AFfter only seven weeks, Game of Thrones is over for another year.
With the next and final season at least a year away, with some reports suggesting it could be 2019 before we see a White Walker take another step, you may be wondering what you should be doing with your nights.
Going out, having a life and talking to people are valid options, or, (heavens forfend!) you could read a book. But if you’d rather sit in front of the TV screen on that comfortable couch, here are some Anime you should put on your list.
Game of Thrones has spellbound audiences across the world and shot itself straight into mainstream popularity. Among Western Fantasy properties, it probably has had the biggest pull since Lord of the Rings, which was really the birth of a lot of western fantasy fiction. With multiple well-written and sympathetic characters locked in conflict, a highly detailed and diverse fantasy world as well as its brutal depiction of war and realpolitik, Game of Thrones has real ground to become the cultural force it is today.
If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, as well as a fan of anime, then the list below shall help you find that perfect medium with both of your entertainment needs.
10. Code Geass
Code Geass may not have bloody decapitations on screen, but it does have a Petyr Baelish-like protagonist vying for the Britania throne. In an alternate world where America lost the Revolutionary War and Britannia has extended its colonial rule to the shores of the Pacific Ocean, Lelouch vi Britannia, the former crown prince of the Emperor, lives in exile in Japan, along with his sister.
The whole series centers around Lelouch’s ambition to topple Britannia’s empire. When he obtains a power called the Geass, which allows him to control other people, he begins his revolution. Normally, Lelouch is smart and calculative, but, due to his power, he can easily decide to become a “Mad King,” forcing enemy soldiers to do his bidding. EvHe is arguably one of the greatest characters in the series right until the very end. If Game of Thrones were set in an hyper-stylized world of modern Japan it would be Code Geass.
9. Last Exile
Last Exile is a true gem for fans of the steampunk genre, though it also focuses heavily on wars and politics. Set in the fiction world of Prester, Claus Valca and Lavie Head are two sky couriers in the nation of Anatory. One day, they come across a dying courier who asks them to deliver a young girl named Alvis Hamilton to a mysterious airship call the Silvana. The mission terrifies them at first, but they reluctantly agree to escort the girl to the ship.
Once they completed the mission, both Claus and Lavie are dragged into a war between the Anatoray, the Disith, and the Guild. Last Exile is best known for its relatable characters, and takes its time to flesh out each characters. However, Last Exile‘s take on the war is what truly sets it apart from other shows. The anime series doesn’t sugarcoat the conflict, and shows its viewers the true cost of a war that is based on strong notions of nationalism.
Fate/Zero creator Gen Urobuchi (Urobutcher) is noted for his nihilistic works and, in some cases, acts like the George R.R. Martin in anime. In modern Fuyuki, Japan, the 4th Holy Grail War is about to take place. Seven masters and seven servants participate in the battle for a chance to win the Grail, a magical cup that offers the winner one wish.
Fate/Zero aren’t just an ordinary anime fantasy. Instead of seven houses battling for the Iron Throne, there are seven masters contending for the wish-granting device. What make this show so engaging are its characters and their philosophies. Each one has their set of goals and motivations, and the grim reality that killing opponents is the only effective way to win the Grail makes this a battle of beliefs, not justice.
Don’t get too attached to the characters because everyone in the war gets scarred emotionally. It’s not only about killing characters as a one off shock-value– how each person ends up, both physically and emotionally, is in the hands of karmic retribution.
7. Attack On Titan
Game of Thrones’ tendency to off kill fan favorite characters has become normal– and, in Attack on Titan, this also happens a lot. Set in a Medieval era, humanity has barricaded themselves in giant walls in fear of the man-eating titans that roam the lands. When Wall Maria is destroyed, Eren Jaeger’s mother is eaten by a titan in front of him.
Titans are a destructive force, created only to kill humans, with superhuman strength. The size and scope of these beings are as equally terrifying as the white walkers, and, like the frozen zombies of the North, there is only one way to kill them– by hacking the nape of their neck.
The show is merciless when it comes to murdering your favorites. It treats all of its characters the same, and a death only occurs if the plot warrants one. Attack on Titan’s world is a cruel place– across the narrow sea beyond the walls, the “truth” is ten times worse than the war in Game of Thrones, or any other dark fantasy. The “truth” hits home, and can make anyone feel despicable about humanity.
Similar to Berserk, Claymore is set in a medieval-inspired world centered on Yoma and Yom-hybrid warriors called claymores, who are tasked to kill the demonic beasts. The warriors all have silver eyes and white hair; because of their unique features, and the fact that they’re half-Yoma, most people are afraid of them. They should be, since, if a claymore uses too much of their demonic energy (the Yoki), they will turn into a full Yoma.
The anime series is characterized as a dark-fantasy show, drawn from medieval history. Yoma is the metaphorical version of the plague, which sows fear in people’s mind. Yomas can morph into their victims, and are untraceable. The organization that trains claymores uses this epidemic as a form of business, where they sometimes charge villages at an exorbitant price for protection.
