During its heyday, the show Lost was a TV sensation. The show was a convention-bending blend of several genres, mixing a survival story with religious and supernatural elements, a hefty dose of mystery, non-linear storytelling, and an appropriately isolated setting. The ensemble cast provided relatable, sometimes unexpected foils for the audience to project themselves upon, as they discovered more about their sordid, complicated pasts. It all added up to an irresistibly engaging show. It was the television event every week, and it’s easy to see why.
While fans of the show would argue that over its six season run, the show collapsed a bit under its own grandiosity by setting up too many mysteries left unanswered, pulling together too many threads that it would ultimately leave untied, and finishing in a way that the creators said they wouldn’t (despite fan theories that stated otherwise from the outset), the significant strides it created in dramatic storytelling are unquestionable. The following is a selection of anime that we think will appeal to any Lost fan.
Similar Anime to Lost
6. Angel Beats!
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: April 2010 – June 2010
Angel Beats! tells the story of Otonashi, a boy who lost his memories of life after dying. The show takes place in a high school that serves as a sort of limbo for the students attending, where they can come to terms with any unresolved feelings from their lives before moving on to the afterlife. The school is also populated by inhuman “NPCs,” who look and act like average students but aren’t experiencing limbo like the others.
Otonashi meets Yuri, a girl who invites him to join the Afterlife Battlefront, which is a coalition of students fighting against God in a sort of rebellion against the hardships they had to deal with while they were alive. Members of the Battlefront include students like Yuri and Otonashi, a four-piece band that rocks out during missions, as well as a sub-organization that supplies them with arms in the fight against fellow student (and student council president), Angel.
As far as fans of Lost are concerned, there’s plenty to enjoy. There’s combat aplenty, although the heart of the show is the setting and the characters. Much of the cast has to come to terms with the path their lives took before coming to the afterlife, leading to moments of sincere pathos. Plus, later in the season, there’s even mysterious shadow monsters!
Angel Beats Complete Series Collection Trailer
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: May 2007 – June 2008
Bokurano is set on a parallel version of Earth where a group of middle school students are unwittingly tricked into piloting a giant mech, nicknamed Zearth, in mortal combat against attacking “aliens” under the guise of signing up to try out a new videogame. The students who signed the contract are forced to do battle, and even if they win, they sacrifice their lives, as it is revealed that Zearth runs on their vitality.
Bokurano has an ensemble cast of middle schoolers-turned-pilots, comprised of eight boys and seven girls. One aspect of the show that will surely appeal to fans of Lost is the fact that each episode is named after the character it centers on. The episode then fleshes out the backstory of that particular character, in order to gain the audience's investment and to make the stakes higher as the show builds up to that character’s fight. The show also deals with mind-bending themes, including alternate dimensions and some very tough questions regarding morality.
4. Umineko no Naku Koro ni (Umineko: When They Cry)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: July 2009 – December 2009
The Ushiromiya family gathers on Rokkenjima, a small island off the Japanese coast, for their annual family gathering. However, this time the occasion is anything but celebratory, as they are gathering in order to decide how to divide the assets of the family patriarch, Kinzo. Not long after arriving, the attendees are trapped on the island by a sudden typhoon, and a mysterious omen from a witch leads to an increasingly grim body count. This is the setting of Umineko.
Fans of Lost will have a lot to enjoy with this one. What starts off as an engaging murder mystery involving a compelling cast of characters twists into a more supernatural story involving all sorts of magic and mischief. The somewhat non-linear nature of the storytelling will be welcoming to fans of the show, as will the religious and philosophical references, and the payoffs as the plot moves along will definitely satisfy those in need of closure.
Umineko: When They Cry Official Trailer
Any Anime Like Lost?
3. Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto (Star Driver)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: October 2010 – April 2011
Star Driver follows a young boy named Takuto, who washes ashore on the mysterious Southern Cross Isle after swimming into the sea from the mainland. After discovering the island is inhabited, he enrolls in the Southern Cross High School, and goes through all the trials and tribulations of a freshman in a new school.
However, the island holds a mysterious secret. Underneath the school grounds are a group of otherworldly giants called Cybodies, which can be controlled by human thought in an alternate dimension known as Zero Time. It isn’t long after this discovery that Takuto finds himself at odds with a shadowy group with a sinister plan to break the seals placed on the island and use the Cybodies on the rest of the world.
The setting of Star Driver is the biggest hook for fans of Lost, as it also takes place on a mysterious, seemingly inescapable island rife with secrets. While the cast is a bit smaller than that of Lost, they’re just as well developed, and the conflict they have with the other inhabitants of the island will be a welcome aspect of the show for any Lost devotee.
Star Driver Trailer
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2012 – December 2012
Btooom! is a massively multiplayer online game where players are tasked with hunting each other town and dispatching one another using only a radar, and a satchel of bombs to get the job done. 22-year old slacker Ryota Sakamoto is a world-class player of the MMO who finds himself groggily awoken on a mysterious island, armed with nothing but necessities and the all-too-familiar bombs from the game world.
The island itself is populated with gamers from all over the world, including Ryota’s in-game girlfriend, Himiko. After uniting on the island and realizing their online spark has real-world potential, they vow to work together to try to escape.
Another show with an ensemble cast of characters trapped in conflict on an inescapable island to keep Lost fans busy. Viewers know that Lost wasn’t afraid to tackle adult themes and to occasionally explode in fits of violence, and Btooom! offers plenty of that, with an interesting gaming hook.
1. Mayoiga (The Lost Village)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2016 – June 2016
The newest entry on the list, The Lost Village shares more with Lost than a catchy title. A group of 30 men and women sign up for a bus tour of Nanaki village, a town attached to a strange rumor that it’s actually a utopia. Upon arrival, they find a ghost town with very few signs of life. Many of the members of the tour seek to leave their past lives behind to start anew, and escape the baggage or trouble of their past.
Take, for example, young Mitsumune, who joined the tour to get away from his overly protective mother driven to mental instability by the childhood death of Mitsumune’s twin brother, Tokimune. Then there’s Masaki, who came to village seeking the whereabouts of her cousin, who disappeared after visiting with Masaki in the past.
Whatever their reason for coming, the characters in the show have dynamic and mysterious motivations that are certainly compelling to fans of Lost. Although the island setting has been traded in for that of a ghost town, the ominous, uncertain nature of the setting offers viewers plenty of reasons to come back each week, in the hopes of learning the truth.
Mayoiga Anime Trailer (PV1)
Whatever your thoughts on its divisive ending, the show Lost created an unforgettable atmosphere conducive to storytelling, and populated it with emotionally resonant characters in a compelling, mysterious environment. While we certainly think the anime we’ve provided capture some of the elements that made the show such a hit, we’re always on the lookout for shows me may have overlooked. If there are any must-see shows for fans of the show Lost, sound off in the comments below and let us know.