Western-themed anime usually has cowboys, guns, and a big focus on American style. But, the Western genre isn’t just about that and the usual struggles. Anime shakes things up, putting that Wild West feel in all sorts of settings, from fantasy worlds to historical times. It’s like blending the coolness of the West with unexpected places.
So, if you have watched Trigun and Cowboy Bebop, you know what’s up. They’re unique and cool, especially with that Western vibe that catches the eye. However, finding the Wild West in anime is like discovering a rare gem. That’s why we’re here to give you a list of the best western anime for an adventure that’s a wild ride!
19. Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs
First off we have Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, a fantastic 80s anime that blends futuristic technology with the essence of the Wild West. The story is set in a future where space exploration has become a norm, extending beyond Earth to create what’s known as the New Frontier. Inhabitants now spread across these new colonies, but danger lurks as the sinister Nemesis and his Outriders wreak havoc on these worlds.
To protect the citizens, Calvary Command, an organization dedicated to bringing justice to these outlaws, was formed. Stepping up to the challenge are Saber Rider and the remarkable Star Sheriffs, the elite agents standing between universal renegades and the brink of chaos.
18. Cannon Busters
Released in 2019, Cannon Busters is an anime with some pretty cool aesthetics. Taking place in a wild western-inspired world mixed with aliens and robots – whic his a fascinating combo. The story follows Philly the Kid, an immortal renegade, and his transforming pink Cadillac. They team up with a cheerful friendship droid on a mission to locate a missing prince.”
17. Gun Frontier
Drawing inspiration from Western and American themes, Gun Frontier is a 2002 anime series that is recommended to watch for all cowboy fans. The story unfolds in a sacred land reserved for true men, where the weak dare not dream. Tochiro, a skilled samurai, the ex-sea pirate Harlock, and the enigmatic Shinunora venture through the western frontier of the USA.
Their journey is fraught with challenges including bandits, corrupt sheriffs, and various other perils. Tochiro is driven by an unyielding determination to locate a lost clan of Japanese immigrants, even if it means traversing Gun Frontier from end to end. Their help is crucial in finding and rescuing his sister, a master weapon smith kidnapped for her strong abilities.”
Grenadier, a 2004 anime, stands out with its perfect mix of cultures, featuring Wild West, feudal Japan, and a touch of medieval fantasy. The setting alone is a visual delight, which unfolds in an era where guns are supplanting swords, challenging the traditional samurai ideals. Yajiro Kojima, once an ordinary mercenary, finds his life taking a turn when he encounters the skilled gun wielder Rushyuna Tendo, also known as a ‘senshi’ or Enlightened One.
Rushyuna’s core belief is to never kill but to break the will to fight. Together, they embark on a journey across the world, facing perilous enemies and discovering numerous bathhouses, all while disarming their foes with a smile and uncommon resolve.
15. Sabikui Bisco
Sabikui Bisco is an outstanding anime with a distinctive western theme and a story that truly sets it apart from others. The plot is set in post-apocalyptic Japan, now an expanse of sandy plains, haunted by a mysterious rusting disease. The government blames it on mushroom spores, associating them with Bisco Akaboshi, branded as the ‘Man-Eating Mushroom.’
However, Bisco sees things differently. He sees himself as a ‘Mushroom Protector’ on a mission to discover the mythical ‘Sabikui’ mushroom, believed to hold the ultimate cure for the rusting ailment. Accompanying him are his loyal giant crab Akutagawa and the compassionate doctor Milo Nekoyanagi, who desperately seeks a cure for rust poisoning to save his ailing sister. In spite of the prejudices he faces from society, Bisco remains resolute in his quest to heal this decaying world.
14. The Big O
The Big O by studio Sunrise is a classic series of 1999 that you will enjoy. Here, Paradigm City stands as a west-themed world where memories fade and identities vanish, a lingering aftermath of a catastrophe four decades past. The city is veiled in a mysterious fog, beckoning individuals like Roger Smith to shed light on the obscured.
Roger, an adept negotiator and sophisticated agent, navigates the shadows of Paradigm City. Clad in funeral black, he seemingly guards his heart. However, as he delves into his clients’ intricacies, simple negotiations often spiral into Roger’s role as the city’s guardian, thwarting crime and imminent threats.
In this journey, Roger uncovers deeper layers of the city, revealing that appearances are often misleading. A gray knight in a gray world, Roger finds companions in loyal and versatile butler Norman, and Dorothy, an android with a penchant for dry humor. Alongside the relic known as Big O, a colossal jet-black mecha, they assist Roger in dispensing justice to the city’s lurking villains. Through their efforts, they slowly unravel the concealed truth that has lingered for four decades.
