Halloween is in one week! You’re stressing over how your cosplay isn’t coming together, your OTP just got shattered, the wig you needed still hasn’t been shipped, and you’re losing the strength and will to go on. Have no fear! I’ve put together a list of my top seven dark anime that will lighten your stress and propel you forward into the spirit of Halloween.
Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)
Genre: Action, Shonen, Drama
Summary: In a world where giant man-eating Titans roam the land and you must live behind a giant wall for safety, one young man has made it his life mission to destroy all Titans and avenge his mother’s brutal death. Young Eren Jaeger enlists with a group of friends in the military to fight off the Titans, but Eren is much more than just a normal soldier of the Scouting Legion: he is the last hope for humanity’s survival against extinction.
Why you should watch it: The show is slow to start as it must build the history of what happened to this quasi-post-apocalyptic world, but that is especially why you should watch it. Immerse yourself in the world of Attack on Titan and form an emotional connection with the characters. Watch as your friends die from these monstrous titans and feel how hope is all but lost. Join in the struggles of Eren Jaeger and his friends as they all try to survive and find a way to end this massacre.
Genre: Action, Supernatural, Horror, Humor, Fantasy
Summary: Rin and his twin brother Yukio Okumura live their normal life with a priest and his congregation, however that all changes when Satan attacks. Here’s the twist: Rin learns that he is the son of Satan! However, he chooses to become the ultimate exorcist in order to defeat Satan and avenge his slaughtered family. To control his new demon powers and become the best exorcist, Rin enrolls in True Cross Academy to hone his skills with other exorcists.
Why you should watch it: This show is a mix of demon fighting with a touch of light humor to ease the dark theme of the show. Rin is the hot headed character with a great sense of moral judgment, but being Satan’s son does put a downer on things. This is why I love Rin. He chooses to not let his father define who he is but rather shows how compassionate and strong-hearted he is. I highly recommend watching Blue Exorcist if you want a good plot with cute exorcists and hours of fun.
Genre: Action, Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Summary: Ganta, a middle school kid, is framed for the mass death of his middle school classmates by a mysterious man in red. Ganta’s sentence is to live the remainder of his life at Deadman Wonderland, a twisted prison amusement park. The inmates are forced to participate in Deathmatches in the hope that if they win so many they will be released (as if). Ganta, with the help of his newly found friends, try to escape the deathtrap of the Deadman Wonderland and seek out the man in red to deliver due justice.
Why you should watch it: Deadman Wonderland is anything but a fun place to go for fun. It’s dark, it’s crude, it’s twisted, it is down-right bloody, but that’s what makes it perfect. At times, it’ll make you wonder how society would even allow such a place to exist. It’ll make you want to turn your head away as you hear the blood curdling screams of the fallen convicts. It’ll make you come back for more. Watch as how Ganta tries to escape Deadman Wonderland and searches for the truth behind his imprisonment.
Genre: Action, Drama, Horror, Supernatural, Humor
Summary: Ceil Phantomhive, sole heir to the Phantomhive fortune and title of Her Majesty’s guard dog. With his mysterious demon butler, Sebastian, Ceil hunt criminals of the underworld in hopes of finding the murderer who killed off Ceil’s family and made him an orphan.
Why you should watch it: Black Butler is dark in the sense that Ceil Phantomhive and his servant Sebastian work as Queen Elizabeth’s “guard dogs” of the underworld. Ceil deals with the scum of the dark world so that Her Majesty can live care free without such worries. The show, though dark, also has light humor in it that brings you back to watch through all the gruesome deaths. But what is most appealing to the show is the demon Sebastian. Dark, mysterious, powerful, he’s a man with a mission and looks great in uniform. Watch this show and you’ll understand why Sebastian is “one hell of a butler.”
High School of the Dead
Genre: Action, Drama, Horror, Supernatural
Summary: High School of the Dead follows a group of teenage students fighting their way out of their zombie infested high school and hometown, searching for a safe haven to live out the zombie hordes.
Why you should watch it: High School of the Dead is the cliché zombie anime we’ve all been looking for. The show is overly dramatic at times, as with many zombie movies or shows are, and it’s almost comical to watch. But who doesn’t want to watch a bunch of teenagers play whack-a-zombie upside the head and shoot hordes of them down? That’s right, you want you. Watch this show to get that zombie taste in your mouth.
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Cop Show
Summary: In the future, the Sybil System reigns of the Pyscho-Pass System, which analyzes people’s crime coefficient (the chances of someone becoming a criminal). A high enough crime coefficient is evidence enough for the ultimate sentence: death. The Sybil System uses two types of detectives: Inspectors and Enforcers. Enforcers, who are ex-criminals, take out the bad guys while the Inspectors keep a tight leash on these ex-criminals. Their weapon of choice is the Dominator, the tool used to measure the person’s crime coefficient and render sentences. There is no trial, no jury, only the detectives and this perfect system to prevent crime…or so it seems?
Why you should watch it: Psycho Pass is the crime show that’s perfect to watch. Get into the mind of the criminal before they even know it themselves. Although this show may not be “scary” per say, it delves into grotesque crimes of the criminals, getting you up close and personal with murder, dismemberment, and just plain pyscho people.
Genre: Action, Drama, Supernatural, Horror
Summary: High school senior Saya Otonashi remembers little of her past. But when a mysterious man, Haji, shows up, her life is turned upside down as she must fight using her blood to stop the chiropteran vampires.
Why you should watch it: Blood+ is a classic in my eyes. Saya is a confused young woman who must fight her way to rid the world of the chiropteran vampires all while battling her amnesia that hides a dark past. The show, as the title suggests, is filled with blood, monsters, and lots of action. It’s a long anime, reaching about 50 episodes, but every episode is worth it. Discover the mysteries that Saya’s blood contains in Blood+.