[Top 15] Horror Anime With Monsters

Horror Anime With Monsters
The parasites from Parasyte are terrifying monsters in anime

[Top 15] Horror Anime With Monsters

15. High School Of The Dead

Highschool of the Dead is set in present-day Japan, beginning as the world is struck by a deadly pandemic that turns humans into zombies, euphemistically referred to by the main characters as "Them" (奴ら, Yatsu-ra). The story follows a group of high school students and the school's nurse as they deal with the worldwide catastrophic event known as the "Outbreak". As the cast tries to survive the zombie apocalypse, they must also face the additional threats of societal collapse, in the form of dangerous fellow survivors, and the possible decay of their own moral codes. Starting from the high school, the students escape into town where they must deal with a corrupt teacher and his students. They check their homes for survivors, and pick up a little girl and a dog. Later, they hold up at a mall, travel through a police station, and eventually make their way to an elementary school that is supposedly a safe zone.

This anime may be a little risqué when it comes to the visuals, but it has tons of heart, and that’s what drew me in. I also generally like well written zombie apocalypse stories, and Highschool of the Dead really drives home that desire for me. Also, a mostly all female cast is always something to be appreciated, and it created a more interesting dynamic for me versus had they been males. I didn’t think the violence was more than I could handle, so I genuinely enjoyed it.

What We Love About Highschool of the Dead 

  • It goes beyond your typical zombie apocalypse storyline. The plot is stronger and moves beyond most zombie stereotypes, and it succeeds for the majority of the time.
  • Highschool is often accused of having surface level characters, but they aren’t that shallow. While it takes some getting used to, each character is unique in their own right and isn’t completely one dimensional.
  • Talk about one of the best soundtracks for an anime. The music fits very well, helps to drive the plot, and is overall very adventurous in terms of taste.

14. Freezing

2065, Earth is in the middle of a war with extra-dimensional aliens called Nova. The military develops and trains Pandoras, girls who are able to use special genetic tissue called Stigmata to manifest superhuman fighting skills and weapons. Supporting the Pandoras are male partners called Limiters, who use special "freezing" powers to limit their opponent's mobility.

One of these limiters is Kazuya Aoi, whose late sister was a Pandora. While attending West Genetics Academy in Japan, Kazuya meets Satellizer el Bridget, a powerful Pandora, nicknamed the Untouchable Queen, for her ruthless personality and her intense aphephobia. Despite warnings from his schoolmates to keep away from Satellizer, Kazuya befriends her, and asks to be her Limiter. After helping her through several fights against school rivals of varying ranks and classes, Satellizer agrees to partner with him, although she soon encounters a rival in romance named Rana Linchen, who thinks Kazuya is her soulmate. Their rivalry is put aside when the Novas attack their school using Pandoras under their control to access the school's underground lab.

Sometimes it feels as if each episode ends on a cliffhanger, which I love. The female characters are all portrayed as strong warriors, and there isn’t anything too sexualized about them other than a few key moments. The lore of the world is extremely fascinating, and the particular set up of this post-apocalyptic world was done extremely well with its semantics. The character designs are also incredibly unique, and nothing feels like a carbon copy of one standing next to it.

What We Love About Freezing 

  • The story has heart. Amidst the fighting and arguing when it comes to protecting the world, as well as the blood, it never loses its original message. This is especially impressive of a violent anime.
  • Vibrant and colorful characters also help set the stage for a great story. Despite not seeming so at first, everyone is genuinely likable, and you want to cheer them on in terms of survival.
  • Freezing itself is based off a manga, and the overall adaptation is stellar and very well done. Not many shows can pull off doing justice to their source material while still being unique, so Freezing must be perceived that way. 

13. Black Butler

In Victorian-Era London resides thirteen year old earl Ciel Phantomhive, who earned his position after his tenth birthday on December 14th, 1885, when the manor was attacked by unknown perpetrators and burnt to the ground with his family and his dog. He is later kidnapped by the same people, sold into slavery, and ends up becoming part of a demon worshipping cult.

