‘Tokyo Ghoul’ is one of the most popular anime of the era. With its popularity dramatically increasing with the arrival of the latest season, ‘Tokyo Ghoul’ has become the new fan favorite in the market. Depicting the story of Kaneki Ken / Sasaki Haise, a human who becomes half human-half ghoul after a fateful accident, the show has several deep and dark themes that attract attention. With that said, here is the list of best anime similar to ‘Tokyo Ghoul’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these anime like ‘Tokyo Ghoul’ on Netflix, Crunchyroll or Hulu.
17. Kyoukai no Kanata
‘Kyoukai no Kanata’ is a slice of life, supernatural, action (exactly in this order) anime. At first, it might not be that evident how is it similar to ‘Tokyo Ghoul’. I mean, the rating of this anime is just P.G. 13 while ‘Tokyo Ghoul’ clocks in at 17+. Yes, the violence, and gore in this anime are much toned down and you don’t have to wonder whose head is going to fly off next or whose guts are going to be spilled.
In ‘Kyoukai no Kanata’, there are creatures by the name of Yomu, who are the manifestations of the negative emotions of human beings. They cause huge trouble and are a nuisance. Mirai Kuriyama hails from the clan of Spirit World Warriors and have the ability to transform their blood into weapons. It seems that she is currently the sole survivor of the clan. One day, she meets a boy by the name of Akihito Kanbara, who is a half-human half-yomu. She tries to kill him but understands later that he is immortal. The duo forms a strange friendship wherein Mirai always tries to kill Akihito only to fail every time. Akihito then asks Mirai to join the literary club and there she finds out that two of the members of the club are Spirit World Warriors. The club forms a close bond as they try to exterminate the yomu.
16. Mirai Nikki
‘Mirai Nikki’ has a dark tone similar to ‘Tokyo Ghoul’. From a normal life, the main character suddenly finds himself being dragged into the epicenter of a dangerous world of survival. Yukiteru Amano is a lonely high school student. He spends his time writing a diary, which is on his cellphone. To fill his loneliness, he seems to have two imaginary friends with whom he converses a lot. One of the imaginary friends is Deus Ex-Machina, who is the god of space and time while the other friend is Murmur, who is the servant of the former.
However, things get serious when it turns out that Deus is not just his imagination but an actual entity. Deus reveals himself to Yukiteru and provides him a ‘Random Diary’, which contains details about the future events. But that is not all since Yukiteru must survive in a sort of a Battle Royale with 11 other people, all of whom have a diary similar to his. The winner of the Battle Royale will become the next God of Space and Time. Now, Yukiteru must find the 11 other contenders and kill them. He reluctantly teams up with Yuno Gasai, who used to stalk him. She promises him that she will do everything she can to keep her safe. Can they survive?
‘Ajin’ has quite a similar premise to that of ‘Tokyo Ghoul’. The series is dark and has lots of violence. But since you are a fan of ‘Tokyo Ghoul’, stomaching the violence of ‘Ajin’ is not going to be a big deal. 17 years ago, immortal humans started appearing and the first documented appearance was in Africa. The Ajins were instantly deemed as a threat since there were no ways to kill them. It was also thought that they would start using their powers for evil purposes. So, it was declared that if any Ajin was found or identified, they should be arrested immediately.
Kei Nagai, the protagonist of the anime, is a high school student. He is intelligent and hardworking. He wants to be a doctor and is studying hard to achieve this goal. Kei does not seem to have much idea about Ajin other than what he sometimes hears in the news. He does not pay much attention to class, so has little knowledge about them. So, when he gets involved in an accident, which should have killed him, and survives, his little knowledge on the topic does not matter much since now he himself is an Ajin. This revelation begins his days of trouble, but as he is constantly on the run from the law, he finds out that he is not alone.
14. Elfen Lied
Well, let’s stay on the violence wagon and look at the next anime on the list. ‘Elfen Lied’ is a popular anime and you will see it appearing on multiple anime lists across the internet. But the question is — is it that good? Well, it is, if you love violence and gore. The premise is nice and the plot will keep you rooting for the characters. The anime is from 2004, so the animation isn’t what you see today but that just makes it creepy during certain scenes.
