Attack on Titan is probably one of the most popular anime titles out there. It came out on 2013 and instantly managed to hype the fans with its great plot, thrilling action, and beautiful art style. The reason why this show became so well-known was not only because of its great horror elements, (come on, no one can even argue that the Titans look completely terrifying) but because anything could go wrong at any moment, including the deaths of our beloved characters.
In Attack on Titan, over a century ago mankind was devoured by Titans, creatures that seem to eat humans for no apparent reason. The remaining population managed to survive by building huge walls to protect their cities from Titan invasions, but suddenly, after one hundred years of ‘peace’, a massive Titan appears breaking the outer walls and unleashes the terror. Eren, Mikasa, and Armin who have peacefully lived behind the city’s walls must now face the Titans, survive and try to save mankind.
As the show is still ongoing, we are left with so many unanswered questions. It’s hard to wait for the third season to come out. But worry not my friends because the time draws nigh and soon we will be able to have many of our questions answered. In the meantime, here are 10 anime that MANGA.TOKYO recommends you to check out if you loved the thrill of Attack on Titan.
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
Spring 2016 12 Episodes
This is honestly a no-brainer. The shows are so similar it almost hurts me. Get rid of the Titans and replace them with zombies and there you have it. The story takes place during the industrial revolution where mankind is threatened by undead monsters. People that get bitten by them become one of these monsters that go by the name of Kabane. People have secluded themselves within huge fortresses that can be accessed only by steam trains. Ikoma has created a weapon that he believes will easily kill these monsters and can’t wait to try it out. Little does he know that his chance will come sooner than he expects.
A walled fortress that was made to keep out humans that became monsters, and one person who comes to possess a mean to defeat the monsters more effectively. Also, both protagonists lost their most precious person to those monsters. Do I even have to say more? They even have the same director, Tetsuro Araki, and are made by the same studio, Wit Studio.
Compilation Film Trailer:
Spring 2014 13 Episodes
The concept of both shows is pretty similar as they tell the story of a war between humans and another species that they hardly know anything about. In other words, humanity yet again on the brink of extinction. In the year 2021, mankind has been defeated by Gastrea, a virus that forced them to live within walls made of Baranium, a metal that is able to subdue Gastrea. Children that are born infected with the virus possess superhuman abilities but they can only be of the female genre. As Civil Securities form specialized fighting pairs (Initiators: cursed children, Promoter: one that leads the pair) in order to fight these monsters, Rentaro Satomi, a high school student and Civil Security member, and Enju Aihara receive a secret mission to prevent Tokyo’s destruction.
Both protagonists are very similar as they are both part-monster which makes the society not trust them and they are even voiced by the same voice actor. They are both set in post-apocalyptic words that have dark feeling to them, there are some political elements in the storylines along with tons of graphic violence.
Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign
Spring 2015 12 Episodes
Yet another story about humanity’s survival. Both shows have a hot-blooded teenager male character who just wants to eradicate all monsters (Titans or Vampires) from the face of the Earth and have basically the same story with different enemies. An epidemic kills all adults on Earth and vampires try to enslave the rest of the surviving population. Yuichiro and his friends are treated like livestock and plan a rebellious escape from their vampire overlords. As he endures the rebellion, he joins the military and swears to exterminate all vampires in order to take revenge for his slaughtered family.
The animation style is very similar since both anime are produced by Wit Studio and the whole atmosphere is equally dark and serious. They even have the same soundtrack composer, Hiroyuki Sawano.
Summer 2015 13 Episodes
A dystopian setting very similar to Attack on Titan, where people are recruited into the military and trained to defend humanity. In the year 2050, an unknown life form called ‘Oracle Cells’ start to consume all life on Earth. As they are immune to any conventional weapons, countries collapse one by one and humanity is brought close to extinction. An elite force that uses ‘God Arcs’, living weapons which incorporate Oracle cells, is organized in order to fight against them and bring humanity’s hope back.
Another reckless and impulsive male lead with the same drive to kill and humans are surviving within walls. God Eater has more modern technology and both shows are focused on soldiers, special squads, and military.
Uneasiness, sorrow, pain, and hopelessness. Both shows share these feelings and feature the brutal reality that the world they live in has monsters that threaten their very existence plus the fact that part of them is like those monsters. In a world where vicious monsters exist and can take their form and memories, they blend into society to feed upon humans. The only way to find and kill these creatures are the Claymores, women who are half-demon, half-human, and fully fated to become the demons that they hunt. Clare, who is one of the Claymores, saves Raki, after his family is killed and decides to travel together with him. As she cleanses town after town from these monsters she comes closer in finding the creature on which she has sought vengeance since she chose to become a Claymore.
