Bursting into the 2010's came an entirely new generation of anime that changed standards and genres as the anime community knew it. This meant greater ambition in storytelling, higher budgets for animation, and, for this list, more gore, sadness, and edge for a dark series. Tokyo Ghoul is a massive favorite among the anime faithful. Its tragic tale of the young, innocent Ken Kaneki pulled at the heart strings of many who connected with his involvement in a literal identity war while its promise and delivery of bloody battles and sadistic scenes attracted many others. Given its consistent season orders, massive manga sales, and the sheer number of zipper masks at any anime convention, it's no secret that the war between humanity and ghouls has attracted quite a few viewers. And while there may be a wait for the next chapter, season order, or, for some, just a good adaptation, there's still plenty of anime out there to quench the Tokyo Ghoul thirst. As such, this list will be running down a few key recommendations for those who love Tokyo Ghoul.
10 Attack on Titan
To get the obvious out of the way, if someone's looking for an ongoing war between humans and man-eating monsters with the quiet addition of the main protagonist being the incidental bond between the two, Tokyo Ghoul and Attack on Titan are kind of a pair. But don't let that get in the way of watching either. Tokyo Ghoul approaches its issues with modern sensibility and a vulnerable character whereas Attack on Titan approaches it through existential terror and political intrigue. Let this recommendation not stem from their similarities but the change in perspective. If someone's looking for amazing action and tons of gore, let Attack on Titan quench their thirst while also bringing them into the political turmoil of its walls.
9 Neon Genesis Evangelion
To bring things to the other side of the aesthetic sensibility, if it's Kaneki's vulnerability and the themes of societal conflict creating inner conflict that's attracted someone's anime viewing, then Neon Genesis Evangelion is more than worth their time. There are great parallels between the pressures of Ken Kaneki and Shinji Ikari, as both are thrust into the bloody conflicts of their world with considerable pressure put on their shoulders to be protector and leader. In the case of Shinji, a lot of that stems from a fusion of parental neglect, sexual confusion, and the desensitization to war and violence. Much like Kaneki, he's being broken down throughout the series, and the viewer is just watching that descent in spectacular, metaphorical fashion.
8 Death Parade
Bringing things a little closer to the sadistic and ghoulish, if one is looking for the supernatural and its intrigue, then let the ghostly bar hosts of the Quindecim Bar entertain you. Death Parade is about a group of bar hosts living in a purgatory world whose jobs (besides making a mean martini) are to test the wills and decide the fates of the newly deceased, doing so with horrific death games, like darts or air hockey. (It's worse than how it sounds.) It's an interesting world within its own right that looks at life's arbitrators as not infallible, absolute beings but as subjective observers. There's a sense of humanity and vulnerability in the supernatural which is not unlike the ghoulish cafe of another series.
7 From the New World
There's a tragic drama about Tokyo Ghoul that asks its viewers to consider their own identities and places within the world, asking cutting questions about who really deserves to live or die and who the ruling society really favors. If there's an itch like this that is just reeling to dig into the misery and politics of it all, then From the New World is an absolutely amazing choice. Taking place in a world where humanity has taken upon psychic abilities directly tied to their psychological state, this series focuses directly into the controversies and horrors of the alternate universe, showcasing conspiracies, betrayal, and inhumane experiments at the forefront of an "evolving" society.
6 Deadman Wonderland
Similar to Attack on Titan, Deadman Wonderland brings its themes of its main character channeling a monstrous, new gift to the military-industrial complex. What this series offers is at one end, profanity and gore to compare or even surpass that of Tokyo Ghoul, with its English dub being one of the most profane things to have ever entered Adult Swim (which is saying something). At the other end is a variety of blood themed, magical attacks, personal to their user and ever dangerous to their target (seems familiar), that make for some incredible and tense battles between a young, high schooler and a variety of older, tougher monsters.
5 Future Diary
Working into the mindset that Tokyo Ghoul may be a little edgy, Future Diary is a series filled with similar levels of teenage angst and drama as well as over the top fantasy and action to sit it next to Tokyo Ghoul. The series focuses on a death game to become the new god of the world, where each of its participants, including the main character, gain the ability to read the future in some way. What follows is an observation of the modern macabre as a cast of differently insane characters bring about some of the most eccentric scenes in anime.
4 Beyond the Boundary
Moving away from the darkness of it all, Beyond the Boundary provides an incredibly, aesthetically different view of the turmoil of being different. Taking place in a supernatural world of its own, it focuses on one of the last of the Spirit Warriors, Mirai Kuriyama, as she tries to kill a youmu, her fellow classmate Akihito Kanbara. What follows is an oddly heartwarming tale for its premise, as Akihito invites Mirai to his world of friends and the Literary Club while a battle for humanity creeps forward in the background. Much like Tokyo Ghoul, this series centers on identity and personal responsibility but does so in the cute, heartwarming way that only Kyoto Animation can.
3 Akame ga Kill!
Akame ga Kill! brings this list back to its cold, edgy roots, as this series features the rebellion of a motley crew of characters battling an oppressive, conspirator world. If death and gore is what one is looking for, then just know that this series has over-the-top battles and high stakes that consistently make the viewer worried about who's going to die next...and how. Moving the stylistic dial, this show is host to a variety of dark powers, cool weapons, horrifying monsters, and litany of quirky character designs and personalities that just make the deaths even more painful.
As this list nears its end, it's about time to bring in the king of all edgy anime. Gantz is your snobby older brother's anime recommendation, a series that is gory and edgy to be observational and deconstructive of all that is gory and edgy, as it brings with it a level of shame and introspection to go along with its action, battles, blood, and sex. It's about a regular high schooler who, upon is his death, is resurrected to participate in a crazy death game that gifts him alien technology and makes him fight against some of the most insane and terrifying monsters ever known to anime and manga kind, all while commenting and examining on the violence and terror present in society and the human heart.
1 1.March Comes in Like a Lion
Last but not least, one of the greatest elements going into Tokyo Ghoul is the fan's ever present concern for the emotional and physical well-being of its tragic main character, a character who early on defines what it means to be "the innocent." Following along these lines, if this is why you watch Tokyo Ghoul, then let March Comes in Like a Lion be the next stop on the viewing list, as this is the anime equivalent of someone finally giving Kaneki a hug. Being a much more grounded but ever stylistic series, it also focuses on depression and societal pressures but does so through a tonal roller coaster, where at one end its emotional tensions squeezes at the heart and at the other the comfort and sincerity of its characters provides new levels of relief. It's the soothing drink of water needed to take a break from the dark and coldness of it all.