Otaku USA Magazine
These Beautiful Anime Conceal Hidden Darkness

There are lots of beautiful anime out there this season!

While story and characters are important to the shows we watch, nothing beats a really beautiful anime. And there are lots of different definitions of “beautiful.” Some may have gorgeous character designs, while others are simply stunning from the ground up. And others still are strangely gorgeous in an almost terrifying way. Today, we’ve got a little of each.

Here are three shows that are all a bit of eye candy in their own way, while having surprising undertones. Which ones have caught your eye this season?


Hell’s Paradise

Hell's Paradise

Sometimes, the most beautiful anime are also the most grotesque. Hell’s Paradise is everything the title implies. Our heroes—or perhaps antiheroes—travel to a far-off island to discover an alleged elixir of immortality. Whichever Death Row criminal succeeds will receive a full pardon. But what the boats from this island have brought back tell a terrifying story.

The island itself is beautiful, but its flora and fauna want you dead. The show’s setting is as gorgeous as it is dangerous. Flowers turn people into grinning vegetables. Statuesque monsters are eerily stunning… right before they attack. Like its setting, this show is lovely to look at, with dark hidden depths.


Yuri Is My Job

Yuri Is My Job

And here’s another beautiful anime with something lurking under the surface… but far less deadly. The hidden darkness of Yuri Is My Job is the horror of being hated and not knowing why. Though, given Hime’s methods, she’s probably made her fair share of enemies.

The heroines of this must-see series are waitresses at a themed restaurant. Acting as elegant students at an all-girls school, they play out Completely Platonic Relationships for their adoring customers. But while Hime’s senpai Mitsuki is kind in front of the patrons, she loathes her little kouhai behind the scenes. But sometimes it’s hard to see the hate through all the sparkles and roses.


Oshi no Ko

Oshi no Ko

Oshi no Ko is already flying to the top of viewers’ watchlists this season, and it’s easy to see why. Besides being a beautiful anime on the surface, it’s got a dark and convoluted plot. Picture this: a young idol’s two superfans—one of whom was set to deliver her twin babies—are reincarnated as those twin children. With all their knowledge and memories intact, they witness their mother’s murder four years later. Now, as teens, one is chasing her idol dreams while the other chases their mom’s murderer.

When it comes to this show’s beauty, the eyes have it. Ai Hoshino’s expressive eyes show both her light and dark thoughts, and her kids Aqua and Ruby inherited these same starry eyes. There’s certainly a lot to love about the animation in this show, but the character designs literally shine.

From beautiful to cute, meet this season’s strangest anime mascots!

Kara Dennison

Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and presenter with bylines at Crunchyroll, Sci-Fi Magazine, Sartorial Geek, and many others. She is a contributor to the celebrated Black Archive line, with many other books, short stories, and critical works to her name.