In this list, we’re here counting down the 20 best knight anime tv shows! While the Japanese have their own medieval warriors in the shape of samurai and ninjas, anime creators evidently could not resist the charm of the western equivalent, i.e. the Knight. And a good thing they couldn’t, or else phenomenal knight anime series like The Seven Deadly Sins, Claymore, and Berserk would never have been made.
As you will see, in many cases, anime creators avoid referring to their heroes as “knights”, despite their obvious resemblance to the western classics. Instead, they prefer to call them something else. Also, for some reason, Japan’s take on the knight genre seems to include the whole magic elves, demons, and dragons package.
With that in mind, let’s countdown the best knight anime and see which comes on top!
20/20. The Sacred Blacksmith (Seiken no Blacksmith)
This is the perfect knight anime show to start this list with! Cecily Cambell is eager to be a Knight and protect the people of her city as her dad and her grandfather did. Alas, her first challenge arises in the form of a crazed swordsman, she is overwhelmed, and her family’s sword breaks.
Just before she gets killed, a man wielding a katana comes to rescue her. The man, called Luke Ainsworth, turns out to be a blacksmith. Together, they will fight to prevent the Demon Sword Aria from falling into the wrong hands.
It’s no accident that the Japanese katana is presented as the most powerful sword in the story. It symbolizes the classic clash between the Japanese traditions to western traditions that we were talking about. Let’s continue.
19/20. The Heroic Legend of Arslan (Arslan Senki)
Set in ancient Persia, the medieval series tells the story of Arslan, the prince of Pars. When his father the king is betrayed, Arslan barely manages to escape alive.
However, despite facing overwhelming odds he assembles a rebel force around him. Then, all he has to do is to reclaim his fallen kingdom from the hands of the elusive warrior known as “Silvermask”!The plot is a blend of Persian History and the Crusades with just a small touch of magic thrown into the mix.
It might sound a bit worn, but it’s done the right way.
18/20. Tears to Tiara
Set in a medieval-inspired dark fantasy world, the series follows a merry band of female warriors, as they fight to stop the Holy Empire’s unstoppable path of conquest. Luckily for them, they are joined by a resurrected Demon Lord to whom they were supposed to be sacrificed.
The knight anime is heavily drawn from Welsh, Celt, British, and Christian mythology, with famous knights characters named Arawn, Arthur, Rhiannon, and other classic Christian names.
17/20. Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri
What would happen if a modern country like Japan was faced with an attack from a massive army? Well, the answer according to Gate is simple: modern warfare obliterates!
As you would have thought, it’s a sword series with spear warriors, and knights on horses charging with tactical artillery strikes, helicopters, and armor-piercing rounds.
Gate does one of the best portrayals of the medieval period and also presents a very colorful and exciting parallel world in which magic, dragons, and elves are real.
16/20. Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike
Like many animes, this is a story of good fighting evil, in the existence of one knight named Yuri Lowell, who dedicates his life to fighting and defeating the enemy.
Yuri and Flynn Scifo are two young warriors who have just enrolled in the ranks of the prestigious Imperial Knights. Together with their allies, the two childhood friends protect a town from mutated monsters.
Things take a turn for the worse when Yuri seems to blur the line between good and evil. It’s a cruel power struggle that begins with a blast that drags into the ruling empire when this time it is an ancient technology that will decide who will win and who will be thrown into hell and doom.
15/20. Record of Lodoss War (OVA)
Placing fifteen on this list 0f the top 20 best knight anime is Record of Lodoss War. A mixed-race party of six champions (the classic Elf-Dwarf-Magician-Thief kind of brotherhood), led by the young swordsman Parn, fights against an ancient witch who threatens to bring destruction and darkness to the land of Lodoss.
It just sounds like we’re describing The Lord of the Rings movies. Once again we get an anime series where knights get thrown into the mix with a bunch of other elements!
14/20. Scrapped Princess
Again, we have a story that presents the familiar formula of anime princesses, knights, magic, and dragons. Set in what appears to be a fantasy world but is later revealed to be Earth in the distant future, the story focuses on a princess named Pacifica.
