The horror genre draws out an intense fear from all viewers, leaving us trembling with an overwhelming sense of uneasiness. For every viewing experience, there are many elements that can contribute to the horror genre; including death, the paranormal, torture, gore, and so much more. As we approach the scariest holiday of the year, we are increasingly drawn to watch the most frightening anime, testing our courage to see how spooked we can get. For this occasion, we’ve rounded up the top 10 horror characters in anime, hoping to give you nightmares for weeks on end. We hope you’re up for the challenge! Let’s go!
10. “Bellflower Monster” from Ao Oni: The Animation (Movie)
Aired: February 11, 2017
Ao Oni: The Animation (Movie) is based on the Ao Oni game featuring a new story. The story centers on Hiroshi and his friends; Mika, Takeshi, and Takurou, as they explore an abandoned mansion outside of town. Rumored to house monsters and other unearthly beings, the friends decide to sort fiction from facts, finally laying rumors to rest. Braving dangers and putting their courage to the test, the four enter the mansion to come upon a blue monster that attacks them. As they face Ao Oni and unlock the riddles within, Hiroshi, Mika, Takeshi, and Takurou find themselves encountering a number of horrible circumstances.
The “Bellflower Monster” or the “Blue Demon” is an odd-looking blue creature with an abnormally large head, featureless body, and it somewhat resembles a human. Its distinct large, oddly-shaped eyes, and ability to open its mouth unusually wide make its appearance terrifying. What is even more frightening about Ao Oni is that not much is known about it, other than the fact that it feeds on people. Hiroshi and his friends are incredibly brave to take on such a mysterious foe, trying to outrun it as it chases them about the mansion.
9. Red Person from Karadasagashi
Aired: July 2017 – August 2017
From the instant Asuka Morisaki set her sights on the ghost of dead student Haruka Mikami, her life has changed for the worse! With help from her friends, Asuka discovers that the mysterious Red Person hunts her trail. This Red Person is recognized as a hunter who takes down lone students wandering the campus, stopping at nothing to kill its victim and separating his or her remains. Karadasagashi follows Asuka’s quest, as she finds the eight pieces of deceased Haruka before she endures the same horrific fate.
Red Person demonstrates the scariest game of hide and seek combined with Groundhog Day to date, chopping his victim’s body in eight different pieces and scattering them about the school grounds, making sure the task is complete before the next day commences. This game and cycle appear endless, as students are swept into participating. Moreover, no form of escape appears in plain sight, undeniably a nightmare for all that never goes away.
8. Shiro from Deadman Wonderland
Aired: April 2011 – July 2011
Deadman Wonderland captures life in Japan after a natural disaster that destroyed a huge percentage of Tokyo. In order to rebuild what was lost, the state raises funds by sending convicts from around the globe to work at Japan’s first privatized prison, Deadman Wonderland. In this prison amusement park, onlookers watch convicted prisoners perform dangerous acts. As protagonist Ganta Igarashi is accused of a very serious crime, we observe whether he is able to survive this ruthless and sadistic environment with prisoners threatening each other’s lives endlessly.
Shiro’s appearance is ghastly, as she has snow-white hair, pale skin, and deep red eyes. For the most part, she acts a bit daft, but when it comes to Ganta’s well being, Shiro always shows an intense care and concern for him, protecting him at all costs. A fascinating feature about her character is her regeneration ability, which makes her immune to most harm inflicted by other inmates. Furthermore, her second personality, the Wretched Egg, is a force to be reckoned with, taking a form opposite of Shiro’s; she becomes sadistic, merciless, vicious and malevolent. Definitely a gal to avoid in the yard at all costs.
7. Ai Enma from Jigoku Shoujo (Hell Girl)
Aired: October 2005 – April 2006
Hell Girl surrounds the concept of revenge, watching people reap what they sow and essentially getting their “just deserts.” Imagine if inflicting this punishment was possible by simply accessing a website to send your intended victim straight to hell. The “Hell Correspondence” will call up Enma Ai, whose sole task is to ferry the chosen target to hell. As this is only the half of it, the remainder of this contract must be completed when the requesting person submits payment of himself or herself into hell as well. Scary!
