Motorcycles aren’t really a genre in the literal sense of the term, but they do feature in a lot of artistic works. The world of anime is known for providing us with a lot of different narrative elements, to motorcycles can definitely be a part of it. In this article, we are going to give you a list of the 25 best motorcycle-related anime series of all time.
25. DEATH NOTE
Original Run: October 3, 2006 – June 26, 2007
Number of Episodes: 37
Light Yagami is a model student, bored with his lifestyle and tired of being surrounded by a society filled with crime and corruption. His life takes a decisive turn when one day he finds on the ground a mysterious black notebook, entitled “Death Note”, which bears the following instruction: “The human whose name will be written in this notebook will die”.
Initially skeptical of his authenticity, Light changes his mind when he successfully tests the notebook on two criminals and meets the real owner of the Death Note, a shinigami named Ryuk; he then decides to use this new power to kill all criminals, eradicate evil and become the “God of the new world”.
24. FLCL Alternative
Original Run: April 1, 2018 (April Fools’ Day airing) / September 8, 2018 – October 13, 2018
In the final season, FLCL Alternative, Haruko comes into the lives of high school girl Kana Kōmoto and her friends and has become something of a mentor to Kana by helping her transition from teenager to adulthood as Medical Mechanica begins its assault on Earth.
23. FLCL Progressive
Original Run: June 3, 2018 – July 7, 2018
In season two, FLCL Progressive, Haruko returns to Mabase years later after a failed attempt to contain Atomsk, though she managed to absorb him. While taking on the role of middle school homeroom teacher, Haruko targets a 14-year-old girl named Hidomi Hibajiri through her classmate and eventual love interest Ko Ko.
Haruko finds opposition in both the headphones worn by Hidomi and Julia Jinyu, a more stoic part of Haruko who split from her during her initial attempt to control Atomsk’s power.
Haruko ends up eating Julia to restore herself and uses Ide to get Hidomi. As before, this causes conflict between Medical Mechanica and the Interstellar Immigration Bureau, as the latter has reverse-engineered Canti’s technology to use N.O. Warp energies for their own use.
Atomsk appears on Earth as planned, but Haruko ends up failing again with Julia freed and taking her leave. Haruko regains her composure and resumes her hunt for Atomsk as Hidomi and Ide begin their relationship while Mabase rebuilds after much of it was destroyed by Medical Mechanica.
Original Run: April 26, 2000 – March 16, 2001
Episodes: 6 (OVA)
The first season of FLCL is a coming-of-age story and revolves around Naota Nandaba, a 12-year-old working-class boy living with his widowed father and grandfather. His life in the city of Mabase is interrupted by the arrival of a Vespa maniac named Haruko Haruhara. She knocks Naota down then resuscitates him with CPR before hitting him on the head with her left-handed electric bass (a blue, vintage Rickenbacker 4001) and continues to stalk him.
Finding Haruko working her way through her life as a maid, Naota discovers that the head injury she caused created an “N.O.” portal, from which giant robots produced by a company known as the name of Medical Mechanica. The first of these robots is punched in the head by Haruko and becomes a friendly service robot later named Canti. Canti ingests Naota to take on the reddened form he first had when fighting the robots sent after him.
21. Bubblegum Crisis
Original Run: February 25, 1987 – January 30, 1991
Episodes: 8 (OVA)
Mega Tokyo 2032: to counter the mega-corporation Genom and its cyborgs called “boomers”, which often get out of control, a new outlaw defense group is formed to fight crime under the code name Knight Sabers.
The members of this team are four ruthless and sensual girls: Priss, Linna, Sylia, and Nene, all armed and equipped with “Hardsuit”, powerful power armor. Obviously, the sentimental stories of the four girls will often intertwine in their “work”, often hindered even by the police.
20. Yu☆Gi☆Oh! 5D’s
Original Release: April 2, 2008 – March 30, 2011
Number of Episodes: 154 + 1 special
In this series, in addition to the traditional duels with the Dueling Disk, some duelists compete on particular moto-dueling disks, called “D-Wheel” (“Duel Runner” in the American and Italian version) and these duelists take the name of “D-Wheeler” (“Turbo Duelists” in the American version, “Duelists Turbo” in the Italian one).
