In tough times of our life, there are tons of slice of life, and romance anime shows to watch. And they are always fun to watch because of the simple plot and light-hearted scenes. But in the anime universe, there is a genre that most people love to watch even though they know it is full of violence and intense scenes. Dark anime shows explore the depths of cruelty, unexpected situations, and even some psychological storylines.
These dark anime can mess with your mind and lets you think about what you would do if you were in those situations. The word ‘Dark’ means it is a composition of a lot of things such as violence, psychological, and deepness. And some of these anime even include sexual content along with the violence. So, if you’re here looking for some great dark anime series, then you’re in the right place. Well then, Let’s get started with our list of best dark anime.
Best Dark Anime to Watch
The Promised Neverland (2019)
The Promised Neverland is a perfect example of a dark anime thriller. The story sets in an orphanage where kids grow as a family. Emma, Norman, and Ray are the main characters who find the dark truth behind the orphanage and the outside world. The home they’re living in is no longer a place for them to stay. But escaping from there is almost impossible. This trio of kids is now planning to escape the orphanage by seeking out a perfect plan. But it isn’t easy to win against Mom of the orphanage who is highly intellectual. Can these genius kids outmanoeuvre the mom and escape along with the children? Well, to know that you must watch it.
This anime has a high impact on the audience since its release in 2019. It tells you a great tale of the belief you keep on the people who raise you from the moment you born. And also what happens if you underestimate the kids with genius brains. You can experience a lot of feelings in this anime. Adorableness, Sorrow, Intense Situations, Emotional setting, and what else. In other words, The Promised Neverland is a thriller package of all emotions. If you’re thinking of watching a dark anime series, it is the first recommendation you should go through.
Made in Abyss (2017)
Made in Abyss is a fantastic anime with unique characteristics. Notably, its animation and character designs are uncommon from the rest of the anime. The Abyss is a place filled with carnivorous monsters and natural hazards that is so hard even for an experienced adventurer. But two young students Riko and Reg, set out on a journey through the Abyss to find Riko’s lost mother. What they don’t know is the physical and mental pain they need to endure to complete their mission. When the mysteries reveal one by one, Riko and Reg face off them even if that costs their lives.
This anime is so near to perfection. From animation to the storyline, everything it presents is unique, and you won’t easily find such things in other anime. And it is a dark anime with some terrifying situations and unplanned expectations. Every minute it keeps you on the edge of your seat, and with each episode, the situations intensify. In the meanwhile, you also get to some cute scenes which are quite rare in such types of anime. Overall, you get to experience a thrill ride with a load of intense situations. Thus, it is one of the best dark anime series out there.
Parasyte: The Maxim (2014)
Parasyte: The Maxim is a brutal show but an excellent one. Imagine some strange invading the earth and taking the residence in the human bodies. They could be controlling your neighbours, your friends, or anyone from your family. Anything can happen at any moment, and who knows when those parasites attack others. The plot is intriguing, and the situations are pure intense. But you need some bravery to watch it because when it comes to violence, it doesn’t hold back. Despite all these, its storyline is quite unpredictable and good paced. Thus, we brought it to the list of best dark anime.
Shinichi is a high school who is in possession of the parasite named Migi. Migi is only able to take control over his right hand. But Migi is not the only parasite on the earth. But the real question is, why did they come to the earth in the first place? Are the Parasites evil, or they just want to place to survive? Can both humans and parasites co-exist? Migi has a tough time surviving in this world, but he eventually adjusts and fights against some cruel nightmares. Well, if you like watching anime that involve different species, then this one is for you.
Psycho-Pass is too soon to become an anime because it is futuristic or simply it is very advanced compared to the other anime. Imagine a world where justice is done through technology by measuring the person’s mind and see whether they’ll commit crimes. It takes place in the near future where a device named Psycho-pass measures the people’s Crime Coefficient Index. If it is too high, then a specialized team of potent criminals known as Enforcers takes care of it. The protagonist is one of the members of Enforcers. If you love to watch an anime with a unique concept, then you can go on with this.
This anime is futuristic, but at the same time, it is so dark. There are numerous violent scenes in the anime, and it doesn’t hold back in presenting them. But it also conveys a profound message of what happens when a world ruled by a Cyberpunk system with a lack of humanity. Psycho-pass is interestingly a premise plot that has no mistakes in presenting each aspect. Overall, the concept and the way of presenting are the two things I liked the most in it. Well, if you don’t want to miss one of the best dark anime series, then make sure you watch it.
Akame Ga Kill (2014)
Akame Ga Kill is one of the most splendid shows out there, yet it could have been made better. I mean, there aren’t many negative points, but when it comes to violence, it is just too much. People often call it the ‘Game of Thrones’ of anime. Unlike any other anime, you’ll like most of the characters, but you’ll also witness numerous deaths happening for ludicrous reasons. But in terms of action, you can count on it. With characters possessing different types of Imperial Arms, you get to watch some rare combinational abilities of the users.
Tatsumi is a country boy who goes to the capital to make a name of himself and save his village from poverty. Since he is new to the capital, he losses all the money and somehow ends up in the hands of a girl who helps him in joining the capital’s army. However, the girl is a psychopath who tortures people, and when a band of assassins known as “Night Raid” saves him, he discovers the truth of capital and joins the Night Raid to fight against injustice. But going against isn’t as easy as they think. If you’re looking for an action anime with a dark concept, then you’ll like this one.
