Latest posts by Karyl Trejo (see all)

Here’s a little bit of food for thought: every single thing you eat has to come from somewhere. Someone out there has to grow your food. Then somebody else has to bring it to the stores before you buy them off the shelves. 

But before all that, your food used to be alive. It used to grow. And now, it’s either on your plate or in your fridge.

As for the little denizens of Grace Field House, they’re the food that monsters eat. Kids are raised with tender, loving care so they could grow up healthy and have monsters eat their tender meat. That’s the terrifying reality that Emma, Norman, and Ray learned about their little orphan home. 

CloverWorks’ two-season The Promised Neverland may not have been the best adaptation it could be, but it’s still a fantastic thriller. It’s a story about three kids who discovered that they were actually living in a human farm. 

The series follows them as they try to save their fellow orphaned siblings from being shipped as food for not-so-cute monsters, all the while learning more about the true reality of the world and their “mama” not really being a good mama after all.

Why Watch The Promised Neverland?

To be fair, the concept of a human farm in shows is not really new. Even an old anime like Vandread has it. What really makes The Promised Neverland so promising is how it was executed through the art style and storytelling. 

When the whole point of your show is about a human meat farm, then it has to be done in the most compelling way possible. Good thing that this show doesn’t fail in that.

The Promised Neverland is a thriller. But what makes it so thrilling is how they combine what appears like cutesy aesthetics with suddenly gloomy shifts and style changes. 

When the faces become somber for five seconds right after five minutes of what was normally child-like, you know that there’s trouble. It’s there to make you scared of what’s to come but still wanting to see more.

Another thing that makes it so different is the lack of gore. Indeed, The Promised Neverland is about a human meat farm. 

But the anime is labeled as shounen, not seinen. It’s an anime that’s meant to be watched by teens and young adults while delivering the same impact

So if you loved The Promised Neverland, you’re probably worried that the other shows might not be as good as this one at all. That’s a valid worry. Sometimes, uniqueness is its own curse. 

Good thing that there are these other shows that could scratch the itch:

  • Shadows House
  • Steins;Gate
  • Tokyo Ghoul
  • Death Note
  • Another
  • Classroom of the Elite
  • Shiki
  • Made in Abyss
  • Angels of Death
  • Hyouka

There are not too many shows that have a similar feel to The Promised Neverland. But there are plenty of shows with similar themes. Most of these are fantastic thrillers in their own right.

Top Picks

This doesn’t have to be said again, but The Promised Neverland is really unique. There aren’t quite many shows out there that scratches the same itch as much as it does. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.

Our Selection Criteria

While choosing our best picks, we made sure that all of them are thrillers at the very least. Then we took a bit on how they are similar in:

  • Themes
  • Atmosphere
  • Directing Style

These three are important because they are responsible for how you look at any show. And if you want something similar to The Promised Neverland, then you will want something as close to it as possible. But we did sneak in a few exceptions here because of a deep similarity with one of those three criteria.

Now without further ado, here are our top anime recommendations.

Shadows House


  • Same studio
  • Similar feel and themes
  • Similar art style
  • Emilico is just so cute. No one dare say that she isn’t!


  • The anime adaptation left out a lot of information

Shadows House is set in a mansion full of faceless Shadow masters, and they look literally like shadows save for the clothes they wear. Every Shadow master has a Living Doll who looks exactly how they would have had and acts like their face whenever in public. 

Cue in Kate, a smart, serious, cogitative shadow girl who teaches Emilico what it means to be a human in their house. In their world, Living Dolls are replicas of humans who were made to help the Shadow masters express themselves visually. 

Their faces should show what their masters feel and move the same way they do. And when they are in their Shadow masters are in their room, Living Dolls should clean after the soot they produce both inside their rooms and all around the mansion.

What makes Shadows House quite similar to The Promised Neverland is its themes and artstyle. The show features cute aesthetics combined with the dark dangers that surround their mansion. 

Practically everywhere except for Kate’s room can be dangerous. But with all the other living dolls happily doing their jobs outside their masters’ rooms, it’s a little comforting to think that they all might be safe while together. That is, until something bad happens.

