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13 Best Horror Anime Series Of All Time

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Dark Gathering

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Dark Gathering anime series. Image credits.

Dark Gathering immerses viewers in a chilling horror anime, following the journey of Keitarou Gentouga, a college freshman haunted by his connection to the spirit world. Despite his aversion to ghosts, Keitarou is drawn to them, having suffered a spiritual injury in the past.

Isolated by fear, he begins to reintegrate into society with the support of his childhood friend Eiko Houzuki.

In his effort to rebuild his life, Keitarou takes a job as a private tutor, with his first student being Eiko’s cousin, Yayoi Houzuki. Yayoi is a gifted child who shares Keitarou’s spiritual constitution. However, unlike him, Yayoi yearns to encounter spirits, driven by her desire to reunite with her late mother. As Keitarou is reluctantly pulled into Yayoi and Eiko’s quest to interact with the supernatural, his job takes a haunting turn from its intended purpose.

Dark Gathering delves into the realms of the unknown, weaving a tale of eerie encounters and unsettling mysteries. As Keitarou grapples with his fears and confronts the specters of the past, he embarks on a journey that uncovers the hidden terrors of the spirit world and tests his resilience against the supernatural forces that seek to consume him.

Tokyo Ghoul

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Tokyo Ghoul anime series. Image credits.

Step into the darkness of Tokyo Ghoul, where a hidden menace lurks within Tokyo’s shadows: ghouls, predatory creatures masquerading as humans with an insatiable hunger for flesh. Unassuming college student Ken Kaneki’s life, takes a nightmarish turn when he crosses paths with Rize Kamishiro, a woman with sinister intentions.

Surviving a ghastly encounter with Rize, Kaneki awakens in a hospital to find his body transformed into a human-ghoul hybrid, thanks to her organs. Struggling to hold onto his humanity, Kaneki faces a grim reality—coexisting with ghouls while evading both their hunger and the government agents who hunt them.

As his existence becomes a twisted blend of his old life and his newfound nature, Tokyo Ghoul delves into themes of identity, morality, and the duality of humanity. The series weaves a tale of survival, self-discovery, and the blurred lines between predator and prey in a world where the real monsters wear human masks.

Berserk

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Berserk anime series. Image credits.

Enter Berserk’s dark and unsettling world, a horror anime that follows the journey of Guts, a relentless mercenary who wields a massive greatsword. Driven by the pursuit of money and a restless spirit, Guts wanders through life, taking on dangerous jobs until he crosses paths with the formidable Band of the Falcon.

After a fierce encounter, Guts finds himself drawn to the enigmatic leader of the Band of the Falcon, Griffith. Despite his initial resistance, Guts becomes entangled in the group’s affairs and soon rises through its ranks, his combat prowess unmatched on the battlefield. As the Band of the Falcon secures victory after victory, Guts’ life takes an ominous turn when shadows of a looming menace begin to creep in.

Intriguing and unsettling, Berserk paints a tale of dark forces and relentless battles. With Guts’ raw strength and Griffith’s charismatic leadership, the series explores themes of power, ambition, and the shadows that threaten to engulf them both.

As the line between friend and foe blurs and a malevolent presence emerges, Berserk weaves a tale of horror that delves into the depths of humanity’s darkest impulses.

Perfect Blue

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Perfect Blue anime series. Image credits.

Step into the unsettling world of Perfect Blue, a horror anime that delves into the psychological turmoil of Mima Kirigoe, a former member of the J-pop idol group CHAM!. Leaving behind her singing career to pursue acting, Mima faces the challenges of reinventing herself in the entertainment industry.

As Mima’s life takes a sharp turn, she grapples with the demanding world of acting, encountering challenges that test her identity and sense of reality. Amidst this, an obsessive fan’s stalking intensifies, and a disturbing website emerges, mirroring her life with eerie precision. Doubt and paranoia gnaw at Mima’s psyche as she struggles to discern the boundaries between her fading innocence and the growing darkness that engulfs her.

