Trigun, Samurai Champloo, Outlaw Star, Kino’s Journey, Vampire Hunter D, and Desert Punk are all must-watch wild west anime that offer a unique and captivating experience.
While anime can transport you to various settings, from high fantasy realms to historically accurate depictions of Japan’s samurai era, the Wild West remains a less explored territory in this medium.
Imagine venturing into uncharted and perilous lands, vast deserts, encountering rugged cowboys, lawless bandits, sheriff-run small towns, and engaging in high-octane gun battles. This enticing mix sets the stage for these exceptional anime series that take you on unforgettable journeys through the untamed wilderness of the Wild West.
Wild West-Inspired Anime
Indeed, in the vast landscape of anime, the Wild West remains a road less traveled. Yet, a courageous few series have boldly saddled up their horses and ventured into this uncharted territory. Like rare cacti in a desert of commonplace school settings and futuristic cities, these anime are ready to prick you with their unexpected charm.
These exceptional shows offer a refreshing departure from the usual anime settings, immersing you in the rugged allure of the Wild West with its lawless frontiers, intriguing characters, and thrilling adventures.
1Gunslinging in the East: Trigun
Join Vash the Stampede on a thrilling rollercoaster ride of bullets, morality, and doughnuts in “Trigun.” This anime cowboy is both goofy and deadly, shattering the notion that anime and the Wild West don’t mix.
The desert wasteland setting of “Trigun” draws on classic Western tropes, blending them with futuristic sci-fi elements. Despite having a $60 billion bounty on his head, Vash would rather share a laugh than a bullet. Experience why “Trigun” is a beloved fan-favorite anime Western and hop on this wild ride today.
2Samurai Meets Cowboy: Cowboy Bebop
You probably already know about “Cowboy Bebop,” the space western with a jazz twist. This show brings together elements from classic Westerns, noir films, and martial arts to create a truly unique world. Follow the adventures of bounty hunter Spike Spiegel and his team as they travel through space in search of their next big score.
The show’s structure is reminiscent of classic Westerns, with each episode telling a new story. And with Yoko Kanno’s amazing soundtrack, “Cowboy Bebop” feels like a mash-up of Clint Eastwood, martial arts, and cool jazz. It’s an unforgettable anime that captures the spirit of the Wild West with its toughness and carefree attitude.
3The Feudal West: Samurai Champloo
Have you seen “Samurai Champloo” yet? It’s an innovative fusion of the samurai genre and hip-hop culture, with some Western elements thrown in. The show follows a trio of travelers, including a wandering samurai and a rogue swordsman, as they embark on a thrilling journey through Japan during the Edo period.
Amidst epic sword fights and street art, the series subtly captures the lawlessness, vagrancy, and clash of ideologies reminiscent of the American frontier. With its anachronistic storytelling and breathtaking action sequences, “Samurai Champloo” is like a Wild West adventure in a samurai’s kimono.
4Wild West of the Future: Outlaw Star
“Outlaw Star” is an anime that blends the genres of space and western to create an exciting adventure. The show features treasure hunts, space pirates, and alien races as Gene Starwind, the confident protagonist, and his diverse crew travel through the cosmos in their spaceship, the Outlaw Star.
The series captures the essence of the Wild West by portraying space as a new frontier, with spaceports reminiscent of saloons and a universe without laws. “Outlaw Star” is a sci-fi take on the cowboy genre, demonstrating that the Wild West is not a physical location, but a mentality.
5The Underdog Rises: Gun x Sword
“Gun x Sword” is an anime that blends the Wild West with mecha action, resulting in a captivating and enjoyable watch. The story follows Van, a gunslinger on a quest to find his wife’s murderer. What sets Van apart from other cowboys is his choice of weapon – a mechanized suit of armor named Dann of Thursday.
The show effectively combines the ruggedness and isolation of the Wild West with advanced technology, resulting in a captivating and distinct universe. With an abundance of cowboys, vengeance, and colossal robots, “Gun x Sword” feels like a spaghetti Western on steroids.
6Neo-Victorian Wild West: Kino’s Journey
“Kino’s Journey” is not your typical Wild West anime, but it does embody the adventurous spirit of the frontier by exploring new territories and cultures. The story follows Kino and her talking motorcycle, Hermes, as they journey through various countries with unique customs and philosophies.
Although there are no shootouts or bounty hunts, “Kino’s Journey” shares the Western genre’s appreciation for exploration, freedom, and the vast unknown. The show’s thought-provoking storyline and neo-Victorian style offer a fresh perspective on the Wild West theme, proving that cowboy hats are not necessary to capture the essence of the frontier.
