The Squid Game is one of the hottest k-dramas of 2021. The trope of getting trapped in a place forced to play games that might lead to someone’s death and the outcome of having just one winner is not exactly original. There has been much anime featuring this, and each one has a twist of its own. One of the anime which has this trope has an anime as well as a Japanese live-action drama. This anime is called ‘Alice in Borderland,’ and its drama was released on Netflix in 2020 as well. Alice in Borderland, as well as Squid Game, broke all the records and skyrocketed through the charts. Hence, this trope trended throughout 2020 as well as 2021, as we look into some anime that are similar to Squid Game.
The alternative universe of playing such a simple childhood game where you could die for making a mistake makes the trope interesting as well as thrilling. There may not be much to do during the pandemic, but these heart-rushing experiences the anime presents are worth watching!! Now, let’s find out about some anime following this trope as well!
Danganronpa was actually a game on PSP before it got adapted into an anime due to its popularity. It has three seasons and some specials as well. The anime features Hope’s Peak school, which only accepts the best students in the country. Just 15 students were admitted to the school for that year. Naegi and his classmates are excited about their admission to this prestigious institution. Soon Monokuma, the principal, and the resident bear trap them inside the school. To escape and graduate school, they have to murder one of their classmates without being discovered. However, if the killer is caught, they will be executed on the spot. The game will go on till only one victor lives. This anime is like Squid Game as there will be only one survivor as the participants get closer to one another.
After the death of a person, there is no heaven or hell in this anime. There is just a bar that’s between reincarnation and oblivion, from where no one could ever come back. In the bar, the bartender challenges the pairs of recently dead people to a random game that would determine their fate of either reincarnating or falling into oblivion. This place was called Quindecim, where Decim, arbiter of the afterlife, played games with people’s lives. The betrayals, just like at the end of Squid Game, can be seen throughout the whole anime.
Arisu is a high school student who has no ambitions in life and just wants to escape from reality. He always kept playing video games because he was tired of meeting his family’s expectations. Once, he with his two friends, Daikichi Karube and Chouta Segawa and saw a firework in the sky which changed their lives. After this, they were transported to the Borderland. The people of Borderland became participants in a very deadly game where tasks were assigned, and they had to complete them as well. Slowly, Arisu Ryouhei finally found himself feeling alive for the very first time in his life.
Ryouta Sakamoto is an unemployed gamer whose mother was highly disappointed in him. He is Japan’s top player in Btooom! However, his life changes when he is transported to an uninhabited island and sees a small green crystal embedded in his left hand, and he has no memory of how he had got there. He had loved playing the online game, but playing it physically meant risking his life. He and the other players were given a bag of unique bombs known as BIM. In the beginning, he doesn’t want to kill anyone, but Ryouta is forced to fight because all the other players were ready to kill each other for the sake of getting out of the island. This is like playing a non-consensual Squid Game, which would be similar to Hunger Games.
Kaname Sudou is a high school student who receives an invitation from a classmate to play Darwin’s Game, and as soon as he opens the app, a snake comes out and bites his neck. He is taken to the infirmary, but the snake bite is not found. Soon, his curiosity gets the better of him, and he starts to use it again. The app is a battle game, but he gets surprised when his opponent appears right in front of him in the real world. Kaname runs and realizes that this game is not “just a game”. Darwin’s Game places people in a life-or-death situation and tries to survive in these battles, which is quite thrilling.
SAO is a sort of alternate gaming universe of Squid Games. The first season of the anime features an otaku guy who buys a video game called Sword Art Online, which is a VRMMORPG (Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) that allows players to take full advantage of gaming technology. It has a headgear called Nerve Gear, a system that allows the users to completely enjoy themselves in the Isekai world by slightly manipulating their brain waves so that they can create a totally realistic gaming experience. But, when the game maker doesn’t keep a log-out button, the game turns into a horror show where if people die in the MMO, then they die in real life too, due to something within the Nerve Gear.
The gamekeeper is just bored, so he joins the game as well without letting anyone know. He tells the players that there’s only one way to escape. To defeat every boss of every level and climb up in teams. The people who would reach Level 100 first would most likely stay alive, and all others would be killed off. The first season is jam-packed with action, love, and mystery. The game is very similar to Genshin Impact as well.
Battle royales are not just a survival game, they are an ancient blood sport dating, and in Kengan Ashura’s world, corporate deals are carried out, and disputes are solved using this method. Each CEO has to select a fighter to represent them and let them loose on each other. Ohma Tokita is a powerful martial artist who just wants to fight. He is allied to Nogi Group, and on their behalf, he entered into the Kengan Association’s Life-or-Death Tournament. The CEO who sent the winning fighter gets the chance to choose the association’s next chairman. Soon, Tokita and others beat each other bloody in the arena for the benefit of their CEOs.
3. Battle Game In 5 Seconds
Squid Game players are familiar with their games because they played them as children. Akira Shiroyanagi is bored with the real world and prefers to focus on playing games. He is quite happy when he finds himself abducted and being forced to play in a survival game for the entertainment of the mysterious host called Mion. Akira is similar to Cho Sang-woo, Gi-hun’s old friend, since he is an intelligent person with an analytical approach to the game with an arrogant attitude towards other players. He considers himself above them but doesn’t betray them, but he keeps manipulating them.
Another anime like Squid Game is Akudama Drive, which is a cyberpunk anime where criminals run rampant like Psycho-Pass. One night a group of criminals is gathered and they end up getting an explosive collar strapped on their throat. They are forced to go on a mission on a train, as they are tasked to retrieve something. It might sound dark, but it’s comedic too. Squid Game fans would enjoy this anime, especially because of the fun moments!
1. Future Diary “Mirai Nikki”
Yukiteru Amano is an aloof high schooler who spends his days writing a diary on his phone while chatting with his online friends Deus Ex Machina, The God of time and space, and Murmur, The God’s servant. Deus gives Amano a “Random Diary,” which depicts highly descriptive entries based on the future.
He forces him into a bloody battle with 11 other holders of these diaries. The last person standing would be designated as the new God of time and space. Hence Yukiteru must find and kill all of the other 11 in order to survive. He reluctantly teams up with his obsessive stalker Yuno Gasai and starts with the mission!