There’s no two ways about it: Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba is one of the most popular anime series around right now, and for good reason. It’s an addictive, intoxicating mixture of excellent characterization, exciting storylines, and great animation that just keeps you coming back for more. Whether you’re a fan of the sweet Nezuko or you’re rooting for brother Tanjiro, there’s plenty to love about the series.
But there’s only so much of it, and if you’ve already seen the entirety of the anime, watched the movie, and read all the manga so far, you’re probably looking for something else to keep you entertained. If that’s the case, we’ve got you covered. Here are the 25 best anime series like Demon Slayer.
If one series could be credited for spreading anime outside of Japan, it would be Dragon Ball Z. It hit its stride in the West in the late 90s and introduced a young audience to a serialized story spanning time and space like no other animated work they’d seen before. Dragon Ball Z is a series that requires no introduction, but if you like Demon Slayer, you’ll appreciate the same shonen tropes in this series. And if you need a favorite character to root for, they’re here in full force as well.
JoJo is one of the best anime series ever created. Part of what makes it so good is that each season has a clearly defined objective and a hero with unwavering resolve, which is similar to Demon Slayer. JoJo drips with style and is as cool as it is silly. If you haven’t seen it, go introduce yourself to the Joestar family ASAP.
Hunter x Hunter is another huge shonen title that follows a young boy named Gon who goes on a journey to find his father. To do so, he aims to become a Hunter, which is a kind of treasure/bounty hunter. There have been two anime series (so far), and the manga series is still ongoing (despite author Toshihiro Togashi being on hiatus since 2018). Tackling the manga is a significant undertaking, but the second anime (which most people recommend) is a scant 148 episodes.
This is another anime that draws heavily on Japanese folklore, albeit in a contemporary setting. Jujutsu Kaisen is extremely popular, and that’s for good reason. It has excellent pacing and very little fluff, making for a lean viewing experience.
Yu Yu Hakusho is another shonen title from Toshihiro Togashi, but this one is actually finished! This series draws on Japanese Folklore and centers around Yusuke, a teen that was hit by a car and killed when trying to save a kid’s life. Fortunately, the son of the lord of the Underworld allows him to prove himself, and he’s revived as an Underworld Detective. After that, he spends the series investigating supernatural activity in the human world.
A group of knights with supernatural powers become outlaws as a once-great kingdom falls from grace in The Seven Deadly Sins. However, circumstances force them back together, and they have to face off against their former allies in a bid to save their homeland. It turns into a sprawling adventure with the fate of the world at stake, and it’s one worth watching.
My Hero Academia is basically like Harry Potter with superheroes instead of wizards, and that’s better than it sounds. The anime has been tremendously possible and actually releases on a reliable schedule. After five years on the air, we’ve gotten five seasons, and a movie is on the way. So, if you’re looking for something less supernatural but with some of the same shonen vibes as Demon Slayer, check this one out.
Inuyasha was one of the first popular isekai series and centers around a high school girl that falls into a well at her family shrine and is transported into Sengoku period Japan. There she meets the half-demon, half-human Inuyasha, and they end up journeying to find the shards of a jewel that falls out of her body and shatters. The premise is a bit cheesy, but it gives viewers an interesting interpretation of Japanese folklore and deals with some heady topics like self-acceptance.
Fairy Tail is a series that combines magical realism with a colorful cast of characters that you’ll fall in love with at first sight. It follows a young man named Natsu Dragneel, a Dragon Slayer wizard from the Fairy Tail guild, who’s looking for his adoptive father, Igneel. On his journey, he meets a celestial wizard named Lucy Heartfilia and the pair work together as part of the Fairy Tail guild, and the pair continue off on some exciting adventures you won’t soon forget. The author of Rave Master knows exactly how to capivate an audience.
