Darker Than Black gave us a supernatural and psychological mystery kicker, with awesome characters like Hei and Yin. And it is for you mystery buffs that we have created a list of 10 anime like Darker Than Black that will keep you bingeing. In 2007, Studio Bones released the anime Darker Than Black, created by Tensai Okamura. This supernatural anime is set years in the future after an incident that creates two uninhabitable zones: Heaven’s Gate in South America and Hell’s Gate in Tokyo, Japan. It is in this pseudo-dystopian setting, that contractors Hei and Yin operate through tasks unravelling the mysteries of Hell’s Gate.
List of Anime Like Darker Than Black
- Death Note
- Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom
- Cowboy Bebop
- Bungou Stray Dogs
- Tokyo Ghoul
- Witch Hunter Robin
- Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
- Black Cat
1. Death Note (2006)
On how many occasions have you wished someone would just disappear? What if there was a notebook that granted these dark wishes? Death Note is exactly that, and it is found by a teen named Light Yagami who takes it upon himself to write the corruption away from the world, one death at a time. But when the lines between social and personal justice begin to blur, and the police set out to catch the “serial killer” Yagami has become, it becomes a real test to figure out which side of justice you stand on.
Both Death Note and Darker Than Black came out in the same era, portraying similar dark and supernatural themes, and vigilantes with questionable morality. If you enjoy a good psychological thriller there is a good chance you have already heard of Death Note, and it is one of the best anime like Darker Than Black you can watch.
2. Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom (2009)
This 26-episode action-packed anime follows a young man, Zwei who gets kidnapped and has no memory of his life upon awakening. As he is brainwashed and trained to become a Phantom- an assassin for a syndicate named Inferno, he must deal with this new situation while also battling his newly manufactured personality.
This dark thriller will at some points make you wonder what just happened. Both Hei and Zwei are similar characters with little to no emotional strings working them, the only difference being that Darker than Black is supernatural while Phantom is not. If you enjoy dark mystery anime like Darker Than Black, then this will surely match your vibes.
Also Read: Anime like Noragami
3. Psycho-Pass (2012)
Set in the year 2113, Japan has enforced the Sibyl System that requires citizens to take a test that examines how likely they are to become a criminal, known as Psycho-Pass. Akane Tsunemori, a young inspector, soon learns that this test is not as perfect as it appears. This anime will have your mind reeling over what justice even is, and if a system that can uphold it truly exists.
Both of these animes, Psycho-Pass more so than Darker Than Black, feature a significant number of characters who are investigators and are set in a futuristic Japan. Both have elements such as the fast-paced nature of crime-solving and the back-and-forth between the “good” guys and “evil” ones. If it is the characters you miss in anime like Darker Than Black, then Psycho-Pass won’t disappoint.
4. Cowboy Bebop (1998)
Cowboy Bebop is a neo-noir science fiction anime that follows interstellar bounty hunters Spike Spiegel and Jet Black as they sweep through the galaxy hunting criminals. As they meet new members, Ein, Faye Valentine and Edward Wong, the crew sets off on thrilling adventures that help break down everyone’s dark and mysterious past one by one.
This anime is a personal favourite because of the perfectly balanced feel-good nostalgia along with the dark investigative tone. Both Cowboy Bebop and Darker Than Black are episodic escapades with well-established characters. Not to mention both anime have amazing musical scores by Yoko Kanno. After an anime like Darker Than Black, you should definitely consider Cowboy Bebop for a winding down.
5. Durarara!! (2010)
Durarara!! Also known as DRRR!! is a 24-episode supernatural suspense series that was based on a light novel by Ryohgo Narita. In this show, Mikado moves to Ikebukuro to attend high school with his friend, Masaomi. Soon he goes from navigating new relationships to dealing with a growing storm that threatens to sweep him away.
If it is the animation style that caught your attention in Darker Than Black, then you might like DRRR!! as both have similar styles with pretty neat fight sequences. Both anime are quite dark and have complex stories that start off seeming quite disjointed, but as the episodes go on, they all come together. This is one of the best in the supernatural and mystery genre if you are looking for shows like Darker Than Black.
