18 Scary Anime Characters That Are Truly Horrifying (2023)

We often recommend media and products we like. If you buy anything through links on our site, we may earn a commission.

Anime series are filled with characters who are fun, noble, powerful, cute, lovable, and all the other descriptors that make anime characters so likable. But then there are those who are terrifying.

Sometimes an anime character is scary in a badass way. Others have horrifying backstories, facial expressions, or abilities that we just want to stay clear of. And every so often, there's an anime character who's creepy or unsettling or scary for seemingly no reason.

Here are some iconic scary anime characters and why they're so frightening. You might be surprised to find both heroes and villains on this list!

Related:

11 Cool Anime Character Names and Their Origins and Meanings
For anime lovers!

Funimation offers ad-free streaming for hundreds of hit anime series and movies鈥攕ubbed and dubbed鈥攆or $7.99 per month.

You can try it FREE for fourteen days! If you've been meaning to catch up on anime, this is a great way to do it.

18. Empty Head Girl (Parasyte: The Maxim)

18 Scary Anime Characters That Are Truly Horrifying (2)

Who wouldn't be afraid if they saw a girl run by who didn't have any eyes and was missing half of her head?

This character in Parasyte: The Maxim is actually Reiko Tamura after splitting her parasyte body. She lost some sense of thinking and even cracked a joke about being an empty head.

Luckily, it seems that the body loses its desire to eat humans when the head gets mangled in this way.

Related:

7 Popular Anime Series That Were Banned in Some Countries (And Why)
(Video) Top 10 Horror Anime That Will Scare The Sh** Out Of You

17. Baby Hyakkimaru (Dororo)

18 Scary Anime Characters That Are Truly Horrifying (4)

This poor little baby is the product of his father's last resort to keep his power and wealth, and save his land from famine. He became a sacrifice for the devils that each took a body part鈥攂ut was still born and had to live as if cursed from the moment of birth.

Baby Hyakkimaru can be seen without eyes, skin, or nose. The rest of his parts are covered with cloth. If he was never adopted, he'd be like a walking corpse鈥攊f he managed to survive at all.

16. Seido Takizawa (Tokyo Ghoul)

Yes, this innocent-looking agent from the first season of Tokyo Ghoul is a terrifying monster after he became a Ghoul. In fact, he became part of the Aogiri Tree's experiment: hybrid one-eyed Ghouls.

The Ghouls from this anime series are all badass, but this agent-turned-ghoul is a mad one鈥攕o crazy and terrifying that he managed to defeat Tatara, one of the leader-like characters in their ranks.

Related:

The 7 Best Zombie Anime Series to Watch for Undead Horror

15. Kaoru Hanayama (Baki)

18 Scary Anime Characters That Are Truly Horrifying (7)

Kaoru Hanayama is one of the monster-like characters in the Baki anime series. At first glance, he's a gentle giant. But when it comes to fighting? He's as brutal as any other character in the series.

His fight with Spec is one that truly demonstrates how monstrous he is. Despite being shot in the knee and pumped full of exploding bullets, he stands up and shows Spec how large their difference is.

Yet while he gave his opponent the gift of defeat, Kaoru Hanayama was left with half his face blown off.

Related:

14. Reaper Death Seal (Naruto)

18 Scary Anime Characters That Are Truly Horrifying (9)

One of the most effective sealing techniques in the Naruto series is the Reaper Death Seal. It calls upon the power of a shinigami ("death god") to absorb the soul of a target into one's own body, then sacrifice one's own life to seal both souls forever.

The shinigami that's summoned is terrifying鈥攐nce it's summoned, there's no going back. It won't leave without the sealer's soul.

(Video) Top 10 Scariest Anime of All Time

13. Majito (Jujutsu Kaisen)

18 Scary Anime Characters That Are Truly Horrifying (10)

We can call Majito the embodiment of evil. Despite his innocent-looking face, it only masks the evil desires that brew beneath that facade鈥攄esires that show in how he talks with others.

