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5 must-see anime like Ni No Kuni

August 11, 2022

Ni No Kuni takes you on a magical and unforgettable journey where two high school boys, Yuu and his friend Haru, travel to another world that is much more fantastic than theirs, but still shares some similarities with it. With the intention of saving the life of one of their friends, they embark on the adventure of a lifetime, but not everything is as simple as it seems.

‘Ni No Kuni’ is by no means a revolutionary anime, and it’s also often quite predictable. But what makes it so memorable is its beautifully illustrated world, its cute and charming characters, and most of all, its simple but wonderful storytelling. If, like us, you fell in love with this classic anime with role-playing character, you will probably start looking for other similar series. Here is a list of all anime similar to Ni No Kuni. You can stream most of the anime below on Funimation, Crunchyroll, or Hulu.

5. Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo (2011)

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There’s a reason director Makoto Shinkai is often referred to as The New Miyazaki. His exceptional talent and stunning visual work, most notably in his recent films Your Name and Weathering with You, prove his brilliance.

‘Children Who Chase Lost Voices’ is one of his lesser known films. It revolves around a brave girl named Asuna who enjoys exploring the woods near her home while listening to a radio powered by a strange crystal. During one of these adventures, her radio starts playing a frighteningly beautiful piece of music and she meets a boy she thinks is dead. Once he’s gone, she desperately needs to see him again and embarks on a journey into the underworld to learn more about him. Along the way, she learns a lot more than she originally intended.

Similar to Ni No Kuni, the main character of Children Who Chase Lost Voices voluntarily enters an unknown world filled with mythical creatures, serene landscapes and fearsome enemies. All of this is mixed with some romance and a timeless story reminiscent of the work of the Studio Ghibli. Children Who Chase Lost Voices is a must read for anyone who loved Ni No Kuni. You can check it out here.

4. ERASED (2016-)

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In the world of anime, the concept of time travel is not new. Shows like The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Mirai Nikki and of course Steins; Gate are so popular because they did a wonderful job on the theme of time travel.

‘Erased’ is another of these series, about a young man who has the ability to involuntarily travel back in time. With this ability, whenever he finds himself in a worrying situation, he can go back a few minutes in time to undo all the damage done in his presence.

This revival ability not only changes his life, but also allows him to save the lives of many around him. However, when he is framed for murder one day, he finds himself on a journey back into his 10-year-old self, just before the tragic death of one of his classmates in elementary school. He must now piece together all the pieces of his life to understand how the young girl’s death is connected to the murder framed against him.

On the surface, Erased doesn’t really have much in common with Ni No Kuni. But both stories are presented from the unique perspective of children trying to redeem themselves in a new world. The two series also reflect on the importance of having meaningful relationships and living a life free of regrets.

3. Hotarubi no Mori e (2011)

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‘Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light’ is more of a shoujo anime as it emphasizes the romantic relationship between its two main characters. It’s about a girl who one day while walking in the forest meets a Jin wearing a festive mask. The Jin leads her out of the forest and the two become friends.

As a result, the girl visits the forest every summer to catch a glimpse of her boyfriend. Although forbidden from ever touching him, she looks forward to spending time with him every summer. But the Jin lives a cursed life, and as the girl ages, he stays the same. Will the two ever be together?

While leaning more towards the romance genre, the existential themes in Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light add a lot more depth to the game, making it similar to Ni No Kuni in many ways. Combining Japanese folklore and a heartwarming tale of forbidden love, ‘Hotarubi no Mori e’ is an unusually iconic anime that defies all the rigid clichés of the romance genre.

2. Natsume’s Book of Friends (2008)

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Natsume is a young man who is marginalized from all other children his age because he refuses to fit in. His eyes allow him to see supernatural beings known as Yokai and he is constantly haunted by their presence. One day he finally discovers the true purpose of this ability. He learns that his grandmother possessed the same ability and used it to collect the Yokai’s names and subsequently control them. When he realizes that it is now his job to free all Yokai, he embarks on the adventure of a lifetime.

Unlike most of the other series on this list, Natsume’s Book of Friends is not an Isekai anime. However, its main theme, which revolves around forging meaningful relationships beyond time and other boundaries, is very similar to that of Ni No Kuni. The beauty of this anime lies in its simplicity. If you’re looking for a heartwarming and relaxing anime that will stay with you long after you’ve watched it, then this is the series for you. You can watch it here.

1. Spirited Away (2001)

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The Ni No Kuni anime is produced by OLM Studio (Pokemon, Inazuma Eleven). However, given that the original game is entirely Studio Ghibli’s signature, this list would certainly not be complete without the studio’s best work. One of the most famous anime of the West, Spirited Away is a fantastic adventure anime rooted in Japanese folklore and Hayao Miyazaki’s artistic ability as a director very well reflects.

The film tells the fascinating story of a young girl named Chihiro who embarks on a dark adventure in which she becomes trapped in a world inhabited by ghosts, witches, monsters and other eerily fantastical creatures. As she faces new challenges and tries to free her family, she ends up learning some valuable lessons about love and friendship.