Among the best black and white anime series to watch are Osomatsu-Kun, Cyborg 009, Kaizoku Ouji, Dororo, She And Her Cat, and Astro Boy.
Noteworthy monochromatic anime creations encompass the Astro Boy series, conceived by Osamu Tezuka in the 1960s. Astro Boy set a precedent in the anime industry, laying down many of the enduring conventions and themes prevalent in today’s anime.
Kimba the White Lion, another iconic black-and-white anime series, is Osamu Tezuka’s brainchild.
The Best Black and White Anime of All Time
While color unquestionably elevates the visual charm of animated works, monochrome anime offers an abundance of captivating narratives and masterful storytelling.
In the year 1966, the cherished anime comedy series, Osomatsu-Kun, made its debut. Although it was subsequently reimagined as a color series named Mr. Osomatsu (or Osomatsu-San in Japanese) in the years 1988 and 2015, the original 1966 production was in black and white.
The series narrates the lives of six indistinguishable sextuplet boys, all of whom share the same looks, attire, and speech mannerisms. These spirited sextuplets are mischief-makers, frequently inciting chaos with their audacious pranks.
9Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space
Airing in 2002, A Punk Cat in Space unveiled the tale of Tamala, a kitten living on Planet Cat Earth in the Feline Galaxy. Tamala resists the dominance of the corporation Catty & Co., which governs Cat Earth, and abandons her home planet.
Her flight, however, is interrupted when she crash lands on Planet Q and meets a cat named Michelangelo. Joining forces, the pair embark on numerous thrilling escapades. Tamala conducts a thorough investigation of Catty & Co. and her native planet, Orion, while discovering a new world.
Tetsujin 28-Gou, launched in 1963, tells the story of Dr. Haneda and his endeavor to construct gigantic robots for the Second World War. Regrettably, his lab was destroyed before his inventions could be showcased.
Ten years later, a gang of criminals discovers two giant robots and utilizes them for their nefarious plans. Upon learning of the criminals’ intentions, Shotaro Haneda, the son of Dr. Haneda, takes matters into his own hands and seeks out another one of his father’s robots.
In 1968, Toei Animation produced the anime series Cyborg 009, following its previous adaptation as a film trilogy in 1966. The series portrays a squad of nine cyborg warriors, enhanced with physical modifications, who combat a variety of foes, including robots, extraterrestrials, and other cyborgs.
Each member of the cyborg team possesses unique powers and abilities. Leading the team is 009, who is endowed with exceptional physical strength, bullet-resistant skin, and the power to move through time at astonishing speeds.
6Gegege No Kitarō
Gegege No Kitarō, another black and white anime production, was created by Toei Animation in 1968. It follows the exploits of a young boy named Kitarō, born in a cemetery and of the Ghost Tribe.
The anime portrays Kitarō’s battles against various kinds of yōkai, supernatural creatures that can take on diverse shapes and forms in Japan. Gegege No Kitarō has undergone numerous color remakes over the years.
Toei Animation also brought forth Kaizoku Ouji, a black-and-white anime, in 1966. The series focuses on Kid, a young boy living on a small peaceful island with his father.
Kid’s life takes a sudden twist when his dying father confesses that he is not Kid’s biological parent. Kid’s real father turns out to be Captain Morgan, the pirate ruling over the seven seas. Armed with this revelation, Kid sets out on a journey to find his birth father.
4She And Her Cat
Debuting in 1999, She And Her Cat, an original video animation in black and white, graced screens. It was later adapted into a four-episode color anime series in 2016.
The story unfolds around the bond that grows between a girl and a cat she stumbles upon on a rainy day and chooses to take home. Over the span of a year, the cat, named Chobi, begins to admire his owner for her beauty and kindness. Despite life’s ebbs and flows, by the end of the OVA, She And Her Cat enjoy a blissful existence together.
Originally a manga series that ran from 1963 to 1966, 8 Man was reimagined as an anime series in 1963, featuring one of the earliest cyborg superheroes in Japan. The cyborg was conceived as a replacement for Special Agent Brady, who met his end via a fatal gunshot.
His consciousness was transferred into the 8-Man cyborg body by Professor Genius. This anime holds a distinctive position as one of Japan’s pioneers in its genre and is said to have been an inspiration for the well-known American Robocop, which debuted in 1987.
Astro Boy, or Tetsuwan Atomu in Japanese, is a creation by Osamu Tezuka and is acclaimed as one of the most significant black-and-white anime series ever produced. Launched in 1963 in Japan, the narrative follows a young robot imbued with human emotions, who combats evil forces to protect the world and promote harmony.
Astro Boy is a seminal work in the annals of anime history, having established a number of conventions and tropes that continue to influence modern anime. Its blend of action, adventure, and emotional elements, along with Tezuka’s distinctive character design, makes it an evergreen classic that continues to inspire new waves of anime lovers.
Beyond its entertainment factor, Astro Boy delves into profound themes such as the essence of humanity, empathy, and acceptance.
1Dororo – Popular Black and White Anime
Dororo, a popular black and white anime that has mesmerized viewers since it first appeared in 1968, was created by Osamu Tezuka. The show traces the journey of Hyakkimaru, a young samurai who lost his body parts to demons before his birth, resulting in him being born without limbs, a face, and other essential body parts.
Aided by a young orphan named Dororo, Hyakkimaru embarks on a mission to reclaim his stolen body parts from the demons. Along their journey, they come across a variety of strange creatures and other warriors who join them in their quest. Dororo distinguishes itself as a black and white anime through its notable animation style, riveting action sequences, and gripping storyline, making it a must-see for genre enthusiasts.