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Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen is part of the enticing autumn anime line up currently airing in Japan and available through a number of simulcast services for viewers outside the home of anime. This is technically the second release in the Utawarerumono series, however, new viewers need not be hesitant as it bares minimal resemblance and references beyond minor cameos and fan service winks to existing franchise patrons. Utawaremono is in fact derived from a series of eroge PC dating sims but thankfully none of the clichéd writing or reliance on hentai or ecchi alone is prevalent in this excellent autumn anime.
Utawarerumono begins with an unnamed protagonist (Haku) awakening alone, confused and exhausted on a snowy mountain with no knowledge of how he came to be there. We also have a beautiful and talented half female with cute cat ears and tales named Kuon. While stereotypical fantasy RPG fair on initial viewing, Utawarerumono boasts an excellent cast, interesting and steadily developed fantasy world and a unique male lead in the form of Haku.
Far from the typical hero, Haku is lazy, easygoing and not much of a fighter. It is his ability to bring out the best in others and his new found guardian Kuon that makes Haku’s story integral to those around him. Utawarerumono doesn’t feature a heavy reliance on action and fighting, instead it chronicles the characters journey and finding their place in the bustling workplace and economy of this strange world. If you enjoy fantasy anime with an emphasis on comedy, fun and with a dusting of ecchi and action then here are another 6 anime we recommend that are just like Utawarerumono.
Similar Anime to Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen
1. Ookami to Koushinryou (Spice and Wolf)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jan 2008 - May 2008
Holo is a powerful wolf deity who is celebrated and revered in the small town of Pasloe for blessing the annual harvest. Yet as years go by and the villagers become more self-sufficient, Holo, who stylizes herself as the "Wise Wolf of Yoitsu," has been reduced to a mere folk tale.
When a traveling merchant named Kraft Lawrence stops at Pasloe, Holo offers to become his business partner if he eventually takes her to her northern home of Yoitsu. The savvy trader recognizes Holo's unusual ability to evaluate a person's character and accepts her proposition. Now in the possession of both sharp business skills and a charismatic negotiator, Lawrence inches closer to his goal of opening his own shop. However, as Lawrence travels the countryside with Holo in search of economic opportunities, he begins to realize that his aspirations are slowly morphing into something unexpected.
Spice and Wolf shares a number of similarities to Utawarerumono. Firstly, both anime feature a human animal hybrid female lead character, as Kuon in Utawarerumono is half cat and half human female. They also both recount the journey of a male and female pair of companions that begin in a rural countryside village and subsequently travel to a major capital in search of work and economic gain. Similarly to Krafts partial dependence on Holo, Haku needs the assistance of Kuon on many occasions. However eventually Haku’s own set of unique abilities lead to trade and work opportunities for the pair. If the dynamic relationship between Kuon and Haku was your favourite part of Utawarerumono, Spice and Wolf is a great choice for your next anime.
Spice and Wolf Trailer HD
2. Seirei No Moribito (Moribito – Guardian of the Spirit)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr 2007 - Sep 2007
At a time when the balance of nature still held the civilizations of mankind in thrall, young prince Chagum has been accused of being possessed by an evil spirit: the water demon, which once perished at the hands of the emperor 100 years ago. This could possibly mean great misfortune, not only for the Imperial family, but for the entire world as well. Court advisers only see one solution. Chagum must be put to death by his own father's hand. His salvation is in the form of Balsa, a spear woman and mercenary from Kanbal, the kingdom across the mountains. Her skills are legendary, and although reluctant, she is held by a mysterious vow to save eight souls before she dies. Can she fend off an entire empire and make Chagum her eighth soul?
Moribito shares the theme of a strong female lead character in the case of Balsa that becomes the guardian and protector to a male character in peril. Utawarerumono and Moribito also shares a historical fantasy setting that has many hints of classical Japanese and oriental aesthetic. Characters in both animes wear traditional clothing, and both series share similar building design and references to onsen (hot bath) and sake (alcohol) culture. Both anime series feature a large and well rounded cast, with few characters lacking in development and sufficient depth. If you enjoyed the historical fantasy of Utawarerumono, then Moribito is the anime for you.
Moribito Official Extended Trailer HD
3. Juuni Kokuki (The Twelve Kingdoms)
- Episodes: 45
- Aired: Apr 2002 - Aug 2003
Nakajima Youko is your average somewhat timid high school student. One day, a strange man named Keiki appears before her, swearing allegiance. Before she could properly register what was happening, demon-like creatures attack Youko and her friends, after which they are pulled into a different fantasy world where modern technology is non existent. Separated from Keiki, Youko and her friends must do whatever they can if they wish to survive in this new world.
The Twelve Kingdoms shares a fantastical world with a basis in east Asian history and mythology. Many of the creatures referenced and customs seen pay tribute to the Chinese and Asian heritage much like the world of Utawarerumono. 12 Kingdoms also features a strong female protagonist in Youko that is capable of battling and protecting her friends both through her courage but also her intelligence much like Kuon. Both 12 Kingdoms and Utawrerumono feature plots that give a detailed depiction of the ruling of a kingdom and the economic effects this has on not only its own populace but on the rest of the world. If you enjoyed the kingdom world building of Utawarerumono then 12 Kingdoms will take you to another world.
