10 Horror Anime Series Where You Never Really See The Threat


While many anime immediately flaunt their horror elements, there are those where those elements creep up on the audience out of nowhere. Be it crybaby devilman Where Serial Experiments Lain, the horror genre has been wildly explored in anime. It has grown enormously, sending a shiver down the spine of anyone who dares to look.

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These series don’t just use blood and gore, but carefully scripted characters with their individual eccentricities. There’s no shortage of anime that are gorefests with threats ready to pop out of their official posters. However, there are subtle and picturesque streaks with no overt threats visible anywhere.

ten A Decision Haunts Dr. Tenma Forever (Monster)

Monster follows Dr. Tenma, a neurosurgeon in West Germany, through a series of harrowing events. His life is turned upside down by the consequences of the choice he made between operating on the mayor and a child. Suspected of crimes he did not commit, Dr. Tenma has been on the run for years.

Near the end of the 74-episode series, viewers learn about the real monster. Monster delves deeper into the psyche of the characters. Keep viewers on the edge of their seat, Monster perfectly veils the real threat until the end.

9 Keiichi’s curiosity leads him to a terrible fate (Higurashi: When They Cry)

Residents of Hinamiza in Higurashi when they mourn Gou

Set in the fictional town of Hinamizawa, Higurashi: When they cry has a quaint and realistic animation style that successfully masks the horrors involved. Curiosity takes over Keiichi Maebara, a new resident of the town. He begins to investigate the deaths and disappearances that have occurred in recent years.

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A true form of psychological horror, when they cry explores the nuances of alternate realities that are equally gruesome. Dealing with multiple story arcs (while the real cause is revealed later), it is intimately hidden within the thick, mysterious atmosphere of the setting.

8 The Journey to the Afterlife Isn’t All Fun and Games (Death Parade)

Death Parade decim Kurokami no Onna leaning against each other

Many wonder what happens after death. death parade shows exactly that. People who die are sent to mysterious bars where they participate in various death games. The outcome of the games determines who is the soul that reincarnates and who is banished to the void.

Place held by referees, who are also the judges, this bar reveals the secrets leading to the death of the participants. death parade has no overt element of stereotypical horror. However, the desperation and manipulation of the characters create a nice psychological horror. Although the threat looms, it is never shown.

7 Technology can literally become a nightmare (Future Diary)

Yuki and Yuno kiss in the Future Diary

Yukiteru Amano has an obsessive habit of documenting his life. He could never have known that this obsession would make all the difference between life and death. Suddenly thrown into an agonizing dystopia that is Future Diaryhe tries to make his way through the chaos to a pleasant future.

Deus, the god of space and time, is Amano’s friend. Deus weaves a web spanning three worlds and shatters interdimensional barriers so he can die peacefully with a successor in place. While Deus is the root of all chaos, Yuno Gasai’s character adds to the layers of the plot.

6 Criminal rehabilitation takes a new turn (Deadman Wonderland)

deadman in wonderland Poster

Featuring a prison built at ground zero of Tokyo’s most horrific earthquake, deadman wonderland is an institution built to raise funds. The money is earmarked for rebuilding the city, accumulated by staging death matches, called Carnival Corpse, between inmates. Anonymous and wealthy spectators pay huge sums to see prisoners fighting to the death.

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Aside from unjustified incriminations, poisoned collars and death matches, the horror stems from the lack of control of the prisoners. This includes Ganta Igarashi, who is wrongfully imprisoned. The threat of total loss of life and control, although imminent, is never directly addressed.

5 The aftermath of a zombie apocalypse has never been so much fun (live at school!)

Love Live Nijigasaki Idol Club Key Art Anime

Yuki is a carefree high school girl who wants to make the most of her school life. Yuki Takeya is a member of the School Living Club along with her friends Kurumi Ebisuzawa, Yuri Wakasa, and Miki Naoki. In search of fun and interesting activities to do on a daily basis, she explores her school. Unbeknownst to her, she is constantly protected by her friends, who are the survivors of a horrific tragedy.

Masked in the jokes of school life and the personality of the main protagonist, School Live! talks about the terrible events that happened in the past. School Live! shows just how difficult it is to deal with the consequences.

4 JoJo fights all evil to save the Earth (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)

Following the various exploits of the Joestar family, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure tells the story of JoJo, a member of the Joestar family. Crossing generations, JoJo battles supernatural evils to protect herself and the entire world from a dreadful and horrifying future.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is packed with constant OP combat and power-ups. Although the villains are terrifying, the horror resulting from the consequences of their victory is never shown. Thus, allowing viewers to enjoy the action while contemplating: what if?

3 An ambiguous myth is the root of everything (Boogiepop Phantom)

Boogiepop Ghost deals with the theme of addiction, mental health and paranormal beings. Boogiepop Ghost dive into city life after a mysterious ray of light appears in the sky. A month later, as some try to adjust to their particular new abilities, people begin to disappear. Boogiepop Phantom is deemed responsible for everything.

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While most characters meet a truly gruesome end, the real threat is never shown in Boogiepop Ghost. Treated simply as a myth or an old wives’ tale, the Boogiepop Phantom makes a small appearance towards the end.

2 A lizard-headed mutant is the least troublesome element (Dorohedoro)

Kaiman and Nikaido from Dorohedoro

A post-apocalyptic dystopia, Dorohedoro follows the journey of Hole resident Caiman. Cayman searches for a wizard whose magic caused him to lose his memory and lose his head from a lizard. On a quest to find his true identity, Caiman and his friend Nikaido unravel ancient feuds between various groups of wizards.

Set in a gruesome world filled with all kinds of violence and politics, Dorohedoro challenges gender and offers a new perspective on segregation and rebellion. The dreaded upheaval of society is a backdrop throughout Dorohedoro.

1 Being a genius isn’t always safe in this orphanage (The Promised Neverland)

Ray Emma Norman from The Promised Neverland

One of the best anime to go blind, The promised never-never land is on par with some of the best horror anime of all time. At first glance, The promised never-never land seems regular, focusing on the orphans of an orphanage. Quickly, The promised never-never land takes a sharp turn.

Through human trafficking, murder, conspiracy, etc., the mastermind is never revealed. Genius and cunning are constantly at odds, the very shock of the plot enough to give audiences goosebumps.

NEXT: 10 Non-Horrifying Anime That Still Managed To Scare Us

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