Top 5 Survival Anime – Murder Games, Zombies and More

Top 5 Survival Anime

There’s been a seeming resurgence of the survival anime throughout 2021 as we had High Rise Invasion, the recently completed Battle Game in 5 Seconds, and the Fall Season is bringing us Platinum End. There’s been plenty of others as well and for live action you can always jump on the Squid Game bandwagon.

As such, it seemed kind of appropriate timing for me to look at my favourite survival anime and count down my top 5. I will admit, I didn’t stick to just death match games but looked at anime where there was a focus on the character surviving a situation. That said I did consider and leave a few prominent titles off of my list.

What are your top 5 survival anime? Leave a comment below.

For instance Btoom and Deadman Wonderland both didn’t make my top 5 in the end largely because without any kind of resolution in the anime (or even really feeling like we’d gotten to something resembling a reasonable stopping point) they have limited rewatch value unless you really do just like watching anime characters die in painful ways. However, both are actually probably better quality and potentially better stories than some of the titles I did include on my list and fans of the survival genre should probably check them out anyway.

No. 5 Bokurano

Bokurano is a survival anime though your chances of surviving are pretty random.

Bokurano is an anime I have talked about before and it definitely falls into the category of survival anime given the kids who are tricked into piloting the robot know they will die if they are the selected pilot.

However it isn’t just the kids who find themselves needing to find a way to survive as Bokurano puts entire realities on the line and the lives of everyone and everything is at stake in what is seemingly a fairly pointless excuse for a giant robot battle and the worst game of musical chairs ever.

Here murdering your companions won’t do you much good so at the very least we are spared a massacre of 12 year olds (actually I can’t remember how old the kids are but either way that would be tragic).

No. 4 King’s Game

King's Game - Survival Anime

Well, those who have followed my blog for any length of time had to know I was going to include King’s Game on a list of survival anime. It is so bad it is almost hilarious as a group of teens get roped into a game where they receive instructions on their phone that they must complete or suffer horrible punishment (usually horrific death).

I can’t even remember if the worst moment was when they tried to suggest a real world virus somehow became a computer virus infecting mobile phones or whether it was the character who was on fire calmly delivering exposition to the characters who were going to survive after her. There were a number of other equally ridiculous moments along the way.

What I do appreciate about King’s Game is that despite the standard horror trope of knowing that the game will start up again (because there always has to be an opening for a sequel), King’s Game as a series does conclude well enough. This group of characters are mostly dead and there’s been a final confrontation between the two main rivals in the plot. It ends up being pretty satisfying if you can handle how decided b grade (okay maybe c or d grade) the overall anime is.



No. 3 Eden of The East

Eden of the East - Survival Anime

The last thing you expect when you meet a naked man holding a gun while on vacation is that said naked man is actually an amnesiac who is part of the weirdest game ever. Eden of the East has our main character carrying a phone which allows him to access a lot of money and seemingly unlimited ability to spend it to make things happen. Only thing is he is tasked with saving Japan and failure does mean death.

Not to mention there’s a whole bunch of other phone wielding characters, some of which seem very unbalanced, and ultimately surviving is going to depend on out-thinking them in how you creatively use that money and power at your disposal.

Again, this one isn’t just a blood bath or battle royale, but more a situation where really only one character can save Japan. There’s always the question of who is pulling the strings to make his requests happen and how do you place value on something like making a politician say uncle while in parliament?

Anyway, Eden of the East is an intriguing watch and what could have turned into a simple fight for the phones actually ends up being a much more complex and interesting story.

No. 2 Future Diary

Future Diary - Survival Anime

I just realised that 3 of my top 5 survival anime revolve around the use of phones. Anyway, Future Diary or Mirai Nikki is pretty much exactly what you would expect from a survival anime. Here are twelve characters given special powers through their phone diaries (are phone diaries even a real thing?) and now they are going to kill each other in order to become God.

I still wonder about this system because being ruled over by someone ruthless enough to slaughter 11 others on their way to victory doesn’t sound like a positive outcome.

That said, Future Diary is unapologetically violent and boasts some of the most ridiculously over-the-top moments in anime ever. Expect bomb blasts in a school, blood splatter of all descriptions, and one yandere character who still kind of tops the list in Yuno Gasai.

Do not expect anything resembling nuance or subtlety and don’t expect the characters to really get much in the way of growth or development. While they are interesting, the vast majority of the cast are one-note and it works for this survival anime as it doesn’t pretend to be anything more than an excuse for a slaughter.

No. 1 School Live

School Live - Survival Anime

If you haven’t watched School Live I’m about to spoil a reveal that comes at the end of episode 1 and explain why this is my very favourite survival anime.

Still with me?

Okay, School Live is a survival anime in the very strictest sense of the word. Our cute female students are actually the only known survivors of the zombie outbreak and they are sheltering in their school.

The cute contrast between the character designs and the bright fluffy moments where we see their everyday friendship versus the real risk of being attacked by zombies as well as the way this story deals with the mental impact of the horrific situation really does make it something special to watch. While it doesn’t bring the mindless death and carnage of so many other horror or survival anime, it gives us a very human story set in a horrific environment.

