Recognized as one of Shōnen Jump’s Big 3 properties, including One Piece and Naruto, Bleach is immensely darker than both regarding art style and plot to some degree. With a sequel anime on the horizon that’s meant to cover the remaining content of its older anime couldn’t, fans are once again acknowledging the wonderful work that its author Tite Kubo created.
Bleach follows Ichigo Kurosaki who’s in the midst of a scuffle with a horrific entity called a Hollow. Suddenly, a Soul Reaper named Rukia Kuchiki arrives and attempts to fend off the beast. However, the Hollow proves too much for Rukia, she allows Ichigo to absorb her powers, thus transforming him into a Soul Reaper.
Now tasked with fighting off the Hollows, Ichigo must defeat those that have befallen his town, however, he’ll soon learn that the Hollows aren’t the only evil beings he’ll need to combat.
If you’re having trouble finding anime similar to Bleach, fear not! We’ve discovered 10 alternate shows that’ll give you a similar experience as Bleach.
Additionally, for each anime we’ve reviewed, we’ve included a link that allows you to view our full thoughts about the series to see if it’s worth your time.
So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet the appetite when you’ve finished streaming Bleach!
Similarities – Dark Worlds
D.Gray-man is another dark shōnen anime like Bleach that focuses on the development of numerous characters. This anime’s world is as dark as Bleach’s universe. The characters in this show all have distinct supernatural abilities and compelling personalities.
D.Gray-Man follows a boy named Allen Walker, who has undergone three years of training under an elite general named General Cross. Cross sends Allen Walker to the Black Order. This is an organization tasked with defeating this show’s main villain, who has inserted the souls of the dead inside his “Akuma” weapons.
Once he arrives, Allen becomes an exorcist. Allen has an anti-Akuma weapon arm and a cursed eye that allows him to see the souls inside this villain’s weapons. With the help of other exorcists and his tools, Allen plans to foil this villain’s world-ending plot.
Like Bleach, D.Gray-man takes its time developing and monitoring its characters’ progress. Both anime feature a group of heroes fighting a demonic and supernatural threat. These shows feature a slew of entertaining fights and lighthearted moments. If you’re looking for another action-packed supernatural series, then check out D.Gray-man.
Yu Yu Hakusho
Similarities – Action & Themes
Yu Yu Hakusho and Bleach are shōnen anime that have stood the test of time. Both shows offer a great cast of heroes and villains, rich worlds, and stellar fight scenes. Yu Yu Hakusho leans more toward hand-on-hand combat than Bleach and is a bit shorter. Yu Yu Hakusho’s world isn’t as vast as Bleach’s.
Nonetheless, Yu Yu Hakusho’s action is as brutal as the bouts found in Bleach. You’ll see characters lose lots of blood in fights and display signs of sheer pain and agony. Conversely, Yu Yu Hakusho’s protagonist Yusuke Urameshi starts as a delinquent, but he later becomes a more respectable and lovable individual like Ichigo.
Both anime also tackle dark and lighthearted themes and topics. Friendship is a strong theme felt throughout both narratives, as Yusuke displays the same stance as Ichigo in that respect. Both characters fight for their friends and don’t appreciate anyone willing to harm them. If you’re looking for another shōnen anime with an engrossing narrative and phenomenal main characters, check out Yu Yu Hakusho.
Similarities – Humans Vs Demons
Soul Eater feels like the Bleach version of My Hero Academia, despite it releasing years before that show’s idea was ever conjured up. Like Bleach, Soul Eater offers a gritty and dark world centered around humans fighting demonic villains with sharp objects. The characters in this show are memorable, lovable, and wonderfully developed.
Soul Eater has a tighter and smaller world, though. This is due to the series taking place within a school-like setting. The characters in this anime explore some places, but they won’t travel far like Bleach’s protagonists.
