8 time travel anime series that will transport you to different worlds (2024)

While talking about time travel or going back to the future (pun intended!), we often imagine immersing ourselves in a futuristic world or altering events from the past. The concept of hampering time or taking matters into our own hands by fluctuating situations is a common occurrence in the Western media — be it sci-fi, romance or even the comedy genre. Animes are no exception, and you’ll find plenty of series that toy with the idea of time travel.

Hit movies and series including The Time Machine, Interstellar, the German series Dark, the Back to the Future franchise, Marvel’s Doctor Strange and Loki, 13 Going 30 and About Time are some prime examples across diverse genres experimenting with time travel.

Similarly, time travelling in the anime world, where characters experiment and play with the clock and its consequences, is regarded as one of the best genres alongside psychological thrillers and crime mysteries. Some of these anime series are best for beginners, with hits like Steins; Gate, Orange and Link Click creating intrigue and interest amongst the audiences.

Here are a few exceptional animes from the genre that will transport you to different eras without leaving the comfort of your couch.

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Steins; Gate

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Steins; Gate can be categorised into multiple genres, right from psychological thriller to sci-fi. While there are multiple time travel series and movies in the pop culture realm, this anime series has mastered the concept like no one else.

It’s the year 2010, scientist Rintaro Okabe and his friends come across a time machine made using a microwave and a mobile phone, which lets one alter the present by sending texts to the past. As time passes, the group soon realises that disturbing the past comes with its consequences.

IMDb rating: 8.8/10

Link Click

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Link Click is yet another classic time travel anime series that will traverse fans into a new world, with a distinctive plot.

Cheng Xiaoshi and Lu Guang manage Time Photo Studio, where they cater to clients seeking relief from their regrets. The process involves using a photo to transport Cheng back to the moment it was taken. He notes the client’s identity and absorbs their memories and emotions. Meanwhile, Lu possesses the ability to monitor events in time and aids Cheng in reliving the client’s experiences.

However, the duo operates within strict parameters: they have a single opportunity to time travel for up to 12 hours, aiming to fulfil their client’s needs without altering past events.

IMDb rating: 8.6/10

Re: Zero, Starting Life in Another World

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Re: Zero, Starting Life in Another World tells the tale of a person trapped in an alternate universe trying to find their way back, but with an interesting twist.

High school student Subaru Natsuki is trapped in a different realm where a girl with silver hair saves him. To repay her kindness, he decides to stick by her side and soon realises that the girl carries a heavy burden of destiny. Both Subaru and the girl meet their demise soon after. It is then that Subaru realises he has an extraordinary ability to rewind death, taking him back to the very beginning of his arrival in this new world.

But here’s the catch: he only retains the memories of what has transpired in his current life.

IMDb rating: 8/10

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Orange uses time travel to uncover one of the most heartfelt stories in the anime world, where going back in time is about saving a life and turning it around.

High school student Naho Takamiya receives a letter from her future self, warning her about the regrets that will stay with her if she does not change certain actions. The letter focuses on Naho’s interactions with a new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse. At some point in time, all of Naho’s friends start receiving letters from their future versions and they learn about Kakeru’s struggles with depression and the role they play in his life.

IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Future Diary

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Imagine ifDeath Note met Squid Game, wherein each episode brings unexpected elements and keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. Well, that’s Future Diary for you.

Yukiteru Amano, a loner student spends most of his time writing in his digital diary and conversing with an imaginary friend, Deus Ex Machina, the god of time and space. His life takes a radical turn when he discovers that his phone diary can predict the future. He soon realises he is a part of a deadly survival game orchestrated by Deus Ex Machina.

Yukitera is pitted against other individuals, each possessing their future diaries with unique abilities, in a battle royale where the last survivor will become the new god of time and space.

IMDb rating:7.5/10

Noein: To Your Other Self

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Noein: To Your Other Self is akin to an introduction to quantum physics, thanks to its scientific accuracy and mindblowing storyline. Like Steins; Gate, the anime series is also a mixture of diverse genres including slice-of-life and sci-fi.

The anime series revolves around a divided universe where the Shangri-La faction seeks to obliterate the fabric of time and space, while the Lacryma faction vehemently opposes it. The only thing that can save everyone is Dragon Torque and a team called the Dragon Knights is sent on a journey across space and time to locate the same.

Meanwhile, in the current timeline, 12-year-old Haruka and her friend Yu are considering the idea of running away from their homes when they encounter Karasu, a member of the Dragon Knights. It seems like Karasu is Yu from fifteen years ahead in the future and believes that Haruka is the Dragon Torque.

IMDb rating: 7.5/10

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Thermae Romae Novae

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The best type of time travel stories are wherein characters from history or ancient era travel to a futuristic timeline and Thermae Romae Novae ticks off all the boxes.

A renowned architect from ancient Rome, Lucius Modestus faces challenges in generating fresh ideas and is now searching for a new job. As his spirits dampen and his personality becomes gloomy, his friends attempt to help him relax by taking him to a bustling bathhouse. However, amidst the noisy and crowded atmosphere, the architect struggles to unwind.

In an attempt to escape, he submerges his head in the water and to his surprise, discovers a hidden tunnel that transports him to a contemporary Japanese bathhouse. This unexpected journey provides him with the inspiration he has been seeking to create something new and innovative.

IMDb rating: 7/10

Occult Academy

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Magic meets time travel in this show where heroes travel back in time to save the pre-apocalyptic world.

Maya is the daughter of the former Headmaster of Waldstein Academy and lives in a world invaded by aliens in 2012. To prevent an apocalypse, time travellers like Fumiaki are sent back to 1999 with the mission of destroying the Nostradamus Key. Maya returns to the academy as headmaster, intending to destroy it in 1999. However, her plans go awry when she crosses paths with Fumiaki and learns about the impending destruction.

Together, they set on a quest to locate the key.

IMDb rating: 6.6/10

Hero and feature image: Courtesy IMDb

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– Which is the best time travel anime series?
Steins; Gate, Orange, Link Click, Re: Zero and Future Diary are some of the best time travel anime series.

– Which is the highest-rated time travel anime series?
Steins; Gate is the highest-rated time travel series with an IMDb rating of 8.8/10.

8 time travel anime series that will transport you to different worlds (2024)


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