Five Psychological Horror Anime Worth Checking Out

I am not going to lie, most horror stories don’t have that much of an effect on me. Monsters coming from the grave in different ways, slashers chasing down dumb teenager victims with long knives, or super natural terrors that can’t be explained don’t scare me. My mind is on a too logical of a level to ever consider those things a threat. Have an extra lens of being animated after that fact doesn’t help with me getting thrown into its setting. This is why I prefer more psychological horror stories. Silence of the Lambs is my favorite horror movie after all. The following are anime series that make me feel the same vein as that film.



Paranoia Agent

paranoia agent

From the mind of Satoshi Kon comes the only tv series that he has ever produced. Here we have a down and dirty crime story centered around a kid with a bat beating the stress out of people and having two rag tag police officers attempt to solve what exactly is going on. There is a lot more to it to this story then that, because this series does a good job at examining the states of different parts of Japanese society on a psychological level. It’s also very relatable on to everyone who has experienced stress in their lives so it’s infinitesimally relatable. This show’s mystery is more obvious than you would think, but it’s the journey not the destination that is what series are about most of the time, right?

Monster

monster anime.jpg

This is where you are going to feel a theme of this post come into play. A slow story that is centered around a character’s psychological journey. Monster is about a Japanese doctor working in Germany that is a goody goody who originally saves a person that his boss says he shouldn’t and then finding out that the person he saved is a monster mass murderer. The story after that is about the mental state of our dear doctor as he is kicked out of his job and slowly approaches the state of becoming a killer himself to cover up the misdeed that changed his life for the negative. It’s very long show, but the shows length and pace are what make the show feel more realistic. Plus, the direction of the show and the development of its side characters help it as well. You may need to do some ground work yourself to get more involved in the show, but it’s completely worth it. Believe me, this show is amazing.

Shinsekai Yori

shinsekai yori.jpg

There has been some controversary over this series recently for some reason, but I think it’s pretty good. It’s a show that takes place in the future based on a society of people with psychic abilities. While some information and backstory of this story is a direct download that isn’t paced very well, the show’s very exploration of how that certain society works using time skips is well done for me. I will say that this show is a story more about the society that it’s presenting and commenting on instead of the characters. They are more a vehicle or lense that Shin Sekai Yori is trying to explain itself instead. This is one of few examples of anime in which I allow the world building to take over the character front because it’s just so interesting. It’s a series that is commenting on society. What else am I supposed to say?

Shiki

shiki.jpg

Speaking of slow and about the development of society, we have Shiki. One day in a boring Japanese village in who knows where land, some very eccentric strangers show up. Then in the short while afterward, an unidentifiable virus is going around this town killing everyone. I feel like you guys probably have an idea of what this series is about, but it’s the way citizens of the town react to this ensuing virus that is interesting to me. It’s yet another slow, but worth it series that needs the audience to meet the show half way for them to get something out of it.

Texhnolyze

texhnolyze.jpg

Hey guys, guess what this show is like. You guys probably know, this show is that taller younger brother to Serial Experiments Lain. It’s a series that is tonally dark with despair and humanities worse elements and takes place near the end of humanities run. The series takes place in two settings of the underground world that is mafia controlled and the more technologically advanced upper world that has a small foot hold in the underground world’s business in a lot of ways. With this set up, we see a larger exploration of humanity as they fight for their existence and try to remain true to themselves. Just don’t watch this series when you are depressed. It’s a dangerous show to watch even when you are in a positive mental state.



Ok, so all of series are similar but different in ways, so maybe I should have renamed this post something else. Something about how horror stories are used to explore different facets of society? Does this post say a lot about me? I think it does. Besides, these series are still psychological horror stories still. This title totally works still. Yup. Yup….

What do you guys think? Have you watched these before? Did I not mention a series that you would have? Let me know in the comments below.

43 Comments Add yours

  1. RisefromAshes says:

    Texhnolyze… I have never heard of and I am personally intrigued and ashamed I didn’t know about it sooner since I loved Lain and have been dying for something similar for awhile. I’m glad that you mentioned it since now I can check it out!

