Best Horror Anime of All Time | TheReviewGeek Recommends

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 horror. From psychological thrillers to disturbing visuals, 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!


Midori-Ko

Midori-Ko is a terrifying film with an abstract approach to storytelling. This is an anime that doesn’t offer the most well-explained plot, as everything appears in front of audiences within the blink of an eye. The characters don’t offer anything of merit either and fall victim to the same fallacies as its story.

What gravitates people to this film are its grotesque visuals, bizarre art style, and chilling atmosphere. This film feels like it’s on an endless train ride that doesn’t have a stop in mind. It begins as a film about a female engineer trying to create a plant-like dream meal to end the famine in her society but ends up being a jumble of mind-numbing ideas and scenarios.

Nonsensical plot aside, this anime features many inhumane and grotesque imagery that’ll keep you up at night. The designs for the mutated humans and creatures in this show are imaginative and otherworldly. It’ll leave you questioning how the artist came up with these designs. If you’re looking for a spooky anime full of nightmarish imagery and energy, check out Midori-Ko.


Higurashi: When They Cry

Searching for an incredible mystery anime with nightmarish imagery and great tension, look no further than Higurashi: When They Cry (Higurashi). This show contains an immense amount of thrills and suspense around every corner.

While the show offers its cheerful scenery, those moments pale in comparison to its darker ones. No one is safe from harm in this world. You can expect characters young and old to get brutally murdered and harmed in this series. That said, this series offers a weird but effective approach to storytelling.

Its first season is treated as a question arc that poses many mysteries for viewers to solve for themselves without proper explanation. The second season acts as an answer arc where viewers will receive answers regarding the show’s overarching mystery and suspect.

While it sounds off-putting in words, it plays out wonderfully in the anime. From its original approach toward storytelling to its grotesque and nightmarish visuals, Higurashi is a worthwhile spooky classic.


Made In Abyss Season 2_Episode Recap & Review_TheReviewGeek Feature Image

Made In Abyss


Castlevania (Netflix)

Anime adaptations for video games aren’t an unheard-of concept. From Street Fighter to Halo, many gaming companies have decided to expand their properties in different forms of media. While some fail, others succeed. Fortunately, Netflix’s anime adaptation of Castlevania is a home-runner.

This adaptation of the beloved Konami classic is well-written and features the incredible vampires vs humans action fans loved about the games. This show continuously gets better as you watch, some noting its third season as one of its finest.

This adaptation revolves around an enraged Dracula, who unleashes hordes of demonic creatures onto the town of Wallachia. It’s up to the series’ anti-hero Belmont to stop them. While it’s first few episodes aren’t anything to write home about, the series ends up picking itself off the ground in its future seasons.

If you’re searching for an anime with deep characters and an impressive world, you should consider checking out Netflix’s Castlevania series.

You can read our thoughts on Castlevania in our full-season review here!


Devilman Crybaby

Devilman Crybaby is a relic from the past that gained quite the following during its early 2018 release. Due to Netflix’s reputation with anime in the past, many thought it would end up being a dumpster fire. Upon giving this reimagining a shot, fans ended up realizing it was a brutal gem worth watching.

Like other mature-themed works, Devilman Crybaby features complex characters, an engaging plot, and inhumane scenery and action. This show isn’t for the faint of heart as it doesn’t shy away from showing endless amounts of nudity and gore.

While that seems baffling, Devilman Crybaby delivers its powerful dialogue, character reactions, and heartbreaking scenarios. Despite its protagonist obtaining superpowers, you’ll get to see him struggle to balance his newfound lifestyle with his mundane one.

Many will treat him as a “devil” than a “hero,” and this message is spread throughout the entirety of the show. If you’re looking for a cruel but meaningful series that follows a likable character that’s down on his luck, then check out Devilman Crybaby.

You can read our thoughts on Devilman Crybaby in our full-season review here!


Hellsing Ultimate

Hellsing Ultimate is a bloody vampire anime with enough action to appease hardcore fans. This story offers a fun narrative, well-designed characters, and a dark setting. It revolves around the gun-wielding vampire Alucard who works under the guidance of Integra Hellsing of the Hellsing organization.

