Sometimes, a good story worthy of being a legend is full of blood and gore. The ascent of a hero who has fought his way from hardships through violence is something to behold. After all, the world is not always full of daisies, rainbows, and unicorns. Some stories can remind you of the world being full of wars, murders, and betrayals and that is not a bad thing.

And that is something that the anime community might need to remind the public that anime is not something only children watch. Anime can tell unique and wonderful stories full of happiness and humor but at the same time stories full of blood, sweat, and tears. There are plenty of anime shows like that, yet one of them, and possibly the best one, is Berserk. Berserk is an extremely popular series praised for having a good story and well-drawn art.

Sadly, however, Berserk’s author, Kentaro Miura, has passed away on May 6 earlier this year. So, the story will never be finished as the brain behind it is gone along with his genius of the craft. If you are hungry for stories like these, and you are looking for something to watch that is similar to Berserk, then below is a list of anime series that has striking resemblances.

Criteria for recommendations

You might be wondering how this list is formed. To answer that question, each recommendation has a list depicting the similarities between Berserk and the recommended anime series. Most of the time, they have similar genres: they are action-focused or supernatural, and their themes cater to a mature audience instead of children. Furthermore, these recommendations either have a high score or high popularity (or both). These metrics are based on MAL’s ratings.

What is Berserk?

Originally a manga series, Berserk revolves around Guts, a former mercenary also known for his alias “Black Swordsman”, who is out to seek revenge. See, his childhood was anything but peaceful; he had faced hardships at a young age. Through these struggles, he found someone he respected and trusted. Yet, the very same person betrays him and takes away everything important to him just for his own selfish goals and desires.

Now that he is marked for Death, Guts suffers from the fate given to him as he is always chased by demonic beings. He arms himself with a massive sword and becomes immensely strong, determined that nothing can stop him, not even death itself, from taking the head of the one that betrayed him. And so, his perilous and long journey starts.

The Berserk manga started way back on August 25, 1989, making it one of the oldest stories out there. Now, it has been abruptly stopped due to the death of the mangaka and the story’s future becomes blurry. Still, Berserk is an extremely successful story, having many awards such as the Award for Excellence at the sixth installment of the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2002. It has also sold over 40 million copies in print alone worldwide. It has been published in many other countries including Italy, Germany, Spain, Brazil, etc. It has several movies and anime adaptations that are equally highly praised.


  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Supernatural
  • Other Titles: N/A
  • Studio: Madhouse

Aired back on April 4, 2007, to September 26, 2007, Claymore is an anime series that, similar to Berserk, originated from its respective manga series. It is fairly well-known by many, although not popular enough that new people entering the anime scene would recognize. It only has one season and it consists of 26 episodes. Currently, it is ranked as the 245th most popular anime series on its MAL page.

Claymore’s story revolves around two individuals, Raki and Clare. Raki lived peacefully in his village until suddenly, a shapeshifting demon appears in his village. These creatures are called “youma”, and they are hostile, thirsty for human flesh. As all hope seemed lost, a lone woman with silver eyes arrives at the village and defeats the “youma”. This lone woman is Clare, a half-human, half-youma being known as “Claymore” manufactured specifically to exterminate these monsters.

During the attack, Raki’s family is killed, but luckily Clare saves Raki and survives. However, he is effectively banished from the village. Raki reunites with Clare and they journey the land together, slowly knowing each other as they travel from town to town. Along their journey, they defeat any “youma” they can find. Clare, however, has one goal set in mind: to exact vengeance on a certain “youma”.

How is Claymore similar to Berserk?

Similarities between Claymore and Berserk:

  • Similar genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Supernatural
  • Both shows feature brutal gore and violence.
  • Both shows cater to a mature audience due to their contents.
  • Both shows have hardcore hacking and slashing with swords and weapons.
  • Both shows have a similar dark atmosphere and style.
  • Both shows are set in a medieval setting.
  • Both shows feature a quiet main character with a huge sword.
  • Both shows revolved around a harsh environment full of monsters.

Devilman: Crybaby

  • Genres: Action, Avant-Garde, Horror, Supernatural
  • Other Titles: N/A
  • Studio: Science SARU

Compared to Berserk, Devilman: Crybaby is a much more recent anime show. Consisting of 10 episodes, it aired on January 5, 2018. It is an ONA, or Original Net Animation, which means that this series was released on the internet rather than on television. Just like Berserk, though, it is an adaptation of a manga series. It has several other versions, but they are much older; the original adaption aired on July 8, 1972, to April 7, 1973.

