6 Anime Like Nihon Chinbotsu 2020 (Japan Sinks 2020) [Recommendations]

Nihon Chinbotsu 2020 serves as a modern adaptation of the original 1973 novel by the late Sakyo Komatsu, who is still regarded as one of Japan’s leading sci-fi authors. Like in the original story, geological changes in the Eastern hemisphere significantly affect the landscape and as the title suggests, a series of earthquakes sinks a large chunk of Japan. Considering that earthquakes are not so rare in Japan, most especially in the Tokyo area, and with histories of significant earthquakes such as what happened on March 11, 2011 and on September 1, 1923 (which was portrayed in The Wind Rises), it’s inevitable that Japanese pop culture portray such disasters and how survivors try to live in the aftermath to show audiences that there will always be hope no matter how bad things get. So, in addition to Nihon Chinbotsu 2020, what are some other anime that deal with such themes? Read our selected 6 to find out!

Similar Anime to Nihon Chinbotsu 2020 / Similar Anime to Japan Sinks 2020

1. Dr. Stone

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: July 5, 2019 - December 13, 2019

Kicking off this list is Dr. Stone, based on the manga by Riichiro Inagai and Boichi, a mysterious light engulfs the Earth and turns EVERY human being (and birds) into stone for a number of millennia. During that time, the Earth progresses back to a primitive state as plants overgrow and animals repopulate while modern technology goes the way of the dodo. When Senkuu Ishigami, a teenage equivalent to Bill Nye the Science Guy, manages to find his way out, he uses his knowledge and passion for science and the tools around him to bring humanity back to its feet by doing more than just reinventing the wheel. However, Tsukasa Shishiou, an accomplished teenage MMA fighter, disagrees with Senkuu and feels that man should revert back to its primitive state, and this causes the conflict that drives the series.

While Dr. Stone has a lot more slapstick comedy, like Nihon Chinbotsu 2020, it’s about how mankind—or at least in where it takes place in a Japanese setting—is trying to survive in the aftermath of a disaster that left them with nothing. Each character applies their natural skills to overcome their obstacles and be of contribution to the group. What also makes these two anime similar is how they portray conflicts in regard to ideologies. Senkuu wants to bring back technology and Tsukasa wants to keep things the way they are. There are some instances of that in Nihon Chinbotsu 2020 when the Mutoh family encounters a rescue run by a Japanese alt-right group who refuses to take them because Mari, the mother, is a Philippine national and her children aren’t full-blooded Japanese.

Dr. Stone Trailer

2. Kono Sekai No Katasumi Ni (In This Corner Of The World)

  • Episodes: 1 (feature film)
  • Aired: November 12, 2016

Largely taking place in Hiroshima during World War II, we see the journey of Suzu, an ordinary woman who chooses to marry Shusaku, a young man who she barely knows. Upon her marriage, she goes to his hometown of Kure, a port city within Hiroshima Prefecture. Ten years into her marriage, she does her part in distributing food to those in need as people are trying to survive the raids. Her husband is drafted to serve and she’s left with her husband's relatives. No longer willing to take the stress and wanting to see her family, she wishes to return to her hometown near the city. However, before she can do that, the tragedy that wiped out Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 stops her from doing so.

While Kono Sekai No Katasumi Ni deals more with the aftermath of war, it still explores a domestic issue in regards to how a family overcomes a catastrophic tragedy just like in Nihon Chinbotsu 2020. In addition to seeing the physical devastation the bomb had on Hiroshima, you also see how people are affected physically and emotionally. You see Suzu’s conflicts with her in-laws, and how she deals with strangers in the aftermath. But in the end, she manages to overcome her trials and tribulations to make a better tomorrow just like the Mutoh family in Nihon Chinbotsu 2020.

In This Corner Of The World Trailer

4. 7 Seeds

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: June 28, 2019

Like Nihon Chinbotsu 2020, you can catch 7 Seeds on Netflix. Based on the hit manga by Yumi Tamura, a master of post-apocalyptic stories, 7 Seeds tells the tale of how numerous twenty-first-century youths throughout Japan are chosen to be put in cryogenic stasis for the next few centuries in order to preserve mankind after a meteor shower. There are five groups each representing a season with summer having an A and B group. While a majority of the groups have some sort of skill that can be of assistance in a post-meteorite shower world, Summer B consists of society’s misfits who must use their own wits in order to adapt.

Just how it is portrayed in Nihon Chinbotsu 2020, Japan’s landscape has significantly been altered (and pretty much most of the world from what we can gather), but in 7 Seeds, the new world has given birth to new flora and fauna, and the return of dinosaurs! Just like the Mutoh family and the people they encounter, the ensemble cast of 7 Seeds travels across Japan to find suitable shelter, and/or reunite with their loved ones. As portrayed in both anime, you see how a character’s pre-existing skills apply in their new worlds and how they can be of contribution. Lastly, both 7 Seeds and Nihon Chinbotsu 2020 masterfully portray how conflict arises when it comes to a desperate shortage of supplies, how doubt can frequently arise, and through these stories, audiences can learn how people deal with such situations, or learn the consequences when things get ugly.

