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The Top 5 Goth Anime

The hair was big, the color was black, and the eyeliner was thick. More than aesthetic, goth is a mood. It's a subversive fascination with the dark, the occult, and rejection of the mainstream. It's rocking out to The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nightwish, and Joy Division while watching Interview with the Vampire and The Crow on repeat. It's vampires, revenge, neo-gothic romance, and everything in between. But is anime, 'goth'? Of course! There's a whole “gothic lolita” subculture in Japan, not to mention cyber-goth off shoots and traditional moody fans who love the macabre. If you're looking for a show to reignite your passion for an all black wardrobe, look no further!

5. Black Butler

Imagine you're the wealthy orphan of board game and toy conglomerate and you get to live in English mansion with your rag-tag group of servants and a butler that's a literal demon. Ciel Phantomhive is one such orphan. He gets to investigate crimes at the Queen's behest and also maybe murder dudes who try to rip him off. No really, first episode has Ciel and Sebastian straight up incinerate a guy on the grounds of Ciel's extravagant house. Did I mention Ciel gets bonus points for wearing an eyepatch? There's a reason Ciel remains popular on the cosplay scene. His wardrobe has a lot in common with modern Japanese goth brands like Alice and the Pirates.

4. Hellsing Ultimate & Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

An appreciation for creatures of the night is a big tenant in goth culture, so much so that we couldn't choose just one. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust is getting up there in years but it still remains a touchstone for vampire romance. There's the forbidden love affair! The sumptuous costumes! And it's easily the most impressive adaptations of Yoshitaka Amano art EVER. Then there's Hellsing's Alucard, possibly one of the most iconic vampires in anime history. The series is a real bloodbath and Alucard is the kind of vamp you can't help but love...creepy-eyed dog powers and all.

3. Death Note

Don't worry, we're not talking about the Netflix film. This entry is paying its dues to goth anime icon and obsessed, jilted fangirl Misa and Ryuk, aka Robert Smith's afterlife persona. I can't understate what a phenomenon this show was. It broke the typical Shonen Jump mold by following the anti-hero Light Yagami (yuh-gah-mii) as he sets out bestowing justice on criminals through supernatural means. You could easily make the case that Light is both the main character and the villain of the show as he tries to maintain control of his god-like powers by outmaneuvering the detective L and law enforcement. The show turns into a game of chess that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Also, do you think Ryuk gives make-up advice? Cause buddy's eyeliner game is on POINT.

2. Ancient Magus Bride

I can hear you guys already crying, “The Ancient Magus Bride isn't goth! It's just a fantasy show!” So let me stop you there because this amazing show by Wit Studio is 100% goth. First, the main character is depressed teenager who can interact with fairies and other mythical creatures who all kinda want to eat her. Second, she's taken in by a giant mage with a skull for a head. This isn't a one-off appearance, Elias is usually in this form. Sometimes he wears a little curtain on his face to keep from scaring the local children. There are a couple of nice magic quests in the show but Chise ends up facing some pretty terrifying stuff; like that time she gets a cursed monster arm or battling an immortal being whose hobby is graphing human and monster parts together. The Ancient Magus Bride is goth in the same way that The Dark Crystal and Never-Ending Story are favs.

1. Tokyo Ghoul

Cannibalism and fetish wear come together for the frightfully intense Tokyo Ghoul. You can't turn around without seeing Ken and his ghoul pals somewhere, and it's easy to see why. Tokyo Ghoul mixes bloody battles, super powers, and...Hannibal? Yeah, there's a guy that's a lot like Lecter, he just doesn't have to hide it, really. Ken's struggle to be a good ghoul is really endearing; on the one hand he just wanted to read good books and go out on a date but now the only thing he can stomach is human flesh and black coffee. All of his friends wear weird (awesome?) masks. It's like that scene from She's All That where the artsy girl gets the hot makeover except it's a nerdy dude finding connecting to the darkness of his soul.

Which of these five are your favorite? Vote in our poll right here - and make sure you give us your personal top 5 in the comments. Thanks for watching!

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