The 21 Greatest Horror Anime You Should Be Watching

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Anime is primarily known for its superhero battles and wild, fantastical stories. However, the genre can also provide some of the most frightening and brutal depictions of horror imaginable. From dystopian nightmares to lighthearted ghost stories, anime has something for every horror fan.

Today, we would like to present our curated list of the best horror anime to date. Between all the blood and gore, the stories here will satisfy every horror craving. So, settle in; it’s time to get spooky.

1. Another

Photo Credit: Kadokawa Shoten Publishing Co.

This anime is the perfect gateway into the genre. Another follows a group of students at a mysterious school. As the kids begin being killed off one by one, the new transfer student teams up with a fellow classmate to find the source of the chaos.

Another is beloved in the anime world for its creepy atmosphere, well-written storyline, and gruesome death scenes. This chilling tale serves as a great introduction to those new to the world of anime horror.

2. Berserk

Photo Credit: OLM-Animation Studio.

This anime-inspired the Dark Souls universe. Berserk is required for viewing in the horror anime community, assuming you can find a copy. The anime follows Guts as he battles demonic forces in a dark, gothic fantasy world.

Berserk is one of the earliest horror anime and has remained one of the best. Fans love the series for its dark tone, complex story, and brutal acts of violence and gore. If you have ever tried to make sense of a soulsborne game, check out Berserk.

3. Black Butler

Photo Credit: A-1 Pictures.

This series brings a touch of class to the genre. Black Butler follows Ciel Phantomhive, a thirteen-year-old genius detective, as he helps the Queen’s police track down criminals. His demon butler assists him in searching for the people responsible for his parents’ murder.  

Black Butler is equal parts horror and mystery. The series presents viewers with a dark Victorian world of intrigue and secrets. Black Butler explores themes like revenge, morality, and the corruption of innocence.

4. Boogiepop Phantom

Photo Credit: Boogiepop Project.

This anthology horror anime is the perfect blend of terror and folklore. Boogiepop Phantom is an unconventional anime that focuses on Boogiepop, a character who may or may not be death personified.

Boogiepop Phantom uses fragmented storylines and a non-linear narrative to keep audiences guessing what’s real and what’s fantasy. The series provides a great deep dive into the workings of a damaged human psyche.

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5. Castlevania

Photo Credit: Frederator Studios.

This Netflix series is a beautiful adaptation of the classic game Castlevania. It follows the legendary vampire hunter Trevor Belmont as he tries to stop Dracula from destroying humanity. He bands together with a group of other talented fighters to take down the creatures of the night.

Castlevania is an easy-to-follow and enjoyable ride. The series provides intense action sequences, gruesome violence, terrifying creatures, and political intrigue. What more could an anime fan ask for?

6. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls

Photo Credit: AV Visionen Filmverleih.

This anime is a quick watch about the power of friendship. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls follows a group of students who perform a ritual that will ensure they stay friends forever. However, they soon wake up in a past version of the school where all of the students and staff are being murdered.

Corpse Party: Tortured Souls is only four episodes long but packed to the brim with blood and terror. The series is known for its tense atmosphere and provides disturbing imagery and unrelenting gore. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls is perfect for anyone who wants to scratch that horror itch quickly.

7. Deadman Wonderland

Photo Credit: D.N. Dream Partners.

This anime centers on the horrors of public entertainment. Deadman Wonderland follows Ganta Igarashi after a mysterious red man kills his entire classroom. The student is sent off to live out his days at an entertainment prison. However, the gifts he received from the red man may be the key to his escape.

Deadman Wonderland is a profoundly unsettling anime that highlights the dehumanization of incarceration. The series features visceral action sequences and shocking levels of gore and brutality. This horror anime is on the darker side and not for the faint of heart.

8. Death Note

Photo Credit: D.N. Dream Partners.

This is one of the most iconic horror anime around. Death Note follows Light after he finds a strange notebook that will cause the death of anyone whose name is placed in it. Although Light first uses the book to take down crime, he soon becomes consumed by his god-like powers.

Death Note is an excellent introduction to horror anime. Fans love the series for exploring the darker elements of the human psyche and for reminding us of the dangers of power and corruption.   

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9. Devilman Crybaby

Photo Credit: Aniplex.

This series pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable in the genre. Devilman Crybaby follows a young man who merges with a demon to escape his life of torment and bullying. However, this bargain comes at a terrible cost.

Devilman Crybaby offers an unapologetic portrayal of violence, sexuality, and dread. This series combines surreal imagery with intense action sequences to create a shocking and captivating horror anime.

10. Elfen Lied

Photo Credit: Arms.

This anime highlights the innocence of children. Elfen Lied follows Lucy, a young mutant with telekinetic powers, who escapes her facility and vows revenge on humanity for executing and torturing her.

Elfen Lied is a blood-soaked series with a lot of heart. It has been applauded for examining the depths of human depravity and the cycle of violence. Elfen Lied showcases the worst aspects of human nature.

11. The Flowers of Evil

Photo Credit: Zexcs.

