15 Supernatural Anime Series You Won't Want to Miss

15 Supernatural Anime Series You Won't Want to Miss
Image credit: Legion-Media

From time travel and hidden creatures to magical contracts and demon slaying, there's a supernatural anime out there waiting for you to press play.

1. "Death Note" (2006)

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It all starts with a high school student, Light Yagami, and a mysterious notebook. The "Death Note" is not your average diary. Write a person's name while thinking of their face, and they're done for! When the bored shinigami (a death god) Ryuk drops his Death Note into the human realm out of curiosity, Light picks it up, and things escalate quickly. With his newfound power, Light decides to cleanse the world of evil, and this journey into his twisted sense of justice is enthralling. Did you know that Light Yagami's name is a play on words? "Light" in English, "Yagami" in Japanese can mean "night god".

2. "Attack on Titan " (2013)

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"Attack on Titan" pulls you into a world where humanity is on the brink of extinction. Giant humanoid creatures called Titans have almost wiped out mankind, who now live within enormous walled cities. The story revolves around Eren Yeager, his adoptive sister Mikasa Ackerman, and their friend Armin Arlert as they join the military to fight the Titans. What's fascinating about "Attack on Titan" is its unpredictability and intricate plot. Get this, the Titans aren't the only supernatural element here. Eren discovers he can transform into one, making the story a veritable rollercoaster of secrets, betrayals, and epic battles.

3. "Tokyo Ghoul" (2014)

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Imagine trying to live a normal life when you're half-human, half-ghoul. That's what "Tokyo Ghoul" explores with its protagonist, Ken Kaneki. In this world, ghouls, humanoid creatures that must consume human flesh to survive, live hidden among us. After a date gone wrong, Kaneki finds himself turned into a half-ghoul and struggles to live in both worlds. It's a grim, thought-provoking series that delves deep into identity, humanity, and the monstrous within us. The author, Sui Ishida, originally intended for the story to be a tragedy from the start, and it certainly shows.

4. "Bleach" (2004)

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"Bleach" follows Ichigo Kurosaki, a high school student who obtains the powers of a Soul Reaper – a death deity akin to the Grim Reaper – from another Soul Reaper, Rukia Kuchiki. The anime, full of exciting battles and endearing characters, dives into the supernatural realm where Soul Reapers protect the living world from malicious lost souls called Hollows. What's great about "Bleach" is its perfect blend of action, humor, and emotional moments. It's such an iconic series now, it's hard to believe "Bleach" was initially rejected by Weekly Shonen Jump when the author, Tite Kubo, first pitched it!

5. "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" (2009-2010)

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"Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood" is an epic tale of two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who use alchemy in their quest to find the Philosopher's Stone to restore their bodies after a disastrous failed attempt to bring their mother back to life. With a steampunk setting, intelligent storylines, and a vast array of unique characters, no wonder this series is a fan favorite. It boasts a stunning 93% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, making it one of the highest-rated anime series on the platform.

6. "Parasyte: The Maxim" (2014-2015)

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Alright, imagine you wake up one day to find that your right hand has been invaded by an alien parasite. Unsettling, right? Well, that's the reality for Shinichi Izumi, the protagonist of "Parasyte: The Maxim." The parasite, aptly named Migi (which means 'right' in Japanese – get it?), failed to take over Shinichi's brain and ended up settling in his right hand instead. Migi can shape-shift into anything, from sharp blades to complex tools, proving itself quite useful in what's coming next. Together, Shinichi and Migi must navigate their newfound life, fighting off other hostile parasites that succeeded in taking over their human hosts.

7. "Noragami" (2014)

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"Noragami" is a delightful blend of action, comedy, and supernatural elements. The story centers around Yato, a lesser-known deity who dreams of having millions of worshippers. His path crosses with a middle-school girl, Hiyori Iki, who becomes partially phantom after an accident. Along with Yato's Regalia (weapon spirit), Yukine, they tackle various supernatural incidents. 'Noragami' translates to 'Stray God,' and indeed, Yato is a god without a shrine, hopping from place to place to do odd jobs for 5 yen (the traditional offering to gods at Shinto shrines).

