The Middle Ages were a time of great exploration, adventure, and innovation, and the world of anime has captured the essence of this period in many different ways.
From the epic battles between knights and dragons to the intricate political intrigue of royal courts, medieval anime offers diverse storylines and characters that will captivate any genre fan.
In this list of the top 30 best medieval animes, we’ll explore some of the most captivating and exciting anime set in the Middle Ages.
Whether you’re a longtime fan of medieval anime or just discovering the genre for the first time, this list will surely have something for everyone. So, grab your sword, don your armor, and join us as we journey back to the age of knights and kings.
This list will look at the top 30 best medieval animes of all time based on ratings and popularity. From exciting action stories to introspective dramas, there’s something for everyone on this list. So what are you waiting for? Start watching some of these classics today!
1. Vinland Saga
Vinland Saga is a gripping medieval anime set in the 11th century, during the time of Viking raids on England. The story follows a young boy named Thorfinn, who seeks revenge against Askeladd, the Viking leader who killed his father. As Thorfinn journeys with Askeladd’s band of warriors, he questions his motivations and beliefs about violence and revenge.
The anime features intense and brutal battle scenes, as well as complex character development and political intrigue. The world-building is rich and immersive, drawing on real historical events and locations to create a believable and engaging setting.
The themes of revenge, honor, and redemption are explored as nuanced and thought-provoking, making Vinland Saga a standout entry in the medieval anime genre. Fans of historical fiction and action-adventure anime won’t want to miss this epic and emotionally resonant series.
Related: 30 Dark Anime Series You Can’t Miss
This anime is one of the best medieval anime ever made. It takes place in Japan during the Sengoku period. It follows the adventures of Inuyasha, a half-demon, half-human who wants to find his father, who was taken by a powerful demon hundreds of years ago.
Along the way, he meets other characters like Kagome, a young girl who is in search of her own family history; Tetsusaiga, a sword forged from iron and the soul of a demon killed by Inuyasha; Miroku, a monk with a deep understanding of spiritual matters; and Sango, a demon hunter whose clan was massacred. The series is full of action and adventure that will keep you glued to your screen for hours.
3. Yona Of The Dawn
Yona of the Dawn is a tale of transformation – from a naïve princess to a courageous woman. The author shows how Yona grew up safely, wealthy, and surrounded by people who would protect her.
She was an innocent child spared of any misfortune until she was forced to flee the Kingdom with only her childhood friend, Son Hak, by her side.
Soon after, she figured out what had happened to her crown and blamed herself for not preventing the destruction. She is on a journey with Hak to piece together an ancient legend and recover the Kingdom within the pages of their story.
“Claymore” is a medieval anime set in a world where humans coexist with creatures called Yoma, which are shapeshifting monsters feeding human flesh. The only ones who can combat the Yoma are female warriors called Claymores, who are half-human, half-Yoma hybrids with extraordinary strength and agility.
The story follows Clare, a young Claymore who seeks revenge against the Yoma who killed her family. Along the way, she meets other Claymores and uncovers a sinister plot involving the organization that created them.
With its dark, medieval setting and complex characters, “Claymore” is known for its intense action scenes, emotional storytelling, and exploration of themes such as identity and humanity. The anime has gained a dedicated fanbase and is considered a classic in the fantasy genre.
Berserk is an anime classic and undoubtedly the best medieval anime on our list today. The story of this horror/fantasy-themed series follows Guts, a tormented warrior betrayed by his ally. Guts had a difficult and traumatic childhood while growing up.
When he joined the Band of Hawk, he felt like he had finally found a place to belong until being betrayed by leader Griffith–who sacrificed numerous people to fulfill his ambition. However, Guts must find a way to change his fate and exact revenge on the man who made his life so miserable.
Related: 20 Must-See Boxing Animes for Fans
6. Snow White With The Red Hair
Snow White with the Red Hair is one of the most popular and well-known stories from the Middle Ages. The story follows Snow White as she is forced to leave her home and live with seven wicked stepmothers trying to make her a Stepford wife. However, Snow White finds her strength and survives with her wit and cunning.
