Top 25 Best Horror Anime

Horror is something of an elusive genre in the anime world, one that likes to hide in the cracks between the stairs at night or stare at you from the wardrobe when you sleep. But as hard as it is to get a hold on, once you open your mind to the scary, there’s no going back. Whether it’s more psychological horror that you’re looking for or you just want enough blood to sate you appetite, this list takes the best of them all.

Horror touches something in every human that shocks, scares, and forces us to experience something beyond our ken. Some call it The Uncanny. The Horror genre is one of the more popular genres in both film and literature, and of course, it's present in many different anime films as well.

Beyond our list of Horror Anime recommendations, we recommend you explore the greater horror genre at large in movies, TV shows, and literature. There's a lot of excellent horror out there outside of anime, just waiting for you to read or watch it. If you are interested in horror literature (i.e. horror novels), we recommend you check out our list of the Best Horror Books over on our horror book sister site (see besthorrornovels.com) which provides a breakdown of the various horror literary genres and provides specific horror book recommendations.

We promise you some of these recommendations will scare the shit out of you, then do it again, and again.







 

Resting on the number one spot on this list is anime’s own Final Destination series: Another. With a solid 12 episodes of mysterious deaths and creepy murders, Another is an absolute bloodbath.

 

Kouichi is just your average non-mysterious transfer student. After he joins class 3-3 at Yomiyama North Middle School, Kouichi notices his class isn’t the usual rowdy bunch of teens. In fact, they’re all constantly terrified and all ignore a particular girl in the class named Mei. As creepy as Mei is, Kouichi can’t help but be drawn to her, but as he tries to figure out the mystery behind the class curse, a series of downright creative deaths takes him on a path where death is just an umbrella away.

 

The only brain needed for this show is enough to splatter; this series relies on mysterious curses and character deaths more than the atmosphere or characters of more psychological shows. As long as you jump into the series with popcorn and not a notebook, you’re set for a brief but blood-filled horror series. And sometimes that exactly what you need.

 

Why it made the list: Another’s mysterious set-up doesn’t mean it takes its time with the horror side of the series. From start to finish, Another delivers what it promises, all while keeping you guessing until the end.

 

Watch if you like: Final Destination; creative deaths; uncensored BluRays; creepy girls; school settings; short series; lots of blood.

 

 

 

Resting just short of first place on this list is Higurashi, the original game in the When They Cry series, sister to Umineko.

 

After a series of unfortunate events in his hometown, young Keiichi decides to start fresh by moving to the quiet town of Hinamizawa. But, just like all sleepy towns in horror shows, this town also hides a dark secret. A number of horrific scenarios are played out as Keiichi is whisked away by blood and gore.

 

Higurashi lulls you into a comfortable almost slice of life anime and then shatters your illusions with a series of horrific events. Everything comes together in an unsettling, horrific mess that it’s no wonder Higurashi is so popular.

 

 

Why it made the list: No anime list is complete without Higurashi. Not only has it spawned a billion other stories – real number there – it’s almost the definitive anime for horror fans. It’s a careful mix of seemingly comfortable atmosphere broken by tragedy, violence, mystery and even likeable characters. It’s not one for the thinkers or people who want senseless death; this show is one to be felt.

 

Watch if you like: Gore; mental torture; little girls; OPs and EDs; mystery; the big picture; small arcs.

 

One of our Top Sci-Fi Anime titles makes it onto this list for being quite deeply disturbing when you think about it. While on its own the show is more psychological, it doesn't take long for it to speed down the one-way street to "wait, what the hell?" when normal things turn sinister.

 

The world of the future is a very different place. Villages spread across the land but keep strict boundaries with the outside land. Children are born with telekinetic powers but are kept in-check by schools and monsters. It's in this world that young Saki and her group of friends discover something disturbing, something so against what they know about society that just knowing it means they can never live safely again. But will they be eaten up by the system or change society as they know it?

 

When young Saki finally receives the psychokinetic powers every human is capable of, she enrols in her local school and quickly becomes friends with five other kids. One day, when she and her friends decide it's better to wander into the wild and be killed by some unknown creature than to follow the crowd on a boring field trip, the kids discover that the world they live in isn't exactly what it seems. Now that they have forbidden knowledge, they're thrown into a world of routine child murders, out-of-control psychopaths and human experimentation

 

To The New World isn't your first-look horror anime. But though it takes a while to work up to something truly frightening, it consistently delivers an unsettling atmosphere with some disturbing revelations. Definitely the thinker's anime more than one for those who like jump scares or gore.

