What the F? An anime show without romance or fantasy?
That’s got to be impossible, right? I’m sure you’re thinking…
And I don’t blame you in the slightest. I relate to your skepticism. Especially knowing how hard it is to watch anime without even a drop of romance or fantasy.
Or an inch for that matter.
I’ve watched and seen well over 200+ anime shows. And some of them match what you’re looking for.
So with that said, here are 15 anime shows I’d recommend.
And yes, they don’t have romance or fantasy elements at all.
Noir focuses on two main characters: Kirika Yuumura and Mireille Bouquet. Who are both work as freelance assassins.
Though there’s no blood, you’ll find plenty of action, gun-fights, mystery and drama.
Noir’s one of my top rated anime’s that I feel is so underrated and unpopular.
Especially when compared to the obvious shows, which ironically include romance or fantasy…
I’d recommend adding it to your list if you’re taking a break from the romance or fantasy genre.
One of the greatest anime shows ever made as far as I see it.
Barakamon focuses on Seishuu Handa. A caligrapher who’s sent off two live on an island to get his act together.
There’s zero romance, fan service or any of that typical bullshit seen in countless anime’s.
And that’s because Barakamon is so good it doesn’t need “fan-service” to make it entertaining.
3. Lucky Star
I’ll always recommend Lucky Star as an alternative to romance/fantasy genre’s.
There are 4 main characters. One of which is a hardcore Otaku who’s into cos-playing and maid cafe’s.
One thing you’ll find refreshing is Lucky Star has NO plot whatsoever.
Each episode is a random set of events focused on the lives of the main characters.
And there’s tons of comedy and witty-lines to keep you entertained.
4. Black Lagoon
Black Lagoon is an anime I had doubts for.
And those doubts almost punched my teeth out when I realized what a fool I was.
You’ll see nothing but grimy streets, drug-selling, mercenaries with a bad attitude and a gangster lifestyle in Black Lagoon.
It’s one of the darkest, most realistic anime shows I’ve ever seen. And it’s in a league of its own.
Danganronpa… Another anime I was unsure of at first. But in fact – it’s quite unique compared to anime in general.
Basically a bunch of teenagers are lead to what they believe is a high school. Only to find out it’s a facility built to imprison them once they’ve set foot inside.
And the only way out is to play sick, twisted games in order to survive and eventually escape.
6. Kantai Collection
Kantai Collection has it all when it comes to character favorites.
You have busty females if that’s your thing.
There’s also cute girls, smart girls, bossy, quiet, strategic, funny, and every personality you can think of.
The anime definitely doesn’t discriminate when it comes to that!
Kantai Collection’s genre is a slice of life/military series taken from the browser games: Kancolle.
Personally I enjoyed all 12 episodes from start to finish.
7. School Live
School Live is an anime with a name that’s deceiving if you’ve yet to watch it.
Because once you do, you’ll realize the anime’s focus isn’t happy or “cute” in the slightest.
It starts off after a zombie apocalypse has broken out. Where 4 main girls are forced to live inside a school while living on the food rations that are left over.
And trust me when I say this anime is dark and emotional the more you watch it.
Link: School Live Merchandise
8. Girls Und Panzer
What would you do if your high school was in danger of being closed down?
Mio Nishizumi, and 4 other main characters make an effort to win a series of military-friendly battles.
And if they win and come out on top, they’ll have the resources to stop it from happening.
What I like about Girls Und Panzer is the tactical, strategic battles that take place.
It can teach you a lot and is relatable to real life.
And the light comedy here and there doesn’t hurt either.
9. New Game!
This slice of life anime was released back in 2016.
And it focuses on the gaming company: Eagle Jump, as well as the employees who work there.
If game design and programming interests you, New Game will tickle your fancy. And even if you’re not into gaming you might enjoy how relaxing it is to watch.
it’s a refreshing choice among your average slice of anime series these days.
Link: 6 New Game Anime Quotes
I can’t not recommend an anime like K-On. And not just because it’s not a romance/fantasy anime either.
K-On is a slice of life anime that focuses on music.
All 4, eventually 5 characters create their own music club and pursue their passions.
And along the way there are some sad, emotional moments that will pull your heart strings. Plus some pretty funny dialogue that will literally kill you from laughing so hard.
11. The Royal Tutor
The Royal Tutor is one of the newest kids on the block in 2017.
Like Assassination Classroom, the Royal Tutor focuses on a teacher-student relationship.
Except the location is based in the Royal Palace with 4 princes being the main characters.
This anime won’t just make you laugh, it’ll teach you life lessons that are bound to inspire you.
And get your brain ticking.
12. Squid Girl
Squid girl comes from the sea, as her name suggests. And she has one main goal in mind: to conquer the earth.
Of course it doesn’t turn out that way. And what follows is a hilarious anime with creative dialogue.
And enjoyable comedy.
It’s only around 12+ episodes long, but you should give it a go.
13. Terror In Resonance
At first sight you’d think this anime is about terrorism and crime.
But as you dig deeper you start to see the “real” reason behind all the crazy stunts pulled by 2 main characters.
There aren’t many anime’s with the depth and quality of Terror In Resonance.
It might not be “famous”, but so what?
It’s worth watching compared to the cliche anime we’re too used to seeing.
14. Love Live School Idol Project
I’m a guy, and I can proudly say I loved watching every bit of Love Live.
It’s an anime series focused on music, comedy and school.
And there are 9 main female characters who are easy to remember.
You’ll learn about teamwork, staying calm under pressure, and other life lessons that makes this anime a masterpiece in its own right.
15. Ergo Proxy
Ergo Proxy isn’t the kind of anime you watch to uplift your mood or have a good laugh.
But if you’re all about philosophical, deep, meaningful and mysterious topics, then watch this anime
It has themes related to sci-fi with futuristic elements and beautiful graphics that are hard to dislike.
Not one of my favorites, but it would be wrong of me to not mention it.
Other anime’s worth mentioning:
- Ghost Hunt (Tiny hints of romance).
- Amagi Brilliant Park (mostly zero romance).
- Higurashi: When They Cry.
What anime’s would you recommend that isn’t romance or fantasy?
Related: 7 Sins Committed By Anime