Any Anime Like Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen?
4. Arslan Senki (The Heroic Legend of Arslan)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr 2015 - Sep 2015
Arslan Senki is a revival of a 1990’s OVA series based in a historical fantasy world, loosely drawing from Middle Eastern and Christian/Templar period history. In the prosperous kingdom of Pars lies the Royal Capital of Ecbatana, a city of splendor and wonder, ruled by the undefeated and fearsome King Andragoras. Arslan is the young and curious prince of Pars who, despite his best efforts, doesn't seem to have what it takes to be a proper king like his father. At the age of 14, Arslan goes to his first battle and loses everything as the blood-soaked mist of war gives way to scorching flames, bringing him to face the demise of his once glorious kingdom. However, it is Arslan's destiny to be a ruler, and despite the trials that face him, he must now embark on a journey to reclaim his fallen kingdom.
Arslan Senki, much like Utawarerumono features a well developed fantasy world that is grounded in references to real period history, customs and battle. A primary theme throughout Arslan is the focus on the right to rule as a king and what makes an individual worthy of the responsibility. In Utawareurmono, the mythical and seemingly eternal emperor and his interest in Haku will be a running theme throughout the anime’s current arc. It is heavily hinted that he or his closest companions will have a large part to play in the future ruling of the kingdom, much like young Arslan and his multiple antagonists and rivals to the throne. As a main character, Arslan shares a number of similarities to Haku, primarily in his lack of physical ability and his reliance on his companions during battle. Arslan, much like Haku instead relies on his ability to charm and win the hearts of specialists in many different areas. So if you enjoyed the theme of historical kingdoms with a journey to change the ruling status quo, Arlsan will help scratch that itch.
The Heroic Legend of Arslan PV HD
5. Log Horizon
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct 2013 - Mar 2014
By its eleventh expansion pack, the massively multi-player online role-playing game Elder Tale has become a global success, having a following of millions of players. However, during the release of its twelfth expansion pack: Novasphere Pioneers, thirty thousand Japanese gamers who are all logged on at the time of the update, suddenly find themselves transported inside the game world and donning their in-game avatars. In the midst of the event, a socially awkward gamer called Shiroe along with his friends Naotsugu and Akatsuki decide to team up so that they may face this world which has now become their reality along with the challenges which lie ahead.
While initially, Log Horizon seems to have more in common with Sword Art Online than with Utawarerumono, once you pass the initial exposition, the rich fantasy world is something fans of the latter anime will certainly find appealing. Log Horizon features a well crafted and detailed fantasy world that feels like a living, breathing ecosystem of people and fantastical creatures working side by side towards common goals.
Log Horizon is not heavily action orientated and instead focuses on the relationships of its characters and in their need to survive economically in this new life much like Kuon and Haku spend their time. Protagonist Shiroe is not a fighter or especially skilled but he does possess a strong intellect that enables him to develop new ideas for the group that benefits them all. This is much like Haku using his ability to learn and study to benefit the group in an economic sense rather than in a physical hero type role. If you enjoyed the focus on world building and daily living to survive from Utawarerumono, then we recommend losing yourself in the virtual world of Log Horizon.
Log Horizon Official Trailer HD
6. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha (Maoyuu – Archenemy & Hero)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan 2013 - Mar 2013
Maoyuu May Yuusha was developed by the same director and animation studio as Spice and Wolf, so there is little surprise it will also appeal to fans of Utawarerumono. After a long and treacherous journey, our Hero finally arrives at the Dark Lady's castle only to find himself being asked for help. The Hero explains how the war that the demons have brought upon the humans have killed thousands and put more in misery. The queen of demons however argues that this war has made the human society band together as one and showed empirical evidence how it has increased population, increased production, boosted economy and improved society overall. Furthermore, she explains to the Hero that ending this war will result in a civil war that will produce more bloodshed than there ever was. The Hero, convinced that the only way to bring peace, relatively speaking, is to join forces with the Dark Lady, agrees to help with her plans!
Maoyuu features an intriguing fantasy world, mixing the believable with the mystical. The main character Yuusha (Hero) is a human in this fantasy world whereas his female foil and partner is a non-human magical being much like Kuon in Utawarerumono. The emphasis in Maoyuu is not on constant action like many of the anime’s contained in this list, but planning, strategy and daily economic life of its people. The Hero and Dark Lady are unlikely lovers, but Maoyuu makes their interaction and romance feel genuine rather than forced in for the excuse of ecchi alone.
There are moments of fan service, in particular the camera pays a lot of focus on Dark Ladies breasts, however her character is well developed and rounded enough that this plays into the viewer feeling the same desire as the Hero. This is very similar to Kuon's role in Utawarerumono, she is frequently naked as she has a penchant for hot baths, however it never feels overly sexualised. They are both female characters that are comfortable with their sexualities and are more empowered and desirable as a result. If you enjoyed the cross species romance from Utawarerumono then Maoyuu will give you an equally relatable love story.
If you’re looking for rich fantasy adventures that focus on character and world development over unadulterated action, then we recommend checking out all of the anime on this list. Do you know any anime that we missed? What other fantasy anime have you watched that you think match up to Utawarerumono Itsuwari No Kamen? Make sure to leave us a comment and tell us your own list of similar anime.