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20 Captivating Water-Based Anime to Immerse Yourself In

Water is not only life-giving but also enchanting to look at. Anime, in particular, has captured the beauty of water with gorgeous art and glittering animation. It’s also a staple for many anime where the plot is centered around a waterbody, in most cases: the ocean. Today we bring you 20 captivating water-based anime to immerse yourself in.

20 Captivating Water-Based Anime to Immerse Yourself In

1) Free! Iwatobi Swim Club

Free! Iwatobi Swim Club

Anime NameFree!
MAL Rating7.33
Number of Episodes37 (3 seasons) + 2 movies
StudioKyoto Animation, Animation Do
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Funimation, Netflix

Starting off the list of captivating water-based anime is the famous sports anime, Free! Iwatobi Swim Club. The story revolves around Haruka Nanase, a teenager who loves water, but has quit competitive swimming after a saddening incident with his friend Rin in the past.

When Rin comes back in his life, Haru has to face him and their broken friendship, all the while finding his love for competitive swimming again along with his friends in Iwatobi Swim Club.

2) Ride Your Wave

Ride Your Wave

Anime NameKimi to, Nami ni Noretara
MAL Rating7.60
Number of Episodes1 movie
GenreDrama, Romance, Supernatural
StudioScience SARU
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Netflix

A heartfelt story with beautiful aesthetics, Ride Your Wave tells the story of a carefree college student Hinako Mukaimizu who loves surfing and the ocean.

When her apartment building catches fire, she’s saved by the heroic firefighter Minato Hinageshi. The two become close and eventually fall in love.

The story shows the journey of Hinako who learns to move forward after facing many unpredictable adversaries, and ride her own “wave”.

3) A Lull in the Sea

A Lull in the Sea

Anime NameNagi no Asu kara
MAL Rating7.97
Number of Episodes26
GenreDrama, Fantasy, Romance
StudioP.A. Works
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Funimation, Netflix

Once upon a time, humans used to live underwater. But after some humans abandoned the ocean to live on the surface, they lost their ability to breathe underwater.

Years later, the tension between the two sides still remains, but so does their connection. When five underwater dwelling teenagers meet a boy on the surface who loves the ocean, friendship and complicated feelings soon arise.

4) Ponyo


Anime NameGake no Ue no Ponyo
MAL Rating7.92
Number of Episodes1 movie
GenreAdventure, Fantasy
StudioStudio Ghibli
Where to WatchNetflix

In this rendition of the Little Mermaid by Studio Ghibli, we see a little goldfish sneaking away from home. After getting closer to the surface, she gets trapped in a glass jar and is rescued by the five-years old Sosuke, and named Ponyo.

In the underwater world, Ponyo is confronted by her sorcerer father Fujimoto and her real name is revealed to be Brunhilde.

When Ponyo rejects her name to go back to Sosuke, the two of them have to prove the strength of their friendship to stop the balance of nature from collapsing.

5) Dive!!


Anime NameDive!!
MAL Rating6.08
Number of Episodes12
GenreComedy, Sports
Where to WatchNA

Focusing on the sport of diving, this water-based anime tells the story of the Mizuki Diving Club (MDC). The club is soon to be closed due to financial issues, but their new coach manages to convince their parent company to keep the club open.

But that comes with one challenge: in exchange for keeping the club open, at least one member of the club has to be qualified for the next year’s Olympics. Thus begins the grueling training of the boys.

6) Love Live! Sunshine!!

Love Live! Sunshine!!

Anime NameLove Live! Sunshine!!
MAL Rating7.39
Number of Episodes26 (2 seasons)
GenreSlice of Life
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Funimation, Netflix

Chika Takami has never been involved in any club activities. But when she visits Tokyo, she’s taken by the world of high school idols and becomes a fan of the idol group μ’s.

When she decides to start an idol club at her own school, she finds her obstacle in the student council president Dia Kurosawa.

Set in a seaside town and filled with cute school girls, this anime is a very entertaining water-based anime to keep you interested.

7) Spirited Away

Spirited Away

Anime NameSen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi
MAL Rating8.78
Number of Episodes1 movie
GenreAdventure, Supernatural
StudioStudio Ghibli
Where to WatchNetflix

While going on a journey, Chihiro and her parents stumble upon a deserted amusement park. After visiting it, Chihiro is shocked to find her parents turning into pigs and the whole place is filled with spirits.