Appare-Ranman, a good anime from 2020, spans genres of comedy, historical, and the allure of the Wild West. The setting is the late 19th century, unfolding in a quiet Japanese rural town. Appare, entranced since childhood by steamships uniting far-off lands, is a skillful inventor driven by the audacious dream of sailing beyond the skies, aiming for the distant moon.
However, an unexpected sequence of events leaves Appare stranded at sea, accompanied by Kosame Ishikki, a capable yet hesitant samurai tasked with managing Appare’s peculiar ways. Their fortune takes a turn when a colossal steamship rescues them, carrying them to Los Angeles.
Penniless and plan-less, they embrace an opportunity—the ‘Trans-America Wild Race.’ This event becomes Appare’s canvas for crafting his very own automobile, while Kosame sees a chance to secure the prize money for his journey home.
Claymore is an anime that delves into a dark western world that will appeal to those who love tales featuring demons and intense sword fighting scenes. Set in ancient times, humans live in a perpetual state of fear due to the looming threat of demons, or yoma. These monstrous creatures can assume the forms and memories of the humans they consume, allowing them to easily infiltrate society and mercilessly prey on humans. The only hope against yoma lies with the Claymores, a group of women who are part-demon, part-human, and destined to fight the demons they resemble.
In a distant village, a young boy named Raki faces banishment for a tragic reason – the loss of his family to yoma. Raki’s life takes a turn when he encounters Clare, a Claymore, and an unexpected bond forms between them. Together, they embark on a journey. While Clare battles the yoma plaguing the world, Raki stands by her, wondering if he can aid her in maintaining her humanity amidst the darkness.
11. Outlaw Star
Outlaw Star tells the story of Gene Starwind, a dreamer yearning to captain his ship and traverse the vast cosmos. However, reality lands him on Sentinel III, toiling away in mundane jobs with his partner, James Hawking. Their lives take a sudden twist when they accept a job from Rachel Sweet, who turns out to be a treasure-hunting outlaw. Their mission: safeguarding a enigmatic girl named Melfina, setting them on an unforeseen journey aboard the remarkable vessel, Outlaw Star.
In this anime, Gene and his diverse crew venture through the ultimate frontier, charting a course among the stars in pursuit of answers tied to Melfina’s enigmas. The journey is fraught with peril, encountering menacing bounty hunters, space pirates, Taoist mages, and even catgirls, promising a thrilling adventure at every cosmic turn.
10. El Cazador de la Bruja
Released in 2007, El Cazador de la Bruja is an anime that offers a thrilling blend of Western vibes and badass female gunslingers—making it a standout choice for fans of this genre. Nadie, a bounty hunter with a fierce attitude, eyeing her next target: Ellis, a young girl with a clouded memory and a murder suspicion hanging over her. Nadie successfully captures Ellis, but on a whim, she decides to stick around and accompany her to Winay Marka—a mystical place believed to unlock Ellis’s past and lost memories.
Nadie makes it clear that freedom isn’t a given. Once Ellis unravels her secrets and discovers what she’s searching for, she’ll face the authorities. Guided only by the enigmatic Inca Rose gemstone, their journey unfolds. Bound by destiny, the duo sets off on an adventure through Mexico, in pursuit of the elusive Eternal City of Winay Marka.
9. Coyote Ragtime Show
Coyote Ragtime Show is an anime of 2006 by ufotable studio, offers a Wild West theme, evident in the characters’ clothes and behaviors. The plot entwines elements of androids, treasure hunts, and pirates, creating an exciting tale.
After the demise of the infamous space pirate, Bruce, a legend emerges—the legend of an unparalleled heist, shrouded in mystery. The key to unveiling this treasure rests with a singular individual. Bruce’s daughter simply yearns for her rightful share, while the enigmatic Coyote Mister seeks his cut. On the flip side, a determined detective is hell-bent on capturing the rogue, and the ruthless Madame Marciano, accompanied by her android army, thirsts for revenge.
Will Bruce’s treasure be uncovered, or will it slip through the fingers of both authorities and bounty hunters, leaving the audience on the edge of their seats?
8. Gun X Sword
I personally enjoyed watching Gun X Sword, finding its old west-themed storyline so epic. The anime takes place in Evergreen, a place that should be peaceful and prosperous but is instead besieged by bandits. Many residents have already suffered, but among the survivors is Wendy, a determined young girl on a quest to rescue her kidnapped brother.
The bandits, armed with formidable weapons, including the dreaded Armor war-machines, seem poised to conquer Evergreen completely. Yet, a flicker of hope emerges with the arrival of Van, a wandering figure with exceptional martial skills and even an Armor of his own. However, Van’s motives and objectives are complex, and they may not align with the straightforward goal of saving besieged towns.