 

Why it made the list: To The New World isn't what it first seems but that's why its sudden turn for the disturbing makes it so interesting. It spends time building up its world like a wrestler winding up their finishing punch, letting the whole series come to a great, impact-heavy ending.

 

Watch if you like: The supernatural; psychological horror; Soylent Green; utopias turned dystopian; a relatively small cast of characters; genetics; naked mole rats; thinking; time jumps.

 

Watch To The New World on Amazon NOW

 

 

Amidst the shots of gore and violence is Monster, a figurative monster of an anime that spans for over 70 episodes. There's much more to this show than blood and guts, especially if you're looking for that nice horror atmosphere you can cut with a razor blade.

 

Dr Kenzo Tenma is a hugely successful young brain surgeon who just about has it all. He's regarded favourably by his peers, he has a beautiful wife-to-be and is almost upon a big promotion. But… things inevitably go wrong with his latest operation. After choosing to save the life of a child over that of the local mayor, a spate of murders occurs and all the evidence points directly to the child. It's up to Tenma to uncover the mystery behind it all lest he be thrown into further misfortune.

 

Don't let Monster's monstrous episode count fool you; each one of its episodes is intriguing and used very well. Not everything is death and despair, but when it happens it packs a punch.

 

 

Why it made the list: Monster is a horror classic that gets everything right. It's a psychological horror anime treat, with great atmosphere, deep characters, and an amazing plot that wastes not a single episode.

 

Watch if you like: Long series; cat and mouse games; atmosphere; deep characters; slower pacing; doctors; murder mysteries; morals.

 

Next on our list is the obligatory nod to Satoshi Kon, with his weird and psychologically-heavy anime movies about a range of things. This time it’s a psychological horror/thriller movie about cute idols. And then a string of murders and identity crises, as expected.

 

When a member of a popular idol group decides to quit, a number of her fans are disappointed they no longer get to look up “Mimarin’s” skirt on stage. But although Mima Kirigoe has dropped out of the idol business, she finds that one of her top fans has turned into a slobbering stalker. As she struggles to free herself of this downright creepy guy, a string of murders of those close to her force her to retreat both from the outside and from reality. But is the stalker responsible for the killings or is something dark hiding inside her?

 

Much like Satoshi Kon’s other movies, Perfect Blue is more than what it looks like. Paying attention to more that Mima’s idol skirt is a must with this, but you can always sit back and watch everything unfold.

 

Why it made the list: Satoshi Kon’s movies are always great and Perfect Blue is no different. How the film shows events ties right into the story, breaking down as Mima does, showing her descending into madness as everything circles around her.

 

Watch if you like: Psychological horror; breasts; idols; Satoshi Kon; identity crisis; stalkers; older movies; non-moe art.

 

Not to be mistaken for lying elves, Elfen Lied is another horror classic with more bloodshead and cruelty than episode count. It also has its fair share of ecchi service, throwing naked girls into the mix for some truly fun times ahead.

 

There’s a very particular kind of being in the Elfen Lied world, and they have telekinetic powers. Reasonably, all these beings are confined and experimented on by the government. After a particularly crazy being escapes, killing all the guards around her, she is shot in the head and lost to the sea, but wakes up in the presence of two teens. They decide to take the crazy naked girl home, not realizing that everything is going to go to shit very, very fast.


Elfen Lied isn’t just about trying to make clothes out of blood; the series attempts to tackle many themes while still mostly delivering horrifying scenes.

 

Why it made the list: Elfen Lied is another classic horror anime, but as much as it mixes nudity with violence, it takes on themes and ideas while trying to make sense of them. It’s not exactly a philosophical anime but it isn’t as much senseless violence as you may think.

 

Watch if you like: Blood; naked girls; short series; sad pasts; building-up; more blood; experimentation; crazy girls; supernatural powers.