Steins; Gate


  • Game-based anime adaptation
  • Similar themes
  • Great thriller scenes that will make your heart skip a beat


  • Not-so-awesome soundtrack
  • Can feel quite dull sometimes

Okabe Rintarou wasn’t your typical armchair scientist. He’s Lab Member 001, Hououin Kyouma, of Future Gadget Laboratory. He and his lab members researched time travel and how to make it into a reality. And, well, they managed to do it by sending messages to the past with a hacked-up microwave…

Sure, he and his gang may be funny, but Steins;Gate itself is everything and funny. Seeing Okabe advance his research while learning more about CERN and their time travel studies and trying to silence him can put anyone on edge. 

It’s got one of everything. A bit of action, suspense, drama, thrill, and budding romance. Then, before it all bursts, you’ll laugh at his silliness. This show has quite the same feel as The Promised Neverland if it was a little bit more funny and a little less gritty.

This show also has a sequel. Or it may be better to call it a side story. Steins;Gate 0 follows the same route as the prequel, but going on a different timeline. It’s worth the watch if you liked both The Promised Neverland and the first Steins;Gate.

Tokyo Ghoul


  • Awesome soundtrack
  • Great fight scenes


  • The least “thriller-like” in the list
  • Plot holes that only makes sense when you read the manga

In Tokyo Ghoul, man-eating monsters lurk around the streets of Tokyo. They look human, feel human, and think just like any other humans would. 

But they are different: they need to eat people or they will starve. The story follows Kaneki Ken who became a half-ghoul against his own will as he struggles to find his own humanity in the midst of his tragedy.

Much like the dark themes of The Promised Neverland, Tokyo Ghoul promises to show the things that we often turn our eyes away from. This show features more drama and fighting, a typical part of shounen anime. Whether that’s a plus for you depends on whether you want something more brutal and gritty.

On the other hand, Tokyo Ghoul does have plenty of gore in it. That’s expected for an anime that features hunting humans and fellow ghouls for food. So you might want to skip this if you don’t like that.

Death Note


  • Psychological thriller
  • Gives the same vibes


  • Not much action
  • Very old animation

When a mysterious, black notebook with the power to kill anyone whose name was written in it, fell from the heavens, Light Yagami knew what he had to do. Evil must be eradicated. All evil people must die. 

And he will write every single evil person until all that’s left of the world are the good ones. Or can he?

Death Note may be an old anime, but it’s a classic thriller. With the world shaken up by Light’s murders, they all go to a special private detective codenamed L. 

They both plot, plan, and foil against each other, each getting close to doing what they have to do with every step they make. It’s quite similar to how the kids in The Promised Neverland plan their escape behind their mama’s back.

Similarly, Death Note also doesn’t have as much gore in it. It can get quite easy on the eyes when people just die of a heart attack and that’s it. 

The show also makes you think while leading you on to suspect different conclusions before showing what really happened. It’s fantastic, to say the least.



  • Supernatural thriller that doesn’t feel out of place
  • Creepy without needing gore
  • Similar themes
  • Great pacing


  • Ended too fast (no season 2)

Another follows the story of two friends and their attempt to save themselves and their classmates from the supernatural. At first, Misaki Mei was supposed to be “the one who does not exist” to keep anyone from dying in their school. 

But when city-boy transferee Sakakibara Kouichi didn’t know about it, he talked to her. That continued the curse that kills people in Yomiyama North Middle School every year.

Another is a tale of friendship and loyalty, and a thriller that makes you go “I want to know what happens next!” when the credits roll. Aesthetics-wise, this show puts creepy everywhere, giving off a certain vibe that warns about the danger that lurks everywhere. 

Everything looks normal, as does Grace Field House, but you also know that not everything is normal. Somehow, anyone could die and nobody can avoid it.

If you liked the vibes in The Promised Neverland’s first season, then you will definitely love Another. Too bad there’s no supergenius Norman to be found there, though.

Classroom of the Elite


  • Decent thriller without too much drama
  • Similar thrilling vibes


  • On indefinite hiatus
  • Pacing issues

Set in the distant future at a school meant for the best of the best, Ayanokoji Kiyotaka was what you could call the best among the rest. As a student of D-Class, he always had average grades, average scores, and always been the most average of all average students. 

