Anime is a niche genre that caters to a very specific customer. A horror aspect just adds another dimension to this cult category. When you get down and dirty, a lot of the examples listed here are well….. down and dirty. This is a collective of Japanese child exploitation, insidious nightmares and Anime that may creep the crap out of you!
A biker becomes a raging crazy person after a military experiment gone wrong threatens the humanity of a post- Tokyo. It’s based in the future, 2019, which is obviously now our past. But the visions of a dystopian destiny director Katsuhiro Otomo brought to the table are certainly relevant to the world we live in today. It’s become a huge cult classic hit. After its release in the United States, it generated $80 million in home video sales alone! Remember, this was the 1980’s. The golden age of VHS consumption.
Blood + (2005)
This horror anime television series was broadcast on TBS. The story’s origin comes from the hit 2000 anime film Blood: The Last Vampire (2001). The protagonist here, Saya Otonashi, is an amnesiac. She’s also just a schoolgirl, dealing with her infliction. Her life is turned upside down when she is bitten by a Chiropteran. This is a hematophagous bat monster that lives off of human blood.
Fortunately, and unfortunately, Saya comes to understand she is the one to save her community from this savage beast since her blood induces ultimate death for them. She is the perfect example of a vampire fighting female. Besides American favorite Buffy of course!
Ghost Stories (2006)
Satsuki Miyanoshita and her friends discover a haunted schoolhouse. The premise of this show is actually quite original. It turns out that Satuki’s mother was responsible for sealing a deal with a group of ghosts who went on to not only haunt the school but ultimately the town itself in entirety. Satsuki’s mother had left behind a book showing her daughter exactly how to exorcise these ghosts forever. Her ultimate opponent becomes Amanojakn, a severe demon with very sinister intentions.
Another is another work of Japanese Anime school horror. The central character succumbs to a hyper pnemothorax, a medical term I never would have known had my own brother not experienced one. It’s a collapsed lung. And it hurts like hell according to my big bro. But back to the movie! Optic patches reveal glass eyes which unveil a deeper world underneath it all. A death aura.
This Japanese Manga serialized a group of weirdos within the secretive Hellsing organization. They are a corporation against vampires, ghouls, and any and every supernatural foe to England. The story centers on Abraham Van Helsing, a honcho in the Royal Order of Protestant Knights. The organization’s first and foremost goal is to seek out and destroy the undead and any other ghostly essences that threaten the English Crown and her community. And good news for Manga/Anime lovers! They are finally in the works to make a live action adaptation of this popular cartoon!
This is based on a horror magna series written and drawn by Junji Ho. This popular string was eventually transformed into an even more successful group of films. Tomie is a succubus. Her intense power resting in her ability to seduce any man, making him fall head over heels for her. Jealousy ensues and the body count mounts. And her immortal soul feeds on this death as one guy after the other falls at her knees. The life of Tomie is a vicious cycle. A revolving door of murder, men and resurgence.
The Promised Neverland (2020)
A live action adaptation of this popular Japanese manga was released December 2020. It follows a gaggle of orphan’s hell bent on escaping their captive orphanage. As one of the bestselling magnas of all time, it seemed only obvious Hollywood would eventually come a-knocking. “Giants” are central to this story. They are visions of terror in this pop culture anime icon. It takes place in the year 2045. Humans and demons have been at war against one another.
“The Promise” is a consensus set up by the government where humans could live separately from the monsters of the world. But these fiends have created a sort of black market. An under the radar sanction of a human breeding ground. This is how these beings stay alive. Off of the sustenance provided by people.
The orphans in this movie seem to live the good life. Cushy beds, great food, and tons of games to keep them entertained. Eventually though these kids realize they are just pieces of meat. They are being harvested while they feel loved. This is only to satiate the never-ending hunger of these demons. The orphans here are simply just a meal ticket!
Attack on Titan (2013)
Also known as “The Advancing Giants”, this movie is set in a world where people live their lives separated from enormous man-eating monsters by a few walls. Think Donald Trump vs. Mexicans! These hungry bastards are the Titans and they mean business. They destroy towns, families, and humanity in general. Their devastation creates the ultimate drama for a land torn apart by greed and hysteria.
