10 Best Monster Anime Every Horror Fan Needs to Watch


  • Gamera Rebirth delivers impressive kaiju battles, but the human storyline and animation quality fall short.
  • Durarara!! blends mythological elements with a gang war, showing that the most horrifying events are caused by humans.
  • Hellsing combines frightening monster designs with impressive action sequences, making Alucard one of the most popular anime protagonists.



The best monster anime has been scaring and thrilling audiences for decades. As the villains or even occasionally as the heroes, monsters have become mainstay characters in both classic anime and new favorites. However, even when monsters are the heroes, that doesn’t make them any less scary.

The concept of monster and what any one person considers monstrous is open-ended, and anime certainly has its share of wild interpretations. From classic horror creatures like vampires, to big threats like kaiju, to monsters that are much harder to define, monsters have always been a big part of anime. The greatest monster anime are all horror masterpieces in their own right.

11 Gamera Rebirth – A Classic Kaiju Becomes Monstrous

Produced By ENGI

Gamera Rebirth

The tagline for the Netflix anime series is “Gamera vs. 5 Kaiju.” Gamera Rebirth certainly delivers on that promise. Gamera battles five of his traditional rivals from the history of the film series. While the human storyline drags on and distracts from the kaiju battles and the quality of the animation of the human characters is mediocre at best, Gamera and the other kaiju are rendered with significantly more detail and the promised kaiju battles are impressive enough to carry the series. Although a heroic figure, Gamera himself is suitably impressive and imposing as he battles the evil kaiju.

Watch On Netflix

10 Durarara!! – Death Gets a Modern Redesign

Produced By Brains Base & Based on the Light Novel By Ryōgo Narita & Suzuhito Yasuda

Celty Sturluson rides a motorcycle in Durarara!!

Reimagining the Dullahan, the headless horseman of Irish mythology, as a woman riding a motorcycle demonstrates how Durarara blends mythological flourishes into what is otherwise essentially a gang war between human factions. Despite such fantastical elements, namely the aforementioned Dullahan being one of the primary characters, these mythological and fantastical elements mostly just highlight that the most horrifying events in the series are caused by Durarara‘s human characters. The supernatural elements of Durarara tie into an extended universe including other anime series like Baccano.

Watch On Hulu

9 Hellsing – The Quintessential Vampire Anime

Produced By Studio Gonzo & Based on the Manga By Kouta Hirano

Alucard in Hellsing Ultimate.

Hellsing is a monster anime where the most notable monster is not only the protagonist but one of the most popular anime protagonists. Alucard is a vampire who fights other vampires as a member of an elite secret Anglican organization devoted to protecting England. That premise sounds ridiculous, and it is. Still, Hellsing combines legitimately frightening monster designs with legitimately impressive action sequences. Although Alucard is consistently one of the most frightening vampire characters on the show, this is somewhat mitigated by the fact that he’s using his full powers against enemies who have it coming.

Watch On Hulu

8 Chainsaw Man – Horrific Devil Designs & Buckets of Gore

Produced By Studio MAPPA & Based on the Manga By Tatsuki Fujimoto

One of the breakaway hits of the fall 2022 anime season, Chainsaw Man is, in a word, relentless. It’s relentlessly dark, relentlessly violent, and relentlessly stylish. The monsters, including Denji’s own Chainsaw Man form are all suitably nightmarish. The series doesn’t pull any punches regarding its violence or other graphic content. Denji’s devil hunts do serve as the basis for a compelling dark Urban Fantasy story with great visual style, but Chainsaw Man requires a strong stomach to really appreciate.

Watch On Crunchyroll

7 Hell’s Paradise – Ninjas Take On Monstrous Animal Hybrids

Produced By Studio MAPPA & Based on the Manga By Yuji Kaku

6 Hell's Paradise Gabimaru and Sagiri

Escorted by elite samurai guards with orders to kill if they fail or attempt to escape, a group of convicts is conscripted by the Shogun to travel to a mysterious island to acquire the elixir of life. Despite the series’ gorgeous art style, Hell’s Paradise is brimming with nightmarish content. The island is inhabited by monsters with combined human and animal features and ruled over by a group of eight ruthless shape-shifters with godlike powers. Even more than a few of the otherwise completely mundane human convicts are monsters in their own right, serial killers with horrifying backstories.

