This list of the best seinen anime comes from Rachel at No Filler Anime, a fantastic resource for any of y’all who want to dig into more of the best anime around.
Seinen anime generally encompasses almost all genres from mystery to action and also have mature elements which are why seinen anime is more suited to the mature audience.
Japan produces so much anime in a year, that often some really good shows fail to get the spotlight that they deserve but that does not mean that these shows are not worth checking out. There are some real gems here that can blow you away with an engaging storyline and amazing graphics.
Whether you are an anime aficionado, or you are just delving into this awesome world of anime, you will find something to your taste on this list.
Fans of fantasy anime, sorry to disappoint you, but there is nowhere near a fantasy. The story takes place in the real world.
The anime follows the titular character, Dr. Tenma. He is one of the best neurosurgeons in Japan, who settles in Europe after he saves a boy who he was ordered to kill. Many years later, he is again ordered to kill a criminal but he instead ends up saving him and that is where the story begins. Get ready for a wild ride for 74 episodes.
The anime is quite dark as it deals with a heavy topic. It makes the viewers question whether every one of us is capable of doing heinous acts and whether these monsters can ever become a better person if treated better.
The length of the drama is perfect if you want to binge it during a vacation.
2. Vinland Saga
It is a saga alright but one that is nearly wrapped up in 24 episodes. There are reports about a second season coming and it is expected to have more mature elements than the first season but until it arrives for real, grab some popcorn and get ready to binge this amazing historical anime.
The drama is set in Northern Europe during the 11th century AD where we follow Thorfinn. Since this is a historical drama dealing with war, you can expect a lot of bloodshed and death.
The drama is based on the manga of the same name which is still ongoing, so if you want more of it, you can always pick up the manga volumes from the bookstore.
It is one of the best historical seinen anime out there, even better than the top-rated HBO show, Game of Thrones, at least you will not be disappointed with the ending.
3. Black Lagoon
Set in the fictional city of Thailand, Black Lagoon is about a crew of smugglers who are headed by a badass female character. The characters all wield guns and never shy away from fights.
This is an extremely violent anime that is not suitable for the younger audience. Apart from the over-the-top violence, there is drug trafficking, cursing, and objectification of the female body with plenty of nudity.
Even though the story is mostly about the crew and their smuggling adventures, you will also find characters who are still fighting their inner demons refusing to give themselves entirely to the dark side and there are the corrupted ones who have fully embraced their dark side and have given up on being good.
The 12 episode anime is perfect for anyone who cannot commit to an anime with 50 plus episodes.
4. Run With The Wind
Run With A Wind is a sports anime about a group of college students who are all part of a club known as the running club. The anime follows the lives of these young athletes as they prepare to take part in the Hakone Ekiden competition. The anime is not based on any manga but a novel written by one of Japan’s celebrated authors, Shion Moira.
The youths previously were disappointed with their cheap college housing complex until they found out that they have to prepare for an upcoming competition and must learn to be a team to win the competition.
It is a wholesome slice of life drama that will make you root for these young college kids as they learn to play as part of a team and not as individuals.
Erased is not exactly underrated, it is very well known and well-loved. This 12 episode drama is a masterpiece but is warned, you may be left wanting more after the ending. Fans have often complained of the ending being too rushed. But do not let that stop you from checking out this anime.
It is a mystery, crime, and sci-fi drama as it involves time travel as well. The main character has a special ability which he learns about the night when his mother is murdered brutally. That night travels back 8 years to when he was 11 years old. He still retains his adult memories and tries to work out the murder mystery that seems to plague his little town. Whatever the changes in the past affect the future.
For an alternative ending, you can also check out the manga as it has a different ending to anime.
6. Joker Game
Do you like shows about wars? Secrets? Spies? Manipulative characters? Then you will love this anime.
The story takes place at the start of world war 2 in the year 1937. The Japanese army establishes a secret service called the D agency to recruit and train spies. At the end of the training, only 8 remain as they world under Colonel Yuuki. And he is, himself, is shrouded in mystery.
7. The Perfect Insider
The Perfect Insider is a murder mystery involving a brilliant scientist named Saikawa Souhei and his assistant Nishinosono Moe, who is also Saikawa’s mentor’s daughter.
When they take a study trip to the island of Himaka, they accidentally come across a corpse and that is where the story begins.
8. Tokyo Ghouls
This is of the most popular anime out there. The series deals with Humans and Ghouls as humans try to kill ghouls as they feed on humans and kill them. But some ghouls have renounced this way of living and do not feed on living humans but the dead ones.
There is just one catch. The ghouls have to face consequences when they eat anything other than coffee and water.
What Do You Think is the Best Seinen Anime?
Whether you are going on a long vacation or settling into your own super awesome anime-themed geek cave or just need something for the weekend, we hope that we’ve solved your problem!
And if you have any favorites that we missed, what do you think the best seinen anime are? We need your recommendations!
Many thanks to Rachel from No Filler Anime for the fantastic post!