We have come a long way from Bram Stoker’s original vision of the literary vampire. The inspiration is still there, but we have re-interpreted the lore of these mythical creatures countless times.
And that is especially true in the realm of anime and manga.
As such, if you’re blood-thirsty for some juicy vampire-themed anime, there are plenty of options. But before we dive into our personal picks for this list, we need to establish a few basic rules.
- One franchise only. Several seasons of the same anime will be counted as one entry.
- Vampires should be the main theme. Anime with vampires won’t necessarily count.
- If not, vampires should at least be quite important to the show’s main plot.
- Anime with alternative versions of vampires are okay, so long as the definition still fits.
All clear? Good. Now let’s begin the nightly feast.
- Best Vampire Anime
- 25. Fortune Arterial (2010)
- 24. Owari no Seraph (2015)
- 23. Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san (2018)
- 22. Servamp (2016)
- 21. Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase (2004)
- 20. Black Blood Brothers (2006)
- 19. Blade (2010)
- 18. Devil’s Line (2018)
- 17. Vampire Knight (2008)
- 16. Koyomimonogatari (2016)
- 15. Rosario to Vampire (2008)
- 14. Strike the Blood (2013)
- 13. Kyuuketsuki Hime Miyu (1997)
- 12. Tsukihime (2003)
- 11. Blood Lad (2013)
- 10. Karin (2005)
- 9. Sirius the Jaeger (2018)
- 8. Trinity Blood (2005)
- 7. Dance in the Vampire Bund (2010)
- 6. Shiki (2010)
- 5. Blood+ (2005)
- 4. Hellsing (2001, 2006)
- 3. Master of Mosquiton OVA (1996)
- 2. Kurozuka (2008)
- 1. Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust (2000)
- Final Thoughts
Best Vampire Anime
25. Fortune Arterial (2010)
The emphasis on vampires for this series is much simpler than most stories. In fact, you might barely notice it at first. But it is the main focus of our heroine, so we can still consider it as a vampire anime.
Unfortunately, this was never really emphasized correctly for the anime adaptation, with the visual novel-based story struggling to keep the necessary plot elements relevant.
Nonetheless, as a slice-of-life series, it is a simple and cute vampire story that you can savor in its uncomplicated format.
24. Owari no Seraph (2015)
When your entire society becomes dominated by vampires, how do you think the world will change? This series shows an entire hierarchy and societal structure of such a theoretical society.
Well, at least tries to from a general outside perspective. So no, this is hardly the psychological series you are hoping it would be.
But if you like slaying vampires in general, this still has some core entertainment value to it, hence its inclusion for this list.
23. Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san (2018)
Who says that vampire anime should always be around the suspense, horror, and mystery of such creatures?
This show doesn’t have the deep stories, the psychological analysis, or even the high-octane action of other vampire anime.
But… it doesn’t really need one. All you need is to sit back and relax, as Akari annoys the hell out of Sophie, cute vampires mingle along with other cute girls in our modern technological world. Oh, and with all of their stereotypical characteristics intact, of course.
22. Servamp (2016)
Protagonists making a contract with a vampire in the stupidest fashion ever… does that sound familiar?
The quirkiness of the characters is definitely the main feature here, brightening up what would otherwise be a basic plot that has been tried way too many times already.
But beware; their tirades on righteousness can be a bit too cringy at times. Its vampire elements are mostly stereotypical, just added with a bit of series-specific terminologies here and there.
Action and comedy are somewhat balanced enough. It is very enjoyable, but nothing award-winning.
21. Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase (2004)
Speaking of vampire contracts, this one also gives particular focus on two individuals, one vampire and one human, to interact with one another through various levels of hardships.
However, the twist is that no restrictions are firmly set, with perhaps the exception of hostile forces that want to exploit Hazuki’s “uniqueness.”
The slow development of their connection over time is going to be the obvious selling point of the series.
Though the supporting cast gives the intertwining complexity also gives the series a wee bit more solidity as a complete story.
20. Black Blood Brothers (2006)
This show doesn’t exactly stand out due to its normal badass-war-hero-returns premise. Its vampires are basically just a backdrop to the relationships of the characters as well.
However, mechanically, their vampire identities matter since social norms, fictional history, and even combat skills are based.
So go ahead, peel that vampire layers off to enjoy it as a different series. Oh, by the way, there is a weird character revelation at the end of this series.
I just wanna let you know.
19. Blade (2010)
Yup, being that this is a list of vampire anime, this one is exactly as you think it is.
