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26 Anime Like Vinland Saga For Fans Of Violent Fantasy

Makoto Yukimura wrote and illustrated the Vinland saga, a Japanese historical manga series. The series was first published in the Weekly Shonen Magazine before switching to the manga magazine Monthly Afternoon, which is aimed towards young adult men. The series has already been compiled into twenty-five volumes as of July 2021.

In March 2018, it was revealed that a historical anime version of Vinland Saga would be made. The series is produced by Twin Engine, Production I.G, Wit Studio, and Kodansha and is directed by Shuhei Yabuta. It is animated by Wit Studio, with Hiroshi Seko handling series writing, Takahiko Abiru designing the characters, and Yutaka Yamada composing the soundtrack for this brutal anime.

Thorfinn grew up hearing stories about elderly sailors who had traversed the seas and arrived in the legendary realm of Vinland. It’s reported to be warm and productive, with no need for fighting—not like the freezing village in Iceland where he had been, and especially not like his current existence as a mercenary. Now he lives in the midst of war. Despite the fact that his father once informed him, “You have no enemies, nobody does. There is nobody who it’s okay to hurt.” Thorfinn realized as he grew that nothing could be further from the truth.

With each passing year, the war between England and Denmark worsens. Death has become a way of life for the Viking warriors, and they like it. Allying with either side will result in a huge changing the balance of influence, and the Vikings are content to build a name for themselves and take whatever prizes they can. Thorfinn must exact his revenge on Askeladd, the man who killed his father, in the midst of the turmoil. The only heaven for the Vikings, it appears, is the ongoing era of war and death.

Some anime fans watch anime for the graphic violence, another for the intricate plot lines, and still others for the stunning artwork. No matter what your reason is for watching anime, if you’re looking for something new to watch, we’ve got you covered with 26 anime recommendations of anime series like Vinland Saga. From ancient Japan to a fantasy world of dragons and magic, these anime will keep you entertained from beginning to end. So what are you waiting for?

Akame Ga Kill

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Night Raid is the Revolutionary Army’s secret assassination unit, formed to topple Prime Minister Honest, who has exploited the infant emperor’s naivety. Without a strong and compassionate leader, the nation sinks into poverty, strife, and ruin. The Night Raid troops know that taking lives is not commendable and that they will certainly suffer retaliation as they viciously murder anybody who stands in the path of the revolution.

After being inspired by Night Raid’s beliefs and commitment, Tatsumi, a young man from a rural village, joined the jolly gang of assassins.

Tatsumi faces formidable weaponry, enemy assassins, challenges to his own morals and ideals, and eventually, what it means to be an assassin with a cause in Akame ga Kill!

Check Out: 8 Of The Best Anime Like Akame Ga Kill

Drifters

At the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, Toyohisa Shimazu is seriously injured and finds himself in a sophisticated, gleaming white hallway. A world apart, Toyohisa is drawn through the nearest door by a stoic guy named Murasaki and countless doors on both sides.

The odd area is home to fascinating creatures and long-dead warriors from Toyohisa’s planet. Toyohisa quickly learns of the continent’s political instability from infamous warlord Nobunaga Oda and ancient archer Yoichi Suketaka Nasu. They have also been summoned as “Drifters” to combat the “Ends,” who created the Orte Empire and are seeking to wipe out the Drifters. Less strong Ends mean increased persecution of elves and other demihumans. Toyohisa and his band of unorthodox heroes must fight in a new world war to aid the Empire’s subjects while defending their territory and opposing the Ends.

Check Out: 25 Of The Best Isekai Anime That Will Take You To Another Dimension

Gun Grave

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Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowel, two close friends who could be brothers, are reminded one fateful day of how cruel the world can be. They had previously engaged in local brawls, wooing women, and minor stealing for a living and entertainment. They didn’t comprehend that in this cruel world, happiness comes and goes.

Assimilate Brandon and Harry into Millennion, the area’s largest and most infamous mafia syndicate, and they’re pushed to the bottom of the food chain. Brandon only wants to help his friend Harry and pacify Big Daddy, who has taken possession of the woman Brandon loves.

Gungrave is an incredible tale of friendship, betrayal, and greed that spans several years, inevitably tying back to the riveting and foreshadowing first episode while gradually building to the story’s thrilling end.

