Tokyo has become a merciless city where ghouls live amongst humans and feast on their flesh. Their ability to blend in has humans facing danger with every new person they meet. However, one day bookish college student Ken Kaneki finds himself instantly drawn to another avid reader, Rize Kamishiro. Unfortunately, their date doesn’t go quite as planned when she turns out to be a ghoul and tries to devour Kaneki. By a twist of fate, Kaneki is saved, but not without some consequences. Now he must adjust to his new life as half human, half ghoul.
Although relatively new, Tokyo Ghoul has already made quite an impact. To fill the cavernous void of time spent waiting more, give these anime recommendations a try.
For Fans of Eating Delicious People
After being abandoned by their abusive parents, siblings Yume and Utsutsu are left alone in the world to fend for themselves. However, after following a herd of red butterflies, Yume becomes infected with a new cannibalistic virus, Pupa. Her brother Utsutsu is only half-infected, gaining miraculous restorative powers. Will Utsutsu be able to protect his little sister and protect the world from her new hunger?
Naturally, the biggest thing these two anime series have in common is that they are about cannibalistic monsters. Both are dark, filled with blood, black screens instead of hardcore action, and weak main characters. The only difference is that Tokyo Ghoul declares a plot and stays with it, Pupa does not.
Yuri Bear Storm
After a mysterious meteor shower, bears around the world can longer peacefully coexist with humans. Now they hunger for human flesh and humanity, in turn, ravaged their numbers. However, the wall of severance was built to keep these two civilizations separate. That is, until two bears sneak in disguised as two schoolgirls looking to sate their hunger for human flesh.
Yuri Bear Storm sounds like a title that would be really dark and brutal by description, but when you look at it, it doesn’t look like that at all. Both feature creatures that blend into human society and tell the story in a way that makes you sympathetic for them. Bear Storm is more drama-oriented while Tokyo Ghoul leans more towards action. And yes, Yuri Bear Storm does have some light shoujo ai content.
High School of the Dead
For Takashi Kimuro, it was just another school day until the dead began to rise. Having had to kill his best friend, he bands together with another girl, Rei, in hopes to escape the school, only to find it already fallen. With the help of other students, the pair manages to escape, only to find a pandemic spreading across the country.
Zombies and ghouls, they are not so different. Zombies lack the cognitive faculties to be as deadly as ghouls, but they both eat delicious people. While in Tokyo Ghoul, it tells the story of the monster, High School of the Dead features the living. Unfortunately, High School of the Dead gets highly distracted by perverse humor and fan service.
For Fans of Forced Protagonists
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.
While both dark in tone and setting, Tokyo Ghoul features a predator / prey environment while Deadman Wonderland is more master / slave. However, both main characters find themselves forced into a deadly and brutal world where they need to grow tough in order to survive.
Years ago, an immortal species with a wide array of supernatural abilities was discovered in Africa. However, for most everyday people, the Ajin were just a phenomenon that they would see on the news. Unfortunately, for a young man named Kei, he was about to come into close and personal contact with one, an event that will change his life forever.
Through various circumstances, both main characters are forced to become a human-monster hybrid. As a result, they also find themselves hunted by the organization that wants to wipe out the monsters. While ghouls use their nature as more of a defense mechanism (and to feed), Ajin are more calculating and controlled.
After being ravaged by the Apocalypse Virus, Japan has fallen under control of the GHQ, an independent military force dedicated to the restoration of order. However, a guerrilla group called Funeral Parlor seeks to put an end to their despotism. After a fateful run in with a key member of Funeral Parlor, weak and anti-social Shuu Ouma finds himself with a powerful new weapon, the ability to pull out manifestations of a person’s personality to wield as weapons. Now he must make use of it in order to free Japan once and for all.
Both Guilty Crown and Tokyo Ghoul feature protagonists who get their supernatural powers completely by accident and have to learn to deal with them. Ultimately, they transform from crybabies to badasses throughout their many battles, but not without turning more towards darkness. For fast-paced battles where each enemy feels unique, there can be no two better series.
For Fans of Monsters Fighting Monsters
In this world, there are monsters that lurk into darkness. Ones waiting to devour everything you are and hold dear. To stem the tide of this darkness is the Hellsing organization. Commanded by Integra Hellsing, its powerful military dedicate their lives to fighting monsters. However, her most powerful weapon is the vampire Alucard who turned against his own kind to protect Hellsing. Now with his vampire assistant Seres at his side, he must battle not only monsters, but anyone that stands in Hellsing’s way.
Tokyo Ghoul is like the modern Hellsing in every aspect, especially its surprising popularity. Both have got liberal amounts of blood, both are very action-oriented, and both have monsters fighting their own types of monsters for their own reasons. They both stand at the pinnacle of the supernaturally dark anime genre.
Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign
After a mysterious virus killed every human over 13 years old, the vampires rose up with a promise to protect the survivors. The only thing they asked in return is donations of blood. For Yuuichirou and Mikaela, they have grown tired of being livestock and pose a daring escape plan. It ultimately fails with only Yuuichirou left alive. However, after joining up with a mercenary company, he swears vengeance on the vampires, no matter the cost.
While the main character in Seraph isn’t technically a monster, like in Tokyo Ghoul, the main character eventually drifts more towards the dark side. Essentially, Seraph and Tokyo Ghoul are two sides of the same coin. Tokyo Ghoul follows the monsters while Seraph focuses on the humans.
Humans and demons live in two different worlds, but demons are constantly trying to bridge the gap. The only way they can slip into the human world is to possess a human. When demon king Satan cannot find a suitable meat suit, he sends his own son over in hopes that he will grow into an appropriate vessel. However, after being raised as a human by exorcists, when it comes time for Rin, the son of Satan, to fulfill his destiny, he chooses to side with the humans.
Both Tokyo Ghoul and Blue Exorcist have a serious case of the “Oh God, what have I becomes?”s. Both main protagonists live normal lives until their world is turned upside down, and while they can go either way, typically they aim towards the good. However, while Kaneki’s circumstances are accidental, Rin doesn’t really have a choice as to what he is.
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