Best anime with unique art styles
anime is one of the most successful forms of visual entertainment worldwide. Fans flock to series with beautiful animation and uniquely designed characters for new releases each season. There are many anime genres for fans to browse, from romance to horror and from moe to shonen, but anime doesn’t always adhere to the recognizable art styles that fans have come to expect.
While there were many styles used to create anime for a time, there was a certain level of quality that all shows now maintain. However, there are still some anime that take it a step further and do something risky, using an unconventional art style to make the series stand out and potentially add depth. Here are some Anime with the most unique art styles.
Updated September 8, 2022 by CM Edwards: Art is a tool that allows anime to stand out from a sea of creations. Every anime brings something unique to the table, be it character elements or a unique perspective, but a unique art style captivates fans on a level like no other. While a very unique art style is rare in releases in each anime season, hidden gems sometimes appear and are greatly enjoyed by fans around the world. Also, some series got more content in the form of a second season. Revitalizing a fan-favorite series can extend the legacy of shows that have decided to try something different and create something truly special.
NANA is a romantic anime created by Ai Yazawa and animated by Madhouse and available to watch on Hulu. The story follows two young girls on their journey to discover themselves, figure out life’s struggles and cope with the trials and tribulations of finding love. The story is beautifully told in a very loosely detailed art style, using vibrant colors and masking for incredible looking textures.
Depending on the characters present, NANA can look very muted and flat or incredibly vibrant to complement the two sides of the story. The anime adequately mimics the manga as the original art for the characters had a very kawaii-influenced style.
12 One piece
One piece is a juggernaut series that has had over a thousand episodes since it was first published. The series was created by Eiichiro Oda and was honored as one of the greatest anime series of all time. Aside from its spectacular characters and action, One piece shines with its art style, which is very different from most mainstream anime.
Many modern series show very down-to-earth images based on reality. However, One piece is a vibrant and eccentric show with unique character designs and vibrant colors exploding off the screen. One piece can be viewed on Crunchyroll and Netflix.
11 Mob Psycho
As a series with a unique art style, Mob Psycho needs no introduction. The radical animation scenes that emerged from this series will go down in history as some of the best. Mob Psycho was created by manga artist ONE and animated by animation studio Bones. The series recently received a second season, which premiered on Crunchyroll.
Mob Psycho has a very gruff and over-the-top art style that gives impact to his characters and sequences. The fight scenes alone are comparable to other animes such as Demon Hunter and Blood Blockade Battlefront. Lately, Mob Psycho has received a continuation of its story from the original creators.
10 Kill La Kill
Kill La Kill was a wild series bursting with high-energy characters and high-octane on-stage action. Coupled with this was an incredibly unique animation style that suited the series perfectly. The art style of Kill La Kill is a mix of grounded yet flamboyant and playful sequences that capture the viewer’s attention with spectacular and sometimes crazy moves.
Kill La Kill was created by animation studio Trigger and directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, known for his distinctive style and notable work for Gurren Lagann and the critically acclaimed Star Wars visions. Funimation, Crunchyroll, and Hulu all have them Kill La Kill available for streaming with a subscription.
9 panties and stocking
panties and stocking debuted ten years ago with a flashy and comical animation style. The series has been spearheaded by many of the artists who worked on Gurren Lagan, including Hiroyuki Imaishi as part of the Gainax animation studio. The series was a mix of adult innuendos and high-speed action. The creation of the show was conceived after a night of drinking following a celebration of the studio’s success.
Many members of the visual team see Western animations, Drawn togetheras a suggestion. panties and stocking enjoyed great popularity due to its eye-catching character designs and vibrant colors that filled every scene. panties and stocking can be viewed on Crunchyroll.
8th Devil Man: Crybaby
That devil man The franchise has a long legacy and was founded in the late 1970s by Go Nagai, best known for the mecha classic Mazinger Z and violence Jack. Devil Man: Crybaby is an original series directed by Masaaki Yuasa (Ping Pong the Animation) and written by Ichirō Ōkouchi (Code Geass).
