Thrilling Anime: Anime Shows That Will Scare The Socks Off You
I have watched so much Anime over the last few years (only being introduced to it in 2013) but have only recently, as in two or so months, have I been introduced to Horror Anime, and it was chilling! Being used to very epic anime like Sao, Attack On Titan, FMA, and the likes, my first horror anime was quite a different experience. They tend to have a slow build, with a lot of dialogue and character development. However, the slow build only makes the ending that much more epic, unexpected, tense and horrific. So, here is a list of a few Anime I have found so far that were chilling, and tense, and nearly always, gory a hell. Not to say that they are all necessarily horrors, but they certainly are thrilling, dark and eerie.
Get Started with Shiki!
Anime Series Shiki! A worthwhile buy to start your Horror Anime Journey
This was my first Horror Anime! And what an anime it was. Thrilling, intense, moving and beautiful it is a must for anyone who wants to try horror anime. It is based in a small village, where a strange and wealthy family move into a mansion at the top of the village. They are mysterious and extravagant, and lure a young girl with big city dreams into their home. Soon after this young girl dies, and before long another person dies. It becomes apparent there's a plague of sorts, and the towns doctors work restlessly to figure out the cause of the epidemic. Until, one night, the first girl reappears, and then more of the people who had died. The doctors and townspeople attempt to understand this seemingly unnatural phenomenon.
I don't want to give too much away so wont go into the story from here. All you need to know is that is gets crazy. Chaos is an all to appropriate word for how this series develops and concludes. It's a big series, with nearly all the townspeople being given sufficient space to develop their characters, this only adds to the final events, which will leave viewers with a sense of unease and intensity. Its a definite recommendation from me, the visuals and scores are beautiful, the characters multidimensional, the plot is intricate yet simple, and the end result is simply fantastic.
Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan DVD
Buy Attack on Titan on DVD.
Attack On Titan!
At first I wasn't sure whether to add this to the list, its so epic and fast-paced that is seems its not in keeping with the usual slow to build horror anime, however, with such a horrific theme, gory and bloody deaths, and humanoid monsters, its kind of impossible to keep Attack on Titan off a list like this. So, the premise of the story is as follows:
A city surrounded by walls was built to protect the remainder of humanity from massive anthropomorphic monsters, that eat people. There is an elite squad of soldiers known as the Survey crops who are dedicated to protecting the people and surveying the land outside of the city in order to understand these giants and find a way of surviving. Erin and Mikasa are young friends (and kind of adopted siblings) who witness the first attack by a Titan in 100 years. The Titan kills their mother and they vow to become soldiers to help protect their city and find a way of living beyond the walls.
The Titans are easily the freakiest creatures I've encountered in Anime, they are huge, muscled, skinless, mindless cannibals who devour any human who comes into their path. They are freaking fast too, and range from short, Titans (with skin) to Massive ones without skin. The larger ones appear to have intelligence too, something the city didn't think possible. This is an epic series, with ghastly, scary moments. Its fast paced and amazing, the moments of despair that characters feel when the Titans attack are so realistic, and heart wrenching, this is an all time favourite.
Trailer: Attack on Titan
Steins; Gate DVD
Buy Steins; Gate and Live in the NOW!
Having just recently watched this, I was truly amazed. Steins' Gate is a masterpiece. The plot is simple: Time travel...or well texts that can time travel, which can alter the past therefor changing your present....ok so not so simple! It starts with what appears to be fractured first episode. A man witnesses a girl die, sends a text to a friend to tell him, then sees the same girl only a few days later. A rocket hits a building, people disappear then reappear moments later, its pretty hectic. But it makes sense...it all comes together. The lead character (One of my favourites!) Okabe, realizes he can sends texts through to the past, which alter the present, but he seems to be the only person who remembers when a timeline changes. They send a few harmless experimental texts, to see what changes, only what seemed harmless texts at the time changed the world so much that Okabe desperately wants to get back to the original timeline.
This anime isn't necessarily Horror, but it is chilling, and filled with suspense. Its scary at times, but most off all, emanates a hopeless feeling worthy of full of depression. The characters are brilliant, with Okabe's comic relief being s important to the development of the story. Although this is technically a follow on series from Chaos;Head, having watched both, I can say that this is the one to watch, it is brilliant, intense, dark and uneasy.
Another! Amazing Horror
Another I finished a few days ago and I'm so glad I watched it. I almost didn't continue after the first episode but thank boredom I did. It is slow to develop in the sense that there's a lot of secrecy in the beginning. A boy starts at a new school, meets a young mysterious girl, but no one else seems to acknowledge her, When he asks about eh the classmates freak out and walk away. The series is built on this lack of information, therefor giving an uneasy feeling to everything from walking home to sitting in bed. Everything Koichi does feels eerie, because like him, we don't know what's going on. There's a rumor going around that children in that class die every year, and no body knows what causes it. Sometimes the child who dies reappears in the class a different year. Koichi takes this all as rumor, but more encounters with the mysterious girl weigh on his logic and he finds himself questioning whether or not she is real or a ghost. Then it all becomes apparent, the rumors are real, but the class need to find the dead person in their class to rid themselves of the curse before they all die.
