Top 10 horror anime of all time

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As Halloween approaches, there’s never been a better time to rewatch some of our all-time favorite horror anime. Although most people think of live action as horror season approaches, anime has a huge variety in the genre to revel in. Since the 1960s, Japanese animators have enchanted viewers with disturbing myths. Often creating original stories or adapting terrifying tales from manga, horror anime has become a space of power for some of the most insane, thoughtful and unique genre narratives.

Although there are literally thousands of great horror anime series and movies, We have selected and classified 10 of the best. From paranormal thrillers to supernatural serial killers, psychological nightmares and vampire epics, there’s something here for every type of fear. Check out our guide to the best anime of all time for more picks.

10. Theatre of Darkness: Yamishibai (2013)

Although each of these episodes lasts about five minutes, that doesn’t stop them from getting under your skin. If you’re a fan of creepy camp stories and loved shows like Nightmares or The Midnight Club as a kid, you’ll love Yamishibai. But these tales of the supernatural are much stranger than those classic children’s horror. The distinctively animated shorts tackle multiple horror tropes, from strange phone calls to the perils of rural towns, but all in a unique and surprising way. And the best thing is that there are already nine seasons of these insane animated urban legends to keep you awake.

9. Tokyo Ghoul (2014)

https://www.ign.com/articles/best-keanu-reeves-movies-of-all-timeCrunchyroll

Tokyo Ghoul is a futuristic sci-fi series based on the manga by Sui Ishida and is every bit as terrifying as its source material. Kaneki is a normal student living in a high-tech alternate reality in which humans are increasingly threatened by flesh-eating “ghouls”. As society desperately confronts its newest predator, Kaneki’s life is forever changed by a chance encounter. Suddenly caught between two worlds, he must come to terms with his new life and protect his human friends from what he has become. Beautifully animated, darkly depressing, and packed with violent action, it’s a angst-ridden journey through cannibalistic creatures and supernatural threats.

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8. Devilman Crybaby (2018)

Netflix

Devilman Crybaby is one of the most outrageous horror shows of all time, and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Adapting Go Nagai’s famous Devilman manga, this blood-soaked horror story is darkly humorous, but never lets you out of the gut-wrenching fear at its core. Best friends Ryo and Akira are drawn into a world of blood-filled demons when the latter becomes Devilman. They soon find themselves up against all manner of chaotic creatures, but something is rotten at the core of their friendship and this incredible journey will bring her to her breaking point. This friendship story has one of the most shocking endings in a long time and it will take time to recover.

7. Paranoia Agent (2004)

Funimation

The first of two Satoshi Kon entries on our list, this Rashomon-esque series was inspired by narrative beats and ideas that Kon couldn’t fit into his cinema, leading to the creation of Paranoia Agent. It’s an origin that makes perfect sense, as it returns to some of the late author’s favorite themes: paranoia, the thin veil between reality and fantasy, and the crushing weight of societal expectations. It all starts when a woman is attacked by a young man with a gold bat. Soon the city is ablaze with similar attacks and theories as to why. As two detectives try to solve the case, they delve into the strange world of “Bat Boy” and what might be driving his unexplained crime spree.

6. Parasyte (2014)

Sentai Filmworks

Blending body horror with sci-fi, Parasyte is one of the most addictive horror anime on our list. Created by mangaka Hitoshi Iwaaki, the story follows 17-year-old Shinichi Izumi. His mundane life in Fukuyama, Hiroshima is turned upside down after an invasion of parasitic aliens targets Japan. When one of the monstrous aliens accidentally implants itself in Shinichi’s hand instead of his brain, Shinichi has to learn to share his body with his new bodily neighbor. This twist of fate ends up becoming a survival tool as Shinichi must survive other parasites in this high school horror story that mixes body horror and big questions about the nature of being human.

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5. Hellsing (2001)

Funimation

We recently featured the 2005 Hellsing Ultimate OVA on our list of best vampire anime. But when it comes to pure horror we have to stick with this classic. In an alternate history version of England where vampires are on the rampage, the mysterious Hellsing organization is the only line of defense against bloodsuckers and a dangerous new substance that seeks to blur the line between vampires and humans once and for all. . Luckily, the Hellsing organization and its leader, the daughter of the famous vampire slayer Van Helsing, have a secret weapon, the vampire Alucard. The unforgettable and fierce action of the night walkers makes this a horror anime for the books. And if you grew up in the ’90s or ’00s, chances are you’ll also be infused with a heavy dose of spooky nostalgia.

4. Perfect Blue (1997)

Rex Entertainment

Satoshi Kon is one of the masters of anime. And while he’s made multiple classics, his haunting psychological thriller Perfect Blue is one of his most influential and impactful films. After leaving her group J-Idol to pursue her dream of becoming an actress, singer Mima Kirigoe’s life begins to fall apart. The lines between real life and fantasy begin to blur when she is stalked by a super fan and she struggles to separate her idol identity from her new career. Brutally brilliant, this is a true mental horror that will keep you guessing until the last moment. But be warned, this is possibly the most terrifying and violent movie on our list, so expect nothing more than a deeply disturbing viewing you’ll never forget.

3. Boogiepop Phantom (2000)

Funimation

After a strange light appears in the sky, unexplained events begin to haunt a group of high school students in this atmospheric and totally unique entry on our list. An ensemble story, the characters are connected to each other by a folk figure known as Boogiepop. The urban legend, rumored to be the personification of death, looms over these grim tales when a series of brutal murders inspire a renewed interest in the legendary Boogiepop. Although the episodes are connected with an overarching mystery, it can be enjoyed as something of an anthology, with each panel drenched in spooky vibes and immaculate storytelling.

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2. Higurashi When They Cry (2006)

Sentai Filmworks

This twisted time loop of popular horror follows a young Keiichi Maebara who lives in the seemingly idyllic rural town of Hinamizawa. But there are dark secrets afoot that seem to be related to a strange government project. As Keiichi is drawn into the mystery, things get darker and darker in this absolutely brutal story. If you like slasher-style puzzles and assassinations with a hint of conspiracy, chances are you’re already a fan of this infamous anime series. Although the original version from 2006 is quite difficult to find, a 2020 remake is easily accessible. And if you like it a lot, you can also see the remake of the prequel that was released in 2021.

1. Death Note (2006)

Viz Media

Death Note is a classic for a reason. This wish-fulfilling horror introduces viewers to the world of Light Yagami, a hyper-intelligent teenager who makes a strange discovery that changes his life. Finding the Death Note, a supernatural notebook that allows Light to kill anyone whose name he writes on its pages, he embarks on a fascist quest to rid the world of crime. As judge, jury, and executioner, Light becomes one of the scariest anime antagonists of all time. But the enigmatic and clever detective, known only as L, is determined to solve the unnatural wave of global deaths leading to Light. Death Note is a truly iconic horror anime, a dark and delightful mystery that asks big questions and is very entertaining at the same time.

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