More than almost any other medium, anime is packed with adventurers and adventure plots replete with quests, guilds, and treasure hunts.
These adventure anime are usually pretty good with character development and story progression, but they also put a lot of emphasis on settings and worldbuilding. Characters are rarely stuck in the same old land over the course of the story.
And while there are many adventure anime that stick to the shonen formula and shonen tropes, there are plenty of others that deviate from the norm and put fresh spins on the genre.
Here are my picks for the best anime with adventurers, ranging from legendary pirates who sail the seas to random nobodies who are isekai'd to foreign worlds after getting hit by "truck-kun."
14. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (2015–2023)
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (often referred to by its shortened name DanMachi) follows the story of Bell and his adventures down various dangerous dungeons.
On one of his adventures, he was saved by the Sword Princess from a rampaging Minotaur, making him fall in love with her. Because they are skills, levels, and status apart, he's motivated to become stronger to prove that he's worthy to stand by her side.
13. Inuyasha (2000–2004)
Inuyasha follows the story of a modern girl named Kagome, who's the reincarnation of the priestess who guards the Shikon Jewel.
But with the jewel in her hands and with Inuyasha by her side, the plot takes a shift and centers on her protecting the jewel from the forces of evil who want it for themselves.
Unfortunately, the jewel ends up shattered and scattered around the world. So, Kagome and Inuyasha embark on an adventure to retrieve the shards and prevent other demons from using them for evil.
Their journey won't be easy, though, as there are powerful demons like Naraku who want to get their hands on it!
12. Goblin Slayer (2018–Present)
Just the title of Goblin Slayer alone evokes feelings of adventure. But in this anime, their journeys and quests aren't just about slaying goblins—we dive into the darker side of being an adventurer.
Goblin Slayer follows the story of a Priestess who, like other adventurers in the series, works and earns money by accepting and completing quests from the guild. However, her first party ends up defeated, abused, and killed by the goblins.
She escapes her fate when the Goblin Slayer enters the scene and kills all the goblins, ultimately saving her. Now, she parties with the Goblin Slayer to help him on his own quests.
11. Bofuri: I Don't Want to Get Hurt So I'll Max Out My Defense (2020–2023)
Bofuri is set within the fictional game of NewWorld Online, in which Kaede Honjo (a.k.a. Maple) becomes an overpowered player.
In the game, players are adventurers of different classes, from mages to archers to swordsmen. There's also an in-game feature that gives the players quests that they can access via NPCs.
And since the setting is a game world, players can explore and journey through the different floors of the world, where each floor or location features unique settings and obstacles.
10. Campfire Cooking in Another World With My Absurd Skill (2023)
If you're ever isekai'd, you'd probably want to have the skill sets of the Four Cardinal Heroes (The Rising of the Shield Hero) or Rimuru (That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime).
But for Mukohda, his Online Supermarket Skill is enough to survive in the new world he finds himself in. With this ability, he can order food items directly from Japan, which is convenient and makes his adventures in another world feel like he isn't far from home.
Indeed, his otherworldly food products and cooking skills can be pretty useful, whether offensively or defensively. With this absurd ability, he even gets a legendary Fenrir as his familiar.
9. Dororo (2019)
Dororo follows the story of Hyakkimaru and his quest to retrieve the body parts that were taken from him at birth by demons.
Along the way, he stumbles upon Dororo, a young "boy" who later becomes his companion. Their journey together brings them to places where they encounter demons and monsters, some of whom possess Hyakkimaru's body parts.
Their adventures also lead them on a path toward the root cause of all the hardship Hyakkimaru endured right after he was born.
8. The Rising of the Shield Hero (2019–Present)
The Rising of the Shield Hero is a promising isekai anime series with a solid plot and well-written characters. It follows the story of Naofumi Iwatani, who's magically summoned to another world as one of the Four Cardinal Heroes.
