Halloween is fast approaching and what better way to celebrate than settling down and watching some anime. Horror, psychological and just generally creepy is hard to do right in any medium and that’s true for anime too.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t anime that don’t have great stories, characters and will leave you wondering. So instead of having to sift through all the options out there, here are some of the anime out there that are perfect for October.
This follows the story of a high school student named Mai Taniyama, who ends up working for Kazuya “Naru” Shibuya due to unlucky circumstances. Naru is the president of the Shibuya Psychic Research. She also meets a shrine maiden, a monk, a priest, and other characters that work alongside Naru. The team investigates supernatural happenings by taking up clients that have experienced strange phenomena.
While every case they cover isn’t outright scary, they’re all varied and entertaining enough to keep your interest. The stories range from bittersweet, to heartwarming, to the last case that made me want the series to go on forever.
Where to watch: Funimation
A small, almost completely isolated town called Sotoba, experiences a string of unexplainable deaths. Funnily enough, it coincides with the arrival of the elusive Kirishiki family who moved into a castle that overlooks the town.
As to not spoil too much, the rural town soon delves into chaos as more deaths happen and that gives rise to even stranger events. It shows that, in times of mayhem, humans may be more monstrous than given credit for. This anime does have its scary moments and a fair share of brutal scenes but it goes past that and uses it to make a point.
Where to watch: Hulu
Higurashi When They Cry
If the series didn’t start out with a gruesome murder followed by a creepy opening sequence, this might seem like any typical slice of life anime. It centers around the small rural town of Hinamizawa. The main group is composed of a ragtag group of friends – Keiichi Maebara, Rena Ryugu, Mion Sonozaki, Rika Furude, and Satoko Hojo. The group often participate in after school games and hang out when they can. Their days take a turn after the annual Watanagashi Festival – a celebration that honors the local god, Oyashiro.
Without spoiling too much, there are multiple stories featuring this group, each starting off with a different scenario. As the series progresses, you learn more about the festival, the curse that terrorizes the village, and many more twists and turns. It should be noted that this show has a lot of gore and deals with a lot of serious topics like abuse.
In Yomiyama North Middle School, Class 3-3 is rumored to be cursed by the events that happened years ago. A popular student named Misaki suddenly died, and instead of mourning, his classmates acted as if he’s still alive until graduation. Kouichi Sakakibara transfers into this class, where he meets Mei Misaki. She’s quiet, strange and also completely ignored by all of her classmates. As Kouichi tries to learn more about her and the behavior of the class, he uncovers more about the tragedy that happened almost 20 years ago.
Another is a short show but it’s a lot. As a warning, there are a lot of Final Destination style deaths that occur throughout the series. It leaves viewers wondering what the cause of the curse is and why the students are so adamant about not acknowledging Misaki Mei. To bring the warning home, Another has a lot of graphic scenes surrounding the deaths.
Where to watch: Crunchyroll
This is a series that is often recommended if you’re looking for horror series. It’s a gore heavy story about the “Diclonius,” a mutated species of human-like people that have horns on their heads. They have a power called “vectors” that work like invisible arms. Lucy, also known as Nyu, is the main Diclonius of the story. She escapes from the facility that experimented on her and is eventually shot in the head which causes her to lose her memories. She’s found by two of the town’s residence, Kouta and Yuka, and all of them must thwart the government’s efforts of getting Lucy back. .
Elfen Lied may not seem like it could make you sad but it’s a rollercoaster of emotions. The series is definitely a dark fantasy and should be regarded as such. If it wasn’t clear, it has violent scenes and also some moments with nudity.
In this world, an “Ajin” is a human with abilities that are triggered by a great injury or even death. An Ajin can heal from the most morta of wounds and to top it all off, they can create “black ghosts” – beings that have great strength and are invisible to regular humans. A young man, Kei Nagai, discovers that he’s an Ajin and immediately goes on the run since Ajins are considered a great risk. He finds himself in a situation where he must not only fight against the government but against other Ajin as well.
This series isn’t necessarily scary but the dark themes and nature of the show overall make it a great show to settle down and watch. Ajin uses CGI but the animation style suits the show and it’s easy to get used to.
Where to watch: Netflix
If a movie is more your thing, Gantz: 0 is a good option. It’s about Masaru Kato who is killed trying to protect someone from a knife attack in the subway. However, he doesn’t stay dead. Instead, he wakes up in a strange room inhabited by others and a black orb. He learns that they all have each died and woken in this very room, and they are all forced to fight against a multitude of monsters or they’ll die permanently. The orb is called “Gantz” and it assigns the group their newest mission – defeat a monster known as Nurarihyon. Of course, nothing is simple and there are more creatures out there than the one they’re after. The entire group has to find ways to survive and live another day.
The monsters in Gantz: 0 are terrifying things that transform and shift at any given moment. Like some of the other series on this list, the movie overall may not be that scary but that doesn’t mean you won’t remember how outright horrific some of these creatures are. The movie is action-packed and features stunning animation. Warning: includes violence and nudity (in the weirdest way possible).
Where to watch: Netflix
Spooky anime is a treat to watch during the Halloween season. It’s hard to narrow down the best since there’s so many of them that are good. But this list is a good place to start!
Have an anime you love watching around Halloween? Let us know in the comments.
Featured image credit: Netflix