Some of anime's most compelling and thought-provoking stories revolve around the intriguing and thought-provoking idea of time travel. One anime in particular stands out as the best of the many that have dealt with this topic in anime.
In addition to exploring the complications of time travel, this anime also features an engaging cast of characters and a tightly woven story. Step inside the domain of these best time travel anime, masterpieces that have made an everlasting stamp on the genre and continue to enchant audiences with their deep storylines and inventive investigations of the mysterious threads of time.
The main character of the anime Iroduku: The World In Colors
Iroduku: The World in Colors is a series that combines bittersweet romance with time travel. It follows the story of Hitomi Tsukishiro, a young witch in the year 2078 who can't see colors because her mother left her. To help her, her grandmother Kohaku sends her back in time to the year 2018.
Even though Hitomi is unsure of what to do there, she meets a group of people in a club who are passionate about magic photography. They teach her a different kind of magic, which helps bring color back into her life.
If you enjoy stories about time travel and everyday life, you'll likely enjoy watching Iroduku over a weekend. The animation studio behind it, P.A. Works, is known for its stunning visuals, and this show is no exception with its beautiful and vibrant colors. While it's pretty clear how the story will end right from the start, seeing Hitomi learn to connect with people again is heartwarming and enjoyable.
The cover of the anime Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song
Imagine if the hero from Terminator 2 was actually the robot trying to protect humans. In the show Vivy: Fluorite Eye's Song, the story takes place in a future where advanced robots turn against humans and cause a lot of destruction. To fix things, another smart robot named Matsumoto goes back in time 100 years to stop the bad future from happening. Matsumoto teams up with Vivy, the very first thinking robot, in the past to save humanity.
Vivy is a really cool sci-fi series that stands out. It follows Vivy, who is a fascinating main character, as we slowly learn how the future turned out so bad and whether we can change it. The animation by Wit Studio is fantastic, and since the episodes are short, you can easily finish the whole show in a weekend if you're into it. The cover of the anime Occult Academy
Occult Academy, directed by Tomokiho Ito, cleverly mixes magic and time travel to create an exciting story. It's about a group of heroes who have to go back in time to save the world from a disaster that's about to happen.
The show is set in 2012 when aliens invade Earth and things look really bad for humanity. To make sure people survive, time travelers are sent back to the year 1999. They have a mission to destroy something called the Nostradamus Key. To do this, they need the skills of Fumiaki, a time traveler, and Maya, who is in charge of the Occult Academy.
The cover of the anime Zipang Many books and movies have explored the idea of modern soldiers and equipment going back in time. For instance, the naval drama "The Final Countdown" had a U.S. carrier group end up in the Pacific right before Pearl Harbor. Similarly, "Zipang" places 21st-century warriors in World War II, but with a unique twist.
In "Zipang," these soldiers don't become heroes trying to change history. Instead, they find themselves in Japan during the 1940s, a time very different from their own. With their advanced knowledge, they realized how Japan's forces could win against the Allies. However, they also understand the harsh realities of that era in Japan. Because of this, they do their best to avoid getting involved in any form of warfare.
The cover of the anime Inuyasha The plot of the "InuYasha" anime series follows the adventures of a group of characters, including a half-demon, a modern-day teenager from Japan, a mischievous monk, a fox demon, and a demon slayer from the Sengoku period. They work together to find all the pieces of a powerful jewel called the Sacred Jewel while keeping it away from criminals, especially Naraku, a dangerous figure.
Throughout the series, the main character InuYasha faces a dilemma. He's part demon, and his demonic side grants him a lot of strength. However, he's also drawn to Kagome and has strong feelings for her. As the story progresses, it's revealed that his human side is actually the source of his greatest strength, especially when he wields the Tessaiga sword.
The characters of the anime Steins;Gate Steins;Gate not only boasts impeccable time-travel mechanics (featuring stable time loops and parallel timelines), but it also presents a rich tapestry of character designs. The iconic protagonist, afflicted with a penchant for verbose speech, is brilliantly portrayed by Mamoru Miyano in Japanese and by the unparalleled J. Michael Tatum in English. Both of these gifted voice actors deliver the pinnacles of their careers by giving life to Okabe, the central character. As Okabe ventures through his intricate time-travel escapades, his sanity gradually frays.
