October is the time for spooky, scary skeletons and catching up on horror anime you’ve been meaning to watch. Personally, I don’t go for live-action horror films, but anime is a different matter. I didn’t realize how many “horror” anime I’d watched until I started writing this article! Below are some of my favorites, and I bet they’ll be yours too.
Original run: October 11, 2001 – January 17, 2002
Hellsing was the first anime horror I ever watched, and it has remained the standard that all other anime in the genre must live up to. The fights between Alucard, the first and most powerful vampire, and other creatures of the night are all unique and feature different facets of Alucard’s OP strength. The anime follows him and his newly made disciple, Seras Victoria, as they help the Hellsing Organization take out vampires, ghouls, and other supernatural forces threatening England. As the scale and frequency of supernatural threats increase, Alucard will also find himself fighting against secret organizations and enemies thought to have been wiped out years ago.
Original run: October 3, 2020 – present
If you haven’t gotten on the JJK bus, you need to. I’m recommending this anime not just because of
Gojo’s eyes, but because it has a great story, humor, and fantastic action. In the world of Jujutsu Kaisen, all living beings emanate Cursed Energy which is caused by negative emotions flowing through the body. Most people cannot control the energy, and as more and more negative energy flows out of the body it takes shape as monsters known as Curses. Jujutsu Sorcerers fight these Curses before they can do harm to humanity by utilizing their own Cursed Energy and kickass martial arts skills. Our protag, Yuji Itadori, becomes a part of the force fighting against Curses when his school is attacked, and he swallows a finger talisman in order to protect the people around him. Now his body contains one of the most powerful and evil Curses in history, Ryomen Sukuna, and he must help eliminate other Curses and eat more fingers in order to stay alive.
Original run: April 17, 2011 – July 3, 2011
I just recently started watching this anime and I am hooked. The story pacing and visuals will have you saying “just one more episode” until the early hours of the morning. The story begins with 14-year-old Ganta Igarashi being falsely accused, and then charged, with the mass murder of his classmates. He is sentenced to death and sent to the prison known as Deadman Wonderland, a perverse theme park where people pay to watch criminals being tortured and killed. The warden, Tsunenaga Tamaki, has created an image for the park that hides many layers of secrets as to what really is going on inside the prison, and which also protects the mystery of why Wonderland is built on the epicenter of the Great Tokyo Earthquake that sank three-quarters of the city into the ocean.
Original run: January 8, 2016 – March 25, 2016
For me, there is nothing more horrific than child murder, and while I could have included some other popular anime that includes it (cough-Demon Slayer-cough), this anime has stuck with me years after watching it and I recommend it to everyone who’ll listen. Erased follows a manga artist/part-time delivery man, Satoru Fujinuma, that has the convenient ability to turn back time when he encounters a life-threatening incident, allowing him to change reality and prevent death. When he finds his mother died in his home, he uses the ability, but unexpectedly he is sent back 18 years to just before a kidnapping incident that resulted in three of his childhood friends dying. Now he has the opportunity to not only save his mother, but the friends he could never forget.
Original run: October 9, 2014 – March 26, 2015
Parasyte is a fun anime that makes it totally believable that aliens are landing on Earth, crawling in people’s ears, and infecting their brains with the purpose of using humans as food. It would really explain a lot if that were the case. Shinichi Izumi made the wise decision to sleep with his headphones still in his ears and saved his brain from being taken over by an alien parasite by doing so. Instead, the worm was forced to burrow into Shinichi’s hand and live there, and now Shinichi has a sentient hand named Migi that will help protect him from the other alien parasites that have come to Earth. The interactions between Shinichi and his newly cognizant hand range between hilarious and deeply philosophical, and make a person wonder whether brain-eating parasites might not be so bad after all.
There is a lot of great horror anime out there, and these are just a few of the easily accessible ones on Crunchyroll. Visuals play a key part in this genre, and I think the ones I’ve listed have met that high standard of animation essential to a good horror flick. I passed over some other horror anime that are considered “classics” because I felt the quality of animation just couldn’t compare. With that said, I’m going to get back to watching Deadman Wonderland. Let me know which anime you would suggest for the list!
Written By. Kathryn Vallejo