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s is set in the future in New Domino Town. Seventeen years earlier, due to the malfunction of a reactor, called Ener-D inside the city, it caused a strong earthquake that divided the city into two parts: the Satellite, the dilapidated and poverty stricken part, and Neo Domino City, the richest and most urban part. The protagonist is Yusei Fudo, a boy from the Satellite.
He flees to the rich city to seek the freedom of his people and find Jack Atlas, the King of Turbo Duels, as well as his old friend who betrayed him by stealing his Duel Runner two years earlier and the Stardust Dragon card, which represented the only chance for Yusei and his friends to leave the Satellite.
Original Run: January 8, 2010 – March 26, 2016
Number of Episodes: 60
From the same creators of Baccano!, Durarara!! an anime set in a violent Tokyo populated by young thugs and gangsters of all kinds. The events take place in the Ikebukuro neighborhood where Ryugamine Mikado moves invited by his childhood friend Kida Masaomi who immediately warns him to keep away from some shady characters who roam the neighborhood: a violent man dressed as a bartender, an information salesman, and a mysterious gang calling themselves “Dollars”.
But upon his arrival in the city Mikado will come across a Dullahan, a headless motorcyclist who drives a big black motorcycle with the engine and headlights off, who is considered an urban legend that everyone is terrified of, even the gangs of Ikebukuro.
18. Circuit Angel: Ketsui no Starting Grid
Original Release: May 21, 1987
Running Time: 44 minutes (OVA)
Mariko is tough yet kind girl who is really into motorcycles. She ends up in a race to settle things between the rich son of bike maker and herself.
17. Galactic Gale Baxingar
Original Run: July 6, 1982 – March 29, 1983
The action takes place six centuries after the destruction of the planet Jupiter and the solar system is in a state of apparent peace under the steadfast and decisive government of the Bakufu organization. However, the lawlessness in many of these space territories requires the input of a man named Dan Condo; he must organize a new J9 team to fight injustice. The five team members are equipped with “Cosmobikes” which can be assembled into a super robot named Baxingar.
16. Scared Rider Xechs
Original Run: July 5, 2016 – September 20, 2016
The Blue World, which symbolizes reason, is constantly attacked by creatures called Nightfly O’Note, which come from the red world and symbolize instinct. Akira Asagi, the 17-year-old protagonist and researcher of Blue World, is appointed to wage war at Ryuukyuu LAG, a proud defensive structure on the islands of Ishigaki and Iriomote.
She encounters the sixth “IS” combat unit, formed four years after a fierce battle that destroyed the fifth unit. Akari must lead these six horsemen, also known as the Scared Rider Xechs, to fight against the other world while deepening the relationship between them.
15. Venus Wars
Original Release: March 11, 1989
Running Time: 102 minutes
After the impact of a huge ice comet against Venus, the terraforming process is initiated which leads to the sending of the first ships in 2012 and 2017 at the beginning of the massive colonization of the planet. In 2089, year 72 according to the new calendar, the terrestrial settlers, divided into the two nations of Aphrodia and Ishtar, fight a daily battle against an essentially hostile environment.
But as if this were not enough – or perhaps precisely for this reason – the equilibriums on which civil coexistence on the planet is based enter into crisis, and Aphrodia and Ishtar enter the war. Ishtar, who has taken the military lead, deploys huge ultramodern tanks in his ranks. To face the advance, Aphrodia’s army has no choice but to oppose you with much more agile and fast assault motorcycles. Rolling game players – a sort of motorized polo – including Hiro Senō of the Killer Commandos team are also called to pilot them.
Meanwhile, the very young journalist Susan Sonntag arrives from Earth – who seems to remain neutral with respect to the Venusian conflict – in the hope of making the scoop of her life. In the second part of the manga, the story follows the story of a young Ishtar cadet, Matthew Sim Radom, and the struggle for power that takes place in Gaugamela, the capital of the nation that won the war.
