The 8 Anime Like Darwin’s Game Fans Will Love

A brand new anime called Darwin’s Game has begun to air only a few days ago with an over 40-minute episode dragging us into the dangerous world of battle royale packed with a lot of action, dark vibes, and beautiful yandere heroine we would willingly die for.

The story revolves around Suou Kaname, who gets invited to try out a new cryptic mobile app game called Darwin’s Game, but soon after realizes that there is no way to quit the game.

I have to admit, it was fun to watch and I’m certainly hooked and excited to see more.

This anime reminded me of a few anime I have already watched and so I decided to make a list of 8 anime like Darwin’s Game. 


This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure here.

 

8. Death Note (2006-2007)

  • Genres: Police, Thriller, Psychological, Supernatural, Shounen
  • Episodes: 37

Why it’s similar

Both of them contain a lot of fighting scenes, dark themes and a bit of gore. The main protagonists are trying to outsmart their foe (the police in Death Note’s case x game system in the case of Darwin’s Game). They both get a lot of help from the romantically invested female heroines.

Synopsis: The main character, named Light Nagami is a very intelligent high schooler who randomly discovers a supernatural and powerful notebook called Death Note, which was dropped into the world of mortals by a Shinigami (Death god) named Ryuk.

The death note grants its user the power to kill anyone whose name and also face he knows. Light becomes obsessed with the idea of creating a world without evil and starts using Death Note obsessively to achieve that but nothing is without consequences. The hunt to catch Light begins.

🛒 Light Nagami Nendoroid by Good Smile

7. Deadman Wonderland

  • Genres: Action, Sci-fi, Horror, Shounen
  • Episodes: 12

Why it’s similar

The male protagonist of each series is drawn unwillingly into a dangerous world where his life’s at stake. Luckily, they both acquire a special ability which makes them powerful and capable of fighting their opponents. They also have a pretty girl at their side who is willing to help them.

Synopsis

The main protagonist, Ganta Igarashi is a middle schooler who had been living a seemingly ordinary life until one day a man in red appeared during the class and slaughtered all his classmates, leaving only Ganta unharmed.

After the unexpected and disturbing events, Ganta gets wrongfully convicted of the massacre and is sentenced to death in a prison which is themed as an amusement park for the visitors and nightmare for the prisoners – Deadman Wonderland. He is fitted with a lethal collar which can be slowed down only by winning in dangerous and savage games in which all prisoners participate.

It’s not just Ganta’s life at stake though – he has to clear his name and find the identity of the Red Man.

 

6. Log Horizon (2013)

  • Genres: Action, Game, Adventure, Magic, Fantasy
  • Episodes: 25

Why it’s similar

Both include players who are forced to participate in a game with no way out. The protagonists of the series fight other players and protect their comrades.

Synopsis

30 000 Japanese players along with several hundreds of thousand players worldwide get trapped in an MMORPG game called Elder Tale with no route out.

What used to be once a game played only for fun is now their new real life.

 

 

5. Overlord (2015)

  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Game, Magic, Supernatural
  • Episodes: 13

Why it’s similar

The male protagonists are very strong and the plot of both is full of action scenes and battles. They are both games, just one is located in real conditions and the other is in an actual game.

Albedo from Overlord is obeying Momonga blindly (+ is loyal), similarly to Shuka’s promise to obey and operate under Kaname.

Synopsis

The final hour of the popular virtual reality game Yggdrasil has come. However, Momonga, a powerful wizard and master of the dark guild Ainz Ooal Gown, decides to spend his last few moments in the game as the servers begin to shut down. To his surprise, despite the clock having struck midnight, Momonga is still fully conscious as his character and, moreover, the non-player characters appear to have developed personalities of their own!

Confronted with this abnormal situation, Momonga commands his loyal servants to help him investigate and take control of this new world, with the hopes of figuring out what has caused this development and if there may be others in the same predicament.

(Source: MAL)

 

4. Sword Art Online (2012)

  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Romance, Fantasy, Game
  • Episodes: 25

Why it’s similar

SAO and Darwin’s game are all about surviving the game without dying. Each anime also has a couple who are partners (romantically and fight-wise).

The male protagonists are kind and despite being very strong they don’t want to hurt anyone – they attac, but most importantly, they protecc!

Synopsis

The anime takes place in the year 2022 when every gamer’s dream became real – gamers are able to connect to an MMORPG game called Sword Art Online through helmed called NerveGear, which can simulate user’s senses via their brain and thus they can experience and control their in-game character with their minds.

The main character named Kazuto Kirigaya (Kirito in-game name) is a very keen gamer and so he is, of course, hyped to join the world (even though he was already beta-testing SAO before). 10 000 players who logged the first time soon finds out that the mad creator disabled the logout button and the only way how to get out is to beat 100 floors of Aincrad where are dangerous creatures, bosses and the outside world is often hostile as well because players are not always good people.

To make things more complicated, if your health bar in the game drops to zero you also die in real life too.

