[Top 15] Horror Anime With Good Storylines

Horror Anime With Good Story
Perfect Blue is a shocking, scary tale that will keep your mind racing far after its ended.

It’s hard to be scared by something that is inconsistent in its plot, storylines that go nowhere, or a general bad quality anime. To really be scared by something, to a level where you still shiver about it years later, you have to be drawn in to begin with. To find a show so scary but yet so good that you get sucked in and want to see what happens next is a blessing (and maybe also a curse if you're a bit of a chicken.) Sometimes horror anime can be led on by commonly seen tropes or depend on gore with no real fright context, but not today! So get ready for some top tier storytelling because we’re about to dive into the Top 15 best horror anime with good storylines.

15) Death Note

Although Death Note isn’t much of a horror, more of a thriller, it fits into this list perfectly for its amazing storytelling.The plot follows teenage boy Light Yagami who finds a notebook, after touching the notebook he begins to see a shinigami named Ryuk who tells him whoever's name he writes in “death note” will die. Light, who dawns the name Kira, goes on a quest to rid the world of criminals. This series takes exciting twists and turns as local detectives, and one very famous detective try to figure out Kira’s identity and how he’s killing these criminals

Light Yagami's shinigami, Ryuk.

14) Boogiepop Phantom

5 years prior to the events in the story, we learn of multiple murders that took place, and ultimately turned the city on its head. Now it seems as if it's starting again. People tell stories of “Boogiepop” the personification of death, and the blame falls on her for the death of local highschool students. The structure of this anime is a very interesting one, taking advantage of interesting angles and showing scenes from the perspective of many different characters.

Boogiepop Phantom cover art. Boogiepop has little to no expression on her face.

13) Elfen Lied

This gore ridden anime has certainly not strayed away from controversy over the years. Elfen Lied follows the story of Lucy, a Diclonuis which are similar to humans except they bear horns and psychic powers. After she escapes a government facility that was experimenting on her, 2 teens take her into their care and ultimately have to deal with the fallout. This story filled with government conspiracy and murderous rage will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Elfen Lied cover art. We can see Lucy's horns and her body is soaked in blood.

12) Pet Shop of Horrors

We love our pets, and as cool as a shapeshifting pet sounds... the aftermath maybe not so much. The shortest series on this list, with only 4 episodes, Pet Shop of Horrors starts out with an interesting man named Count D who runs a pet shop in Chinatown. He not only sells normal pets, but he also sells interesting creatures. If you happen to buy one of his special creatures and you break the rules of his contract, it will most definitely not be a happy ending for you and your new furry friend. 

Count D and one of his many magical animals.

11) Mononoke

Taking place in feudal Japan, The Medicine Seller is tasked with hunting down mononoke. It is a very dangerous task that requires him to study ins and outs of the mononoke and their reasoning. This anime is rich with Japanese history and unique artwork.

A close up on The Medicine Seller, you can see the impecible artwork for this anime displayed here.

10)  Ghost Hunt

Mai Taniyama is a first year highschool student who is super into telling ghost stories with her friends. One day after going into an abandoned building, she comes across ghost hunter and psychic Kazuya Shibyua. After breaking his camera, Mai becomes his assistant to pay off the debt. With all the crazy ghost hunting, Mai starts to realize she may just have psychic powers of her own. 

Ghost Hunt cover art, The shocked expression on Mai's face and Kazuya's use of psychic powers let you know your in for a good one.

 

9) Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories

Even though the storyline of an anthology tends to change with each episode, when you find an anthology where each epsiode is so good it deserves to make the cut. Yamishibai focuses on a strange man who wears a yellow mask and comes to the local playground at sundown to tell the local children scary ghost stories based on real japanese urban legends.The man in the mask uses a traditional kamishibai to present the stories, giving the art style of the anime a paper-esque look. If you are a fan of Japanese folklore you will surely need to check out this masterpiece, do be warned though the episodes are very short (only a few mins each) but it is still worth a watch.

