15 Best Time Travel Anime, About Traveling Through Time

15 Best Time Travel Anime, About Traveling Through Time

When it comes to anime featuring time travel, there are only two directions you can go – from the present, backward or forwards in time, or the reverse. But the plot implications fall into two main groups – either the time travel leads to major consequences, or it acts more as a vehicle for commentary on the visited era without impacting the overall timeline.

Advertisements

Generally, the latter non-consequential approach tends to feel less complex and leaves less of a bitter taste. However, time travel plots remain intriguing for fans who enjoy tangled narrative mechanisms, regardless of the ultimate concept.

This list of great time travel anime contains titles spanning both key groups – those where meddling with time leads to profound ripples and those where the time hopping serves more to spotlight cultural insights.

Best Time Travel Anime

1. Inuyasha

YouTube video

Advertisements
  • Episode: 167
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Historical, Romance
  • Studio: Sunrise

“Inuyasha,” hailed by fans as one of the best anime of all time, is the adventures of Kagome Higurashi, a fifteen-year-old girl from modern-day Tokyo. Suddenly thrust back in time to the Sengoku period of Japan, Kagome encounters Inuyasha, a unique being—part dog, part human demon. Together, they embark on a quest to recover the shards of the powerful Shikon Jewel.

Despite its 20-year history since its inception, “Inuyasha” remains cherished among new and old fans. Its iconic narrative and beloved characters continue to captivate audiences. As Kagome and Inuyasha traverse between the past and present, viewers are immersed in a fantastical journey through time and the landscapes of Japan, experiencing an epic saga filled with adventure and fantasy.

Advertisements

2. Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time)

YouTube video

  • Episode: 1 Film
  • Genre: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
  • Studio: Madhouse

“Makoto Konno, a high school senior, grapples with uncertainty about his future path. However, Makoto’s life takes a dramatic turn when he discovers an unexpected ability to leap through time.

Advertisements

“Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo,” or “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time,” follows Makoto as she experiments with her newfound powers. Yet, she quickly realizes the profound complexity of time and the weight of her choices.

As Makoto navigates through her temporal adventures, she learns that every decision carries consequences far beyond what she initially perceives.”

3. Steins; Gate

YouTube video

  • Episode: 24
  • Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Psychological, Suspense
  • Studio: White Fox

Rintarou Okabe, self-proclaimed as a mad scientist, leases a room on the second floor of a building in Akihabara, transforming it into a laboratory where he indulges in creating “future gadgets” alongside fellow lab members.

Advertisements

Among them are Mayuri Shiina, Okabe’s childhood friend, and Hashida Itaru, a hacker with a penchant for perversion known as “Daru.” Together, they delve into their most promising invention, the “Microwave Telephone,” a device infamous for turning bananas into green gel.

Initially perceived as a mere eccentricity, the Microwave Telephone’s true potential unfolds when the lab members are embroiled in a series of inexplicable events, culminating in an unexpected breakthrough: the ability to send text messages into the past, altering the course of history.

Advertisements

Based on the critically acclaimed visual novel by 5pb and Nitroplus, “Steins; Gate” follows Okabe as he traverses divergent paths across time, shouldering the weight of holding the key to a world of temporal manipulation.

While the initial episodes may appear light-hearted and whimsical, the narrative gradually reveals why “Steins; Gate” is often lauded as a superior anime, captivating audiences with its intricate storytelling and thought-provoking themes.

Advertisements

4. Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei (The Tatami Galaxy)

YouTube video

  • Episode: 10
  • Genre: Comedy, Mystery, Romance
  • Studio: Madhouse

Adapted from Tomihiko Morimi’s novel, “The Tatami Galaxy” revolves around an unnamed protagonist reflecting on his life as an upperclassman at Kyoto University.

Drawing parallels to the classic film “Groundhog Day,” the protagonist repeatedly experiences his university years, each time joining different clubs to pursue the ideal college experience.

Advertisements

However, with each new club, the protagonist’s disillusionment deepens as he discovers that none can fulfill his expectations. This cycle continues until he reaches a point of complete resignation, opting to confine himself within his small tatami room.

