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Best Gothic Anime Series To Watch for Everything Dark And Twisted




The notion of what qualifies a show as gothic might differ for every person. Some view the unsettling atmosphere or the ghostly presence of the characters as gothic, while others consider characters dressed in black outfits made of lace and leather to be the marker of the genre.

However, according to the classical definition, a gothic anime series is a combination of diverse elements and is usually merged with Victorian elegance and modern charisma. These series take the audiences into a realm where every character holds a hidden truth and the story setting brings liveliness to the plot with its supernatural, horror and Mysterious elements. Tokyo Ghoul and Shiki are some classic examples.

From stories fixated on themes of death and decay mixed with interesting plot twists to shows with extremely stylish characters, here is a look at the best gothic anime series.

8 best gothic anime series to add to your watchlist

Tokyo Ghoul

Gothic Anime Series
Image credit: IMDb

This gothic anime series is set in a universe where humans are in perPetual dread of ghouls or extraordinary humanoid creatures that consume human flesh to sustain themselves. Kaneki Ken, an introverted university student, is on the brink of death following an assault by one of these creatures and transforms into a half-ghoul after undergoing an organ transplant from the ghoul.

Tokyo Ghoul has human-flesh-eating creatures mixed with a dark fantasy storyline, bringing an intense horror and supernatural essence with gothic-looking characters. What’s not to love?

IMDb rating: 7.7/10

Black Butler

Image credit: IMDb

Ciel Phantomhive, a 12-year-old nobleman known as the Earl of Phantomhive, holds the prestigious position of being the Queen’s Watchdog. His primary responsibility is to solve criminal activities in the dark and Mysterious underworld of Victorian-era London.

To accomplish this, Ciel enters into a pact with Sebastian Michaelis, a demon who cunningly assumes the role of his loyal butler. The purpose of this pact is to exact revenge upon those who subjected Ciel to unspeakable torment and ruthlessly took the lives of his parents. As part of their agreement, Sebastian is granted permission to consume Ciel’s soul in exchange for his unwavering loyalty.

Black Butler is one of the anime series that has perfected the gothic aesthetic with its character design, the storyline and the location where the plot is set. All in all, it feels and looks gothic in every single manner, if that’s what you are aiming for!

IMDb rating: 7.7/10

The Ancient Magus’ Bride

Image credit: IMDb

Standing out from the lot, The Ancient Magus’ Bride combines the goth aesthetic with a slice-of-a-life story with a surreal and supernatural twist.

Chise Hatori, a Japanese high school student who has faced rejection from her relatives and society, decides to auction herself off in search of a new home. In London, she is purchased for five million pounds by Elias Ainsworth, a towering humanoid with an animal skull head.

This magus, who appears more like a demon than a human, has the power to guide Chise towards the light she craves or plunge her further into darkness in her new surroundings of Great Britain.

IMDb rating: 7.7/10


Image credit: IMDb

If you are on the hunt for a humourous gothic anime series, xxxHolic ticks off both boxes. The anime series is lighter than most shows in the genre with its perfect comical timing.

It follows a high school student, Kimihiro Watanuki, who is troubled by his extraordinary capability to see the supernatural and evil spirits. On the other hand, a powerful witch named Yūko Ichihara possesses a mystical emporium where wishes come true and crosses paths with Watanuki.

Upon Watanuki’s request to rid himself of his ability to perceive spirits, Ichihara agrees to fulfil his wish, but under the condition that he compensates for it by rendering his services to her. As he begins working in her shop, he soon realises things are not as they appear in that peculiar place.

IMDb rating: 7.6/10


Gothic Anime Series
Image credit: IMDb

Shiki falls into multiple genres including horror and supernatural, with the essences of vampires and a gothic aesthetic. The story is set in a small and remote village called Sotoba, nestled in the mountains of Japan. Life in Sotoba is peaceful and uneventful until a mysterious epidemic begins to spread, causing a series of unexplained deaths. As the death toll rises, the villagers become increasingly alarmed and paranoid, fearing that a supernatural force is at work.

Natsuno Yuuki is a sceptical and introverted teenager, who is initially indifferent to the strange occurrences in Sotoba. However, when his friend unexpectedly dies and returns as one of the undead, he is caught up in the mystery. As Natsuno investigates the deaths, he discovers that the village is plagued by vampires known as Shiki, who are preying on the villagers under darkness.

IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Shadows House

Gothic Anime Series
Image credit: IMDb

With a backdrop set in a grand Victoria-esque mansion, Shadows House creates the perfect setting for a gothic fiction series.

In the series, the Shadow House is a magnificent and ominous mansion where its inhabitants reside, accompanied by their Living Doll companions who tirelessly remove the soot produced by their masters. Emilico, a youthful and joyful Living Doll, is overjoyed to begin her service to her mistress, Kate. As their bond strengthens with the two becoming more involved in the happenings of the House, they gradually uncover a multitude of sinister mysteries.

IMDb rating: 7.3/10

Le Portrait De Petit Cossette

Gothic Anime Series
Image credit: IMDb

Eiri Kurahashi, a college art student working at an antique shop, faces an extraordinary encounter one fateful day. While gazing into an antique glass, he was astounded to witness the image of a girl who seemed alive and moving. One midnight, Eiri manages to establish a Mysterious connection with her and the girl introduces herself as Cossette, a nobleman’s daughter from the 18th century.

She goes on to disclose a haunting truth to Eiri: her spirit has been trapped within the glass due to the heinous act of murder committed by the artist Marcello Orlando. To liberate her, Cossette reveals that a man must willingly bear the punishment for Marcello’s sins. But what comes next will shake your core!

Le Portrait De Petit Cossette‘s animation oozes a damp and cold gothic style, thanks to its character design and a twisted storyline.

IMDb rating: 6.6/10

The Mystic Archives of Dantalian

Gothic Anime Series
Image credit: IMDb

Like many other gothic anime series, The Mystic Archives of Dantalian is set in England’s post-World War I era and combines horror, mystery and supernatural genres.

The plot begins with Hugh Anthony Disward returning to his ancestral property, where he inherits a historic manor and a personal library from his grandfather. While exploring the mansion’s basement, he meets a Mysterious girl named Dalian, the custodian of the Archives, housing a collection of forbidden knowledge stored within numerous enchanted books known as Phantom Books.

Hugh then accompanies her in investigating various incidents involving individuals who have misused the power of the Phantom Books, often resulting in tragic outcomes.

IMDb rating: 6.5/10

(Hero and feature image credit: IMDb/Black Butler and The Ancient Magus’ Bride)

This story first appeared on Augustman India

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– Which is the best gothic anime series to watch?
Shiki, Black Butler, Tokyo Ghoul and xxxHolic are some of the best gothic anime series to watch.

– Which is the highest-rated gothic anime series according to IMDb?
Tokyo Ghoul, Black Butler and The Ancient Magus’ Bride are the highest-rated gothic anime series according to IMDb with a score of 7.7/10.