One night, during a sacrificial ceremony to summon a demon, instead of forming a contract with the cult members, the demon states that he was summoned by Ciel, therefore he only agrees to form a contract with him, killing all the cultist members in the process. After the formation of the contract, the demon reveals he will consume Ciel's soul as payment for helping him achieve his goal; revenge on those who brought down the House of Phantomhive. Afterwards Ciel names the demon Sebastian Michaelis, after his deceased pet dog. The duo then return to society as Ciel takes over his now late father's previous position as the queen's watchdog, a very high-profile individual who is tasked with investigating cases that Queen Victoria herself deems especially important or threatening to England and the crown.

Black Butler did well for its time in the early 2000’s. People appreciated the characters, they liked the animation, and the story was of course unique and intriguing to tune into. It was a little disturbing for some, especially in its treatment of Ciel, who is a child, but overall it was well received and very critically acclaimed.

What We Love About Black Butler

  • The story has extreme depth, is very cerebral, and doesn’t pull its punches whatsoever. It’s dark, horrid in places, yet very well written in all of its aspects, including the minute details in the intricate plot.
  • The characters are extremely flawed, but well written in every aspect of their personalities. No one character is overworked or overemphasized, and they all balance each other out in the best ways possible.
  • The animation and art is beautiful. Everything flows well when it needs to, and during the fights movements are tight, skillfully drawn, and every aspect is well done.

12. Elfen Lied

Lucy is a special breed of human referred to as "Diclonius," born with a short pair of horns and invisible telekinetic hands that lands her as a victim of inhumane scientific experimentation by the government. However, once circumstances present her an opportunity to escape, Lucy, corrupted by the confinement and torture, unleashes a torrent of bloodshed as she escapes her captors.

During her breakout, she receives a crippling head injury that leaves her with a split personality: someone with the mentality of a harmless child possessing limited speech capacity. In this state of instability, she stumbles upon two college students, Kouta and his cousin Yuka, who unknowingly take an injured fugitive into their care, unaware of her murderous tendencies. This act of kindness will change their lives, as they soon find themselves dragged into the shadowy world of government secrecy and conspiracy.

Elfen Lied being as conceptually challenging as it was caught me off guard, but it was quite the welcome surprise overall. I always felt for Lucy, and was happy when she came across Kouta and Yuka, or whenever she happened to not have everything go wrong for her for once. I loved the world building, and Lucy’s overall design had me not being able to take my eyes off of her for one second. You should totally check out Elfen Lied!

What We Love About Elfen Lied 

  • Elfen Lied’s plotline isn’t just extreme in terms of violence, but it’s extreme in terms of ideas. Exploring themes such as abuse, social alienation, the value of one’s soul, and revenge, its intensity doesn’t stop at the visuals. Elfen Lied definitely has deep motifs to explore.
  • The animation is exquisite. Everything is fluid, detailed, and overall very tasteful. The colors mesh well with each other, and nothing feels out of place in terms of design or anything else for that matter.
  • Despite being incredibly graphic, the story itself remains engaging and quite pleasing to the audience in terms of the plot they got. It makes a lot of bold choices, and the series does well with that overall.

11. Berserk

Along the way, he encounters some unlikely allies, such as a small elf named Puck, and Isidro, a young thief looking to learn swordsmanship from the former mercenary. As the ragtag group slowly comes together after having decided to join Guts in his quest, they will face incredible danger unlike anything they have ever experienced before.

Berserk is violent, fun, and an adventurous ride. Everyone loves it for its storyline, animation style, character development, and more. Berserk is an interesting story from the start, and beyond popular with anime fantasy fans overall.