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Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

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The Shin Yogo Empire’s Star Readers must create a plan to escape a catastrophic drought. According to legend, the first emperor killed a water demon with the help of eight warriors to save the territory that would become Shin Yogo. If a water demon resurfaces, its death may provide salvation. The water demon appears in the body of the emperor’s son, Prince Chagum, who is to be sacrificed to save the Empire.

Balsa, a mystery spear-wielding mercenary, arrives in Shin Yogo on business. After saving Chagum from a disguised assassination attempt, she is assigned to guard him against the emperor and his hunters. Balsa, bound by a solemn vow, accepts.

A voyage to conserve Chagum, Seirei no Moribito explores the beauty of life, nature, family, and the bonds formed between strangers.

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Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings

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Several great warlords struggled in politics and arms to unify Japan during the Sengoku period. Nobunaga Oda had established himself as the most powerful of these monarchs by conquering all of Japan.

Shingen Takeda and his samurai Yukimura Sanada headed one of Nobunaga’s key clans. Masamune Date and his army thwarted Sanada’s nighttime attack on General Kenshin Uesugi. Sanada and Date battled to a tie, sparking a fierce rivalry born of their mutual adoration.

Nobunaga maintains his power in Sengoku Basara by expanding his influence across the land. Sanada and Date must set aside their disagreements to stop Nobunaga’s rising and free feudal Japan from his tyranny. Magical, militant, and political abilities fly as these warriors and leaders battle Nobunaga’s armies.

Check Out: 20 Of The Best Anime Sword Fights To Watch

Altair: A Record of Battles

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Tughril Mahmut is a youthful pasha working on the Turkiye Stratocracy’s Divan. Because of the prospect of an aggressive Empire, clouds of war are forming over his country. With the Divan divided between warmongers and pacifists, Mahmut sets out on a mission to keep the peace at whatever cost. As he delves deeper into the politics of the old world, new foes and allies emerge. Who will triumph? What will Mahmut do if war is unavoidable?

Berserk

Guts, a young wandering mercenary known as the Black Swordsman, carries a massive greatsword. He takes the gigs that pay the most, and he never stays with one outfit for long—until he meets the Hawk Band. Ambushed after a task, Guts kills many of its members. Griffith, the Band of the Falcon‘s commander and creator, duels Guts. The others can’t beat Guts, but Griffith does.

Healed by the Band of the Hawks, Guts regains consciousness two days later. He confronts Griffith again, and this time Guts agrees to join the Band of the Falcon if he fails. Guts loses the fight and is admitted by Griffith.

Guts have three years to become a Band of the Hawk commander. He can take on large groups of opponents alone on the battlefield, second only to Griffith. The Band of the Hawk dominates every fight because of Guts’ strength and Griffith’s leadership. But something sinister lurks in the shadows, threatening Guts’ fate.

Check Out: 14 Gruesome Anime Like Berserk

Angolmois

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The plot revolves around a group of inmates who are banished to Tsushima Island to assist in establishing the first line of defense during Japan’s first Mongol invasion in 1274. They first join the S clan, which later joins forces with the Toi Barai clan to battle the invaders, who are mostly Mongolian and Goryeo armies but also include Jurchens.

Check Out: 30 Action-Packed War Anime You Absolutely Have To Watch

Rurouni Kenshin

During the Bakumatsu era, a famous assassin named Hitokiri Battousai lived. Feared as a ruthless killer, he inexplicably vanished during the Japanese Revolution. Ten years have passed, but the mere mention of Battousai still terrifies veterans.

Unknown to them, Battousai has changed his name to Kenshin Himura, a roaming swordsman with a positive outlook and a strong resolve. Kenshin vows never again to kill and protect the defenseless. He meets Kaoru Kamiya at her kendo dojo, which is threatened by a fake Battousai. Kaoru lets him stay at the dojo after Kenshin helps him, so the ex-assassin momentarily stops traveling.

Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan relates Kenshin’s story of saving those in need. Will the rehabilitated killer be able to keep his new values while old and new foes emerge?

Check Out: 22 Best Shounen Anime – The King Among Shonen

Blade of The Immortal

As the “Hundred Man Killer,” Manji is a notorious swordsman in feudal Japan. But he is immortal, which is far scarier than his ominous reputation. Yaobikuni, an eighty-year-old nun, implanted bloodworms proficient in healing almost any injury in Manji.

