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7 Anime Like "Death Parade"

Cheeky Kid has been watching anime and reading manga for as long as he can remember. Doing so takes him to different worlds.

Death Parade

Death Parade

Anime: Featuring Life and Death

As whimsical as a soul shifting in to the domains of afterlife and the otherworld, Death Parade hooks up an elevator ride full of feels, psychological maneuvers, mind games, and a suspenseful yet enthralling plot. This anime show talks about the depths of the human psyche and soul in such a way that it brings out the real essence of being an individual trapped in the cycle of life and death. It’s a show that deals with what’s unseen, unknown, and shrouded by mysteries – the true nature of the soul.

Death Parade is a contentious show that’s able to easily tickle the mind through a series of events that evokes the need for questions and answers. Sometimes, it just can’t be helped as the plot thickens to lure you in deeper into its clutches where you get thrilled more and more as the episodes come. As a result, you – the viewer – asks for more until you finally reach the final destination.

And so, with an anime like Death Parade, it’s inevitable that you rise up with questions seeking more of the particular titles close to its theme and genre. A handful of them do exist, and without delaying you any further, here they are – the anime similar to Death Parade!

Plot Synopsis of Death Parade:

When humans die, their souls either goes straight to reincarnation or the void. But in some special cases, their souls make a pit-stop at an afterlife bar called Quindecim. There, an arbiter judges the depths of their souls by prompting them to play games and decides whether to send them to reincarnation or to void. The arbiter of Quindecim is Decim, and he and his peculiar human assistant – who he couldn’t judge – prompt souls to play the death parade to reflect upon the human psyche and the quintessence of the true meaning of life and death!

Anime Similar to "Death Parade"

1. "Death Note"

2." Colorful"

3. "Psycho-Pass"

4. "Mushishi"

5. "Angel Beats!"

6. "Steins;Gate"

7. "Bartender"

Death Note

Death Note

1. Death Note

The Story: When an eerie black notebook falls from the sky, a student named Yagami Light takes a curious look at it not knowing of the life-changing twist it’ll bring upon him. The notebook is known as the Death Note; whoever’s name is written on it shall die! With this grim power on his hand, Light takes on the persona of Kira to kill-off criminals and bring harsh justice to the world.

The Similarity: Starting with “Death” as the precursor word and theme of both, there’s obviously a lot of similarity than meets the eye. First of all, both are massively psychological with their own unique ways. Second, if you really give it a thought, both seem very dark and eerie for their own good. And lastly, as death is the main theme for both, Death Note and Death Parade dishes out an ample amount of thrill (especially the former) that leaves anyone who watches them in a psychedelic and mind-blowing trance.



2. Colorful

The Story: A soul is given a second chance in life by living in the body of fourteen-year-old Makoto Kobayashi who recently just committed suicide. In order to rejoin the cycle of reincarnation, the soul that now resides in Makoto’s body must learn of the grave sin he committed in his past life and know what triggered the suicide of Makoto. Six months at most is the duration at which he can fulfill his mission. And so, with his own discoveries and his spirit guide, Purapura, the current Makoto Kobayashi shall partake in a life full of uncertainties and trouble trying to figure out the mysterious colors of life and the real essence of being alive.

The Similarity: Colorful might just be normal-length anime movie but, that frame of time is actually enough to translate the message. For a fact, Colorful also talks about the enigma of life of death the similar way Death Parade talks about it – just in a much more true-to-life manner. Along with the complications of everything, both depicts what they need to depict in a way that cracks the puzzle and find deeper meaning in what they deem worthy to show. It’s also noteworthy that there’s an elevator in both that is the means of transportation or translation for the alternate domains of life and death.



3. Psycho-Pass

The Story: Due to the advance of technology, it is now much easier to define the personality and tendencies of an individual through the scopes of the Psycho-Pass. With the human psyche being quantified and overall nature being subjected to passage, it is now easier to identify criminals and destructive psychos. So, with this technology at the ready utilization of the police force, criminals are caught even before they cause mayhem. But as everything has a flaw, is the psycho-pass truly even right and just?

The Similarity: Humans are just as complicated as the meaning of life itself. And so, the titles in question are of the type that profiles human behavior and tries to delve deeper and understand human nature. In Psycho-Pass, a piece of technological application known as the Psycho-Pass scrutinizes the human psyche for future reference and further action; while in Death Parade, the psychological death parade games determines the depths of the human soul for the final judgement.



