Yokai are ghost like beings that are common in anime and manga. They also have historical significance in Japan, making them perfect materials for fantasy stories. In this article, I’ll be counting down my top 15 picks of anime that have yokai in them.
Some of the have only good yokai, while the others have both good and bad yokai in their story. Either way, these ghastly spirits are there to make the story interesting.
Also, half of the titles mentioned in this list are either slice-of-life where as the rest have some action and adventure in it. This way, everybody will have something to watch based on their taste.
So without further ado, here are the 15 best Yokai anime of all time!
List of the 15 best Anime with Yokai
In this section, I’ll be listing down all the anime that I think is worthy of being mentioned in this article. The titles are ranked according to my preference, so don’t worry if your favorite anime is at the bottom.
It doesn’t mean that it is not as good as the ones above. After all, not everybody will have the same opinions, likes and preferences.
List of the best yokai themed shows worth watching:
- Inu x Boku
- Hell Girl
- Kemono Jihen
- Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits
- The Eccentric Family
- Beyond The Boundary
- Poco’s Udon Underworld
- The Morose Mononokean
- Natsume’s Book Of Friends
- Ushio & Tora
- Spirited Away
Recommended >> What Are Yokai In Japanese Anime? – All You Need To Know
In/Spectre is not an anime for everyone. This anime is very dialogue heavy and focuses on a slow-paced storyline, making it difficult for some viewers to follow.
However, the overall plot of the show is pretty unique, as it features yokai, demons, and other spiritual creatures in modern day Japan.
The main characters of the anime are also interesting, as they have their own unique powers and abilities, which adds an interesting twist to the story.
14/15. Inu x Boku SS
Inu x Boku SS is a supernatural comedy anime series set in a high-security apartment building called Ayakashi Mansion.
The story centers around a young girl named Ririchiyo Shirakiin who has moved into the building, which is specifically designed for individuals with supernatural abilities.
Ririchiyo is assigned a bodyguard named Soushi Miketsukami, who is half-human and half-dog.
The series follows their daily lives as they interact with other residents of the building and navigate through their experiences in the supernatural world.
The anime is filled with humor and dramatic elements, making it an entertaining and engaging watch for fans of the genre.
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13/15. Hell Girl
Hell Girl, also known as Jigoku Shoujo, is a yokai anime series that tells the story of a mysterious website that allows people to seek revenge on those who have wronged them.
The website is operated by a young girl named Ai Enma, who serves as the titular Hell Girl.
Those who use the website are warned that in exchange for their revenge, they will also be sent to hell when they die.
The series follows the various cases of people who use the website and the consequences they face as a result.
With its dark and supernatural themes, Hell Girl is a unique and captivating yokai anime that explores the consequences of revenge and the afterlife.
12/15. Kemono Jihen
Kemono Jihen is a new-gen shonen anime that has several Yokai-based characters in it. This anime is about monsters who live secretly in the world of humans. Some of them are good, while some of them are evil.
The main character of this show is an immortal young boy who is half demon. He ends up joining a monster investigation team, where he helps protect humans from the evil monsters while also providing a bridge between the two sides.
This anime has a pretty dark plot, but executes it in a cute and fun manner, making it a surprisingly enjoyable show.
11/15. Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits
Kakuriyo is a fascinating anime about spirits and cookery. This show follows a spirit-seeing girl.
Since childhood, she has seen them. Her grandfather, who possessed a similar gift, taught her to live peacefully with ghosts.
She must cook for these spirits to keep them from consuming her or others.
Drama, romance, comedy, and fantasy make Kakuriyo a fun anime. For binge-watching anime, this is a must-see.
10/15. The Eccentric Family
The Eccentric Family is a yokai anime series set in Kyoto, Japan. The story revolves around the Shimogamo family, a group of tanuki (raccoon-like creatures with shapeshifting abilities) who are trying to live their lives amidst the human world and the world of yokai.
The series follows the family’s misadventures as they navigate the complexities of their dual lives and the relationships between different yokai species.
With its blend of comedy, drama, and fantasy elements, The Eccentric Family is a unique and entertaining yokai anime that explores themes of family, identity, and acceptance in a world where the boundaries between humans and yokai are constantly shifting.
9/15. Beyond The Boundary
Beyond the Boyndary is an interesting fantasy anime where our main male character is a half-yokai. Because of this, he is pretty much immortal and has supernatural powers.
One day, he meets a girl who can use her blood as a weapon. She is the last of her clan, which consists of people who slay the Yokai and protect the world.
