The fourth season of Attack on Titan has been nothing short of groundbreaking, pushing the story four years forward into a new era with new enemies and higher stakes. The tyrannical Marley Empire burst onto the scene, just in time for Eren Yeager to become a radical rogue seeking Eldia's restoration. Yesterday's enemies are today's friends and vice versa.
No doubt countless Attack on Titan fans are eager to get their hands on the rest of Season 4, but until it arrives, these five similar animated series should help keep those action anime appetites whetted.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Attack on Titan has a steampunk-style setting, especially within the Marley Empire and its World War I-era military tech. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has a similar aesthetic. Fans who dive in can enjoy a gritty pseudo-European setting where armed conflict, shadowy schemes, twisted science and the dual nature of humanity define the complex but compelling plot.
Just like AoT, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood deftly balances fanciful magic (alchemy) with steampunk war machines in an early-modern setting. But rather than Titans, the series' archvillain has a squad of seven homunculi -- artificially grown humanoids -- with deadly powers and far more. Brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric begin on a quest to find the Philosopher's Stone and restore their badly damaged bodies, but the scope of that quest soon expands greatly.
The Saga Of Tanya The Evil
The Saga of Tanya the Evil is another steampunk series (edging on dieselpunk) that may remind Attack on Titan fans of the Marley Empire's war with its many enemies. Survival is the top priority in this isekai, and the antihero lead, Tanya Degurechaff, is hardly a standard isekai hero with a harem of elf girls. Instead, a salaryman has been thrust into an alternate world where World War I, more bitter and savage than ever, has continued into the 1920s.
The newly reborn Tanya joins the German Empire and rapidly climbs the ranks of the Mage Force, determined to escape her fate and spite the godly Being X that put her there. In tone and content alike, The Saga of Tanya the Evil is bound to please Attack on Titan fans. Despite its short 12-episode run on screen, the story does continue in the light novel series.
In terms of content, Jujutsu Kaisen differs more from Attack on Titan than Fullmetal Alchemist or The Saga of Tanya the Evil. All the same, fans may enjoy another shonen series that borders on dark seinen territory. Newcomers shouldn't be fooled by the catchy outro song -- Jujutsu Kaisen is bloody and vicious as protagonist Yuji Itadori is quickly plunged into a messy world where cursed energy and monsters rule the day.
Yuji is a gung-ho hero who is careful to not overuse the dark power of the evil Sukuna residing inside him, but sometimes he doesn't have a choice -- he must indulge his dark side to win. Attack on Titan fans might be vaguely reminded of Eren Yeager morphing himself into a Titan, the monster of battle.
Vinland Saga is a grim but vaguely optimistic tale of revenge, grief and the purpose of war, told on the bloody battlefields of medieval Europe. It's the early 11th century, and Viking armies have all but conquered England while the rest of Europe cowers in terror before their battle-axes. But Vinland Saga also has a more personal edge.
The story follows Thorfinn Karlsefni, a bright-eyed boy whose heart hardened upon his beloved father's death at the hands of Askeladd, a Viking raider. Ironically, Thorfinn is now under Askeladd's wing learning much about combat techniques, the philosophy of war and peace, and whether all this fighting is really worth anything. Thorfinn is challenged to second-guess every assumption he's ever made about this grim world.
With revenge as its driving force, the notorious Berserk franchise may appeal greatly to fans of Vinland Saga as well as Attack on Titan. Guts the mercenary thought he had it all when he fought with the Band of the Hawk under the charismatic Griffith. Alas, Griffith's ambitions come at a price Guts is unwilling to pay -- and Guts' lover Casca is caught right in the middle.
This 90s anime doesn't cover the entire Berserk manga series, but it's a good start, and it arguably still beats the iffy animation of the 2016-17 series despite its age. The dark story of Eren Yeager's revenge and rage are clear parallels to Guts' quest to save Casca and bring the monstrous Griffith to justice, and Berserk has earned its reputation as a manga landmark.