14. Futari Daka
Original Run: September 20, 1984 – June 21, 1985
After having dinner at the restaurant, Teddy Santarini and his mother Isabelle fall into an ambush organized by a group of bikers they have crossed beforehand. A young man on a motorcycle intervenes and puts an end to the attack. The next day, Teddy leaves to train on a circuit and meets the young man there again: it is Teddy Tojo, a pilot who is part of the Rayons Bleus team.
During an improvised motorcycle race between the two riders, Teddy Santarini trying to catch up with his opponent, skids during a turn and loses the duel. Teddy Santarini then wishes to take his revenge on Teddy Tojo and then decides to obtain his license to compete: this is what marks the beginning of their rivalry.
Original Run: March 4 – June 28, 1985
The first generation features Rick Hunter, a civilian pilot whose circumstances lead him to join the military as a fighter pilot. Along with the war plotline, a love triangle develops between Rick Hunter, Lisa Hayes (First Officer of the SDF-1 ship), and Lynn Minmei, a young woman who will become the star of the show.
In 1999, a ship of extraterrestrial origin crashed on an island in the South Pacific called Macross. The nations of Earth, at the time immersed in a violent Global Civil War, agree to form a United Earth Government to organize the world’s defense against a possible extraterrestrial attack. This government decides to restore the alien ship, now known as SDF-1 (Super Dimensional Fortress-1), and put it into service as the flagship of the Earth fleet.
Ten years later, the SDF-1 is ready to take off when a fleet belonging to an extraterrestrial race of giants called the Zentraedi arrives on Earth to take over the ship. A fight ensues between the forces of Earth and the Zentraedi, culminating in the SDF-1 taking off and the warp (a faster-than-light method of travel) of the ship and the Macross Island with its 70,000 inhabitants beyond. of Pluto’s orbit.
The series covers, in successive episodes, the journey of the SDF-1 back to Earth, bringing on board the civilians of Macross Island, who have rebuilt their city inside the ship, while being attacked by the Zentraedi, who seek to recover the Protoculture Matrix, the source of energy that forms the basis of their society. This fight goes on for about five years.
Original Run: April 5, 2008 – September 27, 2008
The action takes place in an alternative modern Germany. For unknown reasons, “Demoniacs” began to appear in the cities – the corpses of people who turned into robotic creatures. They kill people, turning them into demoniacs too. To combat them, a special group “Xat” was created, which conducts an intensive hunt for the possessed and tries to find out the reason for their occurrence. Meanwhile, a mysterious woman with green hair comes to the people in despair and offers to take a pill that, according to her, will improve a person’s physical abilities many times over.
11. Megazone 23 – Part III
Original Run: September 28, 1989 – December 22, 1989
The third part takes place several centuries later with a hacker named Eiji Takanaka, who is wanted by a rebel group working against the teachings of a mysterious spiritual leader known as Bishop Won Dai. Sion, a high-ranking member of the rebel group working under the umbrella of Orange Amusements, begins to keep tabs on Eiji as he investigates a strange program, Project Heaven, developed by the E=X Bureau, Won Dai’s elite staff.
Sion manages to confront Eiji while Orange tries to stop whatever Project Heaven is. Severely injured, he orders Eiji to go to the lowest point in the city to find the true, centuries-old Eve Tokimatsuri, destined to be awakened by Shogo Yahagi. She takes him to Bahamut, to meet the standalone version of Eve from the previous two parts, while Sion manages to stop Orange from making the same mistake he did several centuries before, using him to convey E=X’s master plan.
In the end, Eiji and Eve confront Won Dai, and Won Dai dies after disconnecting from his life support but not before revealing that his real name is Shogo Yahagi. Eve heads to ADAM’s moon base to shut it down and destroy it, while she takes the computer out of town. She finally begins the final part of the plan enacted around a millennium earlier, as Eiji heads off to reunite with Ryo to start his life anew.
10. Megazone 23 – Part II
Running Time: 80 minutes
Within the city in orbit, a military dictatorship has been set up by Colonel B. D. in order to defend against the weapon responsible for the destruction of the Earth five hundred years before. Shōgo and his girlfriend Yui have found refuge in a biker gang. With the help of the artificial intelligence Eve, they will confront the colonel in order to show that humanity is capable of recolonizing the earth.