She ends up working at the inn for spirits as Sen, with the help of a mysterious boy, Haku and other new spirits she meets.

Unlike the other anime on this list, Spirited Away doesn’t explore the underwater world or focus on a water-driven sport.

But water has a special significance in the story and the animation is utterly enchanting. That’s why this movie is here as a water-based anime.

8) This Boy Caught A Merman

This Boy Caught A Merman

Anime NameKono Danshi, Ningyo Hiroimashita.
MAL Rating7.29
Number of Episodes1 OVA
GenreBoys Love, Fantasy
StudioCoMix Wave Films
Where to WatchNA

In this cute little water-based anime, we see Shima Kawauchi, a lonely boy mourning the death of his beloved grandfather by the sea.

When he falls into it, he almost drowns, not knowing how to swim, and is saved by a handsome merman. Shima names the merman Isaki who asks him to bring him home with Shima to take care of him.

The two soon find themselves getting closer and falling in love despite their different species.

9) Amanchu!


Anime NameAmanchu!
MAL Rating7.24
Number of Episodes24 (2 seasons)
GenreComedy, Slice of Life
StudioJ.C. Staff
Where to WatchCrunchyroll

Amanchu! begins with city girl Futaba moving to a small seaside town. Despite the vast difference between the lives in the city and in this small town, she is taken by the endless possibilities of the sea.

She is soon approached by her new classmate Hikari, who asks her to join the school’s diving club.

Caught in Hikari’s infectious energy, Futaba joins the club, and the two begin a beautiful friendship, with Hikari affectionately calling Futaba “Teko”.

10) Tsuritama


Anime NameTsuritama
MAL Rating7.66
Number of Episodes12
GenreComedy, Sci-Fi, Slice of Life
StudioA-1 Pictures
Where to WatchCrunchyroll

When the socially awkward Yuki Sanada moves to the seaside town of Enoshima, he hopes for a new beginning.

However, his dream of spending a normal high school year is thrown outside the window at the arrival of Haru, an eccentric boy claiming to be an alien and Yuki’s friend.

Alongside another classmate Natsuki Usami, Yuki is roped into bizarre adventures in the sea by Haru. A charming story with eye-catching art, Tsuritama is a very enjoyable water-based anime for some light-hearted fun.

11) Grand Blue

Grand Blue

Anime NameGrand Blue
MAL Rating8.43
Number of Episodes12
Where to WatchNA

Grand Blue is a hilarious story of Iori Kitahara, a college student moving to the seaside town of Izu for his freshman year. He moves into his uncle’s place above the scuba diving shop, and soon gets caught up with the antics of the members of the diving club.

Charming and stomach-splitting funny, this anime is all about absurdity and gorgeous visuals of the gleaming ocean. It is, undoubtedly, one of the best water-based anime of all time.

12) KanColle: Kantai Collection

KanColle: Kantai Collection

Anime NameKantai Collection: KanColle
MAL Rating6.83
Number of Episodes12 + 1 movie
GenreAction, Sci-Fi, Slice of Life
Where to WatchCrunchyroll

The sci-fi anime features special naval forces containing girls with special powers as their ultimate weapon against the “Abyssal Fleet”. The girls possess the spirits of famous Japanese warships and are called Kanmasu.

Futaba is a rookie Destroyer-type Kanmasu whose first experience in the field ends in utter defeat. But despite this, she is resolute to become stronger.

13) Squid Girl

Squid Girl

Anime NameYoake Tsugeru Lu no Uta
MAL Rating7.42
Number of Episodes24 (2 seasons)
GenreComedy, Slice of Life
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, HIDIVE

Join the hilarious adventure of Ika Musume who has had enough of humans polluting the sea. She surfaces near the shore with her plans of vengeance and world domination.

However, she somehow finds herself as a waitress at Lemon Beach House, a restaurant run by Eiko and Chizuru Aizawa.

The series is filled with absurd hilarity at the literally fish out of the water gags, and is an awesome water-based anime.

14) Lu Over the Wall

Lu Over the Wall

Anime NameYoake Tsugeru Lu no Uta
MAL Rating7.39
Number of Episodes1 movie
GenreAdventure, Supernatural
StudioScience SARU
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Netflix

By the ocean, there is a small seaside village called Hinoka Town where people believe merfolks are waiting right at the corner to eat humans. Because of this, they hate music. But Kai Ashimoto, a teenager, cannot help but love it and listens to beats on his laptop.

