of one of his friends whom he lost during the war.
When Kamuy learns about the hidden gold, he is skeptical until he stumbles upon the first clue to the treasure. The story progresses as he finds more clues getting closer each time. It is then he learns that he is don’t the only one after the gold. The groups consistently try to sabotage each other to prevent them from reaching the gold first.
12. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Based on the Manga of the same name, Fullmetal Alchemist takes place in a fictional land where magic exists. Humans can invoke this magic using a transmutation circle. However, there are certain rules to magic which is called Alchemy. The rules are equal exchange and never transmuting another living being.
The show follows the life of the Elric brothers, who try to bring their mother back from the dead. The ritual goes terribly wrong as they lose body parts in correspondence to the law of equal exchange. While Edwards loses an arm and a leg, his younger brother loses his entire body leaving him just a soul. The story progresses as a new threat emerges in the form of Artificial Humans called the Homunculi.
Based on the manga series of the same name, Berserk takes place in Medieval Europe. The story focuses on the swordsman guts, who was born from a Corpse. He was raised in the life of a mercenary by his abusive father. He becomes a sword for hire and quickly gains a reputation. He is approached by the Band of Hawks, who wants Guts to join their fold.
The story progresses as Guts go to war with this group, emerging victorious. He also starts developing feelings for Casca, the only female member of the group. However, after winning the war, Guts decide to go his separate way. However, he returns when his old group gets in trouble. Things take a dark turn when the leader of the group sacrifices most of them to gain power.
Based on the Manga of the same name, Kingdom takes place during the Warring States Period – China. The story was inspired by actual events and several characters that resemble famous historical entities. The story follows the life of Piao and Xin. They are Orphans of the war and are working as servants to make ends meet.
The story progresses as Piao gets taken to the palace without any explanation. After months of no contact, Piao returns to the village in a near-dead state. Piao warns Xin to get out of the village. During his travels, he meets another boy in the spitting image of Piao. It is revealed that the boy is the current ruler, and Piao was used as a body double to save the ruler’s life.
Based on the Manga of the same name, Clamore takes place on a fictional island in the Medieval Period. The island in question is overrun by Yoma, a type of demon that feeds on Humans. Claymores are basically female versions of Witcher, both of them being discriminated against due to their monstrous side. Just like Witchers, Claymores travel around the world, taking contracts to kill Demons.
The show follows the life of one such Claymore, Claire. She is accompanied by Raki, a boy she saves early on in the season. Raki serves as a companion and a cook for Clair. The story progresses as the pair go from town to town, looking for contracts. Things escalate when Clair uses too much of her monster side and almost loses control. Which gets her noticed by her superiors, who want to eliminate her before she goes full Demon.
16. Afro Samurai
Based on the Manga series of the same name, Afro Samurai takes place in Feudal Period Japan. In this fictional version of Japan, there are headbands. These headbands are said to give their wearer god-like powers. The story protagonist’s father was the owner of the No 1 headband. The most powerful of them all. Afro’s father gets killed by the No 2 headband user and takes the No 1 for himself.
The story progresses as Afro vows revenge against the one who killed his father. He possesses the No 2 headband at the moment. And is in the process of tracking down his Father’s killer. When he finally tracks down the killer, he reveals that there are several other headbands in the world and also that he has killed and collected all of them. A battle ensues, and Afro is successful in his quest for revenge.
17. Attack on Titan
Based on the Manga series of the same name, Attack on Titan Takes place during 845 CE. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by gains known as Titans. The humans survived several walls around their camp to protect themselves from the Titan Threat. The story follows the life of Eren Jaeger, who wants to join the Survey Corps, much to the dismay of his family members.
As the story progresses, Titans find a way inside the walls. There is nothing they can do except watch as the Titans devour their loved ones. Eren watches his mother get devoured by a female titan. He vows to exterminate all the titans and liberate humanity from their constraints. Little did he know things are not as Black and White as it seems.
18. Altair: A Record of Battles
Based on the Manga series of the same name, Altair: A Record of Battles takes place on the Fictional Continent of Rumeline. The story follows the life of Tuğril Mahmut. He is a military officer in his country. Mahmut was an Orphan of War, and therefore, he is appalled by the idea of war. When his country was under threat by a neighboring nation, he leaps into action, doing whatever he could to protect his home.
The story progresses as Mahmut recruits more people into his fold and travels around the country to form alliances. Only after traveling some distance, Mahmut realizes how big of a threat he is dealing with. He is going to need all the help he can get if he is to protect his country from the aggressive expansion strategy of his enemies.
