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24 Best Horror Anime of All Time

February 21, 2019
17 min read

Over time, horror has emerged as one of the favorite genres of anime lovers. Horror anime are watched for an adrenaline rush that they typically generate inside you. Through the use of surprise and shock, horror anime evoke tension and fear. But honestly, horror is still an evolving genre in anime. Action is still the go-to favorite but horror is catching up pretty fast. In recent years, we have seen the release of several great anime movies and TV shows. Many of them have tried to tell different stories based on a variety of ideas from vampires to ghosts witches. So, you have plenty to choose from, especially since we are providing you the list of best horror anime ever. You can watch some of these top horror anime on Netflix, Hulu or Crunchyroll. The list includes psychological horror anime and horror romance anime.

24.  Yakusoku no Neverland (2019)

‘Yakusoku no Neverland’ is a recent anime which released in the month of January this year. The anime is still ongoing. There will be a total of 12 episodes in this anime series. It is a great mystery, horror genre anime which will keep you invested till the very end. I am waiting for it to be finished so I can binge it. The story revolves around an orphanage by the name of Grace Field House. The orphans here are quite happy as their caretaker, ‘Mama’, takes care of them equally. By the age of 12, all orphans are adopted too. So, it is a happy place, right? Nope. Two of the orphans decide to break the only rule and venture outside the gates of the orphanage only to discover the true nature of their stay. Now, the orphans must quickly come up with a plan to escape their fate.

23. Memories (1995)

Let’s now take a look at another anime movie. ‘Memories’ is an anime movie which is divided into three episodes each being 37 minutes in length. The episodes at first seem to be random tales told in flashback but are later found to be related somehow. The first episode ‘Magnetic Rose’ takes place in space where two engineers decide to explore an abandoned space station aft6er receiving a distress call. They soon begin hallucinating as it becomes hard for them to maintain their sanity. The second episode ‘Stink Bomb’ deals with a technician by the name of Nobuo who consumes pills from a laboratory thinking them to be cold medications. But they are pills which increase flatulence and the gases escaping him are deadly to people in the vicinity. The third episode ‘Cannon Fodder’ takes place in a city which seems to have lots of cannons. But since there is no threat of war or anything the artillery is only used for training purposes and bombardment routines. A boy wants to become an artillery officer and loves cannons and wishes to fire them. He attends the bombardment routines regularly but is itching to use it for the protection of his homeland.

22. Monster (2004)

Psychological thrillers are one of my favorite kind of anime. ‘Monster’ is one of the very first anime which comes to mind when thinking of a good psychological thriller anime which also has enough horror in it. There are a total of 74 episodes in the anime each of which is about 24 minutes in length. Don’t get put off by the volume of the anime since it is going to make you invest your time in as it is quite interesting. The protagonist of the anime is Dr. Kenzo Tenma who is an acclaimed neurosurgeon. His life is going pretty good from being in a very good position in the hospital as well as being the fiance of the director’s daughter. But soon his conscience takes a hit when he is made to switch patients by the authority which leads to the death of a poor immigrant. So, next time when such an event occurs he decides to save the life of a boy. But he loses his social standing and his position at the hospital. But soon the director and two other doctors die which restores his position. Years later, he encounters the boy, now a grown up, he saved who has become a monster and has taken lives. Kenzo decides to set the records straight by amending his mistake of saving a vile human being.

21. Highschool of The Dead (2010)

I have no idea why people don’t like ‘Highschool of The Dead’. They say that it is basically hentai. But it is not. It is an ecchi approach to the horror genre which has been done multiple times in various media. Is there nudity? Yup, there is but that does not make the show bad. If you want to see an entertaining zombie apocalypse anime which has ecchi stuff in it then go for ‘Highschool of The Dead’. In ‘Highschool of The Dead’ the zombie apocalypse starts suddenly. It quickly engulfs the whole of Japan as chaos and disorder spread nationwide. Takashi Kimuro is the protagonist of the anime. He has to kill his best friend because he ends up turning into a zombie. He promises to protect his friend’s girlfriend. Soon, pair joins the other surviving members of the school and decide to band together since it will be easier to survive. Join them as they embark on a journey of survival through a fallen society. The anime has a total of 12 episodes with each episode being 24 minutes in length.

20. Kenpuu Denki Berserk (1997)

‘Kenpuu Denki Berserk’ is not for people who don’t like violence, blood, and gore. But since you landed on this list it seems you are quite a fan of such kinds of stuff. This is a really great anime. It has great art and animation and the character designs are pretty good too. The plot will keep you invested for a long time and the interesting characters will compliment that. Guts is the protagonist of this anime. he is a mercenary and has been fighting for a long time. Then he joins a mercenary group by the name of Band of Hawks after losing a match with their leader Griffith. He starts working as a mercenary along with them and his talent of killing makes him ascend through the positions in the group. Guts begins to feel that the world is not as binary as he thinks. But things are never good forever as time will tell.