This anime is great for its built up of suspense, and for the subsequent descent into murderous chaos! It is that thrilling, eerie, jump out of your seat, constant gasp kind of Anime.
Future Diary DVD
Future Diary Predicts Awesome Results!
No Horror Anime list is worthy without Future Diary. The premise alone isn't all that frightening or horrific. A young boy is offered a phone that can predict the future by what he thought was his imaginary friend but is in reality Deus the god of time and space. He has started game with 12 participants who fight to the death until only one survives. This final person will be taking Deus' place as God. Each contender has their own personalized future diary making it even harder of a game to win. So the plot is really quite amazing. However, one character alone holds the title of scariest most frighteningly sadistic character: Yuno Gasai. At first she seems a nice young girl, albeit a bit intense. Then we get glimpses of her other more sadistic side, the side where she can kill without even blinking, doesn't matter who, what age, or how, she will kill them mercilessly. As the story continues, Yuki, although at the beginning force himself to put up with her for the sake of his survival, he becomes to believe his lie.
Yuno is an excellent character, and so multidimensional. She has layers, she has scewed logic that only makes sense to her, and because of that she appears to all to be deranged and psychotic. Hers is the best character development,a s we find out why she is the way she is, and why she is willing to kill anyone to help Yuki win the game, which is why this is more her story than it is the protagonists: Yuki.
Trailer: Future Diary
Gantz is an anime that I couldn't get my head around at first, the premise seemed to childish, but the way it is portrayed is so adult and thematic that it just didn't make sense to me. Yet, after finishing it, and letting it sink in, I regarded it as possibly one of the best thrilling anime. Its complex, and rigid, but still had moments where I wanted to scream at the characters....and that's why my mind is firmly resting on 'Amazing anime'. Any show that can have you so invested in the characters and plot that you would be screaming at the screen has to be a good one in my opinion. There were aspects of the show I hated, but that's not to say I hated the fact they were used. everything seems to have a purpose.
The Story follows two men who have been hit by a train trying (begrudgingly) save a homeless man. The first scene is important because it sets up the underlying theme to the entire series. Everyone watches as these man help, not willing to go out of their way to step in and offer assistance. Because of this, they die. They wake up in a room, ansure of whether they are alive or dead. There is a ball in the room that gives orders, there lives are not theirs anymore, they belong to Gantz. In order to get them back they must kill aliens who live on Earth disguised, they receive points for every job thy do. There are other rules I wont go into, you'll just have to watch! ;)
From the vey beginning, this series feels uneasy, intrusive and like there's something wrong, s although its not really horrific in the traditionl sense of the word, this Anime will have you questioning humanity, authority, how far your willing to go to save people. Its a morality piece for sure.
Paranoia Agent DVD
Paranoia Agent is one of those eerie dark Anime, that centers on a character known as Lil Slugger. After a shy, young woman invents a story that she was attacked by a young boy on skates, more and more people appear to be attacked by the same culprit. Although police originally questioned her story with skepticism, the more victims they got the more real Lil Slugger becomes. What started off as a lie, becomes a gruesome nightmare, it takes on a life of its own, and soon chaos and destruction overwhelm the paranoid population. Highly nightmarish, with scenes reminiscent of acid trips and AHA's Take On Me, the series is dark and shady, questioning humanity and mob mentality. The pot is told from various characters' perspectives, making it somewhat confusing but also unreliable.
The point of this series is to create a sense of paranoia, even in its viewers, so that when watching you are just as hyped as the characters living the nightmare.
Trailer: Paranoia Agent
Higurashi No Noku Koro Ni.
Or in the English Translation: Higurashi When They Cry.
This is an anomaly of a series, the boundaries of what constitutes horror are definitely played with in this series. Most straight out horror anime will feel eerie and mysterious from the beginning, but this one does the opposite, starting as lighthearted as Bleach with lots of humor, playful animation, happy music and bright colors, this starts not feeling like a horror at all, and that's how it lulls you in. By episode 2 things got crazy creepy, and it takes off from there. Its equal to Another and Shiki in its level of gore and death, with brutal scenes of torture and murder.
I feel I should point something out though, something I didn't realize before watching it and by episode four I was holding my hands up asking 'What the F*ck?!'. One massive point to the story is the Groundhog day/ parallel universe aspect to it. The main story lies over the course of a few weeks, in a tiny rural town during the Cotton rifting festival, where every year for the past four years people have mysteriously dies or disappear during the festival time. Five Friends seem to be involved in the mystery and each time they relive the festival they attempt to survive the eerie curse. Every time the story restarts there are slight differences to the curse and how the friends are affected.
Built on Paranoia, confusion and suspense, you almost need to watch this a few times to catch all the clues that are spread about the episodes. It is hard to watch because of the non-linear timeline, but I personally loved this aspect once I realized what was happening.
Its Long...But Absolutely Chilling
From the Author!
As always this is my personal list, and although having watched many anime, I have not even scratched the surface of great anime, so welcome any suggestions, be it thriller, horror or just plain fantastic!
I will be updating this the more Horror anime I find so I hope you enjoy these amazing shows!