• Anime Series Like Dororo
    ACG
    Mar 14, 2019

    In order to become indomitable on the battlefield, a samurai lord barters his son’s organs away to 48 demons and then abandons him. However, his son doesn’t die. Instead, a medicine man saves him with primitive, but lethal prosthetics that allow him to hunt down the demons and regain his organs for an eventual battle with his father.

    A remake of a particularly old anime, the story Dororo tells is one that thrives with better animation. If you are looking for similar anime, then look no further.




    For Fans of Journeying Samurai

    Blade of the Immortal

    Manji is a swordsman who was cursed with eternal life. Growing upset with all the death he has created, he tries to get his mortality back by killing 100 evil men for every good person he had struck down. On this journey, he meets a girl named Rin who seeks her own vengeance against a sword school that killed her family. Together they journey, both trying to find their peace and prevent being consumed by revenge.

    Both anime series are dark tales about samurai that are just barely human. In Dororo, the main character is trying to get his body back while in Blade of the Immortal, the main character is just trying to die. They are stories with little hope and lots of violence.



    Samurai Champloo

    Fuu is a young girl working as a waitress at a small teahouse. Things are peaceful until one day she spills tea on a customer and finds the samurai harassing her. Calling for help, a thuggish young rogue by the name of Mugen steps in only to pick a fight with another tightly wound samurai named Jin. In their fight, they end up destroying the shop and getting arrested. After saving the two fighters from their execution, Fuu hires them as bodyguards to help her find a samurai that smells of sunflowers.

    The only plot in Samurai Champloo is the journey. The samurai end up traveling to find a guy, and it forces them to confront various events that happened in their past. It is a tale that unfolds similar to Dororo, but maintains just a slightly lighter overall tone.



    Katanagatari

    In Edo era Japan, Shichika Yasuri practices one of the most unique sword styles among a culture of unique sword styles, a technique that uses his own body as a blade. As the seventh head of the style’s school, he lives in exile with his sister Nanami until the ambitious Togame barges into his life. Togame tries to recruit him on her mission to collect the twelve unique swords known as the Deviant Blades for the shogunate. Interested by the girl more so than her mission, Yasuri accepts, only to later find the challenge in collecting these swords is defeating the legendary swordsmen that wield them.

    Similar to Hyakkimaru collecting his organs, Yasuri journeys to defeat swordsmen to collect their swords. However, they not only have similar plots, but you watch the main characters slowly become more human as they journey, not just physically, but emotionally.

    For Fans of Blood and Violence

    Berserk

    Gutts has been a mercenary for as long as he can remember, caring for nothing but moving to the next battle, but one fateful battle puts him at odds with the Band of the Hawk. Their charismatic, idealist leader Griffith soon makes him join by force, but his bond he forms with the Band of the Hawk may very well mean the end of the world.

    While Berserk doesn’t start off about demons, it builds up to that main plot. Like in Dororo, Berserk is all about the main character hunting down demons – not for his organs  – but for his vengeance. While he doesn’t lose all his organs, Gutts does lose a few body parts and has his whole world taken away from him by another as well.



    Shigurui

    At the beginning of the Edo Era, a time of peace has descended over the land. The Lord Tokugawa Tadanaga, however, has decided to hold a fighting tournament with real steel instead of wooden swords. Within this tournament, the one-armed Gennosuke and blind Seigen are set to face off. As they were both disciples of Iwamoto Kogan, the greatest swordsman in all of Japan, both are determined to prove they are the rightful successor.

    While Shigurui is more steeped in reality, that doesn’t make it any more upbeat. Both Dororo and Shigurui are overly somber shows where blood and violence is the order of the hour. The more your watch, the more you learn about the characters, but also the sadder their stories become as well.



    Drifters

    While forming the rear guard for his uncle’s escape, Toyohisa Shimazu manages to mortally wound I Naomasa, but is critically wounded himself in the process. While trying to limp back home, he finds himself transported from the field to a hallway lined with doors. There a mysterious man sends him spiraling into another world. Dragged into the forest by two young elves, Toyohisa is patched up from two others from the Land of the Rising sun that turn out to be Yoichi Suketaka Nasu and Oda Nobunaga. From there, Toyohisa and his fellow historical figures, named “drifters” must save (or conquer) their new world.

    What happens when you put a bunch of famous warriors and figures throughout history end up one world after they died? That is what Drifters explores. It is filled with violence like Dororo and there is little happiness in the world.

    For Fans of Body Part Loss

    Fullmetal Alchemist

    Talented in the art of alchemy, brothers Edward and Al Elric tried to bring their mother back from the dead, something that goes against all alchemic principles. When things go horribly wrong, Edward loses his left leg and Al loses his whole body, only saved after his brother sacrifices an arm to bind his soul to a suit of armor. Three years later, the brothers set out on a journey to find a mythical relic that may be able to return Al to his body once again. However, throughout their travels, the brothers find themselves pulled into a series of events that threatens everyone.

    Unlike Dororo, Fullmetal Alchemist has a lot of different subplots going on in the story. However, one of them is to get a lost body back to Al. While Dororo works with less supernatural prosthesis, alchemy in Fullmetal Alchemist sees Al attached to a  suit of armor, but Ed is also using a more advanced form of prosthesis as well.



    Cyborg 009

    Terrorist organization Black Ghost had nine powerful cyborgs under their control. However, when their cybernetics scientist goes rogue, he turns their cyborgs against the organization.

    While not by Osamu Tezuka like Dororo, you can see some inspirations in Cyborg 009 from his more famous work – Astro Boy. While cyborgs have little in common with samurai, like in Dororo, you watch characters deal with the loss of their body and the implication on their lives.

    If you have more anime recommendations like Dororo, let fans know in the comments section below.


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