The fantasy world filled with spirits and various creatures, such as ghosts, is both fascinating and versatile in anime.
Paranormal creatures can be a compelling theme in a wide range of series, from modern settings like in Jujutsu Kaisen to pure and traditional fantasy worlds like in Spirited Away.
And whether you prefer one style or the other, you’ve come to the right place because, in this list, we’ll explore the best anime with spirits, ghost and paranormal.
So get comfortable, grab a snack, and decide what you want to watch tonight.
Table of Contents
25. Ghost Stories
Ghost Stories is a great supernatural anime from 2000 with 19 episodes, ideal if you’re a fan of anime that captures the vibes of that era.
Satsuki and Keichiro Miyanoshita, two siblings who recently lost their mother, decide to relocate to her hometown to cope with the loss.
However, the story takes a turn when they discover that their school is haunted by spirits who are seeking them out specifically.
Despite its plot suggesting a mature and psychological anime, Ghost Stories is actually a light-hearted series packed with comedy and cheerful moments, despite the presence of a lot of spirits and monsters.
But if this is what you’re after, we’re sure that you might enjoy it.
Another is a 2012 anime adapted in 12-episode from a light novel.
Another tells the adventures of Mei and Koichi, two students at Japan’s Yomiyama North High School, who investigate to end a curse that has plagued their school for 26 years.
This curse will lead the two protagonists to encounter paranormal phenomena and to discover, and as the solution to the mystery approaches, disturbing secrets that will change their lives forever.
We’re confident that Another will captivate you with its mix of horror, suspenseful moments, and graphic scenes that will leave a lasting impression on you.
If you’re interested in a series that leans towards mystery and investigation, then Another is definitely worth considering.
23. Blue Exorcist
Blue Exorcist is a well-liked anime that blends action, mystery, and the supernatural. It began in 2011.
The world in this series consists of two parallel worlds that mirror each other. The first is the world of humans, Assiah, and the second is the realm of demons, Gehenna.
The main character, Rin, is none other than the son of Satan conceived by a human woman for the sole purpose of using him to fulfill his purposes in the human world.
But will Rin accept his father’s plans or will he prefer to go his own way and become an exorcist?
If you’re into action and supernatural elements, Blue Exorcist could be a great choice.
So while it may not be considered a masterpiece, it’s still a solid series with a lot of comedy and cool scenes that gathered a good amount of fans, so it’s worth a try.
22. Hozuki’s Coolheadedness
Hozuki’s Coolheadedness is a comedy anime set in a fantasy and supernatural world, aired in 2014 with 13 episodes.
The story revolves around Hozuki, the right-hand man of Yama, the ruler of the underworld and judge of the afterlife.
Despite his compassionate appearance, Hozuki is incredibly sadistic as he deals with various problems in the spirit world.
Hozuki’s Coolheadedness is a lighthearted and humorous anime that combines the typical comedy anime atmosphere with a supernatural setting and some good animations.
If you’re looking for some laughs, it’s definitely a good choice.
21. Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan is a 2010 anime consisting of 26 episodes that you’ll love if you enjoy well-written stories involving spirits.
The plot follows the story of Rikuo Nura, a boy who is part human and part demon, who lives in a spirit-filled house with his grandfather, the commander of all demons, the Nurarihyon.
The boy is destined to become the head of the clan after his grandfather’s death, however, Rikuo is not interested in such a position.
For this sake, he tries to rebel against his demon part and his grandfather’s expectations to live the life he has always wanted and not the made-up one.
Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan is a tale of growth, personal journey, and transformation.
You’ll undoubtedly become fond of Rikou as he discovers his role in the world and forges his own path, different from the one that was predestined for him.
20. Ghost Hound
Ghost Hound is an anime with 22 episodes released between 2007 and 2008 that’s not widely known but deserves a place on this list.
The story is set in the small town of Suiten, in a remote mountainous region of Kyushu Island where strange paranormal phenomena occur due to the interaction between the real world and the spirit world.
These events are mainly experienced by three boys: Taro, Makoto, and Masayuki, who had traumatic experiences in their childhood, and thanks to their condition, the three boys can enter the spirit world.
This special ability helps them solve the mysteries plaguing their town and confront their personal issues.
Ghost Hound is an anime that blends drama and mystery with a particular slice-of-life formula.
The series aims to make you feel attached to the three main characters with their challenging stories, evoking empathy for the hurdles they face, and bringing happiness when they finally find inner peace.
19. Beyond the Boundary
Beyond the Boundary is an anime that has action, mystery, romance and supernatural, launched in 2013.
Akihito Kanbara is a half-human, half-yomu with the power to regenerate wounds.
