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What is a Supernatural Anime? [Definition, Meaning]

The supernatural is all around us… or so anime would have you believe. From ghosts to superpowers to aliens to gods to demons, the supernatural genre of anime is incredibly diverse. In fact, it can be said the supernatural genre is a double-edged sword; It’s so wide that so many different shows fit under the umbrella of the term supernatural. On the other hand though, the genre is so diverse that it will always be coupled with another genre or three to lend better to a story. In fact, supernatural elements actually enhance a story and today, we are going to take a look at supernatural anime for new fans to anime. If you’re a seasoned pro, then you will know what comes in this article, but if you are new, this is just for you.

It’s Like an Umbrella with an Umbrella Under an Umbrella.

We weren’t joking when we said that the supernatural genre was incredibly wide and diverse. There are so many different features and add-ons to other anime that it’s not even funny. Gods, devils, superpowers, supernatural beings like vampires, ghosts, and more abound in the supernatural genre and stretch across a wide variety of others in a tag-team setup. Supernatural married to another genre? Easy. Supernatural action? Check. Supernatural Fantasy. Done. Supernatural comedy? This is like child’s play. There’s even supernatural hentai, so there’s literally something for everything. For this article, it’s best to explore shows more so than talk about them like this, so let’s just dive headfirst into them!


Ao no Exorcist (Blue Exorcist)

  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: Apr 2011 - Oct 2011

Satan resides in Gehenna while humans reside in Assiah. The two worlds are connected, but the only way to safely travel between the two is via possession. Satan, however, is just too powerful that if he went into someone’s body, they would die. So he needs his children, preferably Rin, so he can possess him and wreak havoc on the human realm. Unfortunately for him, Rin and his twin brother are studying to become exorcists and fight against demons. Rin has grown up unaware of this facet of his identity and when he loses the most important things to him in an instant, he is fueled with righteous rage and decides that he is going to become the greatest exorcist ever and kick Satan’s ass all the way back to hell. Ao no Exorcist follows Rin’s journey of self-realization and learning.

Ao no Exorcist is the quintessential supernatural anime that makes it a perfect fit for this article. Anime can sometimes focus on Hell like with Jigoku Shoujo, but this time, you have Satan who wants to reclaim his children and sends demons to get them. They turn into exorcists to fight back and prevent Satan from having his way. Did we mention that Rin also gets blue flames along with a magical sword and sprouts blue flame horns when he fights? Buddhism is a very large theme as well within the series, too, driving home the supernatural theme even further.

Blue Exorcist Trailer:

Noragami

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jan 2014 - Mar 2014

Yato is a deity that resides in this realm. However, due to him being incredibly poor, he has to take any and all odd jobs in order to get paid. Sadly, he doesn’t even have a shrine to reside over! This leaves him partnerless as his most recent one has abandoned him. Then one day, a girl named Hiyori Iki comes into his life unexpectedly saving him from peril. However, due to this, she now has gained the ability to detach her soul from her body and see things on a spiritual spectrum. She is less than thrilled to learn this and wants to be changed back, but when she learns of Yato’s conundrums, she agrees to help him find a partner so that she can be free of this nightmare. However, it’s going to take a lot of work for this wandering god Yato to be able to help Hiyori.

Noragami shocked viewers when it hit airwaves from how enjoyable it was. The series naturally layers the supernatural over the real with gods, supernatural weapons, and more. Not only to start there, but Hiyori can detach her soul from her body and oddly sprouts a cat tail while doing so. The weapons, aka partners, are all sentient too taking on human forms while they are in the human realm unless needed. The other big supernatural aspect comes from the buddhist and shinto related characters. It’s not just Yato, but rather many other characters in the series that are gods from the real versions of the religions and are personified in the series. You will not regret getting into the Noragami series!

