Winter 2020 Anime: Official Info, Airdates & Trailers
Keep warm this winter season with the latest anime info at MANGA.TOKYO!
The 19th century gave birth to the gothic horror genre. We had Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Lord Byron, and the notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper. Yana Toboso was inspired by these literature works and events and alongside a baroque atmosphere of an eerie London, she managed to present the great mystery story of Black Butler with its intriguing characters, beautiful art style, soundtrack, and the appropriate amount of action and comedy.
In Victorian England, a master-servant relationship unravels between Sebastian, a devilishly handsome butler (excuse me for the tasteless pun), and Earl Phantomhive, a shouta tsundere bishounen that happens to be the owner of a huge toy company and the Queen’s underdog. There is no argue that Sebastian is the epitome of perfection and probably the reason why Black Butler has become so popular. Despite his good looks, amazing abilities, skills, refined humor, and love for cats, he is in fact a demon bound by a contract with Ciel. He is to loyally serve and fight for him (in return for his soul) until Ciel gets revenge upon those who wronged him.
Whether you fancy an amusing relationship between a stronger servant who protects a weaker, younger master, like seeing people solving mysteries, investigating murders, conspiracies and supernatural events that shouldn’t be happening or just enjoy some nice eye candy, then you will certainly appreciate the following list.
Oz Vessalius, the heir to the Vessalius Duke House, is celebrating his coming-of-age ceremony while suddenly he is banished to the depths of the Abyss, a place where lifeforms known as Chains exist. These beings can only live in the real world if they make contracts with humans, binding their power to the person’s body. There, he meets Alice, a Chain that makes a contract with him in order to return him to the real world. They later join the organization of Pandora, and along with its members, they try to find Alice’s lost memory fragments, discover the secrets of the Abyss, and see if there’s a way out of this contract without any of them dying.
The protagonists of both shows are very similar: Ciel and Oz are children from wealthy and prestigious families, are equally arrogant and snobby, live in historical London, and have a close relationship with their servants. Both series have a rather dark plot where the boys get into contracts with otherworldly creatures that have supernatural powers and mysterious personalities. Although the setting and atmosphere is very alike, Kuroshitsuji has a much darker tone that Pandora Hearts. They both involve great humor, eccentric characters, and the occasional fanservice between master and servant but Pandora Hearts tends to have more comic relief and is a bit lighter in the eyes than the heavily gothic elements of Kuroshitsuji.
Miharu is an apathetic and quiet 14-year-old boy that lives a carefree life. He is not aware of it, but he is also the bearer of the Shinrabanshou, a powerful technique many ninja clans desire to possess in order to become the king of Nabari. After countless attacks and attempts to kidnap him, Miharu joins his group of friends that have pledged themselves to protect him in order to survive and learns to control his power as well as take a step closer to becoming the ruler of Nabari.
Even though its style seems completely different, Nabari no Ou will remind you of Kuroshitsuji because of the similarities between Ciel and Miharu’s personalities. If you like seeing characters that appear to be rather apathetic, emotionless, and who have older characters protecting them, then Yoite and Miharu’s relationship will clearly suit your fancy. Furthermore, both storylines involve a contract-based bond and it’s worth mentioning that Yoite and Sebastian have the same vibe in their character design.
William Twining is a rich nobleman with superior intellect who lives a charmed and privileged life. One day, he returns home only to find out that his family went broke and moved out. As he searches the house to find something left of value, he finds an underground room left by his ancestor and where he accidentally summons a devil named Dantalion. Dantalion now reveals to William that he is tasked with deciding who the next ruler of the demon world will be.
You have overconfident, fairly intelligent, deeply ambitious, and shamelessly arrogant rich little brats with an attitude problem, and then you have contracts, demons, butlers, supernatural events with a gothic aura and occasional fanservice and fighting scenes. This pretty much sums up both shows if you add the good comedy and humor elements along with the great gothic art style. Kuroshitsuji has a darker premise than Makai Ouji and one key difference between the main protagonists would be the fact that William is very cynical compared to Ciel and brings more material for gag moments to the overall plot.
In the early 20th century, Kazuya transfers to a prestigious academy as part of an exchange program between Japan and a small European country named Saubure. One day, Kazuya wanders around the library and discovers a botanical garden, where he meets a small blonde-haired girl named Victorique who has a complex and imaginative foresight that allows her to solve even the hardest and most dangerous mysteries. They start to take on various mystery cases where they apply their unique skills in order to solve them.
Both shows happen during the same Victorian period where the main characters solve multiple mysteries and crimes while involving subtle horror elements to the plot. Gosick involves a sidekick while Kuroshitsuji has one hell of a butler (excuse me for the pun again), but they both share a quite dark atmosphere with beautiful and kind of similar art. If you are looking for an anime that was similar to Kuroshitsuji but involves a loli tsundere instead of hot butler, then this is the anime for you!
The story follows Light Yagami who comes across a black notebook with the title Death Note. THe text within states that whoever’s name is written on its pages will die. With the help of the death god Ryuk, he takes it upon himself to rid the world of its corruption but of course his actions will not go unchallenged.
At this point, I believe that if someone has watched Kuroshitsuji already, they are definitely aware of Death Note, but for any lost souls out there, I am writing this for you. They may not seem similar at first but the overall dark atmosphere with mysteries and detectives as well as the supernatural entities that act as main characters to the plot will make you see the resemblance. They are set in complete different time periods, but Ryuk has a relationship with Light that is kind of similar to Sebastian’s relationship with Ciel. You can’t really tell if they are the good or the bad guys and if you exclude the fanservice between Light and Ryuk, the dynamic of the duos is very much alike.
