5 Best Manga and Anime like Ghost in the Shell

5 Popular Manga and Anime Series Similar to Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell

What is your favorite anime of all time? Ghost in the Shell is one of the most famous and influential anime series and movies, which has been positioned to spread and lead Japanese anime all over the world since the first film was released in the 1990s.

For fans who have watched all anime series and manga volumes and miss them, here is a recommendation list of 5 best manga and anime like Ghost in the Shell. You can find an excellent recent cyberpunk anime series and a legendary classic anime movie similar to Ghost in the Shell to watch next!

*Please note that this article contains affiliate links.

About Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell (攻殻機動隊) is one of the most famous and popular anime franchises worldwide. The cyberpunk series started as a manga series written by Masamune Shirow, published as the first volume in 1991. It was followed by the second volume 1.5: Human Error Processor and the third volume 2: Man-Machine Interface.

There are several anime series in Ghost in the Shell. The first anime movie Ghost in the Shell, directed by Mamoru Oshii, was released in 1995, and the sequel film Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence in 2004. The television anime series, which is known as Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, was broadcasted with 26 episodes between 2002 and 2003. The second season 2nd GIG also consists of 26 episodes airing from 2004 to 2005.

From 2013 to 2014, the newly titled movie series Ghost in the Shell: Arise came to the big screen, which contains 4 parts directed by Kazuchika Kise. There are also manga adaptations in Stand Alone Complex and Arise. In 2020, an original net animation titled Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 was distributed with 12 episodes on Netflix.

Based on the manga series by Masamune Shirow, the first live-action movie was released in 2017, directed by Rupert Sanders.

Ghost in the Shell is set in a futuristic sci-fi world around 2030 when the science technology including including cyborgs and cyberbrains is highly developed. It centers on a cyborg Major Motoko Kusanagi, works to prevent crimes with other Public Security Section 9 members.

▶︎Watch Ghost in the Shell right now!

5 Popular Manga and Anime Series Similar to Ghost in the Shell

1. Psycho-Pass

Psycho Pass: Inspector Shinya Kogami
Psycho Pass: Inspector Shinya Kogami

Psycho-Pass (PSYCHO-PASS サイコパス), a popular modern cyberpunk anime series, is one of the best anime series if you like Ghost in the Shell. The first season of the anime series was released with 22 episodes in 2012. There are three seasons of the anime series and five anime movie titles released so far.

Psycho-Pass is set in Japan in 2112, where citizens are controlled by Sibyl System. The futuristic computer network quantifies their psychological states and personalities. The numerical number is called Psycho-Pass. The thriller and cyberpunk anime focuses on the members of Unit One of the Ministry of Welfare Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Department.

▶︎Watch Psycho-Pass right now!

2. Akira


For fans of the Ghost in the Shell series, the worldly renowned anime movie Akira is a must-watch content. The Katsuhiro Otomo’s masterpiece is looked on as one of the best Japanese cyberpunk movies of all time. It was originally made as a manga written by him and its anime movie adaption was released in 1988, based on the first 3 volumes that had been published by then.

The setting of Akira is Neo Tokyo in 2019, where Tokyo is destroyed due to the outbreak of WWIII. There are two main characters in Akira: a leader of the Bosozoku group (Japanese biker gang) named Shotaro Kaneda and his childhood friend Tetsuo Shima. The story unfolds first when Tetsuo gains a supernatural power after a motorcycle accident.

▶︎Watch Akira right now!

3. Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop (カウボーイビバップ), categorizes as not only cyberpunk but also action and other genres, is similar to Ghost in the Shell. It has been known as one of the most famous anime series especially in foreign countries. The Sunrise’s anime consists of 26 episodes airing in 1998, which was followed by the first and only anime movie titled Cowboy Bebop: The Movie in 2001.

Cowboy Bebop is set in the space in 2071, where the bounty hunters including the protagonist Spike Spiegel and his partner Jet Black. They travel around the space in a spaceship called the Bebop, meeting other imperfect crews and combating against criminals.

▶︎Watch Cowboy Bebop right now!

4. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure vol.1
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (ジョジョの奇妙な冒険) is a dark-fantasy adventure manga and anime series, which has been loved by adults since the manga series started by Hirohiko Araki in 1986. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure consists of 8 parts with different titles released until today. The first five parts are adapted into anime adaptions from the first Phantom Blood in 2012-2013 to the fifth Golden Wind in 2018-2019. The sixth part Stone Ocean will be adapted into the fifth season of the anime series on Netflix in December, 2021.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure tells the story of the mysterious adventures of the Joestar family. A main character varies by the part, but they all are the Joestar family. There are a variety of unique characters with supernatural abilities and intense battle scenes between them in the whole series.

▶︎Watch JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure right now!

5. Black Lagoon

Black Lagoon
Black Lagoon

If you look for some unfamiliar manga and anime that are similar to Ghost in the Shell, a crime and thriller series Black Lagoon is highly recommended to check out. Its manga series written by Rei Hiroe has been serialized on Monthly Sunday Gene-X since 2002. The first anime adaptation with 12 episodes and the second half were released in 2006.

Black Lagoon is set in Roanapur, a fictional city in Thailand, in the end of the 20th century. The story begins when an ordinary business person Rokuro Okajima gets involved in crimes of the pirates called the Lagoon Company and comes to join it with another name Rock.

▶︎Watch Black Lagoon right now!

For more info about anime and other Japanese pop cultures, check these articles below, too!

▽Related Articles▽

▼Editor’s Picks▼

Written by

I'm writing by my motto: helping travelers spend their limited time experiencing something priceless in Japan. My articles won't let you down! Living in Tokyo and traveling many popular and hidden sites all over Japan, I deliver well-selected and latest tourist information to you from the perspective of “100% Japanese local”. My specific interests are island hopping, eating countless bowls of ramen, watching anime and reading manga. Enjoy Japan Web Magazine for recommended food spots, hidden gems Japanese Otaku (geek) culture, and everything about Japan :)