Time travel is one of the more popularly used story hooks in modern anime and it can take unique shapes! From tradition time travel stories (Steins;Gate) to ones that use “time reset” (Re:Zero), there is no shortage of creativity at play.
Here are some popular anime that use time travel that fans should watch.
Studio: White Fox
Episodes: 24 + 1 OVA
Quick pitch: A self-proclaimed mad scientist has the hobby of creating “future gadgets.” The hobby stops being fun when he and his squad accidentally discover time travel.
2Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-
Studio: White Fox
Quick pitch: Subaru Natsuki is suddenly summoned to another world. Lost and confused, he is quickly attacked and beaten to a pulp. However, a mysterious girl with silver hair appears while pursuing a thief and saves him. Subaru offers to help catch the thief as repayment, and before he can get the stolen insignia, he and the girl are brutally murdered. Except…he wakes up to be confronted by the same group that attacked him and he meets the girl again.
3Boku dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED)
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Quick pitch: Satoru Fujinuma is a 29-year-old manga artist who possesses an uncontrollable ability that turns back time before a life-threatening accident occurs. When his mom is murdered, Satoru’s ability takes him 18 years in the past, just before a life-altering event happened to him. He believes stopping the kidnapping and murder of classmate Kayo Hinazuki will right the timeline.
4The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Episodes: 1 movie
Quick pitch: Makoto Konno is in her last year of high school, but she has no plans for the future. Makoto deals with the pressure she faces from teachers by hanging out with her friends. But her life changes when she accidentally learns that she can leap through time.
5Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Episodes: 12 + 3 (kind of remakes / sequel) movies
Quick pitch: Madoka Kaname and Sayaka Miki are friends who live normal middle school lives, but everything changes after they meet a cat-alien named Kyuubey and a transfer student named Homura Akemi. Kyuubey offers to grant them a wish in exchange of becoming magical girls, but Homura urges the duo to decline or they will enter a world of despair.
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Quick pitch: In 2012, the world is invaded by aliens. To stop this from happening, Fumiaki Uchida is sent back to 1999 to prevent the apocalypse from occurring by destroying the Nostradamus Key. In order to find the key, he forms a partnership with Maya Kumashiro, who is a girl with a strong hatred for the occult.
Studio: Fuji TV
Quick pitch: Saburou finds himself sent back to the Sengoku Era and lands in front of Oda Nobunaga. Tired of running from his retainers and wanting to spend time with his family, Oda asks Saburou to take his place.
Quick pitch: Lucius is a Roman architect who has trouble coming up with ideas. One day, he discovers a tunnel underneath a spa that leads him to a modern Japanese bath house. Inspired this discovery, he creates a spa based on modern ideas from Japan.
9Mirai Nikki (The Future Diary)
Episodes: 26 + 1 OVA
Quick pitch: Yukiteru Amano spends his days writing a diary on his cell phone and talking to two imaginary friends, Deus Ex Machina and Murmur. Deus reveals himself as a god of space and time, and grants Yukiteru a “Random Diary.” This device shows descriptive future events to Yukiteru and he must use it to survive a deadly battle royale against 11 other people with similar diaries.
10Noein: To Your Other Self
Quick pitch: In the future, a violent war between two dimensions threatens the existence of space-time. A group called the Dragon Calvary is dispatched to search for the Dragon’s Torque, which is said to be the only thing to stop the war.
Studio: Studio Deen
Quick pitch: Mirai is the most advanced Kongou-class destroyer in the Japanese Self Defense Force. The ship and crew encounter a fierce storm during a scheduled training exercise. After the navigation system recovers, the crew is shocked to learn that they have been transported to June 4, 1942 during The Battle of Midway. The crew is determined to let history run its course.
What are your favorite time travel anime?