There are a lot of TV shows out there and in this golden age of TV streaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic? Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest, and unforgettable shows through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best anime, our attention this time turns to demons. From dark fantasy epics to action-centric adventure stories, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!
Demon Slayer is a breakout hit in this modern era of anime. It takes place in a traditional Japanese setting and follows a young samurai named Tanjiro. After returning from a trip, Tanjiro notices his whole family’s been slaughtered. However, Tanjiro’s sister, Nezuko survived the excursion but has been turned into a demon.
Enraged, Tanjiro joins the Demon Slayer Corps and hopes to protect what little humanity lies in his sister. This anime contains beautiful visuals and fluid animation. The sword battles will get you heart-pumping with the neat tricks Tanjiro utilizes in his battle with the demons. The characters receive some decent screen time and it’s pleasing to see them interact.
If you love monsters, epic sword fights, and anime that take place in feudal settings, Demon Slayer’s worth checking out.
Princess Mononoke is a stunning fantasy epic. It contains a well-crafted plot and characters you’ll grow fond of. Its plot will make you appreciate nature and all that inhabits it. It’s set in a remote village who are at war with a monstrous boar. Prince Ashitaka is the central character in its plot and attains demonic abilities after combatting the boar.
He flees to Tatara to find a cure. When Ashitaka arrives, he gets engulfed in a conflict between two individuals named Lady Eboshi and Princess San who debate over deforestation. Ashitaka must find a solution to their problem while battling the inner demon that lies inside his body. Unlike some Studio Ghibli works, Princess Mononoke can feel more violent.
This anime contains imaginative locales and addresses why it’s important to preserve our natural environment. If you’re looking for a more violent work with a stronger message, check out Princess Mononoke.
Inuyasha is a timeless Isekai anime with a simple premise. Our story follows Kagome, a girl who was transported 500 years in the past and arrives during a time in Japan when violence was the norm. She gets into a squabble with a demon and causes a wish-granting jewel to shatter into many pieces. To make amends, Kagome asks a canine and human hybrid named Inuyasha for help.
Together, they venture out to find the jewel’s multiple shards to prevent evildoers from getting their hands on it. Although the story can feel too simplistic, fans will adore the anime for its cast and their interactions with each other. The series’ action set pieces are enjoyable and its comedy promises viewers a good time.
If you’re looking for a fetch-quest-oriented show with a stellar cast and nice humor, check out Inuyasha.
Blue Exorcist is a delightful demon-themed anime. It’s about a young exorcist named Rin who attends school in hopes of stopping Satan’s plans. He happens to be Satan’s son and possesses formidable powers that he must learn to control. As with other shonen anime, Rin will compete against many formidable foes and get stronger after each fight.
Although Rin’s not a fan of his father, he doesn’t mind tapping into his hellish powers. If it means he can save his friends and loved ones, he’s all for letting loose on his foes. That said, this anime’s fights look great and are wonderfully animated. The anime’s conclusion may not sit right with folks, though. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for another fun shonen anime with favorable characters, this one should satisfy you.
Jujutsu Kaisen is a great shonen anime for modern audiences. It contains stellar action, complex battle mechanics, and charming characters. The anime can feel exposition-heavy sometimes. This is to help audiences understand the complexities behind the character’s powers and how they apply to the character’s diverse fighting styles.
Nonetheless, the anime delivers excellent and fluid fights. Yuuji, the show’s protagonist, will resonate with many shonen fans. Those who adored Naruto’s dynamic with Kurama will love Yuuji’s partnership with Sukuna, a demonic entity that lies inside his body. The other characters also have great personalities and goals.
If you’re searching for an enjoyable modern shonen anime to watch, Jujutsu Kaisen’s worth checking out.
Dororo is a well-crafted tale from Osamu Tezuka’s catalog. It follows a formidable warrior named Hyakkimaru who travels alongside a boy named Dororo. Hyakkimaru vows to slay every demon in his path in hopes of becoming human again. Although he’ll show no remorse for his actions, his bond with Dororo is entirely wholesome.