Based on the Manga of the same name, D.Grey-man took place in the 19th century. The story follows the life of Allen Walker, an exorcist of the Black Order. The Black Order was formed as the first line of defense against the Noah Family. The Black Order uses Sentient Holy Artifacts called the Innocence in their battle. While the Noah family uses the sinister Dark Matter which grants them an array of superpowers.
Allen Walker is the latest recruit into the Black Order. Their struggle is against the entity known as Millennium Earl who has the ability to resurrect the dead as demons. Earl takes an interest in Walker as has the conciseness of an exiled member of the Noah Family. And Earl wants them returned. The story progresses as the other conciseness inside him tries to gain control over the body.
20. Blade of the Immortal
Based on the Manga Series of the same name, Blade of the Immortal takes place in the Tokugawa Shogunate period in Japan. The story follows the life of Ronin Manji. He was directly responsible for the death of 100 Samurais one of whom was his Brother in Law. Manji is made immortal by an 800-year-old nun so that he can make amends for his past shortcomings.
He is kept alive using the bloodworms specifically bred to be as similar to Human tissue as possible. These critters can the ability to heal any wound on the Host’s body and even reattach limbs. Making the host Immortal. He has to kill 1000 Evil Men as penance, and until then, he will stay immortal. The story progresses as he travels the world looking for truly evil men to slay.
21. Black Clover
Based on the Manga of the same name, Black Clover takes place in the fictional country of Clover Kingdom. The story follows the life of Orphan Asta, who was born with no magic. This is strange as virtually everyone else in that universe has some magic no matter how weak. He is similar to Deku from My Hero Academia, but unlike him, Asta has no powers.
This doesn’t stop Asta as he trains his body and constantly tries magic-building exercises but to no avail. In his inspiration, he unlocks the mysterious Anti-Magic Grimeore which gives him the ability to negate any and all forms of magic. The story progress as Asta trains like there is no tomorrow to become just as powerful as the most powerful magic users in the nation
Based on the Manga of the same name, Inuyasha takes place in Sengoku era Japan. The story follows the life of Kagome Higurashi as she is pulled into the well at her Family Shrine by a demon. This transports her back in time to the Sengoku Era. There she meets the half-human, half-demon boy Inuyasha. When Kagome is attacked by the same demon that pulled her into the well.
She sets Inuyasha free, and he slays the Demon. It is revealed that he was imprisoned by Kikyo as he tried to steal the Shikon Jewel. It is also revealed that Kagome is her reincarnation. The story progress as the duo travels the world looking for the Shikon Jewel shards. On the journey, several people join their mission to assemble the Shikon Jewel.
23. Sword of the Stranger
Sword of the Stranger is a story of an Orphan named Kotaro taking place in the Sengoku period. While seeking shelter from his pursuers, Kotaro meets Nanashi. Nanashi is a wandering swordsman. Nanashi claims to have served several masters in the past and reveals himself to be a foreigner who reached the shores of Japan after a shipwreck.
Koraro hires Nanashi as his security detail and is tasked with keeping him alive until he finds a permanent solution. The story progresses as Korako is revealed to be a “Prophesized Child” whose blood has special properties. And when sacrificed at a certain time of the year, the blood becomes an ingredient for the Elixir of Immortality.
24. Hellsing Ultimate
Based on the Manga of the same name, Hellsing Ultimate takes place in World War II-era England. The story follows the Royal Order of the Protestant Knights. Which was founded by infamous monster hunter Abraham Van Helsing. The Order is tasked with protecting the crown from things that o bump in the night.
The Current head of the organization is Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing. With her are her trusted butler, Walter C. Dornez, and Alucard, the original vampire. Making her a force to be reckoned with. The story progresses as the survivors of Millennium, a Nazi group who wants to revive Nazi Germany using armies of vampires.
Based on the Manga of the same name Moster takes place in West Germany. The series’ protagonist is Dr. Kenzo Tenma, a brilliant neurosurgeon. After seeing plain favoritism and discrimination in the hospital, he works in, Tenma is annoyed. When a couple of Fraternal Twins show up at his hospital needing immediate surgery, Tenma rushes into action.
At the same time, the Mayor also comes to the hospital in need of urgent care. Tenma decides to help the twins instead of the Mayor which led to his death. This becomes a huge sandal with it Tenma has effectively committed career suicide. To add insult to injury he finds out that the man he saved turns out to be a psychopathic serial killer.
26. Ninja Scroll
This anime movie takes place in Feudal era Japan. The series’ protagonist is a mercenary by trade Kibagami Jubei. Jubei gets caught up in the crosshairs of the demonic battle against the Eight Devils of Kimon. They are a team of Ninjas with Supernatural abilities and are ruthless in their missions. When Jubei kills one of them to protect Tessai, he incurs their wrath.
