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There’s a large world of anime films out there in the world. Today however we focus on a very specific genre, the suspense genre. A genre that has a load of different stories that range from science fiction to horror and beyond. Suspense can reinforce so many different tales of intrigue and that’s why it is an amazing genre in of itself. It can be amazing how many series have the concept of suspense built in.
Luckily we here at Honey’s Anime have created a top ten suspense anime film list for you all to save you the trouble of scouring the internet. Don’t fret if you’re a fan of horror or like a military action story, all films below are diverse and allow for a wide range of flavors. We also took care to rank them mind you even the lowest number is still an amazing film. Now without further delay, let’s get on with this amazing list of suspenseful anime films! Here’s hoping you enjoy and find something to fill that suspense anime desire!
10. The Empire of Corpses (Shisha no Teikoku)
- Episodes: 1
- Air Date: Oct/2015
Many people have heard of Frankenstein but have you ever wondered, what an anime version of Frankenstein would be like? We present to you Project Itoh’s creation called The Empire of Corpses. This is a story that fuses the old concepts of Frankenstein and melds them with a steampunk and science fiction ideology. This is a story that will leave you in utter suspense as you witness a world of men and women who try to play god, and pay some heavy prices. Yet, the question remains, what makes this such a suspense filled movie? Let us now explain to you what Wit Studio did to bring this great concept to life.
The story tells of a tale, what if Doctor Frankenstein had found the means to revive the dead but upon his death only left a singular clue in the form of a hidden book he wrote? Enter John Watson, a name that should seem familiar to Sherlock Holmes fans, as he attempts to mimic the great doctor. A world where corpses are already used as mindless dolls to do slave work in lieu of humans. This story will make the viewer stand on edge in utter suspense as John Watson learns the dark truth behind Frankenstein’s work and how that power shouldn’t maybe be given to the humans of the modern age. Trust us, this is a film that you’ll enjoy every moment as the animation and story keep you glued to the screen or monitor every single second.
- Episodes: 1
- Air Date: May/2001
Metropolis is actually an old 1927 film and this version named the same is a modern day anime take on that film. This is a story of humanity trying to get along with their robotic creations, but they soon learn that this may be a harder ideal than possible. Studio Madhouse did an amazing job taking a classic film and molding it into a current age. Also adding some style is the team used Osamu Tezuka’s take on Metropolis to stay closer to the legends original ideal of what this film would look like.
Young Kenichi joins his uncle in the city of Metropolis where robots have become a staple of life. However, he ends up finding a young girl named Tima who is actually a robot with almost humanlike emotions and mannerisms. Now he must battle to survive against those who want Tima back and those who see her as being of great power among the robotic world. Viewers will find themselves lost in the story as it unfolds. It’s easy to knock off a classic film as too old to enjoy, especially if old black and white films isn’t your preference. That’s why the remaking of this classic allows a suspense filled take on a classic masterpiece film with a large following in the science fiction community.
8. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (Cowboy Bebop: Tengoku no Tobira)
- Episodes: 1
- Air Date: Sept/2001
Cowboy Bebop needs little introduction. Produced by Sunrise and Bandai Visuals and animated by studio Bones, it’s easy to see why we don’t need to tell others why visually there’s not a need for insurance as it was in great hands. However, many don’t know of the greatness that is Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, an almost extra episode like story being told allowing Spike and the bebop crew to once more come back into the limelight.
When Faye is on Mars on a random bounty she witnesses an odd event that leads to people becoming hysterical in nature. The Bebop crew learn that Faye was involved and end up chasing down a deadly bounty that will challenge the crew in their toughest hunt of all time. This series is already known for having some suspense filled moments from deadly syndicates to epic space travels thus why it’s not a surprise knowing the film follows suit with a tale of terrorists and a deadly virus. Trust us, we feel very confident that if you loved the Cowboy Bebop series, you will be in love with this never ending rollercoaster ride of a movie.