It stays consistent with the same vampire lore of the original material and twists it into a unique setting.
In fact, it is probably too consistent, providing nothing completely new to offer in an otherwise untested presentation format for the franchise.
Still, it is quite entertaining to watch, and the action definitely makes up for what it lost in its novelty.
18. Devil’s Line (2018)
How to classify vampires that don’t drink blood? By turning their desires into a psychological lock!
Think of the True Ancestors of Tsukihime, for example. As such, the idea of vampires in this series simply extends more or less to ordinary creatures of the night.
While the story itself is solid, and romantic points understandable enough, it kind of struggles to lift itself up among other better entries in this list that have similar conflicts and action.
Well, at least the series doesn’t take itself too seriously, so… maybe you should do the same.
17. Vampire Knight (2008)
The noble nature of vampires in folklore really does make a great theoretical setup for a shoujo series, don’t you agree?
While the “divided student body” premise for an exclusive school may not be as novel as it sounds, there is enough intrigue and pseudo-mystery to the characters that should keep viewers of this show until the very end.
That is if they can constantly tolerate Yuki’s very questionable situational choices.
But hey, that is not nearly as bad as another heroine surrounded by vampires that probably do even worse.
16. Koyomimonogatari (2016)
Koyomi’s personal arc has more or less the same general sequence of events as other arcs in the Monogatari series.
But this time, things are a lot more explosive, being that this is essentially his origin story of sorts.
Expectedly, this is where much of the vampire lore of his character (as well as the other one) becomes established.
Let’s just say that quite a lot of liberties we made for this particular part of the story to be done.
Oh uh, to the original folklore, of course, not to the already established Akiba-Kei version of the creatures today.
15. Rosario to Vampire (2008)
Extreme physical attractiveness is indeed one of the stereotypical attributes of vampires, and as such, the existence of a harem vampire series shouldn’t be surprising.
While a good portion of the series revolves around good old’ love comedy, it also features a lot of serious story arcs.
These often involve monsters of high status, such as vampires, who are considered the most powerful type within this series.
True to Tsukune’s harem, though, the series still features a good variety of different other monster girls, to sufficiently whet your monmusu appetite.
14. Strike the Blood (2013)
This series has a particular huge emphasis on the concept of the original vampire.
In fact, the subject is precisely its main conflict. It also draws upon all stereotypical things about vampires, though they are merely classified into one of many categories within the show.
One thing to note, even though it has an official genre listing of “action,” it is the rather non-stereotypical cast of characters that mainly define its entertainment value.
Oh but, that does not include our perfect-but-bland main hero, unfortunately.
13. Kyuuketsuki Hime Miyu (1997)
The complex Far Eastern lore of this horror-themed series is what makes it such an attention grabber compared to most other vampire-themed anime.
It may be overly formulaic today in terms of episode variety, but the development of Miyu, as well as her connection with her partner Larva and rival Reiha, keeps the series very entertaining to watch.
Much later aired 1997 TV series gives a better impression of progress to the story, and it was the one chosen for this list.
12. Tsukihime (2003)
Type Moon’s concepts of vampires build upon many different specific rules, some of which more stereotypical, while others are founded on logical principles surrounding their existence.
As such, you may find the exploration of vampires in Tsukihime quite delectable… in the sense that you can immerse yourself in the nature of their being.
Some characters, in particular, would strike your curiosity about their true identities more than others. Unfortunately, this is yet again another anime that is severely limited in presentation compared to the original source.
11. Blood Lad (2013)
Vampire otaku boy meets suddenly dead girl and now pledges to revive her. Okay, that setting actually sounds pretty lame. But trust me, this is not some simplistic deus ex machina bait.
There are a whole plethora of underworld characters that build its world and setting, as well as character development that, for the most part, somewhat makes sense.
Additionally, there are also a few unusual twists that gradually provide sense to its seemingly wacky stuff.
Oh, and if you like comically gory humor, then this series is probably just right up your alley.
10. Karin (2005)
What if… instead of draining blood, you instead inject blood into your victims? Don’t worry, this is not a spoiler, merely a taste of what Karin can offer for its basic premise.
Slap a romantic comedy set up for it, and some surprisingly engaging serious moments, and you have a vampire cocktail that would probably surprise even Karin’s family.
Alas, the anime adaptation is woefully short and underdeveloped even with 24 episodes. So treat the series as a mere introduction to what it can fully offer.
