With literally thousands of fantasy anime out there it can be hard to narrow down what the best fantasy anime to watch might be when getting together with friends (and it looks like in 2022 we might actually be able to do that on a somewhat regular basis). Sure you could always just pick some of the popular and familiar fantasy favourites but it is always good to have a back-up plan.
Now I am going to avoid isekai titles for the most part even though they are definitely a part of the fantasy genre. I have previously done a list of good isekai anime if you are interested in that and a list of good isekai with female lead.
Because we’re looking at an anime a group can watch I’m also staying away from some of the more horrific and gory titles so while Attack on Titan may work, it will really depend on the group. That said, some of the titles here will still include a violence and perhaps a bit of tragedy.
Best Fantasy Anime to watch with friends:
As with choosing anything to watch, choosing a best fantasy anime really depends on the group you are going to show it to as well as the current mood.
Of course they all run over an extended period of time with Full Metal Alchemist being the shortest of the series there but both Hunter x Hunter and Bleach have clear narrative arcs so you could always just watch an arc rather than trying to group watch the whole show.
Benefits of course include that unless no one in the group has watched anime before there will probably be some prior knowledge of the shows and maybe someone in the group will have watched all or some of the series before. Also, there’s heaps of people who have watched these shows so they will pretty readily find someone to talk to about what they watched after a session whether online or in real life.
It’s really hard to differentiate these as they all have their own advantages and disadvantages and honestly all of them could be the best fantasy anime for your group depending on what you are looking for. FMA has great chemistry between the cast, an intriguing plot, and the powers of the various alchemists make for some cool fight sequences.
Bleach has really big swords. Actually, it has a lot of swords and some larger than life characters and honestly you either love Bleach or you don’t and the first couple of seasons are a tonne of fun particularly the first season where Ichigo and Rukia are still kind of defining their relationship.
Finally, Hunter x Hunter has the greatest pairing ever with Gon and Kilua as well as a whole pile of characters with such a wide range of abilities you mostly forget what half the characters can do. But each arc of the story is entertaining in its own way and watching Gon progress as a hunter is really quite rewarding.
If no one in the group is squeamish, go with something like Claymore. While the ending feels a little underwhelming it is high quality sword and sorcery fantasy and definitely one of the best fantasy anime out there even if visually it is a little dated now.
But what if your group consists of people who don’t just want to watch characters progressing to become stronger and lots of fights? What if they want some comedy or romance or something else in their fantasy?
Then we have a few options. For something that is still swords and fight scenes but also has comedy and harem elements, we have to go with DanMachi (Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon). I know, I add DanMachi to a lot of lists, but that’s because I’ve introduced many a friend to anime using it and it seldom lets me down.
There’s enough action in DanMachi to satisfy those wanting to see a fight but there’s also the day to day life of an adventurer as well as Bell growing up and realising just what it means to be a hero. Something for everyone so this one might be the best fantasy anime for your viewing session.
If not, what about something like Fairy Tail? Now there’s some epic magical fights as well as some of the goofiest and fun characters you will ever meet. I love how they all know how to kick back and have fun but once the fight is on they are 100% in the game. Also, Natsu is just a loveable idiot and Erza is perhaps the most badass female character you are ever going to come across.
Or if romance is more the tone of the evening then Kamisama Kiss or Snow White With The Red Hair should hit the sport nicely. Both feature female protagonists who for the most part don’t play the damsel in distress card. Kamisama Kiss is set in our world but builds on Japanese folklore where as Snow White with the Red Hair feels very much like a fairy-tale reimagined for anime.
Both could be the best fantasy anime for a group as they are both pretty satisfying viewing experiences you could probably watch season one of either in a single sitting (depending on how long your friends can binge for).
Want Thought Provoking or Unusual
Okay, let’s get off the beaten track in our search for the best fantasy anime. No more sword wielding protagonists here. Instead here are three options for something a bit different to watch and if your friends aren’t super into anime they may be taken by surprise.
The Eccentric Family is one of those anime that seemed to be instantly forgotten after it aired and even though it did get a second season (though it didn’t quite capture the magic of season one) it really did vanish from sight.
Which is a bit of a shame because this weird mix of fantasy and reality as a family of Tanuki live in Kyoto and go about their daily lives with four brothers mourning the death of their father and getting caught up in the weird politics of the tanuki community.
Honestly, this is the best fantasy anime has to offer with escapism, a bit of tourism showing off the beauty of Kyoto, as well as bringing in some traditional Japanese mythology and blending it all in a story that demonstrates a solid understanding of what family really means. Sure, its weird and the visuals are unique, but it is a story worth watching and if you were looking for something felt a bit fresh The Eccentric Family is definitely one to try.
Similarly, you could try the very weird and yet incredibly watchable Humanity Has Declined. These are some of the creepiest fairies you’ll ever meet and the story, while told in reverse order, is actually quite interesting and has a unique sense of humour (the chickens… oh the chickens).
I don’t know that I would call Humanity Has Declined the best fantasy anime but I know that I’d throw it up as an option for viewing because honestly, its one of those anime that is perfect for conversation. Plus, despite some dark humour at times, it avoids a lot of the fan-service elements that put some people off anime and the fantasy setting feels kind of unique even though we’ve seen a lot of these ideas before.
The final suggestion for best fantasy anime that I’ll put up for contemplation is Girls’ Last Tour.
Sure this one might be a bit of a downer if the mood is already sombre but if you want to start a conversation or if you just want to spend time exploring a desolate and interesting world with two cute characters who don’t seem to let their hopeless situation get them down, then Girls’ Last Tour is a must watch.
A much quieter and more reflective anime then some of the combat focused ones at the start of the list to sure. And the OP for this one will have your friends up and dancing by the second episode so don’t skip over it.
Want more fantasy anime?
As I said at the start of this list, there are so many fantasy anime out there that picking a ‘best’ fantasy anime might be nearly impossible and it will always depend on who you have watching with you, what they’ve seen before, and what you are in the mood for. Still, hopefully you found a suggestion or two above that will suit the next time you are able to gather with friends to watch anime.
Or maybe you can do a virtual group watch because that seems to be the way things have gone over the last few years.
Either way, I’d love you to throw some more suggestions in the comments as to what the best fantasy anime to watch with friends might be and be sure to explain why.
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
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