Created by the head writer of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aaron Ehasz, and the game director of Uncharted, Justin Richmond, the first season of The Dragon Prince premiered on Netflix on September 14, 2018, to critical acclaim. Fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender have been looking for something to sink their teeth into for years now and it looks like it's finally arrived.
It took only nine episodes for the audience to recognize that what they were watching was something truly special and The Dragon Prince has already established a loyal fanbase. So, we thought we'd take a look at some of the anime that fans of The Dragon Prince might want to check out.
Even if you’ve never seen it, you’ve probably at least heard of InuYasha. Interestingly, this 2000 anime, based on the 1996 manga of the same name, relies on one of the most popular concepts in today’s anime: being transported to another world. The protagonist Kagome Higurashi falls into a well and gets transported to the Sengoku period, where she meets the half-dog demon, Inuyasha.
Shenanigans ensue and now she must travel with Inuyasha all across feudal Japan to stop the evil demon Naraku. Elements of traditional Japanese folklore and religion are incorporated into the plot and blend nicely with the fantasy aspects. Overall, InuYasha has plenty to offer for fans of the fantasy genre, and fans of The Dragon Prince might find it entertaining.
7 THE HEROIC LEGEND OF ARSLAN
If runaway princes are your thing then The Heroic Legend of Arslan might just be to your liking. Set in the fictional Kingdom of Pars, this anime follows Prince Arslan who sets out to prove his courage in his first ever battle. Unfortunately, his father is betrayed and the Kingdom of Pars suffers a humiliating defeat and countless casualties.
Arslan escapes with his general Daryun and sets off on a journey to find allies that will help him reclaim his kingdom. The recruits all have abilities that make them useful members of the team. The Heroic Legend of Arslan focuses more on battles and strategies, but there’s enough adventure thrown into the mix as well.
6 THE ANCIENT MAGUS BRIDE
The Ancient Magus Bride is one of anime’s best fantasies that at times feels and looks kind of like a Ghibli film. The story follows Chise Hatori, an orphaned high school student who decides to have herself sold into slavery just so she’d have a somewhere to belong. At an auction in London, she’s sold to Elias Ainsworth, the peculiar gentlemen pictured above, and she becomes his apprentice.
Elias explains that Chise is a Sleigh Beggy, a magus capable of drawing magic from within herself and her surroundings, but that doing so will cause her premature death, which he wants to prevent. Aside from having an intriguing premise and characters, Ancient Magus Bride has one of the most beautiful, magical fantasy worlds that you just need to experience for yourself.
5 LITTLE WITCH ACADEMIA
If you’re feeling up for a lighthearted adventure in a magical world, Little Witch Academia should be on your radar. This coming-of-age magical fantasy takes place at a magic academy where our protagonist Akko is studying to become a witch. Through the often-hilarious escapades she embarks on with her friends, Akko will learn what it truly means to be a witch in a world in which magic is waning.
Akko trying to prove to the world that magic is still a wonderful thing, even if the general public regards it as outdated is a major theme of the anime. This charming story about friendship and magic is sure to put a smile on your face.
Based on the 1967 manga of the same name, written by Osamu Tezuka (considered by many the 'god of manga'), Dororo is a twisted, dark fantasy set in the Sengoku period. The story revolves around an orphaned boy named Dororo and a ronin named Hyakkimaru who was born malformed, limbless and without facial features or internal organs as a result of his father’s deal with 48 demons. The father offered his unborn child’s organs for the opportunity to rule the world – because anime.
At the time of writing, the anime is still running and it’s on its way to becoming one of Winter 2019’s best shows. It’s got fantastic characters, the story is absolutely captivating, and we think fans of The Dragon Prince could appreciate many of its aspects.
3 MADE IN ABYSS
One of the best anime of 2017, Made in Abyss is a beautiful and dark tale set in a fictional world in which exists something called the Abyss – a wide, deep chasm populated by strange creatures. Those who perform the arduous task of descending into the Abyss are called Cave Raiders. Though the biggest peril lies in returning from the Abyss, as it can have horrible consequences.
Our protagonist Riko gets a message from her mother, a Cave Raider, to meet her at the bottom of the Abyss and starts the dangerous descent with her robot friend Reg. To go any further about what they find in the Abyss would contain too many spoilers but rest assured that their journey is well worth the watch. Made in Abyss is a considerably darker fantasy than The Dragon Prince, however, if you’re ok with a bit of Lovecraftian horror, you’re probably gonna like it.
Anime or not, we’d be remiss not to mention Netflix’s Castlevania. Based on Japanese video games Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse and Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, the series follows Trevor Belmont, outcast monster hunter, who teams up with the spell-caster Sypha Belnades and Dracula’s half-vampire son Alucard to fight Dracula. The trio must come together despite their differences to stop Dracula who plans to wage war against humanity in retaliation for the death of his wife.
Why should you watch it? The writing is stellar and every character has nuance and depth. The central conflict is well developed and intriguing. The fantasy setting is stunning. There’s magic, adventure, and humor. Chances are, if you’re enjoying The Dragon Prince, you’ll probably like Castlevania.
1 YONA OF THE DAWN
So, you want a fantasy historical setting, an ensemble cast on an adventurous journey, and you want dragons? No problem. Yona of the Dawn has you covered! This 2014 anime focuses on Yona, a pampered princess whose life is turned upside down when her father, the King, is betrayed and killed, forcing Yona to run away with her childhood friend and bodyguard Hak.
In this coming-of-age adventure, Yona must find a way to restore her kingdom to its former glory by following a mysterious legend and finding the four dragons, all the while avoiding capture by the relentless forces of the new King. With Yona of the Dawn, you get an interesting story, a beautiful setting, excellent character development, and more.