Anime is a vast field. Each year, hundreds of new programs and films are produced, and although some fade into oblivion, others stand out as absolutely remarkable. Although many programs and movies have identical artistic styles, there are a handful that stand out as nothing short of visual spectacles.
Sakuga, which refers to animation that is extremely high quality and memorable in anime, is even a phrase to characterize this animation. Though there are plenty to choose from (including other unmentioned but obvious selections such as Studio Ghibli), here are the Top 10 Best Aesthetic Anime To Watch In 2023.
Top 10 Best Aesthetic Anime To Watch In 2023
1. No Game No Life
Even if the most of the anime on this list are more adult, No Game No Life may not be for everyone. Despite the fact that it is a comedy isekai about a brother and sister who are transferred to a realm where conflicts are resolved by magically inspired games, most of the humour in the show is smutty. While this is a popular theme in anime, it is clearly not for everyone. If that doesn’t bother you, then you’ll probably appreciate No Game No Life since, in addition to being silly and having an engaging narrative, the animation is also really gorgeous.
Another Studio Madhouse production, this program distinguishes out not just for its sophisticated animation technique, but also for its color palette, which is reminiscent to Death Parade. No Game No Life, on the other hand, is extraordinarily brilliant, accentuating pinks and purples while darker tones are significantly subdued, adding a visual flare to this weird new universe and making it aesthetically stand out from more traditional anime where the colors may be normalised or even darkened.
2. Death Parade
There are several tales that follow a hypothetical scenario of what occurs after death, and anime is no exception. Death Parade, a somewhat episodic anime in which two souls are taken to a bar and compete in a game, with the winner being reborn and the loser having their soul thrown out into the abyss, is one of the most distinctive titles that follows this plot.
Death Parade, animated by Studio Madhouse, stands apart in terms of animation style since the program chooses to accentuate particular colors to provide a distinct best aesthetic anime to the world, paying focus to frigid colors, making this purgatory appear unnatural, cold, and unwelcoming.
The Monogatari series comes next. These several programs, based on Nisio Isin’s light book series and animated by studio Shaft, feature Koyomi Araragi, a survivor of a vampire assault whose near contact has left him sensitive to otherworldly events. Each installment follows a distinct plot arc in which Arargi assists a new individual with ‘oddities,’ generally a ghost or spirit haunting them as a result of a personal tragedy.
The series as a whole has a distinct aesthetic, with bizarre graphics that reflect the strange nature of the anime, as well as abstract artwork throughout and unique transitions between scenes. This series will deliver a memorable voyage into the realm of the supernatural, standing out as an artistically magnificent narrative, from the first adaption Bakemonogatari, which came out in 2008, to the more current Zoku Owarimonogatari film.
4. Land of the Lustrous
CGI in anime may be a hit-or-miss proposition. On the one side, you may have something like Princess Mononoke, where it’s employed in such a subtle manner that you might not recognize it’s there. On the other side, there are ventures like the 2017 version of Berserk, which is choppy and unappealing to watch. So, when you have a program like Land of the Lustrous, where CG is a prominent component, there’s a good probability it’ll be a flop. But, at least aesthetically, it isn’t.
The show, produced by Orange and based from Haruko Ichikawa’s manga, features a bunch of anthropomorphic gems – no, this isn’t anime Steven Universe – that populate a post-apocalyptic Earth and are at odds with the Lunarians, jewel people who dwell on the moon. What distinguishes it from other anime in terms of distinct aesthetics is that it lacks slightly in the plot. Outside of the main character, much of the ensemble receives little development, and the plot might be difficult to comprehend at first. However, it is still worth viewing since it symbolizes the pinnacle of what 3D animation is capable of in the anime form.
5. Gankutsuou: The Count de Monte Cristo
Gankutsuou is an adaption of Alexandre Dumas’ classic The Count of Monte Cristo, in which a deceived sailor assumes the persona of the Count and pursues vengeance. Aside from being an anime adaptation of a literary classic, Gankutsuou stands out for a few reasons.
This episode, animated by Gonzo, has a distinct graphical style inspired by Ukiyo-e Japanese paintings and the works of graphical Nouveau painters, transforming a timeless narrative of vengeance into a magnificent visual feast. While the book is set in 1830s France, the anime takes place in the year 5053. Taking a narrative from post-Napoleonic France and placing it into an interplanetary spanning science fiction scenario with an ethereal and almost otherworldly aesthetic provides the animators a lot to work with in terms of creative.
