22 Best Zombie-Themed Anime To Watch (Series & Movies)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
It seems like every year we’re all just waiting for a a zombie apocalypse to start.
So what better way to prepare yourself than by watching zombie anime, right? I mean, you could at least learn how to fight off those crazy hordes… anime style.
So let’s take a look over anime history to rank the absolute best zombie-themed titles of all time.
Whip out your notepads, leave all questions for the end, and dear god don’t let them bite you.
22. The Outcast
This NF-sounding show is a peculiar case.
At its core it is a zombie anime, that’s for certain. But it also has some other elements sprinkled within too.
Firstly, it almost has a shounen-type feel to it because of the battle formula.
Then it also has some comedy elements, be it they are slapstick and usually just virgin-shaming.
And then there’s the Goku aspect.
You really have to watch the show to understand that last part. It’s definitely not the best from this list, but it can certainly serve as a guilty pleasure that you hide from your other otaku friends.
21. Shi Xiong
This show both stays true to the zombie formula and goes completely against it at the same time.
Unlike a few of the shows here, we get a proper zombie apocalypse, great.
But the show itself is so sarcastic and critical that it can throw you out of whack.
Suddenly there’s a zombie that really likes paper money, say no to brain and say yes to bread I guess.
And there are kids in giraffe costumes.
And why does everything seem like a really witty and offensive joke that I don’t get because I’m not from China? Is this like a zombie South Park? Well I guess that’s up to you.
Nothing kicks off a show quite like a massacre.
After this very jolly Uchiha treatment, our protagonist gets involved with Takkou: a secret police-type organization that has to deal with the monsters appearing all over the place.
The end goal is to defeat 108 of these monster/demon/zombie looking things in order to seal the portal from which they are all coming from. Yep, you read it all right.
Spoiler alert, the show was dropped before it could really do that.
What we are left with is an above average hack-and-slash show that gets me all in for the action, but not so much for the plot.
Zombie-Loan is the type of show that just seems like an ad for the manga.
It catches you initially with concepts like Shinigami eyes and a badass zombie guy duo.
The action scenes aren’t too frequent, as the show ends just when it starts to get good, but you can still get a few kicks out of it.
So the main charm of the show has to be the leads, Chika and Shito.
Sometimes they’re badasses, and other times they’re just these cartoony goofs messing around.
So my recommendation is to watch this 11-episode long show and if it tickles any of your fancies, transition to the manga like the law-abiding citizen that you are.
18. Sankarea: Undying Love
Our protagonist, law of attraction Chihiro, definitely has an odd waifu preference.
My man is really into zombies, like maybe a bit too much.
And as you might imagine, he does end up getting what he so long wished for.
It’s an ecchi show through and through, be it with some pretty serious themes.
They managed for a zombie not to be the most despicable character.
But where this show really shines is its cast, in particular the side characters. Honestly I would watch an entire show about Jogorou.
So if you want some zombie/ecchi/how to traumatize a child type of show, give it a watch.
17. Sunday Without God
By concept alone, this show gets a 10/10 from me. It’s set in a world where God undeniably exists, however, he decides to beat Nietzsche to the punch and just abandons humans.
What does this mean?
Well there’s no longer a Heaven nor a Hell, so people just kind of hang around, cursed to endless damnation. Neat.
There are only a few beings that can give their souls rest: the grave diggers, who are the focal point of the story.
You can’t tell me that synopsis doesn’t sound amazing.
The series is quite short, however, and unfortunately the world is not explored as much as most would have liked it to be. But it is a joy to watch nevertheless.
Gungrave is on the very edge of what I would consider “zombie themed”.
This is for two main reasons.
Firstly, because the monsters are just that: monsters, so I could see why some wouldn’t even tag them as zombies.
Secondly, the story is actually split into three distinct arcs where most of the supernatural elements come into play in the final one.
The show actually starts off as a gangster show, believe it or not. But semantics aside, the show is great.
