The anime that most people love and celebrate usually has 2D animation. However, there has been a constant attempt to make 3D anime for over two decades now. But these so-called 3D CGI Anime have a bad rap about them in the anime community because they are usually bad. This hatred is understandable though. I mean, it is hard to replicate the cute 2D expressions in 3D, afterall. Not to mention, the fight scenes lack the “impact”, if you know what I’m talking about.
Atleast, this was the case until several chinese anime started pulling out high quality, game-like anime character design and succeeded in creating perfect 3D CGI anime. (Side note: I’m gonna exclude most of these chinese anime in this list. That is, I’m only going to include 3D CGI anime from Japan.)
But still, personally, I’d choose a well animated 2D anime over well animated 3D anime if I’m given the choice. However, I’m not gonna deny the fact that there are some amazing 3D anime out there too.
So, I’m going to create a list of the best 3D anime series that I’ve ever watched!
10. King of Fighters: Destiny
King of Fighters is probably an unknown title as an anime, but it is somewhat popular as a video game. It is originally a fighting game that was initially released way back in the 90’s. Ever since, the game has become a franchise with multiple sequels, released for multiple platforms. This anime is an adaptation of the game (and clearly a promotional material for it) which tells the story of two heroes: Kyo and Terry.
KoF: Destinity is one of the few 3D anime that has some really good fight scenes and facial expressions.
I’ve written an entire review about this anime, you can read it here ^^
9. BanG Dream!
BanG Dream! is an idol anime that features a bunch of cute girls who want to start their own music band. The idol genre in general has been using a lot of 3D anime sequences lately, especially during the dancing/singing part. So, any modern idol anime could easily be on this list.
However, BanG Dream has 3D animation for the majority of time, so I’m going to only talk about this one.
The plot of this anime might not sound like much and it is cliched if nothing, but it really feels nice to see characters work hard to achieve their dreams.
BanG Dream! might not be the best title in its genre, but it’s a decent place to start if you’ve never heard of idol anime before.
8. God Eater
God Eater is another game that got its own anime adaptation. It is a mix of 2D and 3D animation. The characters are in 2D but the monsters, weapons and other objects are in 3D.
The Far East is ruled by enraged gods in the year 2071. Unknown life forms known as “Oracle cells” began their uncontrolled consumption of all life on Earth 20 years ago.
These beings known as “aragami,” are both feared and revered by humanity. They are immune to all weapons, and humanity’s numbers are dwindling. The last hope is the recently developed “God Arcs” weapons, which use Oracle cells to fight back. The weapon wielders form an elite force known as the “God Eaters.”
Immortals first appeared on African battlefields 17 years ago. Later, rare and unknown new immortal life forms began to appear among humans, and they were dubbed “Ajin” (demi-humans).
A Japanese high school student is killed instantly in a traffic accident on his way home from school just before summer vacation. He is revived, however, and a price is placed on his head. Thus begins a young boy’s life on the run from humanity.
Ajin is a short supernatural, thriller 3D CGI anime with only 13 episodes that’ll keep you on the edge of your seats.
6. Kengan Ashura
Kengan Ashura is hands down the best 3D anime out there in the fighting/martial arts genre. I would even go as far as saying that it is on par with Baki, a famous 2D martial arts anime that is loved by many fans. It has some flashy animation, fancy characters and a badass soundtrack.
Kengan Ashura follows Tokita Ohma, an underground fighter who is paid to brawl. This brutal, bare-knuckle brawl pulls no punches, with gory effects like blood splatters and hard hits displayed throughout. As you might expect from a modern-day anime with martial arts, the depiction of fighting is also fairly up to date. Kengan Ashura has a variety of fighting styles and is not limited to a single system.
The storyline of this anime is straightforward. The MC has to win fights to get to the top in order to fight the person whom he holds vengeance against.
Beastars took the hard path. Not only is it a 3D anime (which is unpopular in the anime community), it is also a furry anime (another unpopular niche in the community.) However, it did prove itself to the audience that it’s no joke.
I’ve said this many times, and I’m gonna say it again. Beastars is not what it looks like. It’ll surpass your expectations and thrill you to the bones. So, stop putting it away thinking that it is just another furry anime. It may look childish because all the characters are animals, but the way the story progresses is just amazing.
