41 Gangster Anime Shows To Watch

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Gangster Anime Shows

Gangster Anime or Noir anime is a niche in the anime medium that doesn’t see a lot of popularity when compared to other genres. However, it is due to its niche status that the genre is very popular among the small community it has. The stories here are fleshed out and follow different tropes, making them unique in the medium. Not only do they stick out the most among other niche genres in anime, but there is quite a bit of story that is bound to get you hooked.

We have compiled a list of 41 gangster anime that are great throughout the medium. They are not limited to one time period and are picked from different periods in anime. Though the animation quality for some of the old ones will not stand up to the modern quality, the story alone makes them worth a watch. But if you do have an anime in mind that did not make a list, feel free to comment below. The gangster genre is filled with colorful characters that deserve all the attention they can get. So without further ado, let’s start with our entry number one.

1. Katekyo Hitman Reborn

Katekyo Hitman Reborn, or KHR, is one of the underdogs of anime that doesn’t get much recognition. Starting as a gag anime and switching gears to action shonen in the early days of work. The anime has a total of 203 episodes, but the full story did not get adopted. Tsuna is one of the unique protagonists in anime, especially among the shonen jump characters. He starts as a wimp who can get things done, but as the story goes on, he starts to develop as a person. And in terms of character growth, he has one of the best arcs in anime.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Katekyo Hitman Reborn Franchise

2. Bungo Stray Dogs

Bungo Stray Dogs continue to assert dominance as a sleeper hit. The story is about characters who are based on the name of authors and their personalities similar to that. For example, Osuma, who is one of the main characters in the series, is suicidal and even asks a girl for double suicide as a part of the date. But, the author he is based on had the same tendencies when he was alive. You will learn a lot of names of authors and something about their personalities, and of course, there is Mafia involved. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be on the list.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Bungo Stray Dogs Franchise

3. 91 Days

91 days is an original anime series that has no manga to date. One of the first original studios behind Durarara, you will find this anime especially endearing. The story takes place in 1930’s America, a time when gangster wars were raging in the country. We follow revenge-driven Angelo Lagusa, who is out to murder every Vanetti family. A simple premise with a straightforward story, with gangster action and ethics that you would expect from a series. There is no sequel or manga adaptation of the series, but the anime alone makes up for a good time.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: 91 Days Franchise

4. Gangsta

Gangsta, with a name like this, you can guess what to expect from the anime adapted from the manga of the same name; the series has a duo taking on jobs that is too much to handle for Police or Mobs. Though the premise is simple, it is the characters that make the story unique and an all-time favorite among gangsta anime. It even has a novel to its name, along with audio drama series (though they are only popular in Japan for the most part). The anime has a total of 12 episodes, but the manga continues to be published.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Gangsta Franchise

5. Banana Fish

The series got an anime in 2018 and has a total of 24 episodes; however, the original work itself was published in the 90s. The manga then was ahead of its time, one of the major reasons why the anime adaptation of the series didn’t feel outdated. The story follows Ash Lynx, who has been trained since a young age to become the family head and take over the business. However, in the process, his self-image and desires are thwarted, and he is forced to show a side to the people. But he is still close to the family, and when he learns his brother has been made insane by a group named Banana Fish, he puts everything into finding out the culprit.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Banana Fish Franchise

6. Baccano

We can’t make a list like this without including Baccano. Baccano is a spiritual predecessor to the Durrarra series set in America 1930s. It involves a group of different gangs, and few among them have attained immortality. The immortality came to be when a group of alchemists summoned a demon and asked him to give them the secret of eternal life. And from there begins a long struggle for those who attained a long life; however, the devil played a trick on them and added variations to their boon that caused conflict for long years.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Baccano Franchise

7. Durarara

Durarara is done by the same author as Baccano but on a much more controlled scale and with a down-to-earth conflict. The setting is modern-day Japan and shows the story of three friends who, unbeknownst to each other, have a gang themselves. Although, they are not the only players in the field as we see literal Dulahan and its headless bike taking on the streets of Tokyo, where the gang wars are about to erupt. But it is the personal connection and the interconnected web of characters that make the story interesting.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Durarara Franchise

8. Cowboy Bebop

The story takes place in 2071, and the earth has become inhabitable with remnants of humanity out in the outer galaxy. Spike is a freelance Cowboy who hunts down criminals to make his living. However, he once used to be part of a crime syndicate that he had left behind. But they hadn’t forgotten him and were out to take him out when they learned about his whereabouts. This is one of the most relaxing animes to watch due to the musical direction it takes. And with Spike as the main character, you will never guess what he will do next, but you can be sure that he will be chilling like it’s nobody’s problem, no matter the situation.

