What are the best dark anime?

Anime is one of the best forms of entertainment that's loved by millions of fans across the world today. It has so many shows across a wide variety of genres from the usual shounen and shoujo anime. Then, there are more unique and niched shows, targeted at more mature audiences. Shows like seinen and dark anime that have a very specific type of fan base. These shows usually tackle more serious themes and topics. They're thought-provoking and encourage the viewer to ponder more about what they're watching.

You might be thinking to yourself that you're limited to the type of dark anime show that you can watch. You'd be wrong about that as even dark anime show has plenty of sub-genres to choose from. You have dark psychological and action anime, which is to be expected, but you have others as well. You have dark fantasy anime shows, and even more unusual, dark romance anime that you can watch and enjoy. You wouldn't think that last one would work but much to your surprise, it does and it does so well.

If you've never watched any kind of dark anime before, you're in for a nice surprise. It's going to be a very different viewing experience from what you're used to. Some of it will be disturbing to watch at first. As you progress along though, you'll realize, there is meaning and method to the chaos and madness. You might not ever become a fan of this particular genre. You'll have a new-found appreciation for this kind of storytelling in the end though. So with our further ado, join us as we take a look at what are the best dark anime that is worth your time in our list below. Pick one that best suits you and let us know what you thought in the comments.

asked by Content Reviewer 12
74 contributors
15 solutions
  1. 24



    Berserk is a dark fantasy anime television series based on Kentaro Miura's manga of the same name that aired from 2016 to 2017 with 24 episodes. This anime follows the story of the Black Swordsman covering the Conviction arc of the manga. 

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    Zhang Yan
    Written on February 25, 2019
    "One of the darkest anime series ever created. Each character in the show basically lives in despair from something in their lives. Whether it's being haunted by the past or struggling to find a future, this is one gory and painful story of redemption."
  2. 12

    #2Hellsing Ultimate

    Hellsing Ultimate

    Hellsing Ultimate is a popular anime under the action and supernatural genre. It first aired in 2006 and features the story of an organization called Hellsing. Hellsing is dedicated to destroying evil creatures of darkness.

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    Wayne Harper
    Written on May 29, 2019
    "A lot of my friends are certified otakus but they haven't actually seen this good dark anime right here just because they think Alucard is more twisted than ever. Well, they were able to know something about the anti-heroic vampire because I have been recommending this to them. You can also try it out :)"
  3. 9



    Steins;Gate is a Japanese animated series with 24 episodes and an OVA released by White Fox studio. It follows the story of a group of friends creates a machine to send messages across time. 

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    Han Han
    Written on February 25, 2019
    "A dark sci-fi anime using time travel as its main premise. This goes to show there isn't anything that one won't do for the people that they love and care about. A psychological, roller-coaster ride of emotions that's worth watching."
  1. 5



    Psycho-Pass is an anime series directed by Naoyoshi Shiotani and Katsuyuki Motohiro and written by Gen Urobuchi. The anime show follows the story of Akane Tsunemori and working with the police and the Sibyl System.

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    Joyce Hernandez
    Written on February 25, 2019
    "The mind is a wonderful place filled with unexplored mysteries and untapped potential. It is also a dark place to dwell in with thoughts so dark and so wicked, one will wonder how anyone is capable of having such thoughts. Both sides of the human psyche are explored in this dark and thought-provoking show. A must-watch for any dark psychological thrillers."
  2. 4



    Drifters is a 12-episode anime series created by Kohta Hirano. Various historical fighters are summoned from across time to wage war on each other, with the fate of the world in the balance.

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    Donald Brooks
    Written on February 25, 2019
    "The premise of the show is a little convoluted in the show's first season but this show is filled with a lot of gore and darkness. It's violent, it's gritty, and a good choice for people looking for these kinds of shows."
  3. 3

    #6Black Lagoon

    Black Lagoon

    Black Lagoon is a Japanese adventure, crime and thriller television series that aired on Chiba TV in 2002 with 12 episodes. It was based on the manga of the same name by Rei Hiroe.

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    Zhou Lai
    Written on February 25, 2019
    "It has gangster and military themes in it and is filled with a lot of gunplay action but the center of the show is really its main heroine and her dark and desperate origin story."
  4. 2

    #7Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

    Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

    Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an adaptation of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga. The story follows two brothers' quest for the Philosopher's Stone after an attempt at human transmutation goes horribly wrong.

