It isn’t all bright and cheerful topics that make anime a great medium to watch. There are also some shows that do tackle some heavy and disturbing topics. Although a bit dark for some, it still cannot be denied that these shows still strike an impact in both their narrative and animation. Let us check out some of the best dark series in anime below!
So, you died. And somehow you end up in this room with strangers. And this bizarre black ball in the middle. Suddenly, a voice instructs you the people in the room to do certain tasks. As the voice ends its message, the strange black ball opens up, revealing even more bizarre costumes and weapons.
Weird, right? Even more bizarre are the missions the people trapped in the room need to do. From battling aliens to cosmic monstrosities, this series also presents the seedy side of humanity. Morality is thrown out of the window in this show! Gantz will test your patience on dealing with guts, and the notion of an afterlife.
Splatter gore! Definitely not for the weak of heart, Elfen Lied, surprisingly, still retains a rather engaging narrative. The cruelty of man is shown in this series, yet the show does still take time to pay homage to some of the best painters history (check out the opening sequence of the show – Elfen Lied has some really nice recreations of Gustav Klimt’s artworks!).
This particular trilogy of films showcases why Berserk is a masterpiece. The story of Guts may still need to be resolved, but this particular arc reveals why the Black Swordsman is motivated to defeat the God Hand.
Featuring excellent fight sequences, a really engaging plot, and of course, a deep dive into the dark recesses of the human mind, these series of films may very well stand out as a classic when it comes to grimdark anime. Special mention goes with the third film, “The Advent”. This movie presents the terror and madness of the God Hand!
Would you be able to do everything to help your loved ones survive? Sick, degrading, yet still enjoys a fanbase, Pupa may be one of the most disturbing anime ever created. With the premise of a weird virus that causes cannibalistic behaviour, two siblings try to survive by making do with their abilities – the elder brother, who seems to have gained regenerative powers, allows her flesh to be fed upon his younger sister, who needs to eat human life to survive. Prepare yourself to be shocked with this series!
Here’s for another layer of disturbance. Perhaps ahead of its time when it was released, this series showed the many possibilities and narratives that can be told when it comes to matters of the Internet. When Lain Iwakura received an email from his deceased classmate, the introvert went down into a rabbit hole in what is called the Wired (the Internet).
The series showed various bizarre homages on coding languages, tech issues, and even religion. The disturbing fact that the interconnectivity that technology has to offer can be terrifying – and given the state of the world today, we might as well be living in a reality that isn’t far from what Lain is in!
Combine an intelligent narrative with some of the most gruesome death scenes in film – you’re bound to get something like the excellent Another! Slowly shedding some light into a mystery in a weird school, the protagonist, Kouichi Sakakibara, will soon find out that not all is at it seems. The series also incorporates some really smart puzzles – a delight that goes with the grim circumstances that the characters find themselves in!
The perils of immortality is cleverly discussed in this excellent and gripping series. An immortal detective must face how she can investigate several cases while at the same time dealing with fellow individuals that share the same condition as her. Aside from the gruesome torture scenes, what makes this series is the horrifying implications on what it exactly means to be immortal. Check this series out for a nice and mature twist as well!
It may not look scary, but there seems to be something unsettling with this series. Consider this series as a trip into insanity, with news of a youngster armed with a golden baseball bat terrorizing citizens in a certain town! Trippy and surreal, this series’ opening sequence that can make you feel uncomfortable!
In what may be a downward spiral into despair, this series focuses on a single act that may result in bizarre repercussions. An accomplished surgeon has to make a decision on which life to save: a child or powerful person in society? Morality turns pale in this awesome series, considering that you may never know what will happen – throw away any notion about good, for evil can be found everywhere!
Never judge a book by its cover. This series may seem to be cute and all with its character designs, but pitch-black evil can be found in this psychological tale. A yearly phenomenon apparently occurs in this obscure village, wherein people seem to have either disappeared or killed during a local cultural ceremony.
WIthout spoiling anything off, this series has a smart way of telling a story of the risks and perils of choosing how to live – and the inclusion of the bizarre deaths in the series can force viewers to ponder on why bleak stuff happens in life!
With a romantic premise, you may think that this anime is a simple and wonderful slice of life show. It’s a messed up tale of high school love, that unfortunately, had some bizarre connections when it was aired in Japan. The last episode had to be delayed, for a crime involving a minor and her father occured in Kyoto.
Due to the distressing nature of the crime and the similarity it had with the show, the TV network that hosted the anime had to hastily replace the show with European scenery footage. A bizarre and scary coincidence indeed, especially if you know what the show’s all about!
Into the Darkness We Go
What other dark anime do you know of? Let us know of your recommendations!
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