The same can be said for anime, just as there are masterpieces and real stinkers of spooky TV shows and films. Fortunately, horror is a field where the medium is magnificently excellent. Right around the corner of Halloween, we rounded off the industry’s most horrendous, terrible anime season. There’s something for everyone in this list from anime beginners to those who have seen all the 900 + episodes of One Piece, from Hellsing to When they Scream. Take a blanket and a lantern, because you can dive into the greatest anime of horror of all time.
1. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls
Corpse Party: The tortured souls are a glimpse into the lives of pupils of the Kisaragi Academy, which was formerly the primary host, where the horrific murders both of the children and their staff were carried out. There are students who spend their last minutes with a friend, and they decide to do an unusual ritual to ensure that they will still be together. The charm “Sachiko Ever After” has been finished, but all students end up in a strange place: every child and teacher was killed years ago in the same academy. A quick-watch, which is also perfect for a horror animal viewing marathon, this 4-episode, game-inspired OVA is in the company of another fantastic morsel-sized horror series and manga that threatens to frighten your living light.
Another is a perfect introduction to Japanese terror. Feeling more like a thriller than an episodic adventure, it follows a string of bizarre, horrific deaths involving an enigmatic set of pupils. One inquisitive transfer student is asked to figure out why his classmates are dying over and over again. There’s a particular girl with an eye patch, though, and she appears to be the only one who can see what’s going on: with her capacity to connect with the spirit realm, she’s the secret to contacting the spirits floating around them. This eerie tale is a gripping supernatural excursion and one that’s particularly perfect for newbies just getting into horror anime.
As the name suggests, Blood+ includes quite a lot of blood as well as vampire-like beings that like to target human hosts. Schoolgirl Saya Otonashi’s life changes radically after being attacked by a creature known as the Chiropteran that celebrates the blood of its victims. After doing so, Saya discovers that she must go out of her way to kill the Chiropterans since she is capable of fracturing their blood with her newfound abilities. In her journey, Saya faces several enemies as well as learning who her real self is. Blood+ is packed with gory action and a well-written plot that leaves watchers on the edge of their seats.
During the Edo period in Japan, Mononoke, a form of spirit that feeds on negative human feelings, flies free. They’re unpredictable, and they can kill a lot of people on their way. There is, though, one man who can battle them with a special sword that helps him exorcise the demons. Identified only as of the “Medicine Salesman,” he travels the streets of ancient Japan to help those in need of his skills. But it’s not easy to exorcise the Mononoke: first, they need to know their form, their reality, and their logic. And often they prove that the true monsters are the people who helped make the Mononoke. Mononoke is both an oddity in this list and a horror series because it’s one of the very few that is also a spin-off. The Medication Seller, who is the main character and ties every case we see in the series, comes from the last story of Yami Shibai, Bakeneko. Although the series doesn’t have the same visuals as Yami Shibai, it also has the same feeling of desperation.
Many of them are terrified at the very heart of the notion of parasites. It is the most terrible violation to have your body violated against your will. In Parasyte: The Maxim is bringing this simple human terror to a creepy new dimension. The helplessness is ramped up because, unlike a mere brain worm or a modest tick, these parasites take hold of the mind. The main character avoids the worst of this hostile invasion as he wakes up before the infection can get into his brain. By stopping the parasite from finishing the acquisition of mind and body, 17-year-old Shinichi loses possession of a single hand. His mind remains unchanged. Parasyte takes influence from one of the best horror films of all time, the Abduction of Body Snatchers. Much like the film, it continues to retain a mixture of science fiction and paranoia in the story as we, like Shinichi, can’t say which people he encounters are real, and which are parasites that would destroy him and Migi, his right-hand parasite, for the simple fact that they are an anomaly. Adding to this is the fact that the parasites are not only very unsettling, also in human form, but also the murders they execute are especially gory, making this a horrifying sequence.
Belonging more to the fantasy genre of horror anime, Hellsing is a comparatively short anime series that has captured millions of hearts with its portrayal of classic fantasy monsters, vampires, and action. We all know Van Helsing, the famous vampire of the Dracula legend Hunter, who kills oddities even after his death. This one is heavily influenced by his terrifying novel. It follows the exploits of a vampire named Alucard and his companion Seras Victoria, who is a vampire-turned-police investigator. They work with a vampire extermination company called Hellsing in England. The key duty of Alucard is to seek and kill any challenge from the supernatural and undead powers that are after the life of the Queen of England and the land itself. You will see Alucard, Seras, and their allies battling wicked vampires in frighteningly horrific circumstances. It’s one of those animes that you should watch in order to dig into the manga version, but without spoilers.
