Tanjiro is a happy and innocent boy who lives with his mother, little brother, and sisters in the depths of the forest. Although he works hard to support his family, overall he is happy with his modest life as a coal seller.
Then demons murder everyone he loves.
Well, it sucks. But what a great horror premise. If you are looking for anime that ticks your trope boxes of things that are dark-fantasy, with mucho demons getting slaughtered out of revenge, strong female leads, and lots of action, then boy do we have the perfect list of shows like Demon Slayer for your to binge with vengeance! Here we go:
16 Best Anime Series Like “Demon Slayer” (Kimetsu no Yaiba)
16 / 16. Inuyasha
Kagome is a 14-year-old girl who owns one outfit (but a very durable outfit). One day she falls into a well near her house and she lands in the Sengoku period. Kagome meets Inuyasha who is a half-demon half-idiot, and she discovers that she owns the “Stone of the Four Souls”. This is a powerful stone that must not get into the wrong hands otherwise there goes humanity.
Now Kagome and Inuyasha have to collect the stone fragments scattered all over Japan. At the same time, a powerful half-demon named Naraco also collects the stones, and it goes much better for him.
For Demon Slayer fans who love all the mind-bending demon battles and surprising wacky characters. Inuyasha knows how to play with emotions. It doesn’t happen much, but in very specific moments, much of it is thanks to the development her protagonists go through.
15 / 16. Claymore
The series takes place in a feudal world where people are attacked by man-eating monsters and warriors called Claymore, after the long sword they carry, are sent by the “organization” to exterminate the threat. The plot follows one of these swordswomen Claire, who joined Claymore to avenge the death of the warrior who adopted her and was killed in battle in front of a unique monster.
Both series have human-turned monsters, and they eat humans. Claymore has that dark fantasy vibe like Demon Slayer. Both shows focus on organizations that hunt down and kill off demons/monsters in order to help protect humanity by means of using a sword.
14 / 16. Re: Zero
Subaru, the main character has the power to go back in time and fix the mistakes he made in the past. It’s a unique power. Re: Zero’s characters don’t know about Subaru’s Restart power. therefore, they believe when, they do die (small spoiler: some do), it’s a strong sacrifice that has great effects on Subaru when he returns from death.
Re Zero is a lot darker than other magic series. Its main focus is psychological. But the magic, supernatural abilities, and action make it worth mentioning.
13 / 16. Fairy Tail
Lucy Heartfilia is a superficial but kind-hearted celestial spirit witch, and her dream is to join the Wizard Guild. Sorcerers earn from performing special jobs that suit them. One day she meets Natsu, a fire dragon slayer from Fairy Tail. The two connect in an instant. This is how Lucy fulfills her dream and joins Fairy Tail, and together with Natsu, they begin a great adventure together.
One of my favorite anime series. It never gets tired and there is always some new exciting adventure. The amusing characters change more than once or twice but still retain their special features that make me laugh out loud time and time again.
12 / 16. My Hero Academia
For Demon Slayer fans who love their anime dark but with a touch of humor.
The green hair character Izuku Midoriya was born with bad luck; In a world where the majority of the population has supernatural powers, Izuko has zero powers. Every fortune teller would tell him that he is going to work in a boring profession like say, a peacock breeder. Not a cop or a firefighter, and certainly not a superhero. Yes, there is no way he dreams of being a superhero. After all, there is no way he really thinks he can… be… Ok, he wants to be a superhero.
The dream makes no sense, on the other hand, Izuku doesn’t give up. He keeps a notebook with accurate details of the country’s famous superheroes, hoping that one day he will use the information to become a superhero like his dol Might Guy.
The one who had the pleasure of adapting the series for the small screen was Bones studio, which, among other things, is responsible for successful series from the past, such as the two adaptations of Fullmetal Alchemist and Soul Eater.
“My Hero Academia” is one of the funniest series. It has no meager moments, the humor is successful, the action scenes are spectacular and the plot is built towards an epic and emotional showdown.
11 / 16. Bleach
The plot tells the story of a high school student named Ichigo, who can communicate with the spirits of the dead. Thanks to this ability he gets involved with a Shinigami ( “death” in Japanese) named Rukia and helps her eradicate evil spirits.
