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18 Deadly Yakuza Anime: The Crime-Time List

The Yakuza are notorious in the world of Anime, and some of the greatest stories involve these criminals. We’ve put together a list of 18 of our favourite yakuza animes that will keep you enthralled and entertained.

From gang rivalry between warring families to intense struggles for power and control, this collection is sure to have something for every fan. You don’t need to be a yakuza expert; all you need is an open mind and heart for some excellent storytelling.

Here you’ll find everything from sobering tales about life as a gangster to exciting, action-packed adventures, so there’s definitely something here that everyone can enjoy. Whether you’re looking for thrilling plots or fascinating characters, we’ve got it all.

So sit back, relax, and prepare to be taken on some of the wildest anime journeys imaginable:


18. Beastars


Beastars is an anime series based on a manga of the same name. On the surface, Beastars is a story about anthropomorphic animals in a school setting: individuals trying to figure out their roles in society while attending classroom lectures and interacting with familiar peers.

However, darkly looming beneath and between the everyday events of the school is a watermark of conflict – tensions between carnivores and herbivores – that are psychological, political, environmental and intertwined with organized crime & gangs. Set against this backdrop, we find Legoshi, a grey wolf and one of Beastar’s central characters.

Through his eyes, we experience nuance characters brought to life by intricate art direction and animation, ideas as varied as faith versus security, individual versus identity, and freedom from fear versus acceptance of reality.

Acting as both teacher & courtier, he sits amidst these tensions, canvassing what plot points come to being without beating us over the head with any particular agenda or point of view.

17. Kemonozume


Kemonozume, the deadly yakuza anime, is much more than meets the eye. Produced by Madhouse, it’s one of the most visually stunning series to date with its lifelike characters and brilliant art style. It dives deeper into the concepts of fate and struggles that millions of people are familiar with when talking about Yakuza culture.

The characters face their fears and doubts in order to save not only themselves but humanity as a whole. With intense fight scenes and complex, emotionally engaging characters, Kemonozume is truly an anime masterpiece that should never be overlooked by those who love Japanese animation.

Its gorgeous visuals, paired with a heart-stopping story, leave viewers both moved and enthralled for hours on end. Plus, its unique take on Yakuza life makes it even more special than other animes in the same genre.

16. 91 days

91 days

Focusing on the theme of revenge and mortality, 91 days is a deadly yakuza anime that has quickly become a fan favourite. Taking place in Prohibition Era ganglands, this Anime follows the story of Avilio Bruno as he seeks bloody revenge for the death of his family.

With its intense fight scenes, memorable characters, and hard choices for audiences to ponder, it’s no surprise that 91 Days is quickly becoming an iconic series.

From Avilio’s journey from a fledgling hitman to a seasoned gang leader to his deep bonds with Corteo and Nero, 91 Days offers viewers a unique story full of riveting action sequences that goes beyond your typical mafia anime.

15. Gangsta


The anime world has long been home to some of the most beloved and powerful series. One that stands out among others is “Gangsta”, a deadly Yakuza anime making waves with fans old and new. Following two former mercenaries, Worick Arcangelo and Nicolas Brown, in their struggles against the mafia-like society they live in.

It’s far from boring as viewers get to experience the pain, loss, betrayal and tragedy alongside heroic characters we come to care for. Of course, it would be incomplete without fantastic animation, music and a captivating storyline which makes watching an incredibly immersive experience.

Despite its mature content, “Gangsta” stands out due to its engrossing tale of friendship, loyalty and more. With powerhouse performances by the whole cast and captivating action sequences without downtime, this Yakuza anime should be added to your watch list.

14. K


The award-winning anime series “K”, released in the summer of 2012, began with the announcement {that shook} Japan that a secret society of Yakuza had emerged from the shadows, claiming their stake in the country. For those unfamiliar, Yakuza are a renowned and feared mafia-like organization rooted deeply within Japanese culture.

Despite warnings from authorities to stay clear of them and their boundaries, viewers were captivated by the gripping story behind “K”.

Following the journey of two protagonists affiliated with opposing organizations; viewers experienced a thrilling tale unfolding through lavish fight scenes and {intrigue}, all backed by a stellar soundtrack. The intricate story left fans wanting more and is sure to appease any viewer for years to come.

13. Baccano!


Baccano! is a thrilling anime series that sheds light on the deadly world of the Yakuza. Set during the 1930s in Chicago, the show follows an ensemble cast of misfits as they become embroiled in a sinister plot to bring together gun-running gangs across America and Japan. 

Each episode introduces new characters and new mysteries, leaving audiences with intense suspense until the very last second. Baccano! is a wicked and unpredictable journey through a criminal underworld filled with captivating characters and shocking plot twists. 

