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The 5 best horror anime series on Netflix

Horror anime, you ask? 

The history of anime can be traced back to the early 20th century, but Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli revolutionised the genre with his ingenious and creative mindset. Ghibli films propagate “immersive realism”, which makes the films so all-encompassingly beautiful and enigmatic that they enrich their audience with every scene. 

However, anime is not only about the flowery sides of life and often has a terrifying and creepy premise that ends one down the dangerous rabbit hole of isolation, cynicism, disillusionment, paranoia, anxiety and genuine fear. With creepy music, eerie visuals and gruesome deaths, a lot of anime series are truly horrifying to watch. 

We, at Best of Netflix, decided to compile a list of the 5 best horror anime series on Netflix. 

The 5 best horror anime series on Netflix 

Castlevania (Warren Ellis, 2017-2021)

Ayami Kojima’s phenomenal work shows a beautiful blend of humour and horror. One of the best video game adaptations, this fantasy horror series has amassed a huge cult-like following. The show starts off with how Count Dracula avenges his wife’s death by unleashing his wrath in the form of bloodlust. 

Trevor Belmont decides to save humanity along with the help of Dracula’s son and another resourceful witch. Dracula is the tragic and romantic anti-hero whose innate humanness is juxtaposed against the horrors unleashed on humanity. 

Available: All regions

Devilman Crybaby (Masaki, Yuasa, 2018) 

In the wake of humanity being on the brink of destruction and demons being reawakened, a young demon boy who is pretty delicate and fragile is led into sparring against evil by his friend Ryo who is a character shrouded in absolute mystery. With splendidly beautiful visuals of bloodshed and monstrosity, the anime is absolutely legendary. 

A fine balance between the colours and action adds a certain beauty to the anime that is filled with a relatively simple plot of the world being overrun by demons. A ruthless and degenerate carnage ensues that shows intense bloodshed and a gory premise in a beautiful manner. 

Available: All regions

Death Note (Tetsuro Araki, 2006-2007) 

Intelligent, cynical and disillusioned, Light Yagami comes across a notebook that brings him in close contact with the angel of death, a Shinigami and holds in his hands the power to exterminate anyone in the world. What ensues is a dangerous game of nightmarish cat and mouse chase. 

As a Shounen horror anime, this series has a thrilling premise. Adapted from mainstream manga, the anime is bloody and violent, steeped in brutal action that also shows a range of well-developed characters. Pretty dark, the anime provides a cynical and chilling view of the world through the lens of a disturbing lead whose disconnectedness in this amoral world brings a strange sense of tranquillity.

Available: All regions

Another (Yukito Ayatsuji, Ryo Higaki, 2012)

Kouichi transfers to a classroom that shields within itself the deadly secret of a tragic incident that happened more than two decades back. He soon befriends a mysterious girl named Misaki whose story is quite intriguing.  

The anime is extremely creepy and the overall air of mystery and horror in the anime finds a perfect balance. Truly terrifying, the anime has a brilliant buildup that it manages to keep up throughout all the episodes which is quite a task!

Available: Netflix India, Netflix Canada, Netflix UK 

Parasyte: The Maxim (Kenichi Shimizu, Yang Byeong-Gi, 2014-2015) 

If body horror terrifies you, this anime will leave you scarred for life. Imagine watching an anime where a teen is infected by a monstrous parasite that resides inside and consumes humans. He has to cohabit with this parasite to survive as this hybrid version while dealing with horrors of his own. 

The anime abounds in silence, darkness and a strange hunger for souls. The parasitic invasion indicates a dangerous war amidst which the boy and his co-existing friend. The idea of having someone residing in your body is pretty terrifying and the anime makes good use of this trope and capitalises on it to a terrifying amount, often toying with the idea of autonomy and voluntary actions.  

Available: Netflix Canada, Netflix UK