Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor
It is October, which means pumpkins, falling leaves, Halloween, and scares. So, this week I am going to highlight a few anime that can help you get into the spirit. Not all of them are going to be scary, but all are anime that I enjoy, and think can fit the autumn spirit.
Firstly, let us start with an anime called “Soul Eater.” This show is just over 50 episodes long, and each episode is roughly 20 minutes long. This show is produced by studio Bones and has a pretty stand out art style. The series (both the original manga and the anime adaption) has a style that embodies Halloween, from witches to demons (Kishin) and even to Death and his son.
The titular character, Soul Eater, is a demon weapon, which means he is a person with the ability to turn into a weapon. He is specifically a scythe and is paired with his partner and meister, Maka Albarn. The other main characters are Black Star, a meister who uses the demon weapon Tsubaki, who can take several different forms, and Death the Kid who uses twin sisters Liz and Patty, who take the form of pistols. Each of these characters have a quirk to them that makes them likable and flawed, but they are also skilled students of the Death Weapon Meister Academy (DWMA).
The series starts off with the students working, and failing, to turn their weapon partners into Death Scythes that Lord Death wields. This achievement not only sounds cool, but is a mark that the students have completed their training with the school. However, the focus of the students and staff of the DWMA quickly changes as a rival force of witches, meisters, and weapons are working to revive the originator of demons, madness, and fear, the Kishin.
The show is an action-comedy and while the art style seems loose and free, with the characters being mostly teenagers, the show gets dark and creepy. For example, it deals with topics such as child abuse and mental insanity, so it is not all fun and games. I definitely recommend it, and it is also a pretty decent show for someone who is just starting to get into anime. You can watch Soul Eater on Netflix, Funimation, and Crunchyroll, among a few other places.
The next one I want to mention is a show that is being remade and is coming out this season. The first episode aired on Oct. 1. The original show is creepy in a way of subverted expectations with a lot of gore and torture. It is titled “Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni,” or “When They Cry.”
While this show will make you cringe, I would not call it classic horror with spooky ghosts and jump scares, but more of a thriller. The show follows Keiichi Maebara, who has recently moved to Hinamizawa village. He plays almost like a shy bachelor and suddenly finds himself surrounded by the kind girls of the village trying to make him feel welcome.
From the beginning, though, Keiichi felt something was wrong with the town, that something was off. The longer he spends in the town, the more the dark truth of the town begins to reveal itself. I do not want to spoil too much from here because the show escalates pretty quickly. Both the old and new seasons are available on Hulu, Netflix, and Funimation. The new one is created by studio Passione. The original one is already pretty unsettling, but the new one is updated with cleaner art, sound, and voice acting. The choice is up to you which one you watch, but know you wi have to wait for the new episode each week if you watch the new one.
Another anime that may creep you out is a show called “Another.” Similar to “When They Cry,” this show has a lot of gore and has both a censored and uncensored version. “Another” is made by studio P.A. Works and features 24 episodes. This show also features Kouichi Sakakibara as the lead, a 15-year-old boy who runs into Mei Misaki, an eye-patch-wearing mysterious girl. For some reason, no one in their class seems to treat Misaki like she exists. Despite all the warnings, Kouichi continues to interact with Misaki, which may or may not be the cause of all the tragic events occurring in his class. Unpredictable gruesome deaths, irreversible accidents, and unknown tragedy plague the class as the year goes on, as students one by one disappear. The only way to stop this is to find the one who placed the curse, but you will never guess who is behind it.
Unlike “When They Cry,” this show’s deaths are sudden and unpredictable, leaving you wondering who the next victim will be, how will they die, and who is the source of all the chaos. “Another” is available on Crunchyroll and Netflix.
There are much more anime that fall under the gore-centered horror genre like “Tokyo Ghoul,” “Future Diary,” and “Highschool of the Dead,” to name a few, but there are also other anime that are just centered around monsters that are fun for Halloween, including “Blood Blockade Battle Front,” “Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress,” and “Interviews With Monster Girls.”
If none of these sound interesting, but you still want to give a horror anime a try, it is easy enough to google horror anime and find a huge list of different subgenres inside of there. There is bound to be some horror anime out there you will like.