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10 Best Anime Castles, Ranked

Castles are classic settings in anime. Often, the structures are inspired by historical architectural movements, like the baroque style known for its decorative, ornate details and the art nouveau style with its elegant, swooping lines. Some series feature gothic castles so filled with spirits and mysteries that the castles almost have minds and personalities of their own.


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In movies like Studio Ghibli’sHowl’s Moving Castle and Castle in the Sky, the great domains are threaded through with magic that enables them to travel great distances or float in the air. Some of anime’s most iconic castles are augmented by science; they may be run by sentient computer systems or harbor hidden laboratories full of experimental research.

10/10 Doldrey Castle Was Considered An Unassailable Fortress

Berserk

Troops invading castle that is partially on fire in Berserk.

Doldrey Castle is an enormous stone fortress in Berserk, situated amid a barren landscape. Once regarded as unassailable, it is a main defense point on the Midland border. The castle is a medieval masterpiece made of tall stone walls and many turrets with openings for defensive artillery fire, as one would see in European fortresses.

The garrison boasts tens of thousands of warriors, including the Purple Rino Knights, ready to defend their border. Doldrey’s capture is the target of many invading forces that recognize it as a powerful landmark in any war. The fortress is unique for its strategic importance, well-garrisoned walls, and its medieval structure.

9/10 Aincrad Castle Is The Setting For The First Virtual Reality Game

Sword Art Online

Aincrad in Sword Art Online.

Sword Art Online’s Aincrad castle serves as the first setting for the anime’s central virtual role-playing game. The monolith of twisted metal and stacked stone is home to a huge population and floats among the clouds, existing as its own sort of ecosystem.

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The castle comprises a hundred floors that house earthen landscapes like forests, rivers, mountainsides, and many villages, large and small. The levels are all linked by Labyrinths, towers connecting the floors and leading to bosses that players must defeat to ascend to the next floor.

8/10 Laputa Represents The Height Of Technology As A Floating Kingdom

Castle In The Sky

Laputa from Castle in the Sky.

Laputa is a kingdom in the Studio Ghibli movie Castle in the Sky, which ceded from Earth, tiring of its wars. The kingdom is a floating landmass made of castle tiers.

The main structure has a classical fairy tale castle look, owing much to mid-16th-century European influences. The fantastical edition of floating technology enables the kingdom to hover in the sky like something between a dirigible and a small planet. By the time Castle in the Sky takes place, Laputa is in ruins, floating aimlessly in the sky after its civilization crumbled and fled.

7/10 The Cat King’s Palace Looks Like Heaven On Earth

The Cat Returns

Haru in the Cat Kingdom in The Cat Returns.

The Cat Returns is a portal fantasy anime about a girl named Haru who can talk to cats. When Haru saves Prince Lune, the heir to the Cat Kingdom, it earns her an invitation to the Cat Kingdom to marry the prince.

Haru is whisked away against her will to the Cat Kingdom and speaks with the King in his beautiful palace surrounded by green rolling hills. The palace is made of cream and soft red stone, with a central spire that seems to pierce the sky. The kingdom and its palace centerpiece are awash in yellow light as if they were located in the Elysian Plains.

6/10 The Dark Kingdom’s Castle Houses An Evil Entity

Sailor Moon

Queen Beryl in Sailor Moon.

The Negaverse castle in Sailor Moon is a kind of foil to the Moon Palace, which draws heavy inspiration from the Taj Mahal. The shadowy gray turrets seem to have no windows leading out to its gloomy world.

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The castle is Queen Beryl’s home base, where she communes with her leader, Queen Metalia, an amorphous ball of evil energy and malicious intent the likes of which HP Lovecraft fans can admire. The inside of the castle is made of sharp stone and stalactite-like furnishings, with arches that open wide like fanged mouths.

5/10 Count Lee’s Castle Is Run By A Sophisticated Computer System

Vampire Hunter D

Count Magnus Lee's castle in Vampire Hunter D.

In the 1985 Vampire Hunter D movie, the vampire antagonist Count Magnus Lee resides in a towering art nouveau-style castle. Sharp, needle-like towers reach into the night sky, supported by foundations formed out of stone carved into sinuous looping and curling patterns.

The castle is meant to be more stylistic than realistic. It’s also run by artificial intelligence, which gives the castle a feeling of looming surveillance. Count Magnus Lee steals a woman from the village, Doris, and brings her back to his castle to make her his “bride.” Doris’ brother and D infiltrate the castle to save Doris, only to be confronted by its manifold traps and pitfalls.

4/10 Naruto Must Solve The Mystery Of A Haunted Castle

naruto

Naruto and Hinata enter a haunted castle in Naruto.

Episode #194 of naruto is about a haunted castle. One night during Naruto’s search for Kayo of the Land of Honey, he enters a tall, sweeping castle cloaked in mist. Once Naruto, Hinata, and Kiba enter, they’re confronted with the supernatural. The house itself is sentient — bookshelves move, and doors open and shut of their own accord.

Like in a Scooby Doo episode, the eyes in portraits appear to follow observers as they pass. One of the best moments in the English dub is another clear nod to Scooby Doo when Naruto screams, “Zoinks!” after he comes across a dead warrior in the bowels of the castle. Naruto and his gang discover that the house is more than haunted — it’s cursed to consume whoever comes inside.

3/10 Mewtwo’s Castle On New Island Contains A Secret Laboratory

Mewtwo Strikes Back

Mewtwo's castle on New Island from Pokémon Mewtwo Strikes Back.

In both the 1998 Pokémon: The First Movie—Mewtwo Strikes Back and the 2019 Netflix redo, Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution, Mewtwo lives in a castle on New Island. In both versions, Mewtwo’s castle is plainly inspired by the art nouveau movement.

It features organic curving lines, spindly towers, curlicue arches, and staircases designed like unfurling ribbons. The castle looks as if it could be a Sea King’s palace rising from the waters surrounding the island. Inside the castle is a secret laboratory that can clone Pokemon.

2/10 Howl’s Castle Is Powered By A Fire Demon

Howl’s Moving Castle

Ghibli's Howl's Moving Castle: A picture of the Moving Castle.

The main setting in Howl’s Moving Castle doesn’t have the look of any traditional castle. It makes up for its lack of elegant architecture with elemental demon magic and homey charm — especially after Sophie gives it a good scrub-down. Howl’s castle is a bulbous, many-layered structure that ambles on impossibly tiny legs. The edifice has poky eyes and a wide, gaping maw, giving an almost toad-like grimace.

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The house is powered by the bargain Howl made with Calcifer, a falling star. Howl’s reasoning isn’t always clear-cut. He moves his house from place to place to avoid confrontation of any kind, but he could also be inferred by the end of the movie that he enchanted his house to travel so that he could find Sophie.

1/10 Dracula’s Castle Can Teleport

Castlevania

Dracula's Castle from the Castlevania anime.

Located in Wallachia, Transylvania, a castle seems to erupt from the ground as stalagmites jut upward from a cave floor. The castle is the ancient seat of Castlevania’s first antagonist, Dracula. There, he keeps a huge library of scientific knowledge, which he shares with his human wife, Lisa Tepes.

Dracula calls his castle a “traveling machine,” as it can teleport. At the direction of his energy, the walls shudder, massive gears in the ceiling turn, and the castle glimmers out of sight. When it arrives at a new location, it decimates plant and animal life in the area where it lands.

NEXT: 10 Best Anime Set In Feudal Japan, Ranked

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