Diclonius are special breeds of humans. They possess small horns on their heads and telekinetic hands that they can control at will. Lucy is one Diclonius but she had been a lab rat for long until her psyche gives in. She breaks through the research facility, violently killing everyone on her way out. But as she escapes, she receives a critical head injury. This injury leaves her with a split personality. One of her personalities is that of a child, who is harmless and innocent and cannot speak that well. Kouta and his cousin Yuka are two college students who stumble upon her when she is in her child-like state. They decide to take care of her, not knowing the fact that she can be a vicious murderer. The anime has a total of 13 episodes with each episode being 25 minutes in length.
The main character of ‘Another’ wears an eyepatch. Do I need to say anything more about the similarity of this anime with ‘Tokyo Ghoul’?. Well, the similarity of this anime with the latter is more than just a piece of clothing. The violence and gore in this anime are on the same level as that of ‘Tokyo Ghoul’. Also, the anime is dark and what makes it creepier is the fact that it takes place in a seemingly quiet countryside setting. If you are a mystery lover, then you should definitely give this anime a try.
The design of the episodes is such that it will keep you on the edge of your seat. Kouichi Sakakibara is a teenage boy who transfers to the class 3-3 of Yomiyama North school. But what he does not know is that this class has a mystery, one which is quite dark and the repercussions of it affects the entire town. Years ago, a popular student of the same class was found dead in the school basement. The students and teachers liked her so much that they pretended that she was with them and even left a seat for her during the graduation photo. Later, a mysterious phenomenon start occurring, which engulfs the students of the class every year. When Kouichi enters the class, he notices a girl wearing an eyepatch sitting behind. The entire class seems to ignore her presence. Even though people warn him, he finds himself drawn to her not knowing what the repercussions of his actions could be.
Look, almost all the anime on this list is going to have a gloomy and dark feel to them and ‘Shiki’ is no different. It is a mystery, horror, supernatural genre anime and yes, it will keep you on the edge of your seat like the previous entry on the list. The show has a total of 22 episodes with each episode being 22 minutes in length. Megumi Shimizu is 15 years old. She has big dreams and wants to live in the city leaving behind her life in the village of Sotoba. But she dies and her death marks the beginning of an unexpected and disturbing set of events related to the sudden epidemic, which is slowly engulfing the village.
Toshio Ozaki is a young doctor who wishes to get to the depths of the disease but soon understands that to go there, he has to lose his own humanity. He is joined by a boy by the name of Natsuno Yuuki, who is deeply affected by the death of Megumi. Together, they try to find the truth about the plague before every hope of saving their village is lost. The anime revolves around vampires. But the story is sort of a different take on the genre. The vampires call themselves Shiki and they are trying to survive paranoia and they array of unbelieving villagers.
11. Koutetsujou no Kabaneri
‘Koutetsujou no Kabaneri’ is a zombie apocalypse anime series. So, there is going to be a lot of gore and zombie-killing action. The feel of the anime might not be that similar to ‘Tokyo Ghoul’ but the way the anime portrays the zombies is very similar. There is another reason as to why the anime is on this list but I’d like you to find it out yourself. The series takes place during the industrial revolution when due to the outbreak of a deadly virus people turn into Kabane (zombies if you will) who eat other humans. Their bite is contagious, so if a human is on the receiving end of one, then they too will turn into a Kabane. The only way to kill these beings is to destroy their heart. Ikoma is one of the main characters of the anime who seems to have built a weapon which will easily penetrate the hearts of the Kabane but little does he know that he will be needing to use his invention pretty soon.
10. Terror in Resonance
‘Terror in Resonance’ is the story of two kids, none and twelve, who were not supposed to exist. Together, they are big trouble for the Japanese police. They are witty and are able to outsmart the police very easily. It is very interesting to find out their reason to choose terrorism.
9. Darker than Black
Hei undertakes missions for an organization called Syndicate, which controls the United States and aims to erase contractors. The depressing and dark atmosphere makes it similar to ‘Tokyo Ghoul’. Its first season is a must-watch but the quality of the anime deteriorates in season 2. It was one of the jury recommendations from the category “Animation Division/Long Animation” in the 2007 Japan Media Arts Festival.