Top 5 Survival Anime
These were my favourite survival anime but I’d love to know yours so be sure to leave a comment below.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Tuesday’s Top 5: Characters Who Love Their ‘Darling’ To Death

Tuesday's Top 5

Yes, this post has been inspired by Darling in the Franxx’s Zero Two, unfortunately she doesn’t get a place on the list due to the uncertainty about how her character will develop from here.

Certainly she has all the traits of the characters below so far. Obsessively possessive of her chosen ‘Darling’, not entirely needing consent though does appreciate the thought, and willing to cut other people out of their ‘Darling’s’ lives if necessary. I’m pretty sure you can guess some of the names below but as always, I’d love to know who you would have included on your list. Which anime character do you think loves their ‘Darling’ to death?

Please note: There will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions: Zero Two of course.

Number 5: Misa Amane from Death Note

There is no surprise that Misa made this list. The cute, sweet idol obsessed with Kira. She latches onto Light and promises to be helpful. She’ll follow his every command and do as he says. But no, he cannot date anyone else and no he cannot even pretend to be with other girls. Why? Because she’ll kill them in an instant and does not care that they may bring the police down on both of them. Misa was never one for a strategy. She went straight after what she wanted and what she wanted was Light’s absolute loyalty. And while Misa never did get Light killed, that was more good luck than good management. If it hadn’t been for her he would never have had to go through the whole confinement thing which would have made life a lot easier for him later.

Number 4: Haru from My Little Monster

Now, Haru is an interesting character and a lot of the time his bizarre actions are more a lack of understanding of norms than actual malice, and yet threatening to rape a girl the day after you met her is kind of extreme. The fact that these two end up being an adorable couple is kind of terrifying when put in that context, mostly because Shizuku spends a lot of time putting some very clear boundaries in place, particularly when he did punch her (technically an accident but still not cool). However, while Haru becomes far better at moderating his behaviour as directed toward Shizuku, Kenji Yamaguchi, who also kind of likes Shizuku, is not so lucky. At one point Haru nearly pushed him off a flight of stairs and was only stopped because he was distracted by Shizuku and another time Haru made it clear that his change in behaviour only applied to Shizuku. Not exactly an amazing example of reform or healthy relationships really. Fortunately though, no deaths in the show. It is a romantic comedy despite the serious doses of ‘what’ going on in Haru’s character description.

Number 3: Creed Diskenth from Black Cat

The guy is just obsessed with Train. That’s literally hit entire motivation and reason for being. He follows Train within the Chronos organisation and when Train leaves he completely loses it. The fact that Train left after being influenced by a friend (possibly closer than a friend) truly infuriated Creed and so Creed killed her. And then made sure Train knew that he had killed her. A lot of the time it is unclear is Creed is trying to kill Train or confine him or just mess with him but basically Creed is pretty stable as a character (as much as possible for a villain), until you throw Train into the mix and then he is a complete and utter psycho. I guess it never really occurred to him that Train legitimately did not care about him at all until he killed Saya. And even then, Train didn’t actually care about Creed. He just wanted to destroy the person who destroyed Saya. It didn’t matter that it was Creed. Again, Creed doesn’t manage to kill Train but he does come very close on multiple occasions.

Playasia - Play-Asia.com: Online Shopping for Digital Codes, Video Games, Toys, Music, Electronics & more

Number 2: Yuno Gasai from Future Diary

I can already hear people asking, why is Yuno not number one on this list. And certainly, if we were just going with being crazy, Yuno is definitely a good contender. Still, in terms of loving their Darling to death, Yuno’s got some fierce competition. Mostly because I’m not entirely certain how much Yuno actually is in love rather than just obsessed with Amano. On the other hand, she’s one of the few people on this list who did in fact kill her Darling, even if it was in another timeline. So, basically, she swears to protect him in the death game, but mid-way through she tries confining him by tying him to a chair. Afterwards we learn that previously these two were the last two left standing and she killed him in order to be the victor and then she’s killed her past-self, inserted herself into that life, and done the whole thing again. You just have to wonder if she expected it to end differently the next time.

Number 1: Road Kamelot from D Gray Man

It absolutely had to be Road. She is a truly sadistic character who is, unfortunately for Allen, obsessed with our white haired exorcist friend. Mid-battle she can go from attacking him with kisses to shoving a spike through his eye in about the space of a heart beat and she sure doesn’t care about anyone near Allen, unless she thinks she can torture him by hurting them. Her obsession runs deep and she’s more than once allowed him to live when she could have killed him, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t had a fair go at inflicting quite a bit of pain on him. D Gray Man Hallow saw her assisting him from her doll form, though whether that will continue or whether she is just leading him to yet another disaster is anyone’s guess unless we get another continuation of the anime (or, you know I could eventually read the source material). Either way, Road was the first character I thought of for this list. She is ice cold, completely obsessed, and has a real taste for pain.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Future Diary Series Review

future2

Overview:

Amano is your completely typical loner who struggles with social interactions so spends most of his time writing a diary on his phone where he documents things that happen around him (not things he does because he does very little). He has two imaginary friends that he talks to when he’s alone at home and everything is kind of fine until one of his imaginary friends gives him phone the ability to see the future and it turns out he isn’t the only one with this ability and his imaginary friend isn’t so imaginary.