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Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Cowboy Bebop Franchise

9. Black Lagoon

Every anime veteran has watched or heard of it, and for a very good reason. The story consists of a team of smugglers that ship stuff in the southeast Asian sea and are at odds with those in the same business. They abducted a salaryman by the name of Rock and put him to work who grows up to become the face of the group for his negotiation skills that are unmatched by anyone in the field.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Black Lagoon Franchise

10. Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure Golden Wind

Jojo franchise dives into everything, and the series trying its hands on Mafia was no surprise. Golden Wind is a story about Giorno Giovanna (also pronounced Jojo), who aims to be a mafia gangster. He has neglected his whole life when growing up by his mother and stepfather. But when he helped a local gangster from dying, he helped him in making his life easy and gave him the childhood that he needed. However, Giorno was inspired by the man and decided to become a gangster when he grew up. This led him to pick skills unique to the field, and he is also one of the few people that gained a stand at a young age.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure Part 5

Also Read:  33 Historical Anime To Watch – Best Recommendations

11. Arcana Famiglia

Unlike other entries on the list, this anime is neither an original production nor adapted from manga or a light novel. This particular gangster anime is adapted from La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia, Italian, for The Story of the Arcane Family. The series follows 22 main characters who are based on the arcana from tarot cards, ranging from fools to the world. The personality of the characters is also based on the arcana they are chosen, and the plot is centered around the family members and their lives as members of the Mafia. Although the earlier entries had action and drama as the main genre, this one is more toward romance.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Arcana Famiglia Franchise

12. Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul anime is not one of the best out there, as there is a lot of material from the manga that has been botched or outright changed. However, the first season of the anime still holds as one of the character changes in the medium, and for that alone, it deserves it. Watching Kaneki’s slow descent into madness and resulting in a twisted monster is quite a sight. It is not something that you get to see often in many animes, but after that, you would be better off reading manga as it covers the story much better. There is also faint hope for fans that it will one day get Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood treatment, but it remains to be seen.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Tokyo Ghoul Franchise

13. Jormungand

Jormungand is a fun anime to watch as it pits people with opposing views against each other. Koko Hekmatyar is an arms dealer who sells weapons the for the sake of world peace. To add up to this hypocrisy, some people have even called her a monster for her sly side. However, she does have a soft side for Jonah, a child soldier, the newest recruit on her team. She adores him and wishes for him to live a normal life when outside the gun dealings.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Jormungand Franchise

14. Gungrave

Gungrave is based on the game of the same name and focuses on Brandon Heat, who used to be in a gang with his best friend, Harry Mcdowell. As the story progresses, he joins Mafi Syndicate along with Harry and soon rises up the ladder for his achievements for the things he does for the family. But he is betrayed and killed by Harry for betraying the Mafia. Brandon is then resurrected and has only one person in mind. But in doing so, he will uncover a lot of secrets that he shouldn’t have.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Gungrave Franshie

15. Project K

Many gangster anime are based on real-life settings and are added with little twists to their setting. Project K(Or K Franchise in general) is different as it focuses on a timeline that is similar to ours but has lots of different events in history. We are shown the modern era of that world, which shows us the modern-day world and the gang disputes with superpowers. This is one of the shows that is hard to explain with the premise alone, but you will love it if this kind of weird thing is up your alley.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Project K Franchise

16. Beelzebub

The show is about a delinquent who gets into fights with another underlying mafia group being chosen to take care of Demon Lord Beelzebub. Tatsumi Oga lives a life filled with fights and disputes with others in the school. However, it is his version of what one could peace, which is soon interrupted when people from the demon world start coming his way. If that wasn’t enough, he also has to deal with the little demon lord whom he has to raise as a father. The anime is focused on comedy, but the manga is said to have better quality in terms of storytelling and longer story.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Beelzebub Franchise