Predicted to be the “poison that will destroy the world” if she reaches her sixteenth birthday, Pacifica was dropped off a cliff as an infant (“scrapped”). She was rescued by a court warlock, though, and her foster siblings, Shannon and Raquel, become her protectors. Together, they travel to different towns trying to avoid Pacifica getting killed before her 16th birthday
Scrapped Princess is a beautiful tale about prejudice and fate. On the way, try to test yourself if you can resist falling in love with Pacifica.
13/20. The Legend of the Legendary Heroes
Weirdly titled, but greatly done!
The plot follows Ryner Lute, a talented mage. Once a student of the Roland Empire’s Magician Academy, Ryan loses his classmates in a war. After the war, he takes an oath to make the nation a more peaceful place. Under the king’s command, he travels to search for useful relics of a “Legendary Hero” that will aid the nation. Soon enough he finds out that a deadly curse is spreading throughout the continent.
Now, we know what you’re saying: it sounds more like a Harry Potter story. However, as we said, in anime magic and knighthood go hand-in-hand. Besides, Ryner is the king’s mage knight, so it counts. The story starts slow, but give it time and it should grow on you.
12/20. Grimgar: Ashes and Illusions (Hai to Gensou no Grimgar)
A dark knight anime series with interesting and complex characters and fantastic world-building.
A group of people finds themselves in the fantasy world of Grimgar with no memories. They have to accept the role of a soldier in the Reserve Army and eliminate anything that threatens the peace in their new world, including goblins.
A nervous thief, a cheerful hunter, a shy mage, a kind warrior, and a rowdy dark knight must learn to work as a unit. Because, though it looks like a computer game, this is no Jumanji. There are no redoes or respawns – it’s killed or be killed!
11/20. Lance N’ Masques
Youtarou Hanafusa belongs to the “Knights of the World” international order. He suffers from a condition he refers to as the “White Knight Syndrome”, which causes him to instinctively help anyone who is in danger.
Wearing a mask to protect his secret identity in such embarrassing moments, he walks the streets as a “Knight Lancer”. One day he saves the life of a young girl named Makio and resolves to look after her. Now, he must defend the little girl while trying to protect his secret identity as the masked hero “Knight Lancer”.
This is an amusing story about a man who because of his training can’t help but be a hero.
10/20. Yona Of The Dawn
Making it to the top ten is Akatsuki no Yona, translated from Japanese as Yona of the Dawn.
Yona is a strong female swordsman and the sole princess of the Kouka Kingdom. While searching for the four legendary dragon warriors who will help her reclaim her realm, she slowly realizes that her kingdom is corrupt and that her father was not considered a good king by his people.
Admittedly, the four dragon warriors who protect her and will never betray her are not titled “knights”, but what would you call four guys fighting in service of a princess to reclaim her kingdom?
9/20. Granblue Fantasy
Based on a role-playing video game, Granblue Fantasy is fun and adventurous. Set in a world of the skies, where islands drift in the air, a boy named Gran lives on an island that yields mysteries. One day he meets a girl named Lyria who had escaped from the evil Erste Empire that attempts to take over the world with its military might.
To run away from the Empire, they head out into the vast skies, holding the letter Gran’s father left behind—which said, “I will be waiting at Estalucia, Island of the Astrals.” Granblue Fantasy brings a very interesting take on knighthood that is fun to watch.
8/20. Fate/stay night
In this anime knights series, seven warriors participate in the Holy Grail War, a battle royale with the grand prize being none other than the omnipotent Holy Grail itself (The same Christian holy relic that received the blood of Christ, capable of granting any wish to whoever comes to claim it).
This is the classic kind of show with epic battles, amazing swordsmen, and skilled anime sword-fighters who are thrown in with magic and the supernatural, as the Japanese finest tradition requires when it comes to knights.
7/20. Million Arthur
In a world where there was not a single Arthur, but many, history began to be distorted. Six Arthurs take it upon themselves to revert time and the history of the world to its original course. For that aim, they must defeat all those who have managed to obtain power from the sacred sword Excalibur.
