‘Highschool of the Dead‘ is a strange combination of fanservice and horror that is surprisingly quite enjoyable. Created by Madhouse Studio, also known for producing other well-known anime like ‘Death Note‘ and ‘One Punch Man‘, the animation is probably the best thing about it. When it comes to the story, there isn’t much to it as it mainly revolves around the post-apocalyptic adventure of some voluptuous high school girls. Even the characters aren’t really explored well but all the fanservice and action revolving around them are enough to keep you engaged. Speaking of action, it’s pretty much the only thing that saves it from being just another borderline Ecchi.
Overall, ‘Highschool of the Dead’ is a great anime if you’re okay with excessive fanservice and some gory zombie action. It also brings in some suspense from time to time which makes its story a bit more interesting. It’s a pretty simple anime that can be really enjoyable for someone who’s only looking only for action and nothing more. It’s basically a mindless anime, so try not to makes sense out of its story and you’ll be good. That being said, if you have already seen it and had a great time watching its zombie-slaying action, then we’ve got some more titles for you that you might want to check out. Here’s the list of best anime similar to ‘Highschool of the Dead’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these anime like ‘Highschool of the Dead’ on Netflix, Crunchyroll or Hulu.
9. Hellsing Ultimate (2006-2012)
Alucard is the strongest known vampire who works for an organization known as “Hellsing”. All the members of this organization dedicate their lives to destroying evil forces that threaten the lives of innocent humans. Along with his assistant Seras, who is an ex-policewoman, Alucard keeps an eye on all the Vampire activities all around the world and makes sure that if anything goes wrong, the organization takes instant action using its special weapons and trained warriors.
‘Hellsing Ultimate‘ is the continuation of the popular classic ‘Hellsing’ series. But comparatively, it is much more disturbing and is a visual treat for those who enjoy watching gorefests. Both ‘Hellsing’ and ‘High School of the Dead’ are extremely violent and clearly portray the extremities of the world of anime. There are no peaceful moments in the two shows and every single turn that the protagonists take, they face a new monstrous threat.
8. Gakkougurashi (2015)
‘Gakkougurashi’, also known as ‘School Live!’, revolves around four high school girls and their supervising teacher Megumi Sakura. While everyone is very well aware of the threat that lurks outside the school gates, Yuki Takeya seems to live in a delusional world where she’s having the time of her life at school. The group never leaves the school because the world around them has been taken over by zombies and to escape this reality, Yuki creates her own ideal world by making their high school quite a lively place. But in the end, no matter what they do, surviving is their only priority and it’s only a matter of time till the zombies outside will find a way to get past their school barricades.
Since both of them are set in high schools during a post-apocalyptic world, the two anime share a lot of similarities. The zombies are obviously hungry for the flesh of the survivors and will eat anyone who comes their way. The sole purpose of the characters from both shows is to survive as long as they can. However, compared to ‘Highschool of the Dead’, ‘School Live!!’ focuses a lot on the distinct personalities of its main characters and a lot of times, also uses this for driving its plot.
7. Elfen Lied (2004-2014)
‘Elfen Lied‘ is about a girl named Lucy who belongs to a new and evolved human race called Diclonius. After being held captive and tortured by the government for a long time, she escapes the facility and is then rescued by a boy named Kouta and Yuka. When the two of them find her, she just seems to be a normal girl but little do they know that she has another violent personality that is capable of killing anyone with ease.
If you’re sensitive to R-rated stuff that involves extreme bloodshed and gore, you should stay away from this one. It has everything from exploding heads to blood endlessly gushing out of bodies. But apart from that, it also has a very dark story that portrays the bleaker side of the world we live in. It is beautiful in its own way and yet, quite disturbing; so watch at your own risk.
6. Shikabane Hime: Aka (2008)
Makina Hoshimura gets brutally murdered along with her family. But after dying, she gets the opportunity to avenge the death of her loved ones after she transforms into a Shikabane Hime. Contracted to a cult called Kougon, she is assisted by her former friend and priest, Keisei Tagami. Ouri, Kesei’s younger brother, is the main protagonist of the show who gets dragged into the world by Shikabane after he discovers his brother’s secrets.
‘Shikabane Hime’ does not have a school setting but it does involve a whole lot of zombie slaying action. Just like ‘Highschool of the Dead’, this anime depicts a whole array of brutal weapons including chainsaws and machine guns that the main characters use to duke out zombies. If you’re looking for pure bloodshed and action that’ll keep you at the edge of your seat, this is the anime you should go for.
5. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress (2016-)
After a mysterious virus outbreak, gruesome monsters start emerging out of nowhere. These monsters have a never-ending appetite for human flesh and slowly start preying on anyone they can find. These beings, known as Kabane, can only be killed by piercing their steel-coated hearts with special weapons. The few surviving humans start living on an isolated island that is surrounded by huge walls to protect them and the only way one can get into these giant fortresses is by using heavily armed trains. The danger has indeed subsided for a while, but little do these people know that their world will come crashing down again sooner than they expect.
Both ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress‘ and ‘Highschool of the Dead’ focus on a post-apocalyptic world where flesh-eating creatures are hunting down humans. Even Kabaneri are zombies in one way or the other who can only be killed using special tools. The main characters of the show are extremely brave and are willing to even sacrifice their own lives just to protect their loved ones. ‘Kabaneri‘ has received a lot of criticism lately because of its similarities with ‘Attack on Titan‘. But ignore all the hate around it and give it a shot; I can assure you that you won’t regret watching this one.
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4. Gantz (2004)
‘Highschool of the Dead’ might be dark in its own way but it comes nowhere close to ‘Gantz‘. With a lot of gore and also a good amount of unpleasant fanservice, ‘Gantz’ is one of the bleakest anime shows out there. It features two high school students, Kei Kurono and Masaru Kato, who end up dying after they try to save the life of a drunkard sleeping on a railway track. But instead of heading straight up to heaven, they find themselves in a strange room full of other dead people. A mysterious giant black ball appears in front of them and assigns them missions that involve killing otherworldly beings that lurk on the planet. Successful missions can help them gain points which can later be used for acquiring new weapons, reviving their dead friends or even returning back to Earth. What starts off as an adventure to get a second shot at life soon turns into a disaster when these missions start to bring out the worst in all of them.
Produced by Studio Gonzo, ‘Gantz‘ does have a lot of evident flaws and it really suffers because of its inconsistent animation quality. But what makes up for all of its flaws is its portrayal of the realistic nature of humans during desperate situations. ‘Ganz’ is, without a doubt, one of the most entertaining anime of all time.
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3. Zombie-Loan (2007-)
Michiru Kita is almost like a Shinigami as she can see rings of death around people’s necks. A dark-colored ring indicates that the person might die soon. After she notices two black rings around the necks of two of her classmates, she decides to warn them. But to her surprise, the boys are actually dead and are only “alive” because of a contract known as the ‘Zombie-Loan‘. With the assistance of Michiru’s Shinigami eyes, the boys must now destroy zombies in order to stay alive.
Despite being a show about zombies, ‘Zombie Loan’ has a very unique plot that is not confined to the idea of survival. Like ‘Highschool of the Dead’, the main characters of this anime are on a very serious mission and in the world that they live in, one wrong step can land them in deep trouble. If you have a thing for zombie anime shows, then ‘Zombie Loan’ should certainly be somewhere on top of your watch list.
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2. Deadman Wonderland (2011)
‘Deadman Wonderland‘ is the perfect gory survival story. It revolves a teenage boy named Ganta Igarashi. After being the only survivor of a school massacre, he becomes the obvious suspect and after being mistaken as a criminal, he is sentenced to death at the infamous Deadman Wonderland. This hellish prison forces its inmates to participate in lethal games of survival. Ganta is left with no option but to find a way to somehow survive in this brutal place while he tries to prove his innocence. Apart from all of its violent overtones and bloody fight scenes, ‘Deadman Wonderland’ keeps you captivated with the suspense in its plot. So while watching it, make sure that you don’t get too distracted by its graphic action scenes as the story is equally amazing.
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1. Attack on Titan (2013-)
‘Attack on Titan‘ is one anime that obviously needs no introduction. Over the years, it has become one of the best modern anime shows and with its final season right around the corner, now would be the best time to watch it if you haven’t already. ‘Attack on Titan‘ not only has an incredible story but even its animation and soundtracks are just top-notch. Just like ‘Highschool of the Dead’, this one was initially a survival story where humans lived in constant fear of giant bloodthirsty Titans. But the anime has further evolved into a very grim story where you get to see the darker side of human nature. This well-plotted anime is a must watch for anyone who is looking for something dark and intriguing.
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