One of the most common story tropes in anime involves demons from the depths of hell, who rise above to Earth and spread terror and fear. But some anime series break from that with demons that are far from usual, often exhibiting unexpected traits and story twists.
As a general rule, the anime genre dictates how the demons come across. For example, shonen anime tends to play demonic characters straight, while isekai anime tends to have elements that make them unique. Either way, demons can be either protagonists or antagonists.
Here are our picks for the best anime series about hell, Satan, and demons, featuring characters across all anime archetypes.
20. Black Clover
Action, Comedy, Fantasy
Originally aired 2017 to 2021
170 episodes (4 seasons)
Black Clover is an anime series produced by Studio Pierrot, adapted from Yuki Tabata's manga of the same name. It revolves around the magicless boy Asta and his struggles in a world full of magic.
At first, it was all about the battle of magic between elves and humans, when the concept of "devil" was a myth. It was believed that a devil resided in the fifth leaf of a clover grimoire, which was obtained by Asta, granting him the Anti-Magic Swords.
As the story goes on, a more powerful and sinister character is introduced: a devil who manipulates both races in his attempt to acquire a body and a grimoire. The story grows more intense as more and more demonic characters are introduced.
19. Vermeil in Gold
Ecchi, Fantasy, School
Originally aired 2022
12 episodes (1 season)
Vermeil in Gold is an anime series based on the manga of the same name, written by Kōta Amana and illustrated by Yōko Umezu. The series follows the story of Alto Goldfield, who unknowingly summons a very powerful demon named Vermeil and becomes its master.
Vermeil, who had been sealed in a book, is a succubus-type demon who takes a liking to Alto's mana, which she drains from him (through kissing) to sustain her own power and life source.
Despite elements of ecchi and harem, Vermeil in Gold is also packed with action and decent character development, without the dark themes that are typical in anime featuring contracts with devils.
18. Blue Exorcist
Action, Fantasy, School
Originally aired 2011 to 2017
37 episodes (2 seasons)
Blue Exorcist is an anime adaptation (produced by A-1 Pictures) of the manga of the same name (written and illustrated by Kazue Kato).
The story revolves around Rin and Yukio Okumura, twin sons of Satan who are born to a human mother.
After the death of Shiro Fujimoto (their foster father), Rin enrolls in a school for aspiring Exorcists under Yukio, who's already a teacher in that school and a full-fledged Exorcist.
Blue Exorcist doesn't just feature demonic characters, but also features Gehenna (the hell where Satan rules) and Assiah (the human realm).
17. Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-Kun
Comedy, Fantasy, Isekai, School
Originally aired 2019 to 2023
65 episodes (3 seasons)
The Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun anime series is an adaptation of Osamu Nishi's manga of the same name. It centers on Iruma, a boy who was sold to the demon Sullivan and was brought to hell to live as the demon's grandchild.
He receives special treatment in the new world because he's the grandson of a high-ranking demon and becomes friends with characters who don't even know what a "friend" is.
Though he lives a life that seems way better than his life before, there are still other demons who are suspicious of him as a human.
Action, Comedy, Supernatural
Originally aired 2011 to 2012
60 episodes (1 season)
Beelzebub was a manga by Ryuhei Tamura that was adapted into a 2011 anime series. In real-life ancient history, Beelzebub (or Beelzebul in some writings) was regarded as the prince of hell, so the title itself tells us that we should expect a demonic character in this anime series.
But against all expectations, the demon in Beelzebub is a cute green-haired baby that emits electricity when he cries and can flood cities just by peeing. The story also features Tatsumi Oga, the babysitter of this extraordinary baby, who makes his life not-so-ordinary.
15. The Seven Deadly Sins
Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Originally aired 2014 to 2021
100 episodes (5 seasons)
The Seven Deadly Sins is an action fantasy anime series adapted from the manga written and illustrated by Nakaba Suzuki.
The captain of the Seven Deadly Sins group is Meliodas, a former high-ranking demon and the son of the Demon King, who defected from his race and joined the other races in the Holy War.
The first season of the series follows the story of Elizabeth and her search for the Seven Deadly Sins, in hopes that they will help her free the kingdom from the hands of the Holy Knights.
The second season's Revival of the Commandments Arc shifted the story in a darker direction as the elite warriors of the Demon Clan were released from their seal.
Though the change in animation studio affected the series' animation quality in later seasons, the anime is still worth watching.
