Arcane has set the bar high with its captivating storytelling, stunning animation, and complex characters. The show’s rich world-building and exploration of themes such as family, betrayal, and the cost of power have resonated with audiences around the world. And let’s not forget about the strong female leads, which have been a refreshing change of pace in the world of animation.
So, if you loved Arcane and are looking for similar shows to watch, you’re in luck! The following list features some of the best series out there that share Arcane’s immersive storytelling, complex characters, and rich world-building. Whether you’re a fan of fantasy, sci-fi, or drama, there’s bound to be a show on this list that will capture your imagination. So sit back, relax, and get ready to dive into some of the best shows out there!
List of Shows Like Arcane
1. Love, Death & Robots (2019)
Love, Death & Robots is an artistically stunning animated anthology series that explores various genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. With its striking visuals, dark humour, and bold storytelling, the show has been praised for its innovative approach to animation.
While not all episodes are explicitly steampunk, some do incorporate elements of the genre, such as retro-futuristic technology and Victorian-inspired aesthetics. These elements help to create a unique and immersive world that sets Love, Death & Robots apart from other animated shows and makes it a must-watch for fans of shows like Arcane.
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2. Cowboy Bebop (1998)
Cowboy Bebop is a classic anime series set in a future where humans have colonised the solar system, it follows a group of bounty hunters aboard the spaceship Bebop. The show is known for its eclectic mix of genres, blending elements of westerns, film noir, and jazz music.
Similar to shows like Arcane, this one blends genres, incorporating elements of steampunk, fantasy, and action-adventure. Both Cowboy Bebop and Arcane have gained critical acclaim for their unique approach and I will highly recommend you give Cowboy Bebop a try!
3. Castlevania (2017)
Castlevania is a dark fantasy anime series based on the popular video game franchise of the same name. The series follows the adventures of Trevor Belmont, a vampire hunter, as he battles Dracula and his minions in the 15th century. The show features stunning animation, compelling characters, and a richly detailed world filled with vampires, demons, and other supernatural creatures.
Castlevania has a dark and mysterious atmosphere that draws you and keeps you hooked throughout the series. The story explores power, redemption, and the struggle between good and evil and trust me, no fan of a series like Arcane should miss watching this one!
4. Dorohedoro (2020)
The manga and anime series Dorohedoro revolves around a dystopian world where humans and sorcerers coexist, but the latter use humans as test subjects for their magic. The main character, Caiman, is a human with a reptile head who seeks revenge on the sorcerer who transformed him. Dorohedoro is a blend of horror, comedy, and action.
Dorohedoro focuses on complex, morally ambiguous characters and a world that is both fantastical and gritty. In the midst of power-battle, this series looks at consequences of using magic or technology for personal gain. As a fan of the intersection of magic and society similar to shows like Arcane, Dorohedoro is worth a watch.
5. Eighty-Six (2021)
Eighty-Six or 86 is a Japanese light novel series that was adapted into an anime. The series is set in a dystopian future where the world is divided into two factions: the Eighty-Six, who are ostracised and forced to fight in a war against the other faction. The story follows a group of young soldiers from the Eighty-Six, who struggle to survive in a world that sees them as disposable tools.
While the 2 series differ in their settings and plot lines, Eighty-Six shares similar themes of societal inequality, oppression, and resistance. With beautiful symbolism, Eighty-Six narrates the struggles of marginalized groups and the toll that war and conflict take on individuals. This is one of my personal favourites, hope you enjoy it too.
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6. Kiss Me First (2018)
In this British series a lonely teenage girl finds solace in an online gaming world. Kiss Me First revolves around the idea of self identity, loneliness, and the blurred lines between reality and virtual reality.
In Kiss Me First, one discovers the complexities of human emotions and relationships in the context of a fantastical world. The story is an honest take in the world of power dynamics and societal pressures. Kiss Me First is a heart-warming and thought-provoking series like Arcane.
7. She-Ra and The Princess of Power (2018)
She-Ra and The Princess of Power is an animated reboot of the 1985 She-Ra: Princess of Power series. The series has recently gained a significant following among audiences of all ages. The show follows the journey of Adora, a young orphan who was raised by the evil Horde, a group of conquerors who seek to control the world of Etheria.
Together with her friends, the Princess Alliance, She-Ra embarks on a mission to defeat the evil Horde and restore peace to the land of Etheria. Through their friendship, the series enriches viewers. With a dedicated fan base, She-Ra and The Princess of Power is going to surely turn into you favourite series like Arcane.
8. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019)
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is a Netflix original fantasy series that serves as a prequel to the 1982 movie, The Dark Crystal. The show features a richly detailed world of Thra, filled with diverse creatures and cultures.
Three siblings Gelflings – Rian, Brea, and Deet discover the evil Skeksis’ plan to drain the life essence of their planet. The stunning visuals, intricate puppetry, and compelling storytelling make this series a such a thrill to watch for fans of fantasy and the original movie, that if you like Arcane’s rebellious nature, this one is perfect for you.
9. Carnival Row (2019)
In this Victorian-inspired world humans coexist with mythological creatures, Carnival Row follows the story of a detective, Rycroft Philostrate, and a faerie, Vignette Stonemoss, as they uncover a string of murders that threaten to destroy the fragile peace between the two communities.
The show is full of diverse characters that have their own reasons to be liked. Every character battles problems like prejudice, immigration, and class inequality. Carnival Row gained critical acclaim for its stunning production design and imaginative world and after Arcane, there are few shows to make you feel the spell-bound wonder like this one.
10. Death Parade (2015)
Death Parade is a Japanese anime series that follows the story of a mysterious bar, Quindecim, where the dead are sent to play games that determine their fate. The bartender, Decim, judges the souls of the deceased through these games, which reveal the true nature of the players.
Death Parade, is a phenomenal anime that speaks deeply about human nature an afterlife. The animation is stunning and the soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful. A must-watch for any anime enthusiast who loves the dark world and philosophical narratives!
11. The Legend of Korra (2012)
The Legend of Korra is an animated series that takes place in a world where certain people can control the elements of earth, fire, water, and air through a martial art called “bending.” The show follows the journey of Korra, the new Avatar, as she learns to master all four elements and bring balance to the world.
As a fan of Arcane, I personally enjoyed The Legend of Korra, Korra and Aang have a un-defeated strength to face difficulties. Both, Arcane ,The Legend of Korra are about the corruption, and social justice, and feature strong female leads who overcome challenges to become heroes. The Legend of Korra is so immersive, you’ll wish you had seen it sooner!
12. Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005)
Avatar: The Last Airbender is an animated series set in a steampunk-inspired world where certain people can manipulate the elements of air, water, earth, and fire. The story follows Aang, the last surviving Airbender and the Avatar, a being tasked with maintaining balance in the world.
Aang, along with his friends Katara, Sokka, and later Toph and Zuko, embark on a journey to defeat the Fire Nation and end the Hundred Year War. Along the way, they encounter many challenges, make new allies, and learn more about themselves and the world they inhabit. The show explores themes of love, friendship, sacrifice, and the consequences of war.
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Here are a few shows like Arcane that didn’t make this list, but you can check them out nonetheless:
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Dota: Dragon’s Blood
- TheLegend of Vox Machina
- Cyberpunk: Edgerunners