One night he encounters a mermaid who turns out to be nothing like the legends and is a sweet creature who understands music innately like Kai.

15) Wave!! Let’s Go Surfing!!

Wave!! Let’s Go Surfing!!

Anime NameWave!! Surfing Yappe!! (TV)
MAL Rating5.83
Number of Episodes12
GenreSlice of Life, Sports
StudioAsahi Production
Where to WatchCrunchyroll

While on a morning run by the beach, Masaki Hinaoka can’t help but be impressed when he sees a boy surfing beautifully along the waves. The boy later turns out to be Shou Akitsuki, Masaki’s new classmate. 

Enchanted by Shou’s surfing and encouraged by his surfing-loving best friend Nalu Tanaka, Masaki gives it a try himself and demonstrates a natural talent in it.

16) Children of the Sea

Children of the Sea

Anime NameKaijuu no Kodomo
MAL Rating7.20
Number of Episodes1 movie
GenreDrama, Mystery, Supernatural
StudioStudio 4°C
Where to WatchNetflix

Children of the Sea tells the story of a lonely girl, Ruka Azumi, who finds a strange boy at the aquarium. She learns that the boy’s name is Umi and he’s at the aquarium as a research subject for his water dependent physiology. 

The two soon become close friends, and along with Sora, Ruka’s brother who has a weird affinity towards the ocean, the trio set out to explore the underwater world.

17) My Bride Is a Mermaid

My Bride Is a Mermaid

Anime NameSeto no Hanayome
MAL Rating7.67
Number of Episodes26
GenreComedy, Romance
StudioGonzo, AIC
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Funimation

When middle-schooler Nagasumi Michishio almost drowns in the Seto Inland Sea, he’s rescued by a mermaid. Falling unconscious as he’s saved, Nagasumi never gets to thank his rescuer. However, that night the mermaid visits him and introduces herself as Sun Seto, daughter of a mermaid yakuza family.

To avoid Sun’s punishment, the two get married. But it looks like the newlyweds are in trouble with Sun’s father after Nagasumi’s life. 

18) High School Fleet

High School Fleet

Anime NameHigh School Fleet
MAL Rating7.30
Number of Episodes12
StudioProduction IMS
Where to WatchFunimation

After being submerged in the sea after a massive shift in the tectonic plates, Japan is now a maritime nation. Securing the nation has become the duty of marine forces. One such force is Blue Mermaid, a team of women leading specialized naval ships to protect the country.

Two friends, Akeno and Moeka, have always dreamt of joining the Blue Mermaid. When they finally get the opportunity to lead their own ships, they find themselves stranded in the sea.

19) Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

Anime NameSuisei no Gargantia
MAL Rating7.46
Number of Episodes13
GenreAction, Adventure, Sci-Fi
StudioProduction I.G.
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Funimation

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet is a sci-fi anime about the Earth which has submerged in water, causing humans to desert the planet.

But when Ledo, a young lieutenant of the Galactic Alliance of Humanity, loses against monstrous beings known as Hideauze, he finds himself sent back to Earth along with his autonomous robot, Chamber.

On Earth, a scavenger ship named Gargantia picks up Chamber, causing Ledo to sneak into the ship to save it. There he finds that the people on this ship are not as villainous as he imagined.

20) Umi Monogatari

Umi Monogatari

Anime NameUmi Monogatari: Anata ga Ite Kureta Koto
MAL Rating6.60
Number of Episodes12
GenreDrama, Fantasy, Romance
Where to WatchCrunchyroll, Funimation

Umi Monogatari starts with two merfolk sisters, Marin and Urin in their underwater world. When they find a silver ring on the seafloor, they set out to return it to the owner.

This leads them to Kanon Miyamori who threw the ring into the water after her boyfriend broke up with her.

Their journey to the surface soon catches up to Marin and Urin as Urin accidentally releases an evil entity, Sedna, in the ocean by breaking the seal on its stone coffin.

Turns out Sedna can only be defeated if the Priestess of the Sea and the Sky join their forces. The priestesses end up being none other than Marin and Kanon.

And that was the list of 20 captivating water-based anime to immerse yourself in. Watch to these anime for the mesmerizing visuals and heartfelt stories. We’ll be back soon with more exciting lists like this.

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