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3.958 out of 5 from 3,885 votes
Rank #775


When a group of children discover a strange cave at the beach, their lives are forever changed. Inside they find a hide out filled with computers and a man named Kokopelli who gives them a curious offer: to participate in a special game in which they save Earth from fifteen giant monsters. To defeat the invaders, he will give them a powerful mecha of black armor. The children eagerly sign the contract, name their new weapon Zearth, and must now take turns to pilot it; but the 'game' is in fact all too real and the consequences of battle become the stuff of nightmares. With no option to cancel the contract, is there any way to stop the game before it is too late for all of them?

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Manga Name Year Relation More Info
Bokurano 2004 Original Manga
Name Role
Kenichi KONISHI Character Design
Hiroyuki MORITA Director
Yuuji NOMI Music
Mohiro KITOH Original Manga Creator
Hideyuki NANBA Producer

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Official Editorial Reviews

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Bokurano VivisQueen 8/10 Aug 24, 2010

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Title Author Score Date
Bokurano SANC16 4/10 Apr 2, 2013
Bokurano zimlove1 10/10 Sep 6, 2012
Bokurano roriconfan 5.5/10 Apr 17, 2012
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Anime I Like Alot. animeobssesivetomuch 108 Mar 25, 2014
Anime you should watch Pamer 38 Feb 24, 2014
2007 BlackWings 17 Feb 15, 2014
lb2rocklee rated the Bokurano anime 4.5/5 stars
Winnie watched Bokurano at 24 of 24 episodes
Flamnery stalled Bokurano anime at 13 of 24 episodes
Flamnery rated the Bokurano anime 2/5 stars
Flamnery stalled Bokurano

Recommendations if you like Bokurano

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Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

One night, Madoka has a terrible nightmare – against the backdrop of a desolate landscape, she watches a magical girl battle a terrifying creature, and lose. The next day, the teen's dream becomes reality when the girl – Homura – arrives at Mitakihara Middle School as a transfer student, mysteriously warning Madoka to stay just the way she is. But when she and her best friend Miki are pulled into a twisted illusion world and meet a magical creature named Kyubey, the pair discovers that magical girls are real, and what's more, they can choose to become one. All they must do is sign a contract with Kyubey and agree to fight witches that spread despair to the human world, and in return they will be granted a single wish. However, as Homura's omen suggests, there's far more to becoming a magical girl than Madoka and Miki realize...

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Given the series premise and genre there's a lot of differences.  But given the events of episode 3 and the central theme of sacrifice these two HAVE A LOT IN COMMON.


First off to be clear, Madoka is NOT a high stakes game series, so don't be misled by seeing this recommendation. However, both involve children getting in way over their heads in a really messed up scenario, each person with their own reasons for doing what they're doing. The striking similarity between Dung Beetle and Kyubey should be mentioned as well, each cute (well, Kyubey more than Dung Beetle) and whimsical characters that have ulterior motives.


Both shows portray what can be seen as 'classic' childhood fantasies - being a magical girl or the dauntless pilot of a mecha - in a very negative light. What at first seemed like a fun adventure quickly becomes something else. Their newfound powers comes at a price and it's soon obvious that they're in for more than they bargained for.

Something similar is done with mascot characters: the cute critters in these shows have an agenda and aren't necessarily telling the whole truth. Thematically, they both feature the characters trying to grasp all of this and how these events affect them. Fans of either should definitely try out the other.


Bokurano and Madoka Magica exist in different genres but they have the exact same idea. Take cute, vulnerable children, stick them in a contract they don't understand, and watch with a mix of horror and awe as their lives fall gruesomely apart. And don't be fooled by looks - Madoka Magica is heavier on the stunning action while Bokurano is more about the psychological breakdown of the kids, but each works beautifully with the fundamental concept.


Similarly, both series starts off with a group of kids living a normal life until something dramatic changes their life.  Due to this change, the kids were granted extraordinary power to affect those around them, with a price.  If you like to follow stories where you keep guessing what the rules of the game is and now things are going to turn out, you should definitely check this series out.


Both Madoka Magica and Bokurano are subversive of their genres. They take conventional anime staples and go down a darker path. Also Dung Beetle and Kuubey have a lot in common and serve similar roles in their respective stories. Finally, the character designs in both anime are soft and innocent, making the content all the more disturbing.