7. Psycho Pass: The Movie
- Episodes: 1
- Air Date: Jan/2009
The next suspense anime film in the list of suspense anime films is Psycho Pass: The Movie, a direct sequel of sorts to the popular series from Studio Production I.G. Don’t be alarmed however, we here at Honey’s Anime will make sure not to spoil anything in terms of the story so you can read ahead and just get a grasp of what makes this worthy of being on this list. We will just summarize the story of the film giving you an idea of what to expect. But if you really haven’t seen the series, we recommend you to give it a shot, it truly is an awesome series.
We have our characters from the first two seasons, Akane and Kougami returning to deal with a new threat this time not in Japan but in a distant country. Also returning is the reality of how surreal this story can be. Filled with political intrigue, a dark hidden hive mind trying to rule and those who wish to keep the peace in check, it’s understandable why you’ll feel your heart pound with each moment of this great movie. Having some truly terrific moments of both action and futuristic mentalities enriches Psycho Pass further. Just make sure you don’t let your thoughts run too wild, maybe Cybill will see your psycho pass as cloudy leading to some harsh penalties…
6. Jin-Rou: The Wolf Brigade (Jin:Roh)
- Episodes: 1
- Air Date: Nov/1999
Fans of Ghost in the Shell may want to tune in with this recommendation. Jin: Roh The Wolf Brigade, also created by the amazing Studio Production I.G , is easily very different from the Ghost in the Shell theme. A military drama filled with historical parallels and dark themes of survival and struggle. Jin: Roh is easily one of the most interesting tales one can watch and trust us, you will want to watch this film.
Taking place in an alternate world where Germany has taken over Japan, Kazuki an elite member of the Kerberos Panzer Cops, finds himself at a loss after an action he takes stopping a young woman with terrorist motives. This leads him to joining a special branch of cops called the wolf brigade where Kazuki learns the truth of his life and actions. Each moment that transpires leads to a new threat Kazuki faces and the viewer must witness. You will find yourself in a never ending pitfall of suspense as realties get bent around the viewer from Kazuki’s perspective and trust us if you enjoy twists in a suspense anime film, Jin Roh has you covered there.
5. Eden of the East the Movie 2: Paradise Lost (Higashi no Eden Movie 2: Paradise Lost
- Episodes: 1
- Air Date: Mar/2010
Eden of The East 2: Paradise Lost is the finale of the series Eden of The East and concludes this epic series with some amazing revelations for various characters and plot. Fans of the series will finally learn the truth behind some of their favorite characters, such as our main man Akira Takizawa and what his real name actually is, plus the relationships that have been crafted since the series originally released in 2009 finally comes to fruition in several ways. The never ending train that is Eden of the East finally seems to arrive at its station.
The truth about Akira will blow fans away and finally Saki and Akira face their romance head on adds the finale piece of greatness. Besides a great story, the animation in this movie again being handled by Production I.G is just beautiful. Characters once again have an original artistic look and the whole film mimics this in quality. It helps any scene become much more impactful when you see an artful piece like Eden of the East 2: Paradise Lost show a quality that only I.G can handle.
4. Persona 3 the Movie 4: Winter of Rebirth
- Episodes: 1
- Air Date: Jan/2016
Fans of Japanese Role Playing Games or JRPGs know already the famous Shin Megami Tensei Persona series. Studio A-1 Pictures had the honor of creating a movie series adaptation of the popular Persona 3 game. Four movies later, Persona 3 has indeed earned some praise. However, maybe you have never played the game series and even more so have never heard of Persona 3, don’t worry us at Honey’s Anime have you covered there. No spoilers will follow so don’t fret about that either, like we said we have you covered here.
