While others are prompted to fight or fly, some of us are drawn to the very things that should push us away. We love the feeling of our flesh crawling and the hair on the back of our necks standing up. 2017 has provided us with some new horror anime in case you were getting too comfy with your comedy and your fantasy. Whether it's fear of the unknown, bloodthirsty monsters, or the darkness of mankind, these 10 creepy tales will lead you down a path of darkness!
10. Super Danganronpa 2.5: Komaeda Nagito to Sekai no Hakaimono
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Jan. 2017
Nagito attends school with some rather gifted individuals but has no talents of his own. In fact, the only remarkable thing about him is his incredibly bad luck in everything he does. Far from desiring anything positive to make him stand out, Nagito is extremely comfortable with his lack of abilities and place in the world. That is, until a self-proclaimed 'world-destroyer' appears and begins destroying the things Nagito holds most dear. But what can such a helpless boy do in the face of one so powerful?
We're taking baby steps here with this list. Things are quite lighthearted and fun at first, and slowly take a turn to sinister. With Danganronpa's characteristic pink blood-splattering, the deaths aren't as visually unnerving as they might otherwise be. Still, the uncertainty surrounding why people are being killed and who the killer really does make you wonder what's happening next and if anyone can survive!
9. Kishibe Rohan wa Ugokanai
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Sep. 2017
Kishibe Rohan is convinced by his editor to accompany her to 'Millionaire Village' on top of a mountain where she wishes to buy some estate. All the now very rich people living there all bought their land when they were 25 and became rich later and as editor Izumi is 25 herself, she decides to take a leap of faith. She knows they must impress these high-society people with their manners as they're sticklers for following rules. However, the rules of decorum run much deeper than either Rohan or Izumi understand.
Kishibe Rohan starts off innocently enough and seems like it might take a comical approach to a bunch of millionaires all living in an isolated area. Yet after Rohan and Izumi arrive they are met with a small doorman named Ikkyu who leads them into the house of interest. Even before being able to meet with the seller, Izumi has already offended their hosts which is where our story takes a dark turn. We learn there's more at stake than just a fancy house, and there are powers at play that are willing to both bless and curse those as they see fit. It takes a long time to get to anything really spooky but the slow buildup makes everything hit harder at the end.
8. Shingeki no Kyojin: Lost Girls (Attack on Titan: Lost Girls)
- Episodes: 3
- Aired: Dec. 2017 – Aug. 2018
Humans were once almost annihilated by giant, bloodthirsty, human-like creatures called Titans. Only through total isolation behind a huge stone wall could humankind begin to regrow and prosper. When the wall proves to not be the final solution man once thought it was, it will take a special brand of soldiers prepared to risk it all to take the fight to the Titans before they destroy everything.
As of right now, all we have to go on is episode 1 of this OVA, but it seems promising. Annie is the girl this episode is centered on and as a member of the police, she's asked to investigate the disappearance of a nobleman's daughter. She's got her own worries as nightmares and visions of Titans she'll soon have to face constantly plague her but she's fine with the distraction. As if the looming threat of facing these horrific Titans weren't enough, the people Annie is forced to deal with are unnerving. She ends up meeting more and more unsavory people all with unknown alliances and intents, making Annie's enemies both outside and inside the wall.
7. Jigoku Shoujo: Yoi to Togi (Hell Girl: Forth Twilight)
- Episodes: 6
- Aired: Jul. 2017 – Aug. 2017
In this world, there is a way to send the souls of the evil and unrepentant to hell. Calling upon the Jigoku Shoujo, Hell Girl named Enma Ai, she will carry out your revenge at the cost of your own soul. After naming your target, she hands you a black straw doll with a ribbon. Should you strengthen your resolve to eternally damn the one you hate and your own self, simply pull the string and your target will be plunged to hell immediately. You will continue to live to the end of your lifespan but you will join them in death.
Jigoku Shoujo is a bit formulaic and by season 4 you know what you're getting into. However, Jigoku Shoujo is great at the psychological aspect of the inner struggle of sending someone to hell and how different people react to unfairness, betrayal, and feeling constantly afraid. Not everyone who goes to hell deserves it, and sometimes even when the 'right' person has been punished it's bittersweet. This, along with the creative deaths and torture Ai and her partners come up with to punish the abusers is grisly, imaginative, and ironically appropriate to how those specific sinners treated others in their lives.
6. Sekai no Yami Zukan (The World YAMIZUKAN)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Apr. 2017 – Jun. 2017
There are things in this world that cannot be explained and cannot be researched. Only through the Sekai no Yami Zukan can you discover that which lies just beyond our understanding be archived. Even once you know what is out there, you may never see anything yourself. Or you may just know a moment too late that your doom is near.
Imagine if the X-files and Kagewani were mixed up together, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what you're getting into here. Instead of any main characters though, the story switches each time and totally unknown characters face creatures you know well and some you've never known to fear. The visuals and sound effects aren't how the show scares you, but rather the uneasy feeling of making you feel that if you were in such a situation without knowing anything, you'd meet with the same fate as the unlucky characters.