Both anime have similarities in their dark and tragic lose/lose situations. If you liked that part of either show, try the other.


Bokurano exploits almost the same idea, but does it way better. Specifically, Bokurano is character-centric (while Madoka is idea-centric), making it much more enjoyable to watch over characters' stories generally consisting of despair and sorrow. Main plot describes how different people are able to overcome their previous unhappy lives and sacrifice them so other people could be happy.


Both have an animal-like being that sort of tricks innocent people into sacrificing themselves for higher good.

Bokurano is a bit more mature and sad, but they're alike enough that if you liked one, you will like the other one.


Bokurano and Madoka are similar in the way of teen children having to make such massive decisions, both involve contracts with strange creatures, and both have depressing moments that make you question how a simple teenager could even bear to be in their situation.


This is a very obvious recommendation. Puella Magi Madoka Magica is, in my opinion, a much better portrayal of what Bokurano was trying to achieve, a deconstruction of a popular genre with highly emotional drama. Both involve contracts, convoluted physics explanations, some over the top moments, and a plot that keeps one guessing until the end.


Bokurano and Madoka both feature young people in a serious situation that may affect the world. In both series, the children must fight and win at all cost. The characters in each are also guided by a mysterious being throughout their course.


The similarity between these two is striking. Both involve children, mostly with traumatic pasts, forced to fight to protect the Earth. They're creepy and sad and full of martyrs. As the children in both continue to fight, they learn similar and alarming truths about the nature of the battles and the weapons they've been given. 


Both series took basic concept of childish fantasies and made a grim twisted plot out of it. They had some similar ideas but basically made clear that being a magical girl or mecha pilot can be considered the most traumatizing experience of anyone’s life. Also there are Dung Beetle and Kuubey… you will notice some similarities. If you are fan of other and want to see how similar path of sorrow and torment can be in other, usually considered children genre, you found a perfect anime to watch next.


Bokurano and Madoka share a lot in common; they take what is normally a high-energy genre with lots of suspension of disbelief and ask us, "What happens if we don't suspend the disbelief? If the characters ask why, and if the answer isn't just a write-off?" Both are stellar deconstructions, each worth watching even to fans outside of the genres.

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Much to the annoyance of Kei, he and his childhood friend Katou have died, having been torn apart by a train. But rather than finding themselves at the gates of heaven, the duo materialize in a room full of strangers and a giant black sphere known as GANTZ. As if dying once wasn’t bad enough, the occupants of the room are then forced to embark on dangerous missions to kill strange aliens; missions that very few return from. Now, Kei, Katou, and a well-endowed friend must fight for their freedom with an arsenal of guns, high powered suits, and a very low chance of survival.

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Prior to seeing Bokurano, the best recommendation I could think of for GANTZ was Elfen Lied (due to the blood and gore alone). Now, it is apparant that GANTZ and Bokurano are pretty much the best recommendations for each other ever. They do both have remarkably similar stories, and each has a very tragic and demented feel that will make you cringe. Bokurano is missing the gore that GANTZ has, but its adult themes including sex and betrayal fit perfectly with the excessiveness of GANTZ.

I strongly recommend one if you liked the other.


You'd definitely like GANTZ if you are a fan of Bokurano for they share a lot in terms of plot and feel. Characters are lost and trying to deal with an extremely foreign and deadly situation, and each other. Though beware, GANTZ is incredibly violent whereas Bokurano is not.


If you liked Bokurano, you would like GANTZ because it has a very similar story, except in GANTZ it's not based around kids and there is a lot of gore and sex.


GANTZ has one thing that Bokurano is lacking: it has a lot of gore. That alone might decide whether you like an anime or not, but the similarities are definitely present! The feelings of fear and despair bring out the exact same atmosphere. And these two anime are definitely unique when it comes to that!


Both Bokurano and Gantz are about a dreadful game that entraps its players and submits them to inhuman torment. Gantz is considerably more violent in terms of credible gore while Bokurano is more pervasive insofar as the violence is mostly psychological yet in both there is an overwhelming feeling of unfairness and unavoidable doom. The mystery that surrounds the nature of the game is similar in both series, Bokurano eventually provides an explanation that ties up with larger than life consequences while Gantz remains enigmatic through and through.


Both anime feature mysterious protagonists that don't reveal there true motives until much later on in the series. Both are also filled with similar amounts of gore, violence, sex and characters...


