Top 25 Greatest Samurai Anime of All Time! [With Streaming Links]

best samurai anime list

Japan is popular to have honorable swordsmen, and they are evidently known as Samurai. Just as we’d love to explore the Japanese culture, we also tend to show more love towards Samurai anime shows.

These Samurai anime series have always been amazing at storytelling and depicting some insane action scenes. So, if you’re here looking for some of the best Samurai anime series of all time, we’ve got the perfect list waiting for you.

Best Samurai Anime List!

25. Samurai Girls

Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Girls- best samurai anime list

In an alternate reality, Tokugawa Shogunate is still in power in Japan even though it is the 21st century. The student council is in control at school, and Yagyuu Muneakira started rebelling against them with the help of a few samurai girls with some famous names.

While it seems absolutely cliche and non-interesting, I think it was a good anime. If you want to watch a samurai anime with some strong female leads and a unique approach to the genre, this samurai girl anime is for you.

24. Blade of the Immortal

Blade of the Immortal- best samurai anime list

An immortal swordsman named Manji has sworn to slay a thousand villains to atone for the sins he has committed in the past. He accompanies a young girl named Rin who seeks revenge on Itto-Ryu, an evil and elite group of swordsmen who killed her parents.

Regardless of how it disappoints us from the expectations, I think this list will be empty without this one. If not for anything else, the animation, last fewer episodes, and soundtracks in this anime are worth diving into.

23. Brave 10

Brave 10- best samurai anime list

In Sengoku Period, while the lords were battling each other for power, Saizou, a legendary ninja, had it enough and went to live a normal life away from all this. But when he meets a girl with mysterious powers, he gets dragged into these struggles.

On the other hand, Sanada Yukimura is gathering ten warriors with the name Brave 10 to change history. How will the story unfold from here on?

Somehow this anime felt a bit similar to Yona of the Dawn, but it is entirely different from the context. It has done a great job in introducing the characters and mixing the fantasy concept with ninjas and Samurai. Try watching it if you love samurai anime.

22. Shigurui: Death Frenzy

Shigurui: Death Frenzy- best samurai anime list

In a peaceful era where swordsmen are respected, Lord Tokugawa holds a fighting tournament for his amusement even though laws forbid the use of real swords. As the two highly-skilled swordsmen face off each other, an epic story begins through flashbacks.

Unless you’re a hardcore samurai anime lover, you might not enjoy this anime to your heart’s content. Blood and guts are the most needed aspects for this anime, and if you’re in for breathtaking samurai action, don’t think twice.

21. Peace Maker Kurogane

Peace Maker Kurogane- best samurai anime list

This 19th-century story is about Ichimura Tetsunosuke, who seeks revenge on Chosu, an anti-government faction who slaughtered his parents. He joins Shinsengumi to make it happen but is he strong enough to survive the bloodshed?

Peace Maker Kurogane is a top-tier samurai anime both visually and educationally. The story is pretty dark, but the action scenes are over the top, and overall, it was an excellent watch for me since it was one of my first Samurai anime shows.

20. Hidamari no Ki

Hidamari no Ki- best samurai anime list

The story of two men who lead very different lives in the mid-1800s. Ibuya Manjiro is a samurai who never backs down from a fight, and Ryoan Tezuka is a doctor of western medicine which whole of Japan shuns. What happens if these two cross paths and form an unexpected bond?

Hidamari no Ki is a hidden gem and a pretty underrated anime, in my opinion. This historical samurai anime is rich in story and very deep in life values. If you want a genuinely underrated samurai anime, watch this one.

19. Mushibugyou

Mushibugyou- best samurai anime list

When deadly giant bugs bring chaos through Edo Japan, the Mushibugyou Protect Office tries to put an end to it. They request aid from a famed samurai, but since he is injured, he sends his son Jinbei. Even though he is inept, he is determined and skilled. Will they work together to eliminate the threat once and for all?

Although the anime feels like an overused concept, be prepared to be blown away by it. I really like the main character because he is selfless and does anything to protect others. It is remotely right up my alley, and you would love it too if you give it a shot.

18. Onihei

Onihei- best samurai anime list

In the latter half of the Edo period, there was a samurai named Heizo Hasegawa, popularly known as “Heizo the Oni.” He never tolerates injustice that infests the city and is on a mission to make the city peaceful. How epic are his adventures going to be?

Onihei is a pure classic Samurai Detective story with tons of things to look forward to. You just need a single episode to get into it, and you’re in for some incredible samurai action, mind-blowing soundtracks, a mature storyline, and great animation.

