My absolute favorite genre is fantasy. High-fantasy worlds, cool magic systems and all sorts of mythological creatures are my jam! But while my husband likes fantasy just as much as the next anime fan, he isn’t always itching to watch the newest fantasy anime each season. Androids and our inevitable AI overlords are more his speed.
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Of course, this means that every night is a mad dash to see who can open up the Funimation app the fastest. But look, it doesn’t always have to be like this! I’ve already done the hard work of sifting through countless fantasy anime to find those special shows that straddle genre lines and have a little something extra for our partners who aren’t quite as excited as we are when the latest fantasy anime starts airing.
Here are six fantasy anime to watch with your partner (or BFF or roommate!) that aren’t only about magical lingo and the Tolkien-esque worlds the genre is known for.
Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle
Do you like comedy? How about seeing tropes turned on their head? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle may have a traditional-sounding plot at first glance: A princess is captured by the evil demons and held captive in their castle, waiting for a hero to save her!
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Only, no one seems to have told her she’s supposed to need rescuing. Princess Syalis simply wants to be left alone and get some much needed shut-eye. One comedic situation occurs after the other as the princess obsessively searches for ways to improve her bed and cell-turned-bedchamber. Breaking out isn’t nearly as difficult for the princess as it should be, and no one is safe if they stand between the princess and her goal.
This show is jam-packed with unique, fascinating creatures all living together in a castle filled with secrets and booby traps. While it may not look like it at first glance, each episode features a surprising amount of action and adventure.
Watch Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle on Funimation!
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Are you a fan of slice of life? What about dragons? Then let me introduce you to Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid. Miss Kobayashi is a programmer working and living in Japan when a night out drinking leads her to Toru, a dragon who has nowhere to go. The next morning, Toru moves in, taking Kobayashi up on an offer she doesn’t quite remember making.
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The ensuing tale a slice of life story about Toru and Kobayashi as they get to know their new roommate. Their worlds clash in often humorous ways, with Toru being both very good at maid and housework duties, but also completely ignorant to the ways of the human world. Kobayashi’s humdrum days are also breathed new life as Toru introduces her to one eccentric dragon after another.
This is the perfect combination of fantasy, slice of life, and comedy. Not to mention, this anime was made by Kyoto Animation, so fans of gorgeous art will want to stick around to check out the utterly beautiful art.
Watch Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid on Funimation!
Yona of the Dawn
This combination of shoujo, romance and fantasy is topped off with complex royal politics and plotting that may just scratch that Game of Thrones itch.
Princess Yona lives a sheltered, peaceful life in the Kingdom of Kohka. When her father is assassinated, Yona is forced to flee. As the Kingdom begins changing, Yona does too. She has to reclaim her throne, after all, and root out those who killed her father.
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In order to reclaim her destiny, she follows old stories that are little more than myth. For it is said that five dragons assisted her ancestor in the far past on his quest for the throne, and some say they are still out there, waiting for their master with flame-red hair to call for them once again.
Yona of the Dawn is a story that is just as character-driven as it is steeped in action and political intrigue. Magic and dragons are nothing but a myth when the tale opens, so while there’s plenty of fantasy, it doesn’t have the constant prominence of some other series, making this a perfect anime to watch with those who may not appreciate pure fantasy as much as you.
Watch Yona of the Dawn on Funimation!
Dragon Goes House-Hunting
Are video games your jam? How do you feel about slice of life? And real estate? Then you should check out Dragon Goes House-Hunting.
Letty is a dragon, one who isn’t the greatest at most typical dragon-like things. After losing a dragon egg, he gets kicked out of his home and embarks on an adventure to find a new place to live. The problem? The world is filled with adventurers and heroes who are only all too happy to go dragon slaying for those illusive, rare dragon mats.
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This is a series that loves turning a trope on its head or, on the other hand, taking it to its extremely logical ends. Letty finds himself in one comedic situation after another as he constantly searches for a safe, comfortable place to call home—to little avail.
This series is absolutely stuffed with references to video games, tabletop games, anime—just about everything, really. So while your partner enjoys the comedy and slice of life aspects, you can settle in for a high fantasy with two main characters styled very differently from your usual fare.
Watch Dragon Goes House-Hunting on Funimation!
Okay, what if I told you that there’s a traditional high fantasy anime that I can guarantee your non-high-fantasy-appreciating partner can get behind? Welcome to Slayers, where high fantasy and enough lore to keep you going for days meets irreverent characters and adventures that range from the typical to the zany.
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Lina Inverse is one of the most skilled sorceresses the world has to offer, and she often finds herself pitted against monsters intent on world destruction. She’s a classic hero…kind of…. Really, Lina is more interested in what prices she can get for the loot she acquires through honest and not-so-honest means (hey, her merchant parents taught her well) than playing hero.
There’s also plenty of adventuring and swashbuckling in this story that isn’t at all lacking in self-awareness. So while you stick around for some delicious high fantasy, your S.O. can settle in for some good ole’ fashioned zany adventures.
Watch Slayers on Funimation!
The mundane and fantastical combine in Toilet-bound Hanako-kun. Nene’s school is rumored to have seven wonders, and Nene is only too quick to prove the rumors are true as she runs smack into one of the illusive mysteries. Hanako-kun is a ghost who haunts the girls’ bathroom, and Nene quickly becomes his assistant.
No matter how unwilling she is, the supernatural world keeps dragging her into its problems, and things begin to spiral into something much larger than Nene could have foreseen.
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Part ghost story, part supernatural tale, and part school-based story, there’s something in here for everyone. Your significant other will love the utterly gorgeous watercolor-like animation, the ghost story-like aspects, and the familiar tale of school life.
At the same time, you get to indulge in a sweeping tale that features many creatures and people from Japanese mythology and urban legends, scratching that fantasy-loving itch.
Watch Toilet-bound Hanako-kun on Funimation!