A shocking turn of events happened the other day when my parents finally said, “Yes, I will watch that fantasy anime series that you’ve been following or re-watching for almost 8 months now.”
This was a shocking realization! My parents, who prefer that I prioritize studies-and-work rather than manga-and-anime, wanted to watch a demon fantasy anime with me! (LOL!) I was beyond relief because I never thought I could hear that line from them!
But I was so elated when they managed to sit through the 12-episode shōnen series I recommended! And because they have a short span of attention in watching animation, they finished the series in 3 days.
And, so, my train of thoughts processed a few demon anime series in my head, some of which, I wrote below:
Disclaimer: I love the demon shows in this list, so I will mention the synopsis on some, but also some spoilers here and there.
10Seven Deadly Sins
The Seven Deadly SinsAir Date: October 5, 2014 Status: Airing Studio: A-1 Pictures, Studio Deen No. of Seasons: 5 No. of Episodes: 93
When I discovered the Seven Deadly Sins, the show had everything I loved in an anime: heroic knights; mystic deities; and most of all, powerful demon clans in a fantasy genre filled with heart-pounding battles!
The beginning of the series tells a happy-go-lucky and bubbly narrative where the protagonists traverse the lands and look for their adventures and misadventures.
But as the series progresses, it gets darker due to the demons dominating this show; in addition, the battles elevate the character developments of both demons and humans.
Usually, a good anime consists of an excellent plotline. But not Seven Deadly Sins – this show truly excels in phenomenal protagonists and antagonists!
Add that to the fact that Seven Deadly Sins showcases high quality action animation scenes; suspenseful fights between demons and humans; and superb music compositions, and we have a complete package!
By the 3rd season, however, the show repeats several music pieces that it loses its “magic touch” and becomes lackluster. A handful of viewers even skip some of the openings and endings!
Nevertheless, the show’s saving grace is also because of the composers – they inserted brilliant Seven Deadly Sins soundtrack in the show so they can perfectly fit the animated demon scenes and fights!
The emotions the audience felt through the high-quality screaming, screeching, and other voice acting are very real and raw – they add to the suspense and thrill!
Overall, the soul of this show stems in the facial expressions of the demon and human characters. They are strongly linked to the character designs that the character build-ups of this show form unique personalities that make you laugh and cry.
BakemonogatariAir Date: July 3, 2009 Status: Finished Studio: Shaft No. of Seasons: 3 No. of Episodes: 100
Bakemonogatari is a dialogue-heavy anime with awesome characters, spectacular animation, and superb voice acting.
Even if the Bakemonogatari show is disjointed and only episodic in nature, it tells tales of Koyomi Araragi aiding demons and gods to fight their paranormal illnesses.
Many viewers complained how this series’ storylines are all over the place – it does not even tell a cohesive plot.
But Studio SHAFT splurged on the visuals of this show so they can allow viewers to experience character growths in episodic stories.
Take demon oddities such as the “Rainy Devil” for example. “Rainy Devil” is a mystic entity in the show that grants three wishes to its masters in exchange for their souls.
While it dazzles the wish-requester, it puts us viewers on the spot because we are truly seeing a full demon/zombie monkey on the television screen.
Studio SHAFT perfects the quality animation of suspenseful scenes such as these that it allows audience like us to immerse ourselves in the characters’ headspaces.
With catchy openings and endings, this show will not be mundane to regular anime viewers. The voice acting also hits that sweet spot in addition to the perfectly integrated background music. It pulls our heartstrings through well-written climaxes and fantastic characters.
InuyashaAir Date: October 16, 2000 Status: Upcoming Season 3 Studio: Sunrise No. of Seasons: 3 No. of Episodes: 193
InuYasha is a beloved shōnen classic that dominates the hearts and minds of kids, teenagers, and adults when it premiered during the early 2000s.
Its intriguing cast of characters includes the infamous half-demon InuYasha; a fox demon named Shippō; and three humans: Kagome, Miroku, and Sango, each possessing battle skillset to fight against the era’s demons.
Set in the Sengoku Jidai (also known as the Warring States Era), the early story arcs are a mix of blood and gore, with a touch of light-heartedness to tickle the viewers.
In episode 23 of Season 1 for example, InuYasha was surprised to receive a smooch from his zombie ex-girlfriend while the main female protagonist watched the romantic scene unfold front and center.