 

 

Falling more on the fantasy side of horror anime is Hellsing, the short anime series that has won the hearts of many with its vampires, action and classic fantasy creatures. That and it's just plain badass.

 

Van Hellsing, the famous vampire hunter of Dracula legend, is still helping to slay oddities even after his death. For his decedent has established an entire organization built around searching for and destroying supernatural enemies. While everyone gets their own tasks, it's the organizations' front man Alucard who deals with all things vampires. Mostly because, well, he is one too.

 

Hellsing as an interesting compliment to reading the manga since it takes a generally different story but still has about as much fun. There's no better anime to see if you want to get into the manga but don't want spoilers.

 

Why it made the list: Hellsing's short TV run may leave you wanting more, but what it does in the span of 13 episodes certainly won't leave you disappointed. It's a quirky kind of gory fun that leaves a strong impression, whether you like it for its too-cool characters or adore it for its action scenes.

 

Watch if you like: Vampires; Van Hellsing; cool names; short series; anti-heroes; alternate stories; reading the manga; British settings; music.

 

Whoever said that humans are the closest things to demons might be right, at least as far as Hell Girl is concerned. All our cruel acts and grudges are held up to see in this 26 episode series about a mysterious supernatural power at work.

 

Deep in the internet, only available at the stroke of midnight, is a website where you can bitch about all the horrible people in your life, not unlike social media. Whenever a post on the website moves the Hell Girl, she acts, dragging people into Hell and exacting revenge on them for the suffering people driven to the website. With each episode, you see new tortured people driven to seek the help of this mysterious, creepy girl.

 

Hell Girl doesn’t lavish in torturing its victims but still shows you a variety of people in truly terrible situations that maybe turn the horror element to you. Whether you want these tormentors to suffer for eternity or wish for peace may be where the true horror is in this series.

 

Why it made the list: Hell Girl is a perfect mix of suffering, urban horror and the kind of creepy long-haired girl you learn to expect from the genre. While it doesn’t roll in gore and torture, its atmosphere and story drive it to interesting and moving places.

 

Watch if you like: Suffering; episodic series; Hell; creepy girls; the internet hate machine; the supernatural; revenge.

 

What’s a good Horror anime list without some body horror and aliens? Fortunately, Parasyte comfortably takes the ninth spot on this list, bringing with it alien invasions, pseudo-cannibalism and body horror.

 

Main character Shinichi lives in a quiet Tokyo neighbourhood that suddenly turns horror fest when worm-like aliens invade Earth, settling in the brains of human hosts and transforming them into flesh-eating monsters. When it’s Shinichi’s turn to be taken over by a parasyte, it fails, instead eating his right hand and making any future attempts at masturbation pretty damn awkward. As he learns to live with the alien in his hand, Shinichi also learns to fight the other aliens who mercilessly devour humans every day.

 

Even though this series is a remake of a pretty old manga, everything about it works. The visuals look great and mature while the music is something a little different than usual. As much as it has plenty of blood and cannibalism, it asks a lot of questions about morality.

 

 

Why it made the list: Parasyte is a recent anime that has as many questions as it does human victims. The premise itself is interesting, and each fight with new parasytes brings character development as well as body horror. It’s a very interesting mix of sci-fi and horror that goes together in a different way than you’d expect.

 

Watch if you like: Dubstep; aliens; eating people; zombies; hands; moral questions; cool visuals; blood; body horror.

 

Watch Parasyte on Amazon NOW

 

 

While technically part of a series, The Garden of Sinners movies are so self-contained and out of order that you take one and run with it. Paradox Spiral is no different.

 

Shiki, a woman with the supernatural power to see “lines of death”, is out on her usual search for people to murder when she comes across a boy. When she saves him from a group of bullies, the boy reveals that he killed his parents after having dreams of them murdering him. When Shiki is drawn to investigate this, she discovers that a lot more is happening behind the scenes.

 

Time jumps and twists are aplenty with this movie but it has as much action and gross corpses as it does dialogue and thoughtful scenes. Not quite the typical horror anime but still amazing to watch, not just for the story but also for the visuals.

 

 

 

Why it made the list: A movie that is great solo or as part of a series, The Garden of Sinners: Paradox Spiral is an interesting movie by itself and is a little faster paced, which is good for people who want some action fast. Although it may leave you in the dark with a few of its supernatural elements, it’s a great ride from start to finish.