The anime first aired in October 2004 and was interrupted in episode 366 before reaching the end of the manga in March 2012. Over the years, four movies have been released and quite a few fillers. Netflix released a film in 2018 depicting the first part of the live-action-style anime.
10 / 16. Sword Art Online
Originally a series of manga books by Reki Kawahara that tells the story of a virtual reality game titled “Sword Art Online,” in which the players get stuck and cannot leave until they complete it and failure leads to death in reality.
The manga first received an anime adaptation in 2012. AO(Sword Art Online) had some very good parts, especially the first season. Overall the concept was a bit too general and repetitive. It’s the show that most anime fans love to hate.
9 / 16. Little Witch Academia
It is impossible to talk about “Little Witch Academia” without thinking the words “Harry Potter,” but if it were an anime. Broomstick riding classes, a forbidden forest surrounding the school, wands, powerful wizard and witchers, it’s all here. It’s in the slight differences where the series attempts to assert its own identity to variable effect.
The anime will never be considered great, it’s too ham-handed for that, but it might just become a classic. It’s sprightly and beautiful, bursting with an array of female personalities, and it manages to have the same shock-and-awe bombast as any shounen anime.
8 / 16. Yona Of The Dawn
Yona is an anime princess who lives happily in the palace with her father and friends, oblivious to the misery of the kingdom. But the day of her sixteenth birthday her life changes: the emperor is killed. Yona has to run away to survive. She’ll be helped by her friend and bodyguard, General Hak
Not as action-packed as Demon Slayer, but it does have a nice balance of action/adventure, with little fan service or sexualization of its characters.
What I love about this knight anime series, is how the comedy, action, romance, and adventure all fit together. It’s pretty legit. And it has strong female characters like Demon
7 / 16. Hunter X Hunter
Gon Freix is a 12-year-old boy whose father was a hunter. They are men who go on adventures in the world and do dangerous missions. Gon’s father left him as a child to be a hunter and left him with his aunt, Mito on an island called “Whale Island”.
At the age of 12, Gon can finally take the Hunter exam and become a Hunter himself, and thus perhaps meet his father. There are 4 main characters in the series with each having a different motive except Killua. HxH plot is divided and takes a nonlinear approach but the one single objective on which it revolves around is Gon finding his father.
It’s ranked among the top 10 anime of all time. The 4 main characters have distinct personalities and the series gives each one of them ample time to develop. They are charismatic and realistic with different motives. It’s pretty calm in the start then it takes a huge turn and becomes dark and deep like a lot. Hunter X Hunter even has a classic surprising anime trap.
If you finished Demon Slayer, you’ll be immediately drawn towards starting HXH.
6 / 16. Berserk
The anime starts out as a typical medieval series with realistic politics. We follow the story of Guts; a swordsman whose very existence has been Hell since he was born. Guts suffer through a lot of traumatic events but end up finding two opportunities to rise above his trauma.
Now, what makes berserk? The ART!!! The Story! Everything !!!! Everything feels real and down to earth. Then some fantasy stuff gets sprinkled in. But that disappears really quickly. However, it never got a decent adaptation and has far more adult themes.
Berserk is not your typical anime with knights and samurais. It is very violent, dark, and brutal. We learn that the world is ruled by gods. Gods that feast on human flesh. They make contracts with humans in exchange for sacrifices. By sacrificing people that are close to them. Friends relative lovers. Those sacrifices become feasts for the gods. And the person who made the offering is given their wish.
5 / 16. Fullmetal Alchemist
The medieval fantasy anime takes place in an alternative version of Europe in which the science of alchemy developed instead of machines.
The plot follows the two brothers Elric, Edward, and Alphonse, who set out on a journey in order to find a way to repair each other’s bodies after being mutilated following an experiment that got out of hand. The manga won two anime adaptations and two cartoons.
It has one of the best stories in the history of anime, an amazing cast of characters, and amazing voice acting. It is also deep and touching at times with parts of the story that are just wow.
The animation is also excellent and you can simply tell a lot of care and detail went into every little thing in the anime. FMAB is one of those animes you show to first-timers cause it’s just that good.
