(Last Updated On: June 4, 2021)
Time Travel has been the most interesting and fascinating subject to filmmakers and viewers for quite some time now. We have had many movies, shows and animes based on time travel. Various animes explore various theories of time travel, some just move in the space time continuum freely, while in others characters create parallel timelines. These animes based on time travel are quite fascinating, as we vicariously get to live through anime characters and see our fantasies coming true.
Time travelling animes have so much to explore and serve to the audience, that it is the only genre which can never get too cliché, it’s ever interesting. So, here I have brough to you a list of top animes based on time travelling.
13. Occult Academy
We all know about 2012 and all the predictions, well this anime too has something ominous to say about that year. It’s 2012 and aliens have invaded the Earth, now mankind has decided to send the time travelers back in the year 1999 to find and destroy the Nostradamus key which can avoid the apocalypse. Now it’s upto Fumiaki and Maya to find the key and destroy it for a peaceful future.
The plot of this anime is quite interesting and has many things to explore, the characters are also real and unique and we are bound to root for them. The story is predictable though and it is quite simple yet fun. It basically becomes an adventure anime when we see different objects being searched for the key. Watch this series with an open mind to just enjoy it for what it is.
12. Nobunaga Concerto
Saburou is the last person to be interested in history! But to his dismay he is infact transported the Sengoku Era in Japan. Now he has to survive in this era of feudal lords and samurais. The art of the anime is very simple and it is refreshing to watch such simple art. The anime is devoid of any classic anime tropes like fanservice, romance etc. It’s just about Nobunaga trying to unite whole of Japan. This anime might seem to be boring to many because of the simplicity of it but it indeed is wholesome and feels slice of life and realistic.
It is written nicely; characters feel real and it gives a glimpse of ancient Japan and Japanese culture. The sound design is also exceptionally good, especially the soundtrack. If you are looking for something simple yet interesting then this is the anime you can try.
Orange is an interesting anime which follows the story of Naho Takamiya, a high school student, who receives a letter from 10 years in the future sent be herself. The letter describes what she should or should not do, in order to make her life in the future better. The letter also mentions to keep an eye on Kakeru Naruse, a transfer student. She slowly figures her way through high school following what the letter had mentioned. This anime focuses more on the drama and high school life than the time travelling aspect of it. And also, the MC doesn’t have the powers to travel through time, she just has a letter from the future.
This anime discusses friendships and relationships in a very realistic manner. The characters are well written and flaws. The main focus of this anime is regret, we all have regrets and this anime explores that quite well. It is a good watch.
10. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Haruhi Suzumiya complains about the lack of clubs in her school, on the suggestion of her friend Kyon, she creates a new club SOS Brigade which deals with various supernatural elements like aliens, time travel, espers etc. So Haruhi and Kyon alongwith three other members embark on an adventure involving various supernatural elements. This anime is not strictly based on time travel but yeah there are subplots where time travelling is involved and used very creatively. The anime is mainly episodic with each episode being a new story but there is continuation in all the episodes.
Each episode has so much to unravel and each one holds up. The animation stands out and is excellent So, this is a simple anime with original characters, a good soundtrack, and is quite short, just 14 episodes. So, watch it when you want something easygoing to watch.
9. Future diary
Ever wondered what would happen if your imaginary friends are indeed real. Well, that’s what happened with Yukiteru Amano, he talks with his imaginary friends Deus and murmur but they turn out to be real god of space and time and god’s servant respectively. Deus then hands Yukiteru a cellphone and pushes him in a battle royale with 11 other such cellphone holders. The cellphone is no ordinary cellphone, it shows them details of the battles they will have with others based on their strengths and weaknesses.
Yukiteru is helped by Yuno Gasai, a fellow future diary holder, but unknown to Yukiteru, she might have some ulterior motives. Seems interesting, right? Well, it is. The story is engaging, though at some places it feels dragged but overall it’s very amusing. The concept and delivery also feel refreshing to watch.
Kagome Higurashi a teenage girl gets into trouble when a demon drags her into a cursed well, because she possesses the Shikon Jewel, which grants our wishes. But instead of dying she is transported 500 years in the past, in the Sengoku era of Japan. The jewel shatters into many pieces and now Kagome, with the help of Inuyasha, has to retrieve all the pieces of the jewel to avoid it falling in some wrong hands. Kagome and Inusyasha can freely move across time and this is the most interesting part of the anime.
Inuyasha aired prior to Naruto, Dragon Ball, and all, it is quite old and it feels like that too. But it being old doesn’t equate to it being bad, it is rather an awesome anime for its time, with some unique concepts and plot. It is definitely going to make you nostalgic and will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions.
7. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Makoto Konno is just a simple high school girl, who doesn’t know what to do with her future, like most of us. But her life is about to change when she realizes that she actually has the ability to leap through time. So, what she does? She goes back in past to correct her mistakes, but what she doesn’t know how terrible the consequences can be of altering timeline like that. This anime doesn’t have heightened emotions, art or emotions, everything feels very real and true to life.
The sound and animation are also done in good taste and this is truly a wholesome anime. The characters are well written, the plot is simple but engaging and entertaining through and through. This anime is deep and has a message to deliver: Time Waits for None. If you are looking for a wholesome deep anime then this must be on your watchlist.
6. Tokyo Revengers
Takemichi Hanagaki lone adult doesn’t have any motive for life and is a nobody, but his middle school was different, he was popular, had friends even had a girlfriend. One day he is struck with the news of his only girlfriend getting murdered, devastated by it, he tries to commit suicide but is instead transferred to his middle school days and learns that he can indeed control time, now he has only one aim: To avoid his girlfriend’s murder, no matter what. Tokyo Revengers is a breakout anime of this season.
It is based on a manga by the same name. Till now Tokyo Revengers have been quite interesting and fulfilling to watch. This anime will definitely remind you of ‘Erased’ and Steins; Gate, but it has its own standout story and has quite interesting subplots and characters.
5. Puella Magi Madoka Magica
This might seem like a children’s anime but it is so not. Madoka Kaname and Sayaka Miki are regular school girls with a rather simple life, but all that changes when they encounter Kyuubey, a cat-like magical creature, and Homura Akemi, the new transfer student. Kyuubey offers to fulfill one of their wishes and in exchange, they will turn into magical girls with enough powers to fulfill their dreams. But as told by Homura, it wasn’t all hunky-dory.
Though time travel is not the main plot point of this anime it does happen at the most unexpected time when you are not even thinking about it. This anime does a good job at maintaining the suspense and thrill and keeping us engaged. It is filled with twists and turns and you will just love the suspense and adventure of it.
Whenever a tragedy is about to happen, Satoru Fujinima involuntarily goes back in time, a few minutes, this phenomenon is called ‘Revival’. But one day something so tragic happens that he goes back 18 years when he was just a child. At first, he is unaware of how the tragedy has roots in his childhood, but then the mystery of the tragedy unravels slowly and he discovers that a childhood kidnapping is linked with his present tragedy and new truths and facts which he was oblivious to at that point in time, unravel.
This is an intense anime and will keep you on the edge of your chair, there are new twists and turns at every point. The anime deals with many themes like friendship, family and you root for Satoru. The chemistry and dynamics of certain characters make this even more interesting. This anime is definitely worth your time.
3. The Tatami Galaxy
The Tatami Galaxy is the story of Watashi, a third-year college student, who is living a life of regret. He spent most of his college life breaking up couples along with his friend Ozu. One day he shares his grievances to a stranger at a ramen shop behind Shimogamo Shrine and he is transported to his first year when he just started college. Now he decided to make amends for his behavior and not regret it any further. The story seems quite surreal but it is so much fun. Watashi is now finding what he missed out on in college life he dreamt of.
The story puts up interesting choices for the protagonist and how a simple choice can change his future altogether. The characters are well written, they are unique and relatable, and make the show even more memorable. The anime has good life lessons and morals along with all the fun and entertainment.
2. Your name
Your Name is about a girl Mitsuha, who wants to leave her boring town and live in a bustling city like, Tokyo. Her dream comes true when one day suddenly her body switches with a boy, named Taki, who lives in Tokyo. But what’s even more surprising is that they are not just switching places but also, they both are from a different time. This anime is close to my heart and I can objectively say that this is one of the best anime and not just in this genre.
This anime made me feel the characters and the urgency of the situation they are in. I was invested in them throughout. It has great art and BGM also the sound design is great. This is a wholesome anime and you will love it. The depth is given to the story and the world-building is commendable. This a must-watch.
Steins;Gate handles time traveling very delicately and most scientifically. Steins;Gate is the story about Okabe Rintarou, a ‘mad scientist, who spends most of his time in his lab, trying to develop tools of the future with his fellow scientists. And one such futuristic gadget is ‘Phone Microwave’, which can send messages over time. This discovery changes his life, for the better or worse it’s up to you.
The characters are the strongest part of this anime, they all have their distinct personality traits and we are bound to like them. Steins;Gate is a slice of life entertaining anime and will keep you engaged throughout. The first few episodes are slow but once the action picks up it just goes uphill. It will make you laugh, cry and think hard but will never bore you. It is one of the best anime in this genre and also otherwise. It is a must-watch and highly recommended.
That’s all folks, these were the must-watch time travel anime. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section. Tell us which of these anime have you seen and which according to you is the best? Also check out:-