The story progresses as Jubie, accompanied by spies, Dukan and Kagero who as all kinds of deadly toxins inside her body. As time passes Kagero goes about eliminating the Devils while Kagero starts developing feelings for Jubei. It is revealed that the Devil Ninjas were to take over Japan rather than serve a master.
27. Rurouni Kenshin
Based on the Manga of the same name, Rurouni Kenshin takes place in Meiji Period Japan. This is a tale of Himura Kenship\n on his journey to Redemption. After serving as an assassin during the Boshin War he has vowed to never take another life ever again. Instead, he uses his skills to protect people in need. During his journey, he runs into Kamiya Kaoru who takes him in.
Due to his infamous nature, Kaoru’s dojo becomes a target for those who want to get back at Kenshin due to his past actions. The story progresses as he meets a foe who is a threat to everything he stands for. However, this enemy proved too much for him. He goes back to his roots to get more knowledge and skill. Skills he would need to defeat this enemy.
28. Avatar: The Last Airbender
Avatar is an anime-inspired animated series taking place in the fictional land known as the 4 nations. The show follows the life of Aang in his journey to learn all 4 elemental bending styles. On his journey, he is accompanied by Karara, who teaches him about water bending, Toph, who teaches him earth bending, and Katars’s brother Sokka.
Aang has to master all the elements to defeat the fire nation ruler to prevent him from taking over the world. Aang has to go through several struggles to master the elements in such a short while. He is being persecuted by fire nation officials as he is the only person standing between the fire nation and world domination.
Based on the Manga of the same name, Kurozuka is a story of lost love. Taking place in 12th Century Japan the story follows the life of legendary swordsman Kuro. During his journey, he meets and falls in love with Kuromitsu. Kuro, who is on the run from his older brother, is eventually caught and mortally wounded. Karumitsu, who reveals that she is an immortal vampire, saves his life.
But it was his own servant Benkei who betrayed him. When he gets decapitated, his transformation into a vampire is not completed. The next thing you know, Kuro wakes up in a dystopian future. Several centuries after his supposed death. Now that he is awake, he goes in search of his lover, whom he learns is on the run as the ones who killed Kuro are now after her.
30. Samurai Champloo
Taking place in Edo-era Japan and follows the life of Fuu. She works as a waitress in a tea shop. She is joined by Mugen, an Outlaw, and Jin a ronin. When the latter gets into a fight that destroys the tea shop. They are sentenced to death. Only for Fuu to save them and recruits them to help her in her mission to find the samurai who smells like sunflowers.
Towards the end, we find out that the one she is looking for is her own father. Who abandoned his daughter and wife. She wants to find him and take revenge as he abandons them but decides not to as he is already on the verge of death. In the end, it is revealed that her father went away for her own protection. After which, the trio part ways cherishing the memories they had together.
31. Ninja Resurrection
Taking place in Tokugawa Era Japan, the show follows the life of Yagyu Jubei. The movie takes place during a time in Japan when Christianity was outlawed. And the Japanese Christians were persecuted. When the leader of the rebellion is assassinated, he returns as a spirit. However, he is not the same as when he was alive.
He has a horde of demons that obey his every whim. And he will not rest until he has had his share of revenge. However, innocents are getting slain in the crosshairs. He has the potential to be the savior of mankind or be the one that leads to its destruction. The show progresses as Jubei tries to defend against the demon army.
32. Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time
Based on the Manga of the same name Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time takes place in Heian Period Japan. The storyline is similar to Inuyasha. A high school girl gets pulled into a well by a demon. She is transported into an alternate ancient version of Japan where she has to defeat demons with the help of superpowers beings.
The story follows Motomiya Akane as she becomes the Priestess of the Dragon, a being who is supposedly as powerful as a God. She is the first line of defense against the dangerous Oni Clan. And must defeat them if she hopes to return to her original world. The story progresses as Akane, with the help of her protectors, tries to defeat the Oni Clan Demons.
33. Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings
Based on the Video Game Series of the same name, Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings takes place in Sengoku Era Japan. A time in Japan when many a warlord tried to unify Japan under their respective rules. The show is about two such warlords, Date Masamune and Sanada Yukimura. They form an alliance to fight against Oda Nobunaga, the Demon King of Owari.
Nobunaga is known for his ruthlessness as he shows no mercy to anyone who stands in his way. No matter friend or foe, he will strike you down as he strives to rule Japan one day. Even though Masamune and Yukimura were successful in taking him down, the story does not end there. As bigger and badder threats are just around the horizon.