[Top 10] Best Horror Anime with Female Leads

Horror Anime with Female Leads
Mima Kirigoe is one of the most recognizable female faces in anime horror.

Horror anime has some of the most fascinating storytelling out there filled with morbid plotlines, interesting yet heavy themes, and stunning (yet sometimes gorey) animation. We love horror anime, but what about spooky stories with impressive, strong lead women?

To the women who are out there fighting ghosts, stalkers or even their own minds to the bad girls themselves committing the crimes, this ones for you! So turn out the lights and grab some popcorn, and maybe a blanket to hide under if you get too scared, because here’s a list of the top 10 horror anime with female leads. 

10. Serial Experiments Lain

Lain Iwakura is a typical 14 year old loner who starts going on to The Wired, which is basically a weird version of the internet. After receiving an email from a classmate, who is supposed to be dead her life is changed forever. Lain’s dead classmate tells her she isn’t in fact dead but is alive within a virtual reality within The Wired, and that she has found God. Lain then goes on a journey to discover the disturbing truth about The Wired and her own reality.

Serial Experiements Lain cover art.

9. School Days

What at first seems like a typical drama anime, but then takes a much darker turn, School Days revolves around the love triangle between highschool students Makoto, Kotonoha and Sekai. Sekai becomes extremely jealous of Kotonoha, after she herself catches feelings for Makoto after a one time kiss. The deeper into the series you get the darker the themes really get, filled with lies, death, abuse, mutilation and more.

School Days cover art.

8. Bakemonogatari 

After highschool student Koyomi Araragi turns back into a human after being turned into a vampire for a short while, he still suffers with vampire powers which he uses to help others with supernatural abilities. His good friend Tsubasa helps him try to live a normal life through many escapades of demons, gods, and even a girl who appears to be weightless. Adapted from the popular Bakemonogatari manga, this series is broken up into episodic parts following the strange, supernatural life of these highschool students.

Senjougahara after falling from a dangerous height, being caught bt Araragi.

7. Perfect Blue

Sometimes fame can be terrifying, and that certainly is the case for former J-pop idol turned actress Mima Kirigoe. After an obsessed fan begins stalking her and sending her threatening letters and the difficulty of adjusting to her new role on a drama tv show, her paranoia increases and she struggles to distinguish reality from fiction. It only gets darker as people end up being murdered and Mima cannot tell if she is being framed or if she was the criminal the whole time…

Mima in her bathtub.

6. Another

Set in 1998, new student Koichi notices his new classmates act a bit strange, including his classmate Mei, who sits alone all day and is ignored by other students. Koichi quickly befriends Mei and she starts unraveling the curse that has been on their class since the untimely death of a student back in 1972. After the death of Misaki Yomiyama in 1979 his classmates acted as if he never died, even appearing in the class picture. Mei tells Koichi their class is doomed and students start dying one by one. Now it is up to them to stop the curse and find out the truth to what is happening to their classmates.

Cover art for Another, featuring main characters Mei and Koichi

5. Higurashi: When They Cry

Based on the popular visual novel of the same name, Higurashi: When They Cry is a dense anime about a character who isn’t what she appears to be on the outside, living in a town that is cursed. It is up to her and an ensemble cast to try to break the dark cycle that is plagued with tragedy and death. This may seem like a vague synopsis, but too much information will spoil the twists and turns this show takes. This story is filled with plot arcs and so much information, you may need to grab a corkboard and red string to help tie everything together, but once the big picture gets revealed you will be in for a shocking, gruesome story.

Shion maniacally laughs after witnessing the death of another character, something very out of character for her.

 4. Ghost Hunt

Everyone loves a good ghost story, right? So does highschool student Mai Taniyama. One day after exploring an abandoned building she heard one too many creepy tales about, she spots a camera inside the building. To her surprise, she finds that the camera belongs to Shibuya Kazuya and his assistant, two ghost hunters. After breaking the camera and also injuring the assistant, she is then hired as Shibuya’s new assistant to pay off the camera debt and assist him with ghost hunting. Their adventures take them on a wild ride as Mai ends up learning more about the paranormal and the psychic power she herself holds. 

Ghost Hunt cover art.

3. Highschool of the Dead

Post-apocalyptic horror has become very popular over the past couple decades. With plenty of movies, games and shows surrounding this topic, it's no shock that of course it would become prevalent in the anime scene as well. Highschool of the Dead focuses on a group of highschoolers, a school nurse, a former police officer, a little girl and a dog as they try to survive their zombie ridden town. Filled with characters who have impressive combat skills, weapons skills, and over-the-top brains this diverse cast maneuvering a zombie outbreak is sure to keep you on your toes!

Rei and Takashi, two main characters from High School of the Dead.

 2. Vampire Princess Miyu

Young vampire Miyu’s goal is to return back to a place called “The Darkness”. But first she must capture all the murderous demons, also called shinma, and return them to The Darkness first. Posing as a highschool student and with her trusty companion Larva at her side, she strives to uncover the mystery of her life. A 90’s classic loaded with tons of Japanese folk-lore and dark humor, Vampire Princess Miyu is a must watch!

Miyu using one of her fire attacks, which send shinma’s back to the darkness.

1. Jigoku Shoujo (Hell Girl)

Although this is an anthology series, so her role as a main character is a bit different than others on this list, Ai Enma was born in the 1600’s and lived a tragic life. She and her parents became a village sacrifice, Ai was to be buried alive and sworn revenge even in death. After getting revenge on her village, she was punished by The Master of Hell and made a pact with him to become a messenger of hell, a hell girl. People who have been tormented or extremely hurt by others can summon her through an odd website and ask her to send those who hurt them to hell, for a small fee of course. This series explores many stories of the people Ai comes in contact with, and Ai herself. 

Hell Girl cover art.

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