 

Watch if you like: Beautiful animation; Ufotable; music; alternate personalities; the supernatural; Type-Moon; murders.

11

Gantz

 

If dying is too boring for you then good news: Gantz's cast is already dead. But death doesn't mean the suffering stops; in fact, Gantz pulls out all the ugly stops when it comes to depicting humanity and its hidden dark side.

 

Keil and Kato's lives are suddenly cut short by a high-speed subway cart. But instead of retiring to the big fluffy clouds in the sky, they're recruited to fight aliens in a Battle Royale meets Men In Black situation. Everyone is put together to fight the aliens, but not everyone likes fighting in a team.

 

Other horror anime series tend to have lull points but Gantz is pretty constant with violence and action. It's weird and interesting set-up means there's a lot to think about if you want to, but still enough delicious suffering to keep you satisfied.

 

Why it made the list: Gantz is another popular classic that revels in blood and shocking elements, though still only runs for a single cour. It brings something new to horror, with all the aliens and survival game elements, and in the end turns out damn interesting.

 

Watch if you like: Short series; reading the manga; science fiction; aliens; Battle Royale; shock values; human nature.

 

Coming close to the top of our Top 25 Best Horror Anime list is something truly only for those who can stomach it. There’s no going back when you dive into Mnemosyne – it’s an endless pit of blood that draws you in with graphic violence and stays in your mind forever.

 

Rin is an immortal private detective – a pretty cool job if it weren’t for someone always pushing her into situations where she’s sliced and diced, blown up and tortured over sixty years. In a case of not being able to be killed even if you killed her, Rin still carries out her usual detective work, slowly piecing together the mysteries surrounding her.

 

With enough gore and torture to last a lifetime, it’s only a little surprising that Mnemosyne works in a satisfying plot with a large mystery that draws everything together. It truly offers a bit of thought food with its other pieces of brain flying at the screen; definitely something for Horror fans wanting something that could push boundaries.

 

Why it made the list: Potentially one of the most horrific series to exist in Horror anime, but for slightly different reasons. Mnemosyne has an intriguing mystery plot that opens up over time but never forgets its violence and gore, pushing boundaries when it comes to how much gore you can animate in one scene.

 

Watch if you like: Gore; torture; sex scenes; small cast of characters; the supernatural; graphic violence; women; detectives; unravelling mysteries.

 

The angel of death, the one who can descend and free you from your pain and suffering, has a name. An awe-inspiring name that strikes fear into your very being. That name is Boogiepop. In all seriousness, as silly as this death angel’s name is, Boogiepop Phantom is a great horror anime for people all about the atmosphere.

 

Rumours spread about the town of an angel of death named Boogiepop. Despite the ridiculous name, a number of teenagers feel uneasy. As they struggle with their daily lives and the stress of living, they unwillingly invite on themselves a supernatural party that threatens to repeat a string of grisly murders that happened years before.

 

Boogiepop Phantom has a creepy atmosphere that lingers all throughout the show. Its shifting focus on different characters keeps things new while still tying together a bigger plot and mystery. It’s definitely a horror anime for those fond of setting and sepia tones.

 

 

Why it made the list: Boogiepop Phantom is as atmospheric as Lain with a story close to and as interesting as Paranoia Agent. Much of the series is atmospheric horror and mystery, but that doesn’t prevent it from going where it needs to. 

 

Watch if you like: Paranoia Agent; urban horror legends; episodic series; slow-paced anime; sound; shinigami; short series; androgynous characters; social commentary; sepia.

 

Watch Boogiepop Phantom on Amazon Video

 

Next on our list is a surprising mix of shounen and horror: Deadman Wonderland. It’s this interesting mix that brings something new to horror anime instead of relying on senseless slaughter or deeply psychosocial mysteries.

 

Nothing gets horror anime off to a running start more than a mass slaughtering of teenagers. That’s how main character Ganta is falsely accused and sentenced to death, though not before he spends some time in a creative prison-turned-entertainment park. In Deadman Wonderland, Ganta must wait out his time in a prison where inmates are pitted against each other in gladiatorial combat. But things change when he realizes he can wield his blood as a sword. That’s when things get weird.

