Facing imminent extinction, humanity retreated behind a series of tall, thick walls to escape their most dangerous threat – massive human-like Titans with a taste for human flesh. With an enemy that eats humanity for fun rather than food, they are at constant threat. As such, it is the duty of every human to defend the species. Enter Eren Yegaer, after his village was destroyed by a Titan breach, Eren and his adopted sister Mikasa join the Survey Corps, a faction of the military that scouts and combats Titans outside the walls. After joining in the brutal war, Eren discovers a brutal secret about himself that could unravel what the world thinks they know about Titans.
Can’t get enough of the fast-paced brutal action in Attack on Titan? unfortunately, it will be hard to find an anime quite like it, but give these anime recommendations a try.
For Fans of Defending the Last Dregs of Humanity
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
During the industrial revolution of their world, a monster appears that cannot be killed unless pierced through its iron-protected heart. Those who are bitten by the creature become zombies know as Kabane. On the island of Hinomoto, humanity has built stations to seek refuge from these creatures. Ikoma lives at a station that brings supplies to the island and has created a weapon he believes can fight these creatures. While waiting for a chance to test it, he meets a mysterious girl named Mumei. After following her, he might just get the chance he desires.
Although rather new, the similarities between Kabaneri and Attack on Titan can’t be disputed. Both feature main characters that end up half-human, half-monster, both are ostracized for it, and both are about fighting for survival or die trying. However, Attack on Titan is more plot driven while Kabaneri is driven by its characters.
In the year 2021, a parasitic virus has ravaged humanity by turning them into monsters, driving them into massive walled cities. However, while a special metal can keep these monsters at bay and fight them, children are already being born with the virus dormant within them. It is decided that these “cursed children” are humanity’s best hope for fighting the virus.
In both series, humanity has retreated behind walls in order to escape a devastating threat. Both series also pick up when those walls begin to break down. While in Attack on Titan only a few people can kill Titans with any success, only a few people are special enough to kill Gastrea in Black Bullet.
In the year 2071, humanity has been pushed to the brink of extinction by man-eating monsters called Aragami. Immune to traditional weapons, they roam the land, but an organization called Fenrir with it’s human-hybrid God Eaters are the only ones capable of killing these Aragami. The story follows Lenka, a God Eater, who must master her powers in order to wipe out the Aragami once and for all.
Yet again, humanity has been pushed back behind walls. The major difference between God Eater and Attack on Titan is that God Eater is more modern in setting. Both main characters are similarly stubborn and determined as well as have to learn how to better control their power in order to be successful.
Knights of Sidonia
Long ago humanity was near destroyed by an alien race called the Gauna. Forced into the deepest dregs of space in seed ships, the last bits of humanity now find themselves threatened by the Gauna again. Enter Nagate Tanikaze, a mysterious young man from the deep corners of the ship, and his friends as they try to strike back against these gigantic creatures and at the same time learn what they really are for the sake of humanity’s survival.
Like the other series, Knights of Sidonia also shares the common theme of humanity fighting a greater enemies. In both shows, death is a very possibly reality, and one of the few people able to stem the tide is a young man. The difference is that the setting is space and the fights happen in mechs rather than flesh mechs.
For Fans of Grievous Lost of Limbs
Hundreds of years ago, algae and cockroaches were sent to terraform Mars to combat overpopulation. However, due to advanced evolution, those same cockroaches now threaten humanity. With an alien virus now threatening humanity, the only cure lies on the terraformed m\Mars. In order to retrieve the cure, mankind is sending a mission to mars to collect samples of the aliens that started the virus. In order to combat the cockroaches, special humans have been transplanted with animal DNA to give them an edge.
In terms of violence, Attack on Titan and Terra Formars are on par. Both shows end up fighting human-like creatures that are not quite what they seem with special weaponry, and the story line goes from super lighthearted to brutal murderfest in seconds. However, unlike Attack on Titan, violence is so important in Terra Formars that it forgets to include story in its first season.
The citizens of future Tokyo now live in fear vicious creatures called ghouls the blend alongside humans and feast on their flesh. One day, Ken Kaneki, a shy college student, meets a girl called Rize who is also an avid reader. Unfortunately, Rize turns out to be a ghoul. Just when she is about to eat him, Kaneki is saved by a waitress, but Rize has already integrated with his body, leaving him a ghoul/human hybrid.
In both series, the protagonists both start off as normal humans and then become essentially what they are fighting/afraid of later. Then the plots begin to shift from man versus monster to man versus society. There is also a fair bit of gore in both.
Akame ga Kill
Leaving his impoverish village behind, Tatsumi and his friends set off to the Capital in order to find a way to make money. After being attacked by bandits and separated from his friends, Tatsumi attempts to join the army, but the trick him out of his money instead. He think himself lucky when a noble family takes him in, until he finds out they were the ones that tortured and killed his friends. Just when the same is about to happen to him, Tatsumi is rescued by a group of assassins called the Night Raid, a sect of the nation’s revolutionary fighters.
Both feature brutality at their very finest. however, Akame ga Kill is prized for its lack of plot armor, where no character, no matter how important is safe. Attack on Titan seemed like that first, but later it proved to be a lie.
For Fans of Futility and Suffering
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Humanity stands at the brink of destruction when the Angels descended to Earth. Our fate now depends on a special government agency called Nerv and their Evangelion mechs. However, in order to pilot an Evangelion, the pilot must be compatible. For Nerv leader Gendo Ikari, one of those pilots is his own son, Shinji.
Nobody does suffering quite like NGE. If you think Attack on Titan was a bit angsty, then Evangelion will set you straight. Both anime feature man versus monster in larger than life machinery, but for the most part Eren isn’t as reluctant as Shinji is to fight.
In the world of Claymore, humans coexists with demons called Youma. In order to combat these violent creatures, human / Youma hybrids called Claymores were made. The story begins with Raki, a young boy who lost his family to a Youma attack meeting the Claymore Claire. Though detested by society, Raki begins to bond with the Claymore, and as they journey, they come to understand each other better.
Dark and vaguely medieval, Claymore and Attack on Titan share many aspects in their settings. Claire and Mikasa also share several personality traits. Yet, overall, Claymore features a more depressing tone.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
After their attempt to bring their mother back from the dead goes horribly wrong, Edward is left without an arm and leg while his brother Al’s soul is only bound to this world by a suit of armor. The two brothers journey to look for a way to bring Al’s body back, in the process joining the military as alchemists. However, the object that could bring back Al’s body is not the only problem they encounter.
One might say that in terms of balancing comedy and darkness, Attack on Titan is FMA come again. However, FMA does feature more comedy, but in both series, the fights tend to be fast-paced and exciting.
Have your own recommendations for anime series like Attack on Titan? Tell us about it in the comments section below.