10 Best Samurai Anime That Dig Into Japanese History

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Anime is perhaps the most synonymous word with Japanese culture today.

But prior to the explosion in anime popularity, it was samurai that Japan was most commonly noted for. 

Here are some of the best samurai-themed anime out there.

1. Saiyuki

The quartet of undeniable anti-heroes at the heart of Saiyuki includes the man who turned into a demon Cho Hakkai, the half-demon Sha Gojyo, the monkey king Son Goku and the monk Genjyo Sanzo.

A pretty eclectic mix, the plot follows the group as they make their way into India, having learned that the terrible Ox-Demon-King, could soon be brought back from the dead.

And of course, the journey isn’t nearly as straightforward as any of them hoped for!

2.  Basilisk

Basilisk is the work of Fūtaro Yamada who is one of the most famous and influential Japanese authors of the 20th century.

He puts together a striking and unique blend of marital arts and science fiction, which creates a fantasy work that’s quite fantastic in every way.

He’s already taken on the job of putting together a unique twist on Romeo and Juliet, so it’s really no surprise that this rather brutal tale of samurai honor is a standout example to say the least.  

3. Ninja Scroll

This is perhaps one of the best examples of samurai anime long before it became somewhat mainstream and reached international fame.

Much more brutal and graphic than any kind you can see today, it pretty much tells the story of nothing more complicated than Kibagami Jubei who in the name of all that’s honorable challenges his enemies and slashes the living hell out of them all. 

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