Supernatural anime come in various shapes and sizes. A few dabble in the mystical with a little bit of humor, while others go knee-deep exploring myths, demons, and other unworldly creatures. And although the genre isn’t as popular as some others, these five supernatural anime shows are ones you’re going to want to check out.
After the death of Kagura Tsuchimiya’s mother, the young schoolgirl is sent to live with the Isayama family. Over the years, she forms a close sister-like bond with the family’s adoptive daughter, Yomi, and the pair becomes inseparable. Following in the Isayama’s footsteps, the girls start working for the Supernatural Disaster Countermeasures Division, a government agency tasked to protect people from supernatural beings.
However, the stress of their duties and family politics become too much for them to handle. On one side, Kagura becomes a highly skilled exorcist, but on the other, Yomi heads down a dark path from which she may never come back. And at the epicenter of the girls’ demise is the Isayama’s family sword, shishio.
Ga-Rei Zero is a dark and violent tale of love and tragedy. At its core, the relationship between Yomi and Kagura goes from heartwarming to intense to bloodshed, something of a rarity for a yuri anime.
Mushi are the most basic life forms that exist. They have no purpose aside from just “being.” They come in countless forms and are capable of mimicking things from the human world such as plants and diseases. However, there isn’t much information about these strange creatures, as humans are unaware of their existence.
What are these primitive creatures and why they roam the planet? This is what Ginko, a Mushishi, is investigating. Mushishi are people who research Mushi in hopes of understanding their place in the world’s hierarchy of life.
This supernatural anime draws the viewer in with its beautiful scenery and musical score and shows a carefully crafted unseen world. If you’re looking for something less intense and more thought-provoking, then check out Mushishi.
When Taro Komori was three years old, he experienced a traumatic event. Years later, he’s still reliving those terrifying moments, continuously reminding him of his lost sister. Now, a new transfer student, Masayuki, takes an interest in Taro’s troubled past and their schoolmate Makoto‘s connection to the incident.
One day, the three boys end up visiting the site where Taro was held hostage as a child: an old hospital beyond the dam. The three venture forward to face their past and fears, unsuspecting of the strange world they are about to enter.
Ghost Hound isn’t meant to scare viewers the way other supernatural anime does. The anime features a significant amount of real-life science, particularly focusing on psychology and neurology. It also has just the right amount of mystery to it, which will keep you trying to solve the supernatural puzzle.
Natsume’s Book of Friends
Ever since Takashi Natsume was a young boy, he could see spirits — a power that has labeled him an oddball and made it difficult for him to make friends. But, one day he finds out that the source of his abilities comes from a book that his deceased grandmother left for him called the Book of Friends. This book contains the names of all the supernatural spirits that she brought under her control. And now the book binds these spirits to its new owner, Natsume.
Throughout the series, Natsume and his catlike bodyguard Madara, try to free the spirits from their contracts. Along the way, they make new friends and help the spirits in their journey.
While most supernatural anime feature humans and supernatural creatures as enemies, Natsume’s Book of Friends does the opposite. Instead, the anime takes its time to explain each unique apparition that Natsume meets.
Supernatural: The Animation
A supernatural anime list, wouldn’t be complete without Supernatural: The Animation, the animated adaptation of the US TV series Supernatural. The anime follows two brothers, Dean and Sam Winchester, who hunt creatures based on urban legends, myths, and Japanese folklore.
The animation covers the first two seasons of the live-action series but also includes original content exploring the Winchesters’ childhoods and expanding upon secondary characters.
Beyond just expanding on the characters, the anime also has original scenes that include some Japanese myths that aren’t in the original show. Madhouse, the anime’s producer, infused the cultural importance of yōkai and other Japanese folklore elements into the story, combining both Western and Asian cultural elements into one supernatural series.
Whether you’re a fan of the live-action series or supernatural anime, Supernatural: The Animation should be in your watch list.