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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.
Similar Anime to Game of Thrones
1. Arslan Senki
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr 2015 to Sep 2015
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.
Arslan's relationship to the Parsian use of slavery provides a lot of the series moral complexity, and also is extremely relevant to much of what's going on in the Daenerys/Slavers Bay arc at the moment. Arslan seeks to abolish it, but slavery isn't an easy institution to take down. If you're looking for a character arc as strong as one in GoT, set in a well detailed fantasy but historical seeming setting, all the while the story is surrounded by an armed conflict (Also like GoT), than check out this series.
- Episodes: 38
- Aired: Jun 2012 to Feb 2013
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.
3. Seirei no Moribito (Moribito: Guardians of the Spirit)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr 2007 to Sep 2007
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 thr 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.
Any Anime Like Game of Thrones?
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct 1997 to Apr 1998
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.
5. Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu (Legend of the Galactic Heroes)
- Episodes: 110
- Aired: Jan 1988 to Mar 1997
Legend of the Galactic Heroes, or LOGH, certainly lives up to the epic scope of it’s title. Often thought as the crown jewel of the Space Opera genre, LOGH follows the war between the Galactic Empire and the Free Planets Alliance. The two warring societies are also opposites in terms of political systems, the Empire being autocratic and the alliance being a democracy. The series primarily follows the stories of the Empire’s Reinhard von Lohengramm and the FPA’s Yang Wen-Li, the two young commanders will attempt to make a difference in the conflict.
LOGH is kind of like Game of Thrones given a more modern take in terms of the political systems involved. While GoT deals with different approaches to dealing with the power of monarchy and managing a feudal society, LOGH deals with the questions which have dominated world politics from the 18th-20th century, autocracy vs democracy. Just like GoT the series delves heavily into the politics and military struggles of the various sides. Most like GoT however is the fact that many of the characters who are opposed to each other are worth rooting for in their own right and thus neither are easy to completely get behind.
6. Juuni Kokuki (The Twelve Kingdoms)
- Episodes: 45
- Aired: Apr 2002 to Aug 2003
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. And 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
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. What other series or films do you feel are similar to GoT? Feel free to comment below and let's get a conversation going.