‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress‘ is a very well known anime series which has quite a lot of similarities with Wit Studio’s ‘Attack on Titan‘. But unfortunately, instead of appreciating the anime for what it offers, too many viewers are hell-bent on bringing it down because it seems like a rip-off. I can see where these negative reviews are coming from, but there are many distinctive aspects of the anime that actually make it a very unique, original show. And though it comes from the same studio, the art style is very different from anything you’ll see in anime these days. It’s more or less of a throwback type of art which reminds you of the good old shows of the 90s. This not only brings in a feeling of nostalgia but it also perfectly fits right in with the story of the show.
Overall, I strongly believe that ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress’ is going to grow into something bigger in the next few years; so if you haven’t watched it already, you must check it out. For those who have already seen it and had a good time watching its over-the-top action and interesting characters, we’ve got a special compilation for you. Here’s the list of best anime similar to ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these anime like ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress’ on Netflix, Crunchyroll or Hulu.
10. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007-)
Mankind is forced to live in the shadows when giant monstrous creatures take over the surface of the planet. Sick of being cowards, two boys named Simon and Kamina decide to escape their underground world to head to the surface. On the surface, they meet another warrior like them, named Yoko, who has been fighting the monsters for quite some time now. Though they face several setbacks in their journey towards reclaiming their land, as they start to unravel the mystery behind these creatures, they get closer to their ultimate win. Pretty much like ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress‘, even ‘Gurren Lagann‘ tells the tale of a war between humans and otherworldly beings. Comparatively, it has a slightly lighter tone and even its world-building is quite vast.
9. Guilty Crown (2011-2012)
Coming from the same group of Studios (Production I.G and Wit) that created ‘Attack on Titan‘ and ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress’, ‘Guilty Crown‘ is an original anime that explores some very similar themes. Just like the other two anime, this one also has a post-apocalyptic setup where powerful evil forces have taken over and in the end, it all comes down to the protagonist to save his people using his own special powers. ‘Guilty Crown‘ easily qualifies as an above-average show but compared to the other two, it still stands a little weak. If you’re already done watching ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress’ and ‘Attack on Titan‘, ‘Guilty Crown’ should certainly be next in line.
8. Parasyte -the maxim- (2014-2015)
Unlike ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress‘, the world setting of ‘Parasyte -the maxim-‘ is slightly different. Though it does not have a post-apocalyptic world, it seems to be heading in that direction. After parasitic aliens start taking over the brains of humans, people live in a constant state of terror as everyone around them gets infected. Out of all these people, the protagonist somehow gets lucky and instead of reaching his brain, the parasite that attacks gets stuck in his arm. Now along with this weird creature, he is forced to co-exist as he struggles to use the power of the parasite to his own advantage.
The one major similarity between ‘Parasyte’ and ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress’ is the nature of the protagonists of the two shows. ‘Parasyte’ is not exactly about a war, but even then, the main character has a strong sense of justice and pretty much like the leading character of ‘Kabaneri’, he struggles to understand the true potential of the power that he holds.
7. Btooom! (2012)
As the name suggests, massive explosions and intense battles scenes are some things that you can expect from ‘Btooom!‘. Somewhere on a remote island, a real-life version of a survival game is taking place. While the whole world is very well aware of the action-packed video game titled ‘Btooom!’, no one, except for the actual players, is aware of its real-life existence. Ryouta Sakamoto is a top-notch online ‘Btooom!’ player who is a hardcore Otaku. One day, he wakes in the middle of the battlegrounds of the real version of the game and is forced to find a way to survive.
‘Btooom!’ has a lot of similarities with ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress’ in terms of its explosive action scenes and its characters. When it comes to the storyline, ‘Kabaneri’ seems to have a deeper plot. ‘Btooom!’, though, is still a great show and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress.’