    But this is a a really good list with a lot of series I knew and one new gem for me to check out. Realistically, I should watch them all since I haven’t seen any but…. that’s a different day. Thanks for sharing with us!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott says:

      Thanks for reading. Glad I gave you more series to watch. I wish Texhnolyze wasn’t as unknown as it is.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. ospreyshire says:

    Yes! Texhnolyze and Monster! Those are great series. I do want to see Paranoia Agent because that’s the only work from Satoshi Kon that I haven’t watched yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Paranoia Agent is such a mind trip like all of his works. I just wish it was legally available so more people could watch it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ospreyshire says:

        I hear ya. That’s one series I’m surprised wasn’t relicensed.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Lina says:

    I’ve only seen Shiki of these but it is my favorite horror anime. Everyone should watch it. It’s amazing. Texhnolyze sounds intriguing. I like the really dark stuff. I usually watch that kind of thing when I am depressed. Raist’s been at me about Monster so that one is on my list. I am a bit curious about the manga though so I might read it instead. And Paranoia is another one I’m ogling. I really want to watch it but I have to buy it to do that and I never get around to do it. Now might be a good time. Man, psychological horror is my favorite genre. Thank you for this great post!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Scott says:

      Psychical Horror is always a lot of fun.

      It sounds like you have a lot of good watching too do. 😁 Don’t let Raistlin bug you too much.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lina says:

        Haha, it’s hard not to let him, he is such a darling. 😊😎

        Liked by 1 person

  4. CrackReview says:

    Monster probably is my favorite dark anime I’ve ever watched. It’s one that’s so different from all because of complexity, humanity, philosophical, and anything about the darkest of the human side. Shin Sekai Yori also the one that taking beyond what the dark element is. I don’t really care about the controversy which people really taking it so seriously, it’s anime that talk about the dark side of society itself. The rest of it, I still didn’t watch it at all although I knew those three other anime you mention. Great list.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott says:

      Thank you so much! Monster and Shin Sekai Yori definitely blew my mind as well when watching them. I don’t understand how that controversy happened anyway, but whatever.

      I’m glad you know of so these shows.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. CrackReview says:

        You’re welcome, I wanna also try that those anime which I didn’t watch it yet such as Satoshi Kon’s Paranoia Agent, Shiki, and Texhnolyze.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ya Boy Jack says:

    Man… I really need to watch Paranoia Agent, and more Satoshi Kon in general. RIP a legend.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I actually started Texhnolyze after finally having had enough with not knowing what the title meant, and it’s ….kinda boring. Not sure if I’m going to continue, but I definitely see it as a fitting psychology horror anime.

    And of course, you can never go wrong with Shiki and Shinsekai Yori, two of the best anime ever created.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      It is a little slow at first, but it picks up quite a bit soon enough. I guess everyone says things like that, huh? So convincing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. raistlin0903 says:

    I’m currently reading the manga for Monster. I had actually watched the anime up till episode 25 and than real life interfered and I didn’t get back to it. But I came across the manga one day, and picked up the entire series. Am on volume 5 right now and it’s amazing. Now that I am reading the manga I first want to finish that, before I get back to the anime 😊
    I started with Shinsekai Yori yesterday after reading Irina’s post for it. Have only seen one episode so far, but I am really liking it 😊😊 Have this feeling that I am really going to enjoy that one 😊😊 Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott says:

      I really need to read the manga of monster sometime. How accurate is the anime from the manga from what you can tell?

      And yay. We are all either really good or really bad influences on you. Not sure which.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. raistlin0903 says:

        The manga expands the story. MInd you I have only seen the anime up until episode 25. But having read the first 5 volumes, there are things in the manga that weren’t in the first few episodes. That said there were also quite a number of similar things in it. It’s been a great read so far. When I have finished all 9 volumes you can definitely expect a review for it 😊
        Haha: trust me: you are all a very good influence on me: not even have to think twice on that 😊😊

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Scott says:

        Ah, was just wondering.