Being produced by big daddy Madhouse you already know the level of quality you can expect here.
And the action holds up extremely well for something made in 2003.
15. Seoul Station
If you’ve watched the Korean live-action movie “Train to Busan” then you might already be familiar with this animated movie.
It was supposed to serve as a prequel to the life-action movie, although it doesn’t really do that.
On its own, it’s a major hit or a flop, depending on the viewer.
Probably due to some budget constraints the animation is a bit jerky, which can be a turn off for some.
I for one appreciated the absolutely dark and morbid atmosphere of the show.
It really doesn’t hold back any punches when it comes to gore or even social commentary.
14. Zombieland Saga
Firstly, anime characters really need to learn how to look both ways when crossing the street.
Secondly, how is a zombie anime one of the best idol shows I have watched?
Yes, it’s an idol show about zombies. And yes, it’s somehow brilliant.
Don’t get me wrong, the idol part is definitely front and center. As our cast learns what it takes to become an idol and what that life looks like.
But we do have some “zombie moments” here and there just as a reminder that we are technically hyping up the undead.
13. D. Gray Man
They might now be seeking brains but the Akuma are definitely zombies.
Scratch that, they are even more terrifying than zombies. Earl alone is a horror story.
He appears when someone is grieving for their loved one and then he makes a pact with that unfortunate bastard. Then he brings back the soul of the deceased person, makes them kill the grieving party, and then becomes a weapon for mister Satan over here.
Jesus Christ, that is metal.
The show clocks out at 103 episodes so if you want some long-lasting, quality action of defeating mister Babadook, I highly recommend it.
South Park may have crab people, but anime has fish zombies!
Who are also kind of robots, but that’s besides the point.
This OVA is an adaptation for the well-known horror manga of the same name. It’s 70 minutes of utter chaos as fish zombies with robotic limbs flood the town and give people the most extreme version of explosive diarrhea… because they actually explode.
It’s more drama focused than the manga, and the ratings show how well that was received by the readers. But if you have never read the manga version (or don’t want to) then you can give the movie a shot.
It’s a bit rushed, but makes for some good semi-horror fun.
11. Resident Evil: Degeneration
Did you know this counts as anime? I sure as heck didn’t.
But since it’s all animated, be it in CG, it counts I say.
And honestly: Resident Evil is THE zombie franchise.
The models used in this movie are the same as the ones from the game, so you get some of that good old nostalgia too.
It even has some of the Resident Evil 2 bosses popping up so if you are in the mood for some Leon fanboying give it a shot.
10. Tokyo Ghoul
I personally don’t see this series as “zombie themed”, but since everyone and their mother seem to categorize it like this on the Internet, I will oblige.
The first season of Tokyo Ghoul was class-A in my book. The action was crisp and the moral dilemmas of Kaneki were very interesting.
We get one of the most memorable torture scenes as well as some sweet, sweet payback. We were all Oshiete oshie teyo-ing and everything was dandy.
Then some stuff happens, Touka wins a marathon, and I liked it a bit less. Regardless, if you have somehow not watched it before, make sure to at least go through the first season.
9. Hellsing Ultimate
Hellsing is a zombie anime, a vampire anime, a military anime, a horror anime… in short, it has everything.
And let’s be honest: you watch this show for two main reasons. First, the action. It’s gory, there’s cigarette smoke and blood flying everywhere, hundreds of bad guys, the literal power of God and anime on one’s side and so on.
The other reason is Alucard.
This sly demon spawn honestly carries the show, to an extent.
His laidback demeanor coupled with his overpowered nature and ruthless combat just makes for some quality entertainment.
8. Mo Dao Zu Shi
Yes this is a Chinese anime. But if that’s enough to stop you from watching it, then you are missing out my friend.
This show was honestly one of the best to come out in 2018. It’s so well polished, the story is incredibly detailed, and the world makes sense as a whole.
