People have been drawn to the horror genre since storytelling began. The only thing people love more than laughing is being scared. Anime delivers a flavor of horror unique from western tropes and cliches. For those who love to be scared a violent, bone-chilling anime can bring them to new levels of fear and revulsion. The titles on this list are the best of the worst. They're truly grotesque and push the boundaries of decency. If you're looking for a story as disgusting and bloody as it is riveting and suspenseful, look no further.
10 Attack On Titan
For a species that has remained at the top of the food chain for most of its history, the idea of being eaten alive is one of our greatest fears. Humans inherently fear anything bigger than us and the Titans are absolutely colossal.
Eren Yeager along with foster sister and best friend live in the walled city of Shiganshina. Within the triple walls of the city, Yeager and the rest of humanity hide from the enormous, flesh-eating titans. This show will leave viewers squirming in their seats. It's dark, disturbing and gory all at once.
9 Terra Formars
Cockroaches play on basic human fears and repulsions. The way they scurry reminds us of the worst creepy crawlies. A cockroach's natural aversion to light makes them seem even more sinister. Terra Formars features not only cockroaches but enormous mutant roaches. The plot begins simply enough. Moss samples and cockroaches are sent to mars to begin populating life on the planet. A few hundred years pass by and the cockroaches evolve in ways humanity could never have expected. Now a team of superhumans must travel to the red planet to capture and exterminate these gigantic pests known as Terra Formars.
8 Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
This story is full of unexpected twists and turns that no one sees coming. Many of the characters appear sweet, innocent and kawaii but there is more than meets the eye in this haunting tale. The setting is a beautiful mountain town.
Young Keiichi Maebara is spending some time with beloved friends. At first, things seem to be idyllic and peaceful until news of a murder begins to spread. Keiichi's friends soon begin acting strangely. He fears they may even be after his life. The serene setting around him turns dark and terrifying as the story unfolds. Just as the audience feels safe a new horrifying twist begins.
7 Elfen Lied
This is a classic tale about the oppression of a humanoid race with horns and incredible psychic abilities. After years of performing cruel and painful experiments on the Diclonii, their queen escapes. She releases the wrath of her psychic powers known as vectors as she makes her way to freedom. As she fights for her escape queen Lucy loses her memory. She finds herself alone in the world with no idea who she is or why she's so full of hatred for humankind. The show is incredibly dark and gory. Each bloody, violent scene fills the audience with disgust.
6 Parasyte: The Maxim
Most of us are horrified to the core at the mere idea of parasites. Having your body invaded against your will is the most horrifying violation. In Parasyte: The Maxim this basic human fear is taken to a creepy new level. The helplessness is ramped up because unlike a simple brain worm or a humble tick, these parasites take over your mind. The main character escapes the worst of this hostile take over when he wakes up before a parasite can embed itself in his brain. By preventing the parasyte from completing it's take over of his mind and body, 17-year-old Shinichi loses control of a single hand. His mind remains intact.
5 Theater of Darkness
Theater Of Darkness is delightfully free of many of the tropes that horror stories rely on. You won't find any of the over-used settings in this masterpiece. Each episode is presented as a traditional style theater performance. Using tools like puppets and paper cuts each story plays out across the stage. Many are horror classics such as ghost stories, tales of the occult and urban legends. The chilling, creepy feeling grows in the audience as each tale unfolds. This anime hasn't received the recognition it deserves. It remains largely obscure but it's truly terrifying. Any fan of horror will appreciate this unique presentation.
4 Ghost Hunt
The title of this horror series may describe it's basic content but it does little to foreshadow the elements of mystery and tension viewers can expect. For those who love to watch a story slowly unfold before their eyes Ghost Hunt delivers in a chilling way. The show follows the paranormal investigations of Mai Taniyama.
Kazuya Shibuya is the president of the Shibuya Psychic Research Company. Mei becomes involved in his investigation when she bumps into his assistant and breaks a camera. He conscripts her into service as his temporary assistant to make up for her clumsy fumble. Her eyes are opened to the world of the paranormal and occult and she is forever changed.
Another is a gory, disturbing tale that follows transfer student Kouichi Sakakibara. Kouichi realizes something strange is going on at his new school immediately. He's on his own to determine what it is. Among the strange and unusual occurrences in his rural classroom is the treatment of his classmate Mei Misaki. Kouichi seems to be the only person who can see her. It's almost as if she were invisible, maybe even a ghost. Their classroom has a horrible and dark secret. The other students all seem terrified, driven by fear of acknowledging what's going on around them.
The classic horror staples of vampires get a breath of new life in this spooky anime. This slow-building mystery takes some patience to get into but the pace soon picks up and rewards those committed with plot twists and creepy tension. One by one the villagers in a rural town are dying of an unknown cause. The deaths are only half the problem. The recently deceased are rising from their graves. The cause is none other than a vampire. Lovers of vampire horror will adore this anime that adds new flavor to a classic trope.
1 Corpse Party: Tortured Souls
Corpse Party: Tortured Souls lives up to its twisted name delivering blood, gore, and spooks. The plot centers around a classic trope. Heavenly Host Elementary School was a dreadful and accursed place. It was demolished for the safety of mankind. Unknowing builders erected a new school on its doomed foundations. Despite the location's checkered past, all was quiet until a group of students made a horrible mistake. Believing it would bind them together forever in friendship they performed a ritual. The students then find themselves whisked away to another dimension to roam the terrifying hallways of Heavenly Host Elementary School.