The 15 Best Anime Spin-Offs Actually Worth Watching

Popular anime series sometimes get spin-offs that are worth checking out, whether for extra lore or just pure, unadulterated fun!
The 15 Best Anime Spin-Offs Actually Worth Watching

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Anime is no stranger to spin-offs. Even a single throwaway character who shows up in a specific story arc can pave the way for their own series, conjuring whole new storylines out of nothing and providing die-hard fans with more lore and content to dig into.

While some anime spin-offs are just more of the same (e.g., new plots with the same characters), others are more creative in how they stay true to the main series while shifting different aspects or retelling different parts in ways that build on the original.

From comedic spin-offs that are pure fun to serious spin-offs that explore the darker sides of a given series, here are my picks for the best anime spin-offs that are worth checking out.

15. Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals (2012)

Action, Comedy, Parody

Originally aired 2012 to 2013

51 episodes (1 season)

7.17 on MAL

Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals is a comedy series that was the first spin-off of Naruto Shippuden. It centers on Rock Lee, a ninja of the Hidden Leaf Village who specializes in taijutsu because he can't master ninjutsu or genjutsu. We get to see his daily life and training in the village.

The anime also shows the goals of each of the characters, with the first episode showing the rivalry between Lee and Naruto.

It was created by Kenji Taira and adapted into the anime format by Studio Pierrot, directed by Masahiko Murata.

14. Attack on Titan: Junior High (2015)

Comedy, Parody, School

Originally aired 2015

12 episodes (1 season)

7.20 on MAL

Attack on Titan: Junior High is an anime series written by Saki Nakagawa and animated by Production I.G. This one's a comedic parody of the horrifically gruesome original anime Attack on Titan, featuring the same characters but in a chibi art style.

The story is about the adventures of everyday life for the students of Class 1-04 of Attack Junior High School, shifting away from the dark themes of the original series to give us scenes like battles for cheeseburgers and the "test of courage" that's popular with high school kids.

If you end up liking Attack on Titan: Junior High, you should know there's also a sequel called Attack on Titan: High School.

13. Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks (1993)

Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Originally aired 1993

1 episode (TV special)

7.78 on MAL

Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks was written by Hiroshi Toda as a spin-off of the original Dragon Ball storyline with episodes set in a different timeline altogether.

The History of Trunks features a future world that was destroyed by Androids, with the Dragon Balls no longer available due to the death of Kami (so reviving Goku and others who died is impossible).

With no other way to save humanity except by relying on technology and Bulma's invention (the time machine), Trunks is entrusted to go back in time and ask help from Goku and other Saiyans.

12. Handa-Kun (2016)

Comedy, School

Originally aired 2016

12 episodes (1 season)

7.35 on MAL

Handa-Kun is a comedic slice-of-life spin-off of Barakamon. The anime series is based on a manga series of the same name, written by Satsuki Yoshino and produced by Diomedéa, Inc.

The story is about a high school student and calligrapher named Handa, who thinks that all the students around him talk bad behind his back—but, in fact, he's admired by many and treated as an idol. He even has a fan club and his number one supporter is the Handa Force!

11. Cells at Work! Code Black (2021)

Action, Drama, Medical

Originally aired 2021

13 episodes (1 season)

7.52 on MAL

Cells at Work! Code Black is a spin-off of the anime Cells at Work!, but unlike the original, Cells at Work! Code Black has a darker tone and setting as it's set in an unhealthy body that's living an unhealthy lifestyle, with cells dying in almost every part of the body.

Cells at Work! Code Black was written by Shigemitsu Harada and illustrated by Issei Hatsuyoshi, who were supervised by the author of the original manga, Akane Shimizu. The anime series was then produced by Liden Films.

10. The Slime Diaries (2021)

Comedy, Fantasy, Isekai

Originally aired 2021

12 episodes (1 season)

7.59 on MAL

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime spin-off series The Slime Diaries was first announced to air in January 2021, but actually started airing in April 2021. It was produced by 8bit animation studio.

The Slime Diaries focuses on the daily life of Rimuru and his friends in the Tempest. Each of the episodes contains a collection of at least 2–3 minutes of video about random scenes and moments of the Tempest people around the Kingdom.

9. Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (2003)

Action, Comedy, School

Originally aired 2003

12 episodes (1 season)

8.03 on MAL

When you see Sousuke Sagara acting innocently weird and silly, it's not the Full Metal Panic! you probably know. It's the spin-off series Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, which has a totally different take on the story.

While you can still feel the vibes of the original series due to the authentic character designs, this spin-off series drifts away from the dark and serious tone that's typical in the mecha genre.

Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu eliminates the political tension and Arm Slave battles and instead fills itself with humor and comedy, mainly revolving around the teen romance between Sousuke and Kaname Chidori in a high school anime setting.

8. Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (2018)


Originally aired 2018

12 episodes (1 season)

7.01 on MAL

As the title implies, this anime is a spin-off of the Sword Art Online anime series by Reki Kawahara. The anime adaptation of the light novel and manga was produced by 3Hz studio.

It follows the same virtual reality concept of the Sword Art Online series except in the setting of the Phantom Bullet Arc, where the players battle with guns instead of swords. Its comedic takes and unique approach provide the spin-off with a lighter theme than the original.

