Anime40 Dark Anime: Cult Classics to Hidden New Titles

40 Dark Anime: Cult Classics to Hidden New Titles

“Dark” animes are the perfect combination of psychological, violent, and stomach-churning stories. They are disturbing yet intriguing! 

However, dark animes with interesting stories are hard to find as most anime series follow action, adventure, fantasy, and other genres. 

Therefore, in this blog, we have listed the 40 best dark anime series that will make your heart race with their thrilling and never-seen-before scenes. So scroll down, choose your next anime, and enjoy the gloomy experience!

40 Best Dark Anime To Binge-Watch Right Now!

40. Witch Hunter Robin

witch hunter robin

What could be better than a dark anime? A dark fantasy anime.

Witch Hunter Robin has a wide variety of characters including witches, esper, mind controllers, and villains with telekinesis. 

The anime revolves around a witch hunter named Robin, who works for an organization that captures witches alive in order to study them and figure out what causes people to turn into witches.

39. Terror In Resonance

terror in resonance

Terror in Resonance is another dark anime that will blow your mind. It is the story of evil villains eviler than any other villains in the country.

The plot follows a disastrous blast that occurs in Tokyo and a dreadful video on the internet that causes mass panic.

Moreover, the anime overlaps with another dark plot; involving two supernatural kids whose mere existence is against nature and who are trying to raise a surreptitious being “sphinx” to wreak havoc on earth.

38. Angels Of Death

angels of death

Angels of Death is a dark romance anime with the most heart-racing plot. The anime portrays Zach, a sociopath, and Rachel, a psychopath. And due to unknown reasons, they are trapped in a gloomy building.

So, Angels Of Death is the story of strange bond development and survival with bizarre promises and unexpected twists and turns. Watching that anime would make you watch it again and again!

37. Death Parade

death parade

Death Parade is one of the gloomiest plots to ever come across in our dark anime list. After death, souls who are neither sent to hell nor heaven, are sent to “Quindecim”, a bar run by a bartender named Decim.

Here, Decim is a judge, jury, and executioner who, by his twisted and sickening games, determines their afterlives.

36. Hell girl

hell girl anime

Hell girl or Ai Enma is the most notorious and dark anime character. No one knows anything about her yet everyone has heard the tales about her website! How suspenseful! 

The core plot of Hell Girl is about a dark website that is only available to vindictive people. Through this website, they can put their enemies in actual hell. However, the form of payment is selling one’s soul to the “Hell girl”. 

35. Steins-Gate


Steins-Gate is an underrated dark anime with a very complicated story and different timelines (present, past, and future) with a twist of fiction and reality!

The anime revolves around the accidental invention of the time-travel machine, a cell phone-operated microwave oven that can send messages back in time. 

When some scientists and researchers attempt to change the past in order to avert World War III, they cause havoc, and disrupt history as well as future timelines that need to be fixed before it’s too late!

34. Nura – Rise Of The Yokai Clan

nura rise of the yokai clan
  • Episodes: 50
  • Seasons: 2
  • Studio: Studio Deen
  • Watch: Amazon Prime

A mysterious dark anime with an action theme “Nura – The Rise Of Yokai Clan” portrays the story of a student; Rikuo. He is a regular student in the daylight but in the dark of night, he turns into his yokai form i.e. demon form.

Rikuo is half-human and half-demon and also the heir of the Nura clan who needs to take the throne after his grandfather. But he seems to be wary of this authority as he likes humans and wants to be more like them.

33. Ajin – A Demi-Human

ajin a demi-human

As its gloomy name, Ajin is a dark anime that depicts the shadiest and most twisted side of humanity. 

The anime emphasizes creatures called “Ajin”; the demi-humans i.e. have a human-like appearance but are immortals with mysterious powers. The primary focus of anime is whether Ajins are a threat to humanity.

32. Terra Formars

terra formars
  • Episodes: 26
  • Seasons: 2
  • Studio: LIDENFILMS
  • Watch: Crunchyroll

One of the most underrated and darkest anime. The dark and gore element of Terra Formars is gradually built-up. The story portrays humans trying to claim back Mars, which has been taken over by huge cockroach mutants with ample strength.

