There’s plenty of great horror anime that’ll make you leave the lights on at night after you’re done watching them. Some of the entries on our list are more terrifying than others. While some of them are more action oriented while dishing out some jump scares when the moment’s right.
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1. Parasyte: The Maxim
To start this list off is the exceptional sci-fi horror thriller Parasyte: The Maxim. The premise of the show is that a wave of parasitic organisms are possessing the bodies of humans as they are invading the Earth. High school student Shinichi Izumi becomes one of the latest victims of these parasites.
The parasite only manages to take over Izumi’s hand instead of his brain. Naturally, this newly conjoined duo despise each other but they’ll need to learn to work together or else other Parasites will destroy them.
Parasyte also explores a series of philosophical questions once you look past the grotesque scenes of horror. For example, the relationship of humans with the environment and other lifeforms. Or, the question of if any species can rightfully claim moral superiority over another.
2. Devilman Crybaby
Watch it on: Netflix
One of the best anime on Netflix is the action dark fantasy Devilman Crybaby. An updated adaption of the 1970s “Devilman” manga, the show follows the struggles of Akira Fudo and Ryo Asuka in their world where demons hide in plain view. After a series of tragic events, Akira is attacked and almost becomes possessed by a powerful demon.
But, he is able to overcome the demon and control its power through his immense willpower. The insanely wild, bloody battles never stop as Akira uses his new Devilman powers against the invading hordes of demons in order to save humanity.
Watch it on: Hulu | Crunchyroll
Who doesn’t love watching an ancient vampire using firearms to viciously take down every monster in his sight? Well, the classic Hellsing series gives you just that and more! For centuries the Royal Order of Protestant Knights has protected England from all sorts of evil supernatural entities.
Naturally, protecting the entire country and mankind is a really tough job. But it definitely gets a lot easier when Alucard, the most powerful vampire ever, decides to aid your cause. With powerful guns, ancient magic, and a whole lot of style, Hellsing is a thrilling ride of gory gunfights as Alucard and the Royal Order face their biggest threat yet.
4. Paranoia Agent
Watch it on: Crunchyroll | Funimation
With a rare score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, Paranoia Agent is an intense supernatural thriller that cannot be missed. Character designer Tsukiko Sagi is the first of many victims of Lil Slugger, a juvenile assaulting random people with a dented bat.
However, the police investigators begin to question if these encounters are random at all. The case of Lil Slugger becomes more complicated and mysterious as more details are uncovered. The truth of this ominous juvenile is entangled in more mysteries and secrets that anyone could imagine. You’ll be on the edge of your seat until the last secret is revealed.
Watch it on: Crunchyroll
Based on the novel “Another” by Yukito Ayatsuji, this horrifying thriller is set at Yomiyama Middle School in 1998. A young student by the name of Koichi Sakakibara just transferred to the academy but a very gruesome fate awaits. Koichi discovers that his new classmates have mysteriously died. With the help of a curious schoolgirl Mei Misaki, the couple are thrown through a a long line of captivating plot twists and conflicts to solve this senseless mystery.
6. Wicked City
Let’s take a step back into the golden age of anime for the horror film Wicked City. The animation and artstyle aesthetics of the 80’s have aged beautifully for this film. But in comparison, the bloody action and adult themes of Wicked City are much more horrifying and hideous.
The peace between the demon world and the human world has been maintained by the secret police called the Black Guard. Salaryman by day and Black Guard agent at night, you’ll watch Renzaburo Taki courageously spring into action as the harmony between the two worlds become under attack like never before.
7. Demon City Shinjuku
Watch it on: Pluto | Crackle | Amazon Prime
Speaking of the golden age of anime, another hidden gem is the action horror film Demon City Shinjuku. Battling demons and undead creatures with guns is the usual theme in most horror films but what’s more badass than fighting evil with a wooden sword? As the son of a highly skilled swordsman, it’s no surprise that Kyoya Izayoi is gifted in the way of the sword.
Particularly, Kyoya received his father’s talents of using an ancient martial arts that infuses the user’s Chi into their sword to unleash devastating attacks. As demonic forces prepare to use Shinijuku as a gathway into the human world, Kyoya is humanity’s last hope against the evil entities.
If you like fantasy more than horror then you’ll enjoy these upcoming fantasy TV shows.
Watch it on: Netflix | Amazon Prime
Castlevania brings all of the horror and action from the popular video games into one of Netflix’s best anime series. The first two seasons of the series are adapted from the story of Castlevania III: Dracula Curse. The story arc follows the series of terrifying demon attacks on the people of Wallachia after an accused witch is burned at the stakes.
Well, it turns out that she was the precious wife of Dracula and sending his army of demons to torment Wallachia is his revenge. Eventually, the monster hunter Trevor Belmont comes to liberate the wicked land as the atrocities by the demons become more vicious and horrifice than ever.
9. Tokyo Ghoul
Watch it on: Hulu | Crunchyroll | Funimation
Seeing black eyes with bloodshot red pupils is never a good sign to see when wandering through the world of Tokyo Ghoul. It usually means you’re about to eaten alive by a ghoul. And, that’s almost the case for Ken Kaneki whose lovely date was actually a ghoul. He manages to survive the near fatal encounter and ends up becoming a rarity- a half ghoul.
Although with all the strengths of a ghoul such as superhuman strength, speed, and fast regenerating powers but none of their weaknesses, Ken struggles greatly to hold onto the small shard of humanity that he has left. These great powers come at the cost of uncontrollably devouring humans to survive. Very soon, he’s hunted by many ghouls and humans, with some of the bloodiest and most epic fights you’ll see in an horror-action anime.
10. The Promised Neverland
Watch it on: Netflix | Hulu |Crunchyroll
An absolute must watch for fans of dark thrillers, The Promised Neverland is a roller-coaster ride of well-crafted suspense and horror. A group of orphans enjoy the time they spend everyday at their orphanage under the care of their Mother. They wait patiently for the day when they will be adopted into a loving family and finally leave the orphanage.
But the sharpest children of the bunch discover an utterly grave secret – demons control the orphanage. And the kids that are adopted are actually eaten by these same demons. Now, it’s a heart pounding race against time for the orphan to escape before the next child is taken.
11. High School of the Dead
Watch it on: Hulu
Whenever you’re in the mood for non-stop zombie slaying action then High School of the Dead will never disappoint. A deadly pandemic has sweep across Japan turning humans into zombies. The story follows a group of high school students who band together to reach a safe zone during this outbreak. You’ll watch as these regular teenagers evolve into a zombie killing pros in their quest to survive the apocalypse in this thrilling horror action anime.
Here are some awesome zombie survival games to enjoy if watching zombies getting slayed in anime isn’t enough fun for you.