7 Seeds Trailer

Any Anime Like Japan Sinks 2020 / Any Anime Like Nihon Chinbotsu 2020?

3. Zankyou No Terror (Terror in Resonance)

  • Episodes: 11
  • Aired: July 11, 2014 - September 26, 2014

Brought to you by the brilliant mind of Shinichiro Watanabe, the creator of Cowboy Bebop, Zankyou No Terror shows how two youths, who refer to themselves as Nine and Twelve, make a name for themselves as terrorists by holding Japan hostage with a nuke. Though they don’t decide to use it right away, they make their first mark by bombing the Shinjuku district. In the act, they immediately recruit Lisa, an unassuming high school girl who goes to school with them. As Nine, Twelve, and Lisa formulate and act on their plots, Shibazaki, a disgraced detective, uses the opportunity to redeem himself in hopes of becoming a hero.

We’ll admit this is a rather unorthodox selection, but please hear us out. It really shows the limits to which human nature can be pushed when the right buttons are pushed in a crisis. Will their cultural group mentality help save the day? Or will everyone succumb to their selfish desires? While foreign and domestic media has positively portrayed how the Japanese responded to the March 11, 2011 disasters and the coronavirus in comparison to the US in such situations, who is to say that the media isn’t portraying a false image? What if what is happening in the US is also happening in Japan? Through the actions of Nine, Twelve and Lisa, and how crazy people can go in Nihon Chinbotsu 2020, they give the audience an alternate view on the human condition as it relates to Japanese culture as it challenges numerous culture conventions that are prevalent in Japanese society.

Zankyou No Terror (Terror in Resonance) Trailer

2. Taiyou No Mokushiroku: A Spirit of the Sun

  • Episodes: 2
  • Aired: September 17, 2006 - September 18, 2006

Based on the manga by Kaiji Kawaguchi (also famous for Eagle and Zipang), Taiyou No Mokushiroku shows what could happen if Mt. Fuji decided to erupt. Due to the geological effects of the eruption, Japan is split into two, and many citizens seek assistance from the Chinese and the good old USA. As a result, one section is under Chinese sanction, and another is under American jurisdiction. Other citizens seek refuge in other countries such as Taiwan. Not only do you see the immediate effects to its citizens right after the disaster, but what happens 15 years later as well. For example, the Japanese citizens who fled to Taiwan have an economic conflict with the native Taiwanese over jobs (what’s the Taiwanese Mandarin hick equivalent for “they took our jobs” from South Park?).

Both Taiyou No Mokushiroku and Nihon Chinbotsu 2020 are about as alike as you can imagine, but with some notable differences. While Nihon Chinbotsu 2020 does portray Mt. Fuji erupting and sinking a good chunk of Japan, the circumstances that lead to the disasters in both anime are pretty much different. While Nihon Chinbotsu 2020 shows what happens to Japan in the near future, it’s kind of treated more as a footnote while Taiyou No Mokushiroku gives equal focus to the Japanese who are trying to survive years after in a country that isn’t native to them.

1. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0

  • Episodes: 11
  • Aired: July 10, 2009 - September 18, 2009

At number 1, we obviously have to give it to Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. What makes this entry even more disturbing is that it was broadcasted two years before the infamous March 11, 2011 disasters. While attending a science exhibition in Odaiba, Mirai and Yuuki, two children, must find their way home to Sangenjaya (which you may recognize as Yongenjaya in Persona 5) after an earthquake devastates Tokyo. However, their journey home isn’t going to be easy as they must endure debris, looters, aftershocks, and everything you can think of.

Nihon Chinbotsu 2020 and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 share a large number of qualities, but what makes Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 different is how Japan doesn’t exactly sink. Putting that aside, they both share disturbing images depicting how falling debris can kill people and the ugly side of human nature. Due to the nature of these shows, they’re both unpredictable in regards to what can happen with our heroes and if you want to know what happens, all we can say is watch both Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 and Nihon Chinbotsu 2020. However, we can promise that they both offer relatively happy endings in their own distinguishing ways.

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 Trailer

Final Thoughts

For the past 47 years, Nihon Chinbotsu has had a sequel novel, two live-action movies, a television drama, a radio drama, and finally its first anime. As we stated before, it is rather common for Japan to have earthquakes or other disasters such as typhoons, but Nihon Chinbotsu 2020 and our selected six go beyond just portraying that. They serve as a unique commentary on survival, the state of Japanese society, and in some instances, Japan’s impact on the world. We feel with our top six, they offer these unique qualities that appeal to Japanese and international audiences alike. So, what do you readers say? Are there any anime like Nihon Chinbotsu 2020 you’d like to share with us? If you got any, please leave your thoughts in the comments!

Nihon-Chinbotsu-2020-dvd-300x423 6 Anime Like Nihon Chinbotsu 2020 (Japan Sinks 2020) [Recommendations]


Author: Justin "ParaParaJMo" Moriarty

Hello, I am originally from the states and have lived in Japan since 2009. Though I watched Robotech and Voltron as a child, I officially became an anime fan in 1994 through Dragon Ball Z during a trip to the Philippines. In addition to anime, I also love tokusatsu, video games, music, and martial arts. よろしくお願いします

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