31. Ergo Proxy

ergo proxy

A psychological story that has a lot going on simultaneously. Ergo Proxy depicts; a methane hydrate outbreak leading to humans being led by robots, cogito virus affecting robots and leading to their malfunction, and the mystery of a monster “proxy”.

30. Re: Zero – Starting Life In Another World

re zero starting life in another world

Another dark fantasy anime with psychological-thriller elements. Re: Zero – Starting Life In Another World is about Subaru and Satella looking for Satella’s badge. This may sound simple but things went south and took a terrible turn.

Just when they thought they found it they were killed on the spot by a dark entity. But wait, why is Subaru back to the day he was robbed by thugs?

29. Deadman Wonderland

deadman wonderland

Another darkest anime with so much gore, “Deadman Wonderland” is the most vicious jail out there; full of defiant criminals. Moreover, here in the jail, death games are played as a source of entertainment.

What would happen if you were to be falsely accused of massacring your friends and locked up in such a jail? A cruel fate right? This is exactly what befell the protagonist of the anime, Ganta Igarashi.

28. Darker Than Black 

darker than black

The name represents the plot so well, Darker Than Black is the darkest anime of all time. The story of the anime involves a contractor “black reaper” working under a shady, mysterious, and vicious association. 

This anime horrifically yet accurately portrays the dark sides of society where there is no justice but only dirty politics exist.

27. Phantom Requiem For The Phantom 

phantom requiem for the phantom

The darkest and gloomiest story of cold murders, violence, betrayal, deception, and survival. Phantom Requiem For The Phantom is about Ein and Zwei being brainwashed to work for “inferno”; an assassinating establishment. 

Will they be able to regain their memories? Is there a way out of this?

26. Berserk


Here comes another dark anime with horror and supernatural elements. Berserk primarily focuses on Guts; a soldier who fights against evil demons.

The story is about the trauma Guts experiences during his daily life and the betrayal he suffers at the hands of his so-called companions.

25. Monster 

monster anime
  • Episodes: 74
  • Seasons: 3
  • Studio: Madhouse
  • Watch: Netflix

It is the story of Dr. Kenma, struggling between his duties and will to climb the ladder of success by shortcuts. One day for the sake of his conscience he saves the life of a kid instead of the mayor of the city.

Was that a wise decision on Kenma’s side? This question was answered 9 years later when he met that kid again. He is no longer a kid but a “monster”, a psychopathic serial killer.

24. The Promised Neverland

the promised neverland

This may be the most spine-chilling dark anime you could ever watch. The Promised Neverland is about a blissful orphanage under the supervision of “mama”. But things take a darker turn upon the disappearance of an orphanage kid.

As the story unfolds orphanage kids find out about; the twisted reality of mama and the sick plans she has for them. 

23. Hellsing Ultimate

hellsing ultimate

How can we finish our dark anime list without a vampire thriller? Hellsing Ultimate has a horror touch and some violent action scenes. The story’s main emphasis is on; how physical appearances can be deceiving.

Things are not always how our eyes perceive is beautifully illustrated by “Alucard”; a dhampir working for an organization named Hellsing. It was established to get rid of evil supernatural entities that have wreaked havoc on earth.

22. Shiki 

shiki anime

This is another darkest anime of the vampirism era. Shiki are vampire-like beings depending on human flesh and blood to survive. Like every such anime; the story began with mysterious deaths piling up.

At first, they were ruled out as natural deaths due to a pandemic but later on, it led to the revelation of Shiki’s co-existing with humans.

21. Elfen Lied

elfen lied

A great psychological dark romance anime with a strong female lead; Lucy. She is a mutant human subjected to many horrible experiments by authorities. But was able to escape after a massacre and got injured severely. Two students stumbled across injured and almost dead Lucy and helped her.

What makes the story darker is that Lucy is oblivious to her twisted reality. During the massacre, she developed dissociative identity disorder. And her alternate personality is responsible for a series of horrible murders going around.

20. From The New World 

from the new world

From The New World is another mind-blowing dark anime to watch right away. The story revolves around a utopian land where only psychics reside. The land is supposed to be free of the oppressive and cruel ways of the normal world.

