October is here! That means changing leaves, chilly weather, and pumpkin spice everything. But it also means that we get to bask in all things horror, so here’s a list of some frighteningly fun anime you should check out.
Topping the list is one of my favorite anime franchises of all time. Do you wish that vampires were less romantic and more violent? Then Hellsing is for you. This series follows The Hellsing Organization, a secret force that fights vampires and their ghoul minions. Their leader is Integra Hellsing, descendant of Abraham Van Helsing and one of the most badass female characters in all of anime. Among her ranks are two vampires: the legendary Alucard and his fledgling, Seras. The conflict centers around a three-way battle between Hellsing, Vatican’s Section XIII, and a rising Nazi force known only as “Millennium.” All the characters in Hellsing are rather one-dimensional, but that one dimension is the most interesting dimension possible. Keep in mind, there are two anime series: Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate. Ultimate is much closer to the manga and has stronger artwork.
Highschool of the Dead
Highschool of the Dead is anime’s answer to zombies. A sudden and quick-spreading zombie plague infects Japan. Takashi Komoro, the school nurse, and a few other students are the only ones to make it out of their high school alive when the pandemic breaks. But fleeing the school is just a beginning. The rag-tag group quickly discovers there is nowhere safe to hide and that the only option is to fight for their lives. I wasn’t sure about HotD at first because of the gratuitous amount of sexual objectification, but if you can look past that, then this series becomes a non-stop roller coaster of action, suspense, and fun.
Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan has taken the world by storm, and for good reason. In the future, a race of titans arise to devour humanity and the few survivors build a city behind high walls. They continue to live, but in a self-made cage. After 100 years of peace, the titans return to smash the walls and satiate their hunger for humans. What makes this series so popular is its originality and willingness to examine human fear. It taps into our primal survival instincts. Don’t get too attached to any characters, because anyone can die at any time. It’s scary enough to give you nightmares. You’d think an Attack on Titan dream would be cool, but IT IS NOT! IT IS SO NOT COOL!
Abandon all hope, ye who enter here and watch this anime. Eight minutes into Deadman Wonderland, and I was sold. Ganta Igarashi’s life is turned upside-down when a super-powered beast murders his entire class, leaving him the only survivor and fusing him with the power to use his own blood as a weapon. Igurashi’s accused of the massacre and sentenced to death, and must await his execution in a freakish prison known as Deadman Wonderland. In this prison, the inmates must perform for the public in order to survive. It reminded me of The Hunger Games… at first. Deadman Wonderland‘s fast pacing is its greatest trait, but also its worst enemy. The story is gripping for the first half of the series, but then it throws all these new characters at you and doesn’t give you enough time to grow to love them before they start dying off. The ending will leave you with more questions than answers. This was my reaction after finishing the last episode:
Deadman Wonderland reminds me of an ex-boyfriend from college who made me happy for a brief period of time before suddenly dumping me.
— Courtney Kraft (@TheAnimeGoddess) August 15, 2015
Ken Kaneki’s had a really bad date. The fascinating girl Rize is a perfect match… until she reveals herself to be a flesh-eating ghoul and a steel beam falls on them both. Medics put some of Rize’s organs into Kaneki’s body to save his life, but in doing so, have made him a half-ghoul. Now Kaneki faces the terrible fate of pretending to live a normal life while trying to control his gruesome new hunger. Tokyo Ghoul is violent and gory, but offers a refreshingly unique type of monster that’s just as terrifying as any vampire or zombie.
Here’s another classic. Light Yagami happens upon a notebook that a shinigami (god of death) dropped from the heavens. If you write the name of a person and their manner of death in the book, that person will die as written. Yagami realizes that he has the power to change the world and punish wrongdoers, but this is no superhero movie. Some of the public thinks he’s a hero, but others call him a murderer and question his right to play god. As the police start to hunt down this mysterious new serial killer, Yagami starts crossing the line between right and wrong. The first 26 episodes is a thrilling game of cat-and-mouse. After episode 26 though…you may or may not want to continue. You’ll see why.
Honorable Mention: Death Parade
Technically, Death Parade should have been in my supernatural anime article, but I didn’t know about this new title until after the piece was published. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. When two people die at the same time, they are brought to a bar that serves both cocktails and judgment. The pair must play a game to unlock the darkest parts of their humanity for the arbiters to see. When the game is complete, the arbiters decide who is reincarnated and who’s soul is sent to the void. It’s not particularly scary, but watching each player’s story unfold is so enticing. It’s hard to watch just one episode.
What are your favorite creepy, frightening, or down right scary anime to watch during the Halloween season? Let us know!
Feature image credit: FUNimation