Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)’s anime is everything we’d hoped it to be. It’s a fantastic adaptation of the manga and a great seasonal addition to the current list of popular long-running anime series. With season three just around the corner, here are 10 other similar anime to watch while you wait. As always, you can watch this article’s video summary here.
Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign
Alternative Names: Owari no Seraph, Seraph of the End
Genres: Action, Military, Supernatural, Drama
Similarities: After losing his family to vampires, the protagonist becomes set on revenge and joins a military group that focuses on killing such supernatural threats. There’s two main opposing sides to this story with the main characters at the centerfold of the war. It’s a very familiar premise to Attack on Titan’s, and the first episode really highlights those similarities.
Differences: The story and the world of Seraph of the End is pretty black and white compared to Attack on Titan’s. It’s mostly humans vs vampires without much deep emphasis on the backstory or characterization of the enemies. The show also has an apparent casual feel to it even though it tries to be gritty, as the initial setting of the story is inside a High School and comedy is used much more liberally.
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
Alternative Names: Koutetsujou no Kabaneri
Genres: Action, Drama, Fantasy
Similarities: In a post-apocalyptic world, mankind is at the mercy of mindless monsters who are drawn to human flesh. The few survivors cower inside walled cities hoping to live their lives in peace. The story follows a protagonist who as a child, experienced the horrors of these monsters firsthand, and now vows to take revenge by killing all of them. Sound familiar? This synopsis can be used for Attack on Titan as well, and since both anime are made by the same studio/director, the overlapping similarities are glaring. However, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is still an enjoyable show in its own right and a great series for anyone looking for a similar dark fantasy anime to Attack on Titan.
Differences: Right off the bat, you’ll probably notice the stark contrast in art. While both shows are gorgeously animated and drawn, the art in Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is not as grounded and desaturated as Attack on Titan, but that doesn’t mean the art in either show is any less beautiful. Personally, I think the color palette and tone of the respective shows fit their own narratives and styles.
Kabaneri’s first few episodes introduce characters who are quite different than the cast of Attack on Titan. The protagonist of Kabaneri is a bit of a geek and a much lighter contrast to the hot-headed Eren Yaeger. Although their initial goals of killing monsters are similar, they eventually branch out into different, but more mature main characters.
Genres: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Horror
Similarities: Deadman Wonderland is an extremely bloody and violent action anime featuring a young protagonist who is suddenly thrown into a dark and unjust world. In this world, he acquires an unfamiliar, but powerful ability and uses it to survive. It’s a familiar theme that follows the maturing of a naive boy in a harsh world where his actions and choices are judged with real consequences.
Differences: Set in contrasting time periods with completely different supernatural settings and stories, the two anime have much more differences than similarities. Deadman Wonderland takes place in a futuristic prison where the main characters have to compete in gladiator-styled death battles using their unique blood-bending abilities. The story focuses more on the betrayal and hopelessness of human conflicts rather than the humans vs. gigantic monsters theme from the earlier Attack on Titan episodes. You probably won’t find the expansive world-building of Attack on Titan here, but what you’ll find is an excellent restraint story in a confined setting that is based around a much smaller set of tragic characters.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Supernatural, Fantasy
Similarities: Claymore is set in medieval times where humanity lives in constant fear of man-eating demons. Only certain individuals with special equipment and abilities can slay these monsters. The main character is one of these individuals, and the story is her tale of vengeance. It has a familiar dark tone and air of hopelessness that many people love about Attack on Titan. It’s a very serious and mature fantasy where violence, struggle, and revenge play huge parts in the show. So if you are a fan of those dark themes from Attack on Titan, then Claymore will be right down your alley.
Differences: While both shows are story-based action fantasies, Claymore’s story has a much bigger focus on its characters rather than the world. There are memorable instances of world-building, but it’s definitely not as grand or significant as Attack on Titan.
The main protagonist from Claymore is quite mature and starts off almost emotionless. It wasn’t until she meets a kid named Raki that she finally begins to show a bit of humanity. The story mainly focuses on the dynamic between Clare and Raki while Attack on Titan introduces a larger cast of important characters.
Knights of Sidonia
Alternative Names: Sidonia no Kishi
Genres: Action, Mecha, Sci-Fi
Similarities: In the distant future where earth is destroyed by gigantic aliens, what’s left of humanity scatters across the galaxy on large habitable ships in order to survive. Like Attack on Titan, the gigantic monsters from Knights of Sidonia also have small weak points. However, it’s extremely difficult to kill one as many of the main characters usually die trying. This series is a dark and cruel reminder of just how fragile humans are, but it also stands as a testament of our tenacity to adapt and survive against all odds.
