Ranking of Kings is one of the top anime programs of Fall 2021, and viewers should check out these other fantasy shows.
Ranking of Kings, also known as Ousama Ranking, is one of the most popular anime series in the Fall 2021 season, although it isn’t the only one of its sort. Sure, few shows come close to capturing that “storybook” feel or featuring such an instantly lovable lead character as Bojji, but many others come near. And, once again, the most recent batch of episodes has proven to fans that Wit Studios knows what they’re doing.
So, for those who are enjoying RoK but finding it difficult to wait for each new episode, here are some more series to watch in the meanwhile.
Jacob Buchalter updated this page on February 23, 2021: Now that more episodes of Ranking of Kings have aired, the anime community’s initial reaction is pretty much etched in stone. RoK is a series unlike any other, and there aren’t many others like it.
The story of a mistreated adolescent learning about life, on the other hand, isn’t exactly the most misused concept. There are a number of anime that bear a passing resemblance to Boiji’s story. So, let’s take another look to see what other shows viewers are interested in.
1. Vinland Saga
In comparison to Ranking of Kings, Vinland Saga is unquestionably more violent. Thorfinn is the epitome of a “troubled youth,” albeit his aggressive disposition is rather standard for the Viking Age.
However, manga readers familiar with the Vinland Saga will recognise the locations to which this story eventually leads, and so will recognize some tonal and atmospheric connections to RoK. Both stories are heartbreakers, but RoK has a bit more of a storybook vibe to it, whereas Vinland Saga has a more Odyssey-like feel to it. Nonetheless, Ranking of Kings is an anime that everyone should see, especially since season two is now under production.
The greatest recommendation for an anime to watch before or after Ranking of Kings is probably Kaiba. Kaiba has a small fan base, so not many people are aware of it. Madhouse is recognized for its ludicrous spectrum of style and high bar for quality, and this is a series developed by them.
Kaiba is one of the most distinctively styled anime series ever created. It may be difficult to adjust to this style at first, but the basic simplicity and exaggerated proportions actually work to accentuate the overall idea. To keep it that way, it’s better to simply characterize Kaiba as an episodic animation that examines the topic of “memories” in some nihilistic, surreal and heart-wrenching way.
3. March Comes In Like A Lion
When it comes to shows that are similar to Ranking of Kings, deep emotional impact, a plot focusing on a single character learning to enjoy the world around them, or a story about an emotionally traumatised MC who ultimately finds people who accept them are all important elements. All three are present in March Comes in Like A Lion.
Although the show is less fanciful and more realistic, its visual metaphors help to bridge the gap into the fantasy realm. Rei Kiriyama, like Boiji, has problems responding to the world around him, and it never gets old watching them both find all the little joys they so richly deserve. MCiLaL is an anime that is similar to Rankings of Kings and absolutely top-notch in terms of quality.
This may sound like an odd recommendation, but Katanagatari does does fill the same itch as the Ranking of Kings anime. Overall, RoK is undoubtedly the superior product, but both shows place a greater emphasis on unconventional individuals and their opposing beliefs. It’s yet another show where the MC appears to have fallen for the villain in some way, but doesn’t seem to mind. Furthermore, both of these anime’s main characters are tremendously powerful human weapons who are severely underappreciated.
That isn’t to argue that neither show is lacking in terms of animation. They both go all out when it comes to combat. However, it’s obvious that the writers of both of these shows like the in-the-moment interactions between characters more than anything else, since the dialogue is incredibly clean and polished in both series.
5. Mob Psycho 100
Mob Psycho 100 is coming next. This show seems to be on every genre’s recommendation list, and with good reason: it’s an anime that captures a little bit of everything while nailing everything it sets out to achieve.
Like Ranking of Kings, Mob Psycho 100 is fantastically over-the-top, has a main character that is instantly likeable yet a little “different” from everyone else, and is packed with action. It’s a show about self-identity, what it is to be human, and what true progress is, all of which are themes in RoK. It’s also a great programme to watch if you enjoy alternative anime art styles, as both RoK and MP100 have their own distinct aesthetic (though there are a lot of visual similarities with One-Punch Man).
6. To Your Eternity
To Your Eternity is a heartbreaking watch adapted by studio Brain’s Base from Yoshitoki Oima’s hit manga series of the same name. That’s understandable given who it comes from the same genius that brought us A Silent Voice.
In any event, To Your Eternity doesn’t have nearly as much in common with Ranking of Kings as it does with some other anime in terms of plot, but the entire ambiance and emotional impact of both series are very similar. Furthermore, both primary characters struggle with comprehension and communication, and they gradually but steadily open up to the world around them. Also, given what’s going on in the Ranking of Kings anime right now, a plot focused on a protagonist with the power of immortality like Fushi would be appropriate.
7. Somali & The Forest Spirit
A small show called Somali and the Forest Spirit, like Ranking of Kings, has this unearthly enchantment where viewers are enchanted with the surroundings. Humans are nearly extinct in SatFS, and the world is ruled by a variety of magical creatures, including spirits, demons, and even immortal guardian golems.
Indeed, one of these woodland golems comes finds a human child named Somali and decides to accompany her on her search for her parents. Both RoK and SatFS are excellent shows to watch because of their slow but steady growing familial closeness, the continual anxiety of Somali being attacked at any time, and the underdog child MC.
8. Made In Abyss
Anyone who has only seen one or two episodes of the Ranking of Kings anime will likely find Made in Abyss to be far too dark and brutal to be compared. However, when RoK airs more episodes, it becomes clear that both sides have a sinister tone disguised beneath their innocent visual style.
Both Made in Abyss and Ranking of Kinds contain two main “main” characters who are attempting to do what is best for the people around them while navigating a world that appears to be utterly against them.
Furthermore, there is never a point in either programme where viewers are sat down and given an explanation of how the universe and animals work, giving both shows the impression that “anything may happen.” Made in Abyss has also received critical recognition. So much so that a film adaptation appears to be in the works.
9. Arslan Senki
Moving on to the episodes that deal with the “unexpectedly skilled Prince” and/or “Royalty on a journey to recapture their kingdom” aspects of Ranking of Kings, we have Arslan Senki, AKA The Heroic Legend of Arslan.
To define Arslan Senki’s basic plot in as few words as possible, it’s similar to what happens when Yoshiki Tanaka, the creator of Legend of the Galactic Heroes, is asked to write his own Fire Emblem-style odyssey-type story. There’s treachery, espionage, discovery, a lot of scouting for extraordinarily bright people, and a lot of political intrigue, so it’s a great match for RoK.
While Arslan Senki has his share of violent scenes, absolutely nothing compares to Kingdom in terms of sheer, moment-to-moment violence. The kingdom is a harsh series set in a fictionalized version of Chinese history’s Warring States period when the country was continually at war with itself until the monarch of Qin succeeded to unite all of China, and the protagonists are constantly on the verge of death and survival.
The plot mostly follows a young boy named Xin as he works (and lucks) his way up to become one of the “Great Generals Under the Heavens.” It’s an excessively long story on par with Vinland Saga or Berserk, with larger-than-life characters that manage to capture the sensation of “reality.” However, the manga is by far the greatest method to experience this story rather than the anime (the anime’s over-reliance on CGI isn’t fantastic). For those who aren’t fans of manga, a Netflix anime version by famed animators Studio Pierrot is also available.