17 Action Anime That Will Change Your Life

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This list of the 21 best anime of all time for action lovers was painstakingly created to give you guys the best comprehensive list of completed anime that will change your life.

Now that anime is finally getting the love it deserves, people have been swarming the internet to consume the millions of shows they didn't even know existed. And with all of these options can come stress.

Dissimilar to current American TV programming, anime TV shows regularly make it past 300 episodes. And let's be real, who has the time to dive into a 300+ episodic series that might not even pay off in the end?

The good thing is that, now, you don't worry about those opportunity costs. I got your back.


1. Naruto/Naruto Shippuden

Naruto/Naruto Shippuden

Synopsis: In his need to be acknowledged by the hidden-leaf village that shuns him, Naruto vows he will one day become the greatest Hokage the ninja world has ever seen.

Okay. This recommendation might be a little obvious. If you're new to anime, people will usually recommend the same things: Naruto and Dragon Ball Z.

But let me assure you, this anime is constantly recommended to others because it's just that amazing. Naruto and Naruto Shippuden truly is one of the best anime of all time and millions agree.

Although the characters are kids, this could also be one of the best anime series for adults. It starts off a bit slow, but after it's given the proper amount of time to build up the universe and establish the 13+ characters -- it turns up big time.

By the time you get to Naruto Shippuden (when the main characters are teens), the plot narrows the focus to just Naruto and Sasuke, and boy is their story of brotherhood one for the books.

2. Full Metal Alchemist/Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Full Metal Alchemist/Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Synopsis: After losing his brother's body and his right arm trying to bring his mother back from the dead, Edward Elric scours the globe with his brother, Alphonse, to find a red stone that has the power to make their bodies whole again.

Speaking of a remarkable story about brothers. Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood makes this list of anime because it's the series is flawless. The characters, the plot, the relationships, the music, the pacing, etc. etc. is absolute perfection.

The only thing someone could plausibly say against the show is that they didn't like the direction the story took.

And in that event, they could just watch Full Metal Alchemist that has similar plot points but the characters handle them differently. Think, Sliding Doors but with two brothers trying to find their happiness together.

3. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

Synopsis: Newly bestowed with Geass, "The Power of Kings," Lelouch Lamperouge vows to avenge his late mother and his paralyzed sister by killing the father who banished him and his sister to a military-controlled island and ultimately cast them aside as bargaining tools.

Code Geass is not as well known as the previous two shows but that's not due to a lack of quality by any means. This anime is so well-written, I couldn't quit it even if I wanted to, and I have the story to prove it.

About halfway through Code Geass, a big w-t-f moment, probably written in to shock the audience, surprise, shocked me. But it did more than that, it made me furious. I'd gotten so mad, I swore I wouldn't give the creators the pleasure of my views and stormed upstairs.

*5 minutes later*

I was going strong in my room, bingeing through old episodes of Naruto.

*10 minutes later*

I hear loud banging and tire screeches, signaling a huge action scene.

*1 minute later*

I randomly decide I want some water but not because the kitchen was right across from the TV where my friend was watching Code Geass. It was a random urge that occurred randomly.

*5 minutes later*

I was right back on the couch, screaming at the TV, fully invested in the narrative. Upsetting or not, I absolutely had to finish Lelouch's story, and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

4. Fate/Zero


Synopsis: During the fourth Holy Grail War, where revived heroic spirits of the past fight to the death in order to make any wish they want, we see Kiritsugu at the center this battle royale as he faces six other masters and their servants, each fueled by their own unique desires and ideals.

Seeing as Fate/Zero is a relatively new anime, you won't see this show on many other lists of anime that cover the best anime of all time. Good thing you came here.

And you should probably know that I'm the best friend you have for this recommendation alone because if you haven't seen the Fate/Stay Night installments you're losing out. Big time. The fight scenes are bananas.

The other shows, such as Unlimited Blade Works and Apocrypha have also wonderful action scenes.

However, Fate/Zero is the only one that makes this exclusive anime list because, like all of the other anime I've listed and will list, Fate/Zero has the whole package: supreme characters, a compelling story, a seamless plot, etc. And more importantly, it will stand the test of time.

Fate/Zero would also make the list of the best anime series for adults, seeing as most of its content would scar anyone under 16 for life. You've been warned.

5. Michiko & Hatchin

Michiko & Hatchin

Synopsis: Michiko Malandro escapes from prison to kidnap her former lover's daughter Hana Morenos (nicknamed Hatchin), and scours the country in search of her past love in the hopes of a long-awaited reunion.

The anime Michiko e Hatchin is different from all of the other anime on this list in that the fight scenes didn't hugely sway my decision to include it in on my list of top anime.

The characters and the plot completely carried this team across the finish line. Each episode has you guessing. The subplots are seamlessly tied into the main story and its overall theme is enough to grow even The Grinch's heart 5 sizes.

The main characters and their complexities also landed Michiko e Hatchin on my list of the best anime of all time because, even though they are both women, they don't fall into the usual categories where female leads in anime tend to be boxed.

There are no docile vs loud and pushy female tropes throughout this show. Both women have their strengths, their limits, their weaknesses, and their motivations perfectly balanced and developed. In contrast to Full Metal and Naruto, this is a story of sisterhood and it's absolutely everything.

6. HunterxHunter


Synopsis: Gon Freecs will do anything to find his father, including fight through all of the obstacles his father creates for him, but first, he has to pass the Hunter exam to gain access to all of the resources he'll need for what's to come.

HunterxHunter is one of the newbies that make this list of anime. Although it's relatively new, it still hangs tough with the OG anime. Similar to Naruto, this anime follows a young boy trying to hone his skills to be the best.

While Naruto wants to make everyone acknowledge him, Gon from HunterxHunter just needs his absentee father's validation. I mean, what's a hero without daddy issues?

What sets this anime apart is that it's mostly action, but that doesn't mean the characters don't develop at a good pace. The writer roots each character's growth in their fights and how the main characters choose to approach their enemies. It's pretty ingenious.

Wait! There's more Action Anime That Will Change Your Life! Just click "Next" below:

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