Along the way, Alucard recruits an officer named Seras to accompany him on his mission. Their journey will lead them down a path of psychotic priests, deadly zombies, and other supernatural mischiefs. Despite the odds, Alucard and Seras will defeat anyone that stands in the Hellsing organization’s way.

This anime features enough bloodshed and tension to keep fans on their toes. The Japanese and American dubs of this show are equally amazing. If you’re looking for a fun vampire anime with enough horrid backstories and fights to keep you preoccupied, check out Hellsing Ultimate.


Hell Girl

The horror anime Hell Girl delivers creepy imagery, a compelling story, and a look at humanity’s darker side. Like most short stories, Hell Girl includes many strange situations for our protagonist to tackle whilst maintaining a great mix of mystery and horror elements. 

The story revolves around the life of Ai Enma and her companions. They work for the esteemed Hell Correspondence website. This website receives occasional requests from individuals to send their rivals’ souls to hell. As payment, these individuals must submit their entry into heaven. Therefore, Hell Girl examines Ai and her friends’ lives as they send numerous victims to hell. 

Hell Girl examines various killers’ mindsets and their perceptions of murder and death. It’s one of those shows that puts an interesting spin on the afterlife. Its conclusion is a bit mindboggling, so fans may want to pay close attention to the storyline around that time. This show offers unsettling visuals and a creepy atmosphere. It’s sure to leave a lasting impression on viewers. 


Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories

There have been many horror anthology films that manage to land a solid home run for most audiences. From found footage films like V/H/S to well-acclaimed horror films like Trick ‘r Treat, there is vast potential in the anime market for something similar.

Enter Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories an anime that follows a mysterious masked storyteller who appears at dusk to tell children many short horror tales on Japanese urban legends. Each story is as riveting as the previous one and some will leave fans pondering about the events taking place.

Visually, the anime offers something different from other horrific works. The characters in this show appear like paper cutouts you’d find in a paper theater show. This art style allows Yamishibai to stand out. The characters maintain realistic and terrifying facial expressions and reactions to the spooky events that occur.

Each episode doesn’t take too much time as fans can easily reach its fifth to the sixth season in about 3 hours tops. If you’re looking for an effective bite-sized horror anime with a couple of mesmerizing and unique short stories, check out Yamishibai.


Shiki

Although some horror anime depict its creatures as menacing threats, Shiki does that and more. This is a well-written anime with a spooky atmosphere and a bittersweet story. The scenes in this show are gruesome and will leave a lasting impression.

Our tale revolves around a remote village where a new family decides to reside. After they move into the village, strange events begin occurring resulting in missing people and terrifying deaths. The village’s doctor Ozaki suspects the new residents are responsible for these occurrences.

With the help of a teenager named Natsuno, Ozaki plans to uncover the mystery surrounding his home while bringing the criminals responsible to justice. This anime features a nice amount of twists and turns to keep people invested. While its gothic art style may turn some away, it helps diversify the characters.

If you’re looking for a vampire series that’ll subvert your expectations, Shiki’s worth watching.


Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

From a morally impactful vampire anime to one that’s beautifully stunning we arrive at Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust. This anime follows the half-human and vampire hybrid bounty hunter D on his quest to bring a rich man’s daughter back from a dangerous vampire.

Despite other bounty hunters getting in his way, D will not rest until he claims his reward. D is a respectable and honorable character. From his gentle mannerisms to the way he fights, he feels like a well-collected warrior who wants to complete his mission. The other characters in this anime receive a similar spotlight.

From their respective weaponry to their personalities, everyone plays a neat part in this action-packed adventure. Visually, this anime’s animation and art style reflect its gloomy atmosphere and dark environments well. The soundtrack intensifies the chilling, dramatic, romantic moments inserted in this anime too.

Fans of deep narratives, gloomy worlds, and vampires, will enjoy what Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust delivers.


So, there we have it, our picks for the best horror anime through the years about!

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!


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