Anime can be very upbeat or very sad, and some of the most interesting shows are the ones that don’t shy away from the dark side.
Sometimes an anime needs to build up to its dark side slowly, while other shows begin in a bad place and only get worse from there.
The popular limits of anime keep getting pushed in ways that make it easier to deal with violence and darkness. A gut-wrenching betrayal or an admittance of hatred can hurt a lot more than a cut.
So lets check go through with this list most of the anime are not in horror genre because most of these anime aim for +12 Usually Shounen or Shoujo Anime so if your bored out with that watch some these anime.
35. Attack On Titan
Attack on Titans is a 25-episode shounen dark anime. Between April 7 and September 29, 2013, the show ran. The series shows a dark, dystopian world where people are eaten for fun by monsters.
The Titans are huge monsters that love to eat people to the point where humans are almost dead.
This made people afraid, so they hid behind huge walls made of concrete. In a place with so much violence, Eren Yeager stands out as a bright light of hope. After Titans killed his family and friends and broke his heart, Eren made it his life’s goal to get rid of them all.
So that he could fight these monsters, he even joined the Survey Corps. Attack on Titans is a moving, action-packed, and thrilling story about Eren’s travels.
34. The Promised Neverland
The Promised Neverland is a 12 episode long shounen dark anime. Between January 10 and March 29, 2019, the first season of the show ran. On January 8, 2021, the second season began to air. The kids who live at Grace Field House are happy.
Even though they don’t have parents, they never feel like they need them. After all, the orphanage’s guardian, whom the kids called “Mamma,” is so loving and kind. Emma, Norman, and Ray are the smartest of the kids. All of the kids are well-fed and cared for in every way.
Then why would they not follow the one rule they are told to? Never leave the house alone, no matter what. One day, one of the little girls is taken in by a family. Emma and Norman run after her to give her back the stuffed animal she left behind.
In doing so, they break the one rule they were supposed to follow and find out something terrible.
33. Vinland Saga
The anime Vinland Saga is a seinen dark show with 24 episodes. Between July 8, 2019, and December 30, 2019, the show ran. It has a historical setting and a story that is full of action and excitement.
Thorfinn looks up to the sailors who told him stories when he was young.
These brave men sailed across rough oceans to get to warm and beautiful places. Thorfinn is used to the cold and boredom of Iceland, so it sounds like a different world to him.
As Thorfinn grew up, his time in the army made him want that life even more.
Thorfinn’s life is full of bloodshed and violence as long as the Vikings are at war with England. But when his father is killed, that’s the last straw. Thorfinn is angry that his beloved father died, so he chooses to go out and get even.
This dark anime is something to do. People watch it because it takes them back to a time when life wasn’t as easy as it is now.
32. Made In Abyss
Made in Abyss is a dark anime with 13 episodes that ran from July 7 to September 29, 2017. It takes place in a magical world with a lot of mysterious things. There is also a second movie in the series that came out in 2020.
The gulf is wide, long, and deep. No one knows what’s inside it. No one knows how or why it was made. But one thing is for sure: dark creatures live there, and it holds a lot of secrets.
Divers, who are very brave people, risk their lives to explore the depths. Most people like the White Whistlers the most. Riko is the daughter of White Whistle Lyza the Annihilator, who has gone missing. She wants to follow in her mother’s ways and go deep into the mysterious chasm that puzzles everyone.
She is still a beginner, though, so she can only go to the lower level. Riko thinks her life is boring and wants to find out what is in the pit and why people fall into it. But when she meets a strange being on one of her dives, everything changes.
Dark anime like these can make people feel scared, curious, and unsure. They are without a doubt the most exciting and scary anime out there.
Kenzou Tenma, a Japanese brain surgeon in Germany, had it all: incredible skill at his work, a rich and beautiful fiancee, and a promising career at his hospital.
However, after becoming disenchanted by hospital politics, he chose to save the life of a young boy who got shot in the head over the life of the mayor.
As a result he lost the support of the hospital director, as well as his position in the hospital and his fiance.
A short time later, the hospital director and the doctors that replaced him were murdered, and once again he was catapulted back onto the top.
But as the chief suspect of the murders, Tenma did not get a easy life. As a matter of fact, it seems that the boy he saved was much more than he had appeared to be…
Now to clear his name and to correct his past mistake, Tenma must get to the bottom of these and other murders, and investigate the truth of the Monster who is behind all of this
30. School Live ( GAKKOU GURASHI! )
The club has Rii-chan as the president, Kurumi-chan as another member, and the teacher, Megu-nee, always there for them.
