Incredible anime series to watch if you love psychological horror

Top 5 best psychological horror anime

The psychological horror genre in anime is gaining popularity in recent years and it’s easy to see why. These kinds of shows explore the darker perspective of the human psyche. Most of these display common themes of trauma, fear, feeling suspicious, and paranoia. 

The storyline of the anime that have been suggested in this listicle is quite unique and thrilling. However, they may be quite disturbing to watch unless you are a hardcore fan of dark scenarios. Keep reading this article to know the names of some incredible anime series which will leave a lasting impression on you.

Disclaimer: This article is subjective and based on the writer’s personal opinions.

Remarkable psychological anime to try out: Tokyo Ghoul, Monster, and more 

1) Tokyo Ghoul

Kaneki Ken in Tokyo Ghoul
Kaneki Ken in Tokyo Ghoul (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Genre: Animation, Horror, Thriller, Dark Fantasy

Where to stream: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Hulu  

Number of Episodes: 48 Episodes 

Release Date: July 3, 2014

You may have already guessed that this series is bound to appear in a list of this kind. Tokyo Ghoul is an anime based on the manga series written by Sui Ishida. It is the story of a college student, Ken Kaneki, who encounters a ghoul. He then turns into a hybrid creature, half human and half ghoul that feeds on human flesh. It has four seasons with 12 episodes, each and also a spin-off series called Tokyo Ghoul: re, and Tokyo Ghoul: Jack.

This series explores a world where humans and ghouls co-exist. It portrays the struggle to survive in a world of discrimination, corruption, unequal power, and control. Tokyo Ghoul focuses on the blurred lines between good and evil and ghoul-human coexistence. 

Overall, it is a very rewarding viewing experience as you will gain a unique perspective that the creators want to show. Plus you will feel the fear and tension while watching this show.

2) Monster

Tenma Kenzo in Monster
Tenma Kenzo in Monster (Image via Studio Nippon TV)

Genre: Crime, Mystery, Psychological Horror

Where to stream: Monster, Hulu Japan, Amazon Prime Video Japan, Amazon (DVD)

Number of Episodes: 74 Episodes

Release Date: April 7, 2004

Monster is another great psychological horror anime based on the manga series written by Naoki Urasawa. This is the story of Doctor Kenzo Tenma, who saves the life of a young boy named Johan.

Monster has a unique slow-paced build till it reaches a climax. So you may not feel the adrenaline rush or mind-blowing plot twists in the entirety of the shows. Rather this show stands out for its emphasis on philosophical themes, in-depth exploration of character psychology, and compelling character development.

In short, this show has captured the chilling reality of a world ruled by cruelty and brutality, where the innocent are powerless and the wicked thrive.

3) Serial Experiments Lain

Serial Experiments Lain
Lain in the anime Serial Experiments Lain (Image via Studio Triangle Staff)

Genre: Animation, Horror, Cyberpunk, Psychological Horror

Where to stream: Funimation, Apple TV, 9anime

Number of Episodes: Serial Experiments Lain

Release Date: July 6, 1998

Serial Experiments Lain is a cult classic anime that is centered around a young girl named Lain as she discovers a deeper rabbit hole over the internet. It has a unique and intriguing storyline that will keep you engaged and stimulate your intellect.

The series conveys a deeper meaning and has lots of mind-boggling twists and hidden messages. At some point in time, Lain begins to question whether the reality she experiences is authentic or the virtual reality of the Internet is the true. By watching this show, you will question your own beliefs and contemplate the impact of technology on our lives.

Furthermore, you may find an uncommon art style featuring minimal character designs, that sets it apart from any other series. Serial Experiments Lain pushed the boundaries of its time and is still considered a great psychological horror by many.

4) Elfen Lied

A horrific scene from Elfen Lied
Lucy from the anime Elfen Lied (Image via Arms Studio Guts)

Genre: Horror, Science Fiction, Psychological Thriller

Where to stream: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Amazon Video

Number of Episodes: 13 Episodes

Release Date: July 25, 2004

Elfen Lied is a captivating anime series that revolves around complex psychological themes like regret, jealousy, abuse, and the nature of humanity. These are shown in a thought-provoking and intense manner, which will make you question humanity.

Elfen Lied can be disturbing to some viewers as it features graphic violence and gore. As the plot unfolds, the show delves deeper into the characters’ past trauma and abuse. Slowly their actions become more understandable to the viewers. 

This series is known for its ability to evoke a range of emotions among viewers. The main character may seem to be evil at first but later you may begin to sympathize with her. In short, if you enjoy a complex storyline and psychological depth, Elfen Lied will be worth watching for you.

5) Another

Misaki Fujioka in Another anime
Misaki Fujioka from anime Another (Image via P.A. Works)

Genre: Mystery, Horror, Thriller

Where to stream: Netflix, Crunchyroll, Amazon UK.

Number of Episodes: 12 Episodes

Release Date: September 24, 2020

If you enjoy psychological horror shows that have mysteries and unpredictable plots then Another is a must watch. The anime follows a group of students who are cursed by a mysterious phenomenon that causes gruesome deaths in their class. The students must uncover the truth of the curse before it’s too late.

The characters of the show are well developed and as the story continues their actions will become more and more important to the plot. This anime is not for the faint hearted to watch as it uses gore and violence to create an unsettling and eerie atmosphere with a constant fear of what is going to happen next.

Another is going to keep you hooked with its suspenseful plot and unpredictable twists. Overall, having an intriguing plot this is a great show to watch for all the fans of psychological horror series and you will enjoy it to the fullest.

From the suspenseful Another to the horrific Elfen Lied, these anime offer a unique viewing experience.

Whether you are a fan of horror anime or not, the ones on this list are worth watching because of their gripping storyline. So turn off the lights and settle in to both be terrified and spellbound by these incredible works of art.

You can also share any questions you have about the anime series. Until then, stay with us here at Spiel Times for more content.

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