Ria is an avid anime and sci-fi fan who loves gushing about her latest favorite shows.
Jujutsu Kaisen has taken the anime world by storm, in large part thanks to the incredible quality of work done by studio MAPPA. Its high-energy story of curses and monsters has grabbed the imagination of fans and caused volumes of the manga to sell out in many regions. Now that a movie based on Volume 0 has been announced, the hype will only continue to build.
If you’re all caught up on both the anime and the manga, though, you’re probably looking for another new series to enjoy right now. The weekly manga magazine it runs in has plenty of similar series, but there are some unexpected hidden gems from other sources as well.
Although one of the most promising similar series, Chainsaw Man, doesn’t have an air date yet, there are still 10 other series you can enjoy that are anime similar to Jujutsu Kaisen. Their availability varies depending on your country, but many are available on streaming services so you can marathon them at your leisure.
My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia is noticeably more light-hearted than JJK, but the stakes are still high. If you like American superhero movies but want a relatable teenage cast, this anime and manga series is the perfect choice. The manga also runs in Weekly Shonen Jump, so the overall target demographic and themes are definitely similar to those of JJK.
My Hero Academia currently has 4 seasons and 2 movies, and a 5th season has been announced. The manga has just hit 300 chapters, so there’s plenty of material left to enjoy. There’s also a spin-off series called My Hero Academia: Vigilantes that focuses on some unofficial heroes.
The influences of Bleach on Jujutsu Kaisen are apparent, and JJK’s author has even acknowledged them in interviews. Like My Hero Academia, Bleach ran in Weekly Shonen Jump and got a generally well-received anime adaptation. Its supernatural plot has some stellar plot twists, the main character is likeable without being too simplistic, and the supporting cast still captures fans’ imaginations to this day.
The Bleach anime adaptation ended up with dozens of filler episodes interspersed at random points throughout its run. However, if you skip the fillers, you’ll find the series to be enjoyable overall. There is also a new anime coming soon that will adapt the final arc of the manga, the Thousand-Year Blood War.
Blue Exorcist has a colorful cast of characters tasked with exorcising demons, much like the cast of JJK. The main character of Blue Exorcist is the same age as Yuuji and also has to deal with potential anger towards him because of his inner demon. The similarities mostly end there, though, as Blue Exorcist has much stronger themes of family and more light-hearted school life elements.
Unfortunately, the anime adaptation’s second season included non-canon material that detracted from the show’s overall quality. If you like the first season, though, continue reading the manga. The manga goes in a direction that’s not quite as dark as Jujutsu Kaisen, but still has some excellent plot twists and betrayals.
Fullmetal Alchemist is a series that anime fans keep going back to time and time again, and for good reason. FMA also features young protagonists forced to confront the realities of life and death, along with a handsome and slightly overconfident mentor figure who shows up from time to time.
There are two FMA anime adaptations: the original 2003 adaptation and the 2009 re-adaptation subtitled Brotherhood. Although the 2003 had an interesting ending, Brotherhood followed the manga much more closely and is the version preferred by most fans. If your schedule allows, watch Brotherhood first and then watch the second half of the 2003 version for a different timeline.
Don’t let its exaggerated art style put you off: Soul Eater is a classic among shonen fans because of its rich cast of characters, including some hilarious and compelling teachers and mentors. The female characters are particularly well-written and likeable, and the villains are sure to win fans among JJK viewers.
The plot of the anime somewhat deviated from the manga, but it’s still a great show that covers a lot of ground in its 51-episode run. A spin-off series, Soul Eater Not!, also aired, but it has different characters and a more light-hearted tone.
This older series doesn’t have a ton of direct similarities with JJK, especially since it’s so short. However, its female protagonists are well-rounded, and the rivalry that develops by the end of the series will be familiar to fans of the JJK manga. It has excellent action and plot twists that deliver a big punch for such a short series.
The anime is actually a prequel for a little-known manga called Ga-Rei, which goes in a slightly more typical shonen direction than the anime. If you like the anime and want to continue the story, though, try the manga for more.
Kimetsu no Yaiba
This series, which was retitled Demon Slayer in the U.S., broke box office records in Japan when its movie came out in 2020. The TV series was also a smash hit due to its gorgeous animation and likable characters. Although the cast of characters was small for the first half of the series, it slowly grew to include a more impressive team.
The anime currently consists of one 26-episode season and a movie, and a second TV series has been announced. The manga ended somewhat abruptly after 23 volumes, but the characters’ journey as they deal with literal and metaphorical demons is still worth reading.
Instead of demons, Blood+ has its teenage protagonists facing off against vampires, but it’s still set in modern-day Japan. The plot spans time and space, yet never veers too far from its core themes of family and self-discovery. It accomplishes a lot in its 51-episode run, and the tearjerker ending will surely resonate with dedicated JJK fans.
A loosely related spin-off, Blood-C, aired more recently, but it was not a direct continuation of the original Blood+. Blood-C is similar to JJK in terms of its overall tone and action, but it’s much shorter and has some extreme violence. Viewer discretion is definitely advised due to the level of violence in the last two episodes.
Hunter x Hunter
Hunter x Hunter starts as a fairly typical shonen series, but don’t let that fool you: it takes some dark turns later on. The strong friendship between Killua and Gon is somewhat reminiscent of Yuuji and Megumi in JJK. Other allies and mentors show up along the way, creating a quest-like journey that is even more epic than JJK’s current plot.
The original anime aired in 1999, but the more complete 2011 anime runs for 148 episodes. Unfortunately, the manga the series is based off of has been on and off hiatus for years and is still unfinished. There’s still a lot of plot to enjoy, though, as long as you’re okay with plunging into an unfinished story.
Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan is set in another world, but the intensity of its action is similar to that of JJK. It omits the school setting entirely, but still has the sort of camaraderie and character bonding you would expect from a series with teenage characters. It also has some excellent plot twists
AOT has attracted some controversy due to its author’s political views and parallels with real-life genocides, so some fans have taken a step back from the series. If you decide you want to see where the series goes, though, you can choose from either the anime or the manga. The anime follows the manga somewhat closely, but does have some differences later on in the series.
Maya K from Spain on February 26, 2021:
Great article, I'm going to watch some of your recomendations.