There’s always a good reason to watch some horror anime. Although Halloween may be the best time, if you like scary films, you may celebrate Halloween every day.
The only issue is choosing which anime to watch next.
Here, we’ll discuss some of the horror anime throughout the history of the genre, including both films and TV shows! It’s intimidating, yes.
Let’s get started after making sure the lights are on and the attic door is securely shut.
Top 10 Best Horror Anime To Watch
10. Theatre of Darkness: Yamishibai (2013)
Even though each of these episodes lasts for just five minutes, you won’t be able to avoid feeling deeply affected by them. Yamishibai is perfect if you like telling spooky stories over the campfire and adoring Goosebumps or Are You Afraid of the Dark as a kid?
However, compared to those vintage children’s horror stories, these supernatural stories are far more horror. The eerily animated pieces tackle a variety of horror clichés, such as creepy phone calls and the perils of small-town life, freshly and unexpectedly. The greatest part is that these insane animated urban tales have nine seasons already to keep you up at night.
9. Tokyo Ghoul (2014)
Based on Sui Ishida’s manga, Tokyo Ghoul is a future sci-fi horror anime that is just as terrifying as its inspiration. Kaneki is a typical student in a high-tech alternate universe where “ghouls” that devour human flesh are becoming a bigger menace to people.
An unexpected meeting alters Kaneki’s life forever as society struggles to accept its new apex predator. Abruptly caught between two realities, he must accept his new existence and protect his companions who are human from his transformation. This is an angst-filled joyride through cannibal monsters and otherworldly dangers that is beautifully drawn, deeply gloomy, and full of violent action.
8. Devilman Crybaby (2018)
Devilman Crybaby is one of the most bizarre horror anime ever, and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen. This gory horror tale, which is based on Go Nagai’s well-known manga Devilman, is darkly funny yet never lets you forget the gut-wrenching fear at its centre.
When Akira transforms into the Devilman, best friends Ryo and Akira are dragged up into a violent, demonic realm. Their bond is rotten at its core, and this incredible voyage will test it to the limit. Soon, they will face up against a variety of crazy animals. It will take some time for you to get over the unexpected finale of this hallucinogenic story of friendship, which was divisive at the time of its debut but is today regarded as a modern masterpiece.
7. Paranoia Agent (2004)
This Rashomon-style series, the first of two Satoshi Kon entries on our list, was spawned by concepts and narrative beats that Kon was unable to incorporate into his films, which ultimately led to the development of Paranoia Agent. This returns to some of the late auteur’s favourite themes, including paranoia, the thin line separating truth from fiction, and the crushing weight of social expectations, so it makes a lot of sense from an origin standpoint.
Everything starts when a young guy brandishing a golden bat attacks a lady. Soon, similar assaults and speculations about why they are occurring take the city by storm. Two detectives are pulled further into the strange world of the attacker, “Bat Boy,” and the possible motivations behind his bizarre crime spree as they work to solve the case.
6. Parasyte (2014)
Parasyte is one of the most captivating horror anime on our list, fusing sci-fi with body horror. The narrative, written by mangaka Hitoshi Iwaaki, centers on Shinichi Izumi, a 17-year-old. His boring existence in Fukuyama, Hiroshima is flipped upside down when Japan is the target of an attack by parasitic aliens.
Shinichi must learn to live with his new physical roommate when one of the hideous aliens unintentionally implants itself in his hand rather than his brain. This turn of events ultimately becomes a tool for survival, as Shinichi has to fend off other parasites in this horror thriller set in a high school that blends themes of coming of age, bodily horror, and profound inquiries into what it is to be human.
5. Hellsing (2001)
Recently, we included the 2005 OVA Hellsing Ultimate in our ranking of the greatest vampire horror anime. But we have to go with this classic when it comes to genuine terror. The enigmatic Hellsing organization stands as the sole line of defence against bloodsuckers and a terrible new drug that aims to permanently blur the boundary between vampire and human in an alternate-history version of England where vampires reign rampant.
Fortunately, the vampire Alucard is a hidden weapon of the Hellsing organization, led by the famous vampire hunter Van Helsing’s daughter. This horror anime is one for the books because of its intense and unforgettable nightwalker action. And if you were a child of the 1990s or 2000s, it will probably also give you a good dose of eerie nostalgia.
4. Perfect Blue (1997)
One of the greatest storytellers in horror anime is Satoshi Kon. Even though he has produced several masterpieces, one of his most significant works is the eerie psychological thriller Perfect Blue. Entertainer Mima Kirigoe’s life unravels as she quits her J-Idol group to pursue her acting career.
As she attempts to keep her idol-self separate from her new work and is hounded by an intense admirer, the boundaries between reality and imagination start to blur. This is an absolute terror of the mind that is brutally excellent and will have you wondering right up to the very end. But take note—this is perhaps the most graphic and violent film on our list, so go into it expecting nothing less than a profoundly unsettling experience that you won’t soon forget.
3. Boogiepop Phantom (2000)
This horror anime is third in the list. In this atmospheric and completely unusual item on our list, a group of high school kids start experiencing incomprehensible happenings as a weird light rises in the sky. The individuals in this extensive group narrative are linked by the mythical Boogiepop figure.
A wave of terrible killings has reignited interest in the fabled Boogiepop, who is supposed to be the embodiment of death. The urban legend casts a shadow over these depressing stories. You may appreciate it as an anthology of sorts, with each vignette saturated in an eerie atmosphere and flawlessly skin-crawling narrative, even if the episodes are related by an underlying mystery.
2. Higurashi When They Cry (2006)
In this twisted interpretation of folk horror anime, the main character, Keiichi Maebara, is a little child who lives in the bucolic rural town of Hinamizawa. However, there seem to be sinister hidden agendas linked to an odd government undertaking. Things in this horrible story become darker and darker as Keiichi gets more and more engaged in the mystery.
This iconic anime series is probably already familiar to you if you like puzzle-box narratives and slasher-style deaths with a twist tied to conspiracy theories. Although the show’s original 2006 version is now very difficult to locate, an accessible 2020 remake is now accessible on Hulu. Additionally, if you like that one, you should see the 2021 release of the prequel remake.
1. Death Note (2006)
There’s a reason why Death Note is a classic horror anime. Watchers are introduced to the world of hyper-intelligent girl Light Yagami in this wish-fulfilment horror film, as she discovers an unusual and transformative revelation. After discovering the Death Note—a paranormal journal with which Light can murder anybody whose name he writes on its pages—Light embarks on a racist mission to eradicate crime from the globe. Light becomes one of the most horrific anime villains ever in his role as judge, juror, and executioner.
But the mysterious and astute investigator just known as L is committed to finding the cause of the strange wave of fatalities occurring all around the world that are connected to Light. Death Note is a legendary horror anime, a darkly hilarious mystery that raises important issues and never stops being funny. Just be careful not to see the Death Note live-action film before starting the original series.
To summarize, horror anime is a spine-chilling and thrilling experience for those courageous enough to explore its uncanny depths. The ten finest horror anime on display not only illustrate outstanding narrative but also superb execution in instilling terror and tension. From psychological thrillers to otherworldly horrors, every title on this list has the potential to send chills down your spine and leave an indelible imprint.