15 Best Survival Anime of All Time, Ranked

best survival anime
Image via Sentai Filmworks and Funimation

The notion of survival excites many anime enthusiasts due to the mere fact that we imagine ourselves in the situations of characters and are glad that we’re getting the thrill without putting ourselves in harm’s way.

With plenty of survival anime shows in the industry, especially they can range from horror to apocalypse genres, it is hard to choose what to watch. With that in mind, here are the best survival anime series you can watch right now.

15. Gantz

Gantz- Best Survival Anime
Image via Fuji TV

Gantz is one of those survival horror anime shows that you either love or hate, but one thing’s for sure: it is a survival horror anime that everyone must watch. While it isn’t as good as the manga, which is rather the norm in the industry, it boasts a great experience with plenty of gore and action.

When Kei Kurono is killed, he is brought back to life with perfect health, but unfortunately, he’s stuck in a world where he must kill frightening monsters to survive. If he’s killed again, he will be replaced by others.

14. Uncharted Walker

Uncharted Walker - Best Survival Anime
Image via Bilibili

Uncharted Walker is a Chinese survival anime that is done incredibly well because it relies heavily on the concept of survival while providing a tense atmosphere with some interesting characters. The first few episodes get messy, but it soon picks up the pace, becoming a great anime.

Ning Yuan finds himself on an isolated island after narrowly escaping a death trap. After coming across a few others stranded on the island just like him, he must join forces with them to survive all island threats, including deadly viruses, hostile tribes, and mutated creatures.

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13. Deadman Wonderland

Deadman Wonderland - Best Survival Anime
Image via Kadokawa Pictures Japan

Deadman Wonderland is not an extraordinary anime, but it passes with flying colors when it comes to survival tension. While the anime isn’t finished, and there are only twelve episodes as of now, with no sight of season two, you can always continue the rest in the manga.

Ganta Igarashi’s life takes a turn when his whole class is massacred by a mysterious red man, and he is framed for the murders. As punishment, he is imprisoned in an amusement park called Deadman Wonderland, where inmates perform dangerous acts for onlookers. Can Ganta survive in this hell and clear his name by finding out the mysterious killer?

12. High School of the Dead

High School of the Dead - Best Survival Anime
Image via Sentai Filmworks

When there are flesh-eating zombies everywhere in the world, the odds of survival diminish gradually, making these kinds of stories a fine addition to post-apocalyptic survival anime shows. High School of the Dead is one such anime with its fair share of gore, fan service, and some incredibly well-designed action choreography.

When the world is mysteriously thrown into chaos with zombies spreading the virus everywhere, Takashi, the main protagonist, has teamed up with a few of his schoolmates in order to reunite with their families. However, every step they make is treading with zombies, making their journey incredibly challenging.

11. Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead - Best Survival Anime
Image via VIZ Media

Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead is a new zombie survival anime that also received a live-action film, which is surprisingly disappointing, but that’s not the case with the anime. With a great blend of serious, chill, and funny moments, Zom 100 boasts an intriguing premise, providing something for everyone.

Twenty-four-year-old Akira Tendou has been working extra hard at an exploitative corporation in Japan, and he lost his spirit due to immense stress. One fine morning, he finds the world is swarming with zombies, but rather than feeling scared, he’s excited for the first time in a year as he doesn’t have to go to work anymore.

10. Btooom!

Btooom! - Best Survival Anime
Image via Sentai Filmworks

Btooom! is probably one of the most underrated anime with a really smart main character. It isn’t a generic anime, but it is definitely one of the better survival anime shows out there, with the story taking place on an isolated island.

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Ryouta Sakamoto, a professional gamer, finds himself stranded on an island with no way out, along with a few others. On top of that, everyone is given a bag of different types of bombs that are used in the most popular game named Btooom! and they must kill each other to survive. With his accumulated knowledge, how will Ryouta survive the violent competitors and get off the island?

9. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress - Best Survival Anime
Image via Aniplex

Imagine Attack on Titan but without giants and add zombies who don’t go down in the usual fashion, and you get Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress. It is one of the most underrated anime shows, with a good pace and spectacular animation from Wit Studio backing up the fact.

When the world is doomed by mysterious zombie-like creatures known as Kabaneri, humans start living in fortified stations and the only way to travel from one station to another is through heavily armored trains. However, when a train crashes into a station, breaking its only defense, the downfall of humanity begins unless they can stop the hungry monsters somehow.

8. School-Live!

School-Live! - Best Survival Anime
Image via Sentai Filmworks

School-Live! is the perfect example of Don’t judge a book by its cover. In this anime’s sense, its easygoing and seemingly light-hearted storyline is something you shouldn’t take seriously because, beneath it, there is gore, horror, and many more traumatizing situations for the characters.

