Anime Essentials: 10 Anime Films and Series For Halloween

Anime Essentials 10 Anime Films

I'm throwing this out there right now: I've never seen a scary anime title before, and I'm not sure there currently is one. The medium is capable of delivering gore and shock, but among the many shows and movies I've seen over the years, not a single one seems to know the visual language for instilling actual fear in its viewers (or at least this viewer). Still, there are quite a few fun/interesting/nervy titles out there worth checking out this week leading up to Halloween. I've tried to provide the best means for seeking out some of these shows and movies--quite a few are readily available, while several are in nebulous states thanks to the changing fortunes of the anime industry over the last few years.

10. Highschool of the Dead

Unadulterated jiggly goofiness, unapologetic T&A and gore. Highschool of the Dead is the kind of series you get mad at or simply roll your eyes and roll with its goofiness and commitment to its premise: that is to say, the global takeover of the living dead of the entire world, and the rough and tumble band of Japanese high school students willing to brave out the apocalypse. Pure and simple, it's fan service with zombies, and you'll either hate it or think it's ridiculous good fun (sometimes in the same scene). Besides fetishizing its female cast, it also serves as a nice bit of weapon porn for people into that, with guns, vehicles, and swords being lovingly displayed and wielded by the cast ads they strike down the ever-expanding zombie population.

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Availability: The entire series just got an R1 DVD and Blu-ray release from Section 23 Films, so you can either pick that up or rent it through Amazon's VOD service.

9. Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo

This was kind of an odd pick for me, but I think in part the high-concept pitch of the series helped it make the list. To wit: the The Count of Monte Cristo has been transplanted from its original Mediterranean setting of the 1800s to retro-futuristic cities and outer space where the titular count has returned, not simply as a wealthy nobleman, but as a wealthy space vampire ex-pirate with a mercenary maid and mechs to wreak his vengeance upon the nobility that betrayed him years before. Concerning itself as it does with disguises, masks, and misdirection, it felt like a perfect pick for this list.

Availability: The entire series is streaming on lot of words recently talking about how much I love this series, so you know why I like it. But why is this a Halloween pick? Well, besides taking the opportunity to bring it to your attention again, the Nightmare Before Christmas meets old Weekend Watching: Viz Is Running a Free 'Naruto' Movie Marathon

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