Watch On Crunchyroll

5 Spirited Away – A Strange and Subtly Unsettling World

Produced By Hayao Miyazaki & Studio Ghibli

Admittedly more whimsical than scary, Spirited Away is nevertheless monster-centric and the designs of the various monsters and spirits give them unique visual identities and wonderfully convey their inherent otherworldliness. Most of the moments of actual unambiguous scariness come from No-Face, who is more than capable of being legitimately frightening when given the opportunity. Spirited Away is fundamentally a fairy tale, and as such uses frightening moments with the kind of whimsy one would expect from the genre.

Watch On Max

4 Inuyasha – Feudal Japan Gets a Monstrous Reimagining

Produced By Sunrise & Based on the Manga By Rumiko Takahashi

Although Inuyasha is much more a romance and adventure story than a pure horror story, Rumiko Takahashi’s art style and monster design throughout the series is brilliant. The monsters are demons hunting for the shards of the Shikon Jewel range from the unsettling to the horrifying and many of them mutate into newer, stronger, and more monstrous forms as they become empowered by the Jewel shards. Naraku, the primary villain of the series, stands out. His body is cobbled together from parts of other demons, and he has a tendency to survive as just a head when the rest of him has been destroyed.

Watch On Hulu

3 Mushi-Shi – Spirits Beyond Humanity’s Comprehension

Produced By Artland & Based on the Manga By Yuki Urushibara

via IMDB

Ginko is a Mushi Master, a sort of wandering combination of an exorcist and a therapist. Traveling in a deliberately anachronistic version of historical Japan, Ginko helps people haunted by mushi, spirits that aren’t necessarily evil but operate with their own internal logic and morality that’s so incomprehensible to humans that they’re inherently dangerous. Mushi-Shi is fairly laid-back and mellow for a monster-focused anime and doesn’t have much action, but the mushi themselves are just so uncanny that they’re fascinating creatures even when they aren’t outright scary.

Related: New Manga Is Mushishi if Ginko Worked for the Devil

Watch On Crunchyroll

2 Godzilla Singular Point – The Most Famous Kaiju is Scarier Than Ever

Produced By Studio Orange & Studio Bones

Godzilla Ultima surrounded by fire in Godzilla Singular Point

In reimagining Godzilla as a quantum monstrosity from beyond space-time, Godzilla Singular Point manages to both put a completely unique spin on Godzilla and make him the most genuinely scary and unsettling he’s been since perhaps all the way back in 1954.

Although Godzilla himself lacks the sheer size of his other recent adaptations, Singular Point does an amazing job at presenting just how helpless the human heroes are in the face of an incomprehensible monster that literally rewrites the laws of physics just by existing. Pervaded by a sense of growing dread, the struggle to defeat Godzilla in Singular Point is one of the most compelling Godzilla stories ever.

Watch On Netflix

1 Mononoke – The Best Monster Anime

Produced By Toei Animation


A paranormal mystery series surrounding an enigmatic Medicine Seller who appears unannounced to deal with hauntings, Mononoke is a masterpiece of psychological horror and atmosphere. The series is designed virtually from the ground up to make the audience as unsettled and uneasy as possible. The characters are all deliberately drawn to make the most of the Uncanny Valley, and that’s not even getting into the fact that the Medicine Seller himself is clearly some sort of supernatural being.

The art style is all clashing colors and patterns. The mononoke themselves, the spirits responsible for the hauntings, are either never depicted on-screen or in abstract fashion steeped in symbolism and visual metaphors. There are very few jump scares, but the most frightening element of Mononoke is the fact that it’s never quite clear what exactly is actually happening. Mononoke might not be as famous as some other horror anime, but its unique art style and compelling stories are enough to make it the best monster anime of all time.

Watch On Netflix


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