The 7 Best Survival Games Anime

The 7 Best Survival Games Anime

Kirito duels Heathcliff in Sword Art Online.

Image via Crunchyroll

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Sword art online, Sword Art Online II, Tower of God, Btooom!, Future diary, Deadman’s Wonderlandand Alice in Wonderland.

World famous novel became manga Battle royalewritten by Koushun Takami and illustrated by Masayuki Taguchi, hit the shelves back in 2003. However, in an ironic twist of fate, while Battle royale itself was never adapted into an anime, its birth nevertheless inspired the creation of many survival game animefor example, the popular programs Sword Art online and Future diary. That said, not all survival anime are created equal, and you don’t want to waste your valuable time watching a dud.

To save you time and effort, we’ve done the work for you and put together a list of the seven best survival anime of all time. Let’s hold on to hope that one of these days we can add one Battle royale anime adaptation at the bottom in the first half, so let’s all do our best to survive to see it happen!

7. Alice in Wonderland

Short anime from 2014-2015 Alice in Wonderland – based on the manga by Haro Aso – introduces us to the apathetic protagonist Ryouhei Arisu and his two friends, who are inexplicably transported to a strange place called “the borderland”. There they are forced to participate in a series of games, with the warning that failure will mean their death.

The survival games in Alice in Wonderland takes place in a parallel, post-apocalyptic world in strange rooms, and requires skill in playing card games. Players are killed when their life visa expires or if they refuse to participate. At the end of the game, two players must survive to press the two buttons that allow them to clear the game.

Despite the danger of the survival game, Ryouhei feels more alive in it than he has in the outside world in a long time. Players who fail are shot by a mysterious man with a horse’s head, so there is a lot at stake for the participants in Alice in Wonderland.

6. Deadman’s Wonderland

Blood is a big deal in 2012 anime Deadman’s Wonderland – adapted from the manga by writer Jinsei Kataoka and illustrator Kazuma Kondou – especially since the unique abilities found in the world it depicts are entirely blood dependent. When protagonist Ganta Igarashi is accused of murdering his entire class after surviving the destruction of a mysterious “Red Man” who used his own blood as a weapon to carry out the deed, he is sent to a prison and amusement park known as “Deadman Wonderland.”

While there, Ganta is injected with a deadly poison every three days that can only be reversed by taking a candy antidote that prisoners at Deadman Wonderland can purchase with Cast Points, and winning these requires them to participate in dangerous survival games.

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Helped by a mysterious girl named Shiro, Ganta survives participation in one of these games. But when his “Deadman” power is discovered, revealing his ability to use blood as a weapon, he is upgraded to participate in the popular “Carnival Corpse” gladiator fights.

Just so you know, Deadman’s Wonderland isn’t shy about showing particularly gruesome deaths, so it’s not for the faint of heart.

5. Future diary

Anime Future diary – inspired by Sakae Esuno’s corresponding manga and aired from 2011 to 2013 – ups the ante on the survival game by including the deity as the main prize for winning. This death match is seen primarily through the eyes of contestant Yukiteru (“Yuki”) Amano, accompanied by savior and stalker-competitor Yuno Gasai. Future diarythe survival game is set in motion by Deus Ex Machina, the god of time and space, who seeks a replacement before his impending death destroys the universe, with the 12 selected players competing for the role.

Each player is assigned a Future Diary, a modified version of their phone that can predict parts of their potential future and is unique to the type of person they are. When a contestant’s Future Diary is destroyed, the owner dies, a fate each contestant tries to avoid whenever the message “Dead End” pops up on their phone, signaling that another player is on the trail. Also in this survival game, the future can be changed, but since everyone gets information about the possible future on their phones, it is ultimately up to their distinct abilities and personality whether they can make it.

Interestingly enough i Future diarythe survival game takes place in the outside world, while the participants continue to live their normal lives.

4. Btooom!

Unfortunately, Junya Inoue’s Btooom! didn’t really get the attention it deserved, with only one anime season being produced in 2012, and the rest of the manga’s history going unanimated. The season begins with Ryota Sakamoto, a top-level player in the strategic, grenade-based video game Btooom!, waking up on a deserted island with no memory of how he got there. He soon finds out that he and 29 others were kidnapped and flown there by Btooom!its sociopathic game creator to participate in a model survival game Btooom!after being nominated by people from their past lives.

