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I am fashionably late on this front per usual, but for today’s column, I figure I would recommend some Halloween anime. I say Halloween and not horror because not all of these shows are necessarily intended to be scary, but certainly invoke that theme. Also, this was written and intended for a less anime-inclined audience, so those reading it here might have seen some or all of these already. With that being said, I hope you enjoy it.
Considering there is going to be a significantly lower number of people going out this Halloween night, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is safe to say many are going to be missing out on the traditional night of Halloween-themed fun.
Fret not, though, dear reader, as for those who want a bit scarier in their activities this month, I have a solution. While it has been discussed in depth in other places why animation is not the greatest medium for the horror genre, there is still plenty of great anime to fill the void in your schedule this month. With that being said, here are some great Halloween anime watches.
If you have ever craved the sort of pseudo-scary, b movie horror feel but in anime form, well for one I congratulate you on your oddly specific taste in media, but also look no further, as I have just the show for you.
“Another” focuses on the Town of Yorima, which is haunted by the death of a young girl Misaki 20 years prior. 15-year-old Kouichi has just moved in. After settling in at school he notices another girl named Misaki, who everyone seemingly recognizes, but completely ignores.
Que every horror trope imaginable. In all seriousness though, the show is, at the very least, a lot of fun. Though it is certainly predictable at times in all the wrong ways, and certainly has its fair share of absolutely ridiculous scenes, there is a lot to love about it.
It is pretty obvious from the start that most of the animation budget was poured into the more gore-intensive scenes, and the story has a way of turning the pettiness of middle school drama into legitimately scary and violent conflict that ties the who thing together beautifully. While it certainly will not be on anyone’s horror top 10 list, it is certainly worth the watch.
The Promised Neverland
Since I am self-contractually obligated to mention this series as often as possible, here is my pitch.
“The Promised Neverland” focuses on the experience of a group of orphans who grow up under the care of a woman they simply refer to as momma. However, after the two eldest kids, Emma and Norman, venture towards the front of the house to say goodbye to a recently adopted Cindy, they discover a horrific truth.
While the show could certainly be considered scary at parts, it is admittedly much more psychological thriller than straight-up horror, as it mainly focuses on the three eldest kids, including the aforementioned Emma and Norman, as well as Ray, and their experience after learning the dark nature behind their existence in the orphanage.
While this might be a bit of an ambitious statement on my part, anyone who enjoys movies like “Hannibal Lector” will likely enjoy this series for a lot of the same reasons.
Higurashi: When They Cry (2006)
Ok, so now imagine “Another,” but a lot scarier.
“Higurashi” tells the story of a small, rural village named Hinamizawa. Keiichi has just moved there, and it doing so meets a group of girls. Despite them all being separate in age because the town is so small, they all have class together and get to know each other very well. However, Keiichi eventually discovers the secrets behind the town’s curse and the girls in question.
Fans of the gore elements of horror will certainly appreciate this one a lot, but those more interested in the psychological elements of storytelling should appreciate it as well. This is because “Higurashi” has a sort of groundhog day premise where the main plot of the show is repeated from the perspectives of various characters.
It makes the show feel that much scarier, because, despite ostensibly knowing what is going to happen during each story arc, the new perspective adds another layer of mystery.
The show is older, though, and it definitely shows in the animation, so for those who are not all that interested to begin with, it might put some off. However, if you are interested in watching the show with updated designs, a newer version of the series is being released this season, with some already promising first reactions.
For those self-admitted posers who do not actually like scary stuff but really like the Halloween aesthetic, here is an action series that might just grab your interest.
“Soul Eater” has been around for over a decade now, and has grabbed the attention of thousands of fans from all over the world. It focuses on a group of high school-aged kids who work as Meisters, those who turn other high school-aged kids from regular weapons into Death Scythes, tools wielded by Lord Death.
While the first few episodes are a bit of a slog, as they are mainly just character introductions, after that, the series picks up a lot, with arc after arc of great action and world-building.
The show also has a ton of great music, not just within its openings and endings, but its soundtrack as well. It has a lot of genre variation, from punk rock to psychedelic and even some hip-hop thrown in for good measure.
This is the one series on this list that I would venture to say most have seen already, but for those who have not, I would highly encourage checking it out.
As depressing as this year has been, it is good to take time and find things worth enjoying. Whether that is anime or something entirely different, try and take a load off. However, for those who are looking for some Halloween-themed shows for this year, I hope some of these end up feeling satisfactory.
What anime would you recommend for Halloween? Let me know in the comments below.
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