17. Fuse: Memories of a Huntress

Fuse: Memories of a Huntress- best samurai anime list

Hamaji is a strong girl and a huntress who lives in the mountains. When she receives a letter from her brother who lives in Edo, she comes to the city.

There she had to hunt down the fuse, half-human half-dog beings which consume human souls. However, she meets a fuse that helps her, and now she’s in a dilemma to judge what’s good and what’s bad.

Now, this is something we all like, don’t we? A feudal Japan setting with a mix of fantasy and romance. The movie was exceptionally well made, and overall, it was a beautiful tale and a great action fantasy samurai anime to watch.

16. Basilisk

Basilisk- best samurai anime list

Oboro is a naive girl who has fallen in love with Gennosuke, and unfortunately, they both are the successors of opposing ninja clans. Due to unforeseen circumstances, they are forced to battle each other. Will they remain true to their love?

Basilisk is a brutally beautiful anime with amazingly high production value. You’ll probably want to take a few breaks by the end of the show because of the breathtaking action scenes and brutalities in this fantastic samurai romance anime.

15. Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings

Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings- best samurai anime list

It is the Sengoku Period of feudal Japan, where many warlords are fighting for power and control of the nation. Date Masamune and Sanda Yukimura formed an unlikely alliance to take down the evil warlords who try to drag the nation down to the path of destruction.

Think of an anime that lets you experience some amazing battles between the most memorable characters in history, and that’s precisely why it is one of the best samurai anime. The animation, action, soundtracks, and every aspect were on point.

14. Hybrid Child

Hybrid Child- best samurai anime list

Hybrid Childs are neither fully human nor machines; they simply reflect the affections and emotions of their owner. The story follows Kotaru Izumi, the 16th head of the noble Izumi family, who realizes his doll, Hazuki’s life, is coming to an end.

If you have been watching samurai action anime without any breaks, you might need a change of pace with a bit of shounen-ai samurai romance, and this one will be a perfect choice since it keeps you rolling in tears.

13. Laughing Under the Clouds

Laughing Under the Clouds- best samurai anime list

In the eleventh year of the Meiji era, due to the ban of swords, the Samurai have become extinct. But the ones who rejected the ban have become violent, causing destruction everywhere.

To combat these, three young men were given duties to keep them in the place of confinement. But somehow, it seems there is something more going on than that we wouldn’t even be able to guess.

The story is a little odd from the get-go, but if you start watching the anime, I’m pretty sure you’d be obsessing over it. It has everything-death, betrayal, action, fantasy elements, and, more importantly, Samurai theme.

12. Hakuouki: Demon of the Fleeting Blossom

Hakuouki- best samurai anime list

Chizuru disguises herself as a man to find her missing father and heads to Kyoto. She gets mistaken and taken into custody, but after hearing the story, they seem to have been looking for the same person as well. How will this story unfold with all the enemies and politics?

As they say, “Japan’s history is written mostly in the blood rather than ink,” and this anime justifies the statement. It is a great action drama that tells a historical tale and is definitely a great samurai anime.

11. Afro Samurai

Afro Samurai- best samurai anime list

Setting in futuristic and West-inspired Japan, Samurai only live for two rules. To be Number 1 or at least Number 2 to challenge the Number 1 and become the best swordsman.

Afro is a samurai who chose the path of revenge when an evil gunman killed his father to become Number 1. He finally honed his skills and became Number 2 but with all the competition and sword fights, how will he actually plan his revenge?

To explain the anime in terms of maths, Afro Samurai is 30% action, 30% badass moments, 30% savageness and style, and the rest 10% is everything else. The main character is simply awesome, and you’ll love the anime at every turn.

10. House of Five Leaves

House of Five Leaves- best samurai anime list

Masanosuke went to Edo city to prove himself as a warrior, but due to his lack of confidence, he could not get a job and practically became homeless.

But when a mysterious guy offered him the job of a bodyguard, he accepted it without hesitations. Little did he know, he gets money from the spoils of the crimes, and he never expected to entangle with this band of criminals.

House of Five Leaves is a character-driven anime, even though the story was quite simplistic. The unique art style, the setting, and the action sequences will definitely make you appreciate it. So, make sure to watch this amazing samurai anime.

9. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba- best samurai anime list

When Tanjiro finds his family slaughtered by a demon and his little sister Nezuko is turned into a demon, he decides to find a cure for her no matter what by becoming a demon slayer. But the journey is filled with impossible obstacles, and how will he face them?

Why is Demon Slayer a samurai anime? Well, it isn’t supposed to be, but after seeing the anime, I came to a conclusion that it has a lot of elements like samurai stances, katana, and swordsman pride. I think it’d be an excellent anime recommendation for whoever likes samurai anime shows.

