10 Best Historical Fantasy Anime

With Requiem for the Pink King currently airing as part of the winter 2022 season and Golden Kamuy Scheduled to air its fourth season in October, enthusiasm for the historical anime is high. Naturally, millennia of world history constitute endless story material. Many anime base their stories not only on the history of Japan, but on several different countries and time periods.

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If the show is a gritty, realistic depiction of a period like Vinland Saga or a showy action piece that draws mostly from real life like Sengoku Basara, all tell incredible stories and have at least a little to learn about history.

Vinland Saga

A young Viking boy is the star of Vinland Saga

Young Thorfinn, son of mighty Viking warrior Thors, dreams of winning glory in war, just like his father. But when he embarks with Thors on a journey and witnesses his father’s betrayal and murder, his innocence is destroyed. He grows up training under Thors’ killer, Askeladd, only living for the day he honorably avenges his father.

Fans of the strong characters of vikings will definitely want to see this show. The sharp political intrigue and brutal battle scenes are a treat. However, the best part is the compelling dynamic between Askeladd, who is more complex than his backhand murder of Thors viewers would expect, and Thorfinn, whose rage and singular focus on revenge keeps him from growing as a person and therefore to become strong enough to achieve his only goal.

Kingdom

Kingdom Anime Series

During China’s Warring States Period, the nation still has not become one, and many kingdoms are engaged in endless bloody battle. The young war orphan Xin, who grows stronger, gathers allies and becomes one of the most powerful and feared generals in all of China, becomes infamous.

An anime that could fill the void if you like The iron Throne, Kingdom is a raw, grounded depiction of full-scale warfare. Xin’s rise to power is played out much more realistically than the standard overpowered shounen protagonist. His strong instinct for predicting the movements of the battlefield and the actions of his opponents allow him to devise winning strategies to overwhelm or undermine his foes.

Golden Kamuy

Promotional art for Golden Kamuy featuring Sugimoto, Asirpa, and Shiraishi

At the end of the Meiji era in Japan, a jaded survivor of the Russo-Japanese War Saichi Sugimoto meets Asirpa, an orphan child of the Ainu people displaced from Hokkaido. He joins her in her search for a store of Ainu gold stolen from murdered members of Asirpa’s tribe, including her father. However, there are two catches: they aren’t the only ones after the treasure, and the only way to find it is through map pieces tattooed on the skin of the murderer’s compatriots.

Golden Kamuy’The fourth season is one of the most anticipated upcoming anime of 2022. While the cast grows as the show progresses, all of the characters are unique and interesting. The hunt for gold remains fresh and exciting, as new twists and revelations about those involved emerge one after another.

Sengoku Basara: The Samurai Kings

Nobunaga, Masamune, and Yukimura pose on the Sengoku Basara anime poster.

One of the best samurai anime of all time, Sengoku Basara is a thrilling and flashy tale of the events of Japan’s Sengoku period, when the collapse of the feudal system sparked more than a century of civil war as samurai clans struggled for power. Masamune Date and Yukimura Sanada form an uneasy alliance to avoid being taken over by the strongest general of them all, the Nobunaga Oda.

Although it is based on the lives, achievements and rivalries of real legendary historical figures, considerable liberties are taken with them to tell an exciting story. It’s a short, sweet shot of over-the-top action, and die-hard fans of shounen anime will have a blast with it.

91 days

Angelo Lagusa pointing a gun with a blank expression.

Nero, heir to the powerful Vanetti mafia family, thinks he’s lucky with his new recruit, the quiet but intensely loyal Avilio Bruno. What he doesn’t know is that Avilio’s protection of him is just a facade: his true identity is Angelo Lagusa, whose family was murdered by the Vanettis when he was a child. Alone and embittered, Angelo bides his time until he can destroy the entire family from within.

Set during the Prohibition era in the United States, 91 days is one of the best anime about mafia. While other media portraying mob life centers on romantic ideals such as loyalty, honor, and refinement, this show centers on its cold brutality. Family betrays family, innocent people are caught in the crossfire, and there’s no value or loyalty that won’t be thrown away in the pursuit of an ultimate goal, whether it’s taking mob power or Angelo’s revenge.

Basil

Lovers kiss in the snow in Basilisk: The Kouga Ninja Scrolls

In an anime a bit like Netflix’s Yasuke, Basil depicts a fierce conflict between two clans of samurai in the Edo period, the Iga and the Kouga. The clan’s heirs, Gennosuke and Oboro, are in love and got engaged to foster peace between their families. But when the clans fall back into war, the lovers must choose: do they turn against their family or against each other?

Basil is a dark and bloody story, with both the rivalry of the Iga and Kouga clans and the accompanying succession dispute for the Tokugawa shogunate behind the plot. Its violence and portrayal of war is chillingly realistic, which, combined with Gennosuke and Oboro’s doomed romantic plot and excellent artistic and fight choreography, makes for a truly breathtaking spectacle.

Requiem of the Rose King

The cast of Requiem for the Rose King in the anime poster.

A free adaptation of Shakespeare Henry VI and Richard III, this show is set during the Wars of the Roses in England in the mid to late 15th century. Richard Plantagenet, the youngest son of the Duke of York, grows up facing not only war, but his place in his unstable family. His intersex identity and frequent tormenting visions of Joan of Arc, England’s former enemy, only complicates his feelings.

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While Requiem of the Pink King has yet to complete its first run, and although it takes several liberties in adapting Aya Kanno’s manga, its fans appreciate it for its beautiful art style and for its focus on the character of Richard rather than on characters. flashy war scenes.

Knight of Eon

D'Eon possessed by Lia, wearing an elaborate robe and wielding a sword in Le Chevalier D'Eon.

When D’Eon de Beaumont’s older sister Lia dies, her body found in a coffin in the Seine with the word “psalms” painted on it in blood, her ghost possesses her body and insists that her brother help her avenge his own murder. Joining the French secret police, D’Eon must use all his espionage skills to survive the plot targeting his family.

Very loosely based on the real life of French spy D’Eon de Beaumont and several other French historical figures, Knight of EonThe supernatural elements of do not detract from the plot of the series. It is unafraid of the cruelty of the aristocracy in the years leading up to the French Revolution, and its elements of mystery and tragedy are very compelling.

Shoukoku No Altair

Mahmut and Shara smile at each other in Shoukoku no Altair.

The young pasha Tughril Mahmut took office at an incredibly tumultuous time: in 15th century Europe, a conflict is brewing between Mahmut’s home country, the Turkish stratocracy, and their neighbors, the Balt-Rhein Empire . Although Mahmut is a pacifist, the threat of war and the division it causes in his society can force him to betray his values.

Because it centers on Mahmut’s efforts to prevent war, diplomacy and political intrigue are at the heart of Shoukoku no Altair. While its eerie pacing may turn off some viewers, others will be drawn to the nuanced and intelligent writing of the many interacting personal and national conflicts.

The Rose of Versailles

Manga artwork by Rose of Versailles.

The French royal court at the Palace of Versailles is a trial to navigate even for a born and bred French aristocrat. For the young Princess Marie-Antoinette and her bodyguard Oscar François de Jarjayes, who came from Austria so that Marie-Antoinette could marry Crown Prince Louis XVI, it will be the challenge of a lifetime.

Perhaps director Osamu Dezaki’s magnum opus, the Rose of Versailles is an old anime that stands the test of time. From its impeccable direction to its historical accuracy to its well-developed characters, it’s a great portrayal of the times and an inevitable tragedy.

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