History can be seen as sometimes too educational, luckily historical anime infusions visual animation with historical concepts and theories. Historical anime presents its viewers with action, drama, history, romance, and the list goes on. Kingdom has done just that.
When any anime genre pulls off such an incredible move such as Kingdom, it can be daunting to find another series that pulls off such a strong feat. Are you looking for a pure action series or maybe a fantastical take on history while still having some bind to it? There are plenty of anime with historical concepts that fit the bill but which to view is the issue at hand.
Luckily Honey’s Anime has done the groundwork and we present 6 similar anime to Kingdom.
Similar Anime to Kingdom
1. Berserk (1997)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct 1997– Apr 1998
Berserk (1997) is a visceral dark fantasy that follows a lone traveling mercenary named Guts who ends up one day running into a mercenary group titled The Band of The Hawk led by a young man named Griffith. Little does Guts know that teaming up with this man will lead his world into a cursed tempest that at its peak will change Gut’s life forever.
Kentaro Miura’s creation based on the still running manga of the same name has been brilliantly re-created in this anime series with epic sword fights, armies vying for power, political espionage and just enough historical feel that while fictional, still feels lifelike. Accompanying the animation is a gorgeous OST from Susumu Hirasawa that makes each scene resonate with what’s being shown. Despite Berserk being from almost two decades in the past, neither has lost its brilliance or charm.
If you love the blood and gore of the epic swordplay from Kingdom, you’ll easily enjoy the fights in Berserk as you watch Guts struggle just like the main protagonist Li Xin defeating enemy after enemy despite some straight out of nightmares. Gut’s battles will make your eyes dance as the 100 man slayer fights like the berserk man he becomes in combat. Let us just add, the Eclipse will be something that goes down your list of most epic anime moments of all time.
2. Souten Kouro (Beyond the Heavens)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr, 2009– Sep, 2009
Similar to Kingdom's Chinese history, Souten Kouro story attempts to tell a very similar story to the very famous Three Kingdoms Period of Chinese age. Souten Kouro follows Cao Cao as he leads his army to numerous victories through his altered wisdoms and questionable tactics of warfare.
In terms of accuracy in historical context, Souten Kouro anime attempts to recreate several famous battles of the Romance of the Three Kingdom’s literature. Visually stunning with gorgeous animation that borders between surreal and fantastical, Souten Kouro (Beyond the Heavens) hits that same feel of Chinese art like Kingdom while not just mimicking it.
If you wanted another version of the expertly handled romance of the Three Kingdoms literature, you will find it hard to pass by Souten Kouro as it will hit that desire without much trouble. A true marriage of lore and animation will present itself to those who watch even just one episode of this fantastic series.
3. Juushin Enbu: Hero Tales (Hero Tales)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Oct, 2007– Mar, 2008
Stepping away from the Chinese focused wars, Juushin Enbu: Hero Tales (Or simply Hero Tales in English) instead focuses on Japanese history, namely the time of Shogun. Also dramatically different is our main hero Taitou, who uses more martial arts in his combat then the lead of Kingdom. Taitou does act like Li Xin at times through use of over aggressive tactics and a strong sense of warrior driven pursuits. Despite being very young he doesn’t allow his age to stop him from facing stronger and sometimes older foes with more combat experience then he has. Taitou pushes forward with resolve that really acts as a mirror to Li Xin and his pursuits in Kingdom’s tale.
While not as historically driven as Kingdom, you will find that there is a lot of use of mythical context and lore as a substitute. Topping all of this off is the strong character illustrations, led by Hiromu Arakawa (famous for his Fullmetal Alchemist series) and flashy battles that echo the Fullmetal series create a marvelous explosion of animation.
Fans of Kingdom, Fullmetal Alchemist and Japanese mythos will find themselves enthralled in a wonderful series.
Any Anime Like Kingdom ?
4. Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
- Episodes: 25 (S2 currently slated as 12)
- Aired: Apr, 2013 –Sep, 2013 (S2 Airing currently)
While radically different than Kingdom, focusing on large humanoid creatures, Titans, one might find it hard pressed to link Kingdom to something along the lines of Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) . However, beyond the outrageous main concept there lies a story filled with historical possibilities. A hundred year future destroyed not by mankind, but by large beings known as Titans. Humanity ends up separating itself by large walls and by class, the rich deeper in and the poor nearer the entry for the Titan menace.
Wit Studio has become famous for Attack on Titan for several reasons namely that gorgeous animation and the apocalyptic setting which leads humans to basically live beyond extinction. There is plenty of lore hidden in commercial break cards and from characters who describe the epic downfall of humankind to the Titan scourge. Let’s not forget that Attack on Titan has a very strong musical score as well, the opening (Guren no Yumiya” done by Crimson Bow and Arrow) having become well known in the anime world since its release. The whole soundtrack is one of which any anime aficionado will have no issues listening to over and over again even outside of the anime itself.
Fans of Kingdom who wish to see humans struggle, echoing Li Xin’s trials, will find that in many ways Attack on Titan can be a historical piece, one that shows what if humans were facing their greatest threat ever, beings that wish to devour them and prove who’s truly on the low end of the food chain.
Attack on Titan- Official Clip-You’re Not Getting Away!
5. Arslan Senki (TV) (The Heroic Legend of Arslan)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr, 2015– Sept, 2015
Another work illustrated by the great Hiromu Arakawa, Arslan Senki differs greatly from the aforementioned titles above. Instead of focusing on a Japanese or Chinese military, the viewer is actually thrown into the eyes of the young prince Arslan who leads a Persian empire until he is forced to flee his land after a series of betrayals and takeovers.
Besides gorgeous animation, viewers will enjoy that Arslan isn’t over powered but a real life like warrior prince. Arslan struggles and he loses and gains allies in an epic scale series of battles to reclaim his throne from the enemy. However, along the way he will meet several allies that all have their own personal reasons for wanting to assist Arslan. Some of these characters are very unusual, to say the least, but they each bring a unique flavor to the world of Arslan Senki. Likewise, some of these allies bring their own powerful lore to further enhance the world of Arslan Senki.
If you’re looking for a series that looks at something outside the Asian concepts of history and lore, you won’t do wrong with watch Arslan Senki. Watch as Arslan grows from a weak prince to a true champion for his people. Fans of Kingdom will feel that Arslan’s growth as a character is almost identical in the way that Xi Lin grows. Despite Arslan already being given power and prestige, his character will be tested as the episodes go by and like Xi Lin, they both have many trials and tribulations to overcome.
Arslan Senki PV
6. Seirei no Moribito (Moribito Guardian of the Spirit)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr, 2007 – Sept, 2007
Rounding up the list is a title that differs in one radical way from Kingdom, having a female lead role in the name of Balsa. A mercenary who ends up having the responsibility of protecting an emperor thrust on her shoulders leads to a large slew of dark battles and tragic events. This another show that while not truly historical, does contain enough lore to lead to a lot of reference of real life myths and places.
Animated by the well-known studio Production I.G, Moribito animation has been left to very capable hands as battles are beautifully animated and characters are very uniquely designed. The musical score as well is epic in both background fights and the opening and closing, handled by L’Arc en Ciel and Sachi Tainaka respectively. Moribito will please your eyes and your ears equally.
In history, women are rarely seen as the prominent fighter class. Usually they are forced to take on a more neutral role as morale support. In Moribito that is completely opposite as Balsa fights with her spear against any opponent that stands in her way. Kingdom has some strong female warriors as well in its animation, and Balsa stands to arms to show that other animations out there can have a strong female soldier at the ready to battle for the viewer’s pleasure.
Moribito- Official Extended Trailer
Kingdom is indeed a testament to what can be accomplished using history as a main genre. The several other works listed above try to incorporate a similar emotion of human struggle while also using historical, both fictional and nonfictional, pretext. However, we may have missed some other historical anime out there in the large world of anime. Feel free to let us know down below. Remember history can be boring, but it can also be fantastic as long as you know what to read or watch.