A young girl named Honoka, choking and growing strange after playing a game of Calling Crane
 

8) Paranoia Agent

After many citizens of Tokyo are attacked by roller skates wearing, bent baseball bat toting child news spreads like wildfire and the citizen’s are terrified. The media dubs this mystery boy “Lil Slugger” as none of his victims can remember his face. It is up to detectives to piece together the mystery and find out who's really behind these serial attacks.

A victim of Lil Slugger who was killed at his office, will the rest of his coworkers make it out alive?

7) Higurashi: When They Cry

Right after Keiichi Maebara moves into a new village, the village prepares for the yearly festival. He also learns of the rumors and legends surrounding the village and the festival, which involve murders and missing people. Everyone is very hush hush about this as he starts asking around to his new friends and he wonders if they are to be trusted. He also wonders if his own life may be in danger.

Shion, manically laughing after the dead of another character.
 

6)  Shiki

In rural Japan lies a small town named Sotoba. Soon after the Kirishiki family moves into a big castle on the outskirts of town, suspicious deaths keep happening. The dean of the local hospital smells something fishy and begins investigating which leads him down a rabbit hole filled with vampires.

Sunaki Kirishiki has blacked out eyes, due to being a “shiki” also known as a corpse demon

5) Serial Experiments Lain

Known for the complexity of its plot, Serial Experiments Lain focuses on Lain Iwakura, an antisocial girl who gets sucked into The Wired. The Wired is very similar to the internet but a bit more complex. In The Wired, Lain believes she has found “God” and soon she begins uncovering mystery after mystery. But after she knows too much, strange men start following her wherever she goes and asking her what she knows. We watch as Lain’s consciousness gets distorted, as we try to navigate what is real in real life and within The Wired. 

Serial Experemnts Lain cover art. The way Mei is staring at the viewer is very unsettling.
 

4) Parasyte: The Maxim 

In a world where worm-like parasites come to earth and feed on humans by entering their noses or ears, 16 year old Shinichi finds himself in quite a predicament when one of these parasites drills itself into his hand, which thankfully doesn’t end up controlling Shinichi’s brain. Shinichi and his parasite then team up to defend themselves and stop other parasites. 

Shinichi and his parasite, Migi, who is attached to his hand.
 

3) Monster

In the 1990's Germany renowned surgeon Kenzo Tenma had it all, until one day he was tasked with saving the life of a boy named Johan Liebert who was shot in the head. All of a sudden he was asked to switch patients and operate on the town's mayor, who was in critical condition . Feeling the boy's life was just as important as the mayors, Dr.Tenma rejects this proposal, leaving the mayor in the hands of a colleague where he sadly dies. After almost losing his job, the hospital director and two other superiors mysteriously die…Dr.Tenma goes on a quest to find his former patient, of whom he is convinced is a serial killer on the loose.

Dr.Kenzo Tenma is on the hunt to find his former patient.
 

2) Another

After transferring to a very odd and gloomy new school, Kouichi Sakakibara notices a strange girl with an eyepatch in his class who nobody talks to. Even the teacher acts like she doesn’t exist. After befriending her, after other students advise against it he gets closer and closer to the truth behind class 3-3. He soon realizes there are darker forces at hand and it may be up to him to try to break the curse surrounding his peers and himself once and for all. 

Mei and Kouichi standing on the cover art for Another. What could Mei's eyepatch be hiding?
 

 1) Tokyo Ghoul 

After Tokyo becomes a vicious city, where bloodthirsty creatures called “Ghouls” now coexist with humans, college student Ken Kadecki gets attacked by a girl he was starting to have feelings for. After waking up from surgery, he realises he has become a half Ghoul himself. He must find a way to fit in between two totally different worlds and finds himself living a secretive double life. Many obstacles come his way however, including now having a hunger for human flesh.


Ken Kadecki after being turned half ghoul.

 

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