Beastars is a one-of-a-kind anime that initially came out in 2019 and got another season earlier this year (2021). It’s a story about carnivores and herbivores trying to coexist and the challenges they face.
It also emphasizes that love can be formed between two different species despite their differences, as beautifully illustrated by the story of a carnivore wolf, “Legosi,” who falls in love with a dwarf rabbit, “Haru.”
Amazing as the above points may be, the best part about this anime (in my opinion) is the mystery/thriller. The way they handle suspense and surprise elements are GOLD.
4. Hi Score Girl
Hi Score Girl is probably the only 3D anime in its genre. It is a Rom-com anime that tells the story of two children from the 90’s who are united by video games. As you might already know, arcade games were one of the biggest things in the 90’s. And this anime beautifully portrays how two gamers meet each other, become rivals, fall in love, and continue on with their lives.
Majority of this show involves the main characters playing popular arcade games like Street Fighter and challenging each other. The aspect I love about this anime is that it gives a beautiful overview of the 90’s which is quite interesting to watch.
Now, this anime is a little slow paced and might not be the best fit for everybody, but if you’re in the mood for a relaxing romance story, Hi Score Girl is for you.
3. Tiger & Bunny
Note: Tiger & Bunny is not fully a 3D anime. Only the superhero forms of the characters are in 3D.
Tiger & Bunny is an underrated superhero anime. It came out 5 years before My Hero Academia and was actually pretty popular in Japan during that time, but it hasn’t had much reach among the western audience unlike MHA.
This anime tells the story of Kaburagi, a father and once amazing superhero whose power is slowly slipping away. Kind of like All Might. He can only maintain his superhero form for a minute now. Despite this setback, he is determined to stay a hero and help the people in need even if it means looking pathetic in front of the mass media.
Tiger & Bunny also excellently portrays the business aspect of being heroes. The hero association pays the heroes and sells advertisements with the popular heroes. Because of this Kaburagi is considered a ‘failure’ as a hero because he isn’t good to make money with.
Regardless, he clings to what opportunity he has to stay a hero and ends up uncovering some of the biggest secrets about his world.
This is a thrilling anime through and through. Action, comedy, rivalry, traitory, it has them all.
Kingdom is yet another incredibly underrated anime of all time. Some people even hate this anime and call it “ugly” (That’s kind of an overstatement, but it is also somewhat true). The reason behind this is because the manga is known to be a masterpiece. When fans found that the studio decided to go with a 3D animation, people became disappointed.
Let me be honest, I was one among them. I hated the animation at the start of the show. But as the anime progressed, I became so much more captivated by the story. Animation matters, but not as much as the plot. At least, to me that’s the case. It is one of those anime that I couldn’t help but binge watch. Besides, the animation isn’t even THAT bad. It just had a few awkward moments that made me feel the 3D CGI animation failed.
It tells the story of two boys who aspire to become the general of their nation’s army and all the twists and turns they experience in order to achieve their dream.
I remember being so excited and pumped while watching this anime for the first time in a long while. Which is why I recommend this anime every chance I get. So here we go again. If you haven’t watched this anime, GO WATCH IT NOW!
If you still don’t believe me, go to MyAnimeList and see the amazing rating it has. It is clearly getting better and better with every new season.
1. Land Of The Lustrous
Land of the Lustrous is the most successful 3D CGI Anime of all time. It is currently the highest rated 3D anime there is.
Beings made up of microorganisms that collectively gained human-like intelligence by latching onto gemstones have gathered on a barren land and are living in a small commune on an island by the sea.
The gems, led by Master Kongo, are constantly threatened by Lunarians—spectral humanoids riding strange, ghostly vessels armed with arrows tipped with gems from the fallen Gem-people.
Phosphophyllite, or Phos for short, is one of these gem-people. Phos is bright and vibrant, but too fragile for combat, with a Hardness rating of only 3.5. Despite being lazy Phos wants to help out (in combat) more than anything. However, the Master assigns her the task of compiling an encyclopedia of the local wildlife.
When Phos meets a lone gem, Cinnabar, who is stuck with night patrols (despite the fact that Lunarians never appear at night), she vows to work hard every day in order to find more enjoyable jobs for the both of them.
That’s it for this post! These are some of the best 3D CGI anime I’ve ever watched!! Did I miss your favorite? Let me know it the comments below ^^