His gentle way of speaking and flowery words even made Junpei believe everything he said and turned him into his pawn.

Related:

What Is Jujutsu Kaisen? Why Is It So Popular? Explained

12. Chairman Isaac Netero (Hunter X Hunter)

18 Scary Anime Characters That Are Truly Horrifying (12)

He's not a bad guy in Hunter X Hunter. He's not scary in the usual sense, despite holding the highest rank in the Hunter Association.

Why did we include him on this list? His fight against the Chimera Ant King. Even after losing an arm, a leg, and most of his strength, Isaac Netero activates a weapon with a ghostly smile before he dies: a bomb that triggers when his heart stops.

That kind of ingenuity in the world of Hunter X Hunter makes him one of the most badass characters, but also one of the scariest. After all, that bomb's explosion wiped out a huge radius.

11. Afuro (Afro Samurai)

Afuro (or Afro) is the protagonist of Afro Samurai, and the extent of his strength, hatred, and thirst for revenge make him one of the most terrifying anime characters.

Though there are other characters in the same series who have their own scary images, we can see and feel in Afro the terror of one who lives for revenge and seethes with rage.

Related:

The 15 Best TV Show Theme Songs, Ranked

10. Nanika (Hunter X Hunter)

18 Scary Anime Characters That Are Truly Horrifying (15)

In Hunter X Hunter, Nanika has the ability to grant a wish when someone successfully fulfills three of his demands. Those demands can be as simple as giving a piggyback ride, or as intense as giving up one of your internal organs.

As if that weren't scary enough, Nanika's pale-white face and pitch-black eyes make him look like a creepy doll. If you came across Nanika, would you dare to ask for any wishes? Oh yeah: if his demands aren't met, a terrible fate awaits you.

Related:

The 10 Strongest Anime Abilities and Powers That Are Risky to Use
(Video) Top 20 Horror Anime of the Century (So Far)

9. Enmu (Demon Slayer)

18 Scary Anime Characters That Are Truly Horrifying (17)

Enmu is truly one of the worst demons in Demon Slayer, as he has the power to manipulate and control people's dreams. Aside from this ability, he has a terrifying talking hand that can force you to fall asleep, allowing him to kill you from the inside.

8. Smiling Titan (Attack on Titan)

18 Scary Anime Characters That Are Truly Horrifying (18)

The Smiling Titan is the first Titan with an identity that we encounter in Attack on Titan, and Eren has a special bond with it鈥攃onsidering that the Smiling Titan is the one who ate his mom.

While every Titan in this anime series is creepy, horrific, and nightmarish in their own way, the Smiling Titan is one of the worst. The massive size, the dead eyes, and the huge vicious grin are enough to haunt your dreams for the rest of your life.

Related:

14 Sad Anime Moments and Scenes That Actually Made Us Cry

7. Bunny Beast (Blood C)

18 Scary Anime Characters That Are Truly Horrifying (20)

Would you ever be afraid of a bunny? While real-life bunnies are cute and adorable creatures, the Bunny Beasts in Blood C are not.

Whenever the Bunny Beasts attack, you can expect the scene to be macabre. Like when they gather people up in sack-like arms and grind them into a pulp. Or like when they skewer people with their fingers into a human barbecue.

Related:

The 10 Most Brutal Anime of All Time

6. Juuzou Suzuya (Tokyo Ghoul)

18 Scary Anime Characters That Are Truly Horrifying (22)

Juuzou is one of the best agents of CCG even though he fights without a Quinque. The scene where he fights his former classmates鈥攚ho are now hybrid one-eyed Ghouls鈥攕hows his lack of sympathy and the joy he gets out of seeing Ghouls run for their lives.

He's truly a terrifying killer with his sinister smile and deadly movements and tactics. Even though he loses much of his bloodlust and settles into a calmer personality in the later arcs, he's still a badass agent up to the end of the series.