As the title suggests, this is another adaptation of King Arthur’s Arthurian legend. Times million! This is a funny and clever knight anime that deserves more attention than it’s currently getting.
6/20. The Seven Deadly Sins
Our next anime show needs no introduction! Like, if you had not watched it yet just stop everything you’re doing and watch it.
The Seven Deadly Sins are a group of seven knights in the land of Britannia. They are considered the strongest and cruelest order of Holy Knights in the Kingdom of Liones. However, ten years ago they were framed for plotting a coup of the Liones Kingdom and disintegrated after all the Holy Knights launched a general offensive against them.
Captained by Meliodas, the Dragon’s Sin of Wrath, the group sets out to clear their names and liberate Liones from the corrupted Holy Knights. Now, that’s a knight’s tale!
5/20. Garo: Honoo no Kokuin
The Valiante Kingdom starts brutal hunts to exterminate users of witchcraft. These witch hunts have led to the deaths of many magical knights and their sorcerers. Little does the public know that these Makai Knights and Alchemists are actually dedicated to protecting people from demons who possess souls plagued by sadness and pain.
Leon Luis is a young Makai Knight who inherits the legendary armor of the Golden Knight Garo from his mother. Though he possesses great power, he struggles to overcome the hatred he bears from his mother’s horrible death at the hands of the kingdom.
When Alfonso, the king’s son, is banished from his own kingdom, he sets out to find the help he needs to reclaim the throne. He soon finds Leon, and together they embark on a journey that will change both of them forever! This is a story about what it meant to be a knight in times that resembles Spain during the inquisition.
4/20. Ulysses: Jeanne D’Arc and the Alchemist Knight
Montmorency, the son of a noble, is a young knight whose dream is to become an alchemist at the royal knight training school. However, following France’s crushing defeat at Agincourt, the school is dissolved and Montmorency becomes a wanted man.
Having lost everything, Montmorency decides to find a way to stop every war. He spends seven years learning how to become a Ulysses, an immortal alchemist with infinite power. But due to unexpected events, he ends up transforming a young dying girl named Jeanne, into Ulysses in his place. Hence, Jeanne d’Arc. Ulysses: Jeanne D’Arc and the Alchemist Knight is filled with action, has an interesting and complex female heroine, and truly represents the knight anime genre.
Claymores are half-human, half-demon warriors. They wield great double-edged swords and wear several pieces of plate knight-like armor. The claymores fight Yoma, who are demons who disguise themselves as humans and feed on humans.
Claymore Teresa is one of the most skilled sword fighters in anime. The violence doesn’t distract the audience from the well-written story, the great knight characters, and the relationships. Instead, it actually complements the other elements.
2/20. Chivalry of a Failed Knight
Humans with the ability to manipulate their souls to form powerful weapons. These people study and train at the prestigious Hagun Academy to become Mage-Knights. Ikki Kurogane goes to this school but apparently has no magic abilities. Hence, he is known as the “Failed Knight”.
However, when Ikki sees Stella naked, she challenges him to a duel. The loser must be the winner’s slave for life.
We know what you’re saying: there’s no possible way this A-ranked warrior-princess can lose, right? Although not exactly you’re conventional knights, as the Mage-Knights do not fight with swords or spears, this is still a great anime show.
Our number one pick for this list and one of the best medieval shows is no other than the critically acclaimed Berserk. Seriously, there are only a few anime that can capture the interest of the viewer and hold it tightly throughout two dozen episodes the way Berserk does.
Actually, the characters in this anime series are officially described as “mercenaries”, not knights. However, since knights are certainly involved and the story is set in a Medieval-Europe-inspired dark fantasy world, we think it’s safe to qualify it as a knight anime.
Moreover, Guts the main protagonist is well-known as the “Black Swordsman” and he wields the massive sword known as the Dragon Slayer”. He also wears The Berserker knight-like Armor, so Q.E.D (quite easily demonstrated).
Warning – as great and entertaining as this series is, it is not for the faint of heart! Berserk is the kind of story for those who like dark, violent plots with depressing outcomes. Plus, If you are looking for great medieval tv shows, then this series should be on your binge list. We repeat – do not expect happy endings.