Virtual reality is making anime characters interact with real or imagined computer-simulated environments. Virtual reality depicts the existence of the real world for the anime characters and also depicts characters getting physically harmed. VR anime give an intriguing experience for viewers. From Sword Art Online to Serial Experiments lain there is a huge fan following for animes that bring characters alive through the virtual world.
Ghost in the Shell and Serial Experiments Lain are the anime that introduced the Virtual Reality genre in the early 90s. We have put together the Top 10 VR anime you need to watch right now.
10. Log Horizon
A sudden glitch in the game – unable to log out, after the game’s latest update, 30,000 Japanese gamers are whisked from their everyday lives into the online RPG game, Elder Tale. Shiroe, a socially awkward college student is a veteran of the game and knows the quirks of the game. Shiroe sets out to explore the limits of his new life and collaborate with other players and NPCs in the Elder tale. Log Horizon is a tale with elements of fantasy, adventure, and politics portrayed through the eyes of a master strategist who attempts to make the best of a confusing situation.
9. Accel World
Haruyuki Arita is an eccentric overweight boy who is bullied on a regular basis. Frustrated from the everyday torture he finds solace by playing online games. Haru takes a drastic turn when he finds that Kuroyukihime, the popular vice president of the student council tops all his high scores. Haru was invited by Kuroyukihime to the student lounge and was introduced to “Brain Burst” an online game that allows users to transcend reality and live in a virtual reality world. Haru overcomes his bullies with the help of Kuroyukihime and in return, he vows to help her find the creator of the game, and so begins the duo’s fight to reach the top.
8. Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation
Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation is the eighth project in the franchise launched on its fifteenth anniversary. The anime series features a completely original storyline and all-new characters. Most students except Itsuki Tachibana at Saiga Academy are familiar with Phantasy Star Online. Itsuki doesn’t play Phantasy Star Online until the day he meets Rina Izumi who works in the favor of the game at Saiga Academy. Itsuki becomes the vice president of the student council after some unprecedented events and unwillingly starts playing Phantasy Star Online.
7. Shichisei no Subaru
Shichisei no Subaru is a rather unusual virtual reality anime that every anime lover needs to watch. The anime revolves around a world-renowned online role-playing game, Union and portrays the incidents after the unusual death of the players in the Subaru group. Asahi’s real-life ended simultaneously when she died playing Union. After many years, Haruto who is the protagonist of the story logs into the game to find that Asahi is still alive and inside the game. The former teammates reunite and find their way back to Asahi.
6. Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell is the ultimate cyberpunk anime that marked the rise in popularity of cyberpunk and anime genres. The anime is set in the year 2029 when people can use robotics to replace nearly all of their body parts and organs so that the weak are made strong and the dying get a new life. Major Motoko Kusanagi who has full-body prosthetics along with her second in command Batou and information specialist Ishikawa have been assigned the task of investigating a hacker known as “The Puppetmaster”. The futuristic thriller anime combines intense action scenes, slower artistic sequences and many philosophical questions about the soul, identity and gender of humans in advanced technological age.
5. Serial Experiments Lain
Serial Experiments Lain is a 90’s psychological avant-garde mystery series that was way ahead of its time. Serial Experiments lain revolves around philosophy, reality, and conspiracy theories. The anime follows Lain Iwakura, an awkward and introverted fourteen-year-old, who makes crucial choices that will affect both the real world and the Wired. She is among many girls from her school who falls prey to a disturbing message asking her to join the Wired network from her classmate Chisa Yomoda who recently committed suicide. Lain realizes the significance of their presence as she closes one world and opens another.
Overlord is one of the most underrated VR anime that revolves around the protagonist, Momonga, an average salaryman living a common life in the city of Tokyo. Momonga who spends most of his time apart from work playing online games one day gets suddenly transported to the virtual reality game Yggdrasil. Momonga asks his loyal servants to help him look into and take control of the new world and figure out what has caused this shift and if there may be others in the same situation.
3. No Game No Life: Zero
Disboard, a world overseen by Tet, the One True God is inhabited by sixteen sentient races, when war consumed the land, tearing apart heavens, destroying stars and threatening to extinct the human race. A young man named Riku leads humanity toward the tomorrow his heart believed in amid the chaos and destruction. One day he met with Shuvi, a female exiled “Ex-Machina” android in the ruins of an Elf city and was asked to teach her what it is like to have a human heart.
2. Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online is one of the most popular and highest-selling anime of all time. Players in the game can control their in-game avatars with their own thoughts with the aid of “NerveGear” technology. Kazuto Kirigaya, nicknamed “Kirito” along with 10,000 players log into the game’s scenic and elaborate world of Aincrad. In a cruel turn of events, they realize that they are unable to log out of the game. The game’s creator has trapped them in his new world and announces if the player dies here, he/she will die in real life as well. Kirito has to interact and cooperate with his fellow players and adapt to his new reality, fight for his survival, and hopefully escape from the Aincrad.
1. Hunter x Hunter: Greed Island
Hunter × Hunter is the most sought after VR anime. 12-year-old Gon Freecss decides to once again attempt to purchase the rare game “Greed Island” in search of Ging, his father and a Hunter himself. Gon takes the first step to walking the same path believing that he will meet his father by becoming a Hunter. Gon befriends the medical student Paladiknight, the vindictive Kurapika, and ex-assassin Killua Zoldyck during the Hunter Examination. They band together for a common goal and begin to venture into a perilous world, even while their motives vastly differ from each other.
That concludes our take on the 10 best VR anime shows that you shouldn’t miss out on. You can consider watching these series to get lost in a fantastical setting when you take a break from your mundane life.
What do you think about the VR anime on our list? Let us know in the comments below.
Do you, like us, love how VR is utilised? Watch how this guy proposed to his girlfriend in a custom-made VR game!