Nobuaki Kanazawa is a new transfer student who has closed his heart to his fellow classmates, determined not to make friends. However, due to their persistence, he begins to open up. Just as he does, his worse fears comes to life, the King’s Game starts on his cell phone. Now his classmates must play a cruel game where all orders must be obeyed. If they don’t, they die.
Despite coming from a good manga series, the King’s Game anime fails in some regards, not limited to the text messages flashing on the screen so fast you can barely read them. However, it does wander treacherously into “so bad it’s funny” territory. Despite this, if you just want to see some blood, there are plenty more anime recommendations out there.
For Fans of Survival Games
Yukiteru Amano likes to imagine himself as an observer. He spends his days keeping a diary on his cell phone, but not about himself, about everything that goes on around him. At home, he spends his time conversing with his two imaginary friends, Deus Ex Machina, the God of space and time, and Murmur, his assistant. However, one day he discovers his friends are not so imaginary when they imbue him with the power of a diary that tells the future and forces him into a bloody survival game with godhood on the line.
You really can’t say “survival game” without expecting Future Diary to come up at some point. Both series have games that are extensively played on their cell phones, both have rather emotional main characters, and both have just ten tons of people dying in most episodes. Oh, there’s also a crazy, cruel murder girl in each series as well. However, Future Diary does have the benefit of having unique and interesting characters.
Hope’s Peak Academy is an elite high school where those accepted are given special titles that showcase their skills. This year, only fifteen were accepted, and one of them was the completely normal Makoto Naegi who got in on sheer luck. The students are thrilled, that is until they are trapped inside the school by principal and bear Monokuma who tasks them with killing one of their peers and not getting caught to escape. However, if they are caught, they will be executed.
While King’s Game is an “obey or die” game and Danganronpa is a true murder game, they have a similarity of both being pretty brutal in the process. However, while Danganronpa has an intriguing mystery and excessively unique characters, King’s Game has none of that. It just has death, and not even the creative death like in Danganronpa.
When Ganta Igarashi got on a bus with his classmates for their class trip, it was gearing up to be an amazing day. They were going to Deadman Wonderland, after all, an amusement park where convicts perform death-defying stunts for their amusement. However, when Ganta’s class gets brutally murdered before his very eyes by a man in red, he finds himself the sole survivor as well as the suspect. Now he’s been sentenced to the same amusement park he was just enjoying.
In both series, you have rather emotional main characters that are put into a situation that they don’t completely understand for reasons they don’t really know. Both series are somewhat about unraveling the why and the what for of it all, but neither show really completely unravels the mystery in a satisfying way.
For Fans of Flashback Tales
Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowel grew up on the streets together and both turned to crime in order to get by. However, when their activities are noticed by the eyes of the expansive Millennion mafia syndicate, the pair find themselves brought under their wings and rising through the ranks. Things go well until one fateful day that changes it all. Years later, Brandon Heat is brought back from the dead to fight Millennion and its new leader, Harry MacDowel.
While King’s Game smatters flashbacks in with the present situation, Gungrave is cut in half with the first half being flashback. However, they both set up for a present that is not exactly in a good place, but Gungrave takes more of extreme route. Unfortunately, if you are thirsty for blood, Gungrave isn’t particularly as graphic as King’s Game.
Knowing nothing but death and battle since the day he was born, Gutts wanders from battlefield to battlefield as a solitary mercenary. Caring for nothing and no one, his only goal is to become stronger. However, after a fateful encounter with Griffith and his Band of the Hawk mercenary group, Gutts finds himself rising through the ranks of their prestigious organization and learns to care for his fellows.
The plots of these series could not be more different, but they share the similarity of telling a good chunk of their story through a series of flashbacks. They both do a good job of utilizing the flashback to show how they got to the twisted present and both series also have some truly shocking moments that you sometimes did not expect.
Higurashi: When They Cry
Keiichi Maebara just moved from Tokyo with his family to the small town of Hinamizawa in the summer 1983. As the town is so small, school children of all ages are lumped into one class. There he becomes fast friends with four girls where he spends his days after school idly playing games. However, as the town’s annual festival approaches, he learns about a series of murders, disappearances, and other mysteries that surround it. When he confronts his friends, he finds them mysteriously tight-lipped.
Both Higurashi and King’s Game have a certain amount of complexity added to their series through the use of flashbacks. Sometimes, when either series does a flashback, you don’t even realize it at first because it uses the same characters or in King’s Game’s case they all look and feel about the same. However, Higurashi makes up for its occasional confusing nature through having a pretty interesting story, but they both share the similarity of just being brutal as hell as well.
For Fans of Horror So Bad Its Funny
The Lost Village
A bus full of eccentric individuals that met on the internet all decide to leave society behind in search of a mysterious village that cannot be found by any map. Excited for their new life, these people soon find that this village is full of more mysteries than they can comprehend.
The Lost Village is the quintessential “horror gone comedy” anime series. However, unlike King’s Game, it starts with a certain amount of intrigue and relatively interesting characters. However, it doesn’t turn into a murder mystery like we are lead to expect. In fact, it doesn’t really turn into anything. It ends and like King’s Game fails to live up to the true potential of its premise.
On the night after the school’s cultural festival, eight students and their teacher gather to say goodbye to a friend that is moving to another school. While it was a fun time of telling scary stories, they decide to perform a ritual that will assure that they are together forever. However, what they don’t realize is that their school is build atop an elementary school where a series of gruesome murders took place many years before. After doing their spell, the groups finds themselves transported to another dimension where they are trapped inside the old elementary school building that is now home to only corpses and vengeful ghosts.
Although King’s Game is a survival game and Corpse Party is more of a ghost story, they are incredibly similar. Both series present bland and flat characters that you don’t care about or even hate, and then you get to watch them all die! However, Corpse Party is more just a shocking amount of gore while the deaths in King’s Game or occasionally less graphic, but more twisted.
Ever since 1972, class 3-3 in Yomiyama North Middle School has had a strange tradition of pretending that one of their students did not exist. When Kouichi Sakakubara transfers into the class, he finds himself drawn to a girl that no one seems to notice. Not paying heed to the warnings of his classmates, all hell is about to break loose.
Another is by no means a terrible anime, in fact, compared to King’s Game, it is pretty good. However, while you watch King’s Game because you hate the characters and kind of just want to watch them get killed, Another has a certain amount of absurdity to its deaths. Let us not forget the infamous umbrella incident, yes? Both shows are essentially horror anime that end up being comedy more often than they are truly horrifying.
Got any more anime recommendations like King’s Game? Let us know the what and the why in the comments section below.