What We Love About Berserk

  • The animation. Everything is fluid, detailed, complex, and very sharp. It all blends extremely well, not distracting from the story or taking away from it, but adding to it overall.
  • Speaking of the story, another great aspect. It’s adventurous, entertaining, and absolutely never leaves you bored. Watching Berserk will take you to a fantasy world where you’ve easily never been in all your days of watching anime, making it highly interesting.
  • The characters are complex, well developed, and have distinct personalities from one another. Their interactions and relationships serve to better further the story itself instead of hindering it like some anime characters do with each other. 

10. Blood +

When things seem at their bleakest, a man named Haji appears at her side and temporarily defeats the creature. Things seem safer, but when Haji forces Saya to drink the creature’s blood, Saya kills the monster with no problem and uses her own blood as a source. 

Says learns of an organization named Red Shield, founded to defeat the hellish beasts. Saya and Haji now have to work together to defeat the monsters and rescue Saya’s past.

The anime community is a fan of Blood+, and it’s very easy to see why. It’s story is lovely, and the characters interact well with it. They don’t feel separated at all, and everything about the two feels natural and well written. It’s definitely a jewel in the crest of the vampire genre.

What We Love About Blood+

  • Saya is an interesting, powerful, and unconventional protagonist. And Saya is well written, which seemed unexpected at first considering her original personality and how she was designed.
  • The architecture is beautiful, and incredibly well designed. It’s done over very well, and works expertly with the gothic horror genre it attempts to emulate, that being another thing it does very well.
  • The romance isn’t the only part of the show, and that makes things unique. Plenty of vampire anime only serve to emphasize the romance between the vampire character and the other significant protagonist. But Blood+ and the characters aren’t particularly like that.

9. Ghost Hunt

While at school, Taniyama Mai and her friends like to exchange ghost stories. Apparently, there is an abandoned school building on their campus that is the center of many ghost stories. During the story, they are interrupted by a mysterious male figure. The person turns out to be Shibuya Kazuya, a 17-year-old who is president of the Shibuya Psychic Research Company. He was called by the principal to investigate the stories surrounding the abandoned school building.

The next day, on the way to school, Mai passes the school building in question. While examining a strange camera she spotted inside, she gets surprised by Kazuya's assistant. Unknowingly interfering with the investigation, Mai breaks the camera and Kazuya's assistant gets injured.

Kazuya forcefully hires Mai in order to pay for the camera and replace his injured assistant. From that point on, Mai begins to learn about the paranormal world and the profession of ghost hunting.

I liked Ghost Hunt because I did find parts of it funny. Especially in the beginning, the arguing everyone did on how to best exorcise the ghost they were hunting reminded me of a bunch of children on a stakeout. Of course things get extremely creepy and dark from there, which I also enjoy, but the humor seems to be a nice touch. Also, Mai isn’t a damsel in distress by any means, and I think that adds to the charming personality that is her character.

What We Love About Ghost Hunt 

  • Despite everything else going on, the show itself still manages to be quite funny. Mai definitely steals the show each time with her no nonsense attitude, and that brings on the comedy.
  • Ghost Hunt has a great episode debut when it comes to introducing the characters and conflict. Using different methods of exorcism as a conflict catalyst really brought the characters together for the first time, and ultimately led to some well timed introductions and dialogue. 
  • Ghost Hunt does a terrific job of keeping its mystery throughout the series. There are clearly secrets among the characters themselves, but Ghost Hunt is clever at keeping them hidden until the exact moment where they are meant to appear.

8. Shiki

Shiki goes beyond the average vampire story. It tells the tragic tale of survival in a world where one cannot easily distinguish between good and evil. Abandoned by God, the Shiki, as the vampires call themselves, have only their will to live as they clash with the fear of the paranoid/unbelieving villagers. Shiki explores the boundary that separates man from monster.

Shiki’s study on psychosis was what really got me to enjoying the show. I thought that the way almost everyone behaved like an anti-hero was interesting, since we usually don’t have that. The art and animation, despite being gory, made me love it. So many parts of the show I didn’t see coming, so I couldn’t help but end up liking it. In the end, great vampire anime to go check out.