Probably the main differences of Claymore with AoT are that people fight for themselves mostly and that they slowly come to terms with fighting for others. Attack on Titan is all about the team and not knowing who the real enemy is.
Humans that live secluded, fear powerful monsters that they have managed to evade for years and who are suddenly forced back into fighting them. An alien race named Gauna had destroyed Earth and left humanity struggling to survive aboard the spaceship of Sidonia. There has been no encounter with the Gauna for years but suddenly they reappear. Nagate Tanikaze, who was brought up in the lower levels of Sidonia has forced to come to the surface where he has to be recruited by the military in order to fight off the aliens.
Both series are rather dystopic and have a lot of blood and violence. Also, there is a feeling of conspiracy that seems to have relevance to the origin and behavior of humanity’s enemies.
Similar themes but quite different in general. In modern day Tokyo, society leaves in fear of Ghouls, creatures who look human but feed on their flesh. Kaneki Ken, a young man, finds himself turned into a half-human, half-ghoul after a violent encounter with a girl he had a crush on. Trapped between the word of humans and ghouls, he tries to survive the violent conflicts that happen around him and learn to control his new powers. Humans are considered food, main characters are both attacked by monsters and their lives are drastically changed because of it, female main characters have similar personalities, there is a lot of gore, blood and good action and the most important of them all: as the plot develops in both series it we see that the man is no longer against the monster but against the society itself.
Tragedy, agony, amazing plot and intriguing characters. That’s what Fullmetal Alchemist has in common with Attack on Titan. In a world where alchemy exists, it is based on the law of equivalent exchange; you can’t produce something from nothing. As such, alchemy is bound by one taboo – human transmutation.Edward and Alphonse Elric, broke this taboo when they tried to resurrect their dead mother, and as a result, Al lost his whole body and Ed lost his leg. In order to bring Al’s soul back to life, Ed sacrificed one of his arms and affixed Al’s soul to a suit of armor. As they grow older, Ed enlists to the State Alchemists, where he becomes known as the Fullmetal Alchemist and fights alongside his brother in an attempt to find a way to return their bodies back to their original state.
I believe that the loss of the characters’ mothers plays a significant role in shaping the characteristics of the protagonists and even though both series are considered shounen they have deep and philosophical dialogues about human mentality.
If you replace the Titans with mecha – you have Aldnoah.Zero. In 1972, the Apollo 17 mission discovered a hyper gate to Mars on the surface of the moon. Suddenly a war breaks out between Earth and Mars, and Martian soldiers begin to descend from the sky, riding giant robots that intent on exterminating humanity.
Once again, mankind is on the brink of destruction from an outside force and even though Aldnoah.Zero starts off a bit more slowly, in both series the pace of the story starts to kick in quite suddenly and you can’t help but be reeled in by it. There are also loads of fighting scenes with intense action, lots of deaths and quite a lot of plot twists. Both soundtracks are composed by Hiroyuki Sawano and you can really tell as the background music really gives you ‘chills’.
Neon Genesis Evangelion
1995 – 1996 26 Episodes
Oldie but goodie. A series that has been linked to Attack on Titan since it first came out. Somewhere in the future, an event known as the Second Impact has destroyed Tokyo, where now a new city has risen, Tokyo III, and mysterious lifeforms named Angels have taken the city under siege. The only way for mankind to defend is with Evangelions, machines piloted by a group of teenagers: Rei, Shinji, and Asuka. As they carry the fate of mankind on their shoulders, ancient secrets beneath the big picture begin to surface. Both show that the hope of humankind is in the hands of a young boy who can control a power equal to one of the monsters and who is triggered by emotional situations.
Evangelion covers more mature content but tends to be lighter on action and violence plus it focuses more on mental illnessrather than existentialism and ethics like Attack on Titan.
This list could have gone on and on forever since the theme of the world getting destroyed by things that are not human is probably one of the most popular anime scenarios out there. But frankly, after watching so many series based on that concept I can really see that Attack on Titan is special in its own way. I don’t know if it’s the characters, the artwork or maybe the work – depth behind the storyline in general but this anime has something that really drags you in making it almost impossible to not get captivated by it.