If You Love ‘Jujutsu Kaisen,’ Add These Anime to Your Watchlist
So you like exorcising evil spirits, do you?
Why don’t you work on exorcising your inner evil spirits for a change, and leave these poor little ghosties alone? I’m sure you’ve got plenty of inner demons that you could work out in therapy. Seriously, I think you need it. It’s not healthy to stay late up reading internet articles written by writers who wanna cram their hot takes down your throat. I should know. But listen, who am I judge you? I’ve got inner demons too. So in honor of our mutual unwellness, I’ve put together a list of anime similar to Jujutsu Kaisen that will maybe help convince us both to seek the help of a medical professional.
Attack on Titan
Eren Jaeger, the protagonist of Attack on Titan, is a textbook example of what not going to therapy will do to you. Lord knows this boy needs it. He saw his own mother get devoured by a giant naked person. That’s the stuff of nightmares right there. It’s similar to Jujutsu Kaisen in the sense that you’ve got a young male protagonist who has to train and get stronger in order to fight some mind numbing horror. Unlike Jujutsu Kaisen, this series protagonist isn’t doing so hot in the wellness department. Just watch season 4 and you’ll see what I mean.
Naruto is a show that’s suspiciously similar to Jujutsu Kaisen. We’ve got a spiky-haired protagonist with a single brain cell, a moody best frenemy with whom he has belligerent romantic tension, and a best girl that you really don’t want to piss off. On top of that, he has a handsome, white-haired teacher who is a total badass and likes to keep his eyes covered. I’m thinking the creator of Jujutsu Kaisen might need a little bit of therapy. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, but at this level it seems a little unhealthy.
Here’s another main character who is surprisingly well-adjusted in light of all the horrible things that have happened to him. His family got straight up murdered by demons, and now he’s on a revenge quest to eradicate them from the face of the Earth. Holding on to resentment isn’t healthy, but then again, neither is letting demons live. Our boy Tanjiro might actually be onto something here.
My Hero Academia
If you like Jujutsu Kaisen because it’s about a bunch of high schoolers working out their issues in a super-powered way, My Hero Academia is for you. Not everyone on this show is the pinnacle of mental health (Bakugo has some series anger management issues), but most of these characters manage to stay healthy by working towards tangible goals, like becoming a superhero!
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Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a show in which the two protagonists could use a healthy dose of therapeutic intervention. There is SERIOUS family trauma going on here. For one, Edward and Alphonse Elric tried to bring their mother back from the dead via magic ritual and ended up summoning a hideous, shrieking, half human shell. I myself needed therapy after watching that little disaster. They also have some real daddy issues. Their dad did abandon them as kids, after all. Issues aside, this series is for you if you like magical fights. Really good magical fights. I know you do, or else you wouldn’t be looking at this list as a cry for help.
Mob Psycho 100
Shigeo Kageyama is a school boy (I bet you’re sold already) with psychic powers (if you weren’t, then you are now) who has to deal with exorcising evil spirits on the regular (hook, line, and sinker). Lucky for him, he is the pupil of one of anime’s coolest senseis (who also happens to be the least talented). If you’re looking for a man with all the confidence of Satoru Goju with absolutely none of the raw talent, Arataka Reigen is your man. Reigen often has wise things to say, and strikes me as a man who understands the importance of therapy (even if he’s never been).
Durarara is a series with a main character who is technically an evil spirit, but she’s actually really nice! Celty Sturluson is a dullahan, a headless horse-riding creature from Irish folklore. Unlike most dullahans, who ride around the countryside terrorizing people, Celty rides around the city of Tokyo on a motorcycle SAVING PEOPLE. She’s saved women who were being sex trafficked, suicide jumpers, and many more! If you want to actually start empathizing with an “evil spirit” this is the show for you. The ability to empathize is the sign of a well adjusted mind after all!
You will need therapy after watching this show. Devilman Crybaby is disturbing. I’m not kidding. It’s extremely difficult to watch. It is also brilliant. It’s a series about a young man named Akira Fudo, who is possessed by a demon. However, he is able to fuse with the demon and become a hybrid “devilman.” He uses his power to exorcise demons from the world. Sounds like things will go well for him and his loved ones, right? Wrong.
Every therapist knows that change can be scary, especially if you’re changing into a flesh-eating creature of the night! Tokyo Ghoul is about a young man who is attacked by an “evil spirit” called a ghoul. He survives the attack, but wakes up in the hospital to find that he has become half ghoul himself! He begins to have the ghoulish craving to eat people, as ghouls can only survive by consuming humans. However, he exercises self-control (a big ol’ therapy word) and learns to cope (there’s another) with his new life. He also has to fight a lot of evil ghouls. Like a lot.
Of all the series protagonists on this list, Death Note‘s Light Yagami needs therapy the most. Light is a gifted but bored schoolboy who finds a mysterious notebook at school one day. Picking up the notebook allows him to see a not “evil” but “morally grey” spirit called a Shinigami. A god of death. This particular Shinigami is named Ryuk, and Ryuk informs Light that the notebook is a called a “death note” any person whose name is written in the notebook will die. So Light decides to become the “god of the new world” and kill everyone that his inflated ego deems “unworthy.” It’s a more cerebral tale than Jujutsu Kaisen, but twice as thrilling. Just don’t get any ideas from Light. This list is supposed to make you healthier. Declaring yourself God is not how to do that.
Do you love the demon hunting aspect of Jujutsu Kaisen but wish it was just a little more old fashioned? Feast your modern-world weary eyes on Dororo. Dororo is about a transmasculine orphan in Japan’s Warring States period who chances across a boy on a quest to slay demons. Why does the boy want to slay demons? For the common good? Nope! Because his deadbeat dad sold his son’s body parts to demons in exchange for political power. Luckily the boy has a bunch of prostheses—full of knives—to help him finish the job.
On the surface, Jujutsu Kaisen and Chainsaw Man could be fraternal twins. They’re both anime featuring knuckle-headed protagonists harnessing the forces of darkness in order to slaw demonic spirits. Unlike Jujutsu Kaisen‘s protagonist, who slays demons in order to “protect the world” or whatever, Chainsaw Man‘s Denji does it in order to keep a roof over his head, money in his wallet, and food in his belly. And to touch a few boobs. There’s a whole scene about it. It’s great.
Parasyte: The Maxim
If you’re a fan of the whole “possessed by a bad guy” element of Jujutsu Kaisen but don’t think there’s enough body horror nightmare fuel to accompany it, you’re gonna LOVE Parasyte. Parasyte is about a run-of-the-mill teenage boy who is infected by one of the many nightmarish parasites invading Earth. What do these parasites do? Burrow into your brain, eat your head, and then take your form in order to blend in to human society to eat more humans.
Hunter X Hunter
Don’t let this doe-eyed little shonen boy fool you, Hunter X Hunter is an anime that isn’t afraid to get dark. The series is about young Gon Freecss, who dreams of becoming a famous Hunter just like his long lost father. So what does he do? He teams up with a spiky haired boy with lightening powers and has a go of it! Hunter X Hunter is lauded as one of the greatest – if not the greatest – shonen anime of all time.
Yu Yu Hakasho
Do you like the spooky aspects of Jujutsu Kaisen but wish it was a little more cerebral? Take a trip back in time to the mythical ’90s and give Yu Yu Hakusho a try! The series is about a young delinquent who is hit by a car while trying to save a child’s life. For his noble sacrifice, he is given another chance at life by the otherworldly powers, and becomes a “spirit detective.” As such, he has to investigate demons, ghosts, and everything else that goes bump in the night to make sure that they don’t cause trouble in the human world.
(featured image: MAPPA)
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