Looking for anime with slick animation, gritty fight scenes, and a dark, magical theme?
Take a look at Black Rock Shooter.
Our two protagonists, Mato and Yomi, meet on the first day of junior high school in this Winter 2012 release. They have a rocky start because Yomi is a shy, introverted girl who Mato, a social and outgoing person, takes an interest in. Despite their personality differences, they form a strong bond. But they both have secrets, and somewhere in an alternate universe, two girls battle in an open world: BlackRock Shooter and Dead Master.
A strange being, Black Gold Saw, laughs as he watches their mysterious battle. This is the story of two girls who are entwined by the threads of two worlds. The series is a spin-off of the OVA and the battle aesthetics, partnered with the awesome theme songs and manga-style fight scenes, we just love so much. It's the ideal anime series to watch if you want to take a break from other slow-paced, action-free anime or if you're in the mood for some teenage angst. And if you enjoyed this vibe as much as we did, here are six more anime similar to Black Rock Shooter!
Similar Anime to Black Rock Shooter
1. Accel World
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: April 2012 – September 2012
Meet Haruyuki Arita, our protagonist of this story. He is a chubby middle schooler who is bullied because of his weight and finds consolation from the real world by playing online games in the virtual one. All this takes an unexpected turn when he logs in to discover that all his high scores have been beaten by the popular “Black Snow Princess” Kuroyukihime, who’s also vice president of his school's student council.
After defending him against some school bullies, she offers to help him out through unusual means. She then invites him to the student lounge and introduces him to a program called the accelerated world "Brain Burst," a program that functions as an augmented-reality massively multiplayer online (ARMMO) fighting game where users are pitted against each other to get more acceleration points, which can then be used to acquire real-world powers.
Should a user lose all of their points, they will no longer be able to use Brain Burst.
Kuroyukihime later tells Haruyuki that she picked him because she needs his help reaching level 10, the highest level attainable within Brain Burst by defeating the "Six Kings of Pure Colour" and ultimately meeting the creator to learn the reason behind the creation of the game.
Both Black Rock Shooter and Accel World revolve around incredible battles, thrilling world-building, and comradery. And although Accel World has an additional focus on futuristic technology (plus a dash of harem), it's an anime show that’ll keep you on the tip of your toes and glued to your screen.
Accel World Trailer
2. Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2011 – April 2011
Whatever you expect when watching a Shoujo anime, Madoka Magica throws all that outside the window. The plot revolves around Madoka Kaname and her best friend, Sayaka Miki, who come across a small, cat-like creature named Kyubey who is being chased by a girl. After being rescued, Kyubey offers to grant any wish they desire in exchange for the group making supernatural contracts to become magical girls (Mahou shoujo).
As they face strange enemies known as "witches," they discover the angst and despair associated with their new roles, as well as how not everything is as it appears. We'll start by saying that, while this is a Mahou Shoujo anime, it is NOT aimed at children.
There's a lot of drama and a heavy psychological atmosphere, which all contribute to a story that keeps you on your toes at all times. Like Black Rock Shooter, there are familiar points of a magic theme, emotional tumult, and a heart-warming story. But the plot in Puella Magi Madoka Magica will surprise you at every turn - even if you're an expert at anticipating plot twists, we guarantee you'll be caught off guard more than once.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica Trailer
3. Selector Infected WIXOSS
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2014 – June 2014
Selector Infected WIXOSS is one of those anime that sneaks in under the radar and suddenly surprises everyone with its quality and execution. Set in a world where the card game "WIXOSS" is a big hit, a few WIXOSS players are chosen as "Selectors" and are given special cards called "LRIGs".
Enter Ruuko Kominato, a shy girl with barely any friends who recently transferred to a new school. She’s given a deck of WIXOSS cards from her brother, Ayumun, in an attempt to get her to make new friends so as not to worry her grandmother. The starter pack she gets contains a special card that talks, an LRIGs, and upon meeting others in the same situation, Ruuko now discovers that she has now become a "Selector," a player in a special version of WIXOSS where girls can versus each other for a chance to have their deepest wishes granted.
However, there is a catch. Unlike the honour that awaits them after winning, they will face a horrible outcome if they lose three times. With the character-driven plots, battle aesthetics, and a cast almost as colourful as those of Black Rock Shooter, Selector Infected WIXOSS is one anime that a Black Rock Shooter fan should never miss!
