Crunchyroll is one of the biggest anime platforms in North America, hosting thousands upon thousands of titles on its service and covering everything from classic series to the latest seasonal anime. However, due to its ever-shifting catalog and the sometimes chaotic nature of anime distribution and licensing, it can often be hard to know what’s on Crunchyroll, especially if you’re looking for something specific.
But don’t worry. If you’re craving something chilling, here are the thirteen best horror anime you can currently watch on Crunchyroll.
13. Tokyo Ghoul
For those who like their seinen with a bit of horror, you could do much worse than the supernatural series Tokyo Ghoul. It follows Ken Kaneki, a college student who narrowly survives a deadly encounter with his date, Rize Kamishiro, who turns out to be a man-eating ghoul.
After being taken to the hospital in critical condition., Kaneki discovers he underwent surgery that changed him into a half-ghoul. This was accomplished because Rize’s organs were transferred into his body, so he must consume human flesh to survive, just as ghouls do. In his new life as a half-ghoul, he is taken in by the ghouls who run the coffee shop Anteiku. It is difficult for him to fit into the ghoul society, as well as keep his identity hidden from his human companions, especially from Hideyoshi Nagachika, his best friend.
With Kaneki’s journey as the protagonist, this series thrives because of the main character’s development and psychological profile. The contrast between light and darkness is the element that shines brightest in this series. This anime can be dark and moody, so the little moments of lightheartedness are genuinely endearing. They make you recognize how precious levity truly is, giving one more reason among many to start watching Tokyo Ghoul.
12. Hellsing Ultimate
An original video animation (OVA) released from Feb. 10, 2006, to Dec. 26, 2012, the Hellsing Ultimate series is a darkly imaginative, thought-provoking anime based on the manga Hellsing. Located in Great Britain, the Hellsing Organization is a clandestine organization that is dedicated to preventing supernatural threats from occurring. It begins with one such vampire ravaging an English village and turning its inhabitants into “ghouls.” As a result, Hellsing sends its most powerful operative, Alucard, to deal with the situation.
To kill the vampire, Alucard shoots through Seras Victoria, the last survivor of the police force sent to handle the situation to save her. As Seras bleeds out, Alucard makes a deal with her: He can save her life…but only if she agrees to become a vampire herself. Seras agrees, and Alucard turns her. She becomes the newest Hellsing member shortly thereafter. As Seras adjusts to life as a vampire in Hellsing’s employ, she unravels the mystery of the artificial vampires and the mass-produced undead known as FREAKs.
Hellsing Ultimate is home to one of the strongest vampires in any genre, Alucard, and his abilities are vividly illustrated. The protagonists are varied and distinct, while the voice actors have been carefully chosen to give the characters a sense of life. Character development is also quite strong, while the violence and action are a sight to behold. Vampire enthusiasts should definitely give this one a try.
Based on the manga written and illustrated by Tomoki Izumi, Mieruko-chan was animated by Passione. The series follows Miko Yotsuya, a high-school girl who can see ghosts. These horrible spirits lurk everywhere, keen to terrify anyone they interact with. Miko, unable to get rid of her power, ignores the ghosts, presuming they can’t do anything if she refuses to pay attention to them, leading to loads of weird situations as the supernatural and the mundane collide.
A fun horror comedy, Mieruko-chan is a fun experience for those who want a more gentle experience.
10. The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window
Based on the manga series written and illustrated by Tomoko Yamashita, The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window is a mesmerizing fusion of horror, mystery, and boy’s love. The series follows Kosuke Mikado, a man who can see ghosts. Kosuke is terrified of these ghosts and does his best to ignore them, trying to focus on his job as a bookstore clerk.
One day, an exorcist called Rihito Hiyakawa comes into the store, and Rihito learns he can enter Kosuke’s body, allowing him to see and exorcise ghosts. Rihito and Kosuke soon start working together, only to find themselves entangled in a massive mystery.
A fun blend of genres, The Night Beyond the Tricornered Window is an excellent show for those who like a little romance with their ghosts.
9. Parasyte: the maxim
Based on the manga written and illustrated by Hitoshi Iwaaki, Parasyte -the maxim- has quickly cemented itself as a cult classic. Following the point of view of high-school student Shinichi Izumi, the catalyst for the series is when an alien race called Parasites land on Earth and quickly start taking over the local population by entering their bodies. One such parasite tries to do this to Shinichi, but he wakes up in time, and the creature ends up stuck in his right hand instead. Due to this, both Shinichi and the Parasite retain their separate consciousnesses, forcing them to form an uneasy alliance as they fight the other parasites that now want to kill both of them.
Parasyte: The Maxim is packed full of excellent body horror, paired with a gripping plot, which makes it a riveting watch from start to finish.
8. Junji Ito Collection
Junji Ito needs no introduction. The legendary horror manga writer and illustrator has created several legendary tales and has moved into the anime realm many times. The Junji Ito Collection contains 14 episodes that adapt several of Ito’s most famous horror tales.
