6 Anime Like Onihei [Recommendations]

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The stoic samurai, an impactful fighting force long embedded in Japanese culture. History has identified the samurai’s gained prominence in the 12th century, their hegemony over the government until the Meiji Restoration. Distinguished warriors, recognized for their military skills, disciplined nature, and having great value in honor and righteousness, it is no surprise that their presence is impressed upon our culture today. More specifically, in the world of anime, production studios must constantly reinvent this component of Japanese history in order to gain viewers’ interests, all the while providing a little enlightenment. As such, Onihei produces this effect, offering a little bit of everything: heroism, crime-fighting, romance and drama. With this in mind, we will supply you with 6 anime like Onihei, just in case you crave a little more sampling. Enjoy!

Similar Anime to Onihei

1. Samurai Champloo

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: May 2004 – March 2005

Samurai Champloo chronicles the story of two skilled fighters, Jin and Mugen, who reluctantly undertake a journey with a young woman named Fuu, after she saves them from execution. Jin is a mild-mannered individual, encompassing the traditional and stoicism of swordsmanship. Mugen, on the other hand, is quite the opposite; brash, self-absorbed and in your face, utilizing a mixture of fighting styles that include some conventional techniques, but most are unorthodox. After running into these two guys, Fuu feels she is finally ready to go on her quest to find a “samurai who smells of sunflowers.” With confidence and her two newly hired muscles, will the trio succeed in finding this mystery man?

Samurai Champloo is an iconic, highly popularized anime that has gained so much praise for its revolutionary depiction of modern anime. It has successfully integrated various forms of art, animation, music, and history, becoming a source of inspiration for artists and production studios alike. Beside the element of samurai and finding one’s sense of purpose, while viewing the episodes currently available, what drew me personally to compare Samurai Champloo and Onihei is incorporating an impressive musical accompaniment. Combining various genres of sound, I was instantaneously drawn to find out how this would influence the anime altogether. Perhaps this may be an appealing reason to watch Onihei? Or maybe the swordplay and butt-kicking scenes? Because both do contain a lot of that!

Samurai Champloo Trailer

2. Sengoku Musou

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: January 2015 – March 2015

Sengoku Musou (Samurai Warriors) is based off the video game, Samurai Warriors 4. The series is off to a quick start with Hideyoshi Toyotomi attempting to reunite Japan. Unfortunately, before this can all happen, Hideoyoshi unexpectedly grows ill and passes on. Two brothers fighting for this cause, Yukimura Sanada and Nobuyuki Sanada, are greatly impacted by Lord Hideoyoshi’s death, which ultimately shifts the nature of their relationship. The siege of Odawara Castle is a great foothold for this goal, introducing us to many other key players in this conquest: Ujiyasu Houjou, Ishida Mitsunari, Hideyori, Lord Hideoyoshi’s son, and many more. Collectively, this anime encompasses the nature of not one, but many heroic characters in such an honorable cause. It also details many of their battle strategies and the ultimate message of standing up to just ideals.

In comparing Sengoku Musou with Onihei, both have pretty awesome music accompanying the series. Although the styles of music differ, e.g., rock and jazz, they both infused traditional aspects to various scores. In addition, each anime contains countless fight sequences, carried out with distinct styles of animation. As Sengoku Musou utilized a bright range of colors, capturing brilliant landscapes and scenes, Onihei stuck with darker tones. However, both portray a very mature, “no laughing matter” attitude to the overall characters and storylines.

Sengoku Musou PV

3. Peace Maker Kurogane

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: October 2003 – March 2004

Peace Maker Kurogane takes place during the Meiji Restoration. At the time of this sociopolitical shift lived a young guy named Tetsunosuke Ichimura. With his brother, Tatsunosuke, the duo relies and supports one another immensely, as a result of being orphans after their parents’ murder by a rival group, the Choushuu. Determined and strong willed, Tetsunosuke wants to join the Shinsengumi, a special police force in concurrence with the rising military governance. Having witnessed such a heinous incident, Tetsunosuke believes that membership with the Shinsengumi will allow him the opportunity for revenge. In an encounter with Souji Okita, a captain of the Shinsengumi, he develops a close mentorship with him after their first spar. Additionally, Toshizo Hijikata, another member of the Shinengumi, sees his potential and accepts his membership. Building his way up, Tetsunosuke learns what it takes to become a full-fledged Shinengumi, but a growing threat in his mind weighs heavy, as he wonders whether or not this revenge and violence hold any place in the peaceful life his father always wanted for him.

Peace Maker Kurogane, like Onihei, similarly depicts the way of the samurai, in that justice needs to be served by the righteous, and honor needs to be restored, either on an individual level or throughout society. Conversely, the two anime are carried out in dissimilar fashion, where Peace Maker takes you on an emotional roller coaster with comedy, drama, and action, and Onihei just touches on various mature topics, drama, and action/violence. As such, both are overall intriguing, containing a lot of sword fighting scenes with bloodshed…pretty standard for samurai themed anime.

