By Sean Aitchison & Dan Maiorana
Have you ever had a watch list full of new shows to check out? Have you ever completely ignored said watch list in order to rewatch a show you’ve already seen at least three times? Hey, we get it—sometimes the allure of a show you already love is more appealing than the risk of starting a new series!
No judgment here. Rewatching your favorite anime is a great way to find new things to love, share a series with someone who hasn’t seen it, or catch things you missed in previous watch-throughs! It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Taking into account things like length, unique elements, hidden details and overall quality, here are five of the most rewatchable horror anime in Funimation’s catalog—just in time for the spooky season!
Tokyo Ghoul (2014)
Starting off, we have one of the most delightfully gory anime in recent memory, Tokyo Ghoul.
After being involved in a near-fatal accident with a ghoul who tried to eat him, Kaneki inherits their power via an organ transplant. With this new power and a sudden craving for human flesh, Kaneki is introduced to the secret underground world of ghouls, leading to a new life full of battles, secret identities, discovery and lots of bloody good horror.
So, what makes this unique horror series worth rewatching? Well, aside from it being the perfect fit for a spooky October of anime bingeing, the first season of Tokyo Ghoul is the perfect length for a rewatch—coming in at only 12 total episodes. Add to this the beautiful animation and unique use of the supernatural as a background for gory ghoul battles, and you have a series that entices horror fans to binge over and over.
Paranoia Agent (2004)
Next up, we have a psychological horror cult classic, Satoshi Kon’s Paranoia Agent. A 13-episode series, this beautifully animated trip of a horror anime is…kind of hard to describe.
It tells the story of a juvenile assailant whose violent attacks cause those experiencing tragic lives to be free of their burdens, setting them on a new path. But this only scratches the surface, as the series eventually spirals into surreal, trippy territory with deep, dark and otherwise often unexplored themes—making for one of the most interesting and mind-blowing psychological pieces of art ever created.
The short episode count of Paranoia Agent is part of what makes it such a great and easy rewatch, but what makes it truly worth the rewatch is just how much detail and exquisite, masterful storytelling you will unlock on the second or third watch-through.
From Kon’s unique social commentary and satirical storytelling to the elegant unfolding of the plot and expanded cast, Paranoia Agent is a great series all around, and its use of violence and psychological horror makes it a fantastic yearly rewatch—especially if you want to analyze and further understand just how much is going on under the surface.
Deadman Wonderland (2011)
The series follows Ganta Igarashi, a middle schooler who is sentenced to death after his entire class is massacred.
He’s sent to Deadman Wonderland, a for-profit prison theme park where inmates are put through death games and trials for the entertainment of the public. Eventually, Ganta is forced to fight other prisoners using a blood-based superpower he discovers as he learns more about the prison, the massacre that put him in it, and the role that a white-haired girl named Shiro plays in it all.
Deadman Wonderland isn’t strictly horror, though, falling more into the shounen tournament and dystopian genres, but through unique injections of psychological thriller, stellar action and an overall haunting story, the series finds a place amongst its horror anime peers.
As it stands, the series is interesting from beginning to end, and will make you rethink what a good horror anime can be. If you’re looking for an anime that uses horror to make an off-the-walls commentary on prison systems, then make sure to add Deadman Wonderland to your rewatch-worthy list!
Danganronpa: The Animation (2013)
Based on the game series of the same name, Danganronpa: The Animation is less of a horror and more of a murder mystery, but since that’s a form of psychological horror, and since the series is so dang great, it makes the list.
Danganronpa: The Animation is about 16 high school students who are trapped inside Hope’s Peak High School, where their only way out is to murder another student and not be caught in the ensuing trial held by a teddy bear named Monokuma. Now that’s a premise—and because it’s based on a video game, the series manages to find lots of great twists and turns in a short, 13-episode package!
Similar to series like Steins;Gate, Danganronpa: The Animation is this perfect anime-based-on-a-game that is worth a rewatch for every little detail you missed, or just for enjoying how well-compacted the story is. The premise alone is worth a watch—a wonderfully insane toss-up of the whodunit? genre with that classic anime flair—and what keeps you coming back for more, perhaps a yearly rewatch, is experiencing the spiral of events, the motivations and actions of the ensemble cast, and the powerful ending.
If you’re looking for a psychological horror that injects a healthy dose of subversion into the horror genre, look no further than Danganronpa: The Animation and Danganronpa 3, both subbed and dubbed on Funimation!
Junji Ito Collection (2018)
Last, and certainly not least is the Junji Ito Collection, a series of short adaptations of the works of horror manga master, Junji Ito.
This 12-episode anthology is perfect for any horror fan, both because everything in it is frightening, and because it’s a wonderfully haunting crash course in Japanese horror storytelling.
Every single one of these short stories is as haunting as the last, and they are a perfect way to get into the horror month mood—as well as a great way to understand the way of Junji Ito and his surreal, terrifying approach to telling scary stories.
This collection of horror is perfect for binge-watching and rewatching due to, of course, being an anthology series that is easy to consume. Not only this, but each episode contains two stories, both perfectly paced to tell the story and to make them an easy watch-through.
Well… maybe not “easy” per se, since each episode is incredibly haunting because it’s Junji Ito, but you get the idea. Junji Ito Collection is a great addition to your yearly October rewatch list.
BONUS: Higurashi: When They Cry — GOU (2020)
Lastly, a little bonus segment for a series airing THIS season, Higurashi: When They Cry – GOU. Without spoiling too much, this seemingly wholesome series is bound to get dark. Like, really dark.
But you’ll just have to watch and find out if this horror series will make its way into your rewatch rotation, so what are you waiting for? Now’s the time to start watching. And I’ll catch you next time for what’s what in rewatchable anime on Funimation.