Last season's stand-out anime was the dark fantasy Goblin Slayer. While its brutal violence divided and disturbed audiences, it carved itself a niche for itself among anime fans seeking out something epic and intense. While there are many fantasy anime (most notably the isekai subgenre of anime, with entries like Sword Art Online and Re:Zero), Goblin Slayer is pure dark fantasy, offering uncompromising violence and intense imagery.
For fans who are looking for more, however, it may seem discouraging. There are many light-hearted fantasies and fantasies that feel oddly familiar and safe. For those in search of something more intense, however, there are shows for you. The following fantasy anime are the perfect shows to watch once you finish up with Goblin Slayer.
10 The Slayers
An odd choice for a first recommendation, but The Slayers remains, even years after its debut, one of the best fantasy anime out there. Fans of Goblin Slayer may find its irreverent comedy a little jarring since they're probably looking for far darker stories, though.
However, what The Slayers does better than arguably any anime out there is mock and ridicule fantasy and RPG elements while still offering a loving tribute to Dungeons and Dragons-styled adventure. So if you just finished Goblin Slayer and want something a little more light-hearted, go for this.
9 Spice And Wolf
Another unorthodox fantasy anime, Spice and Wolf at first looks like an alluring fantasy anime. But, again, it plays a fast one on its audience. Much like how Goblin Slayer tricks its audience into expecting a standard RPG-pastiche, only to turn it into nightmare fuel, Spice and Wolf draws its audience in with its fantasy setting only to turn out economy the anime.
While fans looking for a hack-and-slash fantasy anime may leave disappointed, Spice and Wolf offers an unusual look at the fantasy world, much like Goblin Slayer does. But I get it. You want something a little more violent. Don't worry. Now that the softer recommendations are out of the way, this list is gonna get bloodier...
8 Vampire Hunter D
It can be argued that Vampire Hunter D and its sequel movie Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust aren't actual fantasy anime, but rather sci-fi horror. Though that begs the question if anything that actually happens in Vampire Hunter D actually makes any scientific sense.
Like Goblin Slayer, Vampire Hunter D is a brutal, vicious story about a hero up against the foulest creatures out there. There's violence, brutality, and more than a few moments of horror. It's one of the classics of the anime medium for a very good reason: it's a bloody good time.
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Created by Kouta Hirano (the same guy who made Hellsing), Drifters tells a bloody fantasy about historical figures displaced in time and space in order to battle with one another, leaving as many dead bodies as possible in their wake.
For fans of Goblin Slayer, this dark fantasy anime is just the ticket. Brutal violence, carnage for days, and all with an unrelenting sadism that simultaneously repulses and exhilarates.
6 Wolf's Rain
There's no such thing as paradise. This holds true in Goblin Slayer and this classic fantasy anime. While not a traditional fantasy, Wolf's Rain features a group of people who can transform into dogs all in search of a perfect world that may or may not exist.
Goblin Slayer is pessimistic, but Wolf's Rain can be downright depressing at times. For fans of the dour, cynical tone of Goblin Slayer, this is the winner. For fans of quality storytelling, however, Wolf's Rain is essential. There's a reason during the early 2000s every anime fan recommended it.
Claymore is in many respects the mid-00s version of Goblin Slayer. It is a dark fantasy anime featuring vicious "heroes" trained to fight goblin-like monsters. In this case, however, Claymore, while violent, never indulges in the sexual violence Goblin Slayer seems to flaunt.
Claymore remains a far more mainstream fantasy anime, despite its brutal violence, due in part to its terrific and nuanced lore and uncompromising cynical world view. If you have not watched it yet, fix this mistake.
4 The Twelve Kingdoms
A complicated fantasy featuring warring kingdoms, The Twelve Kingdoms might on scratch appear like a proto-isekai anime, only to deconstruct expectations almost immediately. For this reason, it remains one of the most critically lauded fantasy-anime out there.
It is far more grand in scope than Goblin Slayer, true, but if you enjoyed the dark fantasy of Goblin Slayer, then this politically-driven epic may be of interest as well.
3 Guin Saga
Few anime have as long a history as Guin Saga. Older perhaps than most people realize, the series of novels that inspired Guin Saga have been published since 1979. This results in one of the greatest works of fantasy ever written, at least in terms of scale.
The anime adaptation came decades after the novel's inception, but manage to tell one of the greatest heroic epics of the modern era. There is a historic quality to Guin Saga that needs to be experienced to fully understand. While it may at times be a bit slow moving for Goblin Slayer fans, it is a must watch for anyone interested in the best fantasy anime has to offer.
2 Record Of Lodoss War
Based on a tabletop campaign the writer of the original story (Ryo Mizuno) played, Record of Lodoss War remains as one of the longest continuing anime sagas of the '90s and '00s, with adaptations continuing to this day (Record of Grancrest War being the most recent).
Record of Lodoss War is the best depiction of a tabletop game come to life. It feels like an adventure between friends without losing the epic and majestic feel that every player has in their imagination about their fun campaign. Grand and cinematic, any fan of anime needs to watch this.
Of course, the final suggestion is Berserk. What else would it be? Audiences drew comparisons between Berserk and Goblin Slayer almost immediately after the first aired. If you have watched Goblin Slayer and haven't experienced Berserk, fix that.
The best way to experience Berserk is through the original anime, but the '90s series or film trilogy are not bad either. The modern anime, though? The less said the better.