9. Megazone 23 – Part I
Original Release: March 9, 1985
Running Time: 80 minutes
Yahagi Shōgo is an idle teenager and womanizer who, by chance, comes into possession of a strange, heavily armed motorcycle named Garland, and who is moreover fiercely sought by the police.
It is while trying to escape him that Shōgo comes across Bahamut, a computer that teaches him the terrible truth about the world around him: the place where he lives is only a virtual reality, a reproduction of Tōkyō parked in orbit in a gigantic satellite (Megazone), humanity having disappeared from a devastated Earth five hundred years ago. And most importantly: the weapon responsible for the desertification of the Earth has not disappeared, far from it.
Original Run: January 12, 2009 – March 30, 2009
Student Rin Ogata inherited her mother’s talent and, like her, became a gifted ballet dancer at a young age. However, three years before the current events began, she broke her left foot during a performance. She has since stopped dancing and became interested in acting while studying at Musashino College of Arts and Letters.
She comes across a club at the university whose mechanics and drivers take part in races in a championship with the so-called ridebacks. Persuaded by Haruki Hishida to take a test ride, she mounts the Rideback baptized Fuego (Spanish for fire) and, after a ride that actually got out of control, inspires the club members with a sensational jump.
Excited by the atmosphere, Rin rides with Fuego more often and is later challenged to a duel by Tamayo Kataoka, the club’s reigning champion and driver. However, neither of the two drivers can decide this for themselves, as both have to retire during the race due to an accident. Meanwhile, rumors keep circulating that terrorists are using armed ridebacks to launch attacks. At the same time, however, the Japanese police should also rely on a new generation of ridebacks in order not to be inferior to the terrorists.
However, this introduction is very controversial. However, when Rin’s best friend and roommate Shōko Uemura is involved in one of these attacks and taken hostage, Rin tries to free her. She succeeds in doing this, but by doing so she draws the attention of both the terrorists and the military to herself and Fuego.
7. One Off
Original Run: August 5, 2012 – October 7, 2012
Haruno is a girl who lives with her parents in a cafe and restaurant in the mountains; she likes to ride mopeds with her friends. Haruno’s parents soon hire a waitress to help them at the cafe due to the coming season of visiting fans of the stars that look better in town; this new waitress is an Australian motorcyclist who has traveled all over the world on her motorcycle named Cynthia B. Rogers.
This girl is outgoing and motivates others to fulfill her dreams, but Haruno has a more closed mind and does not accept that Cynthia motivates others to fulfill her dreams because she thinks that it is not possible for some to achieve it. Haruno remains defiant about her own limitations. Then Haruno’s friends tell Cynthia that when she was a girl she used to be like Cynthia, so she decides to take Haruno for a walk on the beach where she reminds Haruno that you set your own limits.
Arriving at the beach, Cynthia tells him that it is okay to receive help from others. As the cafe prepares for a stargazing event, Cynthia warms to the idea of Haruno performing at a concert, but Haruno lacks confidence, even after suggesting it to her friends. After Haruno chats a bit with one of the stargazers, who turns out to be one of Cynthia’s friends, Kageyama, Haruno’s friends decide that they should prove that they have a mini-concert at the cafe, naming their unit Poko a Poko.
Later, Haruno learns that Cynthia will soon be leaving for Australia. As Haruno gets depressed, Kageyama gives her some encouragement. Haruno and the other girls practice hard for her concert and give Cynthia a farewell performance. As Cynthia prepares to enjoy her vacation, Haruno promises her that one day she would come to see her.
6. Two Car
Original Run: October 7, 2017 – December 23, 2017
The action takes place on the small and sparsely populated island of Miyakejima, south of Tokyo. Yuri Miyata (voiced by Aoi Koga) and Megumi Meguro (voiced by Aimi Tanaka) team up for a sidecar racing competition and strive to become champions. The situation is complicated by the fact that both of them fall in love with their coach.
