11 Epic Anime Series That Feature Wars

War, or rather our interest in it, never changes. While the days of a constant barrage of war movies has died down a bit, humanity will always have an interest in it. It is the perfect venue for tales of bravery and sacrifice, accented by the horrific suffering happening to everyone involved and caught in the middle. While anime doesn’t always have the same interest in telling war stories, it is a useful venue for particular plots. So if you are looking to, as a certain Metal Gear Solid villain would say, give war a chance, these are the best examples you can find in anime.

Code Geass

Though it has other elements to it, Code Geass is, for the most part, a war story. You follow an exiled prince who is given a magnificent power and then uses it to ignite a revolution that was already smoldering. It delves deep into the politics of this war as well as shows the inevitable tragedy that goes with it.

Mobile Suit Gundam

Close your eyes and pick a Gundam series and it is very likely you will pick one where war is central to the plot. That is just what Gundam, and indeed many mecha series do. If you build giant mechs, you are going to have to fight other hearty military powers or aliens with them. I mean, you can’t just have a martial arts tournament wi- Oh, wait. G Gundam. Nevermind. But still, even that is about the dominance of a country via the results of a martial arts tournament with mechs.

However, not all Gundam series are giant battles, some series are smaller scale skirmishes or even how that huge conflict affects those on the ground.


There are a lot of series inspired by actual wars that Japan has been involved in, and Angolmois is one of them. It is inspired by the attempted invasion of the Mongols and this series actually focuses on those defending their island as a first line of defense for the Japanese mainland. While not quite as grand in scale as other wars on this list, the skirmish battles of the series are actually probably preferable to larger battles where you can’t tell what is happening. While the CGI of the skirmishes are meh, the tactics that go into preparing are quite nice.

The Sage of Tanya the Evil

This series is more complex than you’d expect. Yes, it is immediately intriguing as a series about a Darwinistic Japanese salaryman reborn into a little orphan girl, and yes, the World War era world with magic is interesting too. Yet, it is a little girl who gets herself embroiled in a war to rise through the ranks in order to thrive, but also to be kept away from the battlefield to avoid dying. It really displays some brutality and shrewdness of those in war – all in a cute package.

Samurai Kings

Oh, Sengoku Basara. You are truly based on the favorite historical period of all weebs. The Sengoku era when Japan was embroiled in nationwide war before eventually being united under one ruler and this series tells some of those tales. Of course, they are told in the way of the Dynasty Warriors video game where every one was super flashy and flamboyant. It’s not realistic at all, but it is inspired by actual events and damn, if it isn’t fun as hell to watch anyway.


China, like Japan, had a history where the then nation-states fought each others. While there are some adaptions that focus on this, Kingdom chooses to focus on a fictional version of this in order to do basically what they want without being confined within history. So while it feels a lot like the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, it is not.

Legend of the Galactic Heroes

Much like the Gundam series, Legend of the Galactic Heroes tells of a war between two sci-fi nations. However, unlike Gundam that occasionally gets lost in this respect, Galactic Heroes takes really good care in developing the characters and the actual reasons the nations are fighting.

The Heroic Legend of Arslan

While a fictional series, you will note that Arslan takes a lot of inspiration from the Crusades and Middle Eastern history. You get a good idea of how the cultures clash in this series that follows a young prince who lost his kingdom trying to get it back. Despite the potential for an overly upbeat story, this series doesn’t hide the realities that war and invasion has on a country.

The Fate Series

Aside from several of the spin-offs that focus on other things, many of the main entries of the Fate / Stay series focus on the Holy Grail War. This isn’t war as we know it, but more like a Battle Royale-style fight where one person wins. Still, as they have summons that are historically or mythically inspired, it adds a unique element of interest.

Lord Marksman and Vanadis

This series is often overlooked, but its entire plot involves war. Of course, you can also look down on it because every battle they win means another girl is added to the harem. However, the truly unique and likable part of this series is that it goes pretty in-depth into the tactical aspects of battles.

Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

If there is one anime series that perfectly displays the true pointlessness and brutal realities of war, it is Full Metal Alchemist. For much of the series, the Ishval Civil War is just something that is going on. It’s kind of like a side story, which is much what war feels like to those not on the front lines of one. However, the series later shows that this war was necessary for a certain event on behalf of the villain. In that way, it does have some purpose, but throughout the series, you see those caught up in the war deeply questioning the part they played.

Do you have any more epic anime wars that anime fans need to know about? Let fans know in the comments section below.

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