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10 Best Death Game Manga Similar To Squid Game – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Fans of Squid Game may find many gems in the manga world to help fill the blank left behind by the K-drama.
The death game genre has always given audiences engaging and successful series, with Squid Game as the most recent addition to its roster. With its compelling writing, interesting social critique, and tension that left fans on the edge of their seat, this Korean drama set a new precedent for the success of its medium in western countries.
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Many manga have also explored death and high-stakes games. The psychological horror genre has always been a popular read within the community, and a tense and often gory and emotionally jarring game proves to be a perfect scene for such stories. Fans of Squid Game may find many gems in the manga world to help fill the blank left behind by the K-drama.
In the hopes of acquiring 100 million yen for his sister’s heart transplant, Meguru joins an underground society where participants play games for money, with the threat of a “mental prison” and subsequently death if they lose. All players must live in a complex for 10 days, which contains a fitness room, entertainment, and a music room for relaxation. While this seems fairly simple at first, the twist is that their heart rates are being monitored; too much stress or fear, and they will be killed.
This leads players to find ways to stress each other to their deaths in the hopes of winning the money. Life Is Money resembles Squid Game in its skillful psychological horror, corruption of a seemingly innocent setting, and of course, the motivation of money pushing the plot forward.
In the series, Dead Tube is a website that hosts graphic videos. Anyone who can upload a video that gets the most views wins prize money; however, there are punishments for failing the contests. After accidentally participating in the making of a video, the protagonist gets sucked into the game and tries to stay afloat by contributing to the website’s horror.
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The manga has often been praised for its stunning art, however, it is not for the faint of heart; it is extremely gory and graphic. Similarly to Squid Game, Dead Tube is a graphic exploration of how far people will go for money.
Having received an adaptation as a J-drama, Alice In Borderland is one of the most frequently recommended series for Squid Game fans. The series follows a depressed protagonist who gets mysteriously transported to an area called Borderland and forced to play deadly games.
Beyond the mystery and death game aspects of this manga, its main appeal is the way it brings forward ugly and difficult questions about life with each game. Readers are forced to face them alongside the characters and are left thinking. Alice In Borderland is a skillfully written and tense exploration of humanity, just like Squid Game.
An entire class gets sent a text message from a “King,” who tells them they must obey him and participate in his game until the end. This is shrugged off as an odd prank until people who disobey the King start being brutally murdered.
In an unpredictable and bloody series, the characters must choose their alliances, and whether they will betray, support or sacrifices themselves for each other. Like many death game series, Ousama Game is an exploration of human nature, and certainly an entertaining take on psychological horror.
Unlike many other death game manga, Darwin’s Game is more of an action shonen and less of a psychological horror. The protagonist starts playing a mobile game that he cannot quit, featuring abilities that can be used in battle. The purpose of the battle is to earn money by killing other players, similar to Squid Game.
Praised for its beautiful art, this manga is an intriguing new take on the power users trope, with battles that generally cannot be won with brute force. Tactical battles and high stakes account for this manga’s success.
The main character, Ataru, escapes reality by using a social media app called Real Account, and broadcasting his life to his followers, whom he considers his friends. One day, he gets pulled into the world of Real Account and gets forced to participate in death games where, if he dies, all of his followers also die.
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This series is written as a critique of modern addiction to social media, but it also explored how far humans will go to ensure their own survival. Both the themes of societal critique and human nature are also explored in Squid Game.
In an odd similarity to Squid Game, Kamisama No Iutoori also starts with a spontaneous game of deadly red light green light. In this case, the sole survivor is the protagonist, who is then thrust into a series of more deadly games.
Chock-full of cultural references, the mystery around the orchestrator of the games, and the corruption of childish themes, this series bears a strong similarity to the popular K-drama. The major difference between the two series, however, is the lack of reward at the end of the tunnel in Kamisama No Iutoori.
The protagonist, Yuuichi, has always trusted his friends to help him through hardships. That is until he gets knocked unconscious and brought into a strange room, where an equally odd mascot informs him and his friends that one of them was the indirect cause of their presence here; he or she allowed this to happen to settle a large debt.
The group is then forced to play a series of “friendship games,” where their trust in each other will be tested. However, with increasing amounts of betrayals and discovered secrets, the strength of the group waivers as they attempt to spot the traitor. The tension and the themes of betrayal and psychological horror resemble Squid Game’s.
Nao, Liar Game‘s protagonist, has always been an extremely honest person. However, when she opens a suspicious package, she accidentally accepts the invitation to participate in the Liar Game, a game where players must fool and betray each other to gain huge amounts of money. Conversely, the penalty for losing is a damning and insurmountable amount of debt.
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Desperate to save her life, Nao seeks help from a con artist. To survive, Nao must learn to lie and deceive. Liar Game is an exploration of humanity’s true colors, as well as a brilliant psychological, just like Squid Game.
This manga has become a classic in the death games genre, and almost all series which feature a high-stakes game draw inspiration from this work. In this series, characters are forced into a game on an isolated island where they must kill all other players to win.
Only the last one standing will win, and everyone is fitted with collars that will detonate if they do not obey the rules. Like many death game series, including Squid Game, Battle Royale explores human nature and morality, and how far one would or should go for the sake of survival.
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Melissa is a writer for CBR. She is an enthusiast of all things anime, manga, and gaming, particularly when it comes to analyses and recommendations. She loves to explore the world of animation as an art form and appreciate the details and intent behind each project.


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