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The 15 Best Dark Fantasy Anime Of All Time, Ranked

List Rules
Vote up your favorite dark fantasy anime.

Are you a fantasy fan that loves it when series tackle mature, heavy topics? If you're looking for something that's a little grittier than what lighter fantasy has to offer, you should be looking into dark fantasy anime.

But what are the best dark fantasy anime? There are a few wildly popular examples like Attack on Titan, Tokyo Ghoul, and Berserk that are well worth watching if you haven't already. Looking for something that's a little bit more obscure? Try Ajin: Demi-Human or From the New World. Want your dark fantasy as bloody as possible? Watch Hellsing. Prefer it more subtle and psychological? xxxHOLiC might be a better choice for you.

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  • 1
    378 VOTES
    Berserk
    Photo: Berserk / OLM

    When many people think about dark fantasy anime, Berserk is the first thing that comes to mind. The series follows a mercenary named Guts whose entire life is a parade of endless horror.

    Whether its the cruelties he suffers at the hands of his adoptive father, the massive betrayal of his former friend Griffith, or the endless series of monsters that are attracted to his brand of sacrifice, nothing is ever easy for Guts. But still, he must press on. 

    378 votes
  • When most people think of dark fantasy, they don't necessarily think of FMA - but it fits the definition quite well. FMA is about two brothers who try to bring their deceased mother back to life via alchemy, and then end up having their own bodies taken altogether. They get involved in an intense conflict against homunculi. Meanwhile, many of the other characters are dealing with the aftermath of a destructive war.

    It's a show that's not afraid to deal with disturbing topics, but it still brings all the fun and excitement that shonen excels in.

    313 votes
  • 3
    401 VOTES
    Attack on Titan
    Photo: Attack on Titan / Wit Studio

    Attack on Titan is one of the most popular anime in history, so if you haven't seen it already, it's worth checking out for that reason alone. In a world that's overrun by humanoid monsters called Titans, humanity has been forced to live behind a series of protective walls. The only people who ever leave are the Survey Corps, who go out and slay as many Titans as possible. Eren Jaeger and his friends join the Corps in the hopes of finally achieving freedom by destroying the Titans.

    But there will be plenty of hardship before they make any progress, and nothing - not the Titans, and not Eren himself - is what it seems to be.

    401 votes
  • Demon Slayer is another example of how dark fantasy and shonen can collide with amazing results. After the Kamado family is wiped out by demons, only Tanjiro and Nezuko survive. While Tanjiro is unharmed because he was out selling charcoal, Nezuko is transformed into a demon. Tanjiro is determined to find a way to change her back. To do that, he'll have to get strong enough to become a demon slayer.

    He'll meet demons who transformed in much the same way as his sister, as well as demons who are evil beyond redemption. He'll have to be strong enough - physically and emotionally - to deal with them all.

    377 votes
  • 5
    213 VOTES

    Dororo

    Dororo
    Photo: Dororo / Tezuka Productions, MAPPA

    Before Hyakkimaru was born, his father traded his limbs, organs, and other body parts away to a group of demons in exchange for the prosperity of his land. Despite being thrown away like garbage, he managed to survive to adolescence. He dedicated his life to finding the demons who possess his body parts, and slaying them to get them back.

    Along the way, he meets an orphan named Dororo. The two find meaning and purpose in helping each other through even the cruelest of hardships. 

    213 votes
  • 6
    272 VOTES
    Tokyo Ghoul
    Photo: Tokyo Ghoul / Studio Pierrot

    Ken Kaneki is a mild-mannered literature student who just wants to go on a date with a pretty girl. Unfortunately for him, that girl turns out to be a man-eating ghoul named Rize.

    After a freak accident, he ends up having a few of her ghoul organs transplanted into his body. This transforms him into a ghoul. Not only must he confront his newfound desire to eat human flesh, but he also has to figure out how to survive in a society that's constantly targeting ghouls like him - and how to survive the ghouls that fight back in the most ruthless ways they can manage. 

    272 votes