Battle Royale anime or Survival Game anime, is a unique sub-genre of anime that revolves around a last-man-standing scenario. In these anime, a group of people is often captured or forced to participate against their will in a battle against one another wherein they must take each other's lives in order to succeed. Then, whether you mowed your way through a hundred enemies or cried in the broom closet until everyone else perished, whoever is left at the end will win some kind of prize (or perhaps, just their freedom). So, let's take a look at some of the greatest Battle Royale Anime out there!
Danganronpa lands at the bottom of the list for being a Battle Royale but one that is much tamer in nature. Unlike other Battle Royales that throw a group of people into a sandbox and have them duke it out for survival, Danganronpa breeds mistrust in its participants by forcing them to discuss things and weed out who the murderer might be.
As people try to lie their way out of misunderstandings, forge alliances behind each other's backs, and try to stay alive by any means possible, it is clear just how dangerous this type of Battle Royale can become. Not too dissimilar to the parlor game "Mafia", Danganronpa is a uniquely creative Battle Royale anime with an even more successful lineup of games!
4. Darwin's Game
After being accepted to join a mysterious app by a friend, Kaname Sudō finds himself involved in a life or death situation. Forced to participate in a game where it's kill-or-be-killed, Kaname seeks to survive long enough to meet the Game Master and exact his revenge. Darwin's Game does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a survival of the fittest game of last-man-standing.
However, where a show like Danganronpa grounds itself in reality with realistic situations, Darwin's Game teeters the edge of absurdity by introducing colorful characters with incredibly overpowered abilities. Pyrokinesis, invisibility, and mind control are just some of the powers granted to those who play Darwin's Game through the use of Sigils. This makes Darwin's Game a lot more action-packed as opposed to other Battle Royale that enjoy exploring the mental toll such a game takes on its participants. With a wide assortment of interesting characters, some who embrace the fight for survival while others run from it, there is something for everyone in this sci-fi deathmatch.
Fate/Zero is a Battle Royale within a Battle Royale! Not only do you have each Master's servants duking it out in a historic fight for the Holy Grail, but each Master is also engaged in a war with each other as well. Usually, these fights coincide but it isn't too uncommon for a servant to specifically target a master, or for two masters to get into a scuffle without any magical servants involved.
Fate as a franchise lends itself to the Battle Royale genre. The entire notion of the Holy Grail War is a Battle Royale. Not only this but Fate/Zero kicks of the confusing Fate timeline which is to follow. Those wanting to see how exactly the Holy Grail Battle Royale started should check out this first entry.
2. Kami no Tou (Tower of God)
After being approached by a mysterious girl named Rachel, Bam discovers that his dark and desolate life within a cave might have more prospects than he thought. Rachel claims that she will attempt to climb an ominous tower, said to grant the single wish of any who can reach its peak. Bam agrees to follow Rachel wherever she goes and thus, the duo sets out to conquer the tower and fulfill their wildest dreams. However, with such a prize in-store, they aren't the only ones out to try and receive it.
Tower of God is originally of Korean origin and that alone earns it a spot on this list. It's always great to see such representation for anime outside of Japan and when they make an impact like Tower of God managed to do, it opens the door for even more Manhwa to be adapted into anime in the future. That isn't to say Tower of God's storyline isn't incredible, however. Tower of God blends so many genres including action, mystery, fantasy, and drama, to create a unique Battle Royale that isn't centered around bloody action. Be sure to check it out if you are interested in a unique take on the genre.
1. Mirai Nikki (Future Diary)
Mirai Nikki wrote the DIARY on how to be a suspenseful and thrilling Battle Royale. Each of the participants in this survival game is outfitted with a diary that allows them to see into the future. The only catch is, each device is met with some kind of limitation, forcing the diary owners to get creative with the information they have been given. Following the life of protagonist Yukiteru Amano, we get to witness how an ordinary and lackluster human would feel having been thrown into such a jarring situation. That reaction being, of course, freaking the hell out!
Yukiteru only manages to survive as long as he does in the Battle Royale due to the help he receives from his stalker girlfriend Yuno Gasai. Mirai Nikki tops the list for bestowing the last-man-standing the ultimate in all Battle Royale prizes. The winner of the Future Diary battle gets to literally become God! Now, if that isn't worth killing off a few of your human peers then we don't know what is!
Battle Royale anime are seeing a bit of a resurgence recently with anime such as Battle Game in 5 Seconds. Fans of the genre should definitely check out that show and come back to see where it draws its inspiration from the most. Regardless, as a genre, it's evident that both the traditionally violent or quietly calculated approach to plot creation can both be wildly successful. What is your favorite Battle Royale anime? Let us know down below!