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8 Best Cowboy Anime for Western Lovers

8 Best Cowboy Anime for Western Lovers

Anime and the Wild West are an unusual combination. The genre thrives in most media, from TV to movies. It is truly one of the most turbulent times in American history, with many celebrated works.

But anime has a pretty unique take on the genre, unlike any other media. So buckle up! Get on your snakeskin boots and ride to the sunset while we check how anime tackles western and cowboys. Even if it’s in space, or the future, or something even crazier!

Here are the 8 best cowboy Anime;

8. Gungrave

Gungrave Anime

Release date: Oct. 7, 2003
Number of episode: 26 (1 season)

Two small-time criminals and best friends, Brandon Heat and Harry McDowell have risen to the ranks of Millenion’s crime syndicate. However, the story reveals Brandon eventually becomes a creature known as Beyond The Grave, a monster killer carrying enormous guns; and Harry has become the cruel boss of Millenion earning the nickname Bloody Harry.

Alternating between the past and the future, Gungrave tells us a tragic story with striking western sensitivities at its core. More importantly, it depicts two friends who become enemies. It’s the tale of the conflict that turned Brandon into a cold, silent monster killer and Harry into an evil bloodthirsty mastermind.

7. Coyote Ragtime Show

Coyote Ragtime Show Anime

Release date: July 4, 2006
Number of episodes: 12 (1 season)

Take whatever you carry in that spaceship and throw it against your foes. If it can destroy or distract them, it’s fair game. This is the premise for Coyote Ragtime Show, the story of a crew of space pirates that embraces its over-the-top nature with bombastic space shootouts, flashy explosions, and dramatic heists.

The story tells us of the Coyotes, a gang of outlaws plunged into the middle of a planetary civil war in order to find the inheritance for the daughter of the greatest scoundrel in the Milky Way. With a colorful motley crew of characters, a frantic chase for the money ignites the adventures of the Coyotes.

6. Gun Frontier

Gun Frontier Anime

Release date: Mar. 28, 2002
Number of episodes: 13 (1 season)

The line that separates children from men is the Gun Frontier. A barren wasteland on the western edge of the United States where no man could feel more alive or be killed more easily.

The stoic Captain Herlock and the errant samurai Tochiro search for the survivors of a Japanese colony massacred by the ruthless Darkmeister organization, especially Tochiro’s sister Shizuka as they face the challenges of corrupted sheriffs, outlaws, and all sorts of dangers from the Old West.

Gun Frontier is considered an alternate universe of the remarkable Space Pirate Captain Herlock, placing the characters in a western setting instead of a futuristic one that explores a whole new storyline.

5. Wild Arms: Twilight Venom

Wild Arms Twilight Venom Anime

Release date: Oct. 18, 1999
Number of episodes: 22 (1 season)

Based on the classic RPG for the PSOne, the series tells the story of a group of wanderers in the land of Filgaea as they carve a name for themselves as a legend by defeating demons, casting spells, and using special guns known as ARMS.

Protagonist Sheyenne is a gunslinger who’s had his brain transplanted into the body of a 10-year-old. This means he is determined to recover his original body no matter the cost in a tantalizing, yet adventurous story of romance and action. A blend of fantasy and western, this anime is the most fantastical on this list.

4. Gun x Sword

Gun x Sword

Release date: July 4, 2005.
Number of episodes: 26 (1 season)

Taking place on a planet called the Endless Illusion, Van’s story is a tragic tale of vengeance. After his wife is murdered on the day of their wedding, Van embarks on a journey of revenge as he hunts for the killer, merely referred to as The Claw. And though he tries not to meddle in other people’s affairs, he can’t help but aid those in need in his journey.

While taking on the usual tropes of western storytelling, Gun x Sword has the bonus of adding giant robots to the protagonist’s arsenal and is entertaining enough to pull the viewer into a world of dramatic heights, twists, and turns.

3. Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bepop Anime

Release date: Apr. 3, 1998
Number of episodes: 26 (1 season)

In 2071, a group of bounty hunters jumps from planet to planet trying to catch as many criminals and outlaws as they can in order to fulfill the goal of a lifetime, which is to put food on the table.

Spike Spiegel and Jet Black start out as dedicated hunters who, despite their skill, usually end up failing in their missions. And after gambler and con artist Faye Valentine, and gifted, yet wacky hacker Ed joins them, the group finally tracks down ingenious and insane outlaws from space.

The crew of the Bebop grows from fairly entertaining adventures to facing a past that eventually catches up with them in an explosive tale of revenge. Accompanied by an outstanding jazz soundtrack that stands out above any other series, this anime shines above other westerns.

2. Trigun

Trigun Anime

Release date: Apr. 1, 1998
Number of episodes: 26 (1 season)

Vash the Stampede is the most feared mercenary in the post-apocalyptic planet Gunsmoke. A man who lays waste to his every foe, leaving a trail of death and destruction wherever he goes. Or so the rumors say. In reality, Vash is just a softie buffoon who has never taken a life and holds near-pacifist ideals.

Action and comedy are rampant in each and every episode, as Vash’s goofball personality is contrasted by his matchless marksmanship. But as his enemies will increase in both viciousness and ruthlessness, how far will Vash be willing to go to defeat them, and still spare their lives?

1. El Cazador de la Bruja

El Cazador de la Bruja

Release date: Apr. 3, 2007
Number of episodes: 26 (1 season)

Two girls search for answers in the Mexican desert. Nadie, a smart-mouthed, gunslinging bounty hunter, and Ellis, an amnesiac girl wanted for the murder of her former caretaker.

With a special Spaghetti Western flair, this anime indulges in the elements of the genre. For instance, tense standoffs, rushing escape sequences, and quirky characters in a blend of comedy and drama.

The relationship between Nadie and Ellis is the strongest suit for this series. Therefore, it’s filled with natural ups and downs related to several plot points. And as they get closer, it becomes evident they can only trust each other in their supernatural journey across the dusky desert.