The world of anime is packed with various themes. Some audiences like romance, humor, and shoujo, others like mecha, crime, and shone. There is, though, one genre that eclipses all of them as we enter this Halloween season. Paranormal anime is a genre barely reached, but it chills us to the core. When the nights get longer, we itch for that particular anime that will hold us awake and fulfill our need for something supernatural. There are many animes that make our skin itch, and whether they’re adapted from a manga or come straight from the creator’s mind, the animes mentioned below are definitely those that would go down in history.
Paranormal anime can be packed with comedy, love, and pleasure. The anime mentioned below are those that we consider suited for the paranormal genre well while covering and combining many other genres, making them great. Humans take refuge in circumstances they can describe, a race-obsessed by explanation, calculations, and the definition of the universe around them … so what happens when things are just … unexplainable? Many things in this world are beyond our knowledge and seeing or seeing something that can not be grasped will disturb our understanding of truth.
However, with the assurance that the story we’re told or the things we’re seeing are fully fictitious, the paranormal becomes an outstanding topic of entertainment. Anime is no different and, in fact, many popular series like Another, Death Note or The Monogatari Series have a lot of paranormal incidents combined with suspense and supernatural to hold the fanbase at the edge of their seats. But if you’ve already seen all the famous titles, what’s left? Here are ten anime series that will quench your paranormal thirst.
1. Ghost Hunt
It appears like the mystery and the paranormal go hand in hand, as each one forces the afflicted to uncover the truth behind them. The supernatural Ghost Hunt anime evokes the same feelings. When high school student Mai Taniyama encounters 17-year-old Kazuya Shibuya, a Shibuya Psychic Research investigator investigating paranormal activity at Mai ‘s school, all hell breaks loose. Mai unintentionally knocks over some of Kazuya’s appliances and is rescued by his assistant, Lin. Unfortunately, Lin is injured in the process and can no longer help Kazuya. Still, without any help, the young detective asks Mai to become his new assistant. Throughout the season, Mai and Kazuya, along with other supernatural detectives, solve separate ghost-related mysteries. Ghost Hunt has a variety of storylines, ranging from light-hearted scenes to eerie haunts to a few jump-scars. But the nightmare factor comes into play in one particular arc, where the character is repeating the horrific deeds of Vlad the Impaler and Elizabeth Báthory. Perhaps you want to keep the lights on for that one.
2. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
Psychic powers can sound like something that only happens in dreams, but for Kusuo Saiki, it’s all part of his everyday life. He must learn to juggle his parents ‘relentless praising and his schoolmates’ persistence to live a regular life on a daily basis. Despite Saiki’s efforts to keep his secret, many hints at his powers but are unable to put a finger on his paranormal ability. Dealing with his daily life is a task and more difficult than anyone could ever expect. Saiki offers a much more comedic look at the paranormal anime than the others on this list. Saiki, though psychic, must keep his ability hidden while coping with the many difficult and inept people around him. If you’re looking for an enjoyable and light-hearted paranormal anime, you won’t find one that’s any greater than that.
As one of the most recent horror animes in this franchise, Ajin, takes us into a world of violence, misinformation, and immortals. Again, supernatural/immortal entities have been living in relative peace with human beings for a long time. That’s the status quo, at least, because there have been just a few reported interactions. But all of these shifts in Japan, as one psychiatric Ajin, Satou, begins to blast and terrorize the city while wearing his brand-name, close-eyed grin. Ajin succeeds in presenting viewers with a rare blend of horror. You’ll be held on pins and needles between the gritty action scenes of Satou capturing people in the foot, knee, face with a shotgun (still smiling), and moments of national hysteria. While many wouldn’t like the animation style, Polygon Pictures’ choice of CG is actually quite good. It produces this kind of consistency of puppetry, despite being very fluid, which disturbs the nerves. Many people sound like wearing masks of some kind.
Nothing happens by accident, everything happens for a cause” are the words Yuuko Ichihara lives by. The enigmatic woman is known as the Space-Time Witch, a powerful magic user who can give any wish for the right price. Her skill knows no limits, but she is well aware of the equal exchange cap that her customer will pay while shopping for her services in the store of wishes; for all that is given, there is a bizarre ‘mark’ to pay. Yuuko’s shop can only be found when something special is wanted, often linked to paranormal origins. Watanuki, like many others, came across Yuuko’s shop when he finally had it with his gift, or curse, to be able to see and communicate with some kind of youkai. Yuuko saw something special about this tormented student and determined that the price to pay for his desire was to become his subordinate. This is how Watanuki comes to work for a witch and is able to see first-hand the challenging cases of those who visit the shop.
5. The Empire of Corpses
After the incredible invention of Frankenstein, the universe has never been the same … how does a corpse perceive and move without a soul? But better yet, without the basic needs of the living? It was the perfect monetary solution for the labor industry, but before anything could be achieved, Frankenstein and his maker, along with all the data from his creation, disappeared. The government did not stop there, by all way, to mimic this Frankenstein. After many tries, they succeeded, but not quite like the original, they were dubbed the ‘Frankensteins,’ the preserved bodies of the dead that had been given a false soul; a soul that had no conscience but was good enough to do simple labor, much like decaying slaves, but without thinking or voice. Zombies that come to life magically are pure fantasy, but there is a more paranormal version of zombies that supposedly dates back to old Haitian mythology, in which corpses were “manually” brought to life by witchcraft rites and medicine.
