Forget the preconceptions about anime being all doki-doki and kawaii. Dark anime have been gaining massive popularity over the past few years, and for good reason: they’re mature and full of shocking twists.

Do you know the kind of show that leaves you feeling like you can’t shake the dread off your shoulders? The one that makes you question what it is to be human? Or wish you had more than 10 minutes before your next lecture so that you could just sit and enjoy another episode that will make you contemplate life’s deeper meaning or lack thereof?

We’ve had our fair share of disturbing anime experiences by now, and they all have one thing in common: they’re not afraid to push the envelope with mature content and storylines. So here are the best dark anime series, from psychological thrillers to supernatural horrors, if you want an immersive experience that’ll stick with you long after it’s over!

#1

The Promised Neverland

The Promised Neverland

2019 | 23 episodes
 

Although the series starts by showing us a group of cheerful kids living their lives in a vivacious orphanage, we soon get to discover the kids are actually being raised to become gourmet food for demons, with the complicity of adults! The oldest kids in the orphanage set out on a mission to save themselves and the rest of the family, but it’s not easy when you’re always under the careful eye of the woman you once considered a mother. The narrative sucks you right in, and there’s no way you won’t binge-watch this series.

amazon.com Report

SilverSkyCloud
Community Member
1 month ago

the ending was rushed as f**k, they did stay true to what happened but what should have been at minimum another full season was summed up into one 20ish minute video

View more comments
#2

Made In Abyss

Made In Abyss

2017 | Ongoing (25 episodes)

Despite its childish art style and the fact that the main characters are literally kids, Made In Abyss is an incredibly shocking anime. It follows the journey of Riko and Reg as they descend into the titular Abyss, a giant unexplored void that leads to the depths of the Earth and populated by strange creatures, hoping to find Riko’s mother, Lyza.

amazon.com Report

Sir Tarsier
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

My favorite anime. It's written so intelligently, and chock full of allegory.

View more comments
#3

Hellsing Ultimate

Hellsing Ultimate

2006 | 10 episodes

Hellsing Ultimate is a 10-episode OVA that follows the manga storyline more closely than the original anime show. The series follows the clandestine Hellsing Organization, which fights against the hideous monsters roaming England, including vampires and ghouls. It’s a mature anime that falls into the action genre, so expect lots of fighting and graphic bloodshed!

amazon.com Report

Lopen Kholin
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Who doesnt love Nazi vampires? Please note, I love this anime in multiple forms. Team Four Star did a magnificent abridged version of the series (its highly profane and... Yeah, just be cautious) and I reread the manga on a regular. Its great.

#4

Vinland Saga

Vinland Saga

2019 | Ongoing (48 episodes)

Set in a fictionalized version of Europe during the Viking Age, everything about Vinland Saga seems to be perfect down to the smallest detail, so it’s not a surprise it’s considered one of the best anime series of the 2010s. It’s undoubtedly a violent anime, so if you’re hardly impressed by lots of blood and gore in fighting sequences, go for it! The show is also getting a well-deserved second season animated by MAPPA, planned for January 2023.

amazon.com Report

#5

Attack On Titan

Attack On Titan

2013 | Ongoing (87+ episodes)

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Attack On Titan tells the struggles of humanity forced to live inside cities surrounded by enormous walls, a defense against titans that feast on humans, seemingly without reason. Everything about Attack On Titan got its fair share of praise, starting with the characters and the dark themes, ending with the incredible storyline, rich with plot twists that question the characters’ morality and raise discussion among fans. No wonder it’s beloved among critics and fans alike! The fandom is currently waiting for the very last part of the final season, coming out in 2023.

amazon.com Report

#6

Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo

2004 | 26 episodes

Despite falling off the radar, Samurai Champloo is still worth watching, especially if you like well-made battle scenes. It’s an action-packed anime show set in feudal Japan, where traditional elements and anachronistic cultural references are blended, and the characters are interesting enough to keep you hooked from start to finish.

amazon.com Report

#7

From The New World

From The New World

2012 | 25 episodes

Most haven’t even heard of it, but it’s a real gem. In an era where all humans possess psychic powers and seem to live idyllic lives, From The New World (Shinsekai Yori in Japanese) is a dark dystopian thriller that will keep you on edge. It’s a deep story that gets unraveled episode by episode and requires attention to get the smallest details. The result is an incredibly underrated anime set in a world that isn’t as bright as it may look from the first episodes.

amazon.com Report

Trad Dlez
Community Member
1 month ago

Gay anime lol

View more comments
#8

Banana Fish

Banana Fish

2018 | 24 episodes 

Here we are with a personal favorite. Banana Fish is one of those masterpieces that steal your heart and change it forever. The series explores the relationship between Ash Lynx, a young gang leader in New York City, and Eiji Okumura, a Japanese photographer’s assistant documenting the daily life of American gangs. Their meeting will change everything for both of them as they feel like they’ve finally found the person they needed the most. Be aware of the heavy themes depicted throughout the series, including pedophilia, prostitution, and the mafia.

amazon.com Report

#9

Death Parade

Death Parade

2015 | 12 episodes
 

I’ll be honest: I got fooled by this anime. The opening may look joyous and lighthearted, but the show is the opposite. Set in an elegant version of purgatory, in every episode we get to explore some incredibly intriguing characters. Even the extras who are there for 20 minutes and get judged for their life choices get your attention with seemingly no effort. This psychological thriller with just 12 episodes is totally underrated, so you better go watch it!

amazon.com Report

#10

Kino's Journey The Beautiful World

Kino's Journey The Beautiful World

amazon.com Report

Sa Ruuu
Community Member
1 month ago

I also recommend the original version as well, both are amazing in their own right