Teenager Ichigo Kurosaki has been able to see spirits ever since he was a kid. One day, his ability to see spirits makes him a prime candidate to become a shinigami-in-training. With the help of a mysterious woman named Rukia, he must learn to fight lost souls called Hollows as he uncovers an entirely new side to life as he knows it. There’s a whole society of those who shepherd the dead, and Ichigo’s going to have to get up to speed quick if he wants to make it without succumbing to an evil Hollow himself. Bleach is chock-full of the same kind of action you can expect from Demon Slayer, and there’s even additional episodes being made.
Black Clover is a magical series in which everyone has a special set of abilities, but not all have the same level of magic as others. Young Asta was apparently born without any magical power at all. Luckily, he has his friends of the Black Bulls, all of whom have their own magic power, as he plans to become the next Wizard King. Asta has powerful physical strength in lieu of magic, but he’s working to do what he can to become the Wizard King he’s always wanted to. The journey is similar to that of Tanjiro looking to turn sister Nezuko back to normal, and that’s one reason you’ll want to give Black Clover a chance.
Pyrokinetic Shinra Kusakabe can ignite his feet at will, which earned him the nickname “Devil’s Footprints”. Unfortunately, his ability caused him to be ostracized as a young man, as everyone believed he killed his mother and young brother. He joins Special Fire Force Company 8, where he works with other pyrokinetics who work to destroy evil demons called Infernals. It’s a little complicated, but hey — there are demons involved, and that’s about all you need here.
Berserk is one of the best entries on this list, yet it’s one of the hardest to recommend. It’s an unfinished masterpiece by the late Kentaro Miura, and its anime adaptations haven’t always been stellar. The 1997 anime is the best of the lot and does an excellent job of adapting most of the first two arcs of the manga. Three movies were made as well, and they were decent, though the use of CG was sometimes jarring. The films retell the second arc and extends past where the 1997 anime stopped in the third film.
Then we have the 2016 anime, which ran for two seasons and covered the third and part of the fourth arcs of the manga. The source material is really what makes these worth watching because they are hideous. Much of the action is done with stiff ugly CG that has an awful-looking crosshatching filter over it in an attempt to make it look like traditional animation. Unfortunately, since Miura has passed away, the future of the series is up in the air, and it’s possible we may never see another anime adaptation. Despite this, the story is good enough to struggle through the uneven quality of the anime adaptations (but read the manga too).
Yet another anime that draws on Yokai is Dororo. It centers around a warrior named Hyakkimaru and his quest to regain his missing body parts which his feudal lord father sacrificed to ensure the prosperity of his realm. It’s also a journey that sees Hyakkimaru attempting to regain his humanity as most of his life was spent in almost total sensory deprivation. The legendary Osamu Tezuka created the series, but the original 1969 anime feels a bit dated these days. We recommend the 2019 remake for its high production value and excellent pacing.
This dark fantasy anime channels a bit of Berserk but has closer ties to Japanese folklore with its “Yoki” abilities. Another similarity it shares with Berserk is that the anime, while good, only covers around the first third or so of the manga. However, it’s worth a watch for its bevy of strong female protagonists and fantastic fight sequences.
Goblin Slayer had one of the most controversial anime premieres of 2018 due to the graphic content in its first episode. However, subsequent episodes were much tamer, and the series settled down into an excellent adventure. It plays on western fantasy and tabletop RPG tropes, and strangely, everyone uses their progression or job class as their name. The first season was a great watch, and a movie and second season are in the works, so now is a great time to get into it.
Large naked men with almost no intelligence have nearly exterminated humanity, which now hides in small enclaves behind three huge walls. Attack on Titan starts with the humans feeling fairly comfortable that the walls would hold. However, the appearance of a bigger titan that isn’t so dumb proves that’s not the case. Things get progressively weirder from there. It’s full of twists and turns, and you can even binge-watch almost the whole thing since it’s reaching its end. That is if they don’t split season four into yet another part.
In Akame ga Kill!, a young man trying to raise money for his poor village travels to the corrupt Imperial Capital and is thrust into the middle of an insurgency when the assassin ground Night Raid finds him. This is a series that doesn’t pull many punches, and no character is safe from death. However, do yourself a favor if you’re watching it and read the last part of the manga to get the canon ending since the anime wrapped before it was completed.