Manji decides to kill a thousand bad guys to make amends. Yaobikuni accepts, promising to remove his curse if he succeeds. Soon after this vow, Manji encounters Rin Asano, a 16-year-old girl who asks Manji to help her kill her parents’ killers.

Manji reluctantly rejects Rin’s impassioned plea. Due to Rin’s apparent weakness, Manji comes to his senses and agrees to protect her for four years. The two venture on a treacherous journey of death and destruction, revenge, and redemption, each is seeking to fulfill their own life’s purpose.

Check Out: 26 of The Best Anime Swordsman of All Time

Goblin Slayer

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Because of their lowly status, goblins are often overlooked as a threat. These evil monsters are free to roam rural settlements, kidnapping other species’ females for breeding, as adventurers ignore them in favor of more lucrative tasks with greater rewards.

A young Priestess, 15 years old, joins a group of eager rookies to investigate a goblin tribe suspected of kidnapping several local ladies. Unprepared and unskilled, the gang is ambushed while investigating a cave. After all, no one else is left to save her, so she accepts her fate until the Goblin Slayer appears and not only saves her but also destroys the entire goblin nest.

The Goblin Slayer permits her to accompany him on any goblin-related missions for the Adventurer’s Guild. The armored fighter will not rest until every last goblin in the frontier territories has been exterminated.

Check Out: Anime Like Goblin Slayer: Top 10 Anime You’ll Enjoy If You Love Goblin Slayer

Brave 10

Isanami, a teenage priestess of Izumo, is forced to witness a gang of evil ninjas burn down her temple and massacre the people inside, giving her no choice but to escape into the wilderness to avoid the same fate. By happenstance, she meets Saizou Kirigakure, a masterless ninja from the Iga school. They proceed to Ueda Castle to seek assistance from Yukimura Sanada. Isanami’s odd and destructive power is revealed, and Sanada gladly offers to assist her, rallying ten courageous warriors to her side.

This is how Brave 10, a narrative set during the Warring States period, begins. It follows Saizou and Isanami as they travel throughout the war-torn regions in quest of heroic warriors to serve under Yukimura’s flag, each with their unique set of tremendous skills. They’ll have to travel far and wide, all while fending off others who want to seize the evil power she wields and make it their own.

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Spice and Wolf

Holo is a fierce wolf deity adored in Pasloe for blessing the yearly crop. As the villagers are becoming more self-sufficient, Holo, the “Wise Wolf of Yoitsu,” has become a folk story. When a wandering merchant named Kraft Lawrence lands at Pasloe, Holo offers to partner with him if he takes her to Yoitsu, her northern home. The wise dealer understands Holo’s unique ability to assess character and accepts her offer. Lawrence is getting closer to his dream of having his own shop. But as Lawrence wanders the countryside with Holo in search of work, he notices that his dreams are slowly changing.

Ookami to Koushinryou, popularly known as Spice and Wolf, is based on the popular light novel of the same name. Ookami to Koushinryou is a voyage of seeking a lost identity in a changing world.

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Arslan Senki

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It was 320. The Kingdom of Pars is at war with its neighboring realm, Lusitania, under King Andragoras III. Arslan, the youthful prince, attempts to prove his valor on the battlefront for the first time. When the King is betrayed by one of his closest allies, the Parsian army is destroyed, and Ecbatana is sieged. With his army in tatters and the Lusitanians after him, Arslan must flee. Arslan quickly embarks on a quest for allies, accompanied by a distinguished commander, Daryun.

But the prince’s opponents are not restricted to those who live in his kingdom. The military forces of other kingdoms await Ecbatana. Arslan and his company are also under danger from the genius behind Lusitania’s victory, an intriguing figure in a silver mask who has a secret that could compromise Arslan’s right to succession.

With the odds stacked against him, Arslan must find the fortitude and courage to overcome hurdles and allies to battle alongside him on his quest to become King.

Yona of The Dawn

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In the seemingly calm Kingdom of Kouka, Princess Yona has a luxurious and carefree existence; unfortunately, the shocking death of her beloved King and betrayal of her loving cousin Su-won puts her life in danger. Forced to flee with just her childhood friend and bodyguard Son Hak, the naive princess realizes Kouka is not the lovely location she imagined. The kingdom is plagued by poverty, war, and corruption, making recovering the throne a pipe dream.