The anime version of this story is based on the Japanese manga series “Snow White With The Red Hair”, which was created by Makoto Kobayashi in 2004.
The anime has been popular all over the world and has been praised for its beautiful animation and storytelling. The characters are well-developed, and the anime does a great job of capturing the essence of the original story.
7. Maria The Virgin Witch
“Maria the Virgin Witch” is a medieval anime that tells the story of a powerful witch named Maria who lives in France during the Hundred Years War between England and France. Maria is opposed to war and tries to prevent it by using her magic powers to intervene in battles and stop them from occurring.
The anime explores themes of pacifism, morality, and the conflict between religion and magic. Maria’s actions and beliefs often put her at odds with the Church and the authorities of the time, leading to her being persecuted and hunted as a witch.
With a mix of action, drama, and historical elements, “Maria the Virgin Witch” offers a unique take on medieval Europe and the role of witches in society. The anime has gained a dedicated following for its thought-provoking themes and well-developed characters.
8. The Heroic Legend Of Arslan
If you’re looking for a valiant and epic adventure, look no further than “Arslan The Great”. This historical fantasy follows the title character as he leads a small troop of soldiers into battle against overwhelming odds.
From the opening scenes, Arslan displays all the qualities of a classic hero: strength, courage, and a willingness to risk everything for his people. The series is full of action, adventure, and suspense, making it an enjoyable watch whether you’re a fan of medieval history or not.
However, the story’s standout feature is its strong theme of self-reliance and determination. Arslan never gives up on his goal, even when all hope seems lost. Watching him rise to the challenge inspires anyone looking for an example of true heroic spirit.
9. Fairy Tail
Fairy Tail is one of the most popular anime series for a reason. The story follows the adventures of Natsu Dragneel, Lucy Heartfilia, and Happy as they search for dragon treasure in medieval Europe.
The anime captures the excitement and adventure of exploring a new place and discovering hidden treasures. The story is full of action, humor, and heart. Watching Fairy Tail is like taking a journey through history with your favorite cast of characters.
The series has been around for nearly 10 years and draws new fans every season. Fairy Tail is worth checking out whether you’re a cartoon or historical fiction fan.
10. Record Of Lodoss War
Record of Lodoss War is one of the oldest and most revered anime series ever created. The story follows the last hope of the human race, a small group of people led by a powerful general who travels to stop an alien race from conquering Earth.
The series is full of action, adventure, and romance, making it a perfect choice for any fan of medieval-themed anime. Record of Lodoss War is rated 8.5 out of 10 on IMDb, based on over 100 user ratings. Fans love the series for its complex and well-developed plot, as well as its intense battle sequences.
Some have even gone so far as to say that Record of Lodoss War is one of the best anime ever made. Whether you’re a new fan or an old one, there’s no doubt that this series is worth watching.
11. Rage Of Bahamut – Genesis
When it comes to medieval anime, few can compare it to “Rage of Bahamut”. Released in 2006, the series follows a band of young adventurers seeking to stop the advance of a monstrous beast known as Ragnarok.
Featuring some of the most iconic characters in anime history, “Rage of Bahamut” will surely please any historical adventure fan.
In terms of plot, “Rage of Bahamut” is relatively straightforward. Following the fate of the three main characters – Reinhard, Maria, and Edward – the series chronicles their journey as they clash against powerful adversaries and try to save the world from destruction.
Although there are occasional twists and turns, for the most part, this is an episodic affair with little overarching plot development.
Its intricate and well-realized setting makes “Rage of Bahamut” so special. Set in medieval Germany during the late 12th century, the series features an impressive array of villains and allies, including dragons, giants, magicians, and more.
Each location feels unique and vividly portrayed with stunning visual effects that make you feel right in battle with Reinhard and his friends. Add an effective soundtrack reinforcing the tension and desperation throughout each episode, and you have one of the most compelling anime sagas ever produced.
