In the world of the best zombie anime series, the undead have risen to capture viewers’ imaginations in thrilling and often unexpected ways.
From tales of post-apocalyptic survival to supernatural battles and thought-provoking narratives, zombie anime series offer diverse experiences that cater to a broad audience.
In this guide, we will delve into the world of zombie-themed anime, dissecting the plots, characters, and themes that make each series unique.
Whether you’re a fan of heart-pounding action, dark and dystopian worlds, or humor-laden twists on the zombie genre, there’s something in this guide for you.
Whether you’re a seasoned anime enthusiast or a newcomer looking for your next binge-worthy series, Exploring the Undead is your companion to the thrilling world of zombie anime.
The following are the best zombie anime series:
1. Highschool of the Dead
Highschool of the Dead is a thrilling anime set in a world engulfed by a catastrophic zombie apocalypse.
The story begins when a mysterious infection spreads rapidly, turning people into ravenous undead creatures.
Amidst the chaos, Takashi Komuro, a high school student, leads a small group of survivors, including his childhood friends Rei Miyamoto, Saeko Busujima, Saya Takagi, and others. Highschool of the Dead is one of the best Zombie anime series.
Together, they navigate the treacherous streets of their once-familiar city, filled with hordes of relentless zombies.
They face the constant threat of the undead and the moral dilemmas that come with surviving in a world on the brink of collapse.
As they search for their families and safe havens, their bonds grow more substantial, and their skills in combat and strategy improve.
High School of the Dead blends intense action sequences, survival horror, and fan-service elements, creating a unique and often provocative experience.
2. Tokyo Ghoul
Tokyo Ghoul takes place in a dark and dystopian Tokyo, where flesh-eating creatures known as ghouls exist alongside humans.
The story follows Kaneki, an ordinary college student who, after encountering a beautiful girl named Rize Kamishiro, transforms into a half-ghoul during a violent confrontation.
Now, Kaneki is caught in a life-altering struggle as he grapples with his newfound identity as a half-human, half-ghoul hybrid.
He must navigate the treacherous world of ghouls, where hunger for human flesh is a constant torment.
Additionally, he faces discrimination and violence from both ghouls and humans alike.
Kaneki’s journey becomes a quest for survival and understanding as he searches for his place in this dark, morally complex society.
Tokyo Ghoul delves deep into themes of identity, morality, and the blurred lines between good and evil.
It explores the humanity within ghouls and the inhumanity that can reside within humans.
3. Zombie Land Saga
Zombie Land Saga takes a lighthearted and comedic approach to the zombie genre.
The story begins when Sakura Minamoto, a high school girl, tragically dies and awakens in a mysterious, zombie-infested world.
She is resurrected by a quirky and eccentric man named Kotaro Tatsumi, who has a bizarre plan: to form a zombie idol group called Franchouchou. Zombie Land Saga is one of the best zombie anime series.
Sakura, along with other resurrected girls from different periods, reluctantly becomes a member of Franchouchou.
Their mission is to rise to stardom and bring entertainment to the living.
However, there’s a catch – they’re still undead and must hide their true nature from the public.
The series combines humor, music, and the challenges of managing a group of undead idols.
Zombie Land Saga offers a refreshing and humorous take on the zombie genre.
4. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is set in an alternate, steampunk-inspired Japan, where humanity is on the brink of extinction due to the emergence of zombie-like creatures known as Kabane.
These undead beings are nearly invulnerable, with iron cages protecting their hearts.
The last bastion of civilization is the heavily fortified train, the Hayajiro, which travels between walled stations to protect the survivors from Kabane attacks.
The story follows a young steamsmith named Ikoma, who invents a powerful weapon to combat the Kabane.
After being bitten and infected by one of them, he becomes a Kabaneri, a human-Kabane hybrid.
Alongside a group of survivors, including a mysterious and skilled warrior named Mumei, Ikoma and his comrades embark on a perilous journey aboard the Hayajiro.
Their goal is to reach the safety of the distant fortress city of Kongoukaku. This anime series is one of the best Zombie series.