Yuki Takeya enjoys a carefree life with her School Living Club, which has a single rule: they must spend their entire lives on the school premises. However, she must find a way to survive when she discovers that her whole school has turned into zombie-infested ground.

7. Future Diary

Future Diary - Best Survival Anime
Image via Kadokawa Pictures Japan

Future Diary, or Mirai Nikki, is one of the most popular thriller anime shows many veteran anime fans have already watched. While everyone has a thing or two to say about the anime, and most lean towards criticism, the film provides a raw representation of survival situations without silver coating it.

Yukiteru Amano has a habit of keeping track of his daily activities in his digital diary, but one day, something weird happens. His diary shows him the things that are yet to happen in the future.

After learning that there are several others with similar diaries—each with respective powers, he teams up with his classmate Yuno Gasai in order to triumph in this survival game to become the successor of a mysterious deity.

6. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

Tokyo Magnitude - Best Survival Anime
Image via Maiden Japan

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is an anime based on a true story. It is not the entire story, but it loosely portrays the situation of Japan when earthquakes hit it rather devastatingly, and it does a fantastic job. With a good combination of humor, drama, and tragedy, the anime hits you right in the feels.

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Mirai Onozawa reluctantly accompanies her younger brother Yuuki to a robot exhibition during summer vacation, but the kids become helpless when a sudden earthquake strikes the region. Thankfully, a woman who rides a motorcycle skillfully decides to help these young siblings and ensure they return to their families.

5. Heavenly Delusion

Heavenly Delusion - Best Survival Anime
Image via Kodansha/Disney+

Heavenly Delusion is a recent survival anime released on Disney+, and it instantly attracted many viewers with terrific animation and voice acting. While it certainly boats an atmosphere that seems like a blend of Attack on Titan and The Promised Neverland, it is much more than that, and you’ll definitely find it enjoyable.

After an unknown disaster struck human civilization, everything went to ruins, with man-eating monsters roaming everywhere. Amidst this chaos, youngsters who are being raised in an isolated nursery home get curious about a place called Heaven. What mysteries and dangers await these people as they try to roam the perilous outside world?

4. Astra Lost in Space

Astra Lost in Space - Best Survival Anime
Image via Kadokawa

Unlike its title, Astra Lost in Space is more than just a space adventure, and with its spectacular animation, you have no reason not to watch it. Furthermore, it also boasts excellent characterization, which is quite rare in survival anime series, and it is pretty short, with only twelve episodes, but you’ll wish it had more after watching it.

The story takes place in 2063, when space travel has become relatively normal, and Kanata Hoshijima, along with a few other teenagers, is chosen to be on an excursion across space.

However, after they arrive at the campsite, a mysterious black sphere sucks them in and drops thousands of light years away from home. Now, they must find a way to survive and return to their home planet while facing countless tribulations on their way.

3. To Your Eternity

To Your Eternity - Best Survival Anime
Image via Kodansha

To Your Eternity is a complicated anime in terms of survival theme, but it certainly offers everything you may expect from one. It is somewhat of a niche show where supernatural elements play a crucial role, and it certainly hooks fresh viewers.

The story follows a young boy who has been waiting for his tribe to return from paradise, where fish and fruit are supposedly abundant. Accompanied by a mysterious wolf, he embarks on a journey to explore the outside world, hoping to stumble upon his lost tribe.

2. Dr. Stone

Dr. Stone - Best Survival Anime
Image via TOHO animation

Dr. Stone needs no introduction when it comes to the survival aspect because no matter the scene, every minute of the anime resonates with the concept. On a totally different note, it is a terrific anime for those who love science and an entertaining anime for those who don’t even know what science is.

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When a mysterious light from the sky hits the Earth, everyone is petrified. However, after 3700 years, Senku, the main protagonist, who is a scientific genius capable of creating any science-related invention, wakes up with the help of a mysterious fluid. Determined to save humanity, he begins his journey with the Science Kingdom, where there are no bounds to creativity and fun.

1. Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan - Best Survival Anime
Image via Kodansha/Funimation

If you ask someone which anime world they would rather not want to travel to, they would certainly say it is Attack on Titan because it is that terrifying, and survival is not guaranteed no matter what character you choose to be. Overall, it is the perfect survival anime and a must-watch if you haven’t yet.

Humanity has gone extinct due to man-eating giants, and a small percentage of surviving civilizations live on an island surrounded by massive walls that have protected them all those years.

Eren Yeager, the protagonist, loses his mother to a giant after the wall takes breach, and he has vowed to take vengeance for her mother by exterminating all the giants ever since.

Posted by
Hanumanth Reddy

Hanumanth is an enthusiastic author who enjoys writing about anime, movies, and TV shows and aims to share his optimistic views with his readers. His favorite franchise is Star Wars, and he aspires to be a Jedi in the future, but he vows not to fall on the dark side.