7Gothic Western: Vampire Hunter D
“Vampire Hunter D” presents a delectable fusion of gothic horror and Wild West action. This anime unfolds in a post-nuclear world, where vampires, mutants, and monsters roam freely. Our protagonist, D, a dhampir – a hybrid of human and vampire – roams the desolate wastelands as a formidable bounty hunter.
The anime’s desolate landscapes, haunting atmosphere, and the lone, enigmatic protagonist evoke the essence of classic Westerns. Infused with intense vampire encounters, “Vampire Hunter D” creates a gothic Wild West setting that is both thrilling and captivating.
8Cyberpunk Rodeo: Desert Punk
“Desert Punk” seamlessly transports the Wild West to a post-apocalyptic Japan, where vast deserts dominate the landscape. The anime follows Kanta Mizuno, also known as Desert Punk, a clever and resourceful mercenary renowned for his survival prowess and cunning tactics. As he navigates the harsh desert, contending with rival mercenaries and untrustworthy clients, Kanta embodies the rogue charm of a quintessential cowboy.
“Desert Punk” artfully blends the desolation of the Wild West with cyberpunk elements, resulting in a gritty, humorous, and immensely entertaining anime. It feels like a Wild West showdown amidst the backdrop of Mad Max’s dystopian world, creating a thrilling and captivating viewing experience.
Coyote Ragtime Show skillfully weaves Wild West elements with science fiction, delivering an unforgettable experience. At the center of the series is Mister, a space-traveling outlaw known as a “coyote,” eagerly awaiting his release from prison.
But patience isn’t his virtue; he breaks free ten days before his scheduled release to fulfill his promise to Franca, a young girl left in his care after her father’s passing. United in their quest, they embark on an adventurous journey to unveil her father’s concealed treasure. This anime promises a thrilling fusion of genres, creating a captivating and enthralling narrative.
Primarily a fantasy or science fiction series, Rust-Eater Bisco is set in a post-apocalyptic desert world. In this unforgiving reality, deadly winds spread a fatal disease, gradually corroding humanity to extinction. The tale revolves around Bisco the Mushroom Keeper, a spirited archer with a remarkable ability to harness the healing properties of fungi. He employs these powers to mend those afflicted by the rust disease and rejuvenate the desolate land.
The vast sandy landscape, dotted with ghost towns, hunted outlaws evading capture, and a protagonist renowned for his sharp-shooting prowess, converge to create a distinctive twist on the Wild West theme. Rust-Eater Bisco promises a captivating and original narrative set in a world where fantasy, science fiction, and the Wild West seamlessly blend.
11Steampunk Soiree: Steam Detectives
“Steam Detectives” masterfully combines the essence of the Wild West, detective fiction, and steampunk aesthetics, creating a delightful fusion. The anime is set in Steam City, a bustling metropolis entirely fueled by steam power. The story follows the young detective Narutaki as he endeavors to uphold justice amidst a city plagued by rampant crime. With its Victorian-inspired backdrop, outlaws, and a determined lawman, “Steam Detectives” invokes the spirit of the Wild West, albeit in a smoke-filled, cog-laden landscape.
This anime feels like a classic Western that received a thrilling steampunk makeover, resulting in an enthralling and charming series filled with suspense and action, all driven by the power of steam.
12The Wild East: Golden Kamuy
“Golden Kamuy” may be set in the rugged wilderness of Hokkaido instead of the American frontier, but it undeniably captures the spirit of the Wild West. The anime follows Saichi Sugimoto, a war veteran turned prospector during the Hokkaido gold rush. Its portrayal of a lawless land, the clash of indigenous cultures, and the quest for treasure mirrors the thematic elements often seen in classic Westerns.
Through its blend of historical drama, action, and adventure, “Golden Kamuy” stands as a testament to the idea that the essence of the Wild West can be found even in the snowy landscapes of the East. It expertly brings to life the allure and challenges of a lawless frontier, making it an enthralling and compelling series for fans of the genre.
13Rustic Robotics: Wild Arms: Twilight Venom
“Wild Arms: Twilight Venom” ingeniously transports the Wild West to unexplored frontiers in space. Situated on the desert planet of Filgaia, the anime tracks a band of adventurers as they unravel the planet’s enigmas.
With its charming rustic towns, bandit-riddled badlands, and a generous infusion of futuristic technology, “Wild Arms: Twilight Venom” seamlessly merges classic cowboy themes with sci-fi elements. The inclusion of ancient ruins and robotic weaponry adds a unique twist to this Wild West tale, making it a compelling blend of both rustic and robotic adventures.