He never got any score below average nor did he get any higher. You could say that he chose to be average when he knew he could aim for the top. He just wanted to be a normal student.

Too bad that his situation doesn’t want him to be one. Ayanokoji solves problems around Tokyo Metropolitan Advanced Nurturing School to protect his “normal” student life just as Norman, Ray, and Emma do stuff around Grace Field House to protect their family. 

They will do anything — even manipulate anyone around them.

Classroom of the Elite is one of those thrillers that lead you around like a rein on a horse. It has everything except for the horror aspect. Too bad that Studio Lerche doesn’t seem like they’ll be making a season two soon. But the manga’s good if you loved this show.



  • Suspense-filled supernatural thriller
  • Horror with no real “bad guy”
  • Creepy vibes


  • Really old (but not older than Death Note)
  • You might want to avoid the dubbed version
  • The pacing feels kinda slow

A rather horrifying thriller, Shiki is shown through the eyes of Natsuno Yuuki. When people started to randomly die all over the village of Sotoba, they should have known that it wasn’t just any old epidemic. 

Living corpses that steal the life of people through their blood scatter around and feed at night. It was only a matter of time before all of Sotoba became a village of hungry and vicious monsters.

Before you cross this out as a typical zombie show, Shiki isn’t one of those hack-and-slash anime where the protagonist kills anyone they come across. This is a village of people they once knew, turned into the zombified mess they’ve become. 

Add to that the different kinds of shikis there are, from the mindless to the human-like, it all brings in a huge complexity that matches The Promised Neverland’s anime adaptation. On the other hand, you might be disappointed to know that it’s just a single-season anime. It has an open ending, but a second season is definitely unlikely.

Made in Abyss


  • Dark themes that put The Promised Neverland to shame
  • Similar cutesy art style
  • Awesome animation


  • Can be too scary. Definitely not for kids
  • Disturbing scenes can be too disgusting at times

When there’s a gigantic hole, ten thousand stadiums wide, an eternity deep, and filled with ancient monsters and rare artifacts right at the bottom, who’s to say that adventurers won’t come looking for treasure and adventure? 

Made in Abyss is a story of love, friendship, and sticking together with your beloved friends no matter what happens. Why? Because even though the Abyss is dangerous, but everyone’s stronger together.

Don’t let the cutesy characters sway you. Like The Promised Neverland, Made in Abyss is a story that’s not meant for little kids. For one, it’s rated R15 in Japan. 

The Abyss has a curse, which does weird things to the body the deeper they go. And this show does not hesitate to show what would happen if you go too deep. It’s also filled with the harsh realities of having to live in a place like that, what with the slavery and torture, among the many things that are dark and evil.

And what makes it all worse is that it can only ever get worse. The more you watch, the darker everything gets. So maybe it’s a lot more brutal than The Promised Neverland. But if you found it tame, then you will love Made in Abyss.

Angels of Death


  • Cute MC with not-so-cute antagonists
  • Similar horror-thriller vibes
  • Sudden shifts in tension put you off your guard for the scarier things


  • MC can be annoyingly whiny, but at least it helps with the story
  • The comedy scenes sometimes feel annoying

Right before you think that Made in Abyss was already scary, wait until you watch Angels of Death. This anime shows the story of Rachel and Zack, two people selected as “sacrifices” in a weird facility filled with even weirder characters who are out to get them. 

It’s a tale of promises and trust, right in the middle of a place where trust is the last thing you’ll want to have.

If you think that the horror of The Promised Neverland was too tame for you, then Angels of Death is a sure winner. Right from episode one, you’ll get a faster heartbeat from every chase that happens. And thanks to the sudden shifts in tension and background music, Angels of Death gets the same scary feel to it that The Promised Neverland has all over.

However, Rachel and Zack lack the kind of ingenuity that you’d see in Emma, Ray, and Norman. But what can we do when these two could just get so hilarious sometimes? It’s a tradeoff that makes this show a great one.



  • Cute characters
  • Great thriller that doesn’t need dark themes
  • Imagine The Promised Neverland but without the horror and escaping from monsters


  • No horror. Too tame if you liked the horror and dark themes

Among the many shows here that feature dark themes like death and, well, hunger for human flesh… Hyouka isn’t one of them. In fact, Hyouka is about a group of high school kids doing high school stuff. 

