12 Grotesquely Brilliant Body Horror Anime That Will Leave You Shaken!

    All around the world, there are urban stories of ghosts with disfigured bodies. Whether it’s the Japanese tradition of a slit-mouthed lady or the western version of Bloody Mary. Body horror is a manga sub-genre that has been around for a long time. Though the horrors of body horror are not restricted to changed and deformed bodies, Akira set the bar high.

    The concept of what the abnormality indicates is the source of the terror. An atypical-looking body is frequently represented by the villain’s wicked nature or a rebel’s weakness. Body horror is a subgenre that incorporates frightening imagery of human flesh transforming. Today, we’ll take a look at twelve grotesquely amazing body horror anime that will undoubtedly leave you frightened.

    Parasyte (2014-2015)

    Parasyte (2014-2015)

    Shinichi Izumi is a seventeen-year-old high school student who lives with his parents. Parasites, tiny worm-like aliens with drill heads, are invading the brains of their human hosts. They gain control of their host’s body by penetrating it through the ears or nose.

    A parasite tries to creep in via Shinichi one night when he is fast asleep. When Shinichi wakes up, though, it burrows into his arm and takes control of his right hand.

    Later on, Shinichi names the parasite Migi and both of them learn to coexist in the same body and retain their personalities. They encounter other parasites that are stuck in a similar situation with their hosts. They team up to fight against the evil slugs who want to mercilessly kill as many humans as possible.

    Shinichi and Migi form a symbiotic friendship in the end. They defend each other against their foes. Migi would have possessed and perhaps killed Shinichi if he hadn’t awakened up as Migi was trying to burrow in via his nose.

    Shinichi was a teenager at the time of the occurrence. Adolescents are dealing with the puberty transition at this time. And having an alien parasite trying to wield seize your anatomy only adds to the discomfort. Being possessed by Migi brings more changes in Shinichi than his altered body.

    Their odd partnership enables each other to see things from a different perspective. It helps them identify what went wrong and what needs to be done to fix the situation. Ultimately, Migi and Shinichi are dependent on each other.

    Akira (1988)

    Akira (1988)

    Akira takes place in a dystopian Neo-Tokyo in the year 2019. Corruption, terrorism, anti-government rallies, and gang violence have all become commonplace in the city.

    Kaneda’s biker gang, The Capsules, aim to take down their competitor, the Clowns, in the midst of the pandemonium. Colonel Shikishima of the Japanese-Self Defense Forces, on the other hand, arrests the majority of the Capsules, including Tetsuo.

    At a secret government agency, Shikishima and the Head of Research Doctor Onishi uncover that Tetsuo possesses tremendous psychic talents comparable to the esper Akira, who was responsible for single-handedly destroying Tokyo in 1988.

    To prevent history from repeating, Shisikima thinks about eliminating Tetsuo. In response, Tetsuo manages to escape from the government facility and steals Kaneda’s bike. With the authorities after him, Kaneda joins a resistance group to save his best friend.

    This post-apocalyptic cyberpunk anime set the bar high for upcoming body horror films. When Tetsuo begins to lose control of his abilities, we see an element of profound morbidity.

    The plot is filled with gore and violence, as the military and motorcycle gangs are on the verge of destroying Neo-Tokyo. Akira largely centres on Kaneda and Tetsuo’s friendship and evolving power relations.

    When Testsuo’s psychic talents are triggered after crashing, he becomes a military danger as well as a resistance weapon. The other espers attack him with visions of him getting brutally assassinated. They try to use his hallucinations to neutralize him.

    The constant attacks make Tetsuo lose control and he ends up killing the officers who get in his way. Unable to bear the pain, he begins to mutate into a massive blob of flesh. The end of the movie could be a little hard to understand for those who have not read the manga, but nonetheless it provided admirable gory visuals.

    Lily C.A.T. (1987) 

    Lily C.A.T. (1987) 

    In the twenty-third century, corporations are scouting distant planets for mining rights. The Syncam Corporation has leased the Saldes, a deep-space cruiser, to transport surveyors to a newly discovered planet.

    Jiro Takagi, Dick Berry, Nancy, the other surveyors, and Nancy’s cat Lily board the shuttle and are thrown into a twenty-year hypersleep, allowing them to age physiologically just a month. The computer on board the ship identifies junk in space and gathers a sample.

    However, while the voyagers remain in cryogenic sleep, this extraterrestrial stuff goes free throughout the spacecraft. The team discovers two of the surveyors are imposters after waking up. Things begin to take a turn for the worse when Morgan dies of a mysterious infection.

