In the fantasy city of Orario, there is a massive labyrinth underneath it. For brave adventurers, glory and fortune can be found within. However, in order to tackle the challenging monsters inside, adventurers join guilds of strong gods and goddesses. However, for newbie adventurer Bell Cranel, no good guild will have him, except for Hestia, a goddess with no followers. Together they team up to grow strong and find glory.
DanMachi, as it is often called, titillated fans with Hestia’s impressive bosom-hoisting ribbons, but remains unimpressive in other respects at least until the end of the first season. If you enjoyed its unique world and comedy, but less-than-unique plot and premise, these anime recommendations are sure to bring you some enjoyment.
For Fans of RPG But Not Actually an RPG
On his way back from buying a new game, Kazuma Satou died a pathetic death. However, he awakens before the Goddess Aqua who gives him two choices: go to heaven or reincarnate into an actual fantasy world. Naturally, the gamer picks the fantasy world. Now Kazuma must deal with defeating an evil demon king, useless party members, and paying living expenses.
Konosuba is similar to DanMachi if it didn’t take its plot so seriously. Konosuba is all fantasy RPG-esque jokes while DanMachi is light fan service, some comedy, but also plot and power progression. Honestly, if you liked the comedy in DanMachi, KonoSuba is easily going to please you to no end.
Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
Thrown into a fantasy land with no memories of their previous life, the strong among this new group of people bind together while the weak are left to fend for themselves. Grimgar tells the tale of the struggles of the weak as they pick up combat skills and fight the creatures of the world in order to earn a living.
While Grimgar has hints that the characters don’t belong in that world in the beginning, the rest of the series progresses very similarly to DanMachi. In both shows you have characters that start off so ridiculously weak, but through training, begin to find strength. This power in combat ramps up very quickly in DanMachi while remains a steady increase in Grimgar, though.
Japanese Self-Defense Force solider and otaku Youji Itami is in the Ginza district of Tokyo feeding his hobby one afternoon when a gate to another world opens and medieval soldiers flood modern day Japan. While Itami, in conjunction with the local police, manage to save many civilian lives, his hero status forces him to go beyond the gate with his fellow soldiers to explore a mysterious new world filled with swords, magic, elves, and dragons.
Both series involve the main characters going into what seems like another world. In DanMachi, the dungeons are filled with monsters and unique challenges while in Gate you follow a modern man learning about completely new cultures, governments, hierarchies, and creatures in a fantasy world. Both shows also feature the characters overcoming strong enemies with just ridiculously overpowered means.
For Fans of Dungeon Crawlers
Tower of Druaga
Every few years when the sky-god Anu extends his protection, the monsters in the Tower of Druaga weaken and adventurers go forth for fame and fortune, trying to reach the top. Like many adventurers, Jil is young and ready to make the push towards the top. While inexperienced in the Tower, his combat skills have the promise for him to go the distance.
DanMachi and Tower of Druaga are almost the same anime, the major difference being Cranel sucks (at first) and Jil is just ever-so better at fighting. Both stories center around a world in which a major dungeon is the focal point of the world and groups are constantly going in to search for riches. There is also an element of strength and weaknesses to the monsters within these dungeons as well.
After spending his life in isolation, Aladdin and his djinn Ugo set off on a journey to see the world. Soon after, he becomes friends with Alibaba, a young merchant that has ambitions of wealth, after he destroys his supply cart. In order to pay of the damages, Alibaba suggests the supremely powerful Aladdin helps him conquer a dungeon full of danger and wealth.
In both series, if you want to be anyone important or wealthy, you have to delve deep into a dungeon. By doing so, you are putting in for the reward, but it comes with a substantial amount of risk as well. While DanMachi features a more fantasy RPG world, Magi is more Middle East-inspired due to the story it is loosely based off of.
Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren’t They?
Three extraordinary teenagers are blessed with psychic abilities, but are bored with their mundane lives. Unexpectedly, they are invited to go to a mysterious new place to participate in a high-stakes game using their abilities.
While not all the games in Problem Children are dungeon crawler-esque, it does feature a vast and interesting world not unlike DanMachi. The key difference in these series is that the main characters start off with vastly different levels of skill.
For Fans of Guilds
After meeting a powerful fire mage named Natsu Dragneel by chance, celestial mage Lucy Heartfilia discovers he is part of the famous Fairy Tail wizarding guild. Returning home with him, she decides to join, a decision that will take her and Natsu on a series of life-changing adventures.
While Fairy Tail has some fantasy RPG elements to its world, it, like DanMachi, turns them into a fully fleshed out world that feels independent of the RPG shtick. Both worlds have a strong emphasis on guilds coming together to get things done, and they also have the unexpected similarity of featuring fan service, but not always being obnoxious about it.
Like in Sword Art Online, Log Horizon starts off with thirty thousand Japanese players of the popular Elder Tale game being unable to log out of the game with the latest update. The story focuses on the socially awkward college student Shiroe, a master strategist in-game, and his friends as they try to navigate their new reality.
While Log Horizon takes people from the modern world and traps them in the game, the game becomes their reality much in the way it is in DanMachi. In both series, the characters come together in order to complete quests and and try to increase their skill and chance at moving further into harder places in the world.
Sword Art Online
With the aid of NerveGear technology, video game players can now experience their playable worlds like never before – in virtual reality. For Kazuto Kirigaya, his game of choice is Sword Art Online. After beta testing the game, he logs into the launch and finds himself, as well as ten thousand other players, trapped in the game world.
These days whenever something is vaguely fantasy RPG-esque, Sword Art Online becomes an almost mandatory recommendation. While the key difference is that Sword Art Online is a game and it is real life for DanMachi, there is no denying some key similarities in both worlds. The people in each separate themselves into guilds, both main characters have a female companion, and each series is about leveling up and dungeon crawling to the next level.
If you have any more anime recommendations like Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, let us hear them in the comments section below.