The Best Horror Anime In History
Although the horror genre in anime can include action and fighting anime like Hellsing and Berserk, this list will focus instead on titles that highlight the odd and the supernatural.
Yami Shibai (2013)
With already five seasons to date, Yami Shibai popularized the use of the kamishibai, or paper drama, in telling different short stories. This method served to heighten the mystery of the stories, most of which are based on different urban legends and myths in Japan.
Shiki is based on the novel by Ono Fuyumi and is about a remote village plagued by a mysterious illness that has claimed the lives of several villagers. Not your usual take on vampires, Shiki narrates the spiral of Sotoba village into madness through the eyes of four characters.
Kagewani uses the same storytelling technique as Yami Shibai, but it has one overarching story that connects all the short episodes. The mystery of kagewani, or shadow crocodile, is pursued to its horrific conclusion by scientist Banba Sousuke after a series of attacks by creatures called cryptids.
Ghost Hunt (2006)
Don’t let the generic title deter you from this detective-type series that focuses on investigations of supernatural phenomena in Japan. Inspired by the light novel of the same name, it features the gifted Shibuya “Naru” Kazuya and headstrong Taniyama Mai. One of its most notable arcs, “The Bloodstained Labyrinth,” is about the disappearance of young people in an old mansion.
Based on the novel by Ayatsuji Yukito, Another tells the story of Sakakibara Kouichi and his classmates at Yomiyama Middle School who became victims of a series of terrifying accidents. The events began right after Kouichi met the student named Mei Misaki.
Ghost Stories (2000)
Based on the series by Tsunemitsu Tooru, Ghost Stories or Ghosts at School, focuses on the supernatural events surrounding Miyanoshita Satsuki who transferred to a new school after her mother’s death.
This series is a spin-off of another horror series, Ayakashi: Samurai Horror Tales and focuses on the medicine seller. It is set in the Edo Period, when individuals like himself were considered of the lowest status, but he has a special talent in getting rid of mononoke or spirits using his sword.
Serial Experiments Lain (1998)
Iwakura Lain’s life changed after she was introduced to a network called Wired and received an email from a dead student. She learned later, however, that the student was still alive in some form inside Wired.