Those who love teacher-student relationships will the chemistry between these characters. Dororo embodies the humane feelings Hyakkimaru is after and will help viewers get through the show’s harsher circumstances. Visually, the character designs, environments, and battles are stunning. Nothing about these aspects will ruin your immersion in the anime.
The best aspect of the show is Hyakkimaru’s internal journey. As the story progresses, viewers will notice Hyakkimaru adopting more human-like qualities from an inner perspective. While the tale contains a “monster of the week” formula, fans will love this show for its deep cast, beautiful imagery, and mature story beats.
In a similar vein to Dororo, Devilman also sought his comeuppance in the late 2010s. Netflix may be known for its subpar anime live actions, but some of its original anime content can turn out better than fans’ expect. Devilman Crybaby is a sheer example of what Netflix can achieve if they put their heart into it.
This is a faithful reimagining of the classic Devilman series. Like other iterations, it follows Akira, a boy who attends a party with his friend Ryo. While all bodes well for the two, demons come out of the shadows and start slaying all the humans at the party. Akira sacrifices himself to save Ryo. Moments later, Akira arises from the dead and becomes the infamous Devilman.
He slays every demon at the party and wakes up the next day feeling and looking different. We examine Akira’s new life as Devilman as he tries to protect his loved ones from more menacing demons. This anime is brutally explicit and not for the faint of heart. Those who don’t like overly violent works will not find this show appealing. The character designs may not appeal to others either. Nonetheless, it helps the anime stand out from other brutal works.
You can read our thoughts on Devilman Crybaby in our full-season review here!
The Promised Neverland
The Promised Neverland is a terrifying anime. The story’s about a group of kids living in an enclosed orphanage with their caretaker, Isabella. One day, two children named Emma and Norman leave the orphanage to give their friend Conny her stuffed animal. What they find shocks them to their core, leading to Emma and Norman forming a plan to help their remaining loved ones escape.
This anime relies on its shocking twists, cunning cast, and nightmarish imagery to keep viewers entertained. You’ll be amazed at how intelligent Emma, Norman, and the other children are in this orphanage. The anime explains how they’d achieve such intelligence to avoid making things feel too unnatural.
A barrel of torment and mind games awaits you in The Promised Neverland. If you’re someone who liked works like Death Note, Monster, or Code Geass, this is the anime for you.
You can read our thoughts on The Promised Neverland in our full-season review here!
D. Gray-Man is an underrated shonen anime with a dark world. It features you’re usual shonen tropes from power-ups to call-out attacks, but handles it in a more mature manner. It follows Allen, a boy who joins The Black Order. This organization is tasked with defeating The Millenium Earl, a menacing villain.
Earl has inserted many dead souls into “Akuma” weapons to accomplish his evil plans. Allen receives an anti-Akuma weapon from the Black Order, which allows him to see the souls inside the Akuma weapons. Now a trained exorcist, Allen, and his comrades plan to foil Earl’s demonic plans. This anime features a large cast of characters and gives great screen time to each.
The characters have great personalities and chemistry. They undergo substantial growth inside and outside of battle. The anime features some lighthearted scenarios to provide viewers with breathing room after witnessing its intense bouts. If you’re looking for an action-packed supernatural shonen series that’s not discussed as much as others, then check out D.Gray-man.
The Devil Is A Part-Timer
Working at fast-food restaurants isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. While it’s a great starter gig, many wouldn’t want to work there for a lifetime. On the other hand, there may be people like Sadao who can make the most out of working at McDonald’s. This anime takes place amidst a battle between Satan and a noble land called Ente Isla.
The land’s hero, Emilia thwarts Satan’s efforts. He flees to the human realm and finds himself in modern-day Tokyo. He vows vengeance upon Emilia and Ente Isla but runs into a dilemma. He can’t return to the other realm because his powers aren’t working. However, a fast-food restaurant called MgRonald’s catches his attention.
Satan takes the alias Sadao and plans to claim the corporate ladder. This anime is as nonsensical as you’d expect and features Sadao enduring funny matters you’d find while working in a similar establishment. From rude customers to some romantic quarrels with others, you’ll find yourself having a blast with this anime.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best anime through the years about demons!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!