17. Nisekoi

Nisekoi, literally translating to false love, is about Raku Ichijo solving the mystery of the girl he met years ago. He has a hint that she is the destined one for his life. However, there are quite a few problems. First, he is the son of the Yakuza, so he has a family business to take care of. Second, a new mafia family has found its base in Japan, and the members are in a constant fight with each other. Third, he has a crush on Onodera from high (whom he believes is one for him), but the heir of the Mafia family has disrupted the rhythm of their lives, and they go down a spiral of problems that leads to one drama after another.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Nisekoi Franchise

18. Kemonozume

The series has elements of the Mafia and also plays a twist on beauty and the beast. Toshihiko is heir to his father’s school and has been raised to inherit the family dojo. However, once he saw Yuka skydiving, he was bewitched by her beauty and decided to be with her. And as fate would have it, she is a shape-shifting monster that his family, since ancient generations, has been hunting. After learning the truth, would he run away from his responsibilities or stick to his love?

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Kemonozume Franchise

19. Air Gear

Air Gear is not something many people talk about today. The anime came in 2006 and was among high praised series at the time of its streaming. However, as time went by, it was forgotten by mainstream media, with anyone hardly remembering what the show was even about. Now it sits as one of the hidden gems in the industry, which has aged well in that regard. Ikki is adopted as a little brother by his gorgeous sister, who, unbeknownst to him, works in a gang. However, Ikki is thrust into the world of Air Skating as he witnesses the sport with his eyes for the first time.

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Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Air Gear

20. Texhnolyze

There was a time when anime studios liked to experiment with ideas. Texhnolyze is anime from that era, and it has a weirdness that you do not quite see to this day. The story takes place in an abandoned underground man-made city that has been overtaken by different factions which are at odds with each other. Among them is the group Texhnolyze who want to use technology in the depths to their advantage.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Texhnolyze Franchise

Also Read: Best Revenge Anime To Watch In 2022

21. Dogs Bullet & Carnage

Dogs Bullet & Carnage is one of the shorter series on the list. The series aforementioned (along with the ones that are adapted) continued in the manga for a long time. But this series is unlike them, and you need only to watch anime to get the full story package. The story takes place in a dystopic future where drugs, war, and violence are the norm, with genetic manipulation further fueling the fires. Instead of one main protagonist, you will come across numerous main characters that cross paths with each other in the area far below. Through their interactions, they learn about themselves and come to terms with their pasts.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Dogs Bullet & Carnage Franchise

22. Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor

What is a Mafia without gambling? Less exciting. And so we bring you Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor, a manga that focuses on Japan’s recession in the 1990s when its economy burst. Kaiji has failed to land himself a job during the recession period and often cries for his misfortune. However, his luck takes a nose dive when he is chained into a contract of debt due to his foolishness. The loan shark is at his door and gives him two options; either work the next decade to pay his debt or board the gambling ship and win his freedom. The loan shark thought he would be in even more debt after losing there, but Kaiji won big and made his way into the world of gambling.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor Franchise

23. Tokyo Tribes

Gangster used to be a lot more popular before the 2000s all around the world, but these days it is not as popular as they used to be. However, that doesn’t mean the genre is dead, as we saw with Tokyo Revengers. And this entry on the list has a lot in common with that series as it takes place in the 90s and has lots of aesthetics from that time. The anime was released in 2008, so it’s not that old in terms of adaptations.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Tokyo Tribes Franchise

24. Heat Guy J

Here is another original anime for this list, and it, too, takes place in a futuristic city. The story follows a duo of detectives stationed in the lawless city of Judoh where crime is common, and mysteries are never-ending. Daisuke Aurora is a laid-back guy who doesn’t let the situation get over his head with a dark and grim past. J is an android made with the latest technology of the government. Though androids are banned in the city, he was given an exception to work, thanks to the government. The pair works to solve crimes and go after syndicates that are a threat to society.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Heat Guy J Franchise

