Yesterday we brought you the 5 scariest horror films to come out in the last 10 years. Today, it’s the turn of anime. We have chosen 8 relatively short horror animes that you can watch this week. You can decide which one(s) to check out depending on how much time you’ve got and what kind of horror you like.
Remember, you should only watch this if you enjoy this genre. There will be warnings for gore and other disturbing and potentially triggering elements. Let’s go!
Corpse Party: Tortured Souls
Nº of Episodes: 4 Year of Release: 2013 Synopsis: “The story is set in Heavenly Host Elementary School, an elementary school that was torn down following the murders and disappearances of several of its staff and students. By the start of the story, another school called Kisaragi Academy has been built over the elementary school site. One night, a group of students from Kisaragi are telling ghost stories when a sudden earthquake transports them to another dimension where Heavenly Host Elementary still exists and is haunted by the ghosts of the school’s murdered children”.
With a quite simple, but still interesting setting, Corpse Party is, by far, the most gory anime of the list. Seriously, you should only watch this if you’re OK with guts, blood and disturbing images. You have been warned. It is very short and it was based on a horror videogame. This anime has become quite popular and controversial for some of its traumatic elements.
Nº of Episodes: 12 Year of Release: 2012 Synopsis: “In 1972, a popular student in Yomiyama North Middle School’s class 3-3 named Misaki passed away during the school year. Since then, the town of Yomiyama has been shrouded by a fearful atmosphere, from the dark secrets hidden deep within”.
We have all heard stories about schools/classrooms haunted by students who died. This anime does an excellent job at portraying this sort of story and making you feel uneasy through the use of a dark, gloomy atmosphere and creepy music. This is also one of the most popular horror animes in recent years, so you should definitely give it a chance.
Nº of Episodes: 12 Year of Release: 2007 Synopsis: “At the beginning of the Edo Era, when people enjoyed a time of peace, Lord Tokugawa Tadanaga holds a fighting tournament. In the past, matches were fought with wooden swords. This time, real swords will be used”.
You will like this anime if you enjoy blade fighting, blood and gore. This is also a historical anime that portrays the brutality of the Edo era in Japan. Seriously, there’s no censure here. Even though at first it’s slow, it’s definitely worth watching. It’s got beautiful art and music as well.
Nº of Episodes: 12 Year of Release: 2007 Synopsis: “In feudal Japan, evil spirits known as mononoke plague both households and the countryside, leaving a trail of fear in their wake. One mysterious person has the power to slay the mononoke where they stand; he is known only as the Medicine Seller, and he vanquishes the spirits using the power of his Exorcism Sword. However, in order to draw his sword he must first understand the Form, Truth and Reason of the mononoke. Armed with a sharp wit and keen intellect, the Medicine Seller wanders from place to place, striking down the evil spirits in his wake”.
The first thing that will catch your attention, and potentially put you off, is the unique 2D art style. My advice is don’t let that fool you and give it a chance. Mononoke is a brilliant series, both aesthetically and thematically. It is a collection of short stories revolving around mysterious creatures called the Mononoke and it’s incredibly immersive.
Serial Experiments Lain
Nº of Episodes: 13 Year of Release: 1998 Synopsis: “Lain Iwakura, an awkward and introverted fourteen-year-old, is one of the many girls from her school to receive a disturbing email from her classmate Chisa Yomoda—the very same Chisa who recently committed suicide. Lain has neither the desire nor the experience to handle even basic technology; yet, when the technophobe opens the email, it leads her straight into the Wired, a virtual world of communication networks similar to what we know as the internet”
This is one of the most well-known animes of the list. Considered a classic by many. Serial Experiments Lain is more than just a story. It will make you think and wonder about existential issues that might even make you feel uncomfortable at some point. The only problem is that it’s not done for everyone. Many people don’t understand it or straight up don’t like it. Whether it’s a masterpiece or not is up to your own experience with it.
Nº of Episodes: 13 Year of Release: 2004 Synopsis: “The Diclonius, a mutated homosapien that is said to be selected by God and will eventually become the destruction of mankind, possess two horns on their heads and have a “sixth sense” which gives them telekinetic abilities. Due to this dangerous power, they have been captured and isolated in laboratories by the government. Lucy, a young and psychotic Diclonius, manages to break free of her confines and brutally murders most of the guards in the laboratory where she is being held, only to be shot in the head as she makes her escape. She survives, falling off a cliff into the ocean and manages to drift along to a beach where two teenagers, Kouta and Yuka, discover her. Having lost her memories, she was named after the only thing that she can now say, “Nyuu,” and the two allow her to stay at Kouta’s home. However, it appears that the psychotic side of Lucy is not dead just yet… ”
Another classic. Not just of the horror genre, but of all anime in general. Apart from having an outstanding OST, this show is full of gore and nudity, for which has also been criticized. Just like Serial Experiments Lain, Elfen Lied is more of an experience than a fictional story. Interesting and captivating from the very first 10 minutes.
Shinreigari: Ghost Hound
Nº of Episodes: 22 Year of Release: 2007 Synopsis: “In an isolated region of Kyushu lies the town of Suiten. Though seeming small and modest, Suiten is not a picturesque place for a vacation, unless it is from the “Unseen World.” Taro, Makoto, and Masayuki, three boys with traumatic pasts, learn to let their souls cross between the two parallel worlds. However, the Unseen World is no mere copy of the real Apparent World. The Unseen World is the home of ghosts, but changes are now allowing the souls of the dead to pass over into the Apparent World, with unpredictable effects. Follow the journey of Taro, Makoto, and Masayuki, as they cross between the two worlds, trying to unravel a great mystery”.
This anime decides to stay away from the conventional rules of horror anime. You won’t find any gore here just for the sake of creating shock in the viewer. It’s all about the atmosphere and the creepiness of how the scenes are presented. It also shares the same scriptwriter with Serial Experiments Lain. You might have to binge-watch it and pay attention to every detail to get the full story.
Jigoku Shoujo (Hell Girl)
Nº of Episodes: 26 Year of Release: 2005 Synopsis: “Somewhere in the vast sea of the Internet, there’s a website that can only be accessed at the stroke of midnight. Known as the Jigoku Tsushin, rumor has it that if you post a grudge there, the Jigoku Shoujo will appear and drag whoever torments you into the inferno. Very little is known about the girl—all we know for sure is that she lives with her equally enigmatic grandmother, that three magical straw dolls accompany and serve her, and that whenever a posting on the Jigoku Tsushin moves her, she becomes the Jigoku Shoujo.”
Highly praised by its animation and OST, Jigoku Shoujo always comes up in horror recommendations. In this dark anime, the main antagonists are human themselves and their intrinsic cruelty. It’s also a very sad and angsty story. The downside is that it’s very episodic and it can end up coming out as repetitive.
Have you decided to check one of these animes for your Halloween week? What are your favourite horror/mystery/thriller animes? Let us know in the comments below!