Fear has always been a driving factor in our evolution, and as we grow into a more intelligent civilization and understand more about our existence and cosmos, we are developing new fears that were not before possible, such as the never-ending darkness of space and the unknown entities that lurk beyond.
And in the world of entertainment, this kind of terror is known as Cosmic Horror, which was founded by H.P Lovecraft, who wrote numerous books about the fear of the unknown and the mysteries that lie behind that darkness.
We have numerous books and a few movies based on the Cosmic Horror topic, but what about animes? It’s difficult to discover an anime based on Cosmic Horror, but after some digging around, I have found 7 Cosmic Horror Anime that can satisfy your craving for Cosmic Horror.
Not all of these anime have a Cosmic Horror theme; in fact, several merely have a few elements of a Cosmic Horror topic.
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Best Cosmic Horror Anime
7. Sonny Boy
In Sonny Boy, an ordinary summer vacation takes a chilling turn when Nagara and his fellow high school students find themselves trapped in another dimension. The setting becomes an alien environment, leaving them grappling with the unknown and incomprehensible. As if that weren’t enough, each student starts developing strange new powers that only add to the escalating sense of cosmic horror.
With no clear way to return home, the students are faced with a daunting challenge: survive in this eerie dimension. However, the already tenuous group dynamic becomes further strained as factions and rivalries emerge among the students. As they navigate through the ambiguity of their location and the unfolding events, paranoia and fear begin to consume them.
Sonny Boy captures the essence of cosmic horror, delving into the depths of the unknown and pushing the boundaries of the characters’ understanding. Through its enigmatic storytelling, the anime evokes a constant feeling of unease and suspense, as the students’ struggle for survival becomes entangled with the enigma of their predicament. As the mysteries unravel, the anime masterfully explores the psychological and emotional toll of facing the unfathomable, making it a must-watch for fans of cosmic horror.
6. Shinreigari: Ghost Hound
In the isolated town of Suiten, a chilling tale unfolds. Taro, Makoto, and Masayuki, three boys haunted by their troubled pasts, discover a hidden realm known as the “Unseen World.” This parallel world is far from idyllic, filled with restless spirits and eerie phenomena. Recently, a mysterious change has occurred, allowing the souls of the deceased to cross over into the real world, causing unpredictable and unsettling effects.
Shinreigari: Ghost Hound delves into the realm of cosmic horror, where fear stems from the unknown and incomprehensible. As Taro, Makoto, and Masayuki navigate between the two worlds, they find themselves confronting terrifying encounters that defy explanation. Each step they take unravels a greater mystery, pulling them deeper into a world of unexplained phenomena.
This anime encapsulates the essence of cosmic horror, where the line between the living and the dead blurs, and the unexplained lurks in the shadows. Brace yourself for a haunting narrative as Taro, Makoto, and Masayuki confront their fears, grapple with the unfathomable, and try to unravel the enigma that lies at the heart of the Unseen World.
After tracing a distress signal to a massive abandoned space station, a couple of engineers, Heintz Beckner and Miguel Costrela, discover an abandoned mansion and decide to investigate on foot.
Their investigation unveils a terrible truth surrounding Eva Friedel’s fate, a famous opera singer with a tragic past. They are quickly afflicted by hallucinations, and they must battle to save their sanity in order to escape the station alive.
4. Nyaruko: Crawling With Love!
First, I have to say that this is not a horror or cosmic horror, but rather it’s a comedy and much more light-hearted than any cosmic horror.
The story of Haiyore! Nyaruko-san focuses around Nyaruko, a formless Lovecraftian chaos deity (Nyarlathotep) who may take on the shape of an apparently cute silver-haired girl.
Mahiro Yasaka is a typical high school student who is chased by a terrifying black extraterrestrial one night until Nyaruko saves him. She says that the creatures from H. P. Lovecraft’s books are actually extraterrestrial species and that she was sent to Earth by the Space Defense Agency to protect him from an alien trafficker.
Yuu Kusaka swore as a child to a shooting star that he would fight for justice and protect the weak. However, the death of one of his friends affects his desire to keep that promise, and he turns a blind eye to the pain of others, using the strange power he possesses to make money rather than helping those in need.
His days of living exclusively for himself continue until he is forced to battle for his life against another student with similar abilities to his. He is saved by a mysterious girl named Eimu Yoake, who also possesses strange abilities.
Eimu reveals that his skills are the result of a parasitic organism known as an Ayakashi, which offers the user unique abilities at the cost of slowly draining the host’s life. She assists him in completely awakening his own. Yuu must live up to his childhood promise, putting his ayakashi to use and fending off those who would use their own for evil, all while investigating the mystery behind his friend’s murder.
2. The Big O
The Big O takes place in the fictional city-state of Paradigm City. The city sits on the seashore and is surrounded by a wide desert area. The monopolistic Paradigm Corporation controls the partially domed city entirely, resulting in a corporate police state.
Because forty years prior to the story, “The Event” destroyed the world outside the city, leaving the survivors with no prior memories, Paradigm is known as “The City of Amnesia.”
The city is defined by great class imbalance; the higher-income people live within the more comfortable domes, while the rest lives in tenements outside. Residents of the city think that they are the world’s last survivors and that no other nations exist outside of the city. Androids and huge robots are known as “Megadeus” cohabit among Paradigm City residents, who do not find them weird.
1. Bokura no
15 kids, 8 boys and 7 girls, are having fun at summer camp when they come to a cave by the sea. When they enter the strange location, they discover a room full of computers and a man named Kokopelli, who introduces himself as the owner.
He claims to be working on a game about a massive robot built to protect Earth from 15 different extraterrestrial invasions. Kokopelli hasn’t had a chance to test the game yet, so he convinces all but one of the children to sign a contract for what he promises will be a delightful adventure.
However, once the contracts are signed, things take a considerably darker turn. In Bokurano, the youngsters must now control the huge robot Zearth one at a time in the hopes of defeating all of the incoming enemies. However, Kokopelli has overlooked one crucial detail: the energy source of the enormous robot Zearth.