The weight of his experiences takes an inexorable toll on him, pushing him to the brink of collapse. The voice acting in Steins;Gate reaches heights that transcend conventional norms, eclipsing even the standards set by Disney.
The cover of the anime Sagrada Reset Don't let the slice-of-life façade of Sagrada Reset deceive you; beneath its surface lies an intricately woven narrative reminiscent of X-Men's depth. This anime cleverly employs the guise of everyday life to veil a backstory of epic proportions, punctuated by profound philosophical exchanges.
At the center of it all is Kei, the protagonist, residing in Sakurada, gifted with an eidetic memory that encapsulates every detail of his life. Alongside him is Misora, his close friend, endowed with the ability to rewind time by three days.
While their involvement in the Service Club initially appears altruistic, the curtain falls on the idyllic setup in the opening episode. As the story unfolds, viewers are thrust into a world where powers beyond imagination steer the course of this seemingly tranquil town. Sagrada Reset tantalizingly flirts with the realm of a David Lynch film, subverting expectations and delving into enigmatic territory that transcends the conventional slice-of-life narrative. The cover of the anime Future Diary Protagonist Yuki becomes an unwilling participant in a high-stakes battle for the position of a deity. His primary tool in this deadly contest is a unique cellphone, a conduit for messages and insights from his future self.
This grants him a limited ability to foresee impending events. Yet, he's not alone in possessing such a device; all the other contenders also wield similar cell phones.
In Future Diary, the narrative adopts a tournament-style structure, with each episode highlighting intense clashes between Yuki and his fellow candidates. The series delves deep into the mechanics of time travel, showcasing a finely crafted portrayal of the intricate relationship between unstable timelines and parallel worlds. The cover of the anime The Girl Who Leapt Through TIme
Makoto, a vivacious high school girl, stumbles upon an extraordinary talent: the ability to traverse through time. Embracing this unexpected gift, she employs it to navigate life's challenges and opportunities with newfound ease. However, the enchantment wanes as Makoto discovers a numerical imprint on her arm, symbolizing the finite number of time leaps at her disposal.
While the plot may not be grandiose, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time introduces a captivating premise. Makoto's capacity for accumulating time leaps mirrors the wishful temptation of having unlimited desires granted by a genie. The anime captivates with its visual splendor and offers a slice-of-life perspective for those who prefer a departure from complex historical time travel or convoluted sci-fi narratives. The cover of the anime Thermae Romae For those who relish the reliable plot akin to '80s movies, involving transporting an unfortunate soul from a bygone era into the present, Thermae Romae stands as the perfect choice. The story revolves around Lucius, a skilled architect of ancient Roman bathhouses, who finds himself not only jobless but also transported through time to modern-day Japan, all thanks to a serendipitous Roman bath sinkhole. Lucius's reactions to the novelties of the modern world, including advanced toilet technology and carbonated beverages, oscillate between astonishment and sheer delight. Thermae Romae distinguishes itself as a truly distinct anime within the time travel trope, characterized by its buoyant and cheerful tone. For those who manage to complete the concise three-episode anime series, a delightfully scripted live-action movie is also highly recommended for further enjoyment. The cover of the anime Tokyo Revengers
Tokyo Revengers unfolds a familiar yet captivating narrative of second chances through time travel, interwoven with classic delinquent themes. At the helm is Takemichi Hanagaki, a man burdened by a life riddled with remorse, who unexpectedly acquires the power to rewind time. Motivated by the desire to rescue his childhood sweetheart, Takemichi embarks on a treacherous journey, driven by the ambition to reshape the destinies of those around him.