7. Boruto: Naruto Next Generations (2017)

Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Originally aired 2017 to 2023

293 episodes (1 season)

6.03 on MAL

Fans often debate whether Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is a spin-off or a sequel. Either way, we can all agree that it drifts far away from the original story of Naruto, now focusing on Naruto's son Boruto.

One thing that makes it feel more like a spin-off than a sequel is that Ukyō Kodachi and Mikio Ikemoto worked on Boruto without the involvement of Naruto's creator Masashi Kishimoto. It features new characters and new developments unseen in the original.

While some events are relatively in line with the original's story, most of it is brand new—any characters or plot references from Naruto are only used to deepen the newer characters and plots.

6. A Certain Scientific Accelerator (2019)

Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Originally aired 2019

12 episodes (1 season)

7.21 on MAL

Like many spin-off anime series, A Certain Scientific Accelerator puts the spotlight on a fan-favorite character. While this one retains the general premise of magic and science colliding, it now focuses on the anti-hero character Accelerator.

Accelerator was an antagonist in A Certain Magical Index, but in this spin-off he's now on the good side (despite his antagonistic nature). A Certain Scientific Accelerator explores and adds more depth to his character, as well as giving us more of his badass fight scenes.

If you want yet another spin-off of A Certain Magical Index, check out A Certain Scientific Railgun. This series follows the story of Mikoto Misaka, an esper who can control electricity.

5. Burn the Witch (2020)

Action, Fantasy

Originally aired 2020

3 episodes (1 season)

7.13 on MAL

Burn the Witch is an anime adaptation of the manga of the same name, written and illustrated by Tite Kubo (the creator of Bleach) and animated by Studio Colorido.

This anime follows the story of two witches named Noel Niihashi and Ninny Spangcole as they protect Reverse London from dragons. So, what's the connection with Bleach?

Well, they aren't using Zanpakutos and they aren't wearing traditional Soul Reaper outfits, but they are working for Soul Society—except it's the Western Branch of Soul Society.

In Reverse London, there's the Wing Bind—the Western counterpart of Gotei 13 of Eastern Soul Society—which aims to neutralize and eliminate dragons instead of Hollows.

4. Magi: Adventure of Sinbad (2016)

Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Originally aired 2016

13 episodes (1 season)

7.84 on MAL

Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic has a spin-off series titled Magi: Adventure of Sinbad. The story of this one is set years before the events of the main timeline, thus serving as a prequel.

As the title suggests, it follows the story of Sinbad and his exploits before he became the first Dungeon Capturer and reigned as king of Sindria.

While the source material of the original series was written and illustrated by Shinobu Ohtaka, Magi: Adventure of Sinbad was illustrated by Yoshifumi Ohtera.

And while the original series was animated by A1 Pictures, the spin-off was animated by Lay-duce, Inc. (the same studio that worked on its OVA).

3. Monsters: 103 Mercies Dragon Damnation (2024)


Originally aired 2024

1 episode (TV special)

7.77 on MAL

Monsters: 103 Mercies Dragon Damnation is adapted from the one-shot manga called Monsters by Eiichiro Oda. The story centers on a samurai who's blamed by the townsfolk for their impending doom.

The samurai in the story is none other than Shimotsuki Ryuma, the zombie samurai whom Roronoa Zoro fought during the Thriller Bark Arc in One Piece. It serves as the origin story for one of the more mysterious characters to appear in the early parts of the series.

This one isn't a full-blown anime series—its really just a single episode, and it feels like a special episode for One Piece. In its 20-minute runtime, you'll be treated to the badassery of the "samurai from Wano" and his Shusui. Zoro, too, makes an appearance!

2. Four Knights of the Apocalypse (2023)

Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Originally aired 2023 to 2024

24 episodes (1 season)

7.16 on MAL

After the happy ending of the series, the story of The Seven Deadly Sins continued in the spin-off sequel Four Knights of the Apocalypse. However, instead of revolving around the original Sins, this one follows the adventures of Percival, a member of the Four Knights of the Apocalypse.

Just like the Seven Deadly Sins, with each member resembling and carrying the infamous "seven deadly sins" of humanity, the Four Knights of the Apocalypse resemble the "four horsemen of the apocalypse."

This order of knights is prophesied to bring chaos and destruction to the world. Because of this, King Arthur Pendragon of the Kingdom of Camelot sends his powerful knights to hunt down these unknown beings from the prophecy.

What makes the series feel like a total spin-off is that instead of centering on Tristan (the son of Meliodas and Elizabeth from the original series), Nakaba Suzuki introduced Percival as the main character who isn't related to any of the Sins.

1. Attack on Titan: No Regrets (2014)

Action, Fantasy

Originally aired 2014 to 2015

2 episodes (TV special)

8.41 on MAL

Attack on Titan: No Regrets is a two-episode spin-off that centers on Levi's life many years before the main story of Attack on Titan, back before he was a soldier of the Survey Corps under Erwin Smith.

This prequel arc sheds light on Levi Ackerman's backstory, which shows how losing comrades was a common occurrence for him and how it taught him to always move forward and live for his friends.

Attack on Titan: No Regrets is a manga written by Gun Snark and illustrated by Hikaru Suruga, based on the A Choice With No Regrets visual novel. It was then adapted into a two-episode anime by the same studio that worked on the original anime series.