Anime series that prominently feature ships, such as Blue Submarine No.6, Arpeggio of Blue Steel, Space Battleship Yamato 2199, High School Fleet, and Azur Lane, primarily spin their tales on seafaring vessels exploring the immeasurable depths of the ocean.
The heart of these stories may be set on various kinds of ships – from opulent cruise ships and industrious cargo vessels to imposing naval warships.
Ship Anime: Charting the High Seas
Dive into the blue expanses of the world’s oceans with these exciting anime set on ships. From majestic battleships to humble sailing boats, these anime series provide a unique platform for storytelling that will captivate both new and experienced anime enthusiasts.
Let’s set sail and explore the open sea!
14Arpeggio of Blue Steel
An extraordinary blend of naval warfare and science fiction, Arpeggio of Blue Steel has earned its place in navy anime. Humanity’s last hope is a renegade fleet of sentient battleships led by a submarine named Iona, who chooses a human, Gunzou Chihaya, as her captain.
Their mission is to defeat the “Fleet of Fog,” a fleet of mysterious ships that emerged after humanity lost control of the seas. Arpeggio of Blue Steel delivers thrilling battles at sea and an intense storyline that will keep you at the edge of your seat.
A more modern take on the boat anime genre, Black Lagoon immerses its audience in the dangerous underworld of Roanapur. The series follows the crew of the Black Lagoon, a group of pirate mercenaries who perform various illicit jobs.
From intense naval gunfights to dark, gritty narratives, Black Lagoon paints a thrilling portrait of lawlessness at sea and is sure to be an exciting watch for mature audiences.
12Space Battleship Yamato 2199
Although set in space, this is an anime that takes place on ships – enormous space-faring battleships, that is. Space Battleship Yamato 2199 is a sci-fi adventure, where the crew of the Yamato embarks on a perilous mission to save humanity from the brink of extinction.
The storyline features space navies, epic battles, and interstellar politics, all culminating in an immersive viewing experience. While it may not be a traditional sea-set anime, Yamato 2199 carries the spirit of naval exploration into the cosmos, making it a must-watch for fans of both nautical and space-themed series.
11Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water
Combining elements of adventure, science fiction, and steampunk, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is a thrilling addition to sailing anime. Set in an alternate reality around 1889, the story revolves around a young inventor named Jean and a mysterious girl, Nadia.
Their journey takes them aboard the Nautilus, a technologically advanced submarine, where they must combat the nefarious organization known as Neo-Atlantis. From its captivating storyline to its memorable characters and the magnificent Nautilus, Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is a visual treat for all anime lovers.
10KanColle: Kantai Collection
KanColle: Kantai Collection is a unique entry in anime with battleships. The series features a fleet of moe anthropomorphized warships from World War II known as “ship girls.”
The storyline focuses on Fubuki, a destroyer class ship girl, who, along with her comrades, faces the threat of the enigmatic Abyssal Fleet. Offering an interesting blend of cute characters and military tactics, KanColle brings a fresh perspective to the naval anime genre.
9Full Ahead! Coco
Full Ahead! Coco is a hidden gem in the vast ocean of sailing anime. This manga adaptation tells the story of Coco Felkena, a young boy who aspires to become a pirate. He sets sail with the crew of the pirate ship, ‘Sword Oratoria,’ seeking adventure, treasure, and camaraderie.
Full Ahead! Coco perfectly captures the adventurous spirit of the open sea, with its fair share of battles, exploration, and personal growth. The vivid animation brings to life the enchanting world, making the audience feel as though they are part of Coco’s crew, sailing the high seas and embarking on thrilling adventures.
8Fena: Pirate Princess
Riding the wave of boat anime, Fena: Pirate Princess brings us the thrilling tale of Fena Houtman, a young orphan girl who embarks on an epic journey in search of her origins and destiny. Aboard a pirate ship with a crew of samurai, she navigates through the high seas, encountering various challenges, enemies, and discoveries.
What sets this anime apart is its unique blend of Eastern and Western animation styles, intricate plot, and charmingly developed characters. With beautifully animated ocean vistas and ship battles, Fena: Pirate Princess is an exhilarating tale of adventure and self-discovery on the high seas.
7Blue Submarine No.6
When it comes to anime with battleships, Blue Submarine No.6 is an unmissable classic. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the Earth has been mostly submerged in water, this anime follows the crew of Blue Submarine No.6 as they battle against an underwater race known as the Zorndyke.
With exceptional naval warfare and a thought-provoking storyline about humans, mutants, and coexistence, Blue Submarine No.6 takes you on a turbulent ride across the deep blue sea.
6Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
Stranded on a waterlogged Earth after a failed space battle, Ledo, a young soldier from space, finds a new home aboard the Gargantia, a massive fleet of scavenger ships. As Ledo learns about the fleet’s culture and customs, he discovers the true meaning of living peacefully.
Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet, while not strictly a boat anime, utilizes its unique setting to explore themes like cultural clash, societal norms, and the value of peace in a war-driven world.
5The Pirates of Black Water
Though more of a western animation than traditional anime, The Pirates of Black Water earns a spot on this list due to its unique premise and exciting sea adventures. Set on the alien world of Mer, where water covers most of the planet, the show follows a ragtag group of heroes fighting against an evil pirate lord.
With epic ship battles, mysterious creatures, and treasures waiting to be discovered, this sailing anime offers a perfect blend of fantasy and swashbuckling pirate action.
In Jormungand, Jonah Mar, a young soldier with a hatred for weapons and arms dealers, unexpectedly finds himself working as a bodyguard for the infamous international arms dealer, Koko Hekmatyar. Despite his reluctance, he becomes entwined in the very world he abhors, tasked with protecting Koko on her mission for global peace.
Their globe-trotting journey involves weapon sales, evasion of authorities, and encounters with the CIA and lethal assassins. With top-notch animation, captivating music, and gripping storytelling, Jormungand shines as a premier warship-focused anime.
Zipang stands as a beacon in the realm of military and navy anime. The plot is a tantalizing mix of time travel and historical drama, where a state-of-the-art Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force Aegis cruiser, the Mirai, is flung back in time to the early days of World War II.
The crew, armed with knowledge of future events and advanced technology, is faced with the daunting task of choosing whether to change the course of history.
With each episode, Zipang delves into the complexities of war, morality, and the ethical implications of changing history. Furthermore, it paints a vivid picture of naval warfare in the past. It contrasts it with the future, offering viewers thrilling battles and a keen insight into the strategic aspects of naval combat.
2High School Fleet
In High School Fleet, Akeno Misaki, a new Yokosuka Girls’ Marine High School student, embarks on a journey to fulfill her aspiration of becoming a Blue Mermaid. Akeno and her classmates set sail on the Harekaze destroyer, only to face accusations of mutiny after an unforeseen incident.
With these charges against her, Akeno steps up, showcasing her leadership skills as she guides her crew through the challenges aboard the Harekaze. Simultaneously, she strives to uncover the truth behind the incident while avoiding capture.
Inspired by the captivating theme of “girls operating military equipment” from Girls und Panzer, High School Fleet combines this with intense naval battles, delivering a uniquely thrilling and compelling experience.
Often considered the epitome of sailing anime, One Piece showcases the high-seas adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his crew aboard the Going Merry, and later, the Thousand Sunny.
This iconic pirate crew, the Straw Hat Pirates, ventures into the vast world seeking the legendary treasure, One Piece, to crown Luffy as the Pirate King. One Piece is an anime that masterfully combines humor, action, and a deep, intricate world, giving viewers an unforgettable naval journey through the Grand Line.
Enterprise vs Kaga | Azur Lane (Where Warship became Girls)
An anime show about ships can be a captivating genre if done right. It combines aspects of adventure, action, exploration, and sometimes even science fiction or historical elements. A good anime about ships might take place on the high seas, in the sky, or even in space.
Here are some aspects to consider for creating an engaging anime about ships:
Detailed and Authentic Design: The design of the ships should be detailed and believable. This means accurate depictions of ship parts, mechanisms, operations, and the various roles of the crew members. Depending on the setting, the ships can be portrayed realistically (e.g., naval vessels, pirate ships) or fantastically (e.g., futuristic space cruisers, airships).
Well-Developed Characters: An anime is only as good as its characters. Ensure the characters are well-developed and have compelling backstories, motivations, and personalities. This includes the main characters, the side characters, and even the antagonists. Remember, the ship crew’s dynamic is crucial as it can significantly shape the narrative and emotional impact.
Intriguing Storyline: A strong, well-paced plot is critical. Whether exploring uncharted territories, engaging in naval battles, or embarking on a mission in space, the story needs to be intriguing and maintain suspense to keep the audience hooked.
Theme and Setting: An exciting setting or era can greatly enhance the show’s appeal. For instance, the ship could be in a world of vast oceans with unknown creatures, a post-apocalyptic environment where land is scarce, an expansive universe with countless galaxies, or a steampunk world with airships.
Stunning Visuals and Sound: The aesthetic appeal of anime is one of its strongest points. High-quality animation, art style, and sound design can truly bring the world and the ships to life.