Tokyo Revengers beckons a particular breed of anime enthusiast. While the sci-fi underpinnings remain ever-present, the heart of the story lies within the tapestry of delinquent archetypes that populate Takemichi's world. The series scrutinizes the evolution of not only its protagonist but also the cast of delinquents, probing the depths of personal transformation. Amidst this character-driven exploration, the narrative gleefully indulges in high-octane confrontations, seamlessly blending the sci-fi elements with a dynamic showcase of gritty combat. The cover of the anime Re:Zero - Starting Life In Another World
Subaru Natsuki's expectations of a glamorous life in an alternate realm are quickly shattered when he finds himself in a world beyond his imagination. Anticipating enchanting women and extraordinary powers, he instead discovers he possesses a singular ability: each time he dies, time resets to a prior moment.
Thus begins Subaru's journey through this new reality, navigating both the intricacies of the world and the anguish inherent to his Rewind power. As he forms bonds with newfound companions, the question arises: can he alter their fates, or will he be consumed by hopelessness?
Re:Zero emerges as a haven for enthusiasts of time loop narratives. As the series unfurls, it morphs into a labyrinthine puzzle, thrusting Subaru into a relentless quest to unearth the optimal course of action, not solely for himself, but for the lives intertwined with his own. White Fox's magnum opus, Re:Zero, immerses viewers in a gritty fantasy realm while captivatingly melding the elements of time travel with a narrative that boasts both depth and intricacy.
The cover of the anime Link Click
LAN Studio introduces an exhilarating addition to the time travel genre with Link Click. Following the exploits of Cheng Xiaoshi and Lu Guang, proprietors of the "Time Photo Studio," the series delves into their remarkable abilities.
With the power to journey through time by gazing at photographs, they embark on an intriguing venture. Despite the seemingly ordinary name, their mission involves fulfilling client requests by immersing themselves in the past depicted within the images, all while treading carefully to avoid undue alterations.
Link Click stands out as a prime contender in the realm of contemporary sci-fi anime, positioning itself to potentially attain the status of a future classic. The series masterfully weaves a tapestry of mystery, compelling viewers to indulge in marathoning sessions due to its skillful employment of gripping cliffhangers.
LAN Studio's animation prowess shines through, elevating the anime's visual allure. This is especially prominent during its impeccably choreographed fight sequences that further accentuate its visual grandeur. With all these factors aligning, Link Click emerges as an unmissable series deserving of exploration.
The cover of the anime Orange
The romantic comedy Orange offers a unique twist on the time travel narrative. Straying from the typical battles against malevolent forces or cataclysmic events, the story instead centers on a high school protagonist's personal journey. Initially, Naho Takamiya navigates the complexities of her everyday life as a student. However, a distinct temporal anomaly emerges when she receives a letter purportedly authored by her future self.
Although met with skepticism initially, a series of events transpire that gradually convinces Naho of its authenticity. Thus begins her path of heeding the advice penned by her older counterpart, a journey that encompasses a range of actions, including monitoring a transfer student who holds a pivotal role in her future.
The cover of the anime Buddy Complex Buddy Complex, although technically connected to the Gundam lineage, distinguishes itself through an entirely distinct atmosphere. Unlike the familiar struggle for present-day liberation often associated with the Gundam series, Buddy Complex embraces a different narrative trajectory. The hero's involvement in an impending mecha conflict becomes a choice rather than an obligation.
The focal point of Buddy Complex centers on Aoba Watase, who narrowly escapes the clutches of death when confronted by a colossal robot. Yet, this escape is intertwined with an unexpected consequence: Aoba is abruptly catapulted 70 years into the future.
Within this new timeline, Aoba's journey primarily revolves around acclimatizing to the unfamiliar temporal context. The intrigue deepens as he learns that his saviors have ulterior motives, orchestrating his immersion into the world of Gundams to ostensibly avert his impending demise.
In the broad terrain of anime, some titles stand out as exemplars of particular genres, and when it comes to time travel, the crown jewel remains the best time travel anime. Its reputation as a timeless masterpiece is assured by the author's careful attention to the mechanics of time travel, as well as by the richness and variety of the characters and the tale, which continually push the limits of what is possible in terms of time. This anime is a monument to the power of storytelling and its capacity to navigate the tangled maze of time by challenging viewers' preconceptions, touching their hearts, and keeping them on the tip of their seats.