6 Anime Like Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens [Recommendations]

Developed by Satelight, the studio behind Hellsing Ultimate and Fairy Tail, Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens is a completely different type of beast. For those expecting something similar to the studio's popular action series, they might be in for a disappointing experience. While there are a couple of fast-paced fight scenes, Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens is really a crime series set in a city of assassins and gangsters. Fukuoka attracts the worst of the worst, and pretty much every single character is ingrained in a life of crime.

Xianming Ling is a professional killer who is striving to clear his debt and leave Fukuoka. The obnoxious teenager is hired to take down Zenji Banba, a private detective who has been snooping around the city's corrupt mayor and Fukuoka's mafia. Rather than go through with the kill, Ling and Banba agree to work together to try and ruin the people who control their lives.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens is an assembled group; so, the viewer follows the lives of many different characters. As the episodes progress, the separates plot lines start to intersect, resulting in one big overarching story. Admittedly, criminal cities are rather common in anime and film, but Fukuoka remains an interesting setting to explore. The characters are fun and the action scenes are realistically violent.

For those gripped by Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens, here are six similar anime worth watching.

Similar Anime to Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens

1. Durarara!!

  • Episodes: 60
  • Aired: Jan 8, 2010 to Mar 26, 2016

Durarara!! is about mixing the mundane with the absurd. Set within Tokyo's Ikebukuro district, the shy student Mikado Ryuugamine finally moves to the big city to add some excitement to his life. Packed with people and rumors, Ikebukuro is home to the "Black Rider," a headless horseman who rides around on a jet-black motorcycle. Putting aside the supernatural creature, many different gangs roam the city streets, although a newer group called "the Dollars" threatens to throw Ikebukuro's balance out of whack.

Like Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens, the characters are the main reason to watch Durarara!!. While Mikado can be a rather dull protagonist, this popular anime offers an expansive cast packed with unique and colorful personalities. Besides the headless horseman, who is delightful and adorable, the hilarious and devious Izaya Orihara remains one of the best evil masterminds of the industry. With many different moving pieces, the story can get rather complicated, but the anime maintains an energetic and engaging pace.

Both series take place within a metropolis soaked in crime and gang warfare. Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens might not include any supernatural subplots, but both anime offer plot twists and the occasional cool fight scene.

Durarara!! Trailer

2. Black Lagoon

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: Apr 9, 2006 to Dec 19, 2006

Black Lagoon is a classic for a reason. Whenever a new action anime comes around that is set in a criminal haven, it will inevitably be compared to Madhouse's iconic series. From memorable characters to thrilling action sequences, Black Lagoon is an adrenaline ride that never lets up. If you have yet to watch this anime, we recommend stopping whatever you are doing and getting right on it. Warning, in comparison, most other shows will suck.

Thailand's Roanapur is a crime-ridden city that is driven by corruption. Unlike some other cities, there is no pretense of order, as authorities are unwilling to approach this dangerous haven. Putting aside the three local crime syndicates, who do play an important part in the anime's stories, Black lagoon refers to a mercenary group operating in Roanapur. Rokurou Okajima, an average businessman, ends up captured by the group and joins their team after being abandoned by his former employer.

As should be expected from a Madhouse series, the animation is fantastic. Despite being released over a decade ago, the crisp art style could easily pass for a current series. The characters are fantastic. At first, Rokurou serves as a straight man, but Roanapur slowly twists his personality into something truly terrifying. Revy is the anime's poster girl, but do not expect to see your typical waifu. Revy is foulmouthed, especially in the English dub, and prefers to talk with her dual pistols.

Black Lagoon is a must watch for anime fans. In comparison with Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens, Madhouse places a heavier emphasis on action, while delivering a similar style of stories about corruption and criminal escapades.

Black Lagoon Trailer

3. 91 Days

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jul 9, 2016 to Oct 1, 2016

How about a trip through history? 91 Days takes place during the Prohibition era and is set within the town of Lawless. Putting aside the painfully unoriginal name, Shuka's anime is a breath of fresh air. Within anime, a non-Japanese setting is rather rare but that uniqueness is compounded by the time period. For the industry, 91 Days ventures into alien territory.

Angelo Lagusa's entire existence is driven by a burning hatred for the Vanetti mafia family. When he was still a young child, the mafia wiped out his entire family, forcing the boy to leave behind his hometown and life. Seven years later, Angelo changed his name to Avilio Bruno and returned to Lawless with plans to settle the score. There is nothing heroic about his mission, as Avilio abandoned his humanity a long time ago.

