Top 10 Best Key Anime, Ranked

The studio known as Key is known for its long catalog of visual novels packed to the brim with stories and characters that have tackled many creative angles. Given how plot-oriented their line of work has been, it’s no surprise that a lot of their visual novels have been adapted into anime, but what is amazing is that several titles of theirs have since become iconic among anime fans.

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With many studios and talented animators taking up Key’s projects, this studio has become quite accomplished, to say the least. Whether they’re heart-warming, gut-bustlingly hilarious, or gut-wrenchingly sad, the best of Key’s anime deserves appreciation.

10 Rewrite Explores An Interesting Setting

In a city overrun by greenery, Kotarou Tennouji seems like an everyday-high school student. However, he has the ability known as “Rewrite,” which he can use to permanently alter himself, whether it be his strength, his speed, or his senses. Intrigued by mysteries and the supernatural, Kotoarou joins the seemingly dead Occult Club and recruits new members to fill its ranks. Together they encounter some adventures of their own.

rewrite has all the hallmarks that anime under Key is known for, from its balancing act of action and comedy as well as the romantic elements of its visual novel counterpart. While maybe not as renowned as other Key anime, Rewrites superhuman dystopian setting is interesting, and it’s well-animated, too.

9 The Day I Became A God Asks How One Would Spend Their Last Days On Earth

It was just a normal day for Youta Narukami until he crossed paths with a mysterious precognitive girl named Hina Sato, who claims that the world will end in 30 days. Whether Youta believes Hina or not, they embark on a journey to help people around town and enjoy all life has to offer, creating cherished memories in the process.

The Day I Became A God has an interesting yet familiar setup, starting out more comedic before becoming immensely sad. While it’s not a flawless story, its themes of love and making the most out of time and life is still rather touching.

8 Power, Love & The Road To Redemption Are All Part Of Charlotte

After discovering and abusing the ability to switch bodies with another person, Yuu Otosaka is cornered by other super-powered high schoolers. He is forced to help them in their quest to locate other adolescents with powers and prevent them from abusing their abilities. With time, Otosaka discovers things about himself he never thought possible.

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Charlotte sees a world where teenagers inexplicably obtain powers and what they would do with them for their sake or for others. Featuring a rather self-centered protagonist and blending action, comedy, and emotional drama, this anime tackles a lot of different things and at times feels rather rushed. That being said, its ambition and story of redemption can still be appreciated.

7 Air Is A Well-Done Tear-Jerking Romance Drama

On the search to find a mythical “Winged Maiden,” Yukito Kunisaki stumbles across a small town and a girl named Mizusu who allows him to stay for a while. Though Yukito’s still committed to his quest to find the maiden, he can’t help getting attached to the town and helping out its locals, though little does he know what he seeks might be right in front of him.

while Air’s animation might look a bit dated, it is a tear-jerking yet beautiful story of love and loneliness that keeps its tone consistent and its character quite likable. The appreciation of this anime can be seen in its acclaim as well as its movie adaptation.

6 Kanon Is A Slow Burn, But It’s Rewarding

After tragic events that caused Yuichi Aizawa to forget his childhood, he returns to the city that he had once visited with no memories of those days. Meeting up with several girls connected to his past, he slowly but surely begins to remember things as he becomes closer to all of them and learns that miracles really do exist.

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gun has a very firm grasp on its visual novel roots and executes adapting those elements into anime format quite well. At times, it can progress rather slowly, but those with patience will appreciate the time it puts into fleshing out each character’s story.

5 Worlds Collide In The Comedic Crossover Of Kaginado

Kaginado Academy is a strange school with some familiar faces all under one roof, including baseball players, a winged maiden, and members of a battlefront from the afterlife. The students of this school live their lives as best they can, despite the weird circumstances that brought them together and all the shenanigans going around.

while kaginado is definitely a departure from the usual dramatic and emotionally-heavy titles under the Key banner, it is an interesting and ending little crossover among many of its various characters, working off each other in many hilarious ways. This series is a must-watch for fans of all of Key’s work.

4 Baseball & Secrets Are Abound In Little Busters!

Riki Naoe has been a shut-in ever since the death of his parents, and his narcolepsy hasn’t helped his mental health. All that changes one day when Kyousuke Natsume recruits him into a team called the “Little Busters,” dedicated to “preserving justice” and playing a bit of baseball, too. But as their group grows, the Little Busters discover that their world might just have an earth-shattering secret to find.

Little Busters! has a lot of meaningful themes to work with such as depression and the highs and lows of growing up.Despite its large cast, it never feels too cluttered or loses focus, making for an emotionally potent viewing experience between its two seasons and multiple OVAs.

3 Planetarian Sees Optimism In The Bleakest Of Possible Futures

In a post-apocalyptic future where mankind is barely hanging on by a thread, a man known as a “Junker” sifts through wreckage and trash in order to get by. He unexpectedly comes across a friendly robot named Yumemi Hoshino who wishes to show him the stars.

planetarian sees a rather bleak rendition of the future, but underneath it, is the importance of hope and optimism even in such a stark time. While it is a short anime, only five episodes long, the story and themes of the Junker and Yumemi’s time together is no less impactful.

2 Clannad Can Be An Emotional Rollercoaster

Tomoya Okazaki’s outlook on life is not a great one, as he believes that life is dull and decides to regularly skip school. One day he meets a reserved, yet optimistic girl named Nagisa and the two become friends. Deciding to help Nagisa revive their school’s drama club, Tomoya ends up being entangled in the lives of more girls, helping them through their troubles while becoming closer to Nagisa as well.

on the surface, Clannad starts out as a typical school slice-of-life story, but as the series goes on, it continues to build on its character relationships, becoming a more emotionally charged romance/drama. at times, Clannad can be overwhelmingly upsetting, especially in its After Story season, but Clannad remains one of Key’s most recognizable titles nevertheless.

1 Angel Beats! Is A Story Of Life & Love After Death

Yuzuru Otanashi wakes up in an unfamiliar place with no memories, only to find out that he’s died and gone to the afterlife. He has little time to figure things out though, as he’s been thrown into the middle of a battle between his fellow deceased and a mysterious girl named Angel.

while Angel Beats! is guilty of using that formula of starting out comedic before becoming dramatically heavy, the sheer absurdity of its comedy and the sad layers underneath make this a better example of that trope. Brilliantly animated and themed around the unfairness of death, as well as how precious life really is, it would be a hard task to leave this anime with dry eyes.

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