One day he runs into Mirai Kuriyama, a girl with special powers and a yomu hunter.
The two, despite being each other’s sworn enemies, decide to form an alliance to face the impending danger, which will develop into even deeper feelings as they discover their dark pasts.
This show is quite the catch if you’re into anime with spirit vibes and adorable love stories with a good dash of action, so be sure to don’t miss it if you like this subgenre.
18. Shaman King
Shaman King is a popular fighting and supernatural anime released in multiple animated versions, one from 2001 and one from 2021, which we need to discuss for a moment.
The 2001 version is, for obvious reasons, less modern, with almost vintage animation and a soundtrack, but it faithfully follows the manga.
In contrast, the 2021 one has modern and excellent animations, but unfortunately, the adaptation isn’t that great. So you choose according to these characteristics which version to watch.
But we can tell you that in both cases, if you’re seeking an anime focused on spirit combat in the purest sense of the definition, you shouldn’t miss it.
Shaman King follows the story of Yoh Asakura, a young shaman and descendant of a long-standing shamanic lineage. Possessing innate spiritual power, Yoh easily befriends spirits who bestow him with their powers or assist him on his journey.
Among his allies is the spirit of Amidamaru, a betrayed samurai who grants Yoh strength through his spirit, enhancing the swords wielded by Yoh.
Yoh finds himself in Tokyo, where he embarks on a quest to participate in the Shaman Fight, a tournament held every 500 years among shamans to determine the Shaman King, the most prestigious title in the sphere.
17. Demon Slayer
Demon Slayer is undeniably one of the most popular anime to come out in recent years, thanks to its outstanding action sequences and the incredible animation produced by the Ufotable studio.
The story revolves around Tanjiro, the eldest son of a poor family, who embarks on a journey after his entire family is killed by demons, leaving his sister Nezuko as the sole survivor, albeit transformed into a demon herself.
Determined to find a cure and restore his sister’s humanity, Tanjiro undergoes rigorous training to become a skilled demon hunter and unravel the mysteries surrounding these malevolent creatures.
If you’re in the mood for action, top-notch animation, and a lot of supernatural creatures all in one series, Demon Slayer is a fantastic choice.
16. Kamisama Kiss
Kamisama Kiss is a sweet romantic anime based on a shojo manga that came out in 2012.
The story centers around Nanami Momozono, the main protagonist, whose life takes a dramatic turn when her father disappears, leaving her burdened with a significant amount of debt and without a home.
In a twist of fate, Nanami comes to the aid of a mysterious traveler named Mikage, saving him from a rabid dog.
Grateful for her kindness, Mikage offers her a place to stay, which turns out to be a shrine inhabited by various spirits, including Tomoe, a fox-eared boy who becomes particularly intrigued by Nanami.
If you’re into light and easy romance shows without too much drama and you enjoy cute and funny moments, all in a modern but full of supernatural creatures setting, then Kamisama Kiss is a pick that we recommend discovering.
Certainly, no great introductions are needed either for Bleach, the most famous work by Tite Kubo that has earned the title of one of the Big Three of shonen mangas.
Indeed, we are unceremoniously talking about one of the most important battle shonen anime ever.
The protagonist is Ichigo, a boy like any other with all the classic characteristics of a protagonist in the genre. Generous, physically strong, and kind.
What sets him apart is his ability to be able to see spirits, reasoning that one evening like any other he will see Rukia, a Shinigami, grappling with a Hollow.
Bleach is a series that is worth watching or reading for its breathtaking fights, a great cast of characters, and especially for its villain, Aizen, regarded as one of the best villains ever.
14. Jujutsu Kaisen
Jujutsu Kaisen stands as one of the most successful anime in recent years, and for good reasons. It’s adapted from Gege Akutami’s ongoing shonen manga.
The story revolves around Yuji Itadori, a young boy blessed with extraordinary physical abilities and unwavering loyalty to his friends.
Following a fateful incident at his school, he becomes the host of Sukuna, the most powerful cursed spirit, after ingesting one of its 20 fingers. Consequently, he becomes the target of various enemies seeking to capture him and harness his power.
To protect and nurture his combat skills, he enrolls at the Tokyo School of Jujutsu Sorcery, a specialized institution in exorcism, where he encounters his master, Gojo, and forms alliances with other allies.
Jujutsu Kaisen series owes its success not only to its engaging storyline but also to the exceptional animation by the renowned Mappa studio, which elevates the visuals to top levels.
You’ll dive into an action-packed story featuring a lot of diverse and well-developed characters, while it all unfolds in a modern yet dark Tokyo, where various spirits and monsters roam.
13. Death Note
Death Note is undeniably one of the most popular and influential anime series, and it’s not even a debate.
