07 Nov Top 21 Best Zombie Anime in 2020
There’s something about zombies that draws us in, even though they should really have the effect of making us run away in fear. These undead creatures are even more mysteriously captivating in anime, where limitations on makeup and visual effects cannot restrict their grotesque-ness.
So if you too are mesmerized by these foul creatures, sit back and enjoy our list of 21 best zombie anime of all time.
- Best Zombie Anime
- 21. Shi Xiong
- 20. Zombieland Saga
- 19. Seoul Station
- 18. Tokkou
- 17. Soul Eater
- 16. D. Gray Man
- 15. Zombie-Loan
- 14. GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack
- 13. Biohazard: Degeneration (Resident Evil: Degeneration)
- 12. Kuroshitsuji Movie (Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic)
- 11. Shisha no Teikoku (The Empire of Corpses)
- 10. Shikabane Hime: Aka (Corpse Princess)
- 9. Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? (Is This a Zombie?)
- 8. Highschool of the Dead
- 7. Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi (Sunday Without God)
- 6. Sankarea
- 5. Gungrave
- 4. Hellsing
- 3. Gakkou Gurashi! (School-Live!)
- 2. Koutetsujou no Kabaneri (Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress)
- 1. Tokyo Ghoul
- Final Thoughts
Best Zombie Anime
21. Shi Xiong
The first anime on our list is an animated series from China. Shi Xiong is arguably one of the most influential series in the country’s young adult genre. Shi Xiong is a satirical take on some of the qualities of China’s society. The mangaka did not hold back on some jokes regardless of home inappropriate some of them may be (so much so that the government itself has already deleted some of the scenes).
But despite its narrative successes, you could say that it’s rated this low on the list because of its less than average animation. Although if we compare it to the normal Chinese animation, it’s already at quite a good level.
20. Zombieland Saga
If you think this is a typical idol-themed anime, think again. While, yes, it does have its nuances from the idol genre as the main protagonist is an undead female idol, Sakura Minamoto.
Adding a zombie plot twist introduces a whole new untapped world of zombie idols that could warm up to you in just after a few episodes. Although I am not sure how much admiration you’d actually give to the zombie idols, with their rotting corpses and all that. But overall, it’s pretty fun to watch.
19. Seoul Station
If you’re a fan of a certain Korean movie called “Train to Busan,” then you’re most likely going to enjoy this series. Its animation style is also really good. While some critics say the characters stood out too much from the background, but you can’t deny how awesome the drawings were.
Another good thing is that the ending is quite unpredictable, even for a zombie story that has already been used and reused so many times.
Enough about international series, and let’s talk about actual Japanese anime. Tokkou is an anime that doesn’t get as much love as it deserves. The series itself has a lot of gore, so I do not recommend this for kids.
But perhaps the reason it’s not that popular is that it was created around the late 90s to the early 2000s, so its animation style isn’t quite up to par with today’s standards. Plus, the plot is what it is: a group of cute guys and girls running around town and slaying rotting zombies and cursing as they go along.
17. Soul Eater
If you’ve been an otaku for quite a while, I am sure you’ve heard about Soul Eater one way or another. The series follows the students’ story in Death Weapon Meister, who are being trained to be Death Scythes after consuming 99 evil souls and a witch’s soul. Yeah, I know the story isn’t just really about zombies but still a really good anime nonetheless.
16. D. Gray Man
Gray Man is another popular series that talks a lot about the undead and how they’re being used to make mechanical weapons called Akuma. And of course, our protagonist Allen Walker is sent to destroy the one guy responsible for making such horrible contraptions.
Yes, I’m talking about the Millenium Earl. While Akumas aren’t technically zombies, they kind of are in a way by eating the souls of the dead.
Adding to the list of dead protagonists are Chika Akatsuki and Shito Tachibana, who is doing the unspeakable by hunting down other zombies just to survive. While the attempt to make a completely different zombie anime is there, Zombie-loan ultimately fails to get a coherent story out of their series; hence, they aren’t too high on this list.
There are just too many dang plot holes! But of course, to each his own. Z-loan still has quite a following despite its inconsistencies and if you’re just on the market to look for an acceptable anime to waste away your free time, then, by all means, give this a try.
14. GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack
As the name suggests, Gyo is definitely not your usual zombie anime. Yeah, it’s centered on the story of zombies being let loose in a specific area, but the rotting but moving corpses in this series are not humans but actual sea creatures!
As absurd as it sounds, a lot of people think it’s an actually good anime. If you haven’t heard about this yet, well, basically, zombie fish attacked Tokyo, with a disease that can be contracted even by humans. But as if it wasn’t absurd enough, these zombie fishies even have legs made out of metal that allows them to run on land!
13. Biohazard: Degeneration (Resident Evil: Degeneration)
Of course, Resident Evil is one of the most popular zombie stories out there, so just by association, you can kind of get a glimpse of how this anime is going to go.
As you can tell, the anime is based on the Resident Evil game, and it clearly did not disappoint by giving a pretty realistic story about how biohazards, in this case, the T-virus, can affect humans (citizens of the Racoon City). The animation is pretty similar to that of the game, so that may be a plus or minus point depending on how much you liked the game itself.
12. Kuroshitsuji Movie (Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic)
Kuroshitsuji or Black Butler is a well-beloved anime both for its plot and its visuals. However, if you think that the story isn’t really about zombies, well, just watch the Book of the Atlantic, and you’ll get a surplus of zombie killings done, of course by Earl Ciel Phantomhive.
