Halloween Spook-A-Thon!

Halloween Spook-A-Thon!

-Written by: Will

It’s Halloween, which means watching and reading the scariest stuff possible. We put together a solid list last year, but there’s more than 10 great spooky anime and manga. This year we’re focusing more on existential scares, but we have ones with blood and guts for those gore-philes out there.

Junji Ito's Dissolving Classroom

We could make an entire list with the works of Junji Ito, the master of Japanese horror. This book is one of the latest short story collections to make it stateside. These center around siblings Yuuma and Chizumi Azawa. Needless to say, the siblings are messed up people that do messed up things. To say more would spoil things, but Ito’s fear of the incomprehensible is as terrifying as ever.

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Happiness Manga Volume 1

While we’re on horror manga, Happiness is a recent series that’s been getting worthy attention. From the man who created Flowers of Evil, you can expect a slow-burn chiller that descends into unhinged madness. The story is about a high school boy who makes a choice to give his life, well, life. Of course, that means something very different than what he imagines.

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House Blu-ray

If there’s a cult film that deserves horror classic status, it’s this fever dream of a movie. Five high school girls go to visit one of their aunts that lives in a house and get spooked. Watch the trailer, it does a better job of describing the movie than we can.

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Monster Perfect Edition Manga Volume 1

No, it’s not about THOSE monsters. The biggest things in this series are the ethical questions it tackles. The series follows a doctor who attempts to hunt down the serial killer he saved as a child. You’re forced to see the evil results of the Doctor’s kind action, which takes a toll on both the Doctor and the reader. Pull out a copy of your Philosophy 101 textbook and a box of tissues; you’ll need them.

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High Rise Invasion Manga Omnibus 1

As we said in our review of this title, this book is, “A thriller that will have your mind racing thousands of feet in the sky.” It involves a regular high schooler getting thrown into an alternate world that’s nothing but towering skyscrapers and masked psychopaths. There are only two ways out: fight for your life or jump to your death. The series mixes Psycho with Halloween to create scares both mental and physical.

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Ergo Proxy Complete Series Blu-ray

This series isn’t so much scary as it is disturbing. It gives you that queasy feeling that you can’t shake off. It follows detective Re-L Mayer as she investigates murders committed by androids who have gained self-awareness. It’ll keep you up at night not just because of the haunting visuals but because it makes you question existence itself.

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Serial Experiments Lain Blu-ray/DVD Anime Classics

While Ergo Proxy focuses on physical existence, Serial Experiments Lain focuses on mental existence. Lain is about a high schooler who becomes connected to the Wired, a virtual reality network similar to the internet. Cyberspace and realspace mix together and you’re left questioning your own reality. Top shelf stuff.

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The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Manga Omnibus 1

Not to be confused with Kiki’s Delivery Service, the characters deliver something more supernatural: The last wishes of the dead. The manga focuses on five recent Buddhist college grads who are struggling in a competitive job market. They decide to venture into an untapped market: the recently deceased. The strange premise leads to strange situations that can only be read. An underappreciated manga that deserves a shot.

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Vampire Hunter D OVA Blu-ray

How can we forget this classic OVA? This futuristic tale of vampires and the people who hunt them has been a cult classic for what feels like 10,000 years. It delivers the bloodshed, and the gothic style is always beautiful. In a culture where vampires shine in the light, this is a back-to-basics approach with a sci-fi twist.

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I am a Hero Blu-ray/DVD

We said we’d include more blood and guts, so here is the popular zombies-invade-Japan manga. This is more in line with George Romero’s zombie films (Dawn of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead), so expect a deep character study amongst the carnage.

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Berserk Manga Volume 1

The darkest of dark fantasies, Berserk continues to rock the boat in the world of manga. See the mercenary Guts spill the blood of his enemies as he walks the mortal realm. The drawings are terrifying and the scenarios even more so. If you’re into the Dark Souls aesthetic, read the manga that inspired it.

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xxxHOLiC Complete Series DVD SAVE Edition

Reawaken your goth years with this tale of demons and dreams. Watakuni has had to deal with both, constantly bombarded with visions of demons only his bloodline can see. However, a kind witch will get rid of his visions… for the price of working at her wish-granting shop. Linking the supernatural with the fantasy genres bring out the beauty of the concept. The messed up people that enter the shop will no doubt churn your stomach. For those who don’t want to scream but still want to be creeped out.

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Mononoke DVD

If the art style doesn’t make you feel disturbed, the use of body horror will. A historical piece based on Japanese mythology, evil spirits terrorize the country with no one able to stop them. Expect for one lowly Medicine Seller, carrying a sword only available to the higher samurai class. Its experimental animation succeeds in leaving you shocked. The direction and themes are rock solid as well, creating an ideal work of experimental art. An under-the-radar anime that deserves a wider audience.

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Bananya Blu-ray

After watching and reading all these stories, your mind and soul may be pitch black; you’re going to need a cleansing series. Nothing has made our hearts purer than watching cats jump around in bananas.

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