In the world of Devilman: Crybaby, demons exist, and they need a living host to overtake them and take form. But if the person being possessed by a demon has a strong enough will, that person can overcome the demon and in turn, gets the demon’s power as their own; they are called a “Devilman”. Akira Fudou, a weak and timid individual, becomes just that through unfortunate circumstances.

His childhood friend, Ryou Asuka, invites him to uncover devils and he accepts the invitation without hesitation. Yet he is shocked when he finds out that they are going to an immoral party full of debauchery and degeneracy. Eventually, because of the blood and death, demons start to overtake the party-goers. These monsters began to wreak havoc and to save his best friend, Akira unexpectedly merges with the devil Amon. Now, Akira, with the help of Ryou, uses his powers to save others.

How is Devilman: Crybaby similar to Berserk?

Similarities between Devilman: Crybaby and Berserk:

  • Similar genres: Action, Horror, Supernatural
  • Both shows feature grotesque monsters and demons.
  • Both shows feature brutal gore and violence.
  • Both shows cater to a mature audience due to their contents (e.g. nudity).
  • Both shows are filled with action and fight scenes.
  • Both shows were originally made in the 90s.
  • The protagonists in both shows have to fight for survival.
  • The protagonists in both shows sacrifice their humanity to face a bigger threat.

Vinland Saga

  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Historical
  • Other Titles: N/A
  • Studio: Wit Studio

Vinland Saga’s source material is much newer compared to Berserk. This story’s source material was published on April 13, 2005, yet it is unsure if the manga is still ongoing. This anime adaptation, though, is very recent; this aired from July 8, 2019, to December 30, 2019. It has 24 episodes in total. Overall, it is ranked 38th in terms of the overall score, and 113th in terms of popularity.

The setting of Vinland Saga is historical; the main protagonist, Thorfinn, was born in a frosty village in Iceland. As he grew up, he hears the stories of older sailors who had traveled the waters. In particular, he remembers the stories of a legendary land called Vinland. It was said to be warm and fertile wherein the sun shined bright, not much like his hometown. Now, he works as a mercenary and war is a regular occurrence that he faces.

Despite his father’s wise words telling him that a person has no enemies, he realizes that it is far from the truth, as someone by the name of Askeladd murders his father. Set on avenging his father’s death, he goes on a journey of revenge. At the same time, the war between England and the Danes become much more brutal and vicious every year. In this story, death has become so common, and the Viking mercenaries are taking advantage of the chaos around them.

How is Vinland Saga similar to Berserk?

Similarities between Vinland Saga and Berserk:

  • Similar genres: Action, Adventure, Drama
  • Both shows have realistic and gritty fight scenes.
  • Both shows have an overall dark and serious tone and atmosphere.
  • Both shows are set in a historical or medieval setting.
  • The protagonists in both shows have suffered from hardships in their past.
  • The protagonists in both shows are out to seek revenge.
  • Both shows put a strong emphasis on the values of war, life, and death.

Attack on Titan

  • Genres: Action, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery
  • Other Titles: Shingeki no Kyojin; AOT
  • Studio: Wit Studio

Another highly successful series, Attack on Titan features the same gritty combat in Berserk. This series has become so successful, it is ranked as the second most popular anime series, just behind Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Its first season aired from April 7, 2013, to September 29, 2013, and consists of 25 episodes in total. It has several other seasons after that, as well as a lot of spinoffs and side stories.

In this story, humanity has suffered from the slaughter and almost faced extinction due to large, monstrous humanoids, known as titans, who eat people up. At the start, not much is known about them; although it is known that these titans do not seem to eat to satisfy their hunger, it is unknown why they do so. To protect themselves, humanity built three giant walls large enough to keep these titans away. However, that all changed when a titan larger than the walls suddenly appeared one day.

The large titan broke down a part of the wall, and titans fled in, looking for humans to eat. Eren Yeager, a boy living in this part of the wall, escapes the slaughter together with his adopted sister, Mikasa Ackerman, and his childhood friend, Armin Arlert. However, he watches helplessly as his mother gets eaten by a titan. He vows to enlist in the Survey Corps, a government unit tasked to eradicate titans, and swears to kill every single titan as revenge.

