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Action-Packed Anime To Help You Survive Holiday Boredom

Action-Packed Anime To Help You Survive Holiday Boredom

No, Uncle Dave, I don’t want to hear about the property you bought in Parump, Nevada… again. Or your story about the time you met Governor Brown. Or the one where you were stranded in the middle of Utah with a truck full of wild kangaroos. Am I really stuck in a car with you for the next three hours while we drive to Grandma’s? How am I going to survive these holiday visits when my family is so boring?!

Does this sound like you? Do you need an escape from the boredom that comes with holiday family get-togethers? Never fear, friends. I’ve compiled a list of some action-packed anime to give your obligatory visits a much-needed shot of adrenaline.


Image credit: FUNimation

Worick and Nicolas are known as the “Handymen.” Working for both the police and the mob as a neutral force, they take care of business when neither side can handle it. Nicolas served as Worick’s bodyguard for sometime, but a single violent act two years ago sealed their bond of friendship. Nic is deaf, but has extraordinary lip reading skills and is deadly with a blade… almost to a superhuman level. Gangsta. is a solid choice if you enjoy anti-heroes, and it’s one of the hottest new series out of Japan. However, Gangsta.‘s production company, Manglobe, filed for bankruptcy, so it could be a while before someone else picks it up… if someone picks it up.


Image credit: FUNimation

“Vash the Stampede” earned his nickname for being a whirlwind of destruction. Insurance agents Meryl and Millie track the nomadic gunman, only to find that the “humanoid typhoon” isn’t a bad guy at all. It’s all the bounty hunters trying to collect the six million double dollar (yes, “dollar dollars”) price on his head that’s causing massive destruction. Vash teams up with Wolfwood, an enigmatic priest on his quest to protect the innocent, but Vash’s lost past has a dark… and very destructive secret.


Image credit: FUNimation

Mireille and Kirika are master assassins. Both always worked solo until their paths cross and they realize they have a mysterious connection. Mireille agrees to help Kirika uncover her memories, and they start working together under the code name Noir. However, “Noir” is an ancient title granted by the secret organization Les Soldats, and they want to make sure the pair is worthy to use the name. Of course, “making sure” involves attempting to kill them. Yuki Kajiura’s soundtrack alone is enough to make this series worth checking out. She’s the composer behind Puella Magi Modoka Magica, Fate/Zero, Sword Art Online, .hack/Sign, and Tsubasa Chronicle. Noir can get a little repetitive, but it’s pretty enjoyable in a “girl power” kind of way.

Black Lagoon

Image Credit: Viz Media

Japanese businessman Rokuro Okajima leads a dull and difficult corporate life until he goes on a business trip in the south China sea, where he promptly gets taken hostage by the Lagoon Company. Like, within three minutes of the first episode “promptly.” Okajima’s boss needs to cover up the information he carried with him on the trip, and leaves the underling for dead. With no prospects ahead of him, Okajima decides to work with his ragtag captors and embark on a life of danger on the high seas. The series is filled with gunplay and swearing, but it’s the variety of interesting characters that makes Black Lagoon such a fun romp.


Image credit: FUNimation

So far, we’ve had a lot of gunplay, so now let’s shift into ninja action. First up is Basilisk. Ninja Scroll meets Romeo and Juliet in this ancient tale of two warring ninja clans. The Kouga and the Iga barely cling to their truce when the reigning Shogun decides to use the clans to determine his successor. Each clan is ordered to send its 10 best members to represent one of the two heirs in a battle to the death. Gennoskue of Kouga and Oboro of Iga were betrothed in an attempt to unite the clans when this decree tears them apart. Basilisk is full of creative action, but also tragically romantic.


Image credit: Shounen Jump

Naruto and Naruto Shippuden have been super popular for a long time. Either you love them, or you hate them, but it’s worth at least giving ’em a shot. Naruto Uzumaki has spent his entire life shunned by his people because the Fourth Hokage sealed the nine-tailed fox demon within him as a baby. But Naruto is a sweet kid who just wants to make friends and be the best ninja he can be. He trains hard and eventually goes on dangerous missions. Naruto is a series for those who want action without being too gory or dark. It’s also a shounen style anime which can be very… long… and… drawn… out. There will be episodes where 45 seconds of fighting takes 23 minutes of air time because we get flashbacks and slow motion thought processes. Give it a try. If you like it, you may also enjoy Inuyasha or Dragonball, other classics that nearly made this list.

Kill La Kill

Image credit: Aniplex

And now for something completely different. Kill La Kill is another love it or hate it anime. At Honnouji Academy, the elite student council is granted superpowers through their uniforms. Transfer student Ryuko challenges the school’s fearsome council to battle while searching for her father’s killer. Ryuko wields a scissor-shaped sword that can cut through the magical uniforms. Kill La Kill makes our list for being drastically strange and over the top. Sometimes, you just want to watch a zany series that screams Japanese weirdness. It also has that shounen style buildup where battles get increasingly more exaggerated. The show wasn’t for me, personally, but others absolutely adore it.


What are some of your favorite action anime series? Share them with us in the comments!

Feature image credit: FUNimation

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