The 13 Best Anime Series With Zombies, Ranked

Zombies aren't always clichéd and overdone! Check out these awesome anime series with zombies that feel fresh and exciting.
The 13 Best Anime Series With Zombies, Ranked

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Zombies have gained a bad reputation—not just in anime, but in nearly every form of media. With so many poorly done zombie stories out there, no one would blame you for skipping the subgenre as a whole.

But here's the thing: there are actually lots of high-quality anime series with zombies that put new spins on tired tropes and deliver engaging stories that feel fresh and original.

Even when an anime series features "traditional" zombies, the story can still be frighteningly good as long as it's executed well and features unique characters and clever plot twists.

Here are my picks for the best zombie anime series that'll make you appreciate how great zombies can still be!

13. Zombie-Loan

Action, Horror, Supernatural

Originally aired 2007

13 episodes (1 season)

6.83 on MAL

Zombie-Loan was adapted from the manga of the same name, created by the female manga artist duo Peach-Pit, comprised of Banri Sendo and Shibuko Ebara.

In Zombie-Loan, Michiru Kita possesses Shinigami Eyes, which grant her the power to see how close people are to death. How? By a gray ring that appears around their necks and darkens over time.

When two boys in her class somehow survive despite black rings around their necks, Michiru is concerned that her powers may not be as accurate as she thought.

Soon, she finds out that the two are only alive because they made a pact with Zombie-Loan: in return for keeping them alive, they now have to hunt zombies as payment for their debt.

12. Soul Eater

Action, Comedy, Fantasy

Originally aired 2008 to 2009

51 episodes (1 season)

7.84 on MAL

Set at the Death Weapon Meister Academy founded by Lord Death, Soul Eater centers on three teams that are each comprised of a Meister and a weapon that can take the form of a human.

Their goal? To upgrade their respective weapons into Death Scythes, which can only happen once they've collected the souls of 99 evil humans and then a witch—in that order.

As good as Soul Eater is, it ranks low on our list because zombies aren't central to the premise; rather, one prominent character is reanimated as a zombie. But that's good enough for us!

11. Highschool of the Dead

Action, Ecchi, Horror, Supernatural

Originally aired 2010

12 episodes (1 season)

7.07 on MAL

Highschool of the Dead is a violence-packed zombie adventure that's great for anyone who's into blood and gore.

Story-wise, this one's a bit more traditional in that it's all about trying to figure out what caused the zombie outbreak to occur. But that's the only thing that's traditional here.

In fact, Highschool of the Dead ends up going to some dark places, and you're in for a treat if you're into zombie stories that are different. The plot is full of surprises that had never been done in zombie anime at the time this one came out.

10. Zombie Land Saga

Comedy, Music, Supernatural

Originally aired 2018 to 2021

24 episodes (2 seasons)

7.51 on MAL

Zombie Land Saga is the newest zombie anime series on this list, and only time will tell if it has the same lasting power as other iconic zombie animes. Even so, it's already really good!

Back in 2008, a high school student named Sakura Minamoto is hit by a truck and killed. Ten years later, she's brought back to life as a zombie—along with six other "legendary" girls from throughout Japanese history—as part of an all-zombie idol group.

Zombie Land Saga is unlike any other zombie anime series you've ever seen or will likely ever see. Its dark humor edges into morbid territory at times, but this is a zombie series after all!

9. Is This a Zombie?

Action, Comedy, Ecchi, Supernatural

Originally aired 2011 to 2012

22 episodes (2 seasons)

7.35 on MAL

Adapted from the light novel of the same name, Is This a Zombie? centers on Ayumu Aikawa, who was once an ordinary high school student but is now a zombie.

After Ayumu was murdered by a serial killer, a necromancer named Eucliwood Hellscythe brought him back as the undead. Ayumu then encounters a magical girl named Haruna and accidentally ends up taking her magical Masō-Shōjo powers.

As a result, he's forced to crossdress (the powers are only for girls) and must now use his powers to fight demons, all while trying to figure out the mysteries behind his death.

8. Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

Action, Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Originally aired 2016

12 episodes (1 season)

7.27 on MAL

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is a horror fantasy anime series by Wit Studio, the famed studio behind hits like Attack on Titan, Seraph of the End, Vinland Saga, and Spy X Family.

Though it might be one of their lesser-known offerings, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is really good, beautifully animated, and affecting. It's one of the best zombie-related anime series ever made.

Can you think of any other animes that blend steampunk with zombie horror, all with the visual flair of Attack on Titan? If you're even remotely interested in anime and zombies, you owe it to yourself to give this a watch. It's sure to blow you away!

7. Sunday Without God

Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery

Originally aired 2013

12 episodes (1 season)

7.29 on MAL

Has God abandoned humanity? In the case of Sunday Without God and its fictional world, yes, He has.

