Featured Articles

Ten Epic Underground Cities in Anime

Anime has some incredible cities. Some marvels are located not in front of our faces, but under our feet. These 10 underground anime cities may have their reasons for heading into the earth, but they're stilll pretty impressive to behold.

by Littoface
Jul 11, 2016 2:41 AM | 66,626 views

Patema Inverted
Anime has plenty of amazing cities. Some rise high into the sky, while others exist inside self-contained ecosystems. Some are sprawling hubs of life, while others are dinky little villages full of heart.

And then there are some cities that rise down instead of up, and create entire worlds under our very feet. These are the epic underground cities of anime, in their many shapes, forms, and sizes. What secrets do the ground hold, and why are these people driven to living underground?

United Earth Headquarters

From Aldnoah.Zero

United Earth HQ Aldnoah Zero
The HQ of the United Earth Force is not a city - it's an underground military base. But this base is meant to protect civilians as well as military. This means plenty of living space and supplies to support anyone in the bunker for a few years.


From Sword Art Online

Jötunheimr Sword Art Online
The city of Jötunheimr is not a real, physical city. Instead, it's a digital environment created for a virtual reality video game. Located deep below the World Tree, the city is a perilous dungeon home to giants and other beasts. Its digital nature makes it a bit less impressive, but no less epic to behold.

5th Level Authorization District

From Magi: The Kingdom of Magic

5th level district Magi
The 5th Level District is as amazing as it is terrible. An entire city district is hidden underneath Academy City, which houses over 200,000 citizens in neat rows and layers of housing accommodations. Citizens of this layered underground district live a life of bodily pleasures, letting the government take care of all their needs. But they have an excellent and bleak reason for living like this…


From Noein: Mou Hitori no Kimi e (Noein:To Your Other Self)

Lacryma Noein
With a name that means "tears" in Latin, you wouldn't expect this place to be full of rainbows and smiles. And you'd be right. The people of this dimension have been forced into an underground city of several layers. The deeper down you go, the more elaborate the city becomes. The hierarchy here works in a backwards way: upper class citizens get to live deeper underground, while the poor "common" folk get stuck in the less hospitable higher layers.

Nerv Headquarters

From Neon Genesis Evangelion

Nerv HQ Neon Genesis Evangelion
The Nerv Headquarters is another underground military base too epic not to mention. Located inside the fortress city of Tokyo-3, the Nerv HQ is a huge structure that extends far underground. You can see the top of the base from above ground, in the form of a pyramid.

The Subterranean Villages

From Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (Gurren Lagann)

Jeeha Village Gurren Lagann
Gurren Lagann's residents live in subterranean villages isolated from the rest of the world, and from each other. Each village has its own "personality" and deals with the perils of living underground in different ways. Jeeha Village, for instance (seen above), survived with the help of furry creatures called pigmoles.

The Inverted World

From Patema Inverted

Patema Inverted
One day when exploring the tunnels and caverns in her vast underground home, Patema falls through a hole and her world literally turns upside down. It turns out that the huge underground world Patema lives in is actually inverted from the world above ground. The result is two types of people with opposing gravities, and one pretty incredible underground city network.


From Gintama

Yoshiwara Gintama
Yoshiwara is only a district, but it's a pretty impressive one. As a red light district, Yoshiwara's underground location keeps it separated from the rest of the world, and allows it the freedom of its own laws and rules. Of course, this can also means bad news for those who work in the district...


From Texhnolyze

Lux Texhnolyze
The city of Lux is more than just a city: it's a character. The bleak underground city has its own self-contained forces pulling on one another. Lux shows what happens when opposing forces are placed in an enclosed area and pitted against each other.

The Vampire Cities

From Owari no Seraph (Seraph of the End: Vampire's Reign)

Owari no Seraph
To live hidden among humans, the vampires of Owari no Seraph went below ground. A vibrant underground vampire community is located below large human cities, like the aptly named Sanguinem (meaning 'blood' in Latin) city below Kyoto.

Related Articles

14 Awesome Anime Castles (We Wish We Could Live In)

14 Awesome Anime Castles (We Wish We Could Live In)

Anime has castles in the sky, underground, and everywhere in between… and we wish we could live in them all. Here's our list of the most impressive anime castles ever.

by Littoface


Anime World Tour: 7 Anime Set in 7 Continents

Anime World Tour: 7 Anime Set in 7 Continents

Anime has invaded the world, not only in real life, but also on screen. After all, the world is anime's stage. No continent, no matter how big or small, has gone unrecognized. Pack your bags because the anime world tour of a lifetime has just begun!
The Best Anime Amusement Parks, Real and Imagined

The Best Anime Amusement Parks, Real and Imagined

Amusement parks in anime are a mixed bag - they can be awesomely fun, or terrifyingly creepy. If fictional theme parks are not your thing, we've got you covered with a list of real anime amusement parks too!
Anime in Real Life: Osaka

Anime in Real Life: Osaka

This issue of AiRL takes us out of Tokyo to beautiful Osaka! So many anime are set in or have scenes in this area. Hold tight as we embark on a whirlwind tour of both the city itself and its surrounding wards!
Anime in Real Life: Studio Ghibli

Anime in Real Life: Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli (pronounced "Ji-bu-ri" in Japanese) is renowned for creating magical worlds of fantasy. But some of them might be more real than you think. Come take a look!

All Tags Trending Tags

It’s time to ditch the text file.
Keep track of your anime easily by creating your own list.
Sign Up Login