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We all know how everything related to zombies has become hype in the last few years, and well, The Walking Dead is no exception to that. As a matter of fact, this AMC’s production has become one of the most popular American television series worldwide. Obviously, TWD did not become the success it is nowadays by merely presenting senseless zombie action, some shooting and a lot of gore.
The Walking Dead is actually much more than just zombies. It’s a psychological survival horror production that explores the nature of people in limit situations. Character development is paramount in TWD, which is one of the things that make this show so unique. However, we cannot help to realize that many of the things that make TWD such a good and original show are also present in a variety of anime shows.
This is exactly why we came up with a selection of anime shows for all zombie fans and TWD lovers. The following list will provide you with everything you’re looking for, from zombies and gore to survival horror and psychological roller coasters.
Similar Anime to The Walking Dead
1. Gakkou Gurashi (School-Live!)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul 2015 – Sep 2015
Gakkou Gurashi is definitely an excellent choice for any fan of zombies and The Walking Dead. This is the story of a group of high school lolis who live inside their school to avoid contact with the outer world, where a zombie outbreak has occurred. Don’t let yourself be fooled by the opening (which is probably the most troll opening ever), this show may have a lot of kawaii things in it but it’s all a façade. All the cuteness and playfulness in this show actually hides much deeper and darker themes.
Gakkou Gurashi is quite similar to The Walking Dead in several aspects. It’s not just a show about zombies; in fact, it has much more to do with how its characters cope with the reality they live in. In this sense, Gakkou Gurashi deals with characters’ psychology in a very similar way to that in The Walking Dead. We could even draw a parallel between the mental conditions of both main characters; Yuki (GG), who’s mentally disturbed and acts as if there was no zombie apocalypse as the result of a traumatic experience, and Rick (TWD), whose mind often played him tricks after his wife died. Gakkou Gurashi is one of the best choices for zombie fans who are looking for a psychological survival horror.
2. Highschool of the Dead
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul 2010 – Sep 2010
You’ll probably know Highschool of the Dead as the most popular zombie anime out there. It follows the story of a group of insanely hot female students, an (even sexier) school nurse, and two high school boys who suddenly find themselves in the middle of a zombie outbreak. Soon, they’ll learn they can’t trust anyone but each other to escape this nightmare, so they will have to punch, smash, shoot and nail (with a nail gun, of course) their way out of it. HoTD is not only an ecchi harem anime, it also makes quite a decent zombie show filled with action.
Highschool of the Dead is the perfect anime not only for TWD lovers but also for any fan of these undead creatures. The zombie action in it is absolutely awesome and, in many scenes, it reminds us of The Walking Dead, mainly in the design and dynamics of the zombies and especially every time they bite someone. The amount of blood and the realism of human flesh being pulled and ripped off are a characteristic feature of only few zombie shows, among which we can find both HoTD and TWD.
Highschool of the Dead is, without a doubt, an amazing version of the typical post-apocalyptic zombie worlds we all love so much. It’s definitely a must for both zombie and anime lovers (as long as you can take the fanservice).
「学園黙示録HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD」 TVアニメPV
3. Koutetsujou no Kabaneri (Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress)
- Episodes: Not yet finished
- Aired: Apr 2016 – Currently Airing…
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is one of this Spring season’s revelations. It’s a very original show that’s becoming increasingly successful (We wonder if it’s because of all the zombies in it…). Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress presents an industrial world where humanity is being decimated by zombie-like creatures with supernatural strength and resistance, known as Kabane. In this world, humans have grown cowardly, distrustful and merciless, even being capable of killing one of their own to save themselves.
In both shows, humanity has grown wary and ruthless, no one can be trusted and people will do whatever it takes to feel safe. We get a taste of that early on in Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, when one of the working men who got off the iron fortress was immediately executed for having some injuries on his body, which the guards had mistaken for Kabane bites. This prioritization of one’s own safety over the life of others is a characteristic feature of The Walking Dead as well.
