Total Recommendations: 20
Two brilliant female leads pursuing a career in the backdrop of a pseudo-historical imperial China. Kusuriya is somewhat episodic, dealing with medicines, poisons, and the mystery cases that comes with it. Saiunkoku is more bureaucracy, politics and palace intrigue, with a smattering of adventure. Both have enjoyable romantic dynamics that are developed well. However, the true appeal are the heroines themselves, who are 2 smart, capable, ambitious, and endearingly quirky young women. Well-written and strong, they are a breath of fresh air among countless poor female characterisation in manga. Both are novel adaptations, Saiunkoku having an incomplete manga serialisation (of the completed novels) while Kusuriya is still ongoing (as are the novels). Saiunkoku also has a 2-season anime which is highly recommended!
After debating the choices awhile, I found Barakamon to be a better recommendation for My Roommate is A Cat than Chi's Sweet Home. The 2 protagonists are surprisingly comparable. Both 23 years old, a calligrapher and writer respectively, they share very similar personalities as well as character design! Reclusive workaholics with poor people skills (particularly the latter who's more melancholy due to recent circumstances) both of them give and take offence quite readily. This is where both anime introduce the small, innocent, and adorable who slowly humanise the 2 young men, helping them connect with others and find simple pleasures in life. My Roommate is A Cat portray the healing powers a pet can offer, while depicting cat behaviour with delightful insight. Needless to say, the result is Cuteness Overload!! Barakamon, despite having less cats (well there's a part in ep.4 and Handa IS a cat-lover) is similarly wholesome in exploring the lead's endearing interactions with his neighbourhood children. If you enjoyed the comic yet heartwarming nature of Barakamon please watch My Roommate is A Cat. (Especially those who love cats! Also watch Chi's Sweet Home - it's simpler, shorter, and as sweet!)
The most common rec for Kazetsuyo seems to be Haikyuu but despite their shared studio and many creative staff, most similarities are superficial. At its core, Kazetsuyo is a character study through sports and the only other such anime, in my opinion, is Oofuri. Although one is about college students (age ranging from 19 to 25) doing long-distance running and the other about high school baseball, the 2 are similarly dedicated in their characterisation. All characters and their interpersonal relationships are written exceptionally well, resulting in a cast of multi-dimensional and relatable characters. While sport is used as an instrument of storytelling and characterisation, it's not taken lightly either. Both explain the technical aspects necessary to appreciate the sport without being overwhelming. Oofuri, in particular, provides a lot of detail about baseball. There's also a distinct lack of 'hype' in both anime. That is to say, neither the story nor its presentation contrive to induce tension as sports series (especially shounen) often do. Rather, it naturally develops so that the viewer experiences a much more realistic sense of anticipation and excitement. Lastly, both are wonderfully motivational. This may be true for most anime of the genre, but Kazetsuyo and Oofuri are somewhat unique in the grounded way they encourage and inspire at a personal level. (Which, once again, comes down to their excellent characterisation.) I hope more people watch these 2 fantastic anime, as they're quite underrated.
An impossible destination, distant and unreachable to ordinary humans. That is what the 2 anime share. Although there's no lack of stories in space or harsh environments, what sets them apart is that they are grounded in reality and within the familiar confines of our present world. Space Brothers, as per the title, follows the journey of 2 brothers as they aim to fulfill their childhood dream of becoming astronauts and going to the moon. It's an incredible ride of 99 (too few!) episodes, inspirational and engaging throughout. But what's truly impressive is the anime's astonishingly realistic and painstaking display of astronaut training, as well as the most enjoyable space education you'll ever get! The great undertaking in A Place Further Than the Universe is to Antarctica. Aptly titled thus as it is indeed a place so remote and uninhabitable that it may as well be beyond Earth. Though more ambitious and less pragmatic with high school girls at the helm, it places more emphasis on the journey itself rather than the destination. What it lacks in realism it makes up with heart - and a glimpse of the icy expanses never before seen in anime! Both have excellent characterisation, proportionate to their length and purpose. Refreshingly free of cliches, their vulnerabilities relatable and enthusiasm infectious, the characters really carry the show. (Space Brothers, in particular, excels at this despite juggling quite a large cast.) Two unique and very worthwhile experiences.
