PK is an anime enthusiast. She has spent most of her life researching and delving into the mystics of the animated world.
About Sword Art Online
The anime is set in a futuristic year where virtual reality has become a thing of daily life. Sword Art Online is the most popular virtual reality game among the young generation. The game uses an advanced “NerveGear” technology through which players can control their unique avatars merely through their thoughts.
Kirito is among the few lucky ones to try out this game. When he logs in, he is transported to a picturesque world of Aincrad, which is home to gruesome monsters and has astonishing medieval weapons for players for the sake of protection.
A big surprise comes to the players present in Aincrad when the game takes a cruel mode where they can no longer log out and the only way out is to complete the one hundred levels of the life and death game.
Kirito will have to cooperate and interact with fellow players to successfully reach the top level. However, with so many foes this isn’t a child’s play. Clearly Sword Art Online is not at all about fun and amusement, if any player dies in Aincard, then he/she dies in real life too.
The anime is one of its kind and there isn’t any alternative for it. However, some Sword Art fans have recommended the following 30 anime to be equally entertaining:
30 Anime Like “Sword Art Online”
1. Log Horizon
Log Horizon follows the journey of a socially awkward college guy named Shiroe. Shiroe is trapped as one of the 30,000 Japanese gamers in the world of MMORPG, Elder Tale, where none of them can log out. Being a veteran gamer, Shiroe’s bafflement lasts only for a while, then he continues exploring the new world.
However, irrespective of how skilled he is, Shiroe can’t exit from the game unless he learns to work in a team with other gamers. Each gamer is given a task to bring stability to Akihabara, the virtual city of MMORPG.
Shiroe is accompanied by Naotsugu, who is the first-timer, and Akatsuki, who is a petite yet fierce assassin. The anime is a wonderful journey of the virtual world told from the perspective of a master strategist, who seeks to make the most of the bewildering situation.
2. Accel World
Tired of being called overweight and bullied by his schoolmates, Haruyuki Arita finds peace in playing online games. He is a gaming champion, but one day he becomes agitated to find that his scores are topped by Kuroyukihime. Kuroyukihime is the popular vice president of Haruyuki’s school. She, later, invites him to have a word and tells him about an unusual game called the “Brain Burst”.
Brain Burst is an augmented reality fighting game, where players have to win duels against other players to maintain their stake in the game. If they lose all the duels, then they’ll lose the game access forever. Brain Burst is also programmed to accelerate players’ brain waves to a level where time apparently ceases.
Kuroyukihime asks Haruyuki to play the game to help her meet the game creator and understand the reason behind its creation. However, it sounds great verbally but not practically. To meet the creator, she has to defeat the “Six Kings of Pure Color”, the most powerful faction leaders of the game, and reach the highest level, ten.
Btooom! is a popular online game and its current top player is Ryouta Sakamoto. Ryouta is an unemployed man who lives a peaceful life with his mother. One day while playing the game, Ryouta is transported to a distant island, which is in the middle of nowhere.
He has no memories of how he arrived at the island. Also, his left hand is embedded with a small green crystal. He, later, realizes that someone has modified the game and has turned it into a battle between life and death.
Besides Ryouta, many more players are summoned on the island and they all have green crystal embedded in their left hands. To return home, each player has to kill seven of the fellow participants and take their green crystals. To do so, they are given a bag full of special bombs called “BIM”. Initially restraining himself from killing anyone, Ryouta puts all his efforts into the game when he realizes that other players are not at all welcoming.
4. Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka (Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?)
The anime is set in the fictional town of Orario where Gods reside along with humans for the sake of enjoyment. They restrict their divine energies to better understand the hardships of the lower world. The Orario life is never dull and boring as with the help of certain Gods, humans travel underground to a labyrinth called the Dungeon and fight against the monsters.
People visit Dungeon in groups called Familia. Each Familia is named after the supervising deity. Their adventure is quite similar to the role-playing games, as their respective achievements help them increase their levels and abilities.
Bell Cranel, a 14-year-old solo traveler, aims to become the greatest adventurer on the land. As the sole member of the Hestia, a goddess, Familia, he has to work extremely hard. However, to Bell’s surprise, there are many girls including Hestia who develop feelings for him as he progresses forward-facing life-wrecking challenges.
