While the pervasive zombie fever of the mid-2000’s has died down somewhat, this Haitian-inspired ghoul of folklore has become spread far and wide. From moves to comics to music, there is plenty of zombie culture for fans to enjoy. However, zombie media is not quite so widespread in anime. While western movies may be populated with bad B-rated Romero clones, there are only a few zombie-related anime series to choose from.
If you need something to feed your demonic zombie lust, why not try these top 20 zombies anime series featuring fantastic flesh eaters, since these are about your only zombie-related anime choices.
*Note: I’ll admit, some of these may be a stretch. I wanted to do 20, but it seems there is not quite 20 out there. I guess we just have to hold out for the Fort of the Apocalypse or I am a Hero manga to get anime adaptations. That would be super cool, actually.
20 – D. Gray Man
What are the Akuma if not souls of the dead forced into a weird supernatural skeleton and brought back to life to hurt people? D. Gray Man has shown on many occasions that the souls are somewhat sentient inside and want to die, similar to a zombie.
19 – Kyoufu! Zombie Neko
The fact that this anime describes itself as “warm and soothing” in the same sentence as “resurrected from the grave” is kind of strange, but this is likely the cutest zombie anime you will ever watch, and that include School-Live!
18 – Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
It isn’t described as “steampunk Attack on Titan with zombies” for nothing! Instead of “titans,” people are terrified about getting eaten by “zombies”.
17 – Tokyo Ghoul
This is a bit of a stretch since zombies are brainless beasts with a hunger for flesh, but ghouls are sentient and intelligent while needing the occasional snackies to sustain themselves. Still, a zombie is just one brain away from being a ghoul.
16 – Another
Although some would argue that Another deals more with ghosts, ghosts don’t die bloody and horrible like the one in this series.
15 – Hitori no Shita: The Outcast
While at first this promised to be an interesting zombie attack anime, the zombies were few and far in between. It still had some good world-building, but the whole anime just ended up pretty muddled.
14 – Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack
Gyo is exactly what the title makes it sound like. Dead zombie fish terrorize the city after being fused with metal legs and infected by a virus that they can transfer to humans. This virus essentially makes humans swell with gas until they explode.
It’s like the Sharknado of anime.
13 – Zombie Loan
Don’t get too excited by just the name, Zombie Loan features the hottest zombies you will ever see. While these men may be dead, they are hot enough to earn the admiration of chicks. Essentially Zombie Loan ends up being more about fighting pretty normal zombies rather than zombies doing zombie things.
12 – Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpuchou
While Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpuchou ends up expanding into monsters, demons, and all sorts of unique bad guys. The tiny school-aged fighting force occasionally has to square off against the good old undead.
11 – Is This a Zombie?
Most zombie fans think of being undead as a disability. They’ll never cross dress, swing around chain saws, or break dance again. Well, they won’t unless they Ayumu Aikawa, a boy who was killed by a serial killer and then brought back as a zombie by a necromancer. If you are in the mood for a solid zombie comedy, this is it.
10 – Soul Eater
Ghosts, ghouls, vampires, and all sorts of monsters dwell in the world of Soul Eater, so it is only natural that zombies would be around, too. One prominent example is the teacher Sid Barrett who dies during his investigation and returns as a grumpier zombie.
9 – Sankarea: Undying Love
Chihiro Furuya is obsessed with zombies, but his obsession might just become love when he ends up with a zombie for a girlfriend. While Sankarea has its humorous moments, it also balances them out by tackling some serious issues, as you can imagine, having an undead lover can be a bit dramatic at times.
8 – Corpse Princess
Even though she doesn’t look like a zombie and wouldn’t deign so low as to munch on a brain, Makina Hoshimura is indeed a reanimated corpse. After being murdered alongside her family, she now must kill 108 other revived corpses in order to move onto the afterlife.
7 – The Empire of Corpses
Set in 19th century Europe where corpses are reanimated for slave labor, as you can imagine, things don’t stay peaceful. However, this zombie anime movie does feature some fun cameos from historical characters like Ulysses Grant and John Watson.
6 – School-Live!
You’d be forgiven skipping over this anime because you didn’t realize it was about zombies. It does a pretty good job being deceptive about it at first glance. However, it actually ends up being one of the better zombie apocalypse shows out there despite rarely having anything to do with zombies. More so it is about friendship, survival, and placing bets on when that fragile delusion the main character has going on is going to shatter and all hell is going to break loose.
5 – Gungrave
For about half of the series, Gungrave is about a mafia-type organization, but after some various circumstances, it finally shifts to a zombie anime. In it, the reanimated Grave seeks vengeance against those that wronged him, all the while fighting superhuman zombies as well as people.
4 – Sunday Without God
God has abandoned the world. This means that no new lives are born, and those who have died have nowhere to go. This has left the undead prowling the earth and only gravediggers like Ai have the ability to help them rest eternally.
3 – Tokkou
In Tokkou, evil comes in all forms, including a parasitic demon that can turn humanity into almost unstoppable zombies. This anime is about the elite individuals in Japan’s Public Security Intelligence Agency that utilize these demonic powers in order to fight the chaos.
2 – Hellsing Ultimate
In Hellsing, vampire Alucard and the Hellsing Organization fight everything that goes bump in the night. From zombies, to Nazis, to Nazi zombies as well as, you know, other things like vampires and stuff, I guess.
1 – High School of the Dead
Now it is time for the best zombie anime series you can get – High School of the Dead. How unfortunate it is that the best zombie series set in the zombie apocalypse comes with a huge insurmountable amount of fan service. If you can look past it (which is impossible without embracing it) it is an okay story of survival. Sadly, I think there may be more panty shots than zombie shots though.
Did we miss your favorite zombie anime series? Tell us about it in the comments section below. Please. I’m starving for it. And something… akin… to… BRAAAAAINSSSS…