12 Fantasy Anime Like The Lord of the Rings

share to other networks share to twitter share to facebook
Anime Like The Lord of the Rings
Credit: Netflix

Have you ever wished there was an anime that feels just like your non-anime-related favorite thing? If, like most of us, you've thought about The Lord of the Rings a lot lately, we got you covered with this list of fantasy anime like The Lord of the Rings you should start watching.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power TV series has been a game-changer in the 2022 fantasy scene. Love it or hate it, you can't escape conversations about it.

Advertisement

Although some feel that this particular franchise shouldn't be expanded in this manner, plenty of fans enjoy the new series. And there will inevitably be more demand for similar things in the near future.

Bear in mind that, as a non-Western medium, anime tend to be governed by different tropes and fantasy conventions, meaning that you can't find a 100% perfect fit.

While there are plenty of anime based on classic literature, you have to be imaginative to find similarities between modern anime and classic Western books or series.

This is not to say that it's impossible to find anime that share at least one element with the The Lord of the Rings. Here are some examples:

  1. Ancient Magus' Bride

    If you enjoyed the more quiet moments of The Lord of the Rings, where everyday peace in the countryside is glorified, scenes of The Ancient Magus' Bride might give you similar vibes.

    Plot-wise, the anime doesn't have much in common with The Lord of the Rings. It features a magically gifted orphan girl, Chise, who is taken in by an ancient magus in the English countryside, where she experiences friendship and belonging for the first time.

    There's much in common between the hobbit lifestyle and the English countryside in the Victorian and Edwardian era.

    Chise's encounters with magic in the English countryside are a bit more contemporary, but the vibes are occassionally similar.

    Advertisement
  2. Berserk

    If what you enjoyed about The Lord of the Rings are the battles and the medievalist fantasy elements, give Berserk a try.

    It's admittedly much darker and it paints a bleaker picture of humanity, and certain elements will be considered far too dark today.

    Still, Berserk does a good job of portraying a Western-like medieval fantasy world with fights between knights and monsters, so it has a place on our list.

    Related: Where to Start Reading the Berserk Manga After Watching the Anime

  3. The Twelve Kingdoms

    How can an isekai anime with a female lead be similar to The Lord of the Rings (LOTR)?

    As we've established, there's no such thing as a perfect correlation between anime with LOTR but, once the main characters of The Twelve Kingdoms step into the magical world, similarities in the setting might be found.

    LOTR might not be a portal fantasy - as it takes place entirely in a secondary setting - but the hobbits start off knowing little about the wider world, and the same can be said for the characters of The Twelve Kingdoms.

  4. The Heroic Legend of Arslan

    The Heroic Legend of Arslan is among the works fans quote the most when asked for anime similar to The Lord of the Rings.

    The anime is based on a 1980s Japanese high fantasy novel series, but magic isn't all there is to know about it; battle strategy also plays a key role.

    The Heroic Legend of Arslan explores a war between two opposing nations, and it features a character's journey to take back his home. This character is meant to be king, but due to his circumstances, he's not quite there yet.

    The above all contribute to giving Arslan a spot on this list.

    Advertisement
  5. Fullmetal Alchemist

    Fullmetal Alchemist and the more manga-faithful Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood both have much more prominent science fiction elements compared to The Lord of the Rings, but there are similarities to be found in their themes.

    The Lord of the Rings focuses on the main character's effort to get rid of an evil artifact. On the other hand, Fullmetal Alchemist follows two characters who look for a restorative artifact that turns out to be more sinister than they suspected.

    Both works feature themes of self-sacrifice and the importance of hope, courage, and friendship.

  6. Golden Kamuy

    Once again, Golden Kamuy might not be the single most similar anime to The Lord of the Rings - one unfolds in the aftermath of the Russo-Japanese War of the early 20th century, and the other is an English work of fiction.

    But some fans of both have noted the timeless feel of Golden Kamuy, as well as the fact that the characters travel together and try to fulfill a quest.

    While Frodo and Sam travel to destroy the ring, the characters of Golden Kamuy embark on a journey to find treasure. So, the quest plot, which is so integral in many fantasy works, is definitely there.

  7. Princess Mononoke

    One of the reasons The Lord of the Rings remains so resonant is that it grapples with feelings of profound loss and features the disaster of the natural world for personal gain.

    These topics are also violently explored in Princess Mononoke, one of the most beloved Studio Ghibli films.

    The world of The Lord the Rings is changing, and even though the narrative ends with hope, some things of old will never return.

    The setting of Princess Mononoke is different, but it also features an old, glorious world that crumples under the pressure of man-made technological development, demonstrating both hope for the future and grief for what will not return.

  8. Moribito: Guardians of the Spirit

    Moribito: Guardians of the Spirit doesn't look very much like The Lord of the Rings at first glance.

    However, both works feature enchanting high fantasy settings and a character who is being hunted by those in power.

    Moreover, if you enjoyed The Lord of the Rings but would prefer your next fantasy watch to focus on female characters in positions of power, Moribito: Guardians of the Spirit is great in that regard.

    It came out back in 2007 but it still holds up well and is definitely worth a try.

  9. Record of Lodoss War

    Record of Lodoss War is another anime that The Lord of the Rings fans are bound to name as one of the most similar to the Western classic.

    As is the case with LOTR, Record of Lodoss War focuses on a war-torn world, where an old evil is resurfacing.

    If you'd like to see another group on a quest, the anime feature a party of six who belong to different fantasy races, including a high elf and a dark elf, among others.

    Plus, it was made back in the 1990s, so it will look a bit different from what we're used to these days, which can be refreshing.

    Related: Best Classic Anime to Watch

  10. To Your Eternity

    To Your Eternity features a sole character's journey as opposed to the fellowship that is originally formed in The Lord of the Rings.

    That being said, both works show an understanding of lonely journeys which others cannot follow.

    Moreover, since some LOTR characters are immortal and some aren't, the idea of death and being the only one not dying while losing loved ones is explored.

    If this is a topic that resonated with you in The Lord of the Rings, give To Your Eternity a go.

    Related: To Your Eternity Season 1 Recap

  11. The Witcher: The Nightmare of the Wolf

    The Witcher: The Nightmare of the Wolf is a 2021 spinoff to the series, focusing on Geralt's mentor, Vesemir.

    Overall, The Witcher is more violent than The Lord of the Rings, and occasionally much darker. However, there are common elements, as they both feature a fantasy world with different fantasy races, including individuals with magical abilities, elves, humans, and others.

    Both The Witcher and The Lord of the Rings began as fantasy books. If you enjoy the content of one, you are likely to at least find the other interesting.

  12. Bonus: The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim

    We cheated a little on this last one, as The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim hasn't come out yet, but we couldn't resist.

    At first glance, it might seem futile to look for anime like The Lord of the Rings, but there is actually going to be an anime movie that's based on it. The focus of this movie will be on a legendary king of Rohan.

    Miranda Otto will reprise her role as Eowyn, and she will also be the story's narrator, so we're reasonably excited for it to come out!