Selector Infected WIXOSS Trailer
Any Anime Like Black Rock Shooter?
4. Yumekui Merry (Dream Eater Merry)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2014 – June 2014
Yumekui Merry stars Yumeji Fujiwara, a seemingly average high school student with the ability to see auras around people that allow him to predict what kind of dream they will have. Sadly, his dreams often involve him being pursued by cats with weapons led by John Doe, who claims he needs Yumeji's body to enter the real world. However, when he meets the enigmatic Merry Nightmare, everything changes.
Merry Nightmare is the female protagonist of the show. She’s a dream demon who gatekeeps the door that joins the Dream World to the Real World. And unlike the other dream demons who need to possess a human to enter the real world, as she has her own body. Her job was to guard the border between the two worlds, but for unknown reasons, she ended up with amnesia 10 years ago in the real world. She wanders around looking for a way to return to the dream world, and one faithful day, she meets Yumeji, who wants to help her find her way back home. She is initially hesitant, but after a daydream in which she saves Yumeji's life, she accepts his assistance. However, Merry's presence in the real world means that the barrier between dreams and reality is wide open, and not all dream demons who come to Earth are peaceful.
Dream Eater Merry blends the mundane with the fantastic; it takes a well-used anime trope, a cast of familiar and comfortable characters, and dresses it in the fantastic and bizarre. The result is a heart-warming story full of ups and downs, friendship, and an overall change in perception of what a dream is. The quality of the animation and the music soundtrack that accompanies its fantastic visuals further add to its appeal - Yumekui Merry is the perfect anime to curl up with after Black Rock Shooter.
Yumekui Merry OP
5. Wonder Egg Priority
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2021 – March 2021
The series follows our protagonist, Ai Ohto, a shut-in, who was constantly bullied for her shyness and her Heterochromia as a kid. She one day becomes friends with Koito Nagaso, another girl in their school. They grow close, but after some time passes, Koito commits suicide by jumping off the school roof for no discernable reason. Some time passes and Ai is guided by a mysterious voice to a deserted arcade during a late-night walk where she stumbles upon a "Wonder Egg", which when broken sprouts a girl from it. If Ai can keep the girl alive while killing "Seeno Evils" monsters based on the girl's deepest, darkest fear, she will be able to resurrect her dead friend, Koito. Ai, of course, seizes the opportunity… Along the way, Ai meets three other girls (Neiru Aonuma, Rika Kawai, and Momoe Sawaki) who are also attempting to rescue someone from their pasts.
Wonder Egg excels most in the visual department. This is a stunning anime with a mastery of colour theory, light, and shade. The animation style, music, and overall art direction shaped the story with its four main protagonists and the themes it chose to confront. Aside from the story's otherworldly elements, Wonder Egg is similar to Black Rock Shooter. Not only is it also about camaraderie and dark themes with magic, but it also tells a beautifully crafted story about self-redemption and overcoming inner turmoil.
Wonder Egg Priority Trailer
6. C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: April 2015 – June 2011
Set in a world where Japan goes through a financial crisis, the story follows Kimimaro Yoga, an economics student who is introduced to an alternate reality of the Financial District. It all starts when a mysterious man offers him a large sum of money in exchange for allowing his "future" to be held as leverage. Kimimaro becomes an "Entre" when he accepts the money (short for "entrepreneur"). Each Entre is paired with a unique creature that represents their prospects, known as "Assets." Mashu, a horned girl who can summon up fire-based attacks, is assigned to support Kimimaro and Entres are summoned once a week to contend against one another in a "Deal".
Entres who lose all of their money and become bankrupt are banished from the Financial District with tragic consequences for them or their loved ones in reality.
It may not exactly possess the fantasy elements that are continuously present in Black Rock Shooter, however, the amazing battle sequences and the vivid, exciting animation are comparable matches and sometimes even surpass the former. Come follow our main character, Yoga, as he faces the odds in this unusual world in hopes to secure his fortune—and discover the true worth of money
C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control Trailer
Action, shameful politics, friendship, pain, mass rebellion, havoc, death, destruction, and rebirth - a range of topics and emotions commonly explored in the art form that is anime. What anime have you watched from our list above? Drop a comment below and tell us about your favourite anime if we missed it, or just tell us which of our six you’ll be watching next!
Keep stuck to our future-proof hive here at Honey’s Anime for even more anime lists and recommendations