The story starts off as a typical adventurer's story, with the heroes needing to go out and level up their stats and weapons. However, his fate takes a downhill turn when the Shield Hero (Naofumi) is framed for a crime he didn't commit.
Alone and hated by many, he starts to distrust everyone and goes off on his own adventures without needing anyone.
7. Sword Art Online (2012)
Sword Art Online is one of the most famous isekai anime series and probably the first one to come to mind when talking about characters who are brought into a virtual gaming world.
This anime centers on Kirigaya Kazuto (also known as Kirito), who finds himself trapped inside the Sword Art Online game along with thousands of other players. They need to beat the game, which they can do by venturing through the 100 floors of Aincard.
However, Aincard houses many different kinds of monsters, with the most powerful ones serving as bosses of every floor. Moreover, if anyone's in-game avatar dies, they also die in the real world!
6. Log Horizon (2013–2014)
Log Horizon has a similar premise to the aforementioned Sword Art Online, revolving around Shiro and his fellow players (called "adventurers" in the game) who are trapped in the game Elder Tale.
After an in-game update, players who were logged in found themselves unable to log out—and there weren't any announcements from the game masters about it, leaving them in the dark.
Now that their game is their reality, they have to cope and find a way to survive the environments, the monsters, other players, and what the game's newest update has in store for them.
5. Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation (2021–Present)
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation is an isekai anime series with a simple story: a dead man is reincarnated as a newborn baby to a family in a world of swords and magics.
That dead man was killed by "truck-kun" only to awaken as a baby named Rudeus Greyrat. And yes, he starts again from nothing in this world—but as he grows up, he shows potential as a magic caster. In this new world, he vows to live differently from his life before.
His adventures begin after a tragic incident involving citizens who are magically transported to random locations. Rudeus, who was also a victim, awakens in the midst of the Demon Continent along with Eris, and he now has to find a way back.
4. Toriko (2011–2014)
Toriko is a series set in a world full of exotic ingredients. However, these ingredients are really hard to acquire, with some of them even able to devour people before they can be cooked.
This is where the Gourmet Hunters step in. They're trained individuals who possess superhuman feats that enable them to capture these ingredients, and they do so by traveling the Gourmet World to wherever these rare and special ingredients can be found.
More specifically, we have Toriko, a Gourmet Hunter who goes on an adventure to obtain the ingredients that can complete his "full-course meal." However, his adventures lead him to people who want to monopolize these precious ingredients.
3. One Piece (1999–Present)
Eiichiro Oda's One Piece has been the talk of anime fandom for many years now. It's one of the famous "Big Three" (alongside Bleach and Naruto) and remains one of the longest-running anime series of all time.
It follows the story of Monkey D. Luffy and his sea-sky-land adventures with his pirate crew as they journey towards the famed One Piece and his eventual goal to become the Pirate King.
He started his journey alone from Windmill Village of East Blue, then later met his crew one by one. From there, he's been to many places: from the lands of the giants and a vast kingdom in the desert to islands in the sky and even deep under the sea.
2. Pokémon (1997–Present)
Did you know that the Pokémon anime series is still going strong? Starting in 1997, we've been following the story of Ash Ketchum as he travels different regions to battle gym trainers and participate in competitions to become the best Pokémon trainer.
From Kanto to Alola, he's been to many places of different geographical structures, natures, and Pokémon diversity, giving us a look into the vast world where Pokémon and humans coexist.
1. Made in Abyss (2017)
Be warned right off the bat: Made in Abyss is a dark anime series with a bleak plot and grim characters. It makes sense given that this anime has people sent down to dangerous depths for knowledge of the unknown.
The story of Made in Abyss centers on the adventures of Riko and other Delvers as they travel down the depths of the Abyss.
Their journey is full of the unknown—from flesh-eating creatures to unexplainable phenomena—and the deeper they go, the more dangerous the Abyss gets. If you want an anime with adventurers that's desolate and depressing, this is the one to watch.