#11

Berserk

Berserk

amazon.com Report

Navindu Wijewardena
Community Member
1 month ago

Again, don't watch the 2016 anime adaptation. Horrible as f**k. Amazing story tho. Very bloody, so not for younger readers

View more comments
#12

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

2011 | 12 episodes
 

Being a teenager is hard enough. It’s even harder when you decide to sign a contract with a supernatural entity to get granted a wish in exchange for obtaining powers and being tasked with fighting witches. Madoka Magica’s cute art style could make you keep your guard down, but it’s still a dark fantasy we’re talking about, and the show has disturbing moments in spades.

amazon.com Report

#13

Fate/Zero

Fate/Zero

amazon.com Report

Navindu Wijewardena
Community Member
1 month ago

The animation is crazy

#15

Ergo Proxy

Ergo Proxy

amazon.com Report

Trad Dlez
Community Member
1 month ago

Give it a try

#16

Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul

amazon.com Report

Lopen Kholin
Community Member
1 month ago

Truthfully, the anime has its failures but don't let that stop you from watching it. I enjoyed the anime and when I read the manga, I understood the distaste towards the anime.

#17

Ghost Hunt

Ghost Hunt

amazon.com Report

eed_thelast_haw
Community Member
1 month ago

The one of two anime series that hhave me creeps. The doll arc gave me nightmares. I screamed at *that* scene when the doll turns its head. The other one was Mononoke.

View more comments
#18

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

amazon.com Report

Tree P
Community Member
1 month ago

I have this. Very good!

View more comments
#19

Aoi Bungaku Series

Aoi Bungaku Series

amazon.com Report

Jamilah toenailkilla
Community Member
1 month ago

Love this series

#20

Classroom Of The Elite

Classroom Of The Elite

amazon.com Report

#21

Grave Of The Fireflies

Grave Of The Fireflies

imdb.com Report

SilverSkyCloud
Community Member
1 month ago

their aunt is a b***h

View more comments
#22

Death Note

Death Note

amazon.com Report

Paul Pienkowski
Community Member
1 month ago

Best anime. Period. Light Yagami is the greatest protagonist/antagonist ever.

#24

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba

amazon.com Report

Potato patato
Community Member
1 month ago

SO GOOD

View more comments
#25

Ghost In The Shell

Ghost In The Shell

amazon.com Report

Tree P
Community Member
1 month ago

I recommend reading the manga. Incredibly detailed art, great story.

#26

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

amazon.com Report

Tree P
Community Member
1 month ago

Love, love, love this! This version follows the manga, unlike the earlier series. Excellent!

See Also on Fashion Life
#27

Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist

amazon.com Report

Tree P
Community Member
1 month ago

I did like this one, too, but did not like the ending at all.

View more comments
#29

Steins;Gate

Steins;Gate

amazon.com Report

Trad Dlez
Community Member
1 month ago

My clock stop moving

#30

Castlevania

Castlevania

amazon.com Report

Brian Carpenter
Community Member
1 month ago

One of thr greatest anime shows ever

View more comments
#31

Trigun

Trigun

amazon.com Report

Tree P
Community Member
1 month ago

I have this also. It's good, but a little different than the manga.

#32

Elfen Lied

Elfen Lied

amazon.com Report

Paul Pienkowski
Community Member
1 month ago

The puppy scene made this one I can't rewatch completely, ever again. That episode. Never ever again.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#33

Goblin Slayer

Goblin Slayer

amazon.com Report

Bekah Sharkey
Community Member
1 month ago

Great memes but avoid if Sensitive to violence and Assault

View more comments
#34

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion

amazon.com Report

Lopen Kholin
Community Member
1 month ago

🎶Zaaaaaaaaakoku na tenshi no you nii🎶

View more comments
#35

The Saga Of Tanya The Evil

The Saga Of Tanya The Evil

amazon.com Report

SilverSkyCloud
Community Member
1 month ago

i watched this, i wasnt sure i would like it but it wasnt that bad, based on nazi germany but with magic, its getting another season soon

View more comments
#36

Dororo

Dororo

amazon.com Report

Tree P
Community Member
1 month ago

Classic Osamu Tezuka! Very good!

See Also on Fashion Life
#38

Deadman Wonderland

Deadman Wonderland

amazon.com Report

#39

Angel's Egg

Angel's Egg

imdb.com Report

#40

Serial Experiments Lain

Serial Experiments Lain

amazon.com Report

Paul Pienkowski
Community Member
1 month ago

THE F*****G ALIEN!!!!

View more comments
#41

Blood+

Blood+

amazon.com Report

Brian Carpenter
Community Member
1 month ago

Great follow up to the original movie

View more comments
#42

Angels Of Death

Angels Of Death

amazon.com Report

#43

Witch Hunter Robin

Witch Hunter Robin

amazon.com Report

#44

Metropolis

Metropolis

imdb.com Report

Tree P
Community Member
1 month ago

Another Osamu Tezuka classic!

#45

Devilman: Crybaby

Devilman: Crybaby

imdb.com Report

Void 13
Community Member
1 month ago

Ah yes the best mindf*** series out there

See Also on Fashion Life
#47

Full Metal Panic!

Full Metal Panic!

amazon.com Report

Krystol Grayson
Community Member
1 month ago

My number one favorite shounen of all time!!!

#48

Junji Ito Collection

Junji Ito Collection

amazon.com Report

#49

Fate/Apocrypha

Fate/Apocrypha

amazon.com Report

#50

Sirius The Jaeger

Sirius The Jaeger

netflix.com Report

Brian Carpenter
Community Member
1 month ago

Way to short series