The combination of the ’90s era with horror anime is an intriguing blend. You will see some of the most interesting experiments and combinations ever with that now-lost vintage aftertaste.
In the realm of horror anime, one can come across remarkable gems, but the vast majority is filled up by mediocre works.
In our compilation of the best horror anime from the ’90s, you’ll discover a small curated selection of higher-quality titles.
Table of Contents
10. Blue Seed
Blue Seed is a truly peculiar anime, making its debut in 1994 and blending a diverse array of genres, even incorporating some unexpected combinations of them that may initially seem incompatible.
The protagonist is Momiji Fujimiya, who hails from the Kushinada clan, where women hold the power to defeat menacing parasites known as Aragami.
The TAC team is specifically established to combat these hazardous creatures, and Momiji is set to join their ranks.
Blue Seed combines action, comedy, drama, romance, ecchi, supernatural elements, mystery, and even horror into a single story.
As you can imagine, it offers a genuine rollercoaster of emotions that we recommend giving a try, especially if you’re interested in something that can push the boundaries of your comfort zone.
The issue with Blue Seed is that mixing every possible genre doesn’t improve the quality of an anime, so the final result is sufficient at most.
It’s hard to find productions with a higher rate of gore and body horror than this anime.
This is a story with a cyberpunk heart, in which large private corporations threaten the newly found peace among the nations of the world.
The Genocyber is a terrifying war machine that combines the strength of two sisters with psychic powers. A robot capable of destroying our planet.
Genocyber isn’t beloved by the general public, but it is known to all admirers of splatter and its visual horror. This anime features bloody scenes with a very high rate of violence, often considered gratuitous.
While there is plenty of violence, this anime is quite terrible in every other aspect, characters and plot included.
Consider watching it if you want an experience similar to that of a B movie and if you love trash.
8. Blue Gender
Blue Gender is a Sci-Fi and dystopian anime released in 1999 as an original work.
The protagonist is Yuji Kaido, diagnosed with a severe illness and cryogenically frozen.
He awakens over 20 years later, only to find that Earth has undergone drastic changes.
The planet is now under the control of a species of alien insects known as the Blue, and certain humans have sought refuge on the Second Earth space station.
What twists and turns await him in the unfolding of his story?
Blue Gender is an ideal anime for fans of dystopian and Sci-Fi settings, effectively crafting an atmosphere of mystery, uncertainty, and danger.
Much like the protagonist, you’ll find yourself initially disoriented, awakening in a ravaged world inhabited by scary monsters.
This dynamic enhances the horror elements of the series, leaving you both perplexed and unsettled, especially when confronted with its visceral and gory scenes.
7. Vampire Princess Miyu
Vampire Princess Miyu is a horror romance anime from 1997 that you might want to explore, especially if the combination of these genres intrigues you.
Miyu appears to be an ordinary girl at first glance, but in reality, she is a guardian vampire assigned with the duty of hunting down Shinma, malevolent supernatural beings.
Larva, a benevolent Shinma and her love interest, and little Shiina, a familiar demon, are the loyal allies that will always accompany Miyu.
If you’re seeking a series that blends horror, romance, and vintage atmospheres, Vampire Princess Miyu is a strong recommendation, especially if you’re a vampire enthusiast.
This is probably one of the most iconic OVAs on this list and we loved it for its art style and for being actually entertaining.
6. Getter Robo: Armageddon
Getter Robo: Armageddon is a niche mecha anime released in 1998 which is a highly versatile series in the genre, and you’ll soon understand why.
In this anime, humanity has advanced thanks to the development of Getter Rays by Dr. Saotome.
But this breakthrough attracts the attention of a shape-shifting alien race determined to acquire it to conquer Earth, setting off a series of intrigues of all kinds.
Getter Robo: Armageddon is the perfect choice for any mecha genre fan due to its fusion of themes and genres.
For experienced fans, it offers classic and timeless elements typical of the genre, including political intrigue, Sci-Fi, and stunning mecha designs.
Horror fans, you’ll find something for you too. This is because, while not a central element in the storyline, Getter Robo: Armageddon includes various unsettling horror scenes that will give you some chill.
5. Petshop of Horrors
Petshop of Horrors is an OAV series of horror and supernatural genres released in 1999 in only 4 episodes.