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress combines action, horror, and steampunk aesthetics.
It explores themes of survival, sacrifice, and the blurred line between humanity and horror in a world overrun by the relentless Kabane.
5. GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack (OVA)
GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack is a gruesome and surreal anime adaptation of Junji Ito’s horror manga.
The story revolves around a bizarre and horrifying phenomenon that strikes Tokyo.
It all begins when strange, mechanical legs start attaching themselves to the bodies of various marine creatures, including fish and sharks.
These grotesque creatures, now capable of walking on land, terrorize the city’s inhabitants.
The plot follows Kaori and her boyfriend Tadashi, who visit Tokyo when the fish attacks begin.
They become embroiled in the chaos as they try to survive and uncover the mystery behind these nightmarish events.
Along the way, they encounter other survivors who have disturbing mutations. GYO is one of the best zombie anime series.
GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack is a visceral and horrifying tale of body horror, human survival, and the unknown, with a unique and unsettling blend of aquatic creatures turned into deadly, walking abominations.
6. Is This a Zombie?
Is This a Zombie? is a comedic and supernatural anime that subverts the typical zombie genre.
The story follows Ayumu Aikawa, a high school student who is mysteriously murdered and resurrected as a zombie by a necromancer named Eucliwood Hellscythe (Eu).
Despite being undead, Ayumu retains his personality and emotions. Is this a zombie? It is one of the best zombie anime series.
In his quest to seek revenge against his killer, Ayumu encounters supernatural beings, including a magical girl named Haruna and a vampire ninja named Seraphim.
He accidentally absorbs Haruna’s powers, becoming a Magical Garment Girl and gaining the ability to transform into a magical girl outfit to fight monsters.
The series blends elements of comedy, harem, and the supernatural, creating a humorous and often absurd narrative.
Ayumu juggles his new life as a zombie, a magical girl, and his interactions with the quirky characters he encounters.
Throughout the series, he faces supernatural threats while dealing with the comedic challenges of his unique predicament.
7. Sankarea: Undying Love
Sankarea: Undying Love is a unique and romantic take on the zombie genre. The story centers around Chihiro Furuya, a high school student with an unusual obsession – zombies.
However, he dreams of witnessing a real zombie and becomes fascinated with reanimating the dead.
His life takes a bizarre turn when his beloved cat, Babu, dies, and he tries to resurrect it using an ancient manuscript.
During this experiment, he encounters a girl named Rea Sanka, who, unbeknownst to Chihiro, is struggling with a toxic family situation.
Tragedy strikes when Rea consumes a potion created by her father, turning her into a zombie.
Despite her new undead existence, Rea retains her emotions and consciousness.
She seeks refuge with Chihiro, and their unlikely relationship deepens as they navigate the challenges of her condition.
Chihiro continues his quest to find a way to reverse her zombification while dealing with the complexities of love and morality. Sankarea is one of the best zombie anime series.
8. Corpse Princess (Shikabane Hime)
Corpse Princess, also known as Shikabane Hime, is a supernatural action anime set in a world where individuals who die with intense regrets or obsessions return as undead beings called Shikabane. Corpse Princess is one of the best zombie anime series.
To combat this threat, religious organizations employ Shikabane Hime, or Corpse Princesses, who are undead girls bound by magic to hunt down and destroy rogue Shikabane.
The story follows Makina Hoshimura, one such Shikabane Hime.
She was brutally murdered and, upon her death, was resurrected by the mysterious monk Keisei Tagami to serve as a Corpse Princess.
Makina seeks revenge on the evil creatures responsible for her death, known as Seven Stars.
She partners with Keisei, and they confront the supernatural horrors that plague the world together.
As Makina and Keisei delve deeper into the dark and dangerous world of Shikabane, they uncover a complex web of conspiracies and secrets.
The series explores themes of death, redemption, and the blurred lines between good and evil as Makina grapples with her identity as a Shikabane Hime and her desire for vengeance.
