Among the sea of AMVs and animator reels available to view on YouTube, there is a multitude of sakuga MADs showcasing animation pertaining to particular subjects. There are collections of sword-fighting animation, hand-to-hand combat animation, dancing, running, and even walking.

There is also the art of mechanical animation, pertaining to an animation of machinery, mecha, or characters interacting with objects. There are plenty of action shows with guns, but for people with a fondness for weapon craftsmanship and detailed/meticulous weapon animation, there are some anime that really hit the bulls-eye.


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Lupin the 3rd

Lupin is a classic of animation favored among its fans for the characters, chases, heists, and fun characters, but it's also got some of the classiest gunfights in anime. Being a timeless series, it can get away with old-school guns as well as modern weaponry, like a tense sniper battle between Jigen and a masked assailant.

The Takeshi Koike Lupin films of recent years have presented a more adult take on the series. It's not just the stories themselves, but the treatment of action that has received some updates. The positive reception to this has rubbed off on other entries, creating some fresh gunplay that still feels in touch with the core appeal of the franchise.

Cowboy Bebop

Like with a good deal of anime from the 90s, Bebop was a treasure trove of mechanical animation, from the spaceships to the futuristic accouterments of the setting. But when Spike and the gang weren't beating the crap out of bounties, you best believe they were blowing holes in the walls.

The action choreography was one thing, but the show went to painstaking detail to make realistic recreations of real-world guns that became the trademark weapons of these characters. Spike's Jericho 941 R or Jet's Walther P99 aren't addressed like inseparable appendages to these iconic characters, but the detail put into their designs lends the tools some character.

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Whether it was Faye tearing up that shop with an MP5 in her debut or Spike going on his suicide mission at the base of the Syndicate, Cowboy Bebop always knew how to make a bang. It's no wonder that word became the catchphrase of the series.

Ghost in the Shell

In 1995's Ghost in the Shell, Mitsuo Iso animated one of the iconic scenes from the final battle against the spider tank. Rather than laying out the key frames in a storyboard, Iso animated each frame himself, to have complete control over the flow of the movements, using fewer frames to create more life-like moments.

One such moment was when the Major is loading her assault rifle, opening it, changing its components, and readying herself for the battle ahead of her. It's such a precise set of movements and the sound effects of her fiddling with the rifle are like music. Scenes such as this set a standard for Ghost in the Shell, that the interactions between characters and technology have to be intricate, detailed, and almost personal.

There is so much tech to be excited about in Ghost in the Shell that goes far beyond weaponry, but the guns of the series are gorgeous, across all the art styles. Even the live-action film understood the appreciation of the weaponry employed by the protagonists. In some cases, like with Togusa's Mateba revolver, the weapons are extensions of the characters.


This niche gem of an anime, from the producers of Black Lagoon, is an anime all about the arms trade, so it would be a little silly if it wasn't mentioned. This two-season drama might not have always gone far enough in depicting the horrors of the arms trade, but its cynicism could be felt in its off-kilter humor.

Almost every action scene is an opportunity to show off new guns, ordinances, and tactical military units, albeit with some questionable accuracy. This was a show produced by serious tactical nerds, making it a must-watch for those who relate. It might not win awards for its writing, but it seems to scratch "the itch" more than most.

Black Lagoon

Speaking of Black Lagoon, that series has almost just as much satisfactory gunplay, but with a better cast, better story, and even better action. The comparisons to classic cinema and specifically the works of Tarantino, should serve as a more effective advertisement for this series than anymore that could be written here in a short time.

Lagoon was a hit that anyone who's watched it must think "how did this not get more seasons?" Even the OVA, Roberta's Blood Trail wasn't quite enough. Out of all the anime for gun-crazy weebs out there, there are few that cut to the chase quicker than Black Lagoon, and even fewer that will do so as brazenly.

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