Cheeky Kid has been watching anime and reading manga for as long as he can remember. Doing so takes him to different worlds.
Best Survival Anime
Survival anime is exactly what it sounds like! They are anime shows with the essential and crucial elements of survival. It can be the unwavering struggle to live or the undying will to get through some predicament alive! Most of the time, it's something wherein the whole story, as well as the cast of characters, treads the thin boundary of life and death. Usually, there's a big amount of action. Occasionally, there's a tragedy. But all in all, the survival genre only poses one command and it's–survive and live!
With everything being said, I've listed here the 10 best survival anime for you to watch and enjoy. Will you endure till the end? Will you be able to survive witnessing them all? It's all up to you now! Struggle and persist or abandon all hope, this list of anime is here to stay and for you to consider watching!
10. Danganronpa: The Animation
What could be worse than getting stuck in a school with a crazy-ass bear trying to make everyone kill each other? Truly despairing, right? But well, this is the situation in Hope’s Peak Academy! At first look, Hope’s Peak Academy may look like a prestigious high school for the elite, but on the second look—it’s actually a high school plagued by enigmatic secrets! So, what could be worse? With this school, the only way to see through everything is—to survive!
Makoto Naegi is one unusually lucky student! With only a few slots, Makoto was able to get admitted into Hope’s Peak Academy. But, the school isn’t exactly as prestigious and as impressive as the rumors about it go. On the first day of classes, all the students are caged within the walls of the school. And what’s worse is—a sketchy black-and-white bear named “Monokuma,” who claims to be the principal, is bringing grim news.
It's do or die! A death match is imminent! The only hope for escape and graduation is to kill another without ever being caught. Who will kill? Who will be caught? Who will survive?
9. God Eater
Monsters are roaming around the world, and with each place they land upon—a debacle strikes! Humanity is pushed aside leaving countless dead in the wake of the monsters’ outbreak. Humanity’s chances of living and getting through unscathed dwells on the delicate balance of deciding whether to focus on attack or on defense. There’s one troublesome thing about the monsters, though—with current weaponry, the monsters are practically invulnerable!
God Eater is set in a future plague of man-eating monsters called “Aragami.” These Aragami are ruthless and tough! Bit by bit, they are dominating the whole world! Fortunately, humanity has found hope in the form of God Eaters and God Arcs.
God Eaters are those special humans who can use the God Arcs. And these God Arcs—they are the special weapons carved from the cells of the Aragami. The organization of Fenrir, the God Eaters, and the God Arcs—humanity finally has a chance of survival!
8. Terra Formars
Most people have the innate fear of cockroaches. And as small as these pests are, what if there comes a time when they start to evolve and grow to humongous proportions? Will we be facing them in a stand-off for supremacy? Given how cockroaches can survive even in the harshest of environments, will we be able to claim victory against them?
Read More From Reelrundown
In the distant future, humans have become capable of planetary exploration and expedition. One of the planets humans look forward to catalyzing for suitable living and dwelling is Mars. As a result, moss and cockroaches were initially sent there to start creating the ecosystem. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as planned.
The cockroaches on Mars have mutated and evolved into dangerous creatures! As a consequence, humanity has opened a door to Armageddon. It has now become a fight for existence! Who will prevail, the humans or the evolved cockroaches?
7. Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online per se isn’t actually all about being a “Survival Anime.” But due to its surprising and shocking plot development, which turned out to be the main reason of it being a pioneer in its genre, it has become one such astonishing anime. The struggle, the tussle, and the need to live through it all—Sword Art Online is a survival-themed anime you should watch through and through (especially the first arc).
A new Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game by the name of “Sword Art Online” has been released! And on its first day of release, a menacing catastrophe is also proclaimed! Thousands of players are now trapped in the game with no way to log out. Forced removal of the NerveGear will only cause death. Death in the game also means death in real life. There is no easy escape!
The only way to escape the nightmare is to reach the top level of Aincrad and finish the game. But that too is no easy task! And so, the distressing torment begins! Adapt and fight—these are the only choices to take in order to live through it all until the end!
6. Deadman Wonderland
Imagine being trapped in a desolate place where people with weird blood-power are pitted against one another for an experiment's sake! That would be truly horrendous! And not just horrendous, this kind of scenario only screams—survival of the fittest!
Igarashi Ganta is a student who was framed for murdering his whole class. Truth is, the deadman who appeared to be the “Red Man” is the one responsible for the slaughter!
Now, Ganta is holed up in Deadman Wonderland—a place that isn’t really what it seems. On the outside, Deadman Wonderland is just another fancy amusement park. But deep beneath, it’s a hellish place where prisoners are forced to cruelly struggle through hardships, battles, and experiments for survival.