5. No Game No Life
As the name suggests, No Game No Life is all about gaming mania. It is a bizarre comedy that follows the gaming lifestyle of two siblings, Sora and Shiro. They are an online gamer duo and are popularly known as “Blank”. For them, the real world is nothing but a lousy game itself.
Their gaming sickness reaches to an insane level when they are challenged to play a chess game. Due to which, they are sent to a parallel world where everything is decided through high-stake games.
Tet, the God of Games, welcomes the duo into his world and explains to them the game rules. The basic rule is each party has to wager something which is of comparable value to the other party’s wager. Stuck in this strange realm, Sora and Shiro have found the real reason to play games. Now, their mission is to defeat Tet and become the god of this new world.
Yggdrasil is a popular virtual reality game. It is its final hour and the servers have started to shut down. But something unusual has happened at the last moment and Momonga, a wizard and master of Ainz Ooal Gown, the dark guild is still active.
The midnight has approached and somehow the non-player characters have developed personalities of their own. Baffled by the abnormality, Momonga orders his servants to investigate the matter and take possession of the new world.
Overlord shows their dark and humorous tale of Momonga figuring out this supernatural development and what other factors could have been affected by this change.
Known by the name Tsukasa, a young wave master finds himself in an MMORPG called The World. Due to the amnesic effects, he can’t recall his past before waking up in this place. In The World, he is accompanied by a cat-like character, due to which he is suspected as a hacker by the Crimson Knights.
Unable to find the exit from the game, he wanders around to find the answers, also avoiding knights and other players that come along the way. Later, he stumbles upon an unknown item that converts into a “guardian” promising him to prevent from all atrocities.
Subaru, the Crimson Knights leader, and some other players aid Tsukasa to inquire why he can’t log out. They attempt to find the reason behind the weird occurrences before they get out of control.
8. Hai to Gensou no Grimgar (Grimgar: Ashes and Illusions)
A group of people is thrown into a strange world of Grimgar. Due to hazy memories, the only thing they remember is their names. Sharing their fear for survival, they are left with no option but to accept the job of a soldier in the Reserve Army. Their job is to kill anyone who disturbs the peace of this new game-like world.
The main characters are Manato, who is a priest and a charismatic leader, and Haruhiro, who is an anxious swindler. Besides them, Yume is a hunter, Shihoru is a mage, Mogzo is a warrior, and Ranta is a dark knight.
Though Grimgar looks like a game, in the rightful sense, it is a place of life and death, where there are no redos or restarts. Each of their lives is at stake and the chances of survival are lower than death.
9. Quanzhi Gaoshou (The King’s Avatar)
Ye Xiu is a pioneer of the gaming world and is hailed as the “Battle God” for his exceptional skills in the online multiplayer game Glory. Though he is a top-tier professional player, one day he is forced to retire from the team.
Ye Xiu leaves his gaming career behind and starts working in an Internet cafe. However, when Glory launches its tenth server, he couldn’t resist but to play the game once again under the alias of “Lord Grim”. It takes him no time to pull the attention of various players, leaving them curious to know the identity of this new player.
Despite his ten years of professional experience and vast knowledge, he doesn’t have a team or sponsors. His new identity and a fresh start with the game is filled with numerous challenges ahead.
10. Mirai Nikki (The Future Diary)
Yukiteru Amano is a loner and has no one to call friends in his high school. His daily routine involves writing a diary on his cellphone. He also has two imaginary friends to talk to, Deus Ex Machina, the god of time and space, and Murmur, Deus’s servant.
Deus, later, reveals to Yukiteru that he is indeed a real being. He grants him (Yukiteru) a strange diary that has an in-depth explanation about the future. Unknown to Yukiteru, he has now become a part of a bloody battle Royale. The game also includes 11 other diary holders.
As per the game rules, the player who kills 11 other players and survives till the end will become the new god of time and space. To do so, Yukiteru unwillingly teams up with Yuno Gasai, who is also a diary owner. Yuno is wary of Yukiteru’s safety, but there’s much more behind this girl’s personality than visible to the eye.
11. Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World)
Subaru Natsuki is a gaming freak, who is summoned to another world on an ordinary night. Unaware of who is behind this transportation, he meets a half-elf girl named Satella along with her companion named Puck.
Later, Subaru and Satella are mysteriously murdered, but to his surprise, he once again comes back to life. He realizes that he has the ability to return by death, which means he can reverse time by dying. He meets Satella but under different circumstances this time.