5. Tenko Shimura (My Hero Academia)

18 Scary Anime Characters That Are Truly Horrifying (23)

Tenko Shimura (alias Tomura Shigaraki) is the archvillain of the My Hero Academia series. With his Quirk "Decay," he can make anyone and anything rot and vanish into ashes.

(Video) Silent Horror -10min compilation

What earns his spot on this list is his desire to destroy everything that was built up by All for One. He's a villain who's the product of his tragic past, and his terrifying nature is complete with his frightening appearance鈥攚ith and without the hands.

Related:

Why Is 鈥淢y Hero Academia鈥 So Popular? 5 Reasons Why It Deserves the Hype

4. No Face (Spirited Away)

18 Scary Anime Characters That Are Truly Horrifying (25)

A lot of people think No-Face of Spirited Away is cute. And even though he's a somewhat benign spirit, he's pretty creepy if you actually think about his temperament.

No-Face is timid on the outside, but he's so obsessed with Chihiro that he'll go to any length just to get her attention. His intentions are good鈥攈e just wants to be friends鈥攂ut he takes it in a wrong direction that's actually kind of horrifying. We all know someone like this.

3. Illumi Zoldyck (Hunter X Hunter)

18 Scary Anime Characters That Are Truly Horrifying (26)

An assassin by occupation and born to a family of killers, Illumi is one of the most terrifying characters in Hunter X Hunter. Behind his pretty face is an evil with no hesitation to killing others.

His true evil side was shown in the scene where he's teased by Hisoka for killing Killua. Upon hearing it, Illumi's face turns dark and his aura oozes out with bloodlust. Terrifying, indeed.

Related:

The 10 Best Female Anime Assassins, Ranked: Who Comes Out on Top?

2. Hisoka Morow (Hunter X Hunter)

18 Scary Anime Characters That Are Truly Horrifying (28)

Speaking of bloodlust, Hisoka Morow of Hunter X Hunter is seen with a powerful bloodlust during the Hunter Exam, to the point that Gon was stopped and terrified. Luckily, Hisoka managed to calm himself down.

He's one of the most terrifying characters in that series along with the aforementioned Illumi from the same series.

1. Peter Ratri (The Promised Neverland)

18 Scary Anime Characters That Are Truly Horrifying (29)

Most horrifying anime characters aren't out-and-out monsters or demons but rather humans with inhuman intent鈥攍ike Peter Ratri of The Promised Neverland. As the head of the family and its illicit business, he grooms and sells children for demon consumption.

He never even thinks about the morality of it or about stopping his family's evil business because he's drunk with greed and power. And when you think about it, that makes him the scariest anime character.

Read next:

The 7 Best Anime and Manga Subscription Boxes
(Video) 277 Horror Stories Animation (Best of 2021 Compilation)

FAQs

Who is the scariest anime character ever? 鈥

10 Creepiest Anime Characters That Will Give You Nightmares
  • Mad Pierrot ('Cowboy Bebop') ...
  • Beng茅 ('Vampire Hunter D') ...
  • Caster ('Fate/Zero') ...
  • Iwamoto Kogan ('Shigurui') ...
  • Yuno Gasai ('Future Diary') ...
  • The Man ('Cat Soup') ...
  • Shou Tucker ('Fullmetal Alchemist') ...
  • Yoshikage Kira ('Jojo: Diamond is Unbreakable')
7 Jul 2022

Who is the Hatest anime character? 鈥

The 10 Most Hated Anime Characters
  • Malty Melromarc - 'Rising of the Shield Hero' ...
  • Gabi Braun - 'Attack on Titan' ...
  • Nina Einstein - 'Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion' ...
  • Mahito - 'Jujutsu Kaisen' ...
  • Rachel - 'Tower of God' ...
  • Shinji Matou - 'Fate/stay night' ...
  • Shou Tucker - 'Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood'
30 May 2022

Who is the strongest anime character? 鈥

1. Zeno 鈥 Dragon Ball Super 鈥 The most powerful and strongest anime character of all time. Zeno is the ruler of each of the realities in Dragon Ball Super. He has the ability to create and destroy all existence across multiple universes in a single instance.

