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Top 10 Darkest Fantasy Anime

VO: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Alex Crilly-Mckean
Swords, sorcery and a shit-tone of suffering. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Darkest Fantasy Anime. For this list, we’ll be looking at the series that are firmly set in the fantasy genre, yet don’t skip out on the mature stuff. We’re talking excessive blood, gore, and every other kind of horror in-between.
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Top 10 Darkest Fantasy Anime

Swords, sorcery and a shit-tone of suffering. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Darkest Fantasy Anime.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the series that are firmly set in the fantasy genre, yet don’t skip out on the mature stuff. We’re talking excessive blood, gore, and every other kind of horror in-between.

#10: “Claymore” (2007)


The only thing worse than intelligent monsters with a hunger for human flesh? Intelligent monsters with a hunger for human flesh that can shapeshift. Who do you call when a Yoma has infiltrated your settlement? The all-female extermination squad with massive swords, zero emotion and a permanently active kill switch, that’s who. Of course, it isn’t all murder and sunshine. Shown through the eyes of a Claymore named Claire, not only does she have to contend with increasingly-stronger monsters, but also the shady dealings of her own organisation, as well as the risk of her own Yoma-infused blood getting out of control.

#9: “Akame ga Kill” (2014)


You know things are messed up when a group of killers are the closest thing to good guys. After discovering just how twisted the Empire truly is, a young warrior named Tatsumi finds himself joining the elite ranks of the Night Raid. Battling against everything from corrupt nobles all the way to the beautifully deadly Esdeath, this anime doesn’t shy away from showing the horror that can come when the upper echelons abandon morality for greed. While the fight scenes are pretty awesome, we’d advise not growing too attached to any of the characters…

#8: “Goblin Slayer” (2018)


From the moment we saw a group of young adventurers get mauled and violated, we knew that we were about to enter a rather unforgiving world. Thankfully, wherever there are little green demons causing trouble, you can always count on the Goblin Slayer to arrive and do what he does best – break them into tiny pieces with whatever he can get his hands on. While the show doesn’t quite manage to maintain the level of darkness shown in its introduction, watching the goblin murder machine and his merry-band butcher their way through the worst kind of quests still makes for a great ride.

#7: “The Rising of the Shield Hero” (2019)


Goes to show that being transported to a fantastical world and given the title of hero isn’t all its cracked up to be. As one of four otherworldly souls tasked with saving the land from catastrophe, Naofumi’s new life as the Shield Hero takes a bit of a tumble when he is framed and disgraced. Understandably embittered, Naofumi finds himself going from pariah to protector as he somewhat reluctantly becomes the only one capable of saving the day, much to the dismay of his detractors.

#6: “Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World” (2016-)


When the only thing you have going for you is the ability to keep coming back from the dead after each gruesome demise, you can understand why Subaru might have trouble adjusting to his new fantasy surroundings. Finding himself embroiled in the fate of the beautiful half-elf Emilia, all the once and future NEET can do to save his new friends is to die, die, die and die again, all in the hope that each reset will allow him to change the increasingly bleak future. There’s only so many game overs one man can take!

#5: “Overlord” (2015-18)


Why waste time as a wannabe do-gooder when you can conquer everything as a supreme skeleton ruler? After finding himself trapped inside his undead avatar, former gamer turned emperor Ainz Ooal Gown decides to set out on a campaign to take control of his new world by whatever means necessary. This often equates to plenty of deception and maybe the occasional massacre. Don’t expect Bone Daddy to suddenly find the humanity in his heart, he’s fully committed to that whole neutral evil alignment thing, which means a lot of good people are going to die horribly.

#4: “Drifters” (2016)


What happens when you take some of history’s most famous warriors, pluck them out of their own time, and set them up to battle it out in a world filled with elves and magic? You get Toyohisa Shimazu righteously slicing and dicing, Oda Nobunaga going war crazy, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid popping caps into orc asses, as well as an antagonist who could very well be evil Jesus Christ. The lunacy and body count in this one is pretty staggering, but its also one that will somehow win you over with just how in your face it is.

#3: “Made in Abyss” (2017)


Don’t let the beautiful animation and adorable lead characters throw you off, as soon as you step off into the mouth of the abyss, nobody is safe. Upon discovering her missing mother might be alive at the bottom of an otherworldly chasm, happy-go-lucky cave raider Riko and an amnesiac cyborg named Reg partner up in an attempt to reach the Abyss’s legendary lowest level. From there, things start to go, really, really, really wrong. It’s a stunning nightmare to behold, one that will have you wincing on behalf of the young duo as they continue their painful descent.

#2: “Attack on Titan” (2013-)


Nothing’s scarier then discovering you’re no longer at the top of the food chain, especially when the replacements are none other than cannibalistic giants. With humanity on its last legs thanks to the rise of the fearsome colossal beings known as Titans, it falls to a new generation of survivors in order to turn the tide of the conflict, only for things to be made infinitely harder when they realize their enemies lie both beyond and within the walls. Showcasing the best and worst of mankind in the harshest of fantasy settings, there’s a reason this series still dominates.

#1: “Berserk” (1997-98)


Unrelenting in its tragedy and unapologetic in its depiction of violence, the tale of the feral swordsman Guts and his relationship with the charismatic mercenary leader Griffith is as dark as dark fantasies dare to go. From their scuffles of the 100 Year War all the way to the infamous game-changer that is the Eclipse, this show perfectly balances the brutality of warfare with the savagery that lurks in the hearts of men, especially when prompted by the not so benevolent Gods that scheme away in the shadows. Years on, and the Black Swordsman remains undefeated.
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