In Pet Shop of Horrors, we make the acquaintance of Count D, the manager of a peculiar pet store in Los Angeles, Chinatown. In his store, you can find rare animals or magical animals that can make people’s dreams come true.
But there’s only one rule: never show one of these animals to any other person, or you’ll face unthinkable consequences.
The strength of Petshop of Horrors is being able to disturb and make the viewer uneasy with music, graphic scenes and atmospheres.
It’ll put you in awe because of its themes, concerning the perversions of mankind, their fears, and insecurities, creating a twisted atmosphere that will twist your guts.
4. Ushio and Tora OAV (1992)
Ushio and Tora is a classic horror, supernatural and action/fighting manga by Kazuhiro Fujita released in multiple animated versions.
Considering the nature of the list, we are including the 1992 OVA, which consists of 12 episodes and does not adapt the entirety of the manga’s story.
A new animated version was released in 2015 by MAPPA, spanning three seasons and a total of 39 episodes.
Today, the newer version holds a preference for several reasons, ranging from its modern animation style to its more comprehensive adaptation, but the OAV also has its merits, like a captivating vintage atmosphere.
Ultimately, the choice lies with you, whether to opt for one, the other, or both.
The story follows Ushio, a boy who after an unfortunate series of events, finds himself confronted by the evil demon lord Tora, pierced by a sacred spear that restricts his movements.
The young man doesn’t succumb to the creature’s temptations and initially refuses to release it.
But its aura attracts other demonic creatures nearby, forcing them into a temporary truce to eliminate them.
Tora wants to kill Ushio, but using the sacred spear transforms the latter into a powerful samurai, capable of intimidating even the monster.
From there on, the series will focus not only on the battles but also on the relationship between the 2.
3. Perfect Blue
Perfect Blue is a cinematic masterpiece in the anime realm, released in 1997 and originating from the brilliant mind of Satoshi Kon.
If you’re a fan of psychological horror and thriller, consider this movie your holy grail.
Mima Kirigoe is a young girl belonging to the Chams, a trio of J-Pop idols. The group is having a fair amount of success, but Mima wants to become an actress, so she leaves the group.
Amid the discouragement of the fans, Mima will start acting in a small role in a drama and some strange events will begin to take place.
A fax will be delivered to her in which she is accused of treason, and even more disturbing is the existence of a website called Mima’s Room in which someone describes her days in great detail.
Perfect Blue is the perfect representation of how to create a drama-centered story with an ever-increasing climax.
It has perfect direction, with a plot that will make you feel constantly anxious and in danger just by watching it.
We consider it absolutely essential for any enjoyer of psychological horror, and anime in general.
2. Ninja Scroll
Ninja Scroll stands as one of the most iconic works in the realm of ninja-themed anime. And to clarify, as you may already noticed there’s both a movie and an animated series based on Ninja Scroll.
The original 1993 movie, inspired by Japanese short stories, is a cult classic that we highly recommend. The series instead, released many years later, takes inspiration from the movie and continues its storyline.
While our top recommendation is the movie, the series also offers additional adventures within the same universe, although it’s generally considered to be of lower quality compared to the original.
The narrative revolves around the journey of the wandering ninja Jubei Kibagami, a skilled warrior who becomes entangled in a battle against the Demons of Kimon.
These demons are led by the immortal Genma, who seeks to execute a sinister plan to conquer Japan.
This description only scratches the tip of the iceberg, as the story unfolds with a plethora of characters, twists, and even a lot of horror stuff, visual and not, that will give you more than one shiver.
1. Berserk (1997)
There’s no need for extensive introductions when it comes to Berserk, right? Kentaro Miura’s prime creation is now widely recognized as one of the most magnificent masterpieces in the history of this medium, and that says a lot.
And for obvious reasons, we’ll talk about the 1997 vintage series, which is widely considered as the best among the available versions.
As many already know, Berserk follows the story of Guts, the black warrior, as he struggles with his relentless quest for revenge against Griffith, his former best friend turned nemesis.
Berserk unfolds as a remarkable tale of betrayal, vengeance, growth, and particularly stands out as one of the most mature and intense series you can come across.
This also extends to its horror themes and scenes, featuring a lot of gore sequences and an array of terrifying creatures that contribute to the incredible dark fantasy world-building of this series.