It follows Hotaro Oreki, a smart kid who wants to “conserve as much energy as he can,” while getting dragged into energy-intensive mysteries by his friends Satoshi Fukube, Chitanda Eru, and Mayaka Ibara.

Hyouka may be on the tamer side of thriller anime, but it does make for a good show after The Promised Neverland. It features mystery after mystery as it builds up to an epic climax that involves the English translation of Hyouka (spoiler alert: it’s ice cream).

The stakes may be quite low for a show like this, but that still doesn’t discredit the fact that it’s on par with The Promised Neverland as a thriller. But maybe it could be too normal for fans of dark fantasy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How many seasons and OVAs does The Promised Neverland have?

Answer: The Promised Neverland has two seasons. There have been no OVAs to date.

Question: Will there be a third season?

Answer: Unfortunately, the story has already ended with the second season. There will be no third season for The Promised Neverland.

Question: Why does Ray remember his infanthood?

Answer: Ray has a special condition called hyperthymesia. He can remember details all the way from his infanthood. In one episode, he recalls that he remembers the feeling of being inside the womb of his mother and getting birthed. But as he couldn’t quite understand what he saw back then, he didn’t have a good idea of what was outside Grace Field House

Question: Exactly how intelligent is Norman?

Answer: Besides being shown as a perfect scorer in season one, Norman was shown in season two taking IQ test after IQ test and perfecting each one every time. In a way, his IQ is immeasurable.

Question: Who are the “premium quality goods” of Grace Field House?

Answer: The three children considered “premium quality” are:
♦ Emma
♦ Norman
♦ Ray
These three have always had perfect scores in Grace Field House’s daily tests. After them, the next best are Phil, Gilda, and Don. Interestingly, Phil was actually just four years old during the first season while Don was ten. And Phil was thought to be the best out of the rest.

Question: Who is William Minerva?

Answer: William Minerva is the pseudonym of a person who gives hints for children to learn all about the outside world and how to survive there. His symbol is that of an owl used as an identification sticker in his books. He uses these as hints so they could learn the truth and escape before they get eaten.
It was later shown that William Minerva’s real name was actually James Ratri. He felt guilty of seeing the children be killed one by one. That’s why he gave away those books. So when someone does realize what is actually happening, they would be able to run away safely.

Question: Why Did the Demons Wear Masks?

Answer: The demons wore masks so they could protect their eyes. For them, their eyes are their main weakness. It wasn’t shown in detail in the anime, but the demons’ central eyes have plenty of nerve tissues. This makes it harder for them to regenerate those areas. And even if they don’t get fully destroyed, it takes a longer time for them to regenerate those.
Meanwhile, wild demons don’t wear masks. It’s probably because they don’t know how to build one, what with being mindless monsters and all.

Question: Why Did the Demons Need to Eat Human Meat?

Answer: In The Promised Neverland, demons are shapeshifters who take the form of whatever they eat. They gain the sentience, appearance, and intelligence of a human whenever they eat human meat. But if they don’t, they will turn into wild demons who can’t think for themselves.

Question: Who is Smarter: Light Yagami or Norman?

Answer: If you compare them as is, Light Yagami can be considered slightly more intelligent than Norman. He was able to go on par with an experienced detective. Plus, he’s shown some creativity with the ways he makes his traps.
But if you give them more time, Norman would eventually be more intelligent than Light. Norman’s problem is that he’s a young genius who barely knows how the human world works yet while Light already knows the ins and outs of Japanese society. So if you made them into something like neighbors, Norman would be the smarter kid that Light might have looked up to.

The Final Verdict

Among all of these shows on the list, which one’s the best pick? Overall, Shadows House beats them all by having the best similarity and vibes as The Promised Neverland. The way that both use silence to bring a feeling of uncanniness is just superb. That’s first-rate directing for you.

Also, it helps that both were made by the same studio. Cloverworks made them both, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’re going to be directed the same way.

On the other hand, you may want to watch Made in Abyss if you can stomach the disturbing scenes. It’s like The Promised Neverland but pushes the dark themes up to eleven. Or if you want something that’s on the other side of the darkness spectrum, Hyouka is tame but still a great thriller that beats most of the other thrillers in this list.

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