With the Nioh collection recently releasing onto the PS5, we decided to offer some recommendations for when your hand cramps up and you can no longer continue playing. We’ll be looking at all the things that make Nioh great and correlating said information to bring you the best anime to scratch that sword-swinging itch!
1. Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan (Ruroni Kenshin)
- Episodes: 94
- Aired: January 1996 – September 1998
While Nioh features a plethora of monster battles against ancient Japanese demons, the one constant of the game is this. No matter who you should be fighting; you will still be a katana-wielding badass while doing it. Rurouni Kenshin is the original, samurai sword-fighting epic that follows the eponymous protagonist on his journey to self-atonement. Wanting to leave behind his bloodstained past as an assassin, Kenshin devotes himself to protecting the common man instead. Learning so many intricate samurai techniques while playing Nioh, can be tiresome when your hands start to spasm after a thirty-hour gaming session. Leave the tricky button combos to the animators of Rurouni Kenshin, and take some much-deserved rest.
2. Youkai Watch (Yo-kai Watch)
- Episodes: 214
- Aired: January 2014 - March 2018
Nioh is perfectly suited for when we want to blow off some steam, crack some skulls, disembowel the reanimated headless corpse of the Rokurokubi - whatever helps get you that much-needed fix for violence. However, for the times when the bloodshed becomes too desensitizing, why not rediscover the childish whimsy that lies dormant under a pile of rotting corpses? Yokai Watch is an anime tailored toward children, but that does not in any way detract from its narrative. All of the Yokai here are much more animated and fanciful as opposed to the villainous Yokai of Nioh. It’s interesting to see how these folk tales bear such strong influence that their existence alone can act as the catalyst for so many varying pieces of work. Moreover, Yokai Watch has spawned numerous games as well if you get the Nioh itch to start gaming. Take a seat, watch a few episodes of Yokai Watch. Then, once you finally feel in tune with your inner child, return to the battlefield to be traumatized once again.
3. Nurarihyon no Mago (Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: July 2010 – December 2010
Another Yokai-themed anime but one that is not as childish. Yokai are seen in abundance throughout Nioh be it the terrifying Yuki-Onna or the spine-tingling Jorogumo. Both of these Yokai also make their way into Nura as well. Their appearances and mannerisms have certainly been…’anime-fied’ to say the least but, regardless, Nura packs just as many Yokai into its story as Nioh does into its. Not only this but, perhaps while playing through Nioh, you thought that it would be fun to transform into one of these Yokai and play as them yourself. While Nura does not have an interactive element, the protagonist has the powers of a Yokai and wields them in battles against his adversaries. So, the next time you’re playing through Nioh, slicing off the head of the dreaded Hitotsume-Oni, think back to Nura. Give some thought to his children, his friends, and family. Maybe...just maybe that Oni has a - oh he ripped your head off...perhaps leave the compassion for Yokai Watch instead.
4. Samurai Champloo
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: March 2004 - March 2005
Perhaps what drew you to playing Nioh was not the various and interesting monsters, nor was it the promise of kickass sword fighting. Maybe, you are a sucker for historical accuracy in your mystical magical slashy slash game (who isn’t, am I right?). For those people wanting to relive the Edo period of 1600s Japan, look no further than Samurai Champloo. While several other anime also find themselves set in the Edo period (Gintama, Afro Samurai, and Sengoku Basara just to name a few), none of them do it the way Samurai Champloo does. Something that is often overlooked by Nioh fans is the stellar soundtrack that rocks out or humbly whispers in the background of your epic journey. Samurai Champloo has become infamous over the years for its incredibly unique and beautiful soundtrack. All in all, Samurai Champloo does not disappoint when it comes to anime set in Feudal Japan.
Japan has a long and rich history rife with both real-world accuracies and exciting folk-tales. Nioh did an excellent job of bringing to life a combination of these two aspects to create a truly masterful experience. While none of these recommendations act as a direct sequel to Nioh, we hope that they offer a small slice of what makes Nioh so magical! Let us know your total Nioh playtime or any other anime recommendations for Nioh fans we might have missed, down below!