Espionage, intrigue, and covert operations have long been captivating themes in the world of entertainment, and anime is no exception. While spy anime may not be the most popular subject matter, these shows have nonetheless provided some of the most interesting, action-packed, and charismatic spies in anime.
Whether set in historical settings, futuristic worlds, or alternate realities, these series bring the captivating world of spies and secret agents to life in the realm of anime. In this article, we’ll uncover the best spy anime series that have thrilled audiences with their enjoyable stories. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
10. Spy Classroom
Spy Classroom is an espionage thriller that debuted in Winter 2023 and rose to popularity for its harem anime trope in a dystopian post-war setting. The story follows a team of seven aspiring spies who’re tasked to complete an “Impossible Mission” after just one month of training.
Led by the enigmatic tactician, Klaus, the girls eventually agree to work together in order to prove their worth as spies. As the team grows ever stronger in their pursuit of justice, they must overcome personal obstacles and unravel a vast conspiracy that threatens the balance of power across the globe.
009-1 is a patronage to the spy anime genre by one of the most influential figures in the Japanese industry Shotaro Ishinomori who’s credited with Kamen Rider and Power Rangers development. The series features Mylene Hoffman, a beautiful cyborg spy with the codename “009-1” working as a secret agent for the Western Bloc.
Often surrounded by high-risk missions and dangerous tasks assigned to her by superiors, Mylene must find a way to grapple with her dual nature as a cyborg agent and her desire to preserve her own humanity in a world fraught with conflict and deception.
8. Night Raid 1931
In a political and social upheaval in 1931’s China, Night Raid takes viewers on a trip to Shanghai when the city was caught in the turmoil of the Chinese Civil War. Amidst the chaos, a secret agency known as Sakurai Kikan is sent to protect the city from the various factions vying for power.
Gifted with supernatural abilities, the members of Sakurai Kikan operate in the shadows to deal with the political intrigue and supernatural forces working in the background while being caught up in the complex and dangerous world of espionage. Night Raid 1931 is full of spy missions galore and a must-watch series.
7. Joker Game
Opposed to stereotypical spy anime shows, Joker Game gives an intricate angle to its plot by adding over-the-top supernatural concepts and complex themes that make it a political military drama with spies taking center stage in the race to obtain information.
In the high-tension Japan of the 1930s, the Japanese government established a new spy organization known as the “D Agency” to gather intelligence on other countries. However, as the truth tolls in, they soon come to realize that things may not be as they first appeared on the surface!
6. Eden Of The East
Eden of the East is an overlooked but fascinating spy anime series about a college student Akira Takizaka and her weird friend Saki Morimi who wake up in real-world Washington D.C. with no memories, a gun clenched in his hand, and a strange cell phone loaded with 8.2 billion yen in digital cash.
Unbeknownst to the situation Saki is in, Akira soon finds herself plunged into a deadly game of fortunes, action, and the fate of Japan. “Spend the money and save the people, or else failure to comply may lead to disaster” – this is just the beginning of the mayhem!
5. Darker Than Black
Sci-fi mafia anime, Darker Than Black is set in an alternate present-day where a spatial anomaly identified as Hell’s Gate appears in Tokyo, altering the sky and landscapes. As gates came to the surface, individuals known as “Contractors” acquired supernatural abilities in exchange for their humanity.
Operating in this world is Contractor Hei, an elite agent who’s recognized as one of the most terrifying figures in the world. Working as an assassin for a shadowy group called the Syndicate, Hei sets off to uncover the secrets of Hell’s Gate while saving his sister from potential threats.
4. Ghost In The Shell
Ghost in the Shell is a cyberpunk spy anime franchise lauded for its action, drama, and sci-fi elements blended with dark and psychological themes. Featuring a female lead, this mecha anime series explores the norms of a cyborg-human society.
Set in the post-apocalyptic dystopian world where technology is increasingly blurring the lines between humans and robots, the film follows cyborg policewoman Major Motoko Kusanagi who investigates a mysterious hacker known as the Puppet Master.
3. Golgo 13
The Japanese equivalent of Hollywood’s classic James Bond series, Golgo 13 gives a real-world glimpse into the world of professional assassins. The anime follows Duke Togo a.k.a Golgo, a full-time assassin for hire who works for any organization that pays the right price to execute people all over the world.
Very little is known about his true identity or his personal life, but one thing is clear – no one is safe once they are in Golgo’s sights. Armed with a custom M16 and surrounded by beautiful women, Golgo takes on a variety of challenges, including other assassins, law enforcement, and even the military.
2. Spy × Family
One of the best spy anime to debut in recent years, Spy × Family is a rising action-comedy title in the modern shonen category. The story takes place in a Cold War setting where the nations of Westalis and Ostania are on the brink of war, and spies are everywhere.
Operating as Westalis’ master spy, Twilight must assume the disguise of an ordinary family man and infiltrate the Eden School Academy, while keeping a low profile and dealing with a family made up of a mischievous child esper and a deadly female assassin.
1. 91 Days
“V for Vendetta” fans will be able to relate to the whole narrative of 91 Days as it offers a slightly similar experience. The series acts on the central theme of revenge anime trope with a focus on the fictional form of America during Prohibition when there was no law and the Mafias and illegal gangs used to rule the place.
The anime sees Angelo Lagusa’s retaliation against the powerful Vanetti family after witnessing his family’s brutal murder orchestrated by them. After leaving his hometown, Angelo returns seven years later to inflict pain on anyone tangentially related to his family’s death.
Which one of the following spy anime is your favorite? Feel free to comment down your thoughts and make sure to recommend some other anime like the ones listed above, also don’t forget to share this article with your fellow otaku friends.