How is Attack on Titan similar to Berserk?

Similarities between Attack on Titan and Berserk:

  • Similar genres: Action, Drama, Fantasy
  • Both shows have realistic and gritty fight scenes.
  • Both shows have an overall dark and serious tone and atmosphere.
  • Both shows are set in a medieval setting.
  • Both shows regularly feature people dying.
  • The protagonists in both shows have suffered from hardships in their past.
  • The protagonists in both shows are out to seek revenge.
  • The protagonists in both shows must face monsters that are a threat to mankind.

Honorable Mentions


Despite having vastly different settings (e.g. Berserk is set in a medieval setting, while Monster is not), they feature similar themes. Both shows explore human nature very thoroughly. Both shows also explore morals, the difference between right and wrong. Seemingly perfect individuals (Griffith in Berserk and Johan in Monster) are flawed, making them human. Overall, the main characters and the antagonists are quite similar, and they have a dark tone in their atmosphere.

Fist of the North Star

Also known as Hokuto no Ken to the Japanese audience, it is an incredibly old yet beloved classic, just like Berserk. Both shows originated in the 90s, and both have similar elements in their stories. The protagonist is a strong character who fights countless enemies and in the process becomes stronger. They are set on revenge against someone who did them wrong in the past.

Hellsing Ultimate

Both shows are violent, bloody, and gory, yet this one is not set in a medieval setting. Both of these shows are full of impressive action scenes featuring a strong main character who had gone through so many hardships in their past. Both shows were produced in the 90s, and both shows tackle similar concepts such as betrayal among friendships and strategic warfare.

Final Recommendation

To recap, here are the seven recommendations mentioned here that have similar elements to Berserk:

  • Claymore
  • Devilman: Crybaby
  • Vinland Saga
  • Attack on Titan
  • Monster
  • Fist of the North Star
  • Hellsing Ultimate

All of these recommendations are good picks and are considered great. Understandably, many readers do not have the luxury of time to watch all of them, however. If you are tight on time, Devilman: Crybaby may be a good pick as it only has 10 episodes. Vinland Saga and Claymore both have only one season featuring 24 or more episodes, so these picks could be the next shows to watch when you are done with Vinland Saga.

If you want the other side of the spectrum (i.e. you want to binge-watch something), Attack on Titan is considerably long. It has several seasons; its third and final seasons both are split into two parts. Hellsing Ultimate also has a lot of other spinoffs and stories, although not quite as much as Attack on Titan. If you want something extremely long, then go for Fist of the North Star. It is longer than Attack on Titan; its first season alone has 109 episodes.

If you want a medieval setting like Berserk, go for Claymore, Vinland Saga, and Attack on Titan. If you want hideous monsters, go for Claymore, Devilman: Crybaby, and Attack on Titan. If you want a classic of the 90s era, Fist of the North Star is your pick, although earlier adaptations of Devilman: Crybaby also come from the 90s. Overall, all of these recommendations are packed with action scenes (except for Monster), so if you want action, you cannot go wrong by picking any of these (again, except for Monster).


Question: Why did Berserk stop?

Answer: Berserk went into an abrupt halt when its mangaka, Kentaro Miura, passed away on May 6.

Question: Will Berserk continue?

Answer: As of the moment, the Berserk story is not being continued after Kentaro Miura’s passing on May 6. However, there has been news that his apprentices and assistants would want to continue the story. Still, they are unsure if it is something that the mangaka would wish, or if they should allow his final work to rest on chapter 364.

Question: Is there a god in Berserk?

Answer: There is no definite proof in the Berserk story that a god exists. Some characters in the story refer to the concept or idea of evil as a god, wherein this concept drives people and monsters to create suffering such as the apostles. Some think that God does not exist but is just a concept so that the people in the world can have something to reason with about their suffering.

Question: Who is Guts’ father in Berserk?

Answer: It is not known who Guts’ biological father is, but his adoptive father is Gambino, a leader of a mercenary band who taught Guts how to fight with a sword. He is also the one who gave Guts the scar on his nose. In the story, Guts kills his father as an end to a long conflict between them.

Question: Are the apostles in Berserk immortal?

Answer: No, they are not. It is stated that when an apostle dies or is killed, their spirit is sent to the Abyss. Their physical body reverts to their original human form.

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