Terror in Resonance (2014)
Terror in Resonance is an anime that sets the barrier of hopes high, and in the end, it’ll make your hopes true. I mean, its amazing and worth the watch. The only drawback you can find in the anime is its starts slowly, but once the situations heat up, there’s no stopping the excitement. But it doesn’t mean the beginning episodes are bad. They generate an exciting premise and lets you watch the next episodes smoothly. A mysterious threat, Terrorists, Government’s Negotiation, and what else, this anime has a whole bunch of interesting things to hook you up. So, make sure you watch this fantastic dark anime series.
This 11-episode dark anime series starts with a terrorist attack that takes place in Tokyo. And the news spreads throughout the country through a video sent by the terrorists. And these aren’t a group of some mysterious men. They’re two boys who call themselves as “Sphinx.” But the attack is just a trigger to start the game they are going to play to bring down the country. But what is their actual goal? Are they bad guys, or do they have any specific purpose? To find it out, make sure you watch this epic thriller. Thus, we brought it into the list of best dark anime series.
Tokyo Ghoul (2014)
Tokyo Ghoul is one of those anime where love and hatred lie equally. Some people hate it and some people simply love it. It’s not like anime is bad or good either. It has its pros and cons. But when into comes to violence and dark concept, Tokyo Ghoul is the first anime you need to check. Its story is like a dilemma and the characters are lovable. This anime does have some gruesome deaths and epic action scenes but more importantly, it never fails to make you emotional. Even though it did not follow the original events of the manga, it is still a worthy watch.
It all starts with a date of Kaneki with Rize, who is a ghoul but despite knowing that he decides to go on a date with her. Ghouls are different species that feed on humans by living among them. Due to an accident, Kaneki gets organ transplantation from the Rize’s body. However, now he turns into a half-ghoul who has a place to leave in both humans and ghouls world. Even though he struggles in the beginning, he soon recognizes that the world is wrong. Kaneki wants the world to change. A world where ghouls and humans can co-exist, can he do it. It is definitely one of the best dark anime series to watch.
Future Diary (2011)
Future Diary is quite a dark anime and also involves a lot of thinking to understand it. The story sets in a world where Twelve people get nominated to become a god of the world. But to achieve the title, they must kill the other nominees with their strange diaries that predict the future in various ways. The protagonist Yukiteru Amano is one of those Twelve persons. He teams up with a girl named Yuno who does anything to protect Yukiteru, but what might be waiting for him out there? Let’s not spoil much because it is better off without those.
If you think this is just a typical psychological dark anime, then you’re wrong. Despite presenting us with regular antagonists, the female lead Yuno is also a character to look on. She is highly manipulative and always does crazy things to keep Yukiteru to herself. In terms of thrill, you’ll become pleased throughout the series. In the end, you’ll get to watch a survival-related psychological anime with a slight touch of Romance and Love. What more could you expect from an anime? So, if you want an anime to keep to occupied in less time, Future Diary is a good recommendation for you. After all, it is one of the best anime out there.
Devil Man: Crybaby (2018)
You might’ve heard almost all the never that we mentioned above. But Devilman: Crybaby stays apart from those. In other words, it is one of the most underrated anime. It presents you with many themes that involve modern cultural values even though its manga published back in 1972. Besides being a dark anime, it also reveals the nature of how humans can become sadistic devils when they possessed and true intentions behind them. However, it still stays fierce when it comes to presenting the scenes. In the end, you’ll like it for both plot and its pace.
An enigmatic friend of Ryu named Akira attends an underground party and becomes possessed by a demon lord known as Amon. But due to his pure heart, he has full control over his body, and he can transform into the demon at his will. Ryo uses this opportunity to fight against the demons who revived and trying to take over the human world. It is dark, violent, and at the same time, sad. Devil Man: Crybaby uses every element from the anime to make it even more mysterious and entertains the viewers continuously. Thus, it is one of the best dark anime out there.
Goblin Slayer (2018)
When it comes to dark anime, the list is always incomplete without Goblin Slayer. You’ll know it from the beginning that the anime is not meant for kids. The violence in the anime includes gruesome deaths, sexual scenes, and much more. But in presenting them all, it never holds back. But more importantly, its pacing is good from the beginning because it gets straight to the point, and we’ll know clearly about the characters. When it comes to the story, it is pretty decent. If we have to talk about cons, then its violence can become one, but since we’re talking about a dark anime, it is a must.
In a fantasy adventure world, a lonesome hero hunts down Goblins, the creatures who kill humans, and some even go far to do some unspeakable things. In return, he gets gold and glory. When an inexperienced priestess goes on a journey, she gets in trouble with goblins. However, our goblin slayer rescues her, and thus, he realizes his journey isn’t just slaying some mere goblins but far challenging. In this adventurous anime, you have all types of ingredients like lust, love, violence, and emotional appeal. Well, if you’re looking for a dark anime that sets in a fantasy world, the Goblin Slayer is the one you need to check.
There you go! The ultimate list of best dark anime that can make you go nuts with violent scenes and thrill. Despite just violence, these anime are as thrilling as the anime that specially suit for the thriller genre. If you have already watched all of these dark anime or you’re not satisfied with these, we can recommend you some extra ones like Death Note, Attack on Titan, Dororo. So that you know, we made this list to be filled with some rare anime, and that’s why most of the popular dark anime shows aren’t on the list.
But it is always best to try out the news ones instead of sticking with only the popular ones. Well, that’s the primary motto of Anime Ukiyo and we strive to deliver you heartful content. So, what do you think about our list of best dark anime? Have you any of those? If so, which one is your favourite from the above list? Feel free to express your thoughts in the comment section.
Visit the anime community of India-Anime Ukiyo for more content!