Anime lovers have been spoiled for the past few months because there are so many good anime to watch in this Spring 2022 season. Spy x Family, The Rising of Shield Hero, Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie, and Summer Time Rendering, just to name a few.
However, out of all of them, there is one anime that clearly stands out from the rest due to its unique premise. Its name is Tomodachi Game. It is part of the death game genre, but rather than death and violence, it focuses more on psychological pressure instead.
If you like what you see from Tomodachi Game thus far and wondering is there anything else like it out there, well, that is where this article comes in handy. This is 6 Anime Like Tomodachi Game.
Similar Anime to Tomodachi Game
1. Mirai Nikki (Future Diary)
Tomodachi Game tries its best to ground itself to reality, so let’s start with something that is utterly unbelievable first, yet still true to the spirit of a death game, and then gradually work our way to the realistic ones.
In Future Diary, an old God is feeling bored with his job and is looking to find somebody that can replace him. So to make things interesting, he decided to select a random group of people, give them the ability to get a glimpse of the future through their phones, and tells them to kill each other until there’s only one left in the end.
Similar to Tomodachi Game, the majority of the characters in Future Diary don't know what is truly happening. They don’t know what to do, who to trust, and why they were picked. But one thing is for sure, they all want to live, even if it means taking other people’s lives in the process.
The Future Diary Official Trailer
2. Death Parade
Still, in the realm of otherworldly concepts, we now move on from God to purgatory. In Death Parade, those who die do not immediately enter heaven or hell, but rather they enter the purgatory in the form of a high-end bar.
The guests are the souls of the people who just died, and the bartender is the one who guides them through a game of death. Sure, they may already have died, but that doesn’t mean they are exempt from their sins nor the pain that the game will inflict upon their body and soul.
From the concept to how the story is executed, Death Parade took a different approach than Tomodachi Game. That being said, both series still thrive in putting their clueless participants through various hellish games.
Death Parade – Coming Soon
3. Imawa no Kuni no Alice (Alice in Borderland)
While not as larger than life as the previous two series, another entry into the death game with a fantastical concept is an anime called Alice in Borderland. It is a death game that blends seamlessly with the Isekai genre. In the story, three highschool boys witness the greatest fireworks in their life, and then they are suddenly transported into a mysterious place. It looks similar to their own city, but there is overgrown vegetation, sand, and dirt everywhere.
There are other people that share the same fate as them. Some of them are as clueless as to the boys, while others appear to have experienced these bizarre incidents before. Unbeknownst to them, what lies ahead are a series of deathly games where they have to put their life on the line. Failure to complete the game means death while refusing to participate also means death.
Other than the Isekai element of the story, Alice in Borderland is quite similar to Tomodachi Game. Both of them have a group of friends that are thrust into a dangerous game without knowing the reason why, and who is actually behind the game.
Alice in Borderland Official Dub Clip
Any Anime Like Tomodachi Game ?
We begin to stray away from the previous out-of-this-world concepts and start to inch closer to reality. In the world of Btooom! there are popular online games where the player may only use certain kinds of bombs in order to defeat other players. Well, there is actually a similar version of the game happening in real life where regular people can nominate the person that they hated the most to participate in a death game using nothing but a limited amount of bombs and their own wit.
The organizer of the game will kidnap the participants and drop them at various locations on a deserted island. Every participant started on their own, but as the game progressed, it made sense to team up with other people. However, choose the wrong person and they will be betrayed and killed. So begins the devastating game that will put their mind and body to the test.
As you might have noticed by now, the closer the entries get to the end, the more similar they become to Tomodachi Game. So just like Tomodachi Game, there are no fantasy elements happening in Btooom!. Everything happens in real life and in a real place, with a real organization conducting the game. However, unlike Tomodachi Game, there is basically only one survival game in Btooom!, and while there is an element of psychological thriller in it, it still relies heavily on violence.
5. Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor (Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor)
From this point on, we will talk about series that are extremely similar to Tomodachi Game. First up is Kaiji. In this story, Kaiji is a man down on his luck with no job and no money. To make matters even worse, he is forced to bear the burden of his coworker’s millions of yen worth of debt by a scary scammer.
In order to clear his debt, Kaiji boards a shady cruise ship and participates in a game that will change his life forever. There will be different games that he has to play throughout the series, and while there are numerous threats made on his life, for the most part, there is little to no violence happening here.
So just like Tomodachi Game, Kaiji also revolves around debt, the games are mainly hard on the mind, rather than the body, and it also involves countless backstabbing. The only different element that you will find in Tomodachi Game but not here is the heavy emphasis on friends in Tomodachi Game.
Kaiji - The Complete Series Official Trailer
We finally come to the most similar anime to Tomodachi game, Kakegurui. Similar to Kaiji, Kakegurui also revolves around gambling, and similar to Tomodachi game, rather than violence, debt is the main source of threat in Kakegurui.
What makes Kakegurui unique is its premise. This is a story about students of Hyakkaou Private Academy, an elite school where the students settle all kinds of matters through gambling. In a way, it is a school for high-end gamblers. The games will vary from one arc to the next, and since they are still students, there’s no threat of physical violence at all.
That being said, Kakegurui will show you that there are some fates worse than death. Because in this series, losing and being in debt to the wrong person will practically end your social life and it can even jeopardize your future.
Needless to say, friends stab each other in the back all the time in this anime. Sure, it might not have that eerie atmosphere that is present in other typical Death Games, but if you like Tomodachi Game, then you should watch Kakegurui.
Kakegurui | Trailer [HD] | Netflix
Tomodachi Game brings something unique and refreshing to the Death Game genre that has been rather stale lately. There’s nothing that is perfectly identical to it in the anime world, but the entries in this list represent a couple of series that are highly similar to it. So be sure to give any of them a try.
Have you watched any anime on this list? If you have, which one is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.