7. The Promised Neverland
The children of Grace Field House are not sad, not a long shot. They live with thousands of brothers and sisters who spend the entire day studying, laughing, and playing, all under the supervision of “Mom,” who ensures that they obey all the rules of the orphanage, including the most important one: never leave the compound or even dream about going beyond the fence. What lies beyond the gate? Yeah, there’s nothing … just a gaggle of devils that gobble up the orphans. Right — Grace Field House is a human plantation, and the orphans are there to feed the demons. It’s up to a group of clever kids named Emma, Norman, and Ray to get to the bottom of things and make an escape to see how they can stop becoming demon fodder once and for all.
8. Tokyo Ghoul
Tokyo has become a barbaric and merciless city — a town where vicious monsters called “ghouls” live alongside human beings. The people of this once great metropolis are living in utter fear of these bloodthirsty savages and their thirst for human flesh. The biggest challenge these ghouls face, though, is their deadly ability to masquerade as human beings and fit in with society. Centered on Sui Ishida’s best-selling supernatural horror manga, Tokyo Ghoul follows Ken Kaneki, a reserved, bookish college student who is immediately attracted to Rize Kamishiro, an ardent reader like himself. But Rize is not quite as she looks, and this tragic encounter drives Kaneki into the grim pits of the cruel realm of the ghouls. In a twist of events, Kaneki is rescued by the mysterious waitress Touka Kirishima, and so begins his modern, unknown life as a half-ghoul / half-human who has to find a way to blend into both cultures.
As one of the most recent horror animes on this series, Ajin, leads us into a world of crime, misinformation, and immortals. Again, supernatural/immortal creatures have been living in relative harmony with humans for a long time. At least that’s the status quo since there were just a few recorded encounters. However, all of these changes in Japan, when one psychiatric Ajin, Satou, starts to blast and terrorize the city while sporting his brand-name close-eyed smile. Ajin succeeds in supplying the audiences with a special mix of horror. Between the rugged action scenes of Satou capturing people in the foot, knee, face with a shotgun (still smiling), and moments of national paranoia, you’ll be kept on pins and needles. While many would not like the animation style, Polygon Pictures’ choice of CG is actually very successful. It creates this kind of quality of puppetry, despite being very fluid, that disturbs the nerves. Many people sound like they’re wearing masks of some kind
10. Deadman Wonderland
Deadman Wonderland is a scary adventure from beginning to finish. It throws into what appears to be the normal school life anime, but then Ganta Igarashi’s entire classroom is blown up and framed for murder. From that point on, he enters the maddening, horror-filled realm of Deadman Wonderland gaol. Any episode of Deadman Wonderland has at least one moment that makes you turn your head and cling, literally in agony from violence and gore. His classroom was blown up and the carnage thereafter was still very gruesome, but the terror was brought to the extreme when the fake footage was revealed during the proceedings. The film, in very sickening detail, shows a reel of atrocities, including the rape of a dead body. That’s how the show begins. From there, blood and death from obstacle course battlefields to underground battle rings. Adding fire to a moment is the disturbed essence of most characters.
11. Black Butler
Ciel Phantomhive is the 13-year-old head of Phantomhive ‘s household. While he’s a young child, he’s also part of a significant family that serves Queen Victoria of England. He’s a great detective, the Sherlock Holmes, and he’s helping the Queen’s police solve cases all over London — but he’s not alone. He has entered into a deal with a demon called Sebastian Michaelis, who is on his side to help Biel locate the man who killed his parents and the precise vengeance. When that’s over, he’s going to devour Ciel’s soul, but before then, he’s still posing as a butler to shield Biel and his house. Black Butler is very chilling, as are some of the circumstances in which the couple find themselves.
12. Elfen Lied
Elfen Lied is distinguished by human-like horn mutants, known as Diclonius, who have powerful telekinetic powers and many other talents. They’re all closed up and segregated from civilization within a government-run research facility. Their strongest member runs from the prison, killing all of the guards in the process. She gets shot in her head and ends up at the beach with a couple of young cousins. The boys carry the nude and mad girl home, indifferent to her true identity, and not understanding the kind of effect that their acts would have on their lives. While Elfen Lied performs wonderfully on the horror front, he tends to keep it light by tackling several themes.
The crypt is an animal whose existence has not been confirmed. Bigfoot, Yeti, and Loch Ness are three of the most common creatures. And there are people who genuinely believe that they exist and devote their lives to seeking evidence of their existence. Sousuke Banba is one of them, a college professor who would abandon whatever he’s doing to investigate the rumor of an attack by the UMA — an Unnamed Mysterious Animal — where anyone died. It is only when he faces the fact that the UMAs not only murder humans but can also pass away as their prey, that he knows that the horrors of the “Ghost Creatures” are greater than he thought. Kagewani is an incredibly moody collection. The movie is rendered in very grey colours, and at some stages, it’s so blurry that you can’t see the creatures. This makes it scarier, because, as many authors have already said, nothing is more frightening than your own imagination.