Mononoke is a term given to supernatural entities that are often malevolent in nature in Japanese mythology. This 2007 anthology anime animated by Toei Animation – the same studio that created Dragonball and One Piece – combines the rather simple premise of a character simply known as the Medicine Seller hunting Mononoke with an avant-garde animation style.
The majority of people do not watch Mononoke for the plot. The psychedelic graphic style is the primary appeal of this otherwise simple animation. Despite having moments of suspense, it isn’t really terrifying, even though movie legally qualifies as horror. Instead, each of the tales deals with issues of abuse and human agony, with the Mononoke’s otherworldly aspect enhanced by an experimental style that seems more like doodles on a sheet of paper than fluent animation.
7. Violet Evergarden
Violet Evergarden is on our list because the program is so methodically created as a whole. This animation is mixed with an emotionally intense story, as it follows Violet Evergarden, a soldier who attempts to reintegrate into society by accepting a job as an Auto Memory Doll, practically a ghostwriter but for letters.
The high-quality animation adds another layer of intrigue to this touching narrative. Aside from a well-designed universe and characters, the animation is meticulously detailed to an almost microscopic level. While some anime may opt to reduce animation quality for stylistic or financial reasons, Violet Evergarden takes the opposite approach, with the characters having nuanced motions and expressions while other anime may choose to make them more exaggerated.
Violet Evergarden is a truly immersive experience, both in terms of plot and aesthetic appeal, thanks to the astonishing degree of quality and the flawless fluid fluidity of every action.
Let’s go away from the big-budget movies and talk about something more obscure. The easiest way to describe the 2009 film Redline is to imagine if the Fast and Furious flicks were insane. However, it is oversimplification of a very wonderful anime picture. Most of the characters in the game, which follows the protagonist JP as he attempts to win the interplanetary racing event known as Redline, are cookie-cutter clichés, and the story of an underdog striving to be the greatest is nothing new. Regardless, it is not Redline’s selling point. The animation alone elevates this to the level of a genuinely amazing work of anime and animation in general.
Redline, animated by Madhouse, is a totally hand-drawn production that took seven years to finish with over 100,000 individual frames, breaking the trend of employing computer animation at the time. Though it wasn’t popular when it was released, it has since become a cult classic, and it’s something I believe everyone who is even somewhat interested in anime should see at least once in their lives. Check out Redline if you want to witness something genuinely unique while shutting off your brain.
9. Your Name
Just a few instances include filmmaker Makoto Shinkai’s recent works, which have broken into mainstream cinema and became the highest-grossing Japanese films in the world at the time of their debut. Even if you’re not an anime enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of these flicks online or via a friend, and there’s a good reason for Makoto Shinkai’s films’ enormous popularity. But for this post, let’s focus on the one that began it all: Your Name.
Shinkai’s work has a meticulous aesthetic, but it was Your Name that propelled him from a talented director to a household name. Even seven years after its original release, Your Name, a romantic fantasy picture about two teens who switch bodies, remains one of the highest-quality anime films made. The film is set in modern-day Japan, and the artists were determined to authentically recreate real-life places around the nation, from rural towns to the booming city of Tokyo. Though his earlier works, such as 5 Centimetres Per Second and The Place Promised In Our Early Days, retain the artist’s signature look, it was Your Name that established Shinkai as an industry powerhouse today.
10. Demon Slayer
You’ve probably heard of Demon Slayer because of how popular the anime has gotten. The program follows Tanjiro, whose family has been wiped out by a mysterious onslaught, with only his sister remaining alive, albeit as a monster. Instead of accepting his sister’s destiny as a monster to be killed, Tanjiro sets out to become a Demon Slayer in order to save the only family he has left.
While the show is full of endearing characters that you want to follow on their path, it isn’t the only thing that has made it a fan favorite in the anime genre. It’s also extremely gorgeous. Though the animation is meticulously portrayed, the combat sequences between the heroes and the monsters that haunt this planet are the clear highlights, as the realistic backdrop gives way to more bright colors as otherworldly components clash together. Though the program is already top-tier animation, Demon Slayer: Mugen Train takes the fantastic aesthetic that its predecessor is renowned for and amplifies it with a theatrical budget.