Otaku USA Magazine
Fill Your Long Winter Solstice Night with These Short Scary Anime

Pad out your long Winter Solstice night with some bite-sized terror

The Winter Solstice is the longest, darkest night of the year. From here, we’re heading out of the woods toward longer, brighter days. But since we’ve got this night ahead of us, why not go extra-dark?

These anime titles are watchable in an evening, and are sure to fill you with fear. Or at least a sense of confusion. And since it’s a long night, you can squeeze all of them in if you’re feeling it. Let’s go!


GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack!

GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack

Let’s start the Winter Solstice viewing party off light with mechanized shark cadavers.

GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack! may not feel quite as chilling as Junji Ito‘s other titles. That’s partly due to the CG, which is… “of its time.” But the fish running around on little robot legs are pretty hilarious, too. Protagonist Kaori doesn’t think so, though — she’s got a hypersensitive sense of smell, and she has a terrible time throughout this whole show. Especially when it turns out fish aren’t the only things that can end up on those robot legs.


Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

2000 film Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust brings Hideyuki Kikuchi’s gothic book series to life. And if you’re looking for a weird Winter Solstice watch, you can’t go wrong. Yoshitaka Amano-inspired visuals, check. Hands with the voice of Whose Line comedians, check. Vampire spaceships? Triple check.

The dhampir known as D is commissioned to track down Charlotte, a human woman abducted by the vampire Baron Meier Link. Things are, of course, far more complicated than D is originally told. (It always is between humans and vampires.) Charlotte’s family and the Baron each have their own team active to protect their interests. But there’s another wild card in the mix. And she’s terrifying.


Petshop of Horrors

Petshop of Horrors

Just in case your Winter Solstice is getting a little too dark, here are some cute animals. They all come with complicated contracts and might kill you.

Pet Shop of Horrors is 30 volumes strong and going in manga form, but only got four anime episodes. But that’s more than enough to get to know pet shop owner Count D (no relation). He’s from a prestigious Chinese family and that’s all you get to know unless you dig into the manga. Well, except that he’s a vegetarian. He offers people bizarre pets — rabbits and fish that look like deceased loved ones, for example — with complicated contracts. Break those contracts, and you may end up dead. Imagine being the detective who has to follow up on those cases… well, actually, you don’t have to imagine it. His name’s Leon and you’ll meet him, too.

Grab one or more and get some scares tonight!

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.