        And that’s good. Glad we aren’t bad influences. 😁

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Thanks for the list!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      You’re welcome!

      Like

  9. Karandi says:

    I still haven’t gotten to Monster. It has been endlessly recommended and it looks like I’d really enjoy it but I just never get around to tracking it down and watching it.
    This was a great list. Really enjoyed seeing Paranoia Agent on here. As strange a show as it is, there’s some really interesting aspects to it and it is quite the interesting watch.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott says:

      It’s pretty amazing, not going to lie. I definitely think you’ll like it.

      And thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Krystallina says:

    I’m slowly collecting the Monster volumes. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      I might have to do this at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. kimchisama says:

    I have to admit I never heard of the last one and it seems interesting. I really enjoy shows like this but I really space them far apart when I watch haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      A lot of people haven’t heard of Texhnolyze, which is sad.

      Spacing them out is the best thing one can do.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Jon Spencer says:

    Great picks Scott, I definitely agree with these ones 🙂

    I still need to see Monster and Texhnolyze but the others I’ve seen and really enjoyed quite a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Thank you!

      I hope you enjoy those two when you get around to it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jon Spencer says:

        Of course! Monster is one I know I’d love but I just don’t have a way to watch it right now. As for Texhnolyze, that’s on the shelf and I just haven’t had the chance yet. Seems really interesting though 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. To everyone who liked Monster: if you don’t read much manga you should make an exception for Naoki Urasawa (Monster’s creator). Some of his work isn’t in anime form including his biggest epic 20th Century Boys and the live action films are quite frankly nowhere near as good in comparison. Everything he’s ever done is a masterpiece. Seriously check out his work. It’s amazing and we need more of it in the west in English. Not only are his stories masterfully and intricately plotted but his art is out of this world. He can also draw real life locations with astonishing accuracy. Also check out his documentary series “Urasawa Naoki No Manben” which looks at the work of several influential manga artists as he interviews them……it’s a rare and amazing insight behind the scenes of many influential Japanese manga creators and Urasawa himself. Easily one of the most talented manga authors, writers and artists I’ve ever known. I’m in awe of the man’s work.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. jomz says:

    I have watched paranoia agent and monster. I found Monster’s pace too slow, but it is interesting.

    The three shows you mentioned are new to me, and I guess I have something to add to my list to watch. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Artemis says:

    Always great to see Shin Sekai Yori getting more love, as well as Texhnolyze, which I think is pretty underrated. I didn’t really care for either Monster or Shiki, but I put that more down to personal taste than the shows not being good. I know both are quite popular with horror and psychological thriller fans. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Glad to see Shiki get a mention. It’s my favourite horror anime, but very few people seem to talk about it. When it comes to stories I like tales were both factions contain good and bad people. My guess is that the pacing scares off viewers, much like a vampire would.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      I like stories that had two factions made of good an bad people as well. You’re probably right about the pacing. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  17. AJ says:

    Seeing that some of these are on my PTW is making me realise how I should really consider trying to make a dent in that list…especially given that I’m about to add the others…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      That’s a cycle that never ends.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. LofZOdyssey says:

    I’m interested in Texhnolyze since you listed it rather than Serial Experiments Lain.

    For myself, I suppose I should finally get around to Monster, and I’ve never even heard of Shinsekai Yori.

    If I could suggest two others, I would say Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, and a very recent one, Happy Sugar Life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Thank you! I might have to check out those shows soon here.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. brenwils19 says:

    Have you seen the torture scene in Tokyo Ghoul? That show really captures the psychological horror effect this blog post is going for. I really recommend that show if you have never seen it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Torture wasn’t what I was going for, but I’ll keep that in mind.

      Like

      1. brenwils19 says:

        The show utilizes torture to open up a psychological aspect. The main character in Tokyo Ghoul is tortured to the point in which he snaps turning him into a horrific psychological monster. Both bone chilling and mesmerizing at the same time.

        Liked by 1 person

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