With the rise of anime popularity in the west, there has been much more demand towards adult anime series. Luckily for us, there have been a lot of adults shows airing in recent years. And now that Netflix has taken an interest in the anime industry, there has been an even bigger rise in the adult anime industry. With Netflix bringing us it’s own originals and Japanese studios delivering some really good anime we are more than happy to present you our list of 65 adult anime series that we recommend. The anime is not ranked by favorites. I have added those I think are either a good, great or a decent. Therefore, I think that you will definitely find a good show for yourself if not more than one. The list has 63 anime and 2 movies.
Disclaimer: I am sure you will find some anime on this list to either be boring/bad. Therefore I would recommend skipping those and going on to try some else, one of the main reasons I am adding this many anime to the list is to make it easier for you to find a good anime for yourself. Everyone has different tastes so some anime you like others might hate and vice versa.
65 Best Adult Anime Series
The first thing on our list of adult anime series goes to Kaiji. Although it is not my favorite among all of them it is definitely in my top 10. Kaiji is named after the main character. The story follows Kaiji, a guy that spends his days doing nothing. He is procrastinating and has no goals in life. One day he gets a call from a debt collector. Kaiji was a voucher or a so-called bondsman for his friend when he was getting his money. His friend was unable to pay it back, and now they have come to collect it from Kaiji. However, Kaiji has no money and has to participate in a deathly gambling competition. From there Kaiji is rolled into the dark world of gambling. The anime does a really great way of telling Kajis story and portraying his psychological states throughout the series
Baccano is not an anime that everyone would recommend in their top 10 lists for adult anime series. And that is mainly because a lot of viewers drop Baccano early on. The anime starts showing off several unrelated events. However, what must do not know, is that those events get connected later on. That is why I would recommend you give this series a try even if it’s a bit hard at the start. The main themes in the series revolve around mafia, alchemy, immortality, and survival. The story is really good, and I would call it one of the best adults shows there is.
Durarara is similar to Baccano. And by that I mean is that a lot of people have dropped it. Me being one of them as well, it took me 7 tries to really get into this show. However, I can say that it was really worth it and it became one of my favorite adult anime series. Durarara has a lot of characters so it takes some time for all of them to be introduced to the story and connected. Although it might take you some time, I do believe that you will enjoy the series later on. The story connects dots between supernatural occurrences, gangs, and hidden schemes. The anime has a really mysterious and dark vibe to it, which is one of the reasons why I really love it.
Megalo Box is quite fairly a new anime, it has aired in spring 2018. It was really an exciting and hype watch, that is one of the main reason why I recommend it as a good adult anime series. Megalo Box follows Joe on his path towards fighting in Megalonia. The anime was inspired by Ashita no Joe on its 50th anniversary and also commemorates many old school anime such as Cowboy Bebop. The story starts when Joe meets his rival Yuuri, they have a fight in an underground arena. Ever since then. Joe was inspired to fight Yuuri again. However, Yuuri is a professional boxer. So in order for Joe to fight him again, he has to enter Megalonia boxing tournament.
3-gatsu no Lion
Since we have had a lot of mafia/gang related anime in the list so far, I think it’s a good time to add in some mix. And with that, I introduce you to 3-gatsu no Lion. If you have not seen it yet then I do believe that you will like this adult anime series. However, the series is not for everyone, as some do prefer much more dark stories. Unlike them, 3-gatsu no Lion follows Rei as he battles his way through the Shogi business. He is a professional Shogi player, and due to all of the stress from the career, he is quite drained both emotionally and physically. The story follows Rei as he battles his emotions and career related problems along with Akira, Hinata, and Momo. The three Kawamoto sisters share a deep bond with Rei and help him resolve his issues.
Grand Blue is one of my favorite adult anime series with comedy elements in it. It involves drinking, nudity (censored) and daily life problems of college students. The anime starts off a bit slow but picks it’s pace as you get to know the characters better. As the show progresses so the characters and their activities. The story follows a group of friends that are enrolled into a diving club called Grand Blue. This year, the club got two new members, Iori and Kitahara. However, they were kind off forced into the club, but they end up enjoying it. As Iori and Kitahara were their days drinking away, they also discover the beauty of diving. Their club is about diving, so they learn about it a lot and experience many new things.
A historical anime setting set in Hokkaido. The anime was an adaptation of the same name manga. The manga was quite popular, but the anime did not receive an adaptation until 2018. After it’s release, people have gone crazy for it. Until we have witnessed the CGI bear. It was just one CGI element of the show, and it has never appeared again. However, a lot of people dropped the series. Unfortunately for them, the series has really become a great adult anime series. It follows the story of Immortal Sugimoto as he searches for hidden treasure. He is also accompanied by an Ainu girl Asirpa. She helps Sugimoto on his search for the gold.
To mix up things a little bit in this adult anime series list, I have decided to add an anime that will definitely please fans of racing and cars. Initial D is an awesome series about drifting and racing. It follows a high schooler Takumi as he gets himself into the world of drifting. At first Takumi was disinterested in racing, however, he slowly began to show interest in it. Takumi drove a lot of deliveries for his dad’s Tofu shop during the night. As he was bored, he wanted to make the deliveries faster, so he learned drifting unintentionally. Many challenges come to compare their skills against Takumi. The series also has some good slice of life elements combined with the racing events, as we follow the daily life of Takumi. There are also movie adaptations of the series named Initial D Legend.
Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan is an anime I think almost everyone has heard. Nonetheless, I could not ignore it and not add it to our list. As it really is one of the best adult anime series there is out there. Blood, gore, violence, and fight for survival. Who could ask for more? The show is very thrilling and exciting to watch. I remember binging the first season when it finished airing, And I could not stop myself, I went straight for the manga. But then I dropped it because the animations are really a notch higher than other anime. Not only is this one of the best adult anime, but it’s also one of the best animated series. The story starts when titans breach the wall of a peaceful city, and invade and start eating people. Will humanity prevail, or will they be eradicated?
I love adult anime series as they cover a wide range of genres, and as such, I would say that psychological and sports are definitely among my favorite genres. What better combination than One Outs could I have asked for? I really loved this anime, despite the fact that it is has been canceled. If you want to get into this series, then I have to tell you to be ready to continue reading the manga. As there is without a doubt not going to be a season 2. The story revolves around Toua Tokuchi as he uses his wits to win baseball games. Toua is also a hardcore gambler, so there is a lot of risk and money involved with the story progress.
A classic adult anime series that I would expect most people to know, or have at least heard about. Nonetheless, I will still add it, for those who have not seen it yet. The anime is really great, it makes you think about what is right and what is wrong. The thoughts that mostly went through my head, were about thinking what I would do in the situation of the main character. It really is an interesting story, and it touches on that dark human side. The story follows Light Yagami when he accidentally comes across a Death Note. Anyone whose name is written in it shall die, Perplexed with what to do with the Notebook, Yagami takes it home. The story then becomes much deeper, however, I will not talk more about it. If you have not seen it, check it out, it will be worth your time.
Ajin is one of the adult anime series that I recommend more than often. And the reason why I do it is mainly because many people avoid this anime. The reason why they avoid it is mainly due to CGI. Now I know that a lot of people dislike CGI. However, Ajin is really done well, it might look a bit different at first. But you get used to it really fast, and the CGI is not badly done. It’s really well done, and the animation overall is good. The anime has a dark setting and focuses on things such as demi-humans, death, immortality, terrorism, secret military projects and more. If you like such shows, then this is definitely another good one for you.
Monster is a classic among adult anime series. Although it’s or better say, was quite popular, a lot of newer generations have not seen this anime, or they don’t want to. The reasons could be due to old animation, or slow pace at the start. However, I would still recommend you to give this show a go. It will be a rollercoaster of psychological changes and states of what a person can go through. It really makes you wonder at times. The story follows doctor Kenzou Tenma, a talented doctor, who one day, refused to save the Majors life, in order to save a patient that came in earlier to his hospital. Leaving his boss furious, he loses his position and his fiancee, and slowly his life starts going downhill. Not knowing that the young boy who he saved would change his life forever.
Code Geass definitely deserves its place on this list of adult anime series. I usually don’t like the mecha genre, however, this anime is an exception due to its badass main character and intriguing story. If I was comparing anime in the category of “battle of wits” then I would definitely rank this anime on the same spot as Death Note. It is as thrilling and exciting to watch as Death Note was to me The story follows Lelouche Lamperouge, a lazy genius who loves to gamble his money on chess games. One day after his chess match, he is going back to school with his friend Rivalz. When a terrorist attack happens, and Lelouch gets involved in it. The story starts going much deeper after that point. And I do believe that you will like it if you like war, strategy, psychological and mecha type of anime.
One Punch Man
A great mix of comedy violence, gore and bloodshed make One Punch Man one of my favorite adult anime series. Although the anime is quite popular, some people did not like the gore and violence in it, however, I did not have any problems with it. And the violence blended in really well with the comedy. Not to mention the animation which is done by Madhouse studio. If you have not seen One Punch Man yet then you are missing out on a really entertaining show. The story follows Saitama, probably the strongest character in One Punch Man universe. He started being a hero for fun but then became too strong, and it takes him only one punch to destroy his opponents. Therefore Saitama is quite depressed when it comes to his work, as he struggles to find his lost passion.
The next thing up on the list is Space Brothers. This anime is something that has a very complex story, and it often takes some time to get into it, but I definitely recommend this adult anime series. The story follows two brothers who admire to become astronauts after seeing a UFO as kids. They both admire to become one, but one of them does not manage to do it. However, then when he is 19, he gets a one time offer to join an astronaut selection process. After that, the brothers team up again. The anime portrays very well the hardships of being an astronaut. The story was very well researched and everything is so realistic in the anime. A good, realistic story, combined with good animation from A-1 pictures. The facial expressions are really well drawn as well and convey some things better than words could.
If you are looking for an action-packed adult anime series then Jormungang will be perfect for you. The story follows Johan, a boy that has grown in a war-torn country, and hates weapons. However, he has no choice but to use guns to survive. One day he is picked up by a female arms dealer. Koko takes Johan with her to be one of her bodyguards. Along with the rest of the crew, Johan struggles to protect Koko from countless attacks. Since arms dealing is illegal, they have to deal with authorities and C.I.A. They walk a thin line between death and life as they deal weapons to armies, private militaries and all sorts of shady groups. You can definitely expect a lot of action and thrill in this anime. So if you love anime like these, then this will be the perfect show for you.