Related: Cute Anime Series to Watch Right Now
12. Spice And Wolf
“Spice and Wolf” is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Isuna Hasekura. It is set in a medieval European-like setting. It tells the story of an ordinary peddler and a pagan deity named Holo.
When Kraft Lawrence, a 25-year-old peddler, visits the town of Pasroe one night, he meets her, a 250-year-old Pagan deity who wants him to take her back to her homeland – Yoitsu (Holo’s home). Eventually, she catches the attention of the Church. Her presence is both fruitful for his business and dangerous for them.”
13. Goblin Slayer
If you’re a fan of medieval anime, then you’ll want to check out Goblin Slayer. This series follows the story of Kirito; a swordsman tasked with slaying goblins to preserve the peace. Goblin Slayer is an exciting, action-packed series that will leave you on the edge of your seat!
This series has quickly become one of the best medieval anime out there, and it’s not hard to see why. The characters are likable and well-developed, the plot is riveting, and the action is intense. If you’re looking for a great medieval anime to sink your teeth into, look no further than Goblin Slayer!
14. The Seven Deadly Sins
Once they had been accused of treason and forced to leave the Kingdom of Brittania, the Seven Deadly Sins that helped guard, it was scattered among the land.
Years later, Elizabeth went out to search for her missing guardians. With their leader, Meliodas, in tow, she sets off on a journey to discover new enemies and an old traitor who holds the key to restoring peace within the Kingdom again. Moreover, Elizabeth must fight to protect those important to her and her Kingdom.
15.Aura Battler Dunbine
Aura Battler Dunbine is a Japanese anime series that follows the journey of Shiro, a young boy who acquires the power to battle an unknown entity plaguing his village.
The series quickly became a cult classic and was praised for its compelling storytelling and unique take on medieval combat. Aura Battler Dunbine is one of the few medieval anime series that takes a unique approach to combat.
Rather than relying on swords and shields, Shiro uses his ability to summon weapons and armor from across history to defeat his adversaries. This makes for engaging and exciting fight scenes, as viewers always keep guessing which weapon will be summoned next.
Unlike other anime series focusing on action sequences and brightly-colored villains, Aura Battler Dunbine features dark and moody settings that give the story depth and layers. The characters are also well-developed, with complex motivations that make them feel real rather than cardboard cutouts.
Even though the story is slow at times, the characters are engaging enough that viewers will stick around until the end. Each character has a unique personality and backstory, making them easy to love or hate (depending on your opinion of medieval warfare).
Once, loyal knights of the Kingdom of Brittania, the Seven Deadly Sins, were forced out of the Kingdom on false accusations of treason. After that happened, they scattered throughout the land.
When Princess Elizabeth set out to find them, she came upon one of their leaders, Meliodas. The two then gathered their full group again to save the Kingdom from a treacherous liar. In addition to that, they had new and more powerful villains cross their paths. They fought against all odds to protect those important to them until the end.
“Castlevania” is a popular medieval anime based on the classic video game series of the same name. The anime follows the story of Trevor Belmont, a legendary Belmont family member tasked with fighting against Dracula and his army of demons.
Set in a medieval gothic world, “Castlevania” features dark themes, intense action scenes, and a deep exploration of religion and morality. The anime also features a variety of supernatural creatures, including vampires, werewolves, and other demonic creatures.
With its stunning animation and engaging storytelling, “Castlevania” has gained a large following and critical acclaim. The anime has been praised for its faithful adaptation of the video game series and its ability to stand independently as a compelling and thought-provoking medieval tale.
18. Guardian Of The Spirit
The anime series is an adaptation of a novel series by Nahoko Uehashi. It was first released on 7th April 2007. Guardian of the Spirit focuses on the ancient land of Shin Yogo, where people are suffering from a terrible drought.
According to the legends, in case of a similar drought in the past, the Emperor defeated a water demon aided by his 8 warriors – therefore, to save the land from the terrible drought, he must slay it once again.
