The Most Twisted Dark Anime Series (2023)

Dark psychological anime vary in content, but they provide fans with impressionable and unforgettable stories. Here are the most twisted anime series.

The darkest anime series have some of the greatest character arcs and mind-blowing storylines that make fans want more after every episode. While there are plenty of dark horror anime fans can choose from, there are also surprisingly dark psychological shows that are truly binge-worthy anime series one can finish in a single day or weekend.

These shows also gave anime fans cruel but smart anime characters whose twisted and brilliant ideas helped these series become unforgettable experiences. Dark animes can be gore and darkly messed up but some of them are capable of being terrifying and darkly mind-bending without much blood or constant violence. While these dark psychological anime shows test viewers’ scare levels and often make them think about uncomfortable issues in a weird way they can also help overcome and process the dark things in one’s own life.

Updated May 11, 2023, by Via Erhard: Anime fans, can find some truly disturbingly dark anime that delve into the darker side of humanity and explore mature themes, including death, violence, and psychological trauma. There’s something uniquely compelling about these types of anime since they not only entertain their viewers but also inspire them to think about the world differently. Even though many of these shows are set in magical fantasy lands or futuristic sci-fi worlds, their stories are still highly relatable and easily accessible for everyone. Anime lovers can explore twisted anime shows about serial killers, vicious monsters, and gods, as well as all kinds of supernatural beings that were often inspired by mythology and historical events.



16 Berserk

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Berserk is one of the most disturbing anime for adults with epic heroes, gods, and ruthless anime villains. Its heartbreaking and dark story is filled with violence, bloody battles, and torture and is set in a brutal fantasy world. Thanks to the beautiful art style and the complex characters, the viewers feel completely immersed in its world.

Berserk‘s story takes viewers on a journey that is as emotionally challenging as it is thrilling. At the same time, it introduces them to a unique story that explores the darker side of humanity along with mature themes including violence, trauma, and betrayal.

15 Chainsaw Man

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Chainsaw Man is known for its intense action, gore, and horror elements that make the anime unforgettable. However, this dark anime also has meaningful stories since it delves into some pretty heavy themes, including death, sacrifice, and existentialism.

The story follows a young man named Denji, who merges with a chainsaw demon to become a powerful demon hunter and embarks on a dangerous journey to learn how to navigate the violent world of demon hunting. Chainsaw Man also has stunning animation as well as well-developed characters that make the experience not only thought-provoking but also highly entertaining.

14 The Saga Of Tanya The Evil

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The Saga of Tanya The Evil is another dark and thought-provoking anime that’s a great choice for anime lovers who enjoy stories with unique settings and well-developed characters. It also features one of the most intriguing isekai anime villains and explores difficult topics about the consequences of war and the morality of using power to achieve one’s goals.

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The Saga of Tanya the Evil is set in an alternate version of Europe during World War I and deals with the very nature of evil. The viewers follow the adventures of Tanya, a ruthless soldier, as she tries to navigate the brutal world of combat while facing increasingly challenging opponents.

13 Deadman Wonderland

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Deadman Wonderland is one of the most thrilling sci-fi anime shows. Set in a dystopian future, it keeps its viewers engaged from beginning to end. While it’s a show that’s known for its graphic violence, intense action sequences, and complex characters, its story also explores mature themes of violence, corruption, and the dehumanization of prisoners.

Deadman Wonderland‘s story follows the adventures of a young boy named Ganta, who, after being wrongfully accused of a crime, is sent to a special prison called Deadman Wonderland. Soon, he discovers that this place is not like any other prison since the prisoners here are forced to participate in deadly games for the amusement of the public.

12 Made in Abyss

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Made In Abyss quickly became one of the best dark fantasy anime series of all time. While this new classic has brilliant world-building, well-crafted characters, and fantastic storytelling it’s also one of the most shocking and mysteries-filled anime that plays with its viewers’ emotions at all times.

This dark anime has many graphic deaths that made its viewers cry and deal with mental health issues, cannibalism, and forced birth among many other topics that can be triggering for some viewers. The anime’s story follows a young orphan girl, Riko, who decides to descend deep into the Abyss to find her mom.

11 Attack On Titan

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Attack On Titan is no doubt one of the most popular and darkest anime of all time. AOT also became one of the most iconic anime of all time thanks to its one-of-a-kind world-building masterfully crafted characters and story arcs as well as because of its dazzling art style.

This thought-provoking and rousing anime show dealt with all kinds of social, emotional, and even political issues that deeply resonated with millions of viewers all over the world. The story followed the brave and determined Eren Yeager who vowed to kill every man-eating Titan. The viewers follow his deadly journey filled with epic fights, heart-breaking deaths, and some of the most shocking anime plot twists ever.

10 Black Butler

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Black Butler is one of the best gothic anime series for adult viewers who love darkly sophisticated humor and anime stories that don’t shy away from some of the most taboo subjects. This stunningly designed anime has a beautiful art style and some of the most terrifying and courageous characters of all time.

This anime is shocking, violent, and even gore at times, but it’s also one of the most thought-provoking ones with meaningful stories and great character arcs. Black Butler’s story follows a young boy named Ciel and his road to revenge. After Ciel sells his soul to a demon called Sebastian the two of them start working on some of the bloodiest and hardest mysteries of Victorian London while trying to find the murderers who killed Ciel’s family.

