Sometimes what you need most in life is a few inebriating beverages with a trashy horror anime to wash them down. These five shows are no works of art, but they’re undeniably entertaining for their incompetent plots and gratuitous displays of sex and/or violence. Do you feel like marathoning an anime that seems like it was made by a group of deranged 13-year-old boys who only have ancient Playboy magazines and Saw sequels with which to entertain themselves? Then check these out!
5. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls – Bougyakusareta Tamashii no Jukyou (Corpse Party: Tortured Souls)
- Episodes: 4
- Aired: July 2013
Corpse Party was originally an old PC game that, while amateurish, gained a cult following for its creative horror elements and interesting setting. This short OVA series, on the other hand, trips down a couple steps by losing the interactivity of the game and crashes down the rest of the flight by just generally being terrible. But if you can get past the underdeveloped characters and garbage-tier animation, the over-the-top death scenes will make it all worthwhile. After all, where else can you watch a schoolgirl get slammed into a wall so hard that she bursts into a splatter of bloody giblets?
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: January 2012 – March 2012
Here we have a prime example of a show that was so close to being good that it could see the finish line in the distance but rolled its ankle at the last minute and lost everything it had going for it. Another spends most of its runtime building up an intriguing story with Victorian doll motifs and a harsh criticism of the in-group/out-group mentality of Japanese society, drawing you in and keeping you guessing about the show’s central question until the last two episodes or so. We won’t spoil what happens, but the bewildering frustration alone is enough to land Another in the “guilty pleasure” pile.
3. Ousama Game The Animation (King’s Game)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2017 – December 2017
Battle Royale and Mirai Nikki popularized the “death game” concept as we know it today, spawning a slew of imitators of varying degrees of quality. And, well... if we tell you that Ousama Game is based on a cell phone novel where the author makes himself the hero of a death game that includes several of his real-life classmates dying horribly, that should give you a good idea of where this anime sits on the quality scale. The baffling decision to cram two of the original novels into one 12-episode show makes the plot incomprehensible, and new characters pop up everywhere just to die hilarious non-sequitur deaths within 20 minutes of their introduction. Turn your brain off and enjoy this one with friends!
2. Tokyo Ghoul
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2014 – September 2014
Speaking of edgy teenage antics and incomprehensible storylines, let’s talk about Tokyo Ghoul! This urban supernatural anime has a genuinely interesting setting and a striking art style, but its insufferable main character Kaneki ruins this solid groundwork by consistently making the worst decisions possible. But if you were a hardcore emo kid in high school, the existential angst and sexy ghoul men in tight pleather outfits will more than make up for Tokyo Ghoul’s shortcomings.
1. Highschool of the Dead
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2010 – September 2010
Pretty much all you need to know about Highschool of the Dead is that there’s a scene where a girl fights off zombies with a wooden sword while sniper rounds fired by the main character (who is using a second girl’s boobs to steady his rifle) zip between her thighs and physics-defying breasts. In short, it’s a love letter to grindhouse-style sex and violence, and the pure joy that it takes in its own ridiculousness is nothing short of infectious. The plot and characters aren’t all that great, but who really cares when the action scenes are so entertaining? Make this show the centerpiece of your next Bad Anime Night!
You might also enjoy the twisted dieselpunk world of Dorohedoro or the psychotic violent rollercoaster that is Gantz, but those shows are both a bit too competently written to be considered true guilty pleasures. Let us know what your favorite guilty pleasure horror anime are in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!