10 Horror Anime Series With The Most Unusual Premises

AbraxasOctober 9, 2021

Anime is the ideal medium for horror stories, where only the writers’ and artists’ imaginations limit what is possible. That’s probably why there are so many engrossing, horrifying, and sometimes truly disturbing horror anime out there.

RELATED: 10 Anime Heroes Who Dug Their Own Graves

It’s led to a bounty of imaginative horror anime series with some of the most unusual ideas that tie together twisted plots and evil and/or tormented characters, series that go beyond simply scary to fascinate fans with their creative depth.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

10 School-Live! Lures Fans Into A Story They Think Will Be About Cute High School Girls

Kurumi School Live!

Megurigaoka Private High School seems like an awesome place, and Yuki is a third-year student. She seems to enjoy her life and being a member of the School Living Club. She and the few other members of the Club live on the school grounds, which is the first clue that not everything is as it seems. Gradually, it emerges that Yuki is living in a dream. In reality, a zombie outbreak has decimated the city and the school’s population. Even as Yuki’s delusion persists, her friends come to know the truth about horrifying biological experiments and more.

9 Lucy’s Little Horns Are The Tip Of The Iceberg When It Comes To Her Destructive Powers In Elfen Lied

Lucy isn’t an ordinary human, she’s a Dicolnius. She’s got short horns and invisible hands with telekinetic powers. She’s been subjected to horrible and cruel scientific experiments, and a head injury during her escape from a government facility leads to amnesia. When two college students stumble upon her and take her in, they’re completely unaware of the traumatic past that has driven her to become volatile and even savage. Soon, the two good Samaritans are caught up in the dark government conspiracy and Lucy’s violence.

8 Parasyte Is A Squirmy Story About An Alien Who Takes Over A High School Student’s Hand

In Parasyte: The Maxim, Shinichi Izumi begins as a typical high school student. One night, aliens descend upon Earth. They look like big, ugly tapeworms, and they burrow their way into a victim’s brain to take over their host. One tries to get inside Shinichi while he’s asleep, but as he wakes up, he’s able to stop the Parasyte from moving past his arm. To his surprise, it (a sentient being named Migi) takes over his right hand, and the pair of them take on the other Parasytes who are murdering people.

7 Boogiepop Phantom Shifts In And Out Of Reality With A Murderer On The Loose

Anime Boogiepop Phantom Victim

Boogiepop is an urban legend, and the story goes that he’s Death personified. He’s been blamed for a series of grisly and ritualistic murders that took place in a Japanese city five years earlier. From there, though, the facts become nebulous. As the body count starts to climb again, each episode sees the situation from a different character’s perspective, most of them high school students who’ve witnessed the events.

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Past and present co-exist, and holograms perpetuate the echoed memories, blending thriller and mystery elements into the story.

6 Ganta Has To Fight Off Other Prisoners In Deadman Wonderland

Shiro and Ganta

Who is the Red Man who destroys Ganta’s whole middle school class in Deadman Wonderland? Why is he spared, only to have a shard of the Red Man’s ruby crystal embedded in his chest? Those questions only open up the beginning of the odd mystery at the heart of Deadman Wonderland. Ganta Igashari is blamed for the bloodbath and sentence to Deadman Wonderland, a surreal park-like prison, where he has to entertain visitors and fight off other Deadmen with his newfound power over his own blood.

5 In GANTZ, The Newly Dead Are Forced To Accumulate Points By Killing Aliens

Kuruno Barely Survived A Fight In Gantz

Kei Kurono and Masaru Kato are hit by a subway train trying to save a homeless drunk and they die. But, they find that death is a horrible game run by a huge black ball called Gantz. Gantz’s rules entail using high-tech weaponry and gadgets to hunt down and kill aliens. As they do, they’ll accumulate points, and when they reach 100, they may be able to go back to the world of the living. It’s weird, with some horrific scenarios, and is honestly not for the faint of heart.

4 The Junji Ito Collection Offers An Anthology Of Slug Girls, Hell Dolls, And Other Weirdness


The Junji Ito Collection is an anthology series based on the stories of manga artist Junji Ito. Each episode introduces a new story, with gems like the girl whose parents keep cutting out her tongue because it turns into a slug, and the strange town where little boys have fangs, and the fruit on the trees are full of blood.

RELATED: 10 Anime Characters Who Get Scared Way Too Easily

In the episode titled Glyceride, a family that lives in an apartment above the barbecue the father owns gradually becoming more and more saturated with the oil.

3 The World Of The Promised Neverland Is A Deceptive Nightmare Where Children Are Raised As Food

Isabella protects her children

In Promised Neverland, Grace Field House seems like a happy place, not like the stereotypical cold and sterile orphanages of many other stories. The children spend their days learning, playing, and laughing with each other, and the only rule “Mom” has is to stay inside the compound at all times. To their horror, a few of the kids figure out that the orphanage is essentially a farm to raise food for demons, and a tense race against time ensues. It’s a grisly, albeit imaginative, premise.

2 Mermaid Flesh Is Forced On Victims In The Eerie Mermaid Forest

mermaid forest header

Mermaids, humans, and immortals exist in the universe of Mermaid Forest, but they’re not equals. Eating mermaid flesh can make you immortal, but it usually damages humans. Masato is 800 years old, a cruel psychopath who creepily appears as a young boy. He forces his human victims (including his own mother) to eat the flesh of mermaids. He knows it is likely to kill them or transform them into a Lost Soul, but if they last, he gets them to support him and do his bidding as long as they remain alive.

1 Super Creepy Lil’ Slugger Is A Psychological Phenomenon In Paranoia Agent

Lil slugger doesn't make any sense

A creation of renowned filmmaker Satoshi Kon of Paprika and Tokyo Godfathers fame, the true star of Paranoia Agent is Lil’ Slugger, a serial assailant who attacks people with a golden baseball bat. He’s an elementary school student who roams around Tokyo on his inline skates, taking out random people… or so it seems. Lil’ Sluggers real identity and his connection to the victims is a unique part of this tense and revealing psychological horror series.

NEXT: 10 Best Villain Monologues In Anime, Ranked

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