As the story progresses, Subaru meets with different friends and enemies, some of whom desire to steal his power. Confronting weird problems every now and then, Subaru has to struggle and die multiple times to return home.
12. Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! (KonoSuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World!)
Kazuma Satou is a high school student, who leads a recluse lifestyle. On his way home after buying a game, his life ends in an amusing and pathetic manner. After his death, he meets a beautiful yet arrogant goddess, Aqua. She offers him two options: First, proceed to heaven and second, rebirth in every gamer’s dream, which is a real fantasy world.
Kazuma asks for a second and is instantly awarded the task of defeating the Demon King, who has created havoc in several villages. For his aid, he can choose any item he needs. He goes for Aqua, later realizing that Aqua is utterly useless.
The anime follows their quest in this distinctive world, which may look like a game, but is a far cry from Kazuma usually witnesses while playing. Before commencing on their mission, he first needs to find work to pay for his living expenses. This problem is quite trivial to what lies ahead.
13. Mondaiji-Tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo? (Problem children are coming from another world, aren't they?)
Endowed with psychic powers, the extraordinary teenagers Izayoi Sakamaki, You Kasukabe, and Asuka Kudou are tired of their dull lives. However, their mundanity doesn’t last long when they receive an invitation through the envelope to visit Little Garden, a mysterious place.
In the new strange world, they are greeted by Kurousagi. He explains to them that they have been offered a rare opportunity to take part in unique high-stake games. But to become a legit participant, they first need to join a community.
On the other hand, Kurousagi’s community, “No Names” is defeated by the demon lords. As a result, it has lost its official status and luxuriant land. The trio along with Kurousagi now embark on a journey to reclaim their community’s name. Along the way, they also come across rare experiences that only Little Garden can offer.
14. Angel Beats!
Angel Beats! explores the journey of a person in the afterlife. How he comes across angelic figures and falls in a dilemma of whom to choose? How his life reshapes when he discovers the deep mysteries of the afterlife? This is the story of Otonashi, who is shocked to learn of his death when he wakes up in the afterlife.
Yuri, a girl with the rifle, visits Otonashi and informs him about the afterlife. She is the leading figure of Shinda Sekai Sensen (Afterlife Battlefront), which is in the war against Tenshi, another girl in the afterlife.
Unable to digest that Tenhi is evil, Otonashi decides to confront her, but the meeting doesn’t go as intended. Eventually, he joins the forces with Yuri to fight against Tenshi and thus, learning the secrets of the afterlife along the way.
15. Hunter x Hunter: Greed Island
The battle with the spiders is over. Gon and Killua are still in search of Ging. Due to which, they once again decide to purchase a special game called “Greed Island”. This time, they plan to volunteer to finish the game for the owner, who is actually a billionaire.
To make their plan a hit, they have to go through intense training as their abilities are still at the budding stage. The anime shows how these men go through various hurdles to play the deadly “Greed Island” as the game has a bad reputation for leading its players to death.
16. Guilty Crown
The anime is set in futuristic Japan, the year 2039. It’s been ten years when the “Apocalypse Virus” created havoc in the country and is infamously called “Lost Christmas”. The country has fallen and is now under the rule of the GHQ, a powerful military force with an aim to restore order.
On the other hand, the infamous Gai Tsutsugami has started a guerrilla group named Funeral Parlour. The group’s mission is to resist GHQ’s brutal despotism.
Shuu Ouma is a weak and unsociable young boy who coincidently gain the “Power of Kings”, which allows him to use the manifestations of an individual’s personality. Inori Yuzuriha, a key member of Funeral Parlour, recruits Shuu to become one of its members. Shuu reluctantly accepts the offer. To throw GHQ out of power, he has to learn the right use of his newly found power and reinstate Japan once and for all.
17. Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku (Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody)
Ichirou Suzuki is a programmer, who is always drowned in his daily work. Tired of long hours, he finally earns some time to sleep, only to wake up and find himself in the fancy RPG world. The world is a result of his real-life work on the mash-up of several games.
Though he is around 30, in the new world, he regains his youthful appearance and is known by the name of Satou, which he used while conducting a beta test on the games. Before he could fully understand the situation, he is attacked by an army of lizardmen. In defense, Satou launches a powerful spell, which completely annihilates the army and his level has reached 310.