Despite the tension in the air among the main casts, the episode ended comedically when InuYasha asked whether it’s possible for him to acquire two girlfriends…(LOL)!
It’s a classic fantasy show that pulled many viewers’ heartstrings through its out-of-this-world and terrific musical compositions, clean animation styles, and charming characters.
With its spin-off sequel Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon (or “Hanyou no Yashahime: Sengoku Otogizoushi”) coming out this October 2020, buckle your seats boys and girls!
We’re jumping through the Bone-Eater’s Well to travel back in time and relive the adventures once more!
Blue ExorcistAir Date: April 17, 2011 Status: Airing Studio: A-1 Pictures No. of Seasons: 3 No. of Episodes: 37
Blue Exorcist or “Ao no Exorcist” is a show that gets stereotyped a lot because its plot involves the “son of a demon/son of a devil” religious storyline, sprinkled with edgy references and “new world” overtones.
But A-1 Pictures wasn’t mistaken to have invested their time, money, and effort into this classic shōnen story. After all, it’s a tale about the human realm (Assiah) mirroring the demon realm (Gehenna), with the demon son striking back against his father, the god of demons.
Many fans tend to see the boring side of this anime because it has many minor characters. Despite the charisma and hilarity offered by the main casts, the character designs are lackluster.
On the other hand, after losing quality battle scenes in earlier episodes, the plot slowly accelerates and picks up in later arcs.
Nevertheless, for some fans, the music, voice acting, and art enhances the interesting premise of this show.
In fact, these elements could have been the show’s saving grace, especially with the bright colors in its wonderful art; famous voice actors; and upbeat theme song performers.
For example, the six band members of UVERworld are known for their Japanese rock music. Other than doing the theme songs for the Ao no Exorcist series, the band’s punk theme songs are showcased on shōnen series like:
- Bleach (2004-2012);
- Boku no Hero Academia/My Hero Academia – Third Season (2018);
- D-Gray-man (2006-2008); and
- The Promised Neverland/Yakusoku no Neverland (2019)
Another example is when Nobuhiko Okamoto (who is the voice actor for Rin Okumura, the main protagonist of Blue Exorcist), also lends his voice to supporting characters of Bleach, Bakuman, and Durarara anime series, while voicing popular ones like:
- Katsuki Bakugou from Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia); and
- Garfiel Tinsel from Re: Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Re: Life in a Different World from Zero)
ClaymoreAir Date: April 4, 2007 Status: Finished Studio: Madhouse No. of Seasons: 1 No. of Episodes: 26
At first, viewers will think Claymore is a show that copies the Wonder Woman formula because it features supernatural and incredible women.
Even if this is true to some degree, Claymore adds layers and layers of unique character storytelling to its basic fantasy-action genre.
Simply put, it is an intelligently built shōnen series filled with half-human and half-Yoma hybrid warriors, most of whom are strong female characters.
Despite the deus-ex machina surrounding it, Claymore is not just your typical demon anime. The characters need to face their fears so they can achieve personal growth despite their desperate situations.
Many fans thought that Claymore is going to an emo-oriented route because of its revenge-plot and powering-up clichés. The main character, Clare, does indeed undergo numerous battles and sufferings while still managing to live despite several awful and “dying” days.
But the show doesn’t drag on too long to tell its intended story even if there are returning antagonists (which might put off some fans because of redundancy). Rather, Claymore utilizes its characters well so they can serve their fundamental purpose to elevate the show to its glorified state.
Generic plotlines of good-versus-evil are common in the anime medium, but this is not what Claymore is. The show is nice to watch not because of the generic plotlines, but rather, the protagonist herself.
Clare constantly grows throughout the series amidst the dire consequences she must face. For example: she is constantly on the run. Because she is bound by the rules of the game, she’s unable to quit her job despite gaining knowledge of many dark secrets.
I could talk about this all day so newbies will come to understand her phenomenal growth in each episode! But the point is, Clare’s character arc is complementing the show because her storyline is fleshed out with just the right amount of hardships.
If that didn’t convince you, let me explain from a viewer’s perspective. After following this series, I felt that Clare’s decisions helped me change my outlook.