What We Love About Shiki 

  • Shiki is a great anime when it comes to the study of the psychosis of humanity, something a little surprising. It truly focuses on what exactly is happening inside the minds of its characters, and it does it all incredibly well.
  • The scenery in general is incredibly bright and colorful, something unexpected and a little off putting. But this works, as it makes the danger even more unassuming than it already was. It’s still eerie, violent, and downright creepy in some moments.
  • The story doesn’t feel forced, gimmicky, or overused, despite being a vampire story that can have pretty typical plot points. I’d call it a great show to watch overall.

7. Another

In 1972, Misaki, a popular student of Yomiyama North Middle School's class 3-3, suddenly died partway through the school year. Devastated by the loss, the students and teacher behaved like Misaki was still alive, leading to a strange presence on the graduation photo. In Spring 1998, Kōichi Sakakibara transfers into Yomiyama's class 3-3, where he meets Mei Misaki, a quiet student whom their classmates and teacher seemingly ignore. The class is soon caught up in a strange phenomenon, in which students and their relatives begin to die in often gruesome ways. Realizing that these deaths are related to the "Misaki of 1972", a yearly calamity that has struck most every class 3-3 since 1972, Kōichi and Mei seek to figure out how to stop it before it kills anymore of their classmates or them.

I enjoyed this anime because I felt like I was on a roller coaster from start to finish. I never knew what was coming next, and characters were constantly shifting and changing with the fast paced plot. This also helped to really emphasize the violent part of it, as when violence comes with fast paced storytelling, it tends to hit harder. I found the characters really likeable, and I thought the voice cast did a fantastic job with the story and characters they were given to work with.

What We Love About Another 

  • The plot is definitely it’s strongest asset, and you find yourself not being able to look away from the mystery and violence of it all. Some arguing that the pacing is off, but I’d disagree, especially considering that the story itself is so enrapturing.
  • The character designs are amazing. No one character is a carbon copy of another, not even the background characters. They all have incredibly unique looks, and that’s a clear sign of creators who were passionate and cared about what they were doing.
  • The overall violence doesn’t take away from the stunning visuals of the world created, and it doesn’t ruin the beauty of the original set designs. They mesh and flow extremely well together.

6. Claymore

As the pair travel from town to town, defeating youma along the way, more about Clare's organization and her fellow warriors comes to light. With every town cleansed and every demon destroyed, they come closer to the youma on which Clare has sought vengeance ever since she chose to become a Claymore.

I love Claymore because it feels so different, especially in terms of style. I was a little put off by it at first, but the storyline and overall character development won me over. Clare is a stoical character that is balanced out by the cheerful Raki, and I appreciate character dynamics like that. Claymore is original and beautiful despite being violent, and I will always love it for that.

What We Love About Claymore 

  • Raki absolutely steals the show here, at least until we’re introduced to more characters. He’s incredibly likeable, kind, smart, and even brave to some extent. That’s what makes him unique from most of the main protagonists on this list.
  • Clare and Raki have a genuine relationship that develops properly over time instead of being totally rushed. They’re both incredibly awkward, but also decent characters when it comes to plot development.
  • Claymore doesn’t let its violence distract from its good story and decent world building. Instead, it compliments it entirely. The visuals are a little strange, but they work with the story, and it’s wonderful. 

5. Pet Shops Of Horror

Individual chapters of Pet Shop of Horrors are often based on these consequences, and are each written as a stand-alone story, usually introducing one or more new characters in each chapter. With the exception of the main characters and their families, it is rare for a character to carry over to a later chapter, providing the series with a very episodic nature.

The detective Leon Orcot is used to tie the chapters together into an ongoing plot, usually in the form of a subplot within each chapter. Initially he suspects D of malicious criminal activity and using the pet shop as a front for drug trafficking. As the series progresses, he learns more about the pet shop and D himself, entering into a strange friendship of sorts with D as he works to uncover the truth.