The anime follows Satou’s journey in this fantasy world. He has no idea how to return to reality, so all he can do is explore this magical world and reach the end with the newly inherited abilities.
18. Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
Long before when human beings started to embrace the peaceful existence, they were on the verge of extinction by monstrous creatures called titans. Titans are ginormous humanoid monsters who thrive for human flesh merely for the sake of their enjoyment.
To prevent themselves, the remaining human beings started to live within the gigantic walls. It’s been more than one hundred years when the titans attacked humankind. However, their peace is soon disturbed by a colossal titan who manages to breach the wall reinitiating the human’s struggle for survival.
Eren Yeager, a teenage boy, witnesses his mother’s death at the hand of a titan and thus, decides to fight these creatures till his last breath. He joins the Survey Corps, the only military unit of its kind that fights the merciless humanoids outside the walls. Eren along with his friends are now on a deadly war against the titans. The story gets a new twist when it is found that many human beings are titans, in reality.
The popularity of the virtual reality game “The World” has come to an end and a new version of the game is launched, termed as “The World R:2”. It’s Haseo’s first day as a gamer and he finds that he has made some friends to compete with. But in reality, these so-called friends just want to mock him and kill his character for fun.
Haseo is saved by Ovan, a mysterious one-armed player. He helps Haseo to better understand the surroundings of The World. Successfully completed his first year in the game, Haseo shares a great experience with Ovan and his friend, Shino.
The game takes a drastic turn when Shino’s character is killed by Tri-Edge. Tri-Edge is an infamous figure, who is responsible for killing many other characters, forcing them to fall into comas for real. To revenge his friend’s loss, he vows to find Tri-Edge and kill him.
20. Zero no Tsukaima (The Familiar of Zero)
Louise Francoise is a member of the nobility and is extremely hopeless at magic. Her magic usage often results in a deadly explosion. She can’t even use any of the four basic magic elements, due to which she is nicknamed as “Louise the Zero” by her classmates.
She studies at Tristain Academy, one of the best magic schools in the world. At the starting of the school year, students have to perform a ritual where they summon their familiar. A familiar is an eternal companion and protector and is actually a magical creature. Louise ends up summoning a boy from Japan named Saito Hiraga, which leaves her totally humiliated. Due to ritual sacredness, she accepts Saito as her familiar but starts using him as a servant.
The Familiar of Zero explores the life of Louise and Saito and how they help their classmates to reach higher in the school. They often fall into life-risking situations, but manage to pass it through. As the story progresses, the reason behind Louise’s inability to use magic is revealed.
21. Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari (The Rising of the Shield Hero)
The four ordinary men from Japan are selected to become the Cardinal Heroes for the protection of the kingdom of Melromarc. The country, Melromarc, is devastated by the Waves of Catastrophe causing land damages and also affecting the citizens for centuries.
The four heroes are granted a sword, spear, bow, and shield to destroy these deadly waves. Naofumi Iwatani is cursed to become the “Shield Hero”. As the shield is incapable of attacking anyone, Narofumi is constantly belittled and mocked by his fellow heroes as well as the kingdom’s inhabitants. He also lacks in personality and offensive strength.
Later, the heroes are provided with resources to master their respective weapons. The kingdom citizens are allowed to select any of the heroes to train alongside them. However, Naofumi gets only a single comrade, Malty Melrmarc, who later betrays him accusing him of false assault. Now hated by the whole kingdom, Naofumi has to find a way on his to train and prove his innocence.
22. Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni. (In Another World With My Smartphone)
A dead tragedy befalls on 15-year-old Touya Mochizuki by none other than God himself. As an act of repentance, God allows him to live again but in a different world. He also offers Touya one wish. Touya readily accepts to resurrect in another world and in regard to his wish, he asks to keep his smartphone with him.
Touya arrives in the new mysterious world along with his smartphone. However, he can’t connect with anyone from the old world. He is also gifted with immense magical, physical, and cognitive powers by God to compensate for the wrongful killing.
Thrilled by the powers and the fantasy world, Touya is ready to take full advantage of it. He befriends lots of girls and elite people in the new place. He travels from place to place, indulges with new people, and helps them solve their disputes. As the story progresses, Touya learns more about this new life and the hidden secrets of the new world.
23. C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
The anime is set in a financially ruined Japan where the money is everything and life is utterly useless without it. The economy has completely shattered and there’s an exponential rise in unemployment, crime, and suicide.