However, this plan has one problem: the Emperor’s son himself contains the spirit of a water demon within him! With just days remaining before he is assassinated by his own people and saved just in time, thanks to an unsuspecting warrior who doesn’t know what she has done for him and without even knowing it!
19. Guin Saga
The anime series “Guin Saga” is one of the most critically acclaimed and popular medieval dramas ever created. The story follows the adventures of a party of adventurers as they travel across a vast world filled with dangerous creatures, treacherous fillies, and sinister magic.
While the series is not without its flaws, it manages to create an enchanting experience that is hard to put down. The characters are well-developed, and the plot is full of twists and turns that keep you guessing until the very end.
If you’re a fan of medieval dramas, then you owe it to yourself to check out “Guin Saga”. It’s definitely one of the best anime series out there!
20. Scrapped Princess
In Scrapped Princess, we see the journey of Princess Pacifica Casull as she tries to escape her fate. As a child born into a royal family, she is always put in the role of being something that could bring about destruction and devastation.
When she turned 16, it was prophesized that she would destroy the world. Because of this prediction, Pacifica was called “The Scrapped Princess” by her peers. However, the Princess was saved by a kind family who accepted her into their home even though they were constantly troubled by how many lives were lost over one person.
21. Tears To Tiara
We have a medieval European setting with knights and warriors running rampant. The story begins with the rise of the Holy Empire, using its power and influence to conquer nations across the land.
Gradually this conquest led them to the island of Erin, home to a clan of barbaric humans who they called Gael. Here these new rulers came across a young psychic priestess known as Riannon, who they intended to sacrifice to the Demon King, believed to destroy his quest for revenge.
Instead, after finally coming face-to-face with the demon king, he is nothing like what one would expect.
22. The Twelve Kingdoms
The Twelve Kingdoms is one of the most popular medieval anime series ever created. The story follows the journey of a young boy named Tomura as he travels through the different kingdoms in search of his disappeared father.
Along the way, Tomura must fight off monsters and figure out the secrets of these mysterious kingdoms. This anime series is packed with action and adventure, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a thrilling medieval experience.
The characters are well-developed and often unpredictable, making predicting what will happen next difficult. Whether you’re a fan of fantasy stories or enjoy watching good old-fashioned battle scenes, The Twelve Kingdoms is worth your time.
23. Sword Of The Stranger
This anime is set in the Sengoku period of ancient Japan. The protagonist, Kotarou, is a young thief and orphan just like Dororo. However, it is not just him running into trouble.
While he’s on an adventure with his pet dog Tobimaru, Kotarou’s usual life drastically turns when he realizes he is being targeted by assassins sent by the powerful Ming Dynasty. He realized they were not after him for his petty crimes but for some other mysterious reason never revealed to him.
When chasing them down, Kotarou was saved by a wandering ronin who took shelter nearby just as they were corners by assassins. The series follows their adventures through dangerous lands fraught with danger and excitement to their destinations.
24. House Of Five Leaves
“House of Five Leaves” is a unique medieval anime that follows the story of a timid samurai named Akitsu Masanosuke, who is hired as a bodyguard by a group of kidnappers known as the House of Five Leaves. The House of Five Leaves is led by a charismatic and mysterious man named Yaichi, who draws Masanosuke into their world of crime and deception.
The anime explores themes of identity, loyalty, and social class through the interactions between the House of Five Leaves members and Masanosuke’s struggle to reconcile his values with those of his new comrades.
With its distinct art style, complex characters, and slow-paced storytelling, “House of Five Leaves” offers a refreshing take on the medieval period in Japan. The anime has gained a cult following for its nuanced portrayal of character relationships and exploration of deeper themes.
25. Altair: A Record Of Battles
Altair: A Record of Battles is one of the best medieval anime around, thanks to its great storyline and believable characters.
It follows a young officer named Folken, who is ordered to escort a princess back to her Kingdom. Along the way, they must fight against enemies who want to stop them from reaching their destination.
This anime is well-known for its action and adventure scenes, which are top-notch. The story is also very intriguing, making it one of the most captivating medieval anime. Fans of historical fiction will definitely enjoy this series.