Both involve a life-or-death 'game', both have a manipulating figure with all the answers, and both have great battle scenes. They're basically the same anime with a different age group, though Bokurano had more at stake with each battle.


I think that the two are similar they both are games that play with peoples lives and there is no apparent reason why they have to fight. They both have the same feeling of struggling for your life and the chaos of working together to try to survive.


Bokurano is very similar to GANTZ. They are both about effects of power on human personality, but Bokurano has much less graphic violence than GANTZ. Although Bokurano sometimes focuses on the individials, anime is mostly on greater scale compared to GANTZ. Also the games in both anime is quite similar.


Both Gantz and Bokurano have a similar atmoshphere. The people involved have only one realistic way out - death in combat. Both are fairly depressing, very unfair on the "participants" and constantly questioning the value of life.


These two animes have very similar themes: They both involve people having to participate in a game where the choices are win or die. Both series follow the protagonists as they try to figure out the game whilst battling with their thoughts and emotions. While GANTZ is really violent, I'm sure that if you liked one you'll see a lot of similarities in the other.


Inexperienced people? Fighting aliens for their lives? gauranteed deaths, Unnerving feeling before battle? Thats bokurano for you, id say it describes pretty much what gantz is too, cept this time its with kids so all the more creepier, If you liked gantz for its diluted combination of gore from elfen lied and creepyness from bokurano then im sure youd love the concentrated version :D in Bokurano. Or if you liked Bokurano, you'd like Gantz too.


Gantz obviously has more violence and gore and what not.  But Bokurano is equally intrusive to the mind psychologically.  The stories are incredibly similar: both animes have characters participate in a game they can't escape that is deadly and tragic.  I enjoyed both, although Bokurano got to me more emotionally probably because the main characters are children and background stories are provided.


Both feature a very similar in plot, characters, violence, sexual themes/content and surreal setup. In both cases characters are thrown into inhuman game which point is unknown for the time. They all struggle through the madness of its pattern and both anime aim to show the consequences on the characters through each battle. While Gantz is more focused on violence and interaction change Bokurano is more focused on psychological damage and global impacts. If you liked one I strongly recommend the other. 

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion

In the future, a devastating event known as Second Impact has destroyed Tokyo as we know it, giving rise to Tokyo III - a city under siege by mysterious lifeforms known only as Angels. Mankind's only line of defense are the Evangelions, a set man-made machines piloted by a trio of fourteen year-old teenagers, Rei, Shinji, and Asuka. The fate of Japan and the entire world now lie with these three children, though they might not have the power to save the most important thing of all: each other.

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Both anime are on the sinister side of the mecha genre; they're about how riding a giant robot into battle is not in the least bit cool, but has horrifying personal and psychological consequences. There are no heroes in either series - just children forced to save the Earth without anyone preparing them for it. Add to that a similar sort of set-up i.e. kids defending a city from consecutive enemies with unique designs, and plots that are driven by totally screwed-up characters, liking one is bound to mean you'll like the other.


Eva and Bokurano deconstruct the mecha genre by adding layers of extremely dark psychological content. Both are highly visceral, the action being centered around children who are forced into a conflict of literally cosmic proportions. In these series the nature of the enemy is ambiguous to the extreme, which makes the whole experience all the more poignant. Eva's latter episodes focus heavily on existential topics, which are replaced in Bokurano with a more psychological approach. The limitless situations the casts are subjected to and the depth of characterization makes these anime masterpieces, with an appeal that goes beyond the giant robot niche.


Bokurano and Neon Genesis Evangelion use giant robots to explore similar emotional reactions in characters - whether it's moral obligations about saving the world, or the mystery of the enemy (leading to be ultimately somewhat more human in the end than we first realise). Bokurano, in some ways, is an extension of themes touched upon by Evangelion; while Evangelion attempts a wider philosophy than Bokurano's "personal" philosophies.


Evangelion and Bokurano share some obvious similarities. Both have kids fighting in big robots, and both have a storyline that involves messing with the characters' heads. Whether it's psychological breakdowns or being a hero, everyone deals with the events in their own way while having to save the world. These are definitely very alike!


Neon Genesis Evangelion and Bokurano both have a similar plot. Enemies coming one by one and if you don't defeat them - bye bye to planet earth. The giant robots in both series are far more advanced than the world around them which creates a similar "all or nothing" atmosphere.


in both series we can see how the main characters , faces problems, which they must have very clear who they are and because they are there. overcoming problems unusual, and occasions doubt on if they are doing the right thing.


