Based on the manga by Takaya Yoshiki, Guyver is the story of Sho Fukamachi, an ordinary teenager who coincidentally got his hands on a Guyver unit. The Guyver is a bio-weapon created by an evil and powerful international cult corporation known as Chronos. While they seem nice on the surface, they conduct illegal experiments to make people into monsters known as Zoanoids to take over the world. Sho must use the powerful abilities of the Guyver suit to fight the evil forces of Chronos, and their Zoanoid army while on the run with his best friends, Tetsuro and Mizuki.
In addition to three anime installments, Guyver also received two live-action movies featuring Mark Hamill, and the voice of Solid Snake himself, David Hayter. Despite these two big names, the movies weren’t at all well received by its dedicated fan base. But beyond these movies and anime installments, what other animes out there measure up to this action-packed classic drama? Read today’s top 6 to find out!
Similar Anime to Guyver: The Bioboosted Armor
1. Generator Gawl
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct 7, 1998 – Dec 23, 1998
Long before Seiji Mishima became famous for directing the 2003 Full Alchemist and Gundam 00, he had Generator Gawl. In the year 2007, scientists have fully uncovered the mysteries of the human genome with the hopes of bringing out the best in humanity’s potential, but instead, it opens a catastrophic Pandora’s box destroying the future. However, three young scientists named Gawl, Ryo and Koji go back in time in order to save their world but they are followed by Saito, a mad scientist who wants to keep the future the way it is. The only way for Gawl to stop them is to use his power as a Generator, the very same power that ruins the future.
Though both series deal with young men who have genetically infused superpowers whose origins come from the villains they face, Generator Gawl expresses more comedic traits and has a more optimistic tone. Though Sho’s world in Guyver is darker, both he and Gawl share similar qualities in their motivations of wanting to protect the people they care about. When Gawl transforms into his Generator form, like Sho as Guyver, he displays feats of strength and both series do a great job of showcasing the toll the transformations can take on them physically. So if you want something less violent and more lighthearted, Generator Gawl is a must see for 90’s anime lovers.
- Episodes: 6
- Aired: Mar 25, 2005 – Oct 26, 2007
In this modern Tatsunoko hit, Karas is an anime where humans and ghosts live together without noticing each other. And those who enforce the laws of nature are the titular Karas (which is a word play on Karasu, the Japanese word for crows who are neither forces of good or evil in Japanese folklore). The main Karas is Otoha, a former hit man who can turn into a car, a plane, and make a suit of armor with the power of Karas. He must stop his Eko, his former mentor, from taking over Tokyo and his army of mechanized demons he calls the Mikura.
Both Karas and Guyver are dark heroes who fight the supernatural (and have awesome action sequences), but express it in different ways. While Guyver is sci-fi oriented, Karas mixes it with Japanese superstition. They share similar qualities in how regular citizens are affected by the events orchestrated by the respective villains, but in the case of Karas, it also demonstrates how the ghosts are affected since they have something to gain but at a significant cost. In their respective ways, both Guyver and Karas dive into the state of the human condition and offer balls to the walls action. If there is one distinction that Karas has, it is certainly its revolutionary animation that not many anime to this day have managed to emulate.
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Apr 3, 2012 – Jun 26, 2012
Based on the manga by Masakazu Katsura, the world is being threatened by monsters called Players, and the only man who can stop them is Jin Kanzaki, who can turn into a superhuman being called a Zet. However, Jin’s origins are shrouded in mystery due to being experimented on. Unfortunately, he couldn’t live in hiding forever so he uses his abilities as a Zet to fight the Players and the corporation that created him and the Players, the Amagi Corporation. Reluctantly assisting Jin in his quest is Kouga, the son of the president of the Amagi Corporation, and can turn into another super-powered being called an Alpha.
As you can see, both Zetman and Guyver deal with two young men who have transformational abilities and have a supporting cast member with similar gifts but share a rather reluctant partnership. While Sho got his powers by accident, in the case of Jin, they were forced upon him. In addition, they both share similar origins of their powers come from an evil corporation they both want to take down, but also must face the creatures they made. Unlike Chronos who openly uses their creations, Amagi has no control over theirs, which is why the need Zets and Alphas. As both series progress, Sho’s and Jin’s abilities gain distinct power-ups to add more flair to the action.
In the case of Sho, whenever he’s the Guyver, he tends to show more of a berserker’s rage but with Zetman, Jin is more in control. So if you love battles against the corporate machine, Zetman is another series to check out. We also recommended the manga since the lighting techniques today’s anime isn’t exactly ideal for capturing the shadowing of Katsura, which is the most notable feature of his art style.
