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 the supernatural. From psychological mind games to whimsical adventures, 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!
Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light
Into the Forest of Fireflies Light is about a six-year-old girl named Hotaru who wanders a spirit-infested forest alone. Though she’s scared, she meets the mysterious Gin, who offers her a helping hand. Despite running into his arms, Hotaru fends her off. Unfortunately, Gin suffers from a dreadful curse.
If he ever gets touched by a human being, he’ll vanish. Despite Gin’s situation, Hotaru decides to keep him company. The boundaries set between Hotaru and Gin gradually become less apparent as time passes and their mutual feelings mature.
This is a beautiful film that does a phenomenal job of exploring Gin and Hotaru’s relationship. For better and worse, you’ll get to see these two develop wholesome feelings for the other. There are some moments that will make you cry and others that will make you smile.
Even if you’re someone who prefers to tackle life alone, you may find yourselves needing to converse with someone once in a while. Your Name is an excellent film that builds upon that notion by including a visually engaging tale about the romance between two distant individuals.
Our story revolves around two characters named Mitsuha and Taki, who come from different walks of life. In Freaky Friday fashion, both characters end up in the other’s body and must tackle that individual’s numerous responsibilities.
While these try to figure out ways to return things to normal, they’ll walk away having a newfound adoration for each other. You’ll enjoy seeing how these characters handle the trials set for their significant counterpart. Despite being a film about romance, this anime knows how to throw a few curveballs in its viewer’s direction.
Death Note is one of the best mystery and crime-centric anime out there. Its narrative is well-written and full of endless mind games and twists that will leave you shocked. At the center of this tale is Light Yagami, a boy who wants to rid his world of crime and evildoers.
To do so, Light utilizes a supernatural notebook called the Death Note to murder his victims. After crafting an alias for himself and being worshiped as a hero, Light feels like he’s an untouchable person. That is until he gets a chilling message from an aspiring detective named L Lawliet.
Each episode feels more thrilling than the previous one thanks to these two characters. Viewers will enjoy seeing Light and L duke it out in many thought-provoking scenarios. If you haven’t watched Death Note yet, do yourself a favor, and watch this anime.
As with Death Note, Spirited Away has quite a stellar reputation. This movie falls between the line as a classic and new work from Studio Ghibli. This film features compelling characters, magical creatures, beautiful imagery, and a colorful world.
Our tale follows Chihiro, who ends up in the Spirit World after she and her family stumble upon an abandoned amusement park. Chihiro’s parents get transformed into pigs after they indulge in some magical creatures’ food, leaving Chihiro to fend for herself in this bizarre environment.
With the help of Haku, Chihiro must find a way for her and her family to return home while exploring this magical land. First-time viewers will find the Spirit World immersive from its multiple creatures to its otherworldly humanoid figures. While some monsters aim to make Chihiro’s life a pain, others will approach her with open arms.
Soul Eater holds a special place in a good deal of Shōnen Jump fans’ hearts. This show offers a gritty and dark world full of humans and demonic entities. Like other Shōnen Jump properties, our protagonist wields supernatural weaponry to combat these terrifying otherworldly foes.
This show’s humor falls in line with other anime too. From clever slapstick to humorous facial expressions, these characters aren’t always serious and level-headed. At the same time, fans shouldn’t take any of its cast lightly, as they exhibit abilities that will keep them invested.
Soul Eater’s animation is more fluid and stylish, though. Soul Eater’s cartoon-like art style gives the show its unique charm and appeal. The monster designs follow a similar design scheme, keeping in line with the goofy but amazing look of its cast.
Fans looking for a fun supernatural anime with Shōnen Jump tropes should give Soul Eater a shot.
Mob Psycho 100
Mob Psycho 100 is the supernatural counterpart of One Punch Man. Not only were both series created by the same manga author, but Mob Psycho 100 features the same hilarious antics and personality as the other popular work.
Instead of a hero that can defeat any foe with one punch, Mob Psycho 100 centers around Mob, a boy with esper powers and vast potential. Mob is a quirky person but understands the casualties that would rise if he were to let his powers loose. He’s a ticking time bomb that can burst at any moment.