This anime was particularly interesting to me because of the way it’s set up anthology style. Plus, the aspect of using the term “pet shop” for something less than a place for cuddly animals really caught my attention. The stories are great, the characters really well developed and written, and I generally enjoyed the uniqueness of the concept. Definitely a future anime to check out.

What We Love About Pet Shop of Horrors 

  • The anime has an interesting and unique premise, with a fresh, original story befalling our main character. Not only that, but there still manages to be great messages behind them despite the context.
  • Pet Shop of Horrors didn’t have a huge budget, and it seemed as if the world was against it. Nope. It triumphed over hardship and overall, made for a critically acclaimed anime.
  • The structure of the anime itself as an anthology makes it very attractive for viewers. It’s easy to jump in at any point and not get too lost, which means it even better.

4. Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo has become a cruel and merciless city—a place where vicious creatures called “ghouls” exist alongside humans. The citizens of this once great metropolis live in constant fear of these bloodthirsty savages and their thirst for human flesh. However, the greatest threat these ghouls pose is their dangerous ability to masquerade as humans and blend in with society.

Based on the best-selling supernatural horror manga by Sui Ishida, Tokyo Ghoul follows Ken Kaneki, a shy, bookish college student, who is instantly drawn to Rize Kamishiro, an avid reader like himself. However, Rize is not exactly who she seems, and this unfortunate meeting pushes Kaneki into the dark depths of the ghouls' inhuman world. In a twist of fate, Kaneki is saved by the enigmatic waitress Touka Kirishima, and thus begins his new, secret life as a half-ghoul/half-human who must find a way to integrate into both societies.

Tokyo Ghoul really makes you feel for you Ken, and that’s the idea. It’s concept is creative and original, and it’s honestly best at its beginning. I think the pack and alpha mentality of the Ghoul’s is fascinating, and a great play on animalistic tendencies. There was tons of thought put into this anime, and it’s beautiful visually and story wise. Definitely give it a go.

What We Love About Tokyo Ghoul 

  • The concept itself while disturbing is quite amazing and interesting. Modern day science fiction lore paired with this level of violence actually works quite well in Tokyo Ghoul’s favor, making it an extremely popular anime.
  • The animation is beautiful. It’s fluid, sharp, colorful, and the facial expressions on each character was done with immense thought and care. When it comes to the surroundings, each minute detail counts, and each one contributes a great deal to the rest of the story. 
  • Kaneki is a great male protagonist. He’s not completely hotheaded or completely weak, either. He has heart and a genuine personality the audience can grow to love. Of course, the stellar voice acting also definitely helps out.

3. Junji Ito

Sit back in terror as traumatizing tales of unparalleled terror unfold. Tales, such as that of a cursed jade carving that opens holes all over its victims' bodies; deep nightmares that span decades; an attractive spirit at a misty crossroad that grants cursed advice; and a slug that grows inside a girl's mouth. Tread carefully, for the horrifying supernatural tales of the Itou Junji: Collection are not for the faint of heart.

These are genuinely terrifying stories, but extremely well written. I watch these myself every Halloween. The characters are human to the point of being typical horror figures, but that is what the show is about. Each story is more terrifying than the last, and each story has amazingly detailed and grotesque animation. It truly tells a terrifying tale in the best way possible.

What We Love About Junji Ito 

  • Another anthology series, Junji Ito is so intriguingly well written that you can start just about anywhere in the show and it won’t matter. The show makes up for that structure with intense stories and frightening characters. 
  • Speaking of characters, we only see certain individuals for an episode or two before they’re violently snuffed out. But that doesn’t make them underdeveloped or poorly written. In fact, it makes them the opposite.
  • Junji Ito is a master of body horror, and uses this mastery to its visual advantage. After all, this factor makes it one of the best in this particular genre of anime.