    Others begin to perish from the same infection that dissolves the body, leaving clothes intact. The bacteria evolved into a hostile life-form, mimicking the shape of its human victims. It continues to kill crew members and overruns the computer controls. The identities of the imposters are revealed but it is too late to take action against them.

    It is discovered that a robotic replica of Nancy’s cat Lily, known as ‘The Master’ or Lily C.A.T, has taken over the ship. Berry realizes Syncam wants to study the bacteria, and humans on board are collateral damage.

    Aliens and The Thing were both significantly influenced by Lily C.A.T, with the shape-shifting extraterrestrial organisms resembling the titular entity in the latter. The scary element of the picture is amplified with gore. Every fatality onboard is shown in the most graphic manner imaginable.

    When the bacterium takes on the shape of its victims, it exhibits elements of body horror. Being in outer space makes it difficult for the survivors to escape it, and having imposters on the ship adds to the tension. Lily CAT remains one of the best body horror anime decades after its release.

    Attack On Titan (2013)

    Attack On Titan (2013)

    Titans are colossal animals that terrorise and devour mankind. They stand many floors high and show no evidence of intellect. By constructing a city with extraordinarily high walls, a small population of humans was able to live.

    The tranquillity is short-lived, however, as city walls are shattered by a giant Titan who appears out of nowhere. Smaller Titans begin to flood the town. Eren and his foster sister Mikasa witness the death of their mother, at the hands of the Titan.

    Eren vows to avenge her by eliminating every single monster. His sister Mikasa and their friend Armin join his quest to free the humans from the terror of the Titans.

    To live in Attack on Titan, Eren and other shifters must transform into the one creature they dread. The Titans have strange traits that resemble a warped form of the human body. In comparison to the giant creatures, mankind looks to be the bigger evil as the narrative proceeds.

    The Titans begin to depict the devastating consequences of humanity’s errors. With each episode, the animated series improves. You see the progression of Eren’s character from a rightful hero turn into the shadow of what he used to be.

    The storyline of Attack on Titan is filled with blood and violence from the very beginning where Erin witnesses his mother being eaten by a gargantuan. The ongoing animated series tells one of the most violent body horror stories- the scenes where Eren transforms into his Titan form are visually graphic.

    Princess Mononoke (1997)

    Princess Mononoke (1997)

    In Muromachi Japan, a demon assaults an Emishi hamlet. The final Emishi prince, Ashitaka, fights the monster before it reaches the hamlet. However, Ashitaka’s right arm is cursed by the withering demon. He has superhuman strength as a result of the curse.

    However, it will inevitably spread throughout his body and consume him. Nago, a boar deity who was corrupted by an iron ball stuck in his flesh, was the demon. The village elder advises Ashitaka to look for a remedy in the western countries. The only catch is that he is unable to return to his homeland.

    Ashitaka meets Jiko-bo, a conman acting as a monk, on his trip. He tells Ashitaka he may find help from the great forest spirit, a deer-like animal by day and a giant Daidarabotchi by night. The town of Tataraba is caught in the fight between Ironsmiths and the wolf pack.

    Princess Mononoke was a human child raised by the wolves. When Ashitaka almost destroys the village of Tataraba in a rage, Princess Mononoke decides to give him a second chance and the two develop a strong friendship. The humans and the wolves fight for their claim to the village.

    Princess Mononoke employs violence and gore to highlight how people are destroying the earth. The illness is propagated by the animal gods’ hatred towards humans, who slay them.

    Purple worm-like creatures blanket the host as the illness spreads. When Ashitaka’s arm becomes infected, his flesh begins to bubble. Princess Mononoke is the most violent film produced by Studio Ghibli.

    The movie is filled with heavy battle scenes and the characters are well developed. It makes you understand the perspective of the antagonist, even if you don’t agree with their methods. Mononoke delivers the message of environmental conservation in a gruesomely violent manner.

    Legend of the Overfiend

    Legend of the Overfiend

    In Japan, Machi demons and Jujinchi man-beasts first appear. Amano  and Megumi, Jujinchi’s siblings, arrive in quest of the Overfiend. Tatsuo Nagumo, a bashful young student, is tasked with uniting the Jujinchi, machi, and human race in an immortal monarchy.

    Nagumo develops a relationship with Akemi, who survived a demon attack. She understands the destiny Nagumo needs to fulfill. This could either lead to the beginning of a new world, or the end of the world as we know it.

    In Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend, the tentacled creatures are particularly aggressive. They assault and decapitate their prey using their tentacles. As a result, the narrative may not be appropriate for children. Even an adult would be disturbed by the explicit tone of the story.