Meanwhile, Mob only uses his powers as a means to impress his longtime crush Tsubomi. Tsubomi doesn’t find Mob’s abilities exciting, making Mob feel more depressed and alienated. To establish more control over his abilities, Mob enlists help from Arataka, who ends up exploiting Mob’s powers for cash.
This anime follows Mob’s daily life exorcising evil spirits. The spirits he comes across have incredible designs and give Mob endless fights that will delight audiences. The mentor and student relationship Mob and Arataka have makes Mob Psycho 100 something worth catching up on.
Fate Zero is one of the more cherished editions of the Fate series. Unlike other Fate projects, Fate Zero offers a darker, dwelling atmosphere that’s comparable to Ufotable’s Garden of Sinner films. Its tighter plot and emphasis on preparation and dialogue make Fate Zero a worthwhile supernatural series.
Our tale takes place at the beginning of the Fourth Holy Grail War, where the wealthy Einzbern family lies in wait. They’re confident in their victory because they possess a vessel of the Holy Grail. They hire a man named Kiritsugu to compete in this war and have him bound by a marriage contract with their only daughter Irisviel.
This murderous survival game puts Kiritsugu at odds with six other participants, each armed with an ancient familiar and motivated by a different ideal. With the help of his familiar, Saber, Kiritsugu will stop at nothing to achieve victory.
Fate Zero is a mature work riddled with beautiful action scenes and emotional segments. This series knows how to make each scene feel as impactful and jaw-dropping as the previous ones. The strategy and combat in this show are impeccable. Fans will adore seeing our characters develop methods to help them conquer difficult fights.
To Your Eternity
Considering this work was created by Yoshitoki Ooima, the same person who created A Silent Voice, fans knew they were in for a worthwhile treat. With its engrossing narrative, tense drama, and unique protagonist, To Your Eternity became an instant hit for fans of her craft.
To Your Eternity follows It, an orb that can change forms and become entities whose reflections It captures. This entity was sent to Earth to be observed and ends up taking the form of a wolf after the creature strolls by. Eventually, It will encounter a wandering boy and befriend him. The boy desires an adventure like no other and abandons their home to find paradise but succumbs to death.
This anime focuses on It’s (later named Fushi) encounters with numerous lifeforms and understanding what it means to be human. Fushi’s interactions with the life around them feel genuine and emotionally touching. Despite being an alien life form, this creature becomes more human as the series continues. It’s Fushi’s journey of self-discovery that makes this a beautiful work to experience.
Serial Experiments Lain
From a wholesome story with a human to a world that’ll leave your brain in pain, we arrive at Serial Experiments Lain. This anime’s guaranteed to make viewers puzzled and confused, but for good reason. Its narrative is highly complex and well-written.
This story touches upon strong subjects and addresses why it’s important to have self-worth and stellar communication skills. This show excellently conveys these ideas through its slow pacing and story beats. This is an anime that doesn’t feature any fabulous action scenes nor does it try to be like those shows.
The characters in Serial Experiments Lain are wonderfully developed and well-written. Its protagonist Lain encounters many surreal circumstances in her cyber world. She’ll delve into situations that’ll make her question her humanity, consciousness, and perception of events. With twists and turns around every corner, Serial Experiments Lain will not disappoint critical-thinking fans.
Are you a nature fanatic? Do you adore people who cherish nature and everything it offers human beings? Mushishi might be the anime for you. This is one of those shows with a mystical yet relaxing atmosphere. It delves into why it’s important to protect and cherish nature.
This series’s protagonist, Ginko, has a calm demeanor and travels to different locations to spread goodwill. Ginko’s life is never dull. He’ll meet many strange creatures and endure supernatural phenomena that are equally bizarre. Everything in this world looks stunning and gallant.
Try Mushishi if you love nature but want something that feels calmer and less action-oriented like the other shows listed above.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best supernatural anime throughout the years!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!