“The Tatami Galaxy” intertwines a distinctive visual style with a narrative that profoundly contemplates the significance of embracing the present moment and the perils of waiting for an elusive perfection. Through its exploration of recurring themes and motifs, the anime encourages viewers to reflect on the complexities of life and the importance of cherishing the here and now.

Advertisements

5. Mirai Nikki (The Future Diary)

YouTube video

  • Episode: 26
  • Genre: Action, Supernatural, Suspense
  • Studio: .asread

Yukiteru Amano, a solitary high school student, fills his days by diligently documenting his life in a diary on his cell phone. Unbeknownst to him, he converses with two seemingly imaginary companions: Deus Ex Machina, the god of time and space, and Murmur, Deus’s faithful servant.

However, Amano’s reality shifts dramatically when Deus reveals himself as the true entity and bestows upon Amano a unique diary. This diary unveils detailed entries about the future, plunging Amano into a brutal confrontation against 11 other individuals, each wielding their powerful future diaries.

Advertisements

As the stakes escalate, Amano learns that the ultimate survivor among the twelve diary holders will ascend as the new god of time and space. Forced into a life-or-death struggle, Amano must locate and eliminate the other diary holders to ensure his survival.

Reluctantly, Amano partners with Yuno Gasai, his obsessive stalker, in the perilous battle. However, Amano soon discovers that Yuno harbors her own hidden agenda, driven by her unyielding love for him.

In this gripping tale of survival and betrayal, Amano and Yuno navigate treacherous waters as they confront their own desires and confront the dark realities of their world.

Advertisements

6. Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin (Occult Academy)

YouTube video

  • Episode: 13
  • Genre: Comedy, Mystery, Romance
  • Studio: A-1 Pictures

The anime centers on Maya, the daughter of Waldstein Academy’s former Principal, and Fumiaki Uchida, a time travel agent.

Set in 2012, humanity faces an alien invasion, prompting a time traveler to return to 1999 to locate and eliminate the Nostradamus Key. This key, foretold by Nostradamus’ prophecy, is believed to trigger the apocalypse.

Advertisements

The storyline transitions to 1999, when Maya returns to Waldstein Academy to dismantle the institution, assuming her late father’s position as principal. However, her plans are disrupted upon encountering Fumiaki, who warns her of the impending catastrophe.

Despite doubts about Fumiaki’s intentions, Maya and Fumiaki ally to locate the Nostradamus Key and avert disaster.

7. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

YouTube video

Advertisements
  • Episode: 12
  • Studio: Shaft

“Madoka Magica” is a charming magical girl anime that delves into a profoundly tragic narrative.

Madoka Kaname and Sayaka Miki, two ordinary high school girls, encounter Kyuubey, a magical cat-like creature, and Homura Akemi, a mysterious transfer student. Kyuubey offers them the chance to have one wish granted in exchange for becoming magical girls endowed with the power to realize their desires. However, Homura warns them of the hidden dangers and urges them to reconsider.

As the story goes, “Madoka Magica” explores themes of hope, despair, and friendship amidst the challenges faced by magical girls. The series delves into the harsh realities of their existence and the sacrifices required to achieve their dreams.

Advertisements

Homura’s ability to manipulate time adds a compelling layer to the narrative, elevating “Madoka Magica” into a must-watch time travel anime. Through its poignant storytelling and intricate character development, the series captivates audiences by exploring the human experience and the complexities of fate and choice.

8. Gintama Movie 2: Kanketsu-hen – Yorozuya yo Eien Nare

YouTube video

  • Episode: 1 Film
  • Genre: Action, Comedy, Samurai, Sci-Fi
  • Studio: Sunrise

“The Second Gintama film” offers an engaging and fun time travel storyline worth recommending to fans of the genre.

Advertisements

When Sakata Gintoki apprehends a movie pirate in a theater, he unexpectedly finds himself transported to a bleak, post-apocalyptic version of Edo. This future is plagued by a mysterious “White Plague” epidemic that has decimated the world’s population.

