Generally, I will always prefer anime to manga. There are exceptions of course. And one of those exceptions is horror. This is not to say that there aren’t good horror anime but I find that horror for me works better on the page than on the screen. Part of it is that my own imagination and anticipation can go at their own pace and that enhances the experience, and part of it is that I’m a coward and I can’t handle creepy soundtracks and jump scares!
This aid, I think these manga are all just as scary as any anime out there so read at your own risk!
In no order whatsoever! I just added numbers because apparently, SEO loves them…
6. Liar Satsuki Sees Death ( Usotsuki Satsuki Shi ga Mieru)
With eyes the color of blood, Satsuki Minazuki can see death; specifically, she can see the illusion of corpses exactly 24 hours before they manifest in reality. Unfortunately, her reputation as a compulsive liar who spews ominous warnings about impending deaths means that no one ever believes her—even though she has never once told a lie.
Shunned by her classmates, Satsuki is accustomed to being alone, until she prevents the death of the ever-kind Komako Komachi. This small deviation in fate ripples outward, creating a massive change. What lengths will Satsuki go to in order to save a life? Via MAL – https://myanimelist.net/manga/132078/Usotsuki_Satsuki_wa_Shi_ga_Mieru
I have seen Satsuki compared to Mieruko-Chan a lot but I really prefer this manga. It’s part murder procedural, part final destination as Satsuki manages to save her friends from death, only to have death come after them once more.
Chapters start off with an illusionary corpse and Satsuki has to work her way back and figure out how the death happened to prevent it. Although it is undeniably creepy, and there is some gore as well, I would say the mystery is what really comes through. Because of that, I manage to sleep at night… a little.
Everything about Alice—her family, her friends, her life, even her crush—is ordinary, no Wonderland to see here. But lately, her dreams have been anything but ordinary. While asleep, she finds herself interrogated by two creepy marionettes, their glass eyes peering into the darkest corners of her heart.
“What is it you desire?”
“What is it you wish to visit upon the world?”
Try as she might to ignore the dreams, Alice is drawn into their violent, twisted universe. As greed and desire begin to warp the ordinary reality she knows, Alice is thrust into a dark game of slaughter made for fairy-tale heroines who’ll stop at nothing to bring their creators back to life! (Official Synopsis)
I bought this manga because I really liked the cover. I had no idea it was based on a mobile game. I downloaded it but I haven’t had time to play it.
The first volume, which is the only one out in English as I write this, was frustratingly interesting. You see, it’s not super well written and there are some really immature twists that are obviously added in to appeal to the Emo Goth kids but darn it, it worked. The Emo Goth kid in me really wants to know what happens next.
So far, the first volume has the characters names Alice, Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood but that’s the extent of the fairy tale connection. Otherwise, it’s a battle royal type of story with buckets of blood and mysterious creepy puppets. If you have an emo goth kid in you, you might like this!
Susumu Nakoshi is a middle-aged man who spends his days between a lavish first-class hotel and a park full of homeless people. One day, an eccentric young man approaches Nakoshi in search of subjects willing to partake in trepanation—the procedure of drilling a hole in the skull.
This mysterious person claims that Nakoshi is the perfect man for the experiment. Initially rejecting the offer, he doubles back on his decision after his car gets towed off. Nakoshi agrees to let Manabu Ito, a 22-year-old medical student, drill a hole in his skull in exchange for 700,000 yen. The procedure bears no results at first, with Nakoshi showing no abnormalities. This normalcy comes to an abrupt end, however, when Nakoshi begins seeing the homunculus in every person. With his perception distorted, how will Nakoshi face these homunculi?
Homunculus is well written, I can’t deny that. It’s one of those artsy horror stories where the fears are more psychological in nature and you have to do a lot of reading between the lines.
Fact is, I really loved Homunculus in the first volumes. And I think it has a decent payoff as well. However, for me, it started to drag a bit in the middle. There are a lot of psychosexual horrors feeding into existential dread and some of it wasn’t realized all that well in my opinion. It made the chapters feel uneven.
Still, if you want a slightly more mature Horror manga, Homunculus might be just what you have been looking for this Halloween.
3. My Dearest Self with Malice Aforethought
Eiji Urashima is just an ordinary university student like everyone else. His college career consists of boozing with his friends and trying to get a girlfriend. On October 23rd, he returns home after a pleasant night of drinking and goes to bed. To his surprise, when Eiji wakes up, a gorgeous girl from his university, Kyouka Yukimura, is lying beside him—claiming to be his girlfriend.
Having no recollection of the event, Eiji goes along with the flow until he’s faced with more nonsensical events that took place in the last few days. Walking alongside his friend, Kashiwagi, he cannot help but ask the most intuitive question in his mind: isn’t today the 24th? “Eiji, what are you saying? Today’s the 27th.”
Three days have passed, yet Eiji cannot recall a thing. The situation takes a dire turn when a magazine writer exposes Eiji’s deepest secret in front of Kyouka: he is the son of a serial killer. As his life is thrown into a spiral of disarray, he embarks on a journey to resolve the mess of the last three days and get Kyouka to accept his past.
via MAL https://myanimelist.net/manga/115746/Shinai_naru_Boku_e_Satsui_wo_Komete
Here’s what the synopsis doesn’t tell you. It’s not a spoiler, we find this out in chapter one. Like they said Eiji has had a somewhat rough childhood because his father was arrested as a particularly brutal serial killer. But what’s important here is that now the killings seem to be starting again.
That’s the actual hook of the story.
Cool right? A good old serial killer suspense! I was about to say that we don’t see many of those but there’s actually another one on this list. Once again, I think the story runs a bit too long but the tension is well sustained. And it’s wonderful how well they keep you guessing about who the killer actually is.
2. Murder Purgatorium
Haru Takasugi deeply regrets the day he killed his adoptive father. He dies at the age of 46, only to find himself as a teenager trapped in a world between Heaven and Hell that nonetheless feels like paradise. Takasugi’s fight to regain his family and friends begins!
I just like the plot of this. Assassin isekai with a moral. It seemed simultaneously different and so very manga to me!
It’s definitely not the best title on this list. In fact, it’s the lowest rated but I do think it’s the most novel in many ways. I really appreciate that originality. What’s more, the story is complete in 3 volumes (23 chapters) which makes it a much quicker read than the other titles here if you want something you can finish in a few days or even an afternoon.
Everyone faces uncertainty at some point in their lives. Even a brilliant surgeon like Kenzo Tenma is no exception. But there’s no way he could have known that his decision to stop chasing professional success and instead concentrate on his oath to save peoples’ lives would result in the birth of an abomination. The questions of good and evil now take on a terrifyingly real dimension.
Years later, in Germany during the tumultuous post-reunification period, middle-aged childless couples are being killed one after another. The serial killer’s identity is known. The reasons why he kills are not. Dr. Tenma sets out on a journey to find the killer’s twin sister, who may hold some clues to solving the enigma of the “Monster.” (Official synopsis)
I couldn’t not mention Monster. Monster is one of those manga and anime I had heard about forever but never managed to get my hands on. Well, I finally did.
Some of you might know that I am a fan of Urasawa sensei. Every time I start one of his manga I’m reminded how much I enjoy his writing style and prose, and CHARACTERS! Boy, can this man write some great characters!
And in Johan, he might have created one of the all-time best antagonists in manga. Even though you hardly see him for most of the story, he will still send chills down your spine. There’s a reason this one is a classic folks. It’s just a good manga!
Now, let’s see if I ever manage to get to sleep without the lights on again…