Gankutsou is based off a 19th century French novel by Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo). However, it is totally different than the original novel as it has elements of robots, aliens., spaceships and evil spirits. Totally not something you would expect from an anime based on The Count of Monte Cristo. And a lot of people ignore this anime, however, it really is a great adult anime series. The story follows a young aristocrat named Albert. Everything starts when he meets a rich nobleman (Count). Befriending him, Albert invites the count to meet his family and friends. Without being unaware of counts ulterior motives. I won’t say more so I do not spoil the anime for you. But I do recommend you try it out.
Ping Pong the Animation
It took me a lot of time to start watching Ping Pong the Animation. I always avoided it due to its bizarre animation. What seemed bizarre at first, was actually a unique animation and art style that eventually grew onto me. And it made me love the anime, even more, the animation really adds a lot of unique charm to this anime. The story follows two friends nicknamed Smile and Pecko as they face the harsh world of Ping Pong. They have been practicing Ping Pong since they were little, and aspire to be great Ping Pong players one day. However, despite Peco being very ambitious, Smile is always pessimistic. The story is really good and follows their hardships as they face Ping-Pong tournaments. If you love sports anime with unique anime, then this is definitely the adult anime series you are looking for.
Houseki no Kuni
This is one of the underrated adult anime series and also one that lacks a bit of attention. So let me tell you, that if you look good story, good character development, and unique animation, then this is the anime for you. The story follows Phosphophyllite who is the youngest of all the gems inhabiting the earth. What are Gems? Well, the world setting tells us that Earth was almost destroyed by meteors dividing it into 6 parts and creating more moons that orbit the Earth. Only one island is left, however, it is inhabitable for humans. A new life form was born, one that does not need food and is immortal. Gems in form of human beings. The story really portrays well the emotions and psychological changes of the main character. Constantly living in fear of Lunarians, inhabitants of the moon. Who comes down to either kill or enslave.
Kakegurui is a new shown, an original anime by Netflix. At first, I avoided this anime for some reason, but then I got into it, and I was really surprised by what I was missing out on. If we are talking about gambling adult anime series, than Kakegurui is not better than Kaiji when it comes to the tension and the hype the show can provide. However, the show still gives off that badass vibe. And the soundtracks used in the anime where really good. The story follows Yumeko Jabami, a casual high school girl, or so you would have thought. Yumeko is a gambling addict that loves the thrill and addiction the only gamble can provide her. She spends a lot of money and is often reckless when it comes to gambling. Everything starts when she enrolls into a new school, which is a school ran by gambling.
Now before you jump into watching Goblin Slayer, I have to warn you that this adult anime series is filled with gore and blood. After a long time, we have finally got a dark fantasy anime adaptation. Goblin Slayer world shows the world of adventurers and quests however in a very dark and much more mature or so to speak realistic way. However, if you can handle, or if you love realistic shows with lots of blood and cruelty then you should definitely check out Goblin Slayer. You can also expect to see things such as rape, however, they are a bit censored, although, you can clearly tell what is going on. The main character of the show calls himself Goblin Slayer. The story starts when he meets an inexperienced priestess, which later on decides to team up with him. Together they go on Goblin hunts and slay them.
Drifters is another bloody and gore filled adult anime series. Although it’s a bit less brutal than Goblin Slayer, I can clearly tell you that it is much more action-packed. The animation is really good, and the fights are very well animated. Not to forget that there are also a lot of fights going on. Toyohisa Shimazu dies at the battle of Sekigahara (the year 1600). And then suddenly Shimazu is transferred to a white hallway. There he gets transferred into a new world that is totally unrelated to his. In this world, people like Shimazu that come from different times are called “Drifters”. There Shimazu finds out that as a Drifter it is his duty to fight against “Ends”. Ends are the people who created the Orte Empire. They wish to annihilate all the elves, demihumans and especially the Drifters who stand in their way.
Now I know what most people might be thinking when they see Banana Fish on this list. “This is not an adult anime series, this is Yaoi”. Well, that is what people who have not seen the show will tell you. Although it has a Yaoi tag on most sites where you can watch it. It actually has no Yaoi and whoever put the tag, had made a mistake. However, the anime does have Shounen Ai (Boys love). And again, I have to say, this is not a homosexual anime. Even though it has elements of rape and homosexuality involved in it. That is not the main point of the story and just serves for the main character background and development. Banana Fish is an anime that revolves around drugs, mafia, and politics. If you are not prejudiced then I think you will really enjoy this show.
The nostalgia really hits me when I remember BTOOM! It was really a long time since I’ve seen this anime. And it’s definitely one of my favorite adult anime series. Unfortunately, the anime has never got a sequel and was dropped. So if you are about to get into this anime, then do consider that you will have to switch to manga on halfway through the series. Although that might be true, I would still recommend this show to you. The company behind a popular game called BTOOM! one day sends out a spooky question to citizens. The questions ask them if there was any person they wish disappeared from the list. A lot of people suddenly get kidnapped and sent to an unknown inhabited island with no jurisdictions. The island works the same as their game, and people are forced to kill others in order to survive.
Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu
Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu also known by its English name Parasyte the Maxim is an adult anime series that might actually be more f*cked up than Goblin Slayer. If you are not prepared for weird creatures (let’s say alien invaders) and a lot of gore, then you should not watch this anime. However, if you don’t mind it and are a fan of good action anime with gore, character development, and hype story, then this is definitely the adult anime series you are looking. One day, Earth is invaded by an unknown life force that came out of space. They are called Parasytes, they invade human bodies to make them their hosts. The story follows Izumi Shinichi who is one of a kind human that actually prevented a parasyte from taking over his body completely. However the parasyte took over his right arm, Shinichi now has to survive with Migi.
Steins:Gate is one of a kind adult anime series that you can not miss out on if you love shows that include time travel. Although this anime has a bit of a slow pace when it comes to story it really becomes worth it as you get deeper into the story. If I was to describe this, I would say that it’s a tragic romance anime with time travel as it’s the main premise. The characters all have unique personalities and you grow to love them as the story goes on. The story starts when Okabe and his roommates accidentally create a time-traveling phone microwave. They can use the phone microwave to send emails back in time and prevent certain things from happening. However, they then realize that messing with the timelines has its own consequences and they have to face them to return everything back to normal.
Kemonozume is an action, romance and horror mixed adult anime series produced by MADHOUSE. This anime really went underrated so I have decided to bring it up here, as I do think that it deserves attention. At least for those who like a good mix of horror and romance. At first, this anime might seem like some sort of Romeo x Juliet type of story. In which the main characters are from different enemy factions and that prevents their love. However, if you give the show a try, you will see that there is much more to this story than just a cliche romance setting. Some things were predictable, however, it was still a pretty good story. And I have to say that I love how side characters contribute a lot to the flow of the story unlike in some other anime.
Black Lagoon is a classic among adult anime series and by far one of the best action anime I have seen. Unlike most action anime that are well mostly just action-packed, and end up without a story. Black Lagoon delivers us much more than just a mindless action anime, it gives us a lot of character development. We see a lot of interaction between the main characters and their pasts over the course of the anime which make it so much more enjoyable to watch. The story follows Rokurou Okajima, an average Japanese businessman living an average dull life. One day on his trip to Southeast Asia he is intercepted by a group of mercenaries. The mercenaries call themselves Black Lagoon. They kidnap Rokuroou and use him as a bargain, however, it backfires when his company abandoned him. With no place to go, Rokurou decides to join Black Lagoon.
Sidonia ni Kishi
Sidonia no Kishi also known as Knights of Sidonia is another CGI adult anime series that a lot of people have been ignoring so far. And the main reason would be because they hear that it is CGI. I must confess that at first, I was also a bit reluctant to get into this show. However, you have to consider the fact that Sidonia no Kishi was nominated for the Animation of the Year Award in the Television category at the 2015 Tokyo Anime Award Festival. That fact alone can tell you how great of an animation this anime has ended up having. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world. After an alien attack, Earth was destroyed and most humans had to flee into space. The current year is 3394, and the remnants of the human race have to fight against the aliens in order to survive.
Phantom Requiem for the phantom
Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom is a great show that I would recommend for all action lovers. I really enjoyed watching this anime, it’s a bit old, however, the animation is really great. And the action scenes are very well animated. The story is well laid out and follows a certain goal. Which is something that I always look for in an anime. Anime without some sort of goal or point to the story is not worth it in my opinion. The story starts off when a young Japanese tourist gets himself accidentally involved in an assassination. As he was an eyewitness, he needs to be disposed of as well. However, he desperately struggles to survive.. Due to his remarkable will to live, he is taken in by the shady organization and brainwashed so he can be trained into an assassin.
Kenpu Denki Berserk
If you are unaware of this already popular manga series then you should definitely check out its anime adaptation. Unless you prefer manga. This adult anime series is actually quite old (1997). However, there are newer adaptions, although, I would not recommend them. Why? Well for starters the original is the best adaptation Berserk has ever had. The movie trilogy is bad for 2 reasons, 1) pacing and 2) animation. However, it’s still better than 2016 and 2017 adaptation (due to bad CGI). Additionally, the old Berserk has no problem with pacing and it was completely hand-drawn, to match Miura’s art, The story follows Guts who was born right out of the womb of his dead mother. Born into a battlefield, Guts had no chance but to fight for survival. Although it all changes when Guts enrolled into Griffiths troop. While also questioning what is right and what is wrong?
When speaking of great adult anime series, there is one genre in particular that I always get hyped for a lot. And that is mafia related anime, one of the reasons why I really Banana Fish. Although, we are not here to talk about that anime. What I want to recommend to you now is 91 days. However, I must say that I had my expectations too high for this show. And not in terms of the story itself, it was in terms of lengths. When I started watching, every episode was numbered by a day. So I also expected a long complicated story with 91 episodes. However, I was wrong. Although the anime finished in 12 episodes, I still would recommend it to anyone who has not seen it. Also knowing that it won’t be that long type of anime, you can relax and watch without worrying.