Soul Eater’s animation is more fluid and stylish, though. While the new Bleach (2022) anime adaptation will likely rival Soul Eater in this department, its original anime doesn’t come that close. Soul Eater’s cartoon-like art style gives it another unique edge over Bleach.
Nonetheless, both anime are dark and masterful works that delve into themes regarding death and friendship. If you’re looking for another series that features a great mix of dark comedy and action, check out Soul Eater.
Similarities – Characters & Action
Claymore is a gritty, brutal dark fantasy anime seeping in revenge and bloodlust. This anime offers a wonderful storyline, a beautifully grotesque mythical world, and brutal female warriors. Although the violence level in Claymore rivals the teenage-level action found in Bleach, both series have a lot in common.
Like Bleach, Claymore follows a group of super-powered individuals fighting a demonic threat. The creature and enemy designs in both series are horrifying and slightly grotesque. This makes our heroes triumph over these monstrous individuals all the more satisfying.
Claymore’s female warriors are just as formidable as the female heroines in Bleach. Many of them share similar leadership roles and have righteous agendas. Its female protagonist Clare doesn’t start off as a formidable fighter. Like Ichigo, she develops her skills gradually and seeks to become stronger to protect those she cares about. Therefore, Bleach fans should adore the gloomy and mythical world Claymore offers.
Similarities – Gritty Shōnen Anime
When it comes to Bleach comparisons, Black Clover feels like its young sibling in ways. Both anime feature magical worlds full of phenomenal and strategic swordsmen. With its visually appealing action scenes, engaging art style, and compelling narrative, Black Clover is a must-watch anime.
For those unaware, our story revolves around a boy named Asta, who dreams of becoming his world’ Wizard King. Like Ichigo, Asta will come across numerous enemies with dark and magical abilities. The villains in this series have wonderful personalities and intriguing goals. Bleach fans will adore Black Clover’s medieval setting and grittier atmosphere.
Similarities – Supernatural & Action
Blue Exorcist is loved by many fans for its dark atmosphere, likable characters, and its stellar supernatural fights. Ichigo and Blue Exorcist’s Rin Okumura are phenomenal swordsmen who vow to protect those that they love and fight off demonic-looking enemies.
While it doesn’t offer many shōnen tropes like tournament arcs or shouting out signature attacks, Blue Exorcist delivers a compelling narrative. Our tale follows Rin, a troubled teenager that gets ambushed by a group of demons. His life crumbles further when he discovers his adoptive father’s death and that he is the son of Satan.
He learns that Satan plans to rise from Hell and wishes for Rin to join his side. Unfortunately for Satan, Rin’s not as evil as him. Therefore, the anime follows Rin’s quest to sharpen his exorcist skills and inherited demonic abilities to stop Satan. While the anime revolves around Rin’s development as a person and fighter, the side characters in this anime get some spotlight, too.
These characters have likable personalities and supernatural powers. These traits allow each character to stand out and shine in and outside of battle. Like Bleach, Blue Exorcist’s assortment of music and visuals are appealing. If you’re looking for swordsmen anime with a supernatural spin, check out Blue Exorcist.
Shakugan No Shana
Similarities – Swordsmanship & Fantasy
Shakugan no Shana is a splendid shoujo anime with romantic, supernatural, and action elements. It features well-written characters, a beautiful storyline, and a slew of well-choreographed and animated fights. This anime’s premise follows a boy meeting an excellent swordsman with knowledge of other-worldly things.
Our tale takes place in a world where mysterious beings called Crimson Denizens thrive on humans’ life energy. As a result of their feast, the remainder of the humans’ souls transforms into a torch, that will eventually disappear along with their existence from people’s minds. To combat these Denizens are noble warriors called Flame Hazes.
Enter Yuuji Sakai, a boy that becomes the victim of a Denizen’s attack. Before he suffers its wrath, a Flame Haze female warrior called Shana arrives to save him. Unfortunately, Shana doesn’t make it in time, as Yuuji becomes a Torch. Therefore, the anime follows Shana and Yuuji’s journey to defeat the Denizens before his life force goes out.
