Based on the manga by Ranjo Miyake, Pet is the story of extraordinary individuals who can enter the memories of others, but these people are being manipulated by an organization known as “The Company” for their agenda. As the wise saying goes, “with great power, there must also come great responsibility” as having the power to enter the minds of others can backfire and consequently force the user into a vegetative state. In order to prevent such instances, the users create locks and chains within their psyche.
The young men who do the dirty work for “The Company” are Tsukasa, Hiroki, and Satoru, who share the same power but express it in different ways. For Tsukasa, he assumes the form of water in order to move within a person’s consciousness; for Hiroki, he becomes a goldfish; and Satoru simply uses a door to transition from one memory to another. In addition to Pet, what are some other unique cerebral titles we can recommend? Read our picks to find out!
Similar Anime to Pet
1. ID: INVADED
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: January 6, 2020 - Ongoing
Another Winter 2020 anime we can recommend along with Pet is ID: INVADED. In this series, law enforcement investigates crimes by using the Mizuhanome System to enter the consciousness of the suspect. The law enforcement refers to these psychological planes as “ids,” or “wells” (with the Japanese pronunciation of “id” being “ido,” which also means “well”), where they are represented as abstract images. For this project, the police recruit Narihisago Akihito, a disgraced detective, to enter these wells in order to assist in solving the puzzles within the criminal psyche, which in turn helps solve the mystery. Whenever Narihisago enters the well, he assumes a younger appearance and names himself Sakaido. However, whenever he enters a well, it all starts with discovering the corpse of a young lady named Kaeru, which serves as his first clue into solving the mystery.
Just like Pet, ID: INVADED delves into entering the human psyche, but they express it in different ways. In Pet, the main trio all naturally possess the ability to enter a person’s mind, while in ID: INVADED, the characters require a machine. While the characters in Pet have the ability to manipulate the memories of who they invade, Sakaido does not. Instead, he interacts with the people inside to get a better idea of what is going on as it helps him piece the meaning of the situation inside the well. In some instances, some killers’ minds are represented with a town being jumbled as puzzle pieces, and there are those where people are getting sniped on top of a bridge. In Pet, the psychological plane the characters invade is more concrete as they are based on exact memories.
ID: INVADED Trailer
- Episodes: 1 (feature film)
- Aired: July 16, 1988
Another selection is Akira, a true classic in anime cinema. Taking place in 2019, 30 years after World War III, Neo-Tokyo is getting ready for the 2020 Olympics, but the city is facing protests from raging citizens due to Japan wanting to remilitarize and a bunch of troubled youth gangs who are waging wars on the highways. However, things start to escalate as Tetsuo, a member of the Pills, is taken by the military in order to make him a psychic soldier. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worse as Tetsuo, being an emotionally unstable teenager, uses his power to seek revenge against those who bullied him and the only one who can stop him is Kaneda, his former best friend.
Beyond its amazing animation and intense soundtrack, Akira has more similarities to Pet than we can imagine. Both Akira and Pet explore people with certain psychic abilities that are being manipulated to do the bidding of another person and how exploiting such people can have consequences. In Akira, it could lead to cataclysmic devastation, while in Pet, the damage is more internal to the user of that power and who they’re invading. In Akira and Pet, the audience gets a good view of the relationship dynamics and how they can be beneficial, but when it comes to unhealthy over-dependence, it can also be consequential to such individuals as we see with Tetsuo and Hiroki.
- Episodes: 1 (feature film)
- Aired: November 25, 2006
What if you could enter people’s dreams? Long before Christoper Nolan’s Inception made it cool, Paprika, directed by the late Satoshi Kon, managed to portray that! The DC Mini is a revolutionary device that is intended for medical purposes. By entering the dreams of a patient, science feels it could help revolutionize psychotherapy. As for Dr. Atsuko Chiba, one of the key doctors on the project, she is using it on the side as she enters the dreams of her patients as she assumes the form of Paprika. Little does she know, her experiment is going to have dire consequences.