Yes, she is in love with her school… on her mind. Because, for her, the reality of the school and their club’s activities is way too hard to be perceived…
29. Aoi Bungaku: Ningen Shikkaku (Blue Literature: No Longer Human)
An animated adaptation of six classical Japanese literature pieces, including No Longer Human (Ningen Shikaku) and Run, Melos (Hashire, Melos) by Osamu Dazai, Kokoro by Natsume Souseki, Hell Screen (Jigoku Hen) .
This brief animation follows the crumbling life of an alienated high school student through adulthood, and eventually his death.
He is an individual ridden with depression and a bit of narcissism and finds it difficult, if not impossible, to relate to other humans at all.
He thinks he is a failure at being human, hence the title, ‘No Longer Human’. Ningen Shikkaku tells his tale in a most despairing manner, and leaves a crawling, off-kilter feeling at the end.
It’s tragic, with themes of alcohol abuse and mental illness, and unnerving with the life it breathes into the little humanoid monsters which personify the main character’s fears and self-image.
If that’s not dark, I don’t know what is!
28. KINO NO TABI: THE BEAUTIFUL WORLD
Composed in the form of a series of short stories, this is the story of the travels and observations of the human Kino and the talking motorbike Hermes.
Kino and Hermes visit various fantastic countries – a country that can’t coexist with others due to the development of telepathy; a country striving to make everything equal, whose residents are extremely united; and so on.
Small ripples are formed in the everyday lives of the people living in the various countries by the appearances of the unusual Kino.
These ripples gradually become a major influence, rattling the foundations of their normal lives.
What will Kino and Hermes see in their travels?
And what will be left in the hearts and minds of the people they encounter?
27. Death Note
Everyone Know about Death note and if you are someone who still didn’t watched this anime then dude do your self a favor and watch it right now.
Yagami Light is an ace student with great aspects who’s bored out of his mind. One day he finds the Death Note, a notebook held by a shinigami (Death God).
With the Death Note in hand, Light decides to create a perfect world. A world without crime or criminals.
However when criminals start dropping dead one by one, the authorities send the legendar… more Yagami Light is an ace student with great aspects who’s bored out of his mind.
One day he finds the Death Note, a notebook held by a shinigami (Death God). With the Death Note in hand, Light decides to create a perfect world. A world without crime or criminals.
However when criminals start dropping dead one by one, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer.
And there are many fan fiction theories about death note ending that you should read.
Shiki is a dark anime with 22 episodes that aired from July 9 to December 31, 2010. The anime tells the story of a town where people are slowly dying from a disease that is supposed to be deadly.
As more and more people in the village get sick, the hot summer takes on a chilling feel. A young doctor named Toshio Ozaki is at the center of the anime.
As he learns more about how terrible the growing epidemic is, he sees that he must risk a lot to save everyone.
Natsuno Yuuki, a young man who can’t get over the death of Megumi, helps him.
25. VAMPIRE HUNTER D
10,000 years in the future, the world has become a very different place; monsters roam the land freely, and people, although equipped with high-tech weapons and cybernetic horses, live a humble life reminiscent of millennia past.
A small hamlet is plagued by monster attacks, living under the shadow of rule by Count Magnus Lee, a powerful vampire lord who has ruled the land for thousands of years.
When a young girl is bitten by the Count and chosen as his current plaything, she seeks out the help of a quiet wandering stranger, D.
It so happens that D is a renowned vampire hunter, and he takes it upon himself to cut through the Count’s many minions, and put an end to the his rule.
24. HIGURASHI NO NAKU KORO NI
Higurashi: When They Cry is another masterwork of deception that sneaks in dark themes when the audience isn’t looking.
Cute “moe” character designs give a false sense of safety, which is quickly taken away by a lot of murders, a strange virus, and a time loop story that drives home the idea that success is impossible.
Higurashi: When They Cry doesn’t mind killing off innocent characters over and over again while other characters fight with their hopeless goals. Whenever I feel happy, it feels like it will be taken away right away.
23. HELLSING ULTIMATE
Vampires exist. It is the duty of Hellsing, a secret organization sponsored by the British government, to hide that frightening fact and protect the blissfully unaware populace.
Along with its own personal army, Hellsing has secret weapons. Alucard, an incredibly powerful vampire, has been controlled by Hellsing for years.
