It would be hard for any other anime to be truly like Amazon’s Invincible. But while its political themes and dark tone have made it like other graphic novels, such as Watchmen or The Boys, Invincible still has its own campy youthfulness that sets it apart.
That being said, Invincible is a story about identity, responsibility, and the dark consequences of making the ends justify the means, dark themes about the human condition that are universal in media and are certainly represented in anime. Whether they match Invincible‘s reflective look at justice or capture the same sense of suspense and violence, there are some great anime out there that will satisfy Invincible fans.
10 My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia is one of the easiest comparisons to Invincible, despite its relative faith to more PG themes. For those looking for another unique reimagining of the superhero genre, My Hero Academia is definitely one of the best out there. In a world where 80 percent of society is born with superpowers, Midoriya Izuku dreams of becoming a superhero, despite being born with none.
However, his ingenuity and inherent heroism grant him sponsorship and powers from the world’s greatest heroes. With the gift, Izuku must now prove to the world that he can become a hero. In recent years, MHA‘s story has become significantly darker and more political as it grapples more and more with the necessity of superheroes, pushing it closer to matching that Invincible feel.
9 One-Punch Man
One-Punch Man is seen more as a comedy series within the grander scheme of its premise. However, more than often it dips into sincerity when it wants its fight scenes and conflicts to really pack a punch before its titular character actually does. One of the best things about Invincible is how it delivers animated action and One-Punch Man has some of the best in the genre.
Most of this has to do with its line of heroes grappling with threats greater than themselves, but Saitama, the one who can defeat anything and everything with just one punch, has found ways to make his gimmick exciting and gratifying. It also helps that it’s almost as gory as Invincible, with bodies exploding on every impact.
8 Tiger & Bunny
Tiger & Bunny is one of the earliest anime in recent history to really adapt and comment on the Western superhero genre for Japanese audiences. Its world is filled with greedy and self-interested heroes who compete for work and sponsorships. The story follows the titular duo after veteran hero, Wild Tiger, struggles with saving the day and must now be partnered with hero newcomer, Bunny.
This buddy cop dynamic coupled with the superhero genre makes the dialogue incredibly charming if not flat-out hilarious, as quips and catchphrases fly in the midst of battle. For those looking for something as colorful and action-packed as Invincible that still plays around with the genre, Tiger & Bunny is a good pick.
7 Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Invincible‘s biggest trademark is re-contextualizing a typically bright genre with a dark reality behind its world and characters. The whole “nothing is as it seems” angle isn’t new to anime and there are few cases where it’s had the same, cultural impact as Invincible. The major exception, though, is Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
Magical girl anime is a treasured staple within the genre. They typically feature young girls in colorful dresses fighting off monsters and aliens with magic and the power of friendship. Madoka Magica takes these expectations and crafts one of the darkest anime around. Prepare to never see Sailor Moon the same way again.
For those who enjoyed the pseudo-X-Men /Teen Titans vibe of Invincible, (young superheroes learning to control their powers and responsibility), Charlotte is one of the biggest Japanese anime that fits that formula. After a meteor gives a bunch of kids superpowers, a program is set in place to find the kids and teach them how to properly and responsibly use them.
Charlotte really brings in its audience when it gets invested in the various backgrounds and quirks of its main cast. It also helps that it sets unique limitations to the kids’ powers, adding a layer of suspense and tangibility to the action.
Much like Invincible, Spiderman, or really any superhero story about a timid nerd who gets superpowers, Parasyte initially focuses on a wimpy nice guy who’s changed by a fate, sci-fi encounter. However, more like Invincible, said hero struggles with the value of what he’s saving and who he’s doing it for.
Here, Shinichi Izumi manages to stop an alien parasite from fully taking over his body (just his arm) and must now learn to cooperate with it when these aliens start trying to infect and cannibalize the Earth. As the story progresses, Shinichi begins to ask bigger questions about what it means to be human and who the real parasites are.
4 Hunter X Hunter (2011)
Hunter x Hunter is made by one of the greatest influencers of the shonen manga/anime genre, Yoshihiro Togashi, but much like Invincible, it builds on the expectations and tropes of its genre and swerves into an incredibly darker and much more violent tale. Here, Hunter x Hunter starts as a regular adventure series, full of hope for its main character, who intends to explore the world to find his father.
He learns the ins and outs of being a Hunter and challenges himself to become strong enough to handle the same challenges his father has. However, up against threats such as the Phantom Troupe, Greed Island’s Bombers, and especially the Chimera Ants, Gon and the world are constantly challenged by inhuman threats that almost conspire to change his one adventurous soul.
3 Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is far from a superhero story. It only roughly fits in the shonen genre. However, few series as a whole can match Invincible‘s suspenseful, serialized storytelling and themes of disillusionment the same way this anime can. In this story, alchemy has taken science to fantastical feats, as alchemists can practically reform their reality with their bare hands (and a few transmutation circles).
The audience follows Ed and Alphonse Elric, two boys who had to pay a hefty price for their failed attempt to resurrect their dead mother. As they work as State Alchemists and search for a way to get their original bodies back, they begin to uncover a grim conspiracy coming from their own government.
2 Devilman Crybaby
Devilman Crybaby is a reimagining of a classic, anime series about a devil-themed superhero. In Masaaki Yuasa’s version, it’s hard to see the resemblance. Its main character, Akira Fudo, isn’t struck by the need to fight villains. In a world where more and more humans are mysteriously turning into demons, he just wants everybody, human and demon, to get along.
Akira himself combines with a demon to help save the human race but is progressively caught between the threats against them and the demons’ plight. For those who love Invincible for its violence and altruistic reflection, Devilman Crybaby is a fun next watch.
If one condenses Invincible down to its bare essentials, it’s about the greater fight between good and evil, but with a lot of violence. In terms of the latter, there are few creators in the manga industry better at graphic intensity than Hiroya Oku. And while Gantz is his most famous work, Inuyashiki better matches Invincible‘s dialogue around using one’s gifts responsibly.
Here, two different people are caught in a miraculous accident from an alien ship and are rebuilt with the aliens’ technology. One of these people is an old man who strives to use his body’s advanced technology to protect people from crime and cure disease. The other is an arrogant kid who uses his powers to wreak havoc on the world.
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