Its powerful soundtrack adds to its cinematic experience, and captivating visuals accurately depict the harsh reality of life within the Yakuza organization. It’s a hardcore anime series that will draw you in from beginning to end.

12. Black Lagoon

Black Lagoon

There’s no anime quite like “Black Lagoon”. This hard-hitting and thrilling series follows the wild adventures of an unlikely mix of con artists and mercenaries. Based in Vietnam-style cities, this unique gang has faced down Yakuza mobsters, factions of the Pan Asian Coalition, terrorist cells and old powerhouses alike.

With a wicked sense of humour and uncompromising fight scenes, Black Lagoon is the ideal blend of classical shoot em’ up action with a bit of dramatic edge.’ A classic amongst fans around the world, this notorious yakuza anime is one you won’t soon forget.

Featuring an eclectic cast and gripping narrative, every second spent watching Black Lagoon feels like part of your favourite crime epic. Whether you’re a serious Otaku or someone who’s just looking for something new to watch – don’t miss out on Black Lagoon.

11. Golden Kamuy

Golden Kamuy

“Golden Kamuy”, a gritty and captivating anime series based on the manga of the same name, follows Saichi Sugimoto as he searches for a hidden stash of Ainu gold in Hokkaido in order to save his best friend’s life.

In this high-stakes journey resembling a wild goose chase, he’s joined by an Ainu girl named Asirpa and pitted against warriors from the powerful Yakuza.

The thrilling adventures of “Golden Kamuy” are rooted in actual historical events, making them all the more gripping and enthralling for audiences everywhere. From its dynamic characters to its intriguing locales to its stimulating plot twists – no stone is left unturned in this gripping narrative set during Japan’s Meiji era.

10. Hinamatsuri


The Japanese Anime show “Hinamatsuri” is a must-watch for fans of the Yakuza genre. From its comedic opening salvos to a surprising and harrowing climax, this show offers plenty of exciting content from start to finish.

The show follows a young yakuza enforcer named Nitta, who finds himself reluctantly caring for an alien girl with telekinetic powers.

Together they must strive to get the alien girl home while compatriots in Nitta’s Yakuza gang question their fate-bound friendship amid criminal activity that could end either of their lives in an instant. As both characters grow and change over time, viewers are taken on a journey that examines both bleakness and hope as the truth about life is revealed.

9. Dorohedoro


Dorohedoro” is a deadly yakuza anime that has taken the world by storm. Taking place in a post-apocalyptic city known as The Hole, controlled by powerful sorcerers and an underground network of gangs called The Cross-Eyes, Dorohedoro follows the journey of Kaiman, a reptilian-like man who hunts down the sorcerers responsible for turning him into his current form.

Along with his sidekick Nikaido, Kaiman comes face to face with death as they battle their way through the lawless underground syndicates of The Hole and uncover its hidden secrets.

With stunning action sequences and captivating characters, Dorohedoro is an anime series full of mystery, violence, revenge and resilience that all fans of classic Anime should seek out.

8. Great Teacher Onizuka

Great Teacher Onizuka

Great Teacher Onizuka, or GTO as it is commonly called, was an anime show based in the ever-gripping world of Yakuza. It follows a former biker gang member’s journey to becoming an elementary school teacher, which brings its own unique set of problems.

This Anime is far from typical, though, as GTO manages to have chemistry between its characters along with showcasing themes of growing up and learning responsibility.

Overall, it is an interesting take on a variety of concepts while never taking itself too seriously, making it one of the best deadly Yakuza Anime out there with its engaging writing, wild humour, and superb character development that modernize the traditional Yakuza look and feel.

7. Hunter x Hunter (2011)

Hunter x Hunter

Hunter x Hunter (2011) is an acclaimed anime series from director Yoshihiro Togashi that continues to captivate viewers with its characterization and storyline. This Anime follows a boy named Gon Freecss, who sets off on a quest to find his father and search for the legendary title of Hunter – those who specialize in tracking all kinds of supernatural creatures.

Throughout this journey, Gon meets friends, fights enemies with powerful abilities, and becomes embroiled in a mysterious plot involving shadowy organizations that operate outside the law.

Along the way, Gon and his companions find themselves battling against the deadly Yakuza as they confront their own dark secrets and fight to uncover the truth behind various conspiracies. 

With strong animation, intense fight scenes, outstanding voice acting, and an original soundtrack, Hunter x Hunter (2011) remains one of Anime’s most compelling stories today.

6. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure V: Golden Wind

JoJo Bizarre Adventure V Golden Wind

Created by Hirohiko Araki, the phenomenal deadly Yakuza anime T.V. series “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure V: Golden Wind” follows the story of Giorno Giovanna, the illegitimate son of Dio Brando, as he enters Passione to help restore his father’s name and bring peace back to the criminal organization.

