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10 Thrilling Action Anime Series To Stream

I’m back with another recommended list of anime for fans and newcomers who enjoy a little action in their animation. Some of these are well-known, some obscure, and all are binge worthy. As we continue indoor quarantine for safety, it’s a wonderful time to revisit our favorite shows, and to finally give the shows we’ve been meaning to check out a real shot. 

With that in mind, here are 10 action anime series you can stream online right now.

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

In this world, Britannia has taken over Japan and its citizens, who are known as “Elevens.” Lelouch is an exiled prince of the Britannian empire. When a girl, C.C., gifts him with a power called geass, a mind control ability, he uses it to fight and lead a rebellion to free Japan and make a better world for his sister, Nunnally.

This show is chocked full of espionage, mecha action, drama, and is a painful depiction of what many countries experienced during the height of colonization. It also shows both sides of a never-ending debate we still have: Is it better to fight to win change or become part of the system and change it from within? 

Where to Watch: Netflix (Dub/Sub), Hulu (Dub/Sub), Funimation (Dub/Sub)

Outlaw Star

Gene Starwind and his kid partner Jim Hawking have a business where they do odd jobs. One day, they discover a mysterious girl with a unique ship that journeys through space, and they join her. Together, they pick up interesting new crew members as they go in search of the legendary Galactic Leyline, while still finding odd jobs in space for money. 

One of the older series on this list, Outlaw Star has a large dose of both action and comedy, with some sprinklings of drama thrown in. The characters are unforgettable and some of the more hilarious episodes, “The Strongest Woman in the Universe” and “Hot Springs Planet Tenrei,” have some quotable dialogue to boot. Give this a go if you love action with some ecchi elements occasionally thrown in.

Where to Watch: Hulu (Dub/Sub)

Deadman Wonderland

Ganta’s entire class, save him, are murdered at school. Framed and convicted for the murders, he is sent to Deadman Wonderland, a privatized prison and “amusement park” where inmates engage in Ninja Warrior-esque, deadly games for people’s entertainment. Ganta finds himself thrown into another layer of the game reserved for prisoners with special abilities. While surviving each battle, he tries to unravel what is happening and what connection this has to his classmates’ deaths and his incarceration. 

This show wasn’t as well-received as it should have been. A hidden gem filled with violence, action, and comedy, you will be blown away by how masterfully they were able to juggle all these transitioning emotions, and maybe even question if humanity has an innate thirst for gore or if it’s something we’re taught. 

Where to Watch: Funimation (Dub/Sub)

Bleach

One of the longest-running shounen anime series—which is about to see a new editionBleach follows Ichigo, a high schooler who can see spirits of those who passed, but some spirits become monsters known as Hollows. When his family is endangered, he absorbs the abilities of a Soul Reaper, Rukia, to protect them and there’s no going back. 

This show has a lot of action mixed with comedy, and you’ll quickly see why it was so popular. Almost every opening song slaps and gets you amped for each episode, and it’s also hilarious that there is still feuding and politics in the afterlife…but is that any real surprise? Watch for the show, and the new songs you can add to your playlist. 

Where to Watch: Netflix (Dub/Sub), Hulu (Dub/Sub)

Black Lagoon

Businessman Rokuro, “Rock” is on a trip when the ship he is aboard is hijacked and he is taken hostage by Black Lagoon Co., a group led by Benny, tech guy Dutch, and loose cannon Revy. As his life is carelessly discarded by the company he works for, Rock stays on with the Black Lagoon crew who constantly play fast and loose with the laws to make money. 

The gritty, messy bass and guitar in the opening song “Red Fraction” by Mell perfectly sets up this series. If you want to see violence and WTF moments galore, this may wind up as your favorite series. Not only are the lead characters entrancing—particularly the relationship between Rock and Revy—but the side characters—from arms-selling nuns to murderous maids—are also unforgettable. This series gets a gold star for the level of fascinating stories, violence, and humor amidst that violence.  

Where to Watch: Hulu (Dub/Sub)

Sword Art Online

The year is 2022 and a new massive multiplayer RPG enables you to use your mind via a Nerve Gear helmet to play. Unfortunately, one day they learn that they are unable to log out and the creator announces they can’t leave until the final boss in the game is defeated…and if their avatar dies in the game, they die in real life. Player Kirito sets out to defeat the game solo, but encounters many friends—and enemies—along the way.

If you’ve ever played a game like Diablo or World of Warcraft, you’ll understand just how dire these circumstances would be, especially with the threat of death thrown in. It’s unheard of to down a final (likely raid) boss in a single fight with no deaths in a game of that size. If you like RPGs, this anime is for you, and the connection to our current predicament is vast, with some in the game believing it’s a lie and killing indiscriminately, and others fighting to save everyone. 

Where to Watch: Netflix (Dub/Sub), Hulu (Dub/Sub)

Witch Hunter Robin

A Hunter who uses Craft named Robin joins a group, STNJ, in their search for Witches. As she tries to adjust to her new surroundings, her reserved partner Amon, and control her ability, she starts to learn more about not just the Witches, but herself and the truth behind this hunt. 

A series from the early 2000s, this show still stands out because of the music and the compelling story. Robin is young and quiet, but also a force of nature. And what happens to these criminals after they are captured? Plus, Robin’s attire and hairstyle are amazing! Watch this if you love action combined with supernatural elements. Who doesn’t want to be a firestarter?

Where to Watch: Funimation (Dub/Sub)

Naruto

Naruto is a mischievous, orphaned kid training to become a ninja, who dreams of becoming Hokage and gaining recognition from the people in his village who ostracize him. The show follows him, Sakura, and Sasuke on their adventures. 

This series is another shounen anime that has it all—especially drama, action, and comedy from the main character, Naruto, who is just that damn funny and likable. He is overall a good and caring person who is as outspoken as many of us wish we were. This series has spawned movies, games, a sequel when they are older, Naruto Shippuden, and a series that follows their offspring later. If you’ve got the time—and many of us do—sit with this anime and you won’t regret it.

Where to Watch: Netflix (Dub/Sub), Hulu (Dub/Sub)

Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040

An incident decimates Tokyo and Megalo City is built over the ruins with the help of Boomers, or androids that were created to help people. But some of these Boomers go rogue and attack and kill people. While the city’s AD police are working on the case, a group of vigilante females known as the Knight Sabers are always one step ahead—and newcomer to the city, Lina, wants to join them. 

This series is special thanks to its kickass women-only fighters. The story is good, the future looks bleak to a large degree, but these ladies are hope. Not to mention, the rock music sung by Knight Saber Priss and the beats playing throughout each episode are catchy and will stick with you. Definite must see!

Where to Watch: Funimation (Dub/Sub)

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

When brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric lose their mother, they perform taboo alchemy to try to bring her back and pay the price. Edward becomes an alchemist for the military, and they work together to search for the mythical Philosopher’s Stone to restore what they’ve lost. 

Another shounen anime, this is, inarguably one of the best anime series ever created. You are invested to the point of tears, and it’s superior to its original, which destroyed goodwill with a horrible movie. This newer one is much better as it sticks closer to the source material and we meet characters that never existed in the previous iteration. However, the Fullmetal Alchemist original series did also have really good music and I’d recommend it on that alone. But FMA: Brotherhood improves on the original, which is what every remake should strive for. All hail Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood!

Where to Watch: Netflix (Dub/Sub), Hulu (Dub/Sub), Funimation (Dub/Sub), Crunchyroll (Dub/Sub)

Featured Image: TV Tokyo