Claymore is a mix of adventure, action, fantasy and supernatural. If you like that kind of a show then Claymore will definitely be a good anime for you. The show portrays the cruel reality of a demon inhabited world. Youma are shape-shifting demons that love to eat humans. To fight Youma, Claymores were created. They are half-human, half-youma beings created with only one purpose. And that is to fight and exterminate all the Youma. The story follows Clay, a female Claymore who has just saved a Raki’s village. His family got killed by the demons so he was banished from the village. However, since Clay saved him, he decides to follow her on her journey. As they travel together and slay demons, Rika and Clay get to know each other better. That’s also when Clay’s background story gets revealed and the anime becomes much more interesting.
Not many people have seen this adult anime series, or actually recommended. Although, I have heard them hyping the opening. And in all honesty, the opening theme of the anime is what actually baited me to watch it in the first place. When I started watching the show, I was very surprised. It had elements of time manipulation, and the concept of it was really interesting. It instantly piqued my interest and I binge-watched. The things that happen in the anime with some highlights certainly make it worth checking out. The story starts when Makoto and Tsubasa are kidnapped. The kidnappers ask the Yusawa family for a lot of money and in a very short time. However, they are not a very well standing family. So the grandfather of the Yukawa family brings out an odd stone. With the help of the stone, the family members enter a time-frozen world.
Before you decide to watch Texhnolyze, I have to say that this show is not something everyone would like. First of all, the story pacing is quite slow, and second, there is not that much action in the anime. I know most people prefer action, and that is why I want to warn you. However, if you love a good story, then Texhnolyze is the adult anime series you are looking for. Combining Sci-Fi with Drama and Psychology, Texhnolyze does a really good job at portraying life in Lux City. Lux City is an underground man-made city on the brink of destruction. The story follows Ichicise, a prizefighter who recently lost his arm and leg. After his injury, he was given Texhnolyze. Texhnolyze serves as prosthetics for people. The series also portrays gang-related issues as well. Ichise along with a mysterious girl Ran try to save Lux City from destruction.
Another is “another” great adult anime series that I will be recommending here. Before I get to the main point of this anime, I have to warn you. This anime might not be appropriate for those who can not stomach horror genre. However, if you are looking for a spooky horror story with high schoolers involved, then this is definitely the anime for you. The show starts off when a new transfer student Sakakibara comes to Yomiyama North Middle School. After his transferal, Sakakibara is intrigued by a mysterious girl Mei Misaki. Although Sakakibara tries to befriend her, he quickly noticed that the rest of the class and the teachers are all ignoring Mei. Not listening to their warnings, Sakikabara decides to hang out with Mei. Causing a series of tragic events happening in Yomiyama North Middle School. The reason why these tragedies are happening remains shrouded in mystery.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
For me, there is nothing better in an adult anime series than harsh realism. And exactly that is one of the reasons I love Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. The show does a really great job at portraying the struggles that the main characters have to face in order to survive. One day in Tokyo there was an earthquake of magnitude 8.0. It shook Tokyo, destroyed many things and caused accidents for everyone. The story follows Mirai and Yuuki Onozawa as they caught in this earthquake. They stumble upon Mirai Kusakabe. She then tries to help them survive this tragedy, and together they look for their families. The show was 11 episodes long, however, it took me a lot of time to finish watching this show. The pacing is really slow and makes you want to drop it. However, once you get to last 3 episodes, it makes it worth the wait.
Elfen Lied is a really gore filled anime with a lot of bloodsheds. Is what you would think, however, I have to tell you it is more than that. The reason I am saying this is because a lot of people call this show bad. And that is due to the extreme gore and nudity are shown in the first 10 minutes of the first episode. When a young girl named Lucy escapes out of a government facility. Lucy is a special breed of humans, also known as Declonius. One of the main reasons why the government is performing secret experiments on her body. When she finally escapes, she almost dies and ends up washed out on a shore. She is found lying there by Kouta and Yuuta (his cousin). They decide to take her in their home and treat her, without realizing that their encounter would change their lives.
Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider
Honestly, when speaking about Perfect Insider, I have to say that what had drawn to me was a good opening theme song. I did not expect anything out of this adult anime series when I first started watching it. However, it gave me a good surprise, and I really enjoyed the series. I think this anime will be great for any fan of psychological anime. What hooked me on in the story was not only the psychological aspect of it, but it was the mystery that it had. Souhei Saikawa and Moe Nishinosono arrive at a remote island with a research facility. They want to meet a famous genius Shiki Magata, however, once they arrive a murder occurs. With only a few people in the room, nobody knows who the killer is. Afterward, the tension rises as they begin searching for the murder.
Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin
If we were ranking these anime by favorites, then Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin would definitely be somewhere on the top of my adult anime series list. Rainbow is an anime adapted by Madhouse and does a really good thing when portraying harsh life in prison (At least for an anime). The story is brutal and is not advised for viewers who cannot stomach bad scenes. The story follows Mario Minakami who has just transferred to a reforming school. Along with other 5 teenagers, they get locked up in a cell. There they meet Rokurouta Sakuragi. He is a former boxer and also serves as a guide for the new prisoners. In the story you can see the prisoners struggling every day for survival, being beaten by guards, and having experiments done on them by a crazy doctor. I would recommend this to fans of realistic shows.