 

Deadman Wonderland shoves a knife in anything too deeply psychological but doesn’t just indulge in bloodshed. The series tries out a lot of ideas, but unfortunately leaves things open at the end since it relies on manga source material, though you could also see that as a great reason to pick up more comics.

 

Why it made the list: Deadman Wonderland is a hell of an idea and, by having a shounen story deep underneath, looks cool while spilling blood. It’s more action-based than most things on this list and makes it here because it stands out while still delivering the blood and mystery we all come to expect from horror anime.

 

Watch if you like: Shounen; event-heavy plot; prisons; mysterious friends; reading the manga; action; cool weapons; short series; The Gladiator.

 

 

Surprisingly, our next entry on this Top 25 Best Horror Anime list is an alternative setting of one of our higher-ranking anime: Higurashi. But even though they’re by the same person, both made as visual novels, and have the same murder fetishes, Umineko falls short, like a redshirt killed before their time.

 

There’s no better time to summon your witch of a true love than when you’re on an island with a group of rich family members. When main character Kinzo hears that his time is coming to an end, he decides to ditch the family’s outing and instead plunge their island into chaos. As the large family become trapped on the small island, a string of murders picks them off one by one, leaving the rest to desperately fight against… well, it’s better as a surprise.

 

While Umineko’s popularity as a visual novel is earned for a number of reasons, the anime focuses more on culling the numbers, making it more of a standard horror show and less about psychological horror or mystery.

 

Why it made the list: Umineko is pretty famous for being a million-hour long visual novel. Thankfully or not, the anime condenses the story into the main plot, killing off a whole host of characters for everyone’s enjoyment while simultaneously making it easier for people to pretend to have played the game.

 

Watch if you like: The supernatural; mystery; islands; large cast of characters; fantasy; music; animals; alternate settings.

 

Tokyo Ghoul is a more recent anime for the horror fan who has seen it all. Yet another short series that packs a gory punch, Tokyo Ghoul is great for anyone wanting some current visuals with a bit of fantasy on the side.

 

When Ken Kaneki meets cute bookworm Rize, the last thing he expects is for her to end up inside him. As fate would have it though, Rize is a ghoul out to eat human flesh but when she fails and is killed, leaving Ken close to death, her organs are transplanted into him to save his life. Now with the powers of a ghoul and the morals of a human being, Ken must stay human as he learns to survive with his half-ghoul needs.

 

Tokyo Ghoul is nothing surprising, but for a well-animated and creepy horror anime, it doesn’t disappoint. It falls lower on this list for being more of a standard horror anime that’s easy to get into but more expansive in manga form.

 

 

 

Why it made the list: Tokyo Ghoul is a very recent anime with just about everything horror fans can want. It brings in a ghoulish fantasy element to make things a little different but still delivers bloody scenes and mysterious circumstances.

 

Watch if you like: Cannibalism; ghouls; city settings; reading the manga; the supernatural; short series; crazy people; eyes; dark fantasy; watching the second season.

 

Watch Tokyo Ghoul on Amazon NOW

 

 

Sometimes you just need to settle down with a bucket of popcorn and indulge in vampires. Thankfully, Shiki is one anime series that does vampires right.

 

Living in the countryside basically invites a whole host of supernatural horror to befall everyone. That’s exactly what happens after a new family moves to a sleepy Japanese village. When the villagers are killed one-by-one, then suddenly come back to life, it’s up to the local doctor to discover that, yes, it’s vampires and everyone is going to die. 

 

Shiki has no surprises plot-wise but manages to make you care about the village and what happens to it – or not, if you just delight in vampires feasting on an all-you-can-eat. It also gives you fairly different perspectives from its main cast, for that added sense of horror.

 

Why it made the list: Shiki does vampires right and doesn’t just stop at one – practically a whole village is turned into vampires in this anime. It gets the creepy quiet country atmosphere right while indulging in what vampires do best.

 

Watch if you like: Vampires; Japanese countryside; fangs; communities; close cast of characters; atmosphere; the supernatural.

 

Watch Shiki on Amazon NOW

 

On the relationship side of horror anime is Ga-Rei: Zero, an anime that is as much about ghost hunting as it is about two friends trying to clean up a huge mess.

