10 Essential Superhero Anime That Reinvent The Genre

From super-robots to super-sentai to super-saiyan... and magical girls?

Toei Animation

Even if you aren't a self-styled otaku or fan of Japanese animation, the influence of anime on Western media cannot be denied. Many character tropes, stylistic choices, and epic, large-scale battles seen in modern Western film clearly take inspiration from the medium, its long and storied history making the transition from Japanese to Western audiences in a largely positive way.

The same is true, however, in reverse, with many comic book and superhero tropes inspiring a lot of anime, both modern and classic. The love story between Western comic book heroes and Anime heroes has made some big waves in the genre, and there are many memorable anime that seek to either make something new out of the heroic classics, or reinvent existing tropes in a way that hasn't been seen anywhere else.

With audiences living in the age of superheroes in Hollywood, it's not hard to see why superhero anime have become so popular in recent years. The truth is, however, superheroes have been swaying certain anime since the beginning.

Here are some of those anime, superhero anime that either fall firmly in the genre or have taken inspiration from classic superheroes, and created their own subgenre from existing superhero tropes.

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Writer, artist, animator by profession. Indie comics creator, looking to bring LGBTQ+ characters and Filipino culture into mainstream Western media. A Marvel geek with a DCAU childhood. || Writer of the superhero, Filipino political spec-fic novel BAYANI (Amazon, Gumroad) || Writer/artist of the Filipino urban fantasy LGBTQ+ webcomic BEHKomiks (Tapas.io) || Editor/contributor to The Pinoy Monster Boyfriend Anthology and The Pinoy Monster Girlfriend Anthology short comics collection (Gumroad) || All listed works written in English.