If you are looking for a psychological thriller, then there is probably no better anime than Perfect Blue. Directed by famous Satoshi Kon, this anime explores the depths and intrigue of the human mind. You can see how the character deals with several situations in her life that change her perspective of everything. And personally, there is nothing better for an adult anime series than realistic show and concept of human psychology. Satoshi Kon does a really good job of delivering that to us. The story follows Mima Kirigoe, a member of a popular J-pop idol group CHAM!. Mirma departs the idol group in hopes of pursuing her actress career, and soon starts working on a criminalist drama series. However, she then discovers that her acting career is much more pressuring, taxing and harsh than she had expected. On top of that, a crazy fan decides to stalk her.
I know that this is a list of adult anime series, however, I had to add this movie on to this list. Because I think that it fits this topic perfectly, and would recommend it for you to check it out. This is another great psychological story done by Satoshi Kon, however, it is told totally different than Perfect Blue. And it also explores the psychological state of the mind in a very innovative way. The story follows Atsuko Chiba and Kosaku Tokita who have developed “DC Mini”. DC Mini allows them to explore person dreams, deepest desires, and fears. In order to cure mentally damaged patients, they hope to use DC Mini to understand what is going on in their head. However, one day the DC Mini is stolen by someone. And they realize the threat it could cause to humanity. Dealing irreparable psychological and mental problems to victims.
Psycho-Pass does a great job of combining Sci-Fi with action and psychological states of the mind. It’s definitely one of my favorite psychological anime there is. In the world of Psycho-Pass, everyone is constantly evaluated by the Sybil System. Sybil-System explores the human mind in search for signs of potential criminal behavior. Based on this, everyone has their Psycho-Pass evaluated, and some are sent to prison without actually committing the crimes. If the Sybil System determines when a person is about to commit a crime. All of the potential criminals are treated the same without being offered any chance of treatment or counseling sessions. The potential criminals are simply isolated from the world into the prison. Based on a persons Psycho-Pass they can also apply for better or worse jobs. The show makes you think what is right and what is wrong, and if the Sybil System is actually moral.
Detroit Metal City
Detroit Metal City, also known as DMC is not an anime that every fan will be pleased with. However, it does fit perfectly in our list of adult anime series with its vulgarity, craziness and dark humor. And, the anime does more than that, it shows us how the main character has two personalities and problems in real life. One of his personalities is Johannes Krauser II as the band leader of DMC, Krauser is worshiped as a demonic being and lord of the mortals. However, that is just his public image, and on the real side of his, we see an average college graduate Souichi Negishi. Negishi is struggling with money from month to month and has to participate as the leader of DMC. As he has nothing else to do that would earn him a living. The show is really hilarious and dark at times.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
There might be some confusion when talking about Ghost in the Shell, however, I can tell you for sure that you do not need to watch the movie from 1995 in order to watch Stand Alone Complex (SAC). However, you must know that SAC does deviate a bit from the original story. Although, I must say that it does not make it any less good to watch. The show is split into two main focuses which sometimes confuse the readers. Stand Alone and Complex are divided, Stand Alone focuses on the work of Section 9, while Complex narrates the Laughing Man (main plot). The show does a really good way of explaining everything and connecting the dots between characters. However, I have to warn you, that this show is driven by its plot. Therefore, iff you are going to watch this, you must pay attention to what is going on.
Deadman Wonderland is one of those unique series that you just gotta love. Unfortunately, the adult anime series never received 2nd season. It was cut off on the first season, so if you want to watch this show, you have to be prepared to go read the manga afterward. Personally, I did not read the manga after finishing the story in hopes of it getting season 2, but it never did. And later on, I already forgot about the series kind of. Although it has it’s downsides Deadman Wonderland is still a very good show to watch. The story follows Ganta Igarashi after being convicted of murdering all of his classmates. Unaware of what happened, Ganta is sent to a prison. In prison, Ganta starts uncovering slowly the events that lead him to prison and tries to find the person who framed him for the murder.
Mirai Nikki is one of those shows where you will find a lot of haters, but also a lot of fans. I am personally a fan of the show and despite everyone hating on the character Yuno. I think that without her, the story would not have been the same as it was. Overall the anime is quite enjoyable to watch, it is action and thrill-packed. With a lot of bloodsheds, murder and sometimes psychological aspects of the characters. This show will deliver on wild and crazy, and if you are looking for that, then this will be a great adult anime series for you. The story follows Yuki, one of the few people chosen as contestants in a death survival game. Each contestant is given a Future Diary, and they have to use it as wisely as they can. The last survivor will become basically God-like being.
For fans of action and vampire, we got Hellsing Ultimate. A perfect adult anime series for those who want to sit back, relax and enjoy some gruesome action, bloodshed, gore, horror, sexuality, violence and darkness. However, what this story won’t give you is the main character that grows as the series goes on. And character progression that most anime give you, you know that weak type of characters that grow stronger. Instead, you will see a badass main character, that can practically destroy almost all villains in the story. And often at times, you end up sympathizing with the poor villains. The main character is Alucard (which is basically Dracula spelled backward). Alucard works for an organization that deals with vampires and ghoul extermination. So you can expect to see Alucard attacking and fighting against other vampires quite often.