19. Devilman: Crybaby (2018)

‘Devilman: Crybaby’ is a supernatural horror anime. Media streaming giant Netflix brought the show to its viewers in the month of January previous year. It is a treat for those who enjoy excessive blood, gore, violence, and sex. Devils can only come to Earth by possessing humans. If a human has a strong will, he/she will be able to control the devil and use its power for his/her’s own purpose, thus becoming a devilman. Akira Fudou is a kind-hearted man who loves helping anyone in need. So, when his friend asks him to accompany him to a party where he wants to capture the devils in their act he agrees. But the party turns out to be a sabbath and devils start possessing humans and killing them. To save his friend Akira lets devil Amon to possess him but is able to control the devil. he thus becomes a devilman and saves his friend. Now, he embarks on a journey to save humans from these vile supernatural creatures.

18. Deadman Wonderland (2011)

‘Deadman Wonderland’ is a horror anime which one can easily binge. The anime has a total of 12 episodes with each episode being 24 minutes in length. Ganta Igarashi is the protagonist of the anime. He life is ordinary and the day he went out on a field trip along with his classmates was supposed to be ordinary too. His class goes to Deadman Wonderland on a field trip. It is a prison where the convicts perform dangerous acts for the onlookers. But soon tragedy strikes as a mysterious man in red massacres the entire class except for Ganta who becomes the prime suspect. He is soon convicted and now must stay in the same prison he was visiting. Here, the prisoner’s must fight in deadly battles to keep the collars on their neck slow. Ganta needs top settle into this dangerous prison life if he wants to find out about the actual murderer.

17. Paprika (2006)

If you have been reading my stuff then you know that I am a sucker for anime movies. ‘Paprika’ is an anime movie which I watched recently. Dreams are a sort of gateway to a person’s psyche. In this anime, a tech lab is trying to perfect a device they call DC mini which enables people to have access to other people’s dream. The use of this device to understand the psyche of a person by exploring their dreams and thus being able to solve psychological problems. But the device is stolen and this is a bad thing since it can also be used to cause mental breakdowns to specific targets. Two of the developers of the tech decide to enlist the help of a police officer who was receiving the therapy using DC mini to catch the perpetrators as people around them start going crazy. The movie is about 1 hour and 30 minutes long.

16. Ajin (2016)

‘Ajin’ is an action, horror genre anime which deals with immortal humans. This anime has a total of 13 episodes and each episode is around 24 minutes in length. Ajin are mysterious immortal human beings. The first appearance of an Ajin seems to have occurred in Africa. Pretty soon after their discovery, they were labeled as evil as people thought that they will use their powers for evil stuff. So, whenever an Ajin is discovered they are to be arrested. Kei Nagai is the protagonist of the anime who wants to be a doctor. He doesn’t pay much attention to this subject and thus has little idea about an Ajin. But later after an incident, he finds out that he himself is an Ajin and now must always be on the run as the world seems to be after him.

15. Terra Formars (2014)

Well, humans always tend to eff up, no matter what they do. This anime is set in a world that resonates with the sentence. To colonize the planet Mars, humans sent roaches and algae as they can survive the inhabitable conditions. But they underestimated evolution and Voila, we have roach like alien monsters. Good thing it happened on some other planet, right? But we underestimated lady luck. A disease now plagues the Earth and the cure can be found only on the red planet. So, a group of skilled individuals is assigned the mission to bring the medicine back to Earth. Will they be able to succeed?

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14. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (2006)

This is a nice horror anime. I liked the way the story is told. The plot sees Keiichi Maebara enjoying his life in the village he just moved in. He quickly became friends with Rika Furude, Mion Sonozaki, Satoko Houjou, and Rena Ryuuguu. The village is quiet and seems peaceful but little known to Keiichi is a secret that lies in the heart of the village. Every year the villagers seem to celebrate a festival centered around their god Oyashiro. Keiichi notices that many people have started disappearing during the festival. But none would satisfy his query. Even his friends wouldn’t help. What is it that these villagers are trying to hide?

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13. Elfen Lied (2004)

This story shows how humans can make monsters out of anyone. Lucy is a special girl and belongs to a breed known as Diclonius. She has small horns on her head and has special invisible telekinetic hands. Seeing her as a possible research subject the government tortured her and used her for experiments. One day Lucy was able to escape but the torture has changed her and she leaves the center after leaving a bloody scene behind. During this, she also received a head injury which gave her dual personality one that of a child and another of a ruthless killer.

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12. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls (2013)

What if you were trapped in some other dimension filled with violent ghosts? I would just wet my pants. The plot of this anime is themed on this. Kisaragi Academy was built on the grounds where Heavenly Host Academy used to be. the academy was destroyed after gruesome murders took place at the academy. Nine friends have decided to give their friend a farewell by performing a ritual with paper idols. But little known to them is that this ritual was carried out in the previous academy too. Soon, the students realize that they have messed up pretty bad as they now have to escape the dimension they are trapped in.