What's a good name for a anime boy? 鈥

Totally Awesome Anime Boy Names
Hayato
HiroshiGenerousJapanese
HirotoLarge, Great, Command, Esteem, Soar, FlyJapanese
HiroyukiPervade, Peace, HarmonyJapanese
Hisashi
10 more rows

Who is the most Simped anime character? 鈥

1) Kaname Kuran. Kaname Kuran is a charming character from the Vampire Knight anime who has all the ladies swooning. He comes from a prestigious clan of vampires who suck on the blood of the living.

Is another scary anime? 鈥

Another (2012)

Another is an excellent gateway into Japanese horror. Feeling more like a movie than an episodic adventure, it follows a series of bizarre, gruesome deaths surrounding a mysterious set of students. One inquisitive transfer student is tasked with figuring out why his peers are dying over and over again.

What's a good anime name for a girl? 鈥

Super Cool Anime Girl Names
NameMeaningOrigin
AoiHollyhock FlowerJapanese
AsamiHemp + Yet/FutureJapanese
AsukaTomorrow; Smell, perfumeJapanese
AyaWoven silkJapanese
10 more rows

Is Higurashi a good anime? 鈥

Story-wise, Higurashi: When They Cry has a deep and well-developed plot. It might not make much sense on the first few episodes, but things start to unravel when you get past the middle of the series. If you like anime involving time loops, mysteries and don't mind gore and violence, this series will not disappoint.

What is the number 1 anime in the world? 鈥

Anime Top 10
Top 10 Most Popular (Top 50)
#titlerating
1Fullmetal Alchemist (TV)8.72
2Death Note (TV)8.86
3Cowboy Bebop (TV)8.93
8 more rows

Who is the fastest anime character? 鈥

7) Killua Zoldyck

He is often not in complete control of his body movements when using Godspeed. It is still quite effective during combat. Killua can move at speeds of over 550 mph, which is much higher than the speed of sound. He is also the fastest character in the anime.

Who is stronger than Goku? 鈥

1) Jiren. As seen in Dragon Ball Super's Tournament of Power arc, Goku was unable to defeat Jiren in a 1v1 even after achieving Mastered Ultra Instinct.

Who is the coolest anime boy? 鈥

Top 55 Best Anime Male Characters
  1. Edward Elric. Edward Elric is a blond-haired alchemist and older brother in the fan-favorite series Fullmetal Alchemist. ...
  2. Levi Ackerman. Levi Ackerman is a sophisticated character in Attack on Titan. ...
  3. Naruto Uzumaki. ...
  4. Light Yagami. ...
  5. Killua Zoldyck. ...
  6. Takumi Usui. ...
  7. Victor Nikiforov. ...
  8. Zero Kiryu.
1 Nov 2021

Who is the coolest anime name? 鈥

Here are some excellent best male anime names.
  • Haruki: One who shines brightly. ...
  • Elric: means king and is derived from Elric Brothers.
  • Daisuke: Means the great one. ...
  • Chouko. ...
  • Chiyoko. ...
  • Arata: Fresh or new, from the series known as Arata: The Legend.
  • Akatsuki: Red moon. ...
  • Akatsuki: Japanese for the red moon.
20 Jun 2022

What does Yuki mean? 鈥

Depending on the characters used, Yuki can mean 鈥渟now,鈥 鈥渉appiness,鈥 or 鈥渟now flower.鈥 Yuki is a beautiful name to give baby born in winter, or as a reminder of the happiness they have brought to your life. On This Page.

