The 15 Best Zombie Anime To Watch Right Now
Thanks to the popularity of the zombie genre and subculture in the West, as well as worldwide, zombies have started to penetrate Japan’s animation industry. There still aren’t as many zombie anime shows and movies as there are live-action ones, but it’s only a matter of time until Japanese anime catches up. In the meantime, there are about 20 or so zombie anime fans can watch while they wait for the next episode or season of their favorite zombie show. And, since finding good anime to watch can be tedious, here are the 10 best zombie anime titles you can binge-watch on the internet right now.
Updated by Madison Lennon on March 28, 2020: Zombies are a big part of pop culture. There are countless movies, TV shows, and anime revolving around the idea of zombies existing. With all the downtime we have right now, it seemed like a good time to update this list of popular zombie anime out there.
If you're someone who loves the zombie apocalypse genre, you should definitely check out the following list of recommendations to see if any of them interest you enough to watch.
15. Soul Eater
Soul Eater is a really popular anime and while it doesn't solely revolve around zombies, there are zombies present throughout the series. The anime is based on the popular manga of the same name and follows teams at the Death Weapon Meister Academy.
The teams consist of a weapons master and a weapon that has the ability to turn itself into a human-like form. To create a death scythe and please the Shinigami master of the academy, they have to collect 99 evil souls and one witch, in that order.
Hellsing Ultimate is an OVA that was created after the original Hellsing anime finished. However, this version of Hellsing actually follows the manga better than the original anime. Again, this series is not solely about zombies but zombies are part of the supernatural horror world.
It focuses on the secret Hellsing Operation that tries to control the number of supernatural monsters plaguing England. The classic character Abraham Van Helsing is a main character in the story. It is also only ten episodes so it wouldn't take you very long to catch up on the show.
Sankarea is a romantic comedy and supernatural horror anime that deals with protagonist Chihiro Furuya who winds up falling in love with a zombie. It is a comedy series for the most part but it also has some surprisingly horrifying and intense moments.
Chihiro is fascinated by zombies and even wants to date a zombie girl. At one point, he makes a resurrection potion and a girl named Rea Sanka accidentally drinks it. She becomes a zombie that east hydrangea leaves and Chihiro must figure out how to live his life with a zombie girlfriend.
Sunday Without God is a fantasy, mystery, supernatural anime about a world where humans can no longer procreate or die. The idea is that God abandoned his creations and then left behind gravekeepers -- beings with the ability to help the living dead find rest.
The versions of "zombies" in this show are different than the conventional version but they operate the same for the most part. Anyone that dies still exists, without any signs of decay. Ai is the protagonist and she is a young protagonist who helps an immortal gunslinger learn the truth of their world and help the living dead rest.
Not only is this show about zombies, but it is a comedy that makes it distinctive from some of the other anime series on this list. The show revolves around Ayumu, who is tragically murdered by a serial killer. However, then an adorable magical girl necromancer resurrects him but then he is killed once again.
However, the girl's powers help him come back as a zombie. He and the girl much be cautious because there is also a demon who is after Ayumu. The show has two seasons and some OVA.
Although not necessarily the highest ranked anime on this list based on MAL (MyAnimeList) scores, Highschool of the Dead is arguably the best zombie anime to date. This has much to do with its serious plot, exciting turn of events, and its similarity to Western zombie TV shows and movies that are popular today. As the title implies, the story follows five high school students—plus two more characters—as they work together to get to safety after their high school gets overrun by zombies. The show’s fan service can be excessive at times, but the gore and violence more than make up for it.
Set in the Industrial Revolution, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is often dubbed as the steampunk Attack on Titan, except the enemies are hard-to-kill undead monsters called Kabane instead of unknown giant creatures. The comparison between the two shows stems from the fact that the people on Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress are kept safe from the Kabane by fortress-like stations and massive walls. One day, a steam locomotive hijacked by the Kabane crashes into one of the stations. Refusing to give in to this ill fate, a young engineer named Ikoma successfully creates a weapon that can kill the Kabane, beginning his journey as a hero.
