Halloween is fast approaching, and for anime fans, it’s time to celebrate by watching some high-quality horror anime. There’s no shortage of platforms you can watch anime on nowadays, and Crunchyroll is one of the best, thanks to its massive content library and host to the subbed and dubbed versions.
One of Crunchyroll‘s greatest strengths is the sheer size of its catalog, and horror anime fans have a bountiful harvest of terrifying animated series to choose from this Halloween. Of course, some horror anime pack much stronger scares than their competition, so we’ve combed through the crowd to pick out the best anime on the platform. Without further ado, here are our picks for the best horror anime on Crunchyroll!
Best Horror Anime to Stream on Crunchyroll
Anime and manga have undergone a horror renaissance in recent years, with many of the most popular series out there now being at least somewhat horror-themed. Crunchyroll counts more than a few high-quality horror anime in its collection, so whether you are accessing it through your computer, T.V., or gaming console, get ready to be spooked!
Kagewani tells the tale of Sōsuke Banba, a disgraced university professor and dedicated cryptozoologist who attempts to salvage his floundering career by creating fake video blogs about the “monsters” he’s discovered. Unfortunately, Banba’s reality soon becomes stranger than fiction when real monsters known as Unidentified Mutant Animals, or U.M.A.s, begin terrorizing Japan. While its episodes run shorter than most anime’s, a compelling central mystery and incredibly creative monster design help Kagewani stand out.
9. Death Note
Madhouse Studios’ adaption of Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata’s Death Note is widely regarded as one of the best anime ever created. Following the murderous crusade of Light Yanami, a teenage prodigy who is given the titular tome by the shinigami Ryuk, Death Note is more of a thriller than it is a work of horror, with much of the series’ charm lying in the intense cat-and-mouse game the plays out between Light and the various forces that seek to bring him to justice. However, the series’ gothic atmosphere and exploration of the innate morality of humanity make it more than worthy of a watch around Halloween.
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8. Elfen Lied
Elfen Lied is set in a world where humanity coexists with Diclonius, a race of horned humanoids who possess immense psychic powers. Almost every episode of Elfen Lied features at least one scene that features visceral, graphic violence, but the series’ true horror lies in the themes it tackles. Through the conflict between the Diclonius and humans, Eflen Lied explores humanity’s obsessive desire to discriminate against those we perceive as different, providing its audience with a three-course meal of food for thought.
A twist on the classic vampire story, Shiki is set in a remote mountain village where the inhabitants begin mysteriously dying after an eccentric, agoraphobic Kirishiki family moves in. The first half of Shiki is a classic horror-mystery story that allows the tension to ramp up slowly as the death count gets higher and the truth of the Kirishiki is gradually revealed. However, the second half of the series mixes things up by exploring the perspectives of the vampires, who suddenly find themselves on the receiving end of the villager’s wrath after their existence is exposed.
6. Parasyte: The Maxim
Parasyte: the Maxim is a steller adaption of Hitoshi Iwaaki’s seminal body horror-thriller Parasyte. The series follows Shinichi Izumi, an unassuming high-school student who barely escapes being overtaken by an extraterrestrial parasite who becomes trapped inside his right arm and takes on the name “Migi.” Parasyte: The Maxim draws most of its horror from the designs of the Parasytes, who constantly find new and horrifying ways to mold their human host into killing machines capable of feasting on other humans.
A beloved classic in the horror anime genre, Another follows Kōichi Sakakibara as he joins Yomiyama North Middle School’s class 3-3, who appear hellbent on denying the existence of one of their fellow students, Mei Misaki. Soon, the students of class 3-3 begin dying in mysterious and gruesome ways, leading Kōichi to discover that the deaths are linked to a curse that has haunted classroom 3-3 for decades. Another pulls off the rare feat of balancing over-the-top gore with gripping psychological horror, making it an excellent anime for all horror fans.
4. Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories
Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories is an anthology series where every episode recounts a Japanese ghost story or urban legend. Framed as stories told to children by a ghostly golden-masked storyteller known as the Kamishibai, every episode of Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories‘ ten seasons is a beautifully animated injection of horror that will make the hairs on the back of even the most hardened anime veteran stand on end.
3. Paranoia Agent
Paranoia Agent was one of the last productions helmed by legendary animation director and manga artist Satoshi Kon, and it remains one of the purest encapsulations of his signature animation and narrative style. Paranoia Agent follows a pair of detectives working to uncover the identity of “Litle Slugger,” a mysterious serial assaulter who targets people on the edge of psychotic breakdowns. A thrilling exploration of mass media and its impact on mental health, Paranoia Agent is an intense and exciting thriller packed to the gills with unsettling imagery.
2. Junji Ito Collection
Few names in Japanese horror are as revered as that of Junji Ito, and the Junji Ito Collection is one of the best ways to experience his unique brand of horror. Each episode of Junji Ito Collection adapts one of Ito’s many short stories, and they all do an excellent job of bringing the terrifying tale they’re based on to life. As varied as Ito’s body of work, Junji Ito Collection is a must-watch for any Ito fan and an experience that will make a fan out of any uninformed viewer.
1. Jujutsu Kaisen
Jujutsu Kaisen is one of the most popular anime in the world right now, and it’s solid proof that horror and action can go hand-in-hand. Following the trials and tribulations of an average high-school student-turned-host of a malicious spirit named Yuji Itadori, Jujutsu Kaisen is an action-horror series that never loses sight of the fact that it is a horror story first and an action story second. With monsters that will make your skin want to divorce your skeleton, Jujutuso Kaisen is undoubtedly the best horror anime on Crunchyroll as of writing.
- This article was updated on October 26th, 2023