    The manga is often dubbed as another hentai, but in its defense, the Legend of the Overfiend has a substantial storyline. Nagumo and Akemi’s love story is doomed from the beginning. In the end, Nagumo turns into one of the tentacled monsters terrorizing little girls.

    Wicked City (1987)

    Wicked City (1987)

    Earth and the otherworldly Black World have signed a peace deal. As the deadline for the treaty’s renewal approaches, a violent group known as the radicals begins to cause havoc.

    They will go to any length to break the truce that exists between the two realms. Two Agents called the Black Guards are assigned to ensure the success of the signings. They need to protect Giuseppi Mayart, a two-hundred-year-old perverted man. If the radicals succeed in assassinating him, it will wreak havoc everywhere.

    The film’s body horror begins right away, as Taki begins to become personal with a female he met at the bar. She turns into a massive spider and attempts to eat him. Taki is later ambushed by three demons on his way to the airport.

    Their heads explode as they turn into an amalgamation of a spider octopus monster. However, even without the adult scenes, the anime is quite bloody and should be watched with caution.

    Berserk (1997)

    Berserk (1997)

    Guts, a lone mercenary fighter, travels about looking for conflicts. Griffith, the commander of the mercenary band Band of Hawk, defeats him. Guts becomes a member of the squad and rapidly climbs through the ranks to become Griffith’s greatest warrior.

    Griffith confides with Guts about his ambition to establish his own kingdom. He shows Guts his Behelit, a strange demonic artefact. The Band of Hawk grew in strength and numbers over the course of three years. Guts is now the group’s commander.

    Griffith develops a close relationship with Charlotte, the daughter of the King of Midland. The Midland Kingdom has hired the Band of Hawk to help win the Hundred Year War against their enemies.

    Eventually, Guts decides to leave the Hawks and stop living for Griffith’s dream, leading to a rift between the two. One year later, Guts learns that the Hawks have been marked as outlaws and returns to rescue them.

    Guts’ adventure is chronicled in Berserk. He was once a lone soldier, but Griffith and the Hawks provide him with camaraderie and community. Gradually, he understands that he does not want to spend his life constructing Griffith’s fantasy. He goes to their rescue when he learns his former squad is in danger.

    But Griffith ends up sacrificing his men to become a powerful deity. While trying to stop Griffith, Guts becomes critically injured. He cuts off his left forearm and loses his right eye. The incident triggers Guts to become the black swordsman, and he sets off on a journey to eliminate all the God Hands.

    Berserk’s characters are more complex than good vs. evil. Guts is an anti-hero in his own right. He had been plagued by his own demons long before he was marked. Griffith’s change from good guy to bad guy was well-timed. It isn’t something that happens out of nowhere.

    He gets tortured and imprisoned and accidentally starts the eclipse. But when he is offered the chance to become an immortal deity, he doesn’t refuse. Berserk is filled with blood, violence, and complex characters. It is one of the classic anime you shouldn’t miss.

    The Guyver: Bio-Booster Armor (1989)

    The Guyver Bio-Booster Armor (1989)

    Three Guyver units are stolen by a test-type Zoanoid. The Chronos Corporation dispatches forces to find him. The Zoanoid kills himself with a concealed bomb during a combat with the Chronos.

    As a consequence, ‘Guyver unit 1′ lands between Sho Fukamachi and Tetsuro Segawa, two high school students. The artifact begins to break free of its metallic bonds and inserts itself in Sho’s body, turning him into a Guyver.

    Suddenly Sho is equipped with more power than he can handle. The Chronos Corporation and their genetically enhanced Zoanoids go after him. With the help of his friends, he fights against the evil Chronos Corporation.

    The Guyver is a symbiotic techno-organic gadget that may increase the powers of its host. Sho activates one of these devices, which begins to modify his physiology.

    The Guyver will be unable to reconstruct the host body if the control metal is destroyed. If it is severely wounded, it may consume the host. As a result, Sho worries if he will ever be able to detach himself from Guyver.

    Guyver is the story of Sho, who despite having superpowers, longs to live like an ordinary human. The OVA only had a run for 12 episodes back in 1989, though the manga is still ongoing. It was packed with violent action scenes between Guyver and other biomorphic mutants and left a lasting impression on us despite being unfinished.

    Jujutsu Kaisen (2020)

    Jujutsu Kaisen (2020)

    Yuji Itadori, an unusually fit high school student, living with his grandfather in Sendai. Because of their flexible time schedule, he joins the Occult Research Club at his school.

    Yuji is informed by Megumi Fushiguro about a high-grade cursed talisman at the school with which he has lately established contact. The talisman, a decaying finger, is unsealed by the members of the Occult Club, leading the school to be cursed.