See Also: Hellsing or Hellsing Ultimate?
Who does not love a good samurai historical show? Well if you don’t, then I would not advise you to watch Samurai Champloo. As the series follows the story of 2 samurais trying to help out a waitress named Fuu. The anime is decent, it is not anything worth hyping around, or having to watch immediately. Although if you like Samurai, you will definitely enjoy this anime. One of the main characters, Mugen, is an unorthodox type of a Samurai. He has abandoned traditional ways of using the sword. And often his style reminds me of breakdancing. The other Samurai accompanying Fuu and Mugen is Jin. Jin, on the other hand, is an orthodox traditional type of a Samurai. One day, in a wild set of circumstances, the tree meet and decide to go on a journey together. They want to help Fuu find a Samurai that smells of sunflowers.
We have another movie on this list for adult anime series besides Paprika. And that is Ninja Scroll, some would say that this movie is old, and long forgotten. But that gives me even more reason to bring back attention to this movie. Although I am quite certain that half of the people who try this anime won’t like the old animation. However, the old animation is definitely what makes this anime much more enjoyable for me. It gives it that unique and old vibe that you would expect from a Samurai movie. The story follows a lone wandering ninja Juubei. One day Juubei meets Dukon, an old man that tricks him into accepting his job. Juubei gets poisoned by the old man, and if he does not complete his job in 3 days, he will die. The job is to prevent a ninja clan from creating a power struggle.
Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne
Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne is quite an underrated adult anime series despite it having quite an original and intriguing story. Although I do understand why some people are avoiding this show, and that is due to its heavy focus on sexual and torture scenes. You can say that this is basically a “smut” anime. However, the story is much more complicated than it is portrayed to be. Many people would regard it as “torture porn” while it actually follows and explores the difficulties of immortality. The story focuses on two detective girls (daughters of Mnemosyne) that are both immortal. They have experienced all kinds of tortures, deaths and other kinds of violence inflicted on them. I would advise you to check out this anime if you are okay with NSFW scenes, and love to see some really f*cked up story.
Shigurui Death Frenzy
Shigurui is one of those anime that viewers tend to drop quite often (me included). I think it was my 4th try that I actually got into the show, and the reason was pure boredom. However, I was quite happily surprised by this show. It has delivered on so many aspects I do not know where to begin. First of all, the animation is superb, you can see top-notch animation throughout the series. And by animation, I do not mean just animation. The art and the design of characters is also very unique. You can see that there was a lot of time invested in all of the characters. Even the side characters look unique and stand out from the rest. The story was great too, accompanied by some realistic sound effects. If you are looking for a good Samurai adult anime series, then Shigurui is the show for you.
Kids on the Slope
Kids on the slope is an adult anime series targeted mainly for the female audience. So without all the action or mind-f*ck elements that the adult series usually bring you. Most male viewers will not be satisfied with this show. However, if you love a good story, with characters that you can easily get attached to, then perhaps you should give this anime a try. Kids on the slope focus on friendship, music, and romance as it’s main points of the story. Although the first episode seems unsatisfying and slow, the story does pick up its pace as more characters get introduced into the show. The story follows an introvert Kaoru Nishimi who is a top student and a classical pianist. However, all of that changes when he transfers schools and meets a delinquent named Sentarou Kawabuchi. Sentarou befriends Kaoru and introduces him to Jazz music.
Castlevania is an adult anime series originally produced by Netflix. So far it only has 4 episodes, however, more was announced to come due to a very good response from the viewers. If you are a fan of sub and love to listen to Japanese voice actors, you must be prepared that Castlevania won’t have that. Castlevania is originally portrayed through English voice actors. Even though some people might not like that, I still found the voice actors to be decent and the show enjoyable. The animation is over the top, and it is really great. Beautiful animation and character design acompanied by an intriguing story. I definitely recommend this anime to fans of vampire, gore, violence and bloodshed type of anime.
Mushishi delivers a great mix of Supernatural, Adventure, Slice of Life, Fantasy, and Mystery. Exploring questions such as what is the meaning of life it really piques the interest of the viewers. Despite the story having a slow flow, I recommend you check out this adult anime series. The story follows a young researcher Ginko, he is curious about a supernatural phenomenon called Mushi. Those who research Mushi are called Mushishi. Mushi is considered to be the most basic life form there is. Not affected by either good or evil, Mushi is supposed to simply be life and nothing more than that. They are believed to appear in the world as plants, diseases or even rainbows. However, no one truly knows what Mushi are. And so, Ginko sets out on an adventure with only one goal in mind. And that is to uncover the true nature of Mushi.
Akame ga Kill
If you are not prepared to see sad and depressing scenes filled with death and blood spilled then you should not jump into watching Akame ga Kill. Even though this anime was great and action-packed (which is something many viewers are interested in) , it still had some scenes that were very hard to watch. However, if you do not mind those scenes, then this will be the adult anime series you are looking for. The story focuses on a group of Assassins, that is going against the Capital. The world of Akame ga Kill does a really good job at portraying unfairness and inequality. The strong survive, and the weak die, while the Capital of the city is corrupted deep down its core. Night Raid serves as the assassination core for destroying the Capital, they are one small part of the Revolutionary Army.