Boogiepop Phantom (2009)
An unnamed, most likely made up, Japanese city is the central character in this ensemble-based story. High school students begin disappearing and the community’s initial reaction is to blame Boogiepop. He’s an urban legend said to be the personification of death itself. The structure of this story is confusing yet effective. Certain scenes are seen twice, sometimes from opposing perspectives. A lot of times it’s just all out of whack. Sequences are all over the place. But its unusual visual style compliments the scattered versions of the characters it depicts.
Black Butler (2008)
A 12-year-old girl named Ciel Phantomhive loses her parents and her dog to an act of arson upon the manor in which she resides. And on that same night, she is kidnapped by the arsonists responsible for the fire, and subsequently sold into slavery.
This topic is pretty prevalent in this day in age. Modern day detectives and real-life FBI agents are constantly uncovering, layer under layer under layer, a doom filled world of child smuggling. The kid in this anime goes through the ringer of torture at the hands of her captors. Sexual, mental, and physical. She is branded with “the mark of the beast”. This is a permanent scar representing her exclusive enslavement to this child-napping syndicate. The story goes deeper and becomes darker as Ciel attempts to withstand the seemingly insurmountable circumstances handed to her.
Corpse Party: Tortured Souls (2013)
Based on an original video game by a similar name, this series is considered by many anime experts to be the most gruesome example within the genre. Ever! Critics across the board have stated that unless you’re totally ok with extreme violence, steer clear of this gorefest. It has been called a hyperviolent spectacle that needs to be seen to be believed. But if you often cover your eyes during horrific content, then this one isn’t for you! There is brutality towards children; a graphic, exploitative aspect that has repelled many viewers. Again, this is not for the weak of heart and stomach.
Dead Man Wonderland (2011)
The anime adaptation of this magna aired in April of ’11. A colossal earthquake ravages Japan and demolishes Tokyo. The city pretty much disappears into the Pacific Ocean. A student named Ganta survived this catastrophe. He has no memory of the devastation but is reminded of it upon the appearance of a stranger. This is the “Red Man”. With devious pride, this outsider massacres an entire classroom full of kids. After letting Ganta survive, this foreigner brands the boy with a red crystal across his chest. This marks him with guilt for the incident. He is found guilty and sentenced to death at Deadman Wonderland, a prison that also functions as a theme park. Weird, right?? Well, it gets weirder be warned………
Pet Shop of Horrors (1999)
This story centers around Count D, the peculiar possessor of a pet store in Los Angeles. He specializes in rare animals. Actually, these animals are more abnormal than rare, and the people that purchase them are in for a disturbingly bad treat! This is an anthology anime. Each episode is written as a story on its own merit. These chapters are woven together by the central character, Detective Leon Orcot. He is an investigator, convinced Count D is responsible for all of the malevolent mis- happenings.
A psychiatrist and his serial killer patient are just a part of this comic originally titled Another Monster. This story received international acclaim and triumph becoming one of the most successful magna series in history. Dr. Kenzo Tenma is chief of brain surgery at Eisler Memorial Hospital. Tables are turned after the good doctor saves a convicted criminal from ensuing death but is then saddled with the patient’s mysterious disappearance from the hospital. And there’s a murdered arm guard to boot. Deeper and deeper we delve into a world littered with facades and awfully terrible pasts.
Tokyo Ghoul (2014)
Human flesh eaters that look just like you and me are roaming the earth. They live among us, indiscreetly feeding on people whenever the opportunity arises. These “ghouls” produce 4 to 7 times more kinetic energy in their bodies than the average human. They are resistant to any form of bodily harm as long as their supply of human meat is sustained. Their organs are sometimes harvested, transplanted into “normal people” to create offspring which will further their existence.
Japanese anime stories often thrive on a student as the central protagonist. This one is no exception. Here Ken Kaneki goes out on a date with Rize, a character eventually revealed as a ghoul. There’s a coffee shop managed by ghouls, and even more bizarre scenarios along the way. It’s a trip to say the least!