It is unclear how he feels about being a servant to the Hellsing family, but he certainly enjoys his job as a vampire exterminator.
Seras is a fledgling vampire and former police woman. Although reluctant to embrace her new self, she is a valued member of the organization.
Integra Hellsing, the current leader, is usually fully capable of fulfilling her duty, but lately, vampire activity has been on the rise.
Unfortunately, the cause is more alarming than anything she could have imagined.
A group long thought dead has been plotting in secret since their apparent destruction over 50 years ago.
22. MIRAI NIKKI
Yukiteru always rejects offers to go out with friends, preferring to spend the time writing a diary on his cell phone.
He has what he believes is an imaginary friend called Deus Ex Machina. However, one day Deus asks him to play a survival game along with eleven others.
The winner becomes the next Deus Ex Machina. In order to win, the contestants must use their diaries of the future to eliminate one another.
For Yukiteru to survive, he must team up with another diary holder, a girl named Yuno.
21. Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance)
On a summer day… Suddenly, an immense terrorist bomb struck Tokyo.
The culprits behind the act that woke up this complacent nation, were just two boys.
The culprits known as Sphinx now, begin a massive game that envelopes Japan.
Terrorism is a hot topic in the world today, and nothing puts that into perspective quite like fiction.
Zankyou no Terror is a dark anime that brings up topics of nature vs. nurture through the eyes of its “protagonists” fighting for individual identity and recognition in a world hell-bent on burying its mistakes.
They do this through fear, terrorism and chaos. There are no “good guys and bad guys”, and it does a good job of skewing right and wrong in the face of justice.
Definitely fits the bill for the thriller anime genre with content that makes it relatable for adult viewers, despite the main characters being adolescents.
20. BLACK BULLET
A near future, where humans have been defeated by the viral parasites named Gastrea.
They have been exiled into a small territory and live in despair, side-by-side in terror.
In this world trapped in darkness— Rentaro, a boy living near Tokyo and member of the “Civil Security”—an organization specializing in fighting against the Gastrea—is used to accomplishing dangerous tasks.
His partner is Enju, a precocious young girl. They fight thanks to their peculiar powers until one day, when they receive a special assignment from the government.
This top secret mission is to prevent the destruction of Tokyo… Set in a near future, this thrilling heroic-action story… starts now!
19. JIGOKU SHOUJO (HELL GIRL)
There is a rumor. There exists a message board called Jigoku Tsushin where one can access only at midnight.
It is said that if one writes his grudge against someone, Jigoku Shoujo appears and she takes the person to the Hell.
An eye for an eye takes on new meaning in Jigoku Shoujo, where you can curse someone to Hell but are also sentenced to Hell yourself.
The anime explores the many reasons why a person would give up their soul to curse another, be they a tormentor or bitter enemy.
It shows the dark side of human nature, as it discusses a different sort of immoral action in each episode.
18. TABOO TATTOO
Seigi, a martial arts trained middle schooler, often feels driven to protect the weaker people around him.
One day, he defends a homeless man against some punks, and the man gives him a strange tattoo on his palm in return.
The tattoo is a secret weapon produced in the arms race between America and the Serinistan Kingdom.
Seigi finds himself in over his head when a powerful girl, using the same secret weapon, violently pursues him in order to retrieve it.
His skill at martial arts may not be enough to keep him alive, but will he be able to learn how to trigger the power of his tattoo in time?
17. TOKYO GHOUL
Tokyo is haunted by mysterious ghouls who are devouring humans.
People are gripped by the fear of these ghouls whose identities are masked in mystery.
An ordinary college student named Kaneki encounters Rize, a girl who is an avid reader like he is, at the café he frequents.
Little does Kaneki realize that his fate will change overnight.
This anime explores loss, bigotry, prejudice, literal racism, questionable philosophy and morals.
It begs the question of what makes a murderer, if one must kill to survive? It throws the irony of human standards for murdering another human vs. killing an animal into almost stark relief.
Although it lacks any intense psychological twists, it’s a fresh addition to the horror genre.
Another is a dark anime with 12 episodes that aired from January 10 to March 27, 2012. The anime has scary horror and supernatural parts that make it a favorite of people who like the supernatural.
The anime is based on a murder that happened in 1972 and made the town of Yomiyama seem suspicious.
Misaki, a young girl in class 3 of the town’s middle school, was killed. Our main character, Kouichi Sakakibara, moves into the same class at the same school 15 years later.