Like Bleach, Shakugan No Shana offers phenomenal relationship-building moments and epic fight scenes. The adversaries they fight have a thirst for human flesh, and the powers they utilize in both anime lean toward the supernatural. While Shakugan No Shana offers a better degree of romance, it tackles similar topics regarding loss, friendship, and death.
Similarities – Action
Ruroni Kenshin is a masterful samurai anime with mature themes and epic fights. With its stellar protagonists, memorable villains, and phenomenal storytelling, this is a worthwhile watch after Bleach. While both series feature swordsmanship, Ruroni Kenshin’s action feels more grounded in realism.
Fans expecting full-blown supernatural powers from Ruroni Kenshin’s cast may feel slightly disappointed in that aspect. Ruroni Kenshin’s setting carries a similar degree of realism. Nonetheless, if you are looking for an incredible character-driven tale full of dark imagery, suspense, and sparkle of comedy, Ruroni Kenshin’s is a worthwhile follow-up to Bleach.
Our tale follows an infamous assassin named Hitokiri Battousai who takes on the alias, Kenshin Himura. His reasons for his new peaceful lifestyle stem from the fact he doesn’t want to murder people anymore. While all bodes well for Kenshin, his life takes a dramatic turn when he meets a girl named Kaoru Kamiya.
She informs him that a strange person has adopted his former alias and is murdering people. Kenshin moves into Kamiya’s household without a place to call home and pledges to protect everyone there. He’s motivated to locate the evil mastermind who dares to utilize his former name.
Similarities – Supernatural Thrill Rides With A Hint Of Comedy
Unlike Bleach, it took Noragami two seasons to gain its fanbase. While the anime remains dormant with the lack of another season to stir up hype and delight, the two seasons it offers are on par with the quality you’d expect from Bleach. With its emphasis on supernatural-based entities, swordsmanship, and lore, Noragami is an anime that will charm and excite you.
It has many likable characters for fans to cheer for and relate to, from its silly deity Yato to its colorful heroine Hiyori. The anime does a splendid job of building upon the relationship between these characters and developing them as individuals. Like Bleach, Noragami balances its comedic and serious tone well. Yato’s hilarious antics will have you chuckling, but his “game face” will exhilarate you.
On that note, Noragami’s setting and atmosphere feel on par with Bleach’s dark landscapes and environments. With this anime, you can expect both colorful and gloomy settings. In Norgami’s action-centric moments, the soundtrack delivers the same adrenaline-pumping vibes as Bleach’s OST. If you’re looking for a supernatural swordsman anime with hilariously likable protagonists and a mystical world, check out Noragami.
Similarities – Action & Tone
Shonen Jump’s Gintama is one of the funniest animes ever made. It feels like anime’s answer to shows like South Park and Family Guy, where nothing is safe from being parodied. Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach suffered Gintama’s parodical wrath numerous times. Although Gintama feels more comedy-driven than Bleach, they have some commonalities.
Bleach and Gintama feature a samurai-themed protagonist who vows to protect his friends from danger. Many powerful and notable enemies will try to take them out at any time. Gintama may feel like an episodic comedy, but it features many seriously-toned story arcs that will allow fans to peer into the other side of its goofiest protagonist’s head. These story arcs also give viewers chunks of the protagonist’s past.
Furthermore, the fight scenes that stem from these series are top-notch and serve as a homage to traditional samurai duels found in Japanese history. The difference is that Bleach puts a more intriguing and supernatural spin on its samurai-themed combat, while Gintama’s feels more of a mixture between realism and fantasy.
Regardless, fans can expect both anime to deliver visually appealing and hype-worthy moments that will last with them for a lifetime. If you’re looking for a fun and exciting anime with an extra emphasis on comedy, check out Gintama.
So there we have it, our 10 anime/TV show alternatives to watch when you’ve caught up with Bleach!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!