Peacemaker Kurogane Trailer

Any Anime Like Onihei?

4. Brave 10

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: January 2012 – March 2012

Brave 10 is a fantastic action, adventure, historical anime focusing on a plethora of characters who live in a time of war and conflict. However, throughout these 12 episodes, we mainly get a glimpse of Saizou, Isanami, and Yukimura’s lives. We are introduced to these three when Saizou first sees Isanami fleeing from a group of villainous ninjas. After saving the damsel in distress, Isanami begs him for a favor, asking him to be her bodyguard while venturing into Yukimura’s safe territory. Upon reaching this safe zone, Yukimura enlists Saizou in joining his cause. Following along, Yukimura collectively needs to find 10 brave warriors, and in gathering his ten Braves, they will all demonstrate a diverse range of majestic fighting styles.

Brave 10 offers a simplistic plot with great animation and even greater fighting scenes. With its array of characters tossed into 12 episodes, it is interesting to observe how each of the Brave 10 will fight off opponents who want the dark power Isanami harbors for their own. Although vastly different in terms of themes and attitude, the essence of “fighting to get what you want”, is most definitely highlighted in both Brave 10 and Onihei.

Brave 10 Trailer

5. Shigurui (Shigurui: Death Frenzy)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 2007 – October 2007

Shigurui: Death Frenzy is a tale of samurai set in the 17th century. From the start of this era, we learn about Lord Tadanaga Tokugawa, who holds an event for local fighters to compete. Challengers and victors must duel against each other in order to gain position in Tokugawa’s service, utilizing real blades instead of wooden ones. Consequently, what was once forbidden has been lifted, costing contenders many injuries and to a greater extent, their lives. The main event in this contest is Gennosuke Fujiki, a one-armed swordsman, and Seigen Irako, a blind and crippled swordsman. Hailing from the same master, both fighters are distinguished combatants, demonstrating individual and contrasting traits. Essentially, we follow how these two came to be, anticipating who will come out on top.

In comparing Shigurui with Onihei, both are equally intense, graphic and mature anime. They are portrayed with dark themes that overall cast an accurate description of the samurai in the Edo period. If you are seeking in depth, detailed, historical anime showcasing this era, these are it. In both, there is so much pride, loyalty, and honor held by the characters collectively. Additionally, there is a lot of hardship and anger that is attached to viewing these anime as well, particularly with the treatment of women, but it was a different time back then.

Shigurui: Death Frenzy Trailer

6. Hakuouki Reimeiroku (Hakuoki ~Demon of the Fleeting Blossom~ Dawn of the Shinsengumi)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 2012 – September 2012

Hakuouki Reimeiroku captures the story of the formation of the Shinsengumi, previously known as the Roshigumi. This military police force is a means to bring about socio-political stability, but in reality it’s turning the social stratum into a dog eats dog situation. As the people are dealing with a rise in violence and a state of lawlessness, this new force itself is showing incohesion. We see one side is lead by Serizawa Kamo, and the other by Isami Kondo. Also featured is Ryunosuke Ibuki, who is forced into servitude, despising everything about the path of the samurai. However, the more time he spends with them, he grows to discover that there is a possibility of solidarity with these warriors, who largely seek amity for Japan.

Although more toned down than Onihei, Hakuouki Reimeiroku offers viewers another glimpse of the samurai way, with a lot of beautiful boys getting bloodied. In addition to its historical value, it also contains tons of action and drama. Both capture the beauty of Japan before the growth of industry, outlining lovely landscapes and rural simplicity.

Final Thoughts

So that concludes our list of Honey’s Recommendations for 6 Anime Like Onihei. Respectfully, since we didn’t have enough room, a film that’s also worth mentioning, following the same samurai theme, and has gained some international recognition is ‘Stranger: Mukou Hadan’ (Sword of the Stranger (2007)). As such, we hope you enjoy these selections. Additionally, we know there are tons more out there. Let us know what we’ve missed! What other anime similar to this one can you suggest to us and other readers? Leave your comments below!

onihei-dvd-300x425 6 Anime Like Onihei [Recommendations]


Author: Eva B.

Hello! I’m Eva. I was born and raised in San Francisco, California. I’ve lived in Texas, Kentucky, and will soon be living in Japan! I’m a recent college grad with an MS in Justice Studies; a considerable feat in my life. When I’m taking a break from work/studies, I enjoy a variety of anime, passing a lot of time binging episodes alongside my husband. I also take pleasure in spending time with my two dogs and two cats, hiking, yoga, computer/video games, reading, and trying new cuisines. I’m pretty shy, so writing here has been a great outlet for me to come out of my box.

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