Perfect Blue weaves a haunting narrative of identity, obsession, and blurred realities. The series explores the fragile line between celebrity and self as Mima’s journey spirals into a nightmarish descent. With psychological twists and an eerie atmosphere, the anime offers a gripping exploration of the human psyche’s vulnerability to manipulation and the chilling consequences of fame’s shadowy side.

Parasyte: The Maxim

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Parasyte: The Maxim anime series. Image credits.

A sudden invasion—parasitic aliens infest Earth, infiltrating human brains. They assume control, shapeshifting to feed on the unwary.

Sixteen-year-old Shinichi Izumi becomes a host, but the parasite, Migi, lodges in his hand. Unable to merge, they form an uneasy alliance. Fighting off hostile parasites, Shinichi and Migi navigate a world teetering on chaos in Parasyte: The Maxim. As survival becomes paramount, they uncover the chilling truth of the alien invasion, exploring themes of identity, coexistence, and the cost of humanity’s survival.

Dorohedoro

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Dorohedoro anime series. Image credits.

Hole—a grim, chaotic domain where the strong prey on the weak and death is commonplace. Magic users wield power, while the powerless Hole residents suffer as lab rats and prey.

Kaiman, part-reptile, seeks revenge. Uniquely immune to magic, he’s trying to unmask his past’s mysteries. With bayonets and a culinary companion, Nikaidou, Kaiman confronts the arrogant magic users.

Dorohedoro immerses you in a gritty, nightmarish world. Comedy intertwines with carnage as the story navigates Hole’s intricate web of life, death, and the relentless pursuit of truth. Unveiling a realm of horrors and humanity, this anime takes bold twists through dark and light, delivering an experience that’s not for the faint of heart.

Devilman: Cry Baby

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Devilman: Crybaby anime series. Image credits.

In a world where devils can possess humans, the will of the strong can make them Devilmen—hybrids wielding demonic power.

Akira Fudou, a kind-hearted soul, joins his friend Ryou in uncovering devils. But their investigation leads them to the twisted Sabbath, where humanity merges with demons. In a bid to save Ryou, Akira combines with devil Amon, becoming a Devilman with the power to combat these monsters.

Yet, this union awakens a primal force within Akira. As Devilman, he wields power and vulnerability, navigating a world of chaos and bloodshed alongside Ryou. Devilman: Crybaby delves into their relentless fight to protect loved ones and humanity, showcasing the unsettling blend of power and emotion in the face of unimaginable horror.

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

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Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress anime series. Image credits.

In an industrial revolution era, a relentless virus spawns terrifying creatures called Kabane, hungry for human flesh. Victims are cursed to join their ranks if bitten.

Survival hinges on fortified havens like Hinomoto, protected by towering walls. Armored trains are the lifelines to these sanctuaries, and Ikoma, a skilled mechanic, is determined to fight back. He devises a weapon capable of destroying Kabane’s steel hearts, longing for the chance to unleash it.

When disaster strikes, Ikoma’s weapon becomes a lifeline. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress follows his fight against the Kabane and his quest for redemption in a world where humanity’s last bastions teeter on the brink of destruction.

Hellsing

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Hellsing anime series. Image credits.

Hellsing, a specialized organization combating supernatural threats, faces a dire situation as a vampire outbreak terrorizes Cheddar. The enigmatic leader, Sir Integra Hellsing, deploys her ultimate weapon: the powerful vampire Alucard.

With just a single pistol, Alucard unleashes chaos upon the vampire menace in Cheddar. Amid the fray, police officer Seras Victoria gets fatally injured. Alucard offers her a choice: death or rebirth as a vampire. Seras opts for the latter and joins Hellsing.

Yet, Seras grapples with her newfound existence, torn between her humanity and her new nature. As the battle between humanity and the supernatural intensifies, she must embrace her vampiric side to survive. Hellsing delves into this dark struggle as the line between human and monster blurs.