4. Mushishi

The Story: The mystery of life might just be in the domain of the equally mysterious mushi. Being “beings” that defies everything that a being should be, mushi are actually beings that are the same time not beings. They are very mysterious and barely nothing is known of them. That is why, Mushi-shi Ginko is highly interested in learning about the mushi. After all, the answers from investigating the mushi might just lead to the secrets and deeper mysteries of life.

The Similarity: What’s the meaning of life? Why do stuff exist? What’s the purpose behind everything? If there’s a point of likeness for Death Parade and Mushishi, it’s the point of them tackling the mysteries of life and existence. Philosophical as it might seem, both tries to understand what’s normally unseen and find deeper meaning in their essence. The world, the universe, and everything that's beyond are chock full of mysteries and uncertainties that are just waiting to be figured out some day.

Angel Beats!

Angel Beats!

5. Angel Beats!

The Story: When Otonashi wakes up in the middle of nowhere, he finds himself caught-up in the middle of a battle held in an afterlife school where the sworn enemy is an angel. Right as it might hit, Otonashi is already dead and in the face of a mysterious predicament involving other student souls and an eerie angel. With the battle at hand, the goal is to defeat the angel and prevent her from sending them off to their demise. Then suddenly…Otonashi breaks all the norm protocols and associates with the angel.

The Similarity: It’s the afterlife and what seems to be the domain rest is just another place to discover meaning for existence. For Death Parade, playing mind games and remembering the past is used to draw out the essence of the soul for judgement; while for Angel Beats, figuring out the past and accepting what’s happened so far is the way to really cross-over to the other side even if it would demand some effort. Both these shows



6. Steins;Gate

The Story: Who doesn’t like cool new inventions?! For Okabe, Mayuri, and Daru of the “Future Gadget Research Laboratory”, futuristic gadgets are all the craze. Day by day, they spend their time creating gadgets that may prove useful to the world and probably…change its course. One day, an ecstatic discovery happens when their Phone Microwave – which supposedly can only turn bananas into green ooze – suddenly began sending messages to the past. With a feature like that, the world as we know it can now be changed at the press of a button on a single gadget. But, with the fabric of time being manipulated at whims, trouble seems to be inching closer as well.

The Similarity: Steins;Gate is another anime that defies all the odds and brings another perspective to death and time. Death is also the key feature for both. And while Death Parade is all about the afterlife and the human soul, Steins;Gate is about time and some occasional death as well from time to time. The psychological genre is also grandly at play, and the mysteries and mind boggles are strong in both.



7. Bartender

The Story: Why do people drink? Why do they go to bars? Seems like all the answers are in hands of Sasakura Ryuu, a brilliant bartender who has just as much incredible insights and stories as he has countless of splendid drinks and cocktails to offer. His drinks are befitting of the title, Glass of God. And so, people from all sorts of places and with all their situations and predicaments in life go to this particular bar to get a taste of some heavenly drink and get their problems alleviated by the euphoric experience.

The Similarity: See, it’s a bartender and a bar! Sounds and looks very familiar right! Well, of course it is because the two anime both have peculiar bars and bartenders that occasionally serves drinks and talks about life in general and all its hitches. There must be reason why bars and bartenders are the major setting elements in both. Must be their nature, must be their atmosphere, must be their essence! Bars (and bartenders) emit auras that are far more mature and serious fitting the genre encompassed by both shows.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.


Duskmare on November 14, 2017:

I was surprised to see so many of my favorite anime on one list. I really enjoyed Death Parade so figured I'd try to find more like it, but here we are with all my older favorites.

Angel Beats is a great anime, it's less serious and has some good humour in it as well as deep philosophical themes about existence, purpose and sacrifice. So, it's similar to death parade but much more light hearted.

Steins;Gate is one of my all-time favourites. It's got a lot of nerdy humour and references as well as a wonderfully complex, clever story. If you consider yourself an Otaku then this is a 'must watch'. It has some powerful moments and a bit of philosophical thought about inevitability but other than that it doesn't have much in common with Death Parade.

Psycho-pass is another great anime. A lot of murder mystery in a futuristic cyber dystopia setting. It's got a lot of philosophical themes about justice, judgement and the balance between control and freedom. It's fairly dark at points and i'd say it's a good parallel to Death Parade.

Death-Note is a great anime. It's the anime that got me into anime. It's got lots of clever twists and turns that keep you guessing as well as some wonderful characters and interesting interactions between those characters. Again, it's got themes of judgement like Death Parade and Psycho-Pass but in a slightly different way since it's not always about judging right from wrong correctly. The anime largely revolves around the question of whether "ends justify means" and the effectiveness of the death penalty as a deterrent.

Hope this helps people make a decision. If you can't decide then I recommend watching them all! Like I said, they're some of my all time favourites. :D