Many people are scared of the dark and for good reason. You never know what may be hiding in the darkness waiting for you. The darkness can be creepy and unsettling, but it can also be beneficial when trying to increase your enjoyment of an anime. Horror anime and psychological anime can certainly be made better by turning off a few lights. Today, we are going to be looking at the Top 10 anime to watch in the dark. Each anime will feature a different and unique take on their respective genres and will have different aspects that make them perfect to be watched in the dark. Some of the anime will be horror filled stories that will creep you out, while some of the stories will be gore filed action anime.
10. Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin (Rainbow)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 7, 2010 to September 29, 2010
Mario Minakami has just been sent to Shounan Special Reform School along with a group of five other boys, Noboru Maeda, Mansaku Matsuura, Jou Yokosuka, Ryuuji Nomoto, and Tadayoshi Tooyama. Each of the boys committed a serious crime and was sent the school to be reformed. The group is all forced inside of one cell with another inmate named Rokurouta Sakuragi, who serves as the groups mentor and helps them cope with their new surroundings. Forced to live together under harsh conditions and suffer abuse from Ishihara the guard and the doctor Gisuke Sasaki, the boys from a close bond and agree that once they are all released, they will find each other on the outside.
Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin, lacks some the gore and spooky visuals seen in many of the shows on the list, but what the anime does have may almost be as creepy. Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin starts out with the boys in a reform school where their lives are anything but normal. Not only are they having to deal with their lives in a cell but they are being physically and sexually abused by the adults at the Shounan Special Reform School. The story is creepy in its own way with the boys suffering abuse both inside the reform school but the story also shows the terrible situations the boys were in that lead to them getting arrested. Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin may not be the usual anime you would watch in the dark, but there is enough here to give you a unique and enjoyable dark anime watching experience.
9. Death Parade
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 10, 2015 to March 28, 2015
Death Parade tells the story of Decim and the bar Quindecim where people go after they die. Quindecim serves as a battleground where two recently deceased souls battle it out in a variety of seemingly normal games like darts, bowling, or video games. However, these games are far from normal, with each game being designed to show off the true nature of each person in order to judge their character. Then attendants like Decim decide which of the pair will be reincarnated and which one will be forced to spend eternity in an empty void.
Death Parade dives deep into the human psyche and shows off the worst of humanity. Every person that comes through Quindecim seems like just a normal person, but after playing the games, the despicable actions each one has carried out during their lives is revealed. With Decim and the other emotionless non-human attendants being forced to judge these people, Death Parade brings up the question of if it's alright to judge people based on the extremes of their lives. There is also something unsettling about the pair featured in each episode being forced to compete over which one will be facing an eternity of nothingness. Outside of the darkness of humanity, Death Parade also has a few good scenes that incorporate minor gore.
8. B: The Beginning
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: March 2, 2018
The nation of Cremona has had a recent string of murders carried out by the serial killer, Killer B. With little info to go on, the royal police force turn to the detective Keith Flick. With Keith's vast knowledge and unusual way of looking at things, he was able to make a name for himself amongst the members of the royal police force. The mysteries behind the Killer B murders turn out to be more than anyone could imagine when the murders end up being connected to a crime organization supernatural powers and a young man named Koku who may just be the most dangerous person in the whole city.
B: The Beginning is more of a mystery crime thriller than a horror anime, but the darker themes and supernatural subplot make it a great anime for the dark. The anime is split into two separate main plots that meet together towards the end of the series. When the anime focuses on Keith, Lily, and the rest of the royal police force, the story is like a dark and gritty noir crime series. When the anime focuses on Koku, the viewer gets a dark story filled with human experimentation, corrupt government entities, and a decent amount of action. B: The Beginning may not give you the scares you would want from watching an anime in the dark, but what it does give you is an interesting story that delves deep into the dark and corrupt underbelly of the civilization that is filled with mystery and action.
7. Yami Shibai (Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: July 15, 2013 to September 30, 2013
Yami Shibai centers around ghosts stories based on Japanese urban legends. Each episode is tied together with an old man in a yellow mask, who every week at 5 p.m. shows up at a children's playground to tell them the ghost stories. Using the back of his bike as the stage for his kamishibai style stories, where he narrates over a series of pictures. The episodes are four minutes long with the man telling a different short story of an urban legend each episode.
