www.The visuals of an anime can make or break it, even one with an epic story or character. This extremely important aspect creates the setting, the overall feel, and the immersion into a new world. A combination of realistic animation and striking scenery creates a unique experience for viewers. For this list, I reflected on many different anime styles and have included anime series, films, and music videos. Here is a compiled list of the most beautiful and stunning anime ever created:
1. Beyond the Boundary (2013)
Studio: Kyoto Animation
This supernatural/ slice of life is a story that follows Mirai Kuriyama, who has the power to manipulate her blood into weapons. It is gorgeous not only in the animation, but in it’s scenery, detail, and action scenes. A lot of softer, emotional scenes are decorated with soft pastels and darker tones. When the action kicks in, brighter colors within the darkness appear. The colors and animation definitely bring in a layer of depth to the already intriguing story.
2. The Garden of Words (2013)
Studio: CoMix Wave films
This romance/slice of life animated film is absolutely striking and unforgettable. The scenery and rain scenes are breathtaking. The characters have such fragile yet detailed appearances that kept my eyes locked to the screen. This film was directed by Makoto Shinkai…a director famous for the gorgeous animation in his films.
3. Death Parade (2015)
In comparison to the other anime on this list, Death Parade’s beauty is definitely the outlier. Its beauty comes in the darker colors with purples and blues as its color palette. Each scene definitely gives you something to look at whether it is the colorful characters, intricacy of the games, or the decor of the setting, Quindecim. 1.
4. Hyouka (2012)
Studio: Kyoto Animation
This adolescent mystery series is presented in such a stunning way that it truly amplifies the ambiance of the story. The atmosphere is compelling with the visuals and sound creating an appealing universe. Kyoto Animation is always praised for their good animation, but this is by far one of their best. They created fluid movements and movie-quality scenes.
5. No Game No Life (2014)
No Game No Life is a supernatural comedy surrounding two game-obsessed siblings that are transported into a new reality where everything is decided by games. The designs for each character are what make this anime extremely appealing. Each character is so detailed in their hair, garments, markings, and eyes. I would put this anime on the list just for how gorgeous their eyes are. The animation completely immerses you into the fantasy of this land.
6. A Lull in the Sea (2013)
Studio: PA Works
This fantasy drama series surrounds a world where two societies are separated by water. It follows the story of students from both worlds who deal with the rift between the two peoples and the discrimination against them. The visuals of the underwater world, scenery on land, and the cute design of characters make this anime extremely appealing. The color pallet seems to focus on cooler colors, creating a calm and peaceful vibe.
7. Five Centimeters Per Second (2007)
Studio: CoMix Wave Films
This romance/slice of life is another stunning film directed by Makoto Shinkai. What made this film spectacular to me in terms of animation quality was the lighting affects and camera angles. It took the animation to a whole other level. The character design is a little weaker than the other anime on this list, but the scenery and detail made up for that.
8. Sword Art Online (2012)
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Sword Art Online has quickly become a new classic in the anime world. As a fantasy adventure gaming anime, the possibilities with its visuals were limitless. It has such gorgeous scenery, unique character designs and avatars, and awesome battle scenes. All of these combined in its virtual setting make it such a visually stunning anime.
9. GIRL (2015)
Studio: Studio Khara
This 7-minute animated music video is the unexpected sequel to “ME!ME!ME!” (TeddyLoid feat. Daoko). The video is gorgeous with vibrant colors, whimsical energy, and psychedelic visuals. Everything about it from the character design to the scenery is aesthetically pleasing.
10. Shelter (2016)
Studio: A-1 Pictures
This 6-minute animated music video is collaboration between Porter Robinson, Madeo, A-1 Pictures, and Crunchyroll. The animation focuses on a girl, Rin, who lives in a virtual reality and each day can create a new world. She uses a tablet to draw out these creations. The visuals in this film are breathtaking from start to finish. This is a truly magical way of storytelling through the fusion of music and animation.