This series, adapted from the manga by Oba and Obata, has become a staple of pop culture and even those who don’t typically watch anime are familiar with it.
The story revolves around Light Yagami, a model student who is disillusioned with the world.
One day, he discovers a mysterious notebook, the Death Note, which has the power to cause the death of anyone whose name is written in it with the help of Ryuk, a shinigami.
Light begins using the notebook to kill criminals with the goal of purging the world of evil, and that’s why he’s one of the best evil MCs ever.
However, he soon finds himself facing off against L, the world’s greatest private investigator, who is determined to stop him.
There’s not much more to say, is there? After all, we’re discussing one of the finest psychological and investigative anime ever created, so if you haven’t watched it already, don’t wait any longer.
Inuyasha is an iconic anime based on the manga by the legendary Rumiko Takahashi, the legendary Queen of Manga.
The story follows Kagome, an ordinary eighth-grade student who unexpectedly falls down a well in her home’s garden and is transported 500 years into the past, to the Sengoku era.
In this era, Kagome discovers that she is the reincarnation of Kikyo, a powerful priestess who had the responsibility of protecting the Shikon Jewel, a dangerous object coveted by villains.
Teaming up with Inuyasha, a half-demon with canine-like traits, Kagome embarks on a journey to safeguard the sacred jewel from falling into the wrong hands.
Inuyasha is one of the best examples, if not the best, of how to masterfully combine a fantastic action and fantasy storyline with a remarkably well-crafted romance.
Not to mention, the world-building in this series is simply fantastic. It combines an incredible fantasy realm teeming with spirits and creatures with an ancient Japan setting, creating a marvelous backdrop.
If you are looking for a romance anime with spirits and demons, Inuyasha is one of the most solid choices out there.
Noragami is a popular anime that combines action, comedy, and supernatural elements across two seasons that you’ve probably heard of.
The story follows the unusual duo of Yato, a minor deity, and Hiyori, an ordinary schoolgirl.
One day, Hiyori saves Yato from a car accident and takes the hit instead of him, causing her soul to become unstable and unable to return to her body.
Yato then sets out to save her by giving her body back.
Noragami is a great choice if you’re into action anime with humor, set in a supernatural world filled with different spirits and gods.
There are even some sweet romantic subplots to add a nice touch to the story, so why don’t give it a try?
10. A Letter to Momo
A Letter to Momo is a beautiful anime movie from the summer of 2011 that combines fantasy, spirits, and a thrilling adventure.
Dear Momo. These were the only two words written in the last letter left by the girl’s recently dead father.
Even after moving with her mother to a small Japanese island, Momo can think of nothing else but what her father would have wanted to say to her before he died.
But one day an event happens that changes the girl’s life: Momo will find a book in her attic, and from there a chain of strange supernatural events will begin.
A Letter to Momo is your choice if you are looking for a movie that brings together spirits, fantasy, adventure and a touch of mystery.
All with a cute ending that will warm your heart as the truth about her father finally comes out.
9. Into the Forest of Fireflies Light
Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light is a medium-lenght anime movie that we’ve talked about a lot in our articles, including our list of the best romantic movies.
The story revolves around Hotaro, a young girl who becomes lost in the woods behind her grandfather’s house. There, she encounters Gin, a cursed humanoid spirit who will vanish if touched by a human.
Despite this seemingly insurmountable obstacle, the two manage to develop a beautiful relationship built on mutual love. But the inevitable cannot be postponed forever so yes, prepare some tissues.
Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light will transport you to a stunning, nature-filled fantasy world and tug at your heartstrings in just 45 minutes.
If you’re in the mood for a touching and heartwarming series that might bring a tear or two, this might be the top choice on this list.
8. Yu Yu Hakusho
Yu Yu Hakusho is a fighting anime released in the 1990s in 112 episodes adapted from a manga by the same author of Hunter x Hunter.
The story centers around Yusuke Urameshi, a young delinquent with a compassionate heart, who sacrifices himself to save a child during an accident.
Impressed by his selfless act, the Spirit King offers him a chance to return to life as the detective of the spiritual world.
Yu Yu Hakusho is considered one of the best classic fighting anime, and we can’t agree more.
And another of its great merits is definitely its vintage feel, both in terms of animation and character design.
7. Mob Psycho 100
Mob Psycho 100 is a series that recently wrapped up with its third and final season.
The story revolves around Mob, an ordinary high school boy with extraordinary esper powers.
To control and suppress his immense powers, he works as an exorcist alongside Reigen Arataka, a fraudulent psychic.
However, fate doesn’t always work in his favor, and Mob faces various challenges that test his patience and control over his powers.