This has a very NGE feel about it, special children piloting giant robots, relationships between children and parent explored between fights and a fairly good ending, if somewhat abrupt. With the negative character coming out on top.The fight scenes can get a little repetative with the children finding a sure-fire way to always win...


The first and foremost similarity between Bokurano and NGE is obviously the Meccha tag both anime rightfully carry, they are after all both about huge fighting robots. It goes a bit further than that though. What links these two shows together, is both the psychology aspect they share, and the premise.

In both shows kids pilot these robots, constantly with their lives on the line. You are constantly confronted with the terrors they go through and how each kid deals with it differently.

Finally, in both shows the kids are forced to fight against an unknown enemy, one not from this world. They just appear out of nowhere and just have to be eliminated. Only later in the series you'll get to know what they actually are and what their reasons are.

If you liked one of these shows for the Meccha action, psychological factor or premise, don't miss out on the other.


If you like your giant robot shows angsty and/or disturbing, you'd like NGE and Bokurano. Both have a bunch of mecha battles, lead characters prone to fits of angst, and an unsettling plot.


Both in NGE and Bokurano you can see teenagers fighting against extrateresial enemy for "be or not to be" humankind. In both series there is also psychology of main characters as main topic.


Kids forced to fight in giant robot for Earth's survival against aliens.  That sums up the relation between Bokurano and Evangelion.  Psychological break downs of the main characters as the battle wears on becomes natural and young romance blooms during the heat of battle.  The fights are cool, the battles are weary, and the kids are screwed.  Enjoy the trip down mind games lane.


Both have very similar setup in which children fight in giant robots against the invaders to save the earth from oblivion. They feature a cast of screwed up kids with a massive responsibility unwontedly pinned on them, surreal dark psychological content and very similar grim atmosphere.  Every child is subjected to traumatizing events and they all have to deal with it in their own ways. They both massively differ from every other Mecha series with their different approach on piloting robots and with more attention given to depth of characterization and more mature themes. Which makes both of them extraordinary anime and must-watch material if you are at least familiar with one of them. 


Fucked up characters, check. Psychology, check. Deppression, check. Great plot, check. You should watch both.


Both of these animes are about kids controlling unique styled mechas against other mechas to save the world. These shows are about psychologial aspect of having the pressure of saving the world on a young character. Emo moments guaranteed in both.

Shadow Star Narutaru

Shadow Star Narutaru

While visiting her grandparents on a remote island, Shiina Tamai, our young protagonist, inadvertently finds a strange star shaped creature, which she names Hoshimaru. This creature, while seemingly harmless and unusual, holds many secrets. As Shiina and her new friend Akira soon find out, their creatures are much more than they seem to be...and against their will, they are thrown into a dangerous and hostile situation of trying to save the world from others who would use their dragonets to enslave it.

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Interestingly enough, after I had come up with this recommendation I discovered that the same minds behind Narutaru created Bokurano -- I guess it makes sense that I'd naturally think of this recommendation anyways, right? Both Bokurano and Narutaru have something in common: a MESSED UP story involving kids. Not only is the animation style similar, but the amount of implied and disturbing violence is prevalent in both.

If you like watching things that are dark, violent, and sometimes wrong (you'll know what I mean when you watch either of these), check out either Bokurano or Narutaru. Narutaru is more of a "here's what Pokemon would look like in hell" feel, while Bokurano has more of a "GANTZ with kids" feel.


Both Narutaru and Bokurano are adaptations of manga from the same mangaka, and they both have a dark theme. The main characters are kids between 11-13 years old; and among them, there are some who have many problems, while some other kids are pretty cruel and don't mind killing people or care what happens to innocent bystanders. There is considerable violence in both and some mysteries for anyone who likes that kind of stuff.


Shadow Star Narutaru and Bokurano share the same general atmosphere of fateful horror. The same creator is behind both series and it shows. Children caught in a recurring pattern of violence and death form the basic premise of both series. The issue of the value of life is prominent in both, as is the role of responsibility. These series are character-driven and extremely dark; Bokurano focuses on the destiny of the whole planet, while Shadow Star Narutaru deals primarily with the cast itself, but in both cases children are pushed to the limit, making for agonizing situations that are masterfully handled.


