Shounen battle anime absolutely dominated the community during the 00s, making fans all over the world fall in love with their endearing coming of age narratives and intricate supernatural combat. Among these was Busou Renkin, the story of Kazuki Muto, a high school student with a strong sense of empathy who accidentally gets involved in a secret war between alchemist warriors and evil homunculi. Kazuki joins the alchemist warriors with the intent to protect his loved ones while killing as few of his enemies as he can. The manga originally ran in Shounen Jump, the world’s most popular manga magazine, for two years and has gone down in manga history as a strong, underrated hit in its genre.
The anime adaptation is notable for its memorable weapon designs, endearing character relationships and healthy balance of action and comedy. It had a pretty successful run, lasting twenty-six episodes and wrapping up with a satisfying ending. But why would you want to leave it at that when there are so many other great anime just like it that you can still watch?
Here are 6 anime like Busou Renkin.
Similar Anime to Busou Renkin
1. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Episodes: 64
- Aired: Apr, 2009 to Jul, 2010
Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way first. With battles between young alchemists and homunculi, it’s not hard to see parallels between Busou Renkin. The original Fullmetal Alchemist manga was even part of the same aforementioned gold rush of shounen battle series, having started in 2001, a connection highlighted by the many stylistic similarities both series use in their many dynamic fights.
The series focuses on brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric as they use their powers of alchemy not only to stop villainous schemes that threaten their country, but also to search for a way to undo their most tragic mistake.
Of course, Fullmetal Alchemist did previously receive another anime adaptation and while that does have its fans, Brotherhood explores the series’ system of alchemy much more deeply, making it the best comparison to Busou Renkin. The series is also notable for being the highest rated show on myanimelist, surpassing even contemporary shounen classic Gintama and international super-hit film Kimi no Wa (Your Name). Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is not one to miss.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Trailer
2. Fullmetal Panic: Invisible Victory
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April. 2018 to July. 2018
Yup, we’re keeping that fullmetal train a-fullmetal rolling. Here is another fondly remembered show from Busou Renkin’s time. Invisible Victory is the latest anime in the prolific Fullmetal Panic series and even the latest show found on this list, as it’s still airing at the time of publication.
Much like Busou Renkin itself, the Fullmetal Panic franchise has been known for its blend of action and comedy, exploring the possibilities of a war coming to a high school’s doorstep. The biggest difference is that Panic trades weapons and superpowers for giant robots, so if you watched Busou Renkin wondering when the mechs were coming, this is the show for you.
But why this latest season and not the first? Surely jumping in now would only confuse viewers, right? Well, although newcomers will be missing context for a few character relationships, the new season does not demand much from the audience in order to follow the overall plot. Additionally, Takuya Matsumura, who designed Busou Renkin’s eye-catching weapons, holds the role of prop design and mechanical animation director, and he brings all the style that made Busou’s weapons so cool with him.
Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory - OFFICIAL TRAILER 2 | Crunchyroll
3. Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! (KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!)
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: Jan. 2016 to March. 2016
If you like your action/comedy series to lean more towards comedy, then this is the show for you. Following the misadventures of stereotypical otaku Satou Kazuma, who dies and becomes reincarnated into a fantasy world; and the vain, but emotionally fragile goddess Aqua, who he forcibly drags with him, KonoSuba is a hilarious parody of modern isekai anime.
By deconstructing and lampooning the many tropes and trends of what is arguably the current most popular genre of anime, the show serves not just myriad of laughs, but relevant cultural commentary as well. But being funny and up to the minute isn’t the only quality of KonoSuba, as it uses its fantasy setting to have some of the best action scenes that will satiate any fans of fighting anime, including Busou Renkin. In fact, another Busou Renkin alumnus, Koichi Kikuta, is responsible for animating many of these scenes. He was the key animator behind many of that show’s most stylish moments of combat and he brings even more impressive sakuga moments to Konosuba. Check it out if you’re looking for a sleek style of animation like his.
Any Anime Like Busou Renkin?
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct. 2016 – Dec. 2016
Busou Renkin is a very good anime with a strong emphasis on weapons and what they mean to those who wield them. Drifters is another very good anime with a strong emphasis on weapons and what they mean to those that wield them, but it’s much, MUCH darker. The plot involves several famous historical figures being dropped into a fantasy world being torn apart by war. It contains all the great weapon-based action you would expect from something featured on this list, but with the addition of dismemberment, decapitation and boatloads of blood making it perfect for slightly older fans who want something a bit more violent.
But action isn’t the only thing Drifters has going for it, as original author Kota Hirano has a reputation for interspersing sudden comedic moments out of left field during more dramatic scenes. This is something his other hit, Hellsing, was also known for. Some love it, some hate it, but it’s adapted faithfully here and undeniably brings necessary moments of levity to the grim and grungy plot.
Drifters also employs many similar visual techniques as Busou Renkin; night scenes alternate between having backdrops that are either deep moody blues or stark reds depending on what makes the colorful characters pop and dutch angles are used liberally. A worthwhile watch for any Busou fans.
DRIFTERS Anime - Official HD English Trailer
5. Ushio to Tora (Ushio and Tora)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Jul. 2016 – Dec. 2016
One of the most endearing parts of Busou Renkin was the partnership between heroes and we haven’t really covered something quite like that here yet, so let’s rectify that right away. Ushio and Tora follows Ushio, a spunky, but irritable highschool boy and Tora, an ancient demon Ushio accidentally sets free by removing the fabled Beast Spear from where the former was sealed. The two begin as enemies, but develop their relationship into an uneasy, but endearing, friendship as they fight to take down increasingly evil demonic threats.
The similarities between this and Busou Renkin are apparent even at just a superficial level: a boy who relies on a magic spear and a powerful ally to eradicate supernatural threats. It’s also yet another show that expertly blends action and comedy, giving it a similar and engaging feel. The connections, however, go even deeper, as the two shows feature very similar themes of friendship and camaraderie and even express them in very similar ways.
With great animation, soundtrack and characters, this is another hit that never fails to impress. Plus, Ushio fights using a spear, just like Kazuki in Busou Renkin. Spears are badass weapons and very underrepresented in anime, so any fans of these polearms deserve to see these shows.
Ushio to Tora Trailer
6. Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct. 2014-Dec.2014
And here we have it, the ultimate recommendation for Busou Renkin fans. I think just about every point of comparison to that show applies here. You want anime fights? Check. You want cool weapons? Check. You want magic powers? Check. You want comedy? “People die when they are killed!”
This series is all about The Holy Grail War, a battle royale among humans paired with superpowered historical figures. Being brought to us by studio ufotable, it’s no surprise that the action choreography is extremely on point and the coloring is some of the best we’ve yet to see in the digital age.
And let’s not forget the intriguing plot, memorable soundtrack and character designs that have effectively stood the test of time. What more is there to say? If you clicked on this article, then it’s almost certain that this is the anime for you.
Fate/stay night [Unlimited Blade Works] English Dub Trailer
Busou Renkin may have ended eleven years ago, but fans thankfully have had six great and very similar anime to hold themselves over. Whether you’re looking for fights, laughs, cool weapons, companionship or just great anime in general, we hope you’ve found what you were looking for. Now what are you waiting for? Go watch some of these anime and tell us what you thought of them in the comments, where you can even leave suggestions for future lists. We hope to see you again in our future articles.