Enma Ai is a horror character that makes the list because of the swift and unforgiving nature of her job. The fear of death and damnation is something one does not look forward to when their time is up. The circumstance is heightened when someone as sinister and creepy-looking as Ai is the one to bring you to your doom. Often seen with a floral kimono and piercing red eyes, she may appear harmless, but don’t be fooled, she is far from friendly.
6. Zanku from Akame ga Kill!
Aired: July 2014 – December 2014
Akame Ga Kill! documents the journey of Tatsumi, as he starts out a young boy seeking funds for his poor village, but comes to learn the true hardships of life. As Tatsumi slowly becomes an assassin for Night Raid, this once naïve boy develops into a knowledgeable young man. A covert section of the Revolutionary Army, Night Raid’s objective is to take down the corruption that exists in the Imperial Capital. Through Tatsumi’s experiences, we get to explore the events that take place while deposing corruption as he fights the enemy, learns new skills, and ultimately balances good and evil.
Zanku becomes Night Raid’s next target, as we are introduced to him in the fourth episode of the series. Also known as the Beheader, Zanku was a notorious serial killer, infamous for severing the heads of his victims. Once an executioner for the Imperial prison, his role took a toll on him, driving him mad. He’s evaded the police ever since he stole the Teigu, Spectator. The stolen Spectator is an interesting device because the headpiece allows the user to hear and predict the thoughts and moves of others. Paired and utilized by the wrong hands, Zanku’s power became even more disturbing, leaving his victims no route of escape.
5. Kaneyuki Miyama a.k.a. Urado from Ghost Hunt
Aired: October 2006 – March 2007
Ghost Hunt follows the story of Mai Taniyama, as she and her friends share an interest in ghost telling and the paranormal. One day, the girls discuss the legend of the abandoned building beside her school, conjuring tales of what could have resulted in the building’s closure. Then, a young man named Kazuya “Naru” Shibuya, the lead investigator at the Shibuya Psychic Research Center, interrupts the girls, as he was sent by the principal to investigate the building. After breaking some pricy equipment, Mai becomes employed by the Research Center, assisting Naru and the team. Becoming heavily involved in many cases, Mai gains further knowledge of various paranormal entities and practices that have existed and developed throughout our history.
Although there were many scary, unworldly faces in Ghost Hunt, the one we identified as extra eerie is Kaneyuki Miyama a.k.a. Urado from case file 7, The Bloodstained Labyrinth arc. Without giving too much away, Kaneyuki lived his life lavishly, obsessed with fighting mortality. Kaneyuki traveled to many parts of the world and studied all types of lore to prolong his life after he was diagnosed with an ailment since his childhood. Then, Kaneyuki learned of the story of Countess Elizabeth Báthory in the 16th century, whose motif was to bathe in the blood of her victims to retain her youth. Imitating her modus operandi, in life and death, Kaneyuki, who later proclaims himself, “Urado” , took the lives of the young for the purpose of youthfulness.
4. Shuu Tsukiyama from Tokyo Ghoul
Aired: July 2014 – September 2014
Tokyo Ghoul takes place in a time where humans and human-like beings called ghouls coexist. Even though they live among each other, humans fear becoming prey to the ghouls, and the ghouls face the challenge of attempting to blend in. With their supernatural abilities and an appetite for human flesh, the ghouls are mercilessly hunted down by a government agency called CCG. As they engage in the fight against instinct and issues as well as avoiding capture by the CCG, Ken Kaneki, being from both worlds, demonstrates the difficulties and advantages of each species.
Shuu Tsukiyama is first introduced to Ken in Anteiku and becomes absolutely obsessed with him. Everything about Ken, including his scent and exotic nature is rare and exclusive, something he truly covets because he’s never encountered anyone like him. Over time, Shuu’s obsession becomes overprotectiveness, devoting much of himself to Ken’s livelihood. With a koukaku kagune that doubles as a shield and blade, in addition to increased physical strength, Shuu is a fellow you do not want to see or hear utter the words, “bon appetit”.
