Stay at home Halloween: Best horror anime recs

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By Xandria Crosland, Staff Writer

It’s finally October, the spookiest month of the year, but COVID-19 has put a halt on our yearly festivities. We may be stuck inside, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy Halloween. Grab a bowl of popcorn, a nice warm blanket, and your favorite device. Here’s a list of amazing horror/thriller anime shows and movies that you can binge.

To start off, one of the most notable shows on our list is Death Note. The show follows a high school student named Light Yagami who gets his hands on a mysterious book that grants the ability to kill anyone whose name is written in it. He begins to massacre the population, killing those he deems unworthy of life, using the alias “Kira.” This show is fairly short, with only 1 season containing 37 episodes, yet it is full of surprises and always keeps you at the edge of your seat. 

Another well-known show on the list is Tokyo Ghoul, a dark fantasy that follows Ken Kaneki, a college student who has a deadly encounter with a ghoul. Kaneki ends up turning into a half-ghoul and thus needs to consume human flesh in order to survive. Tokyo Ghoul has an engaging plot and gory scenes to complement the storyline. 

Next up is a series with a highly anticipated fourth season: Attack on Titan. The storyline depicts a society of humans that live behind walls to keep out man-eating giants called Titans. Protagonist Eren Yeager vows to slay all the Titans after they destroy his hometown and kill his mother. The creepy art style of this show will leave you with nightmares and a new fear of abnormally tall people.  “This was a really good anime, especially with its dark first episode,” said senior Givon Carter.

If you’re someone who’s already binging on a bunch of different shows right now, then Junji Ito Collection is perfect for you. Famous horror manga author Junji Ito had some of his stories animated into short episodes that are perfect for people who want a quick spook without a long, complex storyline. Junji Ito’s unsettling art style accentuates the creepiness of his characters and adds to the quality of his shows. 

Maybe you don’t want to watch an entire show just for some scares. In that case, Perfect Blue is a great movie for you. This 90’s psychological thriller tells the story of Mima, an idol who leaves her band to further her career as an actress, straying from her innocent ‘good girl’ image. When Mima leaves the group, she begins to be stalked and horrific murders occur. Mima slowly loses herself and struggles with her perception of reality. Perfect Blue is one of the more terrifying recommendations on this list and has some rather disturbing scenes. It’s a great scary movie for those who enjoy the thrill of a classic anime.

Parasyte: The Maxim is another recommendation that received many positive reviews from fellow Harrisites. “Parasyte is one of my favorite underrated anime,” said senior Jahdon Jerome, “The concept and the storyline flowed so well… the animations were immaculate and it was so good that I finished the whole show within a day.” Parasyte: The Maxim is about a boy named Shinichi who has his right hand taken over by a parasite named Migi. Shinichi and Migi’s bond slowly grows as they work together to fight off other parasites that have completely taken over their human hosts. If you like action and good character development, then this show is a must-watch.

Probably the most jarring series on the list, The Promised Neverland is a phenomenal show with a second season on the way. The Promised Neverland tells the story of an orphanage that treats their children rather luxuriously. One night, one of the orphans is sent away for adoption but forgets her stuffed animal. The main characters Emma and Norman sneak out to return the toy before she leaves but arrive to find her dead and discover the unsettling truth about their existence. If you tend to cry during sad scenes, grab your tissues because not only is this show scary, it hits you where it hurts.

Ever wanted your brain to turn to complete mush after watching a show? Then Devilman Crybaby can help you with that! Akira Fudo’s childhood best friend warns him that demons are taking over and he needs his help to defeat him. By turning into Devilman, a demon with a human soul, Akira sets out to fight against the evil that is destroying and sending the world into chaos while also finding other demon-human hybrids like himself. This show has some more mature content, but the symbolism throughout the show will leave you in awe after the ending.

Since its release over a decade ago, Black Butler has continued to be a fan favorite. Orphan Ciel Phantomhive teams up with a demonic butler to search for the people who killed his parents. Although not incredibly scary, this show has a dark storyline and does feature a few scenes that will send a couple of shivers down your spine. Ciel’s cynical attitude and Sebastian’s super-human powers complement each other wonderfully and tell the dark tale of a young boy trying to discover the truth. 

*Most of these shows can be found on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and Crunchyroll either in English or with English subtitles.