Devil Man: Crybaby was essentially a reboot of the original anime that debuted on Netflix and was hugely successful due to its intense story and dazzling art. Masaaki is known and celebrated for his directorial vision as well as his flamboyant artistic vision. This is evident throughout Devil Man: Crybaby series and fits the new direction the anime is taking like a glove.
Katanagatari is a creation of Nisio Isin, also the creator of monogatari. The series follows young swordsman Yasuri, who practices a unique style of swordsmanship in exile. He is hired by handsome strategist Togame, who wants his help to retrieve a set of legendary weapons. To do this, Yasuri must face the wielders of these weapons and take on others with the same goal. Katanagatari is an action-packed series that also has a unique art style with contrasting colors and flamboyant character designs.
6 Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo
Not many series go so far as to make something as unique as Gankotsuouan adaptation of the famous novel by Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo. The series was produced by Gonzo and written and directed by Shoichi Kouyama and Mahiro Maeda.
While initially based on history the stars of my destiny by Alfred Bester, the series was instead steered in a different direction due to legal disputes. The series itself was beautifully produced and had a mix of multiple visual effects including 3D rendering before it became so popular.
5 Afro samurai
Afro samurai is a series created by Tokashi Okazaki and animated by Studio Gonzo. The series itself was a visceral and gory action-epic that took place in a battle-ridden world where headbands were awarded to the fittest by numbers.
The story followed Afro, the toughest samurai, to dawn the number one headband. Afro samurai gained considerable popularity for its urban cultural themes and talented creations in both voice casting, action and story. Afro samurai is filled with a deep, flat tone that enhances the heaviness and carnage of the series’ action.
xxxholic was a very popular anime upon its release in the early 2000s. The series took on a very obvious gothic theme that resonated in droves throughout the series, attracting a cult following. xxxholic was created by manga writers and illustrators group Clamp, known for their Tokyo Babylon and X series.
Animated by Studio Production IG, the series was immediately recognized for its unique art and themes. xxxholic took viewers by storm with Victorian-style clothing, dark and somber imagery and defined facial expressions.
3 angel egg
angel egg is not just a unique animated film, but a fascinating story that is sure to captivate viewers. angel egg was written by Mamoru Oshii, known for his work with patal lab and Beautiful dreamerand respected for his philosophical style of storytelling. angel egg is highly acclaimed as one of the author’s best, although the film’s release was far from ideal.
angel egg takes place in a grim post-apocalyptic world where a young girl tries to survive in an abandoned city. She carries an egg of mysterious origin. The journey this young girl embarks on after meeting a strange boy will blow fans away and leave them with more questions than answers, which seems to be the point of the film.
Mononoke probably has one of the most unique art styles on this list, written by several prolific Japanese writers including Chiaki Konaka, known for the air equipment and the Hellsing anime Mononoke follows a character known as the medicine seller Kusuriuri. However, this title is misleading as he is actually a hunter of dangerous evil spirits named “Mononoke”.
Wandering through feudal Japan, Kusuriuri encounters a pregnant woman who is being haunted by a band of evil spirits. Kusuriuri must quickly investigate the source of the spirits to save the woman’s life. Visually, Mononoke is a masterpiece of color and design that will amaze the viewer with its quality.
1 The Story of Princess Kaguya
Created and directed by the amazing Isao Takahata, formerly of Studio Ghibli and writer for Tomb of the Fireflies and kiki’s delivery service. The Story of Princess Kaguya loosely based on the novel The story of the bamboo cutterfeaturing the story of a young girl found by a local bamboo cutter who is believed to be a princess sent to heaven.
Highly acclaimed as one of Takahata’s finest works, the story shines as a profound tale of responsibility, parenthood, and most importantly, women’s rights within the community. The story of Princess Kaguya is a masterfully told story with strong images in a melancholy, almost oil painting style of delivery.
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