A war is about to unfold, and surely—it’s going to be a deadly one! And mind you, it’s nothing short of survival elements. Fate/Zero is all about action and survival! That’s what you need to know for now. Catch it and witness its magnificence and glory!
One grail, one wish—the victor of the Holy Grail war shall claim everything! Persistence at its peak and abilities at their highest limits, these are needed to win the war. But in the past, no one has ever lived to have their wish granted. That’s how dangerous and deadly the Holy Grail War is.
This time around, the people involved have brewed a plan to end it once and for all. It’s the fourth Holy Grail war! It’s going to be totally different! Masters in, Servants unleashed—now henceforth begins the fourth Holy Grail war!
4. Koutetsujou no Kabaneri (Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress)
What sort of creatures are these?! They’re like zombies but worse! These zombie-like creatures have hearts caged in metal! As if that wasn’t enough, they’re ruthless and brutal unlike any other. They are the Kabane! And they’re the new menace threatening the existence of humanity.
Good thing humanity hasn’t been cornered just yet. In walled cities, they live. In steam-operated armored trains, they travel and dwell. Hope isn’t totally extinguished yet! And there’s also the “Kabaneri”—humans who aren’t exactly humans or kabana. They’re in-between but with the sanity to fight and morals to uphold.
This is humanity’s new struggle. Will they persist and subsist the era of the kabane? Only time will tell what will happen in the future.
Btooom! puts the word “survival” in “survival game.” I mean, it’s literally a game that takes place in real life. Do you of all those violent first-person shooter games in computers? Btooom! is all of those but with bombs and more violence—all happening in real life! Oh, the horror!
For many people, Btooom! is but an online game that is popular to many players. Unbeknownst to them, it actually exists in real life, played by real people!
On an isolated island far away, humans are incited to fight one another using bombs a la Btooom! style! This is the cruel reality. Much more violent than a game, and deadlier than a game-over! This is the reality of Btooom!
2. Mirai Nikki (Future Diary)
Of all the survival-themed anime out there, this is one of the grandest and most recommended! Why? It’s because Mirai Nikki (Future Diary) is just full of twists and surprises! Besides those, it’s also action-packed, dramatic, and mind-boggling. It’s truly a masterpiece to behold!
Mirai Nikki follows the story of Yukiteru Amano and his engagement in a one-of-kind deadly survival game. The stakes are clear—the victor becomes the new god of space and time and gets everything he/she wants! As for the game itself, the participants are given unique diaries which can see into the future. It’s up to the players to exploit their respective diaries’ strengths and weaknesses.
And so it starts! The new god of space and time shall be decided by the deadly survival game. Who will win? Who shall claim the future? Let the Future Diary games begin!
1. Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
At last, we come upon what’s considered the greatest survival anime of them all! Epic, monstrous, and gigantic in all its proportions, its title is known to many. Namely—Shingeki no Kyojin (a.k.a Attack on Titan)! Agree now or be devoured by a titan!
Humanity’s in a catastrophic predicament! Gigantic monsters known as “Titans” have come to roam around the world and eat all the humans they straggle upon. And so, the whole of humanity has been forced to covet protection from gigantic walls. Everyone is now living in some sort of cage, afraid and ignorant of the outside world.
But is this the ultimate fate of humanity? Is there no shred of pride left of the once flourishing human race? After suffering from humiliation and brutal attacks from the titans, it’s now time to fight back no matter how seemingly impossible it is. The time is ripe, it’s time to finally launch an attack on the titans!
Cheeky Kid (author) from Milky Way on August 19, 2016:
Cyong74 what do you mean by "dangerous?" Haha. Glad you always find something to watch.
Ced Yong from Asia on August 18, 2016:
Your hubs are "dangerous," btw, Elren. Everytime I read or re-read one, I yearn to watch something!
Anne Harrison from Australia on August 15, 2016:
Slowly discovering the world of anime - thanks for your summaries! I look forward to reading them all.
Junie Rutkevich from Cripple Creek on July 21, 2016:
@cheeky Kid: Darn. It's gonna be long wait then. We just passed half of the year yet.
Cheeky Kid (author) from Milky Way on July 21, 2016:
@Julie Nou The last episode was episode 25. 2nd season will be next year.
Junie Rutkevich from Cripple Creek on July 20, 2016:
My favorite on this is Attack of Titans. But I haven't had any time yet to watch the remaining of the episodes. What season and episode did they stop now?
Ced Yong from Asia on July 19, 2016:
Going to give Terra a try, with the new movie and all that. :)