Soon after, strange things start to happen, which lead Kouichi to learn many dark secrets about the town and school.
15. GHOST IN THE SHELL
In the year 2029, the world is made borderless by the net; augmented humans live in virtual environments, watched over by law enforcement that is able to download themselves into super-powered, crime busting mecha.
The ultimate secret agent of the future is not human, has no physical body and can freely travel the information highways of the world, hacking and manipulating whatever and whenever required.
14. Death Parade
Death Parade is a dark anime with 12 episodes that aired from January 10 to March 28, 2015. The show tells a dark story that is full of action, drama, and mysteries. Death Parade shows us what happens after we die, and no, it’s not just heaven and hell.
Instead, the fate of the dead is decided by a single race. They could end up falling into the void of darkness, or if they’re lucky, they could be reborn. The game is between two people and can be anything from hockey to darts.
The story of Death Parade is about Quindecim, the place in the afterlife where these events happen.
Decim is in charge of this system, and it gives him a lot of pleasure to keep it going. This goes on until a strange young man with black hair makes the judge question everything.
13. LE CHEVALIER D`EON
During the time when Louis XV still ruled France, a certain woman was found dead in the coffin floating through the Seine river.
D’Eon, the woman’s brother, determines to seach for the killer of his sister, Lia.
But there are some strange movements in France. And things become more strange when Lia’s soul enters D’Eon’s body…
Genre: Historical, Magic, Mystery, Seinen, Supernatural, Dark Anime
12. ELFEN LIED
The “diclonii” (singular: “diclonius”), otherwise known as a two-horned human, are mutants of the human species, may well be the next step in human evolution.
The diclonii have horns and strong telekinetic powers represented by arms. However with this great power, they could easily destroy the human race.
Fearful of their power, humans quarantined the diclonii into secret research facilities to study.
However, in a freak accident, a enraged female diclonius escaped, killing many guards in the process.
Interesting enough, the female escapee appears to have suffered amnesia after her escape and floated to Yuigahama of Kamakura city.
There, she meets two people named Kouta and Yuka, who name the female diclonius “Nyuu”, and decide that they all should live together.
11. GHOST HUNT
There are 25 episodes of the shoujo dark anime Ghost Hunt. From October 4, 2006, to March 28, 2007, the show ran. It tells the story of a high school student who gets involved in investigating the supernatural.
People have a lot of ideas about the abandoned building behind their school that is said to be haunted. They also sometimes spend time in the building to enjoy scary stories in a lonely place.
This is where Mei meets the ghost investigator Shibuya Kazuya. Mei gets caught up in the world of ghost hunting as the series goes on.
10. God Eater
Set in Japan in the year 2071 where the world has been mostly destroyed by mysterious monsters known as the Aragami.
An organization known as Fenrir was made to exterminate Aragami using weapons called God Arcs which is made from the cells of an Aragami.
Those who specialize in exterminating Aragami are known as God Eaters.
Originally God Eaters had one type in which their God Arcs can only keep gun form or blade form.
however a new type has been discovered that can switch between gun and blade form.
Since then, they have been classified new-types and the previous as old-types.
9. ERGO PROXY
Sometime in the distant future, humanity has managed to survive, but only in isolated cities and through the use of cloning and robotic servants called Autoraves.
Life in the cities is strictly controlled by management dedicated to preserving their ‘utopian’ way of life.
But something is causing the Autoraves to become independent and is driving them to seek to escape the city.
Re-l Mayer, a female inspector from the Citizen Information Board, learns that the awakening of the Autoraves is caused by an encounter with something called a Proxy.
In seeking to learn more, Re-l stumbles into a secret that management is desperately trying to hide and will go to any length to keep suppressed.
8. FATE ZERO
Taking place 10 years before the events of Fate/stay night, this series chronicles the events of the Fourth Holy Grail War.
Fate Zero’s a classic fantasy series with alternative animes in alternate universes.
Every now and then, something called the Holy Grail will choose a master and a servant.
Whoever is chosen gets forced to fight in the Holy Grail war, with the promise of having 1 wish fulfilled if you win.
Compared to Fate Stay Night, Fate Zero is obscene and disgustingly more vile in almost every way.
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Supernatural, Dark Anime
7. SHINSEKAI YORI (From the New World)
About one thousand years into the future, civilization has been retrograded and humans are living dispersed within small communities.