5. Terror in Resonance
Original Run: July 10, 2014 – September 25, 2014
In an alternate world, Tokyo is hit by a terrorist attack that leaves the entire city in shock. The only element of investigation is a video that the culprits posted on the Internet. The terrorists are actually a duo calling themselves “Sphinx”, two teenagers called Nine and Twelve. They have survived an unknown incident, and decide to “wake up the world” with terrorist attacks.
4. Bari Bari Densetsu
Original Run: May 10, 1986 – December 16, 1986
Episodes: 2 OVA episodes
The early parts of the story focus on both high school life and street racing. First, the characters are illegal street racers who drive on public roads, specifically winding mountain roads known as tōge. This type of runner was called “rolling-zoku”, a type of bōsōzoku, and was considered a social problem in Japan. Later parts of the story revolve around professional motorcycle racing held on street courses such as the All Japan Road Race Championship.
3. Kino’s Journey —the Beautiful World—
Original Run: April 8, 2003 – July 8, 2003 / October 6, 2017 – December 22, 2017
Episodes: 13 + 1 OVA / 12
In Kino’s Odyssey, the protagonist Kino, accompanied by a Brough Superior talking motorcycle called Hermes, travels through a mystical world in many different countrysides and forests, each unique in its customs and people. Kino stays only three days and two nights in each city, without exception. She thinks that’s the amount of time it takes to learn everything important about the place, while leaving time to explore new areas.
On the other hand, Kino says in the first episode (named The country where we understand the pain of others) that this explanation is probably false and evokes a second reason: “if I stay longer, I’m afraid I want to stay “. A phrase repeated in the anime and in the novels is: “The world is not beautiful, so it is”.
Kino’s Odyssey explores what director Ryūtarō Nakamura describes as “a radical sense of beauty” where brutality, loneliness, absurdity, oppression and tragedy are often juxtaposed with compassion and atmospheric fairytale. For protection and for hunting, Kino carries a simple .44 revolver (called The Cannon, based on a Colt M1851) which uses liquid explosives instead of gunpowder, and a .22 semi-automatic pistol (called The Woodsman, based on a Colt Woodsman).
Later in Kino’s adventures in the novels, Kino also wields a pump-action shotgun (based on a Winchester M1897) and a sniper rifle (called The Flute, based on an Arisaka Type 99 rifle), along with a variety of others tools including knives. In the anime, he carries no less than five, including one that can fire .22 bullets from its handle.
The technology in this world exists and is sometimes worthy of science fiction, although anachronisms are common (for example, the same country having robots also seems to have phonographs). The level of technology also varies from country to country. The universe in Kino’s Odyssey isn’t very magical (the only apparent magic is that a country moves; motorbikes talk; and a dog, Riku, talks), although it there is a certain amount of fairy tales.
Original Run: April 5, 2016 – June 21, 2016
Episodes: 12 + 2 OVA
One day, while riding her bike up a big hill on her way to school, Hane Sakura is embarrassed to see another student riding a motorcycle to school. Taking an interest, Hana joins her school’s motorcycle club and gets a motorcycle license. After buying her own motorcycle, Hane begins her exciting and motorized school life with her new friends: Onsa Amano, Rin Suzunoki, Raimu Kawasaki, and Hijiri Minowa.
Original Release: July 16, 1988
Running Time: 124 minutes
Tokyo was destroyed by a mysterious explosion on December 6, 1982, and this triggered World War III, with many cities destroyed by nuclear weapons. In 2019, Neo-Tokyo is a corrupt megalopolis crisscrossed by gangs of idle and drug-addicted young bikers. One night, one of them, Tetsuo, has a motorcycle accident while trying to avoid a strange boy who is in his way.
Wounded, Tetsuo is captured by the Japanese army. He is the subject of numerous tests as part of an ultra-secret military project aimed at identifying and training beings with predispositions to psychic powers (telepathy, teleportation, telekinesis, etc.).
Tetsuo’s friends, including their leader Kaneda, want to know what happened to him because when he escapes and finds himself free, he is no longer the same. Tetsuo tests his new powers and wants to establish himself as a leader among junkies, which doesn’t sit well with everyone, especially Kaneda.