In present-day Japan, Toshihiko Momota is member of a secret warrior faction called the Kifuuken. The Kifuuken is dedicated to destroying Shokujinji - humans that turn into man-eating monsters when hunger takes them. However, to fate's chagrin, Momota meets and quickly falls for Yuka, a Shokujinji herself! Will their love be able to overcome Yuka's insatiable appetite for human flesh, or will the couple be destroyed by the bestial tendencies of humanity?
In the 6th year of the Kan'ei era, people enjoy a time of peace; skilled swordsmen are revered and respected, and their lives are their own. Amidst the tranquility, Lord Tokugawa Tadanaka decides, for his own amusement, to hold a fighting tournament in which real swords are used - though laws forbid their use. In a match to the death two highly-skilled swordsmen face off: the one-armed Fujiki Gennosuke, and the blind Iraki Seigen. As they take their respective stances, flashbacks paint a picture of the duo’s past and battle wounds; and thus, the real story begins...
Exprimental storytelling, unique animation, and a gritty and explicit view of the world give Shigurui and Kemonozume a very similar feeling, appeal, and audience.
Shigurui and Kemonozume have very different plots and settings, but what makes them similar is their dark, gritty atmospheres and deeply flawed characters. Both shows have protagonists that act very selfishly at times and are not always very likeable.
The other thing the shows have in common is the often gory, yet stylized violence. While the action is sporadic it is really interesting to watch.
In a futuristic and wild west-inspired Japan, there are only two rules: the Number 1 rules the world and only the Number 2 can challenge him; these ranks are worn with pride in the manner of headbands. In these harsh times, Afro is a samurai who is on a mission for revenge – an evil gunman killed his father to become the Number 1, and it’s up to Afro to take him down in a shower of blood and entrails. He has mastered the art of the sword and become Number 2, but many others want to hold his title and the title of Number 1 for themselves. With competition and sword fights at every turn, can Afro finally exact his revenge?
Dark settings, unconventional worlds, ultra-violence, adult themes, interesting and psychotic characters... if you like these in an anime and enjoy an intense experience, then be sure to pick up Afro Samurai or Kemonozume. The art styles and plots may be very different, but both these shows share enough features for me to recommend one for those who like the other.
Following the disaster wrought upon the world by a mysterious being called ‘Akira’, Neo Tokyo is now in social and economic turmoil. In such a decaying city, feisty Kaneda and his shy friend Tetsuo survive by running around in a biker gang, chasing local rivals and generally evading the police. Everything changes, however, when Tetsuo crashes into a strange-looking boy during a bike chase and the military ends up taking him away. When he eventually returns to his friends, he’s no longer the same weak little boy they always knew – in fact, a military experiment has turned him into something beyond human imagination. While the military is intent on reclaiming its specimen at any cost, Tetsuo is sick of being bullied around and is about to show everyone, including his friend Kaneda, exactly who is boss.
There is very little romantic tension between the characters in Akira, however the amount of blood, guts and gore would be similar to Kemonozume. If you can still watch Kemonozume to the very last episode without passing out midway or having nightmares, then you would be able to watch Akira too.
"One stormy night." These are the words Mei will say outside of the barn to identify his new friend. "One stormy night." Gabu will say this phrase to finally meet the friend he made in the darkness of the storm. Mei and Gabu had taken shelter in the barn, and in the darkness they comforted each other, only to find that they were very similar, striking a friendship there and then. "One stormy night", and they would finally meet face to face at their promised place and time, but on this fateful night Mei, an orphan goat, and Gabu, a wolf, finally see each other. Will their friendship work? Will their communities allow it?
Arashi no Yoru ni and Kemonozume are very different anime, but share several features that underpin them. The first thing I thought of after watching Arashi was Kemonozume, and after some thought, the reasons become obvious.
First, the art; both these anime have very unconventional and catchy animation styles, giving each a unique feel, and both are vastly different from each other. They both have a hand-drawn feel, but Arashi's style is that of wispy illustrations for a children's book, and Kemonozume goes for the messy, provocative swipes.
Second, the plot; both anime are about the love/friendship of individuals from antagonistic groups, and their struggles against their respective communities' enmity, and their struggles for the preservation of their relationships.
But be warned. Kemonozume is geared towards mature audiences, filled with violence and sex, while Arashi no Yoru ni is a fairy tale of sorts, and is an enjoyable watch for people of all ages.
Life continues as ‘normal' for Birdy and Tsutomu. Though they still co-exist in the same body, Tsutomu is able to focus on his studies while Birdy keeps up with her celebrity job and Federation Investigator duties. However, things become more complicated when a transport ship housing prisoners connected to the Ryunka incident is hijacked. The aliens on board escape to Earth and blend in with the human population, and it's up to Birdy to capture them unharmed and escort them back to headquarters. Yet Birdy soon discovers that there are other forces involved, and it'll take everything she's got to bring these criminals back alive!
When Birdy 2's action scenes kicked it, I was instantly reminded of Kemonozume. The aesthetic instantly shifted to this nifty loose/messy-looking style, and wasn't afraid to be as gory/disturbing as it wanted.
Story-wise, both are about vicious aliens/monsters in disguise as normal humans on Earth, the people in charge of hunting them down, and a bunch of other stuff.
Two of my favorites, highly recommended.