He was called upon to investigate the news of eerie resurrections in London, so he and Sebastian Michaelis rode a cruise liner to solve this new mystery. Take it as you will. Some Black Butler fans feel like it’s simply a filler episode that doesn’t have its own merits, but I disagree.
On its own, the Book of the Atlantic is a great movie even for those who have not watched a single episode of the popular anime franchise.
11. Shisha no Teikoku (The Empire of Corpses)
Still on the subject of victorian London, Shisha no Teikoku rips off the classic tale of Victor Frankenstein and makes it a new, whole, bloody experience. The unique way that they were able to make a new plot point out of Frankenstein’s discovery of human corpse reanimation is amazing.
That’s on top of the fact that they were able to use labor issues into the mix without being too much. This anime is a definite must-watch for its storyline and amazing art!
10. Shikabane Hime: Aka (Corpse Princess)
A mysterious organization of the undead brutally killed Makina Hoshimura, along with the family. Unbeknownst to the group, Makina would end uprising from the grave as a living corps — a Shikabane hime.
Together with her former friend and priest, Keisei Tagami, she walks the Earth, seeking revenge on those who murdered her and her clan. Meanwhile, Keiser’s brother, Ouri, gets dragged into the realm of the Shikabanes after discovering her brother’s secret.
9. Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? (Is This a Zombie?)
This anime’s art style is so superbly glossy you might not realize it’s about the undead. Specifically, it follows the story of Ayumu, a 16-year-old high schooler who was investigating a mysterious house when he was tragically killed.
Instead of heading straight to the afterlife, Ayumu wakes up next to a beautiful stranger, who admitted to being a necromancer who went ahead and resurrected Ayumu, turning him into a zombie! The latter will now use his newfound immortality for hunting down his killer.
8. Highschool of the Dead
If you’re looking for something a little bit relevant to what the world is going through today, Highschool of the Dead is the zombie anime for you. Here, the world is struck by a possibly fatal pandemic that is turning people into “them” — zombies, of course.
A group of high school students who were in school as the outbreak began will try to survive the catastrophe by escaping the school and making it across town, where they will face horrors, human or otherwise.
7. Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi (Sunday Without God)
Do you believe in a supreme being called God? If you do, can you imagine what would happen to the world if God suddenly decides to turn his back on everything He has created?
This is the exact scenario explored by Sunday Without God — an interesting masterpiece about a “new Earth” where no one is born, and no one dies, and those who are supposed to already be ‘expired’ walk aimlessly with the living creatures of the Earth. Its commentary on how we are living life is poignant and definitely unforgettable.
This anime starts out with an eccentric, borderline problematic premise: Chihiro, a zombie-crazed teener, wants a zombie girlfriend. It all works out perfectly for him, though, after a rich, troubled young girl found the potion he was developing to resurrect his cat after it was run over.
The poison could not kill Rea but allows her to be reborn as one of the undead after her subsequent brush with death. For a zombie fanboy who just got his lifelong wish of having a zombie lover, Chihiro does not seem too happy when he finally realizes he should have been more careful about what he wished for.
It’s so easy to see why a lot of people consider Gungrave as their top anime of all time. It has transformed into quite the cult classic in the community because of the unique grit and tragedy that envelops almost every scene in it. Two close friends, Harry and Brandon, were living their best life until they were reminded that the world could be cruel and oh-so merciless.
The seemingly lighthearted premise turns into an epic legend of friendship, betrayal, and the fleeting nature of life and death that gets deeply philosophical as the story progresses.
This anime follows the adventures of an organization called Hellsing, an organization that specializes in banishing threats from supernatural beings. Now, they are called in to dispose of a problematic vampire that’s been turning villagers into ghouls that just spread chaos all over the land.
This anime is quite graphic and vivid in its depiction of the battle against the living and the undead, making it perfect for those who are looking for entertainment in the form of a highly violent anime about zombies.
3. Gakkou Gurashi! (School-Live!)
Megurigaoka High School seems like the perfect place, especially for one of its students, Yuki Takeya, who only wants to spend her days in school and with her fellow members of the School Living Club.
However, this blissful illusion is a fragile lie to hide the fact that outside the walls of the school, a nasty zombie apocalypse is going on. Senior members of the School Living Club are in on the impossible task of shutting themselves out from the zombies that roam outside, waiting to devour them, all while keeping Yuki’s perfect fantasy unbridled by the truth. It’s mission impossible, to say the least.
2. Koutetsujou no Kabaneri (Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress)
Somehow, the industrial revolution setting is perfect for all kinds of paranormal mysteries, such as the emergence of horrific creatures ripping through human beings to feed their never-ending appetite.
In the Island of Hinomoto, people have erected a massive wall to protect themselves from being eaten — or being turned into one of the undead. However, their protection cannot last forever, can it?
1. Tokyo Ghoul
Finally, topping this list of the best zombie anime of all time is Tokyo Ghoul, a modern rendition of the classic zombie apocalypse story, which follows the life of Kaneki, a kindhearted human who toils with his internal conflict upon being turned into a half-ghoul.
He starts experiencing these odd, bloodthirsty cravings, which he must actively resist if he wants to hold on to the last shred of humanity still flowing through his veins.
These are the best of the best zombie anime that will keep you up at night, flinching at every odd sound and random movement around. For the best experience, watch with the lights down and your guard up.