Litrpg books are outstanding, but I just want to kick back and watch a good show sometimes. Litrpg anime has been getting more and widespread as the world changes. The crazy lives of our favorite MMORPG-loving anime characters keep seeming less and less crazy. But which litrpg anime is worth the time? Every show handles game mechanics, virtual reality, and how they treat the real world differently. Here is a list of the best litrpg anime series to watch after you’ve watched Ready Player One.
Accel World tells the story of Haruyuki Arita, or Haru, a junior high school student. He discovers sooner rather than later that his high score in a game, that no one but himself plays, was beaten.
None other than Kuroyukihime, the Student Council Vice-President destroyed it. She introduces Haru to the Augmented Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Game Brain Burst, they must work together to get to the game’s highest level and learn the truth behind the game’s purpose.
Accel World gives us a cool look at where AR could take us. Connected to the web through a browser in your body?
Cranking up your brain’s neuron activity with points you earn in a weird online game? Talk about mind-blowing.
If you’re looking for unique and brand-new characters, you’ll be disappointed.
Most characters fit into expected anime characteristics like the over-weight, bullied teenager who hates life, the companion with a negative disposition, the plain best friend, and the childhood friend with a crush.
Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online takes place in 2022. A new, massively multiplayer online game is launched. It introduces a new gameplay type where people can play the game with their thoughts.
Kazuto Kirigaya, Kirito, as he’s known throughout the show, is one of the first few people to get access to the game. He, along with his fellow players, soon discover they have been trapped in the game and can’t log out until they complete all 100 levels of the game.
Sword Art Online’s premise is cool, and there are real-life stakes in playing this game that make it enjoyable to watch and see where it goes.
To die in the game is to die in real life. The characters must journey through the in-game world Aincrad to not only beat the game but to survive too.
Sword Art Online gets a bad rep for the pacing and characterization in the show. Like Accel World, it isn’t doing anything revolutionary here with the characters, and Kirito’s ability to be good at everything might become annoying for some watchers.
The pacing can be too fast, plus the time skips and the added “filler” episodes.
Log Horizon follows college student Shinro. He and thousands of other players in the game Elder Tale cannot log out of the massively multiplayer online game when it gets a new update.
They all have to learn how to live in this new world and make the most of it.
Log Horizon follows the standard MMORPG rules that most watchers of the genre know and is easy to understand. The thing about this show that makes it stand out is its premise set on building a world from the ground up and the political points that tie into that.
It makes for a unique and interesting litrpg experience. More than any other anime centered on virtual games, this shows bakes gaming mechanics into the show’s premise.
If you’re looking for nonstop crazy and exciting fights throughout the show, move on.
Log Horizon doesn’t focus on the fighting gameplay in MMORPGs. Instead, it focuses on the world-building aspect and interactions between game characters and NPCs.
In Overworld, the popular video game Yggradasil is shutting down its servers. Momonga, a high-ranking player, stays in the game as the servers shut down.
To his surprise, once the game shuts down, he can still play as his character and decides that he will take over this alternative world.
The premise for Overlord sounds familiar to some other litrpg anime: the player gets trapped in a MMORPG where the stakes in the game become more real than ever.
What Overlord does differently is instead of following the hero trying to save the in-game world, the principal character in Overlord is trying to conquer the in-game world. It’s a real treat for viewers who are more interested in the bad guys.
From the strong language to the brutal and gory violence in the show, Overlord can be a stomach turner if you’re not into that kind of thing, so beware.
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
In Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, also known as DanMachi.
We follow Bell Cranell on his quest to become the greatest adventurer in the land with the goddess Hestia’s help.
It’s an anime with an easy to follow premise and tons of characters to meet along the way.
It makes for an excellent choice if you’re interested in an anime that lets you turn your mind off and just go along for the ride.
Fan service, Fan service, Fan service!
The anime is full of well-endowed female characters in tiny outfits in compromising situations. If you’re not interested in a big harem of attractive women, this isn’t for you.
Ragnarok the Animation
Based on the MMORPG Ragnarök Online, Ragnarök the Animation is the story of a swordsman named Roan.
The acolyte Yufa and Roan band with other adventurers and make new friends as they journey through the world of Rune-Midgard.
If you are familiar with the game Ragnarök Online, it could be exciting to see the game world come to life in anime form.
If not, watching this anime can give you a look at what the game may have in store and maybe even get you excited to play the video games yourself.
Since this anime is based on an actual MMORPG that isn’t very plot-heavy, the anime struggles to create a tension-filled and exciting story experience.
Ragnarök the Animation is more for those interested in an anime that, like DanMachi, they can just enjoy for the ride.
.Hack is a franchise of anime and games focusing on players that enter a virtual reality game and can’t get out. The players then go on quests to find the truth behind what happened.
There are four anime shows in the .Hack franchise, each with their own plots and storylines.
The .Hack universe is well rounded with anime, games, manga, and light novels to immerse you in the world the characters live in.
Each story, though different, is still connected. .Hack is worth getting into if you like seeing different stories in the same universe connect and enjoy exploring other mediums too.
With there being so many parts to the .Hack universe, it can be confusing figuring out where to start and where to go next.
You need to be interested and have some patience, or you might just watch them in whatever order you see fit if you’re into that.
Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
In Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, it throws a group of strangers into the world Grimgar and they must learn to work together to survive.
Unlike other litrpg anime, this anime shows a natural progression in the characters through the plot and their work together.
It’s nice to see a character work for their strength rather than jump from 0 to 100 in two episodes. You get the same fulfillment that you’d get from playing an actual game.
The setting is… not so exciting.
If you’re the type that likes to know the world the characters are in and see it come alive throughout the show, expect to be disappointed.
No Game No Life
No Game No Life follows the NEET siblings Sora and Shiro when an invitation to play online chess gets them dropped into a world where all conflict is resolved through games.
The premise behind this show is different when compared to other litrpg anime on the market. Sure, Sora and Shiro are trapped in a fantasy world.
But they resolve every fight with a game. Sora and Shiro taking advantage of that to control the world for the greater good is a unique take on the genre.
Like Log Horizon, if you want fights, this isn’t the one.
No Game No Life is focused more on comedy and playing games themselves, not fighting in a game. So if you want the brutal action, I would skip this one.
Anime Trope System
This isn’t an anime show but a litrpg book like Awaken Online.
But everything from the storytelling and writing to the cover design is inspired by popular anime shows.
In fact, the major character Clyde gets trapped in an anime world. A tale where the anime tropes themselves become the antagonist.
You love inside jokes and references to other work. You get a kick out of recognizing anime tropes and seeing them being played with.
Warning! This book has a lot of NSFW and adult content. Don’t read if this isn’t something you aren’t interested in.
Check out my list of the best litrpg novels and best litrpg audiobooks. They will give a clear guide on what are the best litrpg books out right now.