As the years go by, video games just become increasingly more popular. We see TV shows, movies, and more based on them. There’s a Fallout series coming eventually. We also have had a Super Mario Bros movie come out as well. One genre that has a lot of different things based on video games is Anime. Anime has a plethora of video game-themed shows, and they are some of my favorites to watch. So today we are going to talk about 5 Anime about video games you should watch.
5. Log Horizon
Log Horizon is a Japanese novel series written by Mamare Touno and illustrated by Kazuhiro Hara. It began serialization online in 2010 on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō. It was later acquired by Enterbrain and published as a light novel in Japan in 2011. Eventually, it was released as an Anime series and released on October 5th, 2013. This Anime has great components that add to the “being trapped in a video game” genre. The game elements remain an important part of the show which is one of the big things I like about it.
Just like in a video game, you have to be able to control aggro while managing resources. There is even a focus on good team composition to make up for others’ strengths and weaknesses. Even the proverbial “metagame” plays a factor in this Anime. The main character is a support-style magic user who is pretty knowledgeable. The value his character provides for the group is great and one of the reasons he is liked by many. One of the places you can check Log Horizon out is on Crunchyroll.
.hack//Sign is a Japanese anime television series directed by Kōichi Mashimo and produced by studio Bee Train and Bandai Visual, it makes up one of the four original storylines for the .hack franchise. Not only is it an Anime series, but there are also four video games in the franchise as well. These four games are:
Obviously, all four games feature the “game within a game trope.” Players may transfer their characters and data between games in the series just like loading previous saves with the Suikoden series.
Each game comes with an extra DVD containing an episode of .hack//Liminality, the accompanying original video animation series that details fictional events that occur concurrently with the games. So there is a lot to this franchise besides just the Anime. The main character is trapped in the video game with little or no memory of how it actually happened. I haven’t seen every episode in the series, but it is another enjoyable one with a video game theme. You can check it out for yourself on Funimation Now or Tubi TV.
3. BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense
Yes, this Anime has a decently long name. The description for this one is a player designing a character for a role-playing game. She gives up all other skills for the sake of being nearly invulnerable. In return, she becomes a slow but formidable defender in combat. Not many people who design a character in a game would do that, so that’s a reason I find this unique. The actual show is based on a really colorful and vibrant world. I can say I would actually play a game based in this world or similar to the show. In the series, there are video game events, guilds, and everything you can expect to see.
The characters in this one unlike the other shows aren’t trapped in the show. They are literally just playing a VRMMO. Some of the fight and action scenes are hard-hitting and well-put together. Maple, the main character is one of the most unlikely to be successful, and yet she continues to surprise the other characters. She even occasionally surprises herself sometimes as well. You can check out BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense on Crunchyroll.
The next one on the list is Overlord. This anime is described as an online role-playing game that takes on a reality of its own after its servers permanently shut down, trapping the only remaining logged-in player as his fearsome lich character who struggles to maintain the fragile balance between the world’s races. One of the most overpowered characters in a video game anime is this protagonist whose name is Ainz Ooal Goan. Even though he has this going for him he uses his knowledge to obtain important victories. Not only that, but Ainz maintained the balance of the world as he tried to essentially rule it while trapped.
This dude was challenged to a duel, froze time, and took out one of the best fighters in Gazeff Stronoff. Gazeff was the Warrior Captain of the Re-Estize Kingdom and King Ramposa III’s personal bodyguard. I will say Ainz isn’t the most virtuous person, but he still acts to protect others. So far, he has only killed those who have done wrong, besides the duel of respect with Gazeff. This one could just as easily have been number one on the list, and is one of my all-time favorites. You can check out Overlord on Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hulu, Hotstar, Tubi, Apple TV, and Netflix in some regions.
1. Sword Art Online
Last up on the list is one of, if not my favorite Anime of all time, Sword Art Online. It is described as follows, Sword Art Online is a Japanese light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by Abec. The series takes place in the 2020s and focuses on protagonists Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya and Asuna Yuuki as they play through various virtual reality MMORPG worlds, and later their involvement in the matters of a simulated civilization. The premise of the “first season” was that everyone was trying this new game and then suddenly couldn’t log out, becoming trapped in the game. Then come to find out if you died in the game it would in return cause you to die in real life. Just like Ainz Ooal Gown, Kirito is another character who is really powerful as well.
This series really takes the “trapped in a game trope to the next level. As crazy as it sounds, I would actually play the game regardless of the “deadly outcome”. To be able to exit the world you were supposed to reach the 100th floor and defeat the final boss. I won’t spoil any of the story or what happens, but it carries over multiple seasons and different adaptations of VRMMO worlds. As I said Sword Art Online is one of if not my favorite series of all time, and recommend it to anyone who likes video game-themed Anime. There is so much going on with multiple games, manga, light novels, and more. You can check out SAO on Crunchyroll, Funimation Now, and Netflix.
There are a plethora of other Anime that have video game themes as well. This is by no means a “Top 5 All-Time List” or anything like that. I would definitely like to experience all of these worlds. Even with the dying in SAO, you die in real life, as crazy as it sounds. As long as it was all as realistic as the SAO world in the show I would. The Kings Life, No Game No Life, Summer Wars, and Welcome to the N.H.K. are some other ones you might be interested in. You can expect more lists like this in the future.