9 Anime-Inspired Non-Japanese Animated Series Worth Watching

While most people enjoy anime, we do, too, by the way, there are some seriously dope non-Japanese animated series. If you need a break from your regular dose of gaming to enjoy their iconic soundtracks, we totally get it. Sometimes, you just wanna watch something new, and if that’s the case, we’ve got you covered. Today, we’re gonna give you some fantastic alternative animated shows that offer fresh and exciting content.

They’re some of the hottest animated shows right now, but we’ll also throw in a few classics to round off our selection. It’ll be a good way to catch up on classics you missed out on. Now, with all that out of the way, let’s begin.

Which Non-Japanese Animated Series Are Worth Checking Out?

Okay, so the keyword here is that we’re only focusing on ‘non-Japanese’ animated series, get it? That doesn’t mean non-Asian. We’re bringing this up so that we don’t hear any lip about it later. Also, some of the animated shows we’re gonna talk about are seriously gonna be geared toward adults. Fair warning: DO NOT let kids watch them. Capeesh? Good!

With 9 slots on today’s list, there’s room for plenty of fan-favorites to nab a spot. Let’s find out if any of yours will make it.


Scissor Seven – Hilarious, Endearing, And Action Packed Fun

Scissor Seven is one of the most fun non-Japanese animate series ever.

Oh, yeah, we’re off with a bang with Scissor Seven, one of the most fun non-Japanese animated series ever. Starring a young lad named Seven who’s clumsy but talented with his dual pairs of scissors. What initially seems like a purely comic relief type of animated show quickly puts on a clinic of entertainment. Yeah, Scissor Seven catches you off-guard with its surprisingly well-written character arcs.

There’s a great deal of tragedy in the show, too. But mostly, it’s a well-balanced and exquisitely thoughtful series. The titular character, Seven, has no memory of his past life, but his handiness in defending himself using scissors hints at it. When he finds himself as the target of several assassination attempts on his life, that’s when the thrilling action will have you at the edge of your seat.

With 4 seasons under its belt and a move in the works, you’re getting the full picture here, folks. There’s also a prequel manhua, not manga cause that’s Japanese, that you can read for more context of the story. Scissor Seven is a wonderfully animated series and it stands out among other non-Japanese shows. The comical moments, in particular, will have you rolling. We highly recommend it, so check it out.


Xiaolin Showdown – One Of The Best Non-Japanese Animated Series Ever

Xiaolin Showdown is one of the most amazing non-Japanese animated series ever.

Talk about a blast from the past, eh? Xiaolin Showdown takes us back to a time when non-Japanese animated series were knocking it out of the park. This show checked all the boxes, from great voice-acting and stellar animation to fantastic character-driven stories and an overarching plot. Seriously, every character got their time to shine in this one, and the mixing of Xiaolin-style philosophy and themes added a uniqueness to the show.

Xiaolin Showdown featured some moments when the bad guys would come out the victor. There was a suspenseful feel to the show, where totally unexpected moments caught the viewers off-guard. The major antagonistic force, Wyua’s strong presence had comedic timing that lightened up the mood in scenes. It’s these little things that make Xiaolin Showdown such a delightful watch.

The main characters were from different backgrounds; Omi was the lovable Xiaolin monk and the heart of the show. Kimiko is a Japanese girl with a keen sense of fashion, and she’s graceful but with a fiery side to her. Raimundo is the goofy prankster who’s also very sharp-witted, even if a hot-head, too. Then there’s Clay, the stoic Texan with a heart of gold and chivalrous nature. They grew as characters and overcame the obstacles in an inspiring way. Xiaolin Showdown rightfully is one of the best non-Japanese animated series of all time.


Samurai Jack – All Flash, All Class, All Great!

Samurai Jack is among the top-tier non-Japanese animated series.

Samurai Jack is the next entry on our list of non-Japanese animated series. Forgive the pun; it is timeless. Seriously, words cannot describe the animation quality of this epic show. It’s got everything from high-octane action to heartfelt moments of tragedy. The wacky cyberpunk theme of a corrupted futuristic world contrasts brilliantly with Jack’s fish-out-of-water scenario. He has no means of getting back to the past from whence he came.

An evil demonic entity, Aku, flung the samurai into the future. Armed with his knowledge of martial arts and a mystical sword that can harm Aku, Jack resolves to return to the past. His willpower and heroic stoicism are the stuff of legend. No matter how dire the situation becomes, Jack is someone who never gives up and faces hurdles head-on. If you enjoy a character who’s physically a master of his craft, yet he’s not invincible, you’ll love Samurai Jack.