Kimimaro Yoga is a 19-year-old who lives with his aunt after his mother died and his father mysteriously disappeared. He is a scholarship student of economies and aims for an ordinary lifestyle. However, his normal ambitions soon go haywire when he meets Masakaki, a mysterious man who offers him an ample amount of money in exchange for his future to be kept as collateral.
Kimimaro accepts the offer and in return, he is given the post of “Entre” (Entrepreneur) in the parallel world of the Financial District. In this world, Entres use Midas Money for transactions. Each Entre works along with a special creature termed as “Assets”. They are summoned each week to bet their money in a battle and one who loses all the money is banished from the Financial District.
Fate/Zero explores the events of a life-staking game called the Holy Grail War. The war is a type of contest founded by three families, namely, Einzbern, Matou, and Tohsaka centuries ago. In this, seven mages are summoned along with seven sprites to fight and obtain the eternal power of “Holy Grail”. The winner is, then, granted with a wish.
Three wars have already been fought and now the time for the fourth one has come. Each prominent family is determined to win, irrespective of the cost. Kiritsugu Emiya, the infamous “Magus Killer” is recruited by the Einzberns and is married to their daughter Irisviel as a type of binding contract.
Kiritsugu has no option but to face the other six deadly opponents in a war, where there’s no scope for survival.
25. Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry (Chivalry of a Failed Knight)
Blazers are extremely powerful humans who have the ability to warp their souls into powerful weapons. They study and train at Hagun Academy, the most prestigious supernatural academy in the world. Here, blazers are taught to become Mage-knights.
Ikki Kurogane, one of the academy students, is an F-rated blazer and only one of his kind. When he comes across naked Stella Vermillion, who is an A-rated blazer and a princess, she challenges him to a duel. Aware of Ikki being the weakest of all, she states that the loser will have to become the slave of the winner.
Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry follows the life of Ikki, who constantly struggles to prove his worthiness to the world. As the story progresses, he gains new friends, experience, and wisdom.
26. Itai no wa Iya nano de Bougyoryoku ni Kyokufuri Shitai to Omoimasu. (BOFURI: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense.)
New World Online is a hugely popular VRMMO game among the people of her ages in Japan. However, Kaede Honjou has no interest in online gaming but after her friend’s invitation, she reluctantly decides to join the game.
She starts the game under the alias, “Maple”. Unaware of what to do with her stat points, she spends them all in the beginning stage. She’s left with no point but is granted with extraordinarily high-defense ability. Her newly found ability help her reach higher levels into the game and within no time, she makes it to the top list at number 3.
Despite her powerful and invincible reputation, Kaede has lots to learn. Who knows with her novice skills turning into that of a master, she may gain skills that are beyond everyone’s expectations.
27. Darling in the FranXX
Klaxosurs are giant beasts who have driven humanity to near extinction. In response, humans have built massive fortress cities known as Plantations to ensure their survival. Children, in the pair of boy and girl, are trained to use giant mechas, better called FranXX, which is the only weapon against Klaxosaurs. These children are unaware of the outside world and their sole purpose of existence is to pilot these giant machines.
Hiro is an aspiring FranXX pilot, but after failing the test, he loses his self-motivation and leaves the training in between. He, later, visits a forest lake, where he encounters a girl named Zero Two. She is famously called “Partner Killer” as every boy, she was paired, died eventually.
Aware of her reputation, Hiro tries to maintain his distance but is helplessly when they are unexpectedly attacked by a Klaxosaur. Now as a pair Zero Two and Hiro pilot the giant mecha and defeat the monster. As the story progresses, Hiro begins to be recognized as the boy to survive while working with Zero Two.
28. Druaga no Tou: The Aegis of Uruk (Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk)
The Tower of Druaga is overflowing with the rage of heinous monsters, but thanks to the sky-god Anu, the demons lose their powers in the summertime. To take advantage of weakened monsters, the country of Uruk decides to invade the tower and suppress the demons. They have positioned their army to reach the top levels.
However, they are not the only ones, the entire Meskia city is formed on the first floor of the tower. The city is a host to the soldiers and adventurers who have the knowledge of a legendary treasure, present at the topmost level of the tower. The so-called treasure is known as the Blue Crystal Rod.
With so many distinct groups present in the tower at the same time with the same purpose, who knows what the summer will bring to each of these people.