Just like in Pet, it’s about entering the human subconscious. Both Paprika and Pet emphasize on vibrant psychedelic images to symbolize that the audience has entered the subconscious, and how it represents the individual’s world. While the methods are different, they do serve the same purpose, to manipulate the human psyche. While Pet does it for manipulative purposes, Paprika is meant to be for therapeutic uses, but it eventually gets used for manipulative purposes when it falls into the wrong hands.
Any Anime Like Pet / Any Anime Like Pet ?
4. Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019)
- Episodes: 18
- Aired: January 4, 2019 – March 29, 2019
You know how some schools have rumors or stories about a ghost haunting their halls? At Shinyo Academy, there exists such an entity and it’s allegedly murdering the girls while they’re still fresh and young. The name of that alleged entity is Boogiepop, who awakens once every few generations in order to fight the true threats that the world is facing.
Despite being more supernatural in comparison to Pet, Boogiepop wa Warawanai is just as cerebral as Pet. They both deal with identity, perception, and how we view our memories. Through Takeda and Miyatshita’s relationship, we get an idea of these themes as Takeda assumes that Boogiepop is a result of Miyashita’s repressed inhibitions. In addition to the supernatural elements, Boogiepop and Pet also dive deep into human relations and how they can be constructive and destructive depending on how they’re applied.
Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) PV
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 8, 2018 – March 26, 2018
Juri Yukawa and her family are the ultimate underachievers. She has failed 19 job interviews, her brother is a NEET, her sister is a single mother, and her father is unemployed which leaves her mother as the sole provider of her family. How can it get any worse? Well, her brother and her nephew get kidnapped and she only has 30 minutes to give the kidnappers a 5 million yen ransom. How is she going to save them? As it turns out, her grandfather has a mysterious stone that allows her to stop time. You might think this might save the day but things take a much bigger turn for the worse when she encounters other people who can also move when time is frozen (and those with psychic powers)!
Just like Pet, Kokkoku deals with individuals with particular abilities, but also with themes of family and conspiracies. Juri is a lot like the main trio of Pet. In both Pet and Kokkoku, if the characters didn’t have their gifts, they wouldn’t be special. Both anime deals with not only the upsides of these powers, but the downside as well. Their storytelling methods are also similar with how things are revealed one episode at a time with how a person’s power works, the origins of the organizations that involved, and what it could mean for the entire world.
6. Mob Psycho 100
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 11, 2016 – September 27, 2016
On the outside, Shigeo Kageyama seems like your typical eighth-grader just going through the motions. Little do others know, he’s actually a powerful esper. Knowing the destructive consequences his powers could have based on his emotions, he stays as stoic as possible and refrains from using his gifts. Then one day, he meets Reigen Arataka, a con-man who also claims to be a psychic and offers to train Shigeo, or Mob, how to use his powers. Unfortunately, Reigen doesn’t have such abilities and only wants to exploit Shigeo. Now Mob’s abilities are needed as there are other espers who only want to use their powers for evil such as Claw, an organization of criminal espers.
Yes, Mob Psycho 100 is primarily a comedy while Pet is a psychological thriller, but they share more common qualities than you can probably assume. Like Hiroki, Tsukasa, and Satoru, if they don’t keep their emotions and powers in check, there could be some serious consequences for everyone involved. Like the main trio of Pet, Mob is essentially being exploited for his abilities, but at least Reigen comes to genuinely care for Mob while Katsuragi, the boss of Hiroki, Tsukasa, and Satoru, is open in that he only sees them as tools. Despite working for an evil organization, Hiroki, Tsukasa, and Satoru are really nice kids just like Mob, but unlike Mob, the main trio of Pet have no one else to go to for guidance.
Mob Psycho 100 trailer
At some point in our lives, we have all probably thought we would like to enter the minds of others. Maybe to either know what they’re thinking, what their darkest secrets are, or to manipulate them. Pet and the six anime we recommended all show that having such power can truly be destructive, most especially in the wrong hands. As a result, Hiroki, Tsukasa, and Satoru are incapable of being independent due to their upbringings and how they’re sheltered and manipulated by “The Company.”
While the other six anime we have recommended do take a detour by showing what could happen even if the user has more freedom, regardless, to once again quote Uncle Ben, “with great power, there must also come great responsibility.” If one were to have such powers, they will always have a choice to use them or not, but based on such choices, there will be awards and consequences.