 

The Japanese government, like any other fictional government, has a secret division that deals with paranormal threats. This division has some powerful people to back it up, but when something drastic happens in one of their missions, a monster is born and it’s up to a dear friend to take it down and make sure the entire city isn’t slaughtered.

 

Ga-Rei: Zero is the kind of anime where you come for the supernatural thrills and stay for the relationships. The two main characters are either best friends or secret lovers, and either’s fine when the story is this close and moving.

 

Why it made the list: What appears to be an anime about hunting demons opens up into a story of friendship and some strong subtext. It’s a much more personal anime than a fight against the world or a huge group of ghosts.

 

Watch if you like: The supernatural; the government; yuri subtext; powers; hunting demons; short series; twists; two main characters; pocky; going into backstory.

 

Watch Ga-Rei: Zero on Amazon Video NOW

 

Not to be confused for something that sounds like a choose your own adventure book, Petshop of Horrors is a collection of related horror stories, each linking back to… well,  a creepy pet shop.

Count D runs a pet shop full of exotic creatures with very strict rules attached to them. People who buy pets from this creepy shop have to follow their contract or else something terrible will befall them. Across the episodes, four people fall into this trap and end up breaking the rules, getting more than they paid for. Exorcism not included.

 

Petshop of Horrors feels a bit like an anime version of The Twilight Zone with how each episode slowly devolves into something truly horrific and absurd. Of course, amidst the horror, there’s also a lesson for each character to learn. The lesson is: don’t buy creepy shit.

 

Why it made the list: Petshop of Horrors is another one of those short series that satisfies any desire to see something quick but interesting. Its episodic format lets you put it down and get back into it easily, letting you save the wonderful creepiness for another day.

 

Watch if you like: Very short series; pets; episodic series; the Twilight Zone; atmosphere; mystery; the supernatural; east and west; reading the manga.

 

One of the more traditional horror titles, Corpse Party: Tortured Souls is the go-to anime for blood and guts, with the extra addition of ghosts and ghoulish people. Based on a game of roughly the same name, it captures the final moments of a range of students in a will-they won’t-they effort to live… mostly in one piece.

 

Whoever knew about Horror Set-Ups 101 sure never told the kids at Kisaragi Academy. When a group of eight classmates wrap-up a long day of school with a good-old creepy paper doll charm, they inadvertently get swallowed by a school from Hell that traps them forever in its dark and dripping halls. As the kids try to cling to the hope of survival, a larger power at work picks them off for torture, because that’s what’s in the title.

 

Corpse Party: Tortured Souls doesn’t go easy on the violence or blood, even if the censoring might try to hide it. If you’re in the mood for being absolutely terrified of Japanese schools or little girls, it’s a nicely short series that gets to the point. And that point is blood.

 

Why it made the list: There’s a reason that Corpse Party has spun off enough games and OVAs to keep you terrified just that bit longer. It’s got that spooky-but-real atmosphere that lets you wonder what might happen if you were thrown into a literal school from Hell. Of course, it also has enough scares and deaths to sate anyone’s dark desires.

 

Watch if you like: School settings; graphic violence; sound; dismemberment; ghosts; screaming; friends being torn apart; slasher films; little girls; straining your eyes to see in the dark.

 

 

 

Arriving at the 21st spot on our list is the very short story Kakurenbo and an anime that’s alright for even younger people to watch. There’s more of a creepy mystery to this one that straight-up bloodfests, and sometimes that’s just what you need.

 

A group of kids play in the ruins of a city, as kids do, but each time they play hide and seek, one of them disappears, never to be seen again. Somehow never deterred by what could very well be death, the children continue to play. That’s when Hikora appears and plays the game to find out what happened to his sister who disappeared while playing it. But what he finds is much more than his lost sister.

 

Kakurenbo makes the list for being a little different than the average horror anime. It’s all about the atmosphere and the journey more than any specific horrific events. It’s easy to get into the setting when everything’s detailed. It’s also nicely short.

 

Why it made the list: Who says shorter isn’t better? Kakurenbo quickly settles into its creepy atmosphere, giving you a delightful mystery of a story without going into anything gory. Perfect for kids and kids at heart.