I witnessed how she tackled her problems in the series. And though she didn’t overcome them all, I felt that for those ones that she managed to overcome, they feel very rewarding; it also gives me a peace of mind knowing some of her recurring successes.
It all balances out, too! Clare rightfully reaps the benefits after tackling several difficult challenges on her path. Her peaceful days may seem bleak to first time viewers, but as a fan, it feels earned because Clare feels as if she were a real-life person!
Besides the ones above, the art animation in the action scenes are spectacular and magnificent! The music orchestral score is also fantastic because of the rock genre fitting the show!
Hellsing UltimateAir Date: February 10, 2006 Status: Finished Studio: Madhouse, Satelight, Graphinica No. of Seasons: 1 No. of Episodes: 10
If you really want an anime that is exuding demonic vibes, then Hellsing Ultimate is for you! This anime is a gem because of Alucard’s superb and incredibly “fun” storyline.
Fun fact: Alucard is a “semordnilap” of the word “Dracula”, which means Alucard is spelt Dracula, but backwards.
As a slave of the “Hellsing Organization”, Alucard hunts and murders vampires whom he deems are unwanted.
But even before reaching this goal, he has to face several vampires and ghouls who made themselves known as enemies of the Hellsing Organization.
Simply saying that Hellsing Ultimate reminds me of role-playing video games is an understatement. This anime is blowing off steams, and moreover, it flaunts vampiric characters invading other vampire factions.
The storyline may be too simplistic for most viewers, but it’s captivating because of its remarkable soundtrack and massive art improvements in the animation styles. The animation art is also fantastic because it resembles the art in the manga to a tea!
Although it was weak in character developments, Hellsing Ultimate handled its vampire themes spectacularly! It’s a definitely-must-see-anime for viewers wanting a dark, bizarre, and serious plot.
OverlordAir Date: July 7, 2015 Status: Airing Studio: Madhouse No. of Seasons: 4 No. of Episodes: 41
If you want to see overpowered main characters, then Overlord is the anime for you! It’s basically the “god” among demon animes; some fans even claim that the show is popular enough to rival Sword Art Online.
However, it’s not number one in this list because the storylines are becoming double-edged swords that cut short the glory of this anime. In other words, there are only 13 episodes per series, and it has become a disappointment.
At the time of writing this series, Overlord is classified as a dystopian, supernatural, fantasy series where a role-playing game (RPG) cages the main casts within its world.
The main casts become players themselves and experience terrifying and life-threatening consequences inside the game; they are manipulated and are taken advantage of.
Some fans argue that the villain-like characteristics of the main character (Momon or “Ainz Ooal Gown”) doesn’t make him the protagonist at all; rather, a determined and willful “anti-hero” of the show.
Although Momon loves showing off and loves playing the villainous role, the leadership that he demonstrated amongst his servants defines his personality and his antagonistic character; in fact, his character role negates the other faults surrounding the show.
These faults are so well-known that many viewers come to misunderstand the initial concept of the anime. But after a few episodes, the show hooked a lot of fans through its deeper plot elements.
The music and animation art showcased in Overlord mixes well together to create an outstanding and refreshing show portraying complex characters.
On top of flawless animation and a catchy soundtrack, the series’ fight scenes exceeded fans’ expectations because of the characters’ tactics and the show’s natural pacing.
D.Gray-manAir Date: October 3, 2006 Status: Finished Studio: TMS Entertainment No. of Seasons: 2 No. of Episodes: 116
Many viewers think that D. Gray-Man is the GOAT (greatest-of-all-time) series when it comes to dark shōnen. Despite the characters grabbing a weapon or two to fight evil monsters, many, including myself, love this show for its artistry – in both the narrative sense and the animation sense!
The “Evil Demons” or “Devil” in this show aren’t necessarily the typical creatures you see on other animes. Rather, they are mechanical puppets that get their “batteries charged” through the machinations of dead souls.
Alternatively speaking, these mechanical puppets or “Akuma” become animated through the deceased souls’ manipulations.
When I first stumbled upon D. Gray-Man, it was out-of-curiosity. I was simply told it’s an amazing series that quickly gets darker by episode 5, and that’s why I took the bait.
Though the early episodes start out slow and make it seem that D. Gray-man is another generic anime, well-built characters take centre stage to tell a darker narrative.