Hell Girl

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Hell Girl anime series. Image credits.

Enter the chilling world of Hell Girl, where vengeance knows no bounds. At the stroke of midnight, the enigmatic Hell Correspondence website unlocks its sinister power. Anyone seeking retribution can enter the name of their tormentor, summoning Ai Enma—known as the Hell Girl.

Ai’s offer is simple: she will send the target’s soul to hell but at the cost of the requester’s own damnation upon death. Some are reluctant to pay this steep price, while others are willing to endure any fate to escape their torment. Ai Enma guides souls to the abyss with unwavering determination, fulfilling her duty without emotion.

As the line blurs between justice and damnation, Hell Girl explores the depths of revenge and the chilling consequences of seeking it.

Blood+

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Blood+ anime series. Image credits.

Dive into the haunting world of Blood+, where an ordinary life hides extraordinary horrors. Saya Otonashi lives a seemingly normal existence with her adoptive family in Okinawa City, her only peculiarities being anemia and a year-long memory gap. Yet, the shadows of her forgotten past cast an ominous veil over her life.

A sudden and brutal attack at her school forces Saya to confront her true nature, which involves creatures thirsting for human blood. Just as despair looms, a mysterious man named Haji intervenes, offering a solution that defies belief.

By drinking his blood, Saya gains the power to vanquish these monsters, using her own blood as a weapon. Joined by the enigmatic organization Red Shield, Saya discovers her destiny is entwined with battling these malevolent creatures.

As secrets unfold and alliances form, Blood+ delves into a world of terror and mystery, where Saya and Haji must confront their past and fight for a future against unimaginable adversaries.

From the New World

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From the New World anime series. Image credits.

Venture into a world where psychic powers shape the destiny of its inhabitants in From the New World. In Kamisu 66, 12-year-old Saki Watanabe and her friends embrace their newfound psychic abilities, attending Sage Academy to harness their powers. Among them are Satoru, Mamoru, Maria, and the enigmatic Shun.

As their powers awaken, Saki becomes increasingly curious about the fate of those who remain powerless. Their idyllic existence is shadowed by unsettling rumors of the Tainted Cats, creatures that prey on children. As the group delves into these mysteries, they uncover a society shrouded in secrets and sinister truths.

From the New World follows Saki and her friends as they navigate the challenges of growing up in a seemingly perfect world where the boundaries between reality and fiction blur. With their newfound knowledge, they must confront the harsh realities threatening to unravel the utopian façade and reshape their destinies forever.

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia

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Dusk Maiden of Amnesia. Image credits.

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia invites you into Seikyou Private Academy, a school shrouded in occult mysteries and haunted by the ghost of Yuuko Kanoe. For six decades, the spectral presence of Yuuko has lingered in the old school building, her memories of life and death lost to the shadows. Leading the Paranormal Investigations Club, Yuuko embarks on a quest to uncover the truth behind her existence.

Enter Teiichi Niiya, a perceptive freshman who forms a unique connection with Yuuko. Bound by their shared ability to see her, Teiichi becomes determined to aid her in unraveling the mysteries surrounding her tragic end. Alongside Kirie Kanoe, Yuuko’s distant relative, and the oblivious Momoe Okonogi, the group ventures deep into the school’s legends, exploring the infamous Seven Mysteries.

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia weaves a captivating tale of spectral intrigue and human connection. With horror and supernatural elements, the series delves into the intricacies of death, memory, and the bonds that defy the boundaries between the living and the departed.

Feature image credits.

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Okuha

Digital Artist

I’m a digital artist who is passionate about anime and manga art. My true artist journey pretty much started with CTRL+Z. When I experienced that and the limitless color choices and the number of tools I could use with art software, I was sold. Drawing digital anime art is the thing that makes me happy among eating cheeseburgers in between veggie meals.

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