2. Attack On Titan

Centuries ago, mankind was slaughtered to near extinction by monstrous humanoid creatures called titans, forcing humans to hide in fear behind enormous concentric walls. What makes these giants truly terrifying is that their taste for human flesh is not born out of hunger but what appears to be out of pleasure. To ensure their survival, the remnants of humanity began living within defensive barriers, resulting in one hundred years without a single titan encounter. However, that fragile calm is soon shattered when a colossal titan manages to breach the supposedly impregnable outer wall, reigniting the fight for survival against the man-eating abominations.

After witnessing a horrific personal loss at the hands of the invading creatures, Eren Yeager dedicates his life to their eradication by enlisting into the Survey Corps, an elite military unit that combats the merciless humanoids outside the protection of the walls. Based on Hajime Isayama's award-winning manga, Shingeki no Kyojin follows Eren, along with his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and his childhood friend Armin Arlert, as they join the brutal war against the titans and race to discover a way of defeating them before the last walls are breached.

This may be a typically popular anime, but it definitely hits hard. Visually, it’s absolutely stunning, and when I watched it for the first time I was caught off guard by the intensity of it. But I enjoy the story, I love every character, the action is well animated and exciting, and there’s even a mystery concerning Eren’s father. Eren can get a little overbearing at times, but I think that’s his best personality traits in some cases.

What We Love About Attack On Titan 

  • The animation is gorgeous. Everything is so finely tuned and colored, it’s very easy to see that there was a ton of tough work put into it. Besides that, the facial expressions are so realistic it can be haunting when a character is in pain.
  • Speaking of characters, they all have depth and passion in them. Each character is well written and their stories are well executed. Not only that, but they all interact with each other in ways that no viewer can expect on some occasions.
  • Finally, the violence. It isn’t as graphic as Corpse Party or Parasyte, but the significant violence it does have paired with the better story writing puts it at number one. It’s overall balance between the two makes it the most appealing and interesting in terms of an anime to watch.

Top Horror Anime With Monsters: Parasyte

Parasyte centers on a male 17-year-old high school student named Shinichi Izumi, who lives with his mother and father in a quiet neighborhood in Tokyo, Japan. One night, tiny worm-like aliens with drill-like heads called Parasites arrive on Earth, taking over the brains of their hosts by entering through their ears or noses. One Parasite attempts to crawl into Shinichi's nose while he sleeps, but fails as Shinichi wakes up, and enters his body by burrowing into his arm instead. In the Japanese version, it takes over his right hand and is named Migi (ミギー), after the Japanese word for 'right'.

Because Shinichi was able to prevent Migi from traveling further up into his brain, both beings retain their separate intellect and personality. As the duo encounters other Parasites, they capitalize on their strange situation and gradually form a strong bond, working together to survive. This gives them an edge in battling other Parasites who frequently attack the pair upon realization that Shinichi's human brain is still intact. Shinichi feels compelled to fight other Parasites, who devour other members of the species they infect as food, while enlisting Migi's help.

I will be honest, I really didn’t like Parasyte at first. The visuals were a little too weird and graphic. But it grew on me, no pun intended, and I started to love it for its characters and plot points. It’s overall an amazing story and the animation details are done over very well. Overall, I would definitely recommend Parasyte.

What We Love About Parasyte 

  • Parasyte was written to be disturbing, which overall makes the writing style really unique. It also gives the visual artists freedom to do whatever they wanted, which they most certainly did with character designs and Parasite scenes.
  • Shinichi is a genuinely good character, if not written to be down on his luck. His oddly forged relationship with his personal Parasite also gives the story its charms and its shivers, so I believe that it works.
  • When it comes to the violence in this show, the details and intricacies of the moment catch you so off guard with their disturbing beauty that you can’t look away. It’s a testament to a well written fictional world.
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I carry my pen like I carry my broadsword; with confidence and experience. My entire life has been devoted to creative writing and gaming, and always will be.
Gamer Since: 2012
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Shadowverse
Top 3 Favorite Games:Costume Quest, Star Wars: Battlefront, The Elder Scrolls Online

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