You might think that high fantasy is exclusive to Western media. You might be picturing Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, or more recently, Game of Thrones. Western media definitely does not corner the market on high fantasy, though—there’s actually a ton of fantastic anime that fits the bill.
So what is high fantasy, exactly? The term refers to more than just magical story elements. To qualify as high fantasy, a piece of media needs to take place in a magical world outside our own. So Erased, where the main character has the ability to travel back in time, doesn’t count, because he lives in the Earth version of Japan.
Other elements include the battle between good and evil, a protagonist who starts off childlike but matures as the series progresses, and, of course, magic. Sometimes there are dragons, sometimes there are wizards, and sometimes there are giant car-like insects who just need to be understood. There are tons of excellent high fantasy anime, so check out this handful of them, and let us know which one you like the best!
- 2Fairy Tail (TV Tokyo, 2009) is a Japanese fantasy anime series based on the manga by Hiro... more
- 3Yona of the Dawn (Akatsuki no Yona) is a Japanese manga series by Mizuho Kusanagi and 2014... more
- 4Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, also known as DanMachi for short, and with... more
- 5Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic is a Japanese fantasy adventure manga series written and... more
- 6Berserk is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Kentaro Miura. Set in a medieval... more
- 7Claymore is a dark fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Norihiro Yagi. The series... more
- 8Record of Lodoss War is a franchise of fantasy novels by Ryo Mizuno based around the work he... more
- 9Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is a 1984 Japanese animated post-apocalyptic fantasy... more
- 10The Heroic Legend of Arslan is the title of a Japanese fantasy novel series. The author,... more
- 11Slayers is a Japanese comic fantasy media franchise originating in a series of over 52 light... more
- 12She carries the pain of eight souls. He carries the burden of one sacred spirit. At a time... more
- 13The Vision of Escaflowne is a 26-episode Japanese anime television series produced by Sunrise... more
- 14The Twelve Kingdoms is a Japanese TV series adaptation of The Twelve Kingdom literary series... more
- 16Magic Knight Rayearth is a Japanese manga series created by Clamp, an all-female manga artist... more
- 17Scrapped Princess is a Japanese light novel series by Ichiro Sakaki and illustrated by... more
- 18"The seal will be broken after many years". In the land of Nospherus, four heroes embark on a... more
- 20In the war against neighboring countries, the Grand Duke’s warriors use dragon-like beasts... more