The technicalities of war have become different over time as new weapons and other technologies were developed, but the basic idea is still the same: kill that other guy before he kills you.
The military forces featured in these anime wage war using everything from tanks, spaceships, to gas-powered movement gear.
13. Joker Game
MAL Rated 7.26, Ranked #2435 | Aired Spring 2016 | Produced by Production I.G
World War II is on the verge of beginning. As a result, the superpowers of the world each aspire to acquire intelligence on their enemies. Japan’s solution to this predicament is the organization D Agency. These spies are tasked with infiltrating enemy nations to obtain vital intelligence by any means necessary.
12. Pumpkin Scissors
MAL Rated 7.25, Ranked #2474 | Aired Fall 2006 | Produced by Gonzo, AIC, and Nomad
A mighty war once raged between the Republic of Frost and the Royal Empire, but three years ago a treaty finally put an end to the conflict. Ravaged by the war, the Empire creates the military organization Pumpkin Scissors to assist with rebuilding their war-torn nation. But the squad’s seemingly normal assignments take a turn towards the unexpected when a mysterious corporal joins their ranks.
11. Girls und Panzer
MAL Rated 7.66, Ranked #1131 | Aired Fall 2012 | Produced by Actas
This show doesn't technically feature militaries, but tank warfare being the main focus gets us close enough right? The sport known as tankery is popular among high school girls, with each team sporting WWII style vehicles. Miho Nishizumi dislikes the sport but comes from a long line of tankery professionals, which naturally results in her being strong-armed into joining her school’s team.
MAL Rated 7.77, Ranked #915 | Aired Spring 2009 | Produced by A-1 Pictures
The continent Europa is very similar to the real world Europe, except that it is divided between an alliance of smaller nations in the west called the Federation while the Imperial Empire rules the east. Technology in this world relies on a scarce material called ragnite, which the nations constantly war over. The series follows Squad 7, a militia group suddenly forced against the might of the Empire when their small home country is invaded.
MAL Rated 7.82, Ranked #810 | Aired Winter 2002 | Produced by Gonzo
The private military organization Mithril (named for the impenetrable metal in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth series) is charged with counteracting terrorism and other threats to global peace. When the young Sousuke Sagara is assigned to bodyguard duty that requires him to blend in as a student, he must work to maintain his cover while still functioning as an effective soldier.
MAL Rated 7.96, Ranked #574 | Aired Spring 2012 | Produced by White Fox
Jonah Mar despises weapons due to his background as a child soldier, so naturally he is less than thrilled when his work lands him as the bodyguard of an international arms dealer. With armies, militias, and a slew of other buyers in front of them, and CIA teams constantly chasing them from behind, Jonah’s new assignment is anything but easy.
MAL Rated 7.98, Ranked #549 | Aired Winter 1993 | Produced by Tatsunoko Production
Tylor had it all planned out: join the military, get a safe non-combat role, and retire on the pension. This plan went caput when he saved an admiral and was rewarded with the captainship of his own vessel. With his not exactly top-of-the-line ship and not exactly top-of-the-line crew, Tylor now gets to battle against the Raalgon Empire with the fate of the Earth at stake. What could possibly go wrong?
MAL Rated 7.99, Ranked #528 | Aired Summer 2015 | Produced by A-1 Pictures
Youji was an off-duty Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) officer on his way to an anime convention on his day off. Then a portal opened, spilling out monsters and knights who killed anybody in their way. With the gate laying open, Youji is now part of a recon team being sent through to determine if the world beyond is a threat and what actions must be taken if there can be no peace with the ruling empire on the other side.
MAL Rated 8.25, Ranked #259 | Aired Fall 2007 | Produced by Sunrise
The Earth is controlled by three major nations, each of which utilizes a solar power generator that proved to be humanity’s solution to fossil fuel depletion. The other nations were more or less left to fend for themselves, ravaged by poverty and war. One day the paramilitary organization Celestial Being appears with powerful mobile suits known as Gundams, declaring that they will end all war and conflict on Earth.
MAL Rated 8.56, Ranked #78 | Aired Spring 2013 | Produced by Production I.G and Wit Studio
Earth’s history was changed forever when gigantic monsters called Titans first appeared. These beasts have a taste for human flesh, forcing mankind to cower inside walled cities for survival. The walls have made a fragile peace possible for over a century, but when the walls come crumbling down in a new Titan attack, the peace goes with them. With their barriers now breached, humanity must take the fight to the enemy if it is to survive. And the best candidates for the job are the Survey Corps, a special branch of the military tasked with exploration outside the walls.
MAL Rated 8.60, Ranked #63 | Aired Winter 2006 to Winter 2012 | Produced by Madhouse and Satelight
Decades ago the legendary Dr. Van Hellsing defeated a mighty vampire, one of the most powerful in the world, and gained his servitude. Now his descendant Integra runs the Hellsing organization, and the associated Special Military Forces, a British task force dedicated to exterminating supernatural threats to mankind. But when the random monster attacks stop being random, what is normally a monster hunt will become a war between man and the undead.
MAL Rated 8.83, Ranked #21 | Aired Fall 2006 | Produced by Sunrise
The Britannia Empire is the world’s largest military superpower, and is slowly but surely conquering other nations. Japan was quickly defeated and dubbed Area 11 by its conquerors, but unbeknownst to them the nation is the home of their exiled prince, Lelouch. When a mysterious girl provides Lelouch with a special power, he begins to lead Area 11’s resistance movement against the Britannia occupiers.
MAL Rated 9.11, Ranked #6 | Aired Winter 1988 to Spring 1997 | Produced by Artland
An OVA that was nearly 10 years in the making, this series features the Galactic Empire and the Free Plants Alliance fighting the endgame of a war that has lasted for more than 150 years. Each side has a new genius commander ready to win the war for their faction as they fight through battles as well as politics and personal problems in mankind’s greatest war.
For more of our most highly rated Military Anime, as well as an overview of all the genre has to offer, check out our Military genre page on MAL.