If you are looking for similar shows like Demon Slayer for dark fantasy subjects, then, FullMetal Alchemist is the way to go. It is evident that Hiromu Arakawa is a big fan of history, and the positioning of the Fullmetal Alchemist allows her to play with history. She draws; Influences from the Industrial Revolution, the Persian Empire, Nazism, and the Holocaust.
4 / 16. Black Clover
Asta and Yuno are orphaned siblings who grew up all their lives in a shelter. In a world where everyone has some sort of magic control, Yuno is revealed to be a prodigy while Asta does not have a single drop of magic talent.
Nonetheless, Asta declares to anyone who is within earshot that he will be the next Wizard King, the most powerful wizard in the kingdom, even if it involves competing with his much more talented brother.
Probably the most unique thing about the show is that it flips the more traditional fantasy trope on its head and gives literally everyone magic powers at birth except for the central MC Asta. It has great visuals and a great magic system.
Black Clover is influenced by Berserk and most of it seems to use heavy shading. The Manga is much more malevolent.
Black Clover is available for viewing via Crunchyroll. If you live in the US you can watch the dubbed English version via Funimation.
3 / 16. Attack on Titan
The anime is about the last known bastion of human civilization, which is under siege by man-eating giants known as Titans. Eren Yeager, a skilled sword-fighter boy who lost his mother and home when the Titans breached the outer layer of the walls, swears to wipe out the Titans and reclaim the world for humanity.
Attack on Titan’s is one of the most well-written, well-structured works of fiction currently around. It fits the bill if you like Demon Slayer for its dark tone.
The premise is dark as hell, and the story keeps you hooked throughout with very well-chosen, detailed characters.
As the plot progresses, the anime turns crazy and complex giving the best fight scenes every now and then. The creators did great work in hiding the mysteries so that we can crave more.
There are so many similarities between AOT and Demon Slayer, the anime falls in the man-eater monster trope. The demons are similar to Titans too.
2 / 16. Made in Abyss
The vast cave system known as the “Abyss” is the only place in the world yet to be explored. No one knows how deep the vast pit is.
It is inhabited by strange and wondrous creatures and filled with mysterious ancient remains that are unknown to modern man.
Generations of daring adventurers have been drawn to the hidden depths of the abyss. Over time, those brave enough to explore the abyss became known as “cave robbers”.
Bauso, the town near the edge of the abyss, is home to a little orphan named Rico, who dreams of becoming a brave cave robber like her mother and solving the great mystery of the pit. One day, as she examines the murky depths, she encounters a small child, who later turns out to be a robot.
It is a very disturbing and unsettling dark anime. Made in Abyss doesn’t hesitate to show darker things in the most dismal manner possible. It is even more disturbing as the show primarily revolves around children.
Made in Abyss has tremendous lore and massively charming world-building with a heart-warming and twisted plot.
There is also surprisingly deep characterization for such a short series. It really felt like an adventure watching it for sure, with some welcome moments of comedy mixed.
Both Demon Slayer and Made in Abyss had excellent animation and unique art.
1 / 16. Dororo
One of the most tragically screwed anime series. This series is for Demon Slayer fans who love to watch… well, demons getting slaughtered.
Dororo tells the story of a samurai lord who makes a deal with 12 demons so that he could dominate the battlefield. In exchange, he tells them to “take anything”. And so the demons did. Now he has to sacrifice his firstborn child to demons. Yep, we’re talking biblicl horror scenes.
But, his wife is unaware and is praying that her child is protected while giving birth. The child is born but has no skin, eyes, tongue, almost everything but survives after the father tries to get rid of him.
The main plot is that child trying to retrieve all his parts back by killing demons. Dororo is a younger child that joins and helps him on his journey
Dororo is a classic breath of fresh air. It gets that label of classic, from being the reboot from an already classic anime of the same name. It’s an anime that relies purely on its story and characters, no plot twist no convoluted backstories, it just stands out by being a tried true.
Dororo is very much like Demon Slayer, as both worlds include demons, and both protagonists chase “humanity” in slaying demons. Dororo wants his human body back while Tanjirou wants his sister’s humanity back.
The first season ended in 2019, we hope to see Dororo season 2 asap.