The short stories in Yami Shibai are as creepy as they are unique. While the stories in Yami Shibai are fine on their own, the anime really stands out with its visuals and sound. The anime has a distinct visual style to match the kamishibai style storytelling the masked man is using. Utilizing characters and backgrounds that look like paper cut outs and stop-motion animation, Yami Shibai is able to add to the stories with visuals that enhance the scare factor significantly. Tha anime also does a good job with the sound effects, like the creaking of floorboards and other ominous noises really add to the tension of each episode.
6. Shin Sekai Yori (From the New World)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: September 29, 2012 to March 23, 2013
After a sudden outbreak of psychokinesis, a small number of people have gained the ability to manipulate matter remotely. After the outbreak, many of the users either became violent and hurt people or were used by various governments to carry out their tasks. The psychokinetic population was able to achieve peace by isolating their society and creating a new world where their people and their powers could flourish. Shin Sekai Yori takes place in a village called Kamisu 66, where Saki Watanabe has just awoken to her powers. Now that she has her psychic powers, Saki is able to join her friends at Sage Academy, a school made to help develop psychic powers. The fun days of playing and developing their powers doesn't last long for Saki and her friends as they begin to learn about the secrets of the world including the mystery behind the Tainted Cats that are said to abduct children, who struggle to use their powers.
Shin Sekai Yori takes place over many years and tells the story during different points in the main characters lives. The sections of the story show different sides of the characters and give the viewer different reasons to be scared. The beginning of the anime focuses more on the kids learning of the Tainted Cats in some very creepy and unsettling scenes. The second section of the anime deals with death and the kids learning more about the secrets of the world and what happens to those with abundant psychic powers. Finally, the last section of the anime follows the main characters as adults as they learn the truth about their world, their powers, and the Monster Rats. The world of Shin Sekai Yori is filled with monsters and mysteries that make for a great anime to watch in the dark.
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: July 9, 2010 to December 31, 2010
Shiki takes place during an abnormally hot summer in the village of Sotoba. The village is hit by a string of mysterious deaths including the death of the seemingly healthy fifteen-year-old Megumi Shimizu leading the director of Sotoba's hospital, Toshio Ozaki to suspect that a deadly epidemic has started spreading across the village. However, the deaths also seem to coincide with a new family moving to the Kanemasa mansion. After looking into the many deaths, Toshio comes to suspect that there is more to the deaths than he originally suspected. Together with Natsuno Yuuki, Toshio starts looking into what is really plaguing the village and how to prevent it.
Shiki gives us a look at a much more classic take on a horror story. Shiki are essentially a combination of vampires and zombies, with the dead rising from the grave and kept alive by sucking the blood of the living. As the group of Shiki grows, the town has to band together to fight against the monsters. The show has many great scenes that will scare you like the scenes where the Shiki come to visit their former companions, appearing in windows or attacking them in the dark. Shiki also includes some incredibly gory scenes towards the end of the series. Due to most of the series taking place at night, watching it in the dark helps add to the ambiance and makes for one of the best anime viewing experiences.
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: January 16, 2016 to April 9, 2016
Ajin are mysterious beings who are not only powerful and deadly but also immortal. 17 years ago, Ajin were discovered in Africa and designated as dangerous beings that must be captured. The Ajin proved harder to capture than the world's governments first thought due to being unable to tell an Ajin from a regular human. It is even possible for somebody to be unaware they are actually an Ajin until they are in a situation where they should have been killed but they managed to survive. That is the case for a high school student named Kei Nagai who was hit by a truck walking home from school and is not only able to get up after the accident, but all his wounds healed instantly. Soon after the incident, Kei goes on the run in fear of being captured by the government. After seeing Kei on the news, his good friend Kaito decides to help Kei escape no matter the cost. Kei and Kaito soon learn that not only are they being chased by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare but also a group of renegade Ajin who want to use Kei for their own good.
