10 Classic Black and White Anime You Need To Watch

Black and white anime must-watch series are Osomatsu-Kun, Cyborg 009, Kaizoku Ouji, Dororo, She And Her Cat, and Astro Boy.

Some of the most famous black and white anime productions include the Astro Boy series, which Osamu Tezuka created in the 1960s.

Astro Boy was a pioneer in the world of anime, and it helped to establish many of the conventions and tropes that are still popular in modern anime.

Another famous black-and-white anime series is Kimba the White Lion, which Osamu Tezuka also created.

The Best Black and White Anime of All Time

Although color can undoubtedly enhance the visual allure of animated productions, black and white anime presents a multitude of enthralling storylines and expert storytelling.


Osomatsu-Kun - black and white anime

Genre: Comedy
Written by: Fujio Akatsuka
Magazine: Weekly Shōnen Sunday
Volumes: 34
Published by: Shogakukan; Kodansha; Shōnen Gahosha

In 1966, Osomatsu-Kun, a beloved comedy anime series, premiered.

Although it was later revamped into a color version called Mr. Osomatsu (known as Osomatsu-San in Japanese) in 1988 and 2015, the original 1966 version was black and white.

Osomatsu-Kun chronicles the lives of six identical sextuplet boys with the same appearance, attire, and speech patterns. These energetic sextuplets thrive on mischief and regularly cause pandemonium with their outrageous pranks.

Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space

Tamala 2010 - A Punk Cat in Space

In 2002, A Punk Cat In Space aired and narrated the story of Tamala, a kitten residing on Planet Cat Earth in the Feline Galaxy.

Tamala rebels against the corporation Catty & Co. that controls Cat Earth and flees her home-world.

However, her escape is disrupted when she crashes on Planet Q and encounters a cat named Michelangelo.

The two felines team up and embark on a series of exciting adventures. Tamala thoroughly investigates Catty & Co. and her birth planet, Orion, while exploring the new world.

Tetsujin 28-Gou

Tetsujin 28-Gou

Premiering in 1963, Tetsujin 28-Gou narrates the story of Dr. Haneda and his pursuit to create massive robots for the Second World War.

Regrettably, his laboratory was bombed before he could unveil his inventions. Fast forward ten years and a group of criminals has stumbled upon two giant robots, employing them for their sinister schemes.

Shotaro Haneda, the doctor’s son, takes action and sets out to find another one of his father’s robots after learning that the criminals are also in search of it.

Cyborg 009

Cyborg 009

Toei Animation produced Cyborg 009 in 1968, following its earlier incarnation as a film trilogy in 1966.

The anime series depicts a team of nine cyborg warriors with physical augmentations who engage in battle against various adversaries, including robots, extraterrestrials, and other cyborgs. Each member of the cyborg squad possesses unique abilities and strengths.

Leading the group is 009, who boasts unparalleled physical strength, bulletproof skin, and the capability to traverse time at incredible speeds.

Gegege No Kitarō

Gegege No Kitarō

In 1968, Toei Animation created Gegege No Kitarō, another black and white anime production. Gegege No Kitarō chronicles the life of a young boy named Kitarō, born in a graveyard and belonging to the Ghost Tribe.

The anime depicts Kitarō’s adventures as he combats various types of yōkai, supernatural monsters that can take on multiple shapes and forms in Japan.

Gegege No Kitarō has been remade numerous times, each time in color.

Kaizoku Ouji

Kaizoku Ouji - black n white anime

Toei Animation also produced Kaizoku Ouji, a black-and-white anime in 1966. Kaizoku Ouji revolves around Kid, a young boy residing on a small tranquil island with his father.

However, Kid’s life abruptly turns when his father, on his deathbed, confesses that he is not Kid’s biological relative.

Kid’s genuine father is Captain Morgan, the pirate reigning over the seven seas. With this newfound realization, Kid embarks on a quest to locate his birth father.

She And Her Cat

She And Her Cat

Genres: Fantasy, Adventure fiction, Action fiction

In 1999, She And Her Cat, a black and white original video animation, was released. It later received a four-episode anime series in 2016, which was in color.

She And Her Cat centers around the bond between a girl and a feline she discovers on a rainy day and decides to adopt.

Over a year, the cat, Chobi, develops affection for his owner’s beauty and kindness. Although life has its highs and lows, She And Her Cat ultimately have a joyful existence together by the end of the OVA.

8 Man

8 Man Black and White Anime

Music by: Tetsuaki Hagiwara
Original network: TBS

Starting as a manga series that ran from 1963 to 1966, 8 Man was transformed into an anime production in 1963, featuring one of Japan’s initial cyborg superheroes.

The cyborg was created to replace Special Agent Brady, who was fatally shot, with Professor Genius transferring Brady’s mind into the 8-Man cyborg body.

This anime is noteworthy for being one of the first of its kind in Japan and is said to have inspired America’s famous Robocop, which aired in 1987.

Astro Boy

Astro Boy - anime black n white

Original Run: April 3, 1952 – March 12, 1968
Volumes: 23 (List of volumes)
Published by: Kobunsha
Magazine: Shōnen

Osamu Tezuka created Astro Boy, also known as Tetsuwan Atomu in Japanese, and it is widely recognized as one of the greatest black-and-white anime series ever made.

It debuted in Japan in 1963, portraying the story of a young robot with human emotions who battles against nefarious forces to safeguard the world and encourage peace.

Astro Boy has a significant place in anime history, credited with establishing many conventions and tropes that continue to shape modern anime. Its combination of action, adventure, and heartwarming moments and Tezuka’s distinctive character designs makes it a timeless classic that inspires new generations of anime enthusiasts.

Astro Boy explores crucial themes such as humanity, compassion, and acceptance, extending beyond its entertainment value.

Dororo – Popular Black and White Anime

Dororo - black n white anime

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Action fiction
Network: Nippon BS Broadcasting
Original run: August 1967 – October 1969

Dororo is a beloved black and white anime that has captivated audiences since its debut in 1968. Created by Osamu Tezuka, the show tells the story of Hyakkimaru, a young samurai whose body parts were taken by demons before he was born.

As a result, he is born without limbs, a face, and other crucial body parts.

With the help of a young orphan named Dororo, Hyakkimaru sets out on a journey to reclaim his missing body parts from the demons who took them. Along the way, the duo encounters a host of strange and dangerous creatures and other warriors who join them in their quest.

Dororo is a standout black and white anime for several reasons. Its striking animation style, intense action sequences, and engaging story make it a must-watch for fans of the genre.

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