6 Manga Like Clockwork Planet [Recommendations]

With literally thousands of manga titles out there at the moment, all spanning a multitude of genres, themes, characters and general dynamics, it isn’t surprising to note how many of these titles are similar in content and execution. We’re here again to present manga titles similar to a certain exciting mechanism of a manga – Clockwork Planet. With plans of an anime supposedly underway (shhh!), it definitely is satisfying in some way to grab a hold of the original work before it is adapted. Now let’s remove the spanner in the works, oil up this lovely machine and give you six manga similar to Clockwork Planet – we’re sure you’ll like them!

Similar Manga to Clockwork Planet

1. Gunnm (Battle Angel Alita)

  • Volumes: 9
  • Published: November 1990 – March 1995

Beneath the thriving floating city of Tiphares exists a scrap yard, a place where inhabitants of Tiphares dump their junk and unfortunate individuals and cyborgs live, amongst the clutter, under the rule of the people of Tiphares. One day, Ido, a former Tipharean and specialist in cyborg repairs finds the severed but intact head of a young cyborg girl. Ido then decides to take her in and give her a body and a name: Alita. It then becomes apparent that Alita has dormant fighting techniques in her body and she makes the decision to become a hunter-warrior, an elite bounty hunter working for Tipharean factories.
Like most stories involving cyborgs, Gunnm begins with a certain character stumbling upon and taking in a certain non-human entity and exposing it to very human concepts – prompting growth. Like with Clockwork Planet, the mechanised main character is repaired and therefore saved by a certain human who ends up assuming a familial role. The art is timeless – masterful work that really brings the characters and the story to life. Seriously, if you like robots, cyborgs, or just manga in general, Gunnm is more than worth the consideration.


2. Kikou Shoujo wa Kizutsukanai (Unbreakable Machine Doll)

  • Volumes: 9
  • Published: November 2010 –

The 20th century saw the world’s technological advancement meet the realm of magic. With magic and sorcery working together, circuit boards capable of bringing objects to life were produced. These circuits, or Makinot, were capable of granting personalities to inanimate objects and were subsequently turned into military weapons. Enter Akabane Raishin, a student at Royal Academy who plans on being best in his class. However, his terrible test scores stand to get in the way of his ambitions – despite his combat skills being second to none. Can Akabane get through and become the best?
Instantly relatable from a time perspective, being set in the 20th century, Unbreakable Machine Doll is an engrossing action-packed story with various elements which give it a unique kick, such as the beautiful character designs and awesome combat sequences. Like most harems, Unbreakable Machine Doll draws upon character archetypes in order to draw the story and some of the more seasoned readers of manga won’t be all too impressed by this fact; however, this takes nothing away from the overall enjoyment. The presence of a male protagonist accompanied by a non-human is quite similar to that of Clockwork Planet, and the overall layout of worlds being ruled by technology and innovation shines through in both Clockwork Planet and Unbreakable Machine Doll.


3. Sora no Otoshimono (Heaven’s Lost Property)

  • Volumes: 20
  • Published: March 2007 – February 2014

Ever since he was a child, Sakurai Tomoki had been having the same dream, a strange dream which always led to him waking up in tears. Late one night, Tomoki sees an angel come flying out and ends up saving her life. The angel, Ikaros, introduces herself and forms an attachment to Tomoki, calling him her master and availing herself to the fulfilment of his wishes – but what is the cost of making these wishes?
Yet another story where a mysterious non-human entity literally falls from the sky and crashes into the otherwise uneventful and mundane life of our protagonist who is more than what we expect, Heaven’s Lost Property bears striking similarities to Clockwork Planet. Even where art is concerned, there are notable similarities in art style, although the much younger manga, Clockwork Planet, has heavier use of shadows to bring out the characters in question. That aside, clear similarities in plot put Heaven’s Lost Property in the same vein as Clockwork Planet and it is definitely worth checking out!


Any Manga Like Clockwork Planet?

4. Chobits

  • Volumes: 8
  • Published: September 2000 – October 2002

In the 22nd century, a new wave of personal assistants has hit the Japanese populace – the persocom, high tech androids capable of near-human behaviour. Hideki wants to own one but since he’s unemployed, ownership is but a pipe dream… until he finds Chi, a cute but not-so-functional persocom in a pile of garbage one night. The discovery stood to change Hideki’s life forever, as he has to teach his new companion how to function in their day-to-day life and form a bond like nothing he has ever had before.

Chobits is a classic – no other words are needed to describe it. The premise, a story about robotic companions is quite similar to Clockwork Planet’s storyline and the benevolent nature of both protagonist is a notable factor that both manga have in common. Chobits takes a different direction in being a work that focuses more on the mundanity of life experienced by the protagonist, despite being in somewhat extraordinary circumstances, whereas Clockwork Planet sways towards a more adventurous direction.


5. Monster Girl

  • Volumes: 12
  • Published: March 2014 –

Casually minding his own business at the park one day, Yatsuki’s life changes forever when a beautiful girl named Rokka lands on his face. He becomes friends with her, but there is something about her that isn’t quite right, and that fateful meeting opens the floodgates to more strange meetings with girls who aren’t completely… human. Join Yatsuki as he learns to fight to protect the various girls who begin to assemble around him.

Drastically different in premise from the other titles on this list, Monster Girl is an action-comedy featuring ecchi elements and of course, a harem. The one similarity to Clockwork Planet that this manga bears is in the way in which the main character meets his companion – a highly improbable scenario, often claimed to be the work of fate, drives the lives of the characters in the shadows, eventually leading to them meeting. Another reason why Monster Girl is like Clockwork Planet is the simple fact that in both works, the protagonists have non-human companions.


6. Jabberwocky

  • Volumes: 7
  • Published: August 2006 – January 2009

“Imagine the Da Vinci Code and Jurassic Park had a baby”. Such is the description many will give for Jabberwocky, a thrilling ride through the dark avenues of international espionage, action and conspiracy, all surrounding the Russian Empire and of course, the protagonist, assassin and spy, Lily Apricot. Sent from Britain in order to steal back a certain Russian artefact, she discovers that dinosaurs are alive and well, and walk among us!

At first glance, Jabberwocky is radically different from Clockwork Planet in art, storyline, themes and tropes, however, the basic trend of human/nonhuman relationships stands reflected in both manga. With an art style that is somewhat atypical of manga, Jabberwocky is capable of making significant visual impact and with an interesting story to boot, it definitely deserves more recognition than it has received! Like with the mechanised realm of Clockwork Planet normalising hybrid societies featuring humans and androids or robots, Jabberwocky features the presentation of an underground world; that of the dinosaurs who are hidden from the humans and, in the case of Russia, form the backbone of the very empire.


Conclusion

As times change and the general focus of the manga (and perhaps to an extent, anime) world turns away from what used to be the Shounen Jump Big 3, it is worth noting the real relevance of having manga that is capable of entertaining and not merely existing to fill the void of much more popular series, but existing in order to make a real mark of their own. Stories that not many get around to knowing about, let alone reading, need to be pushed out there and given platform to absorb more people. That’s why we exist, to bring you more than you could have ever thought there was. Did we leave out a manga like Clockwork Planet that you really like? Drop a comment below and tell us all about it!

Hoshi-kun

Writer

Author: Hoshi-kun

I’m South African, harbouring an obsession for anything remotely related to Japan, mostly anime, of course. I draw sometimes. Some people call me Naledi, it’s my real name, or something like that. People think I’m stoic because I don’t smile often (I do sometimes). I like languages. Hoshi-kun and Naledi are the same side of the same coin.

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