This year has been quite challenging for the anime calendar; however, we still have some interesting titles that have come out. Followers of anime from the currently ongoing Spring 2020 season have been sinking their teeth into Gleipnir, an edgy thriller and battle royale that has kept fans on their toes! Fans of Gleipnir will be happy to know that we’ve got their back with 6 anime titles that should have the same thrilling rollercoaster feel, so let’s get to it!
Similar Anime to Gleipnir
1. Mirai Nikki (The Future Diary)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2011 – April 2012
14-year-old Amano Yukiteru is a lonely kid who spends his time writing his diary on his phone and talking to his imaginary friend, Deus Ex Machina, the god of time and space, and servant Murmur. One day, Deus Ex Machina reveals the startling truth – he is not just a figment of Yukiteru’s imagination but the real god of time and space seeking a successor. Deus grants Yukiteru the “Random Diary”, a diary which shows entries based on future events, and throws him into the deep end of a battle royale in which 11 other diary holders fight to become the new god of time and space. With his classmate Gasai Yuno, Yukiteru fights for his survival and the chance to become the new god of time and space.
A popular battle royale anime, Mirai Nikki is the most similar to Gleipnir on this list given the dynamic between the main character duo, Amano Yukiteru and Gasai Yuno. Like Kagaya Shuichi and Aoki Clair, Yukiteru and Yuno rely on each other to survive the extreme dance with death in which they find themselves. Mirai Nikki and Gleipnir are both shows in which the main characters are unassuming and timid but find themselves in situations where they possess extraordinary supernatural powers that completely change their lives.
Mirai Nikki PV
2. Darwin’s Game
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: January 2010 – March 2020
Sudou Kaname is a high schooler who one day gets an invitation to play a mobile game called Darwin’s Game. When he opens the app, a green snake emerges from his phone and bites his neck, rendering him unconscious. He wakes up in the school infirmary with no signs of the incident, but he is sent home, thinking of the whole thing as nothing more than a hallucination. He opens the Darwin’s Game app and soon things take a nasty turn as his in-game opponent appears in a bunny mascot costume, armed with a kitchen knife!
Darwin’s Game is similar to Gleipnir with regards to the battle royale in which the main characters find themselves participating. With so many enemies in the midst, the main characters of both shows are in high-stress situations with strange supernatural elements dominating their lives. The object of interest in Darwin’s Game in that regard is the mobile app while Gleipnir has the gold coins possessed by those who have the ability to transform.
Darwin’s Game Trailer
3. Killing Bites
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2018 – March 2018
Nomoto Yuuya’s life is turned upside-down when he unknowingly participates in the kidnapping of high school student Uzaki Hitomi. Yuuya’s friends are brutally killed by the abductee and he is forced to drive her to an undisclosed location. It turns out that Yuuya is the agreed-upon wager in a death match between Therianthropes, human-animal hybrids created by advanced genetics. Hitomi’s abilities grant her the upper-hand in the bout and she wins the prize and Yuuya awakens hours later, hoping that he dreamt the whole thing. However, the incident was just the start of a large secret war between four Japanese zaibatsu vying for control of the economy, using the Therianthropes as their champions. With no other choice, Yuuya places his life in Hitomi’s hands as her sole investor so she may be his champion in the underground matches known as the Killing Bites.
Like Gleipnir, Killing Bites features characters who undergo beastly physical transformations and engage in deathmatches. The motives are different in both shows; however, the dynamic of a protagonist duo featuring one regular and one “monster” is also evident in both shows and speaks to both Gleipnir and Killing Bites having plotlines that are advanced by this particular relationship between their main characters.
Killing Bites PV
Any Anime Like Gleipnir?
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: January 2016 – April 2016
17 years ago, human immortality was discovered in Africa. These immortals, dubbed “Ajin”, have been labelled a threat to mankind and are hence taken into custody whenever they are discovered. Nagai Kei is a high schooler with dreams of becoming a doctor. He knows very little about Ajin and as a student, he is taught to believe that they are not human. On the whole; however, Ajin are irrelevant to Kei’s life until he survives a fatal accident, which proves his identity as an Ajin. From this point on, Kei finds himself on the run as strangers hunt him down in order to turn him in.
In Ajin, the existence of these “inhuman” people is common knowledge but the monsters of Gleipnir are but a secret to everyone except the parties involved. However, both Ajin and Gleipnir feature main characters whose lives are inadvertently changed because of a strange property present in their bodies. Their situations are both showing the perspective of a high schooler with a promising future having to deal with the violent consequences of being inhuman.
5. Darling in the FranXX
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: January 2018 – July 2018
In the future, the human race has been brought to its knees by giant monsters known as the Klaxosaurs. The surviving humans live in fortress cities known as plantations, where scores of children are raised in order to pilot giant mechs known as FranXX. The FranXX are the human race’s only viable weapon against the Klaxosaurs and only youths can pilot these vessels of hope. Hiro is an aspiring FranXX pilot who fails an aptitude test and loses all motivation. Taking a stroll to a nearby lake, he encounters a mysterious horned girl who introduces herself as “ZeroTwo”–the name of the infamous partner-killing FranXX pilot. Suddenly the two are interrupted when the plantation is attacked by a Klaxosaur. ZeroTwo engages but sustains heavy injuries. With her partner deceased, ZeroTwo eerily invites Hiro into the FranXX to co-pilot. Eager to prove himself, Hiro enters and the two have a dazzling performance against the Klaxosaur threat. With his new partner, Hiro feels like he can live up to his own expectations, but everything comes with a price.
Perhaps from the perspective of transformations and violent, bloody fistfights, Darling in the FranXX isn’t the most similar show to Gleipnir on this list. However, there are parallels that can be drawn when looking at the relationship between ZeroTwo and Hiro and that of Kagaya and Clair of Gleipnir. The emphasis on partnership is important, especially when both shows feature main character duos who literally come together to pilot a greater vessel against the various things that threaten them.
Darling in the FranXX Trailer
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2019 – October 2019
The city of Libra is anything but balanced. Separated into two sectors, the people living in “The Upper” enjoy lives of wealth and decadence while inhabitants of “The Outside” suffer through crime, corruption and even supernatural incidents involving yokai. Sonia Summers is a detective working on various cases and each one seems inexplicably linked to yokai. She comes into contact with Bem, Bela, and Belo, three yokai who protect humans from other yokai. They are alienated from other yokai because of their human-like lives but also live ostracized by humans whenever they show their true forms. Living lonely lives, the three of them continue to live among and protect humans, hoping that they too will live as humans someday.
Gleipnir and BEM are not exactly parallel in terms of the working tropes; however both feature characters who are hiding their monstrous identities from the world for various reasons. BEM features actual yokai trying to become human while Gleipnir has a human main character who ventures into the world of the monstrous through his transformation.
Gleipnir has fans’ attention this season and it’ll be exciting to see how the series concludes! Monsters, intense battles or even strange phenomena are on the menu with the titles on this list but there is a lot of emphasis on teamwork and reliance on one’s comrades in the dynamic of the main characters on this list, and Gleipnir particularly emphasizes that as part of the very fabric of the show. Are there other shows like Gleipnir we should check out? Drop a comment below and tell us all about them!