Describing Mob Psycho 100 as literal fire is the best way to put it. And this applies to everything from the animation, soundtrack, characters, plot, and action scenes.
Dororo is an anime from 1969 inspired by the manga written by Osamu Tezuka. In 2019 came out a remake to appeal to modern audiences. But we all agree that we’re talking about one of the best samurai anime ever made.
The plot revolves around Hyakkimaru, a cursed boy with a body made of prosthetics, who fights demons. When he was a child, his impoverished father sacrificed him to demons to seek prosperity.
These demons now possess his body parts and senses, so Hyakkimaru will have to seek them out and defeat them to regain his lost body in his lonely and stoic journey.
He will be accompanied by Dororo, a child who keeps him company during the journey and helps him to slowly open up to the world.
Dororo is unquestionably one of the masterpieces in the history of anime and manga.
Its dark fantasy world teeming with terrifying spirits and monsters is close to perfection, and the story is rich with emotion, action, plot twists, and amazingly crafted characters.
Mononoke is a stunning avant-garde anime that will captivate you with its unique style and atmosphere.
With only 12 episodes, it takes us on a journey following the adventures of a nameless character who confronts and destroys Mononoke, evil spirits that feed off negative human emotions.
The series is divided into five distinct stories, each spanning two to three episodes.
And this division adds an interesting dynamic to the pacing of the series, keeping it engaging and immersive without breaking the pacing.
Mononoke presents a spectacular feudal Japanese setting infused with fantasy and paranormal elements. The animation style deliberately embraces a gritty aesthetic that is simply amazing.
What can we say is that watching Mononoke is a truly one-of-a-kind experience that we highly recommend.
Mushishi is a 2005 anime released in 26 episodes that we consider to be one of the most unique anime ever, hands down.
Mushishi follows the story of Ginko, a serious and composed character who is a Mushishi.
Mushishi are experts in dealing with Mushis, mysterious creatures with unknown origins and habits. Coexistence with these creatures is often complicated for humans, hence the need for specialists.
Each episode of Mushishi explores a different mushi, presenting self-contained stories told in a slow, reflective, and artistic manner, and this creates a unique and almost hypnotic atmosphere.
Mushishi is not an anime for everyone, it must be admitted.
But at the same time, that is exactly why you should give it a chance.
When you watch it, it goes and creates a special mood in you that will amaze you.
3. Natsume’s Book of Friends
Natsume’s Book of Friends is a unique anime that combines supernatural and fantasy elements with the slice of life genre, creating a distinct mix.
Like his grandmother Reiko, Natsume has inherited the gift of perceiving spirits.
Reiko used to challenge these spirits, and upon defeating them, she would claim ownership of their names by inscribing them in the Book of Friends.
Now in possession of the book, Natsume embarks on a new journey, encountering vengeful spirits and others who seek her assistance.
You could make a similar point about Natsume’s Book of Friends as you did for Mushishi, another anime on this list. In fact, you could almost think of this series as a lighter, more comedic version of Mushishi.
Natsume’s Book of Friends takes its time, immersing you in the atmosphere and setting of the events. But to truly grasp what we mean, you have to watch it.
2. Spirited Away
Spirited Away is one of Studio Ghibli’s major works, that even received Oscar nominations and awards. It was released in 2001.
Chihiro is a little 10 years girl, who together with her parents is moving to a new town. On the way, they stop in front of a strange building in the middle of the woods, which the parents decide to explore in curiosity, leaving the little girl alone in the car.
Chihiro will decide to join them, scared of being alone, and from here a journey you can’t even imagine will begin.
If we had to choose a single word to describe this movie, it would undoubtedly be “adventure“, in the purest sense of the term.
When you watch it you’ll embark on a journey of two hours filled with breathtaking moments, populated by eccentric characters, a myriad of creatures and spirits, and you’ll find yourself immersed in this fantastic world.
1. Monogatari Series
Monotagari is one of the most unique series of anime that you can find in general, so we recommend searching for a guide on the viewing order to fully appreciate it and immerse yourself in this series if you still have to watch it.
The story revolves around Koyomi Araragi, whose life takes a drastic turn after encountering Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade, a dying vampire.
With the assistance of Meme Oshino, Koyomi regains his humanity but finds himself drawn into a world of spiritual and phenomena and along the way, while he also develops a romantic connection with Hitagi Senjogahara.
The Monogatari series spans an extensive array of genres across its seasons, encompassing action, comedy, slice of life, adventure, and romance. All of this is presented with a distinctive pacing and storytelling style.
But what’s truly remarkable is that this fusion of seemingly disparate elements remarkably comes together perfectly, to say the least. So if you have yet to experience this little gem, don’t wait any longer.