6. Seraph of the End (2015)
A deadly virus breaks loose and spreads like wildfire as it kills almost everyone who is above the age of 13. But things get even worse when vampires start emerging from the dark corners of the world to kill and enslave the remaining population of humans. Mikaela and Yuiichirou are two young children who have been enslaved by evil vampires and to survive, they are forced to fulfill their thirst for human blood. Desperate to get out of this situation, the two formulate an escape plan. Unfortunately, not everything goes as planned and only Yuiichirou is able to make it out alive. Now, after losing his friend, he is more determined than ever to destroy every single one of those vampires. But the closer he gets to end them, the deeper he finds himself in a conspiracy that links the spreading of the virus with these vampire attacks.
‘Seraph of the End‘ is again set in a post-apocalyptic world where humans are forced to serve as cattle who are slowly being fed on. But unlike ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress’, it does not have a key protagonist who distinguishes the line between good and evil. The anime sheds light on the activities and thought processes of both the parties at war instead of discriminating them by putting labels. ‘Kabaneri’ also catches up with a similar theme eventually, but in the case of ‘Seraph of the End’, it remains significant from the very beginning.
5. Ajin (2016)
‘Ajin‘ are basically humans who are known for possessing supernatural abilities and are extremely immoral. But no one has really seen them in real life and they only seem to exist through urban legends and ancient African folklore. Kei, the main protagonist, is very skeptic of the existence of Ajin but he is soon forced to believe in their existence after he finds himself crossing paths with one. His life will never be the same again. The biggest similarly between ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress’ and ‘Ajin’ is that both of them portray the dark side of humanity. Apart from having a whole lot of action, both the series are about how most people act out of self-interest during their most vulnerable moments.
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4. God Eater (2015-2016)
Set in the distant future, ‘God Eater‘ presents a world that is nothing more than a wasteland after being destroyed by monsters known as Aragami. To destroy these monsters, a weapon called “God Arcs” is created from their own cells. These God arcs can take the shape of several different weapons including a gun and also a big sharp blade. God Eaters, who are the wielders of weapons, are now responsible for saving the world from the Aragami. ‘God Eater’ is again a post-apocalyptic anime where humans struggle to survive after being hunted by strange fantasy creatures. Its plot is quite direct but what makes it really interesting is its involvement of militant tactics in the story.
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3. Tokyo Ghoul (2014-)
Ghouls are violent creatures who disguise themselves as regular humans and when the opportunity strikes, they prey on the innocent. But parallelly, even the ghouls are in constant fear of getting hunted by human organizations who brutally kill them. So is there really a difference between the two? Both the parties kill innocents and both have a justifiable explanation of what they’re trying to do. This is pretty much what ‘Tokyo Ghoul‘ is all about.
There is no line between good and evil and often the ones who are mixed breeds end up facing a lot of discrimination even though they have the best intentions. In ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress’, it’s Ikoma who suffers because he is a half Kabaneri and similarly in ‘Tokyo Ghoul‘, Kaneki Ken is outcasted because he is either seen as a monster or as an impure hybrid. There are several other similar shows like ‘Attack on Titan‘ which initially address a monster in the story, but as we move forward, the whole meaning of the word “monster” begins to change.
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2. Black Bullet (2014)
Though a little less popular, ‘Black Bullet‘ is another powerful show that has more than one thing in common with ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress’. Apart from the obvious similarities in their art styles, both of them portray worlds that are doomed as monstrous creatures have taken over. And the only ones who have the power to save humanity are the people who have half-human half-monster abilities. Here again, the ones who actually try to save humanity are referred to as the “Cursed Children”. A must-watch for fans of dark anime!
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1. Attack on Titan (2013-)
Coming to the most obvious entry on this list, ‘Attack on Titan‘ and ‘Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress’ have so much in common that many viewers still claim that the latter is actually a rip-off of ‘AOT‘. But if you think about it with that logic, almost every anime on this list has some similarities with each other. The basic premise of most of these anime shows relies on the introduction of a very obvious 2D villain to the story. But as the story progresses, as a viewer, you yourself are not able to take a side because there seems to be no distinction between the protagonist and the antagonist.
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