- The assassin genre in anime is characterized by its deadly appeal and captivating storylines, offering a fix of adrenaline and intrigue.
- Each assassin anime mentioned in the article showcases unique elements, such as specialized and dangerous skill sets, slick action scenes, humor, deeper themes, and experimental art-house styles.
- From assassins with supernatural powers to brainwashed young girls and charismatic hitmen, assassin animes offer a diverse range of characters and plotlines that keep viewers engaged and entertained.
Silent, deadly, and dangerous. There's something powerfully alluring about these killers who operate by their own code and inhabit the murky underworld most of us never see. Assassin animes deliver a killer fix of adrenaline and intrigue, seducing us into a world of syndicates and hitmen, psychic thrills and government overthrows.
Some assassin animes are slick as a knife fight. Others trade spycraft for magic or mechas went rogue. But at their core, these shows share a deadly appeal. If you're craving anime at its most addictive, the assassin genre is your poison of choice. These shows go down smoothly before delivering the fatal hit.
10 The World's Finest Assassin Gets Reincarnated In Another World As An Aristocrat
What makes this anime stand out is how it blends the best of isekai and assassin genres so well. Lugh is not just any overpowered protagonist – He has a very specialized and dangerous skill set for an assassin.
Beautifully animated fight scenes erupt without warning, showcasing why Lugh is the finest assassin. Tasked with killing the Hero who would bring about the world's destruction, Lugh infiltrates the upper echelons of this new society to get close to his target. Also, the aesthetic opening theme song makes this anime irresistibly binge-worthy for all fans!
The 13-episode anime wastes no time in establishing its assassin heroine as a force to be reckoned with. In the first episode, she infiltrates a train and eliminates a target with acrobatic grace and two shots to the chest. The gun-fu is fast and flashy, letting the bullets fly as Canaan twists and spins around gunfire to take out extremists at point-blank range.
With taut action, suspense, intrigue, and characters worth rooting for, Canaan makes being an assassin look in equal parts deadly and cool. While visiting Shanghai, Maria gets caught up in a bioterrorist attack and Canaan rushes in to save her. From there, the story takes many twists and turns as Canaan tries to stop the terrorist organization, while Maria works to uncover its hidden motives as a journalist.
8 Gunslinger Girl
In an alternate history Italy, the Social Welfare agency rescues young girls facing death and gives them a second shot at life. But there is a sinister catch: they are brainwashed and biologically reprogrammed to become killing machines, carrying out assassinations and black ops missions without emotion or question.
Each girl is paired with a male handler who oversees her training and missions but also struggles with the moral implications of what they have done to these children. Where other similar anime choose flash over substance (secret government agency, codenames, and slick action scenes), Gunslinger Girl pulls the trigger on deeper themes of what separates man from monster.
7 Assassination Classroom
Most assassin anime are killing us with edginess, but Assassination Classroom is slaying us with humor. The premise alone is comedic gold: Class 3-E has to kill their teacher Koro-sensei, an alien who destroyed the moon and now threatens to blow up Earth. But the catch is Koro-sensei is also the best teacher they've ever had!
Cue adorable assassins-in-training and over the top antics as they try to stab, shoot and bomb their way to better grades. This anime is a shoo-in for the title of Best Assassin Anime simply because no other show in the genre has made us laugh and cry like Assassination Classroom. Under its silly and exaggerated exterior lies a heartwarming story of misfit students and a teacher who believes in them.
6 Golgo 13
Debuting in 1983, Golgo 13 follows the cunning and taciturn hitman Duke Togo (codename Golgo 13) as he plies his deadly trade across the globe. Over its many episodes and movies, the series has depicted Golgo 13 carrying out dangerous hits on various high-profile targets from criminals to corrupt public figures.
Golgo 13 is a man of few words but accomplishes each mission with cunning, skill, and his signature M16 rifle. The series does not have a central plot or overarching storyline; instead, it is composed of episodic adventures. All these years later, both the anime and its anti-hero have lost none of their raw, fatal magnetism.
Following the razor-sharp arms dealer Koko Hekmatyar and her crew of ex-special ops killers, Jormungand lifts the veil on how covert wars and regime changes are fueled across the globe. Koko is no ordinary merchant of death; she sees her role as a necessary evil to promote peace. But peace often comes at the barrel of a gun, or in this case, a shipping container full of centrifuges.
Her eccentric team of bodyguards and assassins back her vision, whether it's sniping threats from a kilometer away or garroting a target in a crowded subway. For those craving an anime that trades tropes for tradecraft and fantasy for cold-blooded realism, Jormungand delivers deadly dividends.
4 Assassin's Pride
In the world of Assassin's Pride, mana is power, and nobility is determined by the amount of mana one possesses. The story follows Kufa, a master assassin, who is hired to train a young noble girl named Melida to become a deadly killer. Melida’s family will lose their prestige if she can’t manifest magical powers, so assassination becomes her only path.
Of course, with a title like Assassin's Pride, exciting action and fight sequences are also a major highlight. Kufa demonstrates his deadly skills in cunning acts of espionage and combat using blades, poisons, and mana-based abilities. The magical duels between noble families and their assassins are thrilling to watch.
3 Code: Breaker
It aired at the height of the "supernatural high school battle" anime craze. The 2012 anime series Code: Breaker follows a secret assassin organization with supernatural powers that works for the Japanese government. By day, Ogami Rei seems like your average high school student.
But when night falls, he reveals his secret identity as a Code Breaker, an assassin gifted with the ability to manipulate blue flames. Code: Breakers are judge, jury, and executioners, using supernatural powers to carry out hits on criminals that slip through the cracks of the legal system. For all their supernatural powers, the Code Breakers wrestle with the same ethical issues as any assassin – they just do it with more flair.
2 Darker Than Black
Darker Than Black follows Hei, also known as The Black Reaper, a contractor with the ability to manipulate electromagnetic forces who works as an assassin for a shadowy syndicate in post-apocalyptic Tokyo. His weapon of choice is a knife attached to a metallic rope that conducts his electrical attacks.
Hei maintains the cover of a charismatic yet goofy exchange student named Li Shenshun. Everything from its music to character designs, to pacing has an offbeat quality uncommon in most anime, let alone within the assassin genre. This unusual style, inspired by Western neo-noir influences, gives Darker Than Black an experimental, art-house feel that allows it to ignore standard genre trappings.
Noir (2001) is a cult classic that shaped later assassin animes. Mireille Bouquet is a cunning Corsican beauty who kills with cold precision. Yumura Kirika is a mysterious Japanese girl with hollow eyes that hide a brutal gift. By chance or design, these two girls meet and are bound together as Noir – legendary assassins feared across the criminal world.
Paris and Prague provide the stage for Mireille and Kirika's lethal pas de deux. Gothically stylized with haunting music, each episode pulls you deeper into a conspiracy as they uncover the truth behind Kirika’s lost memories and Les Soldats’ sinister agenda. While light on graphic gore, Noir is a masterclass in suspenseful assassin anime.
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