9. Sirius the Jaeger (2018)
A rather odd entry on the standard serving menu of PA works, this series twists the vampire lore a bit with the transformation trick meant for lesser forms of their species.
If the occupation of “vampire hunter” isn’t obvious enough for you, then maybe the designation of “wolves” by the protagonist’s family line should give you an indication on the regularity of this series’ action.
While the overall conflict can be predictable, the shounen genre format and art/animation style make it very thrilling to watch. A feast for the eyes, as they say.
8. Trinity Blood (2005)
For some, it is a Trigun ripoff. Others, a carbon copy of Hellsing. To be fair, this assessment is quite correct… when referring to its main character and target antagonists.
But this completely dismisses the basic premise of the series, the sci-fi explanation of the “vampires,” as well as the issues presented by a future scorched Earth and its warring inhabitants.
That is not to say that the 2005 anime is a masterpiece of story logic and pacing. But, it still has very distinct elements that define it as its own series to this day.
7. Dance in the Vampire Bund (2010)
Deep charisma is an attribute that is also often given to vampires in folklore.
Now Mina Tepesis unable to pull off a Lelouch, but you definitely can’t deny that the entire series seems to be riding on her personality’s absolute bombastic attractiveness.
As for her primary objective, it ain’t something too outrageous for an anime series.
But the longer the show goes on, the more questions you start to ask.
Nonetheless, the series still manages to convincingly show folkloric creatures moving forward in time alongside human civilization… probably towards that retirement sanctuary that the news has been raging about.
6. Shiki (2010)
While the pacing, the story itself, and the characters’ motivation are a bit all over the place for this entry, it excels at one thing above all others in this list: lore.
With an almost scientific level of detail, Shiki represents its “vampires” with much information and observations, a lot of which are simply shown directly for the audience to learn on their own.
Most horror stories elevate their scare levels by leaving the audience to their imagination. But the vivid detail of Shiki actually makes it even more horrifying in a special way.
5. Blood+ (2005)
This particular series shakes up the definition of a vampire, although functionally, its primary antagonists still remain quite similar.
While the action and character development take up a good amount of the show’s level of excitement, it is the slow lore building that keeps its audience watching and speculating until the end.
Even more impressive considering that it is revealed piece by piece, from the perspective of our protagonists, making Blood+ such a classic ‘vampire’ anime show.
4. Hellsing (2001, 2006)
This anime was one of the classic franchises that took the vampire genre and transformed it into something more modern.
There are a few liberties made to traditional folklore here and there.
But, here we have someone named Alucard, marching on a gory and sometimes quirky crusade, with an unlikely band of allies against hordes of the regal undead. What more do you possibly need?
However, do take note that the later produced OVA episodes are far more faithful adaptations of the original, both graphically and story-wise.
3. Master of Mosquiton OVA (1996)
Dark humor is probably not the exclusive specialty of vampire characters, but this single episode makes it work quite well.
To be fair, though, the ensuing misadventures for Inaho’s ultimate selfish goals are actually what makes the dark humor for this series work so well.
In other words, your enjoyment factor for this series will largely depend on how you perceive the interactions of both main characters.
Sadly, the dark humor is not as perfectly preserved in the follow-up TV series, despite the familiar banters being featured regularly. As such, this specific entry remains.
2. Kurozuka (2008)
Kurozuka, much like Vampire Hunter D, creates this narrative framework that firmly establishes the motives of the protagonist, as well as the past that also drives his decisions.
However, the ironic thing is that as much as there is information on the character’s background, a good number of events are usually just left open for the audience to imagine.
Most importantly, the comprehensive explanation of the nature of vampiric entities seems to have been left out in this series.
Nevertheless, its combination of history, sci-fi, and fantasy still mesh well enough for it to become an absolute recommendation.
1. Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust (2000)
If you want a vampire anime that would ring closest to the late European literary works of old, with a slight dab of 19th-century science fiction, then this is your best pick.
It is also probably one of the titles with the most complex portrayal of vampires in all of otaku media.
No, no, don’t worry about not having enough action scenes; there are plenty of them here.
We have specifically chosen the later adaptation for this list as it has a better story, pacing, as well as visuals that should be more comfortable to watch for the modern anime aficionado.
And that ends our updated list for the top 25 recommended vampire-themed anime. Agreed, some of the entries might be a bit questionable in terms of their raw quality (as an anime).
However, most of them are usually salvaged by their original source, and some provide different types of entertainment, hence more variety for this list.
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