Both Subbed and Dubbed versions are available in the link below!

8. Samurai 7

Samurai 7- best samurai anime list

In an age where Samurai enhanced their bodies mechanically, a war ended, and they soon turned into bandits who rob villages for food and women.

Kanna Village people couldn’t hire any samurai due to the lack of money. So they set out on a journey to find Samurai who will help them. But are there still such Samurai in this world?

I think the title should be more like Badasses 7 or The Seven Badasses. I’m a huge fan of samurai action, and this anime was exactly what I was looking for. It gets 10/10 in every aspect, and you probably can’t find a better action samurai anime than this one.

7. Shura no Toki: Age of Chaos

Shura no Toki: Age of Chaos- best samurai anime list

According to the legends, a legendary sword style named Mutsu Enmei-Ryuu style exists, and the clan who mastered it can defeat any opponent with incredible speed and strength. Watch the tales of the Shura’s ancestors as they form history.

This anime is a bit difficult to enjoy unless you’re really into samurai shows. It is simply a collection of mini-stories with good soundtracks and decent animation. It has the right amount of pace and action to keep you occupied.

6. Drifters

Drifters- best samurai anime list

Toyohisa Shimazu, a fierce samurai, and other few warriors get transported into an alternate world during a war where the mighty warriors in the history of earth are still alive. It seems like he’s the only ray of hope for this world that the Black King threatens.

Right from the concept to action, Drifters is a fantastic samurai anime. The fresh story, flawless animation, and amazing battles in every episode are only a few pros of the anime. It is definitely an excellent samurai anime you should be watching.

5. Rurouni Kenshin

Rurouni Kenshin- best samurai anime list

This legendary story follows a lone wanderer named Himura Kenshin formerly, a well-known assassin who slaughtered hundreds of lives. He’s now on a mission to aid the weak to atone for the sins he has committed in the past.

Rurouni Kenshin is one of the action classics from the 90s. It is the epitome of samurai culture because it depicts the reality of how the samurai period has taken place in Japan. It is a must-watch if you’re into samurai anime with incredible action scenes.

Related: The Best “Rurouni Kenshin Watch Order Guide” Including Movies!

4. Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo- best samurai anime list

Fuu saves two Samurai named Mugen and Jin from a public execution and hires them on a quest while escaping from the clutches of the magistrate. Fuu desires to find a samurai who smells of sunflowers, and how epic is this journey going to turn out?

Samurai Champloo has one of the best production values to date, and it is one of the unique anime shows I have ever seen. I simply cannot express it in mere words, and you would only appreciate it if you watched it entirely.

3. Dororo

Dororo- best samurai anime list

Lord Daigo Kagemitsu made a pact with 12 demons by sacrificing his own son to prosper his lands. However, the child survived by losing his limbs and vision. Years later, a boy named “Hyakkimary” began slaughtering monsters.

Dororo is one of the few anime shows that I was obsessed with. The story was so touching, and the characters really made me cry. It has some breathtaking action scenes along with marvelous animation. Don’t miss this amazing Samurai anime.

2. Sword of the Stranger

Sword of the Stranger- best samurai anime list

Kotaru is on the run from the mysterious pursuers, and it also happened to be Chinese Samurai. On his way, he meets a mysterious samurai who sealed his blade due to his. Together this duo uncovers a dark truth related to Kotaru.

Sword of the Stranger is the best samurai anime film I’ve watched, and those action scenes are on the whole another level. The animation during the action scenes was on point, and if you haven’t watched this samurai anime yet, you’re missing out on a lot.

1. Gintama

Gintama- best samurai anime list

When Amanto, aliens from space invade earth, Samurai of Japan have become extinct. Gintoki Sakata is one of the few people who possess the heart of Samurai and lives an ordinary life by doing odd jobs.

Gintama is an anime that I could watch forever and throughout my entire life without getting bored. Its humor is limitless, action is incredible, and if you haven’t watched this anime yet, you’re missing the best anime of all time and not just a good Samurai anime.

Conclusive Thoughts!

I love samurai anime not just because we have some cool actions (well, that’s one of the reasons), but they depict history in the most realistic way.

So, these are the Top 25 Samurai Animes that I think are really good and worth at least a single watch. If you know any other anime with Samurai that deserves a spot on the list, let us know them through the comment section below.

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Posted by
Hanumanth Reddy

Hanumanth is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Anime Ukiyo. He's a seasonal anime watcher and shares his knowledge on anime through his writing. He loved anime for a long time and in the process of loving it more, he created this amazing website.

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