This show’s animation is so cute that it’s hard to believe it’s a zombie show at first. It’s not that surprising, however, as the Japanese animation industry’s take on the zombie genre often deviates from the West’s. But when you watch the first episode and see cute school girls doing cute things but then eventually learn that they’re the only survivors of their school in a post-apocalyptic zombie world, School-Live! can feel a little...dissonant. But no worries, with a MAL score of 7.68, entertainment is guaranteed. Watch these cute girls try to maintain some normalcy while they try to outlast the zombie apocalypse.
7. Seoul Station
If you watched and enjoyed the South Korean zombie movie Train to Busan, then you would definitely love the South Korean animated movie Seoul Station, the prequel to this hit 2016 zombie movie. As of this writing, it has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. It follows the adventure of a young woman who tries to survive after downtown Seoul gets overrun by zombies. There are only three characters, which makes the movie rather straightforward and easy to follow. And while there’s nothing much to set it apart from the rest of the zombie shows and movies we’ve seen so far, the twist can be seriously awe-inspiring.
Based on a popular third-person shooting game, Gungrave is a serious anime show that focuses on the main character’s path to revenge. Called Beyond The Grave, or Grave for short, the main character is previously a human named Brandon Heat who, after being betrayed and murdered by his best friend and mafia syndicate partner, is brought back to life as an almost invincible zombie-like creature. He now lives to get back at the best friend who betrayed him and the syndicate he used to be part of while killing fellow undead on the side.
5. Tokyo Ghoul
If you’re not very strict about what constitutes as a zombie, then definitely watch Tokyo Ghoul. It follows the journey of a normal, quiet 18-year-old college student named Ken Kaneki. His life is turned upside down after a near-death accident from which he is saved by receiving an organ transplant from a ghoul. The transplant transforms him into a human-ghoul hybrid who must now eat human beings to live. Ken must figure out how to preserve his humanity while hiding the fact that he is now a ghoul. Unlike your regular flesh-eating zombies, ghouls try to live normal lives in society, making the audience sympathize for them and sometimes take their side.
Joining the ranks of humans who were turned into zombies is Makina Hoshimura, the titular character of Corpse Princess. While she may not look like a zombie and doesn’t eat brains, she’s definitely one of the undead. She gets reanimated after being killed alongside her family, and now has to kill 108 other revived corpses to be able to join her family in heaven. Her ultimate goal is avenging her family’s death by defeating the undead group known as Seven Stars. A cool female character with formidable physical skills, Makina uses dual MAC-11 machine guns to destroy her enemies.
In an alternate 18th-century England, scientist Victor Frankenstein discovers a method of reanimating a corpse. When his creation gets destroyed, another method of reanimating corpses is discovered, paving the way for using reanimated corpses in manual labor in the 19th century. However, unlike Victor’s method, this newer method isn’t able to return the corpse’s soul back to the body. John Watson, a medical student, is later tasked by the British government to obtain Frankenstein’s notes on reanimating a corpse with a soul. The unique and interesting plot, as well as the characters who are based on historical and popular literary figures, makes The Empire of Corpses interesting and fun to watch.
It seems that Japan really has a thing for undead main characters. In this show, the two main characters Chika and Shito are zombies who are able to keep on living in exchange for hunting down other zombies. They are later joined by a girl named Michiru, who has the ability to see a ring around a person’s neck when they are about to die. Chika and Shito use Michiru’s special ability to track the undead so they can pay off their debt to Zombie-Loan, the company that brought them back to life.
The 75-minute GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack OVA (Original Video Animation) is based on the horror manga of the same name written and illustrated by the popular horror mangaka Junji Ito. As the title indicates, instead of human corpses, Tokyo is under attack by incredibly stinky undead fish which are infected by a disease that humans can also contract. In the middle of this chaos, a girl named Kaori goes on a quest to find her missing boyfriend. What makes this anime even weirder than the undead fish is the fact that these zombie fish have metal legs that enable them to walk on land. Yikes!