While the anime is dark in both its design and story, the aspects that make Ajin a great anime to watch in the dark are the gore and Ajin themselves. Ajin is incredibly gory, from the first episode and Kei getting hit by the truck to the end, each episode is filled with blood and action that will both creep you out and excite you. The Ajin are dark imposing figures that appear whenever their host is in trouble. These creatures are able to cut through whatever is threatening them with ease and have the ability to immobilize anyone around who hears them scream. With the Ajin being immortal, there is nothing stopping them from going on a bloody rampage and killing everyone around them. The show’s bloodiest moments come from the battles between the Ajin as they tear each other apart.
3. Ito Junji: Collection (The Junji Ito Collection)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 5, 2018 to March 23, 2018
The story adapts many of Junji Ito's horror stories to create a horror anime anthology series. The anime is presented in an episodic format with each episode containing multiple stories. Ito Junji: Collection adapts stories from several of Ito's collections including Ma no Kakera and New Voices in the Dark. The stories include a boy who can curse others with voodoo dolls, a girl with a slug growing in her mouth, and a shinigami run circus.
Ito Junji: Collection is a mixed bag when it comes to its story, with many of the stories failing to provide a good scare. Some of the stories even give off a sort of dark comedic vibe. Despite the different tones and styles, Ito Junji: Collection is one of the best anime to watch in the dark. The variety in the stories takes you on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster that has the ability to scare you, make you laugh, and creep you out. The stories range in both style and length, with some stories featuring transformations to a person's body and some stories featuring a whole lot of death. Like most episodic anime, not every story will have a major impact on you, but with so many stories being featured in the anime, there is sure to be at least one story that really gets to you.
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 10, 2012 to March 27, 2012
Kouichi Sakakibara has just moved to his mother's hometown of Yomiyama and transferred into class 3-3 of Yomiyama North. After missing a month of school due to his pneumothorax, Sakakibara finally gets to attend school for the first time, but something seems strange. His classmates all act strange and there seems to be a sombre mood throughout the classroom. There is also a mysterious student named Mei Misaki that the students and teachers seem to treat as if she doesn't exist. Despite being warned not to go near her, Sakakibara is drawn to Mei and talks to her. By getting closer to Mei Sakakibara, he comes to learn about the truth behind the phenomenon that's been plaguing class 3-3 of Yomiyama North for twenty-six years and the dangerous situation he now finds himself in.
Another gives you everything you could want out of a spooky story, with a creepy atmosphere, an intense story, and a whole lot of gore. The story of Another has many mysterious twists and turns that will keep you on your toes. Each new story element adds to the creepiness of the show. The show also excels with its creepy aesthetic. The colors are all dull and there is a sort of darkness that fills the world even when the sun is out. While the story and atmosphere are great to watch in the dark, what Another does better than most anime is its gore. The kids of class 3-3 and their families are trapped in this bloody and gruesome cycle of death after death with no way of escaping.
1. Devilman Crybaby
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: January 5, 2018
Akira Fudo is a high school student who is often teased for his poor physical skills and his over sensitiveness when it comes to violence. One day, while walking home from school, Akira is attacked by a gang leader named Wamu. Akira is saved by his childhood friend Ryo Asuka, who uses a machine gun to scare off the gang members. Ryo informs Akira of his findings on his recent expedition to the Amazon, polymorphic monsters that evolve via assimilation of other lifeforms otherwise known as Demons. Akira agrees to help Ryo find out more about the monsters. While visiting a sabbath, Akira is almost possessed, but he manages to take control of the monster and harness its powers. Akira transforms into Devilman, possessing the powers of a demon while keeping the soul of a human
Devilman Crybaby combines the best aspects of every show on the list. The story of Devilman Crybaby is a much deeper than a typical horror anime, despite its slightly overused theme of debating if humanity is worth saving. Visuals are another strength for the series with distinct visual that will impress you and also creep you out with some of the monster designs. The gore is also very prevalent with the many fight scenes and deaths of many of the anime's characters. Devilman Crybaby is able to deliver with all of the major horror aspects, while also making the story enjoyable and the gore meaningful.
Whether it's scary stories, gore, or intense and emotional scenes, there are plenty of anime perfectly designed to be watched in the dark. While there is a wide range of different story types and themes in the anime on this list, each anime gives you a different story aspect that is best experienced with the lights off. Which anime on this list is your favorite? Are there any anime you love watching on the dark? Let us know in the comments below.