25. Cuticle Detective Inaba

Now, we all know anime can be weird (not as much as it used to be), and Cuticle Detective Inaba falls into that category. This story follows half-wolf Inaba, a private detective that works on a local case that people won’t go to the police for. He has an agency where his cross-dressing secretary, Yuuta, and Kei with no abnormal qualities. The anime follows their somewhat ridiculous lives but focuses on daily lives as well now and then. Also, we thought a series where laughter and joke was the main focus should be on the list since all the mentioned titles are serious so far.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Cuticle Detective Inaba Franchise

26. Golden Kamui

Golden Kamui is a weird concept, and it wasn’t even made in the old era of anime. The story takes place in a world where the Russian-Japanese war has ended, with many elements taken from real life in that era. A man discovers a great quantity of gold and hides it away. However, he is soon on a run as there are officials who want the location out of him, which leads to him getting imprisoned. Not wanting to tell the location and go through torture, he inks the map on his fellow prisoners and scatters the message as no one can truly read it. This leads to a riot and a hunt for gold.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Golden Kamui Franchise

27. Beastars

Beastars became popular the moment it was released all around the world. The world of Beastars has all sorts of animals living together with no signs of conflict. However, due to their difference among them conflict arises among animals and people, and resolutions are scarce as there are layers of complicated social pressure and prejudices that one must deal with it. But, some animals must satisfy their instincts, and to do so, they have nowhere to go black market or take it out on other animals.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Beastars Franchise

28. Hinamatsuri

Hinamatsuri is an anime that has lots of charms. The main character is unimpressive Yakuza who lives a normal life with not much going on in his life. That changes when a girl from the future drops on his head while in the apartment and doesn’t leave his house. After a little back and forth, he decided to act as her guardian, but things started to get more weird after that. It turns out the girl is a powerful Psychokinesis, and there are people from the future who want her to come back or kill her.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Hinamatsuri

29. Trigun

Trigun is one of the anime classics that has only aged well despite being two decades old. In terms of legacy, it stands next to Cowboy Bebop, but Vash has much more edginess to his action and is aloof most of the time. The series is also coming back in 2023, so for anyone who wants to binge the series before it comes, now might be a good time. Also, if you like Trigun, you will love Kekkei Sensen, as the series is from the same author.

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Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Trigun Franchise

30. The Millionaire Detective Balance: Unlimited

Now this entry falls into the mystery genre as well and focuses on the world of Noir rather than look things from their perspective. The story is adapted from the novel of the same name (minus the unlimited part) but instead takes place in the modern era. In this anime, Daisuke and Haru are forced to pair up together as part of their assignment. Haru is annoyed by Daisuke for his mindset of money being able to solve any problems. Meanwhile, Daisuke is born rich and does detective work for fun. However, as the series progresses, the two are met with mysteries and challenges that can’t be solved by the means they have been using.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: The Millionaire Detective Balance: Unlimited

Also Read: Best Vampire Anime To Watch In 2022

31. Dorohedoro

Dorohedoro is the definition of weird and niche that you can expect from anime. The series, while not popular, inspired many authors, one of them being Chainsaw Man for its weirdness. The story involves a transmogrified man who has no memory of the past after he was transformed into an experiment by a sorcerer. His only clue to learn about himself is the head inside his mouth that he shows to people by half swallowing them and getting in trouble. But this leads him to dangerous territory, and soon sorcerers and some human factions get involved in dealing with him.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Dorohedoro Franchise

32. Great Teacher Onizuka

Great Teacher Onizuka is simple in its story. A former yakuza wants to reform his life by doing ordinary and has decided to do a teaching job to find his place. However, due to his history of being with a bike gang and also being a Yakuza, he ended up with a unique mindset. He solves problems in ways that are incomprehensible to others, and many would even object to his methods. However, he is true to his job and wants to be one of the best teachers for his students.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Great Teacher Onizuka Franchise

33. Darker Than Black

Darker Than Black is another series that isn’t talked about much but would come up almost everywhere when you are looking for good anime recommendations. The series follows a super nature-powered Spy that lives a double life and is looking for his sister after the events that shook the world order and brought them to a post-apocalyptic era they live. We learn about the world and its inhabitants as we go deeper into the series, uncovering new secrets and lies that were hidden in the bygone era. The anime is a Bones and Tensai Okumura original that spanned multiple episodes, along with a manga that was released later.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Darker Than Black Franchise

