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The Shadows are a family of nobles who live in their massive mansion. They are pitch black in appearance and emit soot that will linger on everything they touch. In order to effectively display their emotions, each Shadow is given a Living Doll to be their attendant and their face. This is the tale of cheerful and curious Emilico, a newly created doll, who was given to her more soft-spoken young Shadow, Kate. While it is promoted that Living Dolls be loyal and unconcerned about trivial matters, Emilico is constantly intrigued by the massive mansion and those that live within.
Well, well, well – What an unexpected treat you were, Shadows House. There is a million ways you could have been boring, but you artfully dodged them all. If you are looking for more intriguing mystery series like Shadows House, then head on down below.
The Promised Neverland
Grace Fields House is a home for orphans. However, even though they have no blood families, they are all one big family. That is, until the age of twelve when they are adopted out. The kids also know that they are not allowed outside the fenced yard, but one day, two children break that rule. They then discover that the children who are “adopted” are actually subjected to something much darker.
Both series feature characters that are confined in a finite area. It also focuses on them learning the truth about that area, but that card is played much sooner in The Promised Neverland, which makes it develop its plot.
Made in Abyss
The Abyss is an enormous cave system and the only unexplored place in the world. No one knows how deep it goes, but generations of bold adventurers have descended into it. In the town at the edge of The Abyss, an orphan named Rico dreams of raiding, as her mother did before her. One day while exploring the murky depths, she meets a boy, who turns out to be a robot, kicking off the start of her epic adventure.
Both series follow rather cute main characters and, as they go on, you see them forced into more difficult situations. Also they share a similar theme of young characters learning about the dangerous new world around them.
Yuki Takeya is in love with school life. She loves it so much that she joined the School Living Club with three other girls, their supervising teacher, and the club dog Taroumaru. This club makes the most of living at school. However, Yuki’s blissful school life is all a delusion. The real purpose of the School Living Club is to prevent Yuki’s fragile reality from shattering. In reality, these girls are surviving the zombie apocalypse by barricading themselves within the school.
Unlike Shadows House where you are always suspicious of what is going on even during the nice moments, School Live takes the different route of giving you whiplash as it switches from zombie apocalypse survival horror to fun school slice of live.
After the Great War and her time in it came to an end, Violet Evergarden is adrift. Her purpose was once only battle, and now she must find a new one. After recovering from the loss of her arms, Violet takes up a job at the CH Postal Services. Here she transcribes people’s thoughts into what should be emotional letters. However, the “emotional” part seems to greatly escape her, but she aims to learn how to move people with words.
In Shadows House, the emotions of the Shadows are shown through their living dolls. In Violet Evergarden, they have labeled letters as not simply a means of conveying information, but conveying the emotions of the sender. It is a set up that really gut-punches you in the feelings, which is different from the intrigue of Shadows House.
Iroduku: The World in Colors
In this world, there is a minute amount of magic left. Hitomi is a descendant of an old witch family, and also lost her emotions and color at a young age. Feeling bad for her granddaughter, the great witch Kohaku sends her into the past where interactions with her young self and Kohaku’s friends will hopefully foster some growth in her granddaughter.
Vastly different in tone and lacks that pervasive creepiness that Shadows House has, Iroduku is a about understanding emotions as well as forming emotional connections. It does have a touch more of the feels than Shadows House as well.
Rakka is an amnesiac who only remembers emerging from her cocoon. She is born into the world as a Haibane, a group of young people who small gray wings and halos. While she tries to live a normal life, there is much that the Haibane don’t know and must figure out.
While Shadows House and its mystery is different from the gigantic metaphor that is Haibane Renmei, both shows are about understanding certain mysteries in a world that is much different than our own. Throughout Shadows House, you want to know what the shadows are. Throughout Haibane Renmei, you want to know what the Haibane are, though you can guess easily enough.
Umineko: When They Cry
Rokkenjima is an island owned by the wealthy Ushiromiya family. As is the custom, once a year the family gathers on the island to discuss financial matters. However, this year, because of the poor health of the family’s head, they are to discuss a successor. Things go south as soon as a violent typhoon hits the island, trapping them there, but things turn dire when a string of mysterious murders begin.
While Umineko seems like a standard murder mystery at first, it very quickly becomes supernatural in nature involving a being that, much like the shadows, is dressed in Victorian wear. So while much of the cast is rather modern in dress, there is something much older going on.
Kujou Kazuya is a transfer student to the elite Saint Marguerite Academy in the Southern European country of Sauville. However, because of his Japanese descent, he is shunned by the other students. One day in the library of the school, he ends up following a long blonde hair to a beautiful doll-like girl call Victorique de Blois who can predict the future, including their own currently entwined one. Together, the pair begin to solve the mysteries that are beginning to plague their surroundings.
Both series are mysteries that do intrigue rather well. While Gosick seems like standard “maybe” supernatural mystery of the week at first, you do discover a bigger picture going on with Victorique that is really what keeps you watching. It is much the same with Shadows House and unraveling what Kate’s real goal is.
With the dawn of the 20th century, a substance known as Cavorite was discovered that allowed the production of new military technology. London, now divided by a wall, battles in a shadow war. Caught up in the intrigue is a group of girls from the prestigious Queen Mayfaire’s School that serve as spies.
Shadows House is about shadows working towards an initially unclear purpose while Princess Principal is about fighting a shadow war. Different in purpose and action content, but similar in intrigue. Both are shows you watch for both the cute waifus and to figure out what the bigger picture is.
Do you have more anime recommendations like Shadows House? Let fans know in the comments section below.