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9 Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories

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Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories is perfect for those fans who love dark anime stories based on Japanese myths and all kinds of terrifying urban legends. This creepy anime has a unique art style and fans can get to know some of the most popular ancient tales of Japan.

The story follows an old man who wears a spooky yellow mask and appears every week at a playground to tell scary stories to the kids using his kamishibai, a form of traditional Japanese paper theater. It’s perfect for those who prefer classic dark stories and retro anime.

8 Tokyo Ghoul

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Tokyo Ghoul is one of the most popular splatterpunk horror anime that was scaring and making its viewers tear up with the show’s every episode. Tokyo Ghoul follows the story of a young boy, Ken, who due to a horrifying Ghoul attack was turned into a one-eyed ghoul. Ken’s life immediately became a painful and violence-filled one in which his morals and mental strength were constantly tested.

While Tokyo Ghoul has plenty of terrifying characters, heartbreaking moments, as well as scary and gore scenes the horror elements are not the darkest parts of its grim world. What makes Tokyo Ghoul one of the darkest anime ever is the characters’ tragic storylines and the deep and meaningful themes the show deals with including grief, mental illness, and abuse. It’s definitely a show for mature audiences.

7 Another

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Another is a tragic psychological horror anime with supernatural elements and a storyline that’s filled with mind-blowing twists and turns. This terrifying story follows a young boy named Koichi who transfers into the mysterious Yomiyama Middle School. He soon meets Mei and the two become good friends.

While everything starts out well things soon turn really dark and gore when students get mysteriously and violently murdered. Koichi finds himself in the middle of a dark mystery and has to uncover his school’s haunting secrets to survive. It’s a suspenseful thriller with surprising plot twists and chilling scenes.

6 Elfen Lied

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While Elfen Lied has mostly bright visuals and cute characters it’s not a show for the faint of heart. Elfen Lied is easily one of the darkest and greatest sci-fi anime with gore, nudity, and a whole lot of violent deaths. The anime’s story follows a race of mutants who want to murder all of mankind, so they can live in a world that’s only inhabited by their own kind.

These mutants are called the Diclonii and can look and behave just like any other human. When Kouta befriends Lucy, a girl with a split personality, he doesn’t know what kind of horror he’s getting into. However, Elfen Lied is another fascinating dark anime with deep highly and emotional storylines and is a show that not only deals with death but also family abuse, mental illness, discrimination, and the value of humanity.

5 The Promised Neverland

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The Promised Neverland is one of the most surprisingly dark and heartbreaking anime series with some of the strongest anime children of all time. These kids are not physically strong but rather mentally since despite their young age they stay brave and work hard to finally escape their impending doom.

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The Promised Neverland is a haunting and heartfelt anime that’s dark without gore and blood thanks to its suspenseful mystery elements and lovable characters and their heartbreaking situations. While there are many kids in the anime its three main protagonists are Emma, Ray, and Norman who all live in a spooky orphanage. Their lives are mostly happy life until the day they find out that their home is actually a farm where children are raised to become demon food.

4 Corpse Party: Tortured Souls

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Corpse Party: Tortured Souls is one of the darkest horror anime with mixed reviews since it’s a show anime fans seem to either loathe or completely fell in love with. Corpse Party has manga, anime, and a game and there are some differences between them. Some things are better in the game than in the anime, but both have plenty of gore, violence, and surprising deaths that made the story so popular.

Corpse Party‘s story follows a group of high school friends who perform a charm that should help them become better friends. Instead, though, it transports them into the spooky Heavenly Host Elementary School. There they are attacked by the murderous ghosts of the school’s students who also died gruesome deaths.

3 Monster

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Monster is one of the most engaging dark anime about a serial killer and a Japanese surgeon whose life suddenly gets filled with mystery, deaths, and heartbreak after he finds out that his former patient, Johan, is the dangerous serial killer the police can’t seem to catch.

The Monster has thought-provoking storylines and well-written character arcs that make the story suspenseful and haunting without gore or violence. This psychological thriller deals with dark and meaningful themes including good vs evil, as well as how humans treat each other and themselves on a daily basis, and what can happen to those who get lost in the process.

2 Erased

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Erased has one of the most disturbing and painful stories in anime history. This dark mystery anime follows the story of a young man with a mostly ordinary life except for one important thing. Satoru keeps experiencing Revival. During these periods, he’s returned to the past where he tries to prevent a series of horrible events including murders.

While Erased doesn’t have gore or blood it’s still one of the most unsettling animes with dark twists and a terrifying psychopath that’s hard to forget. Despite its heartbreaking storyline, it’s one of the few dark animes with a hopeful theme that motivates its viewers to reach out and ask for help when things get dark even if they feel completely isolated.

1 Paranoia Agent

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Paranoia Agent is one of the darkest mind-bending psychological anime about anime that gives its viewers plenty of surreal and disturbing moments they will never forget. Its story revolves around a young kid named Lil’s Slugger who terrorizes Tokyo residents with his golden bat and causes a social phenomenon.

While Paranoia Agent has violent deaths it never really gets gore. What makes the show dark is its fascinating plot twists, intriguing mysteries, and thought-provoking themes about the dark side of our society and how we deal with mental health and disorders.

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