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    Deng Qian
    Written on February 25, 2019
    "What would you do to bring back the one you love? What would you give up to have them back? What lengths are you willing to take in order to achieve your ends? Such existential questions are the ones being posed in this show. A must-watch for fans of redemption stories."
  5. 0

    #8Death Parade

    Death Parade
    The Quindecim Bar hosts games between the recently deceased that determine the fate of their souls. Death Parade spawned from the short film Death Billiards, which was part of the Young Animator Training Project's Anime Mirai 2013.
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    Jonathan Reed
    Written on October 21, 2019
    "It seemed unsuspecting enough at first but this anime show has some dark and thought-provoking elements about life and death going on. Give it a shot. You might like it."
  6. 0

    #9Tokyo Ghoul

    Tokyo Ghoul

    Tokyo Ghoul is a dark fantasy anime series that aired on 2015 with 12 episodes. It was based on the manga of the same name by Sui Ishida and licensed under Madman Entertainment, Funimation, and Anime Limited.

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    John Burke
    Written on May 29, 2019
    "Well, I consider Tokyo Ghoul a top dark anime because of the bloody scenes.BUT In terms of the story adaptation, I think the anime itself didn't fully grasp the book version plot and character wise. I think the character development is quite short-changed. I have read the manga where it was based from AND I STILL RECOMMEND IT."
  7. 0



    Jormungand is a 24-episode anime series based on the manga created by Keitaro Takahashi. The series follows Koko Hekmatyar, a young arms dealer who sells weapons under HCLI, an international shipping corporation that secretly deals in the arms trade.

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    Chen Cui
    Written on February 25, 2019
    "This has a military theme going for it filled with mercenaries and weapons dealers but it goes deeper and delves into the dark side of morality and walking along the thin line between good and evil, wrong from right."
  8. 0

    #11Ergo Proxy

    Ergo Proxy
    In a post-apocalyptic future, humans live in peace with androids in a domed city. However, a strange series of murders has intruded into bored inspector Re-l Mayer's life.
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    Debra Fisher
    Written on October 21, 2019
    "One of the best dark anime that I have seen in recent years that is set in this sort of bleak futuristic utopia ruled by technology and the government that manages to be really thought-provoking. Definitely recommended."
  9. 0

    #12Future Diary

    Future Diary
    A young man competes with people around the world for a chance to become the successor of God, with a diary that is able to tell the future. Future Diary (Mirai Nikki) also spawned a live-action television show with a different plot from the manga and anime, as well as a visual novel.
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    Lin Ma
    Written on October 21, 2019
    "The show and the characters seemed normal enough at the start but then, things quickly spiral from then on into something really dark and sinister. The story and art are great, the character development is riveting, and this is probably one of the best dark anime that you could ever watch."
  10. 0

    #13Perfect Blue

    Perfect Blue

    Perfect Blue is an animated psychological thriller film adaptation of a novel with the same title, directed by Satoshi Kon. It was first released August 20, 1999, by Rex Entertainment. It featured the voices of Junko Iwao, Masaaki Okura, and Emi Shinohara.


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    Evelyn Weber
    Written on October 21, 2019
    "It's really something how a film released decades ago could get things in our modern society so right. Things like the issue of privacy, the proliferation of social media in our lives, and the development of on-set mental illnesses in ordinary and unsuspecting individuals. This is a dark anime that is a must-see even if you are not a fan of this type of medium."
  11. 0

    #14Terror in Resonance

    Terror in Resonance
    Terror in Resonance (Zankyou no Terror) tells the story of Nine and Twelve, the two boys behind the masked figures of Sphinx. They should not exist, yet they stand strong in a world of deception and secrets while they make the city fall around them, all in the hopes of burying their own tragic truth.
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    Tyler Peterson
    Written on October 21, 2019
    "This is a good anime series that touches on some real modern-day concerns such as the negative repercussions of technology in our lives and how it has allowed us to be capable of some truly awful acts."
  12. 0

    #15Death Note

    Death Note
    Death Note is Japanese animated series directed by Tetsurō Araki and animated by Madhouse. Before turning into an anime, Death Notes was originally a manga of the same name written by Tsugumi Ohba.
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    Ling Chang
    Written on May 29, 2019
    "More than just one of the best dark anime ever, Death Note for me has become iconic. Story-wise, it is compelling enough to get you hooked within just a few episodes of the anime series. The mind-boggling and deep story made this stand out!"


Best What are the best dark anime
1BerserkTV Shows 24 Paid
2Hellsing UltimateTV Shows 12 Paid
3Steins;GateTV Shows 9 Paid
4Psycho-PassTV Shows 5 Paid
5DriftersTV Shows 4 Paid
6Black LagoonTV Shows 3 Free
7Fullmetal Alchemist: BrotherhoodTV Shows 2 Paid
8Death ParadeTV Shows 0 Paid
9Tokyo GhoulTV Shows 0 Paid
10JormungandTV Shows 0 Paid

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