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Darker Than Black, also known as Darker Than Black: The Black Contractor, is a series produced by studio Bones. It was first released in the format of animation in 2007, and then adapted to manga and light novels.
Being one of my personal favorites, the Darker Than Black series contains both a science-fiction theme, set in the near future with paranormal elements and a special development of the story. Also, it is worth mentioning the music of the show, created by the jazz composer Yoko Kanno, that goes along perfectly with the action sequences.
Located somewhat between a shonen and seinen demographic, it might be difficult to find an anime that is similar. However, in the 6 recommendations below, we list other series that can be enjoyable to the Darker Than Black viewer.
Let's give it a try!
Similar Anime to Darker Than Black: The Black Contractor / Similar Anime to Darker than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: January 2010 – June 2010
In central Tokyo, in the district of Ikebukuro, rumors spread about a supernatural Black Rider related to gangs and other dangerous organizations during the night. We are introduced to Mikado, a new Tokyo resident whose excited about his new lifestyle, encounters the rumored Black Rider one night.
He then starts to get incidentally involved with the crime life of the city.
Both series share a dark tone, where paranormal activities that involve secret crime organizations are introduced. With a similar style and characters, Durarara!! is one of the best options to search.
Durarara!! Promotional Trailer (2010)
2. Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2009 – September 2009
A male Japanese tourist is traveling through America in a place swarming with mafia crime. One day, he witnesses "Phantom's" the last murder, the ultimate weapon of the powerful crime organization called Inferno. He is then captured and brainwashed by the mafia, wanting to escape at all cost while getting back his memory.
Just as in Darker Than Black, the main character in Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom works for a crime syndicate, facing situations on the verge of death. It can also be said that the last mentioned series has a darker, grittier tone, tilted more to the seinen side. A strong recommendation for those who want a combination of gun action with the Darker Than Black style of storytelling.
Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom Trailer
3. Koukakukidoutai: Stand Alone Complex (Ghost in The Shell: Stand Alone Complex)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: October 2002- March 2003
In the distant future, complete body flesh transplant into machines is possible, thanks to the advancement of technology. However, criminals and other malicious people can use this technology to their advantage. In order to detain this situation, the Japanese government creates Section 9, a police enforcement group that dedicates themselves to dealing with such crimes.
The leader of this Section, Motoko Kusanagi, has to face crime side-by-side with the help of her squad.
With science-fiction as the main theme, Ghost in The Shell shares the same storytelling with unrelated episodes that conform the main plot. They both posses a great variety of characters, and have many similarities, but the focus is on technology and science-fiction, in Ghost in The Shell.
Ghost in The Shell: Stand Alone Complex OP
Any Animes Like Darker Than Black: The Black Contractor / Similar Anime to Darker than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha?
4. Death Note
- Episodes: 37
- Aired: October 2006 – June 2007
Yagami Light, a high school student bored of his life, comes upon a strange notebook that states it will kill the person by writing his or her name in it. After proving the truly deadly force of this notebook, Light will have to face a special enemy and other dangerous situations, to see who is able to posses this kind of power.
This anime is one of the obvious choices, sharing the detective versus criminal thriller type story. Death Note also has similarities in relation to the main character, and we are not sure if what he is doing is positive or negative in some aspects of their actions. An accurate recommendation if you like shonen style, as you should watch both Darker Than Black and Death Note.
Death Note OP
5. Cowboy Bebop
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 1998– April 1999
It is the year 2071 A.D., humanity has spread to the space frontier where a jumble of different races of peoples live together. Inside this miscellaneous scenery, outlaws called Space Cowboys act as mercenaries and live by their own rules.
The show is about the adventures of a Space Cowboy named Spike Spiegiel. He and his friends reminisce memories of their past and face a new challenge each episode.
An instant classic, this series can be recommended aside from the action and music (again Yoko Kanno) which is similar to Darker Than Black. Every episode stands with its own plot, similar to those short stories presented in Darker Than Black. Containing a fast paced space opera style, and badass characters as well, Cowboy Bebop stands as a strong point on the list.
Cowboy Bebop Trailer
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: October 2012 - March 2013
In the near dystopian future, people are scanned daily with sensors that examines the Psycho-Pass of a citizen. Whether they are about to commit crimes, or not, the authorities will be alerted in such a cases. Our main characters of the series belong to the Public Safety Bureau, who control people's activities by weapons named "Dominators".
Both series take place in the future, are seinen style, have some shonen elements and thriller like mysteries. The main characters are questioned whether their actions are well natured or not. Characters with special abilities and anomalies play out during the plot of Psycho Pass as well.
Psycho-Pass Trailer (Season 1)
So that's about it! Although Darker Than Black seems like a whole genre by itself, these were a few recommendations that someone will almost definitely enjoy show and have a fondness form them.
Do you know another anime that you think should be on this list? Please leave a comment! Also, if you feel like it, you can add a ranking between these 6 shows, for the one you think is the most enjoyable.