6. Bungou Stray Dogs (2013)
Bungou Stray Dogs is a supernatural action series that follows the members of the Armed Detective Agency, which is made up of people with supernatural abilities based on literary characters. Osamu Dazai and Atsushi Nakajima become unlikely companions as they solve mysteries, go about their daily lives, and battle the Port Mafia while trying to protect Yokohama from the mafia.
The crime/mystery/superpower themes are comparable in Bungo Stray Dogs and Darker Than Black, with BSD also being more comedic. They also have darker themes in common than the typical superpower series, using them to further the story rather than as just the central topic. If you enjoy the slow build-up of the plot in anime like Darker Than Black, then you’re gonna want Bungou Stray Dogs as your next pick.
7. Tokyo Ghoul (2014)
Created by Oscar-nominated director Shuhei Morita, this seinen anime series is set in an alternate reality where ghouls eat human flesh and live in a society, disguised as humans. Ken Kaneki is transformed into a half-ghoul after he goes on a date with a ghoul who tries to eat him. The series follows Kaneki as he adapts to his body’s changes and clings to his remaining humanity as he deals with the bloody conflict between the monsters and the government that wants them hunted.
Personally, I love the animation style in Tokyo Ghoul because somehow, there is a great balance between the dark and the light. It has an amazing storyline that ties together very well in an urban setting. There is ambiguity, supernatural and suspense- everything about this anime is great. If Darker Than Black was your introduction to the psychological genre, then Tokyo Ghoul is perfect for your next choice.
Also Read: Anime Movies like Howl’s Moving Castle
8. Witch Hunter Robin (2002)
This anime series is an occult thriller that follows a fictional secret organisation known as STN-J, which fights the harmful use of witchcraft. A young girl named Robin, who possesses the same power that she is assisting in controlling, is its newest member. While they are efficient at swift detention, the number of witches continues to seem to rise, and the abuse of power intensifies, raising questions about what is actually happening.
The secretive institutional setting in Witch Hunter Robin is similar to the syndicate that Hei works. Both anime involve supernatural beings in a mysterious premise, but Darker Than Black is grittier and more complicated. Regardless, the way the plot lays out makes Witch Hunter Robin a great watch if you are looking for anime similar to Darker Than Black.
9. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (2006)
The Britannian Empire conquers Japan in 2010 in this alternate history anime. As a result, Japan was renamed Area 11 and its inhabitants began a difficult and dreadful existence. Britannian student Lelouch, who resides in Area 11, has always detested the Empire and everything it stands for. One day, in the midst of a terrorist assault, Lelouch encounters a mysterious female who gives him the power to influence people’s thoughts. New powers prove to be a dilemma as he must now decide how he wants to use them.
The animation is pretty cool even if it’s old. Both of the main characters share a lot of similarities while having slightly different plots. Like Lelouch, Hei has superhuman abilities, covers his true self while on missions, and wears a mask. Even Yin looks physically similar to Anya. If anti-hero anime like Darker Than Black is what you’re interested in, then Code Geass is the way to go.
10. Black Cat (2005)
This shounen anime tells the story of Train Heartnet (codenamed Black Cat). In the wake of a sad incident, he begins to doubt his life’s purpose. Train then accepts a position as a bounty hunter along with Sven Vollfied, a struggling bounty hunter, and Eve, a living weapon. He does this while evading the other Erasers and Creed Diskenth, a crazy man who wants him to join the Apostles of the Stars, an organisation created to destroy Chronos.
Black Cat and Darker Than Black share quite a few similarities- the general concept involves an organisation with assassins, however, while Hei has supernatural powers, Train is a highly skilled individual who is very fast; they are also both action-packed suspense thrillers. So if want to watch anime similar to Darker Than Black, this is a great choice.
P.S. Not to get into a dub vs sub debate, but the English voice cast for the MC in both Darker Than Black and Black Cat is the same Ernesto Jason Liebrecht.
Here are a few similar animes like Darker Than Black that didn’t make the list, but be sure to check ‘em out too:
- Eden of the East
- Hamatora The Animation
- Speed Grapher
- Ergo Proxy
- Fullmetal Alchemist