Unbeknownst to Gintoki, the movie pirate is an android time machine, catapulting him five years into the future. There, he discovers that his comrades, Shinpachi and Kagura, have transformed into the formidable guardians of Kabuki-cho in his absence. Gintoki has been missing for years, leaving only a cryptic message in his journal.

Advertisements

Disguised by a time machine robot, Gintoki reunites with the Yorozuya team to unravel the mystery of the White Plague. In the process, he uncovers that the key to saving the future lies within the shadows of his past.

With its blend of humor, action, and time travel elements, “The Second Gintama Film” promises an entertaining and captivating viewing experience for anime enthusiasts.

9. Boku dake ga Inai Machi (Erased)

YouTube video

Advertisements
  • Episode: 12
  • Genre: Mystery, Psychological, Supernatural
  • Studio: A-1 Pictures

“Boku dake ga Inai Machi,” also known as “Erased,” follows the story of Satoru Fujinuma, a 29-year-old mangaka who possesses the ability to go back in time moments before a tragedy occurs, which he calls “Revival.”

When Satoru is wrongly accused of murder, he finds himself sent back to 1988, 18 years in the past. He realizes that the murder may be linked to the kidnapping and murder of one of his classmates, Kayo Hinazuki, a quiet and enigmatic girl. Determined to prevent the tragedies that plagued his past and present, Satoru embarks on a mission to uncover the truth behind Kayo’s disappearance and the series of events that led to the present-day murder.

As Satoru delves deeper into the mysteries of the past, he must navigate the complexities of time travel while protecting his classmates and loved ones from harm. “Boku dake ga Inai Machi” intricately weaves elements of mystery, suspense, and human emotion, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats as Satoru races against time to rewrite the past and secure a better future for himself and those he holds dear.

Advertisements

10. Kimi no Na wa. (Your Name)

YouTube video

  • Episode: 1 Film
  • Genre: Drama, Romance, Supernatural
  • Studio: CoMix Wave Films

Directed by Makoto Shinkai, “Your Name” follows the story of Mitsuha Miyamizu, a young girl living in Itomori, and Taki Tachibana, a boy residing in Tokyo. They unexpectedly find themselves swapping bodies, leading to bewildering experiences.

As Mitsuha and Taki navigate this mysterious phenomenon, they uncover the startling revelation that they are separated not just by distance but also by time. Together, they embark on a mission to prevent the impending destruction of Itomori by a comet, utilizing their unique connection to alter fate itself.

“Your Name” has garnered widespread acclaim from audiences and critics alike, praised for its breathtaking animation, captivating music, and profound emotional resonance. Viewers are drawn into Mitsuha and Taki’s journey as they struggle to cling to their memories of each other while endeavoring to reshape the course of history.

Advertisements

The film’s blend of romance, mystery, and thrilling narrative twists keeps audiences riveted from start to finish, making “Your Name” an unforgettable cinematic experience that resonates long after the credits roll.

11. Orange

  • Episode: 13
  • Genre: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
  • Studio: Telecom Animation Film

On the first day of her second year of high school, Naho Takamiya receives a peculiar letter addressed to her. To her astonishment, the letter is from herself—ten years into the future.

Initially skeptical, Naho becomes convinced of the letter’s authenticity when events described in it unfold before her eyes. From her 26-year-old self, the letter imparts a solemn message: Naho’s future is fraught with regret, and she must rectify past mistakes to avoid a similar fate.

The letter warns Naho to watch over Kakeru Naruse, a new transfer student. In the future, Kakeru is no longer among them, prompting Naho to tread cautiously in her interactions with him. Armed with the letter as her guide, Naho possesses the power to alter the course of events and shield Kakeru from future sorrow.

As Naho grapples with her newfound responsibility, she navigates the complexities of friendship, love, and regret. With each decision she makes, Naho inches closer to rewriting the past and securing a brighter future for herself and those she holds dear.

12. Re: Zero

  • Episode: 25
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Isekai, Suspense, Psychological
  • Studio: White Fox

“Re: Zero – Starting Life in Another World,” adapted from the light novel by Tappei Nagatsuki, follows the journey of Subaru Natsuki, an awkward young man who is abruptly transported to a new and unfamiliar world.