5. Ao Oni The Animation (Aooni the Movie)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Feb. 2017
Everyone has heard of the scary Ao Oni game, a popular RPG maker game where a blue monster chases and attempts to kill anyone it comes across. This game holds a special interest for the students of the cultural anthropology club in a certain remote part of Japan where they believe their folk tales of the Bellflower Mountain Monster match the description of the monster Ao Oni. Excited to discover if their hometown's legends really did inspire such a popular game, they excitedly being their research. However, the more they learn, the more they begin to wonder if there's more truth to the legend than they realized.
For fans of Ao Oni, it's interesting to get a little more insight or history to the monster, as it's so lacking in the game. The animation is a little simplistic and jerky at times, but Ao Oni looks pretty much like you would remember. While the start of the anime is mostly devoid of anything scary, around halfway, things take a turn. Ao Oni appears and people will die in gruesome ways. There are a few jump scares as well as the overwhelming dread of being found, with the chase music from the game playing at the same time!
4. Berserk 2nd Season (Berserk)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr. 2017 – Jun. 2017
After suffering so much while fighting a war against men and demons, Guts must endlessly fight to try to regain and protect that which he lost. While the evil hearts of men are enough to contend with, hell beasts and demons preying on innocent humans also threaten the land. The church itself is corrupt and filled with greedy men who enjoy subjugating people and torturing those who are seen unfit for God's grace. Guts has finally gotten back Casca, a former proud member of The Band of the Falcon he once fought alongside. Despite being mentally traumatized and a shell of the person she used to be, Guts is determined to protect her from harm and restore her memory and kill the person responsible for both their suffering.
There are a lot of things to be scared about in Berserk. This is a dark, hopeless world where almost no one is looking out for anyone but themselves. While the church should be a beacon of hope, the 'holy men' cast judgment and torture innocent people for even so much as speaking out of turn. The monsters also don't just kill people, they enjoy tormenting humans first, even raping them. You never know what new horrors await and who will die next.
3. Yami Shibai 5 (Yami Shibai: Japanese Ghost Stories 5)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jul. 2017 – Oct. 2017
Step right up, have a look, it's time for Yami Shibai! The yellow-masked storyteller is back with his kamishibai (traditional paper-scrolling device) to illustrate more dark and twisted tales. Gather around at dusk to hear the next story of horror and hope you won't become a character in a future story.
We're on season 5 of Yami Shibai and it's still scary. Each story is isolated and short, but between the creepy imagery and the general uneasiness that you don't know what's going to happen, it's pretty terrifying. With so many different scenarios, you're more than likely going to be able to easily see yourself in some of these stories. Getting a new apartment, being nice to a lonely child, or trying to discover what someone is so secretive about are all common things, yet in Yami Shibai, they may just lead you to your death.
2. Ousama Game the Animation (King's Game)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct. 2017 – Dec. 2017
Nobuaki is a transfer student who wants nothing more than to be left alone. He's suffered enough at his last school and doesn't want to make friends. His energetic classmate Natsuko tries hard to get him involved with the class, and he eventually starts feeling like he can open up to these kindhearted people. It's a false hope, though, as a few days later everyone in the class receives a text from 'The King'. As the popular King's Game goes, The King can give any order and they must be followed. The text warns those dropping out of the game is not allowed. Only Nobuaki knows that this text is no joke and that the punishment for disobeying an order is death.
This anime is not only scary, it is sad. It doesn't pull any punches as the first wave of punishments results in many of the classmates' deaths. These deaths are graphic and usually very drawn out. Sometimes you'll be forced to endure a character's suffering in the hours leading up to his death and other times you'll be shocked that someone who thought was safe is about to die horribly. It's not the best-written show and the burden of suspense of disbelief will weigh heavy on viewers. However, the atmosphere of mystery and horror surrounding the Game and its creative, gruesome punishments will keep you watching.
1. Biohazard: Vendetta (Resident Evil: Vendetta)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: May 2017
Chris Redfield and his team investigate what appears to be an abandoned mansion in Mexico when they learn Bio-Organic Weapons, a genetically created or modified organism whose purpose is to destroy, may be housed here. Sure enough, they quickly discover a number of awful killing machines and the man behind this outbreak, Glenn Arias, is planning on selling his 'products' to the highest bidder. As the number of mutant attacks grows throughout the United States, a race for a cure is nearly overtaken when the head researcher, Rebecca Chambers, is attacked and nearly killed. After rescuing Chambers, the two team up with Leon, a soldier who has seen too much of these mutants and the destruction these viruses cause. They have to not only figure out what Arias' plan is, but also figure out how to protect innocent people from becoming pawns in a vicious fight for power.
While known as Biohazard in Japan, you may know it better as Resident Evil. Scared yet? You have everything from long, suspenseful scenes where every open door and every seemingly out of place object seems to foreshadow death, to intense scenes where it seems no matter how much danger one escapes, there's something more horrible the next moment. The B.O.W.s are freaky-looking and if you're not one for body horror, that's a shame. The CG makes everything look much more realistic. From jump scares to sinking feelings of dread and hopeless situations, this movie is sure to give both fans of the series and newcomers something to fear!
That's our pick of horror from last year! There are a lot of continuations of tried and true horror like Bioware/Resident Evil and Jigoku Shoujo that continue to haunt us even now. Whether you like one-shots like in Yami Shibai and Sekai no Yami Zukan or prefer a whole world of horror like in Berserk or Shingeki no Kyojin, there's something that will resonate with you. With all these new things to fear, have fun facing the new year!