Darkness prevails among school kids; Bokurano and Narutaru have the same creator behind them, and it shows. They are violent but philosophical, sometimes delving into their horror repertoires. The characters are far from simple, and topics such as rape and murder are broached in both, with some shocking results.


Both Bokurano and NaruTaru take a familiar genre (Bokurano takes mecha, and NaruTaru takes Pocket Monster) and bring them out of their comfort zones by bringing in dark elements, violence, and philisophical points. Also, both anime delve into a well known, yet seldom aknowledged fact: Children can be cruel.


Again both anime is about effects of power on human personality but Bokurano has less graphic violence than Narutaru.If you line up GANTZ -> Narutaru -> Bokurano these three anime are about the same concepts, but graphic violence decreases in that order while the scale increase.


Very dark and disturbing in many ways, focussing on the relationships between children and their reaction to receiving destructive power. Bokurano and Narutaru both feature some beautiful and intreguing powered creatures/robot.


Both are about children that get amazing powers that they get to use at will. Eventually it turns out they must save the world with these powers. Something that they did not sign up for. Messed up situation for children to be in. Check out one if you liked the other.


What would children do were they given an extraordinary power? Narutaru and Bokurano are both anime that adress this question. With a group of children in possession of a powerful companion of sorts, everyone responds to their newfound might in their own way. The plot in Bokurano is done better, is a tad more mature and has less loose threads, and Narutaru has more disturbing violence, but if you liked one of these shows, it's worth checking out the other.


Bokurano and Narutaru both star a group of kids put in two very different, but equally disturbing situations. Though the similarities don't end there. The 'realistic' character designs along with the dark themes each show features, make them an easy recommendation for each other.


Child death. That's the key selling point on both these series. Bokurano's stakes may be higher than Narutaru's but both series deal with some heavy subjects and will tug at your moral strings. If you watched Bokurano and wished for a more personal and character focused story try Narutaru. Also, if you watched Narutaru and felt the stakes weren't large enough, definitely give Bokurano a chance.

Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek

Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek
  • Movie (1 ep x 26 min)
  • 2004

Near the ruins of an old and abandoned city, there is played a game simply known as "Otokoyo." It is said that when children play this game, they go missing one by one. Some say it is ghosts. Others say it is demons. But for Hikora, one thing is certain: his sister disappeared playing the game and he will do whatever it takes to find her, even if it means playing the game himself. He and seven others will do just that, all for their own reasons, and learn that rumors aren’t always fictitious. Escaping with their lives will become the main concern when this game of hide-and-seek turns deadly.

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Both anime focus on a dark world where kids are sucked into a game in which they are eliminated and disappear one by one. It is a dangerous game and more life-threatening than they could have ever imagined.


The game which these children play, in either anime, is haunting, doomed and ultimately moot. There are no winners, and not even the strong can survive.


The thing Bokurano and Kakurenbo have in common, is it's basic premise. There is a group of young teenagers caught up in what they thought would be a fun game, but as soon as they're in the middle of it, things turn out to be far more real than they ever wanted it to be. Note that Kakurenbo is 20min short and fairly shallow, while Bokurano is 24Eps long and goes quite deep into the psyche and lives of the characters, but aside from that (obvious) difference, these two are a good recommendation for each other


Children playing games.... very dangerous games as it turns out with both these anime. Kakurenbo is short and straight to the point after a while where Bokurano takes it's time and teases you with every episode to figure out what's going on. Scary and thrilling for a fun romp in the horror genre following children around in what seems to be game like check one out if you liked the other as i'm sure you'll enjoy.


Children seeking or being sucked into a dangerous game where the outcome will certainly be bad or even worse.  Bokurano takes a whole season to flesh out it's multiple players.  Kakurenbo gives you 25 minutes of pure suspense with absolutely stunning animation.

I would also suggest reading Battle Royale and/or the live-action film.


Two groups of kids playing a mysterious game with dangerous consequences. Though the kids in Bokurano participate unwillingly and the kids from Kakurenbo intended to play from the beginning- these two shows have the same suspense that leaves you trying to guess whether there's more to the game than meets the eye.


Both animes are very disturbing and will always haunt me! Great to watch if you have a very confused mind. Loveable charectors dispite their wrongs... very dramatic endings that left me satisfied. If you watched one, you should definatly watch the other!