14. Devilman Crybaby
Action, Horror, Supernatural
Originally aired 2018
10 episodes (1 season)
Devilman Crybaby is a 2018 original web animation directed by Masaaki Yuasa and based on Go Nagai's manga Devilman. It follows the story of Akira Fudo, who's possessed by a demon.
Unlike most other stories about spiritual possession, Akira manages to overpower the demon who takes over his body, thus giving him the ability to turn into a devilman—and control its powers.
Given that this series features demons who live on Earth by possessing human bodies and plot to destroy humanity, it's pretty clear that this is one of the darker series on this list.
The demons are led by Satan under the identity of Ryo Asuka, who's actually Akira's friend. The survival of the human race lies in the hands of the devilmen who retain their own souls and their demons' powers.
13. The Devil Is a Part-Timer!
Comedy, Fantasy, Isekai
Originally aired 2013 to 2022
25 episodes (2 seasons)
The Devil Is a Part-Timer! is an isekai anime series adapted from the light novel series written by Satoshi Wagahara.
It follows the story of Satan, who travels to modern-day Tokyo after his near-defeat when he's cornered by the forces of the continents he wants to conquer.
Powerless in the world he's in, Satan and Alciel adapt to the human way of life while trying to find a way back to Ente Isla. Until then, Satan (now known as Sadao Maou) works as a part-timer in a restaurant.
Despite being heavy on demons and warriors, The Devil Is a Part-Timer! has a lot of comedic relief that helps lift its darker themes.
12. Blood Lad
Action, Comedy, Fantasy
Originally aired 2013
10 episodes (1 season)
Blood Lad is the anime adaptation of the manga series written and illustrated by Yuuki Kodama. The story revolves around Staz, an otaku vampire who lives in the Demon World, which is basically hell.
Unlike his vampire ancestors, he doesn't crave human blood. Instead, he wants to indulge himself in manga, anime, and video games—you know, the usual human otaku lifestyle. There's also the ordinary high school girl, Fuyumi Yanagi, who gets lost in the Demon World.
After dying there, Staz promises to bring Fuyumi back to life, giving the series its action and comedic direction.
11. Black Butler
Action, Comedy, Mystery, Supernatural
Originally aired 2008 to 2010
36 episodes (2 seasons)
Black Butler is a manga series written and illustrated by Yana Toboso, which was adapted into an anime series of the same name.
It follows the story of a young boy named Ciel Phantomhive and his pursuit of revenge for his murdered family with the aid of a demon. Sebastian Michaelis, the demon with whom Ciel makes a contract, disguises himself as the boy's butler.
The dark theme of this series features a typical take on demons, who roam and blend in with society by offering help and services in exchange for a price.
10. High School DxD
Action, Comedy, Ecchi, Fantasy, Romance, School
Originally aired 2012 to 2018
48 episodes (4 seasons)
High School DxD is an anime adaptation of the light novel series of the same name, written by Ichiei Ishibumi and illustrated by Miyama-Zero.
It follows the story of Issei Hyoudou, a boy who wants to rule a harem world but is killed by his date, a fallen angel disguised as a girl. He's revived by the demon princess Rias to serve her and her family of demons.
Unlike the other demons on this list, the demons in High School DxD are quite charming and seem like there's no reason to be afraid of them. But take note: Rias holds the Power of Destruction.
9. The Misfit of Demon King Academy
Action, Fantasy, School
Originally aired 2020 to 2023
22 episodes (2 seasons)
Long ago, a demon king managed to wipe out his adversaries and stand as the most powerful being. Tired of the endless wars and battles, he decided to give up his life for the sake of peace.
As he predicted—or rather, planned—he's reincarnated 2,000 years later as an overpowered character. Unfortunately, he finds the new era still full of hate, chaos, discrimination, and domination over the weak.
The Misfit of Demon King Academy gives the demon king character of Anos Voldigoad a pretty unusual twist, in which he ends up being the one to teach his descendants lessons about morality, friendship, and family as he tries to reclaim the throne he gave up thousands of years ago.
8. Devil May Cry: The Animated Series
Originally aired 2007
12 episodes (1 season)
Devil May Cry: The Animated Series is an anime series based on the Devil May Cry video game series. Just like the game, the anime is full of blood, gore, and action.
It follows the story of Dante, a half-demon Devil Hunter who owns a devil-hunting business named Devil May Cry and pays off his debts by slaying devils and taking jobs of supernatural origin. With his twin guns and large sword, he kills demons who terrorize humans.
