Top 5 Anime Like Wicked City (1987) that will hook you in on 2023

Top 5 Anime Like Wicked City (1987) that will hook you in on 2023

Having grown up being a fanatic of dark fantasy Anime, it seems nothing less than a pleasure when I am incited by our editorial board to write about those few underrated shows that go unnoticed for decades. Having set its debut long back in 1987, Wicked City, despite being limited to a smaller ‘OG’ Anime audience, had made quite an impact. My peers would even say that Wicked City Anime was way ahead of its time. Crafted beautifully by Madhouse studio – which you may know as the studio that made Hunter x Hunter or One Punch Man, this anime was selected by our Spiel Anime team to become the center of recommendations. And staying true to such a center, here we bring 5 Anime like Wicked City which you’ll definitely want to crave if you liked the former.

Top 5 anime like Wicked City

5) Cyber City Oedo 808

A still from Cyber City Oedo 808
A still from Cyber City Oedo 808 (Image via Madhouse Studio)

Cyber City Oedo 808 is a cyberpunk anime set in the year 2808. This anime presents us the three criminals who make an unusual deal with a police officer (which could get them blown into pieces if they fail to comply with it), only to get the boredom out of their monotonous life. 

Cyber city Oedo 808 is an anime that perfectly matches the vibe of Wicked City with its dark, gritty atmosphere and its use of cyberpunk elements to show the ugliness of people in the era of technology. Being crafted by Madhouse Studio, noticing certain similarities in animation and art style is obvious. While both incorporate the dystopian plotlines and the themes of violence and whatnot, Cyber City is more leaning on the tech noir curve when it comes to genre.

4) Demon City Shinjuku

A still from Demon City Shinjuku
A still from Demon City Shinjuku (Image via Madhouse Studio)

Demon City Shinjuku, as the name suggests, explores the post-apocalyptic world in Shinjuku, Japan. The story follows two unlikely heroes: a martial artist named Kyoya and a psychic detective named Sayaka. Together, they take on the daunting task of battling the dark forces that have taken control of Shinjuku, turning it into a nightmarish horror show.

Similar to Wicked City, Demon City Shinjuku is a hybrid of Cyberpunk and Horror elements. From the author, Hideyuki Kikuchi, to the production house, Madhouse Studio, the technical aspects of both anime are all but the same. While the plot also may appear similar as both anime revolve around protagonists fighting monsters in a dystopian, technologically advanced world, there are certain speculations within the anime community about these two anime being connected to each other. However, there are no official Sources confirming it.

3) Devilman: Crybaby

A still from Devilman: Crybaby
A still from Devilman: Crybaby (Image via Netflix)
  • Release date: January 5, 2018
  • IMDb rating: 7.6
  • Streaming Platform: Netflix
  • Studio: Science SARU

Devilman: Crybaby is a modern reimagining of the classic Devilman series and it takes a bold and provocative approach by exploring the themes of nudity, graphic violence, and other mature content, effectively delivering a raw and unfiltered experience. Our protagonist Akira Fudo, becomes a Devilman to combat a rising tide of demonic forces threatening humanity. 

One of its most striking aspects is the way it depicts the often unsettling behavior of humans when faced with extraordinary circumstances. The demon designs are imaginative and grotesque, which is somewhat similar to what Wicked City tried to portray. While the animation is unique, it is poorly executed and we certainly expected more from Netflix.

2) Ninja Scroll

A still from Ninja Scroll
A still from Ninja Scroll (Image via Madhouse Studio)
  • Release date: June 5, 1993
  • IMDb rating: 7.8
  • Streaming Platform: Unfortunately, the Ninja Scroll anime film is not available on any streaming platform (Probably because of its mature content), though you can watch the TV series released in 2003 on Amazon Prime Video, and Crunchyroll
  • Studio: Madhouse

Calling Ninja Scroll just a film is undermining its contribution to the anime world. If you love the gore and action the same way as i do, you would be loving the 1993 version of this cult classic. The story follows Jubei Kibagami, a wandering ninja who becomes entangled in the web of a deadly conspiracy involving powerful and malevolent demons. 

Directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, the same talent behind Wicked City, Ninja Scroll is filled with action and bloodshed that haunted us in the Wicked City. However, it is set in feudal Japan and includes more traditional elements such as masked samurais, Kimonos and of course, the poisoned shurikens. Coincidentally, Ninja Scrolls is produced and animated by Madhouse as well.

1) Berserk

A still from Berserk anime
A still from Berserk anime (Image via Netflix)
  • Release date: October 8, 1997
  • IMDb rating: 8.7
  • Streaming Platform: Netflix
  • Studio: OLM Team Iguchi

Berserk is a dark fantasy anime that takes you to a brutal medieval world filled with demons and unflinching violence. Now, while it’s true that the 1997 series might not fully substitute for the manga and does have its share of less-than-stellar animation, it’s still worth a watch. 

What makes Berserk similar to Wicked City is the unapologetically dark and mature content. Just like Wicked City, Berserk doesn’t shy away from explicit scenes involving unnatural offenses and disturbing moments that will never leave your brain (unless of-course you listen to Stay with me by Miki Matsubara)


While this list of top 5 anime like Wicked City may have formed your upcoming watchlist, it is important to keep in mind the explicit and NSFW nature of them. And that is why, I would advise to read the description and guidelines provided by the streaming channels, before you start cherishing the violence you crave for. 

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