6 Anime Like Black Lagoon [Updated Recommendations]

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It’s 2017 and it’s about time to review once more some of the newest anime that are most like one of the greatest anime of all time: Black Lagoon. Black Lagoon follows the adventures of a trio of mercenaries, who receive an unexpected fourth member. You see, Rokurou Okajima was a white collar office jockey who got sent on a certain business transaction. Well that transaction turned out to be a black market deal that he was essentially disposable on. Well the mercenary group, Black Lagoon, adopts him during this time and he leaves behind his normal life forever.

There are three main factors that set Black Lagoon apart and have made the show a classic, beloved by basically everyone. The first aspect is the strength of the characters that make up the cast, especially the devilish Revy who consistently steals the show. Having such a powerful female made a massive impact on the show and she was definitely a template for many other powerful female characters. The second is the overall mayhem that ensues within each episode. Guns, knives, and explosions are bountiful in this show. The final is its willingness to stare straight into the abyss and not mince any of its social commentary or any words when necessary by using the cast as an almost necessary evil. These are factors that you will also see represented in the original article of the 6 anime like Black Lagoon, which is below this one.

Similar Anime to Black Lagoon

1. Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: Apr. 2009 – Sep. 2009

One day a young man witnesses an assassination carried out by the organization Inferno, one of the most powerful criminal organizations. The assassin was Phantom, a young woman who happens to be the organization’s top assassin, and because the boy saw her perform the murder; he is kidnapped by the head of the organization and turned into one of their assassins. That’s how this tale of death and survival starts out.

Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom is just like Black Lagoon. Gory. Check. For the most part unremorseful. Check. Fantastic female lead who can take down anyone. Check. The similarities between the two characters, Revy and Ein, might not be apparent at first glance but are definitely there. They both have tragic lives, but move forward relentlessly. They know how to take care of themselves and are masters when it comes to fighting. Though the portrayal of affection is done differently, it is quite clear that the two main characters of each show develop feelings for one another as they work side by side.

Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom Trailer


2. Hellsing Ultimate

  • Episodes: 10
  • Aired: Feb. 2006 –Dec. 2012

Hellsing Ultimate follows the Hellsing Organization in its war against an army of Nazi vampires. You may be asking how any organization is able to take on such a threat? Well, this group has a vampire of its own. In fact, the vampire they have is the oldest and most powerful vampire and goes by the name Alucard. Him, the new vampire under his care, Seras, and the rest of the Hellsing Organization turn out to be quite a good match for the horde of undead Nazis.

Hellsing Ultimate is like Black Lagoon because it does not care that it breakis concepts of what it means to be the hero. Much like the mercenary group Black Lagoon, the Hellsing Organization is almost a necessary evil. To be specific, Alucard seems to be a necessary evil. The creator directly compares Alucard to the Nazi enemy to make it clear that he is no better than the enemy. In fact, he might even be worse. However, he is in fact the only one that can stop the enemy. This is the show’s way of saying that no one is good in war and that’s something Black Lagoon explores in depth.

Much like Black Lagoon, Hellsing Ultimate furthers this social commentary by even displaying the church as a corrupted organization. Admittedly, Black Lagoon does draw some lines in terms of both moral code and gore. Hellsing Ultimate does not.

Hellsing Ultimate Trailer


3. Drifters

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Oct. 2016 – Dec. 2016

During the Battle of Sekigahara, Shimazu Toyohisa sacrifices his own body to give his uncle time to escape. This action brings him to death’s door where he is then transported into an alternate universe full of elves, dwarves, and other fantasy beings. Who also happens to be in this world is Oda Nobunaga, Billy the Kid, and a host of other historical figures. All of these outsiders have been brought in to enact change. However, one side is trying to establish an evil empire while the other is just trying to stop the advances of that growing empire.

Once again we are sent into a world where a lot of characters represent a morally gray area. Like Black Lagoon, Drifters has no problem showing the darker parts of society and that corruption exists in just about every aspect of society. Both powerfully show the importance of chasing threads and discovering exactly who is the head puppeteer. This is because, both want to show that the worst, most dangerous areas are generally tied directly with the most prosperous through some means, whether it is extortion or something else.

Another point of comparison is the personalities of the characters. Most of them delight in a good fight. It’s actually most common to see them smiling while in the middle of a battle. To put it simply, their characters are bloodthirsty and don’t mind getting their hands dirty.

Drifters Trailer


Any Anime Like Black Lagoon ?

