What if paradise came with a catch? Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Heavenly Delusion invites us to contemplate such questions. Here the remnants of humanity are divided into two very different places: a walled place called Heaven and a wasteland simply dubbed Outside.
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Now it’s up to Kiruko to take Maru, a teenage boy, to this so-called Heaven. Tengoku Daimakyo has quickly become one of the coolest anime of Spring 2023. Some are even comparing it to the recent HBO sensation, The Last of Us. Thus, fans are eager to dive into similar shows to keep the good times rolling.
Heavenly Delusion & Chainsaw Man are two stories about societal collapse. Monsters now prowl their empty streets and infest crumbling skyscrapers where vibrant gatherings once thrived. However, both are ultimately more different than similar.
While sharing apocalyptic themes, these stories represent different paths – the way of a desperate teenager fighting for survival and the way of one who navigates the delusions inside one’s own mind. Chainsaw Man has its unique appeal, but it won’t disappoint you.
Children Of The Whales
Though the setting differs a bit from Heavenly Delusion, the core idea of Children Of The Whales is alike. The children in this anime are raised in isolation from the rest of the world. They grew up believing the outside world was unsafe and unfit for them.
Their homes were their entire cosmos. That is, until the day a mysterious visitor arrived, bearing a message from beyond their limited horizon. This is very similar to how Tokio also received a message from the outside world. Now, the children question confinement and yearn to see the forbidden world.
The animated series School-Live! provides an intriguing juxtaposition of themes that appeals to all ages. On the surface, it follows a group of cute bubbly high school girls and their daily lives at school. However, there is a grimmer reality lurking underneath – the world outside has descended into a zombie apocalypse.
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Despite the darkness that surrounds them, the girls band together to survive with humor and heart. Each day is a struggle as they face hordes of the undead pounding on their doors. Yet they find moments of levity and kinship to lift their spirits.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
The 2009 anime is an 11-episode series with only one season. It’s set in a post-disaster world after a massive 8.0-magnitude earthquake hits Tokyo. Much like Heavenly Delusion, this setting creates a backdrop of chaos and destruction, in which characters must navigate a world that has been forever changed.
In Heavenly Delusion, the main characters, Maru and Kiruko, journey through a post-apocalyptic Japan, seeking a place called heaven. Similarly, Mirai and her brother Yuuki must travel through a ravaged metropolis to reunite with their families. The relationships between characters in both series are an essential part of the story as they learn to rely on one another to survive.
From the New World
From the New World presents characters living in a manufactured utopian village in the distant future. But Perfection comes at the cost of truth. Saki Watanabe, along with her friends Satoru Asahina, Maria Akizuki, Mamoru Itou, and Shun Aonuma, gradually uncover ugly secrets surrounding their society. This is similar to how Maru and Kiruko try to uncover the difference between Heaven and the outside wasteland.
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Both narratives explore themes of control and manipulation, with authority figures or privileged classes using deceptive methods to maintain power. In From the New World, the village leaders enforce strict rules and manipulate the inhabitants’ memories to maintain order, while in Heavenly Delusion, the nature of the Inside society suggests a similar level of control and deception.
The Promised Neverland
Does the truth set us free or bind us to a new set of rules? Both The Promised Neverland and Heavenly Delusion trick us into thinking all is bliss, only to flip the script and leave us utterly gobsmacked. Set in the year 2045, the story follows orphans in Grace Field House who are forbidden to venture beyond its gates.
The three main protagonists, Emma, Norman, and Ray, eventually discover that they’re being raised as fodder for the demons. While supernatural, its gritty art style and dark tones differ from ‘Heavenly Delusion’s rusty cyberpunk aesthetic. Heavenly Delusion focuses more on a ruined world strewn with the vestiges of advanced technology.
Girls’ Last Tour
Like any other dystopian, post-apocalyptic anime on this list, the existential exploration plot of Girls’ Last Tour is nothing new. However, in terms of atmosphere, premise, and character development, it offers much of what Heavenly Delusion has to offer.
The story follows two young girls, Chito and Yuuri, as they navigate the ruins of a war-torn world in their tiny tracked vehicle and stumble upon the relics of the past. While both series have distinct and expressive art styles, Girls’ Last Tour features more minimalistic and subdued character designs and backgrounds, whereas Heavenly Delusion has a more detailed and dynamic art style.
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