Who is the most loved anime character? 鈥

Top 15 Most Popular Anime Characters of 2021
  • No. 1 Goku (Dragon Ball Z)
  • No. 2 Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto)
  • No. 3 Itachi Uchiha (Naruto)
  • No. 4 Kakashi Hatake (Naruto)
  • No. 5 Saitama (One Punch Man)
  • No. 6 Isaac Netero (Hunter X Hunter)
  • No. 7 Ichigo Kurosaki (Bleach)
  • No. 8 Ken Kaneki (Tokyo Ghoul)

Why do people in anime yell so much? 鈥

The reason for anime characters screaming is that most anime stem from manga, a still-image medium where the characters have to shout their names so that the readers know who they're dealing with.

Who suffered the most in AOT? 鈥

I've only watched the first season because I don't have Hulu, but I'd say that Eren suffered the most because he watched his mom get eaten, his dad never came back, he found out he could turn into a Titan, and basically all that was left of humanity no longer trusted him and wanted to kill him.

What is the saddest anime character backstory? 鈥

1/15 Guts (Berserk)

There is very little competition when it comes to anime's most emotional backstory. Guts, the main character from Kentaro Miura's Berserk, has a past filled with sorrow. He was born from the corpse of his mother and was taken in by Shisu. As he grew up, Guts saw Shisu fall to the plague.

Who suffered most in Naruto? 鈥

1) Itachi Uchiha

Undoubtedly one of the most tragic characters in Naruto, Itachi Uchiha shouldered the burden of killing his own brethren to stop a coup d'茅tat in the Uchiha clan, orchestrated by his own father. All this, in order to protect the village.

Who is the most popular anime crush? 鈥

10 Anime characters with a huge crush
  • Sakura and Sasuke (Image via Pierrot)
  • Teruhashi and Saiki (Image via Netflix)
  • Misa Amane (Image via Madhouse)
  • Himiko Toga (Image via Bones)
  • Takemichi (Image via Crunchyroll)
  • Aoi Todo (Image via MAPPA)
  • Boa Hancock (Image via Viz Media)
  • Hinata and Naruto (Image via Pierrot)
10 Feb 2022

Who is the most powerful evil? 鈥

In that regard, it's hard to deny that Thanos is the most powerful of them all. The Mad Titan is a formidable warrior who manages to kill Loki and defeat Hulk within the first few minutes of Avengers: Infinity War.

Who is the most evil villain of all time? 鈥

Note: James Bond villains and Disney-animated villains are not included.
  1. Darth Vader ("Star Wars" trilogy)
  2. The Joker ("The Dark Knight") ...
  3. Anton Chigurh ("No Country For Old Men") ...
  4. Hannibal Lecter ("Silence of the Lambs" franchise) ...
  5. The Shark ("Jaws") ...
  6. Amon Goeth ("Schindler's List") ...
  7. Terminator ("Terminator" franchise) ...
19 Aug 2022

Which anime has the best ending? 鈥

10 Best Anime Finales
  • A Place Further Than the Universe. ...
  • Assassination Classroom. ...
  • Clannad After Story. ...
  • Code Geass. ...
  • Cowboy Bebop. ...
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. ...
  • Monster. ...
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion.
10 Jun 2022

Which anime has the best story? 鈥

Top 10 Anime With the Best Story
  • 1 One Piece One Piece is a manga franchise created by Eiichiro Oda. ...
  • 2 Death Note Death Note is a Japanese television drama anime series based on the manga series of the same name by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata.

What is a best anime name? 鈥

Here are some strong and unique anime names for your baby boy:
  • Kei. ...
  • Masashi. ...
  • Natsu. ...
  • Noburu. ...
  • Osamu. ...
  • Toshiro. ...
  • Tsubasa. ...
  • Yuki. A popular Japanese name used for both male and female characters, Yuki means both 鈥渉appiness鈥 and 鈥渟now.鈥 One of our favorite bearers of this name?
26 Sept 2022

What's a good anime name for a girl? 鈥

Super Cool Anime Girl Names
NameMeaningOrigin
AoiHollyhock FlowerJapanese
AsamiHemp + Yet/FutureJapanese
AsukaTomorrow; Smell, perfumeJapanese
AyaWoven silkJapanese
10 more rows

Who is the most powerful evil? 鈥

In that regard, it's hard to deny that Thanos is the most powerful of them all. The Mad Titan is a formidable warrior who manages to kill Loki and defeat Hulk within the first few minutes of Avengers: Infinity War.