Although the soundtrack is not something that gets stuck in my head, the true character developments happening behind the scenes is the one that takes the cake!
The casts are a mishmash of chaos during the combative scenes and touching emotional pieces – this concept alone takes the show into the limelight!
I would even classify an interesting series like this as a semi-seinen genre (seinen is a manga demographic for older teens or adults).
Moving on, the animation aesthetics of the show is elevated when the Dark Order (or the Black Order) gets introduced.
They are symbolized by a Rose Cross emblem to represent their religious power and influence among their followers.
Because of this, I would go on to say that the animation of the series is superb! They are well-developed concepts that help elevate the character designs to gold standards!
BerserkAir Date: October 8, 1997 Status: Finished Studio: OLM, Millepensee, GEMBA No. of Seasons: 3 No. of Episodes: 49
A lot of people love to watch the dark fantasy Berserk series because it’s an incredible show that has been born since the nineties.
Even if the 2016 version is a retelling of the “Golden Age” arc, Studio Millepensee gave its audience a promising and legendary show possessing highly detailed, CG-mixed animation art and a fantastic narrative filled with gut-induced characters wielding larger-than-life weapons!
A long series such as this permeates in viewers’ minds because of its bold and chaotic action scenes.
The background music and the sound effects add dragon-slayer vibes quality to the gritty show and that even the audience themselves feel goosebumps and bone-chilling thrills.
This show is a different “beast” of its own. And with just only 12 episodes per season, it already lives up to manga-readers’ expectations. Each character is so fleshed out that quality and storytelling in the manga become stunning when it’s in anime-format.
Moreover, the rock soundtrack enriches the tone of the show during disturbing scenes. Overall, it’s a show you wouldn’t want to miss!
Before discussing my number one, here are some honorable mentions:
Rosario + Vampire (2008)
This anime’s astounding animation parallels the manga art. And with just 13 episodes, the animators pulled off a beautifully animated story that tells of a consistent and smooth tale of vampires.
The Devil is a Part-Timer
This show leans more on the comedic side instead of the mystery and horror genre; it is quick and fun to watch cause this 13-episode series has less violence.
Even if I did not include this in my list, I’d give this a 9/10 because this has the funniest “Isekai” characters that makes my sides hurt from laughing! The plot is also fresh and enjoyable, sprinkled with some fan service here and there.
Bungo Stray Dogs
This dramatic and mystery anime is engaging because of the storyline’s strong delivery.
Its 12 episodes per season revolves around the supernatural genre that makes it a strong contender to encapsulate its viewers into its solid plotline.
Sometimes, it’s more of a comedy than a drama, but the time I spent watching it reminds me of the characters’ strong sense of justice.
The Promised Neverland
This show is a phenomenal work in it and of itself that turns many anime viewers into manga-readers, including myself.
The point of view camera angle shots added into the art animation makes this show a priceless masterpiece!
In addition, its groundbreaking plotline and incredible soundtrack, many fans look forward to the second season of this show coming out in January 2021.
The first season of this show may not portray demons off-the-bat (save for a few episodes), but manga-readers know better and couldn’t wait to see more of said creatures in the series’ continuation.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No YaibaAir Date: April 6, 2019 Status: Upcoming Season 4 Studio: ufotable No. of Seasons: 4 No. of Episodes: 55
Demon Slayer or Kimetsu no Yaiba is the best demon anime because it’s an action-packed shōnen series done right from background settings/time periods to character plotlines.
The brevity of this series revolves around the brother who wants to save his demon-turned-sister. When the male protagonist hunts for a cure, he also meets allies who helped him battle demons.
The biggest pride of this show is its animation and music. With just a few seconds of this show’s heart-pumping battles combined with its fascinating soundtrack, this breathtaking series is off-the-charts!
Perhaps the popularity sores because of Ufotable’s animation directing, which means they used several camera anglings to portray the thrill on the Demon Slayer manga’s epic fight scenes.
Moreover, they refused to cut corners when designing the creatures. The studio even developed CG models on the creatures that add to the gorgeous fights among the human and demon casts.
The sibling plotline may not be new because the premise isn’t original. But fans crave more of this fast-paced series because it turned a simple plotline to ultimate sophistication through fascinating art and an orchestic-based soundtrack.