Unlike other shonen anime series, this anime actually has romance, where these two unlikely characters fall in love with each other. They have to deal with many trials and tribulations in order to make it work, as their respective duties to protect the world come first.
8/15. Poco’s Udon Underworld
“Poco’s Udon World” is a heartwarming yokai anime. The story follows a young man named Souta Tawara who returns to his hometown and opens an udon restaurant.
There, he meets Poco, a small, round yokai who has lost his memories. Together, they embark on a journey to rediscover Poco’s past and help other yokai in need.
The series is hilarious at time, while still having a little drama, and fantasy. Overall, it is a touching yokai anime that will make you go through various emotions.
With its themes of friendship and self-discovery, “Poco’s Udon World” is a charming and enjoyable watch for fans of the genre.
Despite its odd name, this anime isn’t what you assume. This anime follows a ghost-seeing boy, who dislikes seeing them.
He prefers predictability and peace. He meets a mystery girl with a special link to the spirit realm who can help him lose his ability.
However, he must work in her wish-granting store.
xxxHOLiC is a quirky anime with hilarious characters, a gripping plot, and gorgeous animation.
The “Medicine Seller” hunts mononoke in medieval Japan. He needs an exorcism sword to fight these entities. He must learn the spirit’s form, truth, and reason to use that sword.
That is, he must risk confronting and understanding the mononoke before defeating it.
The Medicine Seller finds pregnant Shino at an old inn. As she settles in, she discovers the room is infected by the Zashiki Warashi, a deadly mononoke band. The Medicine Seller examines and eliminates the mononoke before it harms Shino and her pregnant child.
This is how this spectacular horror-fantasy anime begins.
Mushishi is a popular seinen anime that revolves around yokai and other fantasy beings.
The main character of this anime is a mysterious man who travels around the world, slaying the yokai and bringing peace to the people.
It is a mystery as to why the MC can see these otherwise invisible beings and why he is so uniquely capable of controlling and dealing with them.
This is a slice-of-life anime set in a dark fantasy world, exploring the various supernatural creatures and the consequences of their existence.
Recommended >> The 6 Best Seinen AnimeYou Must Watch!
4/15. The Morose Mononokean
“The Morose Mononokean” is a yokai anime about the supernatural world. The story follows Ashiya, a high school student who is being haunted by a yokai.
He seeks the help of a yokai exorcist, Haruitsuki Abeno, who runs a tea room called the Mononokean.
Together, they embark on a journey to help yokai who have lost their way. The series is a blend of humor, drama, and fantasy, making it a unique and captivating yokai anime.
With its themes of friendship and problem-solving, “The Morose Mononokean” is a must-watch for fans of the genre.
3/15. Natsume’s Book Of Friends
“Natsume’s Book of Friends” is a heartwarming yokai anime. The story follows Natsume, a young man who can see yokai, as he inherits a book from his grandmother that contains the names of yokai she defeated.
Natsume sets out to return the names to the yokai and help them find peace. Along the way, he makes new friends and learns about his grandmother’s past.
The series is a mixture of comedy, drama, and fantasy, making it a charming yokai anime. With its themes of friendship and self-discovery, “Natsume’s Book of Friends” is a must-watch for fans of the genre.
2/15. Ushio & Tora
Ushio & Tora is one of the action-packed Yokai anime out there. It features several of the most popular Japanese yokai, and each one of them is weirdly scary and horrifying. One example for this anime’s menacing character design is the Gamin (the ghost-like heads in the banner image of this article.)
This anime never gets boring, as there are villains in each episode that create obstacles for Ushio and Tora to overcome.
Moreover, the relationship between our main characters, Ushio and Tora, is a treat to watch. They claim they’ll kill each other, but they actually are good friends and support each other when in need.
The majority of the show is filled with mysteries and suspense that keep you guessing, which adds to the excitement.
1/15. Spirited Away
This list needs the Hayao Miyazaki’s hit film, Spirited Away, to be complete.
Anime enthusiasts always recommend his films. Spirited Away presents us to a magical realm of spirits and mystical beings.
Chihiro Ogino, a 10-year-old girl, watches her parents turn into pigs and enters a bathhouse packed with Kami, or ghosts.
When you break down the plot, it’s basically about Chihiro trying to come back to reality and save her parents, but there are so many complicated themes, characters, and famous events that make the film so compelling.
Not to mention, Studio Ghibli animations always a delight to watch.
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