People in this era have a psychic power called “Juryoku” which materializes things they imagine.
In the absence of advanced scientific technology, people are using this power as a major source of energy.
One day, a girl called Saki, along with her friends, finds a small archive robot outside the town.
It records the ancient history of humans. It tells them that Juryoku was found in the 21st century and the discovery caused a world war between psychics and non-psychics.
The psychics won this war and thus their reign of terror began. When the adults in town figure out that the children discovered this forbidden knowledge, they seal their Juryoku and exile them.
Saki and the others end up in a forest where they meet a huge hairless bipedal mouse known as a “Bakenezumi” and get involved in a violent war the creatures are currently engaged in.
Koko Hekmatyar, a young arms dealer sells weapons under HCLI, a shipping corporation.
As one of the company’s unofficial weapon sellers, she secretly sells weapons in many countries while avoiding the local authorities and law enforcements as most of her work is actually illegal under international law.
Travelling with her is her team of bodyguards who are mostly composed of ex-military veterans.
Her latest addition to the crew is Jonah, a seemingly emotionless child soldier who is skilled in combat yet ironically hates arms dealers.
Jonah joins Koko as he wishes to find the arms dealer responsible for his family’s death. What follows is Koko and her crews escapades around the world.
In the future, it is possible to quantitatively measure a person’s emotions, desires, and every inclination.
In this way, it is also possible to measure a person’s criminal tendency factor, which is used to judge criminals.
This is the story of a team of policemen dedicated to maintaining public order.
Some of them work in the Enforcement Division, responsible for the apprehension of criminals, while others belong to the Supervisory Division which oversees their colleagues in Enforcement.
4. SAMURAI CHAMPLOO
Mugen is a fierce animal-like warrior with a unique Bboying (break-dance) inspired fighting style.
Jin has a more traditional style but don’t think of this as a weakness because his skills are amazing.
The two contrasting samurai warriors are far from friends, yet their separate paths seem to cross anyways.
Mugen is wandering aimlessly through the city when he stumbles upon a teahouse where he meets Jin and Fuu (A ditzy waitress, but don‘t think she doesn‘t have anything hidden up her sleeves).
Fuu convinces them both to come with her in search of a mysterious samurai that smells like sunflowers and their journey begins.
This modernized hip-hop tale breaks the barriers of the common, historical, samurai anime.
The anime Berserk is a seinen dark show with 12 episodes. Between July 1 and September 16, 2016, the show ran. The plot of the series is a mix of different types of stories, like romance, the supernatural, action, the military, and so on.
The story of Berserk is about a man named Guts who is doomed to be chased by monsters for the rest of his life.
Guts, a man who calls himself “The Black Swordsman” looks upon his days serving as a member of a group of mercenaries, the Band of the Hawk, nicknamed “the Grim Reaper of the Battlefield.”
Guts has a lot of experience fighting because he used to be a soldier. This has helped him a lot in his life. As he runs away from the demons who are after him, he meets a lot of people and goes on a lot of experiences.
2. KISEIJUU: SEI NO KAKURITSU ( Parasyte )
The 17-year-old Izumi Shinichi lives with his mother and father in a quiet neighborhood in Tokyo.
One night, worm-like aliens called Parasytes invade Earth, taking over the brains of human hosts by entering through their ears or noses.
One Parasytes attempts to crawl into Shinichi’s ear while he sleeps, but fails since he is wearing headphones, and enters his body by burrowing into his arm instead, taking over his right hand and is named Migi.
Because Shinichi was able to prevent Migi from travelling further up into his brain, both beings retain their separate intellect and personality.
As the duo encounter other Parasytes, they capitalize on their strange situation and gradually form a strong bond, working together to survive.
This gives them an edge in battling other Parasytes who frequently attack the pair upon realization that Shinichi’s human brain is still intact.
Shinichi feels compelled to fight other Parasytes, who devour humans as food, while enlisting Migi’s help.
1. NO. 6
No. 6 is a dark anime with 11 episodes that aired from July 8 to September 16, 2011.
The series shows a world coming back together after a terrible war. After the war that almost destroyed the world was finally over, people took refuge in a six-city state called No.6.
Things change drastically, though, when Shion meets Nezumi, a mysterious young boy who gives him a new view of human society. Nezumi turns out to be a fugitive from the forest outside of No. 6’s walls.
When Shion gets in trouble for helping Nezumi, the two are brought together in an exciting, mysterious, and dramatic story.