Who is the greatest villain of all time? 鈥

The Best Movie Villains Of All Time
  1. Darth Vader. The Star Wars trilogy (1977-1983) Star Wars: Episode III 鈥 Revenge Of The Sith (2005), Rogue One (2016)
  2. The Joker. Batman (1966), Batman (1989), The Dark Knight (2008), Joker (2019) ...
  3. Loki. ...
  4. Hans Gruber. ...
  5. Hannibal Lecter. ...
  6. Hans Landa. ...
  7. Kylo Ren. ...
  8. Anton Chigurh. ...

What is a slasher smile? 鈥

The Slasher Smile is the Evil Counterpart of the Cheshire Cat Grin. In general, the difference is in the eyes of the character. If the eyes sparkle or are mischievously wicked, it's a Cheshire Cat Grin. If, however, the eyes are clearly crazy or malevolent, it's a Slasher Smile.

Is Danganronpa a horror anime? 鈥

Danganronpa: The Animation is a murder mystery and horror series where 16 students are tasked with killing each other and solving the murders.

Who is the coolest anime boy? 鈥

Top 55 Best Anime Male Characters
  1. Edward Elric. Edward Elric is a blond-haired alchemist and older brother in the fan-favorite series Fullmetal Alchemist. ...
  2. Levi Ackerman. Levi Ackerman is a sophisticated character in Attack on Titan. ...
  3. Naruto Uzumaki. ...
  4. Light Yagami. ...
  5. Killua Zoldyck. ...
  6. Takumi Usui. ...
  7. Victor Nikiforov. ...
  8. Zero Kiryu.
1 Nov 2021

Is anime a Japanese word? 鈥

Etymology 1

Borrowed from Japanese 銈€儖銉 (anime), an abbreviation of 銈€儖銉°兗銈枫儳銉 (anim膿shon), ultimately from English animation.

What are some badass girl Japanese names? 鈥

Rikka: This Japanese girl's name means 鈥渄ominant ruler.鈥 Ryoko: This Japanese name means 鈥渂right child.鈥 Ryuji: The meaning of this Japanese name is 鈥渄ragon.鈥 Tatsu: This Japanese name also means 鈥渄ragon.鈥

What does Yuki mean? 鈥

Depending on the characters used, Yuki can mean 鈥渟now,鈥 鈥渉appiness,鈥 or 鈥渟now flower.鈥 Yuki is a beautiful name to give baby born in winter, or as a reminder of the happiness they have brought to your life. On This Page.

Videos

1. Top 10 Most Terrifying Scenes in Anime
(WatchMojo.com)
2. 18 Horror Stories Animated (Compilation of February 2022)
(IMR Scary Tales)
3. DARK HORROR ANIMES WITH DARK FIRST EPISODES馃槺馃槺馃槺馃槺 18+ ONLY鉂楋笍鉂楋笍鉂楋笍
(Umitxz)
4. 140 Horror Stories Animation (Best of 2020 Compilation)
(IMR Scary Tales)
5. Peppa Pig Horror Movie Parody
(The world is ending and I'm late for work)
6. RATED-R Home Alone
(Corridor)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rob Wisoky

Last Updated: 10/06/2023

Views: 5596

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (48 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rob Wisoky

Birthday: 1994-09-30

Address: 5789 Michel Vista, West Domenic, OR 80464-9452

Phone: +97313824072371

Job: Education Orchestrator

Hobby: Lockpicking, Crocheting, Baton twirling, Video gaming, Jogging, Whittling, Model building

Introduction: My name is Rob Wisoky, I am a smiling, helpful, encouraging, zealous, energetic, faithful, fantastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.