Zetman is a dark and action-packed anime that explores themes of genetic experimentation, superheroism, and the consequences of playing with the boundaries of human biology. Zetman is one of the best zombie anime series.
The story revolves around Jin Kanzaki and Kouga Amagi, who have contrasting backgrounds and destinies but are both deeply involved in a world-changing experiment.
Jin Kanzaki is a young man with superhuman abilities and a mysterious past.
He resulted from a secret genetic experiment, the ZET Project, which granted him incredible powers.
Despite his abilities, Jin yearns for an everyday life and struggles with the violent nature of his transformation into the powerful being known as ZET.
Kouga Amagi, on the other hand, is the heir to the powerful Amagi Corporation.
He is driven by a sense of justice and a desire to protect society from supernatural threats.
Kouga takes on the superhero persona and uses advanced technology to combat supernatural creatures, including the dangerous Players.
10. Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? of the Dead
Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? of the Dead is a supernatural comedy anime that follows the life of Ayumu Aikawa, a high school student who also happens to be a zombie. This anime is one of the best zombie anime series.
In the first season, Ayumu is accidentally resurrected by a necromancer named Eucliwood Hellscythe (Eu), and he subsequently becomes a Magical Garment Girl after absorbing magical powers from a magical girl named Haruna.
In the second season of The Dead, Ayumu continues his undead existence as he balances his life as a zombie, a magical girl, and a high school student.
He faces new supernatural challenges and encounters mysterious new characters, including Chris, a vampire ninja, and Sarasvati, a powerful vampire.
Throughout the series, Ayumu navigates various comedic and often absurd situations while dealing with his unique condition.
He remains determined to protect those he cares about while seeking answers about Eu’s past and the mysteries of the supernatural world.
Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? of the Dead is known for its blend of comedy, supernatural elements, and occasional action sequences.
Zombie-Loan is a supernatural anime that revolves around Michiru Kita, a high school girl with an unusual ability – she can see rings of death around people’s necks, indicating when they will die.
One day, she encounters two mysterious boys, Chika Akatsuki and Shito Tachibana, who bear these rings but are still alive.
It turns out that they are undead and have formed a contract with a mysterious organization known as the Zombie Loan to hunt down zombies who have escaped from the cycle of death and decay. Zombie-loan is one of the best zombie anime series.
As Michiru becomes entangled in their world, she is accidentally killed but is saved from death by Chika and Shito, who transfer some of their undead vitality to her.
Now, Michiru is also considered undead and must assist them in their mission to track down and defeat rogue zombies.
Michiru, Chika, and Shito form a close bond as they navigate the dangerous world of the undead while confronting questions about life, death, and the meaning of existence.
Gungrave is a dark and crime-oriented anime that tells the story of two friends, Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowell, who become embroiled in the criminal underworld of a mafia organization known as Millennium.
The series begins with the tragic death of Brandon Heat, who is then resurrected through advanced technology by Millennion’s boss, Big Daddy, becoming the cold and deadly assassin known as Beyond the Grave.
The plot unfolds non-linearly, showcasing the rise and fall of Brandon and Harry’s friendship as they climb the ranks of Millennium.
In Beyond the Grave, Brandon serves as a silent, enigmatic force, carrying out his duties while seeking answers about his transformation and the betrayal that led to his death.
Gungrave explores themes of loyalty, friendship, and the consequences of seeking power and revenge.
It delves into its characters’ moral dilemmas as they navigate a world of crime and supernatural forces.
13. Sunday Without God (Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi)
Sunday Without God is a fantasy anime set where people stopped being born and dying, leaving the world in limbo.
God has abandoned humanity in this desolate realm, and the living must continue their existence eternally.
The story follows Ai Astin, a young girl who serves as a grave keeper. Gravekeepers can put the dead to rest, allowing them to find peace in the afterlife.
Despite her cheerful demeanor, Ai is burdened by her role and the knowledge that she’s the only one who can provide salvation to the deceased. This anime is one of the best zombie anime series.
As Ai embarks on a journey to fulfill her duties and uncover the mysteries of her world, she encounters a diverse cast of characters, each with their own tragic stories and desires.