Noragami PV:

Soul Eater

  • Episodes: 51
  • Aired: Apr 2008 - Mar 2009

“A sound soul resides in a sound mind and a sound body.” Maka is a student at Death Weapon Meister Academy where shinigami, or death gods, train and learn how to become better ones. The head shinigami is Lord Death and he runs the academy. His mission is to raise beings who look and act like humans but transform into weapons in battle known as “Death Scythes”. However becoming a fully fledged one is not easy and requires time, experience, patience, and 100 souls. The need to consume 99 evil souls and 1 witch’s soul which is a feat in and of itself. Soul Eater is one such weapon and his meister is Maka Albarn. While the two seem like an unlikely duo, they work together quite well. They travel along with Black Star and Death the Kid who are fellow meisters and their weapons defeating evil when it rears its ugly head. Their goal is to collect enough evil souls and the witch’s soul in order to become fully fledged Death Scythes.

Soul Eater is a classic anime and if you are not willing to dive into the long story that is Bleach, another famous supernatural anime, then Soul Eater is perfect. Supernatural elements are everywhere from people being able to turn into sentient weapons to fight with their meisters to witches to of course the concept of gods of death and even Lord Death himself. Humanity has always questioned if there is something beyond what we see in our lives and Soul Eater gives us that window to look at death in a slightly less serious way as we explore what could be. The great part about Soul Eater, too, is that it is not too uptight and there are lots of humorous moments sprinkled throughout the series as well.

Soul Eater Trailer:


It’s Not That Serious, Seriously...

Supernatural anime also enjoys a break often from the story due to the seriousness that can usually come across in them. These little laughs help keep you focused as well as able to enjoy what you are watching. There have been some supernatural anime though that like to see how far they can take us while still keeping us involved in the story.

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! (Konosuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World)!

  • Episodes: 10
  • Aired: Jan 2016 - Mar 2016

Kazuma Satou has just died. He died saving someone who didn’t need saving thus dying of literal embarrassment. When he comes too, a beautiful goddess wearing way too little of clothing tells him that he has a choice. He can either start a new life in a new world with some sort of leg up on everyone else around him, or go to heaven. Kazuma doesn’t want to die yet, so he chooses the reincarnation route. The goddess Aqua offers him his choice of whatever he wants to take into the new fantasy world to help him out and start a good life. He points to her and says “okay then, I want you. You come with me.” Thinking he’s got this in the bag, they are sent to the new world as Aqua is bound by her pact with Kazuma. Sadly for him though, she’s no goddess! She’s extremely useless! Now at level zero with a goddess with the emotional and mental intelligence of an infant, the two now have to eke out an existence in this new, strange world.

Warning: Watching Konosuba will probably leave you in tears at some point over how ridiculous and hilarious it is. The whole concept of reincarnation, something isekai needs or it’s not isekai, has its roots in supernatural. Kazuma is summoned to what almost appears to be judgement when an angel gives him an out to being dead. Not to mention too, in this new world there are demons, giant monsters, magic, succubus and more. There’s even an explosion obsessed character who makes great humor while doing so. If you somehow have not seen or heard of Konosuba, now is the best time to see it.

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! PV:


Final Thoughts

This was just something to get your feet wet when it comes to the concept of Supernatural anime. The genre is so incredibly overreaching that facets of it can be seen in many anime. This article is for newcomers, but if you are a pro and have some suggestions for other anime like No Game No Life, Mirai Nikki, Angel Beats, Another, Durarara!!, or more, be sure to let us know below! Thanks so much for reading this introductory article. Till next time!

Blue-Ao-no-Exorcist-wallpaper-3-561x500 What is a Supernatural Anime? [Definition, Meaning]

Editor/Translator

Author: Nagareboshi

American by birth; international by choice. I am trying to bring attention to one of my favorite causes; me. I translate by day and write by night. Aspiring polyglot. My dream would be to be the personal translator for Amuro Namie. Other than that, my hobbies include languages, weightlifting, sleeping, karaoke, GOOD coffee and music. When I’m not doing any of the above, I am most likely laughing hysterically at Willam Belli videos or EV farming. I ain’t gunna Rupologize for it neither. Waifu are Shirai Kuroko & Euaerin.

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