The goth subculture is one of the world’s largest scene and May 22 is dedicated to celebrating it. A penchant for Victorian fashion, dark poetry, the supernatural, and death has made it an attractive (and controversial) way for youths to express themselves.
Japan has their own goth scene and it’s visible in a variety of anime. While nearly every series has a cutesy gothic lolita, an anime has to be dedicated to the themes and aesthetic to be considered gothic.
1. Hellsing Ultimate
Studio: Satelight / Madhouse / Graphinica & Kelmadick
Genre: Action / Horror / Science Fantasy
Quick Pitch: Hellsing is an organization dedicated to destroying supernatural forces that threaten humanity’s existence. While they have a vast army, their greatest weapon is Alucard – a vampire who exterminates his own kind.
2. Trinity Blood
Genre: Action / Supernatural
Quick Pitch: Abel Nightroad is a traveling priest from the Vatican and a crusnik, a vampire that drinks vampire blood. As a member of Ax, he is tasked with protecting humans from vampires. However, his twin brother Cain and The Order of Rozencreuz is trying to rekindle a destructive war between humans and vampires.
Genre: Drama / Historical / Mystery / Romance
Quick Pitch: Kazuya Kujo moves from Japan to the fictional European country of Sauville. While visiting the school’s library, he meets a girl named Victorique de Blois. She possesses a brilliant mind that she uses to help her detective brother solve crimes.
4. Dance in the Vampire Bund
Genre: Action / Drama / Supernatural
Quick Pitch: Mina Tepes is the ruler of all vampires, and she reveals her species’ existence to the world on live TV. After paying off Japan’s national debt, she was given permission to create a sanctuary for her kind called the Vampire Bund. Despite Mina’s desire for peace, humans and vampire extremists are at odds. It’s up to Mina and her werewolf guard, Akira Kaburagi, to defend the Vampire Bund’s mission for peace.
5. Le Portrait de Petit Cossette
Genre: Horror / Psychological / Romance
Quick Pitch: Eiri Kurahashi is a college art student who works in an antique shop. One day, he sees the image of a girl in an antique glass and is shocked to see her moving. Eiri becomes infatuated with the girl and learns that her name is Cossette. The daughter of an 18th-century aristocrat, she was murdered by the artist Marcelo Orlando and she was entrapped in the glass. Cossette says that in order to set her free, Eiri must be willing to receive punishment for Marcelo’slo’s sins.
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Action / Comedy / Drama / Supernatural
Episodes: 46 + 9 OVAs + 1 Movie
Quick Pitch: Ciel Phantomhive is the head of the aristocratic family known as “The Queen’s Guard Dog.” He forms a contract with the demon, Sebastian Michaelis, to seek revenge against those who murdered his parents. In return, Sebastian will be able to consume Ciel’s soul.
Studio: OLM, Inc.
Genre: Action / Dark Fantasy / Tragedy
Quick Pitch: Guts is a young mercenary that has embraced the battlefield and thrives when he is on the frontlines. After a run-in, he is recruited by the charismatic Griffith to join the Band of the Hawk, a formidable mercenary group. As the group gains recognition with each successful mission, Guts finds his heart growing in doubt as he learns the way of the world.
Studio: Production I.G.
Genre: Comedy / Psychological / Supernatural
Episodes: 37 + 4 OVAs
Quick Pitch: Kimihiro Watanuki can see spirits and supernatural creatures. While he finds his power bothersome, it leads him to a strange woman named Yuuko. She claims that she can get rid of Kimihiro’s power, but he must work at her store and grant customers’ wishes first.
Genre: Action / Drama / Horror / Supernatural
Episodes: 1 Movie
Quick Pitch: D is a renowned vampire hunter and is contacted to save the daughter of an affluent family. A gang of rival bounty hunters seeks the rich rewards as well, but they may be an unknowing pawn in a sinister plan to stop D.
10. Vampire Knight
Studio: Studio Deen
Genre: Drama / Mystery / Romance / Supernatural
Quick Pitch: Cross Academy is an elite boarding school with isolated day and night classes. Yuki Cross and her childhood friend Zero Kiryu acts as guardians, protecting the secrets of the night class and their vampire identities. As the adopted daughter of the academy’s chairman, Yuki is allowed to interact with Kaname Kuran, a vampire who saved her ten years ago.
11. Ergo Proxy
Genre: Cyberpunk / Mystery
Quick Pitch: The domed city of Romdo is one of the last human civilizations as Earth after an ecological catastrophe doomed the planet. AutoReivs are humanoid robots that are created to assist people, but the Cogito Virus has been granting them self-awareness. Re-I Mayer is assigned to investigate this phenomenon with her AutoReiv partner Iggy.
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.
What are your favorite gothic anime?