What truly makes something scary or spooky? There is a basic formula for scaring the socks off most people. But what truly defines horror? Is it the hack and slash bloodfest or maybe the psychological thriller or it can be ghosts, ghouls, and goblins – to each their own? Some might find Barney eerily creepy while finding no fault in Jason Voorhees. To sum it up we are all different and we perceive situations differently.
Here we go my top five picks for horror anime.
5. Kakurenbo: Hide and Seek
Director: Shuhei Morita
Writer: Shuhei Morita
Kakurenbo comes in at the length of a normal anime episode, however, this is a one-shot Ova. Although short this masterpiece in the horror genre does not waste the 25-minute runtime. From start to finish you will find yourself rooting for characters that you don’t really know anything about. The film does not spend time in character building or backstories. For this reason, the eeriness and the general atmosphere in this show hit all the spooky markers one could hope for. The game of “Otokoyo” is played with fox masks and can only start when seven children are assembled. This is no ordinary game of “hide and seek”, and the children soon realize why everyone who dares plays this game goes missing.
Spook factor: 7.5
4. Junji Ito Collection
Studio: Studio Deen
Director: Shinobu Tagashira
Writer: Kaoru Sawada
Junji Ito has a different take on horror especially in this series, o how the mundane can scare the socks off you. How? you might wonder, well take normal vegetable oil not scary in any way shape, or form, well not if you leave it up to Junji Ito who can take a thing that most people use daily and turn it into something that might make you turn the lights back on. This is an anthology series following different stories over the 12 episode run. You might find the first episode underwhelming and feeling this is more in line with a horror-comedy, but tread carefully, Junji Ito Collection has stories that you would not want to encounter in your worst nightmares.
Before watching episode 9 of this series I would recommend watching the two short episodes (OVA) of Tomie.
Spook Factor: 8
3. Higurashi: When they cry – GOU
Director: Keiichiro Kawaguchi
Writer: Naoki Hayashi
The When they Cry series has been around for many years, and GOU isn’t a direct remake of the original from 2006. However, this horror anime isn’t what you would expect. The opening scene will have you scratching your head thinking right of the bat (no pun intended) and then it falls into a slice of life type story. But in reality, this anime is not what it seems. It does not only offer brutal death scenes but some truly psychological elements as well. Despite, seeming full of life with bright colors and friendly characters this shows leans more to dark and depressing. A must-watch. Keiichi moves to the seemingly peaceful village of Hinamizawa. But a feeling of dread surrounds the peaceful setting.
Spook Factor: 8.5
2 Ghost Hunt
Studio: J.C Staff
Director: Akira Mono
Writer: Tsutomu Kamishiro
Ghost Hunt is a rarity among horror, with a unique take on ghost hunting and different religious ways of exorcising spirits, this feels like what live-action reality shows based on the premise should be. You probably won’t have a care in the world if the lights are on or off. But for some, this is going to be relatable and as the saying goes truth is stranger than fiction. Filled with scary moments and some thought-provoking scenes. They rely heavily on the technological side of ghost hunting and the series takes a more adult approach to the supernatural. This is a very enjoyable show. The series follows a new case every couple of episodes which in turn makes you come back for more. It follows Mai a girl who loves the supernatural and latent psychic abilities that leads her to join a supernatural investigation team.
Spook Factor: 9
Ghost Hunt Trailer
Corpse Party – this show was banned for being too brutal
Perfect Blue – Paranoia takes the centre stage in this unsettling movie
Midori – This was banned all over the world one of the most controversial anime films ever made
Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost stories – From supernatural stories to urban legends this is one freaky show.
Parasyte – This show is heavy the atmosphere and the dread with some out-of-this-world brutality.
Studio: P.A Works
Director: Tsutomu Mizushima
Writer: Ryou Higaki
My top pick and probably one of the best horror anime`s ever created. This show despite being eerie, creepy, gory I could go on is brilliant. You will come to the horror fest and stay for the brilliant and intriguing story. On the one hand, this is filled with despair on the other it has hope. The pacing of this show is remarkable, giving you enough to think you know what is happening however there is a twist around every corner. The show hits you from the get-go and keeps you at the edge of your seat. If you want to watch a brilliant anime for Halloween you can not go wrong with Another. The main protagonist Kouichi Sakakibara transfers to Yomiyama North Middle School. After joining class 3-3 he learns of a deadly curse attached to classroom 3-3.
Spook factor: 10