I have to say that Shinsekai Yori was one of the few very weird and f*cked up anime that I came across. And it confused me a lot when I first started watching it. Honestly, I had no idea what was going on, and towards the end, I was still a bit confused. It took me 2 times of watching it to completely understand the concept and the message that the anime is giving. Mixed with darkness, lies, and deceit Shinsekai Yori gives us a unique story about Saki Watanabe. A 12-year old girl who has just awakened her psychic abilities. She is accompanied by Satoru Asahina, Mamoru Itou, and Shun Aonuma. They live in a secluded village where everyone has psychic abilities. The village is shrouded in darkness and mystery. The story ends up portraying the dark side of humanity and leaves a rather peculiar message.
Chihayafuru is an adult anime series mainly targeted for the female audience. I felt the need to include more such shows in this list, not because I think that it is needed. It is because this anime was definitely a great watch for me (despite it being made for female viewers). However, it was hectic to begin this anime, I was watching this in a period when I really had nothing else to watch besides this. So I forced myself to give this series a go, and it was unexpectedly good. The art and the animation is good, nothing special or to brag about. Although, the story is very good and the characters are loveable. The story follows Chihaya Ayase as she emerges herself into a sport called Karuta. Ayase wants to become the best player of Karuta in Japan.
Tokyo Ghoul is a very famous series and you have probably heard of it already, but if you have not, I will explain shortly. Basically, this is an adult anime series that most people either hate or love (just like SAO). Personally, I loved Tokyo Ghoul season 1, but started disliking it after season 2. And then I switched to the manga, however, despite switching to the manga, I have checked out season 3 as well. And I have to say I did not like it, not to mention the fact that the studio making TG is trying to fit 120 chapters into season 4. If you do not mind all of that, then I would recommend you check it out. If you do mind it, then go read the manga. The story focuses on Kaneki Ken, a guy who was suddenly turned into a half-ghoul half human.
Lupin III or Lupin the Third is one of the classics old-school adult anime series. Of course, the animation is not the best, but considering the year it was released, the animation was done pretty good for that time. Besides that, Lupin III also has sequels and specials with better animation, so if you get through the first part, the rest will be much more eye pleasing. The anime itself gives of James Bonds vibe. However, Lupin is not a spy, he is a thief. Filled with crime, violence, alcohol, sex and rape Lupin III was one of the first to tell that kind of a story. And has been considered a starting point for many more series to come in the future. If you love old-school anime, then you should definitely check out this one. You won’t be regretting the watch.
Devilman Crybaby is a Netflix original adaptation of the old Devilman series. If you want to know the watching order, I will include a link below. I loved this series when it first aired due to many different things. The first thing that captivated me was definitely the music and the opening, it was really good and the opening was intriguing. However, when I started watching the episode, I was really surprised at how “bad” the art is. Or that’s what I thought, what seemed to be “bad” art at first, actually ended up being a really unique form of animation. And that animation is one of the main things that make you fall in love with this anime, it gives it that unique vibe you can not find in any other show. The story follows Akira Fudou who under certain circumstances becomes a Devilman.
Before you decide to watch Gantz, I have to warn you that this adult anime series is not for the weak-hearted. The anime contains gore, violence, and rape shown, though these are just the elements used to portray the greedy and dark side of human life. You can expect everyone from kids to an old man being violated and assaulted. There is no mercy for anyone. Gantz does a really good job at combining Sci-Fi with action, Horror, Supernatural, Drama, and Ecchi (insert Lenny face here). However, despite it being pretty violent, and having some pretty good action scenes. The story itself was lacking in my opinion and could have been done much much better. Although there are some downsides to the show, it is still definitely worth checking out. You know, if you are into that kind of anime.
Zankyou no Terror
Zankyou no Terror is a show that you usually don’t see in anime, and that is a show about terrorism. There are anime like Code Geass that have terrorism in it as a sub-genre. However, Zankyou no Terror focuses completely on terrorism, and that is exactly what makes this adult anime series great. When I started watching this show I was pretty excited as there was a lot of action in the first episode. However, the pace drops down a bit, although it’s not a slow show. The show still has great pace and follows the story of Nine and Eleven. They are two masked men behind terrorist organization Syphinx. They upload videos of themselves before every terrorist attack and give the police a puzzle. Why they are doing this? (Watch the anime to find out). It’s really interesting to see the police struggling to solve their puzzles.
Paranoia Agent is an adult anime series directed by Satoshi Kon (one of my favorite directors). And you know that when Satoshi Kon is making an anime, that the anime will be exploring the psychological states of mind. Although most of his anime is focused on it, each and one of them are quite unique in the way they present the characters, problems and things they have to face. Paranoia Agent starts off to seem like a simple detective-story, however, it turns out to be much more than just a simple story. And as you dive into the story it might become confusing. Making you wonder what will happen next, or who the real culprit is. But do not worry if you do not understand some things, as everything is well connected and explained towards the end of the series.