3. Gluttony from Fullmetal Alchemist
Aired: October 2003 – October 2004
Fullmetal Alchemist follows two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric. The Elric brothers live in a world where alchemy exists. After their father abandoned them, Edward and Alphonse lived peacefully with their mother. Some years later, the boys tragically lose their mother. Having a talent for alchemy, the boys decide to bring their mother back. To explain the intricacies of alchemy, it utilizes the laws of equivalent exchange; something of equal value must be sacrificed in order to receive what is desired, and things cannot be produced out of nothing. However, human transmutation, what the boys attempted to perform to get their mother back, is strictly forbidden and unfortunately goes terribly wrong. As the series progresses, we discover what heart-wrenching lengths Edward and Alphonse must go to in order to regain the parts of them that were lost.
Gluttony is one of the Homunculi created, whose names and attributes are based on the seven deadly sins. Gluttony is easily swayed, for the most part, until he is overcome with the excessive emotion of greed and indulgence, craving human flesh and needing to devour everything in his path. When he reaches this point, and appears to do so often, it is difficult to reason with him, making Gluttony a horrific creature to encounter.
2. Caster from Fate/Zero
Aired: October 2011 – December 2011
Fate/Zero captures the events that occurred ten years prior to the sequel Fate/Stay Night. Fate/Zero unveils the happenings that transpired during the fourth Holy Grail war. This competition entails a supernatural battle of servants and their masters, as they collaborate for the chance to win the Grail, with the prize of having a wish fulfilled. In this contest, the path to winning is paved with hardships, betrayal, distress and suffering and the competitors must face all these obstacles and more to reach victory.
Caster is the servant of Ryuunosuke Uryuu, a notorious serial killer who murdered his family and uses their blood as a core ingredient for the summoning ritual. With no magical background or interest in the Holy Grail War, Caster’s master was only involved because of their mutual sadistic interests. Caster’s sinister appearance on the outside reflects just as scary on the inside, as he displays the sick ways his mind functions. Holding no morals, Caster enjoys toying with his victims using a variety of horrific methods, essentially resulting in their deaths to relieve him of boredom. “Idle hands are the devil’s handiwork.”
1. Ryuk from Death Note
Aired: October 2006 – June 2007
This popular anime follows Light Yagami, a young high school student, who one day stumbles upon a Death Note, a notebook enhanced with magical, yet evil power. The notebook was dropped by a shinigami named Ryuk, a god of death from the nether realm who made his way into the world of the living. The power of the Death Note is invoked once an individual’s name is written down on a page, sentencing them to death. Furthermore, the Death Note can also entail specifics on time, date, and how the individual will meet their demise. As a uncomplacent teen, Light is also incredibly intelligent, using the Death Note as a means to condemn the “bad” to keep them from committing any more harm. As he channels this new ambition, Light discovers his sense of worth in this great, big universe.
Many have wondered if it is truly possible to eliminate all traces of evil from the world, and if so, what would our world be like? Although an insightful idea, Light fails to discern Ryuk’s overall intent, as an individual or because of his occupation, not analyzing if such a huge responsibility as eradicating evil comes with a high price tag . Being a grim-reaper, a god of death, Ryuk must ensures his survival and extends his life by the death of humans. As Light picks and chooses who “deserves” to die, Ryuk does not benefit from this arrangement, given that Light holds a lot of power in this operation. Later, we learn that the power of the Death Note corrupted its previous hosts, who may or may not have had other ideas for its usage as well. Overall, Ryuk ranks number one on the list for horror characters because he finds entertainment in this evil cycle of death, and the passage of ownership of the Death Note.
We hope you enjoyed our choices for top 10 horror characters in anime! If you haven’t already, make sure to check out all of these great titles! Additionally, take a look at the original article, notating several other horror characters that are just as spooky and hair-raising! As we refer the two articles, we almost forgot to mention the super creepy creatures from Terra Formars! Yikes!
As this article comes just in time for Hallows Eve, these choice characters are absolutely frightful, emanating horror at its finest! Moreover, as they star in your worst nightmares, these characters are some of many that will be difficult to shake off for several days! From this assessment, let us know if we’ve missed any other great horror characters by commenting below! See ya!