If you’re interested in survival horror shows where characters are permanently put in limit situations and you are ok with having a new type of zombies, then we guarantee you’ll love Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress.
Any Anime Like The Walking Dead?
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct 2012 – Dec 2012
Btooom is one of MADHOUSE’s many masterpieces. It tells the story of Ryouta Sakamoto, a top player of Btooom (an FPS video game) who one day wakes up in a remote island where he is forced to play real life Btooom. Ryouta soon realizes that this life or death game has no actual rules, and that no one can be trusted in a world where everything comes down to kill or be killed. Of course, Btooom is not about zombies at all, but still, there are much more relevant ways in which this show resembles The Walking Dead.
The characters in both shows are very much isolated from other humans. This is a major detail because every time the main character (or party) comes across another human, the atmosphere gets really tense. In both worlds we can find creatures and elements that threaten everyone’s lives (zombies in TWD, Komodo dragons in Btooom) but the greatest threat are always the other humans. The instinct of survival definitely brings out the worst in people. You just never know who’s up to something. All in all, Btooom may lack the zombies but it makes up with its psychological aspect, character development, gore and action, almost everything you look for in The Walking Dead.
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr 2004 – Nov 2004
Gantz is nowadays a classic of psychological survival anime. In this show, Kei Kurono, a high school student who cares little about others, dies trying to save a homeless man and is sent into a room with a bunch of other recently deceased people. They are all given the mission of eliminating an alien target within a couple of hours. With no idea of what’s going on, Kei and the others must complete their missions to have a chance of staying alive.
Just like The Walking Dead, Gantz is all about survival. In this psychological seinen with strong elements of survival horror, you’ll find people fighting aliens as well as each other in order to stay alive. As it also happens in TWD, Kurono and his friends have to learn to deal with their fears and with the loss of the ones they cherish. This show has everything you like about The Walking Dead, horror, action, gore and psychology of character development. Just replace the zombies with some aliens and these shows are two of a kind.
6. Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Apr 2013 – Sep 2013
Attack on Titan is also an all-time classic and a must watch for any anime lover and fan of post-apocalyptic worlds. We’re sure that most of you have already at least heard about it. It’s basically about a world in which humanity has been reduced to a small population confined in a city inside three large walls as the result of the appearance of giants who eat people. These “titans” are extremely hard to eliminate and everything people could do so far is hide behind their walls. Soon, they learn that they’re not as safe in their confinement as they thought.
This fantastic action and drama shounen has a lot more in common with The Walking Dead than you’d probably expect. Just as in The Walking Dead, Attack on Titan presents an apocalyptic world in which the human population has been drastically decimated by the incessant attack of supernatural man-eating creatures. Also, if we disregard the size difference and the infectious nature of zombies, titans and zombies are quite similar to one another; they don’t have the ability to think (with few exceptions in Attack of Titan), they only care about eating flesh and the amount of them is virtually infinite.
More important than that though, is that Attack on Titan is a show about survival as much as The Walking Dead. They are both filled with gruesome deaths and lots of human casualties, giving the watcher a sense of uncertainty regarding the survival of the characters. If you’re into gore and survival themed shows, this high-quality anime will certainly not let you down.
Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin) - Anime PV
Hopefully you have satisfied your hunger for flesh because this is the end of our list. If you’re interested in more survival anime that are similar in different ways to The Walking Dead, you can definitely try “Imawa no Kuni no Alice”, “Shiki”, “Deadman Wonderland”, “Another” and “Mirai Nikki”. If you’re mostly interested in zombies though, you will surely like the Resident Evil (AKA Biohazard) animated productions better.
You can now go ahead and tell me in the comments which of these titles you like the most or which you believe resembles The Walking Dead the most. Also, if you can think of any other anime that is in any way similar to TWD, then let us know which and why! ˆ_ˆ