He’s a man on a mission but also someone with an empathic heart. Jack will go out of his way to help others, even when it means sacrificing his own wish of returning to the past. The kind of selfless devotion he shows, the pain he endures, yet throughout it all, he remains level-headed; everything is showcased exceptionally well. The finale, though bitter-sweet, fits the theme of the show really well. Trust us: You do not wanna sleep on this bloody brilliant non-Japanese animated series. Plus, you’ll be mouthing the opening theme all day.


Blue Eye Samurai – A Breath Of Fresh Air Among Non-Japanese Animated Series

Blue Eye Samurai is one of the most emotional and compelling non-Japanese animated series ever.

A newcomer to the scene of the non-Japanese animated series, Blue Eye Samurai shocks you with everything it’s got. Don’t worry, though; it’s all in a pleasantly surprising way with breathtaking imagery and super animation. Blue Eye Samurais is a story of high stakes but with a personal touch. Every revelation that happens during the story hooks you more and more, and you’ll have no choice but to watch it all the way in one go.

Another uniquely refreshing highlight of Blue Eye Samurai is the way the main character’s motivation is presented. Yes, the protagonist is a woman; she’s talented with the sword, but she’s also human. Fatigue, pain, the harsh conditions of the elements, and injuries pile up and overwhelm the main character. But it is through all of that that you see her rising up and continuing her journey, and that’s so inspiring to watch. Blue Eye Samurai does a phenomenal job of capturing the emotional aspect of the story.

It’s not just the protagonist that gets the character growth, either in Blue Eye Samurai, no the side characters, too get their time in the spotlight. Blue Eye Samurai doesn’t hold back from depicting situations you wouldn’t normally think about. The way the character dynamics work in Blue Eye Samurai, well, let’s just put it this way: we’d be lying if we said we didn’t tear up. Do yourself a favor and watch this spectacular non-Japanese animated series.

Related: Unique games with hot and cool female heroines.


Invader Zim – Over-The-Top Hilarity, Loud, And Dark Edginess Galore

Invader Zim.

Oh, yeah, Invader Zim is another oldie that’s highly original and our guilty pleasure non-Japanese animated series. Seriously, there has been nothing like it before or since Invader Zim burst out during the early 2000s. The concept is just so bizarre and wacky that we can’t even begin to describe it coherently. That’s the beauty of this show, which is ironic cause several things are intentionally made out to be icky. The show stars an alien named Zim, who belongs to the race known as Irkens. Their goal? Conquest of the galaxy.

Unfortunately, the poor alien, Zim, who lands on Earth, finds the task is easier said than done. Mostly because he’s balancing going to school, maintaining his cover among humans, and thwarting attempts by his sworn human rival to expose his alien identity. There is a dark undertone to the animation; the creepy tracks and character designs of the humans sometimes feel more menacing than Zim himself.

The humor can be dark, too. Like, we’re talking about diving into themes of body horror mutations. Mental breakdowns and absurd levels of zany nonsense are aplenty in the show. Zim’s companion, Gir is a robot disguised as a dog. The best way to describe him is a souped-up version of Claptrap from Borderlands. Also, Zim’s very territorial and a proud guy. If anyone else is capturing Earth, he bites back. Tell us you’re not interested in this non-Japanese animated series.


Avatar: The Last Air Bender – One Of The Classic Non-Japanese Animated Series

Avatar: The Last Air Bender.

Many consider this next choice to be among the peak non-Japanese animated series, and ya know what? We kinda get it cause Avatar: The Last Air Bender is just such a blast to watch. It has all of the tropes of traditional shonen formula but done in a way that’s not retreading old ground. Instead, Avatar: The Last Air Bender tremendously exceeds expectations with an original plot and visually striking animations.

The sight of the elements bending to the will of the characters creates a sense of power fantasy for the viewers. The show manages to captivate your interest in many ways, not with just big showdown bouts. For instance, there are different character interactions with witty dialogue that resonates with their personality. You see the different dynamics and pairings, as well as their evolution as the characters mature. There’s a real sense of adventure in the show as it involves the main character travelling and mastering every bending style.

There are political conflicts, themes of anxiety and self-discovery, factions rising against tyranny and subjugation. It’s really cinematic in the way the grand fights happen in Avatar: The Last Air Bender. There’s even a redemption arc in the show that showcases how people can change their ways for the better. All in all, believe the hype surrounding Avatar: The Last Air Bender. It’s one of the all-time best non-Japanese animated series.


