Tokyo Ghoul has a special place in my heart, as it evokes excitement and unease whenever I encounter a bespectacled girl engrossed in books at a coffee shop. While some may aspire to be like Ken Kaneki, I hesitate.
Ken Kaneki, the central protagonist, starts as an ordinary college student whose life turns dark when his crush, unbeknownst to him, turns out to be a ghoul—a flesh-eating creature. After a fateful encounter, Kaneki is left on the brink of death, only to awaken as a half-ghoul human following an organ transplant from his ghoul admirer.
Set in an alternate reality Tokyo where ghouls coexist with humans. The story delves into Kaneki’s struggles as he grapples with his newfound identity. Caught between the human and ghoul realms, he must navigate a treacherous path and confront not only external threats but also his internal conflicts.
If you are captivated by the world of Tokyo Ghoul and yearn for similar anime experiences, allow me to recommend some shows that explore themes akin to Tokyo Ghoul.
Anime Like Tokyo Ghoul
- Episodes: 1 Movie
- Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Seinen, Supernatural
Never watched Akira? An anime film that is very influential in many works, even outside of anime and Japan. I think Tokyo Ghoul affected Akira also, especially in the elements of body horror-his.
Akira is set in an alternate reality in 2019, in Neo-Tokyo, an area rife with gang violence and terror. Here, Shoutarou Kaneda leads a motorcycle gang and always conflicts with their rivals.
During one of these battles, Shoutarou’s best friend, Tetsuo Shima, is caught in an accident with an esper who escaped from the confinement of a government agency. Through this encounter, Tetsuo begins to develop a mysterious ability of his own: the destructive power that can scorch Neo-Tokyo.
2. Deadman Wonderland
- Episodes: 12
- Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Shounen, Supernatural
Deadman Wonderland brings the main character channeling a new terrible power. What this series offers, on the one hand, from swearing and sadistic scenes, can be compared to or even surpassed by Tokyo Ghouleven though both are still shounen.
The protagonist Deadman Wonderland was thrown into a cruel world of convicts with mysterious powers to live in constant fear. The lethal collar around his neck can be slowed down only by winning in the prison’s lethal game.
Ganta must risk his life to survive in this cruel place where it’s not always easy to tell friends from foes.
3. Killing Bites
- Episodes: 12
- Genre: Action, Ecchi, Sci-fi, Seinen
Hitomi, the main character, is kidnapped by university students with evil intentions. Little do they know that Hitomi is a human-animal hybrid with extraordinary combat abilities. She kills them all except for Yuya, who sees the transformation and battles with the lion hybrid in an abandoned waste treatment facility.
Creatures like Hitomi have existed since ancient times, and to this day, this hybrid participates in the “Killing Bites” battles that were a turning point in the Japanese economy.
Yuya’s life is turned upside down, and his entire existence will be linked to Hitomi’s ability to participate in the savage match.
- Episodes: 24
- Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Horror, Psychological, Drama, Seinen
One night, sixteen-year-old Shinichi Izumi is in a deep sleep when an alien race of parasites descends upon Earth. One parasite infects Shinichi, trying to get his brain to take over his body, but it gets stuck in his right hand.
Unable to transfer to the brain, the alien, Migi, now has no choice but to learn to coexist with Shinichi in his body to stay alive. Unfortunately, other parasitic aliens are not so friendly towards humans or parasites who fail to complete their mission.
5. Mirai Nikki
- Episodes: 26
- Genre: Supernatural, Thriller, Romantic
The male protagonist is indecisive with a softer side while the female protagonist is a strong and domineering girl with a dark past. Without the help of the women, the two men would be destroyed. Also, between Tokyo Ghoul And Mirai Nikki has a lot of action scenes and bloodshed.
Amano Yukiteru is a loner who enters high school and observes everything from his safety zone while he keeps a diary on his cell phone, recording all observations. Yuki seems to have no friends but he often talks to his imaginary friends: The god of time and space named Deus and his servant.