What could go wrong, right?

 

3. No Game No Life (2014)

  • Genres: Police, Thriller, Psychological, Supernatural, Shounen
  • Episodes: 12

Why it’s similar

These anime share a similar vibe when it comes to the game aspect, the duo of siblings in No Game No Life are conquering the new world by playing (and winning) random games.

Synopsis

No Game No Life revolves around two main characters, Sora and Shiro, the duo of NEET siblings who dislike the real world (hence the choice of being NEET). They are famous in the online multiplayer game under the nickname “Blank” for being extremely skilled and undefeatable.

One day they receive a strange e-mail challenging them to play a chess game and they willfully accept and win only to be teleported into another world where they meet Tet, the God of Games. During the brief introduction of Tet, they find out that in this strange and mysterious world, everything is getting resolved by playing games – the physical harm is blocked there by magic.

The godlike, overpowered and undefeated gaming duo has a completely new goal in mind: to become gods in this new realm.

🛒 POP UP PARADE SHIRO licensed by Good Smile

2. Btooom! (2012)

  • Genres: Action, Sci-fi, Romance, Psychological, Seinen
  • Episodes: 12

Why it’s similar

The main protagonists of the story are forced to participate in a survival game in real life, using predefined weapons. The male protagonists of both these anime also meet a pretty girl and they become partners, trying to outsmart others.

Synopsis

The story centers around Ryōta Sakamoto, an isolated youngster who is also a neet. He lives only online, in the game and doesn’t wish to change it anytime soon. On top of that Ryōta is considered one of the top players in a game called Btooom!

Absolutely everything changes one day when Ryōta alongside random strangers gets nominated into a real-life adaptation of Btooom!, forcing him to fight and even kill people on the secluded island in the same way he would do in virtual reality to survive.

 

1. Mirai Nikki – Future Diary (2011-2012)

  • Genres: Psychological, Mystery, Thriller, Romantic, Supernatural, Shounen
  • Episodes: 26

Why it’s similar

These anime shows are both about the game where you have to participate and survive because your life is at stake. There is a lot of action and a bit of gore, combined with a couple (girl + boy) who pair up to win the game and survive it together.

The female protagonists of these series are beautiful yandere girls who are skilled with weapons (chains in the case of Darwin’s Game and Mirai Nikki’s Yuno is skilled with any weapon really). Shuka and also Yuno show romantic interest in the male protagonist and seductive behavior.

Synopsis

Amano Yukiteru is a loner who attends high school and observes everything from his safe zone while he writes a diary on his cell phone, noting all the observations.

Yuki seems to have no friends but he finds himself often in conversation with his imaginary friends – The God of space and time named Deus and his servant.

What a shock will Yuki experience when he finds out that Deus is a real God, proving it by granting him a Random Diary which can predict future events around Yuki. That might seem like a blessing at first glance but only until he discovers that Deus granted additional diaries to the other 11 people as well. That might seem harmless but unfortunately for Yuki, the rollercoaster of kill or be killed begins due to Deus’ rules of the game – the last one standing becomes a God.

Soon after, Yuki’s strongest ally joins the game – a pink-haired girl called Yuno Gasai who is madly obsessed with Yuki and claims to love and protect him at any cost.

Misaka

Hi, my name is Mia and I'm the founder of 9 Tailed Kitsune. I love anime, games, and esports (I am also a bit weird). My passion for anime sparked when I was about 7 (Phantom Thief Jeanne, hello!) and has never stopped.

5 thoughts on “The 8 Anime Like Darwin’s Game Fans Will Love

  • January 8, 2020 at 3:57 pm
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    I’ve seen a few of these shows! I will admit I don’t really like the trope where the MC gets sucked into an MMORPG, and then forced to survive and figure out a way to actually leave or win the game. I was half expecting that with Darwin’s game, but it seems as if Kaname is still visibly in a place that he recognizes. Too bad he still has to play the game. I don’t really understand why civilians didn’t notice all too much that he was running away to avoid getting killed. RIP to that security guard. I just found that rather interesting. It’s still giving me Isekai undertones, because I’m really just expecting him to be whisked off somewhere. But I hope the game is explained further, in regards to why non players can’t really “see” what’s going on. Maybe it’s just me, but if I saw a kid running, screaming for help I’d be rather alarmed!

    Reply
    • January 8, 2020 at 6:06 pm
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      I am actually into that genre but I love the battle royale theme as well. I also found it kind of ridiculous that no one is intervening really, the masked panda guy was legit running after him with a knife, trying to stab him. It made little to no sense to me, but well… they might elaborate!

      Reply
      • February 12, 2020 at 3:58 am
        Permalink

        its because no one knew that the panda bear was there. It’s a game so no one in real life was supposed to know what was happening.

        Reply
  • January 9, 2020 at 7:00 pm
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    Log horizon and overlord!!!, good times xDD. I’ll give future diaries a shot and Darwin games ?

    Reply

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