The horror genre is difficult to master since every fan has their own view what is scary. In a broad sense, horror stories use fantasy, supernatural, and thriller elements to make viewers feel fear and dread.
Horror isn’t too common in anime, especially in modern works, but the few options can be thrilling experiences. Here are some entertaining horror anime that have aired in the past eight years.
Studio: Science Saru
Genre: Action / Horror / Supernatural
Quick Pitch: Akira learns from his best friend, Ryo, that an ancient race of demons has returned to reclaim the world. Ryo believes that using the demons’ own powers is the only way to protect humanity and suggests that Akira unite with a demon. After a successful union, Akira becomes Devilman – a being possessing the power of a demon and a heart of a human.
Genre: Horror / Mystery / Psychological / Slice of Life
Quick Pitch: Yuki Takeya loves her school and the activities of the School Life Club. The club also includes president Yuuri Wakasa, the athletic Kurumi Ebisuzawa, the mature Miki Naoki, supervising teacher Megumi Sakura, and the club dog Taroumaru. Together, the club participates in various activities and mini-adventures…or that’s how Yuki sees things.
Genre: Horror / Mystery / Supernatural / Thriller
Episodes: 22 + 2 Bonus Episodes
Quick Pitch: The quiet village of Sotoba is plagued with mysterious deaths. Doctor Toshio initially believes it’s due to an epidemic, but learns that vampire-like creatures called Shiki are behind the deaths. At the same time, Natsuno is haunted by the death of a friend.
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Drama / Horror / Mystery / Psychological / Science Fiction
Quick Pitch: Psychic users all live in a close-knit society. Saki is a young girl whose powers are beginning to manifest. An exciting time leads to many mysterious questions that Saki wants to be answered, even at the risk of discovering dark secrets about where their society came from and why some people get corrupted.
Genre: Action / Horror / Psychological / Science Fiction / Thriller
Quick Pitch: Parasitic aliens invade Earth and are able to blend into society by burrowing into the brains of human hosts. Once they gain full control, they are able to feed on unsuspecting humans. However, a parasite fails to invade teenager Shinichi’s brain and instead controls his right hand. The two are forced into an uneasy partnership as they fend off hostile parasites and avoid the gaze of society.
Studio: Digital Frontier
Genre: Action / Horror / Science Fiction / Thriller
Episodes: 1 Movie
Quick Pitch: Masaru Katou is stabbed to death while on his way home to celebrate his younger brother’s birthday. Instead of dying, he wakes up in a small room with three strangers and a black orb. Before he can process the situation, Masaru and his team are transported to Osaka to eliminate every monster on sight or face a permanent, grisly death.
Studio: Polygon Pictures
Genre: Action / Horror / Supernatural
Episodes: 26 + 3 OVAs
Quick Pitch: Kei was a seemingly normal boy, but a truck accident reveals to the world that he is an Ajin – an immortal being that can control a deadly “Ghost.” Hunted down by the Japanese government, Kei meets a disturbingly Ajin named Sato, who wants to do little more than exact revenge on humans and cause carnage.
Studio: P.A. Works
Genre: Horror / Mystery / Supernatural
Episodes: 12 + 1 OVA
Quick Pitch: In the spring of 1998, Koichi transfers into Class 3-3 at Yomiyama North Middle School. There is a strange atmosphere in the class and he slowly learns the strange rules that he must follow. Even more distressing is his classmate Mei, who seems to be ignored by everyone. As he tries to get closer to her, Koichi slowly learns about the dark secret of Class 3-3.
What are your favorite modern horror anime?