7. Jojo Bizarre Adventure
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is an incredibly popular anime that I highly recommend. The show paints a universe mixing the real world but with the exciting inclusion of supernatural powers and characters.
In this Western-inspired tv show, certain individuals possess the ability to manifest their inner spiritual power into what’s known as a Stand. Another impactful form of energy within this realm is Hamon, a martial arts technique enabling practitioners to channel bodily energy into sunlight through controlled breathing.
6. Desert Punk
If you’re up for an adventure in a western anime, you should definitely check out Desert Punk. It made its debut in 2004 and set in a post-apocalyptic Japan reduced to the scorching wasteland known as The Great Kanto Desert, a land of ruins and endless sand.
Life in the Kanto Desert is a harsh struggle for survival, especially for the regular folks. But for those who’ve endured the relentless sun a bit too long, it’s a chance to carve out a reputation for themselves. Enter the masked mercenary known as Sunabouzu, or Desert Punk, infamous for completing any job, regardless of its nature or risks. Resourceful and fierce, he’s a brutal force in the unforgiving desert, leaving an impact on its inhabitants.
However, Sunabouzu is not invincible. Junko Asagiri, also known as the Vixen of the Desert, uncovers his weakness—his insatiable lust for well-endowed desert beauties. As you follow their tumultuous exploits across the Kanto Desert, Desert Punk presents a peculiar ensemble of characters who indulge in mindless violence and perversion, navigating a world long abandoned by their ancestors. And regrettably, they seem to have learned nothing from the past.
Well, Gungrave is an anime with a unique action style with a Western flavor, setting it apart and earning its spot on any must-watch list. In a reality where the division between life and death blurs, Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowell become entwined in the unforgiving world of mafia brutality. The story unfolds to reveal Brandon’s transformation into “Beyond the Grave,” an unrelenting undead gunman driven by a thirst for retribution against those who double-crossed him, notably his former best friend, Harry.
Within this story, profound themes of allegiance, betrayal, and the essence of friendship are explored. The fiery gun battles and an engaging storyline add to the excitement, painting a gritty and eye-catching picture.
RWBY is a western-inspired anime that features great animation style, epic action, and a unique story. It takes place in the world of Remnant, where team RWBY, comprising Ruby Rose, Weiss Schnee, Blake Belladonna, and Yang Xiao Long, embarks on an exceptional mission.
Their destination: the prestigious Beacon Academy, where they refine their combat skills to protect their world from the menacing Grimm creatures. As the anime progresses, they unravel concealed truths, forge unexpected alliances, and confront sinister forces that threaten their very existence.
3. Hellsing Ultimate
Hellsing is a dark and mature anime with an obvious western style, mixing vampires and horror, all delivered via intense action scenes. The world it portrays is infested with creatures of darkness and malevolence, preying on hapless humans in the shadows of the night.
On the opposing side stands Hellsing, an organization devoted to eradicating these supernatural threats that pose a dire risk to humanity’s very existence. Leading this organization is Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, a formidable commander overseeing a potent military force dedicated to combating the undead menace.
Yet, even Integra’s formidable army is overshadowed by her ultimate asset: Alucard, a vampire who uniquely serves Hellsing as an exterminator of his own kind. Supported by his new vampire ally, Seras Victoria, Alucard confronts not only monstrous adversaries but also those who oppose Hellsing, whether they cloak themselves in the guise of righteousness or malevolence.
In this endless fight for humanity’s survival, Hellsing Ultimate reveals that what meets the eye is often just a facade. The mightiest weapon can emerge from the depths of one’s darkest fears.
Trigun stars Vash the Stampede, a legendary gunman whose head comes with a staggering bounty of 60 billion dollars. All bounty hunters are eager and ready to put their hands on this reward. Alongside them, insurance agents Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson are determined to avert the damage Vash might wreak.
However, with such a colossal bounty, locating Vash is no simple feat. The world where Trigun takes place exudes a Western movie ambiance, and is filled with cowboys, outlaws, gangs, and a surplus of firearms. Enjoy the watch!
1. Cowboy Bebop
Cowboy Bebop takes place in a setting best described as a fusion of the Wild West and futuristic elements, earning it the label of a space western. The story centers around interstellar bounty hunters Spike Spiegel and Jet Black, navigating the galaxy in pursuit of criminals with bounties on their heads. Their refuge is the spacecraft Bebop, a haven aimed at escaping their troubled pasts.
Yet, the bounty hunting business is perilous, and past adversaries lurk in the shadows, reluctant to forget. Amidst the challenges, unexpected allies emerge, including the charming con artist Faye Valentine, the prodigious child hacker Ed, and the genetically enhanced ‘data dog’ Ein. Can they support one another in facing their individual challenges, or is their destiny inevitable?