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11. Ghost Hunt (2006)

This anime series will keep you on the edge with its interesting ghost hunting plot. The main protagonist of the series is Taniyama Mai who loves to hear and tell ghost stories to her friends. One day a professional Ghost hunter, Kazuya appears in the school, having been hired by the principal to investigate the supposed abandoned building in the campus. Later Taniyama finds a camera in the building and accidentally breaks it and also hurts Kazuya’s assistant. Now, to repay for her deeds she starts working for Kazuya and learns more about the paranormal.

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10. Tokyo Ghoul (2014)

This anime is set in a world where Ghouls exist alongside humans. They are violent and feed on humans. Ken Kaneki is an ordinary high schooler. One day he goes on a date with a girl to a library. While returning the girl turns out to be a Ghoul and attacks him to feed on him. Luckily, Ken survived the attack but at the expense of having the Ghoul’s organs transplanted in him. Now Ken is a human-ghoul hybrid and is pulled into the dark world of ghouls and ghoul hunters. This is one of the best anime that I have watched recently.

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9. Yami Shibai (Theater of Darkness) (2013)

Do you love to hear ghost stories? Do you gather around the elderly with your friends, to get your wits scared by terrifying ghost stories? Then chances are you might find ‘Yami Shibai’ interesting. The anime is not just a single story but are several ghost stories told over a span of 13 episodes. There is a main character though, the story-teller who appears at spots where children gather and tell them horror stories from Japanese urban legends. He even has a paper scrolling device which spits out visuals to accentuate his story.

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 8. Hellsing (2001)

Alucard Hellsing Ultimate

This is a really famous action/horror genre anime and is set in a world where supernatural creatures lurk in the darkness. Hellsing organization is a group which seeks to neutralize any threats possessed by the supernatural or the undead. When a village is attacked by a vampire the organization decides to fight fire with fire and sends it’s best soldier Alucard, who is a vampire. In the midst of all this Seras Victoria is mortally wounded and is suggested by Alucard to become a vampire. She takes him up on the decision and joins the Hellsing organization.

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7. Parasyte (2014)

This anime ends up being on several lists. It is that good. I have decided to include it here since it is one of the best horror anime out there. Aliens have attacked the earthlings. Their preferred method being, entering the human body and controlling their mind. Shinichi Izumi is also attacked but fortunately, the damage is only limited to his hands as the Parasyte could not crawl into his ears as he was listening to music. Now, Izumi has this alien right hand and both of them (him and the alien) must help each other out to survive.

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6. Another (2012)

This is a nice horror story. The plot starts with the death of a popular student named Misaki in the year 1972. Her classmates and teachers loved her and pretend that she is alive. But slowly the atmosphere of the place started changing and moving towards the dark. More than two decades later, Kōichi Sakakibara finds himself at this place which is haunted by a curse. He starts growing close to a girl wearing an eyepatch, Mei Misaki. Soon, students and their families start to die. Kōichi and Misaki must try to find the secret and a way to stop this curse.

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5. Ghost Stories (2000)

Ever had the feeling that there were ghosts haunting your school? Satsuki and Keiichirou Miyanoshita felt it but it was more than just feelings, it was a reality. Turns out, years ago some student banished the ghost from his school but now they are back and they want revenge. Satsuki and Keiichirou become the ones targeted by the ghosts. They need to survive along with their friends if they want to escape the clutches of the ghosts.

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4. Shiki (2010)

‘Shiki’ is a horror anime that deals with vampires. The ordinary life of the village known as Sotoba has begun to change as many people start dying, supposedly due to an epidemic of sorts. But doctor Toshio starts to figure out the fact, that this is not just some common plague. Rather, they are the work of  Shiki, a vampire. He joins hands with Natsuno to find out the truth about these deaths and also to end the misery of their village.

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3. Pet Shop of Horror (1999)

The story revolves around a pet shop in a place called Chinatown owned by Count D. He is the seller of rare and unique animals. People who want something special wind up in his shop. At first, everything seems fine, get your pet, follow the contract rules and all will be okay. But the worst happens if you break the rules of contract. Leon Orcot is a detective and has been able to connect a few different mothers together. Can they be related to the pet shop?

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2. Blood + (2005)

Saya Otonashi does not remember her past. She currently lives with her adoptive family. But her life takes a turn when she is attacked by a creature who feeds on human blood. She is saved by a man named Haji who asks her to drink her blood. This makes her enter a trance-like state and she kills the beast using her blood as a sort of catalyst. Having known the existence of such hellish beasts Saya decides to help Haji and his team fight these creatures.

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1. Akira (1988)

This movie is an anime classic. The plot is set in the year 2019 in the city known as Neo-Tokyo. Several years ago an explosion caused by a psychic had started World War III. The psychic was soon subdued and kept in confinement by the government. Now, years later another psychic has escaped and caused some trouble which has led to another person named Tetsuo gaining destructive abilities. This leads the government to capture Tetsuo. But Shoutarou won’t keep quiet when his friend is in trouble. Will he be able to save his friend?

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