Based on Mizuho Kusanagi’s iconic manga, Akatsuki no Yona follows Princess Yona on a coming-of-age journey through her kingdom’s harsh reality. Yona must use a secret tradition to restore Kouka’s past greatness while being hunted by the new King of Kouka’s warriors.

Check Out: 35 Of The Most Charming Anime Princesses In Anime History

91 Days

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Angelo Lagusa grew up in Lawless, where the Vanetti mafia family brutally murdered his parents and younger brother. Losing all he holds dear, he takes on the new persona of Avilio Bruno.

Avilio receives a cryptic letter inviting him back to Lawless seven years later. Obligingly, he meets the Vanetti don’s son, Nero, and attempts to befriend him using tactics learned over the years.

Set during Prohibition, 91 Days follows Avilio’s bloodstained quest for vengeance as he methodically ends each of the men responsible for his family’s murder.

Samurai Champloo

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Fuu Kasumi is a clumsy young waitress who works calmly in a little teahouse. Until she accidentally spills a drink on a customer! Fearing for her safety, Fuu calls upon the other samurai in the shop, Mugen, who rapidly defeats them with his chaotic combat style resembling breakdancing. Unfortunately, Mugen picks a confrontation with the unwilling ronin Jin, who wields a more precise and orthodox style of sword fighting. But they end up wrecking the shop and killing the local magistrate’s son.

The two samurai are arrested and sentenced to death. But Fuu saves them and recruits them as her bodyguards. Though she no longer has a home, the former waitress enlists the help of the now exonerated pair to find a certain samurai who smells of sunflowers. Despite their initial disapproval, they eventually agree to help the girl find this strange warrior—if Fuu can keep Mugen and Jin from killing each other.

An epic quest packed with action, comedy, and spectacular sword combat, set to a unique hip-hop-infused soundtrack, Samurai Champloo follows three quirky people in an alternate Edo Period of Japan.

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Space Brothers

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That fateful summer evening in 2006, Mutta Nanba and Hibito see a UFO traveling toward the Moon. This remarkable event inspires both brothers to become astronauts, Hibito for the Moon and Mutta for Mars.

Mutta is now an adult, working diligently in the automobile industry, while Hibito is on his way to being the first Japanese man to walk on the Moon. JAXA accepts Mutta’s candidacy to join in the next astronaut recruitment when he loses his job. Despite his misgivings about his chances, Mutta starts on an audacious trip to fulfill a commitment made 19 years ago.

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The Ancient Magus’ Bride

A tall masked man paid £5 million for Chise Hatori, a 15-year-old Japanese girl. She was willing to sell herself to any buyer for a place to live. In chains, on her journey to an uncertain fate, she hears robed men discussing and moaning about a rare “Sleigh Beggy” customer.

Unperturbed by the murmuring, the strange man guides the girl inside a study. After a brief confrontation and some teleportation magic, the two awaken in Elias’ gorgeous English cottage. Chise’s narrative as the ancient magus’ apprentice and putative bride begins with her arrival, greeted by fairies and strange beings.

Check Out: 30 Of The Best Fantasy Anime You Need To Watch Today

Golden Kamuy

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Saichi Sugimoto pans for gold in early 1900s Hokkaido following the Russo-Japanese war. “Sugimoto the Immortal” wants money to fulfill a promise made to his best buddy before he was killed in action: to help his family, especially his widow who requires treatment for her failing eyesight overseas. Someone tells Sugimoto about a man who massacred an Ainu tribe and took a wealth in gold. He concealed the gold in Hokkaido before being arrested. One of his cellmates managed to escape and find the treasure, so he tattooed a coded map on their bodies.

Sugimoto dismisses the account until he uncovers the drunken man’s corpse with identical tattoos. But before he can gather his thoughts, a grizzly bear, the man’s killer, approaches Sugimoto. He is saved by Asirpa, an Ainu girl whose father was one of the killed Ainu. With Asirpa’s hunting talents and Sugimoto’s survival instincts, the two agree to work together to uncover the hidden treasure.

