Tite Kubo's Bleach is a manga and anime series that's very divisive. At one point, the series used to be incredibly popular; between 2001 and 2016, the manga sold 120 million copies! However, Tite Kubo brought his spiritual samurai story to an abrupt end - much to the chagrin of fans all around the world.
Check out the following 10 anime if you like Bleach, and are looking for a series to fill its void. Most of these shows also have a samurai theme. Others deal with the supernatural. However, all of these shows have plenty of intense battles and memorable characters.
10 Soul Eater
Soul Eater is very similar to Bleach. However, this works to the show's detriment as well as its benefit. Does Soul Eater have great fight scenes? Absolutely. Is the world that SE is set in interesting? Without a doubt. Will you care about this show's cast of characters? Guaranteed.
However, Soul Eater ends on a disappointing note, just like Bleach did. To avoid spoilers, we won't go into too much depth. Suffice it to say that fans are pushing for a remake of the anime. We think the show's still worth a watch. From the voice acting to the art design, pretty much everything else is superb.
9 Shaman King
Shaman King is a prime example of a short but sweet series. Whereas most franchises like Naruto and One Piece have hundreds of volumes, Shaman King only has 32. While anime like Dragon Ball Z and Case Closed have been around longer than most of us have, Shaman King ran from 1998 to 2004.
Despite its short length, Shaman King is an awesome anime! The show follows Yoh Asakura, a young man who can talk to spirits. Yoh enters into a tournament called the Shaman Fight. If he can beat all of his foes, then he can commune with the Great Spirit and wish for anything in the world! This show has just as many fights and laughs as Bleach or any other Shonen anime.
8 Yu Yu Hakusho
Oh boy, this next anime is a classic! Yu Yu Hakusho is a series from the early 1990s. It follows Yusuke Urameshi - a teenage troublemaker who sacrifices his life to save a little kid. This act of kindness earns Yusuke an audience with the ruler of the Spirit World, Koenma.
Yusuke proves himself to Koenma and earns a job as a Spirit Detective. From there, Urameshi encounters many friends and foes along his journey. This show has tons of great characters and story arcs. In particular, the Dark Tournament Arc gets a lot of praise for its gripping writing and nail-biting fights.
7 Samurai Champloo
Samurai Champloo is the first entry in this article that isn't a Shonen series. Both Shaman King and Yu Yu Hakusho primarily cater to an adolescent male demographic. Samurai Champloo, on the other hand, definitely ain't for kids! This show is raunchy as heck and delves into heavy subject matter every other episode.
However, Champloo's somber moments are balanced out with knee-slapping comedy! For every episode that critically examines Edo Period Japan, there are episodes like #23 - in which the Champloo crew plays baseball. Shinichirō Watanabe is the man behind this Hip Hopping samurai show. He's the madman who gave us Cowboy Bebop and Space Dandy by the way.
6 Blue Exorcist
Blue Exorcist is one of the newer shows in this article. Kazue Katō first wrote and illustrated the manga in 2009. Since then, he's worked on this series at a fairly consistent rate. If you're hesitant to jump into a new show, consider giving Blue Exorcist a try. After all, you'll only need to read 22 volumes of manga or watch ~ 37 episodes of anime to catch up!
Much like Bleach, this show centers around a group of warriors who hunt spirits for a living. Rin and Yukio Okumura are the stars of this show. They're twin brothers with an uncanny knack for taking down demons. Blue Exorcist is a fun Shonen series that's only getting better with each new installment.
5 D Grey Man
D. Gray-man could very well be the creepiest show in this article. Much like Blue Exorcist and Bleach, D. Gray-man follows young protagonists who battle unclean spirits for a living. What sets this show apart from its contemporaries is its freakiness factor.
D. Gray-man ramps up its horror elements in a number of ways; for most of the series, Allen Walker wages war with a demonic left arm! This weapon is actually a parasite that replaced Allen's original appendage years ago. The Millennium Earl is the show's main villain. He's just as cryptic as Aizen was and just as devilishly clever.
4 Afro Samurai
This next entry isn't for everyone. Afro Samurai is the goriest, bleakest and most vulgar show that we'll talk about in this article. This anime has it all - sex, drugs, violence, and Samuel L. Jackson swearing up a storm! If you're looking for a wholesome anime that you can watch with the whole family, please look elsewhere.
But look no further if you're seeking a show with white-knuckled action set pieces, a unique art style, and a great soundtrack. Afro Samurai is the shortest series featured today; its manga only consists of 2 volumes, and the anime is made up of five episodes. Should you watch Afro Samurai, we guarantee it'll leave an impression.
3 Rurouni Kenshin
If you're looking for an anime that's a bit more grounded, you can't go wrong with Rurouni Kenshin. Nobuhiro Watsuki created this series back in 1994 and worked on it until 1999. Similarly to Samurai Champloo, Rurouni Kenshin is set in our world. To be more accurate this series is set after the Meiji Restoration.
Samurai were barred from practicing their traditions during the Meiji period. Himura Kenshin is a retired warrior who wants to leave his old life behind. He's much more content helping others in any way that he can. When he's forced to fight, he uses a non-lethal sword with a reversed blade. This show's got tons of heart and a romantic story to complement its great fights.
2 Gin Tama
Pretty much every other anime that we've discussed prioritizes action first and comedy second. Conversely, Gin Tama makes comedy its first, second, third, fourth, and fifth priorities. This show is set in an alternate version of the Edo period. Years ago, a race of aliens visited Earth and took over Japan.
Gintoki Sakata used to be a samurai rebel. After the invasion, he retired and started working as a sword for hire. Bleach definitely has its funny moments, but it's overall a serious show. Gin Tama works in the opposite fashion; most episodes are goofy and lighthearted, while only a few are dramatic and austere.
1 Dragon Ball Z
How could we not recommend the most influential Shonen anime of the last few decades?! Dragon Ball Z didn't just inspire Bleach, it paved the way for Naruto, One Piece, and My Hero Academia! Creators like Tite Kubo and Masashi Kishimoto are dyed in the wool Dragon Ball fans. DBZ earns special mention for popularizing many tropes that are now common in Shonen anime.
Dragon Ball Z pioneered the concept of going Super Saiyan - something that inspired the numerous forms Ichigo takes on in Bleach. DBZ also rose the bar for action anime as a whole. If you've never watched DBZ before, binge it ASAP! Trust us, you won't be disappointed.