Persona 3 the Movie 4: Winter of Rebirth wraps up the quadrilogy with an epic conclusion to the story of Persona 3. A world where the midnight hour, a time that exists between 12am and 1, allows a mysterious enemy known as shadows to roam and feed on those who are unfortunate enough to be awake. However, a group of teenagers are blessed with the power of Persona, a hidden power within themselves allowing them the strength to defeat these creatures and maybe bring the world back to peace. Fans and newcomers rejoice, the finale of the movie series will welcome you back into the world of Persona.
3. Steins;Gate: The Movie- Load Region of Déjà vu (Steins;Gate Movie: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu)
- Episodes: 1
- Air Date: Apr/2013
Regarded as one of the most interesting time traveling anime created, it isn’t hard to see why Steins;Gate the movie has a place on this list. In Steins;Gate The Movie - Load Region of Déjà vu, we finally enter a true series conclusion to the amazing Steins;Gate lore. The characters Okabe, Kurisu, and the rest of future gadgets lab return a year after the epic series finale. Why, though, is this movie so deserving of being on this list? Glad you asked let us answer that.
Kurisu has returned to Japan after a long trip back to her home of America and finds that there are some things off with Okabe, more than usual at least. While semi aware of Okabe’s past exploits with time travel, though still not fully accepting of it, Kurisu learns that all of his leaps leading to the Steins;Gate world line have made Okabe damaged. Before long when all of them are celebrating the return of Kurisu, Okabe vanishes in front of her eyes. What’s worse is nobody seems to notice. Now in a race against time itself, Kurisu must mimic Okabe’s leaps into time while trying to learn what she can do to save him from becoming nothing. Fans rejoice, you once more can enter the tale of Steins;Gate!
2. Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl no Ugoku Shiro
- Episodes: 1
- Air Date: Nov/2004
True suspense can’t always be seen as action packed or horror filled. Sometimes a true suspense tale can be just a whimsical adventure of magical proportions. Thus we look at Howl’s Moving Castle, a story in which fantasy and romance mesh together flawlessly thanks to the amazing and talented Studio Ghibli. Yet what makes this movie so suspenseful? Glad you asked because we have the answer to that.
A young woman named Sophie ends up cursed by a witch in a fit of jealousy. Now leading life as an old woman, Sophie ends up meeting Howl, a mysterious man who ends up wanting to save her using his crazy flying castle and strange companions. Viewers will enjoy the marvelous and gorgeous animation but even deeper will enjoy wondering in awe as the world of Howl’s Moving Castle is so frenetic and mysterious. Studio Ghibli is a famous creative team and it doesn’t surprise when such a creation as Howl’s Moving Castle leaves such a lasting impact on fans of their work.
1. Ghost in the Shell
- Episodes: 1
- Air Date: Nov/1995
No suspense anime list of any sort can forget the masterpiece that is done by Production I.G. Ghost in the Shell. It has paved the way for amazing science fiction stories in anime since its conception in 1995. A story involving advanced artificial intelligence and future gadgets alike has always allowed the suspense genre a wide berth of story crafting. While there have been a slew of Ghost in the Shell movies since the first movies release, the first will stand above them for setting the standard so high.
The year is 2029 and the future of robotics has led to cybernetics becoming extremely popular. Organs, limbs and even whole bodies can be used to help mankind further themselves, but at the cost of shady organizations and actions being taken by those who wish to abuse this miracle gift. Following section 9, a unit in charge of making sure law is kept in check, especially in regards to the more robotic scenarios, we follow Major Motoko Kusanagi. Her job is stop those who abuse the system at any cost, but when a hacker named the puppet master appears, her team will be tested like never before. This movie is a series that has garnered many accolades for a reason and I’m sure you’ll understand why after watching it.
Suspense in anime is a crazy thing indeed. It can lead to such wonders for the viewer as they watch either an intense fantasy film or some magical adventure. Hopefully this list has helped you find a new film to watch or enjoy. Yet we here at Honey’s Anime have a feeling we could have missed some great suspense films, feel free to comment below to tell us of any and or just to banter about some of the great titles listed above. We will try not to leave you in too much suspense with new articles and recommendations.