    Creatures emerge that are nourished by bad emotions and enhanced by eating sorcerer’s or charms’ abilities. Because he lacks the strength to overcome the curses, Yuji consumes the rotting finger to protect his companions.

    In doing so, he becomes the host of  Ryomen Sukuna, a powerful curse. Yuji manages to retain control over most of his body, despite being possessed. Saturo Gojo, Megumi’s teacher, takes Yuji to the Tokyo Prefectural Jujutsu High School.

    There he proposes the plan to delay Yuji’s exorcism until he consumes all of Sukuna’s fingers. That will allow the sorcerers to eliminate Sukuna for good. But there’s a chance that Yuji might not survive the exorcism!

    Yuji is possessed by Sukuna’s wicked spirit. This demon has the ability to take over Yuji’s body and distort it. Sukuna isn’t afraid to show his dark side, regularly joking about abusing women and children.

    Despite losing control of his body on a regular basis, Yuji manages to maintain his sense of self. It demonstrates his tenacity and capacity to fight back. Even when Yuji’s body gets stolen, his heart and mind remains his own.

    The beauty of body horror is portrayed in the scenes where Yuji and Sukuna fight over the control of his frame. Ultimately, this action-packed series is one of the best horror anime of recent times.

    King Of Thorn (2009)

    King Of Thorn (2009)

    The Medusa Virus arrives in Siberia and proceeds to infect humans all around the planet. Venus Gate chooses 160 survivors to try a cure on. Kasumi is one of the experiment’s chosen survivors.

    She is forced to go into cryogenic slumber, which separates her from her twin sister. After 48 hours, several of the survivors awaken unexpectedly. They are taken aback when they find the facilities in such a condition of disrepair. They are invaded by lush jungles and thorny vines, which seem to have a mind of their own.

    Their horror intensifies once they discover the ruin is filled with dinosaur-like creatures and other monstrous aberrations of nature. Surprised to know that only a short span of time has passed since their arrival, they realize the gravity of the situation.

    The narrative of King of Thorn is one of survival. The virus affects the victim’s cells, causing severe convulsions and the torso to dry out. The afflicted become a solid stone-like corpse as a result of this.

    The Medusa is shown to be an alien shapeless presence. During a meteor shower, it came to Siberia. Patient zero was a little kid and his pet deer, which he unwittingly took home and poisoned his entire family.

    His sister Alice uncovers the true nature of Medusa when her imaginary cat-boy hybrid friend comes to life. Traumatized by the death of her family, she traps the creature inside her home and sets it on fire. However, the virus spreads through the fumes.

    Venus Gate, a religious cult that thinks Alice has the ability to transform her thoughts into reality, approaches her. They use a hacker dubbed Zeus to experiment on her, fabricating mind-created worlds at will. The plot is a warped retelling of Sleeping Beauty that turns it into a horror film.

    Terra Formars (2014)

    Terra Formars (2014)

    Scientists in the twenty-first century have been charged with terraforming Mars in order to populate the planet. They intend to plant transgenic algae on the planet to absorb sunlight and clean the atmosphere.

    They dispatch cockroaches with the hopes that their bodies would spread algae over the world. A human ship lands on the red planet five millenia later. The six members of the crew, however, are slain by huge mutant humanoid cockroaches.

    The astronauts transmit distress messages to Earth just before they die. Terraformars are the name given to the enormous insects. BUGS II, a varied expedition of genetically modified people, is entrusted with exterminating the mutant bugs two years after the occurrence.

    The members undergo genetic modification to inherit the characteristics of the mutated roaches. The modification is only possible after a special organ transplant, which has a 36% survival rate.

    While most of the team gets killed, they manage to retrieve enough samples to cure the A.E Virus and return home. The horror kicks in when it is revealed the creatures had arrived on Earth a long time back. They have adapted to their new planet and multiplied in numbers. Now, they plan to take over Earth!

    Cockroaches are frightening enough, but the monsters in Terra Formars are gigantic, mutant bugs! Roaches are known to prey on human phobias and aversions in general.

    The fact that they are naturally afraid of light adds to their creepiness. The mutants on this planet have an innate hate for humans. They share several morphological characteristics with their roach predecessors, including the cerci and antenna. To help them fly, they have wings on their backs. They can even move after their heads have been severed!

    The uncensored version of the anime is filled with gore and violence. The story doesn’t have a fixed protagonist as most of the characters keep dying, and a new ensemble cast is introduced. The roaches are the fixed antagonist of the anime, as they mercilessly kill the humans who land on Mars. The gory violence is reason enough to watch this anime.

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