Fifteen years prior to the start of this story, human beings lost two very important things: the ability to have children and the ability to die. In Sunday Without God, people who die continue to live despite whatever injuries they incur or the amount of decay they suffer.

But there's a silver lining to all of this: before He abandoned humanity, God left one final ounce of mercy in the form of "gravekeepers," who are able to put the living dead to rest through ritual burial.

Sunday Without God centers on a gravekeeper named Ai, a 12-year-old girl who sets out to learn why the world became the way it is and how she might be able to save everyone.

6. Hellsing Ultimate

Action, Horror, Supernatural

Originally aired 2006 to 2012

10 episodes (1 season)

8.35 on MAL

Hellsing Ultimate is a reboot of the original Hellsing anime, this time sticking more faithfully to the original manga's story.

The story centers on the Hellsing Organization, a secret group that exists to protect Great Britain by vanquishing supernatural threats, including vampires, ghouls, and, of course, zombies.

A true war between good and evil, Hellsing Ultimate incorporates aspects of Western history with supernatural creatures that are based in fantasy and folklore. It's really, really good!

5. Tokyo Ghoul

Action, Fantasy, Horror

Originally aired 2014 to 2015

48 episodes (4 seasons)

7.79 on MAL

Ken Kaneki is a teenager who lives in a world filled with creatures called Ghouls, which are actually a lot like zombies. They aren't immortal, but they crave human flesh and devour people.

In fact, the Ghouls in Tokyo Ghoul are far scarier than the usual Romero-inspired zombies that shamble through decrepit malls.

When Ken is turned into a half-Ghoul by a former love interest, he struggles to maintain his humanity. At the same time, he's called to fight against the Ghouls that threaten Tokyo.

How do you balance two opposing internal forces that each want you to live a different way? Tokyo Ghoul is a dark yet fascinating exploration of humanity with zombie types that are actually frightening.

4. School-Live!

Horror, Mystery, Slice of Life, Suspense

Originally aired 2015

12 episodes (1 season)

7.62 on MAL

School-Live! is an anime about a group of teenage girls who love their school. The thing is, their amazing school is actually hiding the fact that they're in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.

Adapted from the manga of the same name, School-Live! (or, more literally, Living at School!) is a brilliant series that blends slice-of-life storytelling with the psychological horrors and thrills that you'd expect in any real zombie apocalypse.

If you're looking for the best zombie anime involving high school, School-Live! is a top contender and worth checking out.

3. Corpse Princess

Action, Horror, Supernatural

Originally aired 2008 to 2009

25 episodes (2 seasons)

7.19 on MAL

Like most zombie anime series, Corpse Princess throws the conventional definition of zombie out the window in favor of its own version. Which is great! It's always nice to see something new in a subgenre as packed and played out as this one.

Corpse Princess centers on a girl named Makina Hoshimura who's brutally murdered but unable to move on to the afterlife. Instead, she's left behind as an undead girl.

Armed with two MAC-11 submachine guns and the help of a secret society of Buddhist monks, Makina must hunt down 108 zombies in order to gain entry into the afterlife.

She doesn't need to eat brains to survive and she certainly isn't slow and plodding, but she is a certified badass.

If you're looking for an unusual take on zombie tropes, your search is over. Corpse Princess is a must-watch for any zombie fan.

2. Sankarea: Undying Love

Comedy, Ecchi, Horror, Romance

Originally aired 2012

12 episodes (1 season)

7.28 on MAL

Chihiro Furuya is obsessed with zombies. It's a bit weird and he knows it, but he can't help himself. Embracing his true self, he does what any zombie fan would do: he gets himself a zombie girlfriend.

Sankarea: Undying Love is a quirky and entertaining anime series, based on the manga of the same name and chock-full of fan service.

Despite all that, it's a unique zombie tale that touches on themes of death, resurrection, and a fascination for the realm of dead things.

1. Gungrave

Action, Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

Originally aired 2003 to 2004

26 episodes (1 season)

7.83 on MAL

The Gungrave anime series is based on the PlayStation 2 video game from 2002, created by Yasuhiro Nightow.

Gungrave centers on Brandon Heat, who was betrayed and killed by his best friend Harry MacDowell. Thirteen years later, Brandon is brought back to life through a technique called necrolyzation.

Now he's on a path of revenge, not just against the ones who killed him, but also against their entire crime syndicate. Through flashbacks, we also get to find out more about the lives of Brandon and Harry and what led to their eventual conflict.

Of course, it's not as easy as it sounds—because he wasn't the only one brought back to life. There are other zombie-like figures who stand in his way and make his quest that much harder.

Gungrave might be old by today's standards, but it's still incredibly good and worth watching. Good enough to be considered the best anime show about zombies, for sure.