Shadow of the Erdtree official in-game art with Griffith from Berserk overlayed

The Best Anime & Manga For Elden Ring Fans

Shows to watch when fans need a break from grinding the Erdtree DLC.

With the highly-anticipated Elden Ring DLC, Shadow of the Erdtree, finally in the hands of players, the game has been getting talked about more than ever before. Elden Ring is a souls-like dark fantasy game where players take on the role of the Tarnished, an individual called to create a new “Elden Lord”, adventuring through the Lands Between.

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For fans of the series that are already knee-deep in the DLC, or for those who haven’t quite had the time to dive in just yet, there’s no better time to build on hype surrounding the Shadow of Erdtree release by watching and reading anime and manga that situate themselves in the dark fantasy genre.



While Hellsing doesn’t take place in a medieval fantasy setting, it does have all the grime and gore that fans of Elden Ring‘s brutal battles can’t get enough of. Hellsing follows an elusive organization that investigates a variety of supernatural threats. After being called in to look into a vampire terrorizing the village of Cheddar and turning the townsfolk into ghouls. The organization dispatches their most valuable member to look into the threat: a vampire called Alucard.

Hellsing is such a unique spin on dark fantasy in the way that it combines post-modern politics and social commentary in with a grisly, bloody story. Plus, for anime fans that love delving deep into franchises they love, Hellsing is an early example of a series that received the “Brotherhood” treatment. The original Hellsing anime only follows the manga up to a certain point before diverting slightly, while Hellsing Ultimate follows the manga’s story much more closely.

Bastard!! -Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy-


Action-packed with just the right amount of self-awareness to be fun and occasionally campy, 2022’s Bastard!!, based on the original manga by Kazushi Hagiwara and produced by Liden Films, embraces every eccentricity the series has to offer.

After an apocalyptic event caused by a demon named Anthrasax who was subsequently slain by the Dragon Knight, Earth is sent spiraling into a dark age. In the present day, a kingdom known as Metallicana is invaded by the “Dark Rebel Army”, who aim to bring the demon back to life. These events lead the the kingdom’s high priest requesting that his daughter reawaken Dark Schnieder, the leader of the Dark Rebels, who reincarnates in a young man named Lucien. While the story can be campy, with all the flashy designs and humor that comes from a series that originally released in the late 80s, it’s infectiously fun.



Based on Osamu Tezuka’s manga of the same name, 2019’s adaptation of Dororo by Tezuka Productions and MAPPA is a haunting blend of historical fiction and dark fantasy. The story follows Hyakkimaru, who, when he was born, had his organs and limbs sacrificed to twelve demon gods by a feudal lord in exchange for his people’s prosperity. He’s later adopted by a doctor named Jukai, who gives him his name and raises him as his own.

As Hyakkimaru becomes a teen, he is attacked by demons, but develops the idea to see their silhouettes and fights back. He reigns victorious, and regains the ability to feel pain. His adoptive father sends him on a journey to regain his body, and on his way meets a young child named Dororo. The two begin traveling together, learning many of the harsh realities of the world around them, and more importantly: what it means to be a human being.



Perhaps one of the most iconic high fantasy manga ever written, Claymore, created by Norihiro Yagi, takes place in a traditional medieval setting where humanity is being ravaged by beings called “Yoma”, shape-shifters that feed on humans. A group known only as “The Organization” maufactures Yoma-hybrids to fight back against this threat. Referred to as “Claymores” or “Silver-Eyed Witches” by the public, this elite force of female warriors are powered by demonic energy that gives them superhuman strength, similar to that of the Yoma.

Claymore‘s world is incredibly vast, and Norihiro’s artstyle is nothing short of breathtaking. The illustrations of the Yoma seems to loom off the page, and the fight sequences between the Claymores and their otherworldy prey are heartstoppingly intense. For fans of Elden Ring’s unique world and visually impressive monsters, Claymore is an instant favorite that diehard fans of the games shouldn’t go overlooking.



While it may seem like the obvious choice, for the uninitiated, Berserk is hands-down the best manga that fans of Elden Ring should be reading. In addition to the games constant nods and references to Miura’s legendary dark fantasy manga, Berserk is nothing short of a horrifying, gorgeous adventure story.

The manga follows Guts, a swordsman who, in the beginning, is a lone wolf; and Griffith, the leader of a band of mercenaries called the Band of the Hawk. The two eventually bond – but the story doesn’t end happily with the pair becoming some sort of adventuring party. Quite the contrary, with Griffith later betraying Guts and his crew, sacrificing them to a powerful demonic being. After this cataclysmic event, Guts journeys onward to seek revenge on Griffith. While there’s plenty of details being left out of such a simplified synopsis, Berserk is a legendary fantasy franchise, and while the series struggles to be adapted into an animated medium, it still stands as one of the most influential pieces of dark fantasy fiction to ever be released.

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Anna Williams
Anna Williams -- not to be confused with the Tekken character -- is an editor and writer that has been working closely with the anime and manga industry for over four years for a variety of publications including Comic Book Resources, Screen Rant, and We Got This Covered. She has had the opportunity to sit down and talk with key figures in the industry, and continue to grow a vast knowledge of the art and culture that goes into each new seasonal and ongoing franchise. She's also had the opportunity to work alongside indie game developers like Baroque Decay to edit and localize early devlog materials for their upcoming game Catechesis.