11 Horror Anime as Scary as ‘The Junji Ito
Horror fans have been entertained by this season’s The Junji Ito Collection, which adapts some of Ito’s horror stories.
However, it’s the only horror anime in town this winter and fans need more creepy tales while they wait for new episodes! Fill in the time gap with these equally as scary horror anime.
1. Perfect Blue
Perfect Blue is a different brand of horror than Junji Ito fans are familiar with, but it’s well worth exploring. The mental breakdown of an idol-turned-actress is enthralling, and first-time viewers may get as tripped up as Mima does during her psychotic breaks.
Episodes: 1 Movie
Quick Pitch: Mima Kirigoe has been a member of CHAM! for the past two years, but she leaves to pursue an acting career. Wanting to shed her pure idol image, Mima takes on a role in a sexual crime drama. The demanding role quickly becomes taxing. Adding to Mima’s stress is a stalker, a seemingly anonymous website that shares details about her life, and the growing success of CHAM! since her departure.
2. Devilman Crybaby
Devilman Crybaby is more action-packed than Junji Ito’s works, but it includes similar nihilistic themes of humanity’s cruel nature and lust of carnage.
Studio: Science Saru
Quick Pitch: Akira learns from his best friend, Ryo, that an ancient race of demons has returned to reclaim the world. Ryo believes that using the demons’ own powers is the only way to protect humanity and suggests that Akira unite with a demon. After a successful union, Akira becomes Devilman – a being possessing the power of a demon and a heart of a human.
3. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
A creepy village with a dark secret? Blood-thirsty citizens at every turn? Ripping out fingernails and other forms of body horror? Yeah, Higurashi is wicked.
Studio: Studio Deen
Episodes: 50 + 11 OVAs
Quick Pitch: Keiichi Maebara moves to the quiet village of Hinamizawa during the summer of 1983. He quickly becomes friends with schoolmates since all of the grades share a single classroom. While Keiichi’s life seems idyllic and laid back, there is a darkness lurking in the town’s history of murders and disappearances that occur in connection with an annual festival.
Look, another seemingly quiet village that is home to a deadly secret! This time, it’s vampire-like creatures called Shiki that are terrorizing humans. However, the story isn’t as cut-and-dry and it seems, which should make Ito fans smile.
Episodes: 22 + 2 Bonus Episodes
Quick Pitch: The quiet village of Sotoba is plagued with mysterious deaths. Doctor Toshio initially believes it’s due to an epidemic, but learns that vampire-like creatures called Shiki are behind the deaths. At the same time, Natsuno is haunted by the death of a friend.
Memories is a trio of short films that explore madness, dark-humor, and the folly of war. All of the stories have a psychological horror bend that’ll stay with you after the end credits roll.
Studio: Studio 4°C (Magnetic Rose & Cannon Fodder) / Madhouse (Stink Bomb)
Episodes: 1 movie
Quick Pitch: Memories is an anthology consisting of three short films that are based on a collection of short manga written by Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira).
Magnetic Rose – A pair of engineers investigate a distress signal sent by an abandoned space station. Once there, they begin to learn the fate of opera singer Eva Friedel, but hallucinations begin to plague them.
Stink Bomb – Lab technician Nobuo consumes pills to cure a cold, but quickly learn that it has turned him into a bioweapon with deadly flatulence. The toxic gas leaks from his body and kills everyone in his vicinity, prompting his superiors to have him travel to their headquarters in Tokyo.
Cannon Fodder – There is a walled-in city that is in a perpetual war with an unseen enemy. Everyone’s livelihood relies on maintaining and firing cannons over the city walls. One nameless boy dreams of becoming an officer and firing a cannon for his homeland’s sake.
6. School-Live! (Gakkou Gurashi)
Cute girls fighting for survival during a zombie apocalypse. You know, typical anime stuff!
Quick Pitch: Yuki Takeya loves her school and the activities of the School Life Club. The club also includes president Yuuri Wakasa, the athletic Kurumi Ebisuzawa, the mature Miki Naoki, supervising teacher Megumi Sakura, and the club dog Taroumaru. Together, the club participates in various activities and mini-adventures…or that’s how Yuki sees things.
In reality, the girls are survivors of a zombie outbreak and they are trying to adapt to a post-apocalyptic life.
Flesh-eating monsters and humans serve as a backdrop for a thought-provoking forbidden romance. The rough animation style also adds to the creepy atmosphere!
Quick Pitch: The Shokujinki are a race of flesh-eating monsters that can appear as humans and live in the shadows. The Kifuuken is a martial arts style based down through the Momota family which is used to combat the Shokujinki. Toshihiko is a part of the Momota family, and he falls in love with Yuka, a woman who is a Shokujinki.
8. Boogiepop Phantom
Boogiepop Phantom is as mindbending and mysterious as Ito’s best works, which is thanks to a non-linear narrative and a haze-like art filter.
Quick Pitch: Five years ago, a string of grisly murders haunted a Japanese city. The killer was never found, which gave rise to the rumor about Boogiepop. According to the stories, anyone who meets Boogiepop at night will disappear.
One month, a pillar of light appeared in the sky, which renewed stories about Boogiepop. The light causes memories of the murders to appear as holograms, which causes an existence where past and present can co-exist.
9. Yami Shibai
Yami Shibai is a collection of shorts based on Japanese urban legends. The episodes can be hit-or-miss, but the hits are super creepy.
Quick Pitch: Every week at 5:00 pm, a man in a yellow mask visits a children’s playground to share sinister stories based on Japanese urban legends.
10. Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne
Sex, murder, dismemberment, more sex, gore, drugs, and even more sex. Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne will make you feel uncomfortable as Rin investigates the secret to her immortality.
Studio: Xebec / Genco
Quick Pitch: Rin Asogi is an immortal private investigator thanks to having eaten a Time Fruit from Yggdrasil. Immortality is a nice perk, but she still feels the pain of death and has gone through brutal “deaths” during her life. However. Rin’s immortality may be at risk after being marked by the angel Apos.
11. From the New World (Shinsekai Yori)
From the New World eschews hyperviolence and takes a psychological-horror approach. Sometimes, the worst horror plays with your mind, which has won From the New World so many fans.
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Quick Pitch: Psychic users all live in a close-knit society. Saki is a young girl whose powers are beginning to manifest. An exciting time leads to many mysterious questions that Saki wants to be answered, even at the risk of discovering dark secrets about where their society came from and why some people get corrupted.