Schwarzesmarken

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It’s 1983. The Cold War is on, and humanity is threatened. Strange aliens called “BETA” have landed on Earth to kill all life. Military pilots have been charged with repelling the alien invaders, but the front line is steadily moving back towards the surviving cities.

Second Lieutenant Theodor Eberbach and the 666th TSF squadron are the focus of Schwarzesmarken, a merciless unit that values mission fulfillment over human life. Based in East Germany, the unit specializes in counterassault strikes on laser-class BETA. When enthusiastic novice Katia Waldheim joins the 666th Squadron, she attracts the attention of East Germany’s secret police, the Stasi.

Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin

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Casval Rem Deikun’s lifestyle is thrown into disarray in the year 0068 of the Universal Century with his father’s death, a prolific figure in the battle for civil rights for humans who live beyond the Earth’s surface. Casval and his sister Artesia are aided by soldiers faithful to their father, and the siblings are spirited away from their home, separated, and forced into a twisted fate that sees them mature into soldiers and adults.

Casval must struggle with the growth of a military version of his father’s beliefs and his own vindictive temperament as cosmic war molds him into a legendary mobile suit pilot years before stealing the name Char Aznable or his “Red Comet” reputation.

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Dororo

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Daigo Kagemitsu, the selfish samurai’s land, is fading, and he will do anything for power, even reject Buddha and establish a contract with demons. His prayers are answered by 12 demons, who grant him the authority he seeks by assisting the growth of his prefecture but at a cost. When Kagemitsu’s first baby is born, he lacks limbs, a nose, eyes, ears, and even skin—yet he lives.

This infant is thrown into a river and abandoned. But, by chance, he is saved by a medicine man who gives him prosthetics and weaponry, allowing him to thrive and fend for himself. The boy grows and lives, and despite his inability to see, hear, or feel anything, he must overcome the demons that took him as a sacrifice. With each one’s death, he reclaims a piece of himself that is properly his. He walks alone for many years until one day, an orphan youngster named Dororo befriends him. In an unforgiving, demon-infested planet, the unlikely couple of castaways must now fight for their lives and humanity.

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Kingdom

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Many kingdoms rose and fell during China’s Warring States period, paving the way for another era of kings and generals to compete for supremacy. The unending cycle of battle produced seven formidable states.

Li Xin, a battle orphaned slave in Qin’s Empire, trains hard with his best buddy Piao, who shares his proud aim of becoming a Great General of the Heavens. A retainer of the King recruits Piao to work in the royal palace, forcing the two to part ways.

After a bloody military takeover, Piao comes to Xin, half-dead, with a mission to see China’s young King, Ying Zheng. Kingdom follows Xin as he enters the blood-soaked pages of Chinese history. He must forge his own path to distinction as a Great General of the Seven Warring States.

Attack on Titan

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Massive concentric walls forced people to hide from giant humanoid beings known as titans in terror centuries ago. What makes these giants so horrifying is their apparent pleasure in eating human flesh. The survivors built defensive walls to ensure their survival, resulting in a century without a titan encounter. It’s not long before a massive titan breaches the seemingly unassailable outer wall, reigniting the struggle to survive against the man-eating monstrosities.

Eren Yeager joins the Survey Corps, an elite military organization that combats the ruthless humanoids outside the walls, after experiencing a tragic personal tragedy. Based on Hajime Isayama’s award-winning manga, Shingeki no Kyojin follows Eren, his adoptive sister Mikasa Ackerman, and childhood buddy Armin Arlert as they join the terrible struggle against the titans.

Check Out: Anime Like Attack On Titan: What To Watch After Finishing The Show

So there you have it, anime fans. Our list of 25 anime like Vinland Saga. We’re sure there are other great period war anime out there that we missed, so be sure to let us know what they are and why you think they should have been on this list in the comments. And if you haven’t seen Vinland Saga yet, be sure to check it out – it definitely belongs on any list of best anime of all time. Thanks for reading!

Written by Charlie

I've watched a lot of anime in my days, but that doesn't stop me from watching more. Whether it be new or old, I'll give it a run-through and tell you what I think about it. We're currently living in the golden age of anime with so many great shows out there to watch.

Some are better than others for sure, but they're all worth checking out at least once. My beautiful daughters also love watching animes...well not as much as their dad does!