34. Crying Freeman

Crying Freeman is a story so unique yet personal that you will get gripped into it the more you watch it. While most of the entries on the list have people belonging to the world of the Mafia, one way or another, Crying Freeman takes a different path. Yo is an everyday man who comes across a tape of the Chinese Mafia’s doing and then is later chased by them when they learn about it. They caught him, and instead of killing him, they brainwashed Yo and made him their member. With Yo’s memory suppressed, he has now been enlisted as one of the members of the gang. But every time he tries to recall his past, tears flow down for reasons he doesn’t know.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Crying Freeman Franchise

35. Psycho-Pass

Psycho-Pass is one of those animes that give Gen Urobuchi his name as a writer in the anime industry. The author can bring out life in series like no other, and Psycho-Pass is peak performance in that department. The story follows a dystopian future where people live normal lives and crime is at an all-time low. The reason for that is that people are diagnosed with their psycho pass factor that determines whether or not they will be beneficial for society or not. But not everyone is happy with this world, and some want to get rid of it.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Psycho-Pass Franchise

36. Tokyo Revengers

Tokyo Revengers quickly became a favorite among fans the moment the anime series was released. The manga focuses on the Yankee days of Japan when a trend like that was popular among people. And so, we have Takemichi, who gained the ability to go back in time and right his future. But this power is a gist to him in more ways than one, as his future is nothing but grim and filled with countless regrets. His ex-girlfriend died in an accident a few days before his time travel, and so he decided to save by going forwards and backward in time.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Tokyo Revengers Franchise

37. Twittering Birds Never Fly

There are a few anime on the list that can be described as ridiculous as this one. However, there is more than one reason for it too to stand out among its peers. For one, it is a Josei genre meaning you will find innuendos in a way you won’t accept if you have never had anything from this side of the industry. Second, this is a movie trilogy that adapts the series in one go; you can enjoy the whole story in just three sittings. But as for gangster style goes, it has quite a lot of subversion to it.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Twittering Birds Never Fly Franchise

38. Hunter x Hunter

Hunter X Hunter is a lot of things, and, firstly, the major arc included the Mafia and the dealings of the underworld, the Hunter universe. We also see a shift in the protagonist of the story as instead of Gon, Kurapika is the lead and works to get his revenge on the criminal organization for killing his family. Though it is for one arc, the show does a wonderful job of setting up the series’ unpredictability and how it is different from the norm. You will end up watching the entirety of the series, even if you are just going on for the gangster part.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Hunter x Hunter Franchise

39. The Way of The Househusband

The way of Houseband was an anime that was short and to the point. It was about a former yakuza boss adjusting to normal life after he fell in love with a woman and married her. But that doesn’t mean he is a changed man, his habits as a Yakuza are still there. Moreover, he doesn’t shy with his swag which gets him in trouble at the most uncertain of times.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: The Way of The Househusband Franchise

40. Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting

What happens if you combine Spy X Family and The Way of the Househusband into one? You get Yakuza’s guide to babysitting. The show is about a Yakuza member who has gone so out of bounds that his boss decided to teach him a lesson in responsibility by making him a guardian of a girl. The Yakuza member has no idea how to behave around kids and is frustrated in the beginning, but as the story goes on, he starts to cherish her.

Gangster Anime Shows
CC: Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting

41. Shonen Junai Gumi

Two Yankees are feared by those around them for their viciousness and ferocity. This led them to earn the title of Demon Explosion Duo, which they like and enjoy being called for. Until they reach the point that they decide they want to be grown-ups and get together with a member of the opposite gender.

CC: Shonen Junai Gumi

But there is one big issue, their acts have landed them in hot water so many times that their reputation is getting in the way of reaching their goal. Will they ever be able to leave boyhood or be branded Cherry Yankees?

Also Read: Best Super Power Anime To Watch That’ll Pump You Up

By Mridul Sharma

Content writer at Otakukart. Watching anime since High School and has never stopped since. Still thinking if he should watch One Piece after the series finishes or read to catch up as the final arc is being done. Has a love and hate relationship with souls games.

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