Fullmetal Alchemist, at its core, is a story about brotherly love and family bonds, just like Demon Slayer. While we like both the original series and Brotherhood, most fans prefer the latter due to it being much more faithful to the manga. It’s a series that’s consistently ranked one of the best anime ever made and is a must-watch for any aficionado.
From the mind of Shinichiro Watanabe, the director who brought us the classic Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo is set in the Edo period of Japan, as it follows outlaw Mugen, ronin Jin, and waitress Fuu as Fuu asks Mugen and Jin to find a samurai who smells of sunflowers. Much like a road movie, the series focuses on the relationships between all three characters, the life of a samurai, redemption, and tolerance. Heavy with hip hop motifs and themes of friendship and family, it’s an effortlessly cool saga that you won’t want to miss.
Hiyori Iki was a middle schooler living a normal life until one day, she found herself involved in a bus accident. Though she survived, she learned of parallel worlds called the Near Shore and the Far Shore, home to human and demon souls, as her soul leaves her body and slips into one or the other occasionally. During one of these episodes, she meets a god without a shrine there, Yato, who’s working to make wishes come true for just 5 yen, including Hiyori’s wish to just go back to normal. Together, the pair navigates life, death, and the confusion stemming from Hiyori’s newfound predicament. In the same way Nezuko deals with becoming a demon, Hiyori must figure out how to cope with slipping in and out of her body.
One day, Sword Art Online VRMMORPG player Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya is enjoying his time in-game, befriending and playing with a young girl named Asuna Yuuki and meeting a variety of comrades along the way. Soon after, he realizes that in the real world, over 10,0000 players are trapped in controllers called NerveGear, which they log into the game with. If they ever want to log out, they must beat all 100 floors of a steel castle caled Aincrad. If they die in-game or if someone removes the NerveGear from them in real life, they’ll die. Gaming tropes abound and Kirito becomes a legendary player as he works to save Asuna and ascend past the role of regular player while saving thousands of players whose lives hang in the balance.
Made in Abyss follows a young girl named Riko who ends up befriending a humanoid robot who goes by the name of Reg. Riko is only 12 years old and she’s looking for her mother, who disappeared into an enormous hole that’s been torn open right in the city. It’s called the Abyss — yes, the titular Abyss — and it’s an enormous pit in the middle of the earth that runs even deeper than most of the city’s inhabitants could ever imagine. While explorers were able to create something of a partial map of the hole, there’s still too many unknown dangers for anyone but Cave Rangers to encounter. Riko and Reg delve into the Abyss carefully and slowly, but the sixth level is so terrifying, the watch can be a difficult one as you wonder what’s going to happen.
Yona is the only princess of the land of Kouka, which is ruled by her father, King II of the Sky Tribe. She’s a sheltered princess who has a crush on Soo-won, the son of King II’s brother Yoo-hon. As Yona grows up, Kouka becomes entrenched in a war. On the night of her 16th birthday, she discovers that Soo-won has been planning a coup d’etat of the kingdom for some time to become the kingdom’s next rule. Yona and her bodyguard Hak become fugitives as Soo-won kills King II, and they much flee to regroup at Fuuga, the capital of the Wind Tribe, while gathering warriors to fight back against the injustice committed against them.
Shigeo Kageyama, also known as Mob, is an everyday middle schooler who doesn’t really stand out. You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, but he has unimaginable psychic power. He’s got to keep himself at bay and learn to control his abilities, and to do this, he works with con artist Reigen Arataka, who says he’s a spirit medium. Mob must learn to tussle with his powers and his ability as an esper by helping Reigen exorcise spirits for his wide variety of clients, all the while with his powerful abilities breaking through to the surface and having Mob explode with insane amounts of power. It’s chock-full of amazing animation, crazy anime breakouts, and hilarious scenes you won’t soon forget.