 

Watch if you like: Kids; very short stories; animal masks; atmosphere; 3D CGI; city settings.

 

Watch Hide and Seek on Amazon NOW

 

If you’re getting bored of your everyday supernatural creatures and endless gore, and feel like a little romance with your sinister beings, then look no further than Mermaid Forest, the anime about a guy and girl indulging in half-cannibalism.

 

As ancient legend has it, if you decide that mermaids are more fish than human and eat their flesh, you can live for 500 years. Yuta – more of a human guy if you ask him – unknowingly eats part of a mermaid and has to live his immortal life in search of a cure. When he comes across another group of mermaids, he discovers that they’re raising a human girl to suck her youth away. He promptly kills them with little remorse and starts his search for a cure all over again, this time with a cute girl at his side.

 

Mermaid Forest has a bit of a different angle on horror, focusing a little more on romance and fantasy, though still pursuing creepy goings-on.

 

Why it made the list: Mermaid Forest adds a bit more romance and fantasy to your standard horror anime, making it just as much about the journey of the two lead characters as about the sinister world of immortality and mermaids.

 

Watch if you like: Mermaids; romance; episodic series; fantasy; short series; old art style; being immortal; cannibalism.

 

Whether you have fierce feelings for subs or dubs, everyone can agree that Ghost Stories is a series where its dub has vastly improved the original material. In fact, the English dub of this show is why this series makes it to our top 25 spot.

 

A young girl named Satsuki moves back to her childhood town, living in the very same house of her deceased mother (corpse not included). One day, when chasing a cat into an old building, she discovers that it’s infested with ghosts, freed from their prisons and out for some haunting. It’s only when Satsuki inherits her mother’s old book of spells that she gains the power to become the main character and kick some ghostly ass.

 

Ghost Stories is a fairly average anime in Japanese, but the English dub really makes it something else, in one of the few instances localization gets something very right. While the series has supernatural aplenty, it’s entertaining in a very different way than what you may expect when getting into it.

 

Why it made the list: Ghost Stories is a special anime where its English dub just isn’t like anything else. Originally quite an average tale, the dub transforms the series into something truly magical – and perhaps even more horrific depending on how you look at it.

 

Watch if you like: Dubs; inheriting books; the supernatural; kids banding together; ghosts; mysteries.

 

Survival games are a staple of horror anime, what with all the entrapment and schemes to kill large casts of characters. While surprisingly few are animated, we still get some slice-em-up action with Future Diary.

 

Loner and all-around strange guy Yuki just likes to type on his phone and talk to his imaginary god friend just like everyone else. When his imaginary friend turns out to be real, Yuki is thrust into a battle royale with twelve players, each who have a phone that gives them a unique power. These people have 90 days to kill each other to become the new god of time and space, but there’s just one problem: Yuki’s an extreme wimp.

 

Future Diary attempts to mix senseless slaughter with a plot that needs more thought, but still comes out as a fairly easy anime to watch. As a bonus, it has a fair few supernatural elements in case you’re tired of the usual crazy psycho killer scenario.

 

Why it made the list: Future Diary is one of the few survival game horror anime we get and it delivers what it promises. While there are enough twists and turns with each character plotting (and succeeding) to kill each other, we also get some delightfully horrific scenes slightly outside the game.

 

Watch if you like: Survival games; blood and gore; technology-based powers; strategy; weak protagonists; yanderes; the future; pacts; timelines.


 

Ghostbusters, Japanese high school-style. That’s all.

 

A group of high school kids do what high school kids do best: get into life-or-death trouble while investigating local paranormal phenomenon. Magic and science meet as the group combats ghosts with a mix of technology and powers, all while learning how the forces around them work.

 

Ghost Hunt has a variety of stories for the restless as it tackles a new supernatural phenomenon every few episodes. The characters often need a bit of a push to solve mysteries, and romance may be sudden, but there’s something you can come to love about Ghost Hunt.

 

Why it made the list: Despite a few setbacks, Ghost Hunt is a loveable anime that breaks things down into small arcs while mixing in a bit of science and fantasy. There’s a bit of something for everyone while still keeping with what you’d expect for.

 

Watch if you like: Ghost stories; investigation; science and magic; comedy; the supernatural; backstory; jump scares; romance.


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