Any Anime Like Guyver: The Bioboosted Armor?
4. Parasyte -the maxim- (Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Oct 9, 2014 – Mar 26, 2015
Just like how the 2004 Guyver is taken from a manga that debuted in the 1980’s, the 2014 Parasyte anime was long overdue since the original manga ended 20 years prior to the anime debuting! In this series, alien creatures called Parasites are invading Tokyo and they take over human brains through their ears and eat each other up. In the case of high school student Shinichi Izumi, his earphones save him from being 100% possessed by a parasite. However, the parasite tries to enter through his right hand and stays stuck there and is given the name Migi or Righty in English. Through Migi, Shinichi’s right arm is the ultimate weapon in fighting the evil parasites.
While Shinichi doesn’t exactly have a super-powered suit to fight monsters, he still shares a distinct relationship with the being that gives him the abilities to fight evil. Though it is mostly Shinichi’s will to fight the other parasites, it’s really Migi doing the heavy lifting since Shinichi isn’t a natural fighter. And due to the symbiotic relationship Shinichi and Sho have with their powers, they do express internal battles for their own sanity from time to time. Though both series are excessively violent, their similarities are more intriguing with their substances as opposed to their styles. While Shinichi doesn’t have the same emotional baggage that Sho has, his relationships and his humanity have a unique direction to how he develops.
As the series progresses, it is interesting to note that Migi genuinely starts to care for other people, but with Shinichi, he tends to lose his connection with humanity but for reasons, the audience can understand. If there is any reason to enjoy this along with Guyver, they ultimately do an excellent job of analyzing how the heroes can relate to the human condition.
- Episodes: 39
- Aired: Jul 8, 1972 – Apr 7, 1973
Next on our list is Devilman, based on the hit manga by the legendary Go Nagai. Devilman is the story of how Akira Fudo receives the power of a demon named Amon after losing his life in a hiking accident. Now Akira uses that power to fight other demons that want to take over the world to protect the woman he loves. While the anime is a very toned down version of the manga, it still shares many qualities with Guyver. Both series have unassuming teenagers who gain powers and have a symbiotic/parasitic relationship with them since they were initially intended for evil purposes. But thanks to the good nature of both Akira and Sho, they fight to protect the innocent.
Both Devilman and Guyver have crazy and violent action sequences, but the themes of family, community, and the dark side of human nature is what truly captures viewers into watching them. The number one quality both series can be enjoyed for is their direction in character development. Through Devilman, it is expressed through Amon with his interactions with Miki on why he is no longer evil. In Guyver, it is expressed with how Sho is introduced as a weakling, but his powers allow him to face and conquer all kinds of adversities to become stronger not only in body but as a human being.
Devilman was made as a commentary on both World War II and Vietnam, and how innocent people were caught in the crossfire. For Guyver, it is about what happens when corporations with evil intentions can take over treat citizens like property.
6. Tekkaman Blade (Uchuu no Kishi Tekkaman Blade)
- Episodes: 49
- Aired: Feb 18, 1992 -Feb 2, 1993
Coming in at number one is the remake of Tatsunoko’s 1970’s sci-fi classic, Tekkaman Blade. Despite being a remake, all of the featured characters are original and borrow only the surface elements from the initial series so anyone can watch Blade without any required exposure to the old Tekkaman. Blade tells the story of an amnesiac teenager named D-Boy, with the D short for Dangerous because of his reckless behavior. Under mysterious circumstances, he has the power to summon a suit of armor through a crystal called the Tek Setter and it gives him superhuman abilities.
Like Sho, D-Boy has the ability to summon a suit of armor that is fused with his body and his voltekka is similar to Guyver’s mega chest cannon to take out monsters. While the monsters Sho faces are Earth in origin, D-Boy fights monsters from space called the Radam. Beyond sharing explosive action sequences, both series deal with issues of the family but in distinct ways. Both Sho and D-Boy, unfortunately, are put in a position to fight members of their family and face forms of trauma from the fallout. But thanks to the assistance of their strong support cast members, they overcome their obstacles to save the day.
If Guyver and the anime we shared on this list have any roots, they go back to two creations of the legendary Shotaro Ishinomori, Cyborg 009 and Kamen Rider. Like some of the heroes listed, both Kamen Rider and the cast of Cyborg 009 are kidnapped by evil organizations to be used for their purposes. However, they escape and use those abilities to protect the innocent. As Mewtwo once said, it is not the circumstances of our births that define us, but what we do with our life that defines us.
In context to that saying, all anime listed do a great job of portraying that trait. So what are some dark hero anime like Guyver do you readers recommend? Leave us your thoughts in the comments!