4. Gangsta

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jul. 2015 – Sep. 2015

In the city of Ergastalum anything goes. It used to be a sanctuary of sorts for “Twilights” people who have been given extraordinary strength due to scientific experimentation. Now, it is a criminal’s paradise full of drugs, prostitution, and money. Gangs control the streets of this city and it’s best to always be on your feet or have some especially useful information. Two people making a living in this city are Nicholas Brown and Worick Arcangelo, who form the Handymen. As the Handymen, the two act as mercenaries taking care of whatever business comes their way.

The aspects that make Gangsta like Black Lagoon should be pretty obvious from the show’s description. The main focus in each of these shows is about a pay-for-hire group that takes up residence in one of the most seedy locales in the world. Both shows’ environments reflect the behavior of the main characters in that basically anything goes. However, the environments in both these shows also set a certain parameter. Though neither group particularly holds moral standards high, neither represents the worst of their society. In both shows, certain events take place that show that the characters do have some regard for what can be seen as right.

Another factor that makes Gangsta like Black Lagoon is that the character dynamics are quite similar. Though the relationship between Nik and Worick is a bit more fleshed out, Dutch and Revy have a similar relationship. Then there’s also the higher power, in Black Lagoon its Balalaika and Gangsta its Sir Gina Paulklee, who can really pull the reigns of the group and put them in rather unwanted situations.

Gangsta PV from Youtube


5. Canaan

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: Jul. 2009 – Sep. 2009

Oosawa Maria is currently looking for newsworthy stories in Shanghai, China. With her camera at the ready, she jumps into a local festival where many strange events have been occurring. This decision might not have been the best though, as Maria and her friend are both suddenly thrown into a battle between masked fighters and a white-haired woman. Just as Maria’s life is about to be taken, an old friend saves her. However, the only reason why her old friend Canaan is there in the first place is because she is just as entangled in the mysterious events.

One pretty obvious reason that Canaan is like Black Lagoon is that they share intense female characters who can kick butt. This and the constant disasters that follow the main characters is what makes Canaan so much like Black Lagoon. The two shows also share a somewhat similar relationship between the main duos. In Black Lagoon that’s Rock and Levy, while in Canaan it’s Maria and Canaan. Admittedly, there are several differences. Rock and Levy actually have a love interest fueling their relationship and are each extremely sarcastic towards one another. That aside, there is a clear aspect of the tougher one (Revy and Canaan) keeping an eye on the more untrained one. Such an aspect really helps lighten up the events of the show and create a little more warmth towards the characters.

The main difference between these shows is that the plot for Canaan is a continuous story with a lot of twists and turns. You will not want to watch one episode out of order. Black Lagoon, on the other hand, can be watched out of order and is much more focused on character development. Admittedly, there are some arcs that are best watched in order, such as when the crew goes to Japan.


6. Youjo Senki

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jan. 2017 – Mar. 2017

Let’s end this list with the most recent anime that is like Black Lagoon: Youjo Senki. In this 2017 anime, we are thrown into a World War I setting, where amidst all the action is a single girl with blond hair and blue eyes. This solitary figure is actually in charge of one of the most elite squads in the army and is destroying her enemies with ease. Well, this child turns out to be the reincarnated form of one of Japan’s most elite salary-men.

In several ways, the main character is very similar to Rock in Black Lagoon. He was living an ordinary life and then was suddenly transported into a different world with different rules. Luckily, some of his skills honed in the office, turned out to be quite useful in moments of battle.

The similarities continue past the main characters though. In both, there is quite a lot of death and a lot of action that takes palace on an episodic basis. Overall, the atmosphere is dark and the tone is dreary as the main characters are focused on their own growth first and foremost.

Youjo Senki Trailer


Final Thoughts

There you have it. Six anime like Black Lagoon. You’ll notice that Hellsing Ultimate made its way onto both of these lists, but that’s just because you cannot ignore the similarities. Nonetheless, all shows on both lists are amazingly dark shows with great action and brutal characters that will horrify and intrigue you.

Yoko Dev

Writer

Author: Yoko Dev

Hello, my anime peers. I’m from the states, but have taken an indefinite leave to travel while freelancing. Outside of a deep admiration for anime that started long ago, I love to read, write, and play video games. The main issue of traveling so far has been not having a console.

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Original Article Below

So if you’ve watched Black Lagoon and enjoyed it, with the fairly unique setting and great action it has made an impact on all of us, we will assume that you would love to see some more.