Action, Adventure, Supernatural
Originally aired 2019
24 episodes (1 season)
While there's no actual hell in Dororo, what the demons did to Hyakkimaru sure made his life a living hell.
When Hyakkimaru's father struck a deal with demons in exchange for wealth and power, those mythical demonic beings each took one of Hyakkimaru's body parts—right when he was born.
To make matters worse, his father doesn't care so Hyakkimaru was later sent adrift on a boat. However, he survived and became a fine young warrior, despite having no limbs or primary senses.
Now, he fights every demon he encounters to reclaim his stolen body parts, which leads to him fighting against his own kin.
Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Isekai, Romance
Originally aired 2000 to 2010
193 episodes (7 seasons)
Inuyasha is an anime series adapted from Rumiko Takahashi's manga of the same name. It follows the story of modern-day girl Kagome Higurashi, who's accidentally transported to the late Sengoku period.
We follow her journey in collecting the scattered magical sacred jewel shards, all with the help of the half-demon Inuyasha.
This classic anime series features a world full of demons, from low-level and harmless ones to vicious and powerful demons like Naraku and Sesshōmaru, plus the titular character Inuyasha.
Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Originally aired 2006 to 2008
103 episodes (4 seasons)
D.Gray-Man is an anime series adapted from the manga of the same name, written and illustrated by Katsura Hoshino. It follows the fight of the Black Order (an exorcist organization) against Millennium Earl and his demon army (known as Akuma).
D.Gray-Man puts a creepy twist on the demon concept, resulting in a new take on demons never before seen in anime: the Akuma are dead individuals brought back to the living realm by the wishes of someone they love—wishes that are granted by Millennium Earl.
After being brought to life, the soul is corrupted and literally wears the skin or body of the one who wished for them to come back.
4. Chainsaw Man
Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
Originally aired 2022 to Present
12 episodes (1 season)
In the Chainsaw Man anime series, demons are born from the fears of human beings. Some of these devils end up forming contracts with humans, to whom they lend their powers.
The main devil in the series is the Chainsaw Devil, who was born from humanity's fear of chainsaws. He's first introduced as a cute dog-like creature whom Denji names Pochita.
After he revived Denji from the dead, Pochita became the former's heart, thus granting Denji the Chainsaw Devil's powers. Whenever Denji pulls the starter cord in his chest, he turns into the badass Chainsaw Man.
Chainsaw Man doesn't just feature devils, but also devil hybrids (like Denji) and fiends (devils who possess corpses, like Power). Most of them are Denji's targets because he now works as a Devil Hunter.
3. Hozuki's Coolheadedness
Originally aired 2014 to 2018
39 episodes (2 seasons)
Leading, managing, and organizing a team is quite troublesome, especially if the head count is more than you can handle. This is pretty much the premise of the anime series Hozuki's Coolheadedness.
Hozuki is the assistant to Lord Enma, the King of Hell. With Hell as his workplace, he needs to solve every issue that arises from every corner, manage the workstations, and supervise its employees as well.
This underrated anime series gives us a comedic take on Hell, finding humor in the mundane without ever being boring.
2. Hell Girl
Horror, Mystery, Supernatural
Originally aired 2005 to 2017
90 episodes (4 seasons)
The Hell Girl anime series tells us that Hell always has a place for sinners. It centers on Ai Enma, a girl who answers the cries of help of others through her service, Hell Correspondence.
Whenever someone feels threatened, they magically and mysteriously gain access to a website (called Hell Correspondence) where they can request to get rid of the bad guys.
Ai Enma will then appear and lend a doll with a red string, where pulling the string seals the contract. When pulled, Ai Enma's team takes care of the target, torturing them and letting them experience excruciating pain before sending them to Hell.
However, what Hell Girl offers is a double-edged sword: the request giver's soul will also be bound to Hell when they die.
1. Demon Slayer
Originally aired 2019 to Present
55 episodes (3 seasons)
Fully titled as Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, this insanely popular anime series was adapted from the manga of the same name, written and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotouge.
It follows the story of Tanjiro Kamado on his journey as a Demon Slayer, which starts after his family is brutally murdered and his sister, Nezuko, is turned into a demon by Muzan Kibutsuji.
It's one of the best anime series from recent years, and it received various awards (like Crunchyroll's Anime of the Year in 2019) and positive reviews for its beautiful animation and compelling storyline.