Upon his arrival, Subaru is embroiled in a series of deadly encounters, ultimately meeting his demise. However, to his astonishment, he discovers that he can rewind time, allowing him to revisit pivotal moments and alter the course of events for himself and those around him.

As Subaru grapples with the ramifications of his newfound power, he faces numerous challenges and sacrifices, repeatedly laying down his life to protect his friends. Despite his acts of heroism, Subaru must contend with the profound loneliness that accompanies the knowledge that no one remembers his courageous deeds after each reset.

“Re: Zero” delves into the darker aspects of altering the past, offering a poignant exploration of the consequences and burdens accompanying such actions. Against the backdrop of meticulously crafted world-building and compelling character development, the series presents a thought-provoking narrative that delves into themes of sacrifice, redemption, and the complexities of fate.

13. Fate/Grand Order

  • Episode: 1 Film, 24 (Babylonia)
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Supernatural
  • Studio: Lay-duce

The anime “Fate/Grand Order: First Order” adapts the immensely popular mobile game “Fate/Grand Order.”

Set in the world of the Fate series, the story revolves around the Chaldea Security Organization’s efforts to prevent the extinction of humanity. In 2015, Chaldea detected anomalies in humanity’s future, leading to the species’ impending extinction by the end of 2016. The cause of this catastrophe is traced back to the events of the Fifth Holy Grail War in the Japanese city of Fuyuki in 2004.

Chaldea employs experimental time travel technology known as Rayshift to avert this crisis. Ritsuka Fujimaru is a young recruit to the organization, and the enigmatic Mash Kyrielight journeys through time to alter events and save humanity from annihilation. Their mission is to defy fate and rewrite history to restore the future of mankind.

“Fate/Grand Order: First Order” presents a thrilling narrative of magical battles, intricate lore, and epic quests across different eras. It offers fans of the Fate series an exciting exploration of time travel themes within the context of the Fate universe.

14. Tokyo Revengers

  • Episode: 24
  • Genre: Action, Drama, Supernatural
  • Studio: LIDENFILMS

The anime Follows, “Takemichi Hanagaki, once at the peak of his life during his second year of middle school, now finds himself at rock bottom twelve years later. He’s devoid of respect, bullied by children, and constantly apologizing to those younger than him. His only solace lies in memories of his past, including his former girlfriend.

However, when he learns of the Tokyo Manji Gang’s involvement in the murder of his girlfriend, Takemichi’s life takes a drastic turn. Desperate, he finds himself transported back in time to the day he was dating Hinata Tachibana, his girlfriend.

With a chance to rewrite history and prevent the tragic events that led to Hinata’s death, Takemichi embarks on a journey to alter the course of fate. Armed with the knowledge of the future, he must navigate the dangerous world of teenage gangs and confront the demons of his past to save the ones he loves.”

“Tokyo Revengers” is a gripping tale of redemption, friendship, and second chances, as Takemichi strives to change his destiny and protect those closest to him.

15. Summer Time Rendering

  • Episode: 25
  • Genre: Action, Mystery, Supernatural, Suspense
  • Studio: OLM

After losing his parents, Shinpei Ajiro moved in with the Kofune family, where he lives with their two daughters, Mio and Ushio. Even though he left his island home to study in Tokyo, Shinpei returned after Ushio tragically drowned while trying to save a little girl.

At the funeral, Shinpei’s best friend shares news about bruises found on Ushio’s neck, casting doubt on the cause of her death. Suspecting foul play, Shinpei starts questioning recent events, but strange things keep happening.

As people vanish and odd incidents occur, Mio recalls an old folktale mentioning a creature called a “Shadow” that might not be just a story. Legend says encountering one’s Shadow predicts impending death.

Facing the island’s dark mysteries, Shinpei battles his bad luck to honor Ushio’s last wish: protecting Mio.

So, these are some recommendations for time-travel anime that are enjoyable to watch.

Advertisements
Author - Rohit
I am Rohit, an author at Otakukan. I was born and raised in Banglore, India. I have always loved watching anime and reading manga. In college, I started writing my own stories and creating my own characters.