The show captures viewers’ attention with its vibrant art style and exciting plot points that captivate audiences with each episode. Beyond being an authentic visual delight, it offers up a world full of unpredictable oddities that are sure to keep even die-hard fans guessing before revealing its shocking plot twists.

There is more than meets the eye here as Giorno takes on enemies in combat scenes featuring capoeira, car chases and energy blasts that keep watchers glued to their screens. Not only does it feature impressive animation and superb sound design, but it also has incredible characters who have unique abilities and colourful personalities.

5. Durarara!!


This classic action-packed anime series follows a grassroots storyline centred around a yakuza gang and their fierce rivalry with a rival underworld organization.

Set in the fictional city of Ikebukuro, equipped with its own set of eccentric characters, this show is sure to keep viewers entertained. Every episode is filled with thrilling battles and nail-biting suspense as our heroes face off against the diabolical Yakuza.

Even though it can be a bit intense at times, there are also some lighter moments that will make you laugh with joy. Coupled with vibrant artwork and captivating soundtracks, Durarara!! Definitely deserves its recognition among classic Japanese anime lists.

4. Akira


“Akira” is a classic 1980s anime that follows the story of two childhood friends, Shōtarō Kaneda and Tetsuo Shima, who become embroiled in a terrorist plot created by men with supernatural powers. The power of Akira is that it was not only revolutionary at the time but still stands as one of the most notable anime films of all time.

Its visually stunning visuals and innovative storytelling paved the way for many films afterwards. At its core, Akira tells a tale about friendship and loyalty – powerful themes that can draw viewers to this day.

Whether people have seen Akira or not, it is an anime movie that will no doubt remain relevant even today, especially once people check it out for what it has to offer in terms of visual quality and storytelling capabilities.

3. Kaiji


Kaiji is one of the most beloved anime series of all time, and its popularity around the globe continues to grow. It tells the story of ordinary people pushed to extreme situations by forces beyond their control, often in dealings with the Japanese Yakuza syndicates.

The lead character, Kaiji Ito, fighters back against his oppressors with a tenacity and wit that will have any viewer rooting for him every step of the way. 

As he works his way through complex and often lethally dangerous games between large groups of players, where body parts replace money as stakes, Kaiji impresses us not just with his courage but also with his remarkable mental acuity and problem-solving abilities.

With its non-stop action and high suspense levels, it’s no wonder that Kaiji has gained so many loyal fans since its original airing in 2007; it’s packed with compelling drama that keeps viewers of all backgrounds invested until the very end.

2. Texhnolyze


Texhnolyze is a deadly yakuza anime series that follows the lives of people in a post-apocalyptic Japanese city called Lux. Created by acclaimed director Hirotsugu Hamazaki, Texhnolyze is an anime that carries a very complex story with brutal and mature themes. The series follows the struggles of those living in Lux and their quests for power, freedom, and control.

The show is set up to be highly violent and contains loads of bloodshed over its 22 episodes. For those interested in watching Texhnolyze, they must take into account both how seriously dark this show gets as well as how immoral many of its characters can become.

Yet, for those who are looking for a story about struggling corporations in a dystopian world still guided by prideful gangs and crazy behaviours, then this show could be the best you’ve seen thus far. Here viewers will find themselves lost in a deep plot filled with twists and surprises at just about every corner.

1. Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop takes place in a deadly future space-age vision of 2071 and follows the misadventures of Spike Spiegel, a former member of the Yakuza, and his ragtag crew on their spaceship, the Bebop. 

The series features themes such as existentialism, interpersonal relationships, and lawlessness as Spike and his friends travel between planets searching for bounties to earn enough money to survive.

Cowboy Bebop is a must-see classic anime show with an instantly recognizable unique style and symbolism; specifically, its influence on yakuza anime is undeniable. 

From Spike’s trademark floral shirt to the array of dangerous female antagonists interwoven throughout the story arc, Cowboy Bebop continues to be an iconic series that stands out from other similarly themed action cartoons.

With its fresh, futuristic settings and alluring art direction, Cowboy Bebop remains an influential cult classic in a cult that spans decades and appeals to fans worldwide.


Yakuza anime is a fascinating and brutal genre that leaves many people wanting to know more. Due to its dark tone, gritty realism, and ultra-intense fight scenes, viewers can expect to be thoroughly entertained with every installment on the list.

Whether you opt for the main story arc focusing on an elite group of dishonoured Yakuza or a vengeful loner targeted by the deadly organization, these 18 Yakuza anime are sure to give you a dose of edgy satisfaction that couldn’t be delivered elsewhere.

They may not all be masterpieces, but they were definitely handpicked so that there’s something for everyone to enjoy–including those already familiar with the underbelly of Japan’s underworld. 

So if you love action-packed stories featuring gangsters, spies, and blood-dyeing city streets red, do yourself a favour and check out this list of incredible Yakuza anime.


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