The genre of Seinen anime is aimed at or marketed towards the young adult demographic. Like Shounen, this genre also focuses on politics, relationships, fantasy, Sci-Fi, etc. However, Seinen is more about complex themes, gore visuals, and dark, diabolical plots.
However, not all the Seinen anime have to be that terrifying, and a few of them can also be enjoyed by younger audiences like One Punch Man and Parasyte: The Maxim. Here is a list of ten iconic Seinen anime that are professed to be the hidden gems in the anime universe.
Top 10 iconic Seinen anime of all time include Steins; Gate, Hellsing Ultimate, and more
10) Steins; Gate
Steins; Gate focuses on Rintaro Okabe, a self-proclaimed mad scientist who runs a laboratory to invent unusual futuristic gadgets in a ramshackle old building. Together with his childhood friends Mayuri Shiina and Itaru Hashida, nicknamed Daru, he invents “Future Gadgets.” Like a Particle Gun that acts as a TV remote and a Bamboo Helicam which is just a camera attached to a helicopter.
However, his phone-operated microwave gadget, which he simply made to warm food remotely, turns out to be a game-changer, as the oven can send messages back in time. Although the invention became Rintaro’s breakthrough, it also turned his life upside down by taking the people he held dear, away from him.
Steins Gate is stated to be a masterpiece for its well-thought plot. As it is an anime that focuses on time travel, the plot has done great justice to provide a convincing solution to the paradoxes related to it.
9) Bungou Stray Dogs
Bungou Stray Dogs follows Atsukushi Nakajima, who was kicked out of his orphanage as everyone believed that he was the strange mystical tiger who was wreaking havoc upon the orphanage. Wandering through the city, he crosses his path with Osamu Dazai on a riverbank. Atsukushi stopped Dazai from committing suicide, believing he was drowning.
Dazai was also in search of the same beast that was plaguing the boy’s orphanage. Later, Atsukushi comes to know that he was the beast all along. He possesses a supernatural ability that transforms him into a white tiger under the moonlight.
8) Hellsing Ultimate
Since the events of World War II, the tyranny of Nazis has not been wiped out completely. They have returned from the dead and are transformed into vampires, robots, and even werewolves by a paramilitary organization called the Millennium.
Hellsing is the only organization that fights these evil creatures, with Sir Integra as the leader and her trump card or the Ultimate Weapon: The Vampire Alucard. The true objective of the Millennium is to wage war on humans for no actual reason and to destroy Alucard. Hellsing: Ultimate is more than a gritty vampire anime.
7) Ergo Proxy
Ergo Proxy follows Re-L Mayer, the daughter of the Romdeu’s ruler and also the investigator for the intelligence bureau in Romdeau, where humans and androids called AutoReivs coexist peacefully. She is assigned the task of finding out the actual reason behind the murders and the origination of the “Cogito Virus” that grants AutoRievs self-awareness.
As Re-L discovers the truth behind the strange phenomenon going around Romdeu, everything she believed up till now becomes a huge lie. Ergo Proxy’s story is complex as it is one of the greatest, yet underrated, psychological thrillers. So watch out, as it will take some strenuous effort to get the gist of it.
Erased is another classic anime based on time travel that centers on Satoru Fujinuma, a manga artist who has the unique ability called “Revival.” With this ability, he can go back in time to prevent any life-threatening situations from occurring. After Satoru was wrongly accused of murder, he was sent 18 years back in time to find the actual culprit.
Satoru realizes that the murder in some way is connected with the abduction of one of his classmates. With the given ability, he will uncover the truth about everything and will save the people he cherishes by altering the flow of time.
5) Samurai Champloo
When Fuu Kusumi, a waitress at the teahouse, gets harassed by one of her customers, she asks Mugen, who recently arrived in the town, for protection, in exchange for food. Mugen quickly defeats them with ease but unknowingly he gets into a fight with a ronin named Jin, who he was mistaken for his affiliation with the others he was fighting before.
Both were captured and sentenced to death, but Fuu eventually saved them. In return, she asks Mugen and Jin to help her find a samurai who smells of Sunflowers.
As the story portrays the Samurai era, there is an insane amount of sword fights. Including Mugen’s personally devised swordsmanship, incorporated with breakdancing that feels bizarre and amusing, all at the same time.
4) Vinland Saga
Vinland Saga explores the world of the Vikings, following Thorfinn Karlsefni, son of Thor Snorresson, who was hailed as a powerful warrior. After Askeladd killed Thors, Thorfinn promised himself that he would take his revenge by killing the former.
Despite his father telling him he doesn’t have to fight for anything or make anyone his enemy, Thorfinn chose a path that felt rightful to him. The anime is comprised of historical elements, barbaric acts, as well as incredible fights with weapons ranging from smaller knives to huge axes. Although the story starts off slowly, one would get the hang of it after two or three episodes.
Guts was born from the corpse of his lynched mother and was left there to die. A group of mercenaries led by a man named Gambino gave him tutelage and raised him as a mercenary like himself. From an early age, Guts was capable of wielding a sword twice his size and eventually as the story progressed, he got his hands on the infamous Dragon Slayer sword.
Being a Dark Fantasy anime with Swords and Sorcery elements to it, Berserk is one of the best Seinen anime that showcases disturbing graphic visuals. The protagonist is even capable of going head-on against hundreds of soldiers all alone.
2) Parasyte: The Maxim
The world of Parasyte: The Maxim is plagued by alien parasitic creatures who take over the human body by attacking their brains. However, Izumi Shinichi’s parasite was unsuccessful in its mission as it took over its host’s right hand. However, as a part of his body, Izumi eventually befriends the parasite and also gives it the name “Migi.”
Most parasites have been successful in taking over their target humans with complete control of the body. One of them even took over Izumi’s mother’s body, which is one of the most horrifying scenes from the anime. As these creatures pose a significant threat to humanity, it is up to Izumi and his Migi to eliminate every single one of them.
1) One Punch Man
One Punch Man is one of the iconic Seinen anime that has a huge fan following around the world. The story follows Saitama, an aspiring hero who is an undefeated force. Unlike other Heroes, Saitama doesn’t need to engage in combat as he can wrap up a fight with just a single punch that decimates his opponents.
Furthermore, Saitama gets agitated with his overwhelming powers and hopes of fighting a worthy opponent someday. One Punch Man is widely acclaimed for its bewitching animation and its intense action sequences. Moreover, it is also hailed as the funniest Seinen anime of all time.