But if you’ve already seen the omake or the “Roberta’s Blood Trail” OVA, we would recommend looking into these anime.


Similar Anime to Black Lagoon

1. Hellsing Ultimate

  • Episodes: 10
  • Aired: Feb. 2006 - Dec. 2012

The secret organization Hellsing is being led by Integra Wingates Hellsing in a battle against supernatural beings threatening the safety of Britain, and at the helm of Integra’s army we the man only known as Alucard. He happens to be her most trusted and capable soldier and vampire exterminator who also happen to be a vampire himself.

A story about an organization taking on the jobs that others are not able to handle. And as the story progress we get to know more and more about Alucard and his connection to the Hellsing family. This team of characters doing odd jobs creates a really similar feel to Black Lagoon in a more supernatural and epic way.

Hellsing Ultimate – IX & X – Coming Soon – Trailer


2. Gungrave

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: Oct. 2003 - Mar. 2004

Brandon Heat used to be a regular street punk until one day when he gets involved with Millennion, the biggest most powerful mafia syndicate around. Together with his only remaining friend Harry McDowel they climb the ranks of the organization, but eventually Brandon finds out the true purpose of Millennion and things go really wrong. A great story about these two friends finding their way in the brutal mafia world, and what goes on beyond it as well.

The mafia setting and the relationship between the characters that you see building and breaking over time makes for an excellent story that eventually leads into complete insanity.

And don’t let this explanation confuse you when watching the first episodes, this is all true.


3. Baccano

  • Episodes: 16 (including 3 DVD extras that continues the story)
  • Aired: Jul. 2007 - Nov. 2007

We follow our characters traveling on the transcontinental train the “Flying Pussyfoot” going on a long journey that will leave a great trail of blood across the country. But at the same time we also get a glimpse into what’s going on in New York where an immortality elixir finally has been created. A war between some of the mafia has broken out. And what is going on, on board the Advena Avis, in 1711?

Even though it doesn’t seem to make any rhyme or reason of the story it’s telling us with these seemingly unrelated events Baccano opens up a huge story about the mafia, immortals and dead bodies piling up on with the “Rail-Tracer” on the loose. A plethora of characters, each with unique and colorful personalities makes for a great time that you won’t forget soon.


Any Animes Like Black Lagoon?

4. Cowboy Bebop

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: Apr. 1998 - Apr. 1999

Follow Spike and Jet a former cyborg cop who started a bounty hunting operation together, as they travel through the galaxy in their trusted ship the Bebop searching for criminals with high bounties on their heads. Through their travels they stumble across a bunch of interesting characters, like “Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV, Edward” or just Ed for short, the young genius hacker and the unusually intelligent dog, Ein.

In this futuristic world we really do follow what could be considered a future version of Black Lagoon with the space combat and the small but extremely potent team of odd characters. This is considered a classic and one of the best anime of all time by many, and it really deserves the praise it’s gotten. Even if you weren’t a fan of Black Lagoon this show will give you your times worth.

Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door (Movie) Official Trailer

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5. Darker than Black
[Japanese Name: Darker than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha]

  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: Apr. 2007 - Sep. 2007

Hei is one among many psychics with special powers who emerged in the world around 10 years ago. But with this power they also lose a big part of their humanity and most of them succumb to going into hiding or start working for one of the many shady agencies around the world.

Now this is an incredibly confusing and fun show. Keep watching as everything and nothing is explained about the world you are experiencing with this seemingly “emotionless” main character and his associates. A great adventure with lots of action that really has the same feel as Black Lagoon with its more easygoing segments and really dark moments that will let you know that it’s nice a nice world they’re living in.

Darker than Black Official PV (You can find a video in the below official link)

http://www.d-black.net/1st/movie/pv.html

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6. Gintama

  • Episodes: 201(+51+13)
  • Aired: Apr. 2006 - Mar. 2010(Apr. 2011 - Mar. 2012, Oct. 2012 - Mar. 2013 )

Follow Gintoki Sakata, the leader of an odd-jobs agency who will do basically anything if you offer them money. In the world of feudal Japan which has been taken over completely by aliens, and basically thrown into the next millennia without any warning all the former Samurai has to find a new way to live their life.

This anime is real comedy with a bunch of action and also some few serious moments strewn about to forward the overarching storyline. But with a huge cast of hilarious and interesting characters we see how good humans can be at adapting to the new life, whether they like it or not in one of the most entertaining animes you will find out there.

Gintama Official PV (Gintama Movie 2)



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