Time travel anime has always been fascinating because the whole concept of the protagonist traveling through a dimensional hole between two different timelines is just surreal. Practically or even theoretically, it would not work as real-life science doesn’t add up. But that’s why the idea of time travel as a trope gets more attention from fans who like the fictional part in the science fiction genre. It also offers a unique narrative possibility with a time-bending storytelling aspect while still making it sound real.
There are plenty of anime that have taken advantage of the time-traveling as a plot device. The most prominent use of time travel is by granting characters the ability to travel between the past and the future. And then later gravitate toward the butterfly effects caused by critical altering events formulated by excessive time travel. Spoiler alert, Kimi no Na wa (Your Name) is the best example that uses this technique as plot twist and pairs with other fantasy elements.
If you are looking for something that’d tickle your imagination and have you on the edge of your seats, then don’t worry, we got you covered. Here’s the list of best time travel anime that you should watch right now.
Best Time Travel Anime:
01. Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time)
Makoto is an average girl in her last year of high-school. Instead of thinking about her future, she spends most of her time hanging out with friends. However, one day Makoto’s world suddenly turns upside down after inadvertently learning about her strange ability.
She has the power to leaps through time. Makoto decides to use it to correct her mistakes from the past. But soon, she realizes that changes she makes have consequences and are unfavorably affecting hers and others’ lives.
Buy/Stream On: Funimation
Rintarou Okabe is a self-proclaimed mad scientist who rents out a room with fellow lab members, his childhood friend Mayuri Shiina and his hacker buddy Hashida Itaru. One day, he accidentally develops a time machine out of a microwave and calls it Mobile Microwave.
The machine cannot send a person but can send text messages to the past. They soon learn that a secret organization named SERN has been researching time travel for some time and is now after them. Now Okabe and his associates must use their knowledge to put a stop to the secret organization’s possible hidden agenda.
03. Re:ZERO – Starting Life in Another World
Subaru Natsuki is an ordinary high-schooler and NEET who does nothing but play games. On his way back from a convenience store one night, he suddenly finds himself summoned to someplace unknown. However, soon after his arrival, he is attacked by some thugs and was saved by a mysterious half-elf named Emilia.
To repay her, Subaru decides to help get her stolen insignia back, but instead, both get brutally murdered. Subaru then awakes again to find himself in the same scene, with the same thugs, the same girl, and soon discovers that he can checkpoint and go to a certain point by dying.
04. Nobunaga Concerto
Saburo is a high school boy who finds himself thrown back in time to the Sengoku Era. He gets to meet the legendary general Nobunaga Oda as he was fleeing to the countryside because of political pressure from his clan.
Due to their identical look, Nobunaga Oda asks him to be his replacement taking his place in the family. Thus began his life as a fake feudal lord who’ll help unite Japan though his modern experiences and knowledge of his textbook about Nobunaga’s life.
05. Sakurada Reset
Kei Asai lives in Sakurada, a small town near the ocean, where most inhabitants possess some unique power. Kei’s ability is a photographic memory that allows him to remember everything that he sees down to petty details. One day on the school rooftop, he meets Misora Haruki, an emotionless girl.
Misora can reset time up to three days before. However, she will forget about the reset. But Kei can remember the time Misora has reset. Kei and Misora come across the Administration Bureau, an organization monitoring the people in Sakurada using these powers. Now they must work together to complete missions assigned to them by the Bureau.
06. Boku dake ga Inai Machi (Erased)
Satoru Fujinuma is a twenty-nine-year-old failed manga artist who works part-time as a delivery man at Oasi Pizza. While Satoru is just a regular guy, he possesses the power to sometimes go back in time before a dangerous event. He cannot control the power, and it triggers without his wish.
One day, Satouro gets framed for his mother’s mysterious murder. It triggers Satoru’s power, and he goes back in the past to his fifth-grade class in February 1988. Now he’s an elementary schooler in Hokkaido and is determined to save his mother. He is also going to prevent a kidnapping incident that took three of his childhood friends’ lives.
07. Buddy Complex
Aoba Watase is an ordinary high school student. On the first day at school, after the summer break, a giant robot known as a Valiance attacks him. Luckily, his classmate named Hina rescues him by appearing in front of the robot with her robot.
Hina tells Aoba that she has come from the future. To escape, she enters the time vortex with Aoba and sends him to the future, saying that Dio is waiting for him. Aoba then wakes in the year 2088. Upon arrival, Aoba ends up in the cockpit of a Valiancer to fight for Free Pact Alliance against the Great Zogiria Republic.
08. Iroduku: The World in Colors
Buy/Stream On: Amazon Prime Video
Hitomi Tsukishiro is a girl from a family of witches who lives in the year 2078. After losing early childhood, Hitomi has been unable to see the world in colors and hates magic as the reason for her suffering.
Hitomi’s grandmother, Kohaku, unable to see her suffer, decides to send her sixty years into the past, to 2018, and meet her seventeen-year-old self. Thus her journey begins as a member of the Magic Photography Arts Club to rediscover the colors that she is unable to experiences.
09. Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin (Occult Academy)
Maya is the daughter of the former Headmaster Junichirou Kumashiro of Waldstein Academy, aka Occult Academy. After her father’s death, Maya becomes headmistress of the Occult Academy and pledges to destroy the school. One day, a naked man named Fumiaki Uchida drops out of the sky in front of Maya.
Fumiaki is a time traveler from 2012 who is sent to 1999 to find the Key of Nostradamus. The key can stop the world from ending in an alien invasion. Every time agents have a special cell phone that can identify the Nostradamus Key. By using the phone, Maya and Fumiaki investigate occult occurrences that can lead to the key.
Buy/Stream On: Unknown
The AEGIS Destroyer Mirai, a Japanese navy ship, sets sail from Japan to Pearl Harbor for a training exercise. Suddenly, the ship passes through a strange storm. When the weather clears, the crew finds that they’ve gone back in time to World War II.
The crew decides not to meddle with history, but they soon find themselves reluctantly drawn into the ongoing battle. So begin Mirai and its crews’ reluctant and ever-growing involvement in World War II events.
What do you think of this list of best time travel anime? Did we miss any of your favourite time travel anime? Let us know in the comments section down below!