Five Anime to Watch While You Wait For More ‘The Last Of Us’
Now that The Last of Us is over for the season, where will we go for our post-apocalyptic, zombie-adjacent shows? Anime is where!
The first season of The Last of Us came to a close this past weekend. And while a second season has been guaranteed with a third season pretty darn likely behind it, we’re still looking at at least a year without any of that specific brand of not-technically-zombies. Sure, we could play (or replay) the video games… or for those of us with two left thumbs, watch actual play videos on YouTube. But zombie-adjacent stories are a huge genre and there are a few anime that might help fill that The Last of Us-shaped hole in your heart until season two premiers.
Kabaneri of the Fortress
If you’re looking for a dark, post-apocalyptic series, this may be one of the best. That’s not just my opinion, Kabaneri has won a whole bunch of Newtype Anime Awards for soundtrack, screenplay, character design, etc; this one is legit. it takes place in a world that’s overrun with corpses known as “Kabane,” and to survive, humans came together to build impenetrable fortresses. Like the infected in The Last of Us, the Kabane have superpowered variants. And also like The Last of Us, it’s an easily binge-worthy series that you won’t want to turn off.
Empire of Corpses
This one is pretty different, but still very interesting and fun. Empire of Corpses takes place in Britain in the 18th century where Dr. Victor Frankenstein has figured out how to put artificial souls in corpses. The result is an army of ‘living’ corpses who can’t feel or talk and lack intelligence or sentience. But unlike pretty much every zombie-esque story, the corpses aren’t bloodthirsty threats to humanity as much as mindless laborers who are given some of the occupations previously held by the living. It’s a very different take on the genre, but if you’re looking for something completely different, Empire of Corpses may just be it.
Seraph of the End
While Seraph of the End has similar high stakes and drama, as well as an apocalypse created by a virus, its infected are a little different than The Last of Us or anything else we’ve seen on this list so far. This anime’s focus is on vampires. A human-made virus decimated the population, leaving only kids under thirteen unharmed. What’s left is subject to vampire attacks and sometimes go out vampire hunting in retaliation.
Also based on a video game, God Eater takes place in a dystopian near-future where humanity has been pushed nearly to extinction by man-eating creatures known as Aragami. They don’t fall into the zombie-adjacent category as much as just look like big scary monsters, but they’re dangerous, want to eat people, and have all but ended humanity, so many of the big story beats are there. The Aragami can only be defeated by special individuals who are infused with cells that give them similar abilities to the Aragami themselves. So y’know, special magic blood.
Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack
Rounding out this list is Junji Ito’s critically acclaimed film, Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack. And since it Junji Ito you know it’s going to be good…. and very very weird. But the weirdness will be part of why you like it. Sea creatures start growing legs and coming to the surface to wreck havoc. Undead fish instead of undead mushroom people may sound like a trade-up for humanity, but take a moment to think about a landshark sprinting at you on legs. If you’ve ever thought, “you know what I need? Something similar to a zombie movie but with fish,” well Junji Ito is here to answer that request.
Have you seen any or all of these animes? What anime do you think is most similar to The Last of Us at its core? How long do you think we’ll be waiting for season two? Let us know in the comments!
Ja Ne, Adventurers!