Another is the first show that pops in my mind as I hear of ghost stories. It nails the eerie feeling, the gloomy and stagnant air, and the doubts that hang around our necks like a noose. There’s a core mystery in the film, and I haven’t considered the solution to be super simple, so kudos for that. The stakes are very high, though, when every passing moment of disaster appears to hit. And discovering the solution is the only way to avoid this. I’m a bit ambiguous because trust me, you deserve to be absolutely spoiler-free in this show. Another is a great introduction to Japan’s fear. Feeling more like a mystery than an episode of adventure. This eerie tale is a thrilling supernatural excursion and one that is particularly perfect for newbies just to get into horror anime.
7. Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
Ghosts come in various shapes and sizes, and the spirit of the Dusk Maiden of Amnesia comes in the form of a pretty schoolgirl. The Seikyou Academy is different from every other school. Instead of concentrating on international activities and school tours, the student body is hearing stories about the paranormal. There’s a phantom on campus, according to a rumor. Apparently, the apparition, identified as Yuuko, died in the cellar of the old school building. But what the students don’t hear about is that the rumors are real. It’s a good thing that Yuuko is a nice spirit. The series follows Teiichi Niiya, a middle school student who finds Yuuko while wandering around the old campus building. Initially terrified by Yuuko, Taichi overcomes his terror and becomes friends with a pretty girl. But he quickly discovers that Yuuko has no recollection of her past or death. Determined to support his new mate, Teiichi found the Paranormal Research Club to investigate the life and cause of Yuuko’s disappearance. But the death of Yuuko is not the only mystery
8. Serial Experiments Lain
Lain is one of the greats of the late ‘ 90s, alongside shows like Neon Genesis Evangelion and Cowboy Bebop. Protagonist Lain Iwakura is an introverted but polite middle school student who likes to hang out on the Wired, a potential version of the Internet. But her life became infinitely more complex following a series of odd incidents surrounding her school acquaintances, who received an email from a dead classmate insisting that she was alive inside the wired and found “God” there. Lain dives in with the goal of getting to the root of this cyberpunk mystery, finding conspiracies inside the wired, and losing contact with what she thought was the truth. The horror here is in the excitement of the psychological mindfulness as the 12-episode series unfolds to an unsettling location that challenges the essence of reality, technology, and consciousness.
9. Vampire Knight
One snowy night, a teenage girl named Yuki Cross was kidnapped by a crooked vampire. A kind Pureblood vampire named Kaname Kuran walked by and agreed to defend her, which culminated in Yuki developing a life-long crush on Kaname, but maintains no recollection of her history. Ten years later, Yuki became the guardian of the “Night School” at Cross Academy, a group of vampires secretly attending the boarding school in the evening. Supported by Zero Kiryu, a childhood friend, Yuki must prevent other students from finding out about the presence of vampires. With Zero displaying odd new signs and her bond with Kaname becoming stronger, Yuki is forced to confront her true self. This grim fantasy is part of the ghost romance and part of the vampire action series — a pleasing mix.
10. Occultic; Nine
When Yuuta Gamon launches a blog that disproves supernatural entities, the most unexpected community of people can come together. Each of them must transcend their own vulnerabilities and band together to face murders and other cases that will make them doubt what they consider to be real. This chilling anime helps the group to work together to defend their city. Occult; Nine is a mystery-filled anime. If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes-type novels, this one is for you. Its eeriness is unprecedented and the creativity of Chiyomaru Shikura, who also created Steins; Gate, enables this story to have an outstanding pace. This paranormal anime will keep you on the edge of your seat and enjoy the binge until the very end.
11. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
Tanjirou Kamado has to take the brunt of working to support his family after the death of his late father. One day, after going down to the village, he learns a terrifying reality, the presence of devils, the feast of flesh. He returns to see his entire family dead and his sister turned into the one he fears the most. With the humanity of his sister on the line, he must combat the devils and attempt to regain what remains of his kin. Tanjirou must become an adult even earlier than any infant wants to be. The burden he has shouldered is nothing to be brushed off, but he is still an inspirational figure. Defeating the ghosts that are going to bump in the night makes him a hero. He’s trying to hang on to what he left rather than inane material objects. Since this is a strong, paranormal anime, it also teaches the importance of family, love, and duty.
12. Elfen Lied
Lucy is a superhuman being with a telekinetic side. Born and kept in a research room, she survives in a lethal breakout only to find herself with an accident that will affect her forever. With a seemingly innocent child at one point and a killer human with superhuman powers at the other, she must learn to live her life while running away from the government and struggling with her fractured identity with the aid of the local human being, Kouta. Conspiracy surrounds this anime as the government carries out deadly and barbaric experiments. Genetic research can be troublesome in any region, but Lucy is an example of an experiment gone terribly wrong. This girl is relatable and deadly, rendering her the ultimate paranormal.
Mononoke, a type of spirit that feeds on negative human feelings, flies free during the Edo period in Japan. They’re unstable, and in their way, they can kill a lot of people. There is, though, one man who can fight with a special sword to help him exorcise the demons. Described as “Medicine Salesman,” he walks the streets of ancient Japan to support those in need of his expertise. But it’s not easy to exorcise the Mononoke: first, they need to recognize their shape, their truth, and their logic. And they also show that the only villains are the people who helped create the Mononoke. Mononoke is both an oddity in this list and a horror series since it’s one of the very few that’s not a spin-off. The Medication Vendor, who is the main character and links every case we see in the series, comes from the last story of Yami Shibai, Bakeneko. While the series doesn’t have the same visuals as Yami Shibai, it still has the same sense of urgency.