Did you know there are TONS of anime and manga fans here at Dreamscape?
Well, now you do!
With an office full of otakus, it’s no surprise that we would celebrate our love of both storytelling formats by combining the two with an “If You Like This Anime/Manga, Listen to that Audiobook” recommendation-style blog! Read on for audiobooks we think you should listen to based on your favorite anime/manga. Already an avid audiobook listener? Use this list to help you pick out your next anime/manga.
After all, it’s always fun to try new formats – no matter what you enjoy!
Like Solo Leveling? Listen to…
Written by Kaz Hunter, narrated by Pete Cross
Solo Leveling has taken webcomic fandoms by storm since it started publishing in 2016. While technically Solo Leveling doesn’t have an anime out currently, one is set to air in January 2024!
Solo Leveling follows Sung Jinwoo, a pathetically weak hunter. Hunters are human warriors with supernatural abilities that help them defeat deadly monsters. After a tragic event, Jinwoo is chosen by a mysterious program called the System that gives him the ability to “level up” in strength which begins the journey for this solo leveling hunter.
Like Solo Leveling, System Fall is an action-packed, Gamelit-inspired world where both MCs have to go up against the presence of a higher power and defeat deadly foes along the way.
Fueled by memories of a fallen world and revenge, Nick takes on a quest to take down the all-powerful [Admin]. Armed with nothing more than his grit, his experience, and an unyielding will, his every decision becomes a high-stakes gamble in a world changed by the coming of the system. Powerful and otherworldly foes obstruct his path, their strength formidable enough to pulverize any ordinary man. But Nick is far from ordinary. He embodies humanity’s best hope to overcome the catastrophe known as System Fall and to challenge the [Admin].
Like Death Note? Listen to…
The Keeper of Night
Written by Kylie Lee Baker, narrated by Rebecca Yeo
If you watch anime, there’s a good chance you’ve watched, or at least heard of Death Note.
The story follows high school student Light Yagami who discovers a notebook called “Death Note”. The notebook belonged to a Shinigami named Ryuk. This ominous notebook grants the user the supernatural ability to kill anyone just by writing down their name. Yagami takes advantage of this ability which starts a cat-and-mouse chase between Light and a special task force dedicated to taking down his “Kira” persona.
Want a story like Death Note with morally grey characters and frightening Shinigami as the star of the show (erm audiobook)? The Keeper of the Night is the perfect pick for you!
Half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami, Ren Scarborough has been collecting souls in the London streets for centuries. Expected to obey the harsh hierarchy of the Reapers who despise her, Ren conceals her emotions and avoids her tormentors as best she can.
When her failure to control her Shinigami abilities drives Ren out of London, she flees to Japan to seek the acceptance she’s never gotten from her fellow Reapers.
Accompanied by her younger brother, the only being on earth who cares for her, Ren enters the Japanese underworld to serve the Goddess of Death… only to learn that here, too, she must prove herself worthy. Determined to earn respect, Ren accepts an impossible task—find and eliminate three dangerous Yokai demons—and learns how far she’ll go to claim her place at Death’s side.
Like Yona of the Dawn? Listen to…
A Bright Heart
Written by Kate Chenli, narrated by Natalie Naudus
In Yona of the Dawn, Princess Yona has grown up sheltered in her royal palace… but not for long. When the man she loves kills her father, Yona must flee the palace and leave this life behind. She begins a journey to find four dragon warriors to survive her ordeal and save her country.
Both Yona and Mingshin, the main character of A Bright Heart, are betrayed by a man they love which was the catalyst that began both their tales of intrigue, romance, and betrayal.
Like Yona, Mingshin is sure to swiftly win you over with her quick wits, strategic mind, and fierce protectiveness of her family.
Mingshin outsmarted three princes to help the man she loved become king. But she doesn’t see Ren’s betrayal coming, not until she’s lying in a pool of her own blood on the palace steps. As she’s dying, Mingshin makes a desperate plea to the gods to turn back time and give her a chance to make things right. Mingshin wakes up two years earlier, her prayer granted, and swears two things: Ren will never become king, and she will never fall in love again.
But the timeline in this life has changed: a dignitary gifted with dark magic is threatening her kingdom’s peace, and Ren’s thirst for power runs deeper than Mingshin could have imagined. She finds herself allying with Jieh, another contender for the throne. Mingshin knows better than to give her heart to a prince but in the viper’s nest of the royal court, she and Jieh prove a phenomenal team.
Can Mingshin avert the catastrophe of her past by once again learning to trust…and maybe even love?
Like Bride of the Water God? Listen to…
The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea
Written by Axie Oh, narrated by Rosa Escoda
In Bride of the Water God, a young girl named Soah is sacrificed to the water god to end a long drought. Instead of dying, she is welcomed in his kingdom and the water god turns out to be nothing like the monster she expected him to be.
Like Soah, Mina’s homeland in The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is ravaged by disaster. The solution in both stories? Each year a young girl is sacrificed to appease a water god, however, both gods are more than what they seem.
Fans of Spirited Away will also find much to love in Mina’s journey into the Spirit Realm.