Claymores are similar to the unsullied; they are young girls who are taken at a young age and trained to fight. Only a small percentage eventually earns the rank of a claymore, where they are forced to serve the Organization.
Kingdom is a fictionalized account of the warring states period in China. Xin and Piao are war-orphans amongst the lower-classes in China. Piao is taken by a official away from his town, but returns as Xin meets a boy with a striking resemblance to Piao, who happens to be the leader of the Qin dynasty. Xin must enter a power-struggle that will affect all of China.
The biggest similarity between Kingdom Is that they both follow a central conflict between multiple warring powers. Kingdom also delves into how war affects the populace at large and the brutality that people have to endure. Kingdom really goes out of it’s way to delve into the tactics and strategy of warring combatants, so if you enjoyed all the campaigns, war councils and combat scenes in GoT, this series is up your alley.
Xin also feels like a GoT type character because it has less to do with him being an overpowered protagonist who can change a battle himself, and more with him fitting in with a strategy that requires numerous parts acting towards a strategic vision.
4. Arslan Senki
Arslan Senki is the story of Arslan, prince of Pars, a nation which is based heavily on Persia. Arslan is the crown prince but his father, Andragoras, doesn’t think he’s strong enough to take the throne, which causes Arslan some consternation and self-doubt. One day the Kingdom of Lusitania invades Pars and Andragoras, undefeated previously, suffered a cataclysmic defeat which ends in his imprisonment and Lusitania’s seizure of the royal capital and much of his kingdom. Arslan is now forced to act independently and, with his trusted advisers, move to strike back against Lusitania and free his country.
A lot of Arslan’s character arc feels very similar to what many of the Starks go through in Game of Thrones. After what happens to their father Ned, they’re both forced to go their own way and tasked with picking up the bits and pieces for the lands and people they have to defend.
In many ways, Arslan is similar to Rob Stark particularly, especially in the way Arslan has to navigate the moral landscape of the day. He can’t just focus on winning battles, he has to find a consensus between what he thinks is the right path for his kingdom and what others can accept.
3. Seirei no Moribito
Balsa is a wandering spear-woman who happens to save a prince, named Chagum from drowning in an apparent accident. However, it was no accident and Balsa is contacted by Chagum’s mother to enlist her services to protect him. Chagum is believed to be possessed by a water demon, and the only solution is his death. Balsa, seeking to atone for lives she took in the past, agrees to the mission. They try to escape and manage to make it look like Chagum has died to appease the attackers. However, the prince is in more danger than he had thought, and Balsa must come to the bottom of what’s threatening him.
Moribito is great at telling a story in which a very realistic world albeit it with some fantasy and magic elements start’s to see the supernatural play a more powerful part in what’s happening. This is similar to GoT in how a series about political ruthlessness and war is seeing more and more magical elements and strange, unnatural occurrences, the foremost of which are the approach of the others from the far north.
Game of Thrones also heavily deals with family, specifically how families deal with life-threatening circumstances. Balsa and Chagum develop a really meaningful relationship, and it really examines the familial bond between two people who aren’t actually related.
2. Juuni Kokuki (The Twelve Kingdoms)
The story follows Nakajima Youko who is a typical, mild-mannered high school student. Suddenly a strange man who identifies himself as Keiki shows up and swears allegiance to Youko. Before she can really get a handle on what’s going on, she’s attacked by strange demons which pull her and some of her friends into a different world. A world where Youko and her friends are going to have to forget their comfortable high school life in order to survive.
Though the story is about people coming from another world into another, there are a lot of similarities to GoT here. The world of 12 kingdoms is fantastically detailed and they each have different styles of government, culture, society and morals and ethos just like the 7 kingdoms of Westeros. A huge part of the fun is learning more and more about the world.
Though the characters come as transplants from our modern world, the tough time they go through is still very similar to the sometimes kill or be killed situation in GoT.
Berserk follows Guts, a gifted fighter and mercenary who is recruited by a man named Griffith into the Band of the Hawk. Griffith is talented, ambitious and enigmatic and has led the Band of the Hawk rise to a prominent position within Midland, who consistently relies upon the mercenary group for decisive moments in various battles. Though Griffith has a dream in his mind, Guts and fellow warrior Casca must find their own reasons to live and fight.
Berserk is one of the most beloved manga series to ever be written, and though the original anime series does not capture all of it’s glory, it does recount one of Berserk’s best story arcs, and should be seen by all regardless of it being similar to GoT. However, to GoT fans it does have specific relevance.
Berserk was influenced by an era of seinen which went over the top with violence and brutality, which many fans of the world of Westeros can count as familiar. But also just like GoT, Berserk is just a fantastically well-crafted story that’s a more sobering and perhaps nihilistic take on a lot of old fantasy tales which have a much clearer good and evil bend to them, as well as a much happier outcome.
Game of Thrones and the books behind it are definitely an important contribution to the fantasy series. We think we have multiple entries on this list which capture the spirit of parts of the show and which fans can enjoy.
I’m a 22 year old Anime blogger, currently studying for my masters in finance and control. To be honest, I have absolutely no desires to become a taxman. I am just an ordinary guy with everything to lose!