It’s not a zombie apocalypse type deal, but rest assured there are plenty of zombies, resurrection, black and white magic, all this stuff plays important roles in the story.
I honestly don’t even want to say more than that, no spoilers here. Just watch and see why this series has consistently rocked a rating of 8.5+/10.
7. Black Butler: Book of the Atlantic
Black Butler is pretty demon-focused and terrific to watch overall. But that doesn’t really fit the bill for this list.
That is, unless we take a look at the 2017 movie “Book of the Atlantic”. Now we’re knee deep in zombie territory.
For any lover of Black Butler, this movie should be a no-brainer.
We get more time to droll over Sebastien, and in an unexpected twist they even made Grell an excellent character.
And if you’re not a fan of the original show it would still not be a waste of time to check this out. You have kickass demon butlers, grim reapers, and zombies, what more could you ask for?
6. Is This a Zombie?
Usually in zombie shows you have a few people being chased by zombies from every side, right?
Well how about we have a zombie, chased around by cute girls of varying powers, from every side?
That’s this show, basically.
It is far from a thriller or an action packed, “don’t tell anyone you got bit” type of a zombie show.
It’s zany as hell and has actually made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions.
So if you want a show that’s technically about zombies, but also has some harem, four nations of –dere, funny moments…. I highly recommend “Is This a Zombie?”. You’ll know by the first episode how you feel about it.
5. Corpse Princess
If she breathes then she’s a… human being with valid emotions.
Or at least that is the question that the show tackles.
You see, in this world there are Shikabane Hime: living corpses brought back from the dead because they held onto regret during their life.
But of course, they don’t just go to counseling sessions to sort those things out. No, they’d rather be used as weapons.
From there on out there are tons of questions considering morals, as well as some badass fight scenes.
4. The Empire of Corpses
The Empire of Corpses is a movie that, on paper, blew me away.
Following Frankenstein’s invention, living corpses start to be mass produced. The protagonist of the movie brings back his friend and tries to figure out whether he could ever truly be alive again.
But then it kind of pulled a Tokyo Ghoul and made the canvas a bit too big for the picture.
Suddenly we have wars going on, dozens of characters and tons of locations.
I will say, however, the action is absolutely amazing and the world feels alive. I mean dead, and vibrant.
So if you have 2 hours to kill and want to be visually amazed, and not so much intellectually “wow’d”, definitely give The Empire of Corpses a watch.
3. Highschool of the Dead
I think there’s one prerequisite for enjoying Highschool of the Dead to the fullest: to turn your brain off.
Although most zombie-type shows don’t do much in terms of plot, HOTD really nails it home.
But once you get over that, oh boy.
As far as action goes, it’s one of my favorites as the animation is crisp and the brutality rating just up my aisle.
The cast is interesting enough, with a gun nut, a bloodthirsty babe, a tsundere and so on.
Although I doubt an actual apocalypse would have this much fan service, I still think the depiction is solid.
2. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
When talking about Kabaneri the usual description you’ll hear is “Can we get Attack on Titan? We have Attack on Titan back home”.
And sure, there are quite a few similarities, with the whole enclosed city, short fused protagonist and badass female lead scenario… but Kabaneri still has its own merits to stand on.
The zombies in this show, the Kabane, are downright terrifying.
The action is also terrific, with a hype as hell soundtrack to go alongside it. And unlike a few of the shows on here, it has actual plot.
No potato girl though, big minus on that one.
We did it Reddit, we managed to combine moe, zombies, and an actual plot!
I really enjoyed this show because it was not as gung-ho as a lot of the other entries.
Initially it’s like a thriller tease fest before we actually get into the morbid meat and potatoes of the series.
It does a great job of mixing pure beach-episode, pet chasing, adorable shenanigans and “are these people okay/what is life” tropes, making for a very refreshing experience.
There might not be any gravity defying boob physics. But it is definitely worth a watch.