Joe Logan putting his mask on after burning his house down from Ninja Kamui

11 Best Anime To Watch While You Wait for More ‘Ninja Kamui’

Ninja Kamui is shaping up to be one of the best anime of our time.

Fresh out of the gate with only a few episodes in the can, Ninja Kamui’s gritty revenge story has captured the hearts and minds of anime fans everywhere, but what if you need more?

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Gone are the days of rasengan throwing, hand sign flashing, ramen-eating ninja antics, replaced by a grounded and bloody John Wick-style series that explores the true nature of brutality and violence. If you’re looking for more of where that came from, read on.

1. Afro Samurai

Afro Samurai prepares to draw his sword in "Afro Samurai"
(Gonzo)

Afro Samurai’s premise is simple: There exist two headbands in the world, marked Number 1 and Number 2. The Number 1 headband belongs to the world’s strongest fighter. The Number 2 headband belongs to the person worthy of challenging them. Who can challenge the bearer of the Number 2 headband? Literally everyone else. A lone samurai named Afro bears the Number 2 headband and is on a revenge quest to kill the man who holds Number 1. What did Number 1 do? He killed Afro’s father. If you want vicious samurai violence rendered with gorgeous animation, look no further.

2. Berserk

Guts hoisting a massive sword over his back in "Berserk"
(OLM Inc.)

Berserk features one of anime’s most infamous betrayals and, as a result, is perhaps the most brutal revenge anime ever created. The series is adapted from a tome-like manga chronicling the journey of the swordsman Guts, who is out to kill a former comrade named Griffith. Set in a dark medieval world, the Berserk anime adapts the first meeting of Guts and Griffith for the screen and sets the stage for Griffith’s ultimate act of treachery. The story is infamous for its unflinching portrayals of violence and abuse, but if you can stomach it, you will experience a masterpiece.

3. Vinland Saga

Thorfinn wielding a knife while Vikings look on in "Vinland Saga"
(Wit Studio)

Set in Northern Europe during the Dark Ages, Vinland Saga centers around a young boy named Thorfinn, whose father Thors was killed by a roaming group of Vikings led by a Welshman named Askeladd. The traumatic event turns the sweet boy into a revenge-hungry killer, and he later joins Askeladd’s band of warriors in order to someday take vengeance against the man who killed his father.

4. Naruto

Naruto stands on water covered in the red chakra of the nine tailed fox in "Naruto"
(Pierrot)

While Naruto isn’t nearly as adult a series as Ninja Kamui, it is without a doubt the most enduring ninja story ever told in anime. If you don’t know the plot, I assume you’ve been living under a rock in the Hidden Stone village. After a having a Nine-Tailed Fox demon sealed inside of him, the young outcast Naruto Uzumaki sets out on a quest to become the greatest Hokage his ninja village has ever seen. What’s a Hokage? Basically Ninja president. What starts as a shoddily paced shonen series soon matures into one of the most powerful stories ever told in the medium. There’s a reason Naruto is world famous, after all.

5. Samurai Champloo

The swordsman Mugen smirking in "Samurai Champloo"
(Manglobe)

From the creator of Cowboy Bebop comes a hip-hop flavored anime series set in an anachronistic Edo-period Japan. Vagrant warriors Mugen and Jin begin a bloodthirsty rivalry after a case of mistaken identity, but the pair are soon swept up in a quest to find a “Samurai Who Smells of Sunflowers” in order to repay a debt to a young girl. The trio traipse across Japan fighting deadly assassins, mountain monks, and even an American baseball team.

6. Monster

Dr. Tenma leveling a gun at the camera while crouching in the rain from the anime "Monster"
(Madhouse)

Everything was going great for Dr. Kenzo Tenma. He was a star surgeon in West Germany, engaged to the rich and beautiful daughter of a hospital director. He was on track to be set for life! All of that went to schnitzel when Tenma decided to perform a life-saving surgery on a young boy instead of a prominent German politician, in direct opposition to the orders of his superiors. Tenma’s marriage and career were ruined, but at least the kid was safe, right? Turns out the little tyke would grow up into one of the most prolific serial killers Germany has ever seen, and now Tenma has to track his former patient down to clear his name.

7. Hell’s Paradise

A ninja and a woman in a white robe preparing to fight in the woods
(MAPPA)

Hell’s Paradise is about a ninja who—in order to escape execution—must journey to the remote island of Hell’s Paradise in order to uncover its secrets. Joined by a team of convicts seeking clemency, the ninja must navigate the supernatural horrors of the island and survive long enough to be granted a new lease on life. Trouble is, no one who has set foot on the island has ever returned. The odds aren’t exactly in anyone’s favor.

8. Blue Eye Samurai

Maya Erskine as the voice of Mizu in Blue Eye Samurai
(Netflix)

Blue Eye Samurai is about a half white/half Japanese woman who is seeking to find and kill her foreign birth father. She assumes the guise of a man and is forced to hide her identity from samurai-era Japanese society, where cultural ideas of racial purity make her an abomination. The series is a violent revenge thriller full of sword-swinging action. While the first episode gets off to a bit of a rocky start, the series quickly lands on its feet and never stops running.

9. Cyberpunk Edgerunners

David from 'Cyberpunk Edgerunners' being cool
(TRIGGER)

Set in a William Gibson-esque futuristic society, Cyberpunk Edgerunners expands upon the universe of the Cyberpunk 2077 video game. The series singlehandedly brought the famously disastrous game back from the brink and inspired new interest in the Cyberpunk universe. The series centers around a young boy named David who dreams of becoming an edgerunner, a cybernetically enhanced mercenary who does criminal odd-jobs for the highest bidder. While not a revenge thriller against a person, Edgerunners is, in a sense, David’s revenge against an oppressive world that beats the less fortunate.

10. Kill La Kill

Ryuko Matoi getting frustrated in 'Kill La Kill'
(Aniplex of America)

Kill La Kill is a chimera. Part ecchi. Part revenge thriller. Part slapstick comedy. Part magical girl. Part battle shonen. Part sci-fi epic. Part social commentary. All brilliant. The young Ryuko Matoi sets out on a quest to find the man who killed her father. Her journey takes her to a dictatorial high school that exerts total control over the surrounding area. She suspects that the student body president is responsible for her father’s murder and intends to serve justice with the business end of a giant pair of scissors.

11. Jujutsu Kaisen

Megumi fighting Toji Fushiguro in the Shibuya Incident Arc from Jujutsu Kaisen Season 2, Episode 16
(MAPPA)

Jujutsu Kaisen was directed by Sunghoo Park, the same man behind Ninja Kamui. Needless to say, if you’re a fan of Kamui, it’s likely that you’ll be down for Kaisen. High schooler Yuji Itadora becomes embroiled in a spiritual battle against evil after eating the mummified finger of a powerful dark sorcerer, granting him the ability to wield otherworldly powers. So how does he learn control and hone these powers? Simple! He goes to sorcerer school!

(featured image: HBO Max)


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Author
Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.