Differences: Knights of Sidonia is an amazing science fiction anime, but the story happens in completely different time periods and setting than Attack on Titan. It’s a way more futuristic world that relies on science fiction instead of fantasy. The show’s 3D art and animations might also be a turn off for some people that love the gorgeously predominant 2D style of Attack on Titan.
Alternative Names: Tokyo Kushu
Genres: Action, Drama, Horror, Psychological, Supernatural
Similarities: The two shows both explore a violent world where humans are constantly hunted by monsters. Through a traumatic event, the main character of Tokyo Ghoul becomes one of those monsters and gets thrown into a dark unforgiving environment. There’s a constant emphasis on the complexity of morality, and death is around every corner. The main character faces tough choices, through which he matures mentally as a person and physically as a monster.
Differences: Tokyo Ghoul’s modern-day story follows a loose style, in a sense that the main protagonist doesn’t have an end goal in mind during the beginning. It’s quite different than the early plot of Attack on Titan which is directly influenced by Eren and his vow for revenge. But considering the sudden dramatic shift in lifestyle and settings of the two protagonists, Tokyo Ghoul is a great recommendation for Attack on Titan lovers.
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Mystery
Similarities: Black Bullet takes place in a post apocalyptic future where humanity has been driven nearly extinct by giant parasitic creatures known as ‘Gastrea’. The remaining humans are forced to live in small territories behind large walls, and only a select few with special powers are strong enough to fight against these monsters. It’s a very similar premise to Attack on Titan and one that explores a dark story full of action, deaths, and mystery.
Differences: Black Bullet shifts in tone quite a bit; it’s mostly a serious action flick with brutal deaths, but at times it tries to be a light-hearted romantic comedy with fanservice. The show definitely isn’t grounded like Attack on Titan, as apparent by its character design, over-the-top comedic moments, and unrealistic weapons. However, it’s still an enjoyable ‘B movie’ type of anime that follows the same human vs giant creatures premise as Attack on Titan and offers a similar tone of hopelessness during its intense action scenes.
Genres: Action, Military, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Similarities: In a futuristic post apocalyptic world where humans are driven to near extinction by giant man-eating monsters known as ‘Aragami’, only a chosen few who are armed with special weapons are able to defend humanity. The protagonist is one of those chosen who, after a traumatic event, vows to kill all the Aragami and protect those that he loves. His story is one that is full of action, drama, and tragedy, a very similar vibe to Eren’s story from Attack on Titan.
Differences: As a sci-fi action fantasy, God Eater doesn’t try too hard to ground itself with realism. Instead, the show takes advantage of its gorgeous art to showcase some of the most incredible and over-the-top action scenes. The protagonist of God Eater prioritizes protecting everyone over destroying the enemies, it’s almost like a reverse parallel of Eren whose sole priority at the beginning was to kill all the titans. However, don’t expect the same depth of story and world-building as Attack on Titan as God Eater only has 13 episodes and ended with a bit of loose ends.
Parasyte -the maxim-
Alternative Names: Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu, Parasite, Parasitic Beasts, Parasyte
Genres: Action, Drama, Horror, Psychological
Similarities: If you are a fan of the premise where a naive protagonist with special powers gets thrown into a harsh and unforgiving world, then you might like Parasyte. It has a dark, bloody, and gritty story with a very familiar main character who goes through similar tragedies and character developments. Overall an enjoyable action drama that delves into some serious questions as well as ideals about ethics and morality.
Differences: Shinichi, the protagonist of Parasyte, gets his right hand taken over by a foreign parasitic alien who he calls ‘Migi’. The contrast between the main character and the monster on his right hand create some really fun and dynamic dialogues, but the show’s constant focus around a small set of characters is quite a difference from the large cast of Attack on Titan. Unlike Eren, Shinichi also has an active love interest, and romance does play a big part in the story.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Alternative Names: FMA, FMA Brotherhood, Fullmetal Alchemist (2009), Hagane no Renkinjutsushi
Genres: Action, Military, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Magic, Fantasy
Similarities: A gritty fantasy military series that excels in story, character, and world building. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is not as dark or bloody as Attack on Titan, but its complex storylines, realistic characters, and deep philosophical themes give off the same vibe. Like Attack on Titan, it also manages to develop an expansive and believable world that’s full of interesting characters and intriguing mysteries. There’s minimal romance, and the show focuses on both action as well as dialogue.
Differences: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is more lighter in tone and story than Attack on Titan. Humanity isn’t actively hunted by man-eating creatures, and there’s really no large threats to the general population besides enemy nations. The world is definitely not as tragic and hopeless, though tragedy and hopelessness are sometimes part of the protagonist’s life. The show is centered around two brothers whose goal in life is to recover what they’ve lost. You won’t really find the team-based main cast of characters that Attack on Titan offers, but what you’ll find are deep backstories and dialogues of all the other characters.