Everyone loves a good horror show, and at first glance, anime seems to be the perfect medium for it. But, horror as a genre has always been a hit or miss in anime. It is quite rare to find a true horror that lingers on with you and makes you quiver in fear.
However, that is not to say that there are no good horrors in anime. There are some great, gruesomely terrifying anime out there, but it is incredibly hard to find them.
But fret not, here we have gathered Top 11 Horror Anime from Yūjin that will give you nightmares. So, buckle up and let's get into it.
11. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls - Bougyakusareta Tamashii no Jukyou:
To start things off, we have one of the most dreadful anime out there, Corpse Party Tortured Souls. This anime is based on a video game series and a manga that goes by the same name and has some of the most violent scenes in anime ever.
Corpse Party follows the aftermath of a farewell ritual conducted by some high schoolers to bid farewell to their late friend.
Next, we have everyone’s favorite horror anime, Shiki. Now Shiki is mostly a hit or miss with most anime fans, but it is a show that brings out true human dread in the most gruesome way possible. It tells the story of a remote village where a sudden epidemic has started to run rampant. Unexplained deaths scatter everywhere, as the young village doctor Toshio tries to uncover the mystery with the help of Natsuno, who lost his best friend to the so-called plague.
9. Ghost Hound/ Shinreigari:
Ghost Hound or Shinreigari is a very unique horror anime, where instead of relying on jump scares, or shock value, the anime focuses more on the premise and complex storytelling that follows four characters instead of just one. Because of this, the anime is a bit of a slow burner, which is expected as it is from the same producer and Scriptwriter’s that made masterpieces like Serial Experiments Lain, Texhnolyze, etc.
The anime follows the mysterious events that have engulfed the old Town of Suiten. Here three young boys, Taro, Masayuki, and Makoto have the mysterious ability to literally separate their spirit from the boy and have out-of-body experiences. Not being able to make sense of this ability, the three continue their life, but then one day a young shrine maiden named Miyako is somehow able to see Tarou’s spirit. This sparks a unique relationship between the two, but their time is limited as forces beyond their control as events beyond their control have already been set in motion.
8. Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories:
Yami Shibai or Ghost Stories, as the name suggests is an accumulation of old Japanese Folklore and Superstition. Each episode is 4 minutes long and follows a new story with a theatrical art style.
7. Boogiepop Phantom and Others (2019):
Just like Yami Shibai, Boogiepop Phantom is another episodic anime on this list. But, the unique thing about Boogiepop is that it follows a non-linear style of storytelling, where the episodes are divided into self-contained arcs.
Boogiepop Phantom is a psychological horror anime that revolves around a mysterious enigmatic entity known as Boogiepop who is rumored among students of the Shinyo Academy to a murderer who kills people when they are at their most beautiful point.
But contrary to these claims, Boogiepop is a being who manifests itself when the world is in danger or someone whom Boogiepop considers his enemy appears before him. Following different urban legends about synthetic humans, alien creatures that roam the earth, and more; Boogiepop Phantom provides a unique blend of survival mystery horror with a complex story that is sure to fill people with fear.
Gakkougurashi or School-Live although comes off as a cute anime at first glance, but it is anything but cute. The anime is a straight-up psychological survival show that will scar you for life if you are not careful. It follows the story of Yuki Takeya who loves her school so much that she does not ever want to leave it.
Even after the world has ended, and everything the human civilization stood for once has burnt away, Yui loves her school so much that she is not willing to leave no matter what.
5. Happy Sugar Life:
Just like Gakkougurashi, Happy Sugar life also comes across as a traditional kawaii anime where cute girls do cute things, but the reality is much different. Happy Sugar Life follows Satou Matsuzaka who is a freshman at Makikou High School.
She works at a café, Cure á Cute, and is known for her kind and easy-going demeanor. She tells the world that she lives with her aunt Mio at her apartment, but in reality, she is living alone with a child named Mio that she is in love with. Desperate to keep her happy sugar life with Mio going, Satou is willing to cross every line there is so that nobody finds out about her secret.
4. From The New World/Shinsekai Yori:
Shinsekai Yori or From The New World, as the name suggests is set in a paradise-like world where the young 12-year-old Saki Watanabe finally awakens her psychic power. Now, finally allowed to rejoin her friends, Saki is curious about the children who were unable to realize their psychic abilities and starts investigating the rumors about cats abducting those children.
As nothing makes sense to her even after asking the adults, Saki and her little group of friends start uncovering more about their society and the fate of her non-psychic friends.
3. Paranoia Agent/ Mousou Dairinin:
Paranoia Agent by Satoshi Kon is another gem on this list that you should not miss out on. The anime is set in modern-day Tokyo where rumors of a middle school Kid going around attacking people are becoming more and more rampant.
Victims keep on piling at the Police station, where none of the fatalities can even recall the face of the slasher. Desperate to catch the perpetrator, the police start to suspect one of the first targets of the assailant, the young designer Tsukiko Sagi.
But the streets of Tokyo are getting even more dangerous as time goes on, and detective Ikari and Mitsuhiro are tasked with catching the criminal before it's too late.
Unlike most of the horror anime on this list, which relies on gore, blood, and disturbing imagery to make the audience feel dread, Mononoke takes a very different approach with an eerie atmosphere and animation undertones. The psychological effect that Mononoke has on its viewers is hard to describe because the anime makes use of simpler horror elements like muffled voices, heart-wrenching screams, and more. Making Mononoke is a true horror, where it artistically makes the audience feel terror in the most elusive and ingenious way possible.
The anime tells the stories of a Medicine Seller named, Kusuriuri, who goes on to exorcise monsters known as Mononoke.
1. When They Cry/Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni:
And at the last we have the best Horror anime out there, Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni or When They Cry. Now Higurashi is by far the most horrific and uncomfortable anime you can watch at the time of writing.
It is based on a video game series that goes by the same name and over the years Higurashi has become a behemoth of a series with a number of excellent sequels. If you want to feel pure dread while watching an anime, then Higurashi is your best bet.
Higurashi follows the story of Keiichi Maebara, who moves to the quiet village of Hinamizawa. After quickly becoming friends with Mion, Rena, Satoko, and Rika, Keiichi enjoys his idle days in the remote village.
But as fate might have it, the annual festival of Hinamizawa approaches and Keiichi uncovers the mysterious series of deaths that happen in the village around the time of the yearly festival. Muddled and looking for answers, Keiich asks his friends about the mysterious deaths, but their weird attitude confuses him even more.
Now stricken with fear and paranoia, Keiichi starts to take notice of the shadowy figures that loom around Hinamizawa and his friends.