Among the anime I've seen these 2 probably share the most similarity in an overarching sense. Both have rich and fantastically elaborate worldbuilding that continues to surprise the viewer with mysteries and secrets until the end. Also, the young characters and initial child-like wonder belies some rather dark and bittersweet themes. The kids in both cast are written well and realistically (which I find rare in anime). Both have distinct animation style and quality even though the art looks simplistic. And let me just emphasise again how incredibly original and imaginative they are!
Considering the fact that Utakoi is almost an unofficial companion anime to Chihayafuru, its much lower viewership is surprising. Although the presentation of the two anime is decidedly different, the main similarity between the two is the 100 Poems - whereas one focuses on the card game derived from the poems, the other explores their context and the poets who composed them. Anyone who felt even a little interest in the world of the Hyakuninisshu in Chihayafuru should watch Utakoi. An entertaining anime in its own right, it offers the ('liberally interpreted') stories behind the poems in a way which is very funny, sometimes tragic, and always compelling. It also has an amusing art style and some funky music! (Plus Kana-chan's poetic references throughout Chihayafuru would make a lot more sense after Utakoi)
The titles make abundantly clear that both anime are set in the same time period, but while Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu spans over several decades (approx. 1940-1980) focusing primarily on the traditional art of rakugo, Shouwa Monogatari tells the story of one family during a single year (1964). Although the basic premise is different in both, each share a deep insight into the era, portraying the trials and tribulations of post-war daily life, new discoveries, the effect of changing times, and a myriad of cultural details that really bring the two stories to life. The characterisation is done well both anime, and they depict the complicated relationships between family (SM) and friends (SGRS) with much depth and realism that resonates with the historical backdrop. SGRS is perhaps more sombre while SM retains more optimism, but both are excellent historical dramas.
These anime actually have more in common more than the synopsis of a runaway mother and an abandoned daughter. They share: ･ Delightful, quaint settings of a traditional Japanese inn (Iroha) and an elegant Italian restaurant (Paradiso), both of which is presented with charming visuals. ･ An insight into the service industry, particularly food in Paradiso and overall hospitality in Iroha. The eclectic staff and the inner workings of the inn/restaurant is tinged with realism and is rather fascinating to watch. ･ Female leads who start off fresh-faced and bitter about their mothers, and go through personal growth as they experience life in their new environments. Both were very likeable. ･ The mother/daughter thing - relationships between the different generations of women (3 in Iroha) are shown as complex and flawed. It's explored well enough to appreciate and subtly enough to feel real. On the whole, a rather impressive portrayal of women of different ages.
Much of the similarity between these two are reflected through the titles themselves! Both are set in a realm of magic, within a (very Hogwarts-y) magical institute, and the young female leads are incredibly similar 'happy witches'. The central trio of best friends in both series are also alike. Little Witch is the lighter of the two with some great and endearing comedic moments. And, due to its short length, it does not get as much exploration of the characters or the world (both of which are utterly fascinating) as Mahou Shoujo-tai, or Tweeny Witches. At 20 episode, the latter does very well in that regard and also delves into some unexpected yet interesting themes. Both are wonderfully creative and a very enjoyable watch.
As movies, Marnie and Momo are actually quite reminiscent of one another. Starting from the atmospheric storytelling, to the young girls as leads, as well as the themes of familial bond and the inner struggles of growing up. Both have similar settings in picturesque rural areas, where they relocate. While Momo has supernatural elements, Marnie has a slight mystery to it.
In all honesty, the only other manga like Basara is 7Seeds (and vice versa). Their common factor: Tamura Yumi, the mangaka. Sure, you will find superficial similarities between these two and a number of stories, seeing that 'post-apocalyptic Japan', 'destiny's child', 'gender-bender', 'survival games' etc are hardly original concepts in animanga. However, the quality of storytelling and the excellent character writing found in one of these can only be matched by the other. So if you've read any one of these lamentably underrated manga and are now at a loss to find something truly like it, look to Tamura Yumi's other great work.
