The common notion that the source material is always better than its adaptation is true for even the best of the best. This ideology spares none and even in this case, it remains true. But here’s another so-called notion for you: any anime that manages to come even a little close to its source material is bound to be good and ‘Berserk’ is a living proof of that. If a 25 episode anime adaptation of a 300+ pages manga is giving you all the magical elements that you expect from it, then it definitely deserves some credit. ‘Berserk‘ is arguably one of the finest anime you’ll ever see. This timeless classic evokes a wave of emotions in you and makes the viewing experience so incredibly profound and memorable.
‘Berserk’ is a gore-filled action anime that centers around a character named Gus, who is brought up by a mercenary group. However, a conflict lands him in trouble and that’s when he runs away. A few years down the lane, he runs into the leader of The Band of The Hawk who goes by the name Griffith. Griffith realizes Gus’s potential as a swordsman and invites him to join them. Gus and the group together make their way to the top but only to find that things will never be the same for them.
Those who have already seen the anime will know what I’m talking about here. But isn’t it depressing to watch an epic anime series like ‘Berserk’ come to an end? It really is. So if you are in the mood to watch something similar, then you have come to the right place. Here’s the list of best anime similar to ‘Berserk’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these anime like ‘Berserk’ on Netflix, Crunchyroll or Hulu.
15. Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (1999)
‘Jin Roh’ is an extremely dark, award-winning anime that portrays a world ten years after World War II. A policeman named Fuse gets suspended from the force because he failed to shoot a suicide bomber on time. But the only reason why he failed at this is because the bomber is a young child brainwashed to believe that she’s doing the right thing. After this incident, he tries to know more about the little girl and somehow gets in touch with her elder sister. But little does he know that he is just getting dragged deeper and deeper into the claws of a war that is waging between the police force and the counter-terrorist “Jin Roh” unit that comprises of human wolves.
14. Black Clover (2017-)
The thing about ‘Black Clover’ is that it’s not the kind of anime you will instantly fall in love with. It’s the kind that slowly grows on you episode by episode and in the long run, you realize the true value of it. Studio Pierrot’s ‘Black Clover has a very generic start where a young boy named Asta dreams of being the greatest mage in the kingdom. His biggest challenge is to become the greatest wizard that he wants to be without having the ability to use magic. He does find a way around it but is that going to enough? The narrative of this anime slowly starts taking a strong pace and eventually, you’ll get addicted to it. Give it a chance and be patient; you will not regret it.
13. Bastard!! (1992-1993)
‘Bastard!!’ is a 6-part OVA that came out in the year 1992. The story revolves around five main characters who are now magicians after trading their technology for magic. These magicians now move from one kingdom to another in the hope of conquering them and building them from scratch. The world they live in has almost been brought to the brink of its end by a god who had a riot fit and went all haywire destroying pretty much everything. Dark Schneider leads this group of magicians but later gets caught up with a group of clerics. More than 15 years go by and the remaining four magicians still keep doing what they had started off with. But now their intentions have completely changed and they wallow in their own greed of world domination. Upon returning, Dark Schneider realizes that his group has lost its way and now it’s on him to track down each and every one of them to bring them back on a selfless path.
12. Devilman Crybaby (2018-)
‘Devilman Crybaby’ is a dark fantasy unlike any other. It centers around a character named Akira who is warned by his best friend that the Devils have decided to come back and rule the world. The only possible way Akira can protect himself from this invasion is by uniting with the demon and becoming a Devilman. This basically means that he possesses the powers of a demon but his soul still remains as pure as a human. Akira, the Devilman, now fights evil with his newly acquired powers and abilities in a violent world where a brutal war grips humans and half-humans like him. He takes it on himself to protect the hybrids who are just like him and destroys the ones who lay their hands on anyone he loves.
11. Basilisk: The Kouga Ninja Scrolls (2005)
It’s the year 1614 AD and Ieyasu has decided to step down from his powerful position as the Shogun. But this also means that a new Shogun has to be appointed. This slowly wages a war between his two grandsons who want an assured position at his powerful throne in the future. Hidetada, the son of Ieyasu who currently holds the torch of power, announces that the ninja clans who work for each of his sons will choose their 10 best warriors. These 10 ninjas will fight against each other and in the end, it’s the survivor who will get to take his place. As soon as the war begins, the sons end up killing each other, leaving behind 9 ninjas from each clan. Now the next heir will not be the sons but only one ninja who manages to survive this battle where one can either kill or get killed.
10. Monster (2004-2010)
Dr. Kenzo Tenma has a perfect life. He is a young accomplished neuro-surgeon who is envied by his peers, respected by his seniors and deeply admired by his loved ones. He even gets engaged to the beautiful daughter of the hospital’s director. But his fate catches up with him one day when a little girl walks in with her twin brother who has been badly injured. Moments later, the mayor is admitted to the hospital and Kenzo is asked to leave the boy so that he can go focus on the mayor. But staying faithful to his profession, Kenzo decides to operate the boy first. The mayor dies but the boy lives. This leads his life into a downward spiral where he loses everything he had once owned, which includes his bright career as a doctor and the love of his life.