This anime bends the definition of horror. The Flowers of Evil follows Takao Kasuga after he makes a contract with the mysterious Sawa Nakamura. What follows is a terrifying examination of identity and obsession.

The Flowers of Evil explores themes of alienation, love, and what is hiding just under the skin. This anime doesn’t shy away from taboo subjects and manages to crawl under the skin in a way few other pieces of media can.

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12. From the New World

Photo Credit: A-1 Pictures.

This anime is a macabre coming-of-age tale. From the New World follows a group of magically gifted students whose classmates begin to disappear. The anime is set in three parts, following the students from childhood through adolescence and adulthood.

From the New World takes a morally ambiguous stance on the world. This dark anime explores the impacts of surveillance, betrayal, and loneliness. From the New World is a thought-provoking series that prefers to take its horror slowly.

13. Gantz

Photo Credit: Fuji Television Network.

Death is just a game in this anime. Gantz follows two people who recently died in a train accident. Instead of eternal rest, the two find themselves placed in a murderous game against alien forces. If they prevail, they may be returned to the world of the living.

Gantz is one of the most brutal horror anime around. The series is known for its distressing scenes, relentless violence, and nihilistic tone. While it can be challenging to sit through, Gantz is a must-watch for horror anime fans.

14. Ghost Hunt

Photo Credit: J.C. Staff.

This lighthearted series is more eerie than scary. Ghost Hunt follows Mai Taniyama after she joins the Shibuya Psychic Research organization. Her team travels around solving hauntings and provides good-natured stories for fans to relax with.

Ghost Hunt is a comfort horror anime that follows a monster of the week format. The series is loved for its incredible cast of characters, eerie plot, and terrific animation style. Ghost Hunt is an excellent choice for anyone who needs a break from the bleak, dystopian anime horrors that dominate the market.

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15. Ghost Stories

Photo Credit: Pierrot.

This is the horror anime equivalent of Ghostbusters. Ghost Stories follows Satsuki Miyanoshita after her mother’s tragic death. After moving back to her hometown, Satsuki learns that her mother is responsible for locking away the ghost that previously tormented the town. It is now up to Satsuki and her friends to seal away the escaped ghosts.

Ghost Stories is a lighthearted anime that follows a monster of the week format. Fans love the series for its bizarre and hilarious misadventures. Ghost Stories doesn’t take itself seriously and provides a fun romp for horror anime fans.

16. Hell Girl

Photo Credit: Aniplex.

This anthology offers a perverse look at wish fulfillment. Each episode of Hell Girl follows a different character who accesses a mysterious website that has the power to send people to hell. The series offers a unique look into the meaning of revenge.

Hell Girl is a thought-provoking exploration of themes like justice, morality, and the nature of suffering. Each episode offers a unique tale of misery and a one-of-a-kind horror experience.

17. Hellsing

Photo Credit: Fuji Television Network.

This dark anime offers the best version of Dracula. Hellsing follows the enigmatic Integra and her vampire servant as they battle it out against the creatures of the night. More importantly, they must stop the rising tide of Nazi Zombies that threaten to take over the world. 

Hellsing is a complex series known for its iconic characters, dark atmosphere, and stylish action sequences. The series features themes of morality, redemption, and the true nature of evil. Hellsing is a witty and profoundly moving anime that doesn’t hold back on the blood and gore.

18. Junji Ito Collection

Photo Credit: Studio DEEN.

This is by far the creepiest anime ever made. Junji Ito Collection is an anthology series based on the deeply disturbing work of Junji Ito. This surreal collection is an excellent introduction to the horror anime genre.

Junji Ito Collection is known for its distinct art style and nightmarish imagery. The series offers unique, twisted tales that unnerve even the most hardened horror anime fans. Junji Ito Collection is a masterclass in extreme body horror and psychological terror.

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19. The Promised Neverland

Photo Credit: Aniplex.

This series highlights the dangers of comfort. The Promised Neverland follows a group of happy-go-lucky children at the Grace Field House Orphanage. When curiosity gets the best of them, the children begin exploring the limits of their compound only to discover its terrible secrets.

The Promised Neverland is a haunting tale about childhood friendship. The series offers a terrifying game of cat and mouse between the children and their caretakers that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

20. Parasyte: The Maxim

Photo Credit: Forecast Communications.

This anime sets the bar for body horror. Parasyte: The Maxim follows Shinichi Izumi after an invasive shape-shifting alien replaces his hand. The two must work together to stop an alien invasion that will destroy humanity.

Parasyte: The Maxim is a complex and thrilling anime that offers some real weirdness. The series has been applauded for its thought-provoking dive into the nature of humanity and the ethics of survival.

21. Tokyo Ghoul

Photo Credit: Pierrot.

This anime shows that things could always be worse. Tokyo Ghoul is set in an alternate version of Tokyo, where ghouls roam the streets at night. After being bitten by one of these monsters, Ken Kaneki straddles the line between these two worlds.

Tokyo Ghouls is a wildly popular horror anime that can be a great starting point for the genre. The series offers a fantastic story, brutal violence, and an iconic animation style.

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