While fans will debate if Ito’s transcendental brilliance can be perfectly captured outside of the manga medium, this anime collection is a great starting point for those who want to dip their toes into Ito’s catalog and don’t know exactly where they want to start.
7. The Garden of Sinners
Based on the light novel series written by Kinoko Nasu and illustrated by Takashi Takeuchi, The Garden Of Sinners is a dark fantasy horror series made by Ufotable, a studio with a track record full of gorgeous animation. The story follows Shiki Ryougi, a teenage girl who acquired something called the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception after an accident. This allows her to see the strings of mortality that hold the world together. However, the accident also gave her amnesia, leaving her very confused.
Shiki is then thrown into a series of supernatural mysteries that help her learn about herself and her forgotten past. A chilling thriller with neat lore elements, The Garden Of Sinners has a fantastic and gripping atmosphere that is worth experiencing.
Based on the popular manga series written and illustrated by Kei Sanbe, Erased follows Satoru Fujinuma, a man who acquires a supernatural ability called Revival. When his life is under threat, this ability causes him to jump back in time.
However, when Satoru’s mother is murdered, he is sent 18 years into the past. This trip gives Satoru the chance to solve the mystery of his mother’s murder. It also allows him to solve a kidnapping that claimed the lives of several of his childhood friends, and a girl he liked specifically. This dark thriller is a very emotional journey, with a clear beginning, middle, and end, that many anime enthusiasts find enjoyable.
5. Ghost Hunt
Based on Fuyumi Ono’s light novel series, Ghost Hunt was animated by legendary animation studio J.C.Staff. The series follows high schooler Mai Taniyama, who has lived a quiet life until the moment she becomes involved with Kazuya Shibuya, the manager of the Shibuya Psychic Research group. When Mai breaks one of the group’s cameras, she is forced to work with them to pay off the debt, causing her to get wrapped up in a series of supernatural mysteries. However, as these mysteries progress, Mai learns she might have some abilities she had no idea about.
A fun series with some very creepy moments, Ghost Hunt is a fantastic show for viewers who want some gentle spooks and a fun mystery.
One of the most infamous horror anime to date, Another is based on the novel by Yukito Ayatsuji. Animated by P.A. Works, the series follows Kōichi Sakakibara, a young boy who joins Yomiyama North Middle School’s class 3-3 when he moves in with his grandparents. However, he soon learns that Class 3-3 is haunted by a mysterious curse. When local people start to die in mysterious and horrific circumstances, Kōichi is forced to try and work out how to stop the curse from causing more deadly havoc and trauma.
Another must-watch series featuring some very intense, Final Destination-like kills, and stomach-churning sound design, Another is a terrifying experience that works on several levels. The series is packed with gore and genuinely disturbing concepts that will stick with you long after the series ends.
3. Made in Abyss
At first glance, Made in Abyss appears like a wholesome anime, with cute character styles and gorgeous animation. Unlike some of these other entries, Made in Abyss is primarily a fantasy-adventure series that, all of a sudden, sucker punches you with the most gut-wrenching horror when you’ve already grown comfortable and complacent in the story. Around Episode 10 of Season 1, if you’re not devoid of feeling, Made in Abyss will pull and twist at your heartstrings. As a Redditor put it:
“Watch at your own risk”, is a just warning to give anyone brave to go into the depths of the Abyss with our two protagonists. The series’ soundtrack is also something out of this world, which befits one of the most spectacular settings to be seen in an anime. Although it might not be for the faint of heart, Made in Abyss is a journey worth witnessing with one’s own eyes and with as few prior spoilers as possible.
Made in 2015, Kowabon is a fascinating miniseries with a unique visual style. The series contains 13 three-minute episodes, each telling a different story about a ghost tormenting someone. Each of these stories is shown via an in-universe camera, from webcams to security cameras, giving a fascinating, almost voyeuristic found-footage feeling to the show.
However, what stands out the most is Kowabon’s rotoscoped animation. This gives everything a strange vibe, recognizable while also being otherwordly, which only helps to intensify the scares, meaning each short will leave you shaken despite its short length.
1. Theatre of Darkness: Yamishibai
Starting in 2013, Theatre of Darkness: Yamishibai has been running for over 118 episodes. Each episode of Theatre of Darkness: Yamishibai is only four minutes long, and each tells a different ghost story, many of which are based on Japanese myths and legends. This means that the show has a lot of variety with scares of all kinds, from ghosts to monsters.
What makes Theatre of Darkness: Yamishibai stand out is its visual style. It is designed to emulate the look of Kamishibai, a form of performance that became popular in the 1930s. Usually performed on street corners, Kamishibai features a narrator telling a story using a series of hand-painted wooden boards as illustrations. The animators of Yamishibai did a fantastic job of emulating this visual style, which helped it create many memorable scenes.
In addition, the writing is superb, with the stories able to leave a lasting impact despite only running for a few minutes each time. In fact, the concise nature of the stories is often to their advantage, leaving the hauntings mostly unexplained, adding to the fear factor. So if you’re looking for quick scares, Theatre of Darkness: Yamishibai is precisely what you need.