Along the way, she seeks answers about the existence of God and the possibility of reversing the world’s unchanging state.
Hellsing is a supernatural action anime that follows the Hellsing Organization, a secret group within the British government dedicated to eradicating supernatural threats, particularly vampires.
The organization is led by Sir Integra Hellsing, who commands an elite vampire hunter named Alucard, an ancient and mighty vampire.
The plot kicks into high gear when the Hellsing Organization faces a resurgence of supernatural threats, including rogue vampires, ghouls, and a rival group known as Millennium, plotting to unleash an army of artificial vampires and wage war on humanity.
Alucard’s presence looms large as the Hellsing Organization battles these formidable foes.
He is both a lethal weapon and a complex character with a mysterious past.
Integra Hellsing and her loyal subordinates must navigate a treacherous world filled with bloodthirsty enemies and political intrigue.
15. Soul Eater
Soul Eater is an action-packed supernatural anime set in the Death Weapon Meister Academy (DWMA), a school run by Shinigami (Death) himself.
The academy’s mission is to train Meisters and Demon Weapons, individuals with the unique ability to transform into weapons, to protect the world from evil witches and their corrupted minions.
The story follows three main pairs: Maka Albarn and her scythe partner, Soul Eater; Black☆Star and his weapon partner, Tsubaki Nakatsukasa; and Death the Kid with his twin pistol partners, Liz and Patty Thompson.
Together, they strive to collect 99 evil human souls and one witch’s soul to turn Soul Eater into a Death Scythe.
Throughout the series, they confront various antagonists, including witches, evil creatures, and dark forces threatening to disrupt the balance of the world.
The Meisters and Weapons contend with their inner demons, insecurities, and challenges as they battle these evil entities.
Kurozuka is a dark and intense anime that blends romance, action, and supernatural horror elements.
The story follows Kuro, a skilled swordsman and warrior in feudal Japan, who becomes immortal after drinking the blood of a mysterious woman named Kuromitsu.
Over the centuries, Kuro and Kuromitsu traverse different periods, witnessing the rise and fall of empires and societies.
As they journey through the ages, they encounter various adversaries and supernatural phenomena, all while trying to protect their love and preserve their immortality.
The narrative unfolds non-linearly, jumping between different periods, including a post-apocalyptic future.
Kuro’s immortality becomes both a blessing and a curse as he grapples with the consequences of his actions and the burden of eternal life.
17. Deadman Wonderland
Deadman Wonderland is a dark and dystopian anime set in a world where a massive earthquake has destroyed Tokyo, creating a privately-run prison called Deadman Wonderland.
The prison is a sinister amusement park where inmates are forced to participate in deadly games for the public’s entertainment.
The story follows Ganta Igarashi, a teenage survivor of the earthquake who is wrongfully convicted of a massacre at his school and sentenced to Deadman Wonderland.
There, he discovers a sinister conspiracy involving his abilities as a Deadman – a prisoner with the power to manipulate their blood as a weapon.
Ganta also discovers the existence of the Red Man, the mysterious figure responsible for his false conviction and the destruction of his life. Deadman Wonderland is one of the best zombie anime series.
18. School-Live! (Gakkougurashi!)
School-Live! is a unique blend of the slice-of-life and zombie genres.
The story centers on Yuki Takeya, a high school girl in the School Living Club, and her friends Kurumi Ebisuzawa, Yuri Wakasa, and Miki Naoki.
They live at their school, maintaining a semblance of normalcy amidst the zombie apocalypse. School-live is one of the best zombie anime series.
Yuki’s delusional outlook sets this anime apart, which leads her to believe that the school is still functioning normally and that she is merely a regular student.
In reality, the school is barricaded against the zombie threat, and her friends strive to protect her innocence.
As the story progresses, the truth behind the outbreak and the club’s survival struggles are unveiled.
Each character has a backstory, and their bonds are tested in the face of danger and despair.
School-Live! masterfully balances moments of heartwarming camaraderie with tension and horror, creating a captivating and emotional narrative.