To win the survival game in Btooom!, contestants must collect seven chips, crystal shards embedded in each player’s hand that double as sonar devices capable of detecting anyone moving within a certain radius, killing their owners before they can be let off the island. Therefore, only four players will be able to make it Btooom! alive. The weapons assigned to each participant consist of BIMS, the grenades from the corresponding video game.

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Players quickly split into teams to maximize their odds of survival. There is no food or water on the island, so in order to collect supplies that a mysterious helicopter occasionally drops off, participants must find a strategic way to obtain these resources without being ambushed.

IN Btooom!manga, the final showdown is split into two possible endings and takes place in two separate locations, with three allies from the outside world taking on the evil organization sponsoring the game and Ryota (along with his teammates, including female lead and love interest Himiko, in one version) takes on the last combative player and his boyhood friend-turned-enemy, Nobutaka Oda.

3. Tower of God

Due to the creation of a popular ongoing web movie by Lee Jong-hui, anime Tower of God revolves around protagonist Baam and his foil, Rachel, who aim to reach the top of a tower that will grant the climber their heart’s desire upon successful ascent. To do this, it is necessary to participate in a series of challenges on each floor. Not wanting to part with his friend, Baam follows Rachel into the tower and begins his own climb.

Although players can die in Tower of Godits dangerous and difficult games, not many actually have that far in history, including in the webtoon. However, abandoning the climb or failing a test results in participants being returned to wherever they came from. Also, after reaching a certain level, players can sometimes retake tests after failing. Although the challenges taken on risk the contestants’ survival, the point is for the winners to reach the next level, not for most of the contestants to die in a winner-takes-all scenario. After all, they participate in the tower climb, along with its challenges, of their own free will to achieve a dream.

However, some competitive contestants, like Rachel, are willing to play dirty to reach the top of the tower and the dreams it promises, which include a readiness to kill. So far in Tower of Godit really seems like she has it out for Baam, after pushing him to what should be his death, at least as far as we know.

2. Sword Art Online II

Although Sword art onlinethe 2015 sequel, Sword Art Online IInot involving the run-of-the-mill type of survival game from the previous season, protagonist Kirito finds himself entering a virtual reality survival game Gun Madness Online. After an unknown masked figure who goes by the name “Death Gun” begins targeting popular players Gun Madness Online by shooting their avatars through a video screen – which somehow coincides with their actual deaths in the real world – Kirito is recruited by the government to go into the game undercover to investigate.

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While allied with fellow player Sinon, Kirito soon engages in a successful virtual confrontation with the mysterious entity beneath Guns Crazy Onlines gun-battle tournament, but it turns out the battle isn’t just virtual. It just so happens that Death Gun is an enemy from Kirito’s past, and has been stealing the personal information of rival players and sending goons to break into their apartments to kill them. Sword Art Online II ends with a life-or-death struggle in the real world when one of Death Gun’s accomplices breaks into Sinon’s apartment.

1. Sword art online

Based on a light novel series by Reki Kawahara, anime series Sword art online refers to virtual reality video games that allow players to feel that they are actually in the game. This is made possible by NerveGear “helmets” that can manipulate a player’s brain.

IN Sword art onlineits first season in 2012, rogue game creator Akihiko Kayaba decides to trap players in his newly released Sword art online virtual reality game by eliminating the logout feature, trapping protagonist Kirito and female lead and love interest Asuna, along with thousands of other players, inside. To exit the game and preserve their lives, players must defeat all 100 floors Sword art onlinetheir virtual world, Aincrad, with their final victory culminating in defeating the final boss on the top floor. If they die in the game, they will also die in the real world, with Nervegear “helmets” set to fry their brains if anyone tries to remove them.

With this grim reality in place, Sword art onlineits kidnapped players band together in guilds, working together to win important items, improve their skills and defeat monsters, with the final boss of each floor being the biggest challenge to overcome once the “boss room” is discovered. However, although the purpose of this survival game is not to kill other players, but for as many as possible to reach the last floor, some guilds become murderous gangs intent on stealing items from others. Therefore, towards the end of Sword art onlinehis season many players have been killed by other players, virtual monsters or their own hand.

Interestingly, the survival game i Sword art online does not reach its planned conclusion on the long-awaited 100th floor. Rather, it is on the 75th floor (during a boss fight) when Kirito realizes that another player is actually Akihiko Kayaba in disguise. The final showdown consists of a duel between Kirito and the game creator, with the lives of those remaining Sword art Online players on the line.

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