Hellsing is an organization that tries to annihilate the threat of vampires running rampant around the world. Alucard, a vampire himself, is the best agent the organization has to offer, answering only to the leader of the organization, Integra Hellsing herself. No one knows much about this mysterious figure fighting against the occult, but things change after he takes pity on a girl named Seras and brings her over as a new member of the establishment.
Hellsing is like a violent and more serious version of Kuroshitsuji. They both involve superhuman beings under contract to English nobility with Alucard and Sebastian being very similar because of their amazing fighting skills and supernatural abilities. You could say that Alucard is like Sebastian’s father in a way, especially if you take into consideration that this is way older than Kuroshitsuji. Ciel’s character is quite similar to Integra’s as well: they both come from akin backgrounds; they are strict and willing to do everything in order to achieve their goals. However, Hellsing tends to be more dark and bloody, but even if they have different atmospheres, if you enjoy one, you will like the other too.
An akuma is a soul which has been brought back to life through sadness and despair with the power of Millenium Earl. The Black Order is a group of Exorcists that have sworn to cleanse the souls of the akuma, and collect the substance known as ‘innocence’. Allen Walker, an exorcist with an arm as his innocence and a cursed eye that can see the suffering souls within an Akuma, has been sent to the organization, and with his fellow comrades, they will fight to stop the Millennium Earl.
The plot differences between these two are apparent: Kuroshitsuji is all about unraveling the mystery behind the horrendous tragedies of Ciel’s past, while D. Gray-man is about seeking a way to stop the ultimate plot that might destroy the world. Even though they are quite different in general, the same Victorian era, the action and comedy, the demons and the supernatural elements make these shows very alike. They also share the same dark vibe that seldom lightens up with silly moments and fun humor, but D.Gray-man manages to get more character development and plot depth due to its length of episodes.
Ririchiyo Shirakiin is the daughter of a wealthy and renowned family. Having been protected all her life, she decides to move out to Maison de Ayakashi, a secluded high-security apartment complex that is home to many bizarre individuals which are actually half-human, half-youkai. Furthermore, as a requirement of staying in her new home, she must be accompanied by a bodyguard. Her new companion named Soushi Miketsukami is handsome and quiet but sometimes creepy and overly dependent. The path she has to follow looks like it’s going to be a difficult one.
Ririchiyo has a sharp tongue she can’t control and terrible communication skills. Does this remind you of a certain obnoxious little brat named Ciel? The stories are very similar: a demon serves a child from a rich family with the core differences being the romance between servant and master in Inu x Boku SS and the fact that Ririchiyo is a youkai. Both deal with the supernatural events and contracts in order to achieve ‘greater goals’, but Inu x Boku SS is more light-hearted and humorous than Kuroshitsuji (which is perhaps a little bit darker).
The story revolves around a Chinese contractor codenamed ‘Hei’, a member of the Foreign Affairs Public Security, as he undertakes various missions to bring the Contractors under control and find out more about the ‘Hell’s Gate’.
To this day I am still not sure as to why I think these shows resemble each other. Probably because Hei reminds me of Sebastian and vice versa. They both feature charismatic male leads with otherworldly powers and even though they are set in different time periods, the character designs and the amazing action sequences of both shows will be up to your liking. Each series has a lot of mystery stirring about in it and you could say that thematically both struggle to establish the meaning of being human and separating good from evil.
Red Ritsuka is a 12-year-old boy that has lost his memories and his mother’s loving support. His brother – his sole defender – was brutally murdered. On his first day at a new school he gets approached by a stranger called Agatsuma Soubi, who claims to have known his late brother. Ritsuka finds out that Agatsuma and his brother used to be a fighting pair, and that Agatsuma has inherited Ritsuga now that his brother is gone. Together they try to find the truth behind his brother’s murder.
Okay, first of all, Loveless is a shounen-ai title, so if you are not into those kind of themes, then just pass this one. Kuroshitsuji may not be shounen-ai, but the relationship of Ciel and Sebastian will remind you of Ritsuka and Soubi. Though the plot and storyline are completely different, the main characters seem to have similarities. Ciel and Ritsuka have the same age, are stubborn, tough, determined as they have lost their families and seek out answers or revenge. Soubi and Sebastian are similar as well: they are calm, composed, loyal, obedient, and overly powerful. The only difference is that Sebastian is a butler and seems to have a darker personality than Soubi. Both stories focus on a strong bond which ties the two main characters together due to the traumatic past of the young ones and while Loveless tries to showcase an ambiguous take on what it means to be loved, it tends to portray the true nature of humanity which is portrayed in Kuroshitsuji as well.
I honestly tried to not include too many butler puns about Sebastian, but sometimes I just couldn’t help myself. It has been many years since Kuroshitsuji first aired but it still holds a special place in my heart. The relationship between those two, Sebastian’s hotness, the amazing atmosphere and wonderful quotes of the characters make this anime irreplaceable. So if you share the same feelings as I do, you will certainly enjoy all the titles in this list. If you have anything else to recommend, feel free to include it in your comments.
Keep warm this winter season with the latest anime info at MANGA.TOKYO!
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