What a shock it is for Yuki’s experience when he finds out that Deus is a real god, proving it by giving him a sort of diary that can predict future events around Yuki. It seems like a blessing, but only until he discovers that Deus gave away the diary for 11 other people as well. Seemingly harmless, but unfortunately for Yuki, a kill or be killed parade begins due to Deus’ game rules.
Soon after, Yuki’s strongest ally joins the game, a pink-haired girl named Yuno Gasai who is totally obsessed with Yuki and claims to love and protect him at any cost.
6. Darwin’s Game
- Episodes: 11
- Genre: Action, Mystery, Shounen
The plots in both anime are centered around an ordinary man whose life changes completely and he becomes involved in a fight for his life. Also, between Tokyo Ghoul And Darwin Games has a strong female character with a sadistic side that accompanies the protagonist.
The story revolves around Suou Kaname, who is invited to try out a mobile app game called Darwin Game. Little did he know that the game involved two players fighting and there was the possibility of dying, both in the game and in the real world.
Kaname realized that there was no way to quit the game, hence decided to finish it, find its creator and avenge him.
- Episodes: 12
- Genre: Action, Comedy, Supernatural, Fantasy
Inuyashiki is a gripping and tragic story of two different generations who grapple with power and technology, much like how the police and Ghoul characters in Tokyo Ghoul struggling with their own responsibilities and principles.
In Inuyashikian old man and a teenager respectively wake up after a horrific accident with robotic bodies equipped with technology capable of healing people while causing mass extermination.
One uses this power to save lives, whether to fight criminals or as a healer. However, others freely use their powers for their own pleasure, slaughtering people as they please.
For those who want to find a moral exploration with lots of violent scenes like Tokyo Ghoulcan watch Inuyashiki This.
8. Devilman Crybaby
- Episodes: 10
- Genre: Action, Horror, Supernatural
Both of these anime series feature the main character turning into a monster. They have to adapt to their new life, from a peace-loving man to be close to various kinds of violence.
Weak and indecisive, Akira Fudou has always had a fragile heart. When his childhood friend Ryou Asuka asked him for help in exposing the devil, Akira said yes. Then, chaos ensued. In an effort to save his best friend, Akira unknowingly unites with the demon Amon and transforms into a devil, gaining the power to defeat other demons.
Despite giving him great power, this union awakens a dark side of Akira. Possessing the body of a demon but a still fragile heart, Akira works alongside Ryou, destroying those who harm humanity and those he loves. To finally get something terrible and unexpected.
- Episodes: 12
- Genre: Action, Comedy, Supernatural, Fantasy, Seinen
Both of these anime series features the main character turning into a monster. However, they live their new life in a different way. Kaiman seeks revenge, and Kaneki becomes depressed.
The hole was a slum district, where death and mutilation were common. The inhabitants of Hole are the dregs of society and the test subjects of magic users who live apart from it. Residents are constantly being tested or killed by these wizards.
In the Hole is Kaiman, a man with a head cursed to become like a lizard, but with immunity to magic. He spends his time hunting down these magic users, especially witches who have changed their heads, as well as regaining their memories.
- Episodes: 13
- Genre: Action, Ecchi, Supernatural, Seinen
The greatest similarities can be found in the main protagonist: a boy whose life suddenly changes forever, turning into some monster. They must adapt to these changes and live their new reality.
Is an adaptation of the manga by Sun Takeda, Gleipnir follows a mediocre high school student living in a boring small town, who then surprisingly transforms himself into a monster in the form of a mascot doll. It is Shuichi Kagaya whose life is getting turned upside down after he decides to help a beautiful girl from a fire.
In order to save her, Shuichi uses the abilities he tries to hide, he decides to become the monster, becoming a furry mascot doll with the head of a large dog with a large revolver and a large zipper on its back. After that, the girl who was saved, whose name is Claire Aoki and who turns out to be her underclassman, knows about this dark secret of Suichi.
Even though they have different characters, the two of them become a couple who complement each other, and are engaged in investigating strange phenomena that occur as well as being involved in a kind of hunting with other monsters.
Gleipnir gives us action and dark fantasy, with the addition of some ecchi scenes, as well as the main protagonist’s mesmerizing lovebirds.