It is officially spooky season! That wonderful time of the year when we get into the mood for spooky and macabre things as we countdown the days to Halloween. If you are like me, you most likely enjoy watching shows and movies that lean a bit more into magic, psychological-thriller, dark fantasy, and horror genres. As a lover of anime, I especially enjoy watching series that are all within these categories.
Thankfully there is plenty of anime that is perfect for watching if you want to get into the spooky spirit too. Some of my personal favorites include The Promised Neverland, Castlevania, and Blood, The Last Vampire, which are perfect anime to watch. Check out my list below for more anime to watch to get in the mood for the spooky season. From cute and comedic to dark and horrific, this list consists of anime I highly recommend.
Little Witch Academia
Little Witch Academia kicks off this list off with something light, cute, and magical. The series follows Akko Kagari, an ordinary girl who joins the renowned witch school, Luna Nova Academy, for witch girls. Ever since Akko was younger and went to a magic show hosted by the famous witch, Shiny Chariot. Mesmerized and inspired by Chariot’s performance, she becomes determined to become a cool witch just like her hero. The only problem is that she is a bit ignorant about magic; nonetheless, that doesn’t stop her from working towards her dream.
Next on the list is Soul Eater. Set in the Shinigami Technical School for weapon meisters, the series revolves around 3 duos. These pairs are a partnership between a weapon meister and a human weapon. Trying to reach a ranking of “Death Scythe” (and thus fit for use by the Shinigami), they must collect the souls of 99 evil humans and 1 witch. However, forces outside of the Academy make it more challenging of feat causing trouble worldwide.
The Promised Neverland
The Promised Neverland centers on Grace Field House orphanage children, Emma, Ray, and Norman. The children’s lives are suddenly turned upside down when they learn that their loving caretaker, Mama, has actually been secretly raising them like cattle to be fed to demons. Having learned the truth, children decide they have to escape the only home they have ever known. Now they must pool their resources and work together if they want to escape with all of their family. One misstep could mean sudden death if Mama finds out, but it is worth the risk to escape the dark and twisted fate that awaits them.
In Tokyo Ghoul, a Tokyo college student, Ken Kaneki, is attacked by a ghoul, a superpowered human who feeds human flesh. Kaneki barely survives the brutal attack thanks to an organ transplant. However, the organ donor just so happened to be from the ghoul that attacked him. Now he has become part ghoul and must learn how to eat human flesh to survive. He meets the helpful ghouls that manage the coffee shop “Anteiku” who take him in and teach him how to deal with his new life as a half-ghoul.
In Castlevania, vampire Count Dracula’s wife is wrongfully accused of witchcraft and burned at stake in Wallachia. Dracula declares that humankind will pay with their lives for killing his wife. He summons an army of demons that quickly overruns Wallachia, causing the people to live lives of fear, distrust, and despair. The outcast monster hunter Trevor Belmont combats Dracula’s forces, with the help of the magician Sypha Belnades and Dracula’s dhampir son Alucard. Together with their power combined powers and strength, they seek to save humankind by killing Dracula.
Seis Manos takes place in the fictional town of San Simon in 1970s Mexico. The series follows three orphans, Isabella, Jesus, and Silencio, who are adopted and trained in Chinese martial arts by their mentor, Chui. When their mentor is suddenly killed, they join forces with an American DEA agent and a Mexican policewoman to avenge his murder. They soon find themselves plunged into a dark mystery involving demonic powers, drug cartels, ancient rituals, and blood sacrifice.
Demon Slayer: Kimestsu No Yaiba
Demon Slayer: Kimestsu No Yaiba takes place in Taisho-era Japan and follows a kindhearted boy named Tanjiro Kamado. He tries to make a living for his family selling charcoal. Tanjiro’s peaceful life was suddenly snatched away from him when a demon slaughters his entire family. The only survivor from the attack is his little sister Nezuko, who has been transformed into a demon herself. Now Tanjiro sets out on a dangerous journey to become a Demon Slayer to avenge his family and find a way to save Nezuko’s humanity.
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress takes place during the Industrial Revolution. When a mysterious and rapidly spreading virus transforms infected humans into revived aggressive undead corpses known as kabane, the kabane can’t be defeated unless their heads are severed, or a layer of iron protects the glowing golden heart is pierced. Fortress-like stations are used to shelter people from the kabane. Steam locomotives called hayajirō are used to access the stations. One day, a hayajirō is hijacked by the kabane crashes into the Aragane Station. Where Ikoma, a young engineer, uses the opportunity to test his anti-kabane weapon but is infected in the process. While he manages to resist the virus, he becomes a kabaneri, a human-kabane hybrid. Assisted by Mūmei, another kabaneri who appears to help them, they set out to seek shelter elsewhere, fighting the hordes of kabane along the way.
Corpse Party: Tortured Souls
Another spooky anime, Corpse Party: Tortured Souls is a four-episode anime OVA based on the Japanese video game Corpse Party. A group of schoolmates from Kisaragi Academy performs a friendship charm called “Sachiko Ever After” for their classmate Mayu Suzumoto, transferring to another school. The charm was supposed to unite and strengthen their friendship. Instead, the group of friends gets teleported to the mysterious Heavenly Host Elementary School where they are visited by the school’s murdered students’ spirits. But it’s not just the students’ spirits that visit them, the murdered students’ killer is at the school too.
Devilman Crybaby follows Akira Fudo, a timid boy that learns from his best friend, Ryo Asuka, that demons who have been frozen in ice for millions of years demons will invade the world. The humans are hopeless against this oncoming threat of the demons. So Ryo tasks Akira to merge with one of these demons to fight back and save humanity. After successfully merging Akira becomes Devilman, a being with the power of a demon but with a human heart
In Devils Line vampires, also referred to as devils, live and walk among humans. They blend into the human population so well it is nearly impossible to tell who is or isn’t one. When a college student, Tsukasa Taira, is rescued from an attack by a devil by Yuuki Anzai, a half-devil who utilizes his devil-born strengths as a member of a shadowy police task force specialized in devil-related crime in Tokyo. A connection begins to form between Anzai and Taira, as he continues to keep guard over her. However, as the two get closer Anzai fears their relationship will test his rule of never drinking human blood.
Blood: The Last Vampire
Blood: The Last Vampire follows the main protagonist Saya is a Japanese vampire slayer who hunts bat-like creatures called chiropterans with her katana. On her next mission, Saya goes undercover as a student at a high school on a US military base in 1960s Japan. Saya learns that at least one chiropteran has infiltrated the airbase. She has to find the creature and kill it quickly. Otherwise, it will take another human life to feed again, go into hibernation, and become untraceable.
Last on the spooky anime list is Parasyte. The series follows Shinichi Izumi, a high school-aged boy whose right hand becomes possessed by an alien parasite named Migi. Migi initially intended on taking full control of Shinichi’s body bit was only able to partially possess him. They soon find themselves in a battle against other parasites who eat humans. Now Migi and Shinichi have to learn how to coexist together in a symbiotic parasitic relationship if they want to survive. However, as a side-effect of fusing with Migi, Shinichi becomes distant and unsympathetic. Shinichi also gradually loses the ability to empathize with others and feel very little emotion. As the bond with Migi becomes stronger Shinichi begins to think more like a parasite.
So whether you’re in the mood for an anime that is dark and scary, light and fluffy, or just a straight-up horrific psychological thriller this list has a bit of it all. I highly recommend giving any of these anime a try especially if there are some on this list that you haven’t seen before. Any of these anime will make great additions for any anime lovers or newcomers watchlist this spooky season.
13 Anime to Watch For Spooky Season synopsises were individually written to avoid spoilers.