However, things just get worse when one day, the twins suddenly disappear with the director of the hospital. The director is later found dead. All fingers are pointed towards Kenzo now and his innocence is questioned. This is when this anime takes a dark turn. The pacing is a little slow, but it makes sure that every second is worth watching.
9. Fist of the North Star (1984-1987)
If there’s one genuine badass character in the history of anime, it’s Kenshiro from ‘Fist of the North Star’. Set in a world where humanity has reached extinction after a nuclear holocaust, survival has come down to only one thing — only the fit shall survive. The remaining humans battle over the limited food and water supply in this broken world. This is where Kenshiro, who is the last descendant of the famous martial artist Hokuto Shinken (Fist of the North Star), brings justice to the lawless world by helping the weak. His martial arts style is very unique and focuses on using the 708 pressure points in the body to completely destroy anyone who comes in his way.
8. Afro Samurai (2007)
‘Afro Samurai’ is about a black samurai warrior who goes on a lonely journey to seek revenge for his father’s death. The one he seeks vengeance from is known to be the world’s best fighter, named Justice. Afro climbs his way up to being the world’s second best fighter and then sets out to walk on the road for his final bout with Justice. He faces the ones who want to bring him down, which includes bounty hunters, thugs and monks who indirectly end up helping him reach his final goal.
7. Gantz (2004)
Based on a manga written by Hiroya Oku, ‘Gantz’ is known for its heavily sexual and violent content. The main character Kai Kurono finds himself stuck inside a game after he is killed. His skills are now tested to its limits and in this brutal world, the only thing that’ll help him survive is his strong will. This anime portrays the extreme dark side of the society today with its disturbing depictions of gore, sex, rape and other violent tendencies of man. Surely not for the faint-hearted but the ones who can withstand it will surely fall in love.
6. Claymore (2007)
The anime version of ‘Claymore’ had a slightly different ending compared to the manga, yet it thrived on what it managed to portray. It is set in a world where dark creatures known as Youma rule the world. Humans struggle to fight against these monstrous creatures but there’s still hope. A secret organization creates genetically advanced humans who are half-Youma. These humans are the only hope for mankind as they are the only ones who possess the power to destroy the deadly creatures. One of these half-breed creatures is our protagonist, named Clare, who is considered to be a traitor after adopting a child she finds on the street. While she provides this child a roof, she almost loses her Youma side and that’s when the organization decides to punish her by assigning her the toughest missions.
5. Hellsing Ultimate (2006-2012)
‘Hellsing Ultimate’ is an OVA that came out in an era where OVAs were almost dying (2006-2012). Being one of the last few of its kind, this Madhouse Studio creation is about an organization known as Hellsing. It is sponsored by the British and is responsible for monitoring all kinds of vampire activities. The job of Hellsing is to identify any shady vampire stuff that’s going on around them and protect humans from them. The organization also possesses secret weapons, which they must use in extreme situations, to destroy vampires and also an army of men.
4. Ninja Scroll (1993)
Shimoda town is wiped clean after it is haunted by a deadly plague. The Tokugawa clan decides to send a bunch of ninjas to investigate this case but a mysterious force kills all of them except for one ninja girl named Kagero, who is left behind as a prisoner. This is where the protagonist, a vagabond samurai named Jubei, comes in. They must now unite and use their forces together to fight against the evil clan that is trying to overthrow their government.
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3. Akame ga Kill!
Esdeath is the last one left from the resistance after the battle for protecting her city is pretty much over. That’s when Akame is unleashed to bring an end to Esdeath and force her to surrender. Akame sets out to finish off the last of the old regime to avenge the death of all those who lost their lives in this battle and also for her own peace. Apart from being extremely dark and gory, ‘Akame ga Kill‘ is also a very thought-provoking anime that will be enjoyed by all of those who like ‘Berserk’.
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2. Deadman Wonderland (2011)
Ganta is the only survivor of a massacre that kills all the others in his class. This obviously raises suspicions making Ganta the only suspect for this incident. He is then sent to a prison called ‘Deadman Wonderland’. This prison is unlike any other and has a really weird take on the detention of its prisoners. It’s more or less an amusement park that provides entertainment to the general crowd by making the inmates participate in dangerous games in exchange for prison privileges. Everyone Ganta meets has a purpose of their own to survive, while Ganta has his own simple philosophy: “Because we have friends…and there is still hope…That’s why…We don’t have time to die.”
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1. Gungrave (2003-2004)
‘Gungarve’ is pretty much like ‘John Wick‘ on steroids. It centers around two main characters named Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowell, who are like brothers. They live a simple life chilling in their neighborhood, getting into brawls and seducing local women. But then they decide to join a crime syndicate and this is where their easy-going life takes a turn. Together, they go through a series of events in the mafia world that teach them a lot about finding success and dealing with betrayal.
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