Like Bill and Ted? Watch These Anime!

Finally, after nearly 30 years, ddespite being in their fifties, Bill & Ted are still the same well-intended metalheads who aren’t academically inclined, so audiences are treated to the same brand of comedy that made the movie iconic. So, if you enjoy the Bill & Ted trilogy, what are some EXCELLENT anime to watch? Are you looking for adventures throughout space and time or the afterlife? Are you looking for something with some crazy comedy? Or are you a music lover? Whatever it is you’re looking for, read our recommendations to find out!

Liked Bill & Ted? Watch JoJo no Kimyou Na Bouken (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: October 6, 2012 - April 6, 2013

Based on the long-running hit by Hirohiko Araki, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure spans across over a hundred years and multiple generations of the Joestar family bloodline. The first story arc takes place in Victorian England as Dio Brando, the adopted son of George Joestar, has finally achieved immortality as a vampire by putting a stone mask on his face. Now, it is up to Jonathan, George’s biological son, to learn the art of the Hamon to defeat Dio once and for all. However, the story doesn’t end there as Joseph Joestar, Jonathan’s grandson, must face the Pillar Men, the creators of the stone mask. Then as we get to the end of the great era known as the 1980s, Dio makes his return and that is where things get really exciting as Stands (or astral warriors) are introduced to provide action like no other!

Major Similarities Between Bill & Ted and JoJo no Kimyou Na Bouken (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)

1. Music

If you love music, more specifically, the rock music between the 60s and 90s, then you’re also going to be treated to an abundance of music references throughout the five-story arcs of the anime (eight in the manga so far). For example, we have characters that reference REO Speedwagon, Iggy Pop, Oingo Boingo, Pink Floyd, Prince, and the list goes on. Not only are we treated to characters that reference popular culture, JoJo also offers an amazing soundtrack. The first ending theme is Roundabout by Yes, and later installments include other hits such as Walk Like An Egyptian by The Bangles, I Want You by Savage Garden, and most surprisingly, Freek’n You by Jodeci.

2. Adventures Across History

While Bill & Ted—and later, their daughters—travel throughout history, the story of JoJo is told throughout history as it begins in the late-1800s. We are treated to Victorian culture and the notorious Jack the Ripper becomes one of Dio’s minions of darkness. After Phantom Blood, the story skips 50 years later to the early parts of World War II as Joseph and his friends fight the Nazis, and Stardust Crusaders was actually the present-day story as it related to the publication of the original manga. In the context of the original manga, Diamond is Unbreakable and Golden Wind were actually told in the perspectives of taking place in the future!

Liked Bill & Ted? Watch Drifters

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: October 7, 2016 - December 23, 2016

After Toyohisa Shimazu succumbs to his wounds in the Battle of Sekigahara of 1600, one of Feudal Japan’s bloodiest battles, instead of ending up in Heaven or Hell, he finds himself in a world of fantasy, meaning it's populated with elves, dwarves, and just about every mythical creature you can think of. As it turns out, he’s not the only guy from history to end up in this strange world. There, he encounters other famous Japanese historical figures such as Oda Nobunaga, Yoichi Suetaka Nasu, and Hijitaka Toshizou. Plus, he meets other historical figures from around the world such as Anastasia, Count Saint-Germi, Joan of Arc, and Rasputin. Many of them are split into two factions, the Drifters and the Ends as they fight for control of this strange land.

Major Similarities Between Bill & Ted and Drifters

1. Historical Figures

Just like in the original Bill & Ted movie and Face the Music, we are treated to a variety of figures throughout history. As a matter of fact, Joan of Arc happens to be featured in both Drifters and in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, though their portrayals are polar opposites. Through the interactions between these characters, we are treated to a lot of comedic scenes in both Bill & Ted and in Drifters because of their differing personalities and cultures. You see how they react based on their positions in history and how they apply their skills to the situation that they’re in. For example, the Japanese historical figures learn about the magic in the world, and apply it with their offense, while Napoleon in Bill & Ted intends to invade Russia with waterslides.

2. The Afterlife

As portrayed in Bogus Journey and Face the Music, Bill & Ted die and have to journey through the afterlife. Drifters deals with similar themes but steers it in a totally crazy and yet cool direction. Shimazu dies and he finds himself in this fantasy world along with other historical figures who also died. From Shimazu’s perspective, many of these figures are equally from the past and future. Just how Bill & Ted in the second movie have to play the Grim Reaper in a series of games to return to the living, the Drifters and the Ends are at war (or a game in the perspective of Murasaki) over land, but we have yet to know what the prize is for winning.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for comedy, awesome music, a grand adventure through history, and the afterlife, then look no further than JoJo and Drifters. However, what both anime can offer that Bill & Ted can’t is some hardcore balls to the walls action! Both of these anime offer something that’s not only exciting, but witty. So if you want something with the hottest spices you can think of while enjoying some excellent music and psychedelic art styles, then we feel we made our case stronger. So, for some of you long-time fans of Bill & Ted, you got anything else you want to share? If so, give your shoutouts in the comments! Until then, be excellent to each other, and PARTY ON, DUDES!

JoJo-no-Kimyou-na-Bouken-1-dvd-225x350 Like Bill and Ted? Watch These Anime!


Author: Justin "ParaParaJMo" Moriarty

Hello, I am originally from the states and have lived in Japan since 2009. Though I watched Robotech and Voltron as a child, I officially became an anime fan in 1994 through Dragon Ball Z during a trip to the Philippines. In addition to anime, I also love tokusatsu, video games, music, and martial arts. よろしくお願いします

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