But we are here in the dark anime section, so this is not the case. After her awakening the protagonist starts looking into; what happens to those who don’t undergo awakening and finds out the dark side of her utopian land.

19. Tokyo Ghoul

tokyo ghoul anime

Tokyo Ghoul is a horror dark anime with vampire vibes that primarily portrays hysteria due to ghouls all over Tokyo. Ghouls are like vampires except they don’t just feed on human blood rather eat the entire human alive.

18. No. 6

no 6 anime

No. 6; a  dark anime with a utopian theme takes place in a world where; after massive bloodshed, people have taken shelter in supposedly safe cities. One of these cities includes; city no. 6 where Shion resides with his well-off family.

Shion and his family are banished from city no. 6 for helping a guy outside of utopia. The dark is gradually built-up in the series as chilling truths of utopia begin to surface.

17. Psycho-Pass

psycho pass

Yet another story portraying the dark realities of society metaphorically. Psycho-Pass has all the captivating factors; thrilling action scenes, sassy villains, and plot twists to get those adrenaline rushes.

The story is about a medical evaluation to determine the potential of psychopathy in an individual. Those with high potential are given a psycho-pass, but as the story proceeds, there are questions about the credibility of the system and the justice it does for its purpose.

16. Made In Abyss

made in abyss

A thrilling dark anime with seemingly cute characters, Made In Abyss depicts a robot boy helping Riko to find her mom who crossed the abyss. The duo and some other friends enter the abyss in hopes to find any clue about her. Without knowing what lies in the abyss.

15. Juni Taisen – Zodiac War

juni taisen zodiac war

Add this one to your list of dark anime to watch right now! This story is an impeccable mixture of great animation, a unique storyline, a dark anime character with exciting superpowers, and a survival game.

The story showcases the survival of fittest where there is a brutal death game played among the strongest mercenaries every 12 years. The game with lives and pride on the line determines who is on top of the power dynamic.

14. Happy Sugar Life

happy sugar life
  • Episodes: 12
  • Seasons: 1
  • Studio: Ezo’la
  • Watch: Amazon Prime

How about another dark romance anime? Happy Sugar Life may appear to be a plain love story in the beginning. Until the story unfolds and the lead character begins to show her obsessive and violent nature.

The anime perfectly portrays the twisted mindsets of obsessive lovers, domestic violence, and pedophilia.

13. Higurashi – When They Cry

higurashi when they cry

Yet another masterpiece by studio deen! Higurashi – When They Cry is a perfect combination of dark and horror. The story comprises multiple mysterious murders going on in the village along with hints of paranormal activities.

With a bunch of bizarre plot twists and characters losing their sanity, this anime keeps you on your tiptoes the whole time.

12. Redo Of Healer

redo of healer
  • Episodes: 12
  • Seasons: 1
  • Studio: TNK
  • Watch: HIDIVE

Now, who doesn’t like a good revenge arc? Redo Of Healer depicts the story of a healer who has traveled back in time. To execute her revenge on those who have brutally abused her mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Just a friendly suggestion; the anime has some gore, explicit, and graphic scenes. It is only aimed at mature audiences.

11. Rainbow

rainbow anime
  • Episodes: 26
  • Seasons: 1
  • Studio: Madhouse
  • Watch: Crunchyroll

The name of the anime may sound a bit blissful, but it mirrors the optimism of 7 jail mates for a second chance at life. Rainbow requires no demons or vampires to create the dark theme, surprisingly, humans are enough for that.

The anime showcases the struggles of 7 youngsters in the most brutal jail to ever exist. Their lives have been made a living hell by a perverted doctor and a vicious jailkeeper. Will they be able to make it out of here?

10. Basilisk 

basilisk anime

Another survival of the fittest-themed dark anime but with the element of love. The story is about the 10 strongest clans (representing either son of the shogun); combating each other in deadly fights to determine the true heir of the legendary shogun.

Amid this mess shogun’s grandson and granddaughter (who were engaged to dismiss the deep-rooted hatred between clans) needed to choose between their love and the dignity of the clan.