91 Days is stylistic and gory. Similarly to Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens, the majority of the episodes focus on establishing the criminal organizations working within the city, while slowly developing the cast's backstory and motivations. There is quite a bit of action, but these scenes tend to be short and explosive.

91 Days PV

Any Anime Like Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens ?

4. K

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: Oct 5, 2012 to Dec 28, 2012

K takes the typical concept of a criminal haven and flings superpowers into the mix. "Kings" are people bestowed with supernatural powers who can form their own gangs (or clans). While they have great power and can destroy normal people within seconds, "Kings" are expected to protect the lives of their followers. Depending on their leader's power, these clans are divided into unique colors.

With the exception of Black Lagoon, K offers the most action out of any of the anime mentioned in this article. Aesthetically, K is fairly similar to Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens, although GoHands' anime is way more colorful. K's main plot follows a murdered Red Clansman and the student who is accused of pulling the trigger. Despite constantly pleading his innocence, the clan is out for revenge and refuse to hear otherwise.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens and K have an air of mystery to them. While neither could be classified as suspenseful thrillers, the viewer is kept in the dark about who is behind some of the city's uglier practices. In the same way that Satelight's anime blends wide-spread criminal activity with a seemingly normal city, it is interesting to witness how K's supernatural elements compliment the more mundane aspects of everyday life,

K Missing Kings Trailer

5. Bungou Stray Dogs (Bungo Stray Dogs)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: Apr 7, 2016 to Dec 16, 2016

Funny, gorgeously animated, and packed with endearing characters; Bones' Bungou Stray Dogs is among the standout anime to be released in the last couple of years. As with all of these shows, the series is set in a city brimming with criminal syndicates. There is also a supernatural edge to the premise, as characters possess special powers that allow them to predict the future or shape-shift into different creatures.

Atsushi Nakajima is an 18-year-old orphan who has been treated as an outcast for his entire life. After his orphanage is repeatedly targeted by a weird white tiger, Atsushi finds himself thrown out into the dangerous world. With options scarce, Atsushi's life changes when he saves the suicidal Osamu Dazai from drowning. Dazai happens to be part of a detective agency and Atsushi joins his crew.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens spends quite a bit of them following Zenji's work as a detective, which happens to be the main focus of Bungou Stray Dogs. Most episodes focus on a stand-alone case, although there is an overarching plot that increases in importance as the series progresses. The art style is stylistic, going for an almost 1940s aesthetic, and there is a great deal of humor to be found.

Bungou Stray Dogs Trailer

6. Gangsta.

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jul 2, 2015 to Sep 24, 2015

One of Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens' more interesting worldbuilding elements has to be the mercenary criminal groups that work within Fukuoka. With their own code of ethics, assassins are common and can be hired by any random person. Gangsta. follows a similar group known as the "Handymen," who are willing to take on any job. Consisting of the charismatic Worick Arcangelo and the quiet but deadly Nicolas Brown, their reputation leads to the mob and police seeking out their services.

The city of Ergastalum is not for the faint of hearted. Alex Benedetto, a soft-spoken prostitute, learns this the hard way when she ends up witnessing something beyond her pay grade. With a hit out on her head, the "Handymen" take Alex on as a client to try and protect her from the criminal syndicate that wants her dead.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens' story builds tension by establishing the cast in an extremely volatile landscape that could easily cut them down at a moment's notice. The city of Fukuoka is its own living and breathing character, and the same can be said for Gangsta.'s Ergastalum. Both cities are in the middle of a power struggle, as the mobs try to fight for control, leading to the central characters needing to change before they are lost in the shuffle.

Gangsta. PV

Final Thoughts

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens is a fast-paced thriller set in a haven for criminal activity. Nobody can really be described as innocent or good, and everyone is looking out for number one. These six anime offer similar experiences, with each series including a criminal element and quite a bit of action. A couple of shows throw in a supernatural power or two, but their pacing and art styles remain largely unaffected.

Is there any other anime that you would recommend for fans of Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens? If yes, please leave us a comment below with your recommendations.

Mark Sammut


Author: Mark Sammut

Born and raised on a small island in the Mediterranean, my life goal is to experience as many different ways of life as possible. Since time and money are in short supply, anime and film provide the best opportunity to experience far away cultures and worlds. When I'm not watching the latest episode of Gintama, or wondering what series to watch next, you can find me in the corner of the closest coffee shop; writing away on my aging laptop.

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