The Best Anime About Pandemics and Virus Outbreaks

The end of the world has been prophesied by many, and these anime about pandemics explore what it would be like if a sudden outbreak started infecting the world. With COVID-19 keeping most people indoors, it can be reassuring to see how characters in the anime world deal with far wilder viral outbreaks.

Characters in pandemic anime are almost always struggling for survival, whether it's the students in Highschool of the Dead or the protagonists of Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress. The viral threats usually result in more than just illness - this is anime we're talking about, so 99% of the time the victims transform into terrifying monsters, leaving the survivors with far more to deal with than grief and economic collapse. If you are looking for something a little more realistic, though, there's always Saiunkoku Monogatari 2nd Series, which focuses on problems like doctor shortages and political roadblocks. 

Do you have a favorite anime about an epidemic? Unfortunately, there isn't a huge variety of epidemic anime series where a virus is breaking out, but we're ranking the best ones anyway. Vote up your favorite anime movies or series about pandemics, and down vote anything you've seen but didn't care for.

  • Seraph of the End
    Photo: Seraph of the End / Wit Studio

    After a virus wipes out every single human being over the age of 13, the surviving children have to figure out how to survive on their own. This would be hard enough without active hostility, but that's exactly what they have to deal with when a previously unknown group of vampires seize the opportunity to take over. Many of these children are drafted into vampiric armies and forced to do their bidding, often at the cost of their lives.

    Among these children are Yuuichirou and Mikaela Hyakuya, who are captured from an orphanage. They attempt to escape along with a group of other captives, but the attempt fails, leaving Yuuichirou as the only survivor. Now, all he wants is revenge. 

  • 2
    34 VOTES
    Black Bullet
    Photo: Black Bullet / Kinema Citrus, Orange

    In the year 2021, a disease called Gastrea begins spreading like wildfire. This disease transforms people into terrifying monsters, leading what's left of humanity to barricade themselves inside what's called the Monolith walls. These walls are made of Varanium, one of the only substances capable of keeping the monsters out. 

    But humanity has another ace up their sleeves - the Cursed Children, whose have just enough virus in their bodies to give them supernatural powers but not force them to transform. With the help of adults called promoters, these children are able to fight the monsters and defend humanity.

  • Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
    Photo: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress / Wit Studio

    After a terrifying virus begins transforming people into monsters called Kabane, the rest of humanity moves into walled fortresses, which can only be entered via armored train. The monsters can be destroyed when their steal-coated hearts are pierced, but considering how violent the Kabane are and the fact that the virus is transmissible via their bite, this is no easy task. Ikoma, a young man who works on the trains, thinks that he's created a weapon that will work against the Kabane. All he needs is a chance to try it out - and for better or worse, he gets that chance. 

  • 4
    30 VOTES
    King of Thorn
    Photo: King of Thorn / Sunrise

    After a life-threatening virus called Medusa sweeps the planet, most of humanity has been petrified. A small group of survivors put themselves into cold sleep in the hopes that when they awaken, a cure will have been found. When they wake up, they discover that the world has changed dramatically. The castle that housed the Cold Sleep Capsule Center is now overrun with giant thorns and dangerous monsters. Will they be able to defend themselves and figure out what happened to the world while they were frozen?

  • High School Of The Dead
    Photo: Highschool of the Dead / Madhouse

    What begins as a normal day ends in total chaos when a sudden viral outbreak starts turning everyone in Japan into zombies. A group of students and teachers must band together to escape a school overrun with zombies, find their families, and survive their harrowing circumstances. But it's not just zombies that prove threatening - it's also what humans do when they're backed into a corner. Can they possibly survive, or is it hopeless?

  • 6
    18 VOTES


    Photo: Gibiate / Studio elle, l-a-unch BOX

    Gibiate is a Summer 2020 anime about a virus called Gibia that sweeps through humanity in 2030. Gibia has some unusual symptoms - it transforms the infected person into a different kind of monster depending on their age, sex, race, or other characteristics. To find a cure, a modern doctor teams up with a samurai and a ninja who have been transported to 2030 from the Edo period. Why does he need the samurai and ninja? Because finding a cure isn't all lab experiments and grant applications - they also have to fight off people who have been transformed, and criminals who seek to take advantage of the situation.