Invincible – Brutally Bloody And Utterly Compelling


Now, we’re really in the high-end space of anime-inspired non-Japanese animated series. Imagine if My Hero Academia was darker and bloodier than it already is, and you get Invincible. This show does not hold back the violence and gore; there is brutality, and character deaths are so frequent you’ll need to pause to just process and breathe. The high intensity and dark reality of superhero predicaments will cause you to pause and think. Invincible does a great job of blurring the lines between good and evil. The moral dilemmas are next level.

Invincible stars Mark Grayson, a seemingly average young student who’s actually the son of the most powerful super-human on the planet. His life becomes infinitely more complicated when he assumes the duties that come with his inheritance. Finding out firsthand the horror of warfare hidden behind the cameras and the glamorous life of capes and tights is mortifying. It is so heartwrenching seeing young Mark learning dark truths.

However, through adversity, Mark learns the ropes and even masters his abilities. Gaining confidence, Mark begins to unravel the web of deception and juggle high-school life and saving the Earth, too. There’s sufficient screen time for the supporting cast to give them time to shine, too. Invincible brings a bloody twist to the superhero genre and sets the bar high for other non-Japanese animated series.

Related: If you like Superhero titles, check out our review of Marvel’s Spiderman 2.


Arcane – Ambition, Good Intentions, And The Road They Lead To


Imagine an aesthetic so unique, sound and musical score so sublime, and writing so top-tier that it’s in a class of its own. That’s the best way to describe our runner-up choice for the best non-Japanese animated series, Arcane. No joke, Arcane hits you like a truck with the feels right from the get-go. Oh, but it doesn’t stop there, no, because then it hammers you with every episode some more.

Here’s what y’all need to know about Arcane. You don’t need pre-knowledge of anything related to League Of Legends. Everything is explained in a way that makes sense, and the narrative is crafted masterfully. When there are action scenes, you’ll witness a spectacle of animation sequences like no other. It’s utterly jaw-dropping and mesmerizing. Not only that, but the complexity of every character, no matter how large their role in the grand scheme is a neat little touch.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find out who is right or wrong in the growing conflict between the Undercity and the bustling Metropolis, Piltover. There is so much grey area between both sides, and then there’s the tragedy of the two sisters Violet, Vi, and Powder, Jynx. Every episode brings new context, and you’ll see characters in a new light. You’ll feel torn about who to root for. Such is the gripping tale of Arcane. It is one of the finest non-Japanese animated series of all time.


The Legend Of Vox Machina – DnD Adventure And Storytelling Perfection

The Legend Of Vox Machina.

We’re rounding up our selection of the finest non-Japanese animated series with the best one there is. Yep, the one and only, the incomparable, The Legend Of Vox Machina. This series is everything we ever wanted out of a fantasy series. A merry group of adventurers with diverse backgrounds and skillsets? Check! All of them have a bond of camaraderie and constantly poke fun at each other? Check. Dangerous and sinister enemies gunning for them? Check~

The Legend Of Vox Machina has got it all and then some! There are personal demons that every party member is struggling with, *Cough* Percy *Cough*, but then there are also moments of lightheartedness. Some things you feel like will follow a cliche route, but then they don’t, and there’s even a kind of meta-humor in it, too. The funny moments are laugh-out-loud hilarious, while the emotional ones are like a gut punch. Everything just gels together excellently.

If you love the fantasy vibes, humor, and plot of Baldur’s Gate 3, then The Legend Of Vox Machina is gonna be right up your alley. The entirety of the two seasons brings something so entertaining that you’re never bored once. In fact, we’re on our third day of watching the show in anticipation of season 3. The voice acting feels so highly enjoyable; you get that the actors behind the scenes are enjoying themselves. The fun vibes of The Legend OF Vox Machina eclipses other non-Japanese animated series.

Final Thoughts

Whew~ that was a big one, but we’re glad we’re getting it off our chest. Now, y’all know which non-Japanese animated series are the best of the bunch. Sure, there are others out there, but the 9 here are, for us, the absolute elite. So, then, what do y’all think of today’s curation? Pretty different from games, huh? But if you enjoyed it, tell us about your favorites, too.

We’re gonna leave you with a feel-good moment in the video gaming landscape. We’re talking about Final Fantasy 7 (FF VII) delivering THAT romance. Take a look and find out. Anyway, until next time, happy watching!

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Rafi Ahmed
Rafi Ahmed
Retro(and modern) gamer, proud comic geek, anime connoisseur, and opinionated peach without a filter. I'm bringing you hot takes, recommendations, and what-if fantasy scenarios and championing the gamer cause against corporate greed. You're welcome!

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