26. The Rising Of The Shield Hero
“The Rising of the Shield Hero” is a medieval anime that follows the story of Naofumi Iwatani, a young man summoned to another world along with three other heroes to save it from destruction.
Naofumi is given the role of the Shield Hero, but he quickly finds himself betrayed and falsely accused of a crime, leading to him being shunned and despised by the world’s people.
The anime explores betrayal, revenge, and redemption themes as Naofumi set out to clear his name and defeat the forces of evil threatening the world. Along the way, he forms alliances with other characters, including monster girls with unique abilities and appearances.
With a mix of action, adventure, and drama, “The Rising of the Shield Hero” has gained a dedicated following for its complex characters and intricate plot. The anime is known for portraying a flawed protagonist who must overcome adversity and betrayal to become a hero.
27. The Beast Player Erin
The Beast Player Erin is one of the most popular medieval anime. This series follows the story of a young woman who must fight to save her village from an evil beast that has been terrorizing them for years.
This series is full of action and adventure, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a good medieval anime to watch. The characters are well-written, and the plotline is intriguing, making it easy to get lost in the story.
28. Grimoire Of Zero
This anime is based on a Japanese light novel series by Kakeru Kobashiri, and it was first released on 10th April 2017. In an age where humans and witches roam the world, there is another race of people shunned by both groups- the ‘Beastfallen’.
The ‘Beastfallen’ do not just possess animal characteristics but also has visual similarities to animals, as both witches and humans do not accept them. They typically ‘make their living by hunting witches’ as they are ostracized.
One such ‘Beastfallen’ man is employed by a light-hearted witch named Zero. Zero and her friend Albus were on a quest to find the Grimoire of Zero before it could be dangerous if it fell into the wrong hands.
Despite their differences, this trio gradually grows close to each other as they embark on an epic adventure together.
29. Colourcloud Palace
The story of this anime is based on a Japanese light novel series written by Sai Yukino and illustrated by Kairi Yura. It was first released on 8th April 2006. The anime is set in an era where female-dominant society, while Chinese society has a matriarchal setup.
The protagonist of this anime is a woman named Shuurei Hong, who dreams of becoming a government official someday. However, since that position is forbidden to women, her dream seems far out of her reach. Shuurei’s father works as an archivist, and they have to suffer several financial issues.
Shuurei works as many odd jobs to make ends meet until she receives a lucrative offer one day. She is offered the job of refining the behavior of the current Emperor, who lacks discipline and seems to enjoy the company much like her father’s character in real life did when he got into office.
After accepting the offer, Shuurei enters and enters the palace as consort but later gets involved with its political intrigue soon after and finds herself at risk for assassination attempts due to all these facts she reveals about the highly disciplined man she assumes very plays a game with (e.g., going swimming with him).
30. Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror
The anime Ayakashi: classic Japanese horror tells three different horror stories set in ancient Japan. It was created in 2006 with a relatively short length of 13 episodes. The plot is based on original Japanese myths, folklore, and famous horror tales of the time period.
The first story is the tale of a vengeful wife against the husband who betrayed her; the second story is about forbidden love between humans and gods; the third is about revenge by a cat monster who holds a grudge against a specific family history of atrocities committed against many cats. This will be right up your alley if you are into horror films!
In conclusion, the medieval period provides a rich backdrop for storytelling in anime. From tales of knights and dragons to stories of witches and war, various medieval anime caters to different interests and tastes.
The top 30 best medieval anime on this list are a testament to the creativity and diversity of the genre. Whether you are looking for action-packed adventures, historical dramas, or fantastical tales of magic and monsters, there is something for everyone.
These anime are entertaining and offer insights into medieval life and culture. They explore themes of loyalty, honor, love, and sacrifice and offer lessons that are still relevant today.
If you are a fan of medieval anime or are interested in exploring the genre, this list is a great starting point. With so many great titles, you will surely find something that will capture your imagination and take you on an unforgettable journey through the Middle Ages.