Based on the manga series written by Shinya Umemura and Takumi Fukui and illustrated by Ajichika, ‘Record of Ragnarok’ or ‘Shuumatsu no Walküre’ is an action ONA (original net animation) streaming internationally on Netflix. In the anime, gods of various pantheons assemble at the Council of Valhalla to decide the fate of humanity every 1,000 years. After humans have existed on Earth for seven million years, the gods decide to eradicate them for their crime against Earth, prompting Brunhilde, the first among the 13 Valkyries, to appeal to the gods’ vanity and convince them to organize the eponymous tournament.
Thirteen gods take on thirteen legendary humans, and the sides with the most victories will be declared winners. If the humans win, they will get another 1,000 years of peace and prosperity; if they lose, it’s Armageddon for them. Brunhilde is well aware that her Einherjar or human champions are no match for the gods, no matter who they are. So, she forms the Völundr bond between the champions and Valkyries such as herself. If you have watched the series and loved it, here is a list of recommendations that might fit your taste. You can watch most of these anime similar to ‘ Record of Ragnarok’ on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Crunchyroll, or Funimation.
8. Tekken: Bloodline (2022- )
A part of the ever-expanding ‘Tekken’ multimedia franchise and a loose adaptation of the ‘Tekken 3’ video game, ‘Tekken: Bloodline’ follows Jin Kazama. After the death of his mother at the hands of an entity called the Ogre, he begins training under his paternal grandfather, Heihachi Mishima. He devotes the next four years of his life to training, becoming a fierce fighter of Mishima’s aggressive style.
When Jin demonstrates that he is ready, Mishima organizes the Third King of Iron Fist Tournament to draw Ogre out. At the center of the narrative of ‘Record of Ragnarok’ and ‘Tekken: Bloodline’ is a larger-than-life tournament involving supernatural beings.
7. Platinum End (2021- )
While the plot of ‘Platinum End’ doesn’t necessarily revolve around gods fighting humans, it is about humans fighting each other to determine who will be the next god. Abused by his uncle and aunt, Mirai Kakehashi prepares to take his own life but is saved by an angel named Nasse. After learning that his uncle and aunt are also responsible for his parents’ deaths, he takes revenge on them with the power that Nasse has gifted him before agreeing to join the tournament and take on other candidates selected by the latter’s fellow angels.
6. Kengan Ashura (2019- )
Based on the manga series written by Yabako Sandrovich and illustrated by Daromeon, ‘Kengan Ashura’ is set in a world where the rich and powerful organize gladiatorial fights for amusement. The story follows Ouma “The Ashura” Tokita, a streetfighter who becomes the representative of the Nogi Group for the Kengan Association, and his manager Kazuo Yamashita.
Soon, Tokita’s remarkable abilities become apparent, and he becomes a participant in the Kengan Annihilation Tournament. Like ‘Record of Ragnarok,’ ‘Kengan Ashura’ is ultimately a tournament anime, but it focuses more on brawls than the supernatural fights of the other anime.
5. Dragon Ball Super (2015–2018)
‘Dragon Ball Super’ is based on a manga series that is a sequel to Akira Toriyama’s ‘Dragon Ball’ manga. Set four years after the defeat of Majin Buu, the story begins with Goku living with friends and family in peace. But after Beerus, the God of Destruction, arrive on Earth seeking a warrior he refers to as the Super Saiyan God and threatens to destroy the planet, Goku must once more embrace the mantle of a fighter.
Both ‘Record of Ragnarok’ and ‘Dragon Ball Super’ are about powerful entities fighting each other, but that’s not where the comparison ends. The ‘Tournament of Power’ in the ‘Dragon Ball Super’ anime is simply astounding, and any fan of ‘Record of Ragnarok’ will probably like it.
4. Fate/stay night (2006)
An entry in the ‘Fate’ franchise, ‘Fate/stay night’ is on this list as a representative of all the anime in the franchise. Like in ‘Record of Ragnarok,’ there is a tournament, the Holy Grail War, where competitors use magic and the help of historical figures for a chance to have their wishes granted by the Holy Grail. Shirou Emiya is a teenager who is initially reluctant to join the tournament, but following the appearance of Saber (also known as Arturia Pendragon) when he is about to be killed, he officially becomes a combatant.
3. Baki (2018-2020)
The central conflict in ‘Record of Ragnarok’ is between humanity and its makers. In the ‘Baki the Grappler’ series, written and illustrated by Keisuke Itagaki, the primary antagonist is Baki’s father, Yuujirou Hanma. In the 2018 anime streaming on Netflix, Baki Hanma, already a champion grappler, learns that five death row inmates worldwide have escaped from their respective prisons and are now on their way to Tokyo, Japan.
2. The God of High School (2020)
Unlike other entries in the list, ‘The God of High School’ (2020) is a South Korean webtoon based on a manhwa. The series is set in a fictional universe divided into three realms: the human, sage, and heavenly realms. The plot revolves around a 17-year-old martial artist from Seoul named Mori Jin, who gets selected to fight in the eponymous tournament.
If Mori wins the regional, he can attend the national part of the tournament. And if he wins there, he will get to compete in the world tournament. Besides both ‘The God of High School’ and ‘Record of Ragnarok’ having a tournament at the center of their respective plot, several characters can borrow powers from the gods in the former series. The said ability seems to function similarly to the Völundr bond.
1. Shaman King (2021–2022)
The main difference between Studio Bridge’s 2021 reboot of ‘Shaman King’ and the 2001 anime series is that the former is an adaptation of all 35 volumes of the new complete manga edition. The story follows You Asakura, a young but powerful shaman who hopes to become the eponymous Shaman King and gain the ability to channel the power of the Great Spirit.
Like in ‘Record of Ragnarok’ and several other entries on this list, there is a supernatural tournament at the center of the narrative, and You must win the said tournament to achieve his goal. Along the way, he makes several friends and discovers that his long-lost twin brother might be his greatest rival.
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