Want anime that send shivers down your spine? Matt and Will conjured up series so you can seal your doom tonight (mwa-ha-ha)!
How could we make a spooky anime list and not include Castlevania? The anime adaptation of the now-legendary video game series was met with high praise by both fans and critics alike upon its initial release. The plot centers around Trevor Belmont, the last in a clan of monster-slaying knights, as he hunts the everliving Dracula in a fictitious version of medieval Europe. While much fanfare was given to the development of characters and their motivations, there are also plenty of classic fiends, demons, and even human baddies for Trevor and his companions to fight and navigate as they attempt to complete their darkness-filled quest in this faithful take on a horror classic.
The concept of “Chicken Run but with human children” is scary in and of itself, but what makes the anime scarier is its ability to add tension: using close-ups to build paranoia through obstruction, knowing how to hold back information and when to let enough slip to increase the stakes. Additionally the animator's know how to draw disturbing faces. This chess game between children and adults is a great show for those that want a tense mind-game anime.
Devilman has been around a long time. Created by old-school anime author and illustrator Go Nagai, Devilman debuted in 1972 as a serialized manga in Weekly Shonen Magazine as an evolution of Nagai’s previous series, Demon Lord Dante. Since then, there have been multiple anime OVAs and series based on Akira Fudo and his demonic alter ego, Devilman. Blunt force trauma and gore are the name of the game in this horror take on the Japanese superhero genre, so if you are a fan of splatter, hacking, and slashing, Devilman may be the Halloween anime for you!
This classic children's horror series has existed for almost as long as Astro Boy, but the recent anime brings new and exciting scares to the table. The original manga’s success stemmed from its yokai designs, and the new series is able to keep the success going strong with creepy monsters. But the yokai are vehicles for teaching as well as scaring, and the new series is no different. They update and create new yokai to teach about issues like cyberbullying that are great for kids and insightful for adults.
Do you like your anime a bit more cerebral? This psychological thriller is told from the perspective of several characters, all of whom are connected by Lil’ Slugger, a young, mysterious, golden bat-wielding serial assailant. As the show progresses, the casts’ lives and secrets are slowly revealed – and so is the mind-bending origin of Lil’ Slugger! The foreboding atmosphere hovering over every minute of Paranoia Agent might just make it your new favorite horror anime! *Note: Title is currently unavailable through rightstufanime.com
Satoshi Kon is a master of suspense, and his first film, Perfect Blue, is a prime example of that. A scathing critique of the entertainment industry, it shows the psychological toll being a celebrity can be. Reality and imagination become one and the same, where the lack of separating between the two leads to some tense scares. But the scariest and disgusting moments are the ones that stick closest to reality.
Looking for a little more fantasy and action in your horror? Look no further! Hellsing Ultimate is the manga-faithful telling of a gunslinging vampire named Alucard as he defends England from the forces of evil. There is plenty of over-the-top action to be had as Alucard battles satanic ghouls, superpowered priests, and Nazi werewolves! For a dark fantasy bloodbath, make sure Hellsing Ultimate is part of your horror lineup this October!
This show is made to weird you out. Despite being small scale, the show has a large cast that often changes from episode to episode, so you never know if the cast is going to survive to the end or not. Then you have the distinct visual look of the series. The color pallete is muted, and there’s a vignette used to create and more mysterious look. It illustrates that viewers are only getting part of the story, which makes us wonder what could be missing. The show is a puzzle that’s fun to solve but scary to decipher.
The Junji Ito Collection, as the title implies, is a collection of horror shorts authored by fan-favorite artist Junji Ito. Ito’s unique brand of terror makes the jump from print to animation well. The background art is suitably creepy, the storylines are as psychologically-scarring as ever, and the characters are just as deranged and twisted as one would hope for. If you are in the mood for surreal, absurdist horror, the Junji Ito Collection is right up your alley!
Want a series that screws with your mind? Then you’ve come to the right anime! Part of the spookiness is you’re never quite sure what is going on. Nothing seems natural, even the scenes in real life. Made in 1998 it’s themes of the internet and your digital vs. real life are more relevant than ever.