Like the drought in Bride of the Water God, Mina’s homeland is ravaged by deadly storms, floods, and wars. Her people believe the Sea God curses them with death and despair. To appease him, a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God’s bride each year. Shim Cheong, the most beautiful girl in Mina’s village, is believed to be the final bride who will end their suffering.
To save both her brother and his beloved from a cruel fate, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong’s stead. Swept away into the Spirit Realm, Mina finds the Sea God caught in an enchanted sleep and sets out to wake him and end the storms with the help of a motley crew of demons, gods, and spirits.
Like Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind? Listen to…
A Winter’s Promise
Written by Christelle Dabos, narrated by Emma Fenney
You may have heard of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind from Studio Ghibli filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki.
In this beloved anime, an apocalyptic war called the “Seven Days of Fire” destroyed civilization as they knew it. Now the planet has become a “Toxic Jungle” where giant insects and a poisonous environment are the norm. Princess Nausicaä struggles to stop two warring kingdoms from destroying themselves and their planet.
Similar to Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, The Mirror Visitor Quartet is a post-apocalyptic fantasy that follows a world in which a catalyst – known as “The Rupture”- shattered the world into many floating celestial islands known as Arks. There is also a hint of romance between the main characters Ophelia and Thorn that will endear readers who love the character dynamics of Sophie and Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle!
Ophelia lives on Anima, an ark where objects have souls. Beneath her worn scarf and thick glasses, the young girl hides the ability to read and communicate with the souls of objects, and the power to travel through mirrors. Her peaceful existence on the Ark of Anima is disrupted when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, from the powerful Dragon clan. Ophelia must leave her family and follow her fiancée to the floating capital on the distant Ark of the Pole. Why has she been chosen? Why must she hide her true identity? Though she doesn’t know it yet, she has become a pawn in a deadly plot.
Like Sword Art Online? Listen to…
Written by Dustin Tigner, narrated by Jackie Meloche
If you’re a lover of Sword Art Online, then we highly recommend looking into the Gamelit sub-genre as a whole, such as our recommendation below. Sword Art Online is very well known within the anime space with its exploration into virtual reality and simulated civilization.
Like SAO, the characters of Dungeon Runner find themselves thrust into a world from a video game full of monsters, mysteries, and found family.
Entin Soroy, once a promising fighter pilot, finds himself thrust into a world repurposed from a rushed video game, Eternal Fantasy Online, after a terrorist attack forced their colony to digitize. This new reality might be beautiful and full of endless wonder but the developers, in their haste, failed all those who lost their families and were too young to be given starting resources.
Now Entin is a market Runner, delivering packages to earn what little he can for the orphanage until a far more lucrative job found its way to him, revealing a new path forward. But nothing is ever easy. There are risks involved with going into the Wilds, a place of monsters and dangerous mysteries. Is the loot worth it? What price will he have to pay to succeed where others have failed?
Like Little Witch Academia? Listen to…
Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza
Written by Laekan Zea Kemp, narrated by Dominique Franceschi
“Magical Girl” fantasy is an extremely popular anime genre, featuring the likes of Sailor Moon and Little Witch Academia.
In Little Witch Academia, Atsuko “Akko” Kagari is a young girl who enrolls in the Luna Nova Magical Academy to become a witch. However, due to her non-magical background, she struggles to fit in. This all changes when she discovers that she’s able to wield the powerful magical relic, Shiny Rod, which leads her to gradually discover her magical talent.
Young girls who struggle with magic are the stars in both Omega Morales and the Legend of La Lechuza and Little Witch Academia. Each main character gradually develops their magical talent and understanding of themselves.
Omega Morales’s family has been practicing magic for centuries in Noche Buena. They keep to themselves as the town’s reputation for the supernatural has declined and in private, they’re Empaths—diviners who can read and manipulate the emotions of people and objects around them. But Omega’s powers don’t quite work, and it leaves her feeling like an outsider in her own family.
When a witch with the power to transform herself into an owl—known in Mexican folklore as La Lechuza—shows up unannounced, Omega, her best friend Clau (who happens to be a ghost), and her cousin Carlitos must conduct a séance under a full moon to unravel the mystery of the legend.
Like Rising of the Shield Hero? Listen to…
Written by Timothy McGowen, narrated by Todd Menesses
Rising of the Shield Hero begins as Naofumi Iwatani, our main character, is sucked into a parallel world along with three other young Japanese men. He and the others must fight inter-dimensional hordes of monsters called Waves.
To fight the monsters, each person received a magical defensive weapon with our Iwatani receiving the Legendary Shield. After being betrayed by a companion, Naofumi is shunned by everyone and forced to train to be a hero all alone.
Rising of the Shield Hero and Nexus Guardian both have reluctant heroes in a strange land with magic and monsters who are just trying to survive in this new life of theirs.
You know the drill to Isekai stories, right? Die in an unfortunate accident and then get set up for reincarnation. Todd was all set to return to Earth and give his soul another ride through the roller coaster called life when something extremely unfortunate happened: the Earth was destroyed by a giant meteor. Already primed for Reincarnation, he was given only one other option, but it involved him rising again in an unknown land where magic wasn’t just in the stories. Reborn as a “Reincarnate” he stumbles his way through his first moments of a new life.
Join our reluctant hero as he is born into a place known only as the Nexus and learns what it means to be a Guardian.