8. "Blue Exorcist" (2011)

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In "Blue Exorcist," we dive into the life of Rin Okumura, an ordinary boy who discovers he's anything but ordinary. He's the son of Satan, born from a human woman, and inherited demonic powers. After his adoptive father is killed by Satan, Rin decides to become an exorcist to fight his biological father (as one does, apparently). The show's creator, Kazue Katō, got the inspiration for the manga from a Brothers Grimm fairytale, "The Devil With the Three Golden Hairs."

9. "Inuyasha" (2000-2004)

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Time-traveling, half-demons, and a jewel that grants immense power, "Inuyasha" has it all. Kagome, a modern-day high school girl, gets transported to the Sengoku period of Japan after falling into a well in her family shrine, where she meets the half-demon Inuyasha. The two, along with other colorful companions they meet along the way, embark on a quest to collect the shards of the Shikon Jewel before it falls into the wrong hands.

10. "Mob Psycho 100" (2016-2019)

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From the creator of "One Punch Man," "Mob Psycho 100" follows Shigeo Kageyama, nicknamed 'Mob' because of his lack of presence. Mob is an incredibly powerful esper who wants to live a normal life but ends up working under a fraudulent psychic, Reigen. Packed with stunning visuals, well-timed humor, and thought-provoking themes, the show explores Mob's journey to understand his emotions and live a fulfilling life. The series has a remarkable 82% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, an indication of just how well-executed this anime truly is.

11. "Steins;Gate" (2011)

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"Steins;Gate" follows the eccentric self-proclaimed "mad scientist" Rintarou Okabe and his group of friends who have customized their microwave into a device that can send text messages to the past. Yeah, you read that right. But as they perform different experiments, they soon learn that manipulating time isn't all it's cracked up to be. The anime is based on a visual novel game and, interestingly, the series' title, "Steins;Gate," doesn't have any specific meaning. The creators thought it sounded cool. Well, they weren't wrong!

12. "Mushishi" (2005-2006)

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"Mushishi" is a serene journey through a world filled with Mushi, creatures that exist in a different spectrum, unseen by most humans. Enter Ginko, a 'Mushishi' or Mushi master, who travels from place to place, studying these creatures and helping people suffering from Mushi-related phenomena. "Mushishi" is a comfortable blend of mystery, supernatural, and slice of life. Each episode is a standalone story, so you can dive in at any point, and it won't be confusing.

13. "Natsume's Book of Friends" (2008)

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Imagine inheriting a book from your grandmother, only to find out it's filled with names of spirits she had bullied into servitude. "Natsume's Book of Friends" tells the heartwarming story of Takashi Natsume, who can see spirits just like his late grandmother. He decides to dissolve the contracts and free the spirits. With its delicate storytelling and emotional depth, it is no surprise that this series has a dedicated fanbase. A touching tidbit about the series: The author, Yuki Midorikawa, drew inspiration from her personal experiences and observations of nature and cats.

14. "Puella Magi Madoka Magica" (2011)

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If you think this is just another cute magical girl anime, trust me, you're wrong. "Puella Magi Madoka Magica" takes the genre and flips it on its head. The series revolves around a group of high school girls who are offered a contract by a mysterious creature named Kyubey. The deal? They get a wish granted, and in return, they must become magical girls fighting against Witches, embodiments of despair. This anime isn't afraid to get dark and delve into some heavy themes.

15. "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba" (2019)

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"Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba" is a series that has taken the anime world by storm – safe to say, in 2023 it feels like the biggest anime series on the planet. "Demon Slayer" follows Tanjiro Kamado, a kind-hearted boy who becomes a demon slayer after his family is slaughtered by a demon. His sister Nezuko is the sole survivor but is turned into a demon, though she still shows signs of human emotion and thought. Tanjiro sets out on a journey to avenge his family and find a way to turn his sister back into a human. The anime was a colossal hit and its movie, "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train," became the highest-grossing anime film and the highest-grossing film of all time in Japan.