09. Texhnolyze


Texhnolyze, in my opinion, is the darkest anime ever that depicts the darkness and twisted reality of the world we are living in. The only setback is the slow pace with which the story proceeds. But if you are willing to be patient enough I guarantee you won’t regret it.

The anime showcases a crumbling underworld that is neglected for so long that it is turning into a ruin. Where people kill each other for power and morals or values mean nothing.

08. Serial Experiments Lain

serial experiments lain
  • Episodes: 13
  • Seasons: 1
  • Studio: Triangle Staff
  • Watch: Crunchyroll

This 90s dark anime Serial Experiments Lain perfectly illustrates the impact of the internet on one’s self-identity. The story begins with a girl being succumbed to this alternate dimension of cyberspace called ‘wired’.

07. Another 

another anime

“Another”, psychological horror and dark anime is one of those that keep you up all night. The main scenario is about a town with a gloomy aura and a transfer student; Kouichi, being curious about a girl with an eye patch; Mei.

Despite everyone’s warnings Kouichi tries to get closer to Mei and gradually begins to unravel the dark events surrounding his school.

06. Brynhildr In The Darkness

brynhildr in the darkness
  • Episodes: 13
  • Seasons: 1
  • Studio: Arms
  • Watch: Crunchyroll

Brynhildr In The Darkness depicts the story of a girl; Kuroneko, being obsessed with aliens. One day she decides to show aliens to Murakami, even though he does not believe her completely but tries to be respectful towards her interests nonetheless.

Things didn’t go as planned and the girl died. Now, Murakami is determined to confirm the existence of aliens for the sake of Kuroneko. Until a transfer student who is a mirror image of Kuroneko appears in front of him.

05. Gunslinger Girl

gunslinger girl anime

The darkness of this anime is on a whole nother level. Gunslinger Girl is so tragic it might shatter your soul. The storyline is about several teenage girls on the verge of dying, they were miraculously saved by some mysterious organization.

As we all know nothing in this world comes for free. These innocent girls are then brainwashed into becoming deadly weapons for the government.

04. Vinland Saga

vinland saga tv show

This dark anime takes place in the era of Vikings where all people know is war, death, and misery. The story has a lot of violent and graphic fight scenes. Along with gore, this anime also has a vengeance element.

The protagonist; Thorfinn’s dad was killed by one of his companions and the leader of their Viking band named Askeladd. Thorfinn has now vowed to avenge his father’s death. But to fight such a great mercenary Thorfinn must learn from the best. Who is no other than Askeladd himself!!

03. Blue Literature 

blue literature
  • Episodes: 12
  • Seasons: 1
  • Studio: Madhouse
  • Watch: 9anime

Blue Literature, a dark anthology about imperial Japan, is so far the best psychological thriller. The anime emphasizes human psychology so deeply that it gets disturbing.

Not a single moment in the series is breathtaking, this strangely alluring and deeply unnerving anime will mess with your head like no other. 

02. Devilman Crybaby

devilman crybaby
  • Episodes: 10
  • Seasons: 1
  • Studio: Science SARU
  • Watch: Netflix

Devilman Crybaby, a gore-themed dark anime takes place in an alternate universe. Here the existence of demons has been confirmed in the Amazon forest, demons are known for their ability to take over the human body.

But in this universe some humans can play the same game on the demons; i.e. they can reclaim their bodies and control demonic powers. Such humans are referred to as “devilman”.

01. Death Note

death note

If you are a dark anime fan you must have already come across the name Death note. It is the unique and darkest anime with the horrors of humanity and the realm of the dead.

Bored out of his mind, a death god; Ryuk throws his death note into the earth. The death note falls into the hands of Light, an angry teenager who detests the ways of the world. So to diminish crimes from the world he begins using the death note to eliminate all the criminals.

But soon, his sense of righteousness turns into God-complex because of this immense power. He transforms into this perfect villain whose twisted reasonings are always easy to justify.

These are the 40 darkest anime we have come up with. We hope your experience with these dark anime will be as thrilling and terrifying as you hope them to be.

And if you are looking to broaden your anime spectrum, you can give “best American anime” a read.

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