Technically, one is a post-apocalyptic anime mirroring the past, while the other is a bona fide historical one about ancient warfare. And yet both begin with a journey to vengeance which develops into a tale of grand proportions. Both involve large scale conflict, though Basara's centres around a revolution while Kingdom's is more militaristic. And whereas Basara takes place in an entirely fictional future-Japan, Kingdom is based on China's warring states period. Naturally, both include a lot of political intrigue and explore government systems. Both have a large cast of colourful individuals as characters, who are all complex and are developed to varying extents. There's a surprising amount of emphasis given to the concept of 'understanding the enemy' (a rewarding experience). The characterisation can be safely referred to as the best aspect of both anime. Incidentally, both have their manga counterparts which only gets better post-anime (and this especially true for the much shorter Basara), so I highly recommend reading them. Overall, both are epic tales in the truest sense of the word.
The source materials for both are long novels series, yet both are also similar in the sense that their anime counterparts are incomplete. However, each of them definitely capture the essence of their expansive fictional worlds modelled after historical periods and places, and the grand scale of the storylines. The intricacy of the plot, albeit unexplored due to the lack of completion, and the diverse cast of characters also carry a similar vibe. Political intrigue and different 'sects' of characters are prevalent in both. And they contain fantastical elements, though more so in Guin Saga than Arslan Senki. And both series have rather melodious ending themes.
It only occurred to me several days after I'd finished Dennou Coil that it had some pretty interesting similarities to FMA 2003 (not Brotherhood): - Both series explore very complex themes, such as meaning of humanity and the nature of reality, that becomes apparent over time. - Both series have exceptional characterisation, the most notable factor being young children as protagonists who are depicted with a somewhat dark realism. - Both series have a lot of meticulous, intricate detail (particularly Coil) that affect the plot and characters in unexpected ways. - Not to mention Coil has 'cyber encode arrays' that look intriguingly similar to FMA's transmutation circles! They are both excellent anime, so anyone who likes FMA should check out the severely underrated Dennou Coil.
Firstly, both shows are short but utterly delightful Slice of Life anime that don't lose sight of reality amidst all the fun and humour (which is also great in both). Both focus on the protagonist who is introduced as the 'outsider' in a an unfamiliar environment at the beginning, and closely follow their progress throughout. The characterisation is excellent and there is significant development of the main character that is crafted subtly yet wonderfully. Not to mention both anime actually have educational and informative moments (GnS more so than Barakamon), particularly about country life, farming etc. And so, both are highly recommendable.
Very Random Humour. That's the gist of both shows, and both of them deliver the hilarity in a quiet, no-fuss sort of manner, instead of the yelling, smacking, and such over-the-top methods. I'd say World Fool News is slightly more unusual, and deals with (weirdo) adults rather than high school boys.
There are similarities in the themes and execution of these 2 anime, as they are both directed by Yoshiura Yasuhiro. He has a tendency to create rather unique concepts (such as the Inversion in Patema) or approach commonly used concepts in a unique manner (the android/human relationship in Eve). In any case, both movies say a little something about humanity and society, touches upon some heavy themes, yet remain optimistic and enjoyable throughout. I personally think Eve no Jikan achieves this slightly better than Sakasama no Patema, but both were great and highly recommended (as are all this other works).
Apart apart from the obvious similarities of these 2 movies being sci-fi and serving as conclusive endings to the series, they are both brilliantly executed. And while it's quite surprising how unexpectedly similar even the plot lines are, they both retain their originality. However, unlike the Steins;Gate movie (which has a brilliant, unparalleled series preceding it), the Haruhi Suzumiya movie actually surpasses its original series. Both are highly recommended! (must watch series first)
The supernatural element is quite similar in both anime, especially the king's power and the power of the contractor, and is set in an (slightly) alternate universe. Both have opposing organisations in control of, or fighting to control, these powers - the sources of which remains mostly mysterious throughout both series. Darker Than Black has more sophisticated storytelling than K (which is considerably less 'put together') and better developed characters. However, K is good for general entertainment, especially since it's only 13 episodes long, while DTB has more episodic storytelling over 25 episodes.
Both light-hearted and hilarious, a bit of a parody (more Ouran that Kuragehime), with interesting characters that have great chemistry! Also, both have underlying substance to the story amidst all the comedy presented in a way that's not cliche and is highly entertaining.