Review:

Future Diary is one of those stories that goes for an absolutely cool premise. Phones that tell the future, a death match to see who can become a god, crazy pink haired chick who has a major obsession with the main protagonist, etc, etc. The set up is just screaming that this show is edgy and cool. And in honesty, if you just watch the first two episodes it kind of pulls off the kind of tone it needs to sell this. Unfortunately, while the series has some truly spectacular moments, what it doesn’t have is cohesion and good pacing and the characters, while they fit into their assigned roles well enough, don’t really do enough to carry the downtime in this plot. So what we are left with are sensationalist moments that stick in your memory and a plot that ends up being wafer thin at best.

future4

That isn’t to say Future Diary isn’t a fun ride. If you just want to buckle in and watch the diary users hunt each other down and then pick each other off in increasingly violent ways than you will have a lot of fun with this story even if the ending does leave you wondering a bit (though I’ll talk more about the ending later). Each diary user has enough individualism both in their personality and in the way their diary operates to bring something fresh to the table and other than Yuno and Amano, none of them stick around long enough to become boring despite a lack of depth to their personalities. Although, the fact that they are all just a little bit broken and crazy certainly raises some questions.

future7

At the heart of this story is Deus Ex Machina (yes, that is the name of the character). He’s one of Amano’s imaginary friends but it turns out he’s actually a god and he has set this game in motion in order to find a successor.  Which of course raised a number of questions:

01. Why can’t the god just choose a successor? Why does he need some elaborate game to determine who it should be?

02. Would you really want the lone survivor from a brutal death match actually being given that kind of power because even if they weren’t messed up to start with, surely you suspect they are going to be by the end?

03. Was the selection of all of these highly flawed individuals actually deliberate as a message that everyone is actually crazy and they just need a catalyst to send them over the edge or is that just wishful thinking that maybe there was more thought put into the cast than just what would be interesting on screen for the episode before the inevitable death sequence?

future5

None of these questions get reasonable answers though there is some attempt to justify the game as a means of selection. However, considering Deus is at the centre of everything that happens, he’s an almost non-character. Even when Amano first introduces us to his imaginary friends it is Mur Mur who gets your attention as Deus is a decidedly passive character.

Which doesn’t stop him from painting a target on Amano’s back before the first episode is over. Deus declares, in front of all the other diary users, that Amano is his favourite to win the game. Um, did you want him dead? Or being a god did you already foresee how the game would play out regardless? Or am I once again just trying to find logic in something that is inherently just a cheap excuse to send all of the other members Amano’s way which certainly speeds up what could otherwise be a very slow story if we actually had to wait for Amano to figure anything out.

future3

Speaking of Amano, as the main character he is rubbish. I like the idea of socially awkward loner being forced into this life or death situation but he is far too pathetic and his co-dependence on Yuno is problematic from the start (even before we knew just how crazy she was). More importantly, Amano fails time and again to grow as a character. Characters being pathetic early on is fine and understandable, but not learning and repeating similar mistakes over and over just becomes tedious.

Yuno on the other hand has become a running joke. She’s just so incredibly over the top. While she certainly has good reason to be deeply scarred, as a character she’s more of a caricature and it becomes very difficult to take her seriously as either a love interest or a threat (though clearly for the story to work we need to see her as both). By the way, if you have an issue with her tying Amano to a chair to protect him and then attempting to kill off the friends he has somehow come across throughout this story then you should probably pass on this story.

future1

Moving on from the characters, the story itself is pretty standard for most of the run time. Introduce diary user, see their particular trick or trait, run around for a bit, confrontation, brutal death scene. There’s variations and at times the story introduces more than one diary user or builds in temporary alliances to shake things up, but ultimately the object of this story is just to knock down the players. The occasional interference from Deus or Mur Mur also breaks things up, and front and centre we have the tragic story of Yuno and Amano playing out. All of this works well enough, even if it isn’t amazing in terms of narrative.

Spoilers ahead.

future6

Where the story goes off the rails is right at the end where we find out this is not the first time this death match has played out. The previous winner wasn’t happy with the way things ended and after acquiring the power of god created another reality, replaced themselves, and decided to given themselves a do-over. It certainly explains a few things and actions taken by the character and it is a nice idea for a twist but when we see how this match ends and what the winner does it all just seems like this story is trying too hard to justify itself rather than embracing that it is really just a popcorn worthy show.

End spoilers.

If you haven’t already seen Future Diary and you enjoy a story with a bit of violence, action, and a mild-psychological thriller element, then you will probably get quite a kick out of watching this series. However, if you aren’t a fan of that style there